Defining Shadow Work
In psychology, spirituality and shamanism, shadow has been defined in a multitude of ways. For our purposes here, we will define shadow as:
The pain within us caused by past wounding that veils our true nature.
Our true nature is that which is whole, content and at peace and which has found meaning and purpose in the human experience. This true nature, however, is inaccessible to most human beings because of the wounding we have experienced in our lifetimes.
This wounding begins the moment we are expelled from our mother’s womb and continues every time we experience separation in its many forms: rejection, abandonment, betrayal, deception, isolation, abuse, etc.
When we experience this wounding, a part of our original nature retreats into a place of safety deep within our being while fear-driven defense mechanisms arise in their place. These woundings pile one upon another while our true nature retreats further into our depths. The result of this cycle of wounding and retreat is a broken and fragmented self that is acting out of its pain instead of from the love that is our original nature. Until we do the challenging work of transforming these wounds, we will remain imprisoned by the harmful effects of our pain.
Our unhealed wounds and their resulting pain show themselves in emotional symptoms including anxiety, confusion, frustration, rage, anger, hatred, jealousy, doubt, worry, fear, paralysis, immobility, depression, and sorrow. Physical symptoms of our unhealed wounds can include chronic pain, headaches, digestive distress, hair loss, impotence, and more. To alleviate these symptoms, we must tackle them at their core – at the unhealed pain of our past wounding.
Transforming our pain and its resulting fear-based actions requires much more than simple behavior-modification or talk-therapy. Instead, we need to seek out shamanic practices which bring us into the depth of our woundedness. This is the work that’s effects are at once psychological, spiritual and magical; and this is the work of a master.
Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS. is a Magdalene Priestess, High Priest in the Order of Melchizedek and shadow worker. Lauri has been accompanying clients and students in depth work for nearly thirty years. Lauri has developed the Authentic Freedom protocol, among other shamanic practices to support people in their efforts to become whole. Lauri is spiritual director for the Authentic Freedom online community, a published author, artist and sought-out spiritual counselor and educator.
Online Courses in our Shadow Work Series
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