Soul Sessions by CreativeMind

How to Confront Your Shadow

April 04, 2023 Debra Berndt Maldonado and Robert Maldonado PhD Life Coach Training and Personal Transformation Experts Season 7 Episode 155
How to Confront Your Shadow
Soul Sessions by CreativeMind
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Soul Sessions by CreativeMind
How to Confront Your Shadow
Apr 04, 2023 Season 7 Episode 155
Debra Berndt Maldonado and Robert Maldonado PhD Life Coach Training and Personal Transformation Experts

In order to have true free will in your life, you must confront your shadow. The “Shadow” is a term coined by the Swiss psychologist, Carl G. Jung, and he describes it as a container of all the repressed and rejected parts of ourselves that were not adaptable in social life. We discuss the Individuation process, similar to what Maslow called, “Self-Actualization.” Confronting our shadow is the first step on this journey to becoming our true Self. We explore:

  • What is the Shadow?
  • How to avoid confusing Shadow aspects as something we already know such as our insecurities or negative beliefs or thoughts
  • How the shadow is portrayed in the popular TV Series, Ted Lasso
  • How to overcome the ego’s defenses in order to access shadow material
  • How to create with free will and not from past conditioning


Interested in Jungian Life Coach Training? Download your free program brochure:

Stay Connected with Debra and Dr. Rob:
Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube | Facebook | |

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In order to have true free will in your life, you must confront your shadow. The “Shadow” is a term coined by the Swiss psychologist, Carl G. Jung, and he describes it as a container of all the repressed and rejected parts of ourselves that were not adaptable in social life. We discuss the Individuation process, similar to what Maslow called, “Self-Actualization.” Confronting our shadow is the first step on this journey to becoming our true Self. We explore:

  • What is the Shadow?
  • How to avoid confusing Shadow aspects as something we already know such as our insecurities or negative beliefs or thoughts
  • How the shadow is portrayed in the popular TV Series, Ted Lasso
  • How to overcome the ego’s defenses in order to access shadow material
  • How to create with free will and not from past conditioning


Interested in Jungian Life Coach Training? Download your free program brochure:

Stay Connected with Debra and Dr. Rob:
Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube | Facebook | |

How to Confront Your Shadow Transcript

INTRO  00:00

Welcome to Soul Sessions with CreativeMind with Debra Berndt Maldonado and Dr. Rob Maldonado of CreativeMind. Join us each week for inspiring conversation about personal development based on Jungian philosophy, Eastern spirituality, and social neuroscience. Spend each week with us to explore deep topics in a practical way. Let's begin.

Debra Maldonado  00:26

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to another wonderful episode of Soul Sessions with CreativeMind. I'm Debra Maldonado, here with Dr. Rob Maldonado. We have a juicy topic today, how to confront your shadow. For those of you who are fans, you know how important this is. We're going to go deep into this topic today. But before we do, I’d love to remind you to subscribe to our channel. If you're watching us on YouTube, click the button in the corner there, click Subscribe, hit the bell, so that you can get notifications every time we release a new episode. If you are listening to us on the podcast services, iTunes, Spotify, make sure you subscribe. We want to be on your spring walks with you and inspire your mind as you continue to your day. Shadow has such a bad rap. We're going to show you how you're going to be so excited to face your shadow if you haven't already.

Robert Maldonado  01:32

We'd like to dedicate this to all the shadow warriors out there that are doing this incredible work. It's a big topic, but we want to make it practical for everyone. We're going to talk about how we develop and why we develop the shadow, how we protect the shadow, how the ego defends it with its life, and then how we work with it and why everyone should work with the shadow.

Debra Maldonado  02:03

Let's begin with the source of this term. The “shadow” comes from the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, if you're new to our podcasts, it might be the first time you heard his name with us. But we are definitely very interested in his theory of individuation in a coaching model. He came up with the term over hundred years ago. It’s basically a part of our psyche that we can't see, it's a part of ourselves we can't see. It's not necessarily negative or bad. It gets a bad rap. Some people confuse it with insecurities, or our dark side, or negative beliefs, or limiting beliefs. That's not the shadow. It's much deeper and actually has much more energy. We're gonna go into that. Do you have anything to add about the definition of shadow?

