Radical Joy: Embracing Your Shadow part 1

by Cheryl Brewster

Ugh. There are parts of life that we just don’t like. And they will always reflect parts of “US” that we don’t like. The parts that we have repressed, suppressed and denied, tucked away where we can’t see, so we don’t have to deal with them. All those parts of us that we’ll address another day, when we have more time; when there’s not so much going on. But one day, suddenly, much to our  horror… we’re stopped. Dead. Our creative genius, the energy behind peace, purpose and productivity goes on strike.

Has this ever happened to you? You’re bopping along, doing just fine. Or think you are. Sure, there are some things you need to change, but it’s just not convenient to deal with them right now, so you carry on. Until suddenly, your creative genius says, “that’s it, nothing more until you look at this!”  It’s the weirdest, most uncomfortable feeling in the world. Not understanding why you feel so immobilized, just knowing that you do, your gut is telling you that you can’t afford to ignore this any longer. What? Slow down? Change gears? Do something different? That’s the very last thing you want to do. You want to shake this feeling, bust out of the weirdness of this no-man’s land, this twilight zone, and get back into action and finish your important projects. Ah, but those projects driven by your creative genius, have undergone the ultimate mutiny… they’ve been abandoned, and you’re left behind, holding the empty bag of your hopes and dreams, with nothing to show for it.  And now the anxiety is starting to set in… big time!

Welcome to “Divine Discontent.” 
The problem is, divine discontent is rarely, if ever, convenient. But it does herald positive change! Behind it however, we must embrace…. our shadow. Yikes! Ugh. All those uncomfortable emotions and regrets of shoulda, coulda, woulda.

But here’s the exciting paradox… “That shadow is not a bad thing… it’s not negative or evil, but instead dark or not yet illuminated. It consists of all the things inside us that we don’t want to face… those things that appear harmful but also potentially enlightening… all that we have rejected, denied, disowned or repressed… it is simply unintegrated energy, and until we learn how to tap into this energy and transmute its power, we will never become a fully integrated or fully awakened human beings.” (Charlie Morley, in his book Dreaming Through Darkness). Phew! What a relief. And an exciting added bonus is this – as the legendary “shadow master” Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung put it:

 “The truth of the matter is that the shadow is ninety percent pure gold.”

WOW! I’ve had my fair share of radical shadow experiences, but I have to say, that using this approach totally revolutionized how I’m choosing to look at the shadow… with far less fear and far more appreciation for the insight, healing, energy, focus and clarity that it offers. Peace, calm and clarity come, not from “running away” from the shadow, but instead “running to it.” No, it’s not easy, and yes, there is pain… but far better to have it be a temporary pain of release than the excruciating pain of existential angst that sucks the soul dry and makes life a living hell.

It’s that freedom from worry that I call Radical Joy… the effervescence of life within us, just itching to come out and create a life that’s meaningful, happy, productive and spectacular… it’s time! 

1. What is your Divine Discontent telling you? The longer you wait to ask it, the more it hurts.
2. Listen. Your heart knows the way. Ask it. You must create the quiet time to ask your intuition, and integrate rather than shun, what your shadow tells you.
3. Be willing to go into the void – the place of not knowing. That’s where releasing of old limitations happens. That’s the place, and the only place, where new insight and integration can begin.
4. Have courage. The way out is the way through. Be diligent in making your life count.
5. Know that you are not alone. Reach out when you need support and trust that whatever it is you are going through, every great person that you admire, has gone through it too… break on through to the other side through your effort to “go all the way” into self-realization.
6. Learning how to work with your shadow is worth the effort! It teaches us how to drop worry, be empowered and joyful.

As I continue to embrace and teach the exciting concepts in “The Hero’s Journey,” as a metaphor for life… I’m simply in awe of this process.  What an incredible adventure! So take heart, know that your deep dark spaces are important gateways in this path to awakening to the True Self within… this awareness and immutability of peace and joy. It’s only through purification of our minds, the willingness to feel and transmute painful emotion, that we experience deeper expressions of our talents, gifts and abilities. Life is too short not to take this to heart and I wish for you this call to action today: be still, go inside, and ask your shadow what it is really trying to show you, what it really needs from you. You’ll be so glad that you did.  Your shadow is simply radical joy, trying to show you something better.

Cheryl Brewster of the Intuitive Life is a transformational speaker and coach to organizations and individuals keen to experience and promote “Radical Joy in Life and Business.” Her motto is that we get far more done when we’re having fun… she uses her dynamic expertise to inspire audiences and coaching clients how to do that, even through the most challenging circumstances.  “Radical Joy… is the relief, energy and comfort that comes from knowing that no matter what happens, you can and are handling it for the best outcome possible.  In addition, Cheryl provides intuitive consultations and spiritual counselling for those wanting to add a deeper component to discovering and living their joy. She is also an ordained interfaith minister, and legal wedding officiant, offering “Intuitive Celebrations” for life’s most meaningful moments.

If you would like to learn more about Cheryl and her services please email or call 604-781-4022 or visit TheIntuitiveLife.com.
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