Shadow Work Part 2

Shadow Work

Part II. Check out Shadow Work Part I here.  

After Shadow Work

The first time I did this Shadow Work exercise, I screamed, I wailed, I sobbed.  I was frankly quite horrified at what had come out of me.  But I felt lighter, I felt more in control. 

I was conscious of my subconscious feelings that had previously been too shameful and painful for me to acknowledge and express. 

I would recommend doing this semi-regularly.   Don’t let things build up and fester, like I and so many others have.  However, this is only the beginning of a psychological cleanse.

Therapy and Journalling are also forms of shadow work

Therapy and journaling are socially normal forms of shadow work – though they are often not referred to as such!   

One particularly powerful form of shadow work is traditional psychological counselling.  I highly recommend a good therapist for literally everyone, not just people who are struggling with outright mental illness or overwhelming emotional problems. 

Therapy with someone who is trained, respectful, and who truly sees you is akin to a shamanic experience.  They can walk with you and help you acknowledge yourself in a way that is very difficult if not impossible to do totally on your own. 

I also believe in daily journaling.  One of my favorite authors (and a huge influence on me and my writing) is Julia Cameron.  In her book The Artist’s Way, she describes the practice of Morning Pages.

You write 3 full longhand pages in a journal every morning, no matter what.  Freeform, just whatever comes into your mind as quickly as possible.  This is what I imagine to be a similar process as giving yourself psychodynamic psychotherapy.  

Instead of a psychiatrist interpreting things second hand, it is you – in this practice of extreme mindfulness – will truly listen to yourself.  Everyday.   

You will be amazed at the radical content of your thoughts, oscillating from love to hate, hope to hopelessness.  You will learn that your thoughts and feelings, although they feel very real in the moment, pass quickly.  Yet something true remains. 

You will learn so much about yourself in this practice, ideas will flow through you, you will refine and discover aspects of yourself long forgotten.  I recommend it most highly and emphatically.  It is so extremely transformative and the only cost is your time and dedication.  

In Conclusion

The Shadow Work practice I described is like a deep-purge.  A powerful cleanse of the psyche.  However, that is only the beginning of the archeological dig.  We may find hidden treasure, or monsters which must be annihilated for us to reach ever upwards on our paths. 

How ugly and intense my thoughts were was a catalyst for getting therapy and doing Morning Pages.  Doing this deep work is so potent, but it is not enough on its own. 

The first time I did the Shadow Work exercise was by far the most hideous.  It’s like I let the volcano erupt, and after that, the pressure dropped so much.  It’s tolerable.  I can look at my problems and feelings more objectively, and let them wash over me, or work on them more.  They don’t run my life subconsciously – at least to the degree they used to. 

I hope you enjoy this exercise.  Please let me know if you tried it and what your results were. 

If you have any questions do not hesitate to comment below.

Thanks for reading!

~ Blessed Be and Happy Creating ~

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