All of these powers and capacities are within you. If you feel that some are missing, they are hidden within your 'shadow-self', just waiting to be discovered, reunited and unleashed.
Shadow integration work unleashes your true power and potential.
If you are stuck in any part of your life, get upset, emotionally triggered or overreact in certain situations, then you have unresolved shadow. These upsets and patterns of behavior repeat themselves over and over until the underlying shadow is discovered, forgiven, integrated and owned. These shadow parts of you also contain lost gifts, energies and capacities that can help you lead a successful, fulfilled life!
Shadow-work sets you free!
Shadow integration work is among the most profound, rewarding, life shifting work you can do. Even so, most people don't know about it, or have inner resistance to doing it. It is also 'tricky work' and can be emotionally uncomfortable in the beginning. Alone, people find it difficult to recognize and integrate their shadows because they have spent their entire lives disowning them, hating them and fighting them in projections. It helps to have a shadow-work mentor and guide to help you identify your shadows and reintegrate them.
Richard Schultz has done extensive shadow-work with himself and others with profound results and shifts. Through his guidance, hidden shadows miraculously emerge and get resolved in shadow integration sessions. Richard's holds a skillful, compassionate space for you as you discover, embrace and integrate shadows, one by one, with astounding results. In a single session it is common to shift from distress to peace and joy!
Options for shadow-work with Richard:
Depending on your needs, there are several paths forward to do shadow integration work:
Book a free Discovery Session to determine your best path forward
Shadow Integration Testimonials
Thank you Richard, for an incredible experience. I came to see you with one thing in mind, but with your intuition, you picked up on what I really needed to shift. For years, I have hated looking at myself in the mirror. I have always found it much easier to love others unconditionally, rather than myself. After our session, I felt a shift. I feel more confident, calmer and more powerful. Even my voice seems different - stronger and richer. I can look myself in the mirror now and tell myself “I love you” without cringing or looking away. I really feel the love for myself. I can’t wait to see what shows up over the next few days. I am looking forward to continuing our work together. Thank you again. ~ Nola P. Calgary
Imagine you are a child discovering your shadow for the first time, following you around, expanding and shrinking as you change your orientation towards the light. In that first noticing, it might have been shocking, scary. "What is this thing following me around?" Why can't I get away from it?" Or, maybe it was a de-light-ful dance right from the get-go, and you jumped into a playful dance with it, running, jumping, crouching and trying to make it disappear. Later, you noticed that you could make shapes on a wall with your shadow; rabbits, dogs, dinosaurs and monsters. How fun it was to dance within the light and notice all the shapes and forms of the shadow that danced with you as you danced. Then, stepping into full light, the shadows completely disappear.
The shadows of our inner psyche are not so different. They don't exist in themselves, but show up only when our mind blocks the light. In shadow-work, you forgive or let go of the beliefs, emotions and traumas that are blocking the light, and the upsets/triggers disappear. Through shadow-work, you wholly claim and stand in your true light.
What is shadow?
The term 'shadow' was first postulated in psychology by Carl Jung. Human shadows are simply parts of your psyche that you have disowned, suppressed, rejected, or keep in the dark about yourself. Shadows are generally thought of as 'dark,' 'bad' and even 'evil' and because of this, people attempt to hide, control or suppress them.
Shadows often have harsh labels such as loser, slut, liar, weakling, sissy, control freak, rebel, victim, cheater, or abuser. However, they can also be what we consider to be “light or good” but cannot seem to attain or acknowledge such as our beauty, power, value, greatness, joy, worth, creativity, brilliance, or our divinity. For many people emotions such as anger, guilt or shame get suppressed and show up as shadow. These qualities that we hate, are often projected onto others, essentially hiding our disowned qualities 'out there' in plain sight.
The classic story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson is a story about shadow. No matter how 'good' you attempt to be by shutting down these 'dark,' unwanted qualities, they will eventually take over from time to time and cause havoc in your life. Behind all your emotional 'upsets' in life are un-integrated shadows.
What are qualities that you hate or can't stand about yourself or others?
What triggers you emotionally and gets you very upset and reactive?
