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  • Writer's pictureMaria Vandenburg

Sometimes it's OK to not be OK

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

There is a lot going on in our current moment. It is one of my practices to stay steady and calm amidst all of the chaos that is surrounding us, but life really has been an emotional roller coaster recently.

I recently attended an all-day workshop with Steve Nobel and a masterclass Divine Harmony, and as this practice surfaced in both of those events (by two different people that I love), I wanted to share it with you all, to help you express how you're really feeling, and process everything that is going on.

Artwork: XVI: Discordia by Ravietta on DeviantArt
Artwork: XVI: Discordia by Ravietta on DeviantArt

This will be my first post about "Shadow Work," something that I believe my life path is intricately connected to. The Shadow to me is the unconscious - something that's hidden. It's not necessarily bad, but it is something that we aren't conscious of that is running the show until we become aware of it.

The idea of this practice is to really allow yourself to feel whatever uncomfortable emotion is that your feeling. There are 5 different stages

  1. Feel the emotion - identify it. You would be surprised, but sometimes this is the hardest part. You could be angry for an entire day and not really identify with "Hey, I'm feeling angry!" So that's step one

  2. Observe it - The goal is not to disassociate from it, but become the observer of the emotion. Where in the body do you feel it? Does it have a color? Texture? What's it doing? Is it moving? Stagnant?

  3. Release other people's energy - sometimes, even just consciously doing this clears up a lot of it. Just try it, focusing on releasing what's not yours

  4. Give it permission to do what it needs to - hence the title of this post. Embrace it. Be OK with not being OK. When you acknowledge it and give it permission, some pretty powerful and transformative things can happen. You could even have a conversation with it. Does it have anything to say? What it's trying to show you? What can you learn from it?

  5. See what happens - what shifts

I would also suggest writing this all down afterward, there is such power in getting pen to paper.

You need to actually spend some moments breathing into the emotion and truly feeling it for this practice to happen.

I'll give you an example of this in action:

  1. Right now I'm feeling anger

  2. Where in the body? It's combined actually, it's my heart and in my gut. Like a big giant lump of coal. What's the texture: It's murky/grey/dark/and blocking my heart and my solar plexus. it's like a coat of tar covering me up. It's uncomfortable and scary and it pisses me off.

  3. When I release other peoples it is still there, so I know that some of it is mine

  4. When I give it permission - this is where the HUGE shift for me happened. It just wanted to be acknowledged, honestly. If I imagined I could speak to it, it would say "I'm here. I'm f*cking here. FOR YEARS you have been ignoring me, not acknowledging me, pretending that everything is f*cking fine, but it's not fine. I'm not fine. I'm pissed off and I'm tired of being f*cking ignored." Now, of course, that sounds incredibly angry, but when I gave expression to it, there was a powerful release

  5. Then the shift? This is the coolest part. It transformed from murky dark black tar into a star. I'm not kidding. This didn't happen in the two seconds it took me to write this sentence, I really had to sit with it, allow for its expression and embrace it, but when I did that... it transformed.

Here is a video by Tara Branch explaining this in more detail with an exercise she calls RAIN.

And I feel better. I'm still feeling anger, but it's healthy anger now. It's anger that I want to use to change the world, to channel into creation into something that can help serve others and allow for all of us to find a healthy use/space/something to work through everything that's going on around us.

So I invite you guys to test this out! Comment below and let me know how it goes, or any other self-care tips you have found yourself using. Sending love and light to everyone.💖


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