I’ve become interested lately in how our idea of healing can be a subtle form of self-hatred.

The orientation of transformation being to finally become enough. OK- in the eyes of myself, other, god. Whatever our particular yard stick is, today.

The hustle.

We are all tender, delicate creatures deep inside. We are also mighty and endlessly powerful.

We are deeply special, and completely unspecial – all at once.

We contain everything, and we are all the same.

We want desperately to know, that we are okay, lovable, safe – not messing everything up completely.

We try so hard – to be okay.

But this is where healing, transforming, spiritual growth, meeting goals (however it’s packaged), the perfect asana, the perfect body, the perfect career, the perfect transcendent state, the perfect embodied scream – whatever – can be just self-loathing, dressed up.

When it’s not coming from an energy of loving ourselves so much we want to treat ourselves well. To expand into our deepest potential. Which is powerful.

But instead coming from an energy of discontent and wound.

The energy and intention behind our actions informs the outcome and the way it all feels in our body.

I had a call with a woman in America a few months ago. Out of the blue she said “you have so many attainments.”

To be honest I wasn’t sure what she meant. I had a sense, but I thought it might be some fancy Zen language I didn’t understand.

So I googled it after our call.

And I wanted to call back and say “No! No! No!”

There is no trophy cabinet.

Imagine all the energy you’d have to spend just to dust the fucking things, polish the trophies, guard the trophies- point people in their direction for admiration. (Hey? You noticed the big, shiny one, just sayin?)

Healing, growth, transformation- in my experience- is not about adding. It’s often about subtracting, to reveal the wholeness we already are.

It isn’t about adorning ourselves, like Christmas tree’s.

It’s not about adding artificial light.

Feeling we have to fix – or fix-up – ourselves and others, is exactly the fear that leaves us separate from ourselves and others.

And whatever we’re afraid of, owns us.

Transformation – healing – doesn’t come from cutting and pasting our personalities and lives into some idealised version of self.

This is where our neurosis come from.

The trick is not adding artificial light, but removing the blocks to reveal our inherent light.

Throughout our lives we build walls, protection around our hearts, beings, bodies – when we’re afraid or hurt.

Someone breaks our heart – up goes a wall, we’re criticised by our parents – we erect a fort.

Culture tells us to be more.
Ads tell us to add more.
Even spiritual teachers can tell us to be nothing or everything, depending on their flavour.

We fear we’re not enough so we start to contort what is true for us, into what we think is expected of us instead

We create barriers and blocks between what we truly are, and life – not because we are bad, but in an effort to keep us safe and accepted.

And these attempts at staying safe, actually keep us separate.

The walls we build to keep others out, end up keeping life out. Out of our bodies, out of our hearts, out of our experience.

Then we wonder why we secretly feel lonely, despairing, anxious.

Because all the light that we inherently are, is blocked by things we ourselves erected.

So we start adding to, and adorning ourselves to try to be enough, or feel good enough.

Because maybe this will be the trophy in my cabinet that finally makes me whole…gets me recognition…brings peace.

And we look at everyone else’s carefully curated and projected decorations and think they have their shit together.

Here’s a secret: they don’t. No one does.

Healing isn’t building a perfect self.

It’s about seeing, shifting or dissolving the walls and blocks to revealing our true self.

This is a different expression for everyone. There is no prescription. Only what is deeply true for me and can I let it shine?

So let’s burn the trophy cabinet!

Nobody’s looking anyway. They’re too concerned with their own reflection in its door.

Burn it, and then dance around it. Not for performance but for the pleasure of granting ourselves the permission to write the playbook for our lives.

Healing, transformation – is an inside job.

There’s no bikini shot for Instagram that could ever trump it. No “public figure” job description. No business card. No trophy. And certainly no state or spiritual experience.

We cannot control our way to peace.

We cannot lasso freedom.

But we can come in to such deep inner rest, such deep acceptance of all the things that we are, and that are here, now, our utter magnificence, and complete ordinariness. Nothing desperately sought, and nothing avoided either.

Everything, homed.

In this place, the “shoulds” fall away. And this is what is meant by liberation.

We allow ourselves our hilarious, beautiful humanity. To be flawed, completely clumsy and imperfect.

From this base of deep acceptance- transformation and healing can’t be stopped. It simply unfolds.

We are all in the same human bodies. We can breathe, and allow our humanity. We can see it is a portal to the divinity we already are.

We can see the most exquisite sameness (and simultaneous uniqueness) – everywhere, in everyone.

From this place, trophies, accolades and additions are no more than heavy things to be carried.

It feels so damn good, to put them down.

About how they might find a sense of aliveness, potency, joy, connection.

I understand this longing completely – it’s tender, honest. We all share it.

It rises at different times in our lives – we are all the same. Plants reach for light, and so do we. It’s an organic impulse.

Light is our birth right. Not mine, nor owned. I’m certainly not an authority on it. Despite this, I am happy to share what I’ve noticed.

For me, the brightest light is always in deep intimacy with the dark.

In many ways.

The acceptance of the dark within us, and the cultivating of a powerful dark-light that is strong enough to insist on shining in a world that often tries to dim it.

Dark and light are not binary. They exist within one another, one, sacred thing.

We all have our melodies and maladies.

