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Finding Light in the Dark

BY Parvati

Hello!
Happy May! We welcome this new month by celebrating with the new issue of Parvati Magazine, now live, on the theme of Nurturing. Please check it out and enjoy these articles written and curated for you with love and mindfulness to support you living a most fulfilled life.
My radio single and its accompanying music video “I Am Light” continues to be seen and heard all over the world. To help the song chart so it can gain even more radio play, and so I have more opportunities to raise the awareness of the importance of realizing MAPS: the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, please make sure you buy your copy of my song “I Am Light” on iTunes, if you have not already.
Every radio and television interview I get, I am vocal about the speed with which the polar ice is melting and the effect it is having on people and animals all over the world. MAPS is the focused effort by my not for profit Parvati.org, and all the amazing people who volunteer for it. Whether you use an iPhone or an Android, please note that your reviews of the song “I Am Light” make a really big difference to others who may consider purchasing it. Please take a moment and share your feelings about“I Am Light” on iTunes or Google Play! Remember that when we know we are light, we keep our footprint on the planet light.
Each one of us is interconnected and a part of a much greater whole. Just as our daily thoughts and actions affect the trajectory of our lives and impact our environment, so too we are influenced by the changing movement of the stars. We are now in an notable juncture astrologically in that not only Mercury, but also Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto are in what is known as retrograde motion at this time. In addition, Neptune will be going retrograde next month, and is already beginning to move into the retrograde zone.
When so many planets appear to be moving backwards in the sky, their shift in energetic influence gives us an opportunity to slow down and review our lives from a different vantage point. We are called more than ever to go within and take stock of how we are spending our time and energy, so that we may move forward with renewed focus and clarity. This is a time to practice crystal-clear communication, presence, humility, self-awareness, and courage. In that spirit, I would like to share this week more about the power of meditation and how we can deal with our shadow when it arises.
Meditation is now commonly known as a means to find inner peace. So it is easy to turn to meditation with a desire to escape the pain of our lives. In a culture where medication can remove pain, we can misunderstand meditation as a happiness pill, and come to our cushion with a hope to feel better. At first, however, nothing could be further than the truth. Instead of inner quiet, we meet our busy minds and churning thoughts. We spend our meditation practice thinking about dinner, or tasks at our desk, or someone who pushed our buttons. The power of meditation comes with the time spent investing in it. Just as stirred water settles with less agitation, so too with patient practice, our busy mind settles and we feel more centered and whole.
With a sense of newfound possibilities, we come back to our seat, open to more. Eventually, our mind settles enough so that deeper layers of our psyche come to light, revealing our shadow and rooted attachments. We are face to face with aspects of ourselves we don’t like, riddled with painful memories and uncomfortable emotions. What happened to the happy place? Reactively, we conclude we no longer like meditation.
However, meditation begins in the uncomfortable places. When we touch darker aspects of ourselves, we see that our mind only knows two ways of thinking: attract (pull), repulse (push). Because our ego thrives in disconnection, we tend to live our lives feeling fundamentally separate. So we habitually pull towards us the things we want because we think happiness is “out there” and push at things we don’t like, because we think they interfere. Yet trying to push and pull at life is like trying to move mountains, or like a dog chasing its own tail. Sooner or later we end up exhausted and realize: happiness is not found in the roller coaster ride of expectations and disappointments. There is a force much greater than our limited ego or will. We must allow ourselves to move through the dark to find wholeness and lightness of being.
The multiple planet retrogrades offer us an ideal opportunity to go within and make friends with our shadow. When we do so, we become lighter, more radiant. That heavy, fatigued feeling we may feel even when waking up supposedly refreshed in the morning, may come from resistance to what is, that is, our efforts to mask our shadow from ourselves and the world. When we allow our resistance to soften, we let go of immense tension that comes from the effort to suppress it. If we aspire to wholeness, we must soften the grip of our ego, release our resistance to the dark to reveal the divine light we truly are. This happens as we embrace our shadow. Here is an exercise that may help.
EXERCISE: MAKE FRIENDS WITH YOUR SHADOW
1. Find a quiet, safe environment away from your busy life.
2. Sit upright, free from the wall or the back of a chair.
3. Close your eyes and go within, focusing on your breath, allowing your body/being to relax.
4. Give yourself permission to feel. Meet whatever arises, to the best of your ability, without judgment. Welcome your whole self into yourself, not resisting who you are.
5. If a painful emotion arises, that is perfectly ok; simply don’t get pulled into its drama. Witness it just as it is. Anger feels hot. Notice the heat. Fear feels tight and dry. Notice this. Feel unattached and open, maintaining your sense of wholeness. This is important. Painful emotions are simply congested energy. If we allow ourselves to get caught up in them, we give them power. With space to flow, they loosen and release. Allow them to move through you. Keep breathing.
6. After some time and with an open heart, ask yourself: “How do I feel? How come? Am I willing to love and support myself?” Listen and receive what comes with warmth and gratitude. Breathe in saying “yes” to yourself, and to what this moment brings – all of it. Allow yourself to feel lovingly acceptant for whatever arises.
7. Do this as long as you need. Conclude with three breaths, breathing in love and acceptance, exhaling gratitude.
Meditation is the foundation of my life and all I do. Through it, I make friends with myself, the world as a whole and move beyond limiting beliefs. It gives me the energy for my work, and creates an effervescent foundation upon which my whole life arises. I could not recommend it enough. Take time to do this suggested meditation practice every day. As you make friends with your whole self, more energy, freedom and effortless joy will naturally arise. You and your precious life are worth it.
Until next time,
Love yourself.
Love others.
Love our world.
We are one Earth family.
Namaste,
Parvati