Courage to face one’s shadow side

Surface your fears on your way to freedom

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” — Thich Nhat Hanh

It is easy to live our life without having to face our what scares us because we are so used to our familiar comforts. However when there is so much uncertainty around us, specially now with the current pandemic, at times we do not have a choice but to start covering what we are going through. So this is an invitation to be gentle to yourself and taking small steps.

“The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.” — Thich Nhat Hanh

We live in a world where everything is in slots, good and bad, hot and cold, dark and light, however there are grey areas that do exist. It is key to surf through the waves of emotions and triggers that we come across in a slow manner. Right now life is throwing at us different stressors that we may never have been exposed before. These are unprecedented times and it reveals part of us, that we never knew existed. Rather than waiting for things to go back to ‘normal’, be courageous to explore what is it that you are feeling.

There is a lot of judgement around us, others judging us, we judging others. We make it worse for ourselves when we start comparing with each other. This is further amplified when we compare ourselves with our own past. We have evolved and changed to the extent that sometimes we may not even recognise who we are now. The word ‘now’ is the pivotal here, it is when we are in the present and value it as a gift can we start experiencing the transformative effect of surrendering to suffering.

“Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud. — Thich Nhat Hanh

Hearing bad news, living in an atmosphere of fear conjures a variety of reactions. One of the ways is to validate what you are feeling. Say them out aloud or write them down. If we suppress what we feel, it will fester in the future. Whilst there is a lot that we do not have control over and we are compelled to feel like pawn in this chess game of life, our attitude is what we can influence. These exercises are simple to give you an opportunity to label them so you can liberate yourself from their snare.

“Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful…How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? It is natural–you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow.” — Thich Nhat Hanh

Once we have expressed our shadow side, it is key to let it be so we can slowly start bringing a positive stance. Smiling is a gentle way to embody acceptance which moves on to help you feel better and think positively. I’ve recorded a wonderful, inspirational podcast with Lesley Cooke, Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner and author where talk about facing our shortcomings with courage. The link is found here.

Lesley’s book “Turning towards the Light” is a treasure and source of solace during these turbulent times. You can buy the soft book directly from Lesley by emailing her on or the ebook on the link here.

“Bravery is not the overcoming of fear but the manifestation of love. What is love but understanding? What is understanding but a foundation stone for the world. As building and foundation are one, we are one with the world. One whole. Expressing love through bravery is a way of upholding the universe.” — Lesley Cooke

This is such a thought provoking poem that helps us to realise that in reality everything that we are going through is building the foundation that unifies us with each other. We try and self contain ourselves with no avail because it back fires. The more we deny who we are and what we feel, the more ammunition is being accumulated to explode. Take some time out, in nature, with yourself to really see what you need. The answers are all within and sometimes all you need is a little time and reflection. The crisis remedy also known as the Rescue Remedy which Dr Bach discovered is a combination of five remedies is a restorative way to come back home to yourself and restore. I’m running an hour webinar on Thurday 3rd December at 7pm UK time to discover how it can guide you from a state of distress to de-stress, the link for this is here.

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