by Diane McCann

We are living in turbulent times ~ times of darkness and times of light ~
times of despair and times of joy. How can we better serve ourselves during
these incredible times as we move toward the end of the year 2000?

First, let us look at where the feminine consciousness is. For many
walking this planet right now it is a time of awakening. We know, somewhere
deep in our bellies, that there is more to life than we have been taught. There
seems to be a yearning - to connect with ourselves, to connect with others in
a place of safety and vulnerability - to be all that we know we can be ~ and yet
a part of us has forgotten the path to take. In fact many of us never even
knew there was a path and so we have been walking or running up one road,
only to find a dead end, or more painfully, we are afraid to move at all and so
we remain stagnant, stuck and fractured ~ believing that this is all there is!

For men it is even more difficult. Let us go back to the beginnings of
time when we all lived in harmony. Women were revered as being the
bearers of life and recognised as being equals. Then along came the
Kurgans from the north and they brought with them the destruction of the
Goddess energy. In order to protect their women, peaceful men took up arms
and to do that meant putting aside all that had previously been held as
sacred. It is not possible to kill another human being without having to
harden one’s heart and so the soft vulnerable truth of who we really are
became encased in fear, greed, pain and sadness... all of which we are still
reverberating in today.

Through the ages we moved in a slow state of consciousness,
forgetting all that we knew to be true and believing instead the lies that have
now almost become the truth! The beliefs that money holds the keys to life,
that white is better than black, that thin is better than fat, that the west is better
than the east, that blame is easier than responsibility and so it goes on.
Now we come to the end of the Piscean age. Pisces represents duality
and this time has given us the very best and the very worst of what humanity
is capable of up until now. Yet there are stirrings in the mire..... stirrings that
are driving some of us to redefine who we are according to our integrity and
truth and not that which we have been taught for aeons. It is like the birthing
of a child ~ we strain and breathe and struggle with our pain, some of us
diving into it fearing that we will never again emerge ~ some of us choosing to
anaesthetise ourselves to stop that very pain. Yet, like labour, we cannot
stop that which has started ~ we simply have to keep in our hearts the end
result ~ a beautiful new consciousness arising on this planet. The question is
how can we, the collective consciousness of the world, help birth this new/old
way of being.

As children most of us were trained to be good, do as we were told ~
you know the scenario. We have layers of conditioning, from our parents,
from our church, from school, from our parents and from society. We were
given beliefs that no longer serve us.

Boys ~ be tough, don’t cry, be strong, beat your opponent, winning is
everything, you have to grow up and provide for your family, the family
business will be yours (whether you want it or not), I gave up everything for
you to have a good education etc.

Girls ~ be nice, be good, don’t be loud, be a pleaser, look after everyone else
first, give more than you receive, women are not as good as men (especially
true in European cultures), you have to be married, you have to have children.
Some of us rebelled. Girls made decisions based on whether they
wanted to be like their mothers who gave up a lot of who they were and what
they could be for their families. The result of this was a loss of power. Some
chose to be like their fathers who were strong, tough and “made it” in the
world which resulted in isolation and loneliness. Unfortunately attempting to
be like anyone else is giving up who we really are... the transition we have to
make now is toward different choices and to find the core of ourselves.

This core can be likened to a seed that has lain dormant for thousands
of years and now the sun and the water have reached it and it is beginning to
crack open. However because the core seed has never seen the light of day
it is fragile and doesn’t trust itself to grow toward the light. We are still afraid
of the deep emotions that have been entrapped. Sadness is not okay
because everyone else is acting fine and what will I be if I am not fine? The
rage is so deep that most people deny it entirely and yet its very essence
affects the way we deal with life (look at the rise of violence and the use of
drugs which of course simply serve to anaesthetise ourselves even more).

Most of us were not allowed to have these core emotions as they didn’t fit our
family paradigm and yet they are still there, bubbling like the ancient volcanos
and unless dealt with, one day they will explode...... perhaps in the rumbling
of a nervous stomach or the cough of a voice waiting to be expressed or the
creation of a cancer that eats us from the inside out. Perhaps in depression
(anger not expressed) or in the perpetuation of withholding love from our
loved ones. Because as children often the truth was met with punishment we
learned not to tell the truth - if I tell you what I really think, you - might leave
me - won’t love me etc. We became such good liars that we have forgotten
how to tell the truth, even to ourselves. Think of the TV ad where the woman
has the flu and the jingle is “soldier on” and take this medication instead of
actually taking care of ourselves by resting our bodies. How many times do
you speak with people who have lost someone or something (job, money et
al) and you ask how they are ~ the normal response is “I’m fine”.

