November 10, 2013

Soul Detox: Uncovering the Shadows Within.

I just returned home from a weekend in Michigan with the dynamic, vibrant and soulful Seane Corn.

Her words are like a fiery form of poetry with frequent sparks that are relatively impossible to not feel and be touched by. Her overall presence can be described as electrifyingly passionate, courageously vulnerable and swiftly intelligent. Her innate ability to string words together to create this kind of an impact on students worldwide blows my mind.

While the weekend workshop was centered around “detoxing,” Seane’s version of detox encompasses far more than the latest juice cleanse or fad diet sans chocolate and gluten. Consistently reiterating the fact that detox is only part what we put into our bodies, she developed the idea of detox as an all-encompassing process of nurturing our souls and inviting love into our lives by first learning to face our fears, explore our grief and take ownership of our inner demons and darkest shadows.

No light can shine effortlessly with a shadow that hides at its center or sits in its corner.

No shadow can vanish without the acknowledgment that it is there to begin with.

No detox can truly happen until we identify the toxicity in our behaviors and relationships.

No love can be true without the willingness to be vulnerable to our grief.

Prior to this two-day Detroit getaway and quite possibly for the last year, I have been thinking a lot about the power of vulnerability. I always thought that vulnerability stopped once I decided to share a piece of myself with another; whether it be allowing tears to stream down my face sitting across from my therapist or being honest with a close friend about my feelings of shame and of fear. “Guess what I realized today? What an idiot I have been; how passive I have lived my life and how fearful I am of never experiencing any kind of love at all.”

This is frequently what my “vulnerable moments” sound like to the external listener and while this willingness to be open and honest with others means very little without first being transparent with and forgiving of myself.

I am slowly beginning to see that vulnerability is like an enormous onion of emotion with multiple layers to peel before the tears can even awaken and surface; that in order for any light to pass through the walls I have built around my heart, I must first acknowledge the walls are there and see them as they are: brick, bold, and difficult to break down.

In order to fully invite love into my life, I must first face the grief that lives amidst my shadows.

This is vulnerability; the ability to see the darkness and truly experience the emotion that surfaces. It’s about being raw to get real; to fully connect with what is inside, at the core of who we are.

The detox begins with the first peel of the onion to the layers that invite tears to the eyes to the most flavorful center where forgiveness and true self-love and vulnerability live. This is when I can, like Seane said, “let love be the nourishment that feeds the soul.”

I came home that night and ate chocolate after my detox workshop. 82 percent, rich, dark and delectable chocolate that I believe served my soul detox quite well. I see my shadows, I feel my walls, and I can now make space for some light to shine through.

After all, it’s only at the tip of self-indulgent vulnerability where we can actually begin to feel, taste, and experience the essence of what it is to be human: to love with lightness by uncovering truth and connecting to the soul—layer by layer, shadow by shadow, moment by moment.

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Assistant Editor: Judith Andersson / Editor: Catherine Monkman

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