Robert Maldonado  02:56

The proper way to understand Jung's work on the shadow is his bigger work of individuation. Individuation is very similar to what Maslow called self-actualization. Self-actualization is expressing the full potential of yourself, your being. That's a lot. But Jung's work goes even beyond that because he was looking for a psychology that matched what he saw in a lot of the spiritual traditions that have been around since the beginning of time for human beings, that take people through a transformation. He found that psychology through his work on individuation, which is a subsection of the totality of his work because the guy was insane, he wrote continuously, volumes and volumes. His work on individuation was very personal to him. It was his own journey of transformation.

Debra Maldonado  04:09

We all should partake in individuation. Because until we do, our life is not our own. What I love about his work is if coaching was around back in the day — even psychology had just been in its infancy — I probably would guarantee that Jung would think individuation is perfect in a coaching model, because it's about potential. It's not about healing the past, it’s about moving forward. and reclaiming all of who you are, so you can be fully empowered in life. Great topic. The first stage is facing your shadow. We talked earlier in our previous episodes about the persona and the ego. We're going to do a quick review when we go into the shadow. If you missed those episodes, go back and listen to them.

Robert Maldonado  04:59

We start with the ego. The ego has two primary functions. One is survival, making sure we get to this point. The other one is that we fit in socially, because we're social creatures and we need to collaborate with others, we need to fit in, we need to be accepted by the tribe. That's the work of the ego, very important. We don't want to get rid of the ego.

Debra Maldonado  05:32

When I first started doing personal development, it was all about fixing the brokenness in my life. Conditioning is actually a natural necessary function. Don't confuse personal growth with something being wrong with you. We're all conditioned by our environment, we're all conditioned by our experiences. Those conditioning elements are part of a healthy mind. When we explore our conditioning, I techniqued my way through personal development, just working on the parts that I felt were broken, or that were wounded or that were not functioning well, instead of looking at my whole self. With individuation and shadow work that we do, we look at a person with all of their stuff, not just going under a microscope and looking at that one little part of their life that didn't work out for them, that becomes their whole identity. We actually look at the whole person, we see that that little tiny piece that maybe got a little tripped up at five years old, or 10 years old, or whatever, is such a tiny part of us, there’s so much more to us. That's what I love about this work.

Robert Maldonado  06:53

That was the first episode, then we went on to the persona where we talked about how we’re playing a role, wearing a mask. Not that it's not important, of course, it's important, Jung says you have to invest some time to develop a strong ego and a strong persona that allows you to act in the world, to be in the world and be comfortable, go out there and do what you need to be doing. But that's not us, that's not the real you. That's the mistake most of us make. We're so conditioned to think that if I create a viable persona, I'm done. All I got to do is cruise along, polish up the persona every once in a while, maybe do one of those weekend retreats, and I'm good. But that's not going to do it. He says you need to integrate the shadow, you need to get down to who are you at the core heart level, at the soul level. That requires that introspection that we're going to be talking about in shadow work. In shadow, the first piece is, why do we need it? How do we develop it? What is it?

Debra Maldonado  08:13

Why do we need a shadow? We need a shadow, or else we wouldn't be able to function in the world, we’d be acting at our worst impulses. When we think about the ego, its job is social adaptation and survival. We’re living in this world, we have the physical body, we have to make friends with people, we have to play nice in the world. There's certain things that we have to do in order to operate in the world. The persona is not bad just because it's not who we really are. It's okay because it serves a function. Early in life, we need to go out and get married, have a job, have babies, be a good mom, be a bad mom, fail and succeed, all those things that normal human beings have to go through. We need a persona to do that. We can't not have a persona. If we have a persona, the opposite is our bizarro self, which is our shadow, so you can't have one half of something, you can't be all good. There has to be its opposite, because we're living in a world of duality.

Robert Maldonado  09:23

We think about us as individuals, we’re thrown into a family. Our job as children, as human beings within this group is to start to identify with certain traits that will allow us to fit into that family, to bond with our mother, our father, our siblings, our peers. That is the beginning of the work of the persona. We start to see “This is who I am, I am the one that's funny, I'm the one that's smart, I am the one that helps everyone”, etc. We start to identify as this role we're playing. We start to collect a list of traits, characteristics that we feel comfortable identifying with and being identified with.

