Perhaps you’ve read one of my books or heard about the Shadow from a friend. Or perhaps you just know that this is one of those times in your life when you need support and guidance from someone who understands your struggle. It’s my intention to offer you a safe place to explore your deepest dreams and desires, your pain and your challenges – and to find the ways in which you can stop sabotaging yourself and attain a deeper fulfillment.
• If you desire inner peace and self-acceptance but keep criticizing yourself; if you want to make peace with your family but feel anger, resentment, jealousy, or rejection,
Then your Shadow may be emerging with a hidden message for you.
• If you are single and genuinely want a relationship but keep choosing unavailable or inappropriate partners; if you are in a relationship but keep having the same arguments,
Then your Shadow may be sabotaging your intentions for an unseen but valuable reason.
• If you are trying to reach a goal — lose weight, stop procrastinating, break an addiction — but your efforts keep failing;
Then your Shadow may be obstructing your goals in an effort to meet a deeper need.
• If you long to know yourself more deeply but don’t know what questions to ask; if you want to do a spiritual practice but don’t manage to find the time,
Then spiritual Shadow may be blocking your way.
In every case above – our inner world, family, relationships, spiritual life — our conscious intent is blocked by an unconscious part of us – a Shadow. When we uncover its intent – the gold in the dark side – we can make new and healthy choices that transform our lives.
My blog is a good place to learn more about Shadow-work. You will find my most recent post below and previous posts are located in the menu under blog or to the right, as recent posts.
Denial And The Shadow
Denial is entrenched because the shadow does not want to come out of its hiding place. Its nature is to hide, to remain outside of awareness. So, the shadow acts out indirectly, concealed in a sour mood or a sarcastic remark or a hostile act. Or it sneaks out compulsively, camouflaged in an addictive, self-destructive behavior, such as emotional eating. Or in a projection onto the Other, demonizing the trait that is lying hidden within – he’s so weak, they’re so lazy, she’s so slutty.
Therefore, we need to learn how to catch a glimpse of it when it appears. We need to sharpen our senses to be awake enough when it erupts – identifying the repetitive thoughts, feelings, and sensations that accompany each shadow.
Then we can learn to romance it, coaxe it out, seduce it into awareness – and make a conscious relationship with it. Like a coy lover, it will recede once more behind the curtain. And again, with patience, we can invite it out to dance. This slow process of bringing the shadow to consciousness, forgetting, and recognizing it again is the nature of shadow-work.
Romancing the shadow is subversive: The culture teaches us to be extroverted, quick, ambitious, productive. Workaholism is lauded; contemplation is shunned. But shadow-work is slow, cautious; it moves like an animal in the night. It moves us against the collective mandate to think positively, be productive, focus outwardly, and protect our image.
The shadow is a demanding task master: it requires endless patience, keen instinct, fine discrimination, the compassion of a Buddha. It requires one eye turned out toward the world of light, the other eye turned in toward the world of darkness.
To live with shadow awareness is to turn away from the peaks toward the valleys, away from the heights and the rarified air, toward the depths and the dark and the dense. It is to turn toward the unpleasant thoughts, hidden fantasies, marginal feelings that are taboo – our secret lust, greed, envy, rage. To live with shadow awareness is to move our eyes from up to down, to relinquish the clarity of blue-sky thinking for the uncertain murkiness of a foggy morning.
About Connie Zweig
Connie Zweig, Ph. D., is a unique counselor who is in private practice in Los Angeles and also has an extensive telephone counseling service. As co-author of Meeting the Shadow and Romancing the Shadow, she has taught seminars nationwide and has been called the Shadow Expert. She can help you to uncover why you behave self-destructively and how you can choose different actions to gain different outcomes. With a doctorate in depth psychology, two years’ training at the Los Angeles Jung Institute, and ten years in practice, she can go where others fear to tread: into your dark side. And she can help you to find the gold that lies hidden there.