Last week we talked about getting to know your shadow. The term “shadow” just inherently has a negative connotation to it. Interesting aside – Huehue got spooked by my shadow this morning when I took him out at 4:15AM. He kept looking intently under our neighbor’s deck, which was starting to really unnerve me, when I realized he was staring at the shadow of me, cast from our other neighbor’s floodlight. My shadow IS pretty threatening in the wee hours of the morning.
ANYWAY – back to what I was saying, we default to thinking that our shadow is negative or bad. BUT, the shadow is composed of all the parts of ourselves that we didn’t feel safe to display. And that means that the shadow also contains parts of us that are good and interesting and unique and special. Our “golden shadow” is made up of our gifts and talents and abilities that we suppressed because we were given the impression that they were NOT ok. Maybe it was our exuberance and liveliness (“Can’t you just be quiet?/Why can’t you NOT set the shed on fire?/Why can’t you be behave?”). Maybe it was our imagination (“Stop daydreaming. You’re old enough to get your head down out of the clouds. Start keeping both feet on the ground.” Never Ending Story). Maybe it was our unique perspective on life and God and why we are here (“We look to the Elders/Authorities to tell us what is right and good. Who do you think you are to question that? Thinking like that is dangerous”). Many “positive” qualities can be dismissed, minimized, and rejected, depending on the circumstance we are in and the influential people in our lives.
Sure, our shadow self contains the negative traits we want to hide and ignore, but it also contains the positive traits that we find equally difficult to acknowledge and own. This “golden shadow” needs to be met and integrated in order for us to return to wholeness.
“We see in others those positive traits which are our very own, but which, for whatever reason, we refuse to allow entry into our consciousness and are indiscernible to us.” Meeting our Shadow.
Personally, I find it a lot easier to acknowledge and own up to my negative shadow traits than to boldly embrace my golden shadow. Thinking negatively of oneself is oh so comfortable but oh so ruinous!!
Meeting our Shadow suggests listing the qualities we deeply admire in others and noticing what we think and feel when we use those qualities to describe ourselves.
I deeply admire:
- People who stay very calm no matter what is blowing up around them.
- People who try new things and are adventurous.
- People who are experts in the field of mindbody flourishing.
- People who don’t gossip about others.
- People who are authentically generous and not self-centered.
- People who write beautiful stuff.
- People who put their energy into making a difference in the world.
And, yep, I feel so much resistance when I think about me emanating those qualities. As my friend Angela says, “How fascinating!!”
How about you? Is it easier to acknowledge and accept your dark shadow or your golden shadow?
Space to be Human Updates
- NEW LOCATION: I am now at 2805 Eastern Avenue, Davenport IA, Office 232. The building is located at the corner of Eastern & 29th, to the east of the Annie Wittenmeyer pool.
- NEW LTAP ASSESSMENTS: I have started a 6 week online class on Locator Test Assessment Protocols (LTAP). This class is based on osteopathic and the Barral Institute techniques that teach the therapist how to listen to the body and use its wisdom to guide the therapist on where to start treatment.
I am excited about this class as it will help me tune in to what your body really needs and use all the fun, interesting, “weird” stuff like visceral massage, cranial mobilizations, and neural resets to address pain in all areas of the body. It sounds crazy, but sometimes just doing a breath technique can be the key to getting rid of that pain in your big toe! According to my teacher, starting treatment in the right place is crucial to an effective treatment.
If this piques your interest, and you would like to embrace curiosity with me, let me know. During April I’ll add 10 minutes to your session at no charge, and we’ll see what the Assessments tell us about what your body needs.
Happy Sunny Sunday! I hope you can rest and recover. Here is some inspiration from the Huehue-Monster.
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