Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Poison Arrows

The last few months have been full of travels, both outward and inward bound, from teaching on the East and West coasts, to silent reflection during personal and spiritual retreats. As a result “the Blog” had taken a back seat. Well, it’s back! I am excited to share with you some insights and seeds that have been germinating in my heart. My hope is that they cross over into your own heart, where you can have your own personal relationship with them.

One of my recent travels brought me to a spiritual community in the mountains of northern Colorado where I participated in a five day intensive called, “The Mysterium: In the Truest Sense of The Word”. Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, a brilliant Jungian analyst, poet, cantadora and author of one of my favorite books, Women Who Run With The Wolves, led it. It was a deeply rich experience, and one I will continue to integrate, both personally and professionally, for some time. We delved into dream analysis, fairytales, “the shadow”, and explored the effect of  “introjects”, also referred to as ”poison arrows”, and the effect they can have on our lives – especially when we are not aware of them. It is an area that fascinates me. Over the years I have worked extensively with extracting my own poison arrows, as well as helping clients to identify and work with theirs. 

I think we would all agree that poison does not serve our physical, mental, emotional or spiritual wellbeing. No one deliberately takes poison unless they intentionally want to hurt them self. However, poison can come in many disguises.

 Unfortunately, most of us are spoon fed poison, ingesting it unconsciously from birth, in the form of ancestral, familial, generational and cultural conditioning. Very often the people feeding us the poison are totally unaware that they are doing so, and if confronted would deny it venomously. Problems arise when the messengers (archers) do not question the messages they have received and then pass them on. It’s our job to start questioning.

These messages can be likened to arrows that get lodged into our very being. Falsehoods form, take root and hide out in the deepest and darkest parts of our body, mind and spirit, where they secretly control us, contributing to habits and relationships that do not serve our life and soul’s purpose.

We begin to develop a belief system around the falsehoods that tell us things like: you are not worthy, it’s not safe to be who you are, no one loves you, don’t trust anyone, something is wrong with you….the list is endless and cruel.

The good news is: You don’t have to take your poison arrows for granted any longer!

Here are some steps you can work with to remove them:

  1. Identify what your “poison arrows” are.  Be as honest as you can with yourself.
  2. Get curious about how they got there. Be as specific as possible. This is not about blaming any one. It is about understanding your thinking and behaviors and ultimately freeing your self.
  3. Pull it out!
  4. Allow yourself the time to feel the hurt and pain of the wound. Be excessively kind and gentle with your self. Please don’t rush past this step,  it can take a while to heal, depending on how deep the wound is.
  5. Forgive whoever put it there. By forgiveness I mean, “I am no longer willing to carry around this pain any longer,”

This process requires great courage, strength and compassion. So please be gentle, be kind, and be ruthless in your quest to uncover, remove and heal your poison arrows. It can be very helpful to have a “compassionate witness”, someone you can trust, to share your sorrow and your joy with.

Be warned, your life will change!

We are all waiting for you to shine out into the world like you were born to.

Start today.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Pasha for helping me recognize my own poison arrows. I am playing through the list and calling in the troops to be my compassionate witnesses in recovery. Namaste, theresa