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  • MaryBeth DiNunzio

Shadows Unveiled: A Journey with the Elusive Vulture

So, this happened but of course why shouldn’t it? After all, it’s me…the Queen of Serendipitous Synchronicities or twisted turns or whacky adventures - learning a lesson to teach a lesson.

Recently, I had been listening to podcasts and taking mini courses when the phrase “shadow work” kept cropping up. Apparently, a sign that I needed to explore this term a little deeper. Is this a new “buzz word” I queried? But no…without too much research I learned that shadow work has been a concept explored for decades.

The term “shadow self” and “shadow work” were coined by Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist. Have you ever pondered why you sometimes react in ways that seem out of character or maybe leave you feeling embarrassed? According to Carl Jung, we all possess a “shadow self” — the aspects of our personality that we suppress or deny.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Our shadow encompasses the darker facets of ourselves like selfishness, greed, and anger. Jung believed that to achieve wholeness, we must confront and accept our shadow. This process of self-introspection and facing your dark side is known as “shadow work.”

As I contemplated this concept, an intriguing occurrence unfolded as I was looking outside my window. The shadow of an exceptionally large bird glided gracefully across the yard. How can you be so large, yet I cannot see you? “Where are you?,” I asked no one but myself. The elusiveness of the soaring shadow I knew was no coincidence.

It was only a minute or so when my eyes set upon three turkey vultures perched high up in a tree. Being it is the beginning of March, the trees are still bare of their leaves, so the sight revealed to me was quite spectacular. Now with binoculars in hand I studied these eerily majestic creatures. They posed for me and gave me time to take them in. I studied them from the white crooked tip of their beak, to their blood red colored head, down to their talons grasping onto the branch. A cross between beautiful and ugly - that is when it hit me. They were there to teach me about shadow work: seeing the good and the ugly and finding the ability to soar with grace by acknowledging both.

I took my curiosity one step further and looked up vultures in my copy of Ted Andrew’s book Animals Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small . And what did I learn? I learned that vultures, despite being associated with death and fear, are here to clean up messes.

They remove toxins from deceased animals, thereby preventing the spread of disease in other animals, birds and even humans. Vultures serve a vital role in our ecological balance. They are living examples of doing shadow work. Cleaning up what we often turn and look away from. I am grateful for their visit; I have a newfound appreciation. In the ugly I found beauty. They came to teach me, and so they did.

May we all soar with the lessons of grace, taught to me by the shadow work of vultures. In the awe and appreciation of the visit from the vultures the following poem arose from me - I hope you enjoy.

Shadow Work – A Virtuous Vulture- Soaring with Grace in a Safe Sacred Place

By MaryBeth DiNunzio (March 2024)

In the nakedness of the tree,

You revealed yourself to me.

Perched high, a silhouette in the sky,

Your shadow, a companion nearby.

It had been following me to and fro,

With patience only shadows know.

Larger than life, yet unseen,

Until atop the tree you preen.

Now there you sit eerily majestic,

Your elusiveness, amazingly poetic.

How could I miss something so large,

I've spent my life being in charge.

They say a vulture is a danger to fear,

But now that I see you for who you are.

I am no longer afraid, you have helped me faced my fears,

What I’ve been ashamed of, hiding from the tears.

Hiding in the shadows not safe to be seen or even heard,

But it is safe now, said the wise big bird.

A beautiful façade I thought I was disguised,

But not to the birds flying high up in the skies.

Paths have I sought conscious and unconscious,

The images I protect, to be seen spotless.

Covering up my flaws, now in plain sight,

Like the vulture now exposed in plain sight.

How long have you been watching me,

Patiently waiting and wanting me to be free.

Once hiding in the shadows of the sun,

Now secure and safe, the healing begun.

The child in me, the champion in me, now revealed,

Limiting beliefs shattered, my potential unsealed.

Imprints of others lifted, I am safe to be me

Embracing myself fully, authentically me.

Your size defies gravity, yet it doesn’t weigh you down,

So like you, vulture on high, I lay down my heavy crown.

A crown not made of jewels but of false facades,

A person within who will conquer the odds.

My secrets seemed dark like the feathers on your wings,

But through your eyes, I can now soar and sing.

Many people see you as a sign of evil and death,

But in you I see a light, a rebirth and all your breadth.

You are a medicine man, a preventer of disease,

You are grace in flight, soaring with unmatched ease.

Each morning you face the sun with wings spread wide,

To warm your feathers, cleanse yourself, a ritual to abide.

And in doing so I no longer fear the shadows of myself,

For you have given me grace in the shadow of yourself.


Discover the power of combining Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), commonly known as tapping, with personalized life coaching to delve into your shadow work in a nurturing and safe environment. Uncover hidden emotions, limiting beliefs, and embrace your authentic self.

If you're ready to explore how EFT and life coaching can illuminate your shadows and lead you to emotional freedom, reach out today.



MaryBeth DiNunzio

Elite Life Coach

Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner

Welcome to MBD Coaching! I'm MaryBeth DiNunzio. I use my work as a coach and business consultant to facilitate growth, engagement, and relationships for groups and individuals. Using workshops, various coaching methods, and Emotional Freedom Technique, I help others discover and reach their own potential, whether in personal life or business.

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