Celebrating Your Shadow Side

Although it may seem counterintuitive, it’s easier to find your bright white light when celebrating your shadow side.

So what is the Shadow Side?

Our shadow side is the aspect of our personality that we dislike.

How do I Discover My Shadow Side?

It’s pretty simple because you can see it in others quite easily. It’s their behavior that pushes your buttons.

A Dual Example of Shadow Side

I recently attended an in-person three-day Reiki III class with twenty-four participants. Since this was my fourth class, my teacher and I know each other.

When asked if we had anything to share with the course on the second day, I mentioned my difficulty hearing some other participants during their sharing opportunities, elaborating for one to two minutes. Immediately, my fellow hard-of-hearing neighbors thanked me. Soon after, during the lecture portion, the teacher discussed distraction, noting that there were too many words in the world.

As an illustration, he looked at me and said, “I don’t mean to single you out, but when you told your story about your hearing, it would have been better to address the problem directly. For example, you could have said, “Could you speak up? I can’t hear you.”

My eyes widened, and I exclaimed, “But I’m a writer.”

The Shadow Side of Judgment

Although I can’t speak to why the instructor singled me out, I can discuss my reaction to it.

As his words stung my ego, my defense was an immediate retort. But, at that moment, only two people were in the room. And I felt deeply hurt.

Soon, the moment’s reality became focused as I felt the downpour of shame, then a low, simmering anger. In typical fashion, I placed the rage in a box that sat on my shoulder. Instead, I focused on Deb, my partner, during an exercise to expand our energy.

It didn’t take long, and my attention returned to the hurt I felt. As we dispersed to find options for lunch, I looked for someone to validate my anger.

Two women sat chatting across the room. As I approached, they looked up, and we exchanged pleasantries. Then, calmly, I expressed how I felt about being singled out, asking their opinion. Although they were compassionate, they said it was probably best to let it go.

Let it Go

How many times have you heard these words? Did they help you let it go, or did they fuel your anger?

Until recently, for me, they were triggers. Now, I listen differently by distancing myself from the communication interchange. From this viewpoint, I see the compassion in ‘let it go.’ Then I can receive that compassion and start to let go of the hurt.

Parting Thoughts and the Precepts

When the actions of others push your buttons, consider taking a different viewpoint by being an observer. Now you can start celebrating your shadow side and their shadow side with love and compassion. Furthermore, to anchor yourself, consider saying these Reiki Precepts each morning and throughout the day.

For today only,
Do not anger,
Do not worry,
Be true to your way and being,
Be compassionate to yourself and others.

From a place of love and compassion,

Is the Grass Greener Over There?

Is the grass greener over there on the other side of the fence or anywhere but here? There were many times in my life I believed this common euphemism.

Is the Grass Greener Over There?

Often, the grass is indeed greener in the neighbor’s yard. But is it because they spend more time, money, or energy grooming their lawn? Or perhaps it looks better because of our perspective.

jumpinoff rocks trail
Mountain Azalea

Last week, I shared my walk along a trail in the mountains with my newsletter readers. The photo in the email was a wild mountain azalea with buds. I hoped to return to see it in full flower, but the weather and a busy life got in my way. Then something unique happened.

My dog, Sugar, insisted that we go along the road in front of the house for a walk. So rather than take a solitary walk on the distant Jumpinoff Rock Trail, I indulged her.

mountain azalea
Mountain Azalea

Soon, we passed a shady steep area on the north side of the road. It is covered with an invasive multiflora rose. As we walked past, I noticed a flash of pink. Then, looking closer, I saw a wild mountain azalea in full bloom.

More Treasures Await

Although I always look for flowers on my walks, it amazed me how many new plants greeted me. Some were utterly new to me. Others included the hope of future fruits. And all these treasures allowed me to research their names, which is one of my joys in exploring nature.

Final Thoughts

flame azalea
Flame Azalea

For me, the grass is greener right where I am. So walking out my front door, exercising myself and my dog, I found a long list of new flowers. And it helped me see more treasures as I explored the country roads nearby, like this flame azalea blooming on the roadside.

The next time you think beauty is something you have to find elsewhere, slow down, observe, and discover wonders within your grasp.

Don’t You Love the DMV – Part 2

When you first read, “Don’t you love the DMV part 2,” I imagine your response, “Oh Yeah, one of my favorite places to visit!” Perhaps you expected to read my disheartening experience as a former Floridian, trying to become a North Carolina resident. Let’s see how my visit really went.

Two weeks ago I wrote Part 1 of my experience at the DMV. If you missed it, here’s the link.

The Process Begins

As I sat down in the small office area, I appreciated the protection of the large plexiglass that allowed me to easily hear the maskless DMV employee’s questions as we got started.

Things were going well until I requested a Real ID.

“I need a passport or a birth certificate for that,” he said.

“Oh… I thought I had all the documents. Doesn’t a Social Security card suffice along with my old driver’s license?”

He looked again at my documents. “Wait a minute… yes, this will work.”

Everything went along nicely with us sharing little funny stories about our lives. The rapport between us was growing.

And Your Name?

I always like to know the name of people I meet in an official capacity. It seems friendlier and I like to acknowledge their customer service. However, in this article, I’m giving the DMV employee an alias.

“Well, some people call me ‘asshole’, but my name is John Doe,” he chuckled.

Laughing out loud, I replied, “Well, you didn’t earn that nickname today with me!”

And Then the Photo

As John was working on finishing up the paperwork, I was concentrating on getting ready for the dreaded photo. My eyes tend to look like slits as I almost always have a smile… and the DMV is okay with a smile now. I’m practicing opening my eyes slightly wider in anticipation.

Then I suddenly lose my grip on my purse, which tumbles to the floor. Bending down, I gather it up and return to a sitting position.

Ding! The flash goes off before I had a chance to prepare. The resulting photo is acceptable. Maybe I’ll get another chance in five years when I renew!

Sharing My Positive Experience

Next stop was a walk to the nearby tag office. I’m in such a good mood, the clerk comments on it.

“Yes, I’m so thrilled with North Carolina. Becoming a resident has been so easy and positive!”

“Who did you see at the DMV?” She asked.

“John Doe.”

“Really?” She exclaimed.

“I know, it was kind of unexpected, but I gave him an honest compliment and everything was easy peasy after that!”

In Conclusion

More and more, I’m seeing the truism that ‘Like produces Like’. If I feel down or expect the worst, negativity meets me at every turn.

Conversely, if I feel upbeat and expect the best, life flows easily and obstacles seem to peel off as I walk my path.