Welcome to today’s Curiously You podcast episode with shadow coach Monica Pelayo!
Monica helps us get acquainted with the shadow aspect of ourselves. We continually deny its existence, long ago rejecting those perceived “negative” or disapproved of qualities that we have cast into shadow. Yet it is only when we start stepping into the light that we begin to see those parts of ourselves that have remained hidden for so long, slowly pushed from consciousness as we grew up.
We learn that true personal power and “light-working” can only be achieved by the full acceptance of all parts of ourselves, dark and light. In creating integrity, that is wholeness, we find a way end our suffering and accept all aspects of our humanity.
You’ll love this episode if:
– There are certain perceived “negative” qualities about yourself that you simply cannot accept. You spend a great deal of energy trying to expel them, pretend they are not there, or hiding them from others;
– You are curious why you have certain strong emotional reactions to certain behaviours or opinions. What does that says about you, and what you can learn about yourself through further curious exploration?
Time-Stamped Show Notes
[3:33] Monica talks about her journey to getting into shadow work. Her father died when she was four, and her mother had a brain tumour when she was ten. She was lost and learned about life based on other people’s opinions.
In her late teens, she suffered depression and had two suicide attempts. She read her first metaphysical book, “Return To Love,” by Mary Anne Williamson, which introduced her to The Course in Miracles. This allowed her to find light within herself.
However, in spite of her training in the A Course in Miracles, she would still feel moments of darkness, sadness, and depression.
[7:18] As spiritual workers, we feel that sad or heavier emotions shouldn’t happen for us. We become all about the light, yet as humans we must acknowledge that the darkness exists on earth.
Monica read the book “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers,” by Debbie Ford – which helped her to understand the pursuit of perfection in the light-worker. She realised that our blocks to love were our greatest gift, and shadow work enables us to reconnect with these qualities in order to move forward.
[8:08] Human are comprised of two based emotions – love or fear. Love is the light, and fear is the absence of light. In fear, there is depression, sadness, anger and disappointment whereas in love there is beauty, acceptance or gratitude. As humans we can’t have one without the other.
Monica uses a personal example where she used to think she was a bitch, which she really didn’t like. To avoid others perceived her as a bitch she went through her life as a doormat: never confronting or offending anyone. This made her go above and beyond to people-please, leaving her feeling exhausted and like she never did enough.
In contrast, the hidden shadow side of herself that had the qualities that she had labeled bitch, were in fact her strengths. Her bitch side was the part that made limits and drew boundaries. This helped her through times of sadness and gave her the strength to keep going.
[16:46] How to start unmasking your shadow:
If you’re in the dark, there is no shadow; it is precisely because you are shining a light that you can see the shadow. There is nothing wrong with you, or missing; it is simply that by stepping into the light you begin to see all these qualities that you had kept hidden for so long.
Jen uses a personal example where she was afraid to feel, or be perceived as, selfish especially when she felt called to step up and serve more. Yet what are the qualities of “selfish”? Being selfish teaches self-love, so if you deny and exclude your selfishness, it’s more difficult to serve.
It is while growing up that your shadow is create, this is when you attached meaning and created beliefs about certain qualities. As such, your shadow qualities are almost always the exact opposite of what your first fears were around it.
[22:48] The originally held belief around the word “integrity” is someone who follows the rules; the “good girl” who is honest, truthful, and ethically sound. Yet to be whole is to create integrity, and to do this you must integrate your shadow and its perceived darker qualities.
Shadows are not the darkness, it is only in the moments of light that you see shadows wanting to come forward to help you. The shadow is the pathway to the light.
[31:37] Suffering is the “not accepting” part of our humanity. If you are really able to integrate your shadow, you accept all parts of you as a human being. Would there be a shadow if there wasn’t a need for approval?
[34:56] When we have aspects of ourselves that we reject or deny, we will see them reflected back at us in the world. This is the reason why there are people who reject others because of their skin, or beliefs, it is how human beings deal with their shadow.
[42:36] When you become whole and integrated you create power; you won’t achieve this by accepting only certain aspects of yourself.
[44:53] For those of you on the Curiously You Facebook Group, Monica will be seeing the comments posted and will respond to those.
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Connect with Monica:
Look out for the shadow forgiveness meditation coming soon on Monica’s website.
Monica’s Book Recommendations
Return To Love: Reflection on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles” by Mary Anne Williamson
What are the qualities or behaviours in other people that bring up difficult emotions, such as anger, irritation, or judgement? What could this be telling you about the qualities in yourself that you have cast out to your shadow?
Let me know in the comments section!
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Let’s bring the shadow out and integrate it into ourselves a little more this week!