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Thread: Shadow Work -a simple guide

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    Avalon Member enfoldedblue's Avatar
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    Default Shadow Work -a simple guide

    I so often see confusion and misunderstanding around shadow work. E.g. someone saying "why would I want to do shadow work. I don't want to bring more bad qualities to my personality?" Initially thinking I don't need to reinvent the wheel, I looked for simple explanations with effective exercises that I could share. But after exploring I realized that I could bring something valuable to the table. So I created a short simple guide to shadow work with some powerful exercises.



    Quote “Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.” C. Jung
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    Background

    Growing up in this dense reality most of us learn from our family and friends, and later wider society, that parts of us are undesirable. Because at a core level we all crave love and acceptance, we learn to hide those parts of ourselves that we fear might make us unlovable.

    Example: Child gets angry in the presence of parent(s) who are unable to hold space for this emotion. Parent(s) react with a form of rejection. Child learns to suppress their anger in order to appease their loved ones.

    All the parts of us that we have deemed unacceptable get relegated to the unconscious and become our shadows. But as hard as we try to hide or deny these aspects from ourselves and others, they will continue to negatively affect us. In fact because they are hidden from awareness, away from the light of consciousness, usually blanketed in a veil of undefined shame or guilt, most of us don’t know why … but we are left with an underlying sense of … ‘something is wrong with me, I am not worthy.’

    Though this strategy operates as a default in our dysfunctional society, this ‘solution’ causes more problems than it solves.

    Hidden from our own awareness, our shadow parts still continue to operate and color our world. Being rejected and cut off from the heart, they don’t work in alignment with our sense of self. Instead, they can push us to take destructive actions, sabotaging our dreams, and creating uncomfortable feelings and disingenuous or inappropriate reactions.


    How Shadow work can help

    [SIZE="2"]“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” C. Jung[/SIZE]

    Shadow work is the process of bringing our shadows back into the light of awareness so that they can be understood and reintegrated into self.

    When we take the time to understand the rejected aspects of self we discover the fullness of who we are. We are not all butterflies and rainbows … and that’s ok.

    We all contain parts that are cruel, that are obnoxious, that are controlling, self-centred etc.

    By acknowledging and owning these parts, coming to terms with their reality in our inner world, we create a powerful internal shift. No longer hiding in the dark away from the conscious self, these aspects cease to operate in a covert or illusive way. As well, the guilt and shame associated with these qualities can be released, leaving us feeling a deeper sense of personal ease.

    The more self-aware we become, the more we are able to take responsibility for what we create in this life: the less we are driven by unconscious impulses, the more autonomy and clarity we have.

    Often the qualities we judge as negative are just exaggerated versions of healthy qualities. For example a person who is terrified of appearing weak, may present as overly aggressive. So even though weakness is hiding in the shadows, it is ultimately still driving behaviour by pushing them to embrace the opposite. When a person is able to accept their vulnerability it becomes easier for aggressiveness to express as strength or assertiveness.

    Other times the qualities we judge as negative may only be damaging when used inappropriately, and when used appropriately become important tools to successfully navigate reality. For instance when anger is expressed in a balanced way, it can help us to maintain healthy boundaries. Similarly a critical approach can be useful when used in the right time and place; like assessing the viability of a potential business.

    Integrating shadows frees up energy. The less our energy is needed to repress our shadows away from the light of consciousness, the more energy we have to promote the aims of our true self. Also the shadow parts themselves are personal energy expressions that are cut off from the whole, so by reintegrating these parts we bring even more energy to the table of self.

    Finally, not only do we learn to hide our less desirable qualities in order to fit in; we often hide away our brightest and shiniest aspects as well. We all have incredible unique qualities that each of us came into this world with. However, in a society that promotes homogeny and fears difference, many of us learned to relegate these unique, exceptional parts of ourselves into the shadows of the unconscious.

