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Contents copyright 2024 by Valerie Harms

False ideas about "shadow"

In way too much psychological writing you get the impression that our "shadows" are all the personal qualities we are ashamed of. Shadow equals bad aspects about ourselves. The fact is that the term "shadow" came about to represent those qualities that we allowed the culture to repress in us. Thus, if we felt different in any way or if we wanted to make art or think about meaning or live by the ocean and surf and rescue dolphins, and if our parents or teachers tried to steer us in different directions, then our desires and aspirations were repressed. They became hidden in the darkness, our shadow. We didn't show our true desires to our bosses or families either when we suppressed them to fulfill what we thought were cultural aspirations. Our shadows therefore really contain our best talents, gifts, and aspirations. Instead of allowing one's light to shine, one hid it under a bushel in the darkness. No one can explain this better than Clarissa Pinkola Estes on disk 2 of her new Mother Night series. She has been one of my great mentors because she is such an evoker.  Read More 
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Holiday helping at Macy's

This season I worked in the fragrances department of Macy's in order to earn some needed money. I learned a lot. For instance, how to operate their cash register but I flubbed often with complex returns and coupons. The best part were the other "associates", the women dedicated to their shifts. The team ofwomen talked to each other in downtime and worked hard the rest. The cosmetic "specialists" are really worth talking to for advice as they are specially trained and know their products. Managers were rarely seen and hardly heard from. I had to look hard to find out any information after the initial hiring. Pay was low. Too much time is spent just waiting on one's feet for a customer to arrive. Then much engagement takes place. I'm one of those shoppers who doesn't want to be helped but that's not Macy's policy. The question arises why do people buy things? What prompts them to spend money? That's true for books one authors as well as perfumes. The only way I survived Christmas Eve was to watch two movies. Thank heavens, my son's family called.  Read More 
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