When we speak of our shadows, we often associate them with the more shameful and darker aspects of our unconscious. However, as Carl Jung defined, there is another aspect of our submerged creative potential referred to as our “Golden Shadows”.
These are the amazing, powerful, exceptional, gifted parts of ourselves that we do not own, and instead keep hidden and project onto others. As with all shadow projections, we see these aspects in others instead of in ourselves. For example, we might idolise others for their beauty, talent or power, while denying and disconnecting from our own.
The Shadow embodies all the traits that we’re not accepting in ourselves and indicates where work needs to be done.
In the case of the Golden Shadow, this is most obviously seen in the teacher/student relationship where a student projects their divinity and power onto a person in a teacher role. They see the teacher as possessing incredible qualities, whilst not seeing them in themselves because they are so busy beating up on and criticising themselves.
Another example of the Golden Shadow is when you are triggered by someone who is completely in his or her joy and ease, always bubbly and happy. When you take a look inwards, you may find that you have not been allowing yourself to fully embrace your own joy and happiness.
Or, perhaps you are triggered by others who have high levels of ambition and drive. When you see them getting out in the world and go after their goals you are filled with self-doubt or jealousy. When you look at the light aspect of this, you may realise that you have disowned your own power and success and are not allowing yourself to go after your dreams, despite having all of these qualities already within you.
The Golden Shadow also lies in what we are drawn too. This could be the kind of art you resonate with – perhaps beautiful art or surroundings makes you happy. This is a reflection of the beauty that lies within you. Or perhaps you are always drawn to mystical and deep thinking spiritual teachers or partners and feel like you don’t have those qualities within yourself. However, whatever you consciously or unconsciously project is always a reflection of yourself.
In doing Golden Shadow work, you can find a way to own your beauty, own your mysticism, own your capacity for great strength and power, and embrace and own your joy and ease. Or whatever qualities lie dormant within you, ready to be expressed and seen in the world. Use the people that intimidate or impress you as inspiration and allow their image to be reflected back within you.
Exploring your Golden Shadows can be an empowering pathway to self-actualisation and becoming who you are truly meant to be, complete in your power and radiance. When we integrate our Golden Shadow we start creating the life of our dreams.
You can use the following Practice to help you explore this deeper.
Golden Shadow Practice
Consider the people in your life who you strongly admire – then write about the qualities you perceive in them that ignite you, but from the first person, as qualities innate in my own being.
Journaling this way is a refreshing exercise in radical self love. It is easier for most people to see incredible people in their life and fall into admiration for their nuanced expressions of divinity.
Not so commonly a habit to see these as aspects of our own being that we are willing to acknowledge fully. Writing it out certainly helps bring it into the fore-front and supports the light of your own being to shine brighter. Example. I am a great spaceholder. I have incredible awareness. I am smart, thoughtful, loving and kind.
You can also own these qualities by saying them out aloud as you look into the mirror!
The one I see in them is also in me.
Another good way to get in touch with your golden shadows is to ask yourself where do I notice and feel: insecurity, fear, envy, jealousy, admiration, awe. Where am I witnessing something that I want, and it’s reflecting a story of lack within me?
How can this help INSPIRE me rather than create more separation and lack within myself?
Watch the comparison shadow dweller: it is here to help you to reconnect to the beauty of your desires and longings. Use it as fuel to inspire you.
Whenever you perceive lack in relation that which you want –
Affirm that YOU, yes you, have this quality that you attribute to whoever you admire and envy. Create “I am” affirmation calling in that which you want. For example. I am wildly passionate, hot, and sexy. Act as if you have the quality by making choices that cultivate and demonstrate it
You may have to fake it till you make it. Use mirror work to affirm and
anchor these transmissions into your body and heart by imagining what you would feel like if you had these qualities. Ask for support from people you love by asking for reflection, accountability, and positive reinforcement. The golden shadow in me honours the golden shadow within you. Let’s shine!!!!!!