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Being Mindful of Your Shadow Self

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Your physical shadow doesn’t appear without there being a bright sun. Your spiritual shadow is the same. You would not know darkness had you never known the light and vice versa.

In UNLEASH, I start the self-guided course by talking about our shadow self. I describe mine, how she works, what she says, and how she used to hold me back. I begin by talking about our shadow self because it is where so many of us make our decisions from – the darkness (fear) instead of the light (love).


In 1999 I hit rock bottom hard. I was living my life entirely from my shadow self. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I can see every moment. I remember the smells, the feeling of the floor that I was crying on, my thoughts; every feeling I felt is so vivid in my mind. I didn’t want to get up and it took every ounce of energy I had to reach out to one incredibly special person I trusted and say, “I’m not okay. Will you help me?” In that moment, I stopped resisting and the light began to shine through.


What we resist persists, so we have to walk through it, but you never have to do it alone.


We all have a shadow self.

  • It’s the ying to our yang.

  • The sadness to our joy.

  • The impatience to our patience.

  • The negative thoughts/beliefs to our positive thoughts, and supporting beliefs.

  • It is the darkness to our light.


You cannot know one without knowing the other. We are designed as humans to experience the entire human scale of emotions. Of course we want to spend most of our time in the light, but let’s be honest, we are going to feel sadness, we are going to think negative thoughts, we are going to have bad days and get impatient and feel loss and frustration. We resist this, and the problem with resisting it is that the more we fight to resist what are just natural emotions, the more it persists, and it persists by holding us so deeply in the dark corners of our mind that we are not experiencing the other side – the joy, the excitement, the magical light.


Your physical shadow doesn’t appear without there being a bright sun. Your spiritual shadow is the same. You would not know darkness had you never known the light and vice versa.


My shadow self has been feeling impatient and that impatience turns to fear. That fear tells me, you have two choices, fight or flight. I want neither. Instead, I choose the third option, I choose to surrender, to trust and to say, “fear, I’m going to do this thing, no running, no fighting or pushing or manipulating to have it happen my way. I feel you, I know you think you are keeping me safe, but I’m doing this, so come along with me.”  I’m not resisting it; I’m just allowing it to naturally flow through me, so that I don’t take up permanent residence in Negative-Ville. I step fully into the dark parts of me and that’s how my light shines through.


Sometimes fear keeps you perfectly safe so you don’t want it to leave you entirely. We need it to tell us when we are in true actual danger.


The first step to being at one with your shadow self is mindfulness.

The shadow self is a big topic, one that if you need more support, I encourage you to take the UNLEASH journey. For today, begin to pay attention to your shadow self. As you begin to see its triggers, and how and when it appears, start to question whether or not you are allowing it to make your decisions for you. It will always be there with you, but you want to be making decision from your light, not your fears.


The shadow self also shows up in our thoughts. Think about what you are resisting, hiding, or trying to push aside because you are trying to think positive, but it isn’t working and you are feeling worse, but you were told that you have to think positive, or you will never manifest anything you want.


Yes, positivity is important. It definitely feels a lot better to practice having a positive mindset, but that doesn’t mean you should never experience a negative emotion or thought again.


Above, I talked about being mindful of your shadow self. I want to continue this conversation, but with a different perspective to help you truly see how you can work with your darkness and your light in unison. When negative thoughts enter our mind, from “I’m not good enough,” or “that a-hole just cut me off, what a jerk, how dare he,” or “why can’t my co-worker just do what I want her to do the first time I ask?” These are little triggers. Your mind telling you it doesn’t like what is happening, what should we do about it?


Just because you are thinking it, doesn’t mean you have to act on it.

If thinking a new thought of positivity and love isn’t where you want to go, which usually isn’t in the moment of frustration, just accept it for what it is, a thought. Own it. Own it by saying, “I’m thinking this right now, it isn’t very positive, but that is okay because I’m allowed to get pissed off at bad drivers, and frustrated with my co-workers, and even have moments of doubt because I’m a human being.”  


Continue the conversation of owning your shadow self by saying things like, “even though I want to knock my co-workers head off right now, it is just a passing moment, and I’m not going to take my frustration out on her in a negative way. Instead, I’m going to take a breather until I can feel myself pivot out of these negative thoughts.” 


When you own it, instead of resisting it thinking you should always be positive, you take the power away from it. It stays a thought and doesn’t take over your emotional body. Once it takes over your emotional body, meaning, you feel it so deeply that you can’t stop it from gaining momentum and now you are heading into the negative vortex, you risk taking up permanent residence there. What you want to do is just drive through it. Just because you are thinking it doesn’t mean you have to act on it. And that is where your true power lies. Don’t give your thoughts the power that is yours.


A shadow doesn’t exist without light. 

Practice observing your mind as a third party where you say, “my mind thinks this.” Rather than, “I think this.” The moment you just own what you are thinking, without shame, or self-judgement, or trying to resist it, because what you resist persists, you instantly begin to disempower the thought.


It’s not easy for me to oust myself when I’m walking through the darkness, but it’s through the darkness where we continue to remember our light.


All love,

Laurie-ann Sheldrick, The Contagiously Positive Girl

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© 2014 Contagiously Positive
All rights reserved
Website by Monolith Digital