Debra Maldonado  10:24

Like our public resume. If you ever dated online, what you put on your dating profile is your persona. I am this age, I do this for a living, I love to ski and to hike, I'm funny. I like this type of music. That's the persona, it's this surface identity.

Robert Maldonado  10:50

Whatever doesn't fit into that persona, the building and the constructing of that social persona, has to be pushed away. But it doesn't go anywhere. Jung says it goes into the personal unconscious, we push it away, we repress it. Repression is a powerful defense mechanism. It's done unconsciously. What he's saying is, as you're growing up, you're doing this unconsciously. You're not actively thinking through this and saying “I choose this, I choose to be this way”, it just feels right to you that that's who I want to be, that feels good. This helps me fit in, it helps me survive, it helps me relate to the people around me and the culture around me.

Debra Maldonado  11:42

For example, if you live in a household where everyone's really loud, and if you're quiet, you get lost in the mix. You may create a persona of being a loud person or interrupting, because that's the only way you got attention for survival. To be a wallflower, to be in the back of the room, playing in the audience is not really for your survival, you'll be forgotten. We can create a persona that is boisterous, loud, and funny to fit in with everyone. The opposite can happen too, where the family is very quiet, then we feel that if we're loud, we're shunned. We have to resonate with the family. We have these dynamics, and we're not consciously deciding this, like you said, it's unconscious. This is how I'm going to survive in this family. This is what I need to do. Even sexuality, for women, if there's all boys in the family, and the father is praising the boys, the girl wants to get dad’s attention, she may create a persona of a more masculine tomboy, or get into business like her dad and push away the frilly, girly stuff, want to be like her brothers to fit, to get that adoration. That's just an example. It doesn't always have to play out that way. She could rebel and be super feminine, it doesn't matter. But we get set up in this environment. What's gonna work for us? A lot of times, it's just guesswork. It's like evolution. What's going to help me adapt? Let me adjust this way, let me just that way. A lot of times, in those early stages, we're trying to figure out ourselves and our persona in the world. The kids sometimes evolve a little bit as they're trying to figure it out, as they go to school. Where do I fit in with my friends? What kind of persona can I bring to class so I'm not beaten up after school or that I can make friends?

Robert Maldonado  13:51

A lot of the pain of childhood is figuring out who I am. What is my persona? What is the role I can play in my family, in school, in my culture at large?


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Robert Maldonado  15:01

Jung says there's two main functions of the persona. It allows us to leave an impression on others. It's our calling card. This is who I am. When we go to a party, people ask us “Who are you? What do you do?” This is who I am, this is what I do. That's the persona. But the second function is a little bit trickier. We hide behind the persona, we're able to get comfortable putting up that facade, that mask, playing that role, like an actor playing a role. We hide the true self, the real feelings, the real potential in us.

Debra Maldonado  15:43

A lot of people say the true self is the inner voice they're conscious of. When we say the true self, it's the deeper aspects of our psyche that’s beyond our personality. It's not just “I know I'm being this way, because I'm insecure.” Your true self isn’t insecure. It's a function your ego created to hide insecurity, to survive. But that's not your shadow. If you're conscious of it, it's not your shadow. A lot of people think that inner narrative and the persona is the persona shadow, but the shadow is really unconscious. You may have that insecurity in your mind, be conscious of it, you don't show it to the world. But the shadow is something deeper, it takes a little bit to get up because it's not logical. It's “Why would I hide that?”, it is something very irrational that you hide. We know it makes total sense that I don't want to show my insecurities in public. But what's the irrational piece? That’s the key. A lot of people think they do shadow work by reading a book, or reading Jung. They’re like “I've examined my shadow.” But really, truly, you need someone else to help you, ask you questions, because the ego is the master of hiding it and keeping it in play. For those of you who listen and think “How do I know if I've really faced my shadow?”, I’ll say you will know it. There is no mistaking when you're really confronting your shadow. It is incredibly uncomfortable, more uncomfortable than the cringe moments you have. That's why most people don't do it. But it's incredibly transformational as well.

