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Build Your MESHE - Seek the Space:
A Process for Reclaiming the Shadow
by KD Farris, Ph.D.
Iíd like to demonstrate the interweaving relationships of MESHE, HESHE, MISON & ORBIT so that you can see how your relationship with yourself (MESHE), your relationships with others (HESHE), and your relationship to the whole of life (MISON) allows for a clear detection of your shadow.
Our shadow is most often seen when we project it onto others. Because it is comprised of the parts of ourselves that we do not accept, we often recognize it only after we have reacted to it in someone else. A good indication that what we are reacting to in others is really our own shadow is our dramatic response to it. We will either revere it to the point of lowering our own image of ourselves, making us feel less than others, or weíll hate it to the opposite extreme of raising ourselves up, making us feel better than others. I call these "raisings" and "lowerings" ORBIT, for they cause us to react in endless ungrounded patterns either emotionally, physically, or mentally since they are themselves not grounded in truth.
The biggest misconception about the shadow is that it hides from us things we would not want to see in ourselves, but the truth is that there is only our splendor awaiting. Stay with me here and Iíll show you what I mean.
MESHE - (mee-shee) your relationship with yourself
Visualize yourself and everyone else in the world as a hand-drawn flower. The center of our flowers symbolize the first principle of MESHE - being present - and around this center circle we each have endlessly unfolding petals that make up (1) What We Like & Love, (2) our Physical Body & Environment, (3) our Creativity & Expression, (4) our Intuition & Inner Voice, and (5) our Authority & Personal Truthz. The second principle of MESHE states the necessity of these five elementís presence at all times, that is to say that the stronger every personís MESHE is, the more evenly balanced are these five main aspects of self.
Now, the reason I say "endlessly unfolding petals" is because throughout our lifetime a flow of development in these five areas continues to occur. For every moment that we are present - in MESHE - we are changed, and that change creates a deepening, a widening, or a new birth of Petals. As we learn to reclaim our shadow, so we further grow our MESHE and on and on it goes throughout our lifetime.
To make this visual and tangible Iíd like to ask you to do a drawing with me that will accompany this description:
Take a blank piece of paper and lay it out horizontally. Draw a circle in the bottom right-hand corner with five evenly sized flower petals around it - this is a MESHE Flower. Draw a second MESHE Flower into the top left-hand corner. The two MESHE Flowers you have just drawn represent all the MESHEs in the world. Just multiply by a trillion!
HESHE - (hee-shee) your relationship with others
Now, look to the blank Space between the two MESHE Flowers youíve drawn. That is the place where your relationships take place - in the empty Space between yourself and another. Not in the circle of each otherís flower, nor in yours or someone elseís petals, but in the Space between yourself and another. It is in this clean, clear Space that a third thing is born, the thing that is your authentic relationship.
To represent the third thing created in this wonderful clear Space, letís draw into the middle of the page between the two MESHEs a bird about the size of the flowers. Weíll call this the Third Bird. Third, because it is the third thing created and Bird, because it has the characteristics of flight, in that your authentic relationship exists without the boundaries of what we as humans normally feel constrained by.
What is authentically between yourself and another is not restricted to time and space as we usually know it. The Space is there whether you are together or not, and the authentic relationship can exist even beyond our lifespan. I use a bird flying through the air to convey a sense of surpassing these kinds of normal boundaries. So, if you ever feel disconnected from your loved ones, just go within, tune into the Space that is there between you, and feel your way back to them....
When youíve finished drawing the Third Bird, wrap a circle around it. This same circle goes all the way around the world. It is how all of us relate to everyone else, all of the time.
Not all people who come in contact with each other will have a Third Bird arise in the Space. And not all relationships will always be able to detect the third thing that they create. Sometimes, relationships drop away and will only return once all there is is clean clear Space, from which quite often, something authentic arises again. Deep long-lasting relationships tend to build a solid base of love and trust which weathers well through the ages, creating a tangible sensation ever present between them.
The healthiest of relationships have a large area of clean clear Space for both people to express and respond in their individual ways, as well as a few Third Birds that they make. The more developed the MESHEs, the larger the Space and healthier the Third Bird.
MISON - (my-sahn) your relationship to the whole of life.
Back to the drawing we go. In the upper right-hand corner draw a circle with eight to twelve lines radiating out. The lines moving back toward the left and center of the page are going to be longer then the ones reaching toward the upper right-hand edges. Your imagination, however, sees the lines reaching across all of life. Take the lines toward the far edges but when you get to the MESHE Flowers and the Third Bird, allow the lines to stop at the images and then resume after they have passed so that you arenít drawing lines over these symbols.
