Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Emotional Constipation that is Spiritual Bypassing

Ganesh altar on the Kripalu property
You know the type.

They tell you that they live in love and light and that they've forgiven everything about all the stuff that's happened to them but...

BUT...underneath the veneer, you can feel a heat, a simmering, a volatile energy that is JUST being held back but barely.  And you can usually see more in their eyes than they are revealing in their words. Often, too, there's something in the way they hold their body that is telling the truth. (Since the body never lies, as Martha Graham's psychiatrist father taught her.)

When I'm at Kripalu, there's a lot of this, and this last time, I noticed it more than ever.

When we use spiritual practices to replace the real work of facing the horrible stuff, of integrating the feelings we really have about the horrible stuff, about calling out the horrible stuff, we are "spiritual bypassing."

Spiritual practices become a crutch.

Spiritual practices allow people to look down at the expressed pain (or even expressed excitement) of others as "too much."

A big red flag is a person who won't make noise or move freely in their bodies.

There were a couple of incidences of this that really stood out last week.

A young woman who would NOT release ANY sound when we were doing sound work because it "wasn't in line with her meditation practice."

I call bullshit. Meditation practice leads to authenticity, not denial. A free human can vocalize.

Another young woman who stood at the edge of the room while everyone else danced with a look of disgust on her face but claiming it didn't jive with her current spiritual whatnot.  (The look on her face told the real truth.)

Here's the thing: we are all made of pretty and of ICK.

You know what I mean.

We all have the capacity for these GORGEOUS transcendent flights of awesomely connected and loving and open and vulnerable and giving... all the things we tend to think of as "good" or "positive." And let me add, these things are NOT always SOFT and QUIET. ((grrr...that gets on my nerves))

BUT BUT BUT we have an EQUAL capacity for sitting in our own shit lethargic, apathetic, whining, being ugly angry, spewing hateful vomit of primal darkness...all the things we tend to think of as "bad" or "negative." And another addition, these things are NOT always HARD and LOUD. When someone is spiritually bypassing, they are at the level of a strangled whisper.

But it's all us.

And there can be no spiritual or other kind of growth until we accept all of our parts, until we take ALL of our parts right into our meditation and our chant and our prayer and our yoga and our dance.

Until then, we're really just pissin' around, playacting, and stalling.



If you want to get a taste of how we create more happy, strength, and connection through the practice of Kintsugi Dance, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.