Positive Possibilities Living: From Drama to Fierce Discernment, by Parvati Devi
Having a light-hearted attitude towards ourselves and life in general brings a sweetness and joy to our daily experiences. When we face things we don’t like, we may tend to push rather than ease off the pedal and open to possibility. Keeping it light not only helps us stay buoyant amidst the roller coaster ride of life, but also helps us feel happier, see more options in the moment and have more choice in a fast pace world.
Recently I was asked how even the things we don’t like about ourselves can be gifts. Here is an example. My friend “Bill” can be a bit of a drama queen. He is highly sensitive, and can easily lose his sense of self with others, should someone say something that may trigger him into feeling that he is a bad person. It could be the simplest thing. But for him, it becomes big. He then allows himself to get taken over by the idea of being a bad person, to the point that his drama queen will act out to draw attention to himself, so he can feel temporarily better. But like any painful cycle, drama can become exhausting. So Bill has been courageously doing therapy to look into these self-destructive patterns.
Interestingly, Bill is an active devotee of the Hindu warrior goddess Kali. When faced with tricky, dark energies, Kali is never sucked in. Without a moment’s hesitation, She fiercely pulls out her sword, fully present for whatever is before Her. With razor-sharp discernment that cuts through even the subtle complexities of Time and Karma, She severs any demonic ties and protects the evolution of light.
Bill could choose to feel a victim of life and use his drama queen tendencies to act out his pain. Or he could choose to see his tendencies as grace that supports his healing. Through his painful behaviour, he has a powerful opportunity. When he consciously chooses to access the fierce courage he sees in Kali and turn it to see the fullness of his own negative tendencies, he learns to discern and cut through the fog of trickiness with clear sight. Then, some kind of alchemy takes place. Using the same energy that usually ends in an emotional blow-up, he instead turns that power to face the interference patterns that usually pull him into feeling less than he is. With that power, he can say an unequivocal “no” to destructive tendencies and an absolute “yes” to his own magnificence. No drama required, just beautiful life-force incarnate.
In Bill’s recovery process, even his destructive habits can be fertile soil in which a new discernment muscle can grow. Because of the painful pattern, he knows he needs to find another way. As he gains insight into the thoughts behind the outbursts, he is beginning to understand that if he allows himself to be swayed by the negative ideas and energies of others, he will fall down a dark hole into self-despair. In this dark drama habit, he has an opportunity to learn a powerful and hard-to-learn lesson on the spiritual path: “neti, neti” (“not this, not this”). By facing his tendencies, he strengthens his personal ability to discern which energies he will support, and which he will not. With mastery, like his chosen deity Kali, he will eventually learn to pull out his sword of discernment and cut off painful drama at the pass.
We all have negative tendencies that seem to create pain and havoc in our lives. What are yours? Are you willing to embrace them without judgment? What is your soul learning through them? Make a list of your painful tendencies and see if you can dig deeper into your heart wisdom and see the gifts there.
Parvati Devi is the editor-in-chief of Parvati Magazine. In addition to being an internationally acclaimed Canadian singer, songwriter, producer and performer, she is a yoga teacher and holistic educator, having studied yoga and meditation since 1987, and developed her own yoga teaching style called YEM™: Yoga as Energy Medicine. Her current shows, “YIN: Yoga in the Nightclub” and “Natamba”, bring forward a conscious energy into the pop mainstream.