Shamanic Healing and Medicine Wheel training, with Joe Molloy Shaman
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Shadow Work ~ Exploring the Visible and Invisible Stories that we live by
What goes on at the back of our minds that drives us, unconsciously, to make the choices that we do? Over and over in our lives we find ourselves making choices that seem to come from somewhere, but are often a mystery to us. We wonder, "Why do I keep doing the same things over and over? Why do I keep telling myself the same things about the world that I live in?"
Well, the answer is that deep in our subconscious mind we hold beliefs about ourselves and about the word that we live in that inform all that we do. Exploring, getting to know and revealing these beliefs is what we think of as our "Shadow Work."
For many years before dedicating myself to the "Way of the Shaman" I worked variously in the fields of Mental Health and Wellbeing. I began by training as a Psychiatric Nurse and went on to training Gestalt Psychotherapy and in Counselling. Working in Primary Care and in the fields of Substance Misuse as a Counsellor. Understanding how the beliefs my clients held informed their actions and kept them 'stuck' in repeating patterns showed me how important it was for me to get to know what was sitting at the back of my mind and "driving my bus" too.
These days, working as a Shaman, and teaching, sharing the Medicine Wheel of the Incas with my students I am very clear about the importance and value to us all of doing this work. It enables us to see what beliefs inform our actions and how they limit our view of what is possible for us in this world, in every way.
All personal work, whatever form it takes, holds the possibility, the potential for change in our lives. Even if you don't seek change, it may still seek you. Shadow work offers us the opportunity to work with our 'dark' and our 'light.' Of course, we often tend towards investing in the belief that our shadow contains that which we should be wary of. That which we label our personal 'darkness' our very own 'dark side.' We don't imagine there is anything 'light' about it. But where is our courage? Where is our sense of self worth, our sense of beauty, our talents for creativity and wisdom? All this lies within reach when we visit with our shadow.
Shadow work will bring change, and so any part of ourselves that is afraid of change, that is invested in the belief that if we stay the same we will stay 'safe' will show how it defends us. These old ways of self defence are born from our earliest experiences of having to look after ourselves in some way to survive. They are the old 'skin' we identify with. And yet, who has not outgrown their old identities in some way by the time we reach adulthood, if not before?
We cannot remain 'small' all our lives without some cost to ourselves, and to the world we live in.
I remember these words, often attributed to Nelson Mandela but originally written by Marianne Williamson.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us."
And so it is with our shadow. We have become unfamiliar with it, and so we have become wary of it. But aside from showing us it is there by takings in curious directions in our every day lives, it holds the "gold" that we seek in our lives.
"The Cave that you Fear to enter holds the Treasure that you seek!"~ Joseph Campbell.
Our work together takes us on a journey to get to know and make "friends" with our shadows. The parts of ourselves that we have divorced from because we have been "told" they are not good enough, or not acceptable enough, not "enough" in one way or another.
And, so that we do not become "not enough" we abandon these parts of ourselves.
Yet the time comes in all our lives when we need them back. We need harmony and wholeness, integration. And these orphaned parts of ourselves that may at times create their own version chaos in our lives call to be brought home, back into the fold.
Working together in a safe and creative environment you will learn new tools, new skills for identifying and working with your own shadows. These are skills that you can go on to use in your personal work with others too if you wish.
"Everyone is a moon and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody." ~ Mark Twain
Currently I am running this workshop on an annual basis in Athens. Both as a one day introduction and also as a more immersive two day workshop. For more information and to reserve your place please get in touch:
“There are different kinds of darkness,” Rhys said. I kept my eyes shut. “There is the darkness that frightens, the darkness that soothes, the darkness that is restful.” I pictured each. “There is the darkness of lovers, and the darkness of assassins. It becomes what the bearer wishes it to be, needs it to be. It is not wholly bad or good.” ― Sarah J. Maas,