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The week where I did shadow work

Week 23: Monday 14th June - Sunday 20th June 2021

I've decided I need to work harder.  

There was a noticeable difference in my weight loss photos after the three month milestone, and now that I'm rapidly heading towards the six month milestone, I'm worried that there won't be such a noticeable difference when I take more photos in a few weeks from now.

So this week I have three PT sessions booked, instead of the usual two.

The first is on Monday. The sun is shining, and when I arrive I'm pleased to find that this session is going to be outdoors. It feels like my PT has upped the pace. A lot. This session feels like really hard work. I guess I shouldn't be complaining though - I did say I wanted to work harder...

My weight loss journey - a progress update
Twelve weeks have now passed since I started my weight loss journey, so it seems a good time to check in on how much progress I’m making. I took some pictures...

Recovery time - feeding the swans

Afterwards, I feel like I need some recovery time, so I go to the pretty nature reserve area near the gym to visit the swans and ducks. I have swan and duck food with me this time, and I'm incredibly excited to find there is a swan with cygnets very close to the jetty I'm standing on.

I throw them some food, and going by all of the squeaky noises they're making, I think the baby swans are enjoying the food! A couple of ducks come swimming towards me too, quacking very loudly, clearly not wanting to miss out.

Feeding the swans and ducks is definitely more fun than being put through gruelling workout routines!

A sleepy duck

You may also remember that a few weeks ago I met a duck who likes to sit on the fence. He was in his usual place again last week. And he's here again today. This time quietly having a rest in the sun. He looks so serene and peaceful.

A man called Paul

Finally, I meet a person this time too, called Paul. Paul is also admiring the swans. Paul is very chatty and tells me that he often likes to visit the ducks and swans.

A man...who doesn't really look anything like Paul...and who seems to be standing in the river...admiring some swans...

Sprint. Sprint. Sprint! SPRINT!

The next session is on Wednesday and I am told it is going to be a leg session in the gym. I'm introduced to a new piece of machinery that I've not yet used. It's some sort of running machine where I have lean into a rope and sprint really fast.

I don't think I'm sprinting fast enough, as my PT seems to be getting angry.

"Sprint. Sprint. Sprint! SPRINT!" he keeps shouting, each time his voice getting louder and more demanding. I close my eyes so that I can focus in on my legs. Perhaps by the power of my mind I can encourage my legs to move faster...

Me on the sprinting machine...

After the sprinting machine he asks me how I'm feeling.

"Hot!" I reply grumpily.

It is a warm, sunny day and the gym seems to have captured all of the heat. My hands are making sweat prints on the floor as I do plank exercises, and droplets of sweat keep falling from my forehead, making plopping noises as they hit the floor.

It feels more like I'm exercising in a sauna than a gym today.

The waxing moon: a time for shadow work

Last week I talked about how I signed up for Kassandra's art of abundance 31 day lunar yoga challenge. On Friday morning I awake to find that I've arrived in the next lunar phase of this challenge - the new moon phase is over and we're now in the waxing moon phase!

The waxing moon is when the moon is starting to appear in the sky. It's size is growing as more sunlight is reflecting off the surface. Our energy levels are supposed to start picking up during this phase, and things are generally starting to pick up pace and momentum.

It's the time to start taking positive action towards our goals.

It's the time to start thinking about how we're going to achieve the intentions we set in the new moon phase. It's also the time to start facing up to anything negative within us that may be preventing us from achieving those intentions. This facing up to negative things within us is called shadow work. It's where we look at the ways in which our own thoughts and beliefs about ourselves and others shape our lives, and how these things may be holding us back from achieving our intentions.

Shadow work:

The shadow is a concept in psychology first coined by Carl Jung. It's the idea that we all have a dark 'shadow' side to our personality that we unconsciously repress. By acknowledging our shadows, bringing them up to the surface and into our conscious minds, we can lead happier, more meaningful lives.

If you're interested in reading more here are a few useful links.

Carl Jung and the Shadow: The Ultimate Guide to the Human Dark Side

What is Shadow Work?

Essential Secrets of Psychotherapy: What Is the "Shadow"?

The waxing moon: challenges for this week

The new tasks for this waxing moon phase include, amongst other things, a journaling exercise based around the theme of bringing our inner shadows to the surface, a daily breathing exercise, and a new positive affirmation meditation to listen to daily.

As I start the shadow-work journaling exercise, my first thought is, "I don't have any shadows!" "I'm a nice person!" "I don't think bad things about myself, or anyone else..." As my thoughts start flowing, and I start to dig a little deeper I start to realise how completely wrong I was!

This week I will mainly be wearing grey and black

Last week I decided to wear pink, to match with the themes of compassion, kindness and self-care, associated with the new moon phase. I've decided that I want to continue with my colour-theming of the moon phases. So for this lunar phase I am wearing grey and black all week - in alignment with waxing moon theme of dealing with the shadows within us.

Thank you so much for reading this post!

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This week I have been eating...

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. A cup of black coffee.

Snack: Another small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Lunch: Mindful Chef's chipotle pork meatballs and Mexican-style rice (one third of a two-portion recipe).

Snack: One banana. Two cups of tea, each with a dash of milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's Indian chicken curry, sweet potato and wild rice.

Snack: None today.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. Two or three cups of black coffee throughout the morning.

Snack: None today.

Lunch: Mindful Chef's chipotle pork meatballs and Mexican-style rice (one third of a two-portion recipe).

Snack: A small pot of plain yoghurt. A cup of tea with a dash of milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's Indian chicken curry, sweet potato and wild rice.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. A cup of black coffee.

Snack: Two poached eggs with spinach on a piece of brown buttered toast.

Lunch: Mindful Chef's chipotle pork meatballs and Mexican-style rice (one third of a two-portion recipe).

Snack: A banana. Two cups of tea, each with a dash of milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's creamy turkey and sundried tomato pesto casserole.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk.

Snack: Two spoonfuls of grain free granola mix.

Lunch: Mindful Chef's veggie stir-fry with quinoa and peanut satay sauce (one third of a two-portion recipe).

Snack: A banana. A cup of tea with a dash of milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's creamy turkey and sundried tomato pesto casserole.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk.

Snack: Two poached eggs with spinach.

Lunch: Mindful Chef's veggie stir-fry with quinoa and peanut satay sauce (one third of a two-portion recipe).

Snack: A banana. A cup of tea with a dash of milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's spicy romesco baked chicken with grilled veg.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. Two or three cups of black coffee throughout the morning.

Snack: A bowl of plain natural yoghurt, with a chopped banana and two spoonfuls of grain free granola mix.

Lunch: Mindful Chef's veggie stir-fry with quinoa and peanut satay sauce (one third of a two-portion recipe).

Snack: A cup of tea with a dash of milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's spicy romesco baked chicken with grilled veg.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. One cup of black coffee.

Snack: A banana.

Lunch: Two poached eggs on a piece of brown buttered toast.

Snack: A banana. Two cups of tea, each with a dash of milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's dill marinated salmon with beetroot salad.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Up next - my weight loss journey week 24...

My Weight Loss Journey - the week where I celebrated abundance
Instead of dealing with shadow work we’re now celebrating abundance, practicing gratitude and working on creating a balanced flow between the giving and receiving of...

Thank you so much!

...for reading my blog!

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