    Why Shadow work is more important than ever

    The world is changing … fast. Some may be able to sense how the planetary energies are becoming less dense. With less density it is not as easy for things to hide in the dark. Even those not attuned to energies can likely see the results of this shift. Every day on both an individual and collective level we are being faced with uncomfortable truths that were previously obscured from our awareness.

    This process is going to increase in intensity.

    We are going to be faced with our shadows whether we like it or not, so the more we are able to embrace this process, and work with the flow of energy, the smoother this journey towards increased clarity and authenticity will be.

    The more we have integrated our own shadows, the less we will be triggered by the collective shadows that appear on the world stage, and the better positioned we will be hold a space of calmness, and to help others process disturbing internal and external truths.

    Finally it is time to shine! As mentioned above we each have unique gifts that we came here to share. The time of holding back and keeping small is over.
    You can find the exercises, and download a free pdf here... https://www.christinalaverscoaching.com/shadow-work.php
    Last edited by enfoldedblue; 3rd September 2020 at 00:07.

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    Canada Avalon Member TomKat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shadow Work -a simple guide

    Embrace to erase.

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    United States Avalon Member Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shadow Work -a simple guide

    Quote Posted by TomKat (here)
    Embrace to erase.

    That rhymes, and it sounds good! And I think it's in the ballpark. But from what I understand of the shadow you don't want to erase anything necessarily - you want to integrate and transform. I think enfoldblue does an excellent job of explaining this. Integrating things like anger, for example, allows us to use anger productively instead of destructively. Integrating the anger, or embracing it to use your word, doesn't erase it - it simply transforms it.
    Last edited by Mike; 6th September 2020 at 02:48.

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    Australia Avalon Member Constance's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shadow Work -a simple guide

    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    Quote Posted by TomKat (here)
    Embrace to erase.

    That rhymes, and it sounds good! And I think it's in the ballpark. But from what I understand of the shadow you don't want to erase anthing necessarily - you want to integrate and transform. I think enfoldblue does an excellent job of explaining this. Integrating things like anger, for example, allows us to use anger productively instead of destructively. Integrating the anger, or embracing it to use your word, doesn't erase it - it simply transforms it.
    Yes. I wholeheartedly agree. Erasing something is like scrubbing shadows off a wall.
    We don't have to do that.
    We are all perfect, whole and complete. All we have to do is put back what is missing from our lives - nurture and nourish all aspects of our beings.

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    Canada Avalon Member TomKat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shadow Work -a simple guide

    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    Quote Posted by TomKat (here)
    Embrace to erase.

    That rhymes, and it sounds good! And I think it's in the ballpark. But from what I understand of the shadow you don't want to erase anything necessarily - you want to integrate and transform. I think enfoldblue does an excellent job of explaining this. Integrating things like anger, for example, allows us to use anger productively instead of destructively. Integrating the anger, or embracing it to use your word, doesn't erase it - it simply transforms it.
    In practical, rather than theoretical, terms, erasure is the only true integration. Shadow is only shadow because it was rejected, exiled... becoming an invitation to astral attachments which will be exorcised in the process of embracing lost self (shadow).
    Last edited by TomKat; 6th September 2020 at 14:19.

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    Avalon Member enfoldedblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shadow Work -a simple guide

    Embrace to erase could refer to releasing the uncomfortable feelings around something...which is the charge. When we embrace we erase the uncomfortable feeling attached to the quality we are integrating.

    You got to feel to heal is another good one. Often the uncomfortable feeling is what made us reject in the beginning...but it takes a lot of unconscious energy to hold a feeling at bay. Once we are willing to feel it we release the charge.

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    Romania Avalon Member Anka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shadow Work -a simple guide

    The health of an emotion can be the performance of being able to manage it, maybe.

    But that's really a good one:



    “Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.” Hippocrates

    Every human is a question asked to the Spirit of the Universe,again and again,because every human is an endless row of humans and in all humans together dwelling the Great Human Spirit.

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