Peter Johnson & PiM

Insights Discovery & Deeper Discovery Licensed Practitioners

What shadow are you casting?

Sometimes when I go for a walk my mind is caught up with all manner of things, so I can cover some distance without really noticing anything. Often brought back to reality when something needs attention. Or, if on the hills, when a stop is needed to catch my breath, or have something to eat or drink.

On this day, I was walking with a friend, and we stopped to have a look at the view, and share a few thoughts. Also, to catch our breath. When sharing a common view, it is interesting just how much extra one can see, as each of us point things out to each other. Another walker also stopped to pass shared thoughts on the magnificent view, then asked if I knew what a particular landmark was. I shared the few bits of information that came to mind.

I was captivated by the tree you can see in the picture. A tree without leaf, on a dry field, casting a wonderful shadow. It looks like a tree on the plain of some hot and arid country, rather than England in the early spring. Yet is served as a good reminder that we all cast shadows. Sometimes we realise this, sometimes we don’t.

When we do realise that a shadow is being cast, we are often much more considerate of others, and the impact this may have. When we don’t, it can have consequences either positive or negative.

I hope you can remember a time when someone instinctively did something that had a positive impact you. It may have been something seemingly small, such as passing the condiments at the table, before you asked for them. It may have been something larger. I am sure you have instinctively helped others too.

Sadly, the reverse is also true. Where someone may have done something that had negative consequences. Unaware of the impact of the ‘shadow’ they have cast. As an example, only a few days after I saw this tree, I was in a quiet café, early in the morning. Someone was having a video call on their phone, it was set to speaker; totally unaware of the noise they were making. Unluckily, on the same day, I was in a restaurant at lunchtime, and someone was holding a zoom call at their table, similarly unaware of the noise they were making. Unaware, I hope, rather than uncaring.

Whilst I was slightly irritated, I thought back to the tree and the shadow it cast and wondered where I too was casting an unintended shadow. I was reminded of the words written by Carl Jung “Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.”

I will aim to become more aware of my shadows. How about you?
My best wishes,