Tag Archives: shadow

What to dooooooo? Working with our shadows

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What can we do to avoid historian’s predictions of Holocaust-like-history repeating itself? As individuals? How can we tap into the loving, expansive, inclusive, generous parts of ourselves and humanity instead of giving into fear and loathing?

Yes, there are petitions and demonstrations.

But what about the rest of our lives? The gazillions of thoughts and beliefs we rarely even notice but which contribute to our experience and the way we relate to others?

Apart from sending Metta to places we feel helpless around, we can take a look at our own shadow stuff.

I read an interesting piece by Deepak Chopra today on Donald Trump being a manifestation of America’s shadow.

We all have our shadow aspects and they’re not easy to recognise when we’re caught up in them.

Just as we all have the potential to do amazing things with our one, precious life, we could find ourselves in unimaginable circumstances and be capable of the worst, least imaginable acts.

When we notice them, we can integrate them by owning what we’ve been repressing in ourselves and projecting onto the other.

Something we can all do is pause before posting or speaking or lashing out in any way.

Notice where our shadow might be in that moment.

Who are we most angry with right now?

What does he or she represent to us?

What hidden aspects of ourselves resonates with what they’re doing?

How does it feel to own that feeling? To acknowledge that at some point, we’ve all felt homicidal?

Again, I’m not at all advocating acting on such feelings. Oddly, making this more conscious means we’re less likely to act out aggressively. 

It can be scary.

I’m a pacifist by nature. I wish we could all just get along. We’re all the same. Where we were born had nothing to do with us. Hippie, peace, love, blah…

Years ago, I learned that trying to send peace and love to people who were annoying me was, frankly, beyond me. I think Metta’s wonderful but even that varies day to day. This was years ago and I eventually realised that owning the fury, the rage, the anger and the despair was freeing.

Obviously, I’m not talking about acting on any of this. But recognising however we’re feeling and letting that be OK actually enables the feelings to move through us more quickly than when we try to deny them.

So writing this, thinking about certain politicians and their seemingly bullyish ways, I can either judge them and pretend it’s all about them or be open to acknowledging that bully part of myself.

The part that I don’t want to acknowledge I have yet that I realise of course I do, otherwise it wouldn’t upset me so much to see it in others.

Once I’ve done this, I can better see how I am connected to, for example, a politician. Or someone who votes differently to me. Or a terrorist. Or a serial killer. Or someone who puts his or her feet on the seats on public transport. Or child or animal abuser. Or any number of people I don’t want to think I have anything in common with.

As with everything, it’s a practice. But the more I do this, the less likely I am to add fuel to the emotional fires of the world right now with mean, small minded, unpleasant posts (I’m deleting A Lot).

Embracing our shadows not only helps us integrate and be more whole ourselves but we’re better able to reach out to others with compassion and kindness.

And this depends on us embracing our shadows (rather than beating ourselves up for not being saints, having said shadows).

Who are you most angry with right now? Who do you hate?

How does it feel to own that hatred and fury in yourself? (If a lot is coming up, you might want to work with a therapist – use all available support.)

Personally speaking, just through drafting this post, I’m feeling something closer to empathy for certain politicians than I’ve previously been able to feel.

How about you?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve x

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Dealing with life’s ‘Grr!’s by looking at some sticky shadow stuff

Rainbow investigating HER shadow side*

Rainbow MagnifiCat investigating HER shadow side

 

I’m seeing a lot of posts on Facebook about people defriending others due to political beliefs. I’m aware that my rate of deleting posts I’ve typed before publishing them has increased massively since last night, too (and am conscious that a friend joked about a secret tool they have to read deleted posts!).

So I thought I’d spend some time with my shadow today. Jung popularised the idea of our shadow selves, where we project what we’ve disowned in ourselves onto others (be they loved ones, colleagues, strangers, politicians or people from other parts of the world and religions).

The bad news is that this leads to much acting out unconsciously.

The good news is that by reclaiming those unloved aspects of ourselves, WE CAN HEAL. We literally become more whole.

