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The Ballroom: Dancing with my Shadow

The pairing of 2 opposites in the dance of discovering self, of integrating the shadow selves within me, begins with an imaginative ballroom dance, where I invite a feeling of consolation as a dance partner for a rebellious streak within me (of dark creativity, anger, nonchalance...)

I start by inviting the feeling for a dance at the ballroom, bringing this enigmatic shadow out for a dance date between a primary consolation and a primary shadow emotion. In this example, I invite my shadow feeling the Rebellious streak in me out on a date with Calm.

The guest house visualization

Rebel is a young 30 year old thrill seeker, who is always open to novel ways of doing things and looking for fresh adventures to embark on. Calm is quite the opposite, a stable mature young woman, whose poise illuminates the dance floor as though the spotlight would naturally shine on her.

This couple looked like the perfect embodiment of balance between yin and yang. In my fascination, I found my gaze on them as they danced through song after song, chatting and smiling. Calm seemed intrigued by the passion swirling within Rebel and they were possibly talking through some of his fascinating adventures. Rebel or Rebelliousness would off and on visit the guest house but he never forged a connection with the other guests. Normally he would be happy just doing his thing, researching on the laptop and planning for his next holiday. It was on one such lunch time planning sessions where he met Calm and she happened to peer into the screen was captivated by the travel itinerary and level of granularity in which Rebel had put into making sure he would thoroughly immerse into the local culture and to experience what it was like to live independently and where he would stopover for a working holiday to earn more funds for the rest of his travels.

What impressed me as I recalled their conversation was that Rebel had shared his story about how he grew to like the foreign land and why he couldn't quite feel welcomed at home. I could guess that his family and cultural background may have been rigid and restrictive whereas he quite frequently liked pursuing fresh ideas and perspectives. I could even see in the books he read while at the guest house, that his mind was always fueled by fresh ideas. There was no one particular genre he would read, and his interests spanned from classical music, to medieval history to film, modern engineering marvels and philosophy.

I saw also in Calm what appealed to him. Her poise and inner unity aligned her to be consistent as the sun rising and setting, yet radiant as always. Calm was perhaps a symbol of acceptance and a foundation to anchor on. A home base to return to recharge. Perhaps the rebel in him actually desired a balance of certainty and stability in the form of truly knowing what he wanted in life.

Shortly after the music stopped and they walked on together out to the verandah overlooking the garden. I too continued my duties ensuring the guests were well served, but the wisdom lingered on. Perhaps I too needed this balance of testing out new concepts for the inn while maintaining the semblance of business as usual. Or perhaps my life needed a touch of finesse, like garnish to add color and art to a homecooked stew.

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