Shadow Selfie – and on Not giving up!

Another ‘Day of Mindfulness’ event, and the “witness” of never leaving, never returning… is ‘always’ leaving and ‘always’ returning. How many steps have we walked together?

I’ve been keeping record ever since May of 2017 of my steps with myself, but even earlier than that when my disk herniated in 2012 and seeped out triggering my nerve and years of confusing debilitating pain, confused muscles and who knows what else – a month after I moved across country; it changed everything in my life. Then I got married in 2013, and then in 2014 I started grad school part time, doing yoga in class to get through the pain at first. Technically, I have one more year to go of internship and class.

I feel a lot better, but not without many setbacks along the way. Fortunately none of the setbacks were complete and all-encompassing – I found myself digging smaller holes to climb out of each time. I’m very unamazing, but I did write a poetry book, which is something I am proud of.

Since then, I’ve seen people overcome back issues much quicker and be far more determined and dedicated than I was at the time. At the time, I dug my hole – on one level – and on another level, I was leveling-up and being much stronger than I ever have been. There’s so many ways to look at things, I suppose it depends on the mind-set we are in which interpretation gets to hold the most weight for the longest time; therefore re-patterning the brain connections.

Everything felt like it needed to change, and it has. Everything still is changing.

Of all I learned, most of all: I cannot compare myself to others. If I do, it always hurts inexorably. I’ve watched so many people fly by me in the race of life – so many people with good solid abilities be brave and continuous. There are so many people that I admire, that I almost basically admire anyone. Let’s just get up today, and tomorrow, and every day! Let’s just keep going…

When I first started grad school, I thought that my gratitude for my improving situation could carry me through! I thought, after all, I re-trained myself how to walk!  But by now I was in California, and all the people around me seemed just so much more amazing and so much more able. Hey, other states have really cool and talented people too!

Many days along this road, it’s just been, well, hard to love myself. But it wasn’t until about 2010-2011 that I found a way to love myself, anyways. What I learned is that I didn’t find a way to love myself until I had something I had to walk away from. I needed to experience the depths of my despair in order to realize the urgency of my need to self-love. Then it came. Also, my nana passed, and I held her hand as she died (2007). Love came.

But, when I thought I was done – and had cleared the “boards” of my life, had my whole life ahead of me: I was on my way to the next major challenge, years of back outage and struggle. It would be an untrue story to stay that it was all struggle: these were also the brightest, the best, the most love-filled times of my life – even as my social circle mostly waned, and I felt so lonely at times.

I think this is just the way life is: it gives us everything – the good and the bad – and the in-between. This is how we grow and develop, and it is OK. I am always just beginning. This is my reality. The more I learn, the less I know.

What is mindfulness about? Well, it’s not about a full-mind (we all know that!), nor it is about all the noise in our heads as we practice our steps in walking meditation. It’s not about walking through just one or two “dark-sides,” or doing some shadow work in a couple of workshops.  It’s about being willing to continue…despite all that junk that’s going on. It’s about constantly signing up and constantly narrowing down, and honing what’s important and valuable to oneself in this precious, valuable life.

That’s what it is about.

You see that speed bump up there? That’s part of what makes the ride “doable.” It kind of looks like a DNA strand, and the shadow – well, I think I prefer shadow selfies. That’s how I see myself, as I blur on the landscape…skidding off bumps, sometimes I see them – sometimes I don’t!

While at the day of my mindfulness, I caught a glimpse of one of the young monk’s books and it said, “be. silly.” on the cover. Isn’t that right? Do we do all this, just to ‘let go’ ?  Well, yes, why yes… we do.

You see that picture up there of my hand? Well, sometimes I have to just ‘hand it to myself,’ if i can except myself, while not measuring up to the expectations of others, or the abilities of others, I can keep going, and keeping going… is exactly what I am doing.

Now my hand is an incredible claw that will dig me up out of my hole with the silliness of the moment. I can still cry and be serious on a dime – whatever life requires of me.

