For a few years now I have been wanting to have a web page, a blog, where I could share myself, my dreams, with a world. When I finally sent a little story about me as an academic, therapist, dancer, spiritual seeker, to my dear friend Petra, who was helping me out with setting a web page, I got a bit scared. How might the people from academia react to the spirituality and personal development stuff? How might ‘spiritual people’ and therapists react to the legal academia stuff? Is it appropriate for me to share my ‘private’ life as a holder of the ‘public’ function – a UN independent expert on women’s rights? Who is my ‘public’, what is the purpose of my blog?
And then it hit me: the purpose is exactly to present myself in my fullness, the whole of me. This is for me, for my personal growth, to allow myself to take up my space in the world, despite the fear and shame of being seen. And this is also for the world, as a call to others to show themselves fully. This is a call for us to integrate all aspects of our nature, all the aspects of life.
We have for too long lived in a world built up on dichotomies: humans/nature, public/private, heart/mind, science/spirituality, women/men, us/them, whereby we subordinated one side of the pair and gave a wrong sense of priority and power to us, humans, men, mind, science.
Even the systems aimed at ameliorating human suffering, such as human rights, have not yet been able to dismantle dichotomies. Indeed, us and them, good and bad, is still part of the language.
I have hence always been a bit cautious how I speak in the different circles I am a part of: I don’t talk much about spirituality in the scientific circles, and I don’t talk much about science in the spiritual. But I do dance in all of them! In the academic circles I am often seen as a crazy hippy, and in self-development/spiritual circles as too brainy/opinionated, while activists often consider me as not fierce enough (I used to be quite fierce!).
I feel that the time has now come for us to challenge dichotomous thinking and social structures built on dualism. It is time to fully embrace all aspects of human life, the time to build up inclusive societies. This requires recognition of both our human and spiritual nature, and our inter-connectedness – not only of us humans, but of all of living beings, of all the Eco system. This would allow us to see the interconnections between our internal and external realities, to see that everything we see outside lies also within us – all the greed, jealousy, fear, aggression –which would make us more compassionate to human suffering. From this perspective, we could no long point the finger to ‘bad’ people, while we would still be able to identify ‘bad behavior’. However, the focus of our actions might shift from identifying the problems, to creating, being, the solution.
In my opinion (and according to the body-oriented psychotherapy approach I practice) the solution is in integration: seeing and loving all our shadows is the necessary step. From this place of fully owing all of ourselves, of claiming full responsibility for our lives, we can offer our gifts to the world with pure intentions. Accepting fully ourselves, understanding our nature, will make us less likely to exclude others, to fear them.
In this time where so many people experience fear, which suits the agenda of the ruling elites worldwide, the most important thing we can do is to open our hearts to ourselves and others and take full responsibility for our lives. Full responsibility requires full visibility, even if it is scary, even if you are a bit ashamed, as I am writing this.