Acknowledging your shadow side

Every moon cycle brings with it a powerful shift in emotions and consciousness and this month's Full Moon in Gemini is certainly no different.  Gemini itself is ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication and this Super Moon is forcing upon us the urge to purge.  It's asking that our words match our actions.  That our intentions be intentional.  It's no longer an option to stay silent when our truths demand to be heard.  However, the biggest lesson is to recognise what is truth and what is illusion.

The moon itself often symbolises that which is hidden.  Like an optical illusion, it appears to beam down brightly upon us night after night, in great illumination.  However in truth, it is merely being highlighted by the sun's glare.  And it is this very arrangement between the two planets that causes our view to be consistently one-sided.  For even when the moon appears to be fully lit, there is always one side immersed in darkness.

It is precisely this duality of light and dark that this Full Moon is asking us to acknowledge and accept within ourselves.  Just as Gemini itself is often depicted as twins, we too all have multiple sides.  Yet how, if at all, are we choosing to incorporate these variable aspects into our understanding of the whole.  We are, after all, multifaceted beings, capable of a range of emotions, yet it seems as though we are consistently confronted with emotional roadblocks that see us repress that which is deemed unpleasant or unnecessary to feel or express.

Only in the darkness can you see the stars.
— Martin Luther King Jr.

This constant, often unconscious, habitual self-editing is, simply put, a denial of self.  Of our whole self.  We have been preconditioned to believe that to be strong, we must never show weakness; To succeed we must never know failure; To be loved, we must never reveal our unlovable qualities.  Yet in reality, it is precisely the things we perpetually avoid, whether consciously or not, that we must finally acknowledge and confront, so that we may be able to incorporate them into the whole.  For when we are aware of our weaknesses, we know our strengths.  When we have experienced failure, we have the drive to succeed.  And when we have shown our most unlovable sides, we can open ourselves up to the truest expression of love, that which is unconditional.

Learning to embrace change

It's official, times are changing, the energy is shifting and I'm sorry to inform you, that checking out is no longer an option.  If you've been resisting this moment, this opportunity to transform, with all the avoidance tactics of a toddler avoiding nap time, then you're probably at present facing upheaval and inner turmoil. But fear not, as from the breaking comes the breakthroughs.

Yes, change brings with it unfamiliarity and we all know that the great unknown can be daunting, yet equally it often provides us with the opportunity for exciting possibilities that we could not have previously imagined.  It's perfectly okay if you don't feel as though you currently have all the answers, or know in which direction to turn, this is your challenge, to grow and maintain a sense of acceptance in your uncertainty.  Be willing to let go.  Like struggling to get a grasp on a word that lingers so precariously on the tip of your tongue, eluding you, you must be willing to let it come to you, in time.

Of course we must also acknowledge that time itself is of sorts an illusion.  The perception of which denoting its speed.  Rather than evolve out of our confinements, we have instead further reduced our experience down to variable structures, believing our lives to be limited, that each segment must bring about some kind of achievement in order to be valid or of worth.  This is a fallacy.  Life itself is ever-lasting.  This physical experience is solely that, an experience.  So what, pray tell, is it that you wish to experience.

What is it that you need.  What is it that you want.  What is it you can offer.  We all have something unique to give, yet we consistently conspire to conform, to reach the peak of someone else's expectations, often to the detriment of our own happiness and joy.  We follow the consensus blindly, stripping away our freedom, day by day, drowning out the cries of our instincts with consumerist highs and mind numbing televisual lows.  Alcohol, drugs, work, sex, a plentitude of distractions that we persistently pour ourselves into, so as to avoid confrontation of the self.

The more you resist the ride, the more aggressive it will be, so brace yourself, because it's time, it's time for change.

the ongoing journey

I've spent the past week chronically ill with what feels suspiciously like Glandular Fever (at least according to Google), which has rendered me entirely lifeless and comatose in bed, clammy, snotty nosed, with a sand paper throat and killer sinus pain for the majority of the past seven days.  It's been terrifically agitating being so immobile and my infrequent excursions to the outside world, have seemingly only resulted in further suffering.  Unfortunately, I'm one of those annoying types, for whom the concept of 'resting' just seems to be nauseatingly boring and this weekend, the idea of committing to staying indoors was especially difficult, due to the Labor Day Celebrations.  So, I did indeed make a break for it and managed to get out beyond my sick bay, but even my low key activities had me sorrowfully burdened this morning.

Anyway, all this bed rest has at least provided me with a lot of contemplation time and I realised that it was two whole years ago today that I rocked up here in Berlin from Paris, with nothing more than a tiny borrowed suitcase, some crazy stories, a crush on a beautiful French boy I'd left behind and literally no idea what I was doing.  Twenty four months later and I can't deny that sometimes, I still don't really know what I'm doing, but I've at least learnt to stop berating myself over it.

In fact, during yesterday's escape, I had an in depth and lengthy conversation in the sun with my friend Dana, down by the canal, during which we spoke about how we have to accept that life is about the journey not the destination.  Accepting the never ending, ongoing process of repeatedly stripping down and putting into question your beliefs, behaviours, values and perceptions, so that they don't just become habitual, or unconsciously preconditioned by your surroundings, your upbringing, or even society itself.  Which, it would seem, they so easily do, don't they.

I definitely have to admit that when I first arrived in the city, fresh from France and my travels that I thought in some ways I'd reached this magnificent state of enlightenment.  That I'd done the work, I'd cleared through all my emotional baggage and this was it, I was going to be some zen yogi master with all my shit squarely together for the foreseeable future.  So when problems gradually started to arise, I found myself suddenly laden with all new baggage and admittedly, I spent a long time feeling really disappointed and left wondering what the fuck happened.

That's the thing though isn't it, we've all come to assume that we have to spend our lives working towards this grand state of clarity, or understanding and then that's it, job done, we're somehow set for the rest of our physical existence.  It's like being on a pilgrimage, finally reaching mecca and kicking back with our feet up.  The truth of the matter however, is that yes, whilst maybe to a certain extent life is a pilgrimage of sorts, it's a somewhat never ending one and ultimately, it's this very journey in itself that's the most important aspect of the whole thing, not the idealised destination.

Because, let's face it, the one thing we all have in common is the fact that, regardless of our beliefs or fears, we're all ultimately heading towards the same destination; death of the physical form.  So, perhaps once we begin to accept and acknowledge that which we share in common, we can concentrate on it a little less and start to refocus on the journey itself and equally the continual investigative work that is, in part, our life's purpose.  For all those boundaries we manage to dismantle today, will only reappear in other areas tomorrow and we can't allow ourselves to get disheartened when we think we've completed the job, only to find that there's still work to be done. Because they'll always be work.  Always.