Weekend self-care is about taking a little time to explore the ways that we can take better care of ourselves. Because I practice Witchy Wellness, weekend self-care can be a little mystical and magical. But we also keep it grounded with real, whole food recipes — because cooking is one of my favorite forms of self-care.
This week we’re owning our Shadow.
The more I work with Witchy Wellness and a regular manifestation practice, I realize how important it is to own your shit. All the stuff that brings up shame, embarrassment, or you’d rather not address (this is what makes up our Shadow) is the stuff that’s keeping us small, stuck in bad patterns, or in fear of being fully seen for who we are.
Yes, we could totally all stay safe in our comfort zones and continue to ignore or push aside our Shadow aspects, but when we do this we will always be vulnerable to the comments and judgements (or perceived judgements) of others and never fully feel like we’re living our fullest potential. Accessing and owning our Shadow is the key to accessing our full power.
So, how do we start making these powerful and scary moves in our lives for a more full, dynamic, and magical life? First, we have to clearly identify our Shadow aspects. And second, we have to start to own them — both in public and private.
Identifying Your Shadow
The Shadow feels shitty, but there really isn’t anything wrong with it. Our Shadow aspects are just things that we saw play out in our early life that we thought (for whatever reason — parents, friends, teachers, media, etc.) we would get rejected or not be loved for if we embodied, so we rejected that aspect or hid it.
- Observe. As you go through your day, take note what makes you feel ashamed or what you would be devastated about if anyone found out about you or called you out on. Notice when things make you upset, annoyed, or embarrassed or when you feel like you need something external to cope — like alcohol, weed, or shopping.
- List. Try to reduce these things/feelings to one word each. You will likely uncover many many words. Focus on the ones that bring up the most intense feelings in you. The ones that feel triggering and sting the most when you say them to yourself are what you should make a priority to own.
The concept of the Shadow comes from Carl Jung, but there is a ton of information out there on it in articles and books.
Owning your Shadow
Accepting and even loving our shadowy bits is where we really start to gain power. Think about the most captivating, brilliant, magnetic people you know — I always think about public figures I love like Amy Poehler, Karen Kilgariff, Busy Phillips, etc. What they all have in common: They openly and with grace, humor and honesty — but never disrespect to themselves — own their flaws.
A few ways you can embrace and own your Shadow:
- Share something about it on social media or online, specifically calling out something that you used to try to hide from others.
- Casually drop it in conversation with someone — bonus points if it’s someone you admire.
- Have an honest conversation about it with someone close to you.
- Do a visualization where you personify this shadow and physically embrace it or have it become a part of you in a way that feels healing and loving.
Owning your shit = embracing your Shadow = showing up as a more authentic version of yourself. And the more you do it, the more you can start to bring in the things you really want in your life.
My Shadow this week
We’re never finished working with the Shadow, that’s why we have to own and embrace it. The Shadow will always find new ways to pop up and try to keep us small. Lately I’ve been dealing with one Shadow aspect in particular: Not good enough. I’m feeling insecurity around the good things I have and fearing that the rug will be pulled out from underneath me at any moment. I feel like I’m not worthy of asking for more support from others or expressing myself fully, fearing I’ll drive people away by simply asking for more or asking to be seen. I’m not feeling secure enough in myself to fully trust instincts and intuition, and find myself veering toward perfectionistic tendencies in a desperate attempt to take control or make up for my not-good-enoughness.
Ooph. It can be crazy-making if you let it get a hold of you. And I have at points. So I’m sharing it with you, to own my fears and anxieties and tell you that I’m loving this part of myself anyway. Even though she holds me back, she’s also just trying to keep me safe and secure in her own way. When I look at it from this angle, it isn’t crippling, it’s just something to gently squeeze and say thanks, but that’s enough now.
Brain Health Bowl
Doing this sometimes intense Shadow work can mean that our brains are working extra hard to rewire our thought patterns and look at things differently. Let’s show the mind some love with this bowl filled with foods that are good for the brain — including healthy fats from avocado, walnuts, and egg yolks.
Makes 1 bowl with extra dressing.
- 2 cups kale cleaned and finely sliced into ribbons
- Roasted sweet potato wedges
- Medium-boiled egg cut in half
- Half an avocado cut into chunks
- ½ cup blueberries
- 2 tablespoons walnuts toasted
- 1-2 tablespoons feta cheese
- 1 radish thinly sliced
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
To make dressing:
Whisk all ingredients together until well combined.
To make bowl:
First, roast sweet potato. Heat oven to 375°F. Cut sweet potato into wedges/big chunks and arrange on a baking tray thinly coated in avocado oil. Sprinkle with salt and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Combine sliced kale in a mixing bowl with 1 tablespoon dressing and massage the dressing into the kale with your hands for about 30 seconds until the kale starts to soften.
Add other toppings to the kale, including roasted sweet potato and top with another spoonful of dressing.
If you like fish, Top this with some grilled or broiled salmon for some extra brain-healthy omega-3s. I broil mine in the oven on high for 2 minutes, skin side-up and seasoned with salt and smoked paprika.