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SHADOW WORK

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate."

- Carl Jung


In 20th century, a swiss psychologist, Carl G Jung, spent his life to study the human personality and mind. Among his various developments in psychoanalysis, was the idea of the “shadow self.” He explains it as the hidden part of our human psyche. In his model of psyche, he talked about persona, the side which we show to the world on outside that hides our flaws and imperfections.

Therefore, in other words, shadow work is confronting the real self who is present in your unconscious mind and healing it from inside. Facing your shadow, helps you recognise your childhood traumas and forgiving your past self as well as your inner child.


Shadow work helps a person to face the demons which are often present in their unconscious mind and helps them to break free from the toxic cycles that we keep on repeating. The Cycles keep on coming back to you, the lessons keep coming back to you in different forms, what you fail to understand is the deeper meaning of the experiences.


Shadow work helps you in recognizing and releasing the negative beliefs which you have built due to conditioning of society, which often manifests itself as blockages or repetition of cycles.

Shadow self assists you in clearing blockages from your life, which sets your soul free. You accept, start loving and valuing yourself on a deeper level, which helps you manifest things wonderfully. You heal as well as grow on emotional, mental, physical and spiritual level.


How can you practice shadow self?

“As you live deeper in the heart, the mirror gets cleaner and cleaner.” — Rumi

Bringing the repressed material from your unconscious mind to your consciousness can be a painful task, it might bring up traumatic memories, suppressed painful emotions, dreadful embarrassing visions to your mind’s screen. These were the things you were trying to protect yourself from?

Isn’t it, right?


1.) Acceptance for Shadow Work

· The very first step of shadow work is ACCEPTANCE, accepting all that is without judgements. Accepting you, accepting the inner child in you, which you might have abandoned during the years.

· Once you accept the shadow, you start owing it. With owning comes the freedom, a sense of peace within yourself. Liberation from the things once you felt tied down.

· You become calmer and peaceful.

· It will help you love, value, accept, as well as respect yourself more than ever.

· It will help you shine bright.


2.) Journaling for Shadow Work

Over the past few years, I have fell deeply in love with the processes of journaling. I can’t imagine my life without journaling now! If you also enjoy spending time with your dairy, you can add shadow work to this interesting adventure and make it even more interesting.

Journaling has thousands of benefits of its own, that being the case it adds on to shadow work. You can ask yourself questions and journal the answers. (Be true to yourself silly! You are doing it for yourself as well as for the child that lives in you.)

One can start by asking thyself how it feels, and then proceed with some bold questions.

Here are few examples:

1. How is my inner child feeling right now?

2.What are the needs of my inner child?

3. What would I like to hear right now?

4. What is the most painful thing I have experienced till date?

5. How it has affected me and how it keeps on affecting me.

6. What are my triggers?

Internet is full of such questions; you can find and start journaling your answers.

It’s like an updated as well as fun version of diary entry.


3.) Observation in Shadow Work

Another way of facing your persona is by observing one’s own thoughts and actions. By not watering the weeds of negative sabotaging self-talk. Nevertheless, by becoming conscious and watering the right thoughts so that they can help you bloom and grow.


4.) Mindfulness and Meditation for Shadow work

“When you give your mind and body the rest it needs, your body knows how to heal yourself” .

— Emily Fletcher

Joyfully living in the present moment can not only help you connect with the beauty of your life, but it can as well as help you see the bliss of liberation from past and future. Taking out time from your stressful schedule and meditating even if its just for 4- 5mins can make a difference. Making it a habit as well as taking out time for your mind as you would take out time for resting your body while sleeping is extremely crucial. Connecting with your breath inhaling and exhaling, surrendering to the present space and time and letting everything go, can change your life forever.


5.) Releasing and healing childhood traumas with Shadow Work

“The wound is the place where the light enters” — Rumi

Healing childhood traumas is so important, as trauma stays inside our bodies, if not healed it manifests itself in the form of emotional, mental and sometimes physical disorders. Dutch Professor Bessel van der Kolk, in his book The Body Keeps The Score(2014), talks about how trauma is stored in our bodies, how it affects our brain, our ability to act and process emotions. He explores innovative treatments-from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga-that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Thus, it is very important for an individual to release and heal all the traumas. It can be a difficult process so one should talk to a professional who can help them, heal their self and see the light.

These are the few practices which can help you work on yourself, so that you can bloom and grow into a beautiful loving human, you are meant to be. Why? because you are worthy of it!


Thus, we can claim that shadow work helps you deal with the negative aspects of your personality, along with improving, it helps you live a happy, harmonious and healthy life. It not only helps you build happy and healthy relationship with oneself but with others as well.

Shadow work isn’t easy, it takes a lot of strength to face your demons, yet the journey can bring you a lot of unexpected experiences along the way.


As Jung says, “shadow work is the path of the heart warrior.”


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