Robert Maldonado  17:28

How does the shadow then begin to impact our life? Because this is what Jung is getting at. He says, as we develop this persona, we get comfortable. It's doing us a great service. It's allowing us to interact with others and present ourselves as acceptable people in society, something we all need, of course. But the shadow is going to be a moral problem for you because you're going to project it outward. One of the main defense mechanisms the ego uses to protect the shadow is that it says “You’re not those things. They are, the people out there, the bad ones, the angry people, the ignorant people.”

Debra Maldonado  18:28

Selfish people, the people that go off and make a lot of money, those darn rich people that are stealing money from everyone.

Robert Maldonado  18:40

This projection was well understood in Eastern philosophy as Maya. What you reject about yourself, you can see it clearly in others, but you don't see it in yourself. It's a way that the psyche gets rid of the shadow by projecting it outward and saying “It's out there. It's not me.”

Debra Maldonado  19:04

A lot of people think their insecurities are their shadow. They call it “shadows”, with an S. It's one place, one shadow, lots of aspects in it. But if you know you're insecure and hiding it, that's not your shadow. It's the things that you don't know. What you don't know is driving your life because if you know it, you are actually making it conscious, and it can change. Jung says, until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you'll think it's fate. Why do I keep meeting angry people? Why do I keep having the same boss all the time that never appreciates me? Why do relationships never work? Why do I keep getting irritated with friendships and people around me? How come no one can get close to me? I try to make friends and no one wants to be around me. What is that about? Whatever you're projecting on those people is really something you're pushing away, and you're creating. The hardest thing is to take that responsibility.

Robert Maldonado  20:08

It's an incredible mechanism, it makes it appear to the individual that they’re correct, they're perceiving people that are obnoxious, undesirable, or have undesirable traits out there. It's the people in my office at work, or the next football team, or the next political party, or whatever it is, they're able to identify it. Not in themselves, though, but in the other people. That projection then allows this shadow to remain unconscious to the individual. We don’t see it in ourselves, it's completely invisible. This is one of the characteristics of the unconscious. If you’re aware of it, that's not your shadow. You’re aware of it, you might not like certain traits you have in your personality but that's not your shadow, because you're aware of them, you're conscious of them. It has to be unconscious, you can’t see it, it's a blind spot for you, for the individual. That's the importance of coaching right there, if you don’t have a coach, it's very difficult to do the work because you're working on the stuff that you know, you still feel like you're improving, you're making a better persona, you're polishing up a persona, but you're not really integrating the shadow, you're just remaining in your comfort zone.

Debra Maldonado  21:40

When I first met you, you introduced me to the shadow, I didn't know about it. I was doing hypnotherapy and making everything positive, thinking I was working on the unconscious, but the shadow is a lot deeper. I remember I came home and I was so upset about this woman being mad at me. You were saying that that anger was my anger. I was like “I'm not an angry person. I'm nice.” You were like “Sit with the emotion that's going on." Over a couple of days, I just sat with the feeling that I felt so upset that she was upset with me. Then it turned to anger, how dare she be upset with me, I'm right, she's wrong. All of a sudden, I connected it all to me. It’s like a map that you connect to. It's not direct. All of a sudden, I got this idea. All the pleasing I've done in my life to make my clients happy, then stuffing that anger, not charging enough, putting up with not having boundaries and tolerating things, all that anger was there. I didn't face it, I was like “I'm a good spiritual woman. I'm not an angry person. Angry people are out there.” It wasn't until I reclaimed that anger that I really got to see it's a passion. When we say “confront this shadow”, we're confronting our own self that we don't want to look at. I didn’t want to look at it, I resisted. Then all of a sudden, it gave me so much freedom because that's where the power was. I was so afraid of everyone else's anger that I ended up contorting myself into this pleaser that felt very tight and constricted. I didn't have any freedom to really be your true self. You're being a conditioned persona in the world. That's why a lot of people are anxious and stressed out because they're trying to keep up with their persona, it causes a lot of physiological stress, it's exhausting to keep it up.

Robert Maldonado  23:45

It is exhausting. There is no satisfaction because you feel like an imposter. No matter how successful you become as persona, you intuitively know that it's not the real you, that you're not genuine, you're essentially playing a role, you're putting on the mask, you're hiding behind that mask. Let's see what other things are important at this phase before we go on to how we work with it.

