shadow work vs light work: transform your life
Shadow Work vs Light Work
In the shadow alchemy blog, we explored the concept of shadow alchemy in a short history, and how they came together in a powerful shed and shift healing modality, in a more technical blog.
In this blog, I am going to explore the shadow from a different angle: shadow work vs light work.
I am going, to begin with a story. This is a simple story. It may be one you relate to or you may not. If you do not relate, shift the words and concepts to something more familiar to you. For example, what was your childhood dream? What makes you in your zone? What is the one thing that calls your soul, that you’ve always wanted to do, that you have known as a kid? The answer may come now or it may come in time. When you have the answer, you can substitute art and the girls’ experience for what your calling is.
Relate it to your life and bring this story alive for you.
A Shadow Alchemy Story
Once upon a time, there was a little girl. This girl has a huge yearning, deep within her soul; a yearning that guided her to create. Whether it was painting, writing, reading stories; she was in her element when she was in her zone. She absolutely thrived when she was expressing herself through her creativeness. She took such pleasure in the delight and appreciation her art created in her friends as well as her teachers. Having her art teacher tell her she has potential was the most beautiful compliment she ever did hear. And when asked the question all children get asked as children, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” she knew. Without any doubts, she knew that she wanted to inspire the world through her art.
Her bubble of certainty, intuition, joy and peace was shattered one day when she told her parents she was going to partake in an art exhibition. Her parents had enough of indulging her “obsession”. See, they lived a practical and very grounded world. They truly wanted the best for their daughter and had the best intentions: they wanted her life to be easy. And her art obsession wasn’t in alignment with their values and their perception of the world and an easier life for their child. They wanted their daughter to go to college, get a good degree, find a stable and steady profession, as a doctor or lawyer or psychologist, and be able to support her family. To them, art was not going to help their daughter get there. Art is not a career, they thought. What nonsense is it about inspiring the world? It is more important to be practical. Family is everything as well as status.
Are you following so far?
Lets us explore these aspects a bit more through a metaphor and story to understand the light, the shadow and the self.
Light work is the part that uplift us and align us with spirit. It is about aligning with the higher vibration of love.
What is light work?
Light work brings the aspects of self quite literally into the light. The aspects of self care in the conscious mind; we are fully aware of them. We embrace, accept and, some of the time, love or learn to love those parts of ourselves. Light aspects are the parts of self that we are consciously aware of that align with our soul’s journey.
From the story, the child’s art is an extension of her soul and her soul’s purpose. This is what it feels like to be in the light for her, it is to be in her”creative zone.” This is what gives joy, purpose, oneness and peace. There is a sense of flow.
This could easily be another aspect of self that comes naturally to one such as fighting for justice, psychic abilities, healing or inventing.
For the parents, family is what drives them and gives them purpose. When they feel a sense of loyalty, belonging and compassion for their family, these are light aspects for the parents.
Take a moment to reflect: What aspects of yourself are you aware of that brings you a deep sense of fulfilment? Maybe it is a talent, a personality trait, a purpose: it is anything about yourself, good or even something you may not be accepted as good of those around you, that you have accepted? It is also something that gives love, support and compassion to the world around you.
What is shadow work?
The shadow is parts of self that we disown because they are not acceptable
To parents, to society, to the world in general.
These can be talents, emotions or desires.
They are pushed out of the light and into the shadow.
Let us continue this story…
So now this little girl has grown into an adult. She has finished school, become a lawyer, married a great guy and has started her family. She is thinking that she should be feeling so grateful. She has a perfect life, a life many of her friends envy.
Yet, she isn’t feeling this. There is a part within her that is feeling miserable. She is going through the day and not feeling any delight in the beautiful gifts she has in her life. She is feeling depressed. Everyone around her, her parents, husband, children, are so happy and this makes her less happy. She spirals deeper and deeper into depression. She is struggling to function.
At which point, her family begin to worry about her, and books her in therapy. Through the work, she connects with a distant memory as a kid of art. “I think I did enjoy it,” she remembers vaguely. But it is so far suppressed in the unconscious, in her shadow. She is feeling so much resistance. When the therapist pushes her a bit more, she starts feeling anger and pain. She is accessing her shadow and it isn’t pretty but she knows deep down she needs to continue so she perseveres. She sheds layer after layer of shadow, of emotions, memories and events that are not “acceptable”.
As she preserves she realizes, this is what is missing. Her soul’s calling. Her art. The yearning, the joy comes back. She starts opening up her connection to the art, starts her drawing and slowly figures out how to turn her hobby into a career. She dedicates her life to art and uses that to inspire people. The depression, the resistance, it resolves itself because the light has been brought back from the shadows.
Is being in a shadow space bad?
No this is not bad at all.
Light suppression of a soul’s journey on earth. We are constantly having this pressure so we can learn lessons and expand consciousness.
How does one heal the shadow?
It is done through shadow alchemy or any related shadow work modality. It is shifting into the light work.
It is enough for the adult self to comfort her inner child, to recognize what she has gone through, what she has repressed. She becomes the loving and understanding parent that child needed and deserved.
The child developed her skills. It just took a bit longer.
Here is something else to consider: if the child has pursued her art career, she would have been creating love and light and positivity.
Because she has gone through this whole journey, she can access a depth of emotions that can speak, inspire and move more people. That can reach them.
Creativeness is often found within pain. It is why some of the greatest artists have such a colourful history. She can bring hope, brightness, and a profound understanding of the part of the human condition. She can understand the conceptions of creation and destruction.
See, all part of the human journey is all part of healing the conscious journey.
For example, how can one become a healer if one has never experienced pain and healed themselves?
How can one become a specialist without doing almost a decade of intensive studies, of money of time and pressure?
Can one truly feel compassion for those in poverty if they have never known what it is like to miss a meal and feel hungry?
By having the light suppressed, and moving aspects in the shadow, through healing them: then we find the gifts that the shadow alchemy journey gives us
Embracing shadow work is a way for you to find your light, soul alignment, inner truth and peace.