The 90/10 rule and Groundhog day

February 7th, 2012 by Patty Bear

Well, we just celebrated Groundhog Day here in Pennsylvania.  I know this because, besides being on the news, it showed up as a holiday in my smart phone calendar.  So obviously it’s a pretty big deal!

For those of you who don’t know the significance of Groundhog Day or even what a groundhog is, allow me to enlighten you.

A groundhog is a furry, stinky creature that digs holes where you least want them and eats everything in your garden.  As a gardener I’ve often wondered “do they serve any purpose at all in the cosmos?”

Apparently they do.

Groundhogs are prognosticators for the end of winter, THAT’S their purpose and Groundhog Day celebrates this special role.  You see on this important day the grand pooba groundhog, Punxsutawney, Phil, comes out of his hole.  If he sees his shadow and scurries back into his den then there will be 6 more weeks of winter.  If he doesn’t see his shadow and stays out and enjoys the sunshine for a bit, then winter will be over shortly.

Got it?  Makes sense doesn’t it?

While I’m sure you are as utterly fascinated by groundhogs, as I am, you may be wondering what’s your real point, Patty?

Ok, enough fun.  But, have you thought about your shadow and what you do when you see it?

In psychological terms your light is all of your best qualities: your talents, strengths, natural confidence, most empowering beliefs, your genius, etc.  Your shadow is just the opposite.  It’s your dark side: your fears, insecurities, pettiness, meaness, and limiting beliefs.

What do you do when you catch a glimpse of your dark side?  Do you scurry back underground, afraid of your own shadow?  Do you dive in deep and wrestle with it, study it and try to unravel the whole thing? Do you pretend that it’s not there and enjoy the sunshine- your garden variety denial?

Well, in celebration of Groundhog Day, I’d like to offer you my 90/10 Rule for handling your dark side.

Shadow work is critical to our growth as a person and a much bigger life.  We do need to name our fears and overcome them. We do need to become stronger in our broken places.  It’s important work.  However, sometimes that work can pull us back down into the depths of winter, can’t it? We can get so caught up in fixing our brokenness that we lose sight of anything else.

So notice your shadow, but only give it 10% of your attention and study.  Give the other 90% to seeing your light and celebrating that.  There is nothing wrong with you that can’t be fixed by what is right with you. It makes all the difference in how you define yourself and your life.

Happy Groundhog Day!

In Joy,

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