I was teaching a Medicine Wheel class recently. There are four classes in the Medicine Wheel and each one is represented by a cardinal direction: South, West, North, and East. Each of the directions has an archetype and several concepts that we focus on in that direction. We were working in the North direction. One of the concepts of the North is the aspect of Invisibility. It relates to the idea that once you have nothing left to hide you become transparent and invisible. The idea of something to hide comes from those aspects of ourselves that we disown, those parts of us that we don’t want to acknowledge.
Part of this practice in the North direction is to become aware of those things in other people that we don’t like, those things or actions of others that cause us discomfort or irritation. Once you are aware of that action or trait in another, you shift to the perception of the witness or observer. You examine both those actions or traits, and you examine yourself. Is this action or trait from your shadow side? Is this something that you have yet to acknowledge in yourself and are projecting onto others? You need to look through the eyes of the witness or observer to not be caught up in yourself.
This practice requires honesty and courage. Courage to be willing to really question yourself and the honesty to admit it is really your shadow side that is creating the discomfort. Once you have identified that action or trait that you have disowned the real work begins. How does that aspect that you have disowned manifest itself in your life? Was there a trauma or event that created this aspect? Which chakra is most affected by this aspect?
Sometimes you can work through these steps yourself. Oftentimes you will need someone to work with you on this process. It is difficult and occasionally impossible for you to be able to see and identify all the nuances of those aspects that you have disowned. Counselling and therapy is one avenue but there are alternative healing approaches that can be immensely powerful in this process, shamanic healing being one of them.
If you do not believe that you have those aspects of yourself that you have disowned, I suggest asking your spouse or partner. Most often they are more than willing to help you identify those things you need to work on.