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  • Writer's pictureJeanette Prather

Embracing the Dark

I tend to stick with themes of balance, grey scales, the either/or mentality, shadows and light... you get the picture. At least over the past year that's been true.

There's just SO MUCH to unpack here! And it's definitely not a new, internet-clad topic but rather one that is most pertinent in today's world and continuing to grow. The topic that falls under this category that I hear about most these days, is of collectivity vs. individualism. But I digress...

Let's take the show that I have set for August this year. It's all about restoring balance in a mystical forest, and among the forest's inhabitants. It's the eternal and epic battle between light and dark, good and evil. One cannot exist without the other, and in essence, relies on the other force to survive.

Let's take the Greek goddess Persephone, for example. The goddess of not only vegetation and spring (the representation of abundance), but simultaneously holds her place as Queen of the Underworld, wife to Hades. This in and of itself seems a contradiction.

Much debate circles around the story of Persephone, so we'll just leave it at that.

Another example is the mysterious voice that Elsa is lured to follow in Frozen 2. Unsure if it had good or bad intentions, she threw caution to the wind to uncover that it was, in fact, revealing a twisted history and attempting to right a human wrong. In other words, it was trying to restore balance within the society (spoiler alert! If you've seen the movie, you know that Elsa inevitably does restore balance but not until working through the cold darkness and nearly dying to get there).

Would it be a fallacy that, to some degree, one must somewhat embrace some type of darkness to fully appreciate and relinquish the light? Perhaps embrace is too strong a word, maybe just understand or acknowledge.

In recognizing the darkness, the shadow, we are inherently aware of the light. Like the dark side of the moon that we know is there even if we can't see it. We see the sunlit side of the moon as the human eye allows it, not the dark side. But it's there.

Simply put -- and I hate to reference Wikipedia but they put it best -- a person's "shadow" side is just the part of that person they are unaware of. The unknown ("Into the Unknown" is the title of the song Elsa sings throughout the movie as well as the backdrop for her dive into the depths... just saying). Perhaps not even bad in the sense of "dark," but rather just hidden.

To grasp the wholeness of oneself, then wouldn't it be safe to say that we must expose or acknowledge this shadow side? In full awakening and appreciation of entirety, yes.

Perhaps we allow the dark passenger (to reference the old show, Dexter) to show itself so we may work through whatever messages await us and get to the other side. The shadow and murky will certainly contain valuable information as we transform into higher versions of ourselves for simply doing the work. It's uncomfortable and often times painful to do so, but so worth it.

The following section applies well to this blog, although the video I'm referring to got moved to July and highlights a different theme that matches better the ambience and elements in the video.

Wrapping this up, I'd like to draw attention to my May "Moving Through It With Jeanette" video (located here for those of you who don't receive Stellaria's enews, although you should most definitely sign up! It's only delivered once per month and holds all kinds of goodies :).

When I went into the studio that day, I had no idea I was going to come up with such an intense, personal routine. All of a sudden, a song that reminded me of the traumatic birth of my first born, Luke, came on and I was full of intense and explosive energy. Instead of trying to adapt that into something else, something artificial, I went with it.

It's a far cry from what I had originally depicted this routine to be; channeling the beauty of aviation and birds in nature, hence the tie-dyed fabrics and tropical leggings, lol. Nope, that's not what it became. Instead, it manifested into a moving depiction of shadow and light, holding space, and a reverence to the concept of tension of the opposites. It transformed into an authentic expression of the beauty and tragedy that is life and motherhood. I thank God that Luke came out of that situation we were in healthy, but I can't help but recognize the darkness that we had to go through, and wonder if that has helped shape the wonderful person he is today.

Holding space and appreciating the light with the shadow takes work, but it is oh-so worth it in the end. I invite you to explore the shadow space and remember that there is holding there as well.

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