“There is no security in doing something for a living when you are dying inside while doing it. That is taking care of the body at the expense of the soul. And a withering soul cannot help but produce a withering body. So do not think you are “taking care of yourself” by killing your spirit to keep your body alive. How long will you put off what you are dying to do?”
~ Neale Donald Walsch
~ Neale Donald Walsch
Danger has that effect on you. Caged has that effect on you. I understand her more than ever now.
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes,
The shadow life occurs when writers, painters, dancers, mothers, seekers, mystics, students, or journeywomen stop writing, painting, dancing, mothering, looking, peering, learning, practicing. They might stop because whatever they just spent long with did not come out the way they had hoped, or did not receive the recognition it deserved, or countless other reasons. When the maker stops for whatever reason, the energy that naturally flows to her is diverted underground, where it surfaces whenever and wherever it can. Because a woman feels she cannot, in daylight, go full-bore at whatever it is she wants, she begins to lead a strange double life, pretending one thing in daylight hours, acting another way when she gets a chance.
... You can call it anything you like, but sneaking a life because the real one is not given room enough to thrive is hard on women's vitality. Captured and starved women sneak all kinds of things ... they've thrown away the treasure but they sneak bits and pieces any way they can. Are they writing? Yes, but secretly, so they have no support, no feedback. The student, is she going for her edge? Yes, but secretly, so that she can have no help, no mentor.
...it is difficult to sneak little shreds of life this way but women do it every day. When a woman feels compelled to sneak life, she is in minimal subsistence mode. She sneaks life away from the hearing of “them”, whoever the “them” is in her life. She acts disinterested and calm on the surface, but whenever there is a crack of light, her starved self leaps out, runs for the nearest life form, lights up, kicks back, charges madly, dances herself silly, exhausts herself, then tries to creep back to the black cell before anyone notices she is gone. ~ From Women Who Run With the Wolves
But where did my black cell come from? Did I willingly crawl inside, or was I lured with promises of better, of necessity, of hope, of this-is-the-way-it-needs-to-be? My wild gypsy spirit, the feral She, grows desirous and mad, pressing herself against bars, expanding, threatening, gathering power like a storm swirling over the sea. Why do we consent to our own entrapment?
But in a desperate lunge for grace I proclaim that a black cell becomes so only when we remain in a place we're not meant to be anymore. Maybe it was, in fact, a place of protection once, not to keep us locked away but to safeguard our becoming, our gently sleeping souls. As we transform, what once brought life becomes life-draining when we try to live awake yet insist on continuing ineffective old ways, patterns, habits, beliefs, routines, like wearing a dress which no longer fits, and our skin bursts through.
My soul and me, we can't be tamed.
|Eva Jay by Sean Ellis for Nina Ricci 2003|
It's only now I see the truth about this cage, the object of my obsession, my rage and angst, my feral moaning: this cage is alive. It's a living organism, a dark cocoon. And the only way to be free is to love it, to be grateful for what it once was: a hideaway for becoming, a place to nestle and germinate. For if we peer from the corners of our eyes like one looks at stars, truth slips into view. We see. We waken. And this black cell?
We see what it was all along: a womb.
Life is almost brutal when you're born, screaming and squalling, yanked away from the only comfort you know. You're slippery and wrinkled and can't speak. There are no words. Mostly you want to go back to the only life you knew and the gentle slumbering peace of gestation. But it's impossible. We cannot live forever in utero, we cannot live forever asleep.
Nature sets the cycle in motion. You have to be born. You have to be free. Otherwise you will wither away; you will burst and bleed and die. To live, you must live according to the ways of being alive, all these ways you've never lived before, in a world you don't know, with language you haven't learned yet. If you want to be alive you must wake up. Be born into a new world. There are new rules, but in time you'll see that these new rules are freedom and love.
The mystery of love
The way out of a black cell is to draw a deep breath, step away from the bars, press your feet into the earth, and to give thanks. And then, to take a step forward. And another. And another.
Loving anything transforms it. Releases it. Melts it. Try it; you'll see.
Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you
where there were only walls.
— Joseph Campbell
Soul-stirring prompt for warrioresses:
What is it that you have stopped in your life? Art? Dancing? What is it you long to do?
Who is your “them”?
In what ways are you withering yourself?
How long will you put off what you are dying to do?
What is your bliss? What step can you take today, however large or small, towards it?
I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
Of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
To allow my living to open me,
To make me less afraid,
To loosen my heart
Until it becomes a wing,
A torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
To live so that which came to me as seed
Goes to the next as blossom,
And that which came to me as blossom,
Goes on as fruit. ~ Dawna Markova