Yesterday was full of realizations. When I awoke, I felt an immediate need for self-love. I am currently struggling with a health issue. There is a stress fracture in my left tibia and a mobility issue with the associated knee. The pain often disturbs my sleep, so mornings have been difficult for the past two months. This experience has made me aware of two limiting beliefs I still must work to release: my lack of health and my need to suffer.
So I chose the affirmation “Know you are Loved. Rest in Peace. Dream your sweet dream, until your soul is released.” These are lyrics from the song “In Dreams” by Jai-Jagdeesh. I repeated this while touching the areas of my body that were tense or in pain. Eventually, a feeling of well-being overcame me and I started my day. During my morning routine, I continued repeating the affirmation. Alternately, singing, speaking or humming the statement. In class, it was suggested that we record ourselves for five minutes repeating the affirmation and then listen to it throughout the day. I will do that later this week.
Later in the afternoon, I felt a pull to read more of the information I found on LonerWolf.com pertaining to our shadow selves and how we can not achieve wholeness without integrating all aspect of ourselves. This means we must embrace our inner darkness. As children we learn to start fragmenting ourselves as we are taught what is “good” of “evil”; socially “acceptable” or “not acceptable”. These rejected parts of ourselves do not go away, they just get pushed to the shadow but they have enough power to control us and have a tangible effect on our lives.
So I went to Foundations Class at Bodhi tonight prepared to do more soulwork and possibly some shadow work. Shadow Work is the practice of working with your Shadow Self. Your Shadow Self is the “dark” or animalistic side of you that lives in your unconscious mind. Shadow Work is a vital part of soulwork.
Class started with a prayer followed by guided meditation. During the meditation, we were instructed to ask ourselves questions about grace. The Science of Mind text book defines grace as follows: “Grace is the givingness of Spirit to Its Creation and is not a special law, but a specialized one. In other words, Grace is, but we need to recognize it. It is not something God imposed upon us, but is the logical result of the correct acceptance of life and of a correct relationship with the Spirit. We are saved by Grace to the extent that we believe in, accept, and seek to embody, the Law of Good; for the Law of Good is ever a Law of Liberty and never one of limitation. Limitation is not a thing, not an entity, but a belief. Freedom is a Divine Reality.”
Here are the five questions Rev Lola raised during our class meditation on grace along with my responses:
- How might grace work through me? I will write and share my experience of spiritual awakening with others.
- What is the highest idea of grace here in me now? The pursuit of spiritual enlightenment and personal growth.
- Who must I become such that grace may have its way with me? Open, confident, disciplined, ordered, intuitive and loving.
- What must I release so that grace may have its way with me? Belief in suffering and lack.
- Is there anything else I need to know so that grace can have its way through me? That I am loved.
After the meditation, everyone in class was instructed to complete a trust walk with their prayer partners. We each would take turns closing our eyes and being lead in a silent walk by our prayer partner for ten minutes. Mariluz was nervous when her 10 minutes began. She grabbed onto my hand tight and giggled a lot. As the minutes, passed she seemed to relax but kept smiling and giggling. When it was my time to be guided, I noticed several things. While I held Mariluz lightly, she grabbed me tightly to her. There was a required trust to ensure I followed her physical queues and did not trip. Bliss began to rise in me and lasted throughout the exercise. Without needing to process my surroundings, I was free to relax and feel. My senses expanded to feel the wind on my face, the heat of my partner’s body against mine, the sounds of passing cars, and voices drifting on the breeze. The tears I shed at the end of the trust walk were from joy and release.
After the walk was completed, we returned to class and were instructed to sit in silent meditation. Once everyone returned, Rev Lola said a prayer and the meditation ended. She asked the class to share their experiences. What I learned from listening to various people is that I am not that different from others. Several people felt the joy and release of giving up control and being guided. They felt the bliss of trusting and being loved. This realization lead me to the final breakthrough of the day. To the acceptance of an aspect of myself I have always denied. I am submissive.
There is no longer shame, anger, rejection or hostility towards this aspect of myself. I accept the submissive in me. I am committed to accepting all aspects of my shadow self so that I can live a fully conscious and integrated life.
Here are some highly recommended articles related to shadow work:
- How to face your darkest, disturbing thoughts.
- Illuminative Ways to Encounter Your Shadow Self
- Shadow Self Test: How Dominant is Your Dark Side
I hope you enjoyed the article. Let me know if you have any questions.