The war against your shadow-side is a war that you cannot win because you are fighting against parts of your self. Instead of fighting shadow, the only way to resolve the conflict is to create peace with these parts/energies by reintegrating them. Shadow integration work is a process of self awareness, forgiveness and surrender. This radical self acceptance eventually brings an end to all war.
Embracing the shadow does not mean that you will exhibit or act out the unhealthy aspects of the shadow material. Instead, by embracing the shadow, it will actually not act out in unhealthy ways, and it will no longer take your energy or run your life.
At sometime during our life, usually in our childhood, we suppressed or pushed parts of our psyche away in order to feel loved, accepted, or to survive an uncomfortable or traumatic situation.
As human beings, “shadow” begins to be created from the moment of our conception. Our DNA contains reflections of the shadows of our ancestors, and our Soul comes in with reflections from “past lives” including purpose, direction and “karma” of how we might experience and contribute to conscious evolution in this life. But even if you do not believe in these concepts, imagine that a “Shadow Self” gets born with you in a similar way that that the human “Ego Self” begins to develop very early in life. This 'shadow-self,' often considered our 'dark side,' holds all these unwanted parts until we are ready to come back, accept and reintegrate them.
The most obvious sign that you have unresolved shadow is reactivity. Rather than just notice and respond to a life experience, you have an "over the top or amplified emotional reaction." If you are "triggered" then you have shadow acting out and "running you." In that moment of reactivity, you are not free, and your shadow energy is in charge, rather than you. It is also likely a pattern. If you don't want to repeat this unhealthy and upsetting reactive pattern, you need to do the work to embrace the shadow that is ‘acting out’ to get your attention.
If you judge others harshly and or even make it personal rather than just an undesirable or limiting behavior that you notice, then it is likely a projection of your own shadow material! When we point our finger at someone else, there are three pointing back at us. When this occurs, it is important to "turn it around" to ourselves and examine if this is our own shadow... a quality that we dislike or are unable to own within ourselves.
Example: If you say, "They are a loser!!!", then honestly turn that around and examine "I am a loser!!!" or "I can't stand losing." Are there places in your life where you are not admitting that you also feel like a loser, or it would be devastating to lose? If so, there was likely an early experience in your childhood where being a loser was traumatic or unsafe. You learned to hate or be ashamed losing. To hide that part, you may be spending a lot of energy trying not to be seen as a loser yourself. This is wasted energy that could be used elsewhere, couldn't it?
If you keep repeating the same limiting behaviors again and again in your life or work, then a shadow or multiple shadows are likely keeping you in this pattern. The way out of the pattern is to discover and integrate the shadows that are running you here. When they are embraced fully, the story will change or at least you will catch yourself and make different choices to break the pattern.
Example: You keep attracting the same kind of relationships into your life which proves to you that you are unlovable or unworthy, or men/women can't be trusted, etc. This may have come from an earlier traumatic experience with a parent.
You just can't seem to accomplish your goals or relieve your suffering, no matter how hard you try. This may be goals for prosperity, relationships, better health, greater spirituality. You could be following the same plan and process/actions that others use successfully to accomplish their goals, and yet for you, it just does not work, no matter what you do. Alternatively, you sabotage yourself and don't take the actions that you need to successfully achieve your goals. If you are stuck somewhere, there are likely shadows blocking your success.
Everyone has hidden shadows, unless by grace you have become 'enlightened.' In a sense, shadow-work is a process of enlightenment - shining light into all of your shadows, one at a time, to transform or transcend them. You reclaim your wholeness.
In life, everyone experiences or perceives trauma. We also carry forward the trauma of our ancestors, and we take on cultural conditioning in the form or beliefs and shadows from our family or community environments. Some people experience more trauma than others and can take on more pronounced, destructive shame and shadow-based thinking and behavior. Shadow integration transforms shadow into gifts and while it can be difficult work, it is also one of the most rewarding and expansive personal development processes you can do.
Your shadows are everywhere, hiding in plain sight! You may not be able to see them because you were the one that has cleverly hidden them, and deny that they were ever yours. You have become accustomed to seeing them as your enemy, or "not you."
