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EXERCISE: “finding your Shadow" (Carl Jung)

Ready to meet your shadow? Here is an exercise for you. Get a pen and paper.

I invite you to delve into the fascinating concept of the "shadow" – those hidden facets of your personality that Carl Jung believed held the key to unlocking immense personal power.

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. – Carl Jung

Part 1:

Let's use your imagination. Picture yourself as a movie director. You are about to shoot your next movie. One of the characters captivates you. You've decided to cast them in the lead role! You admire everything about this person – how they are dressed, the movements, the behaviour and the character. You even feel a desire to be friends with this person. Take a moment to solidify the image that comes to your mind. Take a mental photo of this person, look at them in slow-mo or write some notes that initially come to you without much analysis. Do NOT move further into this exercise before you have done this.

Part 2:

The scene changes. Picture yourself now during a bad weather. It started to rain, and it becomes damp and muddy outside. Suddenly, you notice a person passing by. They trigger extremely unpleasant associations. Irritation – that's the primary feeling you experience toward this person. This person repels and annoys you. You wouldn't want to engage with them, see them of spend your time with them! Consider what specifically about them intensely irritates you? Who is this person in life? What could be their occupation? Take a mental photo of this person, look at them in slow-mo or write some notes that initially come to you without much analysis. Write stream of consciousness. Go in and describe this in a concrete and detailed manner now. It could be an actor or celebrity, someone from your friend group, work, past or present.

Part 3:

And now, the most interesting part awaits – deciphering our test! The main character of the movie is how people see you and how you present yourself, aka your mask, your facade. And the person who irritates you, whom you imagined in the rainy day above, is your shadow.

Are you surprised?

Don't rush to conclusions; observe your shadow.

Carl Jung says that one should "integrate" this shadow into your life. If you are a genius you can do it with help of Youtube or TikTok. Otherwise get a therapist or a coach.

Our resources lie in the corners of the shadow. These are the personal qualities we dislike in ourselves, so we constantly try to reject and suppress them. But it's precisely in them that a lot of energy is hidden, which must be utilized. All shadow characters have those strong qualities that will come in handy. For example, a homeless person is an entirely free-spirited individual, a drunkard has allowed themselves various pleasures, and a dirty person knows how to ignore the opinions of others.

Think and write about the strong sides in the shadow aspect of your personality. What is its strength?

Carl Jung, a renowned Swiss psychiatrist (my favorite!), introduced the idea of the "shadow" as the unconscious repository of repressed thoughts, desires, and emotions.

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