What is shadow work, is one of the first questions I am asked to those new to the term, however, to understand what is shadow work, we must first begin to understand how our shadow self is created. This article gives scope to this potent body of transformational, healing body of inner work.
From the moment we are born, we are exposed to trauma, wounding and conditioning, events which happen in our life and altar our natural state of being.
When these events happen, emotions arise in which we are not able to process at the time as they may be too strong, too overwhelming, or too profound for our mental and emotional capacity to cope with and therefore they remain unprocessed, they become suppressed in our unconscious mind.
There is also the possibility that when we suffer from wounding, trauma and conditioning, the potency of the event is so great we disassociate from our bodies in order to help us cope with the experience. In shamanic circles, this is often referred to as soul loss, where part of our soul becomes hidden from us and along with it any gifts, strengths or talents or modes of behaviour necessary for us to have a healthy, balanced and fulfilled life.
Our unconscious mind becomes the storehouse of all the memories and suppressed emotions of these woundings, traumas and conditioning, and it is from these our beliefs, behaviours, habits and our unconscious patterns are formed as we try to find a resolution to the initial event so we can retrieve all that is lost. This is what is commonly termed as the Shadow, and it is the place which holds the key to awakening the totality of the soul and psyche.
As we go through life we will manifest external situations, experiences, relationships and events that have the capacity to trigger in us the suppressed emotion leading to the memory of the trauma, wounding or conditioning. This happens so we may finally find resolution, however, because these emotions and memories are often undesirable, discomforting, and painful we ignore their message for healing, and default to a fight, flight or freeze state of being. Thus we repeat the pattern of staying disassociated and thus continuing in our disembodied life reacting to external triggers, projecting our pain onto others, and living in a state of imbalance.
Therefore Shadow Work is the process of learning to face, embrace, heal, transform and finally find resolution to our woundings, traumas and conditioning, by bringing them into our conscious minds and retrieve all the lost aspects of self.
When we learn to consciously engage with our Shadow – our unconscious beliefs, behaviours, and habits – in a healthy and supportive way we are able to clear from our bodies all the toxic debris related to all the wounding, trauma and conditioning we have been exposed to. The more we do this, the more energy and vitality we have to live a full and embodied life, realising and manifesting our dreams based on our own truth rather our unconscious patterns.
Fundamentally Shadow Work returns us to a state of full self-awareness, raising our consciousness out of the darkness of the egoic state of self and into collective oneness, where we each have a destiny to fulfil. Each with our own unique energy signature to contribute to the whole.
With love, Nicola Lucie
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