The Dark Side of Passion

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I recently ran into this meme on Facebook, and it really got me thinking.

Passion. Sometimes it shows up as brilliant creative inspiration, yet it's invitations aren't always so gracious. I've found that - like most things - passion comes in all shades, and its darker impulses sometimes overwhelm me. When I feel lost to a yearning, my wounds and/or latent desires can unwind me from reason and lead me to project a zealous fixation onto someone or something outside of me. In these rare instances a passionate hunger envelops, consumes, and infatuates my senses. I lose touch with myself for the sake of latent desire's ravenous need to announce and full-fill itself.

Yet most news is good news if you know how to frame it.

I've come to believe that, even when we find ourselves bat-shit-crazy, passion is present because something within us has come alive. A potential has been sparked even if we may not be ready or fully equipped to own or express it. We are "out there" aching passionately for HIM/HER or IT or THAT because we are starved for an expression and/or change that is coming alive within and through us.

A few years ago, I had a wicked crush on a distant colleague. I mean it. I was dumbstruck by her presence, her beauty, and her unabashed embodiment of her sensual wow-factor when she danced. She seemed fearless and irreverently expressive, and I was drawn to her... enamored. I wanted what she had and therefore longed to know her and befriend her so that I could bask in her courage. I emulated her movement and attempted to forge a bond. Thankfully she didn't reciprocate my desire for connection, and I was left to seek nourishment on my own. What began for me as an echoing of the confidence she demonstrated, soon turned into my own brand of sexy-self possession. Once I embodied the potential she had helped to unearth in me, once I began to express it on my own, her presence no longer influenced me in the same way and her unavailability and disinterest in me no longer pained me the way it had early on. My passion found it's sovereign and rightful expression and the experience taught me a shit-ton about the how&why of SO many former infatuations in my life, both in friendship and in matters of the heart.

The point is this...
On the other side of our madness lies our truth.

Whenever I'm busy longing for HIM or IT or THAT, I no longer step forward. I take a step back and I take stock. I know now that a hungry passion longs deeply for an inner devotion to what is ripening with ME. It's inviting me to show up and express something in a way that I never have before. And when I am courageous and vulnerable enough to become responsive (vs. reactive), I'm emboldened by passion's dark and elusive callings as well as its more brilliant inspirations.

I've found that ALL shades of passion contain within them the potential to feed my creative advancement when coupled with sovereignty and the willingness to take my power back.

Own your bat-shit-crazy... & don't allow it to own you.



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When The Masks Come Off


Today's a shit storm of emotion for me... my keep-your-shit-together dam is bursting at the seams. I'm on day two of a detox and for those of you who've never been through one, take it from me... it's not for the faint of heart. MY idea of a cleanse does not involve starving; only abstinence from substances that provide solace outside the realm of nutrition.

And so... all of the ugly I've been masking, all the feelings I've been stuffing, every deeper craving I've disowned in the past year is coming up like a surging fountain spilling at my feet. It's pooling there, creating a mirror for me to look into.

Let's just say I'm not really loving everything I see.

So why do it?...
This choice (what some might consider self-denial) is becoming my annual spiritual departure from just that... the daily denial of self. Without my habitual addictions there's nowhere to turn from the honest-to-god truth inside. No sweets to sooth an ancient anxiety. No caffeine to conquer my raging resistance. No grains to soak up the beautiful ugly messes I've made.

Just me, no longer running from self.
Seeing it all for what it is.

It's deeply uncomfortable.
And it's profoundly worth it.

Over the course of the next month, I know from experience that I will continue waking up to myself in ways that I have been avoiding. However uncomfortable it might be, burning through these early days of discomfort will do more than clear my body of toxins, it will clear the same from my heart and mind.

I get my courage from sharing with you.
So thanks for listening.

P.S. Disclaimer: This post is not meant to be in advocacy of cleansing as a right of passage, per se. It's in support of *whatever it is* you brave in favor of the truth.

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Yesterday's Rant. Inside My Crazy.


Welcome to yesterday's rant. It wasn't meant for your eyes when I sat down to write it. And, that's exactly why it feels worth sharing. ;)

Today is a bitch. I'm feeling stuck and unclear. 
Wildly uncertain of which direction to move in. 

I sit down to write and stare blankly at the screen. I start working on a new project, only to half-ass it... my mojo drains so fast I hardly have time to push the save button. Yesterday and today combined, I've spent roughly 6 hours in front of my computer accomplishing next to nothing. Writer's block doesn't even begin to describe it.

My mind is a madhouse.

