Reflections from Spirit Rock, July 25th, 2015
Shame is an obscuration of our spirits, our souls. I say this from personal experience as well as professionally having worked with hundreds of people over the years to develop the AST Model of Holistic Shame Resolution®. From the perspective of action, it is an inhibitor; and in the energetic body it is the master dimmer switch. Honestly, we can’t ford it; the world in its present state cannot afford shame’s mass inaction and spiritual diming. If we keep in mind that conditioned shame is not only individual, it is also intergenerational as well as collective and systemic, we can see the face of shame readily peering at us from all around the globe. Of course, shame triggers and consequences differ once we cross national, cultural, religious, and gender boundaries, but the sacrifice of our purest selves due to shame’s inhibitory nature remains true wherever we go. Yet, every corner of our planet needs those of us who have access to our most vital selves, our clearest, most divinely embodied consciousness.
Of course, the shame state has been with us since the beginning. It is a mammalian response to having our actions or persons placed inside an invisible box of unacceptability. Nature has designed shame as a training program to teach young mammals what behavior is dangerous to the self, others or the herd. It is a fast track neurobiological method for preserving a societies social order be it chimp, a pack of dogs, or a group of human beings.
The tricky part, is that when shamed, it is often impossible for us humans to distinguish between one’s behavior being bad and the self being bad, or unworthy. Nothing robs us of our presence faster than fear or shame and nothing keeps our inner light dimmed longer than shame. So we might consider that allowing the shroud of shame to lift, individually, inter-personally and societally matters. It matters in the quality of our lives, our ability to be present, to shine our purity, just the way our awareness of the present moment matters to the quality of our lives and the world around us.
The unshaming process that I facilitate calls in an opening, an allowing. It considers the possibility of shame neurobiologically as mentioned, but also as a practice, a practice in service of consciousness at the detriment of ego. To experience shame’s prodigy of unworthiness, unlove-ability, self-loathing, or inadequacy is no different than indulging ego’s grandiosity. Although the messages and behaviors are different, they both sprout from a fleeting, mental and emotionally limited construct of self. There is no spiritual worthiness in carrying shame. None. Spiritual worth comes from essence, from purity and innate beingness, or conscious awareness and connection to the whole.
Spiritual worth is about wholeness. Shame is about isolation. Commonly, we think the opposite of shame is pride, but it is not. The notion of pride as the corrective to shame is a projection, one that arises still from the shame wound in search of completion. Pride, as we know, can often serve as an armoring or a compensation, a way to protect oneself from being shamed. The broad, upright stance of pride looks like the opposite of shame, but it is not a true alchemizing of the shame wound. It is not fully realized shame transformation.
The body shows us the opposite of shame is the flow of vital life force energy. This energetic expression can be called empowerment, or it can be called pure form. Most of us strive to harness and direct all forms of our expression toward the highest good. So, whatever expression lies frozen in shame will meet with our discernment when the shame freeze melts.
So to allow the shroud of shame to lift within our own bodies, minds and spirits and facilitate it’s lifting in our relationships, parenting, work lives, communities, and around the world is an important act of cultivating greater consciousness and purity. Yes, it can also be seen as personal growth or self-help work, and we can come to understand it also as a practice in service of clarity, purity and higher consciousness.
In our Western cultures shame can function rather insidiously. What I am referring to is how shame trains us to be “nice.” It trains us to halt what we know to be right speech, or thought or action. That’s why I said in the beginning that the world is in need of people who have transformed their shame wounds. If we look around objectively we see the world is calling us to be alive, vital, and present; shame certainly gets in our way.
If none of us were emotionally and neurobiologically attached to our shame reactions, we would halt shame and not allow shame to halt our highest discernment. We would give space to what is wanting to come into light, to become more whole and shine. If we allowed our attachment to shame to fall away, a new level of self-compassion would be available and we would practice an effortless presence more connected to our aliveness, our purity, and our gratitude. In every moment that we manage to detach even the tiniest increment from shame, our inner and outer lives become reflections of our hopeful, acceptance-based peace.
AST Model LIVE Intro: Los Angeles
July 31st, 6-8:30pm
EXPERIENCE AST MODEL LIVE:
FREE AST Model Intro: Los Angeles, July 31st, 6-8:30pm
Hosted in a private home in Los Angeles, Ca. Space is limited.
Please join Caryn on July 31st, from 6-8:30pm in Los Angeles, for a free, live intro to the AST Model®. The intro will include AST Model theory, group work, and a live Demo by Caryn. Space is limited, and once filled, we will take names on a waiting list basis. Don’t miss this rare opportunity.