Duality: the Dark & Light Within
I've come to embrace my duality. Without the darkness of life's experience, the light is rarely felt so joyfully. I've understood this from a tender age. It is why I write. I guess you could say that I write in an attempt to reach for the light of understanding. It started in college when I found the courage to write about crime and law for the newspaper and to interview judges and attorneys for a BBC radio show. I needed to know how some horrific things happened to those I loved. Why did some criminals get set free? Why were disturbed boys and men able to easily get guns and shoot girls they stalked? Why did a rapist attack more than 40 women, as he impersonated a cop, and not be put away for life? Why weren't more women protected on college campuses where parking lots had poor lights, no cameras, or campus police? This led me to ask bigger questions and to cover crime for more newspapers when I graduated. And while I got a job even before I graduated, I quickly learned that this pursuit for answers to dark questions came with a price. Covering murder and crime for newspapers plunged me into a sticky, fog of darkness. Reporting on crime is being a witness to what most don't want to see. You witness the oddly normal face of evil, greed among those who you'd least expect, and indifference, so much indifference...My stints as a reporter in the North Carolina mountains, and in Maine, and in Maryland, led to story ideas. These ideas led to books. Today, I strive for balance. The yin and the yang. It's why I switched my focus to writing for health and wellness magazines and retreat centers like Canyon Ranch. It's why I became a yoga and meditation teacher, too. On a recent birthday, I went to a Buddhist retreat center in the Northern California mountains. I learned about Tibetan philosophy and meditation and how leaning in and accepting our dark aspects can help us to not be afraid and then choose forgiveness and lighter paths. That's where I am today. I can lean in and accept how it felt to witness or experience dark moments, and then pivot, through breath and meditation, to trust of the present moment of the road ahead. Meditation is the unplug, reset button. After I stop thought, even for 10 minutes, I can then feel more gratitude, appreciation, and feel connected to God's light: an expansive and loving consciousness. When connected, only hope, potential, and love is felt. All that fear and anxiety disappears.