Shadow work is a psychological practice developed by Carl Jung that teaches you techniques to work with your shadow self to reduce the negative effects that are plaguing your life and to separate and integrate parts of yourself into a single whole. It’s meant to promote emotional healing and help you find peace with yourself.
Jung describes the “shadow” as the disowned and unconscious parts of a person’s personality that their ego fails to accept, acknowledge, or see. In some cases, it’s the stuff we’ve buried so deep, our conscious minds aren’t even aware of them anymore. Essentially, it is the parts of ourselves that we like to lock away and hide from.
Carl Jung believed that understanding your personal shadow can assist with creating a more balanced life and promote feelings of harmony and contentment within “the self”.
The Jungian Shadow represents what is fractured within us. Shadow work is an effort to obtain “psychic wholeness” – bringing together all the pieces buried in our unconscious mind into a more complete picture of our self. This experience is meant to liberate you from the tug and pull of wrestling with your shadow all the time.
When you address negative emotions that have been buried for a long time, it allows you to show up more intentionally and wholly for the commitments and relationships in your life.
Shadow work also allows you to do some important deep healing. It shines a light on the good, bad, and ugly bits.
This is helpful because acknowledging the less-than-beautiful parts of ourselves allows us to express these characteristics in a healthier way, instead of suppressing or bottling them up until these feelings and emotions manifest in uncontrollable, unhealthy, and in some cases, even dangerous behaviors.
Some of these classic examples include lashing out, angrily blaming others, creating toxic inner dialogue, or developing a negative or distorted body image. Basically, all the things that make you say, “Why did I do that?”
This is a shadow meditation. The shadow are the parts of ourselves that we push away or remain hidden. Take a moment and discover your shadow. Find a blanket or pillow and get settled and take the journey into your mind. Stay tuned for other Shadow work exercises.
Shadow work meditation here