Category Archives: archetypes and manifestation

Manifestation and the Law Of Attraction: Overcome Limiting Beliefs With Shadow Work

When you think about it, this is what we do all the time. Every single thing on the planet started as an idea in someone’s mind, so to that extent, manifesting a better relationship, or greater prosperity, or indeed material goods like a new car or a new house, is no different.

Where the process of manifestation differs from the conventional way of turning an idea into reality is that you bring the universe onside. In other words, you get the universe to help you, so that you are not working on manifestation of your desires alone.

A lot of people find it difficult to understand that we are actually talking here about a cooperative process. It’s something that has been described as “co-creation”, and that’s a very good way of putting it.

You see, the universe is programmed, or if you prefer the term, “determined” to operate in accordance with set of universal laws. Some of these are all about manifesting reality at the request of the human mind. Now, having said that, it is not as simple as just wishing for something.

This implies that the human mind has the ability to connect with universal consciousness or energy – which some people prefer to call God. This is a fact which might be debatable or questionable for you, but is actually a reality. However, you may be feeling some doubt, and that is precisely the point. You cannot doubt, or it will not work. You must have faith, and total belief in what you are trying to do. And this requires an absence of doubt and a presence of certainty.

You’ve probably experienced this in part when you’ve had the sudden and unexpected awareness of friend who then immediately calls you on the telephone. This is a simple example, but a very poignant one, of the principle at work here, which is that the human mind can contact a vast database – for want of a better way of putting it – of universal intelligence.

It’s essentially that ability to connect with something bigger than ourselves that is the controlling factor in manifestation of anything, and it’s that ability to connect with something bigger than ourselves which allows you to manifest what you want.

Faith and absence of doubt

There is a school of psychtherapy called shadow wok which can be very helpful in establishing an abesnce of doubt and presence of certain faith. This is because shadow work is based on the archetypal model of the human personality: the Magician archetype is the anxious Risk Manager, who guards against disappointment by ensuring your defences are maintained aginst the unknown. The Sovereign – King or Queen archetype – allows you to stand in faith, in the cosmic energy of both sky above and earth below, so that you know you have the power to get what you desire from the universe. The Warrior archetype allows you to strive for a desired outcome, and the Lover allows you to achieve it in a compassionate way. It also allows you to connect with the world beyond your mind.

More than anything, shadow work can help you overcome limiting beliefs – that is to say, the beliefs you hold about yourself which stop you achieveing success at manifestation.

To overcome limiting beliefs through shadow work, you can follow these steps:

  • Identify your limiting beliefs: Start by identifying the beliefs that are holding you back in life. These beliefs may be conscious or unconscious, so take the time to reflect on your thoughts and feelings to uncover them.
  • Acknowledge your shadow self: Shadow work involves acknowledging and embracing the parts of yourself that you may have repressed or denied. This can be challenging, but it is necessary to overcome your limiting beliefs.
  • Practice self-compassion: Be kind and gentle with yourself as you explore your shadow self. Remember that everyone has flaws and imperfections, and it’s okay to make mistakes.
  • Challenge your beliefs: Once you have identified your limiting beliefs, challenge them. Ask yourself if they are true or if they are simply a product of your conditioning or past experiences.
  • Reframe your beliefs: Replace your limiting beliefs with empowering beliefs. For example, if you believe that you’re not smart enough to succeed, reframe this belief by telling yourself that you are capable of learning and growing.
  • Take action: Finally, take action to reinforce your new beliefs. This may involve stepping out of your comfort zone and taking risks, but it’s important to remember that growth and change require effort and commitment.

Shadow work can be a powerful tool for overcoming limiting beliefs and transforming your life. With practice and perseverance, you can learn to embrace your shadow self and develop empowering beliefs that will help you reach your full potential.

A lot of people would accept the idea of connection between human mind and the universal consciousness or intelligence (to remind you, what some people call God), but want to know how on earth this can be explained in rational terms.

My answer to that is that there are no rational aspects to this, it’s a fact of life, and it’s something that we need to accept on trust. This is the act of faith: that you might need to believe in God or Goddess and their ability to manifest reality.

But interestingly enough, recently quantum physics has begun to provide some clues as to how it might be possible for thought waves to impact on some energetic principle in the universe which is responsible for the appearance of material goods and objects and events in our universe.

I’m not going to go into the quantum physics of the Law of Attraction and manifestation here, because it’s far too complicated, and if you are sufficiently enlightened to believe in reality of manifestation as an act of faith, you won’t really be interested in the explanation that quantum physics can provide: you’ll be more interested in the experience of manifestation.

