It’s one of those critical life skills that no one ever teaches you how to do

Your shadow self is where all those things that feel less pleasant go.

And if you’re not aware of your shadow self and all the things she carries within her, you’re going to be taken by surprise.

Just like the rock hiding right underneath the surface directs the flow of water around it, so too, do the things you’ve let your awareness slip from guide your daily choices from the back seat.

And this becomes most apparent when you want to do something new, achieve a goal you never have before.

It’s when you’ve made the brave decision to jump into the deep water that all your self-doubt, anxiety and lack of confidence rise up to swallow you into the swell and dash you against the rocks you’ve hidden right underneath.

To be able to swim in the deep waters of your inner emotions without drowning, you need to learn how to sit with the darkness, embrace the shadow.

Yes, it hurts.

Yes, it’s hard.

But it’s the only opportunity you have to grow.

Because you don’t grow by staying inside your comfort zone.

So, push yourself, not just harder and stronger, but in more creative ways.

Challenge yourself to rise above whatever you’ve achieved before.

Challenge yourself to do things better than you’ve ever done them before.

So long as you can feel the pain, you’re still breathing.

And as long as you’re breathing, you still have another chance to do things differently.

Don’t be afraid of getting hurt because the wound is where the light enters you.

And, yes, I know that scar tissue isn’t as strong as what was there before, but it comes with experience and wisdom earned, and is all the more precious for it.