Treasures in your Shadow
‘One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.’ Carl Jung
For many the darkness of winter is a difficult time creating low mood and apathy. For me, I love to look at this time as a gift from Mother Nature, an opportunity to slow down, rest and heal ready to regenerate for the following spring. As the trees gracefully let go of their leaves and become bare, nature withdraws inside to sleep and dream of the coming spring. It is an ideal opportunity for you and me to let go of unnecessary baggage and to heal those parts of ourselves that have become neglected or we have hidden, what I call, my shadow. The shadow that follows me around yet when I look behind it is nowhere to be seen.
The shadow is in our unconscious and is literally those parts of ourselves we have turned a blind eye to, or are out of our current field of vision and doesn’t come in to full view unless emotions and memories are triggered that activate that part. Quite often we are so totally unaware because we have buried these memories so deep because they have been too painful to deal with at the time or it did not feel safe to express them. Understandable really!
So why would you want to befriend your shadow?
Although hidden these parts still have a powerful impact on your daily quality of life. Do you feel a part of you is missing or you feel drained or perhaps those limiting beliefs keep tripping you up and are still star of the show?
Many people keep themselves so busy as a way of avoiding facing these hidden parts. Perhaps you feel there are parts you don’t like about yourself that you would rather ignore and keep quiet. Why would you want to get in touch with sadness, hurt, anger and fear when you can go along your day in blissful ignorance?!
In truth your shadow is your friend because by keeping the shadow hidden it takes a lot of energy to keep these feelings suppressed causing tiredness and an imbalance in your health and vitality.
When we embrace our shadow, love all of ourselves as we are, we feel more complete and whole. We become our true authentic selves and not what society would have us be.
Let’s get personal with your Shadow
I believe it is our higher self that decides it’s time to look at our shadow. Our soul’s wisdom, that is connected to the infinite source of intelligence, knows exactly what it is we need for our personal and spiritual growth. Quite often it’s external events with other people that trigger old memories and hurtful feelings that are then brought to the surface. This may be an interaction with someone that has stirred up lots of emotion that has caused you to go in to a downward spiral.
Take the time to say hello and acknowledge the feelings and thoughts that are surfacing. Try to observe them, rather than engage in the drama of the feeling so you can begin to see more clearly what this pattern or how the shadow part is operating.
Most importantly come from a place of non-judgement for this is a part of YOU. This is the difficult aspect particularly if you have a pattern of judgement and perfectionism that has run in your blood like our family. Often our shadow is the parts and the stories and beliefs that have been passed down from our ancestors, our mothers and fathers stories and their grandmothers and grandfathers. A different time, a different place but nonetheless they have an impact on your beliefs, on your attitude and behaviours and your health. Ancestral healing has been an important part of my journey.
Let me give you an example: My shadow of judgement
Earlier this year a man I held with great respect accused me of having made a mistake after I had run a healing event. What I considered a big mistake. You can imagine how I must of felt being a person of high standards and morals. To me what he was saying was a big deal for me, something I had never done or had happened to me before. I am leaving the details of the story out because in reality it does not matter. What does matter is recognising what the pattern and dynamic is so I can learn from it in the future.
At the time I immediately went in to apologising, sympathising with him and in doing so I was implying I was responsible and he was quite happy for this to be the case.
I recognised something big was being triggered – old feelings and patterns of guilt, of taking responsibility for having done something wrong when in fact I hadn’t. I had reacted without first checking whether this was truth or in fact my truth. This was definitely a behaviour I experienced in my childhood. After I had calmed down and sought support with my mentor I realised in a shamanic journey what had really occurred. I realised that I had naturally given my power away to someone I perceived in authority because I was running a pattern of victim and accusation, when in truth this was just his perception that he had projected on to me because he too had been triggered and didn’t like what he felt and therefore looked to explain that away. At the time I took it like a fish – hook, line and sinker!!
The healing came when I instantly recognised this. One does need to step back from the situation and see things from a higher perspective. How often do we do that first?