In essence, though the important thing to keep in mind is that the universe is ready and willing to give you what you want. Using the law of attraction to manifest reality, to co-create your life, that is to say co-create in association with the universe, isn’t difficult. If you experience doubt or disbelief, then do some shadow work to eradicate the doubts and fears from your mind. As I said, shadow work is based on arhcetypal energies. These are all explained in this book (UK version here).

Perhaps that’s the surprising part, the part of the equation which makes it so difficult for people to believe manifestation is a reality!

You might be wondering what the requirements are for a successful manifestation. The answer is – something surprisingly simple!

First of all, as you might guess from what I’ve written above, you need to have faith – absolute faith that the universe will respond to your demands as and when you make them.

Second, you need to have conviction, firm belief, that what you’re trying to achieve is possible for you. It’s no use attempting to get something that you see somebody else, who may be more intelligent or more enlightened or more skilled than you, manifesting or  creating in their life.

This is a personal process, one which needs to be adapted to your particular level of personal development and spiritual evolution.

And then of course, in addition to all of this, you do need to take some kind of action. It is here perhaps where we meet the biggest obstacle to most people’s experience of manifestation.

They may not know what kind of action to take, or they may not have the confidence to take action that will drive them in the direction of their desired objectives.

Yet, in a sense, you don’t need to take massive action, or stretch yourself to take big steps toward your goal – you only need to make small steps that move you in the general direction in which you want to go.

It goes without saying, I think, that if you are seriously trying to do this, then your motivation has to be sufficiently intense and serious to provide the universe with a good enough reason to help you achieve what it is you’re trying to manifest or creating your life.

Perhaps the expression “a good enough reason” is the wrong way of putting it; the universe doesn’t require justification for your desires – it will manifest whatever you want, provided you apply sufficient emotional energy to the process of doing so. When those criteria are met, the universe is at your disposal, and you can have whatever you want!

Because we are all brought up in a society where there is an ethic of “you must work hard to achieve anything”, some people find it hard to believe that manifestation is real, and they give up trying as soon as the first disappointment hits them.

(Which generally means the first time they fail to manifest something they are trying to get hold of – a failure which is often caused by a lack of emotional energy or desire, and sometimes by simply not applying the techniques consistently.)

Another source of disappointment is when the universe produces something that a person hasn’t asked for, something which turns out not to suit them in the longer term.

I’ve always seen this is an aspect of spiritual evolution: that the universe can sometimes give you things which are not what you really need or desire, almost as a kind of spiritual lesson which is intended to help you understand that the best reason for manifesting anything is because it feeds your soul, that it is, in fact, your “soul purpose”.

Think of this, if you can, as a test by the universe, something designed to check if you’re really serious about overcoming the obstacles to manifesting reality in the way you would like to experience it in your life.

Video – art of manifesting

The Archetypes and Manifestation

In the next series of posts, we are going to look at why manifestation often fails to work for people.

We’ve all read the information, and we all know the theory – but somehow the results we want still continue to elude us. I recall that the leader on a Silva Mind Control course, many years ago, kept repeating one thing about manifestation (though the course did not label creative energy in that way) which stuck in my mind. This was what he said: you must absolutely believe,  without a shred of doubt, that you can (and will) get what you want. Otherwise it will not work.

And herein lies the key to most people’s failure to manifest what they want: at some level, they do not actually believe that they will get what they want.

Now, it is interesting to consider what that might mean. Most of us believe manifestation works – we aren’t trying it out of desperation, or out of some mere whim. But we may not believe that we will get what we are trying to get – and, yes, this will stop the manifesting energy dead in its tracks.

A lot of people try to generate prosperity through manifestation. That serves as a great example of what we are talking about. Money is such an issue in our society – we all hold many unhelpful or destructive beliefs about money and our relationship to it. Truth is, most of think we are, at some deep level out of awareness, not worthy or good enough. This is reflected in our financial status – in our society, money is a direct reflection of how worthwhile we believe we are.

The importance of self-belief in manifestation

And so, to understand the failure of manifestation, we need to examine how these deep-seated beliefs about ourselves develop. We need to examine how they are held in the unconscious mind. And we need to understand what we can do about them, and how we can change them,  so that we really can manifest what we want. To understand how this works, we need to understand several simple yet profound concepts about the human personality. These concepts are archetypes. shadow, and shadow work.

In the next few posts we will look at all of these issues so that by the end of the series, you have a grasp of how you are effectively stopping yourself from manifesting, and what you can do about it. We begin by examining the concept of the human archetypes.


