You may have heard the term shadow work being thrown around the spiritual community. But it does hold importance and is a great tool to use when working with your subconscious mind. Shadow refers to the side of us that we do not quite like, it’s those parts that we like to keep in the shadow and do not want to confront. While this may be helpful temporarily to function; the shadow always comes out externally. This can show up as having conflict in relationships, walking with shame or anger, not being able to stop binging and so on. Thus, shadow work is a great tool to connect to these parts of ourselves to have a deeper understanding and to facilitate change.
Ways to work with the shadow includes:
- Getting curious about the issue at present: This would entail cultivating some awareness of the issue at hand. Once the issue is identified using questions with stimulating awareness some examples of this can be when did I first notice this issue, where does this present issue show up, when this trigger comes up how do I feel towards it. You are able to ask further questions; this is simply a suggestion.
- Use tarot cards to identify the block you are having: This is great for anyone who is aware of the issue but does not yet know all the blocks which are present. Simply pick up one card and ask this part to communicate with you. I know it can be odd at first but once you give it a try you are opening up that connection/communication to that part of you.
- Start and inner dialogue: Imagine you are communicating to this part what is this part attempting to verbalize to you.
- Use art to connect to your shadow: For this exercise use your non-dominant hand to work with the shadow as this will cultivate awareness and further connection.
- Use guided imagery to speak with the shadow part of you: Once you identify the shadow you are able to communicate with this part using imagery to facilitate a relationship and to further explore the barriers.
While there are various ways of connecting with the shadow you are able to do further research on this topic by looking up Carl Jung who is the father of shadow work. Shadow work is great not only for awareness but a deeper connection to self.