How do we work with all the parts of ourselves?
Carl Jung discussed at length the concept of the shadow; we can use this concept as a base for working with our darker natures—the parts in all of us that we like to pretend don’t exist. Is it the part of you that sneaks food when no one is looking? Or that judges another person for their appearance? These might be aspects of our personality that we outrightly reject or deny, or that we criticize in others because we subconsciously choose to overlook them in ourselves. Ever heard the expression “you spot it you got it?” Like it or not, we all got it!
We all have done things we are not proud of or acted in a way that was out of alignment with our values—the shadow self is alive and well in each of us. Rather than shame ourselves for those things, why not look at the circumstances surrounding our behaviour and see what hidden insight about ourselves can be uncovered. For example, if I lied to my friend to get out of plans, perhaps I need to be looking at setting boundaries and saying no more often in my life. If I turned a blind eye to a stranger in need, perhaps I need to look at why I didn’t have it in me to help someone that day. Start with listing something you said or did that isn’t sitting well with you and see if you can work with your shadow to see what was really happening for you in that moment. When you know, you can direct your growth accordingly.
Please. This is NOT another opportunity to beat yourself up by listing all of your shortcomings and focusing on what a horrible, egregious person you are. Be a gentle, curious observer. Our automatic and default behaviours are a great starting point for befriending your shadow and bringing it out into the light.
If you are interested in going deeper with your shadow, David Richo has done a beautiful job of facilitating this journey in his book Shadow Dance. What better way to make peace with the inner critic than to shine the curious light of the observer into the dark rooms of our being?
OSG Cinnamon Chocolate Cupcakes with Chai Icing
Then there was some baking. As much as I’d love to say this is a BeReal original, it’s so not! I needed dinner party inspiration and got this straight from yee old faithful, Oh She Glows. Thanks, Angela, for another goodie!
Note: I did substitute spelt flour for white, coconut oil for canola, coconut sugar for white, and Earth Balance Palm Shortening for Earth Balance Margarine for the icing. I also added cardamom to the icing to create more of a chai spice flavour.