Out of the dark, into the light
What is Shadow?
Shadow is a term coined by the brilliant grandfather of psychology, Dr Carl Jung, and it's a voice that lives inside us all.
Shadow is the negative energy that lives inside us; the energy that governs our psyche and creates the results of our lives we don't want.
Negative thinking = shadow. Self judgements = shadow
Judgements about others = shadow
Limiting beliefs = shadow
Fears and procrastination = shadow
Illness and injury = shadow
Thriving is our natural state - if we're not thriving, we're in shadow.
Shadow is the sole reason for all mental, physical, and emotional struggle.
What actually is Shadow Work?
Shadow work is the examination of the content of the psyche and the elimination of what is in it that does not serve you - in other words, the thoughts, feelings and beliefs that are causing you to struggle. In short, Shadow Work is the understanding of and elimination of Shadow.
This is the inner work that must be done for you to progress to the next level of your life. It closes the gap between who you are right now and who you want to be.
Shadow work is the extraction of Shadow which leaves you free to be the highest version of you. It’s the eradication of Shadow and it’s influence on your life, so you can be in alignment with who you really are beneath the masks and struggle.
Why do Shadow Work?
If you're on a personal development or a spiritual journey, and you're introspective and reflective, you're no doubt doing Shadow Work in some informal way already. Many people do it for many reasons, here's why I love Shadow Work:
How is Shadow Work different to other modalities?
Most of the other spiritual and personal development 'technologies' out there focus on symptom management (as in take medication to stop feeling anxiety, but all that does is suppress the symptom - it doesn’t address the reason for the anxiety). Or take behaviour management (as in CBT and NLP where you are required to do something different to get a different result) or mindset techniques (like affirmations where you cover over the issue with some nice words, thoughts and feelings - they're not particularly effective because the reason that you needed the affirmations in the first place is still there - you’re just covering up the problem with something nice, or trying to convince yourself that what you’re going through is not your reality, but it is - like with money “I love money, money comes to me easily, money floods into my life”, but it doesn’t. It never has and it never will. And that’s because you can’t fool shadow. You can distract it momentarily, which allows the thing you want to come through, but affirmations don’t eliminate anything, they just cover the problem up like noticing a crack in your lounge room wall and deciding to paint the wall yellow to fix the problem. It doesn't work.