Sign up and Download this free Shadow Discovery e-Book which will help you identify some your shadows. When you are more aware and ready to take full responsibility for your life, shadows will emerge for you to notice at just the right time - hidden in your reactivity, judgments, should's, should'ts, can'ts, and blame. Shadow integration is more of a life process, rather than a destination to get to. Life will guide you on the perfect path to reveal your shadows as you are ready to see them.
Discovering and reprogramming limiting subconscious beliefs that hold you back is a powerful personal development process. If you are not reprogramming subconscious limiting beliefs, then you are missing an important piece of the life success puzzle. If you would like to learn a process to do this, check out the Refreshing Beliefs e-course and how to use affirmations for success.
Shadow elements are more core than limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs are often the symptom or side effect of a trauma and the shadow, so not the source of the issue. If you are not then prepared to examine and reintegrate your shadows, you will find that reprogramming limiting beliefs simply will not work to shift the issue. You need to do the core work to change your life experience.
Just trying to reprogram limiting beliefs in many cases can be considered 'spiritual bypassing.' Are you trying to get away from, or escape what you don't want, by affirming what you do want? If you cannot forgive, accept or be with what is happening, the affirmations will not work. The shadow will block your success until you turn towards it and integrate it.
Instead of ignoring the shadows that are limiting your success, you can use affirmations to accept the shadow and release the blocking energies in your belief reprogramming. For example:
"I am OK and feel safe, even when I don't have money."
"I love my body as it is and as it changes"
"I love myself and feel loved, even when I am alone."
"I forgive myself for feeling shame and recognize how beautiful I am"
The shadow-self is not a dark or evil part of you. Rather, it is a part of you that holds your wholeness and needed life capacities and gifts that you have lost.
Imagine that the 'Shadow Self' is a “Being” inside of your subconscious, similar to the Soul, the “Inner Child” and other archetypes that live in you, with you and through you. This subconscious Shadow-Self becomes the ‘container’ or ‘Being’ that holds all the uncomfortable, unprocessed, rejected energies and qualities from your life. Whenever you experienced a trauma that you could not deal with, rather than process it, it was pushed into the Shadow-Self which gladly took it from you, knowing that some day, you would need it back. It took all those energies that your inner child rejected in order to survive, fit in and feel loved in those early developing years.
Most people are subconsciously afraid of their shadow-self. It is considered the 'enemy' because it is holding all the 'dark stuff' that at some you time you decided was bad, evil or unwanted. If it is holding all this 'horrible stuff' then it must be horrible, right?
Let's look again and reframe this fear. The shadow-self is holding all the parts that you have lost or pushed away, including parts of your Light. This 'Inner Being,' the shadow-self knows that you will need these parts back in order to feel complete and whole. To fulfill your purpose and destiny, you will eventually need the gifts and power hidden within these shadows. The shadow-self can therefore be considered as a friend, safely holding your treasure and ready to give it back to you when you are ready. You only need to ask. It will always tell you the truth.
The un-integrated, negative ego-self is another story. The shadow-self is the ego's enemy. The ego knows that if you integrate your shadows, the ego loses all power over you. The ego uses separation to keep you in unhealthy drama, blame, shame, and addictions. The negative ego will do everything it can to keep you from shadow integration work. It will lie and manipulate you. The negative ego is not your friend.
Shadow integration work can help you release the false power of the negative ego and build a healthy ego that can be your friend in the right role. As you do more and more shadow-work, your gratitude and joy expand. The shadow-self in the process becomes lighter and lighter as it hands you back your sacred treasure.
This Shadow-self has a special relationship to the Inner Child. Even from your time in the womb, your developing Inner Child encounters uncomfortable experiences and emotions that it cannot fully process or deal with; coming from your mother and her experiences while carrying you. This rejection, suppression and denial of parts of yourself continues through your birth, childhood and adolescent when you experience situations that are too uncomfortable or painful to process. These uncomfortable feelings, and rejected parts of Self that your Inner Child “pushes away” are taken in by your Shadow-Self which holds them for you until the time you are ready to reintegrate them, collapse the separation, and claim your wholeness.
Shadow integration then is tied to working with your 'Inner child.' Since it was the inner child that rejected or suppressed parts of your self that it could not deal with at the time, in shadow integration work, your inner child needs to be supported and feel safe to process and reintegrate the shadow elements. In shadow-work, therefore, you are healing childhood trauma, helping the child in you also feel safe, loved, and whole again.
