My Shadow and Me


A little while ago now I listened to a podcast with Sarah Wilson, the I Quit Sugar woman, in which she talked about anxiety.

It was the sort of moment that feels like someone has literally whacked you in the face.

After listening I just sat. Nothing.

Nothing but absolute shock.

I realised that I too suffered from anxiety.

Now anyone who knows me and has done for a long time will not be that surprised. I mean I lead a pretty busy life with my 4 kiddies and a travelling hubby.

But this anxiety, the stuff I felt in this moment, this has come from a place of trauma, shame, and pain.

This was the point at which a big cloak fell off a big elephant and I looked at my self full on.

I looked at who I actually was rather than who I wanted to be.

My anxiety comes up where it does for lots of us, in my home.

It comes up around time constraints....Hugely!

I shared today with my students that in the mornings I play mantra, dance around, smile, joke and then BANG I look at my watch and realise the time and I freak out! I don't know why I freak out...I mean what will it matter if we are late? I have 4 children. Who can really expect me to get them to school for a 7.15am ensemble practise?!

But you know, I expect myself to....My fear of what the other will think if I do not make it is immeasurable in that moment.

I want to be perfect.

On time, with tidy children, happy! I want everyone to be smiling like a TV sitcom...I want us to be early even...OMG I want perfection....

The truth is, I have perfection in the moment before I freak out.

Over the years that I have been practising yoga and through therapy I have managed to bring so much more awareness to this behaviour. I am now at times even able to witness it rising and let it go.

However, never before have I given myself permission to name what I experience.

In owning this I am beginning the journey towards real healing, forgiveness and an acceptance that perfection is not my goal....happiness is.

I began writing a journal of all the times I feel anxious...all of them...

Sometimes replying to a text can make me anxious.

As I deepen my understanding of myself as a woman I feel more inclined to let go of striving to be anything. Instead I feel a passionate pull towards just sitting with what I already am and what I already experience.

My other powerful realisation came from a tv show I have been watching...(this is a massive breakthrough for me...I have allowed myself to watch tv...which may sound crazy to some of you but for me actually sitting in the day time and watching tv was a forbidden act...).

The show is called Good Witch. I love it...I love the absolute cheesy goodness of it...I love that my heart opens when I watch it and I love even more that it connects me to my witchy self.

In it the main character says that she realised her purpose was to help others.

Once again I got smacked in the face.

Me too...

I want to help others..no hook.

What disconnects me from this is when I try to make this a pressured, controlled, organised act.

"I can help others when I have a website."

"I can help others when I have that qualification."

And so on.

And yet here in this moment I realised that just being open, honest. Just by sharing myself openly when I teach is enough.

And the deeper realisation that serving those people who present themselves to me each day....My children, my husband, the lady in the supermarket...my students, my friends and my dear animals...

Here in these moments I can feel so fulfilled and nourished that I need not panic, need not feel a sense of lack, need not return to my story.

And so as we approach the August eclipse season I will spend these next few days in the lead up really opening with honesty to myself and to my beautiful shadow self and I will hold her and help her unburden the unnecessary expectations, the pain of doubt and judgment and the fear of being left alone.

And I will let my eyes rest on all that is being offered to me every day.

Transformation does not have to be an explosive fear driven event.

It can be a peaceful, self nurturing embrace.

All love and Sat Nam xxx

#Anxiety

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