Shadow work involves exploring our dark side, the parts of ourselves that we would prefer not to see or be seen by others. They can hold our deepest wounds and may cause us to believe that we are flawed, unlovable, undeserving, or unworthy.
Our shadow contains qualities we would prefer to leave hidden, attributes of ourselves that we consciously or unconsciously reject.
Looking at parts of ourselves we prefer to keep locked away can be painful. Shadow work focuses on deep healing through fully owning and taking responsibility for our shadow instead of avoiding, repressing, or ignoring it.
Facing the parts of yourself that we don’t like can feel daunting and terrifying. It’s easier to externalize and look at others, rather than go within.
Shadow work is not for the faint of heart. It requires commitment, persistence, and resilience. It requires us to explore our perceived flaws without judgment.
Shadow work cracks us open, encourages complete self-acceptance, and helps us rebuild our sense of self.
During shadow work, past traumas can resurface and trigger intense and exhausting emotions. Therefore, it’s advisable to avoid shadow work when feeling depressed or experiencing low levels of self-worth to prevent further spiraling.
A guide, coach, mentor, healer or therapist is recommended for assistance and support in the shadow work journey. Such a person will provide a space to process what’s uncovered along the way.
Self-care practices like journaling your thoughts and feelings can also help advance your shadow work by easing the intensity and lessening rumination. Other beneficial activities include nature walks, hikes, a dip in the ocean, listening to calming music, meditating, attending a yoga class, working out, or treating yourself to your favorite show.
Shadow work can seem intimidating to those who have never tried it, but it’s extremely useful for those who want inner transformation and deep healing. It can drastically increase self-awareness, helping us become kinder to ourselves and those around us.
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