Can we become more authentic by embracing our shadow?
The shadow is a term used in psychology to describe the unconscious parts of ourselves that we tend to repress or hide from the world. These can sometimes be traits or desires that we view as negative or undesirable, and as a result, we push them out of our awareness.
Repressing our shadow can lead to a quick temper, feelings of loss of control or delusions about who you are as a person. The ways that the shadow acts out will normally leave us wondering why we did something or filled with regret. It can lead to projection or overreacting to the negative qualities of others.
While our shadow is often seen as something to be avoided or overcome, there are also positive aspects to it that can be explored and integrated into our conscious selves.
One way to begin incorporating our shadow into our lives is through the practice of shadow work. I've been doing a lot of this lately and it's really paying off. It involves actively seeking out and exploring the unconscious parts of ourselves that we tend to avoid. You can do it on your own through journaling and meditation, or by working with a therapist or coach. I'm doing both. If you'd like to try coaching to explore your shadow, you can book a free discovery session with my coach, Kari Boatner.
Finding the Treasure
One of the positive aspects of our shadow is that it can be a source of creativity and self-expression. Our repressed thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can be channeled into creative outlets such as art, writing, and music. This can be a great way to express ourselves in a healthy and authentic way, and can also help us to better understand and process our own emotions.
Another positive aspect of the shadow is that it can be a source of personal growth. Our shadow contains both our greatest fears and our greatest possibilities. By facing and integrating our shadow, we can gain a new sense of self-awareness and understanding of our own motivations and desires. The idea for Awaken Your Myth came out of my own shadow work.
The shadow is merely somewhat inferior, primitive, unadapted, and awkward; not wholly bad. It even contains qualities which would in a way vitalize and embellish human existence, but convention forbids!Carl Jung
Sharing Our Treasure with Others
Our shadow can also be a source of empathy, as understanding and accepting our own dark side can help us to better understand and connect with others. By acknowledging and accepting the parts of ourselves that we may not like, we can become more compassionate and understanding towards others who may be struggling with similar issues.
So the next time you find yourself feeling uncomfortable or unsure about something, consider the possibility that it may be coming from your shadow and try to approach it with curiosity and openness.
I'll be creating a meditation on embracing our shadow later this month. Look for it on Listen To Sleep, but in the meantime, if you'd like something to help you begin the process, this meditation on Releasing Judgement is a great place to start.
Have you found treasure in your own shadow? If you'd like to reply to this email, I’d love to know.
Here’s something that brings me peace.
Last month, I read Gitanjali over three episodes on the podcast. It's a collection of poetry written by Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali poet, philosopher, and polymath from India. The collection, which was originally written in Bengali, was translated into English by the author himself and published in 1912.
The poems in Gitanjali explore themes of love, spirituality, and the human experience. Many of the poems are written in a devotional style, addressing a higher power or divine presence. Through his poetry, Tagore seeks to express the beauty and mystery of the natural world, as well as the deep connection between humans and the divine.
In 1913, Gitanjali won the Nobel Prize in Literature, making Tagore the first non-Westerner to receive the award. The collection has been widely praised for its lyrical beauty and deep insights into the human condition, and is considered a classic of modern literature.
As a special gift for newsletter subscribers, here's a link to the Gitanjali audiobook I made.🤗
You can also download the e-book and read it for free.
Here’s something to help you sleep.
Creating a comfortable sleep environment is essential for getting a good night's rest. Here are a few tips for creating a sleep-friendly space:
- Keep the temperature cool. Aim for a room temperature between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Reduce noise and light. I like to use a white noise machine when I'm not at the cabin where the creek creates natural white noise. Earplugs also work to block out any outside noise. Some folks like blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out excess light too.
- Declutter your space. A cluttered bedroom can be distracting and overwhelming, so take some time to declutter and create a peaceful atmosphere.
- Avoid screens before bed. The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt your body's natural sleep patterns, so it's helpful to avoid screens for at least an hour before bedtime.
- Use comfortable bedding. If you have trouble sleeping, it can be worth it to invest in a high-quality mattress, pillows, and blankets that are comfortable and supportive. Joe and I just love our Nectar mattress and they're having a big sale right now. On the Listen To Sleep Discord, Morgan K also recently recommended using Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. I haven't tried it yet, but they love it!
By creating a comfortable and peaceful sleep environment, you can set yourself up for a restful and rejuvenating night's sleep.
Here’s something I made.
The other day, Bodhi alerted me to a coyote that was hanging out across the creek. I went outside to see what was going on and found that it was stalking a young doe. The deer was about the same size as the coyote but so brave. I made a 45 second nature documentary with some video footage I shot.
Thank you for being here. I'm so excited to be starting on a new journey into a new year with wonderful folks like you.