Recently on an early morning walk I felt how sweet I am and how delicately and flowingly my body actually moves. Through the reflection of my shadow, I watched how my body moved without any imposition, with true flow and freedom. Even though I was moving, this delicateness and lightness had a quality of stillness about it that was simply lovely – unimposingly delicious, innocent, tender, delicate, open and what I call and can sum up as ‘sweet’.
This somewhat surprised me because a couple of weeks ago it was suggested I use ‘feeling the sweetness of my voice’ in a blog I was writing. But at that time I could not accept this– especially regarding my voice. As words to describe myself, or my voice, I could accept loving, strong, loyal and dedicated but not being sweet.
As I continued my early morning walk, I was able to claim that sweetness was something that lay within me. However, when I changed direction and my shadow moved to my side or even behind me I didn’t quite feel the same quality in my body – I didn’t feel like I walked with the true and absolute authority of knowing without any doubt or questioning that sweetness was me in every aspect of my being and body. So I asked myself… if I only feel this innate quality when my shadow is in front of me, have I truly claimed and accepted how deeply sweet and still I am?
The answer to this question was clearly no, even though it was so obvious in my shadow and the way it reflected my movement, my walking, the way my hair was shaped, etc.
I then posed these questions to myself . . .
- What has come in the way of my knowing that this quality has always been there? Basically I had worked out from a young age that this sweetness and sensitivity does not get seen, nurtured or even honored so I very quickly became the strong independent child who didn’t seem to bother about things and seemed to be able to handle life, but deep down I had many things that if someone had truly asked how I felt, I probably would have cried. I learned to suppress the way I was feeling. I have used many forms of protection, such as being forcefully direct, exercising my body to make it hard, using the ‘happy go lucky girl’ facade, reacting to some situations and being over the top at times
- Does self-doubt, self-sabotage and being hard prevent me from even recognising this quality that has always lain deep within me?
- Why did I not trust the power of this innate quality all along? It is something I know others feel when I allow it to be there. The trick was sadly falling for the hardening route as I now know that being in true connection with this sweetness and allowing myself to be sensitive has an amazing strength and power.
As I continued my walk, I played with keeping the knowing that I am sweet in my body even when my shadow was behind me…
- I realised that I was not able to really see or appreciate the sweetness in others due to my hardening. I had used this hardness as a type of defence to protect me from getting hurt and to not allow others to get too close
- The ripple effect of my allowing this quality to be expressed would be a reflection and an opportunity for my daughter to allow her natural sweetness to be there too.
After finishing my early morning walk I began to look at ways to allow myself to support this quality to remain in its full presence all of the time, such as when I sit on my chair at work or at the dinner table, when I am brushing my teeth, when I am pouring hot water from the kettle to make a cup of tea, when I am hugging my daughter, when I am holding my husband’s hand or when I am smiling at a stranger or someone I know.
Since then I have come to fully appreciate how sweet I am and I continue to allow it to be there in every part of my day, just as it was reflected to me in my shadow. Now I feel this as I gently move, walk or speak. It is now something that I know is me in full, and not a surprise, but a quality that I already feel in my body, and appreciate and know is me when I see it in my reflection.
Inspired by the presentations and the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.
By Johanna Smith, Bachelor of Education, Perth WA
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Esoteric Yoga: Truth in Stillness
632 thoughts on “A Playful Walk – What My Shadow Reflected to Me”
I agree that ‘self-doubt, self-sabotage’ prevents us from seeing how delicate we are. I find that we’re too busy focusing on the what is not than what is, that is innately within all of us.
When we tap into the qualities of our essence and feel how exquisite it is, we can but not keep it for ourself’s, it has to be presented to others to see and feel. Whether they embrace it or not is a different story, and for us to be willing to allow it to unfold for the individual in its own time.
How we choose to see things or percieve things can come from the ‘mood’ or type of glasses we are wearing at the time. And so it is not about brain washing ourselves to see things differently, but rather to shift the energy that we are stuck in. And as Johanna has shared in her blog, the sweetness is within all the time, and it is simply for us to connect to it and embrace it.
I agree Henrietta, the ‘mood’ we’re in determines the day we are going to have, I can very much relate to this as I used to live this way once. But now there is another way to live that says, it matters not what is occurring outside of you, as what is within remains untouched or unaffected. Life is different then…
Whilst we are in a protection or hardness, it is difficult to feel the loveliness within or let others feel our loveliness, or feel any loveliness in others.
