Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Shadow Returns

Since I came back from vacation, I have met my every day self again. I'm glad because it's an opportunity for positive change. What do I want to bring to this life I am living? This self has been a disappointment, at times. She makes mistakes. And she has made mistakes. When on retreat--my vacation--there was no external measure of myself. The environment was determined by others. When I was hiking in the woods, taking a hot tub or sauna, or taking a yoga program at Kripalu, everything was great and I was a self that I love. Even when I felt anger it was in a spiritual context. So I guess I got a vacation from feeling guilty, and now I feel like everything is my fault--just like a child who lacks the perspective that sees the bigger picture. I was aware of the divine blessing of vacation while it was happening, and mentally prepared for what I wanted on returning. But it's not always easy with the every day pressures and regrets to appreciate ones experience the way I could when I was on vacation. When I was on vacation I meditated every morning before breakfast and every night before bed. They have a nice meditation room at Kripalu.

So I know that I can do it, and I know I can be the self that I dream of. I just have to (want to) bring this self and sense of myself more fully into my every day life. It's just taking some effort. I know that I am blessed to have this opportunity to transform my world. I have seen a potential in myself. I saw a person I can be and someone I desperately want to be. This person feels deeply and can handle anything. This person is capable of deep healing. But to bring this forward into my every day life takes work. I hope I can do it.

With regular meditation I can give my woundedness the space it needs. Otherwise it seems to overpower my good intentions. When I'm not practicing as well I think I might be more likely to be acting out my shadow stuff. "Shadow" in this case referrs to hidden aspects of ones psyche... It can include things we are ashamed of, and things that don't fit in with the idea of who we think we are.

I am humbled as I witness how easily I can act out of my victim self. This is the part of me that believes that the actions of others have hurt me, and have limited my ability to have a life I want. This is the part that loses: "not again," it observes as I make a mistake or act imperfectly.

Prayer. Forgiveness. Practice. These are the tools.

I can do it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Kaivalya said...

Your post reminded me of an experience I had years ago on a yoga retreat, before I left the corporate world to become a full-time yoga teacher.

I remember loving every minute of that retreat, even during moments of internal resistance. But the think I remember most was my reaction to leaving: I burst into tears and was inconsolable! I didn't want to go back to my life.

In planning retreats, perhaps an important component is a 'landing strategy' for participants, a plan for carrying some of the goodness of the retreat into day-to-day life. I'm not sure what such a plan would look like, but your words gave me food for thought. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

You've very neatly described the whole post-retreat experience. I believe The BlissChick has been going through something similar too!

I don't think its easy for anyone to come away from 'time off' and reintegrate into their every day life. I'm not sure if its harder or just different for those coming from a spiritual retreat. I tend to think its just different myself...

We all act out of our weaker habits simply because we've lived in them for a long time. The idea is to not chastise ourselves when that happens. Just to notice it and accept that's how it is for now, not how things will be.

Tina said...

Your writing resonated with me...yet again.

"This is the part of me that believes that the actions of others have hurt me, and have limited my ability to have a life I want..." I go through this from time to time, especially as of late.

I have allowed myself to believe that this person had a hold on me somehow, instead of thinking that, perhaps, this person showed me a part of myself that I loved, that I had craved and hungered for, as people can often do for us. Thus, making her necessary in my life...and all that followed upon her departure.

The balance will restore...and it will falter...again and again and again and again...