Change

Full Moon Wisdom

The Full Moon ritual of writing out your grievances and blessings and burning them helps to release old unwanted energies and welcome the new.

I awoke on Sunday morning with a lot of angst. The Thanksgiving holiday had gone well. We kept it safe and cozy and got to see most of the family via Zoom and a few others distanced around a firepit sharing some laughs and appetizers. The remainder of the weekend was low key and filled with fireside reading, TV football, casual conversation, feasts of leftovers, and long walks in the woods. By the time Saturday rolled around, I was feeling extremely blessed, well rested and optimistic about the future. So, when this unsettled stirring arrived, it caught me off guard. True, we had officially entered the holiday season which always brings forth a spectrum of emotions, but I could not put my finger on the exact cause of my distress. I felt on the verge of exploding and was not even sure why.

Then it dawned on me. The following day, Monday, November 30, was the Full Moon and I was feeling Her energy pushing my emotions to a climax, asking me to look at what might be causing sadness and anxiety in my life and to consider letting go of any negative patterns that were holding me back.

According to Yasmin Boland in her book, Moonology, “The full moon is the high point of the lunar cycle. It’s a very powerful time for inner work – for looking within, healing, shifting blocks and shedding the past: things we all need to do on a regular basis.”  It is a good time to release feelings of guilt, fear, disappointment and jealousy. 

It is also an important time to forgive (others and yourself) and then to release the relationships that are no longer working. An inability to let go of resentment and anger will only harm ourselves in the long run. Buddha is said to have given this wise advice: “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  

The Full Moon energy also encourages gratitude. Once we empty our plate of what we no longer need, we are left with a void and an opportunity to fill our lives with more positive energy. By giving thanks, we bring focus to the things that are working, attract more of the same and continue to build on them. 

There are many ways to reflect within, identify and let go of outdated patterns, forgive, and express gratitude. One of my favorite approaches is journaling. I usually write the question or topic at the top of the page, in this case, “Why am I feeling this angst?” and then begin to freewrite whatever comes to mind. The answers always emerge within a few pages. When the moon is full, I make a list of negative patterns that are no longer working and any people with whom I need to make peace. After that, I write down action steps, list all that I am thankful for and create a few positive affirmations.  Finally, I construct a sentence or two of forgiveness and then I release my intentions into the Universe by burning the paper in my fireplace.

I love this ritual, particularly the final step of burning, as it feels like I am sealing the practice and conjuring a new cycle, one that will bring me that much closer to my true self.  And on top of that, it releases the pressure that has built up throughout the month and restores me to a more peaceful state. 

Other Websites…..   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

New Moon Manifesting

Today’s Moon: Waxing Crescent

I believe that thoughts create reality. Whatever you think, believe, and focus on will attract more of the same and will eventually come to be. I am also convinced that almost any aspiration can be realized if you give it the right direction, action and attention. It just takes practice, patience, and persistence. 

Recently I came upon a unique method of manifesting and it caught my interest for a number of reasons. It nurtures an awareness of subliminal energies that affect our emotions and direction. It utilizes a cyclical and ongoing series of steps that repeated over time have a high likelihood of success, and it brings us in tune with the rhythms of our planet, making life flow more easily and effectively. 

The process I am referring to, which is outlined in Yasmin Boland’s book, Moonology, uses moon phases to help us organize and carry out our dreams and goals.

According to Boland, each phase of the moon offers a unique energy which corresponds to  different aspects of the manifestation process. For example, the New Moon is best for becoming clear on our goals, setting our visions, writing out our plan, and then releasing it into the universe. The Full Moon, in contrast, is the best time to forgive, focus on gratitude, and let go of things that are no longer working. And on the way to each, there are other areas we should address such as confidence, commitment, and acceptance.

For more information on the moon phases and how to work with them for optimal success, I suggest having a look at Boland’s book, available on Amazon, or visiting the following websites: https://www.moonology.com/  or https://www.timeanddate.com/moon/phases/.

