Kundalini Yoga + Sacred Living:

Kiss Your Shadow

We have come here to get what we need. That is truth. I’m not hearing any other version of this story. We have come to receive the gifts hurled towards us from the Unknown. They are often masked, and so are we. But this is true. You have come here to deeply, profoundly, inconsequently get what you have needed, maybe for lifetimes. You are here to drop your bucket past the shallow, muddy waters of the well, scale down, let it fall, all the way down to the clear pure water that is medicine. We are not meant for eeking by on scraps. We are not meant for running in circles or making up rules to a game that doesn’t exist, or hiding our entire lives from that which we truly want. That’s not what this life is for. This life is for diving deep. For finding the animal in your ribs that is HUNGRY. Has been hungry probably since before your first breath. This life is for the quench.

That’s the good news. We are here to receive the medicine to heal our deepest, most profound, wound. We are here to get the love we feel we have not received. We’re here to step into the power we feel has been taken from us. We are here to be at home in our bodies, sovereign and strong. We are here to trust and honor the sound of our own voice. Your deep wound is yours. You may have multiple. They may be personal, familial, cultural, or global. They might make sense to others, they might not. This doesn’t matter.

What matters is you get near to it. Get to know your cracks, your places where the light enters you. These are sacred spots and ironically, the places we spend the least amount of mental, emotional, psychic time. And we lose out because of it.

When we begin inching closer to the wound, something happens. We heat up. A life, a fire, an ecstasy rises in us that is bewildering. It is pure spirit. The Universe births us with tiny cracks so that we can peer out of them into Her majesty. When we are brave, when we can see beyond our very human fear of the darkness lurking in the shadows, when we can look into our cracks, we catch a glimpse of the Divine.

When we can allow our wounding an airing out, there is an immediate rush of pure energy. I know, I know, this is not a pleasant thought. Nobody wants to hang around pain, anguish, terror for very long. I know. Trust me.

I am in the process of unwrapping some very, very old wounds of my own. Old ones that I’ve seen darting in dark corners. The shadows in us will rule us unless we confront them. As one of my teachers says, “kiss your shadow every day” and it won’t rule you. I’m interested in living freely and this is how I choose to do it.

I believe that our divine cracks are THE place we are most connected to the divine. As we lift the veil, stare the monsters in the face, we see they are just as terrified as us. Everything in this Universe is desiring freedom. Even the darkness.

The other thing that happens when we get close to our pain, is we start on fire. When we press against pain, we freeze up. We are so busy trying to ignore or avert our eyes. We are avoiding dark corners. We are trying to say just the right thing. We are held so upright and tight and and constricted because we are afraid of awakening the shadow. Well guess what? You can’t avoid it! When we begin to walk into our pain, let it swallow us, we find it never does. Instead we become like fire. We are freed instantly. We become fluid. We are allowed to be spontaneous. We can roam into each and every corner of the earth, because there are no monsters! There is nothing to try to avoid or be cautious of. We have turned over each rock, or at least the ones in our territory. We’re allowed to feel into the fullness of life, without turning away from any one experience.

This closeness to the most tender places in us makes us limitless. It makes us bigger, fuller, richer, deeper. It can be scary thinking of opening up more when we already feels so stretched thin. But this is a different kind of opening. A kind that requires your surrender. There should be a release. A giving in to all of the feelings. Not picking them apart one by one as we’re accustomed to doing in our overly-mental culture. I mean a giving over to the energy of what is present in your life.

To do this, I recently completely destroyed my current altar. It was already overflowing. So I took it apart. I let it fall apart. I had so many things, people, events, causes I was praying for and putting on my altar. I just needed it all to fall apart. So I did. Then I felt in to what was needed. I made an altar to different energies circling me right now. I made an altar to love. One to prosperity. One to career/life path. One for all the people I pray for in my life – family, friends, students, etc. I have many more. And I also made an entire wall into an altar to my shadow. It’s front and center, right when you walk in my space. I can’t ignore it. I was wary at first, but I’ve found myself wanting to cozy up there. There’s a nice couch sitting below a huge wall hanging to the goddess Kali. I come home and that space immediately calls my name. A gravity has built there that feels incredible. I feel held, at home, but also held in a take-no-shit kind of space. This energy won’t let you get off course. It won’t let you slouch or keep up the self-destructive habits. It’s fierce compassion for your soul’s growth. It’s not for everyone. But I’ve been loving it.

Making multiple altars to the different forces at work in your life is a way to allow Spirit into this process. Working with the shadow, pain, dark is very hard to do alone. We need ample support. We need helpers, we need ceremony (some of us), and we need grace – lots and lots of grace.

Shadow stuff is “up” right now for A LOT of people. If you’re feeling it and feel you could use some support, please reach out. You’re not the only one.


  1. deanna says:

    “As we lift the veil, stare the monsters in the face, we see they are just as terrified as us. Everything in this Universe is desiring freedom. Even the darkness.”

    Wow. WOW. I can’t tell you how profound this statement is to me. I’ve been running (even dreaming that I’m running lately!), when what I need to do is stop, take a deep breath, turn around and SEE those monsters. I need to tell them ‘you are free’ and let them go. Thank you thank you thank you.

    • Nicole Nardone says:

      love love LOVE it! yes! set the sweet, scared little monsters free! and oh, i love that your dreams are speaking to you so deeply. powerful medicine you’ve got going on.

  2. Julie Ann says:

    Very powerful words, I too am looking deeper into the cracks which are getting a little wider these days and I too believe that’s how the light gets in, thank you for the gift of these words namaste❤

  3. Kathryn says:

    Thank you for sharing the strength that comes through you. Love.

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