It’s always easier to recognize ourselves from our fragments than from our Wholeness. At least at first. The fragment for this East direction was our Escapist, the part that takes us up and out and is usually something we can all relate to. But what, exactly, do we mean by Innocent/Sage, Trickster/Fool?
You have a part of you that is able to hold paradox, the both/and of life. It’s not black and white.
For instance, Innocent suggests baby, at the start of life and Sage suggests, Wise One, someone at the end of life. That’s a paradox. We have both, something as innocent as a new born babe and as wise as a Sage.
One of my favorite images for this facet is, Raftiki, from the Lion King. He embodies the innocent, wise one. He models presence, in the moment thinking and he’s wise. He sees the big picture of what is happening and he wants you to see it too. He's not afraid when it looks like something isn't going according to the plan. He says wait. Wait for it.... Plus, he's not opposed to whacking you over the head when you really need to 'get' something.
Whenever you have a moment of clarity, where you just sense the big picture of your life, where you are struck with wisdom and you wonder, “Where did that come from?”, that’s your Innocent Sage. It brings your 'Ah ha!' moments.
So what about the Trickster/Fool? Well, it just made me think about the Road Runner from the cartoons when I was a kid. He always had a trick up his sleeve, poking fun at the coyote, causing the coyote to encounter himself. The Trickster in us sometimes uses creative means to get us to ‘see’ things about ourselves. Have you ever had a moment of really seeing yourself? Sometimes it can be hard to see. I have had moments of feeling tricked into seeing myself and my motivations. The trickster of me can help me to laugh at myself and not take myself too seriously, to not be attached to outcomes but, like I said before, to see the bigger picture. The trickster exposes my illusions about myself and gives me a larger understanding of the events of my life or of myself. It uses pranks and mischief, confronts us with paradox and helps us lighten up. It really does help us see the both/and of ourselves. When you gain understanding for why you are the way you are, hold yourself with compassion (Nurturing Generative Adult) and are able to hold the both/and, the yes, I’m like this, but I’m also like this….that’s the East part of you. When you are anchored in the East part of yourself, you aren’t trying to attract or repel others, you are what you are, to yourself and to others.
Here’s some ways to help you remember. Think of the East…what does it inspire in you?
The rising sun, light after the dark.
Beginnings after endings.
Illumination and enlightenment.
Our world expanding beyond the fears of the night.
This one of us is also concerned with extroversion…with the light of day, we walk out into the world. The East directs our attention and intention beyond ourselves and out into the world.
The East of us also has a spiritual component to it. This is the part of ourselves that is most at home with the mysteries of the Divine. Unlike our escapist who wants to take us up and out, our East facet wants us to experience true connection with Spirit, not the kind we find with substances.
So, how do we access or strengthen this part of ourselves?
Some East practices…meditation, movement based meditations, yoga, trance drumming/dance, contemplative prayer.
If you don’t have a sense of humor, perhaps look for ways to laugh more…clown around, see if you can unleash your own trickster.
Nature observation is a great one. Go on a praise walk. See if you can look at everything with beginners eyes. Don’t label things trees, rocks or flowers. Look at them as if you had never seen them before. What do they want to be called? Children would have no problem doing that…remember, you have an innocent one, also capable of being enchanted by the world and not afraid to show it. Let yourself be surprised by what you find. When you find a thing that draws you, praise it. Have you ever seen a thing quite so lovely? So amazing? So enthralling? If you feel like you look silly, laugh at yourself...maybe you do look silly and that's ok. When was the last time you were ok with looking silly?
Practice a loving kindness meditation….with every step you take, step with love on the earth.
What do you notice? What do you see?
Have fun with this. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Enjoy yourself and the world around you.
This world was made for you to be free in.