The Nature of Shadow work (((O)))

la loba

Be — don’t try to become
>>>: Osho :<<<

I’ve come across posts and writings by people who speak about the ‘shadow’ & doing shadow work, only to find myself going…really?

They speak of superficialities which may be valid as being a part of the shadow, but belly flub or pimples, or unsatisfied ego’s aren’t the body and soul of what shadow work is ALL about. Well, that’s my feeling about it anyways.

To me, shadow work goes much much deeper. It looks at the fuel of why we may perceive ourselves the way we do and judge ourselves accordingly. If you are worried about the superficialities it is more likely a deep seeded insecurity lingering at the roots, and the perception is the symptom that is born from that.

Shadow work to me goes back to childhood – even back to the womb, and the formative years of our youth that built the foundation we now have come to rest on. Some of our foundations are cracking and falling apart. why? because they were built on illusion and false truths. Born out of disconnection.

Perhaps we were being molded into something we are NOT early on…always pushed to conform to be like ‘everyone’ else. Most of us weren’t exactly encouraged to carve our own paths in life. Our elders shaped us, just like their elders before them, because it is what ‘they’ knew at the time. When in reality, raising children isn’t really so much of us needing to ‘shape or mold’ them, but rather, nurture what is already within them. How can we expect to create change and evolve if we feel compelled to shape and control our offspring? What…so we can have more carbon copies of ourselves???

No thanks! I would much rather see my children build on & expand beyond my own growth.

So. The shadow?

All things that you had to deny about yourself, because it didn’t fit the ‘mold’. Either in your parents eyes or simply societal. Both and all.

These shadows were all the things we suppressed, disowned, disconnected, and pushed down, deeply into our unconscious. These are the makings of programmed patterns that play out subconsciously – unconsciously. They are the reactions that flow effortlessly, without intervening with a ‘new’ response to an emotional trigger.

The sad part is, the more we stuff it away the more it looms over us. I think Eckhart Tolle referred to this as the “pain body”. A collection of events beginning at birth that becomes a sort of entity of its own, like a sleeping cat, always alert, just waiting for the right time to be awakened by the doubts and meanderings of the Ego. Now, I’ve come to understand the the ego itself in not the ‘bad guy’ perse…its like an operating system maybe? It is a part of us – a tool to live in this world, but was never meant to be the ruler. I feel trying to get ‘rid of’ the ego is a lost cause, rather, put it back into its rightful place as servant!

Our Western culture is so afraid of the shadow and all things dark and unknown, it has created much fear surrounding it to keep you away.

Monsters lurk there, and who wants to let the monsters out? No one.

Perhaps our subconscious minds may offer us clues – in dreams or even in the manifestations of the BODY itself. Our bodies mirror where we need growth and its good to learn the symbolic language to interpret just what our bodies and subconscious is trying to teach us, reveal to us, free us from.

Our addictions, ego, greed, and insatiable desires that leave us more hungry also offers us clues as to where healing is needed, as I just see them as symptoms of a Spiritual dis-ease.

Why would we want to bother with shadow work though? Can’t we just leave the skeletons in the closet?

SURE. No one likes to feel uncomfortable and that is part of the problem….if we could ride through the discomfort we might actually have tied up the loose ends and finished the business?!

But if we want to thrive in this world and reach our potential we have to acknowledge ALL aspects of who we are and reclaim those parts of our spirit we left behind to become WHOLE again. Only when we are whole will we understand our full potential, our gifts and truly feel love and compassion for ourselves and all our relations.

TRUE healing is more than just what we feed our bodies with. True healing is acknowledging that we are more than just a body. We are multi-dimensional beings made up of thoughts, feelings and ether/spirit. The truth is – We are wounded.  Much of our discontent comes from feeling so separate from everything that we don’t feel a sense of belonging. If we did, we wouldn’t treat our Earth and all its creations they way we do. We wouldn’t allow such harm to our planet if we felt connected – really FELT. We would realize anything we do to the Earth or another being we do to ourselves.

In our society there is a HUGE disconnect from our Spiritual nature and the fact that our thoughts and emotions are important agents of both health and dis-ease. Emotions act like a barometer of where our thoughts flow. They are meant to be expressed & released. Just like the body releases what it no longer needs we must release feelings. We are meant to let emotions flow…e-motion. Energy in motion. When we suppress or resist feeling the emotion’s build up and become stuck. We become emotionally blocked. When energy brushes up against this blockages or dams it also tries to free the stuck ‘feelings’ we’ve been storing away creating more discomfort. Shadow work seems to be part of getting the motion back in the flow and begin the release of energies. When we express and validate our own feelings immediately we feel empowered rather than victimized. In the flow instead of in ‘control’.

In our society we do not value our spiritual connection to all that is. At least, not an authentic and individual approach. We either have religion or we have atheism. Neither path I feel is of service. One is dominated by control and hierarchy and the other is void of purpose and meaning. Empty.

Spirituality is following no one. It is a path of self but not selfish. It is listening to your inner guidance and carving your own path. It is your own connection to Source and filling your own cup.

No one can fill that cup for YOU!

No matter how much praise, glorification, acknowledgement, infatuation, admiration you may receive from others, that cup will not be filled unless you FEEL it for yourself.

This is a major reasons long term relationships suffer. The institution of marriage and the beliefs attached to the fairy tale romance or soulmate scenarios everyone is seeking – being completed by another perpetuates the never ending spiral of seeking completion through another. That will NOT work. Ever. Sorry. Everyone loves the high of new love, the crush, the chase, but as soon as it wears off, it continues, unless we FEED ourselves. Then our relationships of any kind, can be sustained and great growth can be achieved as we push each other forward, into expansion and growth.