Self doubt, lack of self worth, self loathing are not things that a child is born with and is not generally something we feel when we are born. And yet as we grow up we get conditioned with this and we take it on as a way of living. And so it is our responsibility to learn to shed this and let go of this completely and ‘just’ be ourselves, beautifully so.
Getting to connect with the loveliness of the body is something that I am still learning to enjoy. There are times when I know it is there but I actually can find it a little hard to voice and embrace on a daily basis. As women, there are a lot of us that carry a type of lack of self worth and even a self loathing and it is almost like that can be a default mechanism so that when we feel a loveliness, we tend to deny it. This is something that I am more and more aware of and because of this I am now able to accept and embrace more and more any feelings of loveliness in my body.
We have apportioned sweetness to children, especially girls but it is a quality that is in us all, including our menfolk.
As I am reading this blog and the comments it is supporting me to feel my sweetness, and the sadness that I have kept it under wraps for so long. Sweetness is natural in us, yet, we perceive it as a weakness, instead of embracing the beauty of our delicateness and sensitivity.
Johanna the allowing and acceptance of your sweetness inspires me to do the same. Thank you
Sweetness what a beautiful quality to embrace as women. But what I discern here is the difference between heart-centred sweetness rooted in a foundation of knowing who we are as women, as opposed to mental sweetness superficial, calculated, a facade used to manipulate others, especially men.
Beautiful to become aware of and accept hidden qualities or those we’ve suppressed since childhood. Breathtaking and joyous.
It is quite a sobering moment when you realise that although you love your family, you cannot appreciate the sweetness in them, or honour their fragility, delicateness, strength, or even power if you have not built that relationship with yourself. Protection just hardens the body so much that it stops being something that can be felt.
The more we allow ourselves to feel our sweetness, the more we are able to feel this in others, ‘I realised that I was not able to really see or appreciate the sweetness in others due to my hardening. I had used this hardness as a type of defence to protect me from getting hurt and to not allow others to get too close’.
My shadow reflected to me how delicate I am, it was a way of looking at myself that I had not allowed previously.
“I realised that I was not able to really see or appreciate the sweetness in others due to my hardening” – I can relate to this. I used to even get irritated by people being ‘sweet’ as I always felt it was just so phoney.
Yes, sweetness was not a quality that I wanted to be seen in me as I was growing up, ‘I had worked out from a young age that this sweetness and sensitivity does not get seen, nurtured or even honored so I very quickly became the strong independent child who didn’t seem to bother about things and seemed to be able to handle life, but deep down I had many things that if someone had truly asked how I felt, I probably would have cried. ‘
I recently read a blog on how we can squash our vulnerability with hardness (hardening up to not feel) and this is a great expansion on that, as that same hardness can encase and block us from feeling our own sweetness (or other qualities of our essence). Beautiful to read this today because I can feel I’m not letting my sweetness fully out.
I was told that I have a sweetness quality a while back, and initially it made me recoil as I had never thought of myself as sweet. Now, I am able to accept that sweetness in myself, and accept it was always there, just previously hidden under protection .
When you feel the love of who you are within it is there with everyone and everything you touch.
It is beautiful that when we are introduced to a quality of energy, like sweetness in your case, it ripples through all of our life, and really we don’t have to do much about it as it will unfold itself into our life if we allow it so.
I love this, because doesn’t life find a way to show us stuff when we’re ready to see it? Whether it be through reflection of someone else, an event – or even our own shadow can be our teacher.
What a beautiful sense I get of your sweetness through what you have shared, and can feel how this way of being with you is, by the power of the ripple effect, flowing on out to others. What a different world we would live in if every single one of us was able to reclaim and live this sweetness, something we don’t have to try to be as it has been a natural part of who we are since the day we were born.
We are sensitive and tender beings, to harden up we have to ignore these qualities and miss out on feeling the love that is in and around us 24/7.
Yesterday during a walk with a friend I said to her: ‘we are actually very sweet together’. And afterwards I realized that before I can be sweet with another I have to see my own sweetness and be sweet with myself.
Beautiful realization that changes everything in the way we live and that has a big impact on how we are with others: ‘I realised that I was not able to really see or appreciate the sweetness in others due to my hardening. I had used this hardness as a type of defense to protect me from getting hurt and to not allow others to get too close.’
Sweetness was not something I did consider a quality but this has changed since I allow myself to be the sweet woman I am and how this is natural for me and my body.
I never ever considered myself to be sweet, but I am sure that was because I was looking through the jaded eyes of an adult. If I allow myself to reconnect to that beautiful child I was from day one, the feeling of my natural sweetness is there in an instant. It’s time to introduce our young ones to their sweetness so as they grow, it grows with them.
