learning to embrace the shadow
Bringing out your inner goddess through yoga is a practice we love. You can’t beat the feeling of angelic serenity as you skip out the door, but what do you do when you unexpectedly come face to face with your inner witch?
Yoga is capable of bringing an emotional storm to the fore – and it’s time to rejoice in that.
When we get to know our true selves and embrace the shadow side we really come into our own spiritual strength. From this place you can cultivate strong and nurturing relationships with others. Every relationship you have is based on the relationship you have with yourself.
This week I was coaching a client. She’s dedicated to transforming her life, but was having a bad day. She’s been taking on other people’s work instead of standing up for herself and laying down boundaries. And she’s been seething on the inside knowing that this people pleasing no longer serves her. In essence, she was out of alignment.
Following her yoga class she was standing in the cool autumn air getting madder and madder. Forget the principle of non-violence or non judgement. Forget inner peace and compassion. The negative self-talk was unleashed: ”˜My husband’s going to be mad that I didn’t find out about the event he asked me to. He’s late picking me up. Where is he? It’s cold. Urgh, it’s windy. I feel crap and he knows that, why isn’t he here already? Look at those trees, they’re ugly and evil tonight. I’ve got a busy day at work tomorrow. That rushed meal gave me indigestion,” and the torrent continued. Each comment another abusive blow to the self-love we’d been cultivating.
She woke at 4am. Sobbing. And there we have it.
Sometimes the MIND can LIE to us and tell us that everything is ok and we don’t have to assert ourselves. Logic will always find the right and the wrong and convince us in both directions (your ego is as smart as you are, think Einstein). When we consistently people please and deny to ourselves how we’re feeling we’re in deep doo-doo. Thankfully the body (said to represent the subconscious mind) does not lie.
The tears, the pent up frustration rose to the surface when triangle and warrior pose squeezed stuck emotion out of her cells and into her awareness. First it was rage, then sadness.
Some memories and emotions may have been quietly napping since childhood. When you’re in a situation where you can receive the emotion – OM – there it is. You have the emotional memory of an infinite elephant.
When you learn to connect to yourself through breath, movement and self-inquiry you can let go of what no longer serves you. Sorting out that old mess can free up your shiny inner being; pure joy.
When you meet your inner witch show gratitude that you are releasing pent up emotional pain. Bring comfort to yourself. No more chastising.
Yoga did not make you angry or sad. You already held these emotions deep at your core – yoga simply facilitated their release. This part of your yoga practice can enrich your life and relationships.
Here are a few tips if you find your inner witch cackling:
1. Stay with the journey. Yoga isn’t creating this stuff; you are purifying.
2. Go home and journal. What is this feeling? What do you need to know? Find relief.
3. Ask yourself what you need right now to feel supported – you’re not looking to avoid the feeling but to feel safe enough to fully acknowledge it
4. Connect – find a yogi friend or a coach who gets it, and work through this stuff because this is part of what’s holding you back in life. Set the pain free.
Letting go of the past brings you to the present – and this is your point of power.
If yoga makes you feel on top of the world that’s brilliant. If it makes you feel like a witch then that’s cool too. It’s Halloween; you can experience the dark side without freaking out. And trust me, this too shall pass when you stop TRICKING yourself, and instead TREAT yourself with the love and compassion you deserve.
Sophia Lennox is a transformational coach and helps her clients to go deeper with their emotional work. As a Yogi Times reader you can benefit from a free complimentary consultation if you’re interested in working with her to transform your life. Contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org – code – Yogi Times.
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