Picture: Sunday afternoon at friends. The painting has been traded for pictures. A strategic spot to observe the company.
Curious always, exploring whatever comes across.
On the way to the friend´s house in the canal area of Brussels on Sunday, I pass a church and pop in. A crowded Romanian orthodox church; male voices singing, the priest offering people a spoonful of something – perhaps wine? – and his assistant dabbing the mouths of the people with a piece of cloth. The same spoon and the same cloth for all, that requires a lot of trust in spirit. Rituals are fascinating. It is the first Advent Sunday.
At the spacious loft in the middle of the winter afternoon, the host, a photographer and a writer, tells me:
“The ultimate art is the art of a couple. Of course, only a good one.”
And which couple is a good one? For sure, the question is provoking and rich and worth pondering.
He, though, defined it for himself, and I like the definition: “In a good couple each one helps the other to grow in liberty, in his/her own unique way.” No attempts to change, undo, teach, heal, guide the other one, that much I understand, in theory at least. Allow to be – in a trusted space.
The idea of POWER has been coming up these days in different parts of my life: Deepak Chopra offered a meditation round called Self-Empowerment. Power pops up when I am exploring my shadow: I have always feared to assume there is a justified power. I stood aside, withdrew, shut up or tried some avoidance mechanism. Numbing and spiritual bypassing are my favourite ones.
Now, experiencing an ego-death when the man I consider my companion, my twin soul, my yoga co-teacher, my friend, decided suddenly to withdraw. Yes, I see the cumulation of my – and I understand it is an illusion. Such as the ego is an illusion, though a very real one. Through pain, tears, anger I suddenly have gained access to the long-shut dark chambers within me. And I enter, remember – curiosity is stronger that fear. In a sharper-than-a-dagger-blade pain I have no other chance than to surrender and live what I so well know in theory: no other person, no outer circumstance can ever bring a lasting joy. The source is within. I dive into the rabbit hole with no end, finally, the two important aspects merge: the psychological and the spiritual. It is hilarious, liberating, joyful; sadness and sorrow work similarly as a counter point works in music. I have got a key I have been searching for a long time without knowing it.
Sunday evening, on the way from the friends´ place, I pass the less fancy parts of Brussels downtown, cafés with dirty windows and curtains, where dark-skin men sip endless cups of tea and coffee and talk, strange shops with even stranger goods, smelly gas-stations on the ground floor of blocks of flats, the infamous Maximilian park with lots of people without the right papers, the sans papiers, until I come to the shopping zones with glittering lights and a crowd carrying Black-Friday-Weekend bags. Poor, idle, coming from unfavorable places, rich, busy, killing desires with shopping. And who knows about the real power?
Powerful we are, when we dive within. It is the power of vulnerability, trust, courage to love fully, to love no matter what. I have peeled a layer, one of zillion layers, this one leaving me raw and wounded, but finally, I am conscious of it.
The road does not stop or end, there is always more to understand:
I guy of a huge ego and toxic habits hates me and I cannot avoid him as I see him every working day. I am searching within me again, working with my fears and the wounded pride. Because, yes, part of the shadow is the wounded child we carry within. Mine shouts: Why don´t they love me?
Power. And self-worth. Not the lipstick of self-confidence. Self-worth is empowering. Why do we neglect we are worth? Because we learnt to do so somewhere on the road. A lot psychological pain has accumulated during the thousands´years of human experience. No chance to know all the reasons; no need to undo or change. Rather: grow through and over.
Grateful to all the teachers. I really recommend following the lonerwolf.com web. Rich, wise, sober, encouraging.
Currently, the book Eastern Body, Western Mind, a very detailed chakra explanation, a lot of science in it, though the skeptics would oppose. Carl Jung smiling across the infinity. Some of his quotes seem far-fetched – like discouraging people from yoga. Nevertheless, Jung has a point. Spirit-rituals should not be used as a strategy to avoid one´s wounds. Or we pay for that dearly. The price? Not being whole. And yoga is Wholeness. The shit included. Part of the package.
A new Friday evening ritual – Ashtanga yoga in a half-empty room; a teacher with a singing voice guiding a practice that shuts off the mind. For the first time, my hands join in marichyasana on both sides. That also thanks to a wonderful shiatsu massage with Tatiana. Another reason for gratitude. Friends, supporters, teaches, swell, right?
The ultimate teacher is within. My guys – Lucia and Alex – constantly put me in contact with the teacher within. I have been raising them reminding myself to fully respect all they experience, breathe through, try out. Sometimes I am frightened and doubting if I am doing it right, but then, again and again, I get messages: Yes.
Love is not an emotion. Love is a decision. Attitude. Willingness to connect.
A good advent to all.