Integrating shadow work
In this blog, I wanted to write a quick eight-step process when it comes to becoming aware of your shadow self and how doing your shadow work will lead to healing and taking back your personal power.
Shadow work is the process of integrating the parts of our personality that have been repressed and made unconscious, otherwise known as our “shadow self” or the “shadow aspect” of ourselves.
1. Look at what triggers you and the negative response you have towards the trigger.
2. Ask yourself where does this response (emotion, harmful physical reaction, negative thought, or belief) come from that came up when responding to the trigger.
3. To get to the root of it — think back to when and how your response to the trigger may have got started. (usually from childhood)
4. Be vulnerable and open to what could have caused the issue.
5. By sitting and focusing on the issue is how you bring it back into your awareness. (We cannot heal what we do not first acknowledge.)
6. Transmute the negative energy around that shadow aspect of yourself by feeding it positive energy through positive thoughts. (If it’s childhood related, this would be a good time to visualize giving your childhood self a hug.)
7. Look at your conditioning (beliefs) around the shadow aspect and ask yourself by having this belief what is it costing me? Does having this belief benefit me? (Probably not, so destroy that belief by doubting it and knowing it is a belief that you can let go of.) This makes it less powerful.
8. Adopt a new more powerful belief instead. For example, If the trigger brought up a response that stemmed from feeling unloved as a child, then tell yourself you are loved now.
We build an emotional connection around the things that happened to us, especially as a child growing up. We repress and hide away the emotions and beliefs that are surrounding the shadow self because we don’t want to look at it. It doesn't make us feel good. BUT the shadow qualities we deny within ourselves, we will see in others.
The shadow side is a part of us that is unloved and neglected. Whatever we neglect within ourselves, we project onto others. Be the destroyer and the healer of your own mind, body, and soul.
Remember working with your shadow side is a healing process. It takes time, anywhere from months to years and the process can come in cycles depending on how much trauma and triggers you have. Don’t rush it and always BE KIND TO YOURSELF throughout the process.