Pierce Your Shadow, Shine Your light:
The process of a Shadow Worker.
So I was asked by the beautiful Karina Ladet to participate in her 2015 blog Tour featuring a myriad of posts from inspiring women around the world. The Subject was based around Shinning your Light. The questions I was asked to base a blog post around were: How do you shine your light? How do you inspire this in others? What are ways to close off from this inner light and how do we connect with it again? I started thinking about all the ways that I could interpret this theme and what kept coming through strong for me was to shine light on the Shadow Self.
Almost Two years ago, I had the realisation that I was not a ‘Light Worker’ even though so many people called me one. In fact, I couldn’t figure out why I would cringe at the sound of this buzz word being tossed around the (well marketed) New Age Spirituality Scene. What irked me most, was the denial of any perceived negative expressions of the self or society and only focusing attention on the positive. Meanwhile, people are still suffering through many different experiences, continually being disempowered and used as pawns in political agendas across the world. It appeared to me that this ‘scene’ was drenched in the promotion of just focusing on the ‘Light’, whilst flaunting big cheesy grins and sparkling eyes… selling a book about happiness or manifestation along the way. Don’t get me wrong, everything has its place and all, but based on my perception, it seemed that this ‘Western’ scene was drenched in delusion. It wasn’t until I started researching ‘Spiritual Bypassing’ that eventually, I began to see this superficial surface layer full of masks, hiding a deep murky undercurrent.
Enter… The Shadow.
According to Wikipedia: In Jungian psychology, the shadow or “shadow aspect” may refer to (1) an unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not identify in itself. Because one tends to reject or remain ignorant of the least desirable aspects of one’s personality, the shadow is largely negative, or (2) the entirety of the unconscious, i.e., everything of which a person is not fully conscious.
My Spiritual journey has lead me to researching Jung’s work as well as a myriad of studies on Psychology, Philosophy and Spirituality. As I journey on my own path towards embodying Authenticity, I have come to realise that I am the type of person that naturally journeys into the internal depths, facing hard truths about myself, looking at myself critically as a way to identify what is mine… what is a learnt behaviour/pattern, and what is Story. I am not perfect, and I don’t ever pretend to be. My journey is about being here, now, as a woman… real and raw… In 2015, I’m approaching 30 as Single Mama and soon to be divorcee. Yep! It’s been a wild ride for me and I am learning so much in my humility… having a long hard look at myself in my raw and honest Truth, when no one else can see or hear me cry, as I question myself… in the full expression of what it means to be human in this time and space.
More and more I am becoming disciplined in the art of ‘Owning my Shit’ taking full accountability and responsibility for my thoughts, words and actions.
In Short, I have dubbed myself as a Shadow Worker.
I have found that by being so fiercely dedicated to these processes and owning and integrating my shadow unashamedly, I am giving others permission to do the same. Becoming a Shadow worker has become a path to my own liberation and shinning my light into the world with integrity and sincerity. Funnily enough, I have learnt that the Shadow Self isn’t always those negative aspects about ourselves that we repress, they can also be positive which, will mostly manifest through the journey of discovering Self Worth. HA!
What is Suppressed or Repressed will be Expressed in another way.
I have learnt that if we don’t shine our Light (conscious mind) on our Darkness (sub-conscious mind) then these expressions become distorted, leaving us to operate through veils of illusions and cast projections, perceiving the world through a blurry lens. Where we can become disorientated and so far removed from our core truths and values that it can be hard to even remember who we are.
The subconscious never sleeps. In fact it is that part of us that I would liken to the ‘We are all one’ mantra, and to an extent I find this to be true. Let me attempt to briefly explain why. The subconscious picks up on so many pieces of information from a completely subjective point of view. The Subconscious, using Spiritual terminology would be the part of us that is ‘All that is’. It is the neutral platform of our experience in Conscious Awareness… Kind of like a camera… the silent witness to the great unfurling.
