What in your life is calling you? When all the noise is silenced, the meetings adjourned, the lists laid aside, and the wild iris blooms by itself in the dark forest, what still pulls on your soul?
In the silence between your heartbeats hides a summons. Do you hear it? Name it, if you must, or leave it forever nameless, but why pretend it's not there?
(Terma Collective, The Box)
Life has its share of tragedy and comedy. Those who have lived both, had the opportunity to relate to them as the two faces of divinity. The "Bad Mother", archetypally constellated in the Goddesses of death like the Hindu Kali, the Greek Hecate, or the medieval Black Madonnas, represents this feminine symbol of nature-chaos, which, in it’s apparent "amorality" brings us viruses that takes “saints and sinners”. This collective opportunity to face the dark face of God/Goddess, with planet Pluto - Greek God from the hells of the unconscious - in Capricorn - sign of human institutions / civilization – conjunct to Saturn - Greco-Roman God of limits and restrictions conjunct to Mars - God of war - as frightening, difficult and demanding as it is, brings the opportunity for those who accept to learn from the Divine Shadow. It is not in the eye of the storm that we understand the hidden blessings of the crisis, but everything passes, and I believe this will too, leaving us more conscious, and humanity, more human.
We have no memory of such a pandemic in our living time, but in our genetic material, in our memory cells, behind the main conscious screen, stream the horrors of past wars, the secular fears of incurable diseases, the anxieties and doubts, all so natural and human. The corona activates these memories stored on our oldest hard disk, like any loss triggers the reality of all the losses that we have already had. It is important to give them, to these emotions, attention, voice and creative expression. At first glance, now that it is also knocking at our door, we find it strange ... it seems like a bad dream ... weird, surreal, emotional mix for which we need processing time. Time ... exactly! Now that we have more, in the quarantines around the globe, what to do with it? The world needs love and wisdom, more than never…
The Letters and Diaries of Etty Hillesum. I suggest this Etty Hillesum's absolutely magnificent diary. I read it years ago and I fell in love. Her archetype is similar to that of Anne Frank, the wonderful Jewish teenager who was a victim of the holocaust: they were/are heroines of something more than I can say; I will call it Life. In fact, both met at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. They represent the heroine archetype – but, simultaneously, a so much real woman, human, with desires, with lovers, with fears. And with courage, with heart, with soul. In the 1940’s, Etty was undergoing Jungian therapy, living a sophisticated, privileged, culturally rich and socially stimulating life. Nazism came to change her world, but instead of destroying her, chiselled, reinforced and brought her essence to a most inspiring manifestation. Being able to free and save himself, Etty chose to stay and help others, even inside a concentration camp. She nourished her soul with her Bible, Dostoevsky and Rainer Maria Rilke. Owner of an extraordinary spirituality, she wrote that she could see in a Nazi executioner, a wounded, terrified, lost boy. Her diary is so full of hope in the human spirit, so full of greatness of soul, that you really have to read it. In it, the true poetry of Life is revealed through depth, meaning and love.
This book has changed my life and I am grateful for having remembered it, now. With simplicity, Etty takes us back to our purpose and meaning in life, too; she stimulates the connection with the inside and the deep, with the beauty of the unknowable divine wisdom, that beauty that our souls are so hungry for. Read, eat, nurture yourself with Etty and then tell me what you think!
I suggest the extraordinary Life is Beautiful that won three Academy Awards (Oscars), with the incomparable Roberto Benigni and Nicoletta Braschi. I have seen it several times and returned to it, because the archetype of the Lover and the Fool, or Jester, are merged into it as expressions of the human spirit - absolutely vital in times of crisis. I often remembered him, the character of Benigni, the Jew Guido, who used his imagination, humour and magic, to reframe an entire world, redeem suffering, restore a whole new order, life and destiny. In my personal tragedies, I remember him a lot, because I easily play the same “foolish” role as the clown(ess) who makes her children laugh – the boy and the girl depressed and devastated by the violent, precocious, unspeakable loss of their beloved father. For years, I tried to make them laugh, tell comical stories, scream like crazy, raise my arms to the sky and shout “happy!!”. I throw them with pillows when they are distracted, I fight with them to see who is stronger, I run after them all over the house to see if I can pull their pants out (they are 32 and 23 years old), I turn off the light when they are in the bathroom. I scold myself, twist my eyes, steal their chocolates. I bring the comic absurdity into their lives, and I understand that was also trying to save myself. After seeing the immense courage and strength of my son Miguel, throwing the ashes of his beloved father into the sea, after seeing the deep love with which my daughter Maria, wanted to keep in her room, the hat and uniform of honour of the air force, and the scarf of the soccer team of her beloved father, I had to be like that. I had to be like Guido, the Jew from Life is Beautiful. I had to help them get back to life, with the imagination, the humour and the soul that I could. And with all my love. And I fell that this archetype of the Jester -Lover – so common in artists - is so fundamental in moments like this. Blessed are our artists, our friends and family that make us laugh, that soften the darkest days, that warm our hearts in days when the soul could easily choose to freeze.
Play with your family, “old" games like Pictionary or any other that do not involve Internet mobile phones. Doing karaoke, dancing, writing, can be as important as praying, meditating, reflecting.
Take a few breaks throughout the day, to stretch, consciously breathe, drink water or tea and deepen the art of extreme self-care.
Make SoulCollage® - especially after watching the movie above, or reading the book mentioned. You must do something to express your emotions - dance, sing, paint, sculpt, speak. I am a certified SoulCollager® and here I suggest this practise with recreational purposes, as it is very pleasurable, relaxing and insightful. The process is as follows:
- Using images from Internet and/or magazines; make a collection of those catching your attention, for any reason; important note: images must not have words. Use images preferably of good quality. When looking for these images, select those that really, for whatever reason (even if not conscious) catch your eye and seem to say: take me with you! They can be images of places, people, situations, objects or animals. Prepare your SoulCollage® Kit: scissors, tube of glue for paper; 4 to 6 rectangles of size (aprox) 8 x 6 inches in cardboard of any colour; a plastic or rubber base.
- When starting to compose your SoulCollage® card, preferably use up to 3 images maximum, on the same collage. Cut them with scissors and glue composing the combination you create. With practice, you will see that each collage tells a part of a history, it is fascinating. You can line the collage with a plastic cover, or leave it like that. You can make themed collages (for example: how can I best deal with this situation? What are my greatest fears in this circumstance? What barrier/do I need to dissolve for my happiness? You can create a collage representing your “protection” for this moment, or without any conscious objective. After completing each card, you can read it: if your collage had a voice, what would it say to you? how would it answer the question: "I, am the one who..."
This answer is intuitive, just let it flow. Record it on your cell phone or write the answer in your journal and enjoy this process that is deep, playful and transformative. Making your own SoulCollage® deck of cards is a wonderful experience for revealing various aspects of yourself, your soul, the impressions that people in your life leave in you, and the way you relate to the world. I look forward to seeing the pictures of your collages!
Keep inspired, healthy and connected.
Blessings and much love.