In the parts of the world where it is now winter, there is a darkening, an inward focus. The more in tune with these cycles of nature, the deeper we may feel our own darkness at the surface, which may be disheartening at times.

After the passing of my grandmother and having to rush out of her service, my grieving wasn’t allowed; my heart began to weep and was quickly shut tight as the necessary space wasn’t allowed. This coupled with the shorter days, invading darkness and introspective nature of the outside world really fed my shadow. Into sadness and grief I fell, but not an outward, cry and mourn type, but the kind that lingers under the surface too vulnerable to be released but not wanting to have a prolonged stay. When I begun to realize the emotions coming up and be able to be cognitive of them, I noticed this didn’t feel quite like me, but it didn’t feel completely foreign either, like an old, nasty relative that came around from time to time to upset my balance and life.

As a shamanic practitioner, I tried lifting the edges a bit to see what was creeping there. Was this an energy that wasn’t mine that needed to be released? Some of the same symptoms, but this felt different; I wasn’t sure how, but it did. It wasn’t until my mentorship meeting that we were discussing shadow work when it hit me like a big pile of steaming poo….



It made so much sense why it was so familiar but so not, something that I’ve tried to stuff away or to overcome. But stuffing and overcoming isn’t on the shamanic path, and this is the path I’ve been on for the past 9 years. Integrating and healing were. As the meeting continued, it became so clear to me was going on; through all of the incredibly deep healing and excavating I had done, my shadow had been largely ignored. It’s power, wisdom, lessons, pains, traumas, self-depreciating talk and unkind acts towards others was being pushed aside like those aspects weren’t important or that it wasn’t time to “go there”. All of the work I’ve done has allowed me the compassion and clarity of that necessity in this. I’ve realized that all of these aspects are a part of me and until it is fully loved, healed and integrated to work with me instead of against me, so much of my energy is being taken to suppress and ignore it.

I’ve been able to start to look at my shadow aspects in a different way. Compassion and understanding have been key. Judgement has no place. For I’m not judging something that is separate from myself, but something that is myself; to myself I give love. I give acceptance. I give compassion and understanding. This is what I’ll continue to give to my shadow. I will clear the judgement out of my head and allow acceptance in every moment that it is necessary to do so and I will come out stronger, healthier and unified.

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