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Romancing the Shadow: A Guide to Soul Work for a Vital, Authentic Life Paperback – February 2, 1999


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Frequently Bought Together

Romancing the Shadow: A Guide to Soul Work for a Vital, Authentic Life + Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature + Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche
Price for all three: $36.39

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Wellspring/Ballantine; Reprint edition (February 2, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345417402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345417404
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

According to authors Connie Zweig and Steve Wolf, each of us has shadows that hold forbidden feelings such as shame, jealousy, greed, lust, and rage. Left to their own devices these shadows will become destructive saboteurs--causing us to betray our loved ones as well as ourselves. It is not within our power to choose whether or not to have these shadows; however, Zweig and Wolf believe that it is within our power to take responsibility for our shadows and put them to productive use. Chapter by chapter Zweig and Wolf reveal the shadow side of love, parenthood, siblings, friendships, midlife, and work. Rather than deny or destroy these shadows, the authors show readers how to confront and "romance" them in order to access the energy, vitality, and creativity that usually lie dormant within our dark sides. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"This book is a great help to anyone trying to tune in and listen to the voice of the soul. At last, a practical mysticism!"
--Coleman Barks
    Poet-translator of The Essential Rumi

"A compelling, evocative book that brilliantly elucidates the shadow in straightforward language. Shadow-work is our greatest challenge to becoming a global village."
--Marion Woodman
   Author of Dancing in the Flames:
   The Dark Goddess in the Transforming Consciousness

"A consummate and timely work . . . An exciting entry into the growing literature on the dark side of the soul. There is deep wisdom and nourishment here."
--New Age Journal

"Romancing the Shadow enables you to peel away the layers of your soul and get in touch with the purity of Being that lies within you."
--Deepak Chopra
   Author of Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
   and A Path to Love

More About the Author

Known as the Shadow Expert, I'm author of the bestsellers Meeting the Shadow and Romancing the Shadow. My next non-fiction book, The Holy Longing, explored religious/spiritual aspiration and its shadow side. Several years later, I turned to fiction and published my first novel -- The Moth to the Flame -- about the life of Rumi. It's the inside story of how he became a poetic genius and fully illuminated Sufi master.
I'm also a former Esquire columnist, contributor to the LA Times, and executive editor at Jeremy P. Tarcher Publishing. I received a Ph.D. in depth psychology in 1995 and have worked in private practice since then in Los Angeles.
You can find videos and excerpts of my books on www.conniezweig.com, as well as info on my counseling and shadow-work practice, which is available anywhere via skype.

Customer Reviews

It is well written and easy to understand for the layman.
R. West
It was great at giving ways to use the Shadow as a way to deepen the connection to the self through integration the shadow parts.
John D. Skandalis
I highly recommend this book whether you are familiar with Carl Jung's work or not, it is a must read.
Pamela Wells

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Peter A. Kindle on June 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
Imagine yourself at a crowded conference table in a dark room. There are many present, but no role call. Each person is known only when he or she speaks, but you cannot speak. In fact, you sometimes cannot even hear. On the rare occassion that a light briefly shines, your eyes are usually closed. Every decision, reaction, thought and feeling in your life is determined by the voices at this conference. Usually the loudest and shrillest voice dominates. To the authors, this is a picture of your inner life.
The authors attempt to enlighten the reader so that he begins to bring the shadow people into the light. In essence the book is a call for conscious, intentional life. Instead of a mute observer and victim, the authors hope to strengthen the innermost Self so that the voices can be heard, not denied; heeded without dominating.
Like much written from a Jungian perspective, I found this book both frustrating and helpful. References to Greek myths multiply at an alarming rate, but I found that prior knowledge of the pregnant meaning of each myth name was not essential to benefit from this book.
The authors explore family of origin shadows, relationship shadows, shadows in the workplace and the midlife experience of shadow. Four primary defenses against self-awareness of the shadow occur as running themes: money, power, sex and addiction.
It is interesting that there is little or no reference to mortality, aging and legacy shadow issues. Perhaps the ages of the authors (at most 51 years?) has resulted in a less comprehensive view of shadow work. If so, I hope they will update this work in 20 years.
I recommend this work to others, like myself, who are consciously working through midlife questions. This book may open new vistas for these seekers. For those looking for a "how to" prspective, this book will be a disappointment, only nine pages provide practical advice.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By kstrom@tso.tso.org on September 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Life often seems to consist of coping with one crisis after another in almost every arena of our lives. This is not a bad thing; matter of fact, life without conflict, drama and challenges would be quite boring. However, when the crises in our lives come to resemble a recurring nightmare, or the repetitive refrain on a broken record, we are at risk of moving into a place of hopeless despair and abject depression, to say nothing about high anxiety. At times like this, boredom might
look like an idyllic yet unattainable alternative. Advisedly, most of us seek help when such patterns begin to govern our lives and psyches. Unfortunately, many self-help programs, therapies and spiritual paths, while temporarily easing our angst, ultimately do not assist us in our need to move in a different direction. In writing
Romancing the Shadow: Illuminating The Dark Side Of The Soul,
Jungian psychotherapist Connie Zweig and clinical psychologist Steve Wolf have filled this deep void by providing insights, approaches and self-exploratory orientations that to date have not been accessible to the general public. Hailed by such people as Deepak Chopra and Larry Dossey as an important breakthrough, this book delivers what is promised in the first chapter which is called "Introduction to Shadow-Work".
In the past, shadow work has primarily consisted of meeting and confronting the dark side of ourselves and society. Zweig and Dossey take this effective technique one step further by showing us how to learn "to live with it" by realizing that "romancing the shadow", as opposed to fighting or attempting to eradicate it, "is a lifelong challenge".
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By a seeker on April 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
Having just started to read about Jungian psychology, and taken an interest in the concept of the shadow, I approached this book in anticipation after reading Robert A Johnson's 'Owning your shadow'.While Johnson's book was concise and to the point,and very enjoyable to read, this book has been a boring read after the first couple of chapters. The ideas presented are sometimes repetitive and at other times just do not gel. You feel that you've read a profusion of sentences with a sprinkling of punctuations in between but with very little new information or insight as you go from page to page. I don't think I've learnt much, in theory or in practice. Will go to Debbie Ford's "The Dark side of the Light Chasers" now and hopefully find a more satisfying read.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
The authors of this book have done a wonderful job of demonstrating and guiding one on how to go about working with our shadow side, that side of us that we don't like, don't want to confront because we have been told that it's bad. They have made a distinction in that the idea is not to "integrate" the shadow as we're used to hearing, but to romance these things--feelings, characters--in the shadow, to give them their place. They have given many exercises to do and demonstrations on how to use the ideas. They have done a particularly good job of using sophisticated, scholarly ideas, while describing them in language that anyone interested in soul work can understand. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to understand themselves and their own actions, sometimes self-defeating actions, more fully.
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