Day 17: Exploring The Light and Embracing Our Shadow Side
Welcome to Day 17 of 21 Days on the Mountain. In our Power of Pause practice today we reflect on light and shadow, and the question of opposites. Our emotional highs and lows, our ups and downs, and our shadow side.
To consider the fact that both are necessary, that it’s ok to allow ourselves to feel what we feel, and to allow others the space to feel what they are feeling right now too.
And as leaders, developing our sense of Balanced Awareness, of ourselves and others, and practising being fully present in the moment. Are we allowing ourselves, and are we allowing those around us, enough space?
Are we tuning in to what’s happening within us, around us and for others? And are we ok with whatever that looks like right now? Just being, as we are?
Join me for today’s video as we reflect on where we are at the moment, in light or in shadow, or somewhere in between.
Hello and welcome back to 21 Days On The Mountain, a chance for us to create space, take a breath together. So this is Day 17, and on our walk today we were struck by the light and the shadow on the path through the woods that we were walking on, and the contrast that that caused. That evoked a real sense of contrast with the light and shadows today. And we’re walking through a wood so it stands to reason, you know, the trees, the pine trees, are providing a kind of a canopy against the light and casting their shadows. But they were making the most incredible patterns. And now I’m sitting on a fallen tree. Its trunk extends further than I can see, for at least thirty meters, and I’m surrounded by tall elegant pine trees standing very erect with their beautiful green, in this clearing.
So today, I just want to touch on the whole question of opposites. That I’ve touched on before, but it’s so obvious today as we walk through the woods, that we’re being shown these contrasts between light and shadow. And the very obvious reality that both are necessary. We all have our ups and downs, and when I say this I’m not talking about any kind of mental illness, but you know, days when we feel joyful and exhilarated and energetic, and days when we might feel, for some inexplicable reason, sad, or just a bit fed up, or bored, or something. If you like, what is often known or referred to as the shadow side of our person, of our self. But both are completely normal.
And when I think about living together with other people, in particular at this time when that might feel, as I said before, you know – and as is very obvious – might feel confining in some way.. perhaps one of our greatest challenges through all of this, is allowing ourselves and others to just be normal, just to feel what we feel, allow ourselves and others just to feel it. Not to want to change it, not to want to find a solution, not to want to fix it, but just let it be. It’s the shadow, it’s okay, it’s a necessary part of ourselves, it’s just what it is.
And that doesn’t mean that I’m encouraging you to kind of dwell on it, or indulge in it fully, with no consideration for others, or anything like that. And in fact what I find in those moments of shadow that I experience, I find it very helpful, in those moments, to look to the light. To look up, to notice that I’m feeling a bit glum, or worse. And somehow to find the light, remind myself of the light and look towards it. Because for every shadow there is a light, and for every light there is a shadow.
So in our two minute pause today, perhaps we might reflect on where we are at the moment, in light or in shadow, or somewhere in between. And where those closest to us, who we love, might be. And ask ourselves, are we allowing them enough space, just to be, as they are? Are we allowing ourselves enough space, just to be, as we are?
So pausing, bringing our awareness into this space between the sternum and the navel. Unconsciously breathing, so bringing our awareness to our breath, as it flows effortlessly and naturally, with no solution in mind. In and out of our body, just letting it be.
I’m going to close my eyes as I always do, and I invite you to do the same for two minutes. Breathing in, and breathing out. At your own pace, and your own rhythm, in your own flow. Allowing yourself and those you love the space you and they need, just to be.
And when you’re ready, on your next outbreath, gently open your eyes.
Thank you for joining me here again today. I wish you the best possible day ahead. And remember, the moments of light, and the moments of shadow, are just what they are, for you and everyone around you. Thank you.