Liberation in the Shadows
A deep dive in December 2020 with SWAHEAL by Shobhali Thapa.
The current times of uncertainty and, in some ways, forced upon slowing down in (at least) some aspects of life for some of us, has enforced us to face things we had long – consciously &/ unconsciously – buried somewhere deep in our psyche. For some others, we have had to move in with our families &/ spend way too much time with them than we had become accustomed to, leading to re-opening many things from our pasts. For yet some others, we had busy-ied ourselves in day-to-day ‘doings’, and now that the ‘doing’ has shifted, our ‘being’ doesn’t seem to quite understand how to be. And some others amongst us may be in altogether different scenarios. The one link that seems to tie all of these circumstances is the change, the unknown, the uncertain.
Note that this ‘change, unknown, uncertain’ also has the potential to reveal new, nourishing pathways. And just the way when exploring new uncharted territories, this unknown, uncertain territory of the inner psyche will bring with it excitement, curiosity, unpredictability, and possible unrest & unease. Here, the unrest is an emotional one, pointing to the discomfort of holding two seemingly opposite views at the same time in the same breath, and being able to hold that momentary, seeming imbalance.
What will this emotional unrest be?
Shame – researchers have only of late begun to realize – is probably one of the core emotions which forms the base of most of our world view, mental models, beliefs, & values. Shame is also the least talked about across all cultures & strata of society (except, of course, when used as a tool to coerce by using shame ‘to shame’). There is a good reason for this – shame ensures safety in the form of civility (and other such goodies). However, just like everything else, shame too must have some balance – when healthy it enables, & when unhealthy it disables. And as we stand today as a society we seem to be more disabled than enabled in being our-whole-selves. When you extrapolate that (as is always the case – what is true of the micro is true of the macro, & vice-versa) you get a disabled society.
Shame leads to the whole-self becoming fragmented into ‘good’ & ‘bad’ – and then we become the society within ourselves & shame our ‘bad’ or as we call it in deep work, our Shadow. The Shadow isn’t ‘bad’ – the Shadow just has needs & desires that are labeled as bad/ shameful/ sinful. There is conversation around restraining needs &/ desires – religions talk about it, some spiritual spaces state it, family honor demands it, etc. The irony is, true needs are Universal Human Needs which are always nurturing for all involved – it is the suppression &/ repression of these needs that leads them to become malicious. And the paradox we live in is that while we are scared of our Shadow, embracing our Shadow alone is what will liberate us.
Over these 2 weeks – 10 hours of group sessions & 2 weeks of individual work through readings, teachings, worksheets, & reflection – we will look at shame, desires, needs, benefits & importance of anger & jealousy, what sex is seen as & what it truly is, developmental (and other) trauma & attachment theory, aspects of the whole being, pleasure principle & abundance states, and finally owning and healing work.
Why now? Is it for me?
Learning can happen at any given time, however, certain times & spaces are just more conducive for some forms of learning. The current energy space in the world lends itself to this immersive work. The circumstances we are in are already making us question a lot of things – which lubricates this passage into the underworld of our psyches.
I believe the people who are ready for this, to dive in deep, are those who have already been engaged in inner work in some capacity & are now being called to go deeper under water to explore the depths of their iceberg. You will know you are ready if you have some consistent inner work practice you engage with on a regular basis – be it meditation (of any kind), journaling, body work, or a sincere exploration of the self in any form. The invitation to you is to be bold and to step into what you know you’re ready for.
Deep Sea Diving
Those of you who have witnessed life underwater in any form would know how marvelous it can be down there! And those who have been deeper – scuba diving – would know while it’s not always easy, it’s definitely worth it!
This journey is rewarding & fulfilling beyond words, and at the same time it calls for a ferocity of vulnerability which is the purest form of courage. It is characteristic of this journey to be full of unknowns, & surprises of all sorts. It demands of the traveler a level of commitment of the highest order.
This exploration of the Shadow is a journey towards our primordial wholeness, enabling transformation across all layers within, & through all the apparent compartmentalized layers outside.
This will be an experiential program - creating a space to open up the infected wound, to inspect the possible root causes for the infestation, and then cleaning it up to begin the healing process.
We will be diving into the power and intensity of various emotions, especially those usually shunned/ unwelcomed, such as anger, jealousy, lust, grief etc., and learn how to move with them, without getting stuck in any.
You will begin to understand your patterns in your core relationships, & the why behind them.
You will be initiated into basic trauma & grief work, in a well maintained container.
You will (hopefully) begin to look at ‘sex’ through a different lens.
By the end of the two weeks each of you would have a customized toolkit you can use for grounding & resourcing yourself in times of distress.
We will also use the practices of ancestor lineage, connecting with nature, abundance principle, and harvesting group wisdom - creating an enchanting ambience that will hold each in the lap of the magnanimous collective - a space rich & conducive to resolutions and integration.
Date & Time
Period: Fridays & Sundays from December 4th to December 13th.
Dates: December 4th, December 6th, December 11th, and December 13th.
Time: Fridays, 6 PM – 8 PM. Sundays, 5 PM – 8 PM. (Indian Standard Time) (Please convert it into your time zone here)
(The 3 hour sessions will have a 15 minute break in between.)
Platform: Online over Zoom
For those who are currently struggling financially: Rs.2500
For those who have an income: Rs.5000
For those who can afford to be generous: Rs.10000
*This series is financed solely by your contributions. Sliding-scale prices allow us to keep programs affordable for those who are financially struggling. Please pay at the highest level of the above sliding scale that you can afford. This allows others who cannot afford the full cost, the opportunity to attend. Also, if you would like to sponsor someone, please do write in to us. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and generosity.
P.S. For those struggling to meet the lower end of the scale, please write in to us, for possible work-trade – there are couple of spots open for that.
No one will be turned away due to lack of finances.
Points to Note
You will receive several resources, readings, teachings and self-reflective exercises as part of this program.
People of all genders, race, ethnicities and sexual orientation are welcome.
This workshop series, while healing in nature, is not a replacement for therapy. I believe personal therapy/ healing work – with or without an external support – is of utmost importance at all times.
You can read more here.
If you have any questions, you can contact: firstname.lastname@example.org