The summer solstice. As a society we have moved away from living our lives in harmony with the cycles of nature – of which the solstices and equinoxes are a part. These days mark the movement of the earth around the sun and serve as markers of the passing seasons. Today, as the north pole of the earth is in direct alignment with the sun, summer “officially” begins. The northern hemisphere of the Earth is at her zenith today receiving a full dose of enlivening, energizing, healing light from the sun. Nature is full to bursting, growing, expanding, soaking in the light and offering her beauty.
I notice that as I have come to understand the significance of the equinoxes and solstices, my life has begun to move in alignment with their offerings. So today I ask myself “In what ways am I living my fullest, my genius?” “What do I do in my daily life to allow my being to receive more light?” “How may I support others in receiving more light and expressing their beauty and genius to the planet and her inhabitants?”
Asking myself these questions leads me, most naturally, to the ways in which I interfere with offering my gifts to the planet and her inhabitants. How much darker can it get than raging?
Over the last two weeks I have been exploring my pattern of internal raging – and sometimes external raging – that expresses itself when I am under stress. As many of you know my partner Jake and I have been contracting with The Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) as the local organizers for their International Intensive Trainings (IITs) in Albuquerque. During set-up on the first day, I had an experience that was confusing to me – I thought we were meeting at one time, but Jake arrived 2 hours later. This began an internal feeling process that started with curiosity, moved to concern, and culminated as rage. In retrospect, I can see how this rage indicated needs for mutuality, care, companionship, and collaboration not being met in ways I had expected. But at the time, I could only see red.
Over the next few days that internal raging continued – and escalated – as we had little time to connect. Internally, I was thinking thoughts like “He doesn’t care about this work” “He’s doing a half-assed job” “He doesn’t want to be here”. By the third day of the intensive, I started expressing these thoughts to him. Imagine my surprise when he didn’t agree!
We spent several days connecting about how I was feeling, what needs were not being met, and what conditions brought me to this place…primarily the stress of continuing to work with coaching clients and facilitate weekly groups as I also fulfilled my IIT responsibilities. I noticed that the pattern of internally educating and punishing Jake had escalated to such a degree that I could no longer see what was actually happening in front of me – Jake was working his butt off just like I was! In other words, my reality was being distorted by a very aggressive thought pattern that I did not even know I was engaged in.
Ever so slowly it occurred to me that I was projecting my self-judgments onto him. I judged myself as not caring about the IIT work because I was continuing my work with coaching clients. I was judging myself for doing a half-assed job because I was away so much – even though I did fulfill my responsibilities. I didn’t want to be there – I wanted to be living my simple, quiet life. This, my friends, was a humbling awareness.
During this past weekend, the one leading up to the solstice, I gathered in several circles of support – the Unity Leadership Team, my ongoing empathy group, my locally hosted Gene Keys group – and more was revealed about these thought patterns. Yet the clarity I truly desired arrived this morning at the moment of the solstice. I saw the ways in which this pattern of thought was generational on the maternal side of my family. I could see where I learned it. I could see how my brain/mind distorted reality when I engaged in this pattern. I could see how in years past this behavior was life-serving. And I could see that it is time to let it go and take on a more life-serving way of dealing with stress and conflict.
In this place of understanding and forgiveness, I knew I was well on the way to healing and releasing this thought and behavioral pattern, not simply managing it as I had been doing for years. From this place, strategies emerged and I chose one: I made an appointment with a healer who has supported me in healing these kinds of patterns in the past.
And then I moved on to celebrating the solstice – the fullness of my life. I meditated, tended to the garden, went to a yoga class, enjoyed some intimate time with Jake, went to an impromptu gathering of my Ayurvedic Institute friends, and wrote this newsletter. These experiences, including facing the raging, are just some of the many ways in which I open myself to carry more light, live more fully, express my genius, and contribute to the evolution of the planet and her people.
My questions for you this solstice are:
- How do you open yourself up to carry more light?
- What darkness has been playing out in your life that you are ready to explore and release?
- What steps are you going to take to let go of what no longer serves and embrace that which is life-serving?