Thursday, September 28, 2006

More on embracing the shadow

The higher the sun rises, the less shadow it casts.

Lao Tzu

Here are a couple of exercises that can help us bring aspects of our shadow into consciousness so that we can exercise skillful choices with regard to these traits:
Make a list of people you cannot stand. Identify the qualities in them that you dislike the most. Now recognize that those same qualities are part of your character make-up. Work with these shadow qualities. Have them tell you their stories, why they have shown up in your life and what they would like you to do about them.

Identify your golden shadows, those unused talents and gifts which for some reason you are more comfortable admiring in others than claiming in yourself. Who have you projected yours onto? Call these aspects of yourself home and have a dialogue with them in your journal.
Maybe there's nobody in your personal life whom you "can't stand". But take a look at public figures. Does anyone on the world stage qualify? Probably so! Also look at those whom you admire in public life. Both observations can help us gain insight into our own inner make-up.

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