Updated: Feb 3, 2022
Today’s episode features shadow work coach, Rachael Besser. We discuss all things shadow, including the golden or the light shadow, and how to integrate them. Rachael’s knowledge about this subject is vast and I learned so much in this conversation. She also enlightens us on subconscious reprogramming, codependency, and how spirituality ties into personal development. *Spoiler alert* it’s all about relinquishing control. Le sigh, maybe I need to put my daily serenity prayer alarm back on my phone.
What is the shadow you ask? Well in Rachael’s words “the shadow is a collection of traits that we’ve repressed.” Carl Jung coined the term shadow as well as the term golden shadow which refers to limerence or putting someone on a pedestal and not realizing you have access to those traits as well.
Rachael’s suggestion for integration includes feeling all the feelings you have towards possessing that specific shadow trait. So, for example, let’s say I judge someone for being “too loud”. Once I actually realize that this is a shadow trait then I need to feel all the feelings I have towards being perceived as too loud. And eventually let those feelings dissipate.
Woof. It’s all part of this human experience of being in a meat suit feeling all of the feels. Is it a gift or is it a burden? I don’t know. And frankly, I’ve reached the end of my existential abilities here.
But, back to Rachael. Isn't she just amazing? I always have to ask her to slow down so I can truly absorb her amazing wealth of knowledge. You can find her info below. I highly recommend following her Instagram for weekly tips on poking the shadow. You can also contact her directly to get her help working on your shadow.
She is also doing an amazing giveaway for Lit AF listeners. To enter to win follow both of our Instagrams, @dawnofrachael and @itsmesarahcohan AND leave a podcast review in Itunes or the Apple Podcasts app.
Thais Gibson - Personal Development School
Codependents Anonymous - CODA.org
Quotes from Rachael Besser:
“The shadow is a collection of traits that we've repressed. Usually, it's because of some traumatic event or it has to do with shame and judgment. So, wherever you experienced shame, you tuck that trait back into your shadow, wherever you experienced judgment in someone else or for someone else whenever you're judging someone it's because you have that repressed trait in yourself.”
The golden shadow or light shadow is “when you see someone that you're really enamored with usually, you see this in anxiously attached people who just meet someone and they're like, Oh my God, this is the person twin flame trauma bond type of experience that is golden shadow. So you have these traits that are still not accessible to you in your conscious mind, but they're on the positive end of the spectrum. We are magnetized to these people. That can be things like people who are confident, people who are charismatic or whatever you don't think you are but want to be.”
“The end game is that you become #unbothered.”
“95% to 97% of all our decisions are made from the subconscious mind. They are emotional decisions. So if you don't know how you're feeling and what your patterns and programs are, then you're going to be operating on autopilot.”
“Self-sabotage is a by-product of the subconscious comfort zone. So when I say this, I mean, there's actual neural pathways in your brain that say this type of dynamic means I'm safe. I'm familiar with that. I know how to survive in that experience. Let's bring that back.”
“This is like a disclaimer for shadow work in general: you have to be able to regulate your emotions before you dig into it. And you have to have some degree of just a solid sense of self because what you're doing with shadow work is chipping away at that version of yourself.”
“I love the analogy of, when you're reprogramming your subconscious mind or working with your subconscious mind, it's like your inner dinosaur, basically, it's your inner horse. It's like this wild animal that has a mind of its own and intentions of its own. And the phrasing I like to use a lot in session is you have to really get super clear on what the subconscious intention is and align your conscious attention to that thing before you can really create alignment. So subconscious intention plus conscious attention, and then you can harness all that power.”
How do we integrate the shadow? “This is literally all it is, is you have to allow yourself the full emotional experience of being that trait, like truly walk right into your shame. And it doesn't mean you have to stay there. You just have to allow it to exist. And then dissipate.”
“You can only offer as much empathy to someone else as you're already giving to yourself.”
“I think spirituality is just a means of relinquishing control at the end of the day. It can be anything you want it to be. And I don't say that to like deduce anyone else's experience to something super-objective, but I can tell you objectively. That is how it's helping you is to say, there's this higher power in charge of my life.”
“Codependency is basically a dysfunction in relating to other people.”
“True strength is vulnerability.”