This month’s new moon occurred on November 15, this past Sunday, and I spent some time writing out my goals and dreams, as Boland had suggested. I identified action steps and created a list of fears. I made several revisions and additions before I finally settled on a workable plan. Then, I lit a candle, set the list on fire and released it into the Universe (this is not a necessary step but it does add to the fun and magic of the process).

I like the idea of following the moon phases to achieve my goals because it allows for all aspects of the manifestation process, not just the doing or the reflecting. Too often, we focus on the action steps and the need to keep moving forward at all costs. This is an important step.  However, it is only part of the process. When we get too caught up in the doing, we miss the letting go, the tweaking, the reflecting, the recouping, and the mustering of courage necessary to take the risks needed for success. In contrast, when we get caught up in the reflecting and planning, we hold onto the need for a perfect blueprint instead of moving forward with our best effort. I am also attracted to the cyclical nature of the moon’s path as it takes us through the natural and dynamic process of expanding and contracting, much like the ocean’s tides, and it always offers us another chance. If you miss the mark one month, the opportunity will come around again soon enough.

I have just begun working with the lunar cycles and the results are still unknown. Whether or not the moon has any real or mystical influence, I cannot say. I am confident, however, in Boland’s system because it offers a comprehensive, creative, consistent, continuous, and practical approach for moving towards my dreams, and ultimately, I believe it will help me to achieve anything I can imagine. And that is surely magic.

websites: Life coaching: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/. Bodywork: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/. Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

A Win for Yin

Yin and Yang energies always exist together, are constantly in a state of flux and maintain balance and harmony.

Even before the election results were in and Kamala Harris addressed the nation on Saturday night, I could feel the tide changing. Like a rubber band stretched to the extreme, I could sense the swelling Yang energy pushing towards its breaking point. The outcome was simple physics. The band would either snap, ripping apart our nation, or move back in the opposite direction.

Like many of Americans, I was relieved at the election outcome and excited to hear Biden and Harris’ dream for the future. I knew it would be uplifting and hopeful. What I didn’t expect was the magnitude of Kamala’s message, particularly the impact of electing a woman of color to the office of Vice President.

Harris talked about “generations of women, black women, Asian, white, Latina, and Native American women who throughout our nation’s history have paved the way for this moment tonight.” She emphasized the “black women who are too often overlooked and so often proven that they are the backbone of democracy.”  These statements produced a swell of emotion because they hit a vein of truth, struggle, and desperate need. 

I grew up in a single parent home with my mother and sister. My father died early and my mother was left with two small children to raise in a world that undervalued powerful women. This brought forth many challenges but also a unique perspective. I am grateful for my unwavering belief that women possess the same abilities, intellect, and power as men (thanks, mom). I have never felt otherwise, and I have never doubted that one day (I hoped it would be sooner) we would elect a woman as President or Vice-President. A woman of color makes it that much sweeter. 

The feminine Yin energy that Harris was touting in her speech has been suppressed for far too long. 

According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation, “The theory of Yin-Yang tells us that at a macro level-the largest scale imaginable-all things are always balancing and rebalancing into a state of perfect harmony. Yin and Yang are the two energies that embody Universal law, which ensures that all things remain in harmony.”

For as far back as I can see, we have been focused on the male dominant Yang energies of expanding, activating, doing, constructing, producing, seeking, and consuming. These qualities have helped us to grow and evolve. They have been essential to the building of  our country. However, the results of carrying this energy to the extreme and for too long have been detrimental.  We are experiencing an injured environment, perpetual inequality, and the pursuit of money and power at all costs.  

I believe Universal laws are always at play. The Coronavirus, for example, has forced us into Yin activities such as slowing down, reflecting, resting, listening, contracting, and healing. These qualities seem to be needed in order to produce a healthier world. This week, the election has reflected the need for a more compassionate agenda that focuses on all people and our environment.

It should not be a battle of opposites. Polar energies will always exist together as part of the whole. The degrees of each will fluctuate and continuously seek balance. Just as our sexuality takes on varying levels of feminine and masculine, our tides ebb and flow, and our time moves between night to day, the democratic system will continue to shift between conservative and liberal and now, I am hoping more Yin will begin to resurface.

