What could be a more daunting endeavour than delving into your ‘dark side’ with the goal of transforming your life? It’s unnerving just to think about uncovering, acknowledging, and facing the parts of our personality that we don’t like. For many of us, our dark side consists of fears, untoward desires, secrets, or things we have good reason to keep repressed. If we don’t acknowledge and embrace these parts of ourself, they will speak and act for us.
Julie Hoyle’s books aim to demystify the process of uncovering your dark side. Her books break down the process into actionable steps. The end goal of this work is to become the best version of yourself. Pleasingly, Hoyle doesn’t advocate more repression or cultivating a creepily incessant good cheer. Instead, she provides a framework for naming the darkness which derails, rather than progresses life’s journey. If you’re afflicted by negative thoughts, self-sabotage, or an inner-inner darkness, and you’d like to develop into a healthier person, Hoyle is here with a direct yet personal approach.
The Shadow Work Series by Julie Hoyle
In Meeting the Shadow Hoyle defines much of our darkness as anger, or said another way, it’s ‘the container in which we hide the collective aspects of our personality and psyche we would rather not see’. She encourages readers to recognize and name their darker impulses by taking an ‘honest inventory’. Her writing is compassionate, non-judgmental, and well-researched. Personal pain, negative feelings, anger, and jealousy are not feelings that we should work to bypass. Denial of such feelings is a form of self-sabotage. Instead, we need to work to acknowledge them and learn to become the owner of this darkness. Learning to own your worst self, helps you become your best self.
The Shadow Work Diaries is a workbook intended to help readers implement change in their own lives. As well as practical exercises, Hoyle enlivens the text with personal examples of how to accept, but not be controlled by the darkness. She also presents case studies from her work as a counselor, which prove emotive and of academic interest. The workbook aims to teach readers how to tap into and use what you’re repressing to empower their life.
The book also features nine stories of transformation from others who have met and embraced their dark side.
Like Hoyle’s Honoring Your Sacred Self series, which guides readers to an awakened life, this series guides readers on a journey of acceptance and empowerment.