Sacred Sorrow: Powerlessness 2

Surrender

“Individuation, as a process can be seen at important stages of life and at times of crisis when fate upsets the purpose and expectation of the ego-consciousness.”

E A Bennett – What Jung Really Said

It seems an age since I sat here with a sense of dedication and commitment to my blog, and a need to open my mind further to the possibility that somehow others maybe inspired by what I put in here. It has been twelve weeks at least since my fingers tapped out a new creation for the blog . It almost sounds like I’m in a confessional telling my sins to a priest. Go easy on me.

Since April 2 I have had an insane work schedule, a holiday, a season change in both climate and work, the passing away of a goal, and in orbit around me others have experienced the death of a loved one, hospitalisation, and an overseas move. They all involve surrender, letting go, or what may seem to be our fate.

Surrender is the other side of powerlessness. When we go beyond the anxiety of having fate cast an ugly hand, or the feeling that life has betrayed us somehow, we enter the realm of surrender, the place where trust envelops us and allows us to acknowledge that while difficult our current experience is actually moving us forward.

In Greek Mythology Lachesis, Clotho, and Atropus are the Fates, the Moerae, the three sisters who decide the fates of humans, singing of the experiences we had, that we are having, and the things we will have. Lachesis apportions the lots of fate, Clotho spins the thread of fate and lastly Atropus cuts the thread of fate as we move from life through death, the ultimate surrender, and onwards. And the Fates are attributes of our own souls. We know what has gone before, what is ultimately in our future, and we have an inner knowing of where life is carrying us.

In honouring a relationship with our soul we may be led into experiences that appear to invade our psyches and push us in directions we hadn’t considered. Surrender is giving up the ways of being that don’t serve us anymore and being open to the possibilities it holds for us, receiving the new experiences life offers us around each new corner.

I acknowledged the passing away of a goal when I noticed coming up against barriers to its fulfilment. The act of surrendering to the release of something I was holding onto allowed a new idea to take its place. This new thought seemed more difficult to bring to fruition and yet it held more promise than the previous one. It fits well with one of my favourite quotes from Neale Donald Walsch – “Live the grandest version of the greatest vision you ever held about Who You Are.” By offering ourselves to this possibility there maybe sadness as we leave behind those ideas we hold about ourselves that have outlived their usefulness.

Soul Craft coverBill Plotkin in his book SoulCraft tells the story of Lauren, a woman wandering alone in a sandstone canyon during one of his soulcraft intensives. After she’d been walking for an hour unbidden sensations both emotional and physical left her afraid and struggling. She was in an area surrounded by ancient cliff dwellings and could feel a great sadness emanating from them. This induced a profound experience of grieving, and she left the canyon under the shadow of what Bill terms a soul encounter or initiation. From this she gained the belief she was destined to grieve and assist others in connecting with their own deep sorrow. She received a secret name from the canyon and prepared a naming ceremony in the following three months. After this she went on to drag her feet for a few months until an “accident”, a fall from a horse, forced her into accepting this path that had been chosen by her soul.

Through committment to the tug of soul she now facilitates grieving processes through word of mouth.

Surrender means acceptance of what the present moment holds, of what fate has allotted us right now whatever that may be. In saying that we hold the power to apply meaning and emotion to this current experience. We have choice. We are the architects of our own fate. All we need to do is take up our paddle and move out into the current of our life, honouring both the times when we have a gentle course and also when we enter the rapids and life throws us around, shaking us up and making us more acutely aware and focused on our path. There is power in powerlessness if we allow ourselves to be directed by our hearts and souls, allowing a life that engages the mysteries of existence.

Resources:

Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche Bill Plotkin. New World Library 2003

Animas Valley Institute


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One Response to Sacred Sorrow: Powerlessness 2

  1. As someone who has covered his work previous, I am writing to see if you would be interested in receiving a review copy of Bill Plotkin’s new book Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche which we will be publishing this April for consideration. If so I would be happy to ask his publicist at New World Library to send you either the PDF or the physical book in March when we get them hot off the press. If this is of interest, please reply to this email with your mailing address, a direct link to your blog, and the format you prefer!

    Here’s more information about this ground-breaking book…

    What do we need to know and understand to help facilitate lasting positive change in our individual lives and communities? How can we revolutionize our understanding of what it means to be human and revive our abilities to realize our potential and transform our contemporary cultures?

    The enclosed advance reading copy of Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche (New World Library, April 15, 2013) by cultural visionary, author, and wilderness guide Bill Plotkin addresses and answers these key questions of our time.

    “We’re being summoned by the world itself to make many urgent changes to the human project, but most central is a fundamental re-visioning and reshaping of ourselves, a shift in consciousness,” writes Plotkin. “We must reclaim and embody our original wholeness, our indigenous human nature granted to us by nature itself. And the key to reclaiming our original wholeness is not merely to suppress psychological symptoms, recover from addictions and trauma, manage stress, or refurbish dysfunctional relationships, but rather to fully flesh out our multifaceted, wild psyches, committing ourselves to the largest story we’re capable of living, serving something bigger than ourselves.”

    In Wild Mind, Plotkin introduces a map of psychological wholeness that is rooted in nature’s own map of wholeness. The book offers an elaborate field guide to becoming fully human by cultivating the four facets of the Self and discovering both the limitations and gifts of our wounded, fragmented, and shadowed subpersonalities.

    I look forward to hearing from you about this possibility! Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.