The greatest secret is acceptance of this.

Of holding sacred, the power of both the dark and the light to fuel us, drive us, open us, deepen us and push us all forward – to ignite and enliven us into an existence so rich, we can’t help but let life dance us – all the way – whether in suffering, or in joy.

We can cultivate this.

Potency, for me, is about how we sit inside ourselves, imbibe ourselves, feel toward ourselves.

It’s not about what we’re doing, or wearing.

It’s not about that curated Instagram shot.

It’s about – what is my unique truth and who am I being, as I move through the world?

It’s about releasing being defined through another’s eyes, and instead defining ourselves through our inner eye. “Do I approve of me?”

Returning deeply to ourselves, over and over, deeply to our own truth and living it courageously.

Questions might be, am I here to have people like me? Approve of me? Look sexy? Or am I here to be what I truly am, and so be free to celebrate life, myself and others too, in all our juicy differences.

Can I let myself be the powerful force that I am? Can I go toward all the murky blackness and the sweetness in me? Or will I shut down these energy currents and so become tighter, sadder, less alive?

It begins, and ends, within us.

As we move toward the dark in us, it is finally homed. Our bodies and systems relax in ease, no longer pushing against parts of ourselves – and this is what allows light to flow through us freely.

Our song is our art. Our song is our work. We are tethered to the energy that we cultivate within ourselves and we will always move and create from that energy.

We will always be animated by that energy.

It cannot be, any other way.

If that energy is chaos and unacknowledged weights – darkness we push away – we will lead our lives from turmoil and inner division, and much of what we touch will produce dysfunctional results.

We often push pain away or avoid it because we don’t want it to overwhelm or run us. And by pushing it away and not allowing it to be felt, it does run us because it remains, a deep discordant hum underneath everything we run to.

If we have cultivated acceptance, power, equanimity, love, in our bodies then we move from there, and all we touch benefits from that.

The undepleatable source of our flow, alignment and love is our own connection with ALL of who we are.

This, is the intelligence required.

Our connection to deep-light, is simply the connection to ourselves. Which is also the connection to God, source, infinite intelligence, whatever you want to call it. It’s all the same thing.

The only undepleatable, truly luminous energy source – is within us.

That is where we can turn again and again and again to be filled, lightened, animated and imbued with true power, wisdom, might, security and the richest connection we could imagine.

Instead, we tend to reach for energy injections (we could call this false light) outside of us – food, a new crush, people pleasing, another pair of parted legs, scrolling, gambling, drugs, booze, shopping, whatever.

Those energy injections always run out and we find ourselves depleted again, reaching like addicts, again.

We always feel insecure from this place because we are puppets on strings to those things.

Instead, being totally available to the rich source of energy within ourselves optimises everything outside of ourselves. So this work is the best thing we can do for everyone around us, our families, our communities.

We might ask – what energy currents am I sitting in as a human? What am I too afraid to see that I am? Where do I home myself, and place my power? How can I raise, raise, RAISE this energy that I find within – in the body. Perhaps in a whisper now, but always there.

How can I host this juicy, incredible light, more permanently through the body? How can I then weld that consciousness in the world?

If you look, you will find it, deep inside you.
Keep coming back, through the fear, through the darkness, through the hollow parts of you, the orphaned parts of you, the hate-filled parts of you and eventually – welcoming all home – we find our truth, luminosity, peace, power.

We can discover and honour our ways of connecting to ourselves and source and never look back. Insisting on this time, this space to connect, no matter what shows up, inside or outside.

Eventually, a clear, powerful, dark-light settles in us. Immensely grounded. Incredibly precise. Fiercely intelligent.

Not a saccharine, fluffy love. A mighty, homed, clear-seeing love that can stand against armies if needed.

And it will be needed, from time to time.

Because no one is EVER going to give us permission to be this alive and free.

Light burns, as well as illuminates. If anything peoples instinct can be to criticise or try to shut it down, both in themselves and others. “How dare you…?”

If we want to radiate the true force that we are – the authentic fullness of ourselves – there’s a fierce dark-light needed to underpin it. A black, firm love, that says – “I choose this, for me. Nothing will stop me being all that I am.”

We are called, to give ourselves permission to shine, in many seemingly small moments, and some big ones.

We are called to claim ourselves. Deeply, truly, unapologetically.

Our connection to all the parts of ourselves is our connection to light, to god, to potency, to authentic power. It is deep living and from that alignment and balance – all impulses and guidance, joy and aliveness follow. We can trust the impulses that arise from this place.

It’s more than okay to have hard days. It’s more than okay to have hard years.

We bend, we break, we rise. We are all the same.

This isn’t failure, this is sacred process.

Rather than abandoning our real self to create an idealised one – a light filled one – we can aim to reveal, accept and nurture what is truly here – who we truly are – in our entirety. We find we are already light.

Reveal it… and then revel in it.

Not because someone has deemed us okay. Not because we’ve been granted permission or wholeness from outside or reached some spiritual or cultural peak – simply because we have decided to stop walking the rigid lines created for us, and by us, and let ourselves dance – fully, deeply, unapologetically.

We place, and draw our power from within.

In this place we cannot help but alight ever more deeply.

We stop knowing if we are even the dancers of our lives, or simply being deeply, deeply danced.

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