Thoughts on Shadow work

Shadow work doesn’t mean you live in the dark. It means you take your Shadow’s hand and pull it into the light until it moves through life with you, not against you.

Finding the positive lessons of Shadow work and integrating them gives you more of a depth of creativity and Being. They teach you where you’ve overlooked your gifts or given away your power, where you’re not living true to your values, and what parts of your strengths you’re afraid to ‘own’.

The gifts of Shadow work help you identify your inner workings, your innermost desires, what wounds you need to heal, and where you’re not living according to your values. When you listen to them instead of ignoring or pushing them away they can become your greatest allies.

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The Attitude of Gratitude – week 5

These are the things I’m grateful for from the last week:

Monday: self-help videos on YouTube – particularly those by Michele Elizabeth and some by Elizabeth DiAlto.

Tuesday: Inner child work that helped me release a lot of negativity and fears that have built up around a particular situation.
Wednesday: Sitting in the back garden and enjoying the sound of evening birdsong.
Thursday: A reminder of the life lessons of Penguin.
Friday: Glorious sunshine.
Saturday: Beads, glorious beads.
Sunday: My first good night’s sleep in two weeks.

I have decided to keep The Attitude of Gratitude posts going through June.

Believe in yourself, you are enough

Believe that your contributions have value, even if no one else notices or sees them. Believe in your own self-worth without letting society, others or circumstances make you feel otherwise. Live by your values, by what’s important to you, and by being the best You you can be.

Be your own gardener, tending the precious seed within. The water and mulch may also be added to by others, but the sunlight comes from your own inner sense of worth. You deserve a place in the world. You deserve to be happy, regardless of what is going on around you.

You are enough.

Notification – why the change of username?

Those of you who follow me may notice I am not templekitty any more, but soulofapenguin. I feel it ‘fits’ better with this blog. I’ve been going through a lot of processing and shifts lately, and I feel penguin’s lessons are reminding me of who I am again. Penguin has always been a part of my life and I’m reclaiming that resilient, quirky, loveable part of myself.

Penguin came into my life for my first Christmas in the form of a cuddly toy from my late Uncle T. The imaginatively named Pengy still lives with me, and the life lessons of penguin resonate very strongly with me. If my soul was an animal it would be a penguin.
Penguin is resilient, patient yet excitable, communal yet solitary, awkward yet elegant, fierce yet loving, protective but friendly, loveable and quirky. They are a mass of contradictions and I love them for it. Hence soulofapenguin.

(If you wish to read more you can see the article I wrote on my other blog for World Penguin Day)

I will also be changing my ID pic but will leave it a couple of days so as not to confuse people too much.

penguin_totem_by_michellecelebrielle-d33al77

Penguin Totem, by me

Thoughts on Vulnerability 

Vulnerability is facing our own emotional nakedness. Divested of our masks and armour we are confronted with our most delicate, raw and vulnerable Self. Here is where all our wounds lie; every slight, every rejection, every disappointment. Here we find the parts of us we tucked away because we weren’t “enough,” or were perhaps “too much.”
Here we face ourselves in the mirror, like the Emperor with no clothes. Finally we stop ignoring our ‘naked’ state and see just what is there.

To be vulnerable is to dismantle the armour – the programming and fears; to pull back the masks and reveal our true faces.

To be vulnerable is to question and counter the false facades we’ve accumulated.

To be vulnerable is to admit our wounds, our fears, our perceived inadequacies.

To be vulnerable is to love ourselves enough to believe we are worthy.

To be vulnerable is to open our hearts to those who have earned that love, and to stand strong before those who haven’t.

To be vulnerable is to heal, to hope, and to find our inner spark.

To be vulnerable is to look at what we want to create in life, take a leap of faith, go out into the world and live by our values.

To be vulnerable is living a more transparent life; hiding no more, from ourselves or others, and taking responsibility and owning our own heart and healing journey.

Vulnerability is our raw truth.

The Attitude of Gratitude – week 4

These are the things I’m grateful for from the last week:

Monday: Reclaiming my aspect of ‘Healer’
Tuesday: Kiwi fruit.
Wednesday: An enlightening dream that helped with reintegration.
Thursday: The arrival of my Palo Santo goodies.
Friday: Identifying the root of fear that has been coming up in the mornings this week.
Saturday: Brene Brown, for writing Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Sunday: Synchronicity – two posts from other bloggers that carry messages of importance to me.

Identifying Self-Care Needs – what does it mean to you?

Self-care is a phrase that’s thrown around a lot, but have you ever really thought about what it means to you?
I had vague notions of it before, but when I actually needed to enact it for the sake of my own health and wellbeing I had to look really closely at what it means for me.

These are some of my interpretations of self-care; something that:

  • you can rely on when all else falls away.
  • nourishes your mind, body and soul.
  • keeps you grounded and centered.
  • soothes and nurtures.
  • makes you feel safe and protected.
  • reminds you of what is truly important to you.
  • reminds you of what you love.
  • reminds you of the good in your life.
  • reminds you of the beauty of the world around you.
  • warms the heart.
  • makes you smile.
  • makes you feel happy.
  • makes you feel good, and isn’t just a quick-fix.
  • is positive and uplifting.
  • reminds you of how important caring for yourself and your body is.
  • reminds you of the importance of taking some time for yourself.
  • keeps you going when times are difficult.
  • holds you steady.
  • helps you build back up again.