Shadow integration work will do more to expand your joy, success and love of life than almost any other personal development work that you do. Unfortunately, most personal and spiritual development programs only scratch the surface of shadow-work or ignore shadow-work entirely.
Shadow-work is spiritual work. However, many self development programs prefer to only focus on “positive thinking” or activities that “feel good” rather than integrate shadow. "Spiritual bypassing” is when you deny, push away or ignore the “bad”, “dark” or “uncomfortable” parts of our self; preferring to focus only on what feels “light” and “good.” While focusing on positive thought and higher vibrations of being is also necessary, those higher vibrations cannot be sustained if we do not face and transform our conscious and subconscious fears.
If you believe in the 'law of attraction,' then you will understand that it is your 'vibration' that attracts things into your life. What is inside, gets mirrored outside. So, building a positive vibration and attitude of gratitude for life is a good thing. There is nothing wrong with this. But what about those hidden suppressed fear, judgement, shame and other vibrations hidden in the shadows? If these are not healed or transformed, do they not contribute to your vibration and what you attract in your life?
Most people and spiritual/religious groups are afraid of their "shadows" because they don't really understand how they can benefit from embracing something that they have attempted to push away all their life or don’t feel worthy of. These energies which we call shadow are often labeled as taboo, sinful, or evil. They also represent some of our deepest fears. It makes no logical sense from our conditioning to love the parts of us that we fear and hate. We are also attached to hating shadow parts because there was a benefit or payoff in creating it in the first place - we pushed away those parts in order to feel loved, to fit in or to survive early in life.
People may not be attracted to this work or are afraid of it because of beliefs or perceptions that:
However, what we resist, will persist!
Shadow-work is the process of reintegrating lost, rejected or disowned parts of your self, realizing your wholeness. It is a way to become free and live life from our Divine nature - the awakened part of our being rather than being lost in the unconscious limiting beliefs, wounds and suffering of the human experience. This is inner alchemy that will transform those past wounds into the precious gold of wisdom, compassion, authenticity, and a sense of oneness with life. This is not to deny the human aspect of ourselves, but instead to evolve the human towards integrating our divine, awakened Self.
Shadow integration is the work of shining light on or illuminating those parts that we have disowned, suppressed or denied expression in order to release and unleash the energy held there. These disowned parts consist of what might be considered “dark” such as the liar, cheater, rebel, fool, fraud, and idiot. They also consist of what we consider “light,” but don't own because we don’t feel we deserve or can ever live up to such as being intelligent, worthy, lovable, or beautiful.
When we embrace and integrate these lost parts, we have greater capacity to love and serve the greater good. We discover and integrate our hidden gifts, authentic power, and compassion. This work is about embracing ALL of YOU - your "light" and your "dark" - the fullness of your being. Life is a reflection of what is inside of you, so when you approach all of who you are with acceptance and love, the world reflects acceptance and love back to you. There is peace.
The concept of shadow can be partially understood intellectually, but doing the work to integrate and embrace shadow is an experience that involves the heart, mind and spirit. It is emotional work that transforms limiting beliefs, past emotional trauma and shifts the old life depleting stories to empowered wisdom. When we do this work, our perspective of life changes and our behaviors shift too. Triggers disappear, and we begin to trust the flow of life to more gently flow down its stream without resistance. When you find and heal the wound behind the origin of a shadow part, then all associated triggers and limiting behaviors will disappear or are reduced.
To summarize some of the benefits of shadow integration:
What you cannot be with, will never let you be... shadow energies will follow you around by being mirrored in your reality, creating emotional drama, or undesirable life patterns with no permanent escape until you do the shadow integration work. It is necessary work for life mastery.
Could you be sabotaging your goals?
Do some goals seem beyond your reach no matter how hard you try?
If you are feeling stuck, procrastinating, or sabotaging some of your goals, in all likelihood, shadows are blocking you. Shadows are intimately connected to your inner child and your inner child is a very powerful energy within you. If, for some reason, the inner child does not feel safe with the goals you are trying to achieve, it will block you because safety and feeling loved is core. The inner child pushed parts of you into the shadows because of a trauma which it could not handle at the time. It did not feel safe. If this trauma is not resolved and the corresponding shadows integrated, then you will struggle to achieve goals connected to those shadows. You will instead experience procrastination, sabotage, rejection and betrayal. Success will continue to be beyond your reach or temporary.
