An activity from a workshop on “Living your Impossible Dreams”
We searched for a word, a single word that captured the essence of what is good in our life at the moment. It was not an easy task to fulfil!
We then spent a good hour taking turns to explain our word to the group, why we had chosen it from all of the millions of words we could have chosen. Why that word in particular?
Some of the words chosen by participants included: “restless”, “Nature” and “Travelling”.
We then explored what; in essence, our lives would be if we couldn’t have that word to describe the essential good. if it were absent from our lives.
This led to the finding of new “shadow” words to describe our lives. For example, “travelling” became “unsettled”, “restless” became “detached”.
What was challenging to us all was the idea that the “shadow” words might also contain an essential quality that we need to embrace, and not run from, if we are to be “whole” in life.
Do we need to meet the “shadow” side of our life? The shadow is there for a reason. It offers us (possibly uncomfortable) the chance to experience life in good AND bad and to become stronger.
Thus the good can be a kind of hiding place if it is somewhere we have run to having failed to truly confront the lack of it!
“We cannot run from our shadow. Indeed, sometimes we find our position from the position of our shadow.”
Small World Camp
Headcorn, Kent, UK, 2005