Shadow Self

Everything Leaves a Mark

Sometimes in my counselling work I meet the most beautiful of people.

When I say beautiful, I mean courageous, honest, brave, loving, big hearted, giving and most beautiful of all, vulnerable. When another human being sits with you and just opens up about the honesty of where they're at and you open up to really hear,  witness and validate that, something magical happens.

A real soul to soul connection happens, between two people, two strangers, unconnected in any way except for the experience of what it means to hurt, to not know, to feel lost but who also show courage in weathering the storm, remaining hopeful in spite of the rough and who demonstrate a spiritual conviction that this too shall pass, and I will emerge intact. It's always a good day when that happens in this work. 


On another, but related note.. I did a painting last week that kind of reflected this. I have been a bit lost for my own words lately... holding out for mantra's to come my way and have been stuck on 'Love More, Fear Less'.. 

Usually I start every painting with scribbles.. I scribble onto the canvas what comes to mind, freely associating, uncensored, just words, thoughts, sentences. One word seems to love being scribbled, but it had started to bother me. That word is 'Never'. Never wants to be in everything. It's usually in a sentence of the positive form, as in 'never forget, or never give up'.. Sometimes it's just the word itself. I'm wrestling with the availability of the word never in my vocabulary. I'm asking myself, why is it not arriving in the form of 'always'? Why not 'always, remember... always keep going'? 

The Power of Words 

Chances are I'm over analysing this and it doesn't have to be a 'thing' worthy of concern.. but I'm so mindful of language. I'm well acquainted with the power of words, so I'm uncomfortable with 'Never' always being on the tip of my tongue.

As I painted over the scribblings, I was carrying this with me... this grinding non acceptance of how automatic it can be for me to state in the negative. This used to be my kryptonite, negative self talk. I literally have spent years re-training the words out of my mouth to be chosen in the light of optimistic, positive, self support, not admonishing, pessimistic self defeat. 

For the most part, I am successful in this.. but there are still traces of language I identify with the old me, lying in wait for opportunities to be spoken again. They have lost their fluency, but I can't assume them to be dormant. 

So, back to the painting... I discovered I had painted two girls... and the one on the right was disproportionate to the one on the left.. As I looked at it through the lens of this conflict, I saw the bigger figure as imposing, doing some sort of overshadowing. I also noticed though, she was not fully on the page... she was edged out as such, demoted to the sidelines, big and all as she tried to be. 

I shaded her to look like a shadow and then the words came to me. "I am more than my shadow" 


It's the first mantra I have had visit me in weeks, maybe months. I feel good about it. It reminds me that although I still carry the echo of my former, shadow dominated self, she is, after all, part of the whole, she is not the feature part I play anymore. I am more that that, more than pessimistic, negative, frightened, hurt. 

SO MUCH MORE. And so are you <3 


Always, Amanda... xoxo 


P.S... This clip showed up in my Facebook feed today... I HAVE to share it with you. 50 seconds of the best demonstration of How to stay positive I have ever seen. Delivered by a little girl, who really means it. I want to be her.. I'm going to take a leaf from the brilliance of her book :)