These radiating lines represent your relationship to life, grounding deeply into everything you know. MISON is the relationship you have that is the foundation for everything else. This is why we donít want to draw over our other symbols, for what we want to see when we look at this picture is the way in which everything sits upon MISON.
MISON is our foundation; it is why and how we got here. Its principles are of pure acceptance - no-mind, oneness, the whole. If you want to get a taste of MISON, go out into nature and watch how the rocks and river, mountain and oceans live. When we tune into their stillness, acceptance and all around beingness of their existence, we are able to feel how that too expresses something of our nature. Our connection to spirit, the whole, nature, whatever you want to call it, allows us to survive this crazy, in-your-face world. If you are feeling a little overrun by the activity of daily life, you might just need to reconnect with the great outdoors. Other ways of restoring this much needed connection can come from being with animals, listening to and writing music, exposure to art, poetry, movement and meditation.
ORBIT - (or-bit) falling out of relationship with ourselves, others and the whole of life
The symbol for ORBIT is three concentric circles. When I draw them, I start with a little circle, then a bigger one around it, and bigger one around that.
Letís go to the picture again. The space that lies between the two MESHE Flowers and the Third Bird is fertile ground for us to project our shadow. Go ahead and draw ten or twelve symbols of varying sized ORBITs throughout the image to represent the presence of the shadow from both MESHEs. Make sure they remain between the Flowers and the Third Bird, though, and try to place an even amount on both sides.
As you do this, observe how easily the Space between the MESHEs fills up. See how the ORBITs block the MESHEs access and view, one to the other. And how it can even begin to block the Third Bird - our well-earned, authentic relationship.
Now letís begin to put a personal touch on these ORBITs, and start the process of discovering and detecting our shadow.
The best way I know for owning our own shadow is to gather up every criticism, discomfort or fear we have about the people around us, for that, in a nutshell is where the shadow lies. Add to that list the parts of ourselves that we are aware we do not like or we fear are not good enough in some way and we have a master serving of the shadow complete.
What we might not know is that this material, this simple list that many of us, were we to be honest about it, could come up with in five or ten minutes, is not as under control as we think, and not as short as we might first imagine. The list is long and its effects run rampant in our lives. You can see, from the drawing you have just made how invasive our ORBITs can be, how they limit the Space between ourselves and others, block a clear view of our partners, as well as intrude upon the access to our authentic relationship.
Take a moment now and go through this list as Iíve just described it and see what you can come up with if you donít think about it too hard and you donít censor your responses. Think through it in relationship to your family, friends and acquaintances - our reaction to the checkout person in the grocery store can reveal as much about our shadow as a strong response to a sibling or mate. When you detect a response write it in a similar sentence most closely related to these examples:
Janeís friend Angela is so much prettier than I am. She dresses smartly, is lean and athletic, and Iím just a chocolate bonbon eating freak.
When Lydia bites her nails I want to scream at her, "Donít you know how beautiful your hands would be if you stopped biting your nails!"
When Adam talks to his old girlfriend on the phone, I feel jealous, stupid and angry.
When my mother calls me every day to ask me if I miss her, I feel sick in my stomach.
Jessica is so creative, I could never be as imaginative as she is.
Our own list of five or six responses will be the personalizations we can now associate with the ORBITs on our side of the picture we have drawn.
Open Circles - a process for reclaiming the shadow
We are about to add to this picture the last of our set of symbols - Open Circles. Open Circles are the working symbol for things we want to get into MESHE with or we want to work on for ourselves. The process of adding these Circles to this image will help us to detect and reclaim the shadow, while providing a process for emptying out the Space between ourselves and others.
Letís now add to the drawing a row of Open Circles that runs down both edges and resides on the outside of each MESHE Flower. When you have completed drawing them you should see that the MESHE Flower on the lower right-hand side of the page now has a vertical row of Circles to the right of it, and the MESHE Flower on the upper left-hand side now has a vertical row of Circles to the left of it.
Now letís review the sentences we wrote out and see if we canít turn each of them into a Circle that names our shadow. Apply this same stream of consciousness process to your own list of sentences:
Janeís friend Angela is so much prettier than I am: One of my shadows is that I think I am not pretty enough. So, I would place into a Circle something to represent this view of myself.
She dresses smartly: Do I have judgments against people who dress well? Do I think they are trying to impress others? Or do I perhaps feel like I myself cannot afford good clothing, and maybe donít have the kind of taste that would allow me to own the sorts of clothing I see on others and envy? I will put into a different Circle each of the ideas I have discovered about myself related to this sentence.
