What is Shadow Work?
We hear a lot about “shadow work.” There isn’t a lot of information readily available about shadow work, likely because it’s different for everyone. Here’s how I understand shadow work.
Some people consider their shadow as their “bad side,” whatever they don’t like about themselves. That was my perception when I started, at least. But I’ve been doing “shadow work” for some time now and I see things differently. And the idea is that you’d integrate your shadow. How do you integrate your anger. Or your feeling for revenge? You find the root cause and integrate THAT. What makes you angry? Dive deep into that and find the root.
Another practical part of shadow work is integrating the mirror of the shadow aspect. Am I bossy? I can work on that and integrate it into leadership skills. Do I have the need to be the center of attention? How can I transform and integrate this into my growth? Maybe I can use this drive to be a great public speaker! This mirror aspect can go the other way. Do I pride myself on how organized I am? If I dive a little deeper, do I see that I might also be controlling? Just because you can easily see some part of your shadow, doesn’t mean that all of your shadow shows up. Sometimes you need to dig to find it.
Shadow work isn’t for everyone at every time. It’s something many of those in initiatory paths find ourselves while in second degree. Those who are ready to do shadow work must be willing to really dive deep into the ocean of self-awareness. It is not pretty. It can be upsetting. But it IS revealing and if seen through, can lead to great growth.