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A Shadow Work Visualization to Heal Core Wounds

Image result for shadow healingI’ve been told that I am an awesome listener. I am supportive, kind and I really do appreciate what others bring to the table because I love to learn from so many different outlets. But, like everyone else, I can just as easily list out some traits that I often struggle with or am not always proud of. Those parts of me that have often held me back at times, kept me from taking a chance or have just always made me feel not so great about myself overall. One area in particular that I have often wondered about is how some people around me can speak in front of a group with such grace and ease, while even to this day it still makes me a bit nervous. What I’ve learned is that to be a great speaker, it takes confidence; a deep security in your own authenticity, along with a connection to who you really are allows you to speak so freely, and to do so in such an engaging way that others are drawn to you and willingly hand over their undying attention.

So, where did I miss-step on my path, that I didn’t gain this same amount of self-confidence? What happened to lower my self-esteem where I am not able to speak as freely with as much “oomph” behind my words? What creates the tip of the scale in the various “strengths” and “weakness” amongst the personalities within the human population? Perhaps it is so eluding because it hides deep within us; a manifestation of our childhood experiences. Perhaps we don’t often recognize the source, because of the fact that it is right in front of our faces…in our own reflections. And perhaps if we simply turn the light on, we can begin to illuminate these shadows to finally allow ourselves the growth and healing they are calling for.

I know it’s easier to put ourselves down for our shortcomings, especially when we compare ourselves to others that hold traits we wish we had further developed within ourselves, but it does us no good to belittle, as our flaws are just as beautiful as the qualities we admire and are perhaps our greatest teachers. They invite us to peer into areas of our lives that seek attention. These parts are like the little kid within us; tugging at our coattails, begging you to spend some time with them. And when we do, we can learn so much, and it’s been my experience with the process I like to call “integrating your shadows”, that I’ve never had more profound, personal growth and healing in such a short amount of time. This process not only has made me realize that we could not see greatness in others if it did not already exist within ourselves (lying dormant), but it has also allowed me to be so much kinder with myself when I am struggling to work through things; to be patient and allow myself to trust the process.

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” ― Mary Oliver

When we are children, we literally soak up the world around us. This is to help us form ideas about the world that will serve to assist us in navigating through life. And as children, we have no filters, we are pure authentic beings…free of societal constraints, living from pure heart and spirit expressing what comes naturally. That is until we are told NOT to. So, what does that do to us on a subconscious level? As we age, we begin to learn that just being “who we are” is not acceptable. That we must conform and change who we are to please those around us and follow rules set out by other people to live by. “Don’t do that, you’re embarrassing me!” (Could make one believe they cannot be themselves or they are not good enough as they are. That they must change to be accepted in the world). “You’re so wasteful; don’t you know there are kids starving in other parts of the world?” (Could make one feel as if their voice doesn’t matter, their opinions are stupid, or they are ungrateful or undeserving). Parents, who of course believe they are just “showing the way” and doing what’s best with some tough love, obviously do not realize that they are taking a proverbial hammer to a child’s self-esteem and implanting beliefs that they are not good enough as they are.

While there are some parents out there who truly would rather not be, and some that are so damaged they take out every one of their issues on their children intentionally, I truly believe for the most part that parents today want nothing for the best for their kids. And I think if they stopped to think about this a bit, they might also see how things they struggle with inside of themselves are even from their own childhoods and could also stem from beliefs implanted by their own parents or other adults that were in their lives at the time. It’s a cycle, and all it takes is a bit of awareness, a shimmer of light to illuminate the shadows, and then and only then the healing can begin for all.

So, we can identify what our shadows are, and we now know where they come from, but how do we use them to grow and heal? First off, I want to make it clear that you don’t want to look at your shadows as something to be ashamed of, or something you want to dissolve or get rid of. Your shadows are parts of you, after all. Rather, you want to bring them to light, find out what they want from you now, and what you can do to heal them, so they no longer hold you back in areas of your life, but instead propel you forward. The ultimate goal is to meet them with love, get to know and understand them, integrate them into your heart, and move onto another day lighter, more peaceful and stronger than you were yesterday.

