ShamanTalk Episode 96

The Shadow | What is it & how do we work with it?

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Disclaimer: Shadow work can be triggering. This episode is not intended to diagnose, uncover or treat severe trauma. If you have experienced severe trauma (or think you may have, but have repressed the memories), we always recommend seeing a trained professional. 

“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls.

They will practice Indian yoga and all its exercises, observe a strict regimen of diet, learn the literature of the whole world – all because they cannot get on with themselves and have not the slightest faith that anything useful could ever come out of their own souls.

Thus the soul has gradually been turned into a Nazareth from which nothing good can come.”

– Carl Jung

What is the Shadow?

When we talk about the shadow, we mean all the parts we deny, hide, repress or reject about ourselves.

It’s called the shadow because it hasn’t been captured by the light of our consciousness and because it has been banned from the surface of our visible life.

Where Do Your Shadow Parts Come From?

During childhood we learn how to get love and acceptance – it’s what drives most of our behaviour, because as children we believe without it we will. It’s how we are wired as humans.

We also learn how not to be if we don’t want to be cut off from love and affection from our parents. So we conclude from these situations that we have to hide certain behaviours and that we can’t be fully authentic in our ways of expression.

“This confrontation is the first test of courage on the inner way, a test sufficient to frighten off most people, for the meeting with ourselves belongs to the more unpleasant things that can be avoided so long as we can project everything negative into the environment. But if we are able to see our own shadow and can bear knowing about it, then a small part of the problem has already been solved: we have at least brought up the personal unconscious. The shadow is a living part of the personality and therefore wants to live with it in some form. It cannot be argued out of existence or rationalized into harmlessness.” 

– Carl Jung

How Does Your Shadow Manifest and Express Itself?

Jealousy

Defensiveness

Addiction

Depression

Anxiety

Co-dependency

Creating or being part of a lot of drama in life

Self-sabotage

Power struggles

Lies

Procrastination

Resentment

Passive-aggressiveness

Bitterness

Aggression, anger and rage

Violent behaviors and abuse

Victimization 

Guilt and shame

Reactive

Discontentment

How You Can Recognize Your Shadow Parts

Everything you find annoying in others, that you judge and reject from yourself points to shadow issues.

>>> REMEMBER Shadow work can be tricky. It’s often not what it first appears to be.

Here are more clues to help you recognize your shadow parts:

  • Lack of self-confidence and afraid to speak up
  • Blaming external circumstance
  • Weak boundaries
  • Fears around putting yourself and your creative work out into the world (fear of judgement, procrastination, self-sabotage…)
  • Not doing what you know you want and is good for you
  • Money and success issues
  • Relationship issues and dramas (anxious or avoidant attachment styles)
  • Maybe every time your partner talks about their colleague at work you get jealous even though there is no rational reason for your reaction.

A lot of this list may sound familiar to you. Perhaps you recognise the victim archetype or working with Blame. A lot of the work in the podcasts is shadow work – even if it’s not labelled that way.

So, if you’ve been listening for a while or are in either our Momentum Membership or our Apprenticeship program – you’re already doing Shadow work.

Activities & Journeys

  1. Journey with your Guides to Time. Ask to be shown what your relationship looks like energetically and how it affects you. Then ask to be shown a healthy, energetic relationship with time. 

    You can Journey to Time more often, ask other questions, and ask for any healing you may need to help support your changing relationship with time.

    2. Working with the Moon is a great way to reconnect with Natures cycles. 

    Start on a New Moon (although any time is fine) and spend a few minutes each day connecting with Moon energy. 

    Simply using your powerful imagination and thinking about the Moon is enough. You can also be out looking at the Moon if she’s visible or download a picture you can look at to help you connect.

    Write notes about how you feel at each point in the moon cycle. At the end of the month, read through your notes and see if you feel differently about time. 

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