In a recent FB Live Paradise (re)Discovered discussion* I talked about the importance of embracing all of who we are as we uncover the pieces of our puzzle and I touched briefly on what some call the dark aspects of ourselves, in this context defined as those aspects that we tend to reject or otherwise feel uncomfortable with. If we are to be a living, breathing Be-ing, though, we must find a comfortable place with all aspects of who we are no matter how we might judge them.
To reject any aspect of who we are just because we label it as bad is actually far more reaching. It is to reject the totality of who we are. We cannot carve out an aspect and expect to leave the rest unchanged. It is for the same reason that when we harm another person we also harm ourselves. The connections between all aspects cannot be severed. What’s more, our aspects are universal. Everyone has all of them and all of them are within everyone. Your bitchiness does not diminish who you are or we would all be so diminished; we all have the bitchy aspect!
Today I’m sitting with a lot of anxiety, a part of me that I usually relegate to the “dark side.” I first wrote, “battling” but reworded the sentence with, “sitting” instead. That’s a great first step! But the anxiety is paralyzing, really; it’s a struggle to even write this. I keep busying myself with other things hoping it will soon pass so I can focus on my writing for the day. But the gnawing feeling in my stomach is so pervasive that I can’t even distract myself. And anyone who knows me knows that I am quite the expert at allowing distraction! My neck hurts, too. I wonder if my blood pressure is up? Nope, it’s normal. The salivation in my mouth comes from the anxiety too rather than in anticipation of leftover curry from last night. I’m stumped; I can’t imagine why I feel this way.
In that FB Live discussion I talked about a technique I learned from the late Debbie Ford. She was a master at working with what Carl Jung called the shadow and she wrote some great books to guide folks like us. I do shadow work myself with coaching clients. I find nothing to be more powerful to understand emotions in a helpful way that I might otherwise pass off as “dark.” This morning was a chance to use it myself.
I sat in my favorite spot on my office floor. Facing East. Legs crossed. Arms open to receive. Nothing special about any of that; just my preferences and your preferences would do just as well.
As I watched the snow falling gently outside I closed my eyes and slowed my breathing just a bit to intentionally take the edge off my anxiety but careful not to relax too much because I wanted to have a conversation with my anxiety.
I named my anxiety, “Andy” as I had done before and I asked Andy to sit beside me. I thanked Andy for making his presence known so urgently today in all the physical symptoms I was experiencing, and I told him that I trusted that he had something important to share. I asked him what it was.
After a moment he turned to me. He said that he knew in recent weeks I had not been taking care of myself the way I usually do. Processed foods; lots, when I usually avoid them altogether. He said it was affecting my mood. My clarity. My ability to write in an authentic way. And how I felt physically — the rash that had broken out on my leg? A physical manifestation of my disconnect; a metaphor, he said, for what was going on inside with things I could not see. He said that I was “erupting” rather than coming from my more intentional self in this moment in my life — in contradiction to who I really am. Furthermore, he said, the disconnect was confusing to others in my personal life and in business. Misleading. They were not seeing who I really am. The anxiety, his ultimate message, was that I am disconnected with who I am. And the ramifications are feeling stuck, immobile. Not being taken seriously. Writing is stalled. The flow of clients is stalled. And it all added up to anxiety. Feeling paralyzed just as I said at the outset of today’s blog.
Knowing that I had gotten what I needed I thanked Andy. He smiled and I opened my eyes and noticed that my anxiety had subsided. I knew that Andy would be back if I needed him and that anxiety in that moment would be my clue.
But I also knew what I needed to do in this moment. I understood that to the degree that I re-engaged in doing things that are more intentionally aligned with who I am my personal and business experiences would realign in their manifestations. Living proof of A Life Aligned — The Journey to Allowing the Magic in Your Life!
I encourage you to have a conversation with a shadow aspect this week! And scroll down and Comment about your experiences and with questions.
With Blessings and Gratitude,
From Santa Fé, New México
*Facebook Live Archives at https://drmarkarcuri.com/category/facebook-live-archives/ and live every Wednesday at 5:00 PM US Pacific time at https://business.facebook.com/drmarkarcuri. See you there!
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