I’d like to return to the topic of Shadow Work – not because its a topic I particularly enjoy but because its shown up for me in a huge way this past week and its not something I can ignore (the pain in my body and anguish in my spirit tells me so).
I’ve spoken about the Shadow before – I’ve shared several posts about it here.
Our shadow aspects are the darkest parts of our being that we hide away from the world. These are the parts we perceive as bad (such as anger, jealousy, judgement, resentment, bitterness, guilt, shame, hate, lies, intolerance, impatience, manipulation), when in actual fact these are qualities within us that want to be acknowledged and transformed into light.
For example, a judgement aspect can be transformed into self-love and self-acceptance.
If shadow aspects are showing up, as difficult as it may be, try and be thankful – it means more of your energy is ready to transform into light.
Last week, I met one of my shadow aspects whom I’ve named “Sloth Lady“…….
I was walking to work one morning, feeling lethargic despite a night of lengthly sleep, when a large woman all of a sudden came shuffling towards me:
Overweight, greasy lifeless hair, dull grey skin, no sparkle, wearing a faded pale pink (turned greyish) ‘Care Bear’ t-shirt. She was dragging herself towards me, with no real life about her, shoulders slumped, scuffling her feet.
It was one of those moments that I had to blink twice because she appeared out of nowhere and it was as if everyone around me disappeared. It was just her and I.
There was no judgement about her appearance – those thoughts didn’t have time to enter my head.
Instead, it immediately dawned on me that she was me. An aspect of me.
I was being shown an energy/shadow aspect of myself.
The world is a mirror. We draw to us what we carry inside.
With ‘Sloth Lady’ grabbing my attention I was needless to say pretty shocked. “Is that my dominant energy right now?” Not exactly what I was hoping to see the world mirroring back to me!
As I stopped on the pavement in shock, I looked over my shoulder to get a closer look at her but she’d disappeared into thin air. A shiver ran down my back. Did I imagine it? Perhaps, but if my subconscious was trying to get a message to me, it definitely succeeded.
I know I’m not overweight, dull, lifeless or grey. That was just to get my attention. It was her energy – a walking zombie with no direction or ‘oomph’, no get up and go. Even the ‘Care Bear’ t-shirt that is a symbol of pure joy for me had no life in it.
If I’m honest with myself, there is an element of that Zombie or Sloth energy driving me right now. Yes I want to do X, Y and Z but I tend to find myself slumped on the couch watching Netflix and zoning out. I keep telling myself I need to conserve my energy. For what I don’t know. I’ve allowed my egoic mind to run the show and I’ve been paralysed in inaction due to fear.
The thing is, I no longer need to be locked away to heal. That has happened. Sloth Lady showing up is showing me that I’m now capable and strong enough to deal with that aspect of me at a conscious level and turn it into a positive aspect.
To me, the positive of sloth/zombie/resistance is:
energy, life, joie de vivre, get up and go, effervescence, direction, purpose
The extent to which I can be sloth-like means on the flip side there is this huge opportunity for energy and purpose.
If I can transform this aspect, I can harness the positive energy and have it working for me, not against me. The tug-o-war inside me has been happening for weeks now and I’m exhausted fighting this aspect of myself.
How do we transform a shadow aspect?
From experience, I’ve transformed and healed shadow aspects by becoming aware of them and then observing them. It’s like they want to be seen and heard, not judged for being bad. “Oh hey, I see you now. OK, you’re there. You don’t have to get any louder or stronger, let’s work together. I know there is a positive side to you. I promise to be patient and listen to you while you transform. Tell me what you need.”
Seeing Sloth Lady last week really shook me up and lead to a huge healing yesterday. I woke exhausted after 10 hours of sleep. Normally, I’d roll over and keep snoozing, letting myself off the hook (because I didn’t want to spend energy when I didn’t have it) but I remembered Sloth Lady and made myself get out of bed. My main resistance and sabotage has been around writing so I sat my butt at my desk. I was guided to write “Blasting through Blocks” at the top of the page and then 8 pages of resentments, fears and steps to heal these poured out. It wasn’t easy getting myself into that chair and writing, but once I recognised the sloth-like energy, I was able to say to myself that I didn’t want it ruling my day, there must be something positive trying to come through. When I got out of my own way, it provided a channel for the Divine to pour through and help me. It was as if I magically transformed into a different person – full of ideas, energy, purpose and life.
I know this means that I won’t feel sloth-like ever again. The energy will still be there. I may switch from the positive to negative aspect of it from time to time but I guess when I do witness the sloth-like energy, its an opportunity and signal for even more life, energy and purpose. It’s an internal navigating system leading me to my potential.
What’s showing up in your life on a regular basis?
I share this story with you to consider what the world is reflecting back at you right now.
If there’s lots of joy, love, inspiration, support etc – then keep doing what you’re doing!
If there’s struggle, conflict, drama, fear, exhaustion, lifelessness – then maybe take a little look inside and listen to the aspect that’s leading the way. What’s it saying and why? Why does it want to keep you in such a world? It’ll be trying to protect you, keep you safe and secure, but it’s protecting you from your own love, success and abundance. Because what happens when you embrace your potential? What changes could happen? Transforming your shadow aspect helps you realise your own unlimited potential. And its natural to have fear attached to that.
Its showing up now because you’re strong enough to deal with it. Look out for it, pay attention to what keeps showing up in your life. Are you attracting angry people or situations? Are you judging people and noticing that you’re being increasingly critical of yourself or are people criticising you? Could guilt and shame be causing you to hide from the world and you’re being triggered by people putting themselves out there?
Acknowledge it. See it. Listen to it. The more you witness it with love and attention, the quicker it heals and transforms.