The gift from my higher self was to see this pattern of persecution from a higher viewpoint so that I could heal this pattern at a deeper level. I moved from a place of self-judgement and being the victim of persecution to one of love, forgiveness and compassion, most importantly with myself first. Interestingly too, coming from this place there was no need to defend myself because I was not guilty and in that way the energy was diffused and something else became possible. The relationship with this man continues to be amicable and harmonious and of course my relationship with myself more compassionate. The ripple affects across my life were fundamental in shifting my relationship with myself. Also in the few days that followed I had people who had been involved in the event and yet was unaware of this issue, come up to me to express their gratitude and to say how much they benefited from my healing work. So this was another positive confirmation of the healing shift I was experiencing.
There are many lifetimes where many of us have experienced persecution, the effects of this we still feel in our current life. Have you noticed how what people say can trigger you in to feelings of old hurt, anger and fear? We can lose our sense of self and what is truth when this happens.
Our Shadow’s Golden Treasure
What we can find within our shadow is the wonderful golden treasure, the precious gifts and learning, waiting to be discovered. When we keep hidden these parts they stay in the shadow, still following us around, still running the show, creating self-sabotage, keeping us small and limited. When you befriend your shadow, heal and embrace with love something magical begins to happen as the energy that was stuck is literally set free.
Here’s a little exercise:
In quiet meditation light a candle –
Relax and breathe
Make sure you are grounded in your body.
You may like to first focus on the candle flame, noticing its light and warmth and flickering presence. When you feel relaxed gently close your eyes.
Imagine you are sitting on a seat in a beautiful garden. Sunshine is shining down upon you and the seat. You are enveloped in a warm glow.
Bring to attention an aspect of you that feels uncomfortable, that you don’t like or may be that is hurting because of something that has happened with someone. Focus not on the other person but invite the part of you that is hurt or fearful, or whatever it is feeling or thinking, to come forward.
Invite this part of you to come forward and sit next to you. It may be a younger version of yourself. Ask: How old are they? It is easier to see or sense this part outside of yourself first.
Listen to this other part. What does it want to share with you? What doubts, emotions and feelings does it have? Listen as you would to a friend sitting next to you, without judgement and with compassion.
Keep listening with all of your senses.
Connect with your Higher Self, the light and infinite source of wisdom. You may like to imagine this as pure golden light coming through the crown of your head and coming in to your heart, softening and expanding it. Feel your heart relax and expand and breathe in this light and love.
Send a stream of love from your heart to the part of you sitting on the seat next to you. Imagine they are in front of your heart receiving this flow of love. How does it feel as you both connect? Breathe in to the feeling and this connection.
What is the lesson? What is the gift in this situation?
When you are ready invite this other part of you to come forward and in to your heart to merge with you.
When you invite that part in to alchemical pot of your heart, it evokes the process of glorious transformation. Something magical begins to happen. Something new and different becomes possible. The love of your heart is alchemy in motion.
Just as base metal turns into gold, we find the golden treasure within the shadow and we realise we are already whole.
Love transcends the shadow, the shadow becomes part of the light and the light becomes part of the shadow. The shadow is seen, it is no longer travelling behind you but is part of you, and is you, warts and all. You love yourself just as you are. Miracles do happen as you embrace, love and accept yourself. That’s the simplicity of it. That’s the truth.
Find the golden treasure in your shadow.
‘When I took the pain in my side and placed it in front on my heart and listened and heard the pain and hurt that it had been carrying, the pain softened, it lessened and as I took it in to my heart something miraculous began to happen. I realised I could love this part as myself, no longer separate wishing it away, recognising the pain, giving thanks for the lesson, welcoming a release and new vitality. I keep loving and embracing the pain. It says thank you and we begin a new path together.’
Work with Me – Your Shamanic Journey
If you need support in understanding and embracing your shadow then do get in touch. So much energy can be freed up when you work with your shadow in an empowering way to release the gifts that are deep within.
If you’ve not experienced Shamanic Journeying before you are in for a beautiful and magical surprise. Discover more information on the shamanic soul journey page.
Contact me to book and to arrange your FREE 30 minute consultation and see how your life can unfold in a new positive way.