Lighting the darkness: The shadow and its role in peacemaking and leadership

10:00 - 17:30
Jul 5th 2017

Shadow work can form part of an immensely rewarding personal journey. It is also an essential dimension to peacemaking. This workshop for leaders, peacemakers and change agents will explore how we can integrate lost parts of ourselves, personally and globally, to be more integrated leaders. With Toni Spencer. Scroll down for more details.

For more information contact Justine Huxley on 0207 496 1611 or


Students and jobseekers



Shadow work can form part of an immensely rewarding personal journey. It is also an essential dimension to peace-making, conflict transformation and systemic change. It takes the understanding of interconnectedness and applies it to the psychological dimension of human life.

The tendency to project what we label as negative on to others and deny its potential within ourselves is a dynamic that is often present at the heart of many conflicts – both personal and collective. For this reason, we cannot make a sustainable contribution to peace unless we understand and begin to integrate own our own shadow.

On a larger scale, the challenge we face globally – economic injustice, religious extremism, ecological collapse – are all signs of a way of life that has become dangerously out of balance. The understanding of shadow dynamics forms part of a holistic world view which can be a valuable lens to understand that imbalance – which is reflected within ourselves, and in our organisations and communities, as well as in the wider world.

Leaders and peacemakers who are committed to sustainable systemic change can benefit greatly from knowing how to work with awareness of projection and integration. To make conscious and own one’s own personal shadow is to make a significant commitment to peace. It is challenging work that requires fearless self-examination but ultimately leads to a state of wholeness and compassion that is greatly needed in our world at this time.  This work also liberates apparently negative qualities to reveal their hidden gifts. This frees repressed life force that can be used to energise and empower change. In owning the darkness we discover priceless treasure and strengthen our own light.

This workshop will use a blend of dialogue, personal reflection, imagery, light-hearted learning games, sharing and silence to explore the role of the personal and collective shadow in our own lives and on the global stage.

  • We will uncover and play with the hidden parts of ourselves that our family conditioning may have caused us to marginalise.
  • We will explore the qualities and dimensions of life that we have denied on a collective scale and which play a part in global crisis we now face.
  • And we will look at how this can change the way we work as leaders and peace-makers.

This workshop is aimed at leaders, peacemakers, systemic change agents, activists, faith practitioners and anyone seeking to understand themselves, or bring a deeper quality of awareness and empowerment to their work or social contribution.

“If you imagine someone who is brave enough to withdraw all his projections and deal with his own shadow – he has done something real for the world. He has succeeded in shouldering at least an infinitesimal part of the gigantic, unsolved social problems of our day.”

Carl Jung, “Psychology and Religion”

Toni Spencer is a skilled facilitator with an instinctual understanding for inner work.  She works with questions of resilience and ‘a politics of wonder’. She designs and facilitates learning journeys for change agents, informed by the understanding that “we are the leaders we’ve been waiting for”. She creates spaces where grit, grief, messiness and laughter are welcome, where innovation and wisdom can emerge, and essential un-learning can happen.

As a lecturer and course leader Toni has taught on the faculty of Schumacher College (Educational Practice, Ecological Facilitation as Leadership) and at Goldsmiths, University of London. As a participatory artist she has worked with Encounters Arts and The Feral Kitchen, also taking ‘The Work That Reconnects’ to activist communities at Occupy London and elsewhere.  She is a Trustee at Processwork UK and was on the Embercombe Council for 8 years.

With a BA in Fine Art and an MSC in Responsibility and Business Practice, Toni has trained in a diverse range of awakening practices and facilitation modalities, alongside many years of dancing, foraging and ‘living life as inquiry’. She is a mentor and teacher for Call of The Wild with Wildwise and Schumacher, and is helping develop further courses at the college on themes of sacred activism.

In 2016 Toni took herself to the desert for a six month retreat and initiatory journey.  In the deserts of Jordan she fell more deeply in love with humanity, silence and writing. She is still discovering what happens now…



Concessions discounts are available for students and jobseekers only.  Please send an email to with a brief explanation of your circumstances, and attach documentation (i.e. scan of current student ID) as relevant.

We offer additional support to make our courses accessible to diaspora communities, refugees and asylum seekers.  Please contact if you fall under any of these categories and are interested in participating in this workshop.