The Conscious mind however, only perceives a small percentage of what is actually happening in our environment Whether from the material or energetic world… acting like the shutter on a camera. The information is absorbed in a completely objective manner which shapes our world with context and meaning. We shape language around form and energy to relate with one another. Our Conscious perception of the world is filtered through, what NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) terms ‘Meta Programs’. These deep rooted programs determine how we interpret the world. Information is filtered through these programs via a narrative based on our perception of the World, our beliefs, thought and emotional state. Continuing with the Camera analogy, these would be the lens and also the internal mirrors that refract (distort) the light onto the film.
It is in the deepest part of our Psyche that the Shadow usually rests… it is safe there in the Sub Conscious or Unconscious mind. Becoming familiar with this space is (in my opinion) the most profound Spiritual Journey and path to so called, ‘Illumination’… Where we radiate our light into the world in the embodiment of a Whole Self, rather then simply shining it from the projection of Ego.
The more I journey with getting real with myself and understanding why I do what I do, why I think and behave in certain ways, the more I discover parts about myself that have been hidden… in the Shadows. I am often called through the unspoken realms of Spirit to look there… the feeling kinda bubbles up from my womb or heart as if my cells are purging things that don’t belong… things that have been trapped… that require attention. Things holding me back from really BEing.
It takes discipline to bring your Conscious awareness to your Shadow Self. It takes Courage, Strength and commitment to identifying where we are acting out of a program, installed belief system and perhaps out of Story. Sometimes we become so overwhelmed that it is so easy to slip into habit and ACT OUT rather than to truly BE.
I have found it essential to learn how to ask myself directed questions, and learning different techniques on how to validate what is real and what is fabricated story to stay balanced and healthy. My journey has also lead me to seeking help. During the process of letting go of my marriage, I was fortunate enough to find two professional counsellors in my area who were able to help me sift through the muck in my mind, bringing me back to my centre… to my breath.
My mission as a Shadow Worker, is to embody my authenticity as a holistic being, integrating and healing my Subconscious… so as to live a Conscious Life as best as I possibly can. We are both Human beings having a Spiritual Experience and Spiritual Beings having a human experience. As I ebb and flow through my own discoveries and growth I share what I have learnt, encouraging others to become familiar with these parts of ourselves that we’ve turned away from… and that it is completely OK to have these thoughts, feelings and desires…
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
Lately, I’ve ben pretty gentle with myself and my journey has been in simply identifying and mapping my Shadow, becoming familiar with the way it feels and the language it uses…It has lead me to feeling into stories anchored in my cells, passed through my DNA…
Stories so ancient and familiar, yet so foreign at the same time.
Interestingly, through my 1 on 1 sessions that I have just recently started facilitating, it seems more and more that I am being called into this Shadow Work more fully. I find this fascinating, as when entering into the womb space, not only have my clients been clearing and healing personal shadow aspects, but also that of the collective feminine experience. It is through witnessing my clients journey so deeply in a very primal way, that I am becoming familiar with the collective shadow and the archetypes that can be embodied and played out…
I find the most authentic way to embody ourselves fully, is to understand and integrate the Shadow Aspect of ourselves. I feel that this is how we radiate our internal light out into the world, from the centre of our BEing. Once we merge the Shadow, we become a more authentic version of ourselves that is liberated from unnecessary drama and story. This can be done in the quiet of your own mind or directed by a facilitator that you resonate with.
As with any inner work, only YOU will know if and when you are truly ready, and if you need to seek out Professional services in the realms of Psychology or Counselling…
There is no shame is seeking help and guidance!
Having said all of this, One should not feel forced to face their shadow. It is my opinion that being forced to look at something that you are not ready to look at, can be not only traumatic, but also damaging to any potential growth. The best way to proceed with this type of deep soul excavation is of course with a sense of humour. Having the ability to laugh at yourself and the situation at play will soften the hyper-critical mind into acceptance. We must all cultivate the ability to laugh at ourselves afterall, Life is a pretty radical journey and no one gets out alive!
I find so much beauty in the rich emotional tapestry of this human experience… Hard to explain. Maybe I’m just weird!
If you managed to read all the way through this very organic flow of writing then chances are you are also a Shadow Worker… and for that I offer you my deepest gratitude for you having the courage to look a little deeper and being of service to your authentic Self!