This might seem like a strange topic for a blog, though I know that when I'm doing my therapy work, as well as when I was in my own training and therapy, the concept of the shadow was extremely important. I am going to talk about it in different ways here:
firstly, we all have aspects of ourselves that are in our awareness and 'the light' the parts we like, have been accepted as good in childhood and perhaps peers and society, and then there is the shadow side. All the aspects of the self that are normal in human nature but are forbidden or taboo to our conscious mind, our family or society. These aspects get buried, but sometimes they get buried too deep and in a way that their emergence isn't addressed and integrated into the psyche which it needs to be in a healthy functioning mind. For example if something terrible happened to you, and the natural result is pure rage, but then the rage is unacceptable it just gets buried. Unfortunately dynamics this strong can't really stay down and, in this example, can manifest in a different way such as anxiety, inappropriate anger (not directed towards the original source long ago), even obsessiveness or just a general lack of self awareness. This is just an example to illustrate, the purpose being that if we have any parts of ourself that are buried and not dealt with, expressed and integrated into our beings, it can cause blocks to our personal development, ability to grow (healthy humans are constantly growing through their lifetimes), and of course our self esteem and confidence, as a part of ourself that was actually healthy at the time is buried too deep, rather than an anchor when you are trying to swim or sail.
I have a great exercise to help mentees address the more unsavoury parts of the psyche and bring them into their awareness. By being more aware we can then make choices in how we act, towards others, towards ourselves, and this can have a profound impact on our business too.
If it manifests as a sabatour that was originally trying to sabotage something else; or perhaps low self esteem caused by shadow aspects that cause shame, but because the process isnt concious having no idea why they feel this way.
If you're interested in exploring your shadow side you can sign up to my mentoring where one of the many exercises, as well as face to face and email support, will help you address this and release it. We can look at patterns of thinking that are unhelpful, negative self talk, why you might hold back or sabotage your own development and growth.
We all have unpleasant aspects to us, though we do need to be able to hold them and be aware of them so we can be in charge of how to express it safely and healthily, and let go of anything that doesn't need to be there anymore.
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I'm Kate, a jewellery designer behind @graceandflora, therapist and creative consultant, mentor and coach. I also like to write creative business tips, inspiration and advice
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