A couple of days ago, I made a commitment... it's a reach in a very positive direction, AND it is one that I'm crazy anxious about pulling off. My past track record has me feeling unsettled. Can I really make this happen gracefully? How will I make good on my promises? to me. my partner. my business. my bank account.

When will I begin to see a clear path from a to z? Can I really create a life that doesn't require me to work nonstop in order to live it as I see fit? Am I naive to think that I can really have it all?

And
oh holy hell, here it comes... the white wash of shame descends upon me, providing me with a detailed catalog of my faults, past mistakes, and deluded notions. My confusion completely blocks the flow of movement and creative expression. 

Or wait. Does it?

What if advancement forward isn't contingent upon clarity OR confidence? 
What if expression doesn't need be pretty (or figured-out) in order to have value? The voice that is most potent and meaningful is the voice that is REAL. 

My mind is forever changing; contradiction is its norm. The very same thoughts that yesterday built me up, may tomorrow leave me panting for air. 

And I know that 
once we see a way out, we can't un-see it. If we stay in a reality outgrown, we suffer. When we take the walk through the terror of the unknown, we'll likely discover something better than before.Eventually. I have seen it so. For me. For many.

Personal evolution isn't all about positive thinking and the reach for higher vibrations. So-called "negativity" is an essential indicator of dissonance between where we are and where we want to be. To reach our potential we must learn to harness the power of our own destruction. Life means willingly (and sometimes heartbreakingly) destroying what no longer serves us in order to rebuild a life anew. 

Negativity
can be a total mind-fuck OR it can show me what keeps me from my desires. The difference is in taking the note being offered and doing something with it, versus getting sucked into stories and emotional quicksands. I won't buy into my insecurities, nor will I hide them from myself or others. Any habit of thought that makes me feel like shit can be shifted quicker in the owning. I accept my crazy notions, and strive to build a live where they no longer have room to roam. 


Here's hoping that yesterday's emotional shit-storm (and the inevitable de-construction of an outdated-me) isn't for naught... it's a story worth sharing. 

Even if not. It's real. And that's good enough for me.

Yours in crazy cahoots,
Candice


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Shadow Sister


heads up, shadow sister
shame is on your sweet provocative ass
she's a righteous nag who wags her finger at your
wild truth
critiquing your
crazed animal heart 
until it crouches in the corner
quivering with doubt
wishing to be
f r e e

I see you
you (with)hold it in
when you could 
p o u r 
it
out

you suck it up
when you could 
b l o w
it
down

secrecy smothers the breath out of life
faking satisfied succulence drains a life dry

I see you
for we see what we are
nothing more. nothing less.

therefore the biggest lie
is that you are
alone


you’re not alone
you are a silent refuge
an orphan separated from her sister tribe
a revolutionary cast behind the bars of pretense

what if you could
safely wear a tender heart rubbed raw
right on your sleeve?

what if everyone woman
who thought herself a fucking mess
could be held in a share of her story?

what if
the very wounds that hold us hostage
were actually rebel forces meant to ride us
to freedom?

you can
she can
they are


you don’t have to squeeze yourself into a life
that doesn’t fucking fit

scared to let go?
afraid of what people will think?

me, too.
and
these two
precious words
have the power to
set us free

~
“Shadow Sister”
CandiceSchutter.com



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Making Sense of The Dark

The best sense I have made of my shadow is how it enables me to empathize and support others. Here's a peek into some insights that have sprung from my journeys in the dark. 
For years I wrestled with debilitating anxiety and tidal waves of depression. Despair has seized control over my heart and mind on more than one occasion. I have secretly gorged my body and nervous system with stimuli and comforts in an effort to drown out the pain. I've wallowed in hopelessness, hidden under the covers, cursed my fate, and ripped at the very fabric of who I am. I know what it is to plummet into the deep and dark. 
Rise and fall is how life propels us forward. Movement through unexpected currents is inevitable; but staying stuck in the undertow is a choice. Thus, I strive to become a savvy surfer. Mostly I've learned that if I want to be happy in life, I've gotta summon the power to ride the waves rather than resent them. When I face my fear and meet their challenge, I reach highs I never thought I would. 


I've given my power over to bullies, bosses, gurus, and convincing critics, drowning out my own voice to avoid disapproving tones or the spotlight of my discontent. I've been infuriated at the ways others seem so strong, making "it" look easy. I've bought into facades of perpetual togetherness, believing I must be alone (or somehow broken) in my disordered process.  

Power isn't something that can be taken, only surrendered. I set clear, heartfelt boundaries without saying a word when I'm standing in my fullness. I've learned not to make assumptions about what motivates others and that jealousy is just a way we keep ourselves small. Most of all, my precious energy is no longer misplaced; I spend myself only on those I feel I can be safely raw and real around. 