Video – archetypes

We look like separate individuals, each of us walking around in our own body. Despite this appearance of separation we have more in common than we realize, including some primal genetic patterns known as “archetypes”, which are laid down deep in our unconscious minds. Take an example: if I say the word Warrior, you instantly know what I mean. And the same is true if I speak of a Magician or a King, or a Father or a Mother. These are all human archetypes, and while they can vary in detail, the basic values and qualities they embody are similar.

And no wonder. We are all human, and we share the same genetic inheritance. Sure, we differ in physical appearance, but essentially our genetic inheritance is one and the same: human. So no wonder that we all instinctively understand the idea of human archetypes. Whether these archetypes are male and female, young or old, we intuitively know what they are, how they operate, and what role they play in our lives.

Nowadays most people see archetypes as being stored in the unconscious mind rather like permanent programs etched into the memory of a computer chip. The unconscious seems to have unlimited storage capacity, holding not just our archetypal programming but perhaps also a memory of every event that’s ever happened to us. It also holds all the basic biological “programs” we need to stay alive including those which control digestion, respiration, circulation of the blood, and the chemical balance in our tissues, among many others.

Video – archetypes and manifestation

So what do archetypes actually do for us? Perhaps it’s most useful to think of them as genetically determined programs which can control various aspects of our personality and shape the way we express ourselves in the world. The exact way in which a particular archetype will be expressed in each of us will be influenced by our individual experience of life and the culture in which we live.

Over the years, different psychologists have come up with different names for human archetypes. Some of them we would all recognize: to take another example, we all intuitively know what is meant when we hear of the female archetype of the Mother. If you pause for  a moment to consider what the word “Mother” means to you, you’ll most likely have conjured up your version of the Mother archetype in your mind.

Equally, you probably also have a sense of what the Wise Elder archetype might mean in a man or a woman. And you will certainly know how a King or Queen archetype might look.

The important point about these archetypes is that they’re common to all humanity. They’re like an internal foundation upon which every man and every woman builds their own particular experience of life. To make the point again, the way in which each archetype finds its expression in an individual man or woman will be shaped by what they learn for themselves, what they learned about life from their parents, and influences from their cultural background.

Although there are many different archetypes which describe aspects of human experience, there are four fundamental  archetypes which embody the most important parts of our personalities with extraordinary precision.

These four archetypes are the Sovereign (the King or Queen), the Warrior, the Magician, and the Lover. Many writers have adapted those names and come up with words they believe are more representative of the energy in each archetype. For example:

Sovereign = Heart Centred Leader, Chieftain, Chairman, Elder

Warrior    = Action Taker, Worker

Magician  = Transformer, Thinker, Wise Man or Woman, Sage

Lover       = Lover, Sensor, Feeler, Connector

All of these names are useful to represent the main areas of our personality. But whatever you call them, these archetypes exist within each one of us almost like different individuals. Certainly they are separate and distinct areas of your personality and each of them carries a particular energy.

And this is where the concept of archetypes becomes very useful in working with the behaviours that you want to change. In my work with men and women, the most common questions I’m asked, one way or another, are “Why am I behaving this way?” “Why do I feel like this?” and “What can I do to change the way I think, feel, and behave?”

The answer is – start by looking at how you express each of these archetypes. When you do this it becomes easy to see why you’re behaving in a certain way and, more importantly, it’s much easier to change unhelpful or unwanted behaviours into something that really supports you in your life and in the world.


Reproduced with kind permission of the author from 

How Your Shadow Side Holds You Back (and What You Can Do About It)

What stops you manifesting?

The answer is your shadow. Those beliefs, thoughts, feelings and energies which you are not consciously aware of, but which exist in your mind at some deep level. 

For example: “I don’t deserve it.” “I’m not worthy.” “I’m not clever enough to make money.” “No-one will ever love me.” “Life is a struggle.” “This isn’t for the likes of us.” And so on. 

These are the beliefs which each and every one of us holds unconsciously. They are the beliefs which we form in childhood due to what we learn about ourselves as we grow up. (Some people think they can be transmitted culturally, or even genetically. The latter is part of the science of epigenetics.)

And because these beliefs are held in the unconscious, we are not even aware of them. But they control every aspect of our lives, and direct us outside of our awareness to achieve or manifest certain outcomes – or not, depending on whether those beliefs are positive or negative.

But while some people succeed in manifesting money, and success of this kind appear to follow them wherever they go, others are driven by a poverty consciousness. And for these people, accessing these “core beliefs” held in shadow and changing them are essential before they stand any chance of manifesting success and achievement.

