Is it worth it? Are there actual shadow work benefits?!
A lot of people ask me the big WHY. Why do shadow work at all? Are there shadow work benefits? .Reasons for doing the deep dive and looking your darker aspects in the eye?
And I tell them: You can go around perfectly happy, blissfully unaware of your shadow twin. She’ll stay living in your blind spots, just out of view… BUT this is unlikely to last.
You see the thing about the shadow, is that she will show up. Eventually. And the shadow has a sneaky way of sabotaging the things that you most want to succeed, go to plan, or just make you and the people in your life feel good.
SO by ignoring this dark twin that follows you around (or are you the one following her or him around?) you’re playing a risky game. Not to mention the fact that your shadow is highly likely to hold the keys to a lot of latent skills, strengths, and talents you’ve long forgotten about…
So yes, there are real, tangible shadow work benefits! Surprises, gains, and very good reasons to tap into those unconsious realms…
Wondering if shadow work is for you?
(OR need a reminder about WHAT the shadow is? Read this)
Here are 20 reasons why this could be the path for you…
1. Shadow work will release energy
There’s a LOT of energy held in your shadow. Actual energy that you could be using for other things – conscious, creative, pleasurable things! Yet at the moment, this energy is wrapped up in defences, behaviours and reactivity you can’t even see.
Shadow work will begin to free this energy up.
2. Your shadow twin likely has long-forgotten skills and talents
Into the shadow is where many people put a gift, skill, talent, interest or even an art that sometime in the past, felt unsafe to express. Yet those times have passed. Shadow work is a kind of excavation to re-discover what you’re naturally great at.
3. Meeting and getting to know your shadow gives you power
Many folks put their sense of empowerment into their shadow.
As children, attempts to exert power can be rejected by those looking after us, older siblings, caregivers, or other people we trust (even without them knowingly doing this).
OR in lives gone by, expressions of power may have been seen as dangerous. So away it goes, banished from consciousness.
Shadow work re-ignites it.
Shadow work benefit 4: You’re less likely to positively project onto others
Ever looked at someone you admire and thought how you’d LOVE to be like them… but can’t? Unchecked projection like this, is akin to sending out your power. Giving it away, leaving you less resourced to grow into the person you really could be.
**There’s nothing wrong with admiring people. Yet if this admiration stunts your own self-esteem… this is a problem.
Shadow work benefit 5: You’re less likely to negatively project onto others
Seeing aspects that you “don’t’ like” in others, usually means you’re ‘perceiving qualities that actually live within your shadow. Using shadow work to see this, and lovingly re-claim those pieces of yourself enables far more realistic, truthful perspectives to emerge.
6. Shadow work frees you from limitations!
Why does anyone come to shadow work?
Usually, it’s to let go of limitations, to fly, be free, to enjoy the world, and rediscover the energy, will, and purpose to meaningfully contribute…
7. Shadow work helps you to feel whole
Many of my clients come to me feeling like there’s something ‘missing’.
Yet a lot of the time, that missing piece isn’t out there in the world, to be uncovered if you look hard enough. The missing pieces are pieces of self. Shadow fragments that were cast aside, ostracised, so had no choice but to go live in the unconscious.
Through the process of shadow integration, these pieces are able to return. Along with feelings of wholeness.
8. Shadow work enables feeling at ease in the present
Do you find the present moment an uncomfortable place to be?
This low-lying unease can be a result of looking for these lost fragments (even without realising this is what’s happening). There’s a sense of needing to be somewhere else, yearning for that other place, where it’ll all feel different.
Yet re-integrating the shadow brings you to that other place.
The present moment becomes a place of ease comfort.
9. Shadow work can help with your physical wellbeing!
YES – the shamanic shadow work that I practice and facilitate is not only a psychological exercise. it often incorporates movement, aiming to unravel muscular knots and tension, a re-weaving of the fabric of the body, which is (let’s be honest) where a LOT of our old emotional stories live.
As clients are able, this kind of shadow work operates on the physical level too, so shadow work benefits ripple through right out into your manifested, incarnated self.