Shadow Integration Visualization

  • Close your eyes and picture your sacred space. Imagine it is a quiet, peaceful place where you can sit in solitude and meditation. It could be a warm beach as you listen to the waves roll in, a fragrant garden, a forest waterfall; whatever you like. Once you find your sacred space and settle in, take 3 deep breaths.
  • Next, focus on one particular area of your life where you are struggling. An area that often causes you pain, anger, suffering, and/or sadness. An area that no matter what you do always seems to bring the same disappointing results. This is the shadow we will focus on.
  • Ask your shadow to show itself and come forward into your sacred space. Pay close attention to what it looks like; what form it takes. Invite it to sit down with you.
  • Inquire as to when you created it. Ask it to show you that moment in your life. Sit with this for a while if you need to as you go back in time as it may bring up some intense emotions.
  • Ask your shadow what it needs from you at this time, so you can grow and heal. Really connect with it here and make mental notes of what it tells you, so you have clear action items to work on.
  • Finally, sit with your shadow and tell it how much you love it. Thank it for all it has taught you and see it getting smaller and smaller so it fits in the palm of your hand.
  • Put the palm of your hand over your heart and feel your shadow integrate into your entire being, but no longer a broken fragment, but now as a stronger piece of you.
  • Take 3 deep breaths and sit for a moment in your sacred space.
  • When you are ready, open your eyes and take note if you feel more at peace, lighter and more confident in that area of your life.

tamaraTamara Rant is a Co-Editor/Writer for CLN as well as a Licensed Reiki Master, heart-centered Graphic Designer and a progressive voice in social media activism & awareness. She is an avid lover of all things Quantum Physics and Spirituality. Connect with Tamara by visiting Prana Paws/Healing Hearts Reiki or go to RantDesignMedia.com

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

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This article was originally created and published by Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Tamara Rant and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.




Sacred Space

Sometimes I’ll come home after a long day and close the door behind me and just stand there. In the dark. Enjoying the quiet. I’ll breathe for a few minutes and let my nervous system settle. I’m home. I’ve entered into that safe, welcoming space that reflects myself back to me.

There is my hook where I hang my bag. There is my hat hanging above it. This is my book I’m half way through, resting on the arm of my oversized chair welcoming me to sit and be comfortable. But before I do, before I really even take my bag off my shoulder,  sometimes I’ll just stand there and soak in the silence. I will, however, take off my shoes. After all, I’m standing in a sacred space, my home.

What is sacred space? And how does a space earn the title, “sacred?” There are designated sacred spaces, like temples, churches, holy ground yes, but what makes a space “sacred” for you? Where is your sacred space? Why do we need sacred space?

I feel sacred spaces allows us a chance to remember who we truly are. I think we are born into a perfect natural state of awareness that has no differentiation between world and self. Naturally, we grow, differentiate, and become selfish and awkward in relation to the world. We learn that I’m this and you’re that, forgetting the oneness of everything. Then, somewhere in life we start to remember again. It’s almost like we work all our whole lives to evolve back to the simple understanding of Self and the universe that we enjoyed as infants, only better this time because we will have had a life-time of experience under our belts, making us wise by choice and practice and not merely innocent by nature. This work is all internal and requires a workspace. Establishing sacred space gives us that workspace to forge the path toward self-realization.

We all get to choose our path toward self-realization and we get to choose our sacred workspaces. It’s fun. Here are some ideas about how to create a sacred space. In my sacred spaces often make shrines dedicated to the jazz gods John Coltrane, Theloneus Monk, and Miles Davis. Also, I have an altar space where I have some candles, a special table, some pictures and statues of things and people that evoke for me my own sense of wonder and contemplation and mystery of the Universe. It’s where I choose to mediate or pray. I like to light incense and candles there while I’m there. I keep objects there that have heart-felt or spiritual significance to me and I change those regularly depending on what’s going on in my life. I also like to keep something living on or near my altar. I keep that space clean and free of clutter. And when I come home from a long day, sometimes while standing in the dark, I can often smell the trace of incense as an echo of my meditation I did earlier, reminding me that I’m at home in sacred space.