As Kamala ended her speech, I could feel the band of energy release and the direction begin to change. It has been a long road, a spectacular moment in history that speaks to the endless possibilities of real and love-based change in the coming years. It also reinforces an understanding that no matter what we do as humans, the Universe will make corrections as needed in order to restore the balance.

Voting by the Moon

Photo from the New York Times, Oct. 29, 2020

It is an important week. Human emotions are running high as election day approaches. Anxiety is mounting and we are contemplating the implications of either outcome, neither of which will solve our country’s systemic maladies. That we know will take more time. 

On top of that, we continue to face ongoing pandemic challenges and increasing seasonal cold and darkness. It has been hard to relax and move forward in an optimistic fashion.

We are also in the Full Moon phase (Oct. 31-Nov. 3) when our feelings have been known to heighten.

Last night (along with many other Americans I am sure), I awoke with a lot on my mind. I ruminated a while before deciding to get up and turn off the outdoor lighting. The brightness was peaking through the shades and preventing me from falling back to sleep.  On the third try at the switch, I realized the light was actually coming from the moon, and this got me thinking.

How interesting that there should be a full moon right now, coinciding with election day.

According to  Chani Nicholas (an LA astrologer) in a New York Times article (Oct. 29, 2020), “ It is a very significant full moon, and it is happening four days before the election and is sitting next to a planet with upheaval, change, surprise, excitement: Uranus.” 

Link to full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/29/style/blue-moon-wet.html

The full blue moon occurred on October 31 and we are still in its wake until the end of the day tomorrow, according to a system outlined by Yasmin Boland in her book, Moonology.  Much like the ancient (and many modern day) farmers, Boland believes that each moon phase offers a unique opportunity to perform certain activities. 

The full moon is the ideal time to release and let go, especially of people, things, and situations that are no longer working. Boland emphasizes that it is important in this phase to forgive, because “when you forgive, you release the karma and when you do that, you exit the situation.” It is one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves. It’s detoxifying and helps us move on.

Once we let go and forgive, it is crucial to fill the void with gratitude. Focusing on the blessings in life and the things that are going right will help set the intention and direction as we move forward towards our dreams (the new moon phase is best for designing and focusing on goals).

Whether or not you believe in the moon’s ability to influence human behavior, it does seem like a good time to embrace its energy, to get rid of things we don’t need, to forgive, to extend gratitude, and to get out there and vote. 

websites:

https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/

https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/

https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Yin Energy and the Changing Tide

Life Coaching: MySoulPurposeProject.com 
Bodywork: InBalanceTherapeutics.net 
Music: WendyDarlingandtheLostBoy.org
Cape Elizabeth, Maine

A couple of week’s ago, my daughter asked me to do a tarot card reading for her. She had been on a few dates with someone new and was feeling uncertain about where the relationship was headed. She wanted to know what he was thinking and feeling and if her intuition was correct. She believed they were no longer clicking, that he was pulling away, and she wasn’t sure what to do.

After drawing the cards, the message came forward. The man, who had seemed so promising at first, was dealing with a number of personal issues. The cards suggested that my daughter give him the needed space and although she didn’t have to push him away, she also didn’t need to get involved. If and when he was ready, he would come to her. 

Her job was to focus on nourishing and growing herself, separately. That way, no matter what happened with the current situation, she would be evolving into a more beautiful and self actualized person who would inevitably attract the ideal partner when the time was right. 

I thought it was wise advice and realized that I had been nurturing my own growth in much the same way recently. 

Ever since Covid arrived and we have been forced to social distance, a lot has changed. I am no longer able to get together with family and friends in the way I used to. My band cannot perform live. Restaurants are limited or closed. I can’t work out at the gym. There haven’t been any concerts or fairs and a limited number of sporting events. In essence, there isn’t much to do.

This has become increasingly frustrating. However, there have been a number of silver linings. I have been offered the time and space to slow down and reflect, to sleep more, to read, to take daily walks, spend more time outdoors, cook healthier meals, and rest. In essence, the pandemic restrictions have allowed me to embrace the Yin energy which is often overshadowed in our modern lives.

