23 November 2013

How to Deepen Creativity By Embracing Your Own Shadow

Embracing the Shadow: A Journey Toward Wholeness"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious." ~ Carl Jung

Everyone has a shadow, much of which was created in childhood when our need for love and protection caused us to reject parts of us deemed shameful, unworthy or dangerous by family, teachers, religious leaders, friends and even our enemies. These disowned parts of us were exiled to the darkest depth of our unconscious, hidden from the world and often from ourselves.

This is a huge problem, for the shadow is a powerful part of us. We cannot will it away or think that it remains subdued just because we have forgotten its existence.

"To heal is to touch with love that which we previously touched with fear." ~ Stephen Levin

But why, if the shadow holds negative, fearful, shame-based emotions, should we contemplate a descent into the dark, unseen world to retrieve it? Because if it is disowned, the shadow actually grows in power and becomes the invisible puppeteer that defines the way we are in the world. It is the shadow that creates self-sabotaging behaviors that make us miserable.

Some of the positive parts of self that often become buried in the shadow:   
Sexuality and sensuality     
The capacity to give and receive love   
Stopping to smell the roses  
It is at great cost that we send any of these life enhancing gifts into the shadow. 
Our connection to our inner wisdom withers. Our creativity is, at best, placed on the back burner. We accept loneliness as part of the human condition and fill our life with busywork, martyrdom or the quest for fame and fortune. We believe we will never be understood and true love doesn't exist. And if it does, it is clear we are not worthy of it. In the end, we wander in what Carl Jung called the "fog of illusion" that keeps us from seeing the truth of who we are.

Beyond this fog lies the wealth of life's abundance that will not be ours until we know and embrace the shadow.

If you are interested in exploring how the Shadow creates turmoil and keeps your from the life you've dreamed of having, explore Emily's Life Coaching and call her at 914 962 4432.

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