The Importance of Shadow Work and How to Get Started
Scorpio season is the perfect time for shadