Shadow Work

What Is The Shadow Side?

The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspect of the personality as present and real. This act is an essential condition for self-knowledge, and it is often met with considerable resistance. These shadows are repressed elements of the personality which we choose not to be identified with.

Shadows lurk in the deep recesses of the psyche. It is buried in the heart, in the mind; it is part of us. It follows us, it frightens us, and they come to us in different ways, but they always appear somewhere. The shadow is not a mere concept or a matter of perception. It is very real.

Just as there is light, there is also darkness. It is not possible to deny the shadow element. It is usually the worst side of a person. The courageous person may have a cowardly shadow. The kind, gentle and caring person may have a cruel side hiding behind all that softness. Even among the most benevolent, the most respected personalities and leaders in every field or endeavor, part of their shadow element peeks through their eloquence and their elegance. Do they really know themselves, or have they denied their shadow element? They may find their views, their words and their actions in conflict. This is not intentional and the internal shadow conflicts they fail to deal with come to surface at the worst moments.

Is it possible to ignore or avoid the shadow? When we are at the lowest point in our lives, shadows haunt us. It is that part of ourselves that we leave in the closet as we face the public and put our best foot forward. Hide them, deny them, suppress them, they will not vanish. Our actions may end up attracting these shadows into our lives in other ways.

Do shadows impact our lives? Do they mean anything? Shadows come in many forms. They can come as temptations, obsessions, addictions, co-dependency and other forms of indulgence. Shadows appear in the darkness cloaked in fear; shake us at our core. Shadows can also be shown as projections. It can be a dislike of certain traits in people, unjustified and unexplainable. We don’t like what we see; perhaps it mirrors parts of us that we choose to ignore or may not even be aware of.

Are you comfortable with your friends? If not, ask yourself, why do you hang out with them? Do you judge them harshly? If so, why do you share your precious time with them? Do you tend to make a compromise that you cannot meet? What about when you get angry at the slightest provocation, at times, by the same person. There are times we look for our shadows in the face of other people. We even attract them into our lives. Buried deep, these shadows may drive us to places we dare not go.

Pundits would say it is not wise to deny the shadow element. They believe the only way is to confront it, deal with it and work through the conflicts it creates. Each person has their personal demons to deal with and to face, otherwise, it follows us in less conscious ways. There are lessons from the shadow element. To become aware of it, we need to go deeper into ourselves. We can take the good. Work with the bad, see the light, face the darkness without fear. Go deep within; let the fears and insecurities be buried deep within the surface. Confront the anger seething under the skin.

We are not perfect. No matter how many dark clouds hover above us, no matter how long the dark night is, light will surely come. These dark nights offer a chance to enrich and nourish our spirit, our soul and our lives. It helps us to align ourselves with our highest purpose. By striving for greater balance, endurance and perspective, we generate more personal power and strength.

Using The Power Of The Sun To Release Our Shadows
The sun is the source of power in astrology and in life. Without the sun there is no life whatsoever. If the sun exploded or stopped shining, everything would die very quickly. With all of our modern sophistication, it’s amazing how most people do not remember this simple fact.

As such, it is the qualities of the sun in our birth chart that shows how to access our personal strength and power. Through the prism of the ego, the infinite light of the sun gets filtered, leaving parts of our psyche in darkness. Once we begin living a more examined life, our inner sun begins to illuminate the dark corners of our soul. Once illuminated, these darker parts of ourselves become resurrected.

There’s a classical yoga story that illustrates this point. It is the story of the snake and the rope. In darkness a coiled rope may have the appearance of a snake. If we encounter this coiled rope we may react as if we have seen a snake: by fearfully jumping out of the way, with our heartbeat racing. For all intents and purposes, at that moment the rope IS a snake. Yet, if we produce a flashlight and shine it upon the coiled rope, all of our symptoms disappear and the truth is revealed. Nothing more needs to be done. The appearance of light removes darkness and magically our imagined symptoms disappear. Additionally, once we see the truth we don’t forget. After we realize that the coiled rope is not a snake, we don’t then forget this and react in fear again after we turn the flashlight off. We remember and if we are smart, that experience changes us and gives us insight into the nature of our illusory perceptions.

This is the nature of the sun, to separate us from the darker parts of our being. The sun refers to the greatest possibility we have, the possibility of enlightenment. Yet it requires enormous sacrifice, in fact, the ultimate sacrifice. What is that sacrifice? It requires us to sacrifice those familiar shadows of self that we hang onto, those shadows of the ego that gives us a sense of worldly identity. 

Living in full power and full clarity is a scary prospect, because it demands we grow up and become responsible for who we are now and where we’re going, rather than hang onto the disempowering blame given to the perpetrators in our past. As long as we are still a victim, living in the past, we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes, marching lockstep in accordance with our negative programming. Of all the planets, the sun refers to all we are becoming and our true desire to be self-actualized. That self-actualization begins with reclaiming the reins of personal strength, power, and integrity.

Join Robin Fitzsimons in a 6-Week Shadow Work Course 

Shadow Work® is a way to face the hurt, the fear, the anger, and learn how to live more fully. Most of all, it is a way to love ourselves for the journeys we have chosen. The term “shadow” was first used by Carl G. Jung to describe the repressed or denied part of the Self.

In Shadow Work, we define “shadows” as all the parts of ourselves we have stuffed into the bag. These may be “positive” parts or “negative” parts. Our shadows are all those parts we have split off, repressed or denied — the parts of ourselves we are afraid to show.

We believe it is proper and useful to have a shadow bag, and to keep some shadows in the bag. But when the weight of the bag slows us down and prevents us from being who we really want to be, it is time to open it up. It is time to find a safe place to look into the bag, examine its contents, and see what needs to come back out.

What you can expect from Shadow Work…

   – Confront shadows that were previously unknown to you or too scary to face

   – See painful lifelong patterns with new clarity and understanding

   – Get the inner support you need to shift those patterns

   – Release resentment towards a loved one and find forgiveness

   – Safely access your inner warrior and gain new power and confidence

   – Transform your Inner Critic to an Inner Ally

We will be working through Shadows with scripting, journaling, the use of oracle cards and meditations guided by Robin. 

Join Robin Fitzsimons in a 6-week Shadow Work workshop, in a safe space to let things slowly out of the bag – to help you recognize, process and heal your shadows together. Visit WellnessWithRobin.com or email Robin for details on the next Shadow Work workshop.

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