Rediscover and uncover your passion, purpose and power.This course has been completely re-written to not only include Debbie Ford’s work but also insights and guidance from Gregg Braden, Neale Donald Walsch, Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, Abraham-Hicks and my own insight and experience after working with the Shadow myself and with clients for almost 15 years.
Day 1: Introduction to the Shadow and how it works
Day 2 – 5: Exploring and working with the Shadow. Finding the way Shadow shows itself in your life, unpacking and investigating the cause of your fears. Using various exercises and discussions we identify areas in your life that you are unhappy with and look at ways and processes to ease the pain and work through the fears and blockages.
Day 6: Take a break
Day 7 – 12: Continuing our exploration, the focus changes to finding your power and passion and embracing everything in your life with joy, passion and excitement.
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The Shadow – a term that is being bandied about a lot in the
spiritual community at the moment and often with very little understanding of
what it actually is. I have been
specialising in Shadow Work for around 7 years both in my counselling and
teaching practice, I am not a trained psychologist or counsellor, however I do have
a good understanding of the human mechanism from my years in teaching and
counselling and in my own individual path.
So here goes…firstly a basic intro into the theory of the
Shadow, what it is and how it manifests and then a brief introduction into what
it takes to “Embrace Your Shadow”. Obviously it is quite an intense process and
one article ain’t gonna cover it all but hopefully will give you a starting
point and a bit of direction to move forward.
The Shadow is a term coined by Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961),
a Swiss Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst who worked with Sigmund Freud and others
in the early days of understanding the human psyche and how it functions.
The human mind has been classified for purposes of
understanding into 3 main sections: The Sub-conscious Mind (The “hidden” mind);
The Conscious Mind (The “Aware” mind) and the Ego (The sense of self). Much has
been written on these aspects and I am not going into much more detail here. In
many spiritual and religious practices and beliefs the ego is seen as “evil”
and needs to be destroyed. This is in
part how the Shadow comes into being.
From the womb until around 6/7 years of age we exist in what
is called the “absorbent phase” – we absorb and “suck up” everything around us
as “just the way it is”. The people
around us (parents, siblings, teachers and the like) have been in this reality
longer than we have so we take their word as fact. Our sub-conscious mind is at the forefront of
our awareness, our ego and conscious mind has not developed yet.
At the age of 6/7, we start developing our ego or sense of
self. We realise that we are not part of
a nice cosy little reality, we get exposed to external influences that may
contradict our earlier upbringing and we start to feel separate from those we
have relied on for so long. We realise that we can be rejected, that people may
not like us and so we start trying to “fit in” and “do the right thing” so we
can feel valued and belong again.
During this process we create in our minds the ego which
disconnects us from the sub-conscious mind. In creating this ego we suppress a
lot of what we want to experience because it is considered “wrong” in the eyes
of people around us. Our natural joy and
exuberance in life is dampened and suppressed – and Ta Daaa!!!! The Shadow is born.
The Shadow is the part of us that wants to express itself,
but can’t because the ego, created by societal influences, judges it as “wrong”
or “bad” – something we as souls and divine beings don’t really understand but
supress as a matter of survival.
As divine beings having a human experience, we naturally
want to experience things, this is why we are here. The mundane world we
inhabit however doesn’t have this divine awareness, and is all about survival
so we are forced to do and be things that our souls don’t necessarily want to
be; just to survive in this reality. What it takes to survive in this reality
we get from the world around us and the people we trust to educate us. And that
is where things go pear-shaped.
In the Divine Oneness, pain doesn’t exist, time doesn’t
exist, separation doesn’t exist, however to expand our experience they have to
exist in the mundane experience. The
mundane earthly experience is perfectly created to help our divine essence find
its truth and power. This is beautifully illustrated in Neale Donald Walshe’s
story of the Little Soul and the Sun. I will briefly paraphrase it here but it
can be found in Conversations With God; Book One and I believe there is a
separate Children’s Version published under the Title “The Little Soul and The
In the beginning, a little soul was sitting in the
brightness of the Sun and musing. He asked The Sun what he was and The Sun
answered; “You are a shining soul”; but the little soul didn’t understand and
asked, “but Sun, how do I know I am a Shining Soul?”; because in the light of
The Sun, the little soul was almost invisible. The Sun answered, “Would you
really like to know?”, and the Little Soul answered that he would. The Sun
warned him however, that to experience and know his brightness would mean that
he would be separated from the Sun and have to experience The Darkness.
