Whatever aspects of ourselves we have hidden away, however unacceptable or destructive we may believe them to be, there is usually a kernel of essential ‘life force’ which we have hidden away too, along with all the ‘bad’ stuff that we are trying to avoid.
When exploring the shadow we work with the idea that we are all made up of many different parts. Some of these parts we are aware of and happy with, others we are aware of, but they are sides of ourselves we are not happy with, and we’d rather they weren’t there.
In addition to this there are yet other parts of ourselves of which we have almost no awareness at all. They are missing from our conscious knowledge of ourselves and, as a result of these ‘missing’ parts, our experience of life is limited. Furthermore we can suffer much pain and confusion as these hidden aspects run things from the shadows. Continue Reading
Our shadow contains all the parts of ourselves we have cut off, repressed or denied. These are usually aspects of ourselves that were disapproved of during childhood, or that we needed to hide in order to gain affection. They are characteristics that it might have been counterproductive or dangerous for us to express. In childhood our psychological and physical survival depends on getting along with those around us and being accepted, so we very naturally hide sides of ourselves that may not serve us in this process. Continue Reading
In this article I will explore the idea that diversity is, at core, about more than just accepting and welcoming ’other’. It is, first and foremost, about accepting and welcoming parts of ourselves – parts that we haven’t yet had a chance to meet.
Firstly I am going to introduce you to a belief that has influenced me for a long time now and underpins all the work that I do. You will need to bear with me for a while as I take you through my own personal journey to arriving at this understanding – via shamanism, poetry, quantum physics, group dynamics and the other varied influences that have informed this belief.
How do I know what I’m feeling?
Although many of us are unaware of the process, there is a wealth of evidence available which suggests that our whole bodies themselves are sense organs which communicate with us, often on an unconscious level, and inform us about our feelings. Continue Reading
People look to many different things to bring them joy – money, status, a beautiful place to live, the perfect partner, children, friends…. . However many of us also have a sense that it is a person’s way of being – who or how they are – that has a greater influence on their happiness than the people or things around them. Continue Reading
Our Need For Connection
When exploring love and intimacy I look to the ‘Lover’ archetype, which is representative of our need for connection. The need of our inner Lover to connect – to bond with other human beings, with ourselves, with nature and with spirit, is the most fundamental and the most powerful drive we have as human beings. There are well documented examples that demonstrate that humans and many other mammals place connection above food and physical wellbeing – sometimes even above their own survival. Continue Reading
When I’m exploring the shadow with a client I speak to the many different parts of that person that make up the whole. Here I’d like to introduce you to a particularly unsettling type of part that I sometimes come across – an internal shadow predator.
We all have many different parts, each with different points of view, different ideas about our life and different feelings. Some of them carry very strong energy and emotion.
Everyone is different and all their parts are unique and have their own flavour and character. In Healing The Shadow work one of our aims is to get all of these different parts working together. They are all of value in some way and a necessary part of the whole. When all our different parts work together towards the same goal life can feel much more harmonious and have a greater sense of flow.
However…., sometimes when we’re doing this work we come across a part of us that seems to be completely destructive.
Our shadow, by its very nature, is out of our sight. Either it is completely unconscious or it is right out on the periphery of our consciousness. The shadow consists of parts of us we have hidden away and are trying hard not to see. One way of thinking of this is to imagine that we have a bag which we drag along behind us, and in this bag we have hidden away all the parts of ourselves that we don’t want to show to the world – the parts we have cut off, repressed or denied. This bag forms our shadow. We can’t see it, and we hope against hope that others can’t see it either. Continue Reading
Why is Donald Trump so popular when so many people find his attitudes abominable? What is his secret appeal? Are we all drawn to him in some way but too ashamed to admit it?? What are the hidden forces at work here that allow someone who is abhorrent to so many people get so frighteningly close to power? Continue Reading