The tiniest bit o’ space can be designated as sacred. The smallest little shrine or statue, or flower in a vase can fill the entire house with significance. I used to live in a wonderful old apartment, built sometime in the 1930s, which had a little alcove in the hall that once housed a rotary telephone. In this age of micro-technology, for those who don’t know, a rotary telephone was a communication device that attached to the wall by a wire. It probably weighed about 10 pounds and could double as home security device if wielded with a deft hand.

When I lived in that apartment, there was no longer a phone in that alcove but that little space worked perfectly as a little altar. Ganesh, the remover of obstacles, sat there comfortably, reminding me of my ability to navigate through tough spots. It doesn’t have to be a statue of Ganesh. Any object with spiritual or emotional connection placed in a designated space will serve as a subtle reminder of that connection.

I guess the real question is how to transform the rigmarole into the regal, the ordinary into the ordained. Even rolling out your yoga mat in a designated corner of the bedroom is a wonderful way of making sacred space. So much transformation and self-elucidation happens on our mat, in some ways our mats are like prayer rugs. No wonder everybody is so reluctant to recycle those things, even when they are riddled with holes and have acquired so much yoga funk that they could easily constitute a bio-hazard. By designating regular things into sacred objects and places we transform our daily grind into temples: the Temple of Dishes or the Tabernacle of Driving to Work. 

Make whatever your space you have sacred, no matter how humble. Allow it to be the workspace to explore your journey toward understanding Self.

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in New York City and when he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to trail run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son.




Creating Sacred Space in These Troubled Times

Elva Thompson |  ZenGardner.com | July 24 2014

Man, as nexus of two worlds stands poised at this mid-between on razors edge

Gifted beyond angels

Benizoned in light and cast in the major role

Could he but know it.

George Griffiths.

Many of us seek spiritual refuge in this insane and violent world where life is cheap and money is the common language.

Our souls are battered by the machinations of the criminal elite and we helplessly watch as our world is destroyed around us… and we know not what to do.  SundanceGround

We can spread the word about what is happening to our planet, we can demonstrate, get arrested for spreading the truth, write articles, tell our friends, but our efforts seem to come to naught and the machine of hate and destruction grinds on ploughing us into a barren wilderness, bereft of love.But we are not of this world alone.

We are magnificent multi- dimensional beings who have fallen from our true estate. Glorious creatures that have been imprisoned in a piece of biological software with its own instincts and desires. Instincts and desires that are contrary to our true divine nature.

Constructing a sacred space, the Geometry of Prayer

The picture above is our sundance ground.  It is a circle with four gates, one in each direction.  When the tree of life  is raised in the centre of the circle and an imaginary line drawn from the top of the tree to the four gates, there is a four sided pyramid in three dimensions. This reality is dual so there will be one pyramid going up and one going down.

The octahedron is the platonic solid of the Air field that corresponds to the fourth ray…the emerald green of the Heart centre, the fourth chakra, the fourth rung on the rainbow bridge and the gateway to the fourth dimension.

Octahedron

An octahedral sacred space can easily be constructed. It can be created with crystals, stones or boulders placed in a square with one in the middle and a circle drawn around it.

Be careful who you pray with

There are two kinds of human beings in this world: the servers and the self servers, and the self servers come in many shapes, sizes and disguises. The resonance of a server and a self server are as different in terms of frequency as chalk and cheese and we must be discerning in our choices of those with whom we pray.

Self servers are the ego centred madmen who regard themselves and their own opinions or interests as being the only that are valid, and many of them are cold intellect alone with no heart to hold the balance.

They are the debased beings that torture and kill their fellow men, make war upon the planet and its creatures. They are brutes who have descended into bestiality far below the noble and beautiful realm of animal instinct.  They are resonantly dissonant to a loving heart based prayer and need to be avoided at all costs.

We are energetic beings in a sea of resonance and there are many unseen beings hovering around us at all times, ready to exploit our weakness and our pride.  A sacred space is no place for the power mad petty tyrant, the enlightened guru status, the bully, the narcissist, the egocentric know all who wishes to control. There is only a place for those who love and do not judge, those who can put aside their thoughts and feelings of the every day walk of life and can focus as a group with one heart, one mind and one prayer for the uplifting of all life.

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