Shadow Work: How do I do it?

Hello world! source (1)

Two weeks ago I discovered this thing called “Shadow Work” and it seems like a process that everybody must undertake at some point in their lives if they want to realize their full personal potentials. So what is “Shadow Work” or “Shadows“?

In short, Shadows are parts of ourselves that we have repressed or denied within ourselves and are afraid to show. And once we accept and integrate those parts, we allegedly become a “whole” person and unleash our hidden great potentials. For fuller explanation, click here to read about it or watch below video. 2

So with the benefits being so enticing, the question is “How do we uncover our Shadows then?”

www.shadowwork.com says that there are the following three ways to reveal Shadows:

  1. Negative projections: You can identify your Shadows by looking at what you project onto others. When you deny a trait in yourself, you tend to be very aware of that train in other people. This means that you are most aware of those traits in others which reflect your own Shadows. You may react irrationally to one of these traits in someone else, becoming unduly annoyed and blowing things all out of proportion.
  2. Positive projections: You can also notice the traits which you admire the most in others. Who do you look up to? Who are your idols? We often project our golden Shadows onto others, and get stars in our eyes, because these people represent the qualities we have disavowed in ourselves out of a false sense of modesty.
  3. Surprise actions: Another way to spot your Shadows is to look for things you find yourself doing by accident. No matter how hard you try to keep your bag sealed, your shadows may leak out in a way that seems beyond your control. For example, you may promise yourself that you’re going to spend more time with your family, when you actually spend more time at work.

So having had the theoretical knowledge from above and many other Youtube resources, now it is time for me to air my dirty laundry.

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Normally, www.shadowwork.com suggests to go through the process with a trained coach. However, at this point I don’t have the luxury to do so. Hence, I’m going to go about it intuitively and just gonna list whatever falls in above 3 catagories. So here they are. 2

Negative projections:

  • I hate weakness. Earlier I used to hate it fiercely. (I guess this trait makes me too hard on myself and unable to relax and take it easy. Integrating this trait will be challenging as all my life I have tried not to be this one thing. Oh well…)
  • I hate to complain. Instead, I prefer to suck it up and just live/deal with the problem without having to share with anyone or not saying it in a complaining way. (Perhaps the positive aspects of complaining could be letting go pent-up emotions, bonding and connecting with someone at a deeper level? Perhaps it arouses feeling of compassion and results in getting help?)
  • I never considered myself as a lazy person and in fact I think I have a “doing” addiction. If laziness is repressed and denied in me, I’d be really not surprised as that is the one trait that my whole extended family dislike and reject the most.
  • I hate lairs, cheater and manipulators. And It’s like I have a special radar to detect such people and I get disgusted by such people. (Oh god, I can’t bear to think that I could be a liar, cheater and manipulator myself. But you know what? When dire circumstances demanded me to be so, I did in fact end up lying, cheating and manipulating in a certain case and felt horrible about it/myself. So I wonder what could be the silver lining in lying, cheating and manipulating? – Rescuing oneself from disaster? )
  • Earlier I didn’t use to like ultra-feminine women, especially if the voice was so. They used to annoy me. However, lately I am getting better at liking them. 🙂 (That means I suppress my feminine side?)
  • I dislike stingy or greedy people. (The positive aspect of such traits must be enabling accumulation of material goods! No wonder why I don’t accumulate wealth!)
  • I look down on cowards and immediately detect it when someone is being a coward. However, now I could see that cowardice is positively related to safety and caution. When I decide to do something, in most cases, the risks and the downsides involved in the chosen action never even makes their way into my consciousness in the first place and when I do something people ask if I wasn’t scared and only then I realize that being scared could have been a possibility. Anyway, I admit that because of this blind spot of mine I have gotten into troubles. So I will try to be coward and cautious from now on, and try to take calculated risks. 🙂

Positive projections:

  • I adore gentle and calm people. They have a tranquilizing effect on me. 🙂 All my bf’s and those close to me have been gentle and calm people. 🙂 (So I should call upon and embrace my gentle and calm aspects? I think so.)
  • I also like warm and affectionate people. That’s why I fall for Turkish people, I guess…. (So that means I’m suppressing warmth and affection that I could naturally give out?)
  • I admire those who are able to speak well and articulate clearly. Earlier, because I wasn’t able to explain myself clearly and get other people understand my point, I used to get upset and arrogant. And each time I hear someone articulating so well, I always get a mental orgasm. 🙂

Surprise actions: 

  • I might be stubborn. Last night I told myself that I will sleep around the same time, but I ended up reading and researching until early morning. So is that because I am stubborn? But I would deny it with disbelief. In cases that might be interpreted as stubborn, I always rationalized it as “knowing what I want too well and not compromising”.
  • In my party days, when I got drunk, I used to act cutely and innocently silly. And a few years earlier when my Indian boyfriend lovingly and jokingly called me the same thing, I would erupt into anger and used to say “I’m not silly!” (Oh well, little did I know that being silly could be fun and cute!)
  • I hate doing petty things. Petty things like making phone bill payment, doing house chores, small-talking on the phone, etc. Even though I realize that those things matter too, no matter how much I force myself to do them, there is a resistant person inside me, who just digs her heels in the sand and refuse to cooperate. (So how could doing petty things be liked or integrated in my system at all? Definitely I could see that it creates consistency, stability and reliability.)
  • Also I like to do things at my pace and hate to be rushed or forced to do something. If that happens, it’s a sure way to earn resentment from me. (So is that a Shadow at all?)
  • I suffocate in routine. When life and work gets into a routine, I start feeling restless and then start creating dramas and challenges. (How can I ever integrate love for routine in myself? – By being conscious of its blessings, I guess. And the blessings are those of stability, peace and comfort, to say the least.)

So these are the dirty laundries that I can air at this point and I will add to the list as and when I find further potential Shadows.

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Vibe high! 

Bella

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