Have you ever wondered what is the nature of nature? A year ago that question came up for me and I took my time wondering what the answer might be… Back then, the best guess I arrived to was that the nature of nature is ‘a dance of polarities’ – an interplay between big and small, light and dark, birth and death, soft and hard, close and distant, feminine and masculine etc. And everything in-between on the spectrums defined by those polarities. Looking back now, I know that this moment of curiosity opened up a big theme in my life. It led me to wonderful experiences, people and resources that allowed me to see how important and valuable it is to look at Life and the Universe through the lense of polarities. Before I say more, I’d like to say I am deeply grateful to my friend and teacher Peter Wrycza for his amazing work with ‘Dynamics of Deep Transformation’ – a coaching training I attended in the summer of 2019 that has helped me understand polarities work as it applies to the human psyche and identity on a much deeper level.
What does it mean to ‘work with polarities’?
Polarities (just like oneness by the way!) are a core pattern of the reality we inhabit. This pattern expresses itself within the human conscious and subconscious in the form of an interplay between being/becoming, courage/fear, joy/sadness, energy/exhaustion, sexuality/heart, strength/weakness, self/other, feminine/masculine, softness/defensiveness, inner child/inner parent etc. In order to understand the value of working with polarities, imagine a tree about to grow a new branch. Before that branch emerges, there is going to be tension in its bark, right in the place where the new branch is about to come out. We can say that’s the tension between being and becoming, between hardness and flexibility, between pain and pleasure, between what needs to die and what needs to emerge. What’s important it that this tension is actually showing us where GROWTH wants to occur in that plant.
The human psyche works in a similar way. We will usually experience tension in the places where our growth wants to occur. Inherent to that tension is an interplay of polarities – different voices, choices, energies, emotions that are battling with one another. Working with polarities means bringing our consciousness to that interplay and thus supporting those battling polarities in finding their peace with one another. It’s just like the tree directing nutrients to the place where the new branch is about to emerge. Whether or not we direct consciousness there, the growth is going to happen. Just that it’s much easier and faster for it to happen with our support rather than without it.
How do we support inner polarities in finding peace with one another?
Many spiritual traditions talk about ‘transcending duality’ – stepping into another level of consciousness that is instantly recognisable when it occurs. The best way to think of this is to imagine the yin and yang symbol. Peace between polarities occurs when they integrate – when we find the black spot in the white and the white spot in the dark. The fear in our courage and the courage in our fear. Ourselves in the other and the other in ourselves. Who we are in who we are becoming and who we are becoming in who we are. The polarities in oneness and the oneness in polarities. Supporting the integration that needs to occur within us means:
1. Bringing consciousness to the spot where the tension is (as opposed to distracting ourselves as it plays out over and over again, in the same familiar pattern);
2. Naming that spot, i.e. identifying what is the polarity inherent in the tension we are experiencing (eg. courage/fear, worthiness/unworthiness etc);
3. Creating a space in which we can truly LISTEN to what each side has to say, with our entire being, without judgement.
In a way, supporting the process of integration is not something we do. It is something we open up to and witness. There’s a wisdom within us that handles anything we are struggling with, as long as we resource it with awareness and let it do its work. Once the inner work is done, the practical external reality aspects of what used to bug us fall into place. It literally feels like magic… And probably is.
A practice for polarities integration
The most amazing practice I discovered in 2019, by far, is the ‘no form’ technique described in Antero Alli’s book: ‘The Eight Circuit Brain’. It uses intention and deep embodiment as a base for polarity integration and restoring your energetic balance. The first time I used it, it completely transformed my understanding of success and failure, commitment and impermanence. It freed me up to create the community of like-minded, like-hearted people I’d been longing for for years. I’ve been using it on a regular basis since then. It has never failed to amaze me with the depth of insight and energy shifts it produces, which is why I’d like to share it with you.
You know it’s time to use it whenever you feel something causing tension within you, especially if it keeps repeating. It is also a great way to deepen the integration of core polarities you’ve discovered and explored before, eg. in your coaching work with me. If you’ve done some inner work before and are familiar with your energy body, you can go ahead and dive in. If you haven’t, in order to ensure your psychological safety, I recommend you reach out to me or someone else with experience in energy work to support you. Here are the actual steps – enjoy!
