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The Shadow Behind The Mirror: Taking An Honest Look At The Darker Aspects Of Self

With all the cosmic chaos happening of late, I’ve been hearing from friends, family, clients—and experiencing in my own life—that many of us are feeling the squeeze in our lives. When I say ‘feeling the squeeze’, what I mean is that we are feeling the repetitive challenges, tensions and frustrations that force us toward a breakthrough in evolutionary progress. Or, in other words, it’s when things get so uncomfortable that we can no longer live the way we’ve been living.

It’s kind of like the Square aspect in astrology: It presents some kind of unpleasantness or discomfort (tension) which is intended to initiate a change toward something we’re ready for, but have been dragging our feet to actually do.

I don’t know what you’ve been experiencing, but over here it’s been feeling INTENSE.

Personally, I have been noticing situations that have been bringing up feelings of anger. Now, this might be a normal thing for many of you reading, but, historically, I have never been one to be too affected by anger. I may feel frustration (I’m a Manifesting Generator, after all), or annoyance, but rarely anger. I am someone who leans toward sadness and despair more than anger. I internalize my feelings of disappointment (sadness) rather than externalizing them (anger).

Just to be VERY clear: Neither choice is right or wrong. Neither is better or lesser than the other. This is simply my experience.

I believe I’m being moved to anger so much lately because I have neglected to develop a healthy relationship with this powerful and necessary emotion.

Why am I sharing this, you wonder? Because, this realization is giving me vital clues, during this time of intense upheaval in the micro- and macrocosm, that it’s time to embark on another round of Shadowcraft.

What is Shadowcraft? For the uninitiated, Shadowcraft, or Shadow work, is the conscious act of exploring and engaging with the un/subconscious parts of ourself that we refuse to openly acknowledge. These are the parts of ourselves that we’ve allowed to become shrouded in shame, guilt, or other critical judgment. It’s the stuff we’ve been told isn’t okay to be/do/say/think/embody.

Exploring these darker aspects of Self can be a scary and humbling experience. It’s like looking in the mirror, and seeing only the dark Shadow behind it. But the reward is almost always worth the sacrifice required.

Shadowcraft gives us an opportunity to become more complete, authentic and functional versions of ourselves. It allows us to claim our personal agency in our own lives so that the truest Self is the one in the driver’s seat. Successfully moving through this process allows us to become much less affected by external stimuli, because we know ourselves more fully and can operate from a place of authority within ourselves, even with others who cannot (or will not) understand us.

Shadowcraft does not have to be initiated by a challenging experience. But often these challenging moments are the ones that spur us to make the more radical changes.

So, how does one even DO Shadowcraft?

The first, and most important thing to practicing Shadowcraft is CURIOSITY. The process is much more effective (not to mention enjoyable) when we can enter into it from a place of conscious curiosity, rather than coming from a place of fear or dominance.

The second piece is AWARENESS coupled with EQUANIMITY. Sometimes we may think we are being curious, only to realize a few moments in that we are harboring negative self-talk or are skirting around what we know we need to face head-on. This is okay. This is normal. It’s a part of the process. This work is cyclical. We often need to approach, engage, then retreat for a bit before doing it all again. If we can recognize when we are having unconstructive reactions to the work, we can acknowledge those feelings and then explore them. How have they served us in the past? How can we put those fears and conditioned beliefs at ease so that we can continue our explorations with curiosity? Pay attention and be okay with whatever happens during this process. Whatever happens IS the process.

The third thread required to weave this tapestry is SUPPORT. Going it alone is a fool’s errand. It’s not impossible, but it is unnecessarily difficult. Support can be found in many ways. Curating a schedule of consistent self-care practices while embarking on Shadowcraft is one way. Making sure you have family and friends around who are aware of what you’re doing, and who can be called upon to hold space for you when you need it, is another. Enlisting the services of an experienced guide to help you navigate the process with as much ease as possible is also an excellent choice. There’s no one way to create a web of support during this process. But it is imperative to consider what you might need as you embark on facing the things you have been least willing to accept about yourself.

Lastly, it can be very helpful (though, again, not necessary) to have some way of documenting your findings. Data engagement is all very well and good, but unless you store that data in some cohesive place, it is much less likely to help you see the full picture of things. Some people write their findings in a journal when doing Shadowcraft. Some people record their data via images. Others still, talk it out with professionals, who keep records and help make connections for them. This is another scenario where you will need to figure out what works best for YOU. Once you’ve collected all your data, you can then spread it all out in front of you and start making connections, deciphering patterns, and otherwise engaging with it. This is often the part of the process during which we become aware of the roots of whatever Shadow we’re exploring. It gives us the information needed to start to decondition; to replace the old outdated story lines with new ones that feel more aligned to who we actually are in the present day.

Shadowcraft is a process. There’s no predetermined time limit. There are no sanctioned rules for how to do it. There are no guaranteed results. It’s an act of faith in (and love of) oneself with the goal of becoming a more integrated human being living a more aligned life.

Should you feel the need to embark on your on Shadowcraft journey through these chaotic times, I wish you divine favor and fortitude. And should you find yourself wanting or needing an experienced guide to help you through the process, I’m here. My Personal Alchemy sessions are a wonderful way to allow yourself to be gently guided through the darker aspects behind the mirror. I've helped many others safely and effectively navigate these waters. For more information, click HERE, or send me a message with your questions.

I know how very valuable this work can be. I have done and continue to do it in my own life. Dancing with one's Shadows can be a totally blissful experiment if one is able to stay within the parameters listed above.

However you choose to experience Shadowcraft, I hope it brings you into the next brighter, higher, more glorious version of yourself. xoxo


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