These shadow beliefs are what we conventionally think of as the result of childhood emotional woundings, which in turn are the product of the inhibition or repression of different archetypal energies. It’s important to understand the role of shadow held in the unconscious in blocking manifestation. 

Beyond this, it is a simple fact that lack of achievement for dysfunctionality in any area of life is probably the product of a shadow belief system. Suppose, for example, that  you carry a belief that you cannot get what you want. (This is, by the way, very common in society today.) We would regard this as a Warrior wound. In other words, for some reason your Warrior archetypal energy is blocked. ( Read about this here.)

Or you might simply believe you are not good enough to receive financial abundance. This could be a King or Sovereign archetypal wound. (Read about this here.)

Video – The King Archetype

In all such cases, the solution is to do some shadow work. Get the help of a facilitator trained in shadow work and find a way to take the energy out of your unconscious and make it conscious. 

Then you open up whatever you’ve hidden away, out of sight if not out of mind. And then you can transform it into something more useful and helpful that serves you better in your life today.

It’s an approach that takes the parts of yourself you stuffed away as a child out of your shadow and brings them back into the light. And it honours them, heals or transforms them if necessary, makes them into a positive and helpful part of you, and finally integrates them into the essence of who you are today.

There are many names for this approach: “Healing The Shadow”, “Emotional Process Work”, and “Shadow Work”, for example. But whatever you call it, this is all about getting your sabotaging, holding-back, limiting and now generally unhelpful parts out of shadow. And it’s also about giving you control over them so you can access their energy in a helpful form. In short, these techniques can make your shadow energy available to you in a healthy, emotionally mature way to use in your life today. And if that sounds exciting, so it should!

You’ll discover how to step into your power. You’ll become more emotionally mature, stronger, more independent, more balanced, and better able to give and receive love.

You’ll be better able to set healthy boundaries and you’ll become a stronger and more powerful leader in your life. You’ll develop the strength and will to get things done more effectively, think more clearly, and stop making harsh judgments about yourself and others.

You’ll develop a much easier relationship with love so you can give and receive genuine love freely. In fact just about every other problem that you have in your interactions with other human beings will become more and more manageable and simply melt away over time.

Perhaps you think that sounds too good to be true. But just for a moment imagine how your life might look right now if you’d enjoyed an ideal childhood in which your needs were fully met. A childhood throughout which you were loved and supported unconditionally and where you were allowed to express your personality exactly as you wished. A childhood in which you could grow to embrace all your qualities and values and learn how to manage all the emotional energies within your personality.

Imagine what your life would now be like if you’d had the opportunity to fully access every part of your psyche rather than having to use your energy in repressing parts of yourself that were unwanted or unsafe to express for some reason in your childhood. Do you think that might have made a difference to your life? Yes?

You are absolutely right; your life would most likely have been very different. Now you can bring those changes to life anyway. Through Emotional Process Work, Healing the Shadow, Shadow Work – call it what you may – you can fully grow into your true self, overcome the blocks of emotional development which have held you back until now, and heal your emotional wounds. And you can do this no matter what stage of life you have reached. (Best of all, and most powerfully, of course, is to actually study the art of shadow work facilitation yourself and qualify as a practitioner.)

What’s even better is that this approach is equally effective for all of us, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin or any other characteristic which appears to separate us. For when we say that in our workshops and one-to-one consultations, “All of you is welcome here”, we really mean it. And we mean it because our work focuses on the one thing we all have in common – our humanity.  

The Shadow and Manifestation

The Shadow

Where there are archetypes there is also shadow. Your shadow is the part of your unconscious where you put all of the energies, emotions, thoughts, feelings and behaviours that for one reason or another were not acceptable when you were a child. Not acceptable, that is, either to you or to the people around you. And shadow work is, unsurprisingly, the act of exploring the shadow.

Robert Bly described how a child is born into the world with a 360 degree personality – an all-round, complete, whole personality. As Alice Miller put it, this is the child’s gift to the world: he arrives in the world “trailing clouds of glory”. Fortunate indeed is the child who discovers a world which welcomes his wholeness and glory, the gift of himself just as he is.

Many, perhaps most, children do not. Instead they soon discover their parents do not want the gift they have to offer, at least not in the form on offer. Their parents wanted something different. A boy rather than a girl, or a girl rather than a boy. A quiet baby or a compliant child. A “good” boy or a “feisty” girl. An amenable child, not a defiant, angry one. A placid child, not a needy, demanding one.

And so a child soon learns which parts of himself need to be suppressed for maximum love to be bestowed upon him; and the parts which are not wanted by the world or the people in it usually get shoved forcibly into the child’s unconscious, into what Robert Bly aptly termed the “Shadow Bag”.

