A shadow descends upon me and I lose faith in myself and the world. My self confidence drags and I ask myself how I got here. Part of me is convinced that this patch of insecurity and uncertainty is some failure of my spirit and mind and that if I had been doing it right up until this point I would not be in this situation again. I worry. What if this time this feeling doesn’t lift and transform?
My daughter-in-law said it best during one of our phone conversations, “I know I’ve been at this exact location on the spiral before, and I know it worked out every time before, but now I wonder if this is where the universe drops me, if this is the moment I finally get forgotten.”
Oh, do I get it.
More than once I have felt the panic. Uncertain and fearful as I believe I am being dragged by the experience, I grip tightly to the illusion of control. I want to see the future and orchestrate what this process looks and feels like. This is when I know I have forgotten that I can ride the waves. I forget that I have been here before and likely I will return again. There is nothing to fix. This is just the reality of being human.
Yet, here is what I know to do when the shadow pays a visit:
- Remember that your thoughts and emotions are not reliable indicators of your worth or your strength.
- Get plenty of sleep, good food, and water.
- Walk barefoot. Find your footing. Be with the trees.
- Practice gratitude.
- Move. Your body is a wise source of information at this time. Yoga, dance, tai chi – what calls to you?
- Use energy-based tools to help you clear the blocks that the mind and emotions can bring up.
- Taking an epsom salt bath with essential oils can help the clearing run its course.
- Play. It can help us shift when we are stuck in old patterns of thought.
- Share with trusted friends that will listen without judgment.
- A regular mindfulness practice can be a tremendous source of nourishment when these shadow times show up.
Ultimately, these times will pass and bring us closer to our true selves if we listen carefully for deeper meanings. Remember, professional help may be needed to support you at this time.