My facebook profile states, “I’m an introverted extrovert, a fat artist, a conservative dyke, a Christian Buddhist, a lesbian mother, bohemian suburbanite, a whiny optimist, a hard-partying meditator – as comfortable in a biker bar as I am in an ashram.” I love contrasts and contradictions. I enjoy a bawdy time out on the town as much as I enjoy a day in the garden. I loved my quiet, rural life on Bainbridge Island, and I’m excited about my new life in the heart of urban San Francisco.
One day, I can be as loving as Amma, or as compassionate as the Dalai Lama, and on another day (or even later that day), I’m engrossed in some superficial television show, or dressed in the most revealing outfit I can find, to go out dancing and drinking on the town. If people were more honest with themselves, I wonder if they’d embrace their deliciously multidimensional self, rather than fearing it. I wonder if this question underlies the success of the book, “Eat, Pray, Love”, a story about a woman who gave up the security of a predictable and stagnant marriage (and accompanying societal expectations of motherhood and housewifery), to explore aspects of her own hedonism and gluttony, her quest for non-traditional spirituality, and her desire to encounter romantic love, all on her own terms. How many of us can overcome the fear of the unknown, to acknowledge and embrace those aspects of ourselves that lie outside of societal or cultural norms?
How willing are you to embrace all of the disjointed, and seemingly-opposed aspects of yourself? What if you are ok, just as you are, even with your vices, your secret desires, the “shadow-self” you keep under wraps? What if we weren’t afraid to be exactly who we are, instead of trying to project an image of how we want people to see us? What if each of us approached the world with an attitude of curiosity, rather than fear or judgment? What would life be like if we lived as our full, authentic selves? Is it even possible? (This is coming up for me lately as I make new friends, and encounter judgments, lifestyles, and/or values that are both similar and vastly different than mine).
Phillip McCluskey is a raw foods “guru” and all-around-spiritual-seeker, who I discovered on-line last summer. I can very much relate to his poem, here.
What dualities do you embody?
What I’m trying to say is beautifully captured in a quote by the insightful writer, Erin Pillman (erinpillman.blogspot.com):
“There is a doorway to a wonderful place. A place of deep peace, deep contentment, and deep inner knowing.
And it is such an incredible journey which leads to this place. It is a journey of intense emotions, constant change, moment after moment filled with infinity, the sacred & the profane, expansion & contraction, duality & paradox, ecstasy & hell, comedy & tragedy, gratitude & regret, fear & trust, frustration & release, exertion & relaxation, forgiveness & resentment, excitement & disillusionment, agony & bliss, awe & contempt, wonder & despair, passion & apathy, confusion & clarity.
And when a person can sit in one of these incredible, dynamic spaces, filled with the ever-changing energies, tumultuous and flowing, and just BE – surrender, let go, and relax into the Infinite – this is when one connects with the Self, is filled with the light of his or her True Nature, and steps effortlessly through the doorway and into the garden of infinite potential.”