During this challenging time, many have been given the opportunity to pause and take a look at themselves a little closer than usual.
This week I am leaning into sharing with you a process that I use in my therapy practice called Shadow Work!
You see... Shadow Work is a process that I went through in my own self-discovery journey and find it helpful for others too.
It is a process of loving all part of Self!
Let me give you a little background on why I call this process Shadow Work.
When we run away from our shadow, it gets bigger and can look like a scary monster chasing us.
When we face our shadow and walk toward it, it gets smaller and much less scary. So the lesson here is to look toward your shadows or fears and face them head on with love.
"But that doesn't sound like fun!"
You're right. The journey of self-discovery isn't always fun but it certainly is rewarding. You will know when you're ready for it - I promise!
So let me share with you a few tips that can help you begin the Shadow Work process. Please know that this work isn't meant to be done alone. I share this with you so you can start to ask yourself the right questions and when you are ready, you can seek out the right support to help guide you on this self-discovery journey.
Alright... lets get to it, shall we?
3 Baby Steps to Embrace Your Shadows
Shine Light on the Shame - the first place I look to find a person's shadow is where shame and guilt shows up in their life. Most people don't know this but the word "SHOULD" is a shame word! Yup, that's right when you say something like... "I should've done it sooner" or "I shouldn't have said that" you are actually shaming yourself. This is a strong indicator of areas where our Shadow Self might live. For example, parenting shame (aka mom guilt), not feeling good enough in any area of your life, or even simply questioning every decision you make. So here's what you do... just begin to notice your words and how you speak to yourself, about yourself and towards others!
Your Greatest Fears - take a self-inventory of your greatest fears. Many times our fears are intertwined with our Shadow Self. For example, it could be the fear of failure, the fear of shining your light, or even the fear of letting your family down or losing people you love. Your Shadow Self will keep you playing small or prevent you from taking risks in order to maintain status quo. Looking at your greatest fears will help you to begin the process of loving all parts of yourself and walk through life in faith and trust.
Ask for Feedback - this might not be a baby step! But it is helpful nonetheless. Find someone who knows you well but is also kind and loving. It is important to find someone who will build you up instead of tear you down. Once you found this person, ask them for feedback about your blind areas... (remember my blog on the Johari Window? If not, go back and read that one). Ask your friend where you might be shying away from growth or fears that you might not even notice in yourself. If you do this with the right person, there's a good chance that this simple activity will improve your relationship (if done correctly). But remember... extra grace is required for this activity. BE KIND TO YOURSELF!
If any of you would love to learn more about Shadow Work or what it might look like for you, please don't hesitate to reach out!
Until next time, remember to face your shadow and embrace your fears! You are worthy of love and so is your shadow!
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