The Shadow Knows

by Moira on October 9, 2009


Whether the question is about people I most admire, or people who have made a huge impact in my life, one of the women at the top of my list is Angeles Arrien.  I had the good fortune to participate in a Four-Fold Way Foundation program several years ago.  In addition to the immediate transformative experience, I continued to listen to the audio-tapes and review my notes for many months afterwards, continuing to integrate the depth and richness of all that she offered.

One of the principles she gave to us was this:  if something comes across your path once, you can take it or leave it.  If the same thing comes up again in a short period of time, you might want to pay attention.  If it comes to you a third time, ignore it at your peril.

And so it was last week, when the idea of shadow-work came up three times in five days.  Whether we call it a gremlin, saboteur, inner critic  or liar, it is the voice of resistance.  That part of me that just thinks it would be safer, easier, less trouble to spend time playing Farmville  on Facebook than to be creative.  That part of me that is caught up with the day-to-day to-do’s at the cost of engaging in authentic generative action.

The people who have been following my blog for awhile know that my posting has been somewhat sporadic.  To be honest, I’ve struggled with it.  Knowing that I should post more, even having good ideas about what to post, but when I sat down to actually write, being gripped by these gremlins that want every post to be brilliant or profound or pithy.   I planned series, I put them in my calendar, I set up accountabilities and still, weeks went by without posting. 

Several years ago, I participated in a firewalk.  We stood waiting for the first person to walk.  I remember approaching the bed of coals, standing inches from the start, the intense heat coming up and experiencing a primal fear.   I backed away, and waited while someone else walked.  It was clear to me that I couldn’t start from the edge of the coals; I had to start from about 10 feet back, focus on where I was going, and just walk.

And so, earlier this week, I made a similar choice with this blog.  Just write.  Post every day for nine days.   The gremlins about the writing are still there, and in some ways, the fear feels just as primal.  And this is me, showing up, walking my talk, taking an authentic action.

If you’re in the Denver area, and shadow work is on your radar, join me at the Red Door Salon on Sunday.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cynthia Morris October 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm

So happy to see you posting. I love the daily for nine days approach. It seems you may be able to drive past any gremlins that invite you to overthink what you write.
And thanks for sharing Angeles’ wisdom.
Write on,

Moira October 11, 2009 at 12:46 am

Thanks, Cynthia, as always, for your support. I think it’s working! Maybe the gremlins have given it up as a lost cause! 🙂

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