“Yin energy is considered feminine,” says an article on peacefulmind.com. “Yin is very contracting, passive, languid, inward, and heavier. Unlike Yang, Yin is slow moving and contracts inward.” Some common properties of Yin include: earth, moon, darkness, water, female, space, matter, rest, growth, and contraction. Yang energy, in contrast, contains the elements of sun, light, fire, activity, male, and expansion.  https://www.peacefulmind.com/project/yin-energy/

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation, “Everything contains Yin and Yang. They are two opposite yet complementary energies.” and “ Although they are totally different—opposite—in their individual qualities and nature, they are interdependent. Yin and Yang cannot exist without the other; they are never separate.”  https://www.tcmworld.org/what-is-tcm/yin-yang-theory/

The more thought I have given to this concept of Yin and Yang, the more I can see its relationship to what is happening in the world right now.

The Covid crisis is perhaps Mother Nature’s way of rebalancing her energy. Our planet and its inhabitants have been heading down an unhealthy road for quite some time. As a culture, the pace of our lives has continued to increase to an almost break neck speed. We can’t sleep. The rates of anxiety and depression are at staggering levels, and we constantly feel rushed. We take more medication than ever and we spend less free time with our friends and loved ones. 

The earth is also suffering as our outwardly aggressive energy and lifestyles demand too much and give too little. It’s as if we’ve been stuck in Yang energy for much too long and can’t reverse the inertia on our own. No matter how devastating this pandemic has been, it seems to be a necessary step in the healing and rebalancing process. 

The tide is turning, as it always does, and we are being forced towards a more passive and reflective approach in order to survive.

As fall quickly descends into winter, I have had feelings of dread.  The virus is not yet under control. People are fed up with restrictions just as the weather is forcing us indoors. Covid cases are rising. The darkness and cold are lurking, and yet, I have felt an increasing sense of peace and joy coming from a deeper level. 

Perhaps it is my inner wisdom assuring me that all is as it should be, or maybe, like my daughter, I am getting the message that now is the time to focus on myself, to slow down, to grow, to create, and to heal. I do believe that within this contracted state, I will have the opportunity to envision, plant and nourish the seeds of a brighter future.

Adjusting Our Aperture

Websites: Mysoulpurposeproject.com Inbalancetherapeutics.net

Photo Credit to Diane Connolly Borton

I love walking in the woods. It offers the perfect combination of exercise, fresh air, nature, and time to contemplate. For years, I took regular treks (through the cold of winter and the bugs of summer) with a couple of close friends and our dogs and it provided an excellent chance to connect. We shared ideas and experiences, laughed at each other’s jokes, and gave advice when needed. I remember frequently getting into long conversations and losing myself in deep thought. Then, at some point, I would inevitably look up and realize I had no idea where I was. Luckily, my friends knew the trails and would lead me out safely.

I use to pass this off as my natural ability to “be in the moment,” and it’s true. I have always been good at mindfulness, even before it was vogue. It is fairly easy for me to live in the present while keeping my worries and fears at bay (most of the time). I am grateful for the ability to zoom in to the now and experience the close up view. However, there is a flip side.

When I am immersed in the moment, I lose awareness of time or get off track with my “to do” list. I am late to meetings and am not able to move as quickly towards my goals. Sometimes, I get lost in the woods.

Recently, I have been taking more walks alone and exploring a variety of unknown terrain with my partner. In both cases, I have needed to pay attention to where I was going. I have made note of trail intersections, special landmarks, and other identifiers and have paused occasionally to review my route. I have consistently looked forward and backward expanding my depth of field and have gotten better at navigating as a result.

One day last week, however, when I was on my morning stroll, I had gotten absorbed in thought and by the time I came out of it, I had lost my bearings. I solved the problem I was contemplating but at a cost, and this got me thinking.

Is it possible to immerse yourself in the present moment while also paying attention to where you’ve been and what lies ahead?

In her blog post, How to Be Present While Still Planning for the Future, Heidi Hill points out that, “Life satisfaction generally requires a balance of being and planning.” She suggests 3 ways to do this: Set goals, but let go of your expectations; Plan for the future, but don’t waste your time worrying about the future; Balance planning with action.

