Friday, 27 May 2011

Opening Doors

Sometimes the synchronicities in life truly astound me. How does the Universe manage to send me her messages in many shapes and forms, telling me what I need to explore at that poignant moment in time?
This week I have seen keys everywhere! It began whilst browsing Pinterest, where I discovered a stunning necklace with an ornate key pendant at its heart; it really spoke to me, it felt important somehow but I wasn’t exactly sure why. After this I stumbled upon a promotion poster for the film Coraline, which has a large keyhole in the centre with the following profound words within:

The braver you are the more you’ll see.

This quote has had quite an impact on me. Unlocking the braveness within is an aspect of myself that I am working extremely hard on. I am an introvert. I like my own company and if I am honest with you, having to go into the outside world can often fill me with much dread. I am not great in crowds, I am pretty rubbish at parties or gatherings and new, unfamiliar experiences have me worrying days and nights in advance. I like to hide, to keep my head down, I like to listen and people watch. But the thing is that sometimes I have to make myself go out into the big wide world because I know there is so much to learn and enjoy. I have to be brave in order to see the riches the world has to offer and in order to kindle and nurture joy within myself.

So last night was a time to be brave as the opportunity arose to go to a Richard Marx concert at the Birmingham Symphony Hall. The beautiful music of Richard Marx has accompanied my throughout my life, for every song of his I have a memory- pretty special that. I dreamed and dreamed and dreamed some more of seeing him in concert as a teenager so this was a chance to actually grant myself a wish, if only I could make myself go and not let the anxiety dragons conquer. And you know what, I managed it! The concert was absolutely awesome. His support singer was John Parr, of St Elmo’s Fire fame,  and that was worth the ticket price in itself for he is a cool dude indeed. As for Richard himself - well they don’t make them like that in the music industry anymore and that is for sure. Not only was his voice stirring, so full of passion and honesty, even after all these years, but the man had an brilliant connection with the audience, it was like he was there to just hang out with each and every one of us.  At one point he unplugged his guitar, stepped away from the microphone and sat on the edge of the stage to sing; you could have heard a pin drop. It was beautifully personal, magical. I am so glad I managed to unlock that brave door for the night.

The icing on the messages cake is the story of Bluebeard, which I read this morning  in Women Who Run With Wolves, with its mysterious key as leitmotif. Estes invites the reader to unlock the door inside which holds the negative part of our minds, which houses the harsh, hard, difficult thoughts, memories and experiences. Estes speaks of the need to recognise what horrible monsters may be lurking there, to acknowledge them so you can protect yourself by dealing with them, keeping them in control instead of letting them run riot and taking over. She argues that we can smooth over the cracks and pretend to ourselves that everything is fine but that if we really want to know ourselves, to really connect with that creative wild woman, to really be free, then we must choose to open that door, armed for battle. In the story the magical door only opens when the main character asks herself what the extra key she has been given might be for and what might be behind the door belonging to the key. She asks questions to explore and set herself free. I really like the idea of that as so often I see my questions as over thinking, over annalysing, not as something fruitful in the long term.  The poor woman has to go through a pretty horrid time once she does discover what is there, but in the end she is the stronger, more connected for having faced her demons. Once she stops being so very afraid she is charged with soul power, with a fierce determination, with grit. She even manages to turn her story to her advantage. What a warrior! I shall leave you with my favourite paragraph from the chapter-  this is what I want to experience:

“...the psychic key, the ability to ask any and all questions, about oneself, about ones family, one’s endeavors.... Then like a wildish being who sniffs things out, snuffles into and under and around to discover what a thing is, a woman is free to find trues answers to her deepest and darkest questions. She is free to wrest the powers from the thing which has assailed her to turn those powers, which were once  used against her, to her own well suited and excellent uses. That, is a wildish woman.”

- Clarissa Pinkola Estes

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