‘Both Light and shadow are the dance of Love’ ~rumi
My name is Harmony (that is my real given name) and I have a tattoo of a yin-yang that I got when i was 21- not realizing it was a symbol for harmony and also a symbol the dance of Light and shadow that my life’s work would be about later on.
My spiritual path really opened up when I found yoga at 26. Shortly after I heard about tantra – not the westernized version of tantra which never drew me – but the original meaning of tantra which has to do with making Love with all of life. True tantra is about being with all that is – being intimate with it all – the shadow and Light, the grief and the joy, anger and peace.
People assume the more enlightened you are the more peaceful life will be, when in actuality awakening is a necessary shattering of all that is not you. In awakening, you break down to break open and you breakthrough to break free. As my shadow work teacher Robert Masters says – awakening is MESSY!
It is darkest before the dawn – and all of life involves cycles. There are ups and downs, ins and outs, a time for being ahead and a time for being behind. Just like the moon cycle and solar cycle – we have a new moon and new sun (winter solstice around 12/21) and we have a dark moon and dark sun (samhain or from 10/31 to winter solstice).
Honoring the light and the dark is key to wholeness. As Jung said ‘one does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious’.
All the very intense times I have gone through catapulted me into new amazing things. But I learned by experience that if I was focused on the end goal I would be more miserable during the intensity. Being fully present to what is showing up now as opposed to focusing on what was going to happen when this intensity was over was part of my learning! (still learning it btw). Robert Masters also often says ‘hope is a romance with the future’. Enlightenment and true tantra are about having a romance with the present- the light and shadow, the good and bad, all of it.
The tools I use to get me through the ‘muddy times’ are yoga, meditation, breathe work, eating high vibe foods (organic, clean), and staying super focused on my spiritual path. Self-care is super key too as when I get overwhelmed that can often be the first one out the door- particularly if for a working mama like me.
In hindsight, I am ALWAYS grateful for the intense times in my life- every single one of them. So my work now is to find that deep gratitude and awareness in the moment. Hindsight is 20/20- but my work now is to see 20/20 in the present and into the future 😉 so grateful for all the lessons learned and lessons still yet to learn in this journey of life!
p.s. picture from Nefertari’s tomb in Egypt! serpents are great totems to call on when in the midst of intense cycles as they help carry us through the death and into rebirth, through the shadows and back into the Light.