Recently, I found myself in the presence of someone who was continually spouting shallow, gossipy, racist and demeaning comments about others. I can't stand this type of talk. It really triggers me. I felt myself becoming increasingly tense, indignant and self-righteous. Then I remembered the principles of Shadow Work. I realized that while this person was judging people externally, I was just as guilty of the very same dynamic in a different way. While he was busy judging people's outsides, I was busy judging his insides. He was helping to reveal where my own shadow lay. I quickly needed to begin using an old favorite strategy of the spirit I call "I Am Also That." Like the psycho-spiritual practice Look 'Em in the Eye, "I Am Also That!" takes no extra time out of your day.
Shadow work is an essential practice for psycho-spiritual maturity and transformation.
This post is a great example of the principle "teach what you need to learn!" There are many benefits to shadow work, but some of my favorites are:
- Increased sense of peace and calm (something I'm always seeking more of!)
- Increased compassion for myself and others. (Warts and all)
- Increased sense of humility while at the very same time an...
- Increased development of formerly disowned talents and interests.
I made my very first PowToon to capture the basics of the "I Am Also That" practice. (You may need to turn the sound up on the YouTube video to hear the music.)
The Five Step "I Am Also That" Shadow Work Practice
To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his own light. Carl Jung
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You can find more resources for Shadow Work in an earlier post: Four Resources for Working on the Dark Side: a Psycho-Spiritual Must. Another great summary of the many aspects and benefits of Shadow Work can be found here.