How To Do Shadow Work (Using Journal Prompts!)

When it comes to doing the inner work on ourselves and actually making a change in our lives, you’ll often see people try to focus more on the positive, the light, the side of us that’s all sunshine and rainbows, but yet, avoid the side of us that illuminates our shadows.

The ugly side. The scary side. The side that we hide so that we don’t have to face it.

But until we face this shadow side of us, we will not be able to learn and grow the lessons we were meant to have. This is why so many people never actually change and stay in their old habits because they weren’t willing to face their shadows.

They just hid it away in hopes that it will eventually just disappear.

In this blog post, I will be introducing this work called “shadow work”.  

Table of Contents:

What is the shadow?

The shadow I am talking about is the parts of us that we have rejected and ignored. Imagine yourself taking all the things you don’t like about yourself and shoving them in the closet so that you don’t have to see your mess.

Anyone guilty of doing this? Because I am!

Your shadows can come up in different ways throughout your life.

For example, look at your limiting beliefs around certain areas of your life: your relationships, money, career, religion, spirituality, your self-image, and the list can just go on. I can guarantee that there is probably at least one of those areas that I just listed off where you aren’t fully happy about.

You may be dissatisfied or feel like you aren’t worthy of having better than what you already have now.

That’s one way the shadow comes up.

Have you ever been jealous or envious of people who have what you want in your life? Again, that’s an indication of your shadow at play.

Have you ever lashed out at people for something that they said or something that they did that bothered and dare I say, triggered you? Again, this is part of our shadows.

Maybe we play victim or have the tendency to blame others (even though most of us won’t admit to it), again, that’s the shadow.

Our shadows come from the Ego.

Our Ego loves to use our shadows as it’s tool to get what it because it wants us to be perfect, accepted, and loved.

I mean think about it.

Was there a time where you didn’t do something because you were afraid of what people will think? Or maybe you were the “good child” or “the perfect child” of the family. Maybe you had to live your life a certain way because of your parents.

It’s obvious that as humans, we want to be accepted by doing the right thing.

Yet, doing this does a lot more harm than good and generally, this type of behavior leads to a life of mediocrity and lack of fulfillment.

So, in order to fully embrace the side of us that’s lovable, compassionate, and abundant, we need to accept the shadow side of us by doing shadow work.

After all, anything that the light shines upon have a shadow. It’s no different than humans.

So here are some ways we can integrate our shadow:

1. Practice self-acceptance

When I say to practice self-acceptance, I’m usually talking about having compassion for yourself and loving every single part of your being.

After all, we are our own worst critics.

Although I do believe that being the best version of yourself is important and we should strive to better ourselves, I do believe we judge ourselves too much for the aspects of us that aren’t necessarily accepted, whether that is by us or our peers.

Having self-acceptance for our shadow will help start the process of shadow work.

2. Expressing yourself safely

Since we hide the shadow parts of ourselves, it’s important to have a safe space to express yourself. One of the most popular ways of doing this is journaling since you can easily hide a journal and express whatever feelings you need to get off your chest.

When we create a safe space for our shadow, we are able to navigate difficult emotions that we would normally bury (remember this is how the shadow is created in the first place).

I most definitely recommend keeping a journal and writing down any thoughts you have that bother you because later on, it’ll be easier to reflect on these emotions once you get them out there.

Journaling has also been a great way to bring up emotions from the subconscious to a conscious level.

The key is to not overthink anything you are writing down and let your thoughts just flow.

Related Post: How The Power Of Journaling Impacts Your Life

3. Releasing your limiting beliefs

Obviously, since our shadow shows through our limiting beliefs, it’s important for us to release these limiting beliefs and rewire new ones. This is going to take some digging into because limiting beliefs come from a place of unworthiness and not feeling like you are enough.

It can happen to us at any age from any event and be on the wide spectrum of how emotional traumatic it was.

Once you find out what your limiting beliefs are, it’ll be a lot easier to rewire them.

After all, change doesn’t happen without awareness.

There are many ways out there that can help you release and rewire your limiting beliefs: hypnosis, affirmations, scripting, EFT, breathwork, and the list goes on!

Related Post: Easy Ways To Start Rewiring Your Belief System

4. Alchemizing your emotions

One of my favorite ways to empower my shadow side is to turn those aspects into something more beneficial. Another way of saying this is alchemizing your emotions.

So, for example, if your shadow side involves a lot of anger or if you find yourself being someone with a short temper, turn that anger into passion.

Because really, when you think about it, when you look at the root of your emotions, you’ll find that emotions bring up the same sensations.

If you are angry, you may feel a burst of energy or want to scream at the top of your lungs (every person express anger differently of course, I’m just coming up with different examples).

When you look at someone passionate, you may often find that they are always, again, bursting with energy and (depending on what it is they are passionate about) you may even hear them talk about it (as if they are screaming it for the whole world to listen).

Let’s look at another example. Let’s use anxiety and excitement for example.

Both emotions bring up the same sensations. Maybe your heart is racing, your palms maybe sweaty, your mind is racing with so many thoughts.

But because we put so much meaning behind our emotions, someone can automatically think “Oh it’s just anxiety” when you can make the choice to tell yourself “I’m not anxious. I’m excited”.

This is what I mean by alchemizing your emotions.

So whatever emotions you are feeling from your shadow side, change those emotions that don’t serve you into something that is more empowering.

Doing this can help you accept your shadows and come out of shadow work with empowerment, since you aren’t giving these emotions such a dark meaning.

Related Post: How I Have Mastered The Art Of Energy Transmutation

Journal prompts to help you

1. Who do you admire? What do you admire about them? Have you shown any of these qualities at any point in your life?

2. Who is someone you dislike/hate? What about them do you not like? Have you shown any of these qualities at any point in your life?

3. What memories are you ashamed of?

4. When was the last time you judged someone and what was it about? Is it possible you are judging yourself and projecting onto other people?

5. Who do you envy? What do you envy about them? Are you aware that the same qualities are within you?

6. What do you dislike about yourself? Make a list and be honest with yourself! How can you accept these qualities/characteristics about yourself and use them to empower yourself?

7. What emotions do you try to avoid and how do you avoid them? What would happen if you felt these emotions?

8. When was the last time you have forgiven yourself? What do you still need to forgive yourself for?

9. Where in your life can you start to accept yourself for who you are?

10. Where in your life do you genuinely want to make a change?

What do you want to change about yourself through shadow work? Feel free to comment in the comment section below!

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Hi, I’m Carol! I created Here to be Inspired in order to teach YOU how to live up to your highest potential. Here, I will be talking about spirituality, self-development, law of attraction, and so much more!