Thinking about this in the pool today, I realised that one of my personal triggers is people blocking the lane in the swimming (it’s a verb) pool. They could be standing to chat in a million other places, my incensed thought processes rant, and there are so few places to swim…

And on a good day, I can smile to myself recognising that this little Grr may have more to do with me than with the thoughtless people chattering away (ditto people blocking doorways, cycle paths, putting feet on train seats etc – I could go on but will restrain myself).

I can ask myself if there may be (even a teeny tiny) part of myself that may be jealous of their casual oblivious approach to life? That maybe I can acknowledge that swanning through life with less consideration for others could potentially be more fun. And as soon as I can acknowledge that, yes, of course, there’s a thoughtless, oblivious aspect of my own personality, I suddenly feel far less bothered by the previously seemingly Evil Lane Blockers.

Sometimes, like today, as soon as I have that epiphany, they move away!

I have a tendency to be overly empathic sometimes, focusing more on others’ needs than my own. This can be a useful thing (in my work, for example) but I’ve also worked hard to dial it back in my personal life as it’s not helpful (or fun!).

By being aware of this shadow aspect to caring and empathy (RAGE towards thoughtless people who don’t give a ****), I’m better able (progress not perfection) to own my own stuff and have a much nicer swim / bike ride / train journey / life etc.

If I remained oblivious to my own shadow, I might act out (swimming violently to SPLASH said Evil Lane Blockers (I’m joking, they’re totally normal people, just like you and me) or even saying, ‘Excuse me!’ in a slightly passive aggressive way.

You get the picture…

What springs to mind when you think about the people and situations that irritate / infuriate you the most?

Think about who makes you go ‘Grr!’ (if you want to – this is not for the fainthearted. Our shadow aspects are parts of ourselves that we, at some stage, unconsciously deemed So Awful, we cut them off, burying them in the dark).

Does a particular person (known personally or maybe on social media or on TV – anyone at all) really trigger you?

If you were Really Honest with yourself, what might your irritation or anger be trying to tell you about an unclaimed shadow aspect of yourself?

I’d love to hear your thoughts (if you’re happy to share) so do feel free to use the Comments section below and let me know what makes you go Grr and what that means to you?

And, of course, if you’d like to explore this in more depth, do get in touch.

love,

Eve x

 

 

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My feature for Rapport on using your Hallowe’en costumes and decorations to unleash your power and soothe your soul (October 2014)

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Click below to read more about ways you can make the most of this time of year to explore different aspects of yourself…

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Metta,

Eve
x

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The calm after the storm and lessons from the Universe

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After last night’s drama, I had an amazingly good night’s sleep.

And in the fresh light of day, was able to move beyond just the need for more self-empathy and to recognise how last night triggered older stuff that hasn’t yet been fully healed.

It often makes me laugh when I realise that so many of the lessons my soul appears to need to keep relearning are around the same theme. When I see patterns, it’s like, ‘Of course!’ But in the actual moment, it’s not easy to be so reflective.

So, while happy to have more clarity around the issue/s now, I’m also aware that the next time the Universe offers me an opportunity to do more healing around it, I may temporarily forget all over again.

And that’s OK, I’m human. I can see that I dealt with last night better than I had dealt with similar things in the past.

Fortunately, it’s become second nature to seek the lesson in everything, if only so I can learn it As Quickly As Possible and say, ‘OK, Universe, got it – you can stop torturing me now.’ (I mean, ‘Thank you, Universe, for shining a light on this area that still needs healing by sending me the perfect trigger to ensure it gets my full attention.’)

While never easy (and a part of me wishes I had no more shadow stuff to heal), it gets easier.

So whatever wounds/stuff/patterns come up in your own life for further healing, be as kind to yourself as is possible and congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come – even when there’s still a long way to go.

And remember the oak tree – every storm strengthens its roots.

Metta xx

Image courtesy of creativedoxfoto/freedigitalphotos.net

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