Full Post: https://www.lifeinfullbloom.com/how-to-be-present-while-still-planning-for-the-future/

I started to think about how I might apply this concept to my life. Could I continue to practice the art of mindfulness while periodically checking in on my goals and overall plan? Could I be in the moment in the context of where I’d already been?

As I continued my walk, I began altering my focus between where I was on the path and what I could see up ahead, much like the aperture of a camera. It dawned on me that this was a beautiful metaphor for my mindfulness practice and that in order to move closer to my life’s purpose, I would need to do both, knowing when and how to adjust.

The Power of Positive Thinking: Applied

Popham Beach, Maine

Just the other day, my mother recommended I read The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. The book was written over 70 years ago and my mom had read it then, but she recently heard it mentioned in the news and it had piqued her curiosity. 

For as far back as I can remember, my mother and I have been drawn to the teachings put forth by Esther Hicks (The Law of Attraction), Rhonda Byrne (The Secret), Pam Grout (E2), and Louise Hay (You Can Heal Your Life) to name a few. We have always had a strong inner belief that our thoughts influence everything around us including our health, financial state, relationships, emotional well being, and the dreams we are able to manifest. 

What we think becomes reality. It’s as simple as that. 

The idea has been gaining traction in recent years and we are seeing more books, blogs, webinars, and seminars on the topic. The power of using our thoughts to create our reality is a concept not that far reaching today.  However, back in the 1950s when Peale wrote his book, the ideas were novel.

Since I am a practicing student of the laws of attraction, meditation, positive affirmations, and manifesting magic and miracles, I decided to give the book a try, and although I am only on chapter 3, I have already gleaned a new realization.

The concepts presented cover familiar territory, clearing out negative thoughts, practicing daily silence, visualization, and filling our minds with positive words and pictures. 

What is new to me, however, is the practice of bridging these two concepts, the emptying and then the filling. For some reason, I have never before put that together. 

I have tried many of the techniques for “emptying the mind”  to which Peale refers. I have visualized my worries and fears being thrown overboard and have practiced the art of meditation or what Peale calls a “daily practice of silence.” 

On the flip side, I have filled my mind with daily gratitude and positive affirmations, have written down what I would like to manifest, and created vision boards; but it isn’t until now, that I realized the power of putting these two methods together.

Once it is empty, says Peale, “ immediately start filling your mind with creative and healthy thoughts.” These thoughts can be words of gratitude, visions of peace or that which you want to manifest.

“Then when the old fears, hates, and worries that have haunted you for so long try to edge back in, they will in effect find a sign on the door of your mind reading Occupied.” 

The Power of Positive thinking has been in the news recently highlighting its influence on the life and career of President Trump. An article in NPR (July 25, 2020) points out “It has been argued that Trump stands as the single most successful practitioner to date of Peale’s philosophy,” and by following Peale’s suggestions, Trump has been able to defy reality and gain increasing amounts of power.

article link: https://www.npr.org/2020/07/25/894967031/2020-crises-confront-trump-with-an-outage-in-the-power-of-positive-thinking

My mother wanted to find out if anyone could wield successful results by following Peale’s ideas, regardless of the quality of the intention. After the events of this past week, she’s thinking not.

Check out https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com// Life Coaching Program

The Benefit of Habits

My Soul Purpose Project: mysoulpurposeproject.com

It’s Monday and I am feeling defeated before the week even begins. All of my ideas and goals are swirling around in my head trying to land in the appropriate place on my calendar, in order of priority. I am also evaluating my overall mission and looking at which tasks resonate and which should be discarded. The words and pictures I am contemplating involve my hopes and dreams as well as my fears and frustrations. It can be overwhelming.

After an hour and one break, I finally settle in on a plan I can live with. At least for the day. Chances are, I’ll go through the same process again a few more times during the week and each time it will change. Each time I recreate the wheel, I’ll be stalling the forward movement and eroding my confidence and hope for success.

