Our Shadow Side

I am not looking to escape my darkness, I am learning to love myself there
— Rene Lazuli

Truth is not everyday is a beautiful sunny day with captivating pictures to show off to the world in social media. Why is no one talking about the ebb and flows of our inner being? Why is it that we hide on our darkest days? The light needs the darkness, happy needs sad, yin needs yang, its all the art of balance. We can not live in a world with just one kind of feeling or season. Our challenges and story is what continues to craft our own uniqueness. You would not be who you are right here, right now, without having experienced what you have. Imagine if we all lived the same story; that would be one hell of a boring world. No way to grow, no perspective, no color, we would all know the beginning and the ending and I want to think no one enjoys a spoiler alert, let alone their life. 

We rarely question our happiness or suppress the feeling of joy to the world. Yet, when the hardships, the fears, insecurities and our shadow side appears, we run or hide. We try to put on a facade, because well; no one wants to deal with our cry, we do not want to seem dramatic or weak, no one is going to listen, ego does not want self pity and so forth. Who the heck made this shit up?

I am slowly creating this one of a kind unique, raw piece of art...I call it "My Life" I paint it with my words, which have been drawn delicately out of my bones, ligaments, and tendons, intricately tied to my breath and my heartbeat. The structure took time to build and some areas seem fragile and need revisiting. The texture may appear crude or damaged, but its there the real intricate workmanship has occurred. You may come back to this piece and notice its fragile state and even softness rooted deep within, just sit there and let the words and images settle, like sand settles to the bottom of the ocean after it has been stirred.  Take a deep breathe and settle into me. 

At a young age I recall dealing with my feelings and my notorious thoughts by writing them down, but they remained in notebooks collecting dust. It was like I poured my tears and pain in ink and closed it up thinking that would be enough. In my later years, serving as a nurse in the Emergency Department and being a yoga teacher I have realized that my stories which occupy my inner being need to lay bare; not only heal to myself, but to cultivate a culture in which we can embrace our darkness and honor it the same we do our light. 

After the loss of my mother I was numb for many years to avoid feeling the pain that existed and soon after began working as a nurse to heal peoples physical pain to avoid my own internal pain. Without me even knowing I had fabricated this "image" of myself. I am strong. I do not hurt. I am a survivor to my hardships, the loss of my mother, moving across the country by myself.  Today I reflect upon all this and am proud of myself for that once hard decision, turned to be the most magical transformation of the self. 

Here I am, 9 years later onto the next chapter of my life. I have fallen in love (the first person I have ever loved in 35 years of my existence) Everything I imagined love to be and have patiently waited for is what I have experienced with this human soul for the past 2 years (in a long distance relationship) Yep! long distance, a small percentage of relationships can ever uphold such love, trust and dedication. He is my man man, my best friend, someone who truly is captivated in learning a new language and yearns to read the story which lives within my bones.  I am about to embark on a new journey, I mean many of you who know me when has this Gypsy ever turned down an adventure or a moment to pack my bags? Never!

All of a sudden this dormant beast awakened. My shadow, my old beliefs, my old stories "I am independent" "I am strong" I am about to "let go" of all that I have built on my own, my career, my home, my creative self, my wild and free; to move and begin a chapter with another human being to the unknown? Let me backtrack a bit, you see I am not your "typical" girl. I have never had white picket fence dreams and my longest relationship has been 6 months of pure lust. The longest I have co-habited with an ex-boyfriend was for 2 weeks, before I packed my bags and said "peace out." (not counting my male roommates, whom I lived with my first few months living in San Diego). My travel nurse assignments lasted 13 weeks and onto the next. My current hospital is the longest commitment I have had (8 years) and Saturday will be my last day. You see I am a gypsy and commitment freaks the hell out of me. 

 Where does this deep rooted "fear" come from? Why do I feel this image of my "free spirit" is about to be kept hostage? The truth is my old wounds are opening up. The wounds that have taken me years to heal, but if I healed them why are they resurfacing? Well, because feelings and emotions in my times of darkness show their roaring heads, the dark and lonely feeling I felt when my mom passed away (although 11 years ago) I felt alone, even though my father,  brother and younger sister were feeling the same loss. I had to be strong, I slipped into her shoes to be that "rock" for the family, until it broke me apart, her shoes were way to big for me. I made a decision for "me" packed up and left. I left in search of something, of someone "me" for I was lost and the world had no idea. There came a time I had no work and on my last penny, and called my dad and he told me "hijita (daughter) I will pay for your one way ticket to come back home; my body cringed at the thought and I declined. I had to figure myself out and it took a lot of lonely nights to surpass and see my own light and although I would not change a thing (well maybe a few drunken, sleepless nights).  Here I am ready to embark on a beautiful adventure of my life "love", one in which I am eager to start, but somehow "fear" is keeping me hostage.  Will I lose my independence?  The self that took me hard work to create. I am laughing (almost like a Jekyll and Hyde) as I write this because, I found someone who loves me and wants to grow and build with me. Why would I want to continue to build on my own? 

It is in all these questions, old stories, self defense mechanisms where the true soul work takes place...it takes mental awareness, to step back and observe without judgement, to allow it to flow through me and know it is temporary. To begin to heal is to feel it and not run from it or hide it, like I have in the past. It is amazing how powerful ones childhood, values, morals and experiences are dug deep in our roots. I grew up in a hispanic household, where the culture dictated woman was the household fierce lion and the man was the provider. I had an older brother whom I shared a lot of time with, but gender differences were so evident among us, always having me question "why can he and not me?" Also, my mother's words resonate in my head as she always reminded me: "be your own woman, have a career, be independent so that no man can ever tell you who to be". Powerful words rooted deep within me and here I am 35 years later vibrating on all these experiences and having to "let go" of such rotting roots and false headliners and allow myself to move from a place of love within my heart space. It is like restarting to build my own foundation and help create the story I want to live. This is the shadow that resides deep within us, we need to take time to observe and listen to the old stories, the wounds, the fears, the addictions, the hurt that does not allow us to move with pure joy, raw love and happiness. Un-shield your heart, break open, release and face the demons within. I leave here my broken fragments to blow away with the wind. Vulnerable is the the new strong, it is then you can reach your roots and begin to sow the seeds and enrich your soil (your heart) to live the life of your dreams. 

From My Heart Space

Gypsy Nai 



Shadow Work is the Path of the Heart Warrior
— Carl Jung