The Shadow Knows...

A couple of weeks ago I posted about doing Shadow work for my yoga teacher training class. I've been doing it, but half-heartedly. It brought up a lot of anger - surprise, surprise - but mostly I was angry over the fact that I was being forced to go back down when I'd so recently clawed my way out.

I've known for a long time that I have a really difficult time pulling myself out of Shadow. I'm a cerebral person, I do a lot of thinking and introspective navel gazing. But when I'm sad, depressed, angry or any of those myriad of deep dark nasties I get mired in it. Sooner or later I manage to disentangle myself, but it takes a lot of effort on my part. So being told I "had" to go there made me resentful.

I did my best to control my decent as much as possible, making sure I could find my way out of the woods. I left a very solid trail of breadcrumbs if you will. Stale bread. Dwarf bread, if you're a Terry Pratchett fan. Quite honestly, I didn't go as deep as I could have, either. I didn't spend much time dissecting what came up. My heart wasn't in it.

Last night, after trying to decide on when to do this week's shadow work I decided to say frak it. This wasn't doing me any good. I was going back into depression and thinking thoughts I'd finally let go. This work was not working for me. So I decided that I wasn't going to pursue this line of inquiry any further. It's not like I never do it; it's not like I won't in the future. It's just that this time it fell at the worst possible time for me.

Then I got to thinking... when did I start sacrificing what was good for me for what I was "supposed" to do? Why did the completion of the assignment mean more than my well-being? What the hell was that about? If something doesn't work for you, DON'T DO IT. Rocket science, that. I will not be a failure if I don't complete the assignment exactly as I was told to do it.

So, a sense of freedom. Then a OMFG moment when I realized just by deciding not to do the shadow work I actually just did a shit-ton of shadow work.

Mind. Blown.

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