How do we change the continuing patterns that keep repeating
like a hologram through our lives. Many people read the books, listen to the
tapes, go to the workshops and because we live in an instant society, expect
the results to be instantaneous and ever lasting. When they are not (which
they rarely are) they go back into denial and decide they are doomed to live
this way forever or worse, they make everything wrong and harden their core
again. We have to realise that life is a constant dance, sometimes we are
moving forward and at others it appears we are moving backward and yet one
more turn and we are moving forward again. Plants do not grow without the
mixture of both sunshine and rain and so it is in our lives..... we need to
embrace our sunshine days and our rainy days with equal acceptance,
recognising both as necessary forces toward our growth and healing.

Perhaps we should have tatooed on our hands “It is not what happens to you
it is how you deal with what happens”. The challenge of course is because
we spend vast amounts of time in denial (as Sark says in her wonderful book -
Denial is not a river in Egypt) that we rarely dip into the pit of our pain and
investigate the truth about a situation. We deny the dark side of our soul,
fearing it beyond all else.

What is the dark night of the soul? It is a place which most of us will at
some point descend into ~ some for moments and some for what seems like
forever in our quest for wholeness. It is the deep sadness of a broken
relationship. It is the shame that holds us tight in our bodies. It is the feeling
of abandonment from parents who couldn’t give us what we needed even
though it was all they had to give. It is the rage inside over the rape of our
sisters. It is the abhorrence of child abuse. It is the fear of the movement
toward death through disease or the grief that comes from death of a loved
one. It is the hopelessness at the avaricious destruction of our planet . What
we have failed to understand is that it is a natural place of transition ~
somewhere we can consciously choose to descend into. Like all of the
legends and stories of old, all the heroes went there, not necessarily
consciously but to the abyss they went: The Fisher King, Odysseus, Snow

White when taken to the forest to be killed by the huntsman. Dorothy when
she set off on her legendary sojourn to Oz. Surely if we are to see with eyes
of truth we would recognise in these stories our need to allow the descent with
grace, knowing that we will return to the light of day, wiser and more in touch
with our truth. Then the journey will be compete and we will receive the prize
- the kingdom of our Self.

To be with oneself in whatever state of being that finds us needs to be
acceptable. If it is anger, be with that anger, look to see where it originated
from ~ anger is not getting what you want, so what do you really want? If it is
sadness go into it with a passion and be there acknowledging it and allowing
it. Know that there are acceptable ways of expressing every emotion
(preferably not dumping it onto someone else). Scream, yell, rant, rave, sob ~
feel those emotions for they are what keep you alive and in their expression
comes more life. Sacred Circles have been used for centuries for exactly
those purposes. The tenet of a circle is a safe place where you can be
validated for the truth of who you are. As men and women on this planet we
need to create for ourselves a space where we can be with others and
acknowledge our emotions, knowing that we won’t be judged or rejected. In
that acceptance comes our safety ~ our willingness to venture a little deeper
into the recesses of our being. Like the breath, some days it is gentle and
‘normal’; while on exertion it is hard and heavy; at times of fear it is shallow
and barely there yet the breath always brings us back to ourselves and to the
normal rhythm of life.

One way to find the path to the self is through the truth. The truth is
that we are all unique and wondrous beings, each with gifts to share. By
loving who we are with gentleness and wisdom, perhaps we can heal some of
the past and allow the core to emerge. As Jean Houston said: “It is the
entelechy of an acorn to be an oak. It is the entelechy of a baby to be an
adult and of you to be the God only who or what. What happens in sacred
psychology is the tapping into the entelechy of the self, the level most directly
related to the Divine Self.”

I ask you to consider this beautiful piece (source unknown). How might
your life have been different if when you were a young person, the first time
you felt feelings of depression or sadness, an older person had come to sit
with you? If they had come to sit with you as someone had come to sit with
them the first time they had feelings of depression or sadness. To simply sit,
quietly, perhaps wordlessly - to sit with you during your dark times. And how
might your life have been different if this person had accepted your feelings.
Accepted them so completely and fully that you began to feel safe with them.

If there had been no judgments and no questioning... no attempt to make you
smile, to betray your feelings, to deny your darkness. If the person had simply
sat in silence with you, with your pain and in the darkest moments had been
able to reflect it to you.... to reflect to you your pain, to witness, to attend and
by their quiet respect for it, to help you learn to respect it.... your pain and
depression and to see that just as this person had faith in it, you also might
have a glimmer of faith that there was meaning and truth in your darkness.
How might your life be different?

For me my life has been different because I have chosen consciously
to do what I love, to love who I am and to surround myself with people who
honour me just the way I am, warts and wish for you is to dare to
delve deep into the well of your being and to create the life you want to live,
consciously recognising the gifts behind the lessons, being willing to tell the
truth and to surround yourself with people who love you - just because you’re
you! A unique, divine being.


Goddess Within

Diane McCann is the presenter of The Goddess Within, a 2 day seminar for
women currently run in Australia, UK and Asia. She also co-facilitates with
her husband Tantra trainings for couples. She can be contacted on
+61 08 82481281