Shadow work is the art of working with your unconscious mind to uncover the parts of yourself that you repress, are from trauma, and parts hidden from yourself. The act of being the unconscious into conscious awareness.
Short 10-minute video on the shadow.
Carl Jung talks about shadow work and developed 8 archetypes of shadow work.
Self: The center of the personality or psyche — your conscious awareness
Shadow: The dark and emotional aspect of your psyche
Anima: An image of an idealized woman that draws people into their feminine side
Animus: A part of you that has the capacity for reflection and self-knowledge
Persona: The mask you wear to show the world while you protect your inner self
Hero: A part of your psyche that can overcome evil and destruction
Wise old man/woman: A personification of the self that contains your wisdom
Trickster: A childish part of your psyche that needs gratification. (inner child https://spiritlovestudio.ca/2020/09/19/inner-child/)
Some amazing quotes by Carl Jung about human consciousness and unconscious behavior. “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.” “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
To begin doing shadow work, observing yourself is a key. The internal dialog as well as external experiences. A good place to start is with outbursts or triggers or reactions. Reactions include anything that brings up an emotion, be it positive or negative. Not addressing the negative triggers – like words, addictions, phrases, routines, or even places – can lead to an increase in stress and continuing to allow your shadow to grow. To work with your trigger, it is self reflection and asking yourself practical questions and honest questions to get to the root of the emotions coming up. https://spiritlovestudio.ca/2021/11/10/truth-honesty-and-triggers/
There is an amazing course that one of the beautiful people in my life found. I have also completed the course. I think it is crucial for assistance in working through personal difficulties and addition to a coaching/counseling practice. This is a free course and a great foundation and resource. https://www.thecentreforhealing.com/trauma-informed-certificate-for-coaches
Moving through difficult feelings and situations is a skill that is both useful and practical on our own personal and spiritual journeys. Learning self-regulation, reflection, and healthy responses to life are skills that we can all learn and start to use to assist us in life. Our personal journey will often lead us to a spiritual practice or a spiritual practice, which can lead us to deeper feelings and understanding of our spiritual path. There is no right or wrong way for healing to occur. There is only our personal way we experience transformation.
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As adults, we may not even be aware that we have experienced trauma in one way or another as children. I know that it took many years to realize my own experiences as trauma. https://spiritlovestudio.ca/2020/09/19/inner-child/
© 2014 & beyond Jenn Moreau
A few other articles on these topics: https://spiritlovestudio.ca/2018/09/30/light-dark-ego-and-the-dreaded-shadow/