Anything else will not be long lasting gratification, only temporary bliss and as soon as that wears off, as it will in any relationship, or with any addiction, the seeker becomes hungry once again.

Our partners, family and friends can be great mirrors for what we must face and work on the most! They will trigger our wounds.

Whether it is a root of poor self-worth, insecurity, or self hate, we can only heal from the inside out.

The thing is, and I’ve noticed this cycle in my own relationship to myself and others, is that there just are many personal deaths.

Those deaths are important though. They help us shed away the layers and beliefs and programming that only hold us back from our true essence. We have to embrace the endings and the discomforts. They are GOOD signs that growth and transformation are close! Don’t resist.

Don’t be afraid of the death cycle. Again, we’ve been told to keep the discomfort and uncomfortable at bay….be happy. ALL the time.

And so, we see a very very sick society….pretending. But feeling dead inside because of the lies we carry.

Until you recognize your own lessons, you will continue on projecting the ‘deeper issue’ outside of yourself, where you feel powerless to create the change that is needed. You’ll want more and more…..

fame – praise – glory – material things – success- sex – food – drugs – infinity….like a dog chasing its own tale or the hamster in its wheel….the chase will be never ending and the bliss a temporary high. There is nothing to chase OUT there. You can only feed what’s in there. It’s all there already.

Some thoughts just come and go. Dreams and desires come and go. Just because we feel pulled one way or desire something doesn’t mean we need to act on it. Not all dreams will reach fruition. Not all seeds will grow too harvest. It is through discernment that we begin intuiting which thoughts to act on and which ones are there to inspire or keep us going.  Its much like maintaining a garden and weeding just the right amount for the garden to thrive and still acknowledging that some weeds in the garden create a healthy balance and have a purpose. It’s all about timing.

You ARE the center of your own Universe/Garden and whatever you do to yourself impacts the world around you. Unlike what we may have been raised to believe that self care is self-ish is total bull shit. Taking care of yourself means you are taking responsibility for yourself and your own healing SO you don’t project your shit onto another, which results in victimhood and blame. Taking care of yourself enables you to show up for others with no strings attached because YOU are already full. Taking care of yourself means you don’t expect to be completed or fed by someone else! It means showing up for yourself first so you can be of unconditional service in your world.

This death dance will happen over and over. Its really no different from digestion…haha. What goes in must come out!

What we aquire in form of ideas, thoughts, and beliefs (as well as material things) that will eventually want to be shed again, unless it truly resonates with the essence of who you truly are. The things of true value are the things that can never be taken from you or lost.

I am no expert. Just observant. I’ve been through many cycles of shedding and releasing. I like the slow and steady and not be flooded with it all at once.

Darkness and Light are the paradoxes of the Universe. Once cannot live without the other. So why do we try so hard to only strive for the light? and why do we assume that darkness in its pure form is ‘bad’ or evil…..isn’t darkness the place all things are born from?

The seed that sprouts in darkness, the baby that grows in darkness? The stars that can only shine in the darkness!

The only ‘bad’ is the denial of the self and the projections it casts on to another. Making it an ‘out there’ issue rather than one ‘in there’. The shadow isn’t the REAL you but a projection of YOU.


Only YOU can heal one else. Only you can change that, no one else. Only YOU can find your way through your inner Labyrinth to your center!


So don’t take my word for it, this is just my understanding and expression of it all!  See and feel how that resonates with you. Can you see the pattern in your life? Your own madness?

Don’t fret- just Shine your light on those dark places! Clear the cobwebs of your emotional landscape and breathe easy…..allow yourself to ‘feel’ and move on…

“Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner? You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life…If you want to find paths, you should also not spurn madness, since it makes up such a great part of your nature…Be glad that you can recognize it, for you will thus avoid becoming its victim. Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical. Man strives toward reason only so that he can make rules for himself. Life itself has no rules. That is its mystery and its unknown law. What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.”
C.G. Jung, The Red Book: A Reader’s Edition    

“What men call the shadow of the body is not the shadow of the body, but is the body of the soul.”
Oscar Wilde

“This explosive psychological ‘sneaking’ occurs when a woman suppresses large parts of self into the shadows of the psyche. In the view of analytical psychology, the repression of both negative and positive instincts, urges, and feelings into the unconscious causes them to inhabit a shadow realm. While the ego and superego attempt to continue to censor the shadow impulses, the very pressure that repression causes is rather like a bubble in the sidewall of a tire. Eventually, as the tire revolves and heats up, the pressure behind the bubble intensifies, causing it to explode outward, releasing all the inner content.

The shadow acts similarlyY We find that by opening the door to the shadow realm a little, and letting out various elements a few at a time, relating to them, finding use for them, negotiating, we can reduce being surprised by shadow sneak attacks and unexpected explosions.”
Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype    

“Every man carries with him through life a mirror, as unique and impossible to get rid of as his shadow.”
W.H. Auden,

“Nobody can say anything about you. Whatsoever people say is about themselves. But you become very shaky, because you are still clinging to a false center. That false center depends on others, so you are always looking to what people are saying about you. And you are always following other people, you are always trying to satisfy them. You are always trying to be respectable, you are always trying to decorate your ego. This is suicidal. Rather than being disturbed by what others say, you should start looking inside yourself…

Whenever you are self-conscious you are simply showing that you are not conscious of the self at all. You don’t know who you are. If you had known, then there would have been no problem— then you are not seeking opinions. Then you are not worried what others say about you— it is irrelevant!

When you are self-conscious you are in trouble. When you are self-conscious you are really showing symptoms that you don’t know who you are. Your very self-consciousness indicates that you have not come home yet.”




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