Updated: Nov 7, 2022
“The nights are closing in, the bright excesses of summer are behind us, the time for reflecting and turning inwards towards the soft, safe darkness of our inner reality is upon us.”
As we begin stepping into the shorter nights of the autumn into the winter months. We are given this chance to look inward and work with our shadow self.
According to Carl Jung, the shadow side or shadow self includes all the elements of your unconscious personality.
This concept is also known in Chinese culture as Yin-Yang.
If a pattern keeps repeating, do some shadow work. Look into how you might be contributing to the way things are unfolding.
You may ask "why do Shadow Work?"
"It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for. The damned thing in the cave that was so dreaded has become the center. You will find the jewel, and it draws you off.
In loving the spiritual, you cannot despise the earthly.
The purpose of the journey is compassion".
– Joseph Campbell
Reclaiming the parts of ourselves we've denied or ignored is healing.
By owning the parts we're not proud of and accepting them, we feel more whole.
When we are aware of something, it no longer has the same kind of power to control us.
Our shadow thoughts lead us to act out unless we consciously choose not to let our ego-mind lead.
How to do Shadow Work.
Notice when you judge, criticise or blame and pause - what in yourself are you avoiding by focusing externally?
When you feel jealousy, anger, or self-pity, pause and ask "what core belief is underneath this feeling?"
Practice seeing yourself in other people.
Practice radical responsibility for your emotions and reactions rather than blaming others.
Be honest about your shadow thoughts and fears, then remind yourself what is true.
Reminders on Shadow Work.
Your shadow or ego doesn't make you a bad person.
Not all shadow traits are "negative", they are just parts you've rejected.
A lot of our shadow traits were hidden or rejected in order to survive or win love and approval.
Shadow work is not about blaming yourself, it's about having the power to show up more consciously.
Shadow work can be liberating, because at the root, the purpose of it all is self-acceptance.
Examples of Shadow Thoughts/Behaviours
Why do people always / never do this!
I wish other people would change so I could be happy.
My relationship patterns are about the other, not about me.
Anger is bad / wrong.
My sadness is weak or unattractive.
It's better to show only the "good parts" of myself otherwise I'll be rejected.
Defending / acting out / pushing love away.
Masking vulnerability with pride and arrogance.
Because without revealing to ourselves what we have hidden, we remain burdened with problems such as anger, guilt, shame, disgust, and grief.
All throughout the history of mankind, Shadow Work has played a powerful yet mysterious and occult role in helping us discover what is causing us mental illness, physical disease and even insanity resulting in crimes of all kinds.
Traditionally, Shadow Work fell in the realm of the Shamans, or medicine people, as well as the priests and priestesses of the archaic periods of history. These days, Shadow Work falls more commonly in the realms of psychotherapy, with psychologists, psychiatrists, spiritual guides, and therapists.
While we have no power to change another person, we have always the power to work on ourselves and see clearly what we are made of.
Freeing the Shadow Self
(open specifically to therapists and to those who have already done a significant amount of personal work, and who would like to take their work deeper)
Date: Friday 13 - Monday 16 November 2020
Location: Penny Brohn UK, nr Bristol, UK
To do personal work with me using the shamanic tools please Book here.