"The shadow life occurs when writers, painters, dancers, mothers, seekers, mystics, students, or journeywomen stop writing, painting, dancing, mothering, looking, peering, learning, practicing. They might stop because whatever they just spent long with did not come out the way they had hoped, or did not receive the recognition it deserved, or countless other reasons. When the maker stops for whatever reason, the energy that naturally flows to her is diverted underground, where it surfaces whenever and wherever it can. Because a woman feels she cannot in daylight go full-bore at whatever it is she wants, she begins to lead a strange double life, pretending one thing in daylight hours, acting another way when she gets a chance.
When a woman pretends to press her life down into a nice tidy little package, all she accomplishes is spring-loading all her vital energy down to shadow. "fine, I'm fine," such a woman says. We look at her across the room or in a mirror. We know she is not fine. Then one day, we hear she has taken up with a piccolo player and has run off to Tippicanoe to be a pool hall queen. And we wonder what happened, because we know she hates piccolo players and always wanted to live on Orcas island, not in Tippicanoe, and she never before mentioned anything about pool halls."
Women who run with Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
chapter 8 Self-preservation: identifying leg traps,
and Poisoned Bait