Tag Archives: Spirituality

Our Dark Side

shadow

Ever had a thought so terrible that you are too ashamed to even admit produced it?  It’s like someone or something momentarily hijacked your brain waves.  It happens to all humans, and some have coined this phenomenon our shadow self.  It’s human nature to battle with duality.  The Jekyll and Hyde affect.  The battle front against inner demons have kept psychologists in business for many years.

The problem is, there may be no problem at all.  Being human means duality.  Only God possesses a truly unified consciousness of love.  Because we have free will, we have the ability to create a consciousness or thought that is the opposite of God, or the opposite of unity.  The best definition of this thought product is fear.

God had a thought, and here we are.  We had a thought that differed from God’s view, and hell was created as it is the opposite of God.  Hell is the manifestation of duality (good versus evil).  A thought started it all.  Thoughts are things, don’t forget that.

So what do we do with this self-created hell?  In the book The Shadow Effect by Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford, and Marianne Williamson, we are given solutions.  Often solutions are sought via religious texts, activist groups, and political righteousness.  Unfortunately these cultivate an “us” versus “them” mentality, which is the opposite of God or unity.  As I said earlier, God is all encompassing and is unified in love.  The moment duality or “us” versus “them” is created, the shadow is ignited to grow.

There is nothing wrong with groups that uphold love and gather in servitude and kindness but one must keep the mind focused on unity and understanding as oppose to defeating evil.  Victor and victim depict duality, which supports the shadow; however, understanding and unity are not bipolar and support God consciousness.

Solutions to unify with, accept, and illuminate the shadow will bring us closer to God consciousness.

The shadow is understood as:

  • The secret, dark side of yourself you refuse to acknowledge as part of you
  • Any habits you wouldn’t admit you have
  • All of our fears, worries, anxieties, guilt, and shame
  • The side of us that wants to place blame
  • Isolation

Unifying the shadow is understood as:

  • Acknowledge it exists, and is indeed a part of you
  • Releasing judgement and forgiving the shadow
  • Moving on with your life, focusing on positive projection
  • Focusing on unity and collective well-being

Some may ask, “What is projection?”  Projection are feelings you place on others that are really your own.  An extremely joyful person projects joy, which enables that person to see joy in other people.  An extremely fearful person projects fear, which enables that person to see fear in other people.

You may then ask “how can I focus on unity?”  Unity is love, and a knowingness that really as humans we share experiences and thoughts.  My pain is felt by all humans and my joy is celebrated by all.  The knowingness that we are all experiencing together, there is no isolation.

Chopra D, Ford D, Williamson M.  The Shadow Effect.  Harper Collins Publishing.  New York, New York.  2010.

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Wait, I may have PTSD?!

ptsd

Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is becoming a cliché term thrown around in dramatic, charismatic conversation.  Many people question if PTSD is even real.

My grandfather fought in WW II and experienced night terrors and sleep disturbances until the day he died, a common symptom of PTSD.  Medical professionals tend to reserve the PTSD diagnosis for military vets and victims of extreme trauma or violence, which may be appropriate.  But what about the individuals who suffer with no major cause often begging the question, “What the heck is wrong with me?!”

PTSD involves a traumatic disruption in the nervous system resulting in continued release of stress hormones.  Obviously war, extreme trauma, and violence are credible sources to initiate this disruption.  There are four major symptoms of PTSD paraphrased as follows:

  1. Unwanted thoughts:  This may take the form of reliving negative events via memories, day dreaming, nightmares, and flashbacks.  These thoughts intrude without warning or preface.
  2. Fear avoidance:  Simply avoiding people, places, and situations that may remind the individual of the trauma.
  3. Poor memory and negativity:  Forgetfulness, brain fog, constant blame placing, inability to see things in a positive light, flat affect (no emotion).
  4. Hyperactivity and poor reactions:  Aggression, poor value of self or others, inability to sleep and relax, hyper-alert and aware.

Anthony William, The Medical Medium suggests in his blog that there is an “epidemic of hidden PTSD.” It’s hard not to agree with this as a medical professional.  It is not uncommon to see these exact four symptoms in individuals with no preceding traumatic or violent event.  As a physical therapist it is my responsibility to restore normal physical function but with symptoms of hypervigilance, sleep disturbance, and disrupted mood it’s difficult to believe that simple exercise is the full answer.  May it get the ball rolling?  Yes, but the underlying cause is a mystery.  Or is it?  From my point of view, the death of a spouse or child, failure in school, and parental disappointment are a few of the so-called “minor” traumas that may have started a downward tailspin into Stress Hormone City, eliciting one or more of the above symptoms.  Recognizing the signs and symptoms that mimic PTSD is the first step in creating and cultivating a cure.

The national library of medicine (NIH) and biotechnology (NCBI) house a host of articles supporting the usefulness of meditation to combat PTSD in soldiers.  In my opinion, meditation can be an educational point for anyone presenting with one or more symptoms of PTSD.

