Danger, Sex and Magic demonstrates that nothing is ever what it appears to be, and so it is with death and transformation.
To start fresh – to create anew – will always require the passing of something out of your life. It is Universal Law and you are equipped with incredible attributes of resiliency to deal with it.
For example, artists paint over their work (enthusiastically!) but keep what inspires in order to go further into their craft; smart business people welcome (eagerly!) “creative destruction” knowing that loss brings new opportunity; relationships transform or die (dramatically!) to make room for the possibility of more Joy.
In Mexico, and around the world, in festivals older than history, people celebrate Day of The Dead rituals. These exist because they are a powerful way to turn something fearful into a celebration of embracing life more fully.
In the “modern” world, we sing Auld Lang Syne and tip a bottle of champagne to the New Year.
You have to ask: Is this a ritual adequate enough to make the shift into the new identity you are creating this year? If it seems as if something is missing, we have a few ways that you can deepen the feeling of bringing light to that which is growing dark…
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So how do you go about embracing endings and transformation? How do you go about constructing the new identity you want? How do you connect to the new ideas and things you want to be indentified with?
First, when you cast your mind over that which is passing – or has passed – out of your life, notice if your body softens or tightens.
- Does your breath catch or flow easily?
- What thoughts zoom-in, front and center, as a response to these thoughts?
- What fills you: love, fear, sadness, ambivalence?
Remember the body can have no feeling that is wrong, good, or bad. These are simply sensations and feedback.
Starting in that place, here are 4 ways to help you hold Death in the light of Life. Four ways to acknowledge that which is done, and eagerly and enthusiastically embrace that which is coming:
- Just as in the Mexican tradition, assemble representations of what has “died” and put them on an alter. That is; put them in a place of prominence. Spend time (an hour, a day, a week, or longer) grieving and celebrating both their passing and the gifts you received by having them in your life. Each moment you do this your psyche will be experiencing “light in a dark place”.
- Imagine standing on top of a very high mountain looking down on that which is passing out of your life. Stand (safely!) on a chair so that you get a full-body sense of height. From here you have the ability to “see” much more than when you are up close and personal with events. What information is available now that you couldn’t access before? How does this new information “transform” your understanding?
- Occasionally, after a major change has taken place, a very natural process begins to happen in which you no longer relate to your old identity. A new one is being formed to take its place, and there can be significant resistance to this process. Be playful with this by giving yourself a new name to go along with the new identity. What would your new name be, and why?
- Answer these questions in your journal:
- What did you love about the old relationship, career, financial situation, or whatever it is that has passed?
- What did you detest, loathe or resent about it?
- Who were you when these things were in your life?
- If you don’t accept these changes, who will you become?
- When you do accept these changes, who will you become?
Without doubt, this is big work and it’s work you do all year around. We invite you to read through the DSM philosophy for a bigger view, as we have a lot to say about thresholds, transformation, and bringing light to the “dark places”.
Now is a great time to start