Shadow Work | Inner Child | Subconscious
I have been working with clients and their shadow side for years. And in my mind, I easily blend all of the verbiage used with this powerful self-care work.
There are four main terms that can be and are used, however, not many people talk about the merging and usage of these terms.
Well, let me share this info with you in the format of this blog and within the journal listed below to you on shadow work.
Thank you for being with me on this shadow work journey. I know that you have worked hard (this is an intense process) and the positive outcomes will shine through in your life. I am proud of you!
Within the journal that is attached for you, at the end of it you will find some journaling pages. I suggest that you read this blog, download the journal and use the physical format for your writing. However, if you journal digitally then read this, and set up your own format for doing the very physical, actionable work of writing this info down.
What is Shadow Work?
It is easily said to be a journey of self-discovery. It is a way to look at the deeper, not-always-so-pleasant aspects of who you are as an individual. Often said, your shadow is the negative or dark side of yourself. I choose to think of it as the ugly bits we are not so fond of about ourselves. You are continually processing experiences and emotions. Often, these experiences are not fully expressed which then become lodged in your subconscious ( called the shadow by Carl Jung) and in your physical body (oftentimes manifesting as pain.) When these emotions and experiences are not dealt with they become lodged deep within, returning in unhealthy, often detrimental ways. Your shadow side is also your inner child and your subconscious.
Why Discover Your Shadow Side?
Being that your shadow includes things such as envy, greed, prejudice, hate, sorrow, pain and aggression which tend to be the parts of us we shove deep down inside, it makes sense to look at them in a kind way and allow more ease in life to be your new normal. Once we tenderly, non-judgmentally look at the shadow pieces we can pull them out, dissect them, shift them and move forward into our personal well-being. Take the opportunity to learn more about yourself. Release parts of yourself that no longer serve you.
I use the three ways of talking about this deep healing process interchangeably, however, I do feel there is a slight difference between the three. Let me explain: Shadow work tends to have the perception of only something dark within our being, as in only the negative and ‘severely wrong with me’ parts. The inner child is perceived as this little friend within that you can talk with and is more easily approachable. There are some aspects, normally thought of as from your personal upbringing, that have occurred and require some care.
Your subconscious seems to be perceived as body functions. And if not seen as only body functions, then it is viewed as being this vast expanse of something untouchable or that always automatically happens. Maybe these differences come from the limited words found in the English language to describe such processes. I am not a linguist, I perceive life on a body, mind and spirit level so I will avoid trying to explain this further. What I do know is that throughout my many years of working with individuals in this way, I have found some people respond differently to the verbiage.
I use the three ways of talking about this deep healing process interchangeably, however, I do feel there is a slight difference between the three.
Let me explain:
Shadow work tends to have the perception of only something dark within our being, as in only the negative and ‘severely wrong with me’ parts.
The inner child is perceived as this little friend within that you can talk with and is more easily approachable. Some aspects, normally thought of as from your personal upbringing, have occurred and require some care.
Your subconscious seems to be perceived as body functions. And, if not seen as only body functions, then it is viewed as being this vast expanse of something untouchable or that always automatically happens.
Parts Therapy is another way to look at your mind and how it works. It is a type of therapy that views the mind as being made up of multiple parts, each with its own unique perspective, needs, and feelings. The goal of parts therapy is to help people get to know their parts and learn to work together more effectively. This work is done in hypnosis (where I learned to approach this work). The goal of parts therapy is to help people get to know their parts and learn to work together more effectively.
Maybe these differences come from the limited words found in the English language to describe such processes. I am not a linguist, I perceive life on a body, mind and spirit level so I will avoid trying to explain this further. What I do know is that throughout my many years of working with individuals in this way, I have found some people respond differently to the verbiage.
Be Gentle With Yourself
Being that you will be delving into your subconscious and the darker pieces of who you are, please proceed with care. You will fare far better if you are gentle with yourself.
What To Do?
- Drink water and herbal tea.
- Give yourself time to allow shifts to occur (remember those 30ish days to allow a shift to become a new reality).
- Take a bath.
- Hire a babysitter for your kids. An hour or two for some downtime.
- Find something positive in every day. There is a page dedicated to this for you! Read a book.
- Do something, anything that makes you feel strong and supported within.
The Process With This Journal
Read through the questions. Does one jump out at you? Start there. If you have your own questions or emotions, use those. Find the page titled Your Question Negative Aspect and write the information down. On the next page, What Comes Up From This Question list everything that comes up: aches or pains within your body, emotions, more memories, etc. when you think of this question/experience. Talk with your inner self/your shadow. Introduce yourself, and become friends. On the Positive, Loving Talk page talk with your inner self in this fashion. Have a supportive talk with your shadow side.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What are things in others that drive me crazy?
- What are some of your toxic traits?
- What are you afraid of?
- What is something you continually complain about?
- What is a bad habit you have?
- Do you have personal vices?
- Do you wish you could shift them into something positive?
- What is the worst thing you have done? Do you ache from it still?
- Do you have aspects of your personality you are not proud of?
- Think of some childhood memories. Are they good or bad? Think of the experience and why do you remember it so clearly.
- Do you have any past experiences you wish you could do over? Are you selfish? How?
- Have you ever purposely hurt someone?
- Are you angry? How do you express your anger?
- Do you have any inner demons? Can you identify them?
- Any addictions? Current or past?
- Do you have any unfulfilled desires?
- What, if anything, are you afraid of?
- Do you have any phobias? What about personal friendships? How are they? Do you notice any patterns with them?
- What about sexual relationships? Do you notice any patterns with them?
- Have you ever shown aggression with anyone else?
- Does anything deeply embarrass you?
- Do you try to "get" something from others?
- Who and what has been the biggest influence in your life?
- Can you forgive yourself for past mistakes?
- Do you have health issues? Are you struggling with weight?
- Too much or too little?
What To Do Now?
- Enter into a place of comfort and safety.
- One for your body and your mind.
- Setting an intention is a very positive action to take.*
- Take one of the questions above.
- Write about the feeling or experience. Nothing fancy, unless you write that way. Little notes are beneficial.
- Talk with your inner child.
- How would you want to be talked with at this moment?
- Show this caring inner self some love, compassion and trust.
- Allow the emotions to flow.
*I intend to treat myself with respect and honesty. I choose to allow this process to expand upon my inner well-being with compassion and new insights into who I am.
Inner Child/Shadow Positive, Loving Talk
- Talk with your inner child/your shadow side in this fashion. Talk with the part of you that is not sharing in your aligned goals in your life.
- The way you kindly talk with others now, treat this shadow side of yourself with respect and kindness too.
- You are safe.
- You are protected.
- You have plenty of space to heal.
- This experience is in the past.
- You are worthy of support.
- I trust myself.
- Come on and hold my hand.
- Let's go for a walk.
- I love you.
- Understand that this is a process.
- Practice non-judgemental mindfulness.
- Work with one aspect at a time.
- It takes 30 ish days to set a new pattern in life, keep this in mind when working on setting up a new part of yourself.
- It took time to get to where you are, give it time to shift.
- Have a comfortable, quiet space to do this work in.
- Clinging to the past or to your trauma too tightly keeps you from being present in this moment.
- Slow down.
- Be kind to your inner child.
- Brick walls can be difficult to punch through, yet, gently taking away a brick at a time is powerful.
- Trust your intuition. Not sure about this, check out my blog Trust Your Intuition-Finding Your Yes/No Response.
More tools to help you move along easily!