10. Shadow work improves your close relationships
Relationships are our biggest mirrors. No question.
After the honeymoon period of a new relationship, the shadows begin to rise. But doing the healing work on yourself means you’re less likely to be using your partner to mirror your shadow. So the more positive and creative your experiences can be together.
11. Friendships can improve with shadow work
The more of shadow work you do, the less your shadow will show up unconsciously.
With less projection, judgment, criticism, and unconscious reactivity, friendships can be deeper, truer, more conscious, and authentic.
12. Shadow work quietens the monkey brain
Do you have a running commentary inside your brain?
SO much of this inner dialogue runs unconsciously, and once you begin to excavate your own unconscious world, you loosen up the threads. You disrupt the patterns and the monkey’s voice gets a little quieter.
13. Shadow work will help you to stop repeating patterns
We all have them: Repeating patterns and behaviours that we just can’t seem to stop. It’s infuriating! But doing your shadow work helps close the loops. Making it easier to STOP acting out those repeating patterns of behaviour (especially in the tough times!)
14. Shadow work helps to heal ancestral traumas
This is a deep one, and it’s something I believe many of us are being called to do, in this lifetime.
Doing YOUR shadow work doesn’t just unravel and free up your unconscious knots. Shadow traits that may have been unconsciously trapped for generations can finally start to move. Through shamanic shadow work, the positive effects stretch back through time.
Ancestral traumas can finally be healed, by the work you do today.
15. Shadow work enables understanding of family trauma
Shadow work occurs on the planes of experience you need it to.
For some, it’s largely emotional clearing. For other people, there will likely be cognitive understanding that’s needed – the “whys” are important.
Shamanic shadow work can take you far, far back across space and time, to gain an understanding of the circumstances that originally pushed certain qualities into your shadow. As a springboard for your healing, this can be HUGE.
16. Working with your shadow twin is to perceive yourself as timeless…
Working deeply on and with your shadow twin, it’s impossible NOT to perceive how your energetic imprint stretches across space and time. You discover that your shadow is rooted in faraway places, traveling forward on ancestral lines. So are you.
17. Shadow work enables you to release fear
Feeling fear can be a sure sign that you need to do some shadow work.
Fear of being seen
Fear of the next step
Fear of intimacy
Fear of being alone
Fear usually rises in response to a trigger. And this trigger is a gateway through feeling, into the shadow. This is why working with your shadow is a fantastic method for tackling fear at its root, rather than simply reacting to the emotion.
18. Shame can be released through shadow work
Shame is complex and deep. It pretty much encompasses negative self-conscious feelings, which cause emotional distress, powerlessness, and lack of self-worth. Ouch.
Shame can be sexual, it can encompass self-expression and creativity…
Shame can be totally paralysing… OR can push people into the other direction of compulsion and addiction.
Practicing shadow work methods to experience, and move through feelings of shame can be utterly transformative, and help to gradually release shame from your life.
19. Help heal your piece of the feminine (or masculine) shadow
Whilst we all have personal shadows, together much of these comprise (and maintain) collective shadows. Especially shadows that hold the wounded feminine and masculine.
As the divine expressions of these polarities rise on Earth, their collective shadow aspects also need to rise. It’s OUR job to see these aspects and to see them in ourselves so that we can heal them.
Trying to do this work externally without integrating our inner shadows won’t work. YET by doing the personal work, the fractal edges will branch out, so that together, we have the chance of healing the collective wounds.
20. Shadow work will heal the Earth
Similarly, the Earth needs us to do this work.
We can’t expect to ascend into some “love and light” New Earth paradigm without looking at the hard stuff, and diving into the shadowlands.
Mother Earth herself is relying on us to commit. To be brave. To process. To integrate. To rise as whole, unified beings and not as unconscious, unaware, unhealed humans.
Every one of us is a work in progress!
Yet this humility is the starting point and shadow work is one of the most profound healing methods that I know, to affect personal change for the collective shift.