Spiritual Baby Steps

"Doing" spirituality in the real world

Shadow Work

This last week has been a tough one… it’s made me think quite a bit about this notion that we create our own reality. Do we? Why would anyone create the week I just had? Which I’m sure is not nearly as bad as many others out there who don’t have the amazing gifts in their life that I have. And still… Why would anyone create bad things if they had a choice?
Then again, why would anyone think bad thoughts… if they had a choice. And don’t we have a choice about our thoughts? And yet, I for one, often find myself in the bad thought arena. This past week was a perfect example. People were sick, including myself, and it made for low energy levels, crankiness and general disruption to normal events. Then again, there were positive events that occurred… visiting with family and friends… successful sporting events… decorating of the Christmas tree… a nice dinner out.  But the good times, somehow, do not keep me from thinking and talking about all the things gone wrong.
It makes me think of shadow work. A few years ago I attended a workshop by Debbie Ford. Her workshop focuses on shadow work… recognizing and acknowledging our shadow… and welcoming and honoring both our shadow and our light. It was an amazing experience and I have thought about the experience often in the years that have followed. It’s a challenging concept to grasp. The Cliff notes version is that everything in your reality is mirroring back your internal self. I think of this concept often when I find myself in states of negativity… such as this week. When I look around and find myself amidst chaos, craziness, and negativity… I have to stop and ask myself… where am I chaotic, crazy and negative? If I’m honest with myself, there are places and ways that I am being mirrored. It’s not always easy to spot, but inevitably, it’s there.
Unfortunately, the awareness is not enough to turn it all around… I wish there was a magic wand, but alas! What I can say is this… shifting your paradigm from victim to accomplice… from being “done-to” to being “part of”… can help you acknowledge that you are part of every piece of reality that comes into your existence. And that is the good and bad of it! Your thoughts matter. They influence your reality. They influence what happens to you and how you decide to handle it.
This does not mean that anything you think will instantly make something happen. It also doesn’t mean that there aren’t any other factors at play. It does mean that what you tell yourself minute by minute matters. What more impetus do you need to start paying attention to your thoughts?

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6 thoughts on “Shadow Work

  1. Just checking to see if I can leave a comment! Anyone…anyone? Is this thing on?

  2. I'm enjoying your weekly blogs so much!! Thank you for taking the time to do this. XO Mama

  3. This is the 1st time I've been able to add a comment. It was with "anonymous" under the select profile selection. Now I'll try another one. The only one that worked for me was anonymous.

  4. Rashel, I just read this weeks entry. Again very thought provoking…how big a part do we play in our own "reality"? It's certainly always easier to place "blame" for whatever, on others, but not so easy to see what part we may have in it. I personally think it is just part of our culture to look outside ourselves for what's wrong with things…it takes effort and persistance to self examine oneself in earnest. XO Mama, not anonymous~~

  5. It seems we have had a similar week! Mine has been filled with trying to turn negative thoughts to positive ones all the while wondering why doing so is so much easier for some people. We certainly do have control of our reactions to events but some days it sure is hard to stay positive isn't it?~Kate

  6. ooooo The Shadow Self, sounds like Black Magic 🙂 I have to say its something I’ve heard of, and would really, really like to find much more about…….I know that I have a shadow self that I deny, and I think that the two of us, me and him, should meet up for a Starbucks before Xmas. 🙂 I note that this theme of ‘mirroring’ is something that you have returned to recently, and I’m grateful to you for pointing it out, and describing it so well.

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