Only the shadow knows…

I’d like to talk about me and my shadow. Yeah, I’m having fun with shadow idioms. It’s like playing with puppets. Shadow puppets. Ah, I can’t stop.

Or can I? Ok, where was I?

Shadows. I’ve been borrowing books from the library lately. Art books, cook books, self-help books. I read them in 5 minute moments here and there throughout the day, when I can steal a moment.

Right now, I’m reading One Drawing a Day: A 6-Week Course Exploring Creativity with Illustration and Mixed Media by Veronica Lawlor, Second Sight by Judith Orloff and The Shadow Effect: Illuminating the Hidden Power of Your True Self  by Deepak ChopraMarianne WilliamsonDebbie Ford.

My one little word for 2013 is Authentic. I chose it because: I like the word and what it means; I want to be more authentic, and I want more authenticity in my life. What my choice suggests though, is that I am lacking. No one reaches for something they already have, so we choose words we want within our grasp. I have not been authentic. I am not feeling authentic enough and I want to be.

Two days ago, I was feeling down. I did not feel authentic. I felt like a cheap knock off.

Yesterday, I felt more hopeful.

Today, I’m just tired.

I am reading the aforementioned books, hoping I might find a path to being more me, to worrying less, to building strength.

In the Introduction of The Shadow Effect, I read something that really resonated with me.“Our shadow keeps us from full self-expression, from speaking our truth, and from living an authentic life.”

Now this I find interesting. When I picked the word “authentic” I hadn’t really given much thought as to why people find it so difficult to be who they really are. I certainly hadn’t connected it to any Jungian psychology, or mystical philosophy. Yet, while reflecting on my first month of living with the word in a blog post, I  mentioned my shadow. This was before I’d seen the book at the library. I wrote “I try to be honest with myself all the time. I think the human mind is pretty tricky. It does a good job of hiding itself from the truth. Sometimes I mentally beat myself up and feel down about all my perceived failures and weaknesses. Yet there are often times when I can’t see my faults. They’re in my shadow; they’re peeking around corners; they’re hiding just out of sight. Sometimes it is hard to admit you are wrong. This month I’m trying to be more aware of all aspects of myself. Even the stuff I don’t want to see.”

I find it so interesting that only a couple weeks later I was drawn to books that address these thoughts and goals I have.

Reading “Second Sight” by Judith Orloff has been eye opening. I didn’t expect to be able to draw lines directly from my current goals back to years and years of life experience and behaviour. Things are becoming clearer to me and I’m seeing a few ways to help let me live the authentic life I want for myself. I am really grateful for the One Little Word class. I signed up on an impulse. It was such a good thing for me to do.

Next, I want to start meditating.

*NOTE* I just saw that this post was in my draft folder. I might as well publish it now. It wasn’t done but it has been too long and now I forget what my point might have been.


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