My Mom asked me many years ago what is the point of digging up the painful past and reopening old wounds? And why would anybody want to do that?
And indeed why? Good question.
What brought me to shadow work was my own discomfort and a strange but common phenomena. I couldn't help but notice that a certain unpleasant 'script/theme/story' kept repeating in my life with different characters but one common denominator, me. One day I thought, how is this possible that the same thing keeps happening to me but not to other people?
Why is this happening to me? How is this possible? Have you ever asked yourself these question?
This question led me to the obvious answer that it has to be something in me creating 'my story'. I wished I could figure out what that something was, and change my life. This seemed like a revolutionary thought at the time. Excited, I embarked of my journey of self discovery and meeting my own shadow.
What is the shadow?
Eckhardt Tolle calls the shadow the pain body, it is the unconscious aspect of our being that we do not identify with, that we are in denial to, feeling separate from.
This is simply part of us that is judged not good enough. Here we encounter the wounded child but also our wounded feminine and masculine aspects. The shadow holds our fears, our insecurity, our self-sabotage, self-sacrifice, self-punishment and other anti-life programs. Here we store unresolved past memories and unconscious beliefs that perpetuate suffering.
Do you have a shadow?
If you are in any doubt about your shadow side, just take a look at your life and see how happy you are.
You can observe the manifestation of the shadow in your life when the same problem keeps occurring or when the opposite keeps happening to what you desire.
Well known fact that only about 5% of your mind is conscious and 95% is your unconscious mind. This means that you are mostly unaware of what is really happening in your mind.
When you have a conscious desire to manifest something in your life (eg. Love through romantic relationship), but at the same time you have a contradicting belief (I don't deserve to be loved) in your unconscious mind, your unconscious thought is a much stronger point of attraction and more likely to manifest, regardless of your conscious intention or desire.
This is why we feel sometimes like 'I can't believe this is happening to me again.'
But what if there was a way to bring your conscious and unconscious mind into harmony and cooperation? What if you could resolve this internal contradiction and ease into the effortless flow of life? What if you could manifest with ease and confidence what you really desire?
What is shadow work?
In simple terms, shadow work is making the unconscious conscious. Bringing the light of awareness to the hidden parts of the psyche. This is usually a longer process that happens in cycles as the individual is ready to fully see and integrate oneself. There are many ways, tools and methodologies to integrate the shadow but temporary pain and discomfort is unevitable for those who choose to walk this path of self discovery and healing towards personal freedom.
The benefits of shadow work
Returning to my Mom's original question, why do this challenging and uncomfortable shadow work voluntarily? Why do any healing work at all?
My answer is simple, to be happy. You can measure the effectiveness of your healing work or spiritual practice simply by feeling more or less happy in general in life. And although we are all different in our unique desires, there are some basic elements that we all desire to feel happy and content. Freedom, creative expression, abundance, loving relationships, sharing and belonging, health, harmony with nature, inner peace, beauty are qualities and expressions of happiness that most of us desire.
1. Personal empowerment, alignment, internal guidance
Connection with your inner intuitive guidance system, following clear internal guidance, no need for external validation or approval, confidence, clarity and peace of mind
2. Physical health, vitality
Regeneration and rejuvenation of the physical body, optimal health, aliveness and energy.
3. Emotional balance
Ability to feel and express emotions in a healthy way, navigate emotional states, receptivity, relaxation.
4. Connection to the divine
Awareness of the sacred in everyday life, awareness of spiritual laws and our spiritual nature, connected ness to 'something greater'. Life as a living ceremony, creative expression, inspiration.
5. Shift in perspective from fear to love
Transcending victim-perpetuator dynamic, being a responsible creator and an expression of love. Loving relationships, clear, heartfelt communication, transparency. Abundance, conscious manifestation.
6. Destiny, higher path
Aligning with your higher path, ease, flow, synchronicities. Sharing your unique gifts with the world.
The ability to create what you desire to do when you desire to do it, where you desire to do it.
Shadow work is a vital tool to assist you to remove inner obstacles and bring yourself into alignment in order to access your full power. This work allows you to see and transform the unconscious blockages that keep you disempowered, separated and unaware. As a result of this conscious integration process of two different aspects of the mind, you enter into a state of connectedness and can access all of your potential and manifesting power.
In super simple terms if you do your shadow work your life will dramatically change for the better as you start creating all that you truly desire instead of what you do not want anymore in your life.
The only thing you have to loose is your baggage from the past that weighs you down.
Shadow work is a letting go, a liberation from the shackles of the past.
Let go…………..All that you can leave behind,……….and return to Love.
Remember, You are the healer and love is the medicine.