The facilitator Irene Goikolea has been working for more than 25 years toward the awakening of consciousness, facilitating individual and group processes of personal growth and development. Her experience in this field goes back to the circles of women she organized at the beginning of the 90’s with the intention of awakening to the sacred feminine aspect. The qualities of the sacred feminine aspect are interrelationship, the collective, integration, unity, care for the other, healing, nurturance, compassionate action and sentient capacity. Irene’s work focuses on cultivating these qualities, necessary for embracing and integrating our excluded parts, or “shadow”. The impact of this work on the development of a collective paradigm, aimed at awakening the culture of the “we”, over the culture of the “I”, led her to inspire the materialization of the Amalurra project, which manifested in three intentional communities, situated in the Basque Country, Andalusia and Catalonia (Spain). The Amalurra community project in the Basque Country is a benchmark among Europe’s most established communities for its 25 years of existence. Irene is a Doctor in Depth Psychology by the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California, an integral coach and guest faculty in Michael Harner’s Foundation for Shamanic Studies. She is also a member of the GEN Europe Council and GEN Ambassador. She is trained in family constellations and new family constellations with Bert Hellinger, systemic rituals with Daan van Kampenhout, Integral Coaching ™, Process Work, NLP, or yoga, among other disciplines.
The art of embracing the shadow
According to C.G. Jung, the “shadow” are all the hidden or unconscious aspects of oneself, both positive and negative, that the ego has repressed or never acknowledged. In other words, the shadow is all that is unwanted, ugly, unloved or simply uncomfortable or unbearable to look at so that we exclude it from what we show to the world. But what we exclude and disown becomes larger than life and scares us. The toughest elements of our shadow often began in childhood as extremely creative responses to survive situations that were very difficult, traumatizing or unbearable for us. The key is to open our hearts to that which, back then, was too painful for us to bear. Some signs that the shadow controls your life is when you: – Overreact in certain situations – Face recurring challenges in relationships – Feel frustrated in your attempts to reach your goals – Act out the same drama over and over again – Find yourself in frequent conflict with others – Feel misunderstood and not seen – Experience being highly critical or judgmental of yourself or others – Avoid anger, sadness, or other “difficult” emotions – Keep doing things you know are not good for you Why is it necessary to do shadow work? If our shadow remains unconscious, it will control our lives and its subtle influence will affect our relationships and put an end to our well-being and natural wholeness. The shadow contains the seeds of a new consciousness, those parts of ourselves that we need to bring to light. Shadow work is focused on acknowledging what we have denied and restoring the full complement of our own powers. In the end, it is a question of completing ourselves, of integrating all our aspects because, as Jung said, what we deny, controls us, but what we accept, transforms us. Some benefits of shadow work Exploring the shadow gives us tremendous opportunities for growth and development.
These are some of the benefits that result from shadow work:
1) Relationships improve When you can embrace your own darker parts, it is easier to accept the shadow in others. Communicating with others also becomes an easier task.
2) You see others and yourself more clearly Shadow integration takes you closer to your authentic self, which provides a more realistic image of who you are. As a result, you will also see others and assess situations with greater clarity, compassion, and understanding.
3) Physical health improves Shadow work releases a huge reservoir of energy that you were unconsciously investing in protecting yourself. This can improve your physical, mental, and emotional health.
4) Psychological integration and maturity Integrating the shadow contributes to achieving a sense of wholeness. It’s a critical step to mature adulthood. On the other hand, the integration of the shadow brings an assumption of responsibility.
5) Greater creativity There is lots of energy and vital force in our shadow, in turning away from pain. Embracing and integrating the shadow brings compassion to ourselves and others. When we embrace the shadow, we stop projecting and begin to co-create.
This workshop is for people interested in achieving a deep healing, transformation and permanent change, as well as getting some practical tools for a healthy, rich, rewarding and more complete emotional life. The final goal is to make space or, in other words, to open our hearts to be able to include all those parts or situations that belong to each of us and our system. The goal is not to solve anything, but to allow some conscious movements or processes that make us more aware of the aspects that we have rejected and which, consciously or unconsciously, we are in conflict with. Working in this direction strengthens and makes us more resilient. At the same time, it takes us out of repetitive dynamics rooted in the past, which provides us with a new and unknown perspective about the future so that we can access the next evolutionary level. The importance of shadow work is relevant to the theme of this year because shadow work applied to relational areas: groups, communities, organizations, etc. enhances their goals. It also brings creativity and new possibilities, since each individual possesses an unlimited potential that shadow work helps release. When we become aware of it, the shadow becomes an allied force in the pursuit of our most genuine aspirations.
SHAMANISM – A TOOL FOR CONSCIOUS CHANGE
Shamanism is neither a dogma nor a religion. It is the oldest human technology used to explore the relationship between us and the rest of creation. Shamans use those ancient techniques to achieve and maintain well-being and healing for themselves and the members of their communities by communicating with the spirits without becoming their instrument. In these times of turbulence and crisis, shamanism is a source of wisdom still used as it is a quick way to get and maintain wellness and healing.
According to the shamanic cosmology, the world is divided into three levels: upper, lower, and middle. Each level contains a vibrational quality that has a specific wisdom and a capacity of healing. It also contains a variety of helping or compassionate spirits that can assist the shaman, or the practitioner, with healing individuals, the community, and the planet. Besides, the principle of direct revelation, essential in shamanism, means that we all have access to spiritual guidance. We can tap into our own wisdom and creativity to be conscious change-makers on the planet right now.
The way to travel outside of time into the hidden realms of non-ordinary reality is by going into an altered state of consciousness. Therefore, in this workshop, I will introduce you in the shamanic journey through the repetitive sound of the drum. The sonic drive provides a kind of vehicle upon which we can journey to non-ordinary reality to engage with helping spirits in search of information, healing, guidance, advice, divination (divine information), to reconnect with our soul (our vital force), or with our own power. Learning how to get in contact with our guides as well as how to use our power with wisdom in service to others is a contribution worth experiencing. This goal is what links my workshop to this year’s conference theme.
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