“What is the Darkness?” the little Soul asked, and The Sun
replied, “Everything you are not.” And so the little soul descended into the
darkness, forgetting who he was and, surrounded by darkness, he cried out in
anguish “Sun, Sun why have you abandoned me,” and the Sun replied “So you can
find your way back to me”.
In essence, this is the process of Shadow Work – to unearth
the hidden aspects of ourselves, to clear the ego-constraints we have taken on
and be the best we can be in our human, mundane experience. We don’t do this by being perfect, or holy or
divine, by studying the correct doctrines or worshiping the right god but by
expressing our love in the darkness of our human experience. Love for ourselves
with all our flaws and love for others with all their flaws too.
The Dark Shadow – the flaws that hurt and harm those around us
and ourselves as well as the Light Shadow – the part of us that contains our
power and divinity, our strength and “glory” – the parts of ourselves we
supress so we can fit in and “be normal”.
The question you need to ask yourself before embarking on
this life-changing process is the same question asked by Carl Jung: “Would you
rather be whole or good?” If the answer is “whole” step forward – if the answer
is “good” step back – you are not ready for this.
The above sounds a little contradictory and complicated doesn’t
it? But it is quite simple really and will become clearer as we discuss the
ways the Shadow expresses itself and how to unearth these hidden aspects of
ourselves to find our truth and love. Initially this may sound a little like
the self-sacrificing crap that created The Shadow in the first place, but stay
with it until the end – you may surprise yourself!
Quickly, a little diversion to add clarity: From spirit or love
there is no separation, no judgement and nothing “right” or “wrong”. From the
perspective of the ego (fear) there is separation, there is right and wrong.
Healing and embracing the Shadow – creates the bridge between these two
Simply put the unhealed Shadow expresses itself using the ego aspect of fear to create separation. When you are judging someone else as right, wrong, good or evil, you are acting out of your unhealed Shadow. Judgement and discrimination are big ones here – my personal favourite is “righteous indignation” – how can he be allowed to say that its disgusting – love it!!
Justification of your actions, excessive emotional outbursts, self-abuse and mutilation, anger, listening-to-respond not listening-to-hear, knee-jerk reactions, seeking validation and the need to give excessive validation, trying to control and manipulate your environment or those around you, are all indicators that your Shadow is unhealed. Putting yourself and others down, denying your value or the value of others are also big warning signs.
From the above it may sound like you need to back off and
become a doormat that people walk over as you bless them “In Love and Light” –
FUCK THAT! The Shadow is about you and no-one else. It sounds selfish and
arrogant and in a way it is. What you will notice however is that as you step
into your healing and power, so the people that abuse you disappear from your
life and “better” people come in. You experience a sense of joy and connection
you have never experienced before.
Embracing The Shadow is a scary and frightening process
where you will face your darkest fears, but see your brightest light. It takes
courage and patience and it is a process that never ends. To heal your Shadow
means to accept everything you have judged “wrong” and “bad” about yourself and
love it, own it, integrate it and embrace it and by doing that embrace all the
world in truth and unconditional love.
It is about being Jesus Christ and the Devil Incarnate in
equal measure and fully comfortable in either role, it is about achieving a
sense of self that can not be shaken by external influences, surrendering your
reputation to gain your integrity.
“This is a reality of duality and it is only in accepting and embracing that duality that we can find our centre, our joy, our strength, our power and our love. That – in essence – is what Embracing the Shadow is all about” – Kevin McKee
“Out beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field – I will meet you there.” – Rumi
“It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any self-deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events, by which the path to success may be recognized.” I Ching, Hexagram 5, Hsü,Waiting (Nourishment)