Polarities - It's Never Either/Or, It's Always Both/And

When I began my psychosynthesis training this was the first lesson I received from my wonderful teacher and guide, Dorothy (Didi) Firman. The concept is simple — these polarities that exist within us hold tension, like pulling a rubber band - either/or thinking. We are stuck in these opposed positions. Should I be the good boy, or the bad boy? Should I try and please everyone, or shutdown completely and be a selfish bitch? Perhaps you struggle with passivity vs. establishing a hardcore driven-type of attitude. The one area many clients relate to is boundaries — being completely permeable and awash with other people’s needs, (causing “shoulds” to run our lives) vs. shutting the door completely on our humanity and looking only after ourselves.

If we look at figure 1 below we see the Yin energy of No-boundary. For example, maybe you are the type of person with boundary issues and you find it extremely hard to say no to people’s requests, etc. (you know the story!). It’s a recurring theme for you and your therapist keeps asking you to set boundaries, and you realize you should. But, of course, if it were that easy you would have succeeded in establishing boundaries. Through the crystal maze and the function of psychosynthesis coaching we can work to establish the third pole. Yes, you CAN have your cake and eat it too — it’s ALWAYS Both/And, and NEVER Either/Or, afterall.

Figure 1

Figure 1

Screw balance.

Balancing is really hard to do (and not the solution IMO) — how long can you stand on one foot? This idea of simply balancing our lives is problematic. My FB feed is full of reminders on how to live a more balanced life. It implies we can negotiate these polarities and that when we’re taxed on one extreme, we can simply pull to the other side. The issue is that we' haven’t fully accepted and embraced both sides of the polarity. And we can’t fully accept and harness the real power in these polarities without understanding the deeper needs of each side, and accepting them with love and appreciation. Again, it’s never either-or, it’s ALWAYS both/and.

Don’t be like this cat — unfortunately, you can’t balance your life by exhaustively trying to park in the middle of your polarities.

Don’t be like this cat — unfortunately, you can’t balance your life by exhaustively trying to park in the middle of your polarities.

In practical application we work with, through a process of unfolding purpose, subpersonalities and barriers, to align the yin/yang polarity and establish a synthesis of these qualities. We use many tools such as guided imagery, while holding sacred space for the client to help invoke a workable “third pole.” For example, establishing a position of empathy and discernment allows us to be flexible and invoke our wonderful pleasing/helper talents while accessing our more yang discernment. This gives you options — options and power to say yes to certain situations, and no to other relationships (work-related, friends, relationships in general) that are taxing our boundaries, breaching our walls and exhausting us. We need to hold both oppositions in place to envision this third pole.

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Psychosynthesis is more than enough to help an individual establish this third pole. However, life is challenging and that’s when we have the wonderful strength of your astrological birth chart to invoke. The birth chart reveals our inner psyche, motivations, conditioning, and yes, our polarities. It’s all in there, and it’s all well-researched. For example, if we have a quick look at the chart below we can see an obvious polarity (big red line running through the chart). This shows a polarity in family life/roots and our individuation/higher-calling that will be ever-present with the individual until they work through it through conscious and practical-good-old-fashioned-hard-work. The psychosynthesis practitioner is the to act as a guide, a companion through your spiritual unfolding. By working at this level we establish a healthy foundation which can let us evolve into the more higher-conscious and transpersonal realms of our spiritual development. Without doing the necessary groundwork at this level we risk spiritual-bypassing.

Tension! Polarities need not be such a burden!

Tension! Polarities need not be such a burden!

In your birth chart we can uncover polarities in many forms. You could have an excess of energy in “service to others” and might be driven to work or support. While this is a wonderful quality it’s also capable of making us neglect ourselves, family, etc. Or perhaps there are polarities in how we negotiate relationships? These can exist at unconscious levels (they usually do). Through astrological psychology we can quickly uncover these and much ore, very quickly. A life’s work takes a lifetime, but we can do the real work through the many tools within psychosynthesis and astrological psychology.