She is lean and athletic: What is it about her being fit that threatens me? Is it our differences in body type that I feel I can never be like her? What is it in me that makes me think Iím supposed to look like her anyway? Or is it perhaps that I have been neglecting myself and I am uncomfortable because I see her putting her physical health first in a way that I have yet to do for myself? Again, I shall place into Circles those discoveries that best fit me personally.
Iím just a chocolate bonbon eating freak: Why am I being so mean to myself? I donít eat bonbons all the time. In fact, Iíve gotten to where I only eat three at one sitting and I eat them less then once a week. I used to eat them for days and never go outside. I have to stop being mean to myself for liking bonbons. And to be honest, if I exercised more, I would be less concerned about my diet in general. Iíll put exercise in one Circle, and being nicer to myself in another.
See how that works?
Now, for every shadow that you have named you get to remove one ORBIT symbol from the Space and write it into the Circles down the sides. Watch how the Space empties out as you decode the shadow, name the ORBIT, and reclaim the material by placing it on an Open Circle behind your MESHE Flower. Your focus and attention can now be on your own issues as you slowly make your side of the Space between the two MESHEs cleaner, healthier, and a more open fun place to play!
And what about the other personís side? Never mind about that! You take care of your own ORBITs, and if you run out of them give me a call. Iíll give you a free session and tell you what to do when you are the only person in the world who doesnít have any shadow work to do!
In all seriousness, you will only care what the other person is doing if you have shadow and ORBITs to reclaim. Otherwise, once your material is complete, the situation or relationship will either transform into something new, or slip away without the slightest painful notice.
Build Your MESHE - Seek the Space
So, the process of reclaiming the shadow is one of Building Your MESHE, which means being present in all that you do and expanding your MESHE in the areas of the Five Main Aspects of self; and Seeking the Space, which means naming and detecting your ORBITs and shadow material by pulling them over to your side of the Open Circles to be healed and transformed. The result is a vibrant way to honor the authentic relationships you have with your friends, family and acquaintances.
If youíd like to know more about the Five Main Aspects of self and how you can build your MESHE with them, thereby making for even stronger relationships, see my August 2001 article, Draw Your Way to Clarity Health & Balance with a MESHE Chart.
© Copyright 2002 KD Farris, Ph.D.. All Rights Reserved.
Read KD's Past Columns:
June 2002 - Revisiting: "The MESHE Concept - A Path to Soulful Living"
May 2002 - "Bodywork 101"
March 2002 - "Being Present Within Your Prosperous Life"
February 2002 - "HESHE and The Third Bird"
December 2001 - "Manifesting Your Perfect Partner with Personal Truthz"
November 2001 - "Remembering What We Already Know"
September 2001 - "Be Led By What You Are Trying to Avoid"
August 2001 - "Draw Your Way to Clarity, Health & Balance"
June 2001 - "Tending to the Negative Mind"
May 2001 - "Gentle Conscious Living"
April 2001 - "MISON and The Moment"
March 2001 - "The MESHE Concept - A Path to Soulful Living"
KD Farris, Ph.D. is a successful counselor, healer, and bodyworker. For more than twenty years she has taught
extensive workshops based on MESHE, HESHE, MISON & ORBIT as well as many other self-discovery topics.
KD began developing her integrated bodywork and counseling techniques in 1983 under the tutelage of many prominent doctors and healers throughout the United States.
Her education into the spiritual and physical aspects of the human experience served as the foundation for her private practice and the development of a new philosophy. She combined her techniques into four guiding principles, which she shares in her book, MESHE, HESHE,
MISON & ORBIT: What My Grandmother Taught Me About the Universe. She teaches a companion workshop series, where she creates an interactive environment demonstrating the material from her book with tangible, life altering effects. In these workshops, individuals discover a
deepening of their relationship to self, others, and life itself.
Through individual counseling and group workshops, she has taught her results-oriented programs to many different types of people including those confined to mental institutions, substance and food abusers, and generally, people in life transitions, struggling with intimate
relationships, or who lack direction in their lives. Visit www.kdfarris.com.
KD is currently touring a new body of work, Talking About People in Transition, Also Known As
Liminal Space. She will be writing about liminality and its relevance to day-to-day living in upcoming issues of Soulful Living. For more information on this new and exciting topic, or to learn about more her private practice, workshops and lectures, visit
Contact KD at: info@MESHE.com