beloved life practices 19: befriend your shadow

 

REFLECTION:  ‘We call this practice Befriend your Shadow. As with so many of the Running Over Rocks life practices this one requires us to nurture our self-awareness. It needs us to take a clear view of our instincts and patterns, our motivations and behaviors, our desires and our actions. This needs to be done, initially at least without judgement. Our own experience of this work is that our shadow is intimately linked to our light. It’s not a foreign body that has attached itself to us or wormed its way into us. Rather, our shadow is our joy off-balance, our hope submerged, our love trampled. And we couldn’t have the light without the shadow…

beloved life: befriend your shadow
beloved life: befriend your shadow

PRACTICE: One way into befriending your own shadow is to recognize what you condemn in others. The next time you feel angry with someone reflect on what may be going on. Of course their behaviour may need addressing. But the point in the practice of Befriend your Shadow is to turn the light quietly onto ourselves. Be curious. Is there something in this person that is actually present in similar form in me? Could that be why this person irritates me so much? Is it why their behaviour rankles so deeply with me? How does that behaviour materialize in me? And how could I change for good?’

©Ian Adams 2013 ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around this week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

 

 

 

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