One of my new endeavors is an online business I am calling, My Soul Purpose Project which helps people identify and move towards their life’s purpose. https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/ . It is a process of self discovery in which I use tarot, dream interpretation, flower essence, distance healing, the Law of Attraction, and other proven techniques to help the participant move closer to their true nature.

As part of planning the business, a friend suggested that I read The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber, a book which outlines the benefits of systemization and how some degree of franchising can be the key to growth and getting a product or service out to an unlimited number of people.

I enjoyed the book a lot and it got me thinking about ways to set up my own business so that it can deliver quality and consistency every time. By automating at least some of the process, I realized I can grow a successful business without weighing myself down.  What could be better?

I am now at the point of refining the operations of My Soul Purpose Project and it is going very well. And, something unexpected is beginning to occur. 

I am starting to look at the systems of my own life. 

How do I organize my time and efforts in such a way that I don’t have to rethink or redo it every week or every day? How do I eliminate the emotional dance that accompanies each reiteration? Can I set up my life so that it will operate as efficiently and effectively as one of the franchises outlined in Gerber’s book?

This thinking brought me to another book I read last year called, Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. In the book, Rubin points out the benefits of creating healthy habits and gives tips and techniques on how to do it. She emphasizes that the best way to achieve our goals be it weight loss, better sleep patterns, improving our relationships, or starting a new business, is to learn how to replace old debilitating patterns with new ones. And once these habits are formed, they run our lives with automated precision and allow us to move towards our goals with efficiency and consistency. According to Rubin, if we put our focus and care into the creating and maintaining of these habits and keep repeating them, the objective will be achieved. Automatically. Everytime.

I am finding the habits of our lives are much like the systems of a successful business. Once we decide on a goal, we then need to break it down until we can piece together a series of habits that will lead us to that end. With continuous monitoring and adjustment, the series of habits can effectively run the operations of our lives. Once this happens, we can sit back and relax, continue to manage the overall process, and let the dream unfold.

Everything Grows

Pruning BlogEverything wants to grow.

The importance of this idea came to me the other day as I witnessed a tree being pruned in my neighbor’s yard. I realized that every living thing seeks growth and without the proper attention, like the kind being given to the tree, my life could end up somewhere I didn’t want it to be. 

I had been feeling unsettled and couldn’t quite put my finger on what was causing it. True, I was experiencing the pangs of empty nest syndrome after spending a week with my adult daughters in Maine and then having to say good- bye. I was also at the end of a divorce and there were still some unanswered questions and new decisions to make. 

I reflected on my current situation and couldn’t find anything really wrong. I had landed on my feet. My children were healthy, accepting and independent. I was financially secure with a steady income. I was in good health. I had developed a friendship with my former husband and was in a new relationship that was supportive, loving, and fun. 

There was no reason not to be celebrating my liberation and good fortune. 

Then it dawned on me that the thing that was causing me the most angst was my uncertainty about the future. I have a lot of options, but haven’t yet pinned them down. And, without this future plan and an idea of how to get there, I was worried that my life might go awry or I would lose all that I did have. 

I have been working on my vision. I practice the Law of Attraction, Pam Grout’s Manifesting Magic and Miracles, and Mike Dooley’s Playing the Matrix and am becoming clearer on the importance of visualization, taking action, listening for the universal cues, practicing gratitude and believing in the outcome.

 I also realize that for anyone to flourish, they must be nurtured and in an environment conducive to their unique needs. Like a plant that requires pruning, a person must eliminate the areas no longer beneficial to move in a more specific direction. 

In addition, we all benefit from the help of outside sources like the sun, rain, or a good friend, and thrive best when given time and space to move where we may, as there are forces more wise than ourselves helping to guide our path. 

And there is another even more difficult practice to adopt that will help us move more fluidly towards our life’s goals.

Embracing change. 

Growth is change, and change brings about fear, uncertainty and discomfort (almost always) and so we avoid it at all costs. Yet, the truth is that everything grows whether we want it to or not, and it is up to us to nurture, prune, and guide the growth towards our unique vision.