I live a mostly untethered life, which means that I disappoint people from time to time - taking a road less traveled for the sake of a larger sanity. I know what it feels like to be judged for not conforming… to be labeled naïve and immature for believing that we each have a right to live our lives without compromising our unique preferences. I’ve been called selfish, fickle (and worse) for being unwilling to settle in life. 

What people think of me isn't my business. I'm not interested in convincing you or anyone else of my way in the world... I want you to find your own. My tenacity and refusal to settle for less eventually pays off in the end. This has proved true in every area of my life. 


I know what it’s like to sacrifice stability for the sake of integrity… to not know where the rent is coming from… to ache in wonder of
what's next?... or... how in the hell am I gonna pull this off? I've let go of a whole lot of goodness in order to find ever-more greatness. And yes, change almost always pisses me off before I welcome it in. 
Resistance is raw power - potential unrealized. Fear and I have wrestled as frenemies for years; yet, I've recently come to love her for how her shamanic sourcery summons my courage to surface when I am willing to push back. 


I am most at home in the gray areas of life… where one person’s savior is another’s worst enemy… when the wrong thing is the right thing at the time… and where the person who does the guiding is the one most needing to take a humble detour along the way. 
We see the world through our eyes only. Therefore it's always a gamble to share your truth because only some will have a similar focus. Agreement, distain, or indifference... however this lands. Honor it. I see your truth, and I raise you a high five. 



How about you? What is the dark helping you to see more clearly?
Share your thoughts in the comments below...



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A (Tough) Love Letter


A Love Letter to The Real You:

I have no interest in your credentials, your street smarts, or your childhood wartime anthem. I welcome the raw and rowdy shit-storm that would erupt were you to explode your ugliest truth, the angry pent-up power buried beneath the story. I dare you to show me YOU in all your dancing naked singing karaoke at the top of your lungs no holds barred glory.
I want to see you as you are - beautiful broken bits and all.

On this Valentine’s Day, I invite you to step outside of pretense with me. For regardless of your orientation in body and heart, when you come out, you eventually fall in
love with who you were meant to be in this world. The real you is sexy as hell.

Take an emotional romp in an unmade bed, touching upon your heart’s forbidden places so that you might cry out in the ecstasy of releasing fully to what is real.
Like your body’s yearning, so does your soul’s cold hard truth soften in the sharing. May your self-seduction stir you into silent contemplation of the beauty and the beast within - the universal ugly that you share with each one of us. In exposing your madness, you permit me to find peace in my own.

I want to tell you something about
perfect love. It’s all a lie. Perfection, that is. Every single person you admire is secretly flawed and unwillingly imperfect, too. Everyone makes a mess from time to time. Especially me.

But ya know what? I’m tired of apologizing for it.
Aren’t you?

I’ve come to discover that it’s not my flaws that cause me and the people around me pain. It’s pretending not to have them... fighting to be above it all wreaks havoc on our lives. It is our denial that breeds anger, drama, and dysfunction. It is our self-abandonment and presumption that we can offer ourselves unconditionally and fully to another that gets us into trouble. Surrender of sovereignty gets in the way of offering real love. And spiritual bybass is a convenient excuse to avoid being vulnerable; it’s time we call ourselves on that shit.

I think you’re smokin’ hot when you forget to put on good face.
Can you love me there, as well?

If so, I think we have a chance to change this crazy world where secret selves cry out by inflicting pain on one another. But we gotta start with each other.

I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours.

I love you,
Candice

P.S. Learn to
Love Thyself First


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Bless This Mess - Humility's Gift


One of the things that most fascinates me about the human experience is its endless variations and vantage points. Even when we attempt to put our best foot forward, we step on one another’s toes simply because we each have our own rhythm to follow.

Conflict used to scare the shit out of me. In my twenties I fought the good fight only with myself, the emotional residue of my childhood left me paralyzed in the face of dissonance of any kind. So I morphed myself into someone who took great pains to please the people around me. It was an exhausting and relentless pursuit... all to avoid hurting anyone. Unfortunately, I was beating myself down in the process.

I have since learned that in order to lift the veils of protection, you have to be willing to take a hit from time to time. That is how you come to know your edges. We discover sovereignty and self-dominion by giving over our power, then reclaiming it again.

Tremendous growth can also happen when we are vulnerable enough to reveal something of ourselves that hasn’t yet seen the light of day; and sometimes that shadow truth shows up as a white hot mess. It doesn’t come out right. We feel exposed. Feelings get hurt. Some less than flattering aspect of ourselves is revealed. We wonder at the point of it all.