Debra Maldonado  24:16

I’d like to talk about the defense because shadow stays hidden, so the ego has, as you say, the codes, the passwords. You're trying to get into the locks, the ego knows, so it's changing the password before you get there. It’s like a virus that won’t let you get into your computer. It already knows where you're going to try to access it, so it creates barriers. Not because it's evil or bad but because you agreed that this was a bad thing. On some level, there's an agreement, you said “Let's just put this in the shadow, let's not deal with it. This is not good.” Your ego’s doing it. “You told me to guard this stuff.” One of the things that I love about the shadow — you talked about defenses — my favorite defense, because it has such a cool name, is reaction formation. It actually is when you react the opposite of how you feel. You do it unconsciously, it's not like “I’m gonna act happy because I have to.” It's like a response that I am driven unconsciously. Those of you who love Ted Lasso, our favorite show, great show on Apple TV, it has so many shadow psychological elements. It's rich with a lot of metaphors for life, understanding the shadow. There's a lot of stories that reflect shadow elements. If you haven't seen it, it's wonderful. But one of the characters is a woman that owns the football club. She married a very wealthy billionaire, he cheated on her all the time, she finally left him. She got the football club, there’s tension between the two of them. He's always needling her, he married a younger woman. She's always trying to keep up. She's all pure, straight and perfectly dressed, always happy, keeping that positive vibe. Every time she runs into him, she always says “Rupert, how lovely to see you. What a lovely surprise.” She's always acting like this pleasant person. But inside, she probably wants to punch him in the face or yell at him, but she can’t, it's an unconscious reaction. That's reaction formation. You're reacting opposite of how you feel. We've had clients say the same thing. They’d run into their ex in the grocery store with their new girlfriend. One girl said “I hugged the girl and said ‘Hi, so nice to meet you.’” Even though the guy cheated on her and she was so angry at him. She was like “Why did I act so friendly?” We act in reverse as a defense. That's our shadow. It's keeping anger and aggression at bay, so we don't have a choice to how to react. We have to pull from our persona and make a hyper persona that reacts in that way, that's not truly how we feel.

Robert Maldonado  27:26

It's a great defense mechanism, obviously, because it reinforces the persona, saying “I am the good person, I am the one that never gets angry”, when inside, of course, is the anger.

Debra Maldonado  27:41

There's also displacement. A lot of people heard about the kick the dog syndrome. You have anger toward maybe someone in your past, you're projecting it onto everyone else. That also was from that show. Nate was the assistant, they made him coach, and he was really insecure. His father never gave him attention, he was always hypercritical. Then Ted Lasso, played by Jason Sudeikis, is so positive and empowering to him that he sees this father figure. There's a scene — I won't give away any details — but Nate is angry at Ted, screaming at him, as if he was speaking to his father, all the words he wanted to tell his father, but he's still thinking that Ted is the bad person, projecting it onto him. How many times have we done that where we were mad at something else, but we take it out on someone else, like our spouse, or a partner, or best friend, our boss, our team. We get that displaced projection. We don't even do it consciously, it’s unconscious.

Robert Maldonado  28:59

That's the key that it's unconscious, therefore, we're being played from the inside. Again, it's not that the persona, the ego, or the shadow are bad. They're a natural way we live our lives. Everyone has to do this. What Jung says is that you can transcend that, you can go beyond that. What he noticed about a lot of the spiritual psychological traditions of the past was that it was their main purpose to help us understand that it’s not all there is to us.

Debra Maldonado  29:42

A lot of the rituals were about the shadow and dealing with that.

Robert Maldonado  29:47

Like letting the old person die and burying it. Some of the rituals were actually going through a mock funeral of your old self, so that the new self could emerge. People would get new names and new identities because that's not what you're meant to be doing. You're not meant to stay in the persona level of existence. Jung says it's a very limiting, very restrictive, constricting way of being in the world. If you continue to live as persona only, you'll start to feel anxious, feel depressed. A lot of people report that they're anxious about it, like something bad is gonna happen. There's nothing wrong with their life, but they're continuously worrying.