Diving Into the Shadows

Shadow

I have had the pleasure and privilege of spending the last several days in Maine on my favorite lake enjoying the sun and nature. Last night, it began to rain so my daughter and I decided to watch a movie. After scanning the selections and reviews on her computer, she suggested we watch “The Florida Project,” a 2017 slice of life drama which, according to IMDb TV, follows a “precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Walt Disney World.” 

Childhood. Adventure. Disney World. Sounds endearing, right? 

Not exactly.

I did not like the film at first. I kept waiting for the plot to unfold or an inspirational moment, but neither surfaced. Instead, I felt a mounting anxiety combined with sadness and despair as the reality of life in a poverty stricken hotel-turned-residence community exposed all the things that make me uncomfortable: poverty, lying, foul language, cheating, stealing, hustling, betrayal, fighting, child abuse, pedophilia, drug use, prostitution. 

The movie was shown through the eyes of a child who had friends, freedom, food, community and a caring mother, all of which made it more palatable. However, the stark contrast of the lives profiled to those of the privileged thousands visiting nearby Disney World, made me stop and think.

The movie did an outstanding job of portraying the reality of the situation, but I wasn’t happy with the way it left me feeling. Something was tugging at me to look deeper. 

It wasn’t until morning that I realized the importance of what I was experiencing. It became clear that the issues in the movie that made me uncomfortable were the ones I needed to examine more closely. Maybe it was time to look at what it means to lead a privileged life. Had I been turning a blind eye to the realities of those less fortunate?

With all of the recent unrest and attention pointing towards inequality and racism, my viewing of this movie was particularly timely. It became evident that the cinematic story I witnessed was one I had chosen to overlook, just as many instances of injustice get somehow justified through the selective stories we tell ourselves and the parts of our psyche we choose to keep hidden. 

I have recently been working on my own personal growth and have also started “The Life Purpose Project,” a series of one on one sessions to help people reach their life’s purpose through discussion, dream interpretation, tarot, and flower essence therapy. 

I am a believer in the power of positive thinking and healing through love. However, I have been finding that in order to truly heal and make significant progress forward, we need to look at something called our “shadow self”. 

According to an article in highexistence.com, “the shadow is a concept first coined by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung that describes those aspects of our personality that we choose to reject and repress. For one reason or another, we all have parts of ourselves that we don’t like–so we push those parts down into our unconscious psyches. It is this collection of repressed aspects of our identity that Jung referred to as our shadow.”

Full Article:  https://highexistence.com/carl-jung-shadow-guide-unconscious/

Some examples of repressed shadow tendencies include  “aggressive impulses, taboo mental images, shameful experiences, immoral urges, fears, irrational wishes, unacceptable sexual desires.” 

Our shadow self develops as a result of societal expectations that tell as we are a “bad” person if we have certain thoughts and behaviors. We want to fit in and be accepted, so we deny and hide these impulses and pretend they do not exist as parts of ourselves. On top of that, if left unchecked, these qualities feed into a larger collective societal shadow which can multiply and become more systemic, resulting in a world that tolerates prejudice, racism, abuse, and inequity.

Jung believes that these innate qualities are present in all of us and the only way to effectively deal with them is to recognize, accept, and find ways to constructively manage their presence within our lives. 

I have been using dream interpretation and the Tarot to help uncover the shadow within myself and my Life Purpose Project participants. Both methods point out areas of the subconscious that ultimately want to be seen and accepted before allowing us to move forward on our spiritual path. Meditation and identifying psychological triggers can also help shed some light.

One thing “The Florida Project” made clear was that when we look at these shadow qualities, whether within ourselves or society as a whole, the feeling can be extremely uncomfortable. It can bring us to places and uncover a world that is unnerving and painful. 

The idea is not to run and deny, but to look directly into the areas of darkness. When we do this, “fear becomes an opportunity for courage. Pain is a catalyst for strength and resilience. Aggression is transmuted into warrior-like passion. This wisdom informs our actions, our decisions, and our interactions with others..” (highexistence.com).

If we seek to accept the shadows as part of who we are, if we allow them to come forward without condemnation, we may be able to heal not only ourselves but the world as a whole, and people like those featured in the “The Florida Project” may have a fighting chance.