A Blog about Shadows, the unconscious patterns of belief and behavior that block access to my authentic, sacred masculine self

The very best use of life

...is to transform to the awakened state. Next best is to develop qualities. Next best and skillful use of life is gaining deep connection to capable mentor who promises to hold you and care for you even after your passing. The least useful is to say you are a Christian or a Buddhist and expect that to save you!

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Shadow in “The Spirit of Christmas”

I woke up this morning, as I have been waking up lately without my alarm, at 6:48 am. As I didn’t have to be anywhere else because of the holiday and since my son finally moved out of the house last January and would not arrive home until mid-afternoon, I simply snuggled myself back under the covers and snoozed until about 8:15. I went to check on my wife, Carol, who was busily wrapping gifts and then came to my computer desk to check email and wondered if I might have a shadow to share on the topic of Christmas. As I have repeatedly said in this blog, shadow can be found anywhere I look outside of myself wherein I experience an emotional charge either of attraction or revulsion, so I ventured to think that this might be especially so around the season of Christmas.

One shadow I think many of us might consider regarding Christmas is found in the story of old Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Here is a crotchety old geezer who considers Christmas a “humbug” a fraud, if you will, yet this is not a shadow in and of itself as it is certainly not hidden and quite open for all to see. I see the shadow here in what is hidden, that of a man once filled with love and openness, hurt by the uncertainties of life and now riddled with the pain of the unfulfilled promise of his youth as he approaches the twilight of his years.

So what does this have to do with my own shadow around the Spirit of Christmas? In the story of Scrooge, I remember how much I loathed the figure of Scrooge and never quite understood how the little boy, Tiny Tim, could overlook all that was tragic in life, even his own infirmities, and yet be able to wish God’s blessings on everyone. How often have I wished ill on someone who I believe has caused me harm in some way or equally wished harm for what someone did to another? This is my shadow, for I am Scrooge. Yet there is another shadow in forgetting that I am also Tiny Tim.

In both joy and in sorrow, I wish the blessings of Aliveness on One and All!

Peace and Long Life!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Shadow of "I Can’t Be Vulnerable"

At the age of six, I went into the first grade in a public school named after the little known US President, Millard Filmore. The most lasting impression I have of that school is the smell of the soap we used to wash our hands before lunch. Next to that smell, my greatest lesson of those years in public school was that it was not a good idea to show my vulnerability. What I see as a shadow in this is that the teachers were unable to show their vulnerability either and I believe those teachers exerted their authority over us in order to not expose their own vulnerabilities to their students. Seeing this shadow in myself has allowed me to look back at the whole experience of growing up as a series of events designed to program me and all the rest of my peers to learn the most important lesson to become a functional adult in American society which is that I must never be vulnerable, or at least I must do my upmost to hide it from others by learning to hide it from myself. The question arises that if I can now see my education for what it really was and the impact it had on me to this day, can I forgive them for what they did? The answer is moot if I look at the fact that I now see it for what it was, it no longer has to have the same power over me that it has, all this time. I get to simply experience the aliveness that comes from this shadow now exposed to the light of day.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Shadow of Having Compassion for All Beings

Tenzin Gyatso, better known as His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, the 14th Reincarnation of the Buddha of Compassion, travels the world to ask only that we show compassion for our fellow human beings and for all other beings, sentient or not. I see a shadow in this and I believe that this shadow is that I often forget to have compassion for myself and as a result of this common human frailty, I often express the lack of compassion for myself, that full expression of wholeness and completeness in myself as a lack of compassion for others. I believe that each time I recognize a lack of compassion for another, I have the opportunity to recommit to my experience of wholeness in myself with that, to express compassion with myself and with all other beings, whether they be human, animal, vegetable, or mineral, including my mother earth. It sounds simple enough and it really is that simple. The difficulty is in catching myself not experiencing my wholeness which shows up as not being compassionate for myself and for others. It is in that catching myself in the act that I have the opportunity to retify my “missing the mark” by cleaning up any messes I made while I was not noticing my wholeness. It is in the catching of myself and in cleaning up the messes I create in the state of non-wholeness that I believe puts me on an even par with His Holiness himself.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Shadow of “Why would anyone waste my time like that?”

I believe that shadow is like karma. What I do to another is bound to come back to me as an annoyance that I get to look at as shadow. Being at choice at this is certainly a very difficult position to put myself in as it involves what I do for part of my income stream, that is, delivering flowers. On one particular day recently, I was given an arrangenent to deliver to a customer that was sent by another person in the household. The mailing address given was correct, however, the actual physical address was accessible on another street entirely and I wasted about a half hour trying to find my way to the house to find no one home and had to redeliver the flowers later that afternoon. Since the information could have been provided when the order was made by the person who actually knew this very vital information from the start, I wondered what they were thinking when they didn’t provide the information in the first place and had nothing to say to me when I told them about it when I finally completed the delivery.

Now why would anyone take the time to make my life unworkable for even a little while by withholding specific knowledge that I judge was crucial to the success of the delivery and would have been so easy to provide? The next questions I must ask, in taking a stand for a likely shadow here are “Where have I been out of integrity with any withheld vital information from another in my life” and “Is there anyway I can clean up the mess I made by doing that?”

In answering that first question I realize that most of my life has been about saving face and being accepted, two shadows of mine that have led me to lie by omission or commission to protect me from damaging my reputation. Each time I have done that I have added another piece of baggage to carry with me which over a lifetime has shown up in my body and which almost made me an invalid seven months ago.

To answer the second question I must simply say that to make my life more whole and workable and to have greater aliveness as a result, I simply have to realize that in order to embrace this shadow all that I can really do now to clean things up is to notice when I am out of integrity and to perform little acts of service to people by letting my genius direct me. As an example, the other day, as I finished my deliveries for the day, I noticed a credit card lying on the ground. I quickly got the idea that information about the cardholder might be on file at the pharmacy next door to the florist shop so I took it there straight away and sure enough, the cardholder was a long time customer. The woman I spoke with at the pharmacy wanted to know who I was and I said “I’m David and I work next door.” The very next day I received a $20 tip from the cardholder. I guess I saved the cardholder a lot of time and worry by doing the perfect thing. It made my day, even if I hadn’t received a penny for my service. Still it’s nice to receive a gift of the heart like that.