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Shadows and Light: Ritual for Release

Saturday, December 18th 2021 10:00am 6 min read
Dr. Jessica Renfer drjessica.nd

Licensed naturopathic doctor with expertise in lifestyle transformation, healing from chronic disease and natural fertility & preconception.

We are approaching the Winter Solstice, the darkest point of the year; when the veils are thin and we connect to the quiet aspects of self. Depending on where you are in the world, and when you read this article, nature may be within the depths of her winter, or not. If you are a bleeding woman, you connect to this energy of the death cycle that is Winter every time you approach and begin to bleed. And again even if this is not the case for you, you will still experience these phases along your path. Those times of limbo and of the in-between; when what was is quickly fading, and what’s to come has yet to take shape. So many of us are in these spaces in this present moment, so much is yet to be determined.

A powerful practice during these times is to reminisce, feel into and look at the stories from your past. Often when we are in these in-between moments in life, there is a desire to create something new, for things to be different–better perhaps. In order to create space for what we wish to walk into, we must let go of what was, we must release attachments to the past self and stories.

Most of us, whether intentional or not, are holding on to aspects of the past. Both those stories and experiences that were painful, as well as those full of bliss. We hold onto painful experiences often as a means of self protection. We hold onto the blissful moments to define who we are, how we wish to be, what in our past have we used, to put simply, “like” ourselves. What I have found is that until we are willing to let go of all of it, both the shadows and light from the past, we cannot fully move forward. If we are committed to holding onto stories we like, it is difficult to let go of the stored pain and trauma.

Rather, I encourage you to think about this possibility. Allow yourself to be who you are at this moment. Everything that has happened in your life has integrated itself within the expression of you that exists today. Notice how it would feel to let go of all the many experiences and qualities you have used to define yourself. As we do this, we may find that some of the definitions no longer apply, or never really did. They were created by others, or created in response to feedback from others, as opposed to what was authentically us.

In order to let go of the story, we often have to first tell it. I invite you to consider the many voices and perspectives within us that can be the storyteller. Notice when you begin to feel into your story, what comes up first? Is it the hardships, or the blessings? Is the pain, or the empowered self. BOTH are essential to listen to, as to not bypass our pain, for if we do not acknowledge it, it remains. And at the same time, if we continue to tell our story from that perspective, if we hold onto the WOUNDED storyteller, we in a way, require its presence within us, in order to define ourselves. If we tell our story through the lens of the BLESSINGS, it is often more empowering, as it focuses on the lessons, how our path has shaped us into who we are today. When we share from this perspective, we weave into the collective consciousness, as the Hero or Heroine of our own Journey. And still, holding onto that which we find blessing in, from the past, keeps us there. The whole self, the integrated self, is made of Shadows and Light, and all that is in between. The Yin and Yang, ever present and essential.

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