Who do you admire? What do you admire that person for?
I conducted a little survey asking these two questions, and the answers reached from singers and athletes to Jesus. The interesting thing about asking such questions is which insights the answers give us about our own dreams and desires. When we have a role model, or simply somebody we know and think highly of, it is the energy of that person—the traits we perceive them to have—which holds the magical pull for us. Just as we all have a dark shadow, we also all have a light shadow. The dark shadow is the traits that we judge in others. Our light shadow is the traits that we admire in others and feel that we are not.
One of the public people I find fascinating and admire is the Dalai Lama. He personifies the energies of spirituality, wisdom, peace, loving kindness, joy and laughter for me. He clearly vibrates at a higher level than most humans on this earth.
Now, why him and not another spiritual and peaceful leader? Beyond his spiritualism, he fully lives what was a light shadow of mine for the longest time. He has a childlike innocence, a playful joy, what even shows up as a carefree nature. He can be silly and laugh at little things. Growing up in a German household, I learned very early on that there was no place for silliness. One had to behave maturely. After all, life is a serious matter. Or is it?
Of course it only is if you buy into that story that growing up is serious business. According to this perspective, being an adult is indeed all about being responsible and dignified. The Dalai Lama does not operate on that story. The energy which allows him to experience life from a place of lightness and joy was hidden in my shadow for the longest time.
I’d like to invite you to think of whom you admire, who your role model is. Why do you admire that person? The more we recognize what our light shadow is, the more we can integrate that light into our whole being.
On Wednesday, May 27 in the evening, I will be one of the speakers at the Burlington “Wild About Wellness” network meeting, organized by our wonderful leader Simone Usselman-Tod. This event is open to the public. If you would like to attend, please contact me or Simone.
In my talk, I will be illustrating how we are all born as magnificent castles with a thousand rooms. Each room contains an energy, a different possibility of expressing and experiencing life. Throughout life, we disown one after the next of those options because we are afraid to be judged by others and—even worse—not to be loved anymore.
By the time we are grownups, many of us have locked up so many of those “rooms” we had in our castle. We forget about ever having been this magnificent castle with hundreds of different rooms and all these possibilities of expressions of our true self. We believe we are just a small, run-down two-bedroom house.
We are under the misconception that there is such a thing as “bad energy”. In my talk, I will also explain why it makes sense to embrace all energies in us and to feed the black wolves inside us as much as the white ones.
As a take-away that evening, you will be able to pick one light shadow, one trait you admire in others, and integrate it into your being in a guided mediation. The line between what is showing up as a dark shadow and what can show up as a light shadow can sometimes be a bit blurred. What is a light shadow for you, might be a dark shadow for somebody else. In both cases, it is something that you feel you are not, even though the potential for every trait lies inside all of us. The main question is whether you are judging something or admiring it.
Some examples of light shadow qualities are:
artistic, assertive, beautiful, patient, easy going, special, magnificent, connected, articulate, responsible, organized, fun, playful, worthy, funny, strong, decisive, confident, intelligent, successful, persistent, flexible, spontaneous, sensual, generous, wise, forgiving, authentic, open-hearted… and the list goes on…
Belief Change & Shadow Work
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