WE HAVE A SHADOW SELF.

Unbeknownst to some of us, there is an another that lurks within. We joke about evil twins, you may be familiar with Dr. Jekyll’s Mr. Hyde, or with a multi-personality disorder, but within there is darkness.

We hide things we don’t want others to see. We are ashamed of something or were criticized about something we banish it, lock it away. Sometimes these things fade into the deep recesses of our being, others lie just beneath the surface and don’t pass up a chance to remind us that we have banished them from the bright light of being.

Sometimes our greatest gifts and passions are discouraged and for whatever reason, we comply with others views and opinions and we enter into an unconscious agreement and we let our dreams die, and aspirations wither on the vine. In the desire to be accepted we fall in line and become part of the herd as we conceal who and what we really are.

This shadow self-comes out to express itself and play when we are stressed. Besides suppressed hopes and desires there are elements of our worst self, the darkness within, our ugly, selfish, demanding inner five-year-old; our ego writ large.

When we fear, when we doubt, when we feel that our world or beliefs are being questioned or judged our shadow is roused. When we stumble and take things personally our shadow moves to the fore and sometimes takes the floor and shows itself.

It’s like evil genii that escape from the bottle but instead of wishes, you are usually left with regrets. Even when we are at our best, if we are tired, or hungry, or suffering from a lack of sleep, this troublesome specter can slip away and get the best of us.

So, we must realize and acknowledge that it is there and that it can be a potent force; and if we are not mindful of our thinking, feeling, and our willingness to do the work at bringing our dark aspects into the light we could do something in the moment that could change our lives and alter our path and disrupt our progress. We could get fired, lose a friend, a loved one or worse.

I have personally let my shadow appear to someone I care a great deal about and say something I should not have said, something I felt, something I desired but was not appropriate then that disrupted the environment that we were in. I wanted to be more than I could under the circumstances and I fell into an old pattern. It was selfish and self-serving, and I was grandiose, and I almost lost more than I could afford to lose. Love is a powerful force but unchecked can exemplify the shadow self as well.

JEFF TURNBULL

KNOW THYSELF – DO YOU?

shadow warrior pic

The first tenet in my – Majestic Fivefold Way, is Know Thyself. Because if you don’t.. how will the rest of us.

BY JEFF TURNBULL

I have discovered on my quest to wellness, the underlying principle that finally, I delivered me here, is knowing who I am. Self-examination is very important. On an intelligential, emotional and physical level, we must be able to recognize where we are and where we need to be.

If we want to be healthier we must know our behavior when it comes to what we eat, how we eat, and our level of activity. If we know that we stress eat and load up on carbs then we must be aware of this fact. If when we are stressed we tend to not eat, we must be aware of this fact. Everyone is different, so we need to know ourselves and our tendencies.

This even more important moreover if we have a health challenge like diabetes or IBS. If we have a mental disorder it is important to eat well, perhaps omit caffeine from our diet, and be mindful if we vomit or have diarrhea. Because if we lose bodily fluids we lose medication and our therapeutic levels will drop. We need to stay at these levels if we are to stabilize and get better.

It goes without saying, but I will state my case anyhow, that a positive state of mind will get us a long way in this world. So, if you know your mind you will be able to know when you shadow thinking intervenes and pushes you or drags you down. Be the watcher of your thoughts. Practice mindfulness to be aware of your train of thought so that you do not go off the rails. For example – I know that one of my shadow enemies is to complain. So, when I hear my tone of voice change or I get animated – I check myself before I wreck myself.

The same goes for your emotional state. If you have triggers that you can recognize that incense or irritate you be aware of these before you get swept away. It is so easy to lose oneself in a trying moment. If you do, stop yourself and then analyze what got you there. Was it a reminder of an experience you had that left an indelible mark on your psyche? If so, take the opportunity to work with it. If not in the moment when you get a chance. It will give you a chance to cleanse yourself of some of your emotional baggage. When I recommend these practices – that is what they are practices. That means it takes work and vigilance.

More than anything when you begin to be aware and mindful and you find things that you don’t like or you find disturbing remember to forgive yourself. This is very important in the process. I have recently started journaling forgiveness then end it with a little touch of gratitude.

I recently had an epiphany – it was that I am not a businessman, entrepreneur, or life coach or expert of any kind. I am a writer, poet, artist, singer-songwriter, single parent, good son (I like to think so) I humanitarian, good friend and colleague.  And you know what? I am ok with that!