It seems that we are always seeking meaning and value. I believe that is why the internet, social media, and materialism have thwarted our path. They provide instant satisfaction and thus give an instantaneous surge of good feeling. We have equated that rise in goodness to be the connection we crave. The challenge for many of us is that the craving is not sustainable simply because it has never provided the true discourse for what we seek.

At the heart of it, we are not seeking connection with others. We are seeking a harmonious connection with ourselves – our nature, our essence, and our wholeness.

What you see (and thus what you go after as an act of seeking) is a contrast to who you are. And this contrast has gotten misunderstood as the need to fill up. This is why we are big spenders. Our behavior has followed this pattern for so long it has become a way of life. Spending more on things and less on the true act of connecting and bringing together.

In the process of individuation, Carl Jung believed in our true essence as being whole. This is a bit of a contrast to our traditional system for getting help which claims something is broken or not right and the work is to figure it out so to fix it. Jung believed the inner work was a process of remembering your light in the midst of the outer reality, Thus who you are – how you think, how you speak, how you act – all project outward onto others and onto your vision for what you see.

Jung’s work in the field of psychology brought us to a deeper understanding of how we can illuminate that light. His work with the shadow – the rejected, denied, and hidden parts of who we are – helped us remember the true self so that our light can shine brighter.

The shadow is never known as it lies within the heart of who we are as a dormant feature. Although it is still in motion, it holds great operational powers of force which means it is influencing your every move, your choices, your words, your personal power, and your thoughts. The parts of you that are in the shadow become activated only when there is a compromised experience that must be barricaded to keep the shadow unconscious, meaning hidden from sight.

Possibility and potential feel so abstract to many of us because what is keeping you from those great heights of accomplishment is unknown.

Carl Jung said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

I have recently discovered a very real part of me that has never done things alone. There is a fear I have of going alone. Much of this was determined from those younger years of growing up with a very strict and rigid rule system. From family dynamics to the Catholic school system, I was taught to never ‘color outside the lines.’ Creative endeavors were simply not going to happen in the environments I lived.

For so long, I would claim a sensation that felt as if I was pushing against a boulder. During the process of discovering the shadow (which is a life-long journey of self-discovery) and making the unconscious conscious, I understood the heaviness which I felt was actually the very creative aspect of my whole being wanting to be expressed.

The freedom you seek in any given situation is actually more of unconscious freedom from that which keeps you rejected, denied, and hidden. We want to be free from the thoughts that limit us, the beliefs that stronghold our every move, and the feelings that strangle our existence.

When you become consciously aware of what has always been hidden, you are free to act in a way that brings more meaning and purpose to your everyday life. You will feel free to choose, make plans, to creatively live the life of your dreams.

Once you make the unconscious conscious, those beginning actions you are choosing might feel a bit out of sorts. We must know that going scared is the act of freedom. Those first actions that come from the remembering of your wholeness will feel much different and yet can bring about some tension, angst, and unease.

Going scared is the sacred going of your heart and soul in full creative expression.

The other day I spent a few days in New York City alone. I have never been to NYC alone so I would have to navigate transportation and activities by myself. It was rather an uneasy and totally blissful experience.

I could feel my heart pound outside of my body as I approached the subway station and entered the train to ride into the city. My palms were sweaty as I counted and feverishly kept the focus. I got off at the wrong stop and became instantly aware so had to adjust to get to my location which was a restaurant. At one point tears surfaced as I was frustrated with my inner unrest and nerves while I approached traffic, detours, and the clock. I had made reservations to see a theatre show which was another activity outside my comfort zone.

The edge of comfort is where we grow the most in moments when we can surrender to our inner knowing and wisdom.

Following the show, I knew I had to make it back home. This meant more traffic, detours, and finding my way through unknown territory. After ordering food from the wrong restaurant to take home, getting lost in the subway station, and having the key to the apartment I was staying in getting stuck, I finally sank into the space I called home for a few days.

When I arrived home, my body was definitely tense and my mind was rehearsing the steps I took all day. Something stopped me and I held my breath until I could feel my shoulders make their way toward a looser position. I heard this inner voice speak, “Hey, you did it today. You did something that scared you. You made it. And you had fun. And you are breathing. And you are home.”

I have had experiences that brought a sense of pride, yet nothing came close to this moment of going scared and remembering all of me along the way.

So much of our light and how we choose to see that light in our everyday matters is really governed by one – very simple – decision. Are you willing to see the dark?

Most of us are more afraid of those aspects of us that we have deemed unimportant, not flattering, and silly. We spend lifetimes hiding and masking our true self in an effort to fit in and appear okay. We betray a very real sense of who we are by pretending to be who we are not. Every day becomes entangled in a toxic mess of carefully protecting the parts of us that we do not want anyone to know.

Are you willing to see the dark?

If you are ready to say, “Yes!”, here are 3 ways to go scared:

1. Travel alone and not alone.

If your self-expression has been stifled for any reason, when you remember the real sense of who you are, you have to take action by yourself. There is a trust that must be activated as you reclaim the power within you. You will be relearning trust in your mind, your body, your heart, and your inner wisdom. Mantras can help to retrain the mind and the body to feel a source of inner power. As you speak this way to yourself in the midst of going scared, you create new patterns or neural pathways that signal a different way to experience. Mantras help to mother that very real scared younger child that lives in your heart.

My favorite mantras when going scared:

  • I got this. I choose to be in this moment.
  • Something within me knows and I am willing to hear all of who I am.
  • I am here and I am willing to listen to the wisdom within me.
  • Trust and knowing are my power. I am safe to be here now.

You are never alone when going scared. The divine, love, God (whatever word you use) resides within you as part of your true essence. So, when you go scared, you always have a source that goes with you.

As you begin to travel – act consciously – connect to this source. Center yourself in the heart of a beloved and take that power beyond you everywhere you go. Connecting to the Divine is how we can illuminate our light, discover our shadows and live in bliss while navigating the human experience.

2. Leap with no attachment.

The end result is not the outcome. The process or the path in getting where you want to go is where the value resides. We live in a results-oriented view of success. This is an illusion of the energy of the universe.

Imagine jumping from one rock to another. Landing on the second rock is no more important than taking off from the first rock or all the feelings, sensations, and skills needed to go from one rock to another.

Every part of an experience equally jests for the vision.

3. Feel your way through.

We have manufactured an entire existence of hiding feelings and emotions and have orchestrated systems to conjure up rules for a non-feeling world. This mind-made society bypasses the pure essence of our true self.

We are here to have a human experience and that means feeling and emoting sensations through the body. This is the natural rhythm of the physical representation of who you are.

Whatever energy surges through your body as you go scared is the sacred language of your soul expressing the adventure. Accept it. Allow it. Believe it. Nurture the sensations by freely giving them existence. As we witness our feelings and emotions, they lose the grip of our thinking mind and that is how we can begin to have an agency of security. Feeling safe is another mechanism for reclaiming personal power.

Going scared is creative self-expression. You are not meant to stagnate. You are meant to be adventurous and explore your surroundings with curiosity.

Try going scared and watch the creative expression of your heart and soul come alive.