Not all goals are equal to the shadow. You may easily achieve a goal of finding a loving partner, but prosperity somehow eludes you. This might be because poverty or wealth has shadow attachments making prosperity a threat in some way. If you have a "not good enough" or not worthy of success, shadow may block goals every area of your life.
The bottom line is that if you are stuck in your life or not achieving goals, there is in all likelihood shadow contributing to this. It is in your best interest to discover these shadows and reintegrate them. The gifts and power that these shadows carry are often what is missing to achieve your goal.
Shadow work is not dangerous. Rather, it is 'dangerous' to ignore the shadows that run our lives because they can create such havoc, drama and suffering that life can become unbearable.
Shadow work can 'feel' dangerous when you first step into the work. In shadow-work, you are going toward the shadow which was something that your inner child has been fearful of and avoiding from the moment the particular shadow was created. It may feel very uncomfortable going towards the shadow rather than pushing it away which you have been doing. Luckily, when you are prepared to stick with it and BE PRESENT with it, shadow can be integrated very quickly and safely. If properly integrated, it is no longer shadow. The shadow transforms to a gift, insights, wisdom and new behavioral capacity.
If you have experienced severe emotional or physical trauma such as sexual abuse, then it is recommended that you not begin this work alone. Find a qualified therapist that can assist you in safely approaching and releasing these deep traumas. Opening up too many traumas at once can be overwhelming, so focus on one at a time. Start with some 'easy shadows' to gain confidence in the power of shadow integration work to change your life.
To do shadow integration work, especially as a beginner, it is helpful to have an experienced guide and an effective, proven process to assist you. Unless you have some more severe mental health issues or life trauma experiences, you should not need a trauma expert or psychologist. Many psychologists and therapists do not do shadow-work and each can approach this important work differently, with some approaches being more effective than others. If you are looking for a guide, make sure you check out their references and spend some time discerning if they are a good match for you.
It is our belief that shadow integration work is a capacity that everyone should build for themselves. We all have multiple shadows. If you learn how to do shadow integration for yourself, you will be able to do your work in-the-moment as the shadows arise, without being dependent on someone else.
The key to shadow-work is recognizing the symptoms of when shadow is acting out and being able to identify the core energy and trauma behind it. This is not easy because we are so accustomed to our limiting behaviors, judgments and reactions that we often cannot recognize our shadow. We have also spent all of our lives hiding the shadows in plain sight that we cannot see them, even when they are staring us in the face! For this reason, it is helpful to have a qualified shadow mentor to help you get to the source of a limiting experience, emotion or behavioral pattern.
If you are ready to do the work and need a guide, book a free Discovery session with Richard to see if you and Richard are a good match to support you in this essential life work.
Imagine that you had a physical wound and the surface of the skin has started healing over, but there is still an infection festering deeper under the skin. To properly heal this physical wound, very often the wound needs to be cut open again and the infection properly cleaned. Shadow-work is similar, except we are opening up subconscious wounds caused by past trauma and properly healing them.
Past traumas, that have not been fully processed, let go of, or forgiven, are like a festering infection that continues to cause life discomfort and upset. The original trauma experience was too uncomfortable or painful to process at the time, so a psychological "band-aid" was created to ease, hide, or cover up the pain. This band-aid came in the form of a separation or fragmentation of self - splitting off the part that was too painful to face, or process at the time. This helped you survive the experience, so this shadow creation was not wrong. However, because the 'infection' was not fully healed, it continues to cause disturbances in your life.
Shadow integration is about healing this separation or fragmentation of the mind. To do this, in a safe, guided process, we essentially 'open up the wound' and clean the 'infection' or emotional energy trapped there. This involves emotional processing, inner dialogue, re-framing the story and reintegrating the part(s) that were lost. While opening up the wound to reveal unprocessed emotions can be uncomfortable, this processing usually only takes a few minutes. When complete, there is a feeling of relief, freedom, personal power, and joy. And, the shadow no longer causes patterns of pain and discomfort in your life. You come out of the process with gifts, insights and capacities that will open up new possibilities and potentials in your life.
