Shadow Work and Integrating the Darkness Within 🔥 By Arya

Arya Badia

Art, me, you, we are here to be felt and to feel; to see and be seen; to be expressed and express, not to be understood.

The kid was shivering in the dark, her body completely covered in a muddy and sticky substance that resembled petrol. She held her legs close to her chest and looked around with her eyes wide open.
Her body was shaking so hard that her teeth made that weird and spooky noise skeleton bones make when they dance for El día de Los Muertos.
She wasn’t dancing and she wasn’t celebrating either, she’s completely freaked out, neglected and in a such a state of chastisement that her whole ecosystem has become a hive of cells about to explode buzzing around her flesh and covering her, despite it all, ever-glowing aura.
The room is dark, the walls are dark, the floor is wet and she’s wearing a dirty little dress. Her feet touch the ground without shoes and her hands' nails are half broken and underneath them rests of mud and dirt, you can tell she has been scratching the surfaces trying to figure out how to get out.

I was in the middle of a rugby playing field, the sun high up in the sky bathing my face, sitting in my gym towel and breathing to find that anchor point of stillness within me where all the answers flow. And I saw her, I saw her looking right back at me, puzzled that I had gotten there, after all this time. We looked at each other and tears started to flow down my cheeks, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. She was shaking so hard it made my heart break and with it wide open, I simply allowed the tears to fall, dropping like golf balls in my lap. I could feel them, thick, dense, overflowing my eyes, underneath my eyelids, mewling in silence and holding her glance.

How long have you been there? - I asked.

All my life…- her eyes where a cocktail of confusion, amazement, relief, and pain. Her whole body had turned into this rounded shape of flesh and bones where her arms and her legs almost seemed to be glued and she held them so tight close to her breasts that they had left dark bruises on her skin.

I held my hand out and handed it to her, promising to find a way to listen, to see her, to be there, asking for forgiveness and knowing that this time it had to be me and I couldn’t look back.



When I came out of the meditation I knew something had to change, that wasn’t a normal vision and connected to the intense emotion I asked myself how could I discover and heal what I just saw.

It turns out that we all have the shadow, some have called it evil, bad, sinner, the wrongdoer, the one that must be grounded.

"Filling the conscious mind with ideal conceptions is a characteristic of Western theosophy, but not the confrontation with the shadow and the world of darkness. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious."

“The Philosophical Tree” (1945). In CW 13: Alchemical Studies. P.335

Every shadow is different and yet it’s compounded by every single part of us we deny, we held hostage, we push down, we see in others, we judge, we don’t allow to fully express, we play the good boys and girls, and that shadow, that us, that voice that needs to be channeled and acknowledged remains in the dark, and yet, because it’s a person, finds ways to communicate the pain, via addictions, self-destructive behavior, overworking, overeating, over complicating. 



My shadow was the lazy part of me, the pleasure seeker, the abandonment part of me, the one that likes to chill, to enjoy, to seize the moment, to eat sweet things, the part of me that loves to daydream, to read on for a whole evening, to sit in the sun and bask in the loving light, the part of me that gets angry and screams when my boundaries are crossed over, the part of me that likes things my way, the part of me that connects and yet likes to simply be, the part of me that dreams and believes in magic. The selfish, the bossy. The bitch.

And there it was, sitting with guilt, shame, and fear, playing the victim and me, playing the hero, grounding her into even deeper despair.

Or so I thought.

I had learned over and over again that ego is bad, that material things are bad, that spirituality means living like a pauper and giving your all as service, that if you wanted money you are greedy, that hard work is the only way to the top, that suffer now and enjoy later, that if you don’t pay the price now you’ll pay the price later, good girls don’t do that, don’t be too loud, too ambitious…this created a battle inside me. A contradiction, because there’s a part of me that likes to achieve, to make things happen, a part of me triggered by things I have been through that wants to make sure I have all my needs met, my dreams accomplished and that wants to live the good life as expensive as it can be.

And then I understood it this morning, I can’t look out for answers, I can’t look at others lives and map mine as theirs, I need to let go and listen to my unique blueprint, to allow it to come through me.

It was clear and it sounds easy and yet it’s the biggest challenge. To silence the outer noise, to honestly and sincerely with all the understanding tell those voices to literally FUCK OFF! They are just doing the best they can with the information and understanding they have, and to trust me and my gut. The balance between rest and action, between “blind” risk-taking and vision, between light and dark. 

And to make the choice, to live with the results and to continue no matter what.



“Faith without works is dead“ If you were guaranteed success, what would you do with your life?” Another way to frame it is, “If you already had all the fame, fortune, and power you could ever want, what would you do with your life?” The answers to these questions hold the keys to the purpose of your life.



Action, finally, is the true religion. By taking this bold step, regardless of the outcome, you’re sending yourself a message that your dream is real. You’re cutting a new groove in consciousness that says you will no longer be held back by fear or perceived limitation. You’re setting the law of freedom in motion, allowing it to gain momentum until you won’t be able to prevent your progress even if you tried!”
Derek Rydall - The End Of Self Improvement






You can (and should) connect with me on Instagram @miss.firestar and get your daily dose of truth bombs & laughs. I'm not this serious all the time! 



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  • Wow the photography used here is so beautiful. I love reading all of your inspiring content! Always a good read.


  • Another insightful post and message. It’s so important to take action and constantly stay moving because life goes on and it doesn’t stop for anyone.


  • These exact thoughts have been floating around in my brain recently. I have been meaning to take action but been so afraid. I am so glad I saw this post. I want to live my life with purpose :)

    Sue-Tanya Mchorgh

  • I totally agree “action” is the most powerful step, without that, nothing is going to achieve. It is such a wonderful write up.


  • You can’t expect action to be the only way, though. It has to be purposeful, helpful, creative, design to improve our world.

    Terri Steffes

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