We all have a shadow created from conditioning in childhood and early adolescence. It is what makes us human. And simply put, it is the darker, hidden aspects of our psyche. It is the darker side of human nature. It is our “alter ego” who seems to ruin everything. The side of us that we want to keep under wraps. A fog of illusion that creates stories, tricks us into thinking certain things, and acts out of fear. Our shadow makes decisions for us while stripping us to make conscious choices such as what foods we will eat. Our shadow has us waste our energy on bad habits, from speaking our truth, and living to our fullest potential.
I know my shadow self well, and her name is Gretchen. 🙂
But with our shadow, we also have our true selves (yasss!). Our soul self, our light, and our high vibes. To live a conscious life from this place of love, we need to embrace our whole selves, which means loving our shadow (Hi Gretchen) too. It’s easy to get scared of what we may find if we look inside ourselves, so we inherently want to run from it, repress it, and project it onto others. But it is in fact feeling and embracing this shadow part of us that will radically alter our lives and see the world in a new light. Embracing the shadow allows us to be whole, real, powerful, passionate and capable to unleash our dreams. 🙂
Our minds are constantly active all day long with shadow, fear based thoughts, we probably don’t even realize when we’re thinking them. They are the negative, judgemental and critical thoughts that we think. For example, ever look in the mirror and think something unkind? Shadow thought. Walk by someone on the street and judge their outfit or weight? Shadow thought.
Distinguishing between a loving, high vibe thought and shadow thought is not always as easy as it may seem, and will not necessarily solve all your problems over night. Shadow work can take years of analysis within. But for a first step, just awareness alone is key! Just to know there is another voice within that is one other than your highest self, can help lead us to make more conscious decisions when we feel certain cravings coming on.
In time we’ll dive deeper into this, but for now I’ll leave with you this practice of awareness. If you’re interested in learning more about the shadow, I recommend reading the book The Shadow Effect by Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford and Marianne Williamson. 🙂