You sum up the current state of humanity well in so far as most walk around hurt and protected and whilst we are walking around like this how on earth, pun intended, can we begin to open up and see the truth of who we all are which is beautiful, gorgeous, sweet, tender and amazing? Well we can’t unless we start with ourselves first. And until we do, this world will continue to be the reality of anything that is not truth and love.
“What has come in the way of my knowing that this quality has always been there?” Great question, for by answering it we can renounce what it is and realise our essence.
Yes, it is such a simple question and yet it opens up a whole universe of potential 🙂
We are willing to accept what we are willing to accept at any given point in time. Growing has to do with accepting more. Acceptance is one of the keys to more.
Walking is a great way to re-discover different things about ourselves – I have to say I’ve never noticed my shadow but now I’ll be paying super close attention.
I can relate to the feeling that sweetness is a weakness and not a strength. But its is worth questioning if this is what we are truly feeling or what society has imposed onto us. There are so much pictures around sweetness, like that sweetness and intelligence don’t go together for instance. In truth sweetness is very beautiful and a strength and this is something I am embracing more and more.
Sometimes we can be blocked by the image we hold over ourselves. I used to do that. Me tender? That did not fit into the picture I held of myself. But there was no denying in my body that this was actually a quality that wanted to lived and expressed once again.
So true Willem – we can deny qualities within, fight them or simply bury them under hardness. But in the end they never go away, it is simply for us to re-ignite them again.
We spend lifetimes trying to cultivate and master an image we think we are, and often find it hard to accept when a drop of our true essence gets seen, or let alone appreciated by others.
Claiming yourself in the right energy by simply nominating it, all is given how it is that it needs to be claimed.
I know I lived in protection for many years avoiding people or situations so I wouldn’t get hurt again, but in this I ended up feeling miserable and hurting even more as I was missing expressing all of me and feeling any true connection with others.
It’s quite ironic really. We harden to protect ourselves thinking we won’t get hurt by others, but this protection also holds us back from expressing our qualities and thus living our potential which in itself hurts us.
Beautiful to read Johanna, thank you for reminding us of the sweetness, strength and power that we all hold as women when being true to who we are.
“I now know that being in true connection with this sweetness and allowing myself to be sensitive has an amazing strength and power.” A beautiful realisation of the strength and power of being who you naturally are.
We can learn about a quality that we represent through different ways. How do we learn matters but not the crucial thing. What truly matters is whether we claim it and start moving (with) it or not.
I agree Eduardo. The quality of sweetness is within me. I sense it, it is claimed, I see it in the reflection of others often and express it but what matters most is living it is my every movement bringing and offering it to the world.
So beautifully shared with a lightness of being, for a sweet but meaningful subject.
Our sweetness is an exquisite reflection or expression of our delicateness, and to claim and express this quality through our daily living, is to bring more of the truth of who we all are to life. And if we look around at the world today with honesty, we will see that generally our innate sweetness being lived, is greatly lacking.
Most like quality to be there in the products they use and buy. We all love the feeling of using high quality items. But do we consider sweetness as a quality that is equally as important as efficiency, Love and Care? Sweetness is seen as a wussy sort of word but it is one with indeed much power as it when lived opens us up to greater awareness and greater lightness in life.
I am learning to become more and more familiar with my true qualities, such as joy, in my daily movements. It is a slow process of accepting how normal it is to constantly express joy and not allow complication to sabotage such a natural way of living.
It is an indictment on society today and our view of
health and well being when the loss of sensitivity in ones expression is not even remotely clocked as an illness when there is no wonder why such a choice would cause many more complications later in life especially from contraction of not living ones essence.
I love the insights we can arrive at when we go for a walk with our bodies. Paying attention to the qualities we can feel from within. It’s like by asking the question the answers come just as you’ve described here Johanna.
To be told or it suggested that one is “sweet” or has a sweetness about them is not a very common experience these days. I have had an experience of this just recently and as I sat with that there came a sense of beauty and delicateness a quite lovely experience as I connected to this aspect of myself.
Thank you Johanna, it’s a beautiful journey retuning to the truth of ourselves, meeting ourselves in full, and then living and walking with our inner qualities.
I played with my shadow a bit after initially reading this article, I feel to go and have another play – when we have some sun here in the UK – you have inspired me, ‘Since then I have come to fully appreciate how sweet I am and I continue to allow it to be there in every part of my day, just as it was reflected to me in my shadow. Now I feel this as I gently move, walk or speak.’