Step 1. Create a ritual setting
You will need a safe space where you can be undisturbed for 1 hour and you can move freely in (at least 3m x 3m of ‘no clutter’ floor space). Don’t eat at least 2 hours before (also no drugs and alcohol!)). Wear comfy clothes, take a bottle of water and a clock with you. Once you have all that, take some minutes to “energetically own” the space you’ve chosen. You can move around in presence, play some music, dance, call in support from higher forces, light some incense etc. The most important thing is that you feel safe, present and make sure that you won’t be disturbed (by phone, someone entering the room etc).
Step 2. Set your intention
Which is the polarity that is causing you tension right now? If unsure, it might help to make a list and choose from it (eg. courage/fear, feminine/masculine, love/fear, confidence/insecurity, order/chaos etc). You need to be able to name the pair of opposing energies within you before you move on to the next step.
Step 3. Warm up
Your next step is to come into a space where you feel your body deeply. For this, you need to do 20 minutes of physical warm-up exercises. The success of the later practice depends on your level of embodiment, so commit to doing your best, for 5 minutes of each of the following:
1. Be still – sit or stand still in meditation. If there’s thoughts or sensations coming up, notice them and come back to stillness of mind and body as soon as you can.
2. Flex your spine – make your spine more flexible. Explore all the ways you can do that.
3. Stretch your muscles – breathe into each muscle as you tense it, breathe out as you release it.
4. Generate heat – do whatever it takes to break a sweat, while remaining in your safe space area. Move, jump, run in one place etc.
Step 4. Drop into “No form”
Mark the boundaries of your space with your movements and then come back to a standing posture, in its centre. Rest while standing – let your muscles relax, unlock your knees, let your pelvis drop. Come into being nothing, nobody, completely empty and receptive to whatever will emerge from the Great Within as you move into the next stage.
Step 5. Immerse into one end of the polarity
As you stand in no-form posture, project one end of the polarity (eg. fear) in front of you and the other (eg. courage) behind you in the physical space. FEEL the respective energies, realities, qualities, colours, memories, experiences, charges exist in each of those spaces, as you stand between them. Sense into which one is calling you first and move into the physical spot on the ground (either in front or behind you). Let its energy fill the empty container you’ve become, without trying to control or direct it. Let yourself feel it fully, allow it to take over your body, emotions, thoughts and imagination. If you feel like being still, be still. If you feel like screaming or crying, do it. Nothing happens? Wait for some time. If still nothing happens, go back to no-form or generating heat and try again. Commit to letting the energy express itself through you as IT WISHES, for as long as it wishes. Take your time! Then let your body find the right moment to move back to ‘no form’, to the centre.
Step 6. Immerse into the other end of the polarity
Standing in the centre, allow yourself to empty out of the energies and contents of the first end of the polarity you’ve explored. Once you are done, take a step in the other direction and repeat the process. Allow the qualities, energies, realities, memories, experiences, sensations of the new spot on the ground to fill you. Stay there as long as it feels right. Then move back to the centre and empty out. It might take one visit to each side to finish the practice, but sometimes it can take multiple visits until you feel complete. If at any point you feel you lost your focus, go back to no-form or generate some more heat and try again.
Step 7. Return to no-form
You will know when you are done when you feel complete. Go back to no-form and discharge any residual energies you might be carrying from the last spot you stood in. Remember to journal and draw your experiences as soon as you are done.
If you don’t get to do the practice now, try out this new pair of ‘polarised glasses’ through which you can explore your inner and outer reality. See what you find and then come back here, when the time is right. I wish you a safe and beautiful journey into non-duality!
About The Paradise Vlog
I believe we already are in paradise, regardless of where we are and what’s going on in our lives. I believe life is a journey towards becoming aware of this and enjoying as much of it as we can in the limited amount of time we have here. The ‘The Paradise Vlog’ youtube channel is the space where I share my process of shedding patterns and beliefs that obstruct our view in order to replace them with presence, joy and wonder. It’s also my invitation to you – an invitation to connect and journey together in creative ways, as we help each other see through to the greatest expression of ourselves. I also love creating spaces for growth-oriented people to connect to their soul power and life purpose. I do that in the form of coaching, shamanic work and workshops. Reach out if you feel curious to explore these topics with me.