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Grateful Moments

“Being grateful does not mean that everything is necessarily good. It just means that you can accept it as a gift.”

— Roy T. Bennett

We don't start shadow work on a whim - it's a purposeful undertaking that leads to true growth. Last month we dove into how to identify the shadow, examine it, and determine which parts of it no longer serve our highest good. After doing all of the work over the last few weeks, we're left with a more authentic image of ourselves. That image is going to be important to hold onto as we use it over the next couple of months to completely change how we're showing up and experiencing life - especially going into a time period where many of us have what seems like neverending parties and gatherings with friends and family.

Why have we been doing more shadow work now? Shadow work identifies and diminishes (or even eliminates) triggers in our lives. Studies show that over the holidays, 38 - 64% of people notice an increase in depression and anxiety (the lower number represents people who do not normally have symptoms of depression, while the higher number represents people who already have diagnosed mental health conditions going into the holiday season). If we can diminish triggers in our lives, we are able to stand on a stronger foundation, which allows us to show up and experience the joys of being with family and friends, rather than feeling like we're navigating through a giant pot of chaos and negativity.

We've uncovered a new image of ourselves and in doing so, we're presented with a new reflection. What is the difference? Consider the image to be your internal self and the reflection is your external self. Humans have a tendency to see the world as happening to them. We have been conditioned to operate out of a fear mindset - we have to struggle for our place, and if we aren't struggling and hustling, we aren't really trying. As that's our conditioning, our brains seek out confirmation that struggling is the way to get ahead.

But what if with this changed image of ourselves, we could now see a reflection of that in a more neutral or positive light? We experience a situation or event and instead of being triggered and responding emotionally, we just accept it and move on. We stop spending days, weeks, and years resisting whatever triggered us and just pivot and go. In doing this, we retrain our brains to seek out a positive bias in our world instead of the ingrained negative bias. We can, in fact, stop doing and start being.

All of our actions and reactions are - at their core - the direction of energy. Wherever we put our attention, that is where the energy is going to go. We put our attention somewhere positive and everything seems to happen so easily. There's no resistance and everything is magical...but that also happens on the negative side. How many times do we go into the holidays thinking, "Oh, I know that the lady from the office is going to gossip about everyone at the party," or, "Uncle Travis is always making rude comments about my weight when we visit for Thanksgiving?" We continue to put our attention there and talk about how those things always happen - and guess what? Then they do!

We are comfortable being stuck in these negative loops - and why wouldn't we be? They are familiar and by living within them, we don't have to question anything about ourselves. They allow us to place the "blame" for our conditions squarely on the shoulders of something external. By admitting that being stuck is a part of our growth process, we have a starting point for learning to observe without judgment...we are able to let each event pass by and remain unaffected. It's as simple as this: continuing the same reaction loops will ensure that we remain stuck, receiving different versions of the same response.

By becoming unstuck, we allow ourselves to grow and experience the fullness intended by the Universe.

Our November Favorites


Soul Shift - by Rachel Macy Stafford

A Year in Provence - by Peter Mayle


Just Be - Styx

Change - Charlie Puth (feat. James Taylor)



Journal Prompt

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