Do you ever feel like you are in a cycle of repeating patterns and intense emotions, and you’re not sure how to break the cycle?
Trust me, I know what this feels like. For years I suffered with not understanding my feelings and emotions, not knowing how to deal with them and having no clue how to break the patterns of behaviours my body and mind were clinging onto daily.
I hid my feelings, I pushed through to be who I was expected to be, and always felt like I was putting myself last.
My emotions manifested within me in body aches, illness, self-judgment and periods of feeling lost.
Fast forward a good few years later, a tough decision making process, a choice to create massive action and change, and a contractual commitment to myself, I feel balanced, fulfilled, connected and have unconditional love and acceptance for ALL parts of myself, the dark and the light, the good and the bad.
The journey to how I am now began when I found shadow work.
When you see the phrase "shadow work" it might give you the sense that it's an area of self-development that requires hard work and effort, and digging to depths within ourselves that we just don’t want to go to.. Well, that’s because that’s exactly what it is!
But it's not to be feared. It's one of the most beneficial and freeing practices you can do for your mental wellbeing.
It brings huge beneficial changes to your life, your relationships (with yourself and others) and can help accelerate aspects of your work or business.
You can kind of equate it to giving birth I guess.. You know it's not going to be the easiest experience, and once you start it hurts like hell! But you know that going through it brings you pure love and joy!
To add another analogy to this, just like the joy of raising a little human being is a lifelong process, as is shadow work. It's there to use as a lifelong tool to support your growth and confidence in this world, so you can show up as the true expression of yourself, as your soul intended you to be.
So what exactly is shadow work?
Shadow work is essentially a deep dive method of healing. It’s a way of accessing the hidden trapped emotions that your body is holding onto. These emotions can be trapped from as far back as your early childhood, locked away in your subconscious and in parts of your physical body.
Every time something happened in your life that caused you pain and suffering, the emotional trauma stacks up and is stored within you unless it's addressed and dealt with in a loving and supported way.
Your ego keeps you safe, and pushes the pain deep inside of you, which leads to feelings being suppressed.
You may even have trapped emotions and trauma that your subconscious has hidden so deeply that you don't recall where it even stems from. Shadow work can help shine some light on these deeply hidden parts, bring them to the surface so you can address them and release them.
This leads to a lighter body and mind and makes room for more joy and delight in your life.
How can you do shadow work?
It all starts with a soul commitment to understand yourself. A willingness to change. A decision that you are finally ready to take massive action to break the cycles you've been living in for so many years.
You are a unique soul, on this Earth for a reason. By shedding light on your shadows, you begin to defeat your ego and you become free to live the confident, joyful life you were born to live!
Start by fully accepting yourself as you are and making that brave decision to become aware of who you are. The darkest parts of yourself are not coming from your true inner being, but from your shadows, trapped emotions, and past experiences.
Then you can simply sit in stillness, focusing on your breathing, and just allow whatever comes into your body and mind to be. If you feel like crying then cry! If you feel sadness, anger, or frustration, allow it all to come. If you want to scream, then scream! Understand that your feelings won’t last forever, the good or the bad. Everything in this world is constantly changing, and the same goes for your feelings.
Imagine that you are letting the feelings come up from deep within your body to the surface, and you are releasing them with your exhale. You're releasing the feelings but first you have to allow them to be within you. You have to accept that they are there, welcome them in with the knowing that they won’t be staying forever because you are setting them free.
We're taught from an early age to stop crying when we are upset, to get better quickly, to suppress our feelings and just get on with things. This essentially traps everything inside of us.
If you are crying, it doesn’t always mean there is something wrong. Crying is our body's way of releasing what is stored within, so cry away and let it all out.
You can say the words out loud "I allow myself to feel this way, I am releasing". Accept, allow and release.
Another great way to do shadow work is to journal. Allow whatever comes to you to be released via the pen and paper, or even talking your feelings out loud.
Getting out in nature and walking is a great way to allow the feelings to arise- no phone, no distractions, just accepting and allowing.
If you're feeling resistance or tightness in your body whilst reading this then this is your ego trying to keep you safe, to not take you there, to not allow anything to harm you. It's totally normal to feel like this. Your ego wants to keep you wrapped up in your safety blanket.
You could at this point ask yourself where is the resistance coming from? What part of yourself do you want to keep hidden?
You might also be thinking at this point, that the law of attraction states that you are what you think, so isn't this going to harm my manifestations?! If you are trying to constantly remain a positive thinker when something negative arises, then you are suppressing the feelings and emotions again, adding to the inner shadow store.
By accepting the negative emotion that comes up, you allow it to work its way through you so you can shine light on it and release it.
Ask yourself what can you learn from this emotion? Where did it stem from , and where do you need to send yourself some extra love to support yourself?
Shadow work can be incredibly powerful, so it's really important to seek some advice before doing it if you feel you are ready to explore it. If you feel you would like to, reach out to a licensed therapist or integration guide. They can take you through the process and support you.
Remember, there are several layers to you as a human being. You were born as pure love and joy, and it's your birthright to live a fun, happy life.
It takes some work, a large dose of self-love, and a huge commitment to yourself to shed the conditioned layers that you’ve built up over the years.
Shadow work can help you shed those layers and bring you back to your authentic self. It can help you to overcome the many obstacles that life puts in your path.
Learn to change your perspective and see your shadow parts as hidden areas that are just begging for love! The more you fear something, the more it suppresses and builds up within you.
So by facing your fears, your shadows, you are acknowledging them and surrounding them with the love they are yearning for. These shadows are really a gift to you, to show you the parts of yourself that need love and healing, so that you can live an abundant and joyful life.
You are a miracle simply because you exist. You are not defined by your past experiences, you are not your pain. You have the power within you to be whoever you want to be.
Create the vision of who you want to be, and start to take the first steps towards being that person.
You've got this beautiful being.
Clare is a Manifestation coach and Modern Mystic who specialises in helping female entrepreneurs set up and create Quantum Leaps in their online businesses.
She is a rocket yoga teacher, a wellness warrior and a Manifestation Queen who has a passion for helping women feel empowered to live their true expression of themselves.
After years of self development and journeying inwards she found her soul calling. She supports other women to heal and grow and become free of their limiting beliefs so they can thrive in their business and life.
You can connect with Clare on Instagram @clare.jevons
Or email her email@example.com