What people don’t understand is that the shadow holds the juice and magic and is the key to our authentic self. It should be embraced not feared!
In my post yesterday I talked about a personal issue that was in the way of my experience of prosperity. What I uncovered is what is known as a shadow aspect.
WHAT IS SHADOW?
Shadow is a word coined by Carl Jung the father of Jungian psychology.
In Jungian psychology, the shadow or shadow aspect refers to an unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego doesn’t identify in itself. It includes anything that is hidden that you are not fully conscious of. The shadow is seen by some as a negative thing because many people do not want to delve into that part of the self that is seemingly undesirable.
On one hand it can be things that you see as a weakness or wound that has been pushed out of view. On the other hand it can be positive traits that we can’t own, like the one I talked about. So the shadow according to Jung can include everything outside the light of consciousness, and may be positive or negative. “Everyone carries a shadow,” Jung wrote, “and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” It may be (in part) one’s link to more primitive animal instincts, which are superseded during early childhood by the conscious mind.
The shadow isn’t something evil: it is the container of all the stuff we threw out when we were growing up. It contains everything we couldn’t handle, everything we were told was wrong with us, everything we thought we could be, and how we translated all of this information. Many of the messages are conflicting so we have a hard time seeing them. It’s impossible to hold a positive and a negative thought about the same thing at the same time (cognitive dissonance) so we just send them off so we don’t have to deal with them at all.
An example of this would be “I like to smoke” and “smoking causes cancer”. You can’t hold both of those thoughts at once.
To complicate things even more, there is a personal shadow and a collective shadow, which is also known as the collective unconscious. The collective unconscious holds
I will give you an example though. Everyone has heard of the Great Depression and anyone who was born in the United States has ancestors who lived through it. I think it was a great turning point for lack consciousness to enter our psyche. Even though we didn’t live through it we are impacted by it through our ancestors and depending on how many generations away from it you are determines who much it will impact you.
Working on the shadow is one of the hardest things I have ever done. It is a gut wrenching activity. I have done it more times than I can remember in my 30 years of self exploration. Every time I have done it, I felt as if I were being torn apart or that I was imploding on myself. Each step was difficult and I urgently want to free myself from having to face my dark side by denying that the shadow element exists. Most of us will do what ever it takes not to do this work because we want to be comfortable. The truth is it is the hardest and most rewarding work you can do to become more conscious. A recent blog post will show you and example.
Shadow Work is the path of the Heart Warrior
BEGINNING THE WORK OF EXPLORING SHADOW
The first way to begin looking at shadow it to pick something that you have wanted to have in your life that you just can’t seem to manifest. This process will help you find the shadow that is keeping you from manifesting your desire.
Look at what triggers you in relationships. Pay close attention to where you feel jealous, angry, resentful or any other challenging emotion in relationship to the issue you chose. If you aren’t feeling triggered take a look at the qualities you really admire in others who have what you want to create. Who do you admire and why? What we love in others are often parts of ourselves that we project onto others. Take a discerning look and see what you can identify.
2. Meet the part of you that’s either triggered or projecting your light onto others. Get to know this part of you. Who is she/he? Some call the disowned aspects of ourselves our shadow and some call it our secret selves… (yes, we have many!) Give him/her a name, identity and get really clear on her personality.
3. Find out what she needs. After you’ve identified the part of you that represents the portion of your unconscious that you want to integrate, ask her what she needs. Listen deeply and hear what it is she’s craving. I find journaling very helpful for this work. You can actually have a dialog with this part of yourself.
4. Take action. Once you hear what the disowned aspect of yourself is asking for, take action and offer her/him exactly what they are craving. Set an intention that honors her. Write your intentions out affirmatively in the first person. Then read them out loud, allowing them to sink into both your conscious and unconscious!
5. Pay attention to your dreams. Often our dreams show us what our ego is resisting to see. For the next week, sleep with a pen and notebook beside your bed, and write your dreams upon waking up. What’s your unconscious trying to communicate?! You can even ask a question before you go to sleep. Something like ” What is keeping me from manifesting_____? ” Always say ” Let me remember my dream when I wake up.”
If you are willing to dig deep and discover the hidden parts of yourself you are on your way to experiencing prosperity beyond your current understanding.
Here are some other resources for doing Shadow work that you might find helpful:
I will see you tomorrow with Prosperity Consciousness Part 5 of 12