Friday 11 September 2015

Shadow Work Journaling – My Biggest Project This Year

Last night I made a discovery in my journal. I realised a lot of things, mainly why I’ve felt a lot of resistance to creativity….2015 has been the year I’ve done a lot of, what some people call, ‘shadow work’. 

Essentially I’ve spent more time looking at areas within myself that play a part in holding myself back, even sabotaging myself & my creative endeavours. The main reason why I’ve been doing this is as a reaction to the fact that they have been popping up all on their own – Jenny the Procrastinator, Jenny the Fed-up, Jenny the Fearful, Jenny the Lazy, Jenny the Angry, Jenny the had a Bloody Nuff - they’ve all been tea-guests recently! And I’ve learnt, thanks to a lot of journaling, that if you don’t compassionately identify with all of these (so-called) ‘ugly’ parts of yourself when they arise, then they will still arise, just not as your allies

Jenny the Sullen

We tend to look at these areas of ourselves as problematic, or even as the problem – for example ‘oh if only Jenny the Procrastinator would get out of the bloody way I could just get on and do this project’. But really, out of cause and effect these ‘shadow’ sides are never the cause, they are the effect; they are the by product, the response our personalities have to whatever the problem actually is. Think about it, there are thousands of reasons why we procrastinate – worry over what others will think, worry over whether we are good enough to fulfil our vision, fear of failure, fear of success and on and on it goes. Procrastination is not the problem (though it may feel like it at the time), it is the response to all the other problems (real or imagined) that are popping up around our projects. 

So getting to know my shadow sides has been the biggest project I have really done this year, and when I consider all the other projects I intended to do but am very behind on, my discovery last night that this is what I’ve actually been doing (& not just ‘flapping around’ as previously thought) makes a lot of things clearer, and easier! I now have a foothold, an understanding, a way to move forward.

tonights page - done by Jenny the Lazy

So if you've had the 'wading the treacle' feeling as I often call it (aka the 'I'm trying so hard and getting nowhere' feeling) recently yourself and want a journaling exercise to do this weekend that may just be illuminating ask yourself, & do some art around, these things: 

What areas of yourself have you may be looked at as problematic, or tried to hide behind the ‘good' parts, or ignored completely? 

And if you were to look at it differently & see it as an effect instead of a problem what might it actually be handing you a golden torch to look into?

If you're brave enough look into this I'd love to hear your findings below, feel free to share 
& have a happy journaling abundant weekend

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  1. Hi Jenny you are so right about the different aspects to personality. Our different configurations of personality contain, not towards growth ones, as well as towards growth, and all are necessary to a whole person. The identifying and accepting all our configurations leads to internal peace.

    My whole reason originally of getting into art crafting was to help develop my right side of the brain as I felt out of touch with my feelings. For too long I had been using my thoughts instead of my feelings to guide me, and of course we need a balance of both. It has worked miracles for confidence and acceptance as well as loving the process. My most satisfying art is created intuitively and the end result is often of no consequence as it was the process that bought the satisfaction. Sorry for the long comment but your thoughts are very dear to my heart. Take care lovely, debs xx

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience with these feelings. I recently dealt with a lot of my shadows when I challenged myself to put up a new blog post every day in August. I learned a lot about myself. I wrote about the tipping point on day 24, Sometimes, we find the work we need to do while doing work we THINK we need to do. Many blessings!

  3. I lke your work and way of thinking, working, being creativ :-)
    Enjoy the weekend.

  4. Yes! Jenny - you're my heroine for putting it into words so clearly - and thanks, Deborah, for validating my journey from letting my "logical" side try to take over so much.
    I will just add that for me this process is a long one. Very long. Listening to my various inner parts, making time, space and energy to welcome them truly is ongoing and takes time. I THINK my creative process is becoming more intuitive, but it's early days for me yet, so here's hoping someday I can say this with more assurance...

  5. I have pencil and paper on my bedside. Watercolor and paper on the kitchen table. In the living room, paint, sewing machine and other medium to create. When I get home from work I clear my mind and just jump into whatever I it. I think we all think too much. Just think of the feeling you experience when you create. .isn't it wonderful !!!!

  6. I do art every day, even if it's a doodle in my calendar and it's like dreaming when you have a really good dream and it clears your head. That is what art is like for me. Being the age I am I have dealt with a lot of my demons but they still sometimes jump up as a pity party or not letting things go. Since I have been making a point to do something arty every day it is like meditation for me. We who do art not as a business probably don't have the pressures that you do. I don't know how you do it and I would never, ever call you lazy! You do some fab things in your so called shadow parts. If I were to miss art for a day I decided that's ok too. Or even a week. I find the mind needs different stimulation at different times. Big ((hugs))


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