Shadow Boxing

Shadow boxing with myself, with the ingrained voices in my head, and with the world. Shadow boxing with my own shadow. My shadow jumps out at me and startles me.

“Hello?” I called in the dark, “Who’s there?”

My shadow smirked and chuckled, “You know who it is, you big dummy.”

I stood in the dark, shaking, “What do you want?”

“I want you.” My shadow said decisively, “Come on.”

“But…” I stammered, slowly putting up my fists, “I can’t fight you.”

My shadow chuckled like a Disney villain as it confidently put up its fists. “Sure you can. You just need the right motivation. Just you wait. I’ll get you at some point.”

Then suddenly my shadow was gone and a bright light appeared as someone entered the room. I snapped into a robotic version of myself. I was not totally confident or masking my fear, but driven by the other person’s presence I ran on autopilot. I did as I was told. Like Ella Enchanted I had the “gift” of obedience and I could people please like a pro.

My shadow taunted me. It morphed into voices and took on the forms of loved ones.

“Why are you wearing those shoes?“ I would see my sister say. My sweet, innocent sister would startle me with her judging tone and defiant posture. I saw something in her that was not her. If only I could reach inside her and take my shadow out of her.

“Hey! Move faster! What are you doing? We’re all in the car waiting!” my brother said, “Geez, you’re so slow!” A sinking feeling overwhelmed me, as I watched my brother storm back to the car. A flicker, a shocking spark would light up under his feet that didn’t belong to his kind and tender nature. If only I could reach for his hand and remove my shadow from him. Sadly, I was not brave enough and too afraid. So I lived in fear of myself and my shadow. I lived in fear of the world and how to be.

Shadow boxing with my shadow at night. Always in the dark of the night. “I told you I’d get you. Do you feel motivated to fight now?”

My shadow let its fists go. Swing left. Swing right. Trembling I watch my fists fly through the dark. I dance my way through the night as a way to cope through the fight with my shadow.

By daybreak I snap back into autopilot and sweat my way through the day. I white knuckle my way through each moment. My shadow whispering in my ear. All day my shadow bullies and whispers insults in my ear.

By nightfall my shadow jumps up behind me and laughs at my girlish scream. Then it grabs me firmly by the shoulders and turns me around. “Fight me!”

“Why?“ I ask, pleading.

“Are you scared?” My shadow taunts “Come on. Hit me.”

I notice a kind of fear and sadness living behind my shadow’s fire lit eyes. I timidly reach out my hand. My fingertips inches from my shadow’s hand. “What if we just…” My fingertips link with the fingertips of my shadow and like a spider spinning its web my hand slowly blends with my shadow’s hand.

My shadow lets out a loud, fearful gasp. It quickly retracts its hand, as if it was burned. “No. What do you think you’re trying to pull?”

“Nothing. I’m not trying to pull anything. Really.” I tell my shadow, “I just thought…”

Chuckling lazily my shadow says, “No. You don’t get to do that. Who told you that load of garbage?” My shadow looks confident, possibly even a little regal, but it’s fearfully clutching the hand that was recently touched by mine. My shadow continues, “You just thought?” It laughs, “that’s just precious. Let me tell you something. You don’t get to think you can change me or have any sparkling ideas about our relationship. Ok? Do you hear me? You just stay in your lane. You got it, princess? You and I are in the ring for life. I’ll see you for another round, sweetheart.”

And just like that it’s daybreak. Cue the umpteenth round of white knuckling torture.

Oh, dear, sweet shadow! I will form a bond with you if it kills me. One day we will blend together and the fear in our eyes will fade. But, I guess, not today. I pray that “one day” comes soon.

When I Am Seen

When I am seen I become unleashed joy. When I am seen I feel freedom.

When I am seen my heart can fill up with emotion and unapologetically feel ALL of it. When I am seen I can let my heart authentically express all my feelings.

When I am seen my mind can diligently write out all of its ideas with gratitude and joy. When I am seen my mind can share freely the dissertation of thoughtful ideas it has written and stored over many long years. When I am seen my mind can take that dissertation it has stored and begin to build something beautiful out of it.

When I am seen my body can be unbound. When I am seen my body can connect to my heart and my mind. When I am seen I can move effortlessly and dance unencumbered.

When I am seen I can celebrate the space I take up. When I am seen I am in alignment with myself and in the world. When I am seen goodness can be created and life can be lived to the fullest.

Thank you, friends! Thank you, dear friends, for seeing me. Thank you for seeing me when I fall out of alignment. Thank you for loving me into alignment and bringing me back home to myself.

It is a rare and powerful gift to be truly seen by another breathing soul. When you honestly and humbly give this gift of seeing another then the heart can open wide, the mind can rest completely, and the body can connect gracefully with the heart and mind. Then that aligned person can authentically live. They have been given profound permission to feel, think, move, and be without hiding.

It’s unfortunate how intensely we all hide and suppress ourselves. We are not meant to lose ourselves that much. But when one brave soul takes the time to see us, to really see our soul, it is an invitation and a gift. When we are seen it’s a beautiful invitation to unapologetically open up!

So, dear friends, thank you for this lovely gift. Thank you for seeing me!

Fostering Creation Card Sale

Hi. Taking a second to promote the Fostering Creation Card Sale and Shop.

Buy handmade greeting cards made to order. Choose from various photos taken by Grace Foster and by me. Please see details here https://fosteringcreation.com/card-sale/

Also Fostering Creation has a Shop. Go to fosteringcreation.com and click “Shop” in the menu. Choose from various Fostering Creation photos and get them printed on your favorite products, such as phone cases, tote bags, towels, and more.

Dive In

Dive in to what you feel called to do. Don’t be shy. Anxiety may come, but let it run in the background as you dive in.

The chatter of the world will continue on like birds that cluck and coo. Try not to falter or get swayed among the chatter. Let it be white noise. Perhaps it was well intentioned, but nonetheless it’s white noise. Not a cluck, not a coo, not even a loud squawk should push you away from your innately desired path.

Don’t let anything steer you off the tracks, unless Intuition urges you to change course. Otherwise stay on course and continue to dive in to what you feel called to do.

Surrender

Surrender to where life goes. They say, “follow your heart.” How about instead you surrender to your heart.

Let your heart go, like a boomerang. It might come back broken, but at least you tried. Then get up and try again.

Surrender to life. It can be exciting. The butterfly feelings, the new projects, the exploration of one’s self, the opportunity to see beauty in every heartbreak and then to come back stronger.

Surrender to all of it. Some days may feel like a slog, like trudging through molasses, but it can still be beautiful. Because life is beautiful. The ordinary grind can blossom into something extraordinary. You just have to invest in the grind. Do the work. Take that one step. Then find the next stone and enjoy the climb.

As you climb you may look back and feel like you’re not getting anywhere. Surrender to that feeling. Embrace the state of limbo, the unknown. Surrender to all of it.

Photo by: Grace Foster