Updated: Mar 20, 2022
I remember the years where the scientist in me scoffed at any thoughts or words about "vibration", "energy", "frequency" or anything too woo-woo like "chakras". Gag. I also remember when I ended up 'accidentally' living on a small island in Thailand where words like vibration, energy, frequency, and chakras, were part of daily vernacular. Who were these weirdos? They danced under the full moon and studied tantra. Well, I mean, the tantra part sounded cool. But the rest of it? What kind of woo-woo, airy-fairy, hippie bullshit was this? I was a SCIENTIST. I was far too informed to believe in.... the moon.
Until I couldn't help but notice how much happier they were than I. There was an ease to their days... this feeling of whimsical / carefree / surrender to life. They seemed so much less worried about things than me. They were healthier, lived more holistically, and seemed to have struck some kind of mystical balance between life and themselves. It was like staring at a car crash... equal parts uncomfortable and impossible to look away. Back then I kept a blog of my life, love, travels... I remember writing about my confusion about "energy".. what was this elusive minx? Could a scientist believe in her? I mean, I *had* to believe.. it was impossible not to - as I deconstructed the basics and realized that energy is actually all around us, often measurable and sometimes even visible with the naked eye ⚡ As I dove deeper into energies and frequencies and vibes it wasn't lost on me how effortlessly the ancient theories explained so much that modern day science can't even begin to make sense of. If I was actually a SCIENTIST, how could I possibly discredit tens of thousands of years of knowledge on account of a few centuries of "data"?
Everything is energy.. including our thoughts.
Low frequencies vs. higher ones. We all know that feeling when a group of people is "vibing" together, things are great, everyone's enjoying themselves, and suddenly someone else arrives into the group and the entire dynamic changes... their energy was able to offset the vibe of the entire group... I mean, even as a "scientist" that's impossible to ignore.
So if we are energy and our emotions are energy then it makes sense our thoughts are energy as well. We are the ones who experience emotions (they're primal, instinctual, often "feel" outside of our control)... but we are also the HUMANS - the ones gifted with higher-order thinking skills and the pre-frontal cortical activity to cognitively reappraise situations and feelings. Our thoughts have the power to consciously reframe our feelings - and that's how we harness the power to change everything about our lives. MAGIC!
Yesterday, beneath March's powerful Worm Full Moon, our shamanic drum circle reflected as a group on LETTING GO. Full moons are notable times to release that which no longer serves. In the small-group session prior to the circle reflected on the shadow of letting go: LOSS.
The fact is that we all learned about loss pretty early on: loss of loved ones to death, loss of friends to relocation, loss of family to the fragmented shards of divorce. Early memories of loss of freedom to institutions designed to rehabilitate "bad" (read: traumatized) childhood behaviour. Loss is normal, an inescapable part of our life path... but unfortunately most of us experienced our first waves of loss, and its associated fear, pain, and grief, without the conscious support of our caregivers. While our adults navigated their crises, their own pain, their own reactions to loss - most of them forgot to check in with what our little selves were feeling. As a result, the same losses that impacted our big people in big ways also actually ripped through our own (much smaller, much less equipped) selves and left gaping holes of confusion, frustration, sadness, and blame.
Imagine how different it would have been, once upon a time, had your life's earliest losses been treated with the same kindness and compassion toward your child self as, say, a therapist or funeral director would approach loss with an adult. Close your eyes and imagine how different it would feel if your adults at that time knew to sit with you and hold space for your feelings, explain to you context of what happened, helped you put words to what you felt. Imagine the adults had helped you to scaffold your early emotional learning in such a way that you learned to process letting go rather than just losing. Imagine you were taught that we have the power to slowly fill the void(s) left behind by loss through self-care, self-love, authentic expression, and authentic connection.
This is where the unequivocally transformative power of shadow work begins: understanding that our reactions to life difficulties as they occur on a day-to-day basis now are actually rooted in our earliest "lessons" then. The framework and rudimentary understanding of how the world works were imprinted upon us in our earliest days. Those early losses, gravely mismanaged by emotionally detached parents, left sudden and massive holes in our core self, leading to trauma theory's "swiss cheese core" - this idea that our innermost sense of who we are is so incomplete we spend our lives chasing a sense of basic wholeness rather than welcoming in expansive growth.
Reflections on "lessons" from early life LOSS included self-blame, self-loathing, unworthiness, bone-deep mistrust. Sadly, those are instinctual reactions of an immature brain and emotional body trying to make sense of way-too-big-feelings happening in the periphery of a little life. Those imprints stick with us our entire lives until we recognize their origins and actively seek to reframe and integrate. Low frequency. Low energy. Low vibes.
Why is it that discussions of loss seem to always circulate around the loss of someone we loved? To death, distance, or breakup - rather than the loss of a tangible thing? Why do we talk about the partner we broke up with rather than the car we had to write off? It's tribal; evolutionary to survival. And why is loss of romantic love the most jagged pill of all? We can't un-do death.... but with the dissolution of what was once dopamine-drenching love come the nuggets of "What If...." in the pit of our gut.... what if I'd....? what if they'd....? what if we.....?
- from an evolutionary standpoint, if rejected (likely the hardest-to-swallow type of loss) - we die. We are genetically hardwired to fight any flow of events that can be self-perceived as rejection. But...
Last night in our circle as we moved into reflecting upon letting go the core differences seemed to rest in a much higher frequency: conscious choice, empowerment, celebration of evolution and observing "loss" as making space for inviting in what better serves. Opening, expanding, trusting frequency. Loss is something we react to, suffer from, something we grieve. Letting go is made up of an acquired skillset, of maturing, of evolved consciousness; higher frequency, higher energy, higher vibes. As conscious, aware, intellectual, and emotionally intelligent adults, we are capable of transmuting low-frequency pain/fear/grief/mistrust of loss into trust/reason/serenity and acceptance. We have the power to decide whether we LOSE or LET GO.
To "let go" does not mean to stop caring, it means I can't do it for someone else.
To "let go" is not to cut myself off, it is the realization I can't control another.
To "let go" is not to enable but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To "let go" is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To "let go" is not to try to change or blame another, it's to make the most of myself.
To "let go" is not to "care for" but to "care about."
To "let go" is not to "fix" but to be supportive.
To "let go" is not to judge but to allow another to be a human being.
To "let go" is is not to be in the middle of arranging all the outcomes but ti allow others to affect their destinies.
To "let go" is not to be protective - it's to permit another to face reality.
To "let go" is not to deny but to accept.
To "let go" is not to nag, scold, or argue but instead to search out our own shortcomings and correct them.
To "let go" is not to adjust everything to our own desires but to take each day as it comes and cherish ourselves in it.
To "let go" is not to criticize and regulate anybody but to try to become that which we dream we can't be.
To "let go" is to not regret the past but to grow and live for the future.
To "let go" is to fear less and love more.
- author unknown