WHAT IS SHADOW WORK?
To understand what Shadow Work is, you must first be conscious of your shadow. The shadow, according to Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, consists of those parts of ourselves we choose to repress or hide that we don’t like. We do that by pushing them down into our unconsciousness during childhood.
Several examples of shadow aspects are selfishness, aggressive impulses, being self-centered, arrogance, shameful experiences, and fears. These aspects lead to certain types of behaviors, such as criticizing someone else that has your flaws, letting people know you’re entitled, judging people unfairly, and always being the victim.
Many negative issues that affect your life can result by keeping your shadow hidden and locked away. These can include:
- Uncontrollable rage/anger
- Social anxiety
- Obsessive/compulsive disorders
- Sexual deviancy
- Limiting beliefs
Shadow Work is the process of exploring these aspects and is an endeavor you enter into on your own. There are various means to do this, but you must first acknowledge your shadow, and then embrace and befriend it. It is only by bringing these aspects to the surface that you can begin to live authentically, discover your inner wisdom and life purpose, and gain access to your Soul or Higher Self.
In my practice, when clients choose Shadow Work to connect with their intuition, I utilize other mediums to help facilitate the process since they are all interconnected. Sitting in silence is one way to start, so a Mindfulness Meditation practice is valuable to have in your toolbox. Learning to live in the present moment is key to connecting to your Higher Self.
Cultivating Self-Compassion and Self-Awareness are also key to being able to confront your shadow. Mindfulness Meditation helps foster non-judgmental awareness – the ability to stay in the present moment without involving the inner critic or other modes of judgment.
Journaling your emotions and new discoveries as you experience them – stream-of-consciousness writing – gives you an unfiltered window into yourself. Writing your insights and reviewing them later helps encode the discovery into your awareness.
“Why should I do Shadow Work?”
Working with your shadow allows you to slowly deepen many interior aspects of yourself and become loving and kind to that which you previously rejected, eventually allowing you to become more compassionate to both yourself and others.
When you work with the shadow you begin to reclaim the projections you put onto others. You turn inward and begin to gently listen and heal those aspects within yourself instead.
Shadow Work is how you integrate the aspects of your unconscious psyche into your conscious experience and allow the positive aspects of the shadow to express themselves. When properly used and channeled, the shadow-self has traits that you can use to further your own personal development.
Some of the traits include:
Shadow Work is not easy, but until you own your shadow, your shadow will own you. Wouldn’t NOW be the time to begin your journey to self-awareness and freedom to live the life you were born to live?
Schedule your free 15-minute assessment today!