Becoming Who You Were Always Meant To Be
Look at the meaning of shadow here before you read this article.
There are some clear signs that you’re dealing with shadow energies in your life:
First, once upon a time you made a choice not to be a certain way in the world. You did this for a very good reason, usually concerned with maintaining “safety” in your family or some other highly charged setting like boarding school. That safety may have been emotional, physical or spiritual.
Second, consciously or unconsciously, you put your unwanted thoughts, feelings and behaviour into your shadow bag. (See what that means here: healing the shadow.)
Third, you find this energy sometimes bursts out, uncontrollably and unexpectedly. Often it looks different to when it went into your shadow bag.
Fourth, when it does burst out, it feels as if the energy is in control of you. It may even feel as if it has no connection with you. (“Where did that come from?”)
Which all adds up to this: an energy goes into shadow, it grows, and later in life you find yourself in a situation – as you surely will – which mirrors the original situation in your childhood in some way.
And then, you’ll find yourself behaving in a way you don’t want to behave, doing what you don’t want to do, and saying things you don’t want to say. All apparently without any control.
This is the power of shadow. The personal power held in your shadow bag. The magnificence held in your shadow bag. The truth of who you are, held in your shadow bag.
Shadow makes you find yourself shouting at your children, your wife or your girlfriend, or thinking awful thoughts about hitting your children (or even doing it). You might be cowering in front of a dominant boss, allowing people to walk all over you, not speaking up when you need to….. and a million and one other unhelpful things.
How to heal your emotional weaknesses (or lack)
In either a group workshop or a one-to-one setting you can dive deep into the causes of these behaviours and explore and understand them, before you literally embody a different way of being in the world: a more authentic, genuine and balanced way of being. A way of being which reflects who you really are.
Video – how to “do” shadow work
Video – what are archetypes?
Men who work on their shadow in this way discover that when they’re in a provocative or triggering situation they now have more control over how they respond. Now, they can consciously choose how to respond to situations and events which would previously have “triggered” them to react without thinking. They access their King and Warrior archetypes much more.
That’s the difference – in the past you would have just reacted without much control as shadowy energy burst, maybe even exploded, out of you, most likely leaving you feeling bad afterwards.
When you’ve worked on your shadow, you’ll find you can choose how to respond, and you’ll develop mastery of your old behaviour patterns, which you can consciously change into something much more helpful for your life today.
Now, the significance of this is that when you are trying to manifest anything, the biggest limitations in the way of success are your shadows. You can consider the quality of this as follows: your shadows, out of sight, out of mind, will control what you believe about yourself, and this (unconsciously) will determine what you manifest in the world.
But when you change your shadow, you change what you believe about yourself, and then things really begin to happen. You can change your shadow by attending an emotional process work or shadow workshop. Or you can attend a shadow work training course.
What’s most amazing is that the entire panoply of human experience can be looked at in shadow work.
And in Healing The Shadow, our facilitation techniques allow you to work on an emotional issue without having to explain the historical details, if that’s better for you. We have techniques which can help with all kinds of abuse where you may not wish to reveal the details of what happened to you.
These workshops are also an effective way to develop the power of an archetype if you don’t have enough strength in that area.
Suppose you want to strengthen your Warrior so you can set boundaries with people – which might mean finding more effective ways to say a clear “No” or a definite “Yes”. You can start by finding out how and why (and by whom) the power to set boundaries was taken away from you. Then you can develop your ability to set boundaries in the workshop.
Or suppose your issue is not feeling good enough. This is the wound of the King.
You might start exploring this, and discover that you came to believe you were not good enough because your father never praised you, or was never satisfied with your achievements.
So you might set up a dynamic where you receive blessing and approval from the ideal loving father you never had. This is a profound process, for the part of you still looking out for Dad’s love and approval will accept it eagerly. What happens then? Your sense of self-worth and self-esteem will immediately rise, and your beliefs about yourself will change so that suddenly you know, with a certainty you’ve never experienced before, that you are indeed worthy of praise, attention, and love.
Just one more example: if you’re having difficulties in your relationship with a loved one, you could go a long way to resolving the situation with a piece of work in which you explore the roots of your current beliefs, feelings and behaviour. This insight and understanding will then let you embody a different way of reacting and responding to what happens in your relationships today. This is healing the wound of the lover.
As I suggested before, in emotional process work, when you’re working on healing your shadow, you embrace what has been repressed and denied. You embrace it, you bring it into your conscious awareness, and you discover how to control it as servant rather than master. And it works! Big time! In fact, in over twenty years of working in the world of therapy, I have never seen a more powerful and effective system of personal growth and development.
But there’s more to these workshops than resolving emotional issues from your past, important though that is.
You can also enhance and develop the energies which are a bit lacking in you. For example, if you’re out of touch with any of your emotions, you can find ways of accessing those emotions and experiencing them fully.
If you aren’t sure how to set boundaries with somebody, or you don’t know how to express your needs, wishes and desires, you can discover ways to do this in our safe workshop space or in one to one work with a skilled facilitator.
If you can’t understand why your life seems limited in some ways, or you can’t find ways to get what you want, you can explore the energy that’s holding you back. Often the limiting factor is a strategy designed by your Magician archetype and intended to keep you safe during childhood. Sure, that may have served you well in the past, but today – well, it’s not so useful!
Ways of being in the world which you learned when you were five or seven or ten years old need to be updated so you can transform the energy into something much more useful for you in your current life today. Together, we can find ways to encourage the part of you that’s dedicated to keeping you safe to turn his attention to doing something much more relevant and helpful for you in your life as an adult man.
Video – healing archetypal wounds
As you see, emotional process work is versatile and offers almost unlimited possibilities for change, but through it all runs a single theme: it will help you become the person you were always meant to be, before the world got in the way.
If you’re interested in trying an emotional process workshop, please check out Warrior Magician Lover King by Rod Boothroyd