Shadow Work and Self Improvement How to glimpse what does not want to be seen

Shadow work and Self Improvement

We live in a time when the ability to meet by chance is quite difficult.  In the days of smaller communities, people who might have had a falling out had an opportunity to encounter each other in a town square or at a needed resource like a river or a well.   They would be given many opportunities to repair the rift that may have come between them.  Today, because we have become so successful at engineering efficiency and comfort, it is more challenging to meet on common ground to repair conflict in an innocent and natural way.  We have to now put a conscious effort into social engagement.  Ghosting someone has become a painful but compulsive life strategy that leaves us alone and haunted by the memories of love lost.  

When we do decide to summon the courage to get out into the world and join a social activity, oftentimes, unfortunately, even those activities are somewhat solitary events where we all focus on a single spectacle or activity without interaction, like watching a movie or sitting on our yoga mat in a yoga class.

Because online interaction is becoming more streamlined and much more convenient, we, as a society, risk building up what traditional psychology calls a big Shadow aspect.  The concept of the Shadow is coupled with the concept of the Persona.  A Shadow aspect is a quality within us that we do not approve of or may even fear.  A Shadow aspect, (like an actual shadow) is something we do not see or sense.  When we turn around to look for it, it has slipped away behind us again.

A Persona, on the other hand, is the collection of traits and qualities we do approve of.  Our persona is who we want the world to believe we really are.  We present and convince each other of our good qualities, and that is certainly a noble and important effort to always cultivate and encourage in ourselves and others.  It isn’t that the Persona is a lie, it just isn’t the whole story.  We cannot in good conscience believe indefinitely that we are a good person doing no harm if we do not open ourselves up from time to time to peer review.  

The only reason we should even care about what is in our Shadow is because when it grows too large it can wreak havoc in our lives, like a violent storm out of seeming nowhere.  Constellations work discovered the phenomenon of Tribal Innocence, where a person can experience total peace and a sense of righteousness even while committing acts of atrocities.  The reason this is possible is due to the intoxicating effect that belonging to a person or a group causes in our hearts and minds.  Our need to belong (to attach in this world) is in constant dialogue with our need to approve of our individual moral compass.  Going against our family or our tribal code of conduct can feel so terrifying that we will push the whole matter behind us into the shadow.  When the shadow gets too big, our life suffers from a lack of light and we need help from others to open the curtains.

What is needed is a balancing act.  The dance between belonging to a group and being true to one’s own sense of right and wrong is a lifelong journey.  It takes a lifetime to grow up. And we will always need to put a determined effort into staying connected.

Self-improvement is the act of making oneself better in some way, whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. It is a lifelong journey that can be challenging but also incredibly rewarding.

There are many reasons why people should pursue self-improvement. Here are just a few:

  • To improve your quality of life. When you make yourself better, you improve your life. You become more confident, more productive, and more fulfilled. You also become more attractive to others, both romantically and professionally.
  • To reach your full potential. Everyone has the potential to be great, but it takes hard work and dedication to reach your full potential. Self-improvement is the process of unlocking your potential and living your best life.
  • To be a better person. Self-improvement can help you become a better person. You can learn to be more patient, more understanding, and more compassionate. You can also learn to control your emotions, to set boundaries, and to take responsibility for your actions.
  • To live a more meaningful life. When you focus on self-improvement, you start to live a more meaningful life. You become more aware of your purpose and you start to make choices that align with your values. You also become more grateful for the things you have and you start to appreciate the journey more than the destination.

If you are looking to improve your life, self-improvement is a great place to start. There are many different ways to improve yourself, so you can find what works best for you. Some popular methods of self-improvement include:

  • Reading self-help books and articles. There is a wealth of information available on self-improvement, and reading can be a great way to learn new things and get inspired.
  • Taking classes or workshops. This is a great way to learn new skills and meet new people who are also interested in self-improvement.
  • Talking to a therapist or counselor. If you are struggling with a particular issue, talking to a professional can help you get the support you need to make positive changes.
  • Setting goals and making a plan. Once you know what you want to improve, you need to set goals and make a plan. This will help you stay focused and motivated.
  • Taking action. The most important part of self-improvement is taking action. You can learn all you want, but until you start putting what you learn into practice, you won’t see any results.

Self-improvement is a journey, not a destination. It is a lifelong process of learning and growing. There will be ups and downs along the way, but if you stay committed to cultivating a relationship with yourself that you value and approve of, you will eventually become the companion you have always been looking for.

Want help in your self improvement efforts?

If it is time to get offline and find some three-dimensional interactions, we invite you to come and explore the Knowing Field with us. 

We will gather on a Sunday this month to deepen our skills in listening and learning how to step aside and let Grace lead the way.  We will help each other face shadow aspects with as much laughter and compassion as we can.  We hope to see you and your shadow soon!

Bring a question to the knowing field

Join our next Constellations workshop 
Shadow work and Self Improvement