Two weeks ago I went through a deep initiation. Being a witness of my father’s passing was as liminal as it could get. This is an experience that I’ll be unpacking for a while, as the dust settles and I come to terms with this new life of not having my father in this ‘world’, but in the Otherworld.
While my father slowly transitioned from this realm, the Women’s March, the day after the President’s Inauguration, I thought it was an uncanny symbolism to what I was going through. (I was in NYC when this was happening, and there were delays in getting to the hospital to see my father because of the march.)
Women (and men) around the world took to the streets to make their voices known against the rise of a regime that is a fundamental backlash to many of the progressive changes that have taken place in these last few decades. It was a symbolic rise of the feminine energies against the shadow aspects of patriarchy. (Whatever is your view on these things, or how symbolic you are comfortable getting, the Women’s March stands as a great archetypal manifestation of the zeitgeist we are living.)
My father passed the day after, leaving just me and my sister to inherit his life’s legacy. I thought that was an interesting juxtaposition, because he had been our anchor, although he was by no means a traditional father figure. Still he inhabited that space of holding the positive masculine, although flawed. Now my sister and I stand on our own, inhabiting a position of being our own anchors in life. Not that we haven’t been building our own lives, but the feeling I had is that as my father’s passed, she and I were the energetic recipients to his legacy, incorporating within ourselves a new inner masculine, the energies that he held for us before.
What does this have to do with politics?
The Women’s March was just the beginning of a deeply surreal week in US and world politics. As I scrolled through my newsfeed, the feeling I picked up was that we are living in a world that had previously been relegated to bad dystopian Hollywood movies. All of 2016, I said that we are no longer in Kansas, a la Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, but these last few weeks have been more surreal than most of us could imagine.
The feeling I have is that the Beast has awakened and is now rampaging down the streets. As we try to make sense of this, much akin to the stages of grief, we are collectively trying to make sense of it all. Feelings of denial, normalizing, anger and bargaining are all taking place – within ourselves and in the political and social arenas. Things are becoming more polarized and voices are clamoring over each other. The energetics are intense, but not far from the Uranian revolutionary and destabilizing methods.
So what about Inner Work?
Since launching my business full time last year, while navigating that tumultuous election year, I have reflected deeply on my own individual role in this zeitgeist and how I can be of service to times like this. Plus I wanted to understand what all of this meant in the pattern of things and how we can best navigate these waters.
Since I was a kid, old enough to learn about vocation and purpose, I have reflected on what is my purpose in this life. This is a topic that has always fascinated me, and it was what drove me to dive into learning depth psychology, Jungian studies, mythology, and astrology. I want to understand not only what makes one tick or the broad brushstrokes of global events, but more importantly the part we play in the zeitgeist, however small we think we are.
I see this is prime time for us, both individually and collectively, to really come to terms not just with external changes, but to have a deeply lived experience and knowledge of how our INNER WORLD SHAPES THE OUTER WORLD. How our own inner work, be that psychotherapy, healing, coaching or any other means to follow the Oracle of Delphi’s dictum: KNOW THYSELF, is not a selfish proposition, but actually the very source for global changes in all areas, thus deeply political.
As humans we are social animals, and thus politics is embedded in our lives. How we engage with politics reveals what we value, which in turn is deeply personal. Many people, including myself, have taken a position of believing that they are not political, that they have no interest in politics. Politics as become something dirty, confusing and Machiavellian.
But as the last couple of weeks have boldly highlighted, our disengagement, lethargy or lack of interest is actually deeply risky for the things that we say we value. Thus the collective wake up call.
Now, as we try to find our own ways of engaging with what is happening, not matter how small the acts, one thing is still very much the lightening rod of all this, both personally and collectively: the bravery in which we engage with our own INNER WORK and SHADOW DANCE.
What happens out there is not just ‘out there’, removed from us. It’s actually a reflection of our own collective inner shadow dance. Despite any highly imaginative conspiracy theories, ‘these politicians’ have not landed here from another planet. They are a reflection of the collective consciousness of a culture. That is what makes it so hard to swallow, because we are seeing our collective shadow splattered all over the news. It’s a bit like seeing our bowel movements made public on the media.
However, you want to engage with what is happening, one thing you cannot afford to not do, and that is your own INNER WORK, especially as it pertains to your own SHADOW DANCE and awareness of your life’s purpose.
How does all of this link back to my father’s passing?
One thing I learned upon my father’s death was the energetic legacy he left me and my sister.
He may not have made the millions with his work, but he touched and helped the lives of many people in his community. He was spoken about as a man who was always ready to help, give counsel and motivate those who crossed his path to go after their dreams with a sense of humor and optimism. He lived out his life’s purpose with gusto, and it permeated all that he did, both personally and professionally.
He may have not been a deeply philosophical man, but rather a pragmatic and action oriented one. He believed that problems were to be solved, and that crisis was opportunity. He lived by those beliefs.
What touched me in learning about this side of his life, as I met many of those whose lives he touched at his service, I realized that he’s greatest gift was being authentic to what gave him joy, a sense of purpose and sharing that with the world.
In being ‘himself’, he created change and helped others achieve their goals and prosperity. In following his values, he created change in his community.
I also realized how much of him I have in me.
I see now that my purpose, if you will, is to help others follow the path towards fulfilling their purposes, and in doing so, being a piece of the larger fabric that weaves us all together and can generate larger changes. Engaging with our sense of purpose, sense of life’s meaning is the inner fabric of any political change that we may want to bring about, in small or large scales.
He may not have been a political man, but by virtue of being true to himself, he affected lives and motivated change in his community, which in turn will ripple further changes we don’t even know how far it may go.
The times we are now living are riddled with the pregnant energies of crisis. This is a great opportunity for each one of us to strengthen the bridge between our inner and outer lives, via the courageous act of getting to know our shadows and doing our inner archeological dig to bring forth a truer version of ourselves.
2017 is a breakthrough year.
But it is our own inner revolution that will be the biggest breakthrough.
Want to explore your own inner landscape and see the many ways in which you can live our your life’s purpose? Book a session here.