What Is Shadow Work And How To Do It - The Shankara Experience
Shadow work helps us heal and grow spiritually

What Is Shadow Work And How To Do It

Shadow work is essential to healing and growing as a beautiful, loving, and spiritual person.   Diving deeply within your Self is the way to heal and illuminate all that binds and restricts you.

What is shadow work?

Shadow work is a concept that has been popularized by various spiritual and psychological traditions, including Jungian psychology, and it involves the process of exploring and integrating the hidden or suppressed aspects of one’s psyche. 

These are the aspects that limit your Self-love and the ability to love others.

These hidden aspects, often referred to as the “shadow,” typically consist of repressed emotions, traumas, fears, and desires that you may not be fully aware of or may be reluctant to acknowledge. 

Shadow work aims to bring these aspects into conscious awareness, so you can work through them to achieve personal growth, healing, and Self-realization. Most importantly, shadow work helps you bring darkness into the light, which is good for All Beings Throughout All The Realms. As you dive into these aspects and learn how to heal them, you can release difficult self-oppressive patterns that might have been part of your journey for lifetimes. 

Here are some general steps involved in shadow work, which can be adapted to different spiritual or self-help traditions:

  • Self-awareness: Begin by examining your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Pay attention to patterns that seem to repeat in your life or areas where you feel stuck or challenged. Allow emotions to rise up within you and give them as much space as they need. Over time, you can learn to release them by simply asking yourself – can I release this now? Okay, when?
  • Active forgiveness: Consciously and relentlessly working on forgiving someone can have profound effects in your life. Release what you can, forgive everything, and over time, you’ll have the space within you to embody the most divine attributes.
  • Journaling: Writing in a journal can be a powerful tool for exploring your inner world. Write down your thoughts and feelings, and be honest with yourself about your fears, insecurities, and past experiences.
  • Meditation: Practicing meditation can help you observe and release your thoughts and emotions without judgment,  reaction or impact. This can make it easier to uncover hidden aspects of your Self, so that you can eventually free the ones that restrict you and illuminate the ones that can bring you to Self-realization.
  • Seek spiritual guidance and study the ancient teachings: Work with a spiritual teacher who specializes in shadow work that leads to illumination and deep healing. Study the ancient teachings and you will find your mind and heart begin to relax, settle, and embrace the divine light within you.
  • Inner dialogue: Engage in an inner dialogue with the different parts of your Self, including the aspects you consider to be your shadow. Ask questions, listen to their responses, and try to understand their underlying motivations. In all things, speak highly of your Self and love you Self. No one is coming to save you – you must save your Self.
  • Acceptance and integration: The ultimate goal of shadow work is to accept and integrate the hidden aspects of your psyche. This involves acknowledging that these aspects are a part of you and finding healthier ways to express and manage them. When we truly own every aspect of our lives, including all experiences, we become Self-reliant, and eventually awakened and illuminated to our divine Self.

Engaging in shadow work while being devotional to your deity, The Divine, and your guru. Engage Sadhana (spiritual practices) to enhance your spiritual growth. 

Here are some tips to help you integrate shadow work into your spiritual journey:

  • Set a clear intention: Begin your shadow work with a clear intention. State your purpose for exploring your shadow self, such as seeking personal growth, healing, or a deeper connection with The Divine, your deity, and guru. This intention will guide your efforts and keep your spiritual focus intact.
  • Invoking The Divine Consciousness: Before starting your shadow work sessions, invoke the presence of your chosen deity through prayer or meditation. Ask for their guidance, support, and protection during your journey into the shadow self. This can help you feel spiritually connected and secure.
  • Align with your values: Ensure that your shadow work aligns with your spiritual values and principles. This means approaching it with humility, compassion, and a genuine desire for self-improvement. Avoid using shadow work as a means to indulge in negative behaviors or self-criticism. 
  • Incorporate shadow work into your sadhana: Integrate elements of shadow work into your existing sadhana. For example, you can include reflective journaling or introspection as part of your daily practice. This allows you to explore your inner world within the context of your spirituality.
  • Seek guidance from the Divine: During your sadhana or meditation, communicate with your deity and seek their wisdom and guidance on your shadow work. Ask for insights, clarity, and the strength to confront and heal the hidden aspects of yourself.
  • Self-compassion: Remember that shadow work can be challenging, and you may uncover difficult emotions or past wounds. Be gentle with yourself and practice self-compassion. Your deity, if part of your belief system, is likely to encourage self-acceptance and forgiveness.
  • Rituals and offerings: Incorporate rituals or offerings to your deity as part of your shadow work process. These can serve as a way to honor your spiritual connection and seek blessings for your inner exploration. You can also use rituals as a way to release difficult aspects and set intentions for more positive aspects to enter your life.
  • Consistency: Make shadow work a consistent part of your spiritual journey. Dedicate time regularly to delve into your shadow self and work on integrating it with your conscious self. Over time, this practice can lead to deeper spiritual insights and growth.
  • Seek support and guidance: It can be beneficial or necessary to work with a spiritual mentor, therapist, or guide who understands both shadow work and your specific spiritual path. They can provide valuable insights and support as you navigate this journey. 
  • Trust the process: Have faith that The Eternal Consciousness, your deity, guru, and The Divine are supporting your growth and Self-discovery. Trust that your shadow work is an essential part of your spiritual evolution and that it aligns with your devotion. 

Shadow work is essential to spiritual and personal growth. Without the willingness to look at these aspects, we cannot heal and move forward. Suppressed emotions, old traumas, unhealthy conditioning can keep us stuck for lifetimes. When we choose to heal these aspects within ourselves, we can finally liberate ourselves. 

By integrating shadow work with your devotion to the Divine, your guru or your deity by making it part of your sadhana, you can create a holistic approach to your spiritual growth that encompasses both light and shadow. This will ultimately lead you to greater self-awareness and a deeper connection with your spiritual path.

In all things, be deeply devoted to The Divine aspects of The Universe and your divine Self. Over time, you will naturally release all that binds you and see the pathway to your illumination, and eventually your enlightenment. 

Did you know?

The Shankara Oracle is an ideal tool for deep self-exploration and shadow work. The three main Shankara oracle decks – Alchemy, Master and Release – are specifically created to guide you to explore your inner world & help you heal. Explore The Shankara Oracle.

Shri Krishna Kalesh
Author: Shri Krishna Kalesh

Shri Krishna Kalesh is a mystic who guides people as a Spiritual Guide, Intuitive Reader, Dharma Teacher, and Coach. He has served thousands of people toward their healing and expansion - through personal sessions, mystical readings, courses, and retreats. His mission is to help others source their own boundless creative genius and joy, embody virtue, find clarity, and master their lives. Shri Krishna Kalesh created The Shankara Oracle as a divine portal to The Unlimited, All-Knowing, All-Conscious Universe.

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