Shadow work is the process of integrating parts of yourself that you’ve previously kicked to the curb
…and then tied up in black rope and thrown deep into the pit of the unconscious.
YET these disowned and unwanted parts of you could, actually, very likely be the parts that you *need* to become a wildly healthy, whole, and successful person!
Shadow work is the process through which you can re-discover these pieces, and welcome them back into your conscious awareness. This is a powerful healing practice called shadow integration. When you do this work, previously disowned fragments can go on to become – in many cases – the stars of the show! Because for many folks, the shadow actually contains true gifts and gems of our potential. Integrating them will likely enable you to grow in ways you never thought possible.
BUT… It can be a difficult and sometimes painful process. It’s not for the feint-hearted, but stick with it, and the rewards are HUGE.
Before you start any shadow work, you gotta get grounded. Here are 5 reasons why:
Plus a super-quick grounding technique if you read to the end…
1. Shadow work can bring up intense emotions
Shadow work requires you to look at the uglier parts of yourself. The parts that get triggered, the parts that are:
…and the list goes on.
This can lead to a sense of chaos and being out of control. Grounding into the earth will bring you a sense of stability that is SO needed during this potent healing work.
2. Grounding is an embodiment practice.. and shadow work is supported when you’re IN the body
Shadow work can challenge the very core of who you are. It involves breaking down your old identity, by showing up how you’ve been hiding, suppressing, and denying yourself, often for many years. So it follows that as your old patterns are unraveled, your very identity may come into question. The person you thought you were….well all of a sudden things aren’t so certain anymore.
Yet the body is constant.
It is your home. It’s where you belong, and your physicality is one thing you CAN rely on.
3. Shadow work can feel unsafe, the body is home
Again, by doing this deep healing work, the layers of who you thought you were get stripped away. This can feel unsafe, as the ‘you’ you thought you were, suddenly ceases to exist.
Yet the body – for most people – is a safe and familiar place to be. Anchoring into this place through grounding is a tether to home.
4. Grounding work brings presence
Shadow work can take you to all sorts of distant realms. Deep into the past, sideways into possible realities, and forward into what could be… in itself, shadow work is terrible ungrounding! This makes it even more important to ground in before you begin, lest you fly away entirely…
5. Grounding connects us to the Earth
The Earth is our Archetypal mother. She is the great creatrix and holds you through every phase and cycle of personal growth you move through. Connecting to her through grounding creates a cord of safety, nurturing, and holding that is way bigger and stronger than we are alone.
By energetically connecting to her, you can stay rooted into the deep nurturing wisdom that she is. And this will actually make your shadow work journey more archetypal in nature – meaning that the healing work you do isn’t just for your benefit, but for the benefit of the collective.
Mother Earth feels us. So on another dimension, when you practice shadow work, you are doing the healing for her and with her.
Try this super-simple grounding practice to kick start your shadow work (and protect you through it)
This is a super quick and very powerful grounding technique. It will get you into your body and form that all-important connection to the Earth
✶ Close your eyes and become aware of your breath.
✶ Take a few slow, deep breaths in and out to soothe your nervous system, then allow the rhythm to normalize again.
✶ Visualize a place in nature that you love. This could be somewhere you go regularly, somewhere you’ve visited only once, or somewhere you’ve seen in a photograph or movie.
See the details of this place. Hear the sounds. Feel the air. Smell the scent… using the power of your imagination, try to fully immerse yourself in this beautiful place.
✶ Next, feel the love you have for this place. Feel it in your heart and let it collect there (If you struggle with this, draw on the feelings you have for something else you love – a child, a pet, your partner, or anything else that helps you).
✶ Let this love grow in your heart. Feel it glowing and pulsating like light.
✶ When your love feels strong, take the feeling and (using your will and imagination) squash it into a little ball, then drop it down, down from your heart, through the rest of your body and into the Earth below. Imagine it dropping it down (using your will and imagination) into the center of the Earth. Let the love go, and feel that it has gone.
✶ Now, wait. If you are lucky (and people normally are) something really incredible happens next.
✶ Open up your senses to the feeling of the Earth sending her love back. It will likely rise up from below, as a gentle, activating feeling moving up your body.
✶ You may feel your own love for Earth grow again, so gently drop it down as before, so that a loop is formed between you and the planet, with love flowing freely between you both.
✶ Sit in this feeling for as long as you like.
Now let the shadow work commence!
Does this work intrigue you? Do you want to try shadow work for yourself? Drop a comment below and let me know what’s sparked your interest ⬇️