You see that buddha up there? Broken in 3? It’s about being both broken and not-broken.

It’s about living in the middle. I don’t ever see myself as taking on the role of the expert, or knowing one, but one day – I hope people learn something from me that gives them value, value they make for themselves. One day I hope to be that strength for others that I had and have to continuously keep becoming for myself. A lot of days I am that person, and I get all the pleasure of making a difference in the lives of others, but most days – I still feel like I’m not making enough of a difference, or healthy enough to ‘show up more,’ but I have to be patient… and find the skip in my step, no matter what. No matter what is going on inside of me or out there in politics and war. I have to find the anchor in my claw-shadow-hand. It will pull me up, unexpectedly from any disaster I find myself in! It’s the superpower I’ve been cultivating… it’s entirely unamazing – but it’s worth the whole shadow!


A little bit about astrology: This upcoming eclipse on August 11, 2018 will be the last in the N.Node in Leo series. It’s conjoining my N.Node in Leo, within a 2 degree orb, and conjoining my Leo Sun. Remembering back 18 or so years ago to the last N.Node in Leo transit, well, it wasn’t easy. I was single then, even with that 7th house Sun. In fact, I had spent a lot of time alone in my life, self-reliant (S.Node in Aquarius, 1st house). But, there’s something great and new around the corner. I can just “feel” it. It’s free and it’s fun, and I will never stop striving for it. The bliss of the N.Node Leo “fun” is how we learn to dance while we cultivate ‘courage’ and ‘strength,’ overcoming even the most realistic of fears. This is what Leo is about, not the glitz and glamor that everyone confuses Leo with, but who knows…

Yes, recently I caught a glimpse of a man in a parking lot who it looked like his wife and daughter where heaping gold glitter onto him. What was he doing? Preparing for a music video? I have no idea. But, he glowed. He laughed. Maybe he was preparing for something big…. or maybe, he was just having fun. The answers are inside. All the answers are inside. Is there really any difference to ‘just having fun’ and ‘making it big?” You tell me. Life is already quite a modest affair… or is it, really, more like a dandelion bursting through the concrete: a regular miracle of strength and life force!  May you all be ready to live your best dreams…or at least have fun getting ready…as we smile through the tears.


31 thoughts on “Shadow Selfie – and on Not giving up!

  1. My lovely Ka, this is such a beautiful post. Life is indeed what we live every day as ourselves, the self we have found …not always in the easiest way either xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. Great post with so many tasty nuggets. It is about getting up every time after a fall , and to keep being the best one can be without judgement. I am back meditating again and intend to stick with it. As a fellow seventh house north noder, I really understand the push pull of partnerless and partnered alone vs lonely with someone ( or not).

    Thanks for sharing more of your soul here with us, wherever we may reside 🙂

    love, Linda ❤

    1. Hi Linda!
      I typed up a reply and it was lost. Here it goes again! Retrograde Mercury in Leo? Uh. 🌟
      Sometimes the territory opens up and I can bare my soul, if that’s what it comes across as. I am often trying to be clear and write with clarity, but not as successful with what I can relay as often as I’d like.

      Just to clarify – my S.Node is in the 1st and the 7th is N.Node as you self disclose I was wondering if you meant 1/7th house nodal placements in general. Loneliness is a fact of life in my opinion, it comes and it goes. That 7th house is filled with one-one close friendships, too, business partners, consultative matters etc.

      We are all ultimately alone, so partnership can be a good thing when this ‘aloneness’ is realized as the essential condition. We are all ultimately linked to the all – families and communities, etc. It’s a fabulous paradox.

