In a world obsessed with positivity, unicorns & signs, celebrated author Leo Tolstoy reminds us, “All the beauty of life is made of light and shadow.” Why is it then, that we are quick to accept the light in our lives and reject our shadow? Doesn’t every material object cast a shadow? Doesn’t even a candle cast a shadow beneath itself? If we are made of the same substance as the stars, why are so quick to reject ourselves when we do not shine as bright. What is it that scares us about our own shadows?
With the commoditization of the light, bright & shiny life, it is an act of rebellion to accept oneself – flaws and all. We know light only in relation to the dark. We can rejoice our good days when we truly accept our bad days. Isn’t it majestic when the sun peaks through a sky from behind dark clouds? If we were to reject the darkness, how we can truly appreciate the sublime beauty when the light shines through it?
In our society, to see oneself as we are, to embrace, not just the light, but also the dark is truly revolutionary. Shadow work, then is simply an act of radical self-acceptance. Before I speak of shadow work let me elaborate what I mean by our shadow-self.
What is your Shadow Self ?
Our shadow-self is a small, significant, and often transient part of our being. It is often associated with parts of our self that we are embarrassed to speak of or accept in public. This side of yourself may stay repressed and never see the light of day until it begins hurting your life. Your shadow self is wounded and is looking for our acknowledgement, attention and help. It is not an indication of you, but rather of a society constructed to shun anything remotely real and resembling pain. When unattended, it may manifest in our lives at different times as low self-worth, scarcity mindset, difficulty manifesting your best life, substance abuse, addictions or avoidance of certain situations, mental health issues and even some psychosomatic physical ailments like chronic headaches, stomach problems, lack of energy or general malaise. Let me clarify, these issues are not caused because of your shadows. Rather they are a consequence of self-sabotage because we believe our shadows need to be buried deep down & never be addressed or attended to. These blocks keep us in a continual loop of self-harm & suppressing our feelings….it keeps us from truly living our life to our fullest potential. Hence, it is paramount that we integrate both the light and dark sides of our self – which is precisely what shadow work is all about!
More on Shadow Work
Shadow work is a tool to help you live a purposeful, fulfilled life. By going through this process, you will gain the confidence to let go of who you believe you should be and allow yourself to bloom into the person you were meant to be. It helps experience the various facets of life – black, white and all the shades in between without having to compartmentalize these feelings. It allows you to move past learnt traits of blame & guilt, insecurity & co-dependancy.
How does it work ?
Shadow work begins by acknowledging your shadow. This is can be challenging because it requires you to confront your deepest secrets, the reasons of your pain and suffering. However, by acknowledging your hurt and pain, you are essentially rewiring your mind and heart that it is okay to feel these emotions, to feel pride in accepting yourself as a whole and not a sum of a few selective parts.
Then you will be asked to self-examine these feelings, with courage and an open heart. You will be provided tools to help you introspect into various aspects of your life so you can feel authentically you.
How does it Help ?
Shadow work has many benefits:
It helps improve your self-worth.
It can help you process and get over your past hurts
It breaks the cycle of negative self-talk
It helps you communicate your boundaries without associated guilt
It can direct you to your true north, the purpose of why you’re on this planet
It allows you to accept yourself and others as they are.
What aspects of Life can Shadow Work Improve ?
Work: It can improve your experience at work
Relationships: It can strengthen your relationship with yourself and with others
Health: It can help you be more proactive & act responsibly toward your body and be mindful of your physical and mental health
Crystals for Shadow Work
By far , Labradorite remains my favourite personal stone for Inner Journeying and Embracing the Shadow. It not only helps you navigate the dark , but also helps you find beauty in it, and shows you the light at the end of the tunnel.
Rose Quartz is perfect for Self Love , learning to Embrace ourselves, all aspects unconditionally.
Selenite helps to raise your vibration , and Quartz will help you see the Higher Perspective.
I hope you found the article useful , and you are encouraged to explore and work with your Shadow. If you would like to connect for a 1:1 session or an Akashic Reading to receive guidance from your soul , or understand your karmic contracts / past lives, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
To purchase the above crystals , click HERE