How I'm Learning To Live With My Shadow



Mercury hit me like a freight train this month:

- Unwanted bills, car malfunctions, miscommunication, taxes, the list goes on.

So there I was, sipping my coffee in Burnaby on a casual Wednesday morning waiting to have my car battery and oil changed. I was sitting in Whole Foods typing away sending emails and writing out a blog post I never got to publish. I reached over to grab a sip of my bitter coffee and boom - it spilt all over my computer. My computer did one of those weird glitches where the screen flashes white a few times and then completely shuts down. 

I've had my computer since 2012, and to be honest it was probably on its last leg (that ol' faithful). That moment brought up memories of all the clumsy times when I've dropped my iPhone on concrete and it's inexplicably fine. Yet, that one time I dropped it on a soft surface it breaks? So ya, I've spilt a lot of liquid on my computer in the past, dropped it, I've thrown it and it still worked. That 1 ounce of liquid I split caused massive trauma.

Naturally, I tried to get the computer fixed and I was bombarded with $700-1000+ quotes. I was faced with having to buy a new $2500 macbook and I thought to myself, what was the universe trying to tell me?!

This was the universe telling me I needed to take a step back. I've been pushing too much. I needed to just sit still in the comfort of not knowing what's next instead of trying to force something to happen.

Isn't that what being an entrepreneur is all about? Creating opportunities for yourself?

Didn't the universe know that sitting on my ass wasn't going to bring in my $1K cheque I needed to lock down by the end of this week, to pay my rent? 

"I don't care" - signed the Universe.

What I have finally realized is that, there needs to be a quality of tenderness and ease when creating opportunities for yourself. That's it, I wasn't channeling the divine feminine. I was letting my masculinity completely take over. I was out of balance.

So computer-less, and money-less I was left in the middle of the most expensive time of the year.

So I took the rest of the day off and I reconnected with what mattered. I picked up my paint brush and I wrote a letter to the universe:

 I needed another 1,000.00$ to just get by this Christmas.

I dropped it like a hot cake. There wasn't anything else I could do but to leave it alone.

It was like something took over, I wrote a letter to myself from the universe with exactly what I needed to hear. The universe told me to be easy on myself and celebrate my wins, no matter how big or small they are.

I was so in tune with the divine that I didn't expect my right hand to free flowingly write out two columns. The left hand side housed my "to-do" list and the right hand side spelled out "universe". The key with law of attraction is to write it down and then forget about it. It's like when you're brainstorming for ideas - walk away and leave it alone - and eventually the idea finally comes to you. It doesn't do you justice to over analyze how that $1k will appear - which it did by the way. 


My New Routine:

Guys, I can't tell you how much this tactic has helped. Every morning before I get out of bed, I write 3 pages.

  • Don't let you hand stop writing and just spill everything that's coming out of you - it's your intuition and it's called automatic writing.
  • Do not read what you wrote.
  • When I'm finished writing what's on my mind, self criticism, what I need to get done today, I've officially opened by removing stifling blocks so I can be more creative and spiritually connected to the divine.
  • Optional: I write out my to-do list, and a list for the universe (what I need to manifest that day or week or month)



This photo was taken by Wendy Shepard (@wendy.shep) at the Light Up Retreat In October, 2017 (

I keep reliving the same epiphany, I was so use to my income from Hootsuite keeping me afloat month to month. I knew I'd always be okay, because I had a bimonthly income that could buy me out of my credit card debt, and my quarterly commission that could add to my savings. I had it all figured out and in a way that allowed my shadow to flourish - in bad way.

My spending habits were through the roof, frivolously shopping every single week, eating out an insane amount, and coffees - this was my everything. When I finally caught up with my bills over the last few months, I couldn't believe how much money I spent on coffees every single month - $250 which was equal to my grocery budget. On top of that I was also spending over $700 on drinks, and meals out.

My shadow had been illuminated. What was I doing? Spending my money and time away from home, keeping busy. My habits were keeping my life busy. My inner dialogue went spinning - Busy from what? Busy from actually just being in the moment and being with what I have and stillness with my shadow.

The transition to self employment has been a roller coaster for me. My high's are super high and I experience super low lows. It's like that fiery yet toxic relationship that you just can't seem to get enough of. That relationship is my relationship with my shadow. It's been illuminated for me to finally acknowledge. Because I have chosen this life path of artistry, spirituality and entrepreneurship - I have simultaneously chosen to live with my shadow, side by side, like another twin, for the rest of my life.

We as beings have many shadows. There's one shadow in particular that seems to be re-emerging. This one is a shadow of mine rarely surfaces. It's my shadow that lives within the depths of my soul. This shadow only blossoms when I'm really facing myself in full throttle - whether I know it or not.

Light cannot exist without darkness. Light illuminates the darkness and it brings it forward. We cannot shine as beings without having our shadows in the background, or foreground - it's a balancing act. 

What is my shadow? My shadow is fear of unworthiness, and momentum. Control is what I place in effort to keep it at bay. This is my trick I learned as a child, and also my crutch because this control lead me to having anorexia, bulimia, OCD and depression. When I come face to face with the unknown, especially situations I can't control (like what my income will look like for January). This shadow is the gateway to my filthy, dark self. It's no coincidence that December as been a hard month. I'm 2 months into my entrepreneurship and double whammed with the lead up to Christmas, which means parties, eating, and go go go. I've been taking my stress out on my body. calling myself fat, living into the fear of overeating instead of taking Christmas for what it is. I was resisting Christmas time too. I'm finally ready to really embrace that mucky shadow that is the cause of my racket - my racket being body shame.

I face my shadow every single day, and I resist it way more than I could be giving into it. Pain is just a message, and our shadow is simply an invitation to go deeper. I'm learning what it means to sit through this pain. I'm learning how to cooperate with it right now. We're arguing over which side of the bed we're going to sleep on. My gut tells me we'll find a balance of coexisting soon.

It's almost like I've been suffocating my shadow, not allowing it to breath. We need our shadow just as much as we need light. Without the contrast, they cannot exist. I've always been devoted to my work, especially my own self development, but this has taken new planes. 

I find I really struggle with balancing the entrepreneurship and honouring my artistic side. I tend to get obsessed with what I'm making, instead of focusing on what I'm actually making by hand. It's definitely important to make money, without losing sight of what's paramount.

My fear stems from not having enough money, to me, money is freedom, it buys me a way of life and it gives me a sense of worth. I'm dauntingly sharing that I'm having a hard time living by that statement. I'm so caught up with feeling good once I've been paid, and when the cash runs dry the low repeats itself.

I can hear my guides whispering, "do not judge, just be aware". 

I learned a new tool this week to cope with my running mind. I was midway through a power yoga class I booked on a whim. I was feeling overwhelmed and I needed to root and reconnect with mother earth. The teacher created a spiritual lesson around our thinking minds.

She said: "our minds are designed to think. They're designed to be curious. Sometimes we feel like we have no control over our minds. In these moments of spiralling out of control just label your mind, "thinking, thinking"".

 Your mind is doing nothing else - it's just thinking. Thinking, doesn't have to have a negative connotation around it. It's just thinking. Essentially, you're stopping your train of thought, taking a step back and noticing that you're "thinking". Plain and simple.


Let those feelings rise - they're not bad, they're good. It's like taking your body through a car wash. Let the suds sweep over you and bathe in it. 

xoxo Tori

Tori Swanson