Happy Halloween! Halloween was set on the traditional date of the old Celtic celebration, Samhain [pronounced SOW-en]. It's the season of shadows and spirits and transformations of all kinds.
I've been reading Thich Nhat Hahn's book, You Are Here, in which he talks about exploring our shadow self, the darker, less socially acceptable parts of ourselves that we are quick to hide and slow to acknowledge.
His advice was elegant. Allow yourself to witness the shadow parts of ourselves. Just notice and witness. There is no need to banish them, because they are an important part of who we are, and all things can be transformed. He says,
'In Buddhist meditation, you do not turn yourself into a battlefield, with good fighting against evil. Both sides belong to you, the good and the evil. Evil can be transformed into good and vice versa.'Transformed. You do not have to destroy part of yourself, you only need to find a way to transform it. The energy is still there, but changes form. Shape-shifting energy. And as it changes shape, it can do different things.
I am taking today to witness my shadow self and then identify those areas that can be transformed into something more useful. For example, I have been witnessing in myself a lot of anger. Instead of being upset with myself for harboring so much deep anger [nice people aren't supposed to be angry], I am simply noticing it. All of it. I asked myself what that anger can be transformed into that would serve me better and after considering it for a time, I realized that my anger is an excellent tool for reminding me where my boundaries are or ought to be.
Today I will honor my anger and turn it into a tool for helping me establish and honor better boundaries - something that has traditionally been a weak area for me. This way I can witness my shadow self without being ashamed and without becoming a battlefield. I honor my anger and I honor my boundaries. That feels really good.
Happy Halloween! Blessed Samhain!