Besides meditation, Anthony William suggests a dietary approach.  Glucose acts as a protector of the brain and nervous system.  Glucose is readily available for muscular use through the liver, its own glycogen storages, and fat metabolism but not for the brain.  The brain is extremely sensitive and prefers blood glucose from just eaten carb sources favoring fruits and vegetables.  When glucose is not readily available, it will attempt to get what it needs from the liver but this is not an endless supply.  The brain is quite sensitive to just the right amount of glucose.  Utilizing unhealthy, just eaten, glucose laden food (such as grains, soda, and sugar) actually damages brain tissue—kind of like over-watering a plant, the brain becomes over-glucosed compromising neural health.  Hello hangry, brain fog, and memory problems!

Because PTSD is a disorder of the nervous system, providing it with the right sources and amount of glucose may help.  Great brain food can be found in the produce aisle!

There are many facets of wellness, and to fully heal from or manage PTSD one must create a positive relationship with spirituality, occupation, friendships, family, animals, and the environment.  Meditation is one suggestion to aide in transmuting negativity in any of these areas to positivity.

The evidence supports the use of multiple psychotherapeutic approaches as well, and these will also aide in returning the body to a de-stressed state.

*None of this information is to be a substituted for professional healthcare.

New Skin

snake

Certainly my death in another dimension was from a snake.  Fear of snakes is a common phobia, and I suffer with many.  I pray them out of my life and pray them away from my home…or at least away from my sight.  As a little girl, I remember playing at my grandmother’s farm.  She warned me “if you ever see a snake, you have one chance,” as she picked up a gardening hoe with a stern look, focusing her blue eyes she proceeded, “and you better hit it HARD!”  My grandmother said this in a jokingly-serious manner as she taught us how to protect ourselves.

As an adult, my husband and I purchased a home right on the cusp of city and country giving us land, trees and easy access to the highways.  You know what this means?  Snakes.  A small creek provides relief from the heat and acreage provides the serpent’s playground and cafeteria.  God has answered my prayers.  My husband spots them all the time in the yard, there’s been a few attic sightings, but never have we seen any in the house.  The best of all is that after 10 years, I’ve never physically seen ANY.  They prefer to visit me in my dreams.  Ugh…forgot to set that boundary…but let me tell you how this has been a good thing.

I often advise clients to honor the wisdom and companionship in animals.  Try to receive what they may be teaching you about yourself.  They are often carriers of God’s messages and a reflection of His wisdom. 

Snake has slithered throughout my dreams for years.  She has never harmed me but fear permeates the dream experience.  She’s simply observing me, I subconsciously freak out, and then the dream is over.  Last night was different because yesterday I stepped out of my comfort zone.  My undercover mediumship came to an end as I sat with my brother-in-law at a community health fair with a sign reading “Intuitive Mediums.” The messages delivered were mind-blowing and beyond anything we can give ourselves credit for. Now to the dream:

I was hovering above a water park, because you can do these kinds of things in dreams, observing as a rattlesnake was going down a water slide.  Initially, I was trying to warn all of the children—“there’s a snake!”  I suddenly stopped as I perceived fear in the snake.  The snake wanted nothing more than to experience the slide and return to her owner who was patiently waiting to catch her at the bottom.  Very similar to a child trying a water slide for the first time.  The child is scared, excited, nervous, and ready to be caught my mom or dad at the bottom. The snake got to the bottom of the slide, never rattled once, and swam immediately over to her owner and wrapped herself lovingly around him.  My heart softened.

I am now in the water with said rattlesnake.  I’m awaiting a warning rattle that she is about to strike.  Instead I feel her head slide under my hand, just as a dog requesting an ear rub.

She’s so excited I’m here.  I allow her to wrap herself around me.  Her leathery skin gives me a hug and warms me.  I didn’t realize I was chilled until her warmth reminds me.  She’s been sunning all day collecting heat and is happy to share it with me.  I feel as if I’ve reunited with a best friend I didn’t realize I missed.  I see every detail of her skin and rattle.  She’s plump and orange.  Her rattle is large and ivory—I can’t believe she’s so big.  She doesn’t need to use her rattle right now because she feels no threat or fear, just happiness, love, and excitement to be with me.

As my alarm jolted me awake, I immediately wondered “What did THAT mean?!”  Luckily I’ve studied animal symbology and am immediately reminded that the snake represents transformation, transmutation, and healing.  Snake often resides in the totems of healers and utilizes the power of the sun to heal.  Snake is an observer and quite sentient.  Snake is aware of the warmth of our soul.  I ended up feeling quite honored she befriended me and was kind enough to visit.  I awoke feeling as if a teacher had just congratulated me on a job well done.  My subconscious fear has been removed, and I know snake will assist in the transformation of the conscious fear.