There are different levels of self-care too. It could be a once-a-day time for yourself, once a week or once a month. It could be your way to de-stress and get away for a while to recharge. It could be your way to take time off to recover after illness, loss, difficulties or change. It could be that you have nothing left in the tank and self-care in the only way for you to heal and move forward. It could be taking time to re-assess your life and working out what the future holds, or facing and healing old wounds.

There are so many ways and types of self-care, and all of them are equally important in their own way. The main thing is to actually take the time to enact self-care. Don’t keep putting it off because it seems selfish or inconvenient. Don’t let things build up until self-care becomes the only way forward. Because if self-care is needed and you put it off life may well find a way of making it your priority.

Be kind to yourself. Enact self-care on a regular basis, and try to recognise when you’re getting stressed. If you’re having problems processing your own ‘stuff’, let alone other peoples’ then please take some time out.
By looking at what self-care means for you, and identifying the actions and things you associate with it, you have a ready-made action plan. When you need to take some time out, or when circumstances dictate your need for self-care you’ll be prepared. You won’t feel so lost and have to waste precious energy working it out because you’ve already thought it through. No need to stress, you can just put your self-care protocols into action and concentrate on your healing process.

In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing ways that have helped/ are helping me identify my own self-care needs, and providing suggestions to help you identify your own.

Reclaiming Sensitive

I wanted to be seen as strong – to feel strong – but I realise that I need to accept I am sensitive. I have a sensitive heart, a sensitive soul, but it doesn’t mean I’m weak. I can be sensitive, I can be kind, loving, soft, and open to the energies of the world around me and still be strong.

I weep with music because it touches my heart, and I can stare in awe at a sunset, moonlit sky or stunning vista because it touches my soul. I can feel the energy of sound, words, of the people I meet, of the places I visit, because I’m sensitive. That is not a weakness, it is a gift.

In trying to be ‘strong’ I forgot my true strengths, my gifts. I became a false kind of me, and that made me weak. That opened me up to hurt because I wasn’t being true to my Self and standing in my centre.

It is not a weakness to be a sensitive person. It does not make you a ‘doormat’ or a ‘pushover’ if you can find the strengths of being sensitive – the gifts, and your Self. Then you can act from a place of true strength, integrity, and for the higher good in a situation. Sometimes this higher good will mean saying ‘no’ or standing your ground because you are sensitive to your own needs – and what is best for you is not giving into someone or something that makes you feel small, weak, hurt, unhappy or afraid. You act with better emotional responsibility because you are sensitive to your own body, its needs and your emotional needs. You are more aware of what is right for you. Sometimes this will mean being strong by standing up for, or asserting, your needs and boundaries, rather than just accepting a situation because you’re more sensitive to the needs of others to your own detriment.

To stand in the strength of Sensitive you stand in the truth of your Self and your own needs. You are aware of the needs of others but you always stay true to who you are and to the higher good. You lead from the heart, rooted in your Sensitive Self. You live with integrity, honouring your Sensitive soul, and standing in the truth of who you are, aware of your own needs and feelings.

You do not let your hurts make you brittle, your nature defensive; you feel those hurts but you find a way to heal without causing pain to another. You do not fan the flames and you know when to step away – or walk away. You understand what is best for you, and you listen to that strong sensitive heart within.
You do not need to force your ideas or opinions on others, you do not need to profess to your gifts loudly because you know who you are. If you lead by example, live by what you believe, then you stand in strength, not fear and weakness.
You will still know pain but you will not inflict it on others because the strength of Sensitive allows you to understand that the energy of what you send out matters.

You are a Warrior of the Heart; honouring the strengths of your Sensitive nature. You are not weak.

The Attitude of Gratitude – week 3

These are the things I’m grateful for from the last week:

Monday: Wheat-free donuts!
Tuesday: The energy to be able to dance for a few minutes.
Wednesday: Glorious sunshine and blue sky.
Thursday: Seeing a Woodpecker two days in a row
Friday: Watching a neighbour’s beautiful ginger kitty rolling around on our patio.
Saturday: Looking through Nan and Grandad H’s old wedding cards.
Sunday: The abundance of wildlife visiting our garden.

The gift of music for inner healing

Music has always been something that has charted phases of my life, whether it’s my years at school, trips or helping me through the different years and phases of illness. Recently it has really been coming back in for me again. When I needed nurturing Dizzi Dulcimer’s original hammered dulcimer compositions pulled on my heart strings and allowed me to release grief and hurt. Within Temptation helped me ride out stronger feelings of ‘injustice’, bolstering me, helping me to work through and rise above a situation.

A few nights ago I chose my ‘Get Moving’ playlist and danced away while I had the gift of a little energy. I created this playlist especially for times when I needed uplifting or motivating, and when I come across another gem it gets added to the list. All sorts are on this playlist: neo-classical, soundtracks, pop, rock and all in between. As long as it has a good beat, makes me feel happy, uplifted or motivated it goes on the ‘Get Moving’ playlist.

Music can guide us through so much. It taps into our psyche, pulling on emotions, memories and feelings. It can be a healer, a motivator, a companion, a comfort and an inspiration. Why not create your own ‘Get Moving’ playlist for when you need to ‘get moving’, whether it’s physically, mentally or emotionally.