Shadow Work: Identifying Blocks
Would you like to realign your soul, remove the need to continue others’ pain and suffering, tackle beliefs about the religions of the world, and repair negative experiences with your family?
Well yeah, and it sounds great, but HOW?
By doing shadow work.
What Is Shadow Work?
Shadow work isn’t as scary as it sounds. It isn’t a villain inside of you that you must defeat. It simply is the practice of healing and self-growth that requires bravery, surrender, and acceptance. It is the opposite of avoidance and distraction. It is the act of diving deep into your soul and addressing the deep wounds that have been ignored for so long. We call these parts of ourselves the “shadow self.” It’s all about looking into your mirror.
The “shadow self” is a concept first coined by Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung, that describes those aspects of the personality that we choose to reject and repress. Our shadow is what we are insecure about, ashamed of, or frustrated with. Our shadow selves often hold the personality that we fear would not be welcomed, accepted, or loved by others; therefore, we keep them in the “shadows.” Shadow work is the practice of loving and accepting those parts of yourself and understanding the inevitable yin and yang of the human condition. It’s about looking in the mirror at the things we don’t want to see and have to deal with. It could be many things like fear, trauma, anger or hatred that we have buried deep inside, in the hope we no longer have to acknowledge it, and also in the hope it will all go away.
How can I be substantial if I don’t cast a shadow?
I must have a dark side if I am to be whole.
— Carl Jung
Does Your Shadow Self Need Attention?
Sometimes, we push uncomfortable feelings or memories so far down, we don’t even recognize what is tucked away in our subconscious mind. When issues are ready to be dissolved they often bring symptoms to the surface to get your attention and action. Here are some signs that your shadow self is begging to be seen and healed.
You judge others harshly and sometimes out of impulse.
We are all guilty of judging others in some sense. You may have caught yourself one time or another pointing out to your friend or colleague how ridiculous someone’s haircut looks. Deep down, you would hate if others singled you out in this way. Your ego is protecting itself and reassuring you that you are superior to your target of judgment. In truth, by judging others, you are judging yourself because we are all connected, right?
You have a quick temper and/or misguided anger.
Ask anyone who has ever worked in customer service. Someone had a bad day and one thing goes wrong with their food order and they’re inconsolable. The anger has reached its boiling point and is now being misguided. People are quick to have an attitude with those who they realize do not have the power to fight back. This illusion of “power” or “control” over another is the shadow’s way of compensating for feelings of helplessness or fear.
You often feel as if you are the victim.
Responsibility and accountability are the enemies of the shadow self. If it was our fault, that would be terrible. So we blame anyone other than ourselves.
You are often “triggered.”
A “trigger” is anything that reminds us of past trauma or something that we regret. They are messages that are meant to help us recognize something inside of us that still needs to be acknowledged and addressed. Triggers often show us the wounds of our shadow self, however, they are not perceived like that. They are perceived as weaknesses and are swept under the rug in the hope they will go away and not have to be faced. Out of sight, out of mind – literally.
You are “projecting.”
Whatever qualities we deny in ourselves is reflected back to us because like attracts like, so whatever we vibrate we attract. That’s why when someone is rubbing you the wrong way, or you feel annoyed, they are simply acting as a mirror to show you what you do not accept in yourself. It’s okay. We are not aware of our projections until we understand how we create our own lives. It takes conscious work to recognize we are doing this, and courage and strength to take steps to change it.
You are repeating patterns.
The uncomfortable cycles in our lives point us to our shadows. Our shadow self wants us to be aware and break these patterns so it will keep showing up until you are ready to free yourself – it can be relentless, and can sometimes get more obvious and in your face until you finally take notice. Observe your life and notice any recurring patterns that have happened, like bullying, being controlled, not being kind to yourself or others, and really ask yourself when this first happened. Keep asking yourself WHY.
How To Face Your Shadow
This type of healing isn’t a popular topic. I mean I truly get it because I’ve actually been there, and who wants to own up to having flaws or weaknesses, when you can ignore them and focus on strengths anyway? However, shadow work, your INNER work, is SO worth it. It gives us tremendous opportunities for growth and empowerment. It helps us improve relationships, gives us a clearer perception, enhances our energy and physical health, offers greater creativity, and SO much more. Denying the issues we have can lead to physical illness, depression, anxiety, divorce, insomnia, chronic pain, or worse.
Here are some examples of shadow work that will help you enhance your life:
The first step is becoming aware of your shadow. Recognize the not-so-great aspects of yourself and feel whatever you feel. There is no shame in the shadow self. Give your shadow the love, compassion, and acceptance it desires. It was born from a place of non-acceptance and rejection in the first place.
Don’t Dwell on your Negative Thoughts
Treat your thoughts as if they are clouds floating by. Let them come and go. Do NOT over analyze them or try to judge or fight them, simply observe and acknowledge them. Don’t let them take up your thoughts, time or energy otherwise they will become the focus of your reality and things will start to go downhill!
Review your childhood.
The shadow self usually has its roots in your early development. You can reflect on those times by sitting quietly and writing down memories that come up at the time, or you can sit down with someone that isn’t involved with your life to help you. It’s my opinion that friends and family members who are emotionally involved with you and your situations often cannot see issues and patterns. It’s not easy looking into yourself, but when a professional is outside of you and looking at your situation, they see much more because there is no attachment. They are wide open to finding things that you just can’t bring to the surface.
Use your triggers as an invitation to dive deeper.
Notice them. Accept and acknowledge them, and importantly, take a full step to the side and observe before reacting. NEVER make decisions or take action when you are emotional, whether you are upset or angry, because it usually doesn’t go well. Take time to calm yourself down then re-address the situation – you will see what’s really going on from a different perspective when you are more balanced.
The Bottom Line
The information above is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many exercises and forms of support to help you heal your shadow self and transform your life. This is exactly what I practice and teach. Consider taking the Voyage of Transcendence: Embarkation with me and other like-minded individuals, where together, we will work on changing perceptions, increasing awareness, and creating the amazing life that you deserve. You can work through the course at your own pace and at a time that suits you.
Have you read enough to KNOW this course is for you? You can follow your intuition and learn more about this life-changing course, and sign up here: https://voyageoftranscendence.com using promo code TRANSFORM for 67% off for a limited time only.
I look forward to assisting you on your Voyage of Transcendence!
I Love You.