Tango: the social or Argentine form of tango is a dance where you embrace the ‘other’ (your partner) and then lead or follow improvised steps.
Shadow: a Jungian term with many interpretations. Mine is: the character qualities, emotions or versions of ourselves that we put away in our unconscious and label the ‘not me’ because it does not align with our idea of ourselves.
Shadows can be positive or negative and often are projected on others. The positive projection can lead to putting the object/person of our projection on a pedestal, the negative to labeling the object/person as bad or evil. Either way it is a waste of energy and good connection---with ourselves and with others. If we admit and see our shadow there is less inner and outer conflict.
What do I mean by ‘tango with your shadow’? First is the invitation: I want to know more about this hidden part of myself. I am willing to not like myself. I am willing to consider that I could do things as wonderful as my most admired people.
Next is the observation phase: Who do I label with generalized criticism or praise? (He is always so stupid! She is the most wonderful woman in the world!) Deconstructing these statements can lead to insights and new directions such as, ‘What does this tell me about myself? Is there a part of me that has these qualities?”
Thirdly, I firmly take the leader position and embrace my shadow while gently leading it step by improvised step into new patterns and possibilities, all the time listening to the music and to the shape of who I am leading. The music provides a flow that makes change easier. The music can be kind words of acceptance or just being understanding of what has created the shadow.
Energy is released and relaxation occurs. It is a good dance.
Kristi Magraw is known for having developed a unique synthesis of Eastern healing (Five Element theory) and Western ways of working with the mind, called the Magraw Method, which she established in 1979. This method uses metaphoric language and release techniques to help people heal physical and emotional pain.