Facing Our Shadow,
Reclaiming our Wholeness
Early in life, our psyche decides there are aspects of who we are that should never see the light of day. This happens because something within us rightfully understands that conforming to familial and cultural expectations keeps us safe and secure and protects us from rejection and ridicule. When we are young children, the risk of being authentic is simply too great for us to face. And so we impound aspects of ourselves into the dungeon of our psyche, a dungeon we call Shadow.
This early childhood survival strategy was a wise move as it helped us to creative an adaptive personality, a first identity. But this strategy, while necessary in childhood, leaves a legacy of incompleteness that we are compelled to address in adulthood if we are to live in the deepest and truest way possible.
In his book, Wild Mind, Bill Plotkin notes, “The Shadow helps ensure our survival, but it also impedes our blossoming, often rendering our life into a series of so many dull days for want of the imaginative possibilities and visionary resources trapped and held in the long bag we drag behind us…Given the great psychological and social price we pay for the services of our Shadow and Shadow selves, how might we uncover Shadow elements and integrate them in a way that enhances our wholeness and relationships–or at least minimizes the damage they would otherwise wreak?”
At this retreat, we will explore the dimension of Shadow we all carry deep within us in the hope of reclaiming aspects of our wholeness, for the Shadow contains long rejected yet profoundly crucial dimensions of our divine identity. Buried in the Shadowlands are treasures we need to become truly ourselves.