Debra Maldonado  30:42

Or a little depressed, they feel like they're living Groundhog Day, lack of vitality or purpose, they feel like something's missing. Then they're looking for it out there, let me find a new wife, a new husband, a new partner, let me change jobs. That's what I did a lot, I kept changing jobs, but I had to look within. It's about looking within. Another thing I want to say before we move on to the last part is that the shadow is not only the anger and negative stuff that we repress, but also our brilliance. Jung says that mostly in our shadow is our brilliance, we have a golden shadow. It’s all the things, our gifts we aren't allowed to express. What happens a lot too is that we project that brilliance onto other people, we see someone who's successful and say “They're so great.” That's why celebrities have this weird energy vibe to them, because everyone's projecting their own divine energy onto these people. They're special, I'm ordinary. When clients would tell me “Thank you so much, you changed my life”, you can't get attached to that as a coach or as a teacher, because they're seeing themselves through you. You don't want to carry the burden of that responsibility of being that bright light in their life all the time, or they will be disappointed. Eventually, your cracks are gonna show, you're human, you're not this glowing person. Like Wizard of Oz, the great, powerful, a giant head, but when you pull the curtain back, there's this little man, scared and nervous. We don't want that curtain pulled. We have to come to terms as a leader, those of you who are coaches or in the helping profession. Remember, your clients will project that divinity, that power, that brilliance onto you. You can't buy into it, because it will get you, then you have the burden of holding that up all the time. It's exhausting to do that, too. It's exhausting pushing away your anger, it's exhausting holding up perfection that other people seek, and that's part of the shadow too. It's a lot of our beauty and our brilliance that we don't own ourselves. Confronting the shadow is confronting our own brilliance and really integrating and owning it versus just keep projecting it on to other people.

Robert Maldonado  33:19

We work with very idealistic people that want to change the world for the better. But we tell them they can't really change the world until they change themselves. You can't go out there projecting and thinking “I'm going to fix these people out there”, you have to work with your inner shadow, you have to integrate the shadow, make it conscious, so that then you acquire freewill. If you're being played from the inside, if you're essentially working out a defense mechanisms out of adaptation, trying to fit in, always playing to the shadow’s need to be this way or that way, you don't really have freewill. Freewill means that you're able to see things as they truly are, make an informed decision as an adult now, not from your past conditioning. That's what shadow integration allows us to do. It helps us transform our point of view of the world. It not only changes us inside, but it changes our perception of the world, the way we see it, the way we understand it.

Debra Maldonado  34:35

It disrupts the ego and the persona. It’s intimidating for people because there's comfort in your persona. To disrupt it feels a little intimidating, but then through disruption we get creativity and freedom, we get out of that rigid state, we're able to really be creative and innovative with our life and our decisions. When I first started doing shadow work, I thought I'm going to be my shadow now, I'm going to be aggressive, I'm going to be keep my boundaries, I'm going to be assertive and not be the pleaser anymore. Then what happened was the persona swapped, it wasn't true integration. True integration is that you are aware of both sides of the coin, you're aware that your persona wants to be this way, you know that your shadow is pushing that away, and you're seeing both sides and making a conscious choice how you respond. That’s freedom. You're not driven by “I don't want to be my persona anymore. I don't want to be my shadow”, but “I want to choose freely.” That's where all the possibilities are. If we just stay in our persona, we have very little response choices. We can have a couple variations or strategies our ego can come up with, but it's very limited. There's only one or two ways, maybe three at max, that we can respond to life. Fight, flight, or freeze, that’s it. If we’re able to embrace our shadow, accept it at a deep level, like “I've accepted my anger, I'm honoring my anger, I can now make a choice. Because I know that when I'm angry, it's okay, I’m not a bad person. It's just part of being human. Let me examine that versus let me shove it in a corner because I don't want to identify myself with that.”

Robert Maldonado  36:35

Jung says people will do the most ridiculous things to avoid facing their shadow. We’ve all done it, we are not pointing fingers. We’ve all been there where we'll do the most ridiculous things, try out different personas, create spiritual personas, show the world that I'm a spiritual person, I'm not projecting the shadow. But he says the real integration is so difficult, because it threatens what we've created so far. It threatens our persona, essentially. The persona, or the ego, is saying “Why would you want to mess with it? Look how much time and energy we’ve spent protecting you, making sure you got here. People respect you, people like you, and you want to now throw that away.”