This attempt to suppress those parts of his energy which are not acceptable to the all-powerful adults, siblings, or peers in his world can massively impact every aspect of a child’s later life. So much so that one day he (or she) may well arrive at the door of a counsellor or psychotherapist’s consulting room. He may be looking for help as he tries to find the parts of himself that he senses are missing, or he may be wondering why he constantly experiences unhelpful and repetitive patterns in his life. In short, he wants to know what is in his shadow.

Talking therapies can, without doubt, be a great introduction to self-development work. Yet there is often a point where deeper work is called for, and this may be where the pursuit of one’s true self could be made easier by consulting a man or woman trained in a self-development system such as Emotional Process Work, Healing The Shadow, or Shadow Work. Men and women so trained (see this for details of how that training takes place) can help you explore your shadow and reincorporate the energy it contains into your whole being in a healthy and useful way.

The shadow and manifestation

A shadow work facilitator or “Magician” understands how and why things are put into shadow in the first place, and knows how to get them out again. With this training, the coach, counsellor or therapist will be better able to get the repressed material out of shadow and integrated back where it belongs, in its owner’s consciousness. 

Later in this website we’ll take apart the shadow and look at it from the inside out. For the moment it’s convenient to simply think of it as  made up of the parts of yourself you attempted to hide, repress and deny as a child. And although the word shadow conjures up darkness, let’s not forget that many positive energies are repressed as well.

To take a simple example, children often repress their power, their magnificence, and their glory. These are all qualities that make them stand out and shine in the world – or at least, qualities that could make them stand out and shine in the world if they were supported emotionally in their growth through life.

The problem is that our culture can be very hostile to Sovereign energy, particularly in children. The unthinking small-mindedness of parents, other adults, siblings, teachers and friends doesn’t necessarily encourage children to show themselves in all their glory. So into the shadow bag goes a child’s “golden” qualities as well as his “darker” energies (all of which are a natural part of being human, remember).

There’s a big problem here. What you put into shadow doesn’t lose its energy – far from it. Imagine a child who puts his anger into shadow because his parents don’t like that particular energy in their little boy. Think of a child who suppresses his tears and pain because Dad doesn’t like his little boy crying; in fact Dad thinks it shows the boy is a sissy, and somehow the boy knows that, even though Dad may not explicitly say it. The message always gets through somehow. Regrettably, many times the message couldn’t be clearer, for the child is directly told, harshly and cruelly, about his inadequacies and shortcomings. (This is the foundation of child abuse, a strange aspect of human behaviour which has pervaded society through the ages.)

And so to please his all-powerful parents, on whom the child knows his survival depends, the child may well repress his anger, sadness and weakness – or any other quality his parents don’t accept or approve of.

But putting these feelings and behaviours out of sight and out of mind into the unconscious mind, into the shadow bag, doesn’t take their energy away: in fact their energy can intensify. They are a part of who the child is and they continue to be energetically supported by his psyche. The question is, how do you look at what’s in your shadow – and how do you take repressed thoughts and feelings out of shadow and own them again?

Over time this energy may grow to a level where it can’t be contained any longer by unconscious repression. Then it may emerge unexpectedly and uncontrollably in a distorted form. This is almost always unhelpful or even downright destructive to the child or the adult man whom the child has become.

These shadow energies can make us behave in ways that cause difficulties in our relationships. Shadow energies make us do things which cause embarrassment and shame. They often lead to low self-esteem and self-criticism. They may manifest as strong emotions: anxiety, guilt, depression, shame, rage, jealousy, sadness, and so on. They are irrational. They make us say things we regret and which destroy harmony and goodness in our relationships. We do not understand what comes out of our shadow, and no matter how much we try to control it, nothing ever seems to change. 

The point about shadow energies is that they’re out of our awareness (it’s dark in that shadow bag!) and when they emerge into the light they often do so unexpectedly and unhelpfully. They get in the way of us expressing who we are, getting what we want, telling others what we expect and desire, and expressing our needs. To put it another way, shadow energies stop us being who we truly are.

Our shadow can prevent us from getting into relationships or ruin existing relationships. It can keep us lost in a cycle of addiction, unable to stop self-defeating behaviours. Shadow makes people compulsively behave in ways which are harmful to them and seek out things which are destructive to them, and it all happens in a way they can’t understand and which makes no rational sense.

In fact your shadow lies behind every dysfunctional, unhelpful, unexpected and unwanted thought, feeling and behaviour you’ve ever brought into the world.