Discussion Questions, Storytelling, Sharing

  • Share a story about how you came to recognize one of your shadow qualities. Perhaps you were informed of it by someone whose opinion you respect. Or perhaps you saw this trait in someone else and realized that the spotlight belonged on you.
  • Discuss the idea that when we reject others, we are really rejecting our own shortcomings. Give examples to support your opinions.
  • Have you ever experienced a "dark night of the soul"? What did you learn about yourself during this period?

Imagery Exercise

This exercise, "Toward Away," was created by Colette Aboulker-Muscat of Jerusalem, Israel. It enables you to work with ambivalent feelings, one area where shadow tends to manifest.

Breathe out three times. Imagine something that attracts you so much that you would like to move toward it. See it clearly and be aware of how you feel and how your body feels, particularly your face. Now let your feelings flow into your slow movements toward the thing that attracts you. Now move slowly away from this thing and let your movements express how you are still drawn back to it, even as you are moving away.

Breathe out three times. Imagine that very close to you is something specific that repels you strongly, something that you want to move away from. See it clearly and recognize all your feelings toward this thing, especially in your face. Let your feelings express how you are flying away from this thing. Now move again toward this thing that repels you and discover what it is that repels you. Then discover something which you can appreciate, something that actually attracts you toward it. Now move slowly away, being aware of how you are moving and feeling.

When you are finished, breathe out and open your eyes.

Journal Exercises

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.