This exercise is the first in a series of 5 from our Shadow Work Module in Holisticism's private membership community, the North Node.
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Get ready, we're doing some SHADOW WORK!
To follow this exercises, set aside 15-30 minutes for yourself. Try to do it every day around the same time — get into a flow. But if that's not available to you, that's OK. Do you.
Because seeing our Shadow helps unveil aspects of our conditioning, habits, and belief systems that may not be serving us. Here are some of the perks of doing Shadow work.
Sounds good, eh? So what, exactly, is Shadow?
Shadow is simply the aspects of our personality that we've repressed in our subconscious. We've repressed or disassociated parts of ourselves because we learned from greater society or the immediate people in our lives that those aspects of us were unacceptable.
We can learn this in an unconscious way (a parent tells you "we only accept the best in this family," so you internalize that and become an overachieving perfectionist) or a very conscious way (a sibling tells you you're stupid and always mess things up, so you course-correct and become an overachieving perfectionist).
Societal expectations can be communicated directly — for example: we're told you're more "employable" if you have an Ivy League degree — or indirectly through media, stories, celebrities, religion.
Most simply, Jung says our shadow is "the person you'd rather not be."
Things that we might find in our shadow include: