What is Shadow Work?

Short Answer: It’s retraining your ego to be in alignment with your true values.

Long Answer:

Shadow work is an on-going process, because so long as you are alive, the ego will always be present. However, the amount you allow the ego to take “control” of your life is where shadow work comes into play. We are raised in a world that makes us believe we are our minds, but as you meditate more, you realize you are actually much bigger than you can even phathom.

This is definitely a new age concept, and meditation does not require anything more than just closing your eyes, and sitting with yourself. The length of time you meditate usually increases the level of denial you face in shadow work. However, it is very possible to just think with your eyes closed and call it meditation, even for long periods of time.

True meditation attempts to just be. This does not mean to “try” not to think, it just means observing your thoughts, without judgement. To just be means you become a bit impartial to your thoughts. With time you will realize the difference between actually meditating and simply thinking with your eyes closed.

Once you realize this difference in meditation, you feel the direct benefits from actual meditation. You become much more in tune with life in general, and you will notice how you are not as affected by situations on the days when you meditate vs. when you do not. It literally changes your vibration, from very fast thoughts controlling you, to becoming the observer of everything, including yourself.

After this phase of meeting yourself in actual meditation, shadow work can begin. It is recommended to first journal your conscious mind in some form- Examples include: Hand-written/typed journals, record an audio/video of yourself exploring your thoughts. Then explore your subconscious through any form of art, such as drawings, dancing, singing or even creating your own music, etc.

In truth, none of the recommendations above are required, but they are helpful to allow your conscious mind to be heard (the ego), before you begin hear your subconscious mind (the soul). Shadow work happens mostly through the subconscious mind, this is why journallying your dreams is also recommended.

Consider saying statements to yourself that you do not think are true about you, and be completely honest with yourself. Have there been instances in your life, where you have been hypocritical to your own ethics? Most people would agree they are not perfect, but sometimes we act as if we are. It is something called judging ourselves more charitably than others. This statement generally means that you “would not” let someone else get away with same mistake you “would” let yourself get away with.

If you think you are a good person, try challenging your mind with the following statements:

  • Have I ever white lied, cheated in any form, or taken something your are not entitled to?
  • Have I ever manipulated a situation to work in my favor, at the expense of another?
  • Have I in/direclty caused harm to co-workers, family, friends and/or significant others?
  • If any of these statements are true, can you still call yourself a good person?

No one can be 100% good or bad, but facing these types of truths about yourself, allows you to be more humble. You become more compassionate with others, as you relate to them better.

Shadow work is a limitless exploration of yourself. The more you face your true self, the more your ego will be in check, and the more in tune you will be overall. As you attune your mind, attuning your body becomes easier. Chakra work begins this self-exploration, and shadow work cleanses you deeper to create long-lasting healing.

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