Modern life in a modern world is hectic. I move from place to place trying to be somewhere to meet someone to do something at a precisely scheduled time. Working on the schedules for myself and my family have been a part of my routine. I had to or I would miss an important appointment!! I wake up and I have to go! go! go! “There is no time for this” I would often say to my children in the morning while packing lunches, making breakfast and getting ready to get out the door. Dinner times are the same: make dinner, follow the night time routine and get ready for the next day. NO time to wonder or to be bored.
Vacation times are scheduled and filled with the activities. We go places, we see places, we eat out, we do things. New things, exciting things.
I often wished for the world to stop spinning so fast. I was exhausted!
Until it did. The world stopped spinning so fast last March. In the beginning it was an interesting experience of being home without needing to go places, or bring children to places or being anywhere at any scheduled time. I was forced to be with myself instead, with my own thoughts. I no longer needed to go places or do so many things.
Old buried wounds and shadows began to surface. I was terrified, but the shadow laughed back at me “there is plenty of time to work on it now!” It is uncomfortable and painful, but a necessary work which I think we all are doing now. With that in mind, I am writing this to share some things that helped me in the process:
- Laughing. Laughter and humor had always seized the day. I came across an Instagram account (@mytherapistsays) and I cannot keep my face straight reading the stuff they share!!!
- Crying. I drove away in car to a park and just let it all out until there were no more tears left to cry. I looked like poop, but felt good on the inside.
- Talking to a friend. Most of us have at least one friend who will listen to everything you have to say without judgment. I am blessed to have a friend like this and I am so very grateful to have her in my life. If you cannot think of anyone, write me (firstname.lastname@example.org), I will listen.
- Expressing my feelings through art. As a child I used to paint, sew and knit. I would lose myself for hours in the activity, just being a happy self me. Do you remember what you used to enjoy doing when you were a child? Was it to paint, to play a musical instrument, to sing, to knit, to write, to cook/bake, or dance? Well, now you may have the time to get back to it!
- Journaling. I have a few journals for different reasons. One of which is a gratitude journal. I couldn’t write anything in it for many days in a row. I didn’t feel like it. I began documenting my dreams instead. I added illustrations from the dreams. One day, I will look back and see the wisdom and beauty in this work. The shadow work. I know to be proud of it.
- Reading. Here is a really good book called A Mind at Home with Itself by Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell In this book a spiritual teacher Byron Katie provides a much-needed beacon of light, and a source of hope and joy. She illuminates one of the most profound ancient Buddhist texts, The Diamond Sutra to reveal the nature of the mind and to liberate us from painful thoughts, using her revolutionary system of self-inquiry called “The Work”. Really good empowering book.
Do not be afraid of your shadow. Let it step forward, see it eye to eye and have an honest heart to heart conversation. It isn’t your enemy. It is simply in need of love.
I would like it if you share with me what works for you. Please post it in the comments below.
If you have any questions or looking for a one on one intuitive session with me, you can book it at https://mariaycotter.com/services
With love and gratitude,
Maria Y. Cotter
P.S. If you are not familiar with the shadow terminology, Shadow (psychology) contains specific features of an individual’s psyche that they block, repress, or defend against because the material is both threatening and seen as antithetical to what they wish they were. If you would like to read more on this topic, here is the link to an interesting article on psychologytoday.com: LINK