      Love to you too, Linda
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      1. Mercury retro indeed, I made an error in my comment earlier. Like you, my south node is in the first, but in Pisces. So please edit my comment for the sake of clarity. I responded as such because of the shared nodal position. It is a paradox, but for me, not always that fabulous. I live easier without partnership, but then think I may be missing a great experience 🙂

    2. Hi Linda!
      Thank you. I’m glad you feel connected to my soul. I share my space when the words open up and I’m granted the territory, myself. I don’t always have the ability to relay…

      I’m not sure if I’m feeling my Leo Solar return on its way yet… often I do extravert for a fraction of my year (so I am noticing) and go back to introvert – the Aquarius 1st house S. Node often gets me lost in trying to keep track of friends, which often leaves me feeling fragmented. Maybe I also just get bogged down with “process” and all my Cancer planets have me swimming 🏊‍♀️ and not “up for air.”

      Just want to clarify: my North Node is in my 7th house. I think you meant, if I may, 1/7th house nodal placements…we do share that, yes and what you say, because we are balancing them, after all. Self/other. Also my experience 1/7 house stuffs is not just one person like a romantic life partner/spouse but also all close one-one friendships and business relationships, such as counseling or consulting others, and I know we are clear on 7th house, but just wanted to clarify for here.

      So glad that you have returned to your place of meditation again. I’d like to get back into writing and sharing observations, we’ll see. Lots of energy right now….

      Love you too, Ka

  3. Ka, I’m so happy I didn’t miss this. I love this…and I can feel your energy. And I do believe you had a wonderful day yesterday!! 😉 And I hope today was super too!
    Thank you my friend for all you offer…your heart is golden! ❤

    1. Hi Lorrie ⭐️

      💚 each and every day is a gift 💝
      and thank you for your response here! I’m glad you can feel through these words.

      Shadows are fascinating, and I think there’s a lot that we can learn from them. 🌅🧡 taking in each moment a little bit slower, and reflecting on hidden strength…

      Thank you dear friend…. sending my very best your way ~

    1. Deer Park is definitely inside – and, it’s all around us.
      Sometimes, it’s necessary to become quiet completely (or near it) for a week or so,
      and the more I do, the more I yearn for it,

      [so the more it’s the necessity of invention, and it’s mother – haha, or something like that! Playing off of “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” by rearranging it from Plato’s original]

      It works accordingly that I come outside and share the experience that I’ve cultivated, simply by being in the presence of others, and letting the space between us happen in such a happy way. My Tibetan buddhist name is Karma Dechen Lhamo – it means, “Goddess of Great Happiness,” well… i”m well on my way, and not all moments are perfect or easy, but they are perhaps: great.

      I so appreciate and am grateful for your good wishes, David 🙂 The gentleness is what the nervous system needs…. and it’s okay. 🙂

  4. Such an indepth post dear Ka.. showing us how we all struggle to climb up out of our pits clawing our way out of the depths of our pain and despair.
    I have found when we have reached our lowest ebb, the only way we can go is to climb back up..
    It takes great courage, great strength and determination to overcome.
    And not only overcome, but to look back on how far we have travelled. and what helped us along the way.
    Life is a miraculous journey of ups and downs, each enabling us to remember who we are as we let go of all that went before.. A journey many are only just discovering as they unravel their many webs that have woven themselves tightly around them through many life times..

    I once wrote a poem entitled Shadows…

    It ends with these verses

    “As for me in my forest of shade

    I give thanks to my shadows for the strength that they gave

    For without their darkness no light would exist

    And my journey on Earth is well worth the risk

    For to progress on home the flames sometimes scorch

    So let not the shadows hang low where you are

    Reach out and take heart, for the Light is our Star..”

    LOVE and LIGHT dearest Friend ❤ ❤ ❤

      1. Oh a belated Happy Birthday dearest Ka for yesterday… I hope you had a fantastic day in your quiet reflection of self.. No better way to spend time. ❤
        Wishing you many more Happy Birthdays to come.. ❤

      2. Well, there were “some” quiet moments. The darkness helps the nervous system be nice and easy and willing to experience the life-light 🌞
        Sending birthday Light!
        Thank you for your good wishes! 🌎🌍🌏🌈

      1. IceBreathe

        Thank you and I love how all these articles and blog posts lead me to greater things so thank you everyone for the hard work!

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