The Between.

My world has been on a constant stream of fast-forward this month.  It began in a flurry of emotions from the distillation, and then it evened out for a while, all while dipping my feet in various worlds of communication; I could very well be officially "talked out" for a while.  However, it has also been filled with some amazing busy moments of continual soulful scrying.

It's been rather interesting to observe my experience from afar: going through this distillation and facing those darkest aspects of myself that I haven't been willing/able/ready to look at.  Seemingly falling apart at the seams at times, in other moments embracing the return of my Spiritual Warrior.  The roller coaster ride has been intriguing, nauseating, and somewhat exhilarating.   I have both loved and hated this process, loved and hated myself, loved and hated others, and each time focusing merely on the one thing I knew I could control: my breath.

I've been able to see my role with a little more clarity, and how the facilitation looks when in the deepest waters of the well, not quite drowning, but not not drowning.  I see the jarred perception of being unable to swim and choosing to float.  Floating for the sake of wonder and viewing the spirals around, not floating because of discomfort.  I've been able to create a separation between my roles, with complete ease (much to my surprise), something my spiritual mother says is because we work from the place of deep integration and understanding of the dark that it doesn't hold us back or prevent us from our work, if anything it's an added component to the process of facilitation.

I have been sharing some of this process with friends... the space hasn't quite been held, to my standards (which I know sounds rather harsh and judgmental), and what's most intriguing is how painful this can be, and in the expression of that pain, instead of holding space what I have said creates a trigger, a reminder of their own shit, and now my shit is on hold, sitting on the side of the road, so old that the flies come to keep it company and guard it, while we inspect the newly formed shit coming from the other party... the other party not in the distillation process.

It's like sharing the story of the crazy dream you had with a friend only to have them take the moment over by shifting the attention to their own dream.  Not intentional, but done without thought, just action in the moment.  I have needed to journal those moments out, feeling resentful at times for taking the lid off my cauldron (which is [etherically] covered in marks and looks quite worn) only to have the other party take the lid off to their own, brand new, cauldron, without marks, without a story at all.  It reminds me to look at my own boundaries, which have been more solid and formed than I thought might happen during this time, and how sometimes the gift we offer others by way of listening and holding space becomes the gift we offer ourselves by sharing our Light, and being receptive of the Light that mirrors back and forth.

My guides have been clear this year that I needed to be open about my process, about my pain, about my healing (though I tend to write more about my pain and talk more about my healing than actually writing it out publicly), but how does one share when space isn't created?  How does one share when safe space isn't there... when it's empty space, waiting to be filled but never actually filled.  You can create it for Self, sure, but sometimes we need others to hold the wand and cast the perimeter so we can just release.

Last night I came home from an event and the long drive had me in and out of thought.  I thought about Shadow, but more intently I thought about Light.  More specifically, MY Light.  I feel in some ways I've become greedy with it.  Claiming territory and ownership from ego's mind, running in circles looking for the best hiding place to store it so it couldn't be shared with others, and yet I know I have been sharing, quite freely.  Late nights in the "Sacred Parking Lot" has me authentically one-on-one with other divine spirits in deep sharing.  Quite the contrary to hoarding it away.

What I'm seeing and noticing is that my "human" role is changing.  I don't know what She is going to do; I don't know if She is going to dance in unison with Spirit or if She's going to cast Illusions through everything.  And yet I see Her doing both -- Her dance is so much more coordinated than any steps my physical form could ever take.

Each subtle body is aligning in its own way, purging in their own order decided upon when my ego stepped out of the equation.  I'm not In Balance... but I'm not Out of Balance, either.  I'm in this critical place of the Between.  Not Light, not Dark.  I feel a bit like the Bear both preparing for hibernation and the subtle point just before hibernation ends... the Between.  It's organic, how Bears emerge, the internal clock ringing and knowing when to awaken.  I'm learning that more and more from Bear, my main guide, and I feel it being applied to now, this last week before the distillation ends. 

Last night in particular I had something arise, not necessarily within me, but not necessarily without me, however, it triggered something major that I needed to take the distilling journal out.  What met my surprise when I pulled it off the bookcase was what was sticking out of this journal.  I place this journal on a specific shelf, separate from my regular journal, in the same spot every time I use it.  There's never anything loose on that shelf, or really any shelf in this specific bookcase, and yet there was something sticking out. 

I was about to begin writing, ready to start labeling each page with what I needed to journal, when I actually noticed what was sticking out.  It was a bookmark I had received from a daylong retreat I attended with Lama Surya a few years ago.  On the back of the bookmark is a particular poem that I haven't read in about a couple of years.  It was stuck inside my distilling journal -- this journal that has nothing but my darkest shadows and demons and pain stored in there, along with a specific pen I am using for this process that is only for this journal, nothing else (and will be ritually released upon completion)... to find this piece, to reread this piece, to see where I was upon this triggered moment... I was blown away.  Tears flooded faster than they have all month in doing this work... it was this perfect gift in the moment to remind me of Light, of Love, of Compassion... all towards Self, towards the collective Whole... I felt freer and felt the stirrings of my Inner Bear begin, without fright, but in deep gratitude.  It's not so much that "this too shall pass", it was about "this too is passing", and the power of what can happen with breath and choice.

Free and Easy
A Spontaneous Vajra Song
by Venerable Lama Gendun Rinpoche

Happiness can not be found
through great effort and willpower,
but is already present,
in open relaxation and letting go.

Don't strain yourself,
there is nothing to do or undo.
Whatever momentarily arises
in the body-mind
has no real importance at all,
has little reality whatsoever.
Why identify with,
and become attached to it, 
passing judgment upon it and ourselves?

Far better to simply
let the entire game happen on its own,
springing up and falling back like waves
without changing or manipulating anything
and notice how everything
vanishes and reappears, magically,
again and again, time without end.

Only our searching for happiness
prevents us from seeing it.
It's like a vivid rainbow which you pursue
without ever catching,
or a dog chasing its own tail.

Although peace and happiness
do not exist as an actual thing or place,
it is always available
and accompanies you every instant.

Don't believe in the reality
of good and bad experiences;
they are like today's ephemeral weather, 
like rainbows in the sky.

Wanting to grasp the ungraspable,
you exhaust yourself in vain.
As soon as you open and relax
this tight fist of grasping,
infinite space is there -
open, inviting and comfortable.

Make use of this spaciousness, this
freedom and natural ease.
Don't search any further
looking for the great awakened elephant,
who is already resting quietly at home
in front of your own hearth.

Nothing to do or undo,
nothing to force,
nothing to want,
and nothing missing -

Emaho!  Marvelous!
Everything happens by itself.

The thing that made me smile and cry and laugh all at the same time?  On my drive home I saw a rainbow... probably the first I have seen in several years... and I realized I was grasping too hard, not standing centered in the Between.

Spirit works in amazing ways, answering the call before the consciousness recognizes the need to make the call... I'm in gratitude for Divinity's blessing on a night when things felt overwhelming.

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