This past year was (and in some regards still is) the year of rediscovering me. I started this year feeling there would be a massive shift in my life, but I didn't realize that it would become a year-long journey to reclaim the lost parts of me. These facets of me hid deep in the recesses of my shadows, which needed illuminating and healing.
The most challenging characteristic of reflecting may surprise you. It surprised me because I didn't think there was anything more difficult than the feelings I experienced when doing shadow work.
Shadow work is uncomfortable and sometimes painful to confront. The process requires us to engage these shadow aspects, acknowledge them, and work through them to integrate them into our conscious awareness to feel more like our authentic self. Although it can be a challenging journey, the rewards of shadow work include greater self-awareness and profound personal growth.
Shadow work is WORK that has often left me with an emotional hangover. Because it also takes a lot of emotional energy to navigate. Regardless, I learned a valuable lesson while shining a light on my shadows and feeling the deep emotional experience.
I learned that I needed to be a little bit detached to look at the underlying pain and root cause OBJECTIVELY.
Only after I separated my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors from my sense of self, releasing any story, was I able to transmute my shadow with love and compassion and see life with a fresh perspective.
Thoughts, feelings, and behaviors shape our perception of reality. Therefore, we deeply identify with them. But they are not set in stone and do not encompass WHO we truly are. Taking our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors off the pedestal and letting go of the narratives is the first step in introspection.
Shadow work is no walk in the park, but when we hold space for our shadow work to teach us, it gives us an incredible opportunity to grow. Learning how to compassionately unravel our shadow work is paramount for staying grounded when change disrupts what feels comfortable.
Here's how to make compassionate space, allowing your shadow work to transform into wisdom.
💜 P L A N :
As much as possible, schedule time to hold space for introspection. Also, set your area by incorporating elements that help you feel rooted, soothed, and supported, such as essential oils, fuzzy blankets, furry friends, or a bubble bath. They are some of my favorites!
💜 J O U R N A L :
Take note of what you observe when you shift inward. This will help you notice patterns and themes within your emotions/ thoughts.
Journaling will help you track your process around specific blockages and give you something to reflect on before and after in-depth introspection sessions.
💜 L E A N :
You don't have to dive into the deep end of shadow work to see results! It's much more effective to take things slowly as you gradually work to the deeper stuff.
Lean into the heavy thoughts and emotions, and LEAN ON those around you who love and support you when things are tough.
Remember, you don't have to do this work alone! We are all in this together and I am here for you.