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  • Maria Vandenburg

30 Days of Authenticity Week Two: The Embrace of What Is

Updated: Aug 17

So for week two of 30 Days of Authenticity I have us focus on what I like to call our "Shadows." But as you will come to realize with ALL of my work is that I strongly believe in a redefinition of our Shadows. I see them not as something that is "bad," they are simply just a part of us that is longing to be seen, heald (this is a new word that I am now bringing to life with the help of Elizabeth Beasley - it means "healed and held" = heald) and loved just as it is. It's a part of us that we may or may not be conscious of that we can learn to work with if we embrace it with love and compassion - doing that causes the "inner alchemy" which I love witnessing within myself and within others. It's one of the reasons why 30 days of Authenticity has been so powerful for me to experience because I am getting to see us all become alchemists.





BUT, I digress. That is not the point of this blog. The point of this blog is to slow down and to provide my own reflections on Week Two of 30 Days of Authenticity. The intentions and focuses of the day were as follows:


🌟 Day 8: I am Aware:  I ask us to take a look at our triggers and conduct an SOAP analysis to see if we can approach them from a more compassionate perspective.


🌟 Day 9: I am Patient: We looked at a childhood wound to see if we could comfort and love that pain that still lives within us


🌟 Day 10: I am the Other: We tried to see the world from the perspective of someone, something we originally considered to be outside of ourselves


🌟 Day 11: I am Embracing: We shined a light on our fears to see if we could get to a space of embracing them for what they are showing us about ourselves


🌟 Day 12: I am Open: We reflected on the week with free-form writing


🌟 Day 13: I am Willing: We took a look at the role expectations play in our lives which brings me to...


🌟 Day 14: I am Reflecting and my overall thoughts on the week.




I knew that a week focused on our shadows would be uncomfortable but I did not anticipate the intensity of it all. Am I grateful for it though? Actually, yes, I am, because I have deepened in my love and my acceptance of myself. 


This week starting off with me actually allowing myself to feel the pain of my childhood wounds. Really feel them, stop pretending that they don't exist, stop judging myself for having pain, stop feeling like I am going to lose someone else's love, or feel abandoned if I allow these emotions and feelings to surface. So I did that, AND it was cathartic because I realized that I will ALWAYS be there to love and hold myself no matter what, no matter how I'm feeling. That it's the resistance to what actually is, that causes me pain and the acceptance that I was in pain that allowed for the release and also for me to deepen in connection to the Little Maria who lives within me who is just longing to be seen, heard and held just as she is.


Then we moved into tackling my fears, it really does feel like alchemy when I can shift a fear to something that I am scared of to something that I can be excited about. And again it comes from admitting that I am fearful, but then EMBRACING the fear, seeing it as something that I can work with to allow me to see/witness something within myself that I had previously been denying/repressing or believing that I can't do.




And finally, we get to my expectations, which I am still figuring out how to best work with. I know that when Bianca (my perfectionist nature, one of my shadow aspects that I have named) and I set completely unrealistic expectations we only end up hurting ourselves when we inevitably fall short. But the question for me remains, should I still have expectations? There is something to be said when I am able to reframe them and set realistic/achievable ones because when those expectations are met... it feels good. So the answer to this question is... I DON"T KNOW. But I'm willing to stay in the uncomfortable of not knowing until it all becomes a bit more clear.


So what does my purpose statement for week two look like?

Well I am statement from Day 7 was: "I am willing to be with what is and allow myself to be seen"


And I also still loved and resonated pretty deeply with the purpose statement I crafted for myself last summer which is: "I love and embrace all of what makes me, I recognize the beauty in the darkness and the power in being vulnerable"


When I am combining the two, I am realizing that what has shifted for me between who I was last summer and who I am now is love and acceptance of exactly what is, and being fully present and grounded into the here and now. So... I'm left with:


🌟I love, embrace and accept all of what makes me who I am, I recognize the beauty in the darkness, the power in being vulnerable, and the value in being present and grounded in the reality of what is.🌟



As I often conclude, it's not too late to join us. I am offering this as "Pay As You Wish" while we are running through it live.


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