Everyone has multiple shadows. Shadow-work is life-time work. As life unfolds, it reveals more and more of our shadows and calls us into our full potential. This is a journey to recognizing our wholeness rather than separation. While it is lifetime work, even a single shadow integration session can create profound shifts in our life experience. When a primary shadow is integrated, unhealthy, limiting, life-long patterns of behavior often cease to exist.
A single shadow integration session with Richard at the start will take about 2 hours. It starts with the client sharing their story of emotional upset, triggered reaction, limitations or where they are stuck in life. From this story, the primary shadow influencing the experience is identified. This can take time and can be tricky if you don't know what you are looking for. It helps to have an experienced guide to help bring the shadow energy into focus. Once identified, it can take up to an hour to process and integrate.
Effective shadow-work is rooted in forgiveness and surrender
When you pushed parts of yourself into the shadows, you essentially created a war with self and that war with self also got projected into war with others. These inner rejections, judgments and betrayals show up outside of you in the people who reject, judge and betray you (and by you rejecting, judging, hating and betraying others). Our reality is a hall of mirrors.
The only way to end the war is by forgiving and surrendering the war. It can start with forgiving others, but ultimately, the path to end the war is to go deeper within and forgive ourselves and the original trauma that started the war with self in the first place. The path of inner surrender is a war that ends all wars. You are surrendering to the shadows and reintegrating these lost parts, with their gifts back into your being. In forgiving and surrendering, you rediscover your innocence and wholeness.
"I'd rather be whole than good" - Carl G. Jung
Are you ready?
While shadow work is important for everyone, not everyone is ready for this deeper work. That is OK. Everyone has their timing. However, if you have repeating behavioral patterns, emotional upsets or 'stuckness,' that just won't go away no matter what you do, then consider shadow work. Book a free Discovery session with Richard to see how he can assist you.
If you don't feel ready to get to the core of whatever struggle you are in or open up to the highest expression of yourself, there are other ways you can move forward. Let your inner guidance be your guide. You could start by learning how to reprogram limiting beliefs and by balancing your emotions through techniques like Refreshing Beliefs Method or Emotional Freedom Technique (also called tapping)
Would you like to bring an end to fear, conflict and suffering? Do you want to make a greater impact in the world? What is the legacy you would leave behind?
Shadow-integration work is critical life work. This work of wholeness allows us to claim the power and resources that somewhere in life, in order to survive, we lost or rejected. That survival strategy served us well for that time, but our soul wants us to become whole again and life will constantly present us with clues of where to look to reclaim those lost parts and that lost power. It is a journey ...a hero's journey into the truth of who we are. It is a journey to realize our true potential.
In our world today, there is increasing polarization. There is a pandemic of fear and anxiety. Communities and nations are becoming more and more fragmented. The root of all these disturbances can be found in the human shadow, built up over generations of unresolved trauma. If we wish to co-create a more peaceful world, and even survive as a species, then we need to bring an end to the 'inner war' with self. In surrendering to the inner war, all external wars will end because they are a reflection or projection of what is within us. The work starts with each of us individually. We must be the change we want to see in the world.
Not only does shadow-work bring an end to fear, anxiety and suffering in our world, but it opens up the doors to discover our hidden gifts and potential with the capacity to make a greater contribution and positive impact with our lives. By unleashing the gifts within each of us, humanity will rise to unimagined heights.
There are a number of ways to learn how to do shadow work.
Richard Schultz assists leaders in unlocking their true potential, authentic power and inner wisdom to create extraordinary, high impact lives. Courses, life mentoring and dialogue with Richard can help you live your legacy and build capacity to thrive with change!
Consider this mentoring stream if your primary interest is to learn and develop your capacity to facilitate the transformation of 'shadow' within yourself and/or your clients.
Shadow-work is a much-needed skill. Many people have successfully healed many aspects of their lives, but have avoided, or not known how to reintegrate the parts that have been rejected or lost. This wholeness work is critical to transform the deeper wounds and polarized world-views in ourselves and our communities.
Depending on your needs, you will: