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Jan 16, Dec 12, Lifestyle Lila Seeley September 19, lila , Lila , self worth , shadow , journey , body image , struggle , unblocking , authentic self , soul. But with persistence, they will eventually emerge and bless your life. So pay attention to the following questions and try to answer them honestly:. There are many Shadow Work techniques and exercises out there. In this guide, I will provide a few to help you start off. One Shadow Work practice I enjoy a great deal is paying attention to everything that shocks, disturbs and secretly thrills me.
The reality is that what we react to, or what makes us angry and distressed, reveals extremely important information to us about ourselves. How did I discover this? Through my intense dislike of witnessing rape scenes in movies and TV shows, my negative reaction to novel experiences e. Thanks to this practice, I have welcomed more compassion, mindfulness, and forgiveness into my life.
By this, I mean that, whatever riles, shocks, infuriates, disturbs and terrifies you, you must pay attention to. Likely, you will discover patterns constantly emerging in your life. Or you might be terrified of seeing death or dead people possibly revealing your resistance to the nature of life or a childhood trauma.
Or you might be disgusted by alternative political, sexual and spiritual lifestyles possibly revealing your hidden desire to do the same. There are so many possibilities out there, and I encourage you to go slowly, take your time, and one by one pick through what you place importance in. Well, think for a moment. The moment you emotionally react to something is the moment you have given that thing power over you. Art is the highest form of self-expression and is also a great way to allow your Shadow to manifest itself.
Psychologists often use art therapy as a way to help patients explore their inner selves. Start by allowing yourself to feel or drawing on any existing dark emotions. Choose an art medium that calls to you such as pen and pencil, watercolor, crayon, acrylic paint, scrapbooking, sculpting, etc.
Just let your hands, pen, pencil, or paintbrush do the talking. The more spontaneous, the better. Artistic expression can reveal a lot about your obscure darker half. Psychologist Carl Jung who conceptualized the Shadow Self idea was even famous for using mandalas in his therapy sessions.
The act of creation can be intensely frustrating and can give birth to some of your darker elements such as impatience, anger, blood-thirsty competitiveness, and self-doubt. At the same time, starting a project also allows you to experience feelings of fulfillment and joy. Using self-awareness and self-exploration during the process of creation, you will be able to reap deeper insights into your darkness.
You will likely be surprised by what you find! For example, as a person who considers myself non-competitive, that assumption has been challenged by the act of writing this blog. Thanks to this project, the Shadow within me of ruthless competitiveness has shown its face, allowing me to understand myself more deeply. Reading through your dark thoughts and emotions can help you to recover the balance you need in life by accepting both light and dark emotions within you. These archetypes are sometimes defined as:.
Here are my thirteen classifications which are based on my own self-observations and analysis of others:. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: arrogance, egocentricity, pompousness, inconsiderateness, self-indulgence, narcissism, excessive pride. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: paranoia, obsessiveness, suspiciousness, finicky, demanding, compulsive behavior. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: secretive, impulsive, frivolous, irresponsible, deceitful, unreliable.
This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: moody, melodramatic, weepy, overemotional, impulsive, changeable. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: suspicious, jealous, possessive, bossy, obsessive. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: negative, overcritical, patronizing, resentful, cantankerous. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: ruthless, vengeful, bitchy, quick-tempered, quarrelsome.
This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: uptight, intolerant, obstinate, uncompromising, inflexible, narrow-minded. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: superficial, cunning, inconsistent, sly, crafty. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: emotionally detached, distant, indifferent, uncaring, unexcited. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: masochistic, lewd, sadistic, vulgar, libidinous.
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This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: weak-willed, passive, timid, fearful. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: puerile, childish, illogical, simpleminded, vacuous. Keep in mind that the above Shadow Archetypes are by no means exhaustive. But you are free to use this breakdown to help you explore your own Shadows. I understand if you might feel a twinge of skepticism towards this practice right now.
One easy way to practice inner dialogue is to sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, and tune into the present moment. Then, think of a question you would like to ask your Shadow, and silently speak it within your mind. Record anything that arises and reflect on it. It is even possible to carry on a conversation with your Shadow using this method. Just ensure that you have an open mindset.
You will likely be surprised by the answers you receive! Visualization is another helpful way of engaging in inner dialogue.
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I recommend bringing to mind images of dark forests, caves, holes in the ground, or the ocean as these all represent the unconscious mind. Always ensure that you enter and exit your visualization in the same manner, e. Or if you open a particular door, make sure you open the same door when returning back to normal consciousness. This practice will help to draw you effortlessly in and out of visualizations. As we have learned, projection is a technique of the Shadow that helps us to avoid what we have disowned.
For example, a person may be attracted to another who displays fierce self-assertiveness, not realizing that this quality is what they long to reunite with inside themselves. Another common example this time negative is judgmentalism. The Mirror Technique is the process of uncovering our projections. To practice this technique, we must adopt a mindful and honest approach towards the world: we need to be prepared to own that which we have disowned!
Being radically truthful with ourselves can be difficult, so it does require practice. But essentially, we must adopt the mindset that other people are our mirrors. We must understand that those around us serve as the perfect canvas onto which we project all of our unconscious desires and fears.
Start this practice by examining your thoughts and feelings about those you come in contact with. Or we might project our jealousy onto another who genuinely is jealous. Also look for things you love and adore about others, and uncover the hidden projections there. The Mirror Technique will help you to shed a lot of light onto Shadow qualities that you have rejected , suppressed, repressed, or disowned. On a side note, you might also like to read about a similar practice called mirror work which helps you to come face-to-face with your own denied aspects.
As passionate proponents of Shadow Work, we have created a free Shadow Self test on this website for you to take. No person is exempt. If you are looking for some serious, authentic and long-lived healing in your life, Shadow Work is the perfect way to experience profound inner transformation. If we face up to our dark side, our life can be energized.
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If not, there is the devil to pay. Growth demands a temporary surrender of security. Who has not at one time or another felt a sourness, wrath, selfishness, envy and pride, which he could not tell what to do with, or how to bear, rising up in him without his consent, casting a blackness over all his thoughts … It is exceeding good and beneficial to us to discover this dark, disordered fire of our soul; because when rightly known and rightly dealt with, it can as well be made the foundation of heaven as it is of hell.
Aletheia Luna is an influential psychospiritual writer whose work has changed the lives of thousands of people worldwide, she is currently based in Perth, Australia. After escaping the religious sect she was raised in, Luna experienced a profound existential crisis that led to her spiritual awakening. As a spiritual counselor and author, Luna's mission is to help others become conscious of their entrapment and find joy, empowerment, and liberation in any circumstance.
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