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Our body is far more than a temple. It carries all of our experiences, thoughts, feelings and subconscious. Most people are aware that they can feel tension and stress in their body, but it extends a bit beyond this. Our repressed emotions and the shadow parts of ourselves can manifest as aches, pains and general dis-ease. 

For many years, I had a lot of tension in my solar plexus (upper abdomen) - this was in my muscles and in my stomach. I tried everything, and found some relief in dietary changes but I was still stuck with this heaviness in my gut. After a lot of work around this, I found that it was a physical manifestation of the golden shadow. As I mentioned previously, the brilliant parts of ourselves can also be hiding. How it ends up in the shadow is pretty much the same, at some point you receive the message that the quality is unwanted. Maybe you are young and very proud of getting straight A's and your grandmother repeatedly tells you that boys don't want girls that are "too smart." You may begin to hide your intelligence fearing that it will make you unloveable. For me, I had experienced a couple of really difficult situations that pretty much stomped out my fire (personality, energy, enthusiasm, passion, etc). My fire started hiding in my shadow and my body was trying to draw attention to the place that needed my attention - the solar plexus is the fireplace of the body.  

While you can find books that will tell you what is associated with the body part you may be having an issue with, it is far more important for you to have a dialogue with it instead to hear its message. For example: anger is often held in the liver - however, I have felt anger in a few different areas. Your personal wisdom is important!

 

 

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A helpful tool for shadow work is working with archetypes. An archetype is a character pattern that is universal within all of us - common examples in film/literature are the hero, the victim, the jokester, etc. There are many archetypes, and while we will may be embodying a couple more than others, we have all of them within us. Carl Jung, the father of shadow work, found that for every archetype within us, there was 2 shadow aspects of it: the surplus and the deficit. Below are 4 core archetypes and their shadow aspects.

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As mentioned in Segment 2, different aspects of the same archetype are brought out depending on the situation or the person you are dealing with. Ex: you are an artist (creator) and you have a friend who also is. Hanging out with them, you feel insecure about your own talents which you mask with pretending not to care so much (carelessness). But when you are with your parents, you may feel like you have something to prove which results in obsession. Both of these things are coming from the same place. 

Another example, with The Lover - the love addict and the avoidant are essentially the same thing. Both aspects stem from the same wound, which often times boils down to a fear of intimacy. I mean, obviously, the avoidant does - but the addict, who is typically attracted to avoidants is also afraid, otherwise they would be attracted to people who can offer them a healthy and intimate relationship. They protect themselves by giving their love to someone who cannot give it back the same way, effectively preventing them from having a real relationship and true intimacy which feels much safer.   
 

HOMEWORK

Spend some time on this website: https://www.archetypes.com/ and see which archetypes resonate the most with you. Many different names are used for each archetype, but the character structure is the same. When you click an archetype, scroll down and click "learn more about this archetype." You can then click "spiritual family" and see more about the shadow of each. 


Fill out this worksheet when you have an understanding of your most active archetypes.