Rumi says, “When the water gets caught in habitual whirlpools, dig a way out through the bottom to the ocean.” How many habitual behaviors and thought patterns diminish our experience? Looking carefully at the answer to this question helps us uncover what blocks our awakening. Really digging our way out, however, begins to show rewards as our meditation practice becomes a deeper reflection of our commitment to living an undivided life. And this undivided life involves, as much as anything, making friends with our demons as well as our hidden gifts.

As we make friends with the shadow elements of our internal landscape, we have the opportunity to integrate them into a more whole, a more complete self. Here we begin to consciously meet up with our source, which allows for us to not only begin to sense what is sacred within us but also what is sacred in others. We also begin to see that instead of acting to fill what we perceive as a hole in our hearts by looking outward, we begin to fearlessly look more deeply inward and recognize that we are actually whole. From here we practice looking at all parts of our being, especially the stuff we hate about ourselves, without judgement. The same thing can happen with the parts of ourselves that we wish we had at our disposal. For instance, we project both ugliness and greatness on others when in fact we couldn’t do this unless we can see these projections unconsciously coming from the deep wells within our own beings. When we stop pushing aside the shadow and the light we are afforded an amazing opportunity to bloom, like a lotus, continually.

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