Embracing Duality with Your Experiences

Yesterday I had the privilege + pleasure of dunking my body into an ice bath and then stepping into an infrared sauna, all within moments of each other. A beautiful practice held by Mellowfloat and Ashley Ice Plunge.

As I stepped into the icy water, the cold wasn't overly shocking. It wasn't until I submerged my body in it's entirety, and then moved about WITHIN the water that I really felt the 'harsh' reality I'd put myself in.

And even though I was surrounded by a small group of others who did the same thing, I still felt like I was in it 'by myself'.

Isn't it interesting that it's the same when it comes to the experiences (joy, fears, traumas) we endure? We often feel like we're all alone + the only one to go through what we're going through...only when we open up and get vulnerable and talk about our experiences with someone else, can we take note that most of us have gone through similar situations or have felt similar ways.

And yet, isn't that one of the hardest things? To open up, get vulnerable, and share? We keep our hearts locked up, closed off, caged in. Trusting someone else with our story is frightening. We fear they won't keep it close to their hearts and they'll go tell every soul on the planet. We fear their judgment (silent or otherwise). We fear what their body language will say versus what comes out of their mouth. We fear what they won't say...

We can look at this as an underactive solar plexus, where we lack trust in ourselves as well as others.

This is also a closed off heart chakra, where we can't seem to open up and give a piece of us to others, nor are we willing to let others in.

It's also a throat chakra lacking full expression and honesty of where we're at; we can't seem to speak our truth and also fear others seeing us in our fullest expression.

The more we stay closed off, the more we become disconnected - and if we find ourselves in a constant state of 'alone-ness', the more we want to stay closed off. The truth of the matter is when we don't share, life becomes excruciating.

That lack of trust in others to be able to see us and hold us is DAUNTING. A lot of it has to do with an unhealed Mother Wound (maybe we have no idea what it's actually like to be able to trust another person), and some of it stems from our continuous experiences as we get older and move into different stages of our lives...the same patterns seem to emerge when we reveal the deepest, darkest parts of ourselves, don't they?

It doesn't have to, though.

We know we 'should' be sharing ourselves to create deeper, more intimate versions of our relationships; all the while we hold it in, potentially pushing away those we hold dear at the same time. They may feel like we're hiding something, or they can feel we don't entirely trust them, so then they pull back -- they ask less questions, seem less engaged, only for us to feel even more disconnected and unwanting or unwilling to exchange energy.

So, how does one even begin to move from this stagnancy and internalized poisoning of ourselves? Keeping it in only keeps it stuck. But telling others can create more internalized fears or rip open another scar we thought we've healed. Especially if we think we know their patterns. More importantly if those patterns we assume, become truth. Then "I knew that would happen" comes to play.

Let's quickly bring this back to being in the cold water.

I may have recognized a pattern that when I moved my body while submerged in cold water, that the temperature seemingly increased...and also, I noticed my body begin to get used to this shift, which in the small time-span I was in there, can tell me that maybe if I were in there a little longer I wouldn't be able to predict if the water would get colder the more I moved or not. Maybe I can't assume the next ripple will create a frigidness on my body that makes me shiver. Maybe the water and I can become one with each other.


Enter duality.

Embracing the patterns we notice and think we can predict with the actual unknown and the fact that we don't know how someone else will respond. Even if we think we know their patterns.

Embracing the fact we cannot control how another person reacts to us, whether we know their patterns or not.

And finally, embracing the fact we cannot have one without the other: the wound as an individual and the healing it takes from being in community, with the communal wound that requires healing on the individual level.

This type of dichotomy speaks on so many levels. The cold water brought me to freeze, but the freeze state made me want to move. Just like a wound moves you to heal, and healing can make you see more wounds that require more healing.

Again, duality comes wherever you're at:

A wound can push us to an edge to create healthier spaces for ourselves -- thoughts, habits, physical spaces. And yet, the healthier our space becomes (mindset, or otherwise), the more we may notice or expand to other wounds that push us to more edges that we notice require healing.

A wound (or 'edge') turns into a scar - something to look back on and remember how far we've come, or reminds us where we don't want to be or go back to. And yet, at times we don't want to look back at them at all. While wounds can heal with different modalities, it still typically takes time more than anything...and yet, time can allow us to see more scarring that's been done to our other wounds.

A scar is proof we've been healing. Scars will still show themselves, and in different lighting they may be more pronounced than at other times. And yet, this doesn't take away from the fact that new, healthy tissue has grown on top of it to create a healed space. And I'm not just talking physical scars.

Healing involves yourself and community - as much as it is an individual's work, we can recognize where having a village (big or small) of others who are moving through what we are, is so integral to having a support system that gets you. Healing yourself also heals those around you. Helping assist healing others around you requires you to heal yourself.

All this to say, that when we find ourselves within an activated moment we can allow the uncomfortability of it to come to play. We can allow ourselves to notice that within our uncomfortability, someone else around us may have been here before -- maybe we can reach out to a trusted friend to relieve us of our suffering in our alone-ness. And also, by way of sharing, we invite ourselves into a deeper uncomfortability that allows healing to take over.

How do you invite duality into your life?

 ...nothin' but heart chakra love,