Debra Maldonado  37:34

It's like you build this beautiful Lego thing with your kid, you have a little city, it's all set up. Then someone comes in and just knocks it apart. We just created this beautiful thing, why would you want to destroy it? But if you look at Tibetan lamas, they create mandalas, they spend hours and hours filling in the colors and making this beautiful thing. Then as soon as it's done, they wipe it away. That's the way we need to be to really be free because it's all about non-attachment. I created this beautiful thing, let's destroy it, let's create something new. Even if you love your persona, your psyche, your personality, it is still limiting. Even if you feel confident, that is still limiting, because you're still identifying as a confident person, so in the shadow is a scared, insecure person that you've never met, but you meet them out there in the world and think “That's them, not me.” You don't realize on the subtle level, how much pushing that insecurity away or denying that part of yourself really runs your life. It comes in like “You need to be perfect”, people that have perfectionism. It's scary to admit you're wrong, there's so much pressure. But you think that's just the way it should be, you should be confident, and it's actually endearing when you're the opposite.

Robert Maldonado  39:07

If we look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the first three or four levels are all about survival, which is ego, and social acceptance, which is persona. The higher ones of those levels, self actualization, can’t be reached if you hold on to your persona. The integration of the shadow allows you to do that higher work, deliver a higher level, because if you're only surviving, if you're only interested in and all your energy is going towards socially fitting in, you're not really living, you're simply existing, you're being an acceptable person, you're part of the state, part of the society, you're respected, but that's not the ultimate aim of human life. Jung was looking for something that matched the transcendent power of ritual, of spiritual transformation, how can we do that as modern human beings and still keep our way of seeing the world through our scientific lens, but still be able to access those deeper realms of the psyche. Individuation is the way to do it. The shadow integration is the first step because it shows us in a very direct, very personal way that there is more to us than the mask and the persona we're wearing. It shows us that there's this living, intelligent, unconscious mind underneath the surface, and if we pay attention to it, it gives us another dimension to our human existence.

Debra Maldonado  41:19

It's really profound. It goes beyond just the basic, just thinking positive and manifestation. This is stepping into true transformation, becoming something other than what you're used to being. When you do this work, you get surprised at how powerful you are, you get surprised with the depth of spirit you are, it really is very rewarding. But the first step, like an initiation, is to do the shadow work and feel. If you've felt like you haven't gone through the initiation yet, if you aren't sure you've done enough shadow work, you probably haven't, because you really know. It is challenging, it's like taking a marathon inside, you're working with all the defenses, you're pushing through, it's like a rebirth of who you are, taking the things that were not working anymore, wrestling with them, and becoming free of them. It's such a beautiful process. We invite you all to do it because it's going to be the ticket to freedom. The next episode, we’ll be talking about what comes after the shadow and why we continue. We want to not stop at shadow work. That's just the preview for your life. When we get into beyond the shadow, we enter the realm of the collective unconscious.

Robert Maldonado  42:56

The whole idea of the archetypal realm of the collective unconscious is really Jung's masterpiece. What he wanted to leave us with was a complete map of the psyche. Just like we see the universe extending into infinity, he says the same process is going on internally in the psyche, the balancing part of that external world that we see out there.

Debra Maldonado  43:37

Whatever you can imagine with the new telescope they have that sees billions of galaxies, imagine how vast space is, your inner space is just as vast and even more, that's all we can see. There's just such a great entry point. Jung said that the shadow work is the apprentice piece, and working with the anima/animus and the collective unconscious is the masterpiece. Stay tuned next week where we go deeper into the unconscious with Jung and shadow work and Jung and coaching. We'll see you next week. Just one more reminder, click the Subscribe button below before you leave and make sure you don't miss another episode. If you are listening to us on the podcast services, such as Spotify and iTunes, make sure you hit Subscribe and tune in every week for a new deep episode on your mind and making your life amazing. 

OUTRO  44:40 

Thank you for joining us and don't forget to subscribe to CreativeMinds Soul Sessions. Join us next week as we explore another deep topic where you can consciously create your life with CreativeMind Soul Sessions. See you next time.

Review of the ego & persona
Why we have the shadow
How the shadow impacts our lives
Ego defenses
How to create with free will