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A Radical Invitation to Peace from Shadow


Face of anguish, tears, and heartbreak

It came to me in the shower, as insights often do, that perhaps, "It is supposed to be this way." That the world, filled with brutality, violence, hatred, division and fear is exactly like it's supposed to be. And, to rail against it, to live from a framework that "it's not supposed to be this way" is misguided, putting us immediately in victimhood, bestowing us with defensiveness, anger and reactionary attitudes and behaviors. All the signs of powerlessness.


Now I know this may be a radical idea but bear with me. As in all opposites, in the 3-dimensional realm on planet Earth at this time, shadow and light exist together, are inseparable and can't exist without the other. There is no shadow without light. Therefore, consider this: Perhaps all external events are a reflection of our inner world. That our feelings of pain, suffering, brutality, fear, self-hatred, and unworthiness are projected outward for the sole (soul) purpose of getting our attention. Not to rail and react endlessly in a fight "against" it all, but to get us to ask ourselves, "What is my reaction to all of these external events and conditions showing me about myself…my inner world? What do I want instead? How is my way of being contributing toward the unwanted?"


Asking ourselves, "How can I harness the inner power hemorrhaging from within, from my inner pain and suffering be cauterized, conserved and multiplied to create healing, self-forgiveness, self-care, and self-compassion that would be reflected into the world as light instead of shadow? For when what is casting the shadow turns itself around, what it sees is the light that gave it birth.


How to turn yourself around is the inner journey. That's the work at hand to experience peace in the world. It’s easy to cast chaos and violence into the world. All you need do is react to your inner pain, suffering, self-righteous indignation and self-hatred. That way it makes itself easily seen and heard. That's its function, its job. Magnified by the billions on the planet, it's even easier to see that the potential encapsulated in all the violence and suffering are the magnificent possibilities that lie nowhere but within.


All that we see and touch…all form: guns, tanks, tasers, our bodies and reactions, come from the invisible realm within us as a thought or idea first. Let that sink in. Then ask yourself, "Has that 'thought-then-form' been born from the inner pools of Love or fear?" Whatever the answer, the source of it is within.


I, for one, have been afflicted all my years with this skewed perception of 'the world shouldn't be this way'. It should only be harmony, peace, loving kindness and compassion. I have been brought to my knees by the brutality and inhumanity of 'man' toward everything…animals, the environment, other humans…powerless, reactionary, angry, fearful, despairing and despondent. I have marched, donated, and railed against injustice as the obvious reactions. And still, the external scene hasn't changed all that much. War & violence still remain.


So now, I have come to a place of asking, 'Who would I be without my wounds, my social conditioning, and reactionary behaviors?'

This inner journey is one that I am called to walk. I have been exploring the shadow path within and feeling, without condition, all the emotions behinds all my inner suffering, anguish and fear. I have, and continue to, allow myself to experience all these feelings, without their associated dramatic narratives that the mind easily weaves. I take time to allow each emotion to flood through me with all its sharp edges.


Miraculously, what I find as I persevere & practice, as it's not a one-and- done thing, is inner peace restored each time. Truly amazing! Another magnificent outcome has been overcoming substance abuse...for good...finally free from its almost 6-decade seduction. Why, because the emotional pain driving the use & abuse has been now fully felt, expressed and metabolized. Now I know how to feel my emotions rather than turn to sedation.


This continues to be my practice for peace from the inside out. Perhaps it could be yours too. This is the invitation from the shadows.


I will end with this excerpt from the book The Presence Process (revised edition), by Michael Brown (which played a major role in my inner peace path):


"Our leaders demand that for there to be peace, people must be moved and removed, borders redrawn, and population behavior controlled. This is born of a belief that peace is established through re-arranging physical circumstance. This approach never achieves peace.


Any appearance of peace gained from rearranging physical circumstances is always short-lived because it's born of control and sedation. Though peace may be expressed physically, its existence isn't determined by physical circumstances.


Our leaders also insist on approaches such as 'peace talks', in which governments and peace organizations present treaties, make compromises with each other, and declare after long discussion and debate that peace has been agreed. This approach mistakenly believes peace is something mental. It too has never realized authentic peace, and any appearance of peace gained from mental discussion and debate, leading to agreement between opposing parties, is always short-lived because it also is born of control and sedation. Just as peace isn't a physical circumstance, it's also not a mental agreement.


Peace is a vibration that's recognized through felt-perception. We don't 'do peace' or 'think peace'. We feel peace. Peace is. It doesn't need to be manufactured. Peace is everywhere, whether we are aware of it or not.


The entire planet is blanketed in peace. In fact, it's easy to realize this experientially. If we enter any war-torn environment - any experience of conflict - and remove all human beings, what becomes immediately self-evident is the resonance of peace. Peace is in the midst of all chaos and conflict. Nothing we do or think adds or takes away from this actuality. In each moment of our individual experience, we are immersed in the vibrational resonance of peace.


However, due to our imprinted charged emotion, which emanates as fear, anger and grief - coupled with the mental stories told by these emotional states and the physical activities born of believing such stories - we remain unaware of the peace that has already been given to us.


When we are unable to feel peaceful, it's because our current experience of peace is obscured by physical, mental and emotional reactions to our discomfort. By sedating and controlling our current states of imprinted felt-discomfort, we simultaneously shut down the perceptual mechanism required to realize peace, which is our feeling capacity.


The road to realizing peace is therefore intimately interwoven with intent to integrate our emotional charge. We are all personally in charge of our capacity for peacefulness, all personally responsible for whether we experience peace. No other can feel on our behalf, and therefore, no other has the capacity to grant us the experience we call peace. Peace therefore begins within us, individually. Realizing peace individually is a prerequisite to realizing it collectively. "

 

You're invited to come feel and paint online with a small group of other travelers on the inner journey in a safe judgment-free space. The session will NOT be recorded. We do not comment on each other's work. Your emotional safety is my priority.


This is not about learning to paint. It about allowing yourself to listen deeply within, to not know, and to be led by something deeper and more loving than your intellect or learned techniques. No 'talent' needed.


Find out more about Presence & Paint here.

Your first session is FREE with this coupon.

Upcoming Dates: Saturdays Dec 16th & 30th, 11am-1:30pm PST (sliding scale $40-$55 per session)





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