Trans4mind Home Page
~ A Journey of Self-Discovery ~

Embracing The Shadow

By Altazar Rossiter

Light and dark are frequently used to represent the basic polarity of good and evil. The shadow is the indeterminate space between light and dark where one shades into the other, the deeper the shadow the darker the nature of what lives there. The shadow is also a term that originates in Jungian psychology and which refers to a nebulous unconscious repository of what we fear and dislike in ourselves.

Wherever there is a shadow it is cast by something standing in the way of the light. The brighter the sun shines, the harder the shadows. And when the light is really bright it can be difficult, if not impossible, to see anything beyond the intensity of the glare. When we want to see clearly in bright sunshine we seek the shade to look out from, and if we can't find any we create some with a hand to the eyes. So our physical experience of the phenomena of light and dark is that we can see things more clearly by standing in the shadow.

This is an allegory that is very useful for the inner process. The more the light of the soul shines through, the clearer will be the issues that inhabit the shadow, but we have to stand in the shade in order to see these clearly and have any chance of transforming them. We have to stop looking the other way.

The trouble is when we look into our shadow most of us see things we not only wish weren't there, but often things we are thoroughly ashamed of. Because of the intensity of the shame our automatic impulse is to bury its cause so deep within that this can never again see the light of day. This enables us to continue living with ourselves, but the truth lurks somewhere within and we know it.

What lives in the shadow is everything that we reject about ourselves, everything we refuse to love. This is every aspect of our existence that fails to comply with the ideal social specification of our self-identity. We are terrified it will be discovered and cause our downfall. We pretend it doesn't exist, but we know it's there, full of resentment for its denial, that's why there's such a widespread fear of the dark. But deep transformation occurs when we embrace what we fear.

A spiritually intelligent perspective understands that the shadow is the facilitator of our growth. Its very existence is a sign that there is a purpose to our being here, that we have a job to do. When issues begin to surface out of the shadow it's not a sign that something is wrong, but quite the reverse. It's a sign that we are holding more of our light. The light is simply showing us where it is still blocked. We are being guided to the next step in the process of self-empowerment. Convention says we must find an answer so the problem goes away, wisdom says the problem is my friend trying to tell me something I'm reluctant to hear.

Whenever the possibility arises that something we've consigned to the shadow in this way might be revealed to us - or worse, to others - we are likely to experience the emotional responses of fear and anger. Owing to the supreme efficiency of our denial processes, we are normally in a condition of blissful ignorance of what's been hidden in the shadow. Our emotional responses can therefore be intensely reactive. This is the surest sign that we've uncovered an aspect of ourselves that requires understanding and compassion - something that really is me but which is incongruent with the self-image I hold.

The key to transforming all of the issues lurking in the shadow is the principle of presence. By staying present with anything that arises, remaining aware of our breathing and letting any feelings express we eventually feel the sadness locked into the part of ourselves we consigned to the shadow. We feel its mistrust, its fear and its abject loneliness. Simply allowing this to be is a process of acceptance, recognizing that it is all ok brings us a step closer to a realization of self-mastery. This is not necessarily easy, it takes courage and persistence.

From this perspective the shadow can be seen as the friend it truly is. It is only waiting for us to love it. The issues it will then show us are the keys to self-empowerment. This is its gift.

To be truly conscious we must embrace the potential of the shadow individually and collectively. For as long as we continue to deny it, it will keep manifesting destructively in an increasingly less convenient manner. The shadow provides us with the raw material and the opportunity to transmute fear into love. One of the greatest services we can offer is to engage with this process. Just opening up to the possibility that this is a valid assessment of the dynamic of the shadow is a huge shift out of the consensus rut. Giving intent to clear our shadow is the next step. Continuing this journey is to follow our own light, which will ultimately shine unimpeded.

Copyright © Altazar Rossiter 2006
Dr. Altazar Rossiter - the Consciousness Coach - is a personal development consultant, coach and mentor - working with the inherent Spiritual Intelligence of life, developing well-being through personal life coaching, executive coaching, spiritual mentoring, emotional freedom and creativity. He engages with the mystery of the essence of who we are to bring about fundamental and sustainable transformation in just about every aspect of personal expression. Altazar's first book Developing Spiritual Intelligence - The Power of You, was published by O-Books in 2006.

Spiritual self

Looking for a better life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development, covering the full range of challenges all of us inevitably meet in life.
Start off with a Free Life Assessment and a Free Intro Session...
 

Have a question about Trans4mind Training?

Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Our Fees?
Email Peter Shepherd
More personal development articles at the Counterpoint Article Library

Good info on many topics:

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Sweet Tooth ~ Train your brain to lose your sweet tooth.
  • Finish What You Start ~ Sprint all the way past the finish line.
  • Do It Now ~ A hypnosis audio to trigger deep, emotionally driven activity.
  • Life Priorities ~ Hypnosis can help you clarify what really matters to you.
  • Stop Thinking About Someone ~ A session to help you move on from thoughts that have been constantly pestering you.
  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
 

View all the Hypnosis Downloads here

Get a free Hypnosis Download at Facebook

Hypnosis is the key to unlocking your creativity, focusing your energy and understanding yourself

Hypnosis has a long history of helping human beings be the very best they can be. It can be used to control anything controlled by the unconscious mind - pain, blood pressure, fear, confidence levels, mood, sex drive... the list goes on:

  1. You'll become highly productive without getting stressed
  2. Tap into your creative energies instantly
  3. Really understand yourself and others
  4. You'll learn how to stay calm in high pressure or uncomfortable situations
  5. Develop laser-like levels of focus and concentration

Lean more... Uncommon Hypnosis Course

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
Copyright © 1997-2017 Trans4mind Ltd