Dear Shadows

Dear Shadows | SusannahConway.com

 

Dear Shadows

For a long time I thought you were bad, something to be gotten rid of. I thought I had to push you away and disown you. That if I admitted you were within me, even for a second, I would somehow fail the Good Person test. Yet you were like a little dog nipping at my heels, and when everything fell apart so spectacularly there was nowhere I could hide from you. Everything WAS you. My life became shadow and we danced until our feet bled.

That’s when I understood.

Without the dark there can be no light. We need the contrast, the yin and the yang. We grow in the darkness of the womb and are reborn each and every night. I learned there were riches to be found in my shadows, once my eyes got used to the dark. Our shadows show us where we were hurt in the past and what needs healing. They remind us that we’re only human (and what a hilariously messed up blessing that is). Pushing our shadows away doesn’t make them disappear — they only way to “get rid of” our shadows is to accept and embrace them. The shadowy parts of my Self do not define me — my regrets and disappointments and spiky thoughts are not all there is of me — but they ARE a part of me. When we can embrace our shadows like we embrace our light we truly become whole.

So, my smoky-fingered friends, I promise I will not push you away. I will continue to dance with you because you always have so much to teach me. Thank you for showing me how to be truly vulnerable.

With love and gratitude

Susannah xo

 

April Love 2016 | SusannahConway.com

 

For the April Love 2016 prompt: Dear Shadows

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The liminal space

The liminal space | SusannahConway.com
I’m back in the liminal space. I’m waiting, wanting, preparing, exhausting: my self, my ideas, my patience, my nerve. I’m creating a new website and don’t want to write here any more. I’m creating new things for my tribe and finding it hard to narrow it down to the First Thing to make, already thinking about the third and the tenth. I’m drinking my coffee from a new mug and writing on a new keyboard. I’m so ready for the new, so ready for more. I want to be kissed, touched, seen, heard. I’m ready to slip out of this old self and step into the next incarnation, the next chapter. Yesterday is too small for me now; I want to run towards tomorrow. I want tomorrow to be today.

I’m ready.

The End of Woo Woo

The End Of Woo Woo | SusannahConway.com

 

Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you — Rumi

I attended a 3-day workshop with Sally Kempton recently. We were learning about kundalini and the goddess and the joys of spiritual awakening. There was chanting, meditation and a LOT of women in attendance. At one point Sally shared a few book and website recommendations with us, describing one site as “not too woo woo”. And I thought to myself what could possibly be more woo woo than kundalini, chanting and the goddess?! But I knew what she meant because I often use that term myself.

It usually pops up when I’m with a group of people who hold a mix of beliefs — when teaching a course, for example, I never take it for granted that everyone has the same references as me and I try to be as inclusive as possible. To me that’s just being polite and respectful. But lately I’ve become more aware of how I use the term in my everyday life, too. It’s the “this might sound a bit woo woo but…”s that have got to stop.

I know where this has come from. Looking back over my relationships I see I chose partners who didn’t share my beliefs. I still remember the withering looks I received and how I always felt the need to play down that side of myself. The not-an-atheist side, completely at odds with how they viewed the world.

All this has been swirling in my head since I finished reading The Dance of the Dissident Daughter. While Sue Monk Kidd’s background is vastly different from mine — I had a very secular upbringing — I devoured every word of that book. As ever, reading another woman’s story has emboldened me to own my own. It suddenly hit me that when I diminish what’s important to me I diminish myself, and while I may have been quick to do that in the past I don’t want to do it anymore.

 

feather | SusannahConway.com

 

I don’t follow a particular religion or a single set of beliefs, and while much of what rings true for me lives in the New Age camp for sure, these days I’m most interested in my own first-hand experience of spirituality. The best way I can explain it is this: It’s the connection I feel when I turn inwards, my sense of being connected to something much larger than me yet also unquestionably a part of me, too. And there ain’t nothing woo woo about that.

I enjoy learning about new ways to connect to the sacred within — hence the kundalini workshop — and ever since I bought my first tarot deck as a teenager I have always been interested in the metaphysical. As I get older my understanding of my place in the world is deepening, which in turn makes me more confident about embodying that with others. I love my spiritual accessories — my home is filled with crystals and singing bowls and more oracle cards than is probably necessary — but really all I need do is close my eyes and I’m there. I’m home.

We’ve come up with so many names and rules for what could be ‘out there’ — god, angels, spirit, universe, source, shakti, the mystery, the all-that-is — and while I don’t think any of us will ever really know the truth until we shove off our mortal coil, enough bonkers things have happened in the last nine years to let me know that there’s more to all this than just what we see with our eyes. I can’t prove it scientifically but I know what feels true for me. And that’s the bit that feels important — that we each find what feels true for us.

I guess you could call me a healthily sceptical believer :)

The Sunday check-in

to feel alive | SusannahConway.com
Reading…
The Divine Feminine Fire by Teri Degler and Dancing in the Flames by Marion Woodman

Feeling… the pain in my teeth. I’m half way through my Invisalign treatment and so far so good — but there’s not a day that goes by where I’m not deeply aware of the braces, and for some reason, this new set are really doing a number on my molars. Ouch.

Smelling… fried eggs. This incense.

Tasting… coffee, always with the coffee.

Listening… to the silence of Sunday and the gentle rumble of cars passing. Birdsong.

Creating… two guided meditations to give to my Love Letter peeps soon.

Wanting… to be kissed. I can’t deny it. It’s the lazy Sunday morning effect.

Pondering… that today is father’s day and I have no one to send a card to. And how I am completely at peace with that. I was less so last year.