Last Sunday the Sun moved into the sign of Scorpio initiating the season of the Shadow archetype. The Shadow represents the parts of ourselves we shun, ignore, and even loathe. The archetype is so named because the undesired and unwanted parts of us are regulated to the shadows and left in the dark to fester and molder.
When we avoid our Shadow, we limit our freedom.
Pretending that we don’t have things we are ashamed of, embarrassed by, or afraid of keeps us stuck and limits our choices. Imagine telling yourself that you cannot go into a particular room of your house or you can’t drive down a certain street. With each rule you create, you limit your access to specific resources.
“How do you figure,” you might say to yourself? “There is a good reason I put those undesired and unwanted parts of me in the dark. I don’t think I’m missing out on a thing.”
I get it. I really do.
Despite the previous work I have done to unearth what I hide in the shadows, I still fall prey to the impetus to regulate certain needs to the dark. So before we go any further, I want you to know that understanding and making peace with one’s Shadow is on-going, life-long work.
I also want you to know that part of being human is to squirrel away limiting beliefs, self-judgments, and big fears and put them in the shadows. I recently have come to the conclusion that when something is too big to digest, we place the big in the dark where it has time to decompose, get smaller, so we can look at and work with it.
Which is why, I believe, it is no coincidence that as the season of Scorpio began, I suffered a bout of imposter’s syndrome.
Let me explain.
It was really bothering me that I had not launched a fall leadership program: a program I piloted last summer with great results. If I enjoyed the people in and the content of the program, then why did I not offer a leadership series this fall?
Initially I gave very surface-level answers. My vacation plans were too late in the season, and therefore, I should wait until winter to start. Or I was too busy to write a sales page and I should wait until I could write amazing copy. At first, I bought these excuses; however as time went on, these excuses stopped holding water.
As all good external processors do, I sought out a dear friend: someone whom I trust, who has my best interests at heart, and who is not afraid to point out my blindspots. (You know who you are. Thank you!) After listening to me vacillate between the pros and cons of launching a leadership program, my friend said, “What are you afraid of?”
Me? Afraid? Oh how I wanted to deny and move on, but I stayed with my discomfort. Finally I heard a voice from the depths say, “Who do you think you are? Establishing yourself as a leadership expert?” The imposter syndrome strikes again!
Every time I think I have put this fear to bed it sneaks up on me and invites me to play small.
The imposter voice likes to remind that I am no Brené Brown who does the research and writes the books. This voice also pointed out that I did not work in corporate America, and therefore, had no business facilitating leadership development. And if that wasn’t enough, the imposter voice tried to shame me by telling me only greedy people charge those kind of prices for their services. Who needs enemies when such a voice lives inside you?
The imposter voice plays in the Shadow.
It mines the dark for our insecurities and uses our fear to stop us from pursuing our goals and dreams. For this reason, if for no other, finding the courage to have a conversation with our Shadow is imperative. We need people to pursue their dreams.
I am so grateful to my friend and to my courage: I needed both to have the conversation with my Shadow. Now that I am on the other side, I don’t feel stuck. In fact, I feel emboldened to continue the conversation with my Shadow as I work toward launching a winter leadership program. (You can do healing work and be goal driven. You don’t have to pick one or the other.)
Please be on the lookout, after the first of year, for a leadership program which I am learning is really about stewardship… but more on that later. In the meantime, I hope you will join us for some of the groovy fall offerings we have. (See details below.) And remember, you are not alone in navigating the dark!
Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where women could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.
Since 2010, Kim continues to build and to support a healthy, vibrant community and now guides retreats, teaches yoga, and provides one-on-one services for women who want an immersion experience into the life-affirming, Shakti energy.
Kim’s training as a therapist and yoga teacher allows her to safely and compassionately guide women on a heart-centered journey to Self, where women re-connect with their beautiful, authentic spirit.
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