Shadow work is the perfect tool to look at the things that are hidden in the dark (your dark side) and change these into something that’s more positive, light. We all have a shadow self, even the most “spiritually high vibe” person has a darker side. Not everyone wants to share that tough, and that’s okay too. But just know that we all have it, no matter how much “love and light” someone says to be.
The key thing about your shadow self, is to get comfortable with it. The scarier you become of what’s hidden in your own dark, the scarier it feels and the darker the thoughts get. Shining a light on these aspects, is all that it wants. Your dark side or shadow self wants to be seen, it wants to be acknowledged. All parts of it. That is all!
Fear the monsters no more
Look at it from this perspective: As kids most of us all had the same fear; the fear of monsters under your bed. The fear of those monsters got bigger and bigger, as you put more attention on those fears. So much so that you didn’t even dare to get out of bed, let alone check underneath your bed. But the moment you gathered some courage and DID check under your bed? “Hey, there’s no monsters there! Why was I so scared of it? Of nothing really?!”
The same goes for your shadow self. The more attention you put towards fearing your darker self, by either trying to ignore it (I don’t have a shadow self, I’m all love and light) or making it bigger than needed (it’s so scary, I can’t look), the worse it gets. So put on that badass look, gather your courage and go for it. Set it free by shining a light on it. And then? Feel how much lighter it actually feels.
How to do shadow work
- Observe yourself and question everything!
Take a closer look at how you speak, how you interact with others, what you think of others and yourself, what you focus on mostly. What things “trigger” you most during the day and make you feel angry, sad, greedy, selfish, jealous?
- Make time for inner work.
Take the time, daily or even multiple times a day, to sit with your emotions without any distractions. No phone, no TV, just you and your thoughts. During this time, check in with yourself to see how you feel at that moment.
- This is the time to ask yourself questions.
Based on your current feelings and experiences of the day, or the things you noticed while observing yourself throughout the day, you dive deep into the meaning behind it all.
Shadow work journaling prompts
Journaling is an excellent way to release emotions and thought processes that no longer serve you. It helps you strengthen you sense of self and builds self-trust. Journaling is also a very powerful way to act as your own counsellor, as it let’s you see your behavioural patterns. And aside from that, It’s the perfect way to soothe troubled emotions and work on your shadow self.
10 extremely powerful journaling prompts
Get your journal out (some pieces of paper do fine too), a pen and perhaps even some of your favourite crystals too. Using sage, incense or palo santo to clear away negative energies, is recommended before starting with any journaling session.
Make sure that you are fully relaxed and won’t be disturbed while doing this. Really set the mood for your shadow work. Once you’re relaxed, you can start journaling.
I recommend to simply write all your thoughts down. No thinking needed, simply writing everything down that comes to mind. Don’t know the answer to a question? Just write that down. “I don’t know the answer to this question.” Questioning why you even started this? Write that down too! “Why the hell am I even trying to do this?” Just keep on writing and soon enough you will find yourself being in a state of flow, where the words pour out of you onto the paper. This is actually when you are ‘stream of consciousness writing’ and when all things that need to come out, will come out. Don’t question the process, just keep on going and answering each question.
Here’s your 10 questions for Shadow Work:
- What am I feeling right now?
- What do these emotions want to tell me?
- What images/visuals am I seeing when I think of this emotion?
- What does this image want me to know or learn?
- What do I need right now?
- What am I avoiding?
- What would I like to hear from someone else about this?
- How am I holding myself back?
- If I were to show up NOW, as the highest version of myself, what would I be doing about this?
- What can I do today to move forward and grow into the highest version of myself?
As you write it all out, feel the release of emotions while putting your pen to the paper. Feel how you release your shadows, with each word that you write. And when you’re done, sit with it for a while. Become aware of how much lighter you feel and embrace that gorgeous sensation.
Love your Inner Child
Shadow work has a lot to do with your childhood and the experiences you had then. That is why it’s always a good idea to keep this in mind while journaling on thoughts and feelings. In most cases, once digging a bit, you will find an underlying reason as to why you feel what you are currently feeling. The underlying reason can often be traced back to experiences from your childhood.
Tend your inner child by sending him or her lots of love. Hug your inner child, tell him or her that it’s okay. That you are here to take care of him or her.