Ponderings, poems, quotes, bits and bobs

A reflection on shadow integration

Anything you avoid in life will come back,
over & over again,
until you’re willing to face it –
to look deeply into its true nature

– Adyashanti

It is part of the human condition to be in conflict with ourselves. We all have hopes and gifts that we’d like to manifest. We also all have shadow aspects that sabotage that process.

Shadow parts are the aspects of our personality that we hide from ourselves and others. Negative core beliefs and unprocessed energy of emotions like shame, fear, sadness, and anger.

The main primary emotions underpinning our shadow are sadness, fear and shame.
Shame is the belief that there is something wrong with us. As children we are too naïve, to recognise that we were born into an already traumatised family. It was easier for us to assume fault for any issues than to acknowledge our parents are vulnerable.

When we are children we come up with coping strategies that serve us beautifully to keep us safe and cover up shame. Aggression, humour, shyness are all devices to deflect attention away from beliefs of being not good enough and unloveable.
They forge our personality traits and rattle around inside of us like parts of a Russian doll.
These parts don’t mean to do harm or block us. Quite the opposite, they are trying to help and protect us. We have simply forgotten to let them go.

Getting comfortable with ourselves involves understanding where our less comfortable aspects were formed, accepting them and letting them go. With love.

A poem about shame

Actually, it is shame.
The final frontier.
The biggest lie of separation.
I thought it was disdain,
but upon looking closer I noticed rage,
then helplessness,
then shame
curled up and unable to believe in beauty.

Trying to stay conscious with it.
Keep remembering to breathe and not get lost in the story.
The waking sleep is seductive and compelling and convincing.
At some level of greater awareness, I’m getting my money’s worth.

Some days it is not reassuring enough to understand that I am the sperm that made it.
Just gotta feel it and trust.
The grotto has an exit on the other side.
Life glows in my peripheral vision,
but eludes my direct stare.
She wants me to break out of the shell unaided.
She tells me softly
“I will pull you through just as your lungs are screaming and your body goes limp.
Be it bitter or sweet
or life or death,
it’s all the same.
And which theme you end up in will be but a brief sojourn leading flawlessly to tessellate with the next chapter.”

I look to the trees, and they gesture benignly to trust.
“We have been through this cycle much.
And so have you.
Remember that time when we…?”

My body softens.
Ah, shame…for a moment there I thought it was something serious.

A poem about writing poems

I wrote a poem
just before I wrote this one.
It made me cringe.
in a pretentious voice
that was performancy
and activated my inner critic.

I don’t know what I’ve got myself into here.
I know nothing about poetry.
When are
break up the

I’ve been reading poetry
to catch a flavour.
Most of it bores me
or invokes me to throw a chair
at the person who wrote it.

I found some with swearing in them.
I liked those ones.
I guess I’m feeling a bit aggro in the middle.

So let’s feel in to that.
My vibe is nippy today.
Nippy and snippy.
Food gets swallowed without my noticing.
Next thing next thing next thing.

And I notice the long waves of the wind
tickle the tummies of ten thousand leaves.
Lifting and dropping
with invisible grinning fingertips
of tender playfulness.
And the sound made
is the leaf equivalent of purring.
But not “oooooooooh”
because it’s in leaf.

And if I wiggle my jaw
the textures of information
lose top notes and base flows
and I become part of the dance
with my attention letting nature know
that she is enjoyed.
Not that she needed me,
but she’s more flirty for the glance I give her.

And what was agitation
at having to risk
coming across as doltish,
has rolled into
an impromptu meditation
that will hold me on a magic carpet of oneness
until my mind…
…oh look at that…
I have a white hair growing on my arm!

A poem about taking life less seriously

Bringing play back into the mix.
No outcome expected.
No rules.
No strategy.
Just pick up the axe and jam.
Make up new words,
like conflobble
And give them meanings,
or don’t bother and move on to the next see-saw-swing-about.

Awe at the creation with child eyes.
Wonder at the gifts delivered by senses and intuitions.
An infinite collage of different greens and cools and softs and timbres.
An endless supply of sounds and reactions and journeys and cocoas.

We had a wider spectrum of sounds at our creative bidding
before we favoured words alone;
what unexpected fun to let sound flow
through bonkers mouth shapes.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it,
is to stop,
and notice,
and enmesh
with your next moment.
Isn’t it interesting how moments don’t really conform to the rules of time when you put different levels of attention into them?
Tell me about it if you want to.
Or don’t.
No rules.

Maybe take a slice of your attention cake
to gaze
at your own hand.
Mmm, I thought it would look different.
Responses and opinions are inevitable
when we are human.
Touch the hand,
with this flavour of touch,
and then make it somehow different.
A chain of events
triggered internally
through the mind and body,
that will have miniscule influence
on changing how I pass my message to the next person I engage with.

The permutations are endless,
and each contact starts a new process
of which there are no actual and true beginnings or endings.

I didn’t know what would come through me when I started this word play.
But play was the intention,
as a conduit
of the infinite.
And now I am more in love with life
and the essence that I want to play forward.

So maybe there was an agenda after all…

A poem that definitely doesn’t matter

Waves of genius and islands of peace.
Are peace and genius expensive at some level?
Did I spend all my wise points in a past life?
Or did I drop them on the bus when I was pissed in my twenties?
What is this cosmic swing that pendules me between ‘nailed it’ and ‘what the holy fuckamoly’?

Lessons, so they say.
Here to learn the lessons.
Soul stuff.
Can I just take a life off?
Can’t you see I’m lazy?
If I just soak up the sun, will the karmic judges serve me papers?
I could just leave it for the next poor bugger I incarnate into to figure out.

Maybe that’s bollocks.
Maybe we’re just pointless blobs.
Maybe we’ve just got too much to think about since we hauled ourselves out of the food chain.
Perhaps we invented that we matter and that there’s a bigger picture, but really, we just want to matter.
I’ve been wrestling with the precipice of pointlessness all my life.
I think I’ll just embrace it.
Marcel Proust was alright with it, and he was way smarter than me.

I’ll try on the hat of not matter.
I’m a not-matter-hatter.
Feels lighter.
I feel cheeky and amused.
I know expansion and infinite ok-ness.
And contrary to my original nihilistic hypothesis, I sense the bigger picture.
I feel gratefully inconsequential, yet by default I belong.
And my soul says, “Nailed it!” and “We were home all along!”


Why all the elephants?

I love elephants.

They are personally relevant to me because my paternal grandfather was killed by one. The elephant has a distinct place in my system.

They are relevant to my work because we are together searching for the elephant in the room of your system. The obvious problem or difficult situation that nobody wants to talk about needs to be acknowledged if you are to feel liberated.

As pack animals elephants can teach us a thing or two about how to co-exist harmoniously.
They value relationship. They raise their young as a herd and will only move together at the pace of the slowest member.
They are supportive of each other and sentimental towards their dead.

Elephants are relevant to most people because most people think elephants are cool!

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