Yet regret is rarely helpful; it is powerlessness disguised. It often impedes self-empathy for what is done, is done. There is no point in holding yourself hostage to avoid facing the truth of what now lies before you. Accountability as an internal process contains within it the opportunity for needs to be revealed and a more honest expression of self to emerge... IF we are courageous enough to gaze upon ourselves and take the medicine being offered.

I can’t think of any greater power in my life than that of humility. When life knocks me on my ass, I may bitch and moan for a time... but I no longer stew in it for long because humility reminds me that pain has its purpose. It invites adjustment. Focusing on how to take the reach being offered is a far more worthwhile pursuit, as the mystery of growth reveals itself to us sooner when we are less resistant.

Particularly in the realm of relationship, sovereignty is key. I’m still learning how to love with an open heart, how about you? What to share... where to draw lines... and how to be present when wounds overlap and rub raw against one another. Join me as we dance this dance together... allow your pain points to show you how to navigate the world around you more consciously while healing your tender heart. Be humble to your own evolution, however bumpy the ride, and open to a larger vantage point beyond what you can see. Yet never surrender fully your core truth to the perception of those around you. When it comes to reality, we all see through a different lens. Seek not to convince others that your gaze reflects what is most real. Honor variance, tread lightly, and own what is yours (no more, no less).

And when you have no clue what to do, divorce your role as dramatic storyteller. Instead, find a safe container and tell the deepest truth you possibly can. If in doing so, you still make a mess of things, lean into the knowing that every dark explosion contains within it the potential for rebirth. Yet humility requires you to turn on the lights. Look around you; invite a new response to an old paradigm. And bless the mess that has revealed who you might come to be.


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Stop Hiding, Lil' Devil


QuoteHOLDING

Do you ever feel like you're posing in life?...
or maybe just squeezing yourself into a box you've outgrown?

Is there an avenue of your everyday that brings up a dull to acute anxiety within you?...
one you avoid whenever possible?

Do you ever feel your face warm - your body flood with pent-up energy
or frustration - when interacting with a particular person?


If you answered yes to any of those questions, there IS something you can do about it...

Stop. Hiding.

Doesn't sound like anything you haven't heard before, right?
Reveal more your brilliance!, she urges... 
• more of your opinions
• more of your gifts
• more of your values
• more of your body
• more of your talents
• more of your love
• more of your light
• more power...

blah blah blah... 
Heads up, Guru-smiley pants! You can put a freakin' rainbow on my workbook and tell me to breathe deeper, but it still hasn't stopped me from eating potato chips or snapping at my kids...

Let's face it. That cheerleading angel perched on your shoulder can sometimes feel like a nag... buzzing around your brain with affirmations and positive psycho-babble. Ugh. Would someone please shut her up?! 

You've got it. 
Sometimes "positive thinking" is just a cover for holding yourself hostage.

Let's look to the other shoulder. You see that
sarcastic lil' devil in that smart suit or red dress cut way too low?.. pouty lips, indifferent stance, eyes rolling? Yep. She's the one for you. Her delivery may need some work, but she's got the juice. 

I want you to fall head over heels in love with your provocative little shadow vixen. Why?

Because then you will begin to unveil:
• more of your (unpopular) opinions
• more of your (secret) gifts
• more of your (selfish) values
• more of your (naked) body
• more of your (underdeveloped) talents
• more of your (courageous) love
• more of (the real) you
• more (authentic) power

And that, my dear, is the key to your liberation. 
Owning. It. All.

Anxiety is the offspring of self-denial. Period. You are buzzing with discomfort because you are not allowing the full expression of what is real for you. The surge of energy that we know as anxiety is the body's natural realignment mechanism. It is urging you to
move your pent up power. 

The more you consciously exorcise your true voice and full power - however undesirable or divergent it may be - the less anxious you will feel. The irony is, you have to walk through the anxiety of exposure to find freedom from it. For best results, I suggest deconstructing your lil' devil in order to reveal it's saucy medicine. That's my favorite part...
showing you how your own unique brand of crazy (what you are likely hiding from the world) is just what you are here to share. 

And nope, I'm not worried at all about you aligning with that lil' devil. What if you start running around like the Queen of Destruction, lopping off heads without care?! Come on... we know you. You are WAY too ahead of the game... way too conscious... way to savvy... and way too smart for that shit. 

I trust you to handle the power you were born with. 
Do you?

Step out of the dark. 
And into to your true power. 

Off you go... 

Need some inspiration on how to get in alignment when it might create upset for others? 
Here's how I embraced the art of disappointing people, just this week!

Want to see one way I exorcise my vixen? 
Check her out. She's a fire-cracker. Mrowr!


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