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shadow work

Everyone’s journey into pain and growing our shadows is unique, but there’s universal themes. It’s usually a variation of wanting to belong, and feeling like we don’t; wanting to be appreciated and seen, and aren’t. We seek love, but feel rejected and hurt. With time our shadows rise and shine, and not always casting us in a favourable light.

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different routes, similar landmarks

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ciao a tutti!

In my case, doing shadow work has helped me to discover my positive shadow too, and to introduce them to each other. I am learning to say (and believe) “I’m OK, I have some rough edges to smooth out, but I can do that, and where my fear and pain lie, is where I need to go”.

process work

In 2014 I did a year-long process work course where I learned that shadow work isn’t so much about “cleaning myself up and becoming good” as it is about developing self-awareness about the experiences that trigger my hurt and fear, and working them into something more productive. I learned more about rank and privilege and the signals we send out alerting others to who we have been taught to believe we are, rather than who we really are. With this information, we have more choices about who and how to be in this world.

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how aware are you of your shadows?

Just like the kid who is bullied at school, and the parents, the teachers and the kid do everything they can to change the situation, and can’t. Defeated the kid changes schools, but is bullied again because the kid hasn’t learned enough about how to deal with the pain and fear to send out different signals which invite the bullying. I’m not blaming the kid, I’m just saying that we communicate a lot about who we are without ever intending to.

tasty bite-sized bits of shadow

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shadow of love and light


Richo says the goal of shadow work is not just to inform us about our shadows but help us taste them in small bite-size bits and discover how nourishing they are.

After two years of shadow work, my positive shadow began to appear in images and encouraged me to keep going.

And then more and more often the two shadows started showing up together.

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shadow work and the tree of life

They seem to be acknowledging that within all the pain and fear, there was good stuff. And not only that, the negative shadow began to show flickers of light. Wow.

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what’s within?

And that’s about where I am right now with this journey. Shadowing dancing and waiting to see what comes next.

One thing I’m thinking about now that I hadn’t before creating the shadow gallery  — what is the head gear all about?

The shadows started out rather simple block figures and the appearance now is more complex and varies. What’s the message there? Is it about evolution? That seems to resonate with me, yet, what is the significance — if anything — of the headdress of the recent shadows?

… ,,, …

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I am simple and complex, ¡olé!

… ,,, …

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groovy head gear

Maybe there will be a shadow gallery III.

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Meanwhile, here’s more images and a few word:    the shadow gallery II

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My truth:  I have both admirable qualities and those I’m not so proud of, that I’d like to change; the first step is to simply accept this fact — without pride or glee, or guilt or rancor; it just is.

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… ,,, …

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shadow dancing on a butterfly wing

 … ,,, …

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I’m motivated to do this work in order to lessen the burden from generations past in my present reality; it’s work that’s much bigger than simply me and my life

… ,,, …

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my shadow can take many forms, and some don’t belong to me, but I welcome them anyhow, it’s one way to help them to stop haunting me

… ,,, …

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it’s on-going work forever work and can take many forms. what about you? what are you doing?

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