As a beginner, the word shadow work may seem scary and may bring negative emotions. You might think it concerns only the dark side of our lives. However, it is far from that. It’s all about accepting ourselves and getting to understand our dark and light side.
Your shadow is that part of yourself that you hide or deny either consciously or not. These are habits formed over time, and most times, you will not understand why you did what you did. The more we bury this part of ourselves, the more it grows and, we fail to see our contribution and responsibility in how we are creating our lives.
The more we ignore, it manifests as repeated patterns. You may end up feeling stuck in life, not motivated to pursue your dreams or, you end up projecting your fears onto others. Then you blame the other person instead of looking deep within to analyze how you also contributed.
Shadow work may not be easy and it might be uncomfortable. Your shadow is not something to be ashamed of rather, these are parts that you need to work on. It’s a part of you and it’s not all about your negative side. You can learn a lot about your gifts and talents that you are not aware of yet. It’s a rewarding practice as you get to understand yourself better and own your dark side.
As a beginner how do you start working on your shadows? Read ahead as we delve into five tips to help you get started.
1. Get to Know Your Shadow
Before anything else, you will want to know your shadows. Find time in your schedule where you can be alone with no distractions for at least 30minutes. You can create your ritual to feel comfortable and at peace. Light candles make herbal tea, light incense to calm you down, or take deep breaths.
When you are ready and relaxed, take a pen and paper. Think of behaviors that annoy you the most in a person. When someone close to you does something that makes you angry, it means that whatever they are doing may remind you of parts of yourself that you would rather not ever show.
Write them down and be honest when you are doing this exercise. When you are done, go through the list. The list will describe your shadow self.
You might feel attacked and it’s a tough process. But, it’s best, to be honest with ourselves and the roles we play. It will also allow us to show compassion to our loved ones by letting them be.
2. Be Aware of Your Triggers
What is that one thing that gets you from zero to a hundred real quick? These are triggers and they can tell a lot about you and your past traumas. When you get affected or you overreact over something you don’t understand, it means you are dealing with unresolved trauma.
However, don’t suppress the feeling. Everyone has triggers however healing this part of yourself is the road to your self-discovery journey. They may be memories from childhood that you have buried deeply.
The neglected parts of ourselves are with us. Hence, causing us to react this way. The next time you get triggered, don’t feel ashamed to find out why it happened.
You have gotten to know your shadows and triggers. Now it’s time to accept them and give yourself love unconditionally. One way of doing this is through meditation. Find a quiet place that you can sit down uninterrupted for like 30minutes. Get comfortable either by sitting down straight or lying down.
Inhale and exhale deeply for 3minutes. Picture a white light flowing inside you healing every part of your body protecting you. Once relaxed, call out to your shadow.
The shadow might be a quality in the list of what you wrote, a part of you that is hard to accept. Invite your shadow and ask them what they want you to learn. You may have some feelings arise.
If you don’t feel anything, it’s ok no pressure. Your shadow may be a child version of yourself when all you needed then was a parent’s loving touch or acceptance when you had your meltdowns. You can hug that inner child and assure them of unconditional love and that you will never leave them.
When you are meditating, connect with yourself and feel that white light passing through you. Healing your shadows and protecting you. Open your eyes slowly as you come back to the physical world. Take time to journal the feelings you felt while meditating and let them go.
4. Write a Letter to Yourself
Find a perfectly peaceful environment. Write your shadows a letter addressing everything you feel. Be honest. Write down how much pain it has caused you or if you love it, why you do. Write to it on how you are going to heal yourself. Write however you feel without any pressure or acting perfect.
Once done, ask how it will help you learn about yourself more and how to heal your past wounds. Sign the letter and burn it up. Once you get the ashes, blow them into the wind as you release yourself and welcome change into your life.
5. Write Shadow Work Affirmations
Another easy way to work on your shadows is by reciting affirmations to yourself on healing. Affirmations help to reprogram your subconscious self with positive beliefs. You can search online or, you can write a few that resonate with you.
Recite each affirmation daily in the morning. You can take a healing bath as you listen to this ten-minute healing frequency from mother nature.You can create beautiful wallpaper affirmations to use on your laptop or phone. You can also write the affirmations on sticky notes and place them on your dressing mirror. Read these affirmations daily as you dress up for work.
Example of shadow work affirmations you can use:
I love myself unconditionally and I own every part of myself.
I honor my shadow.
I am not ashamed of my shadow; it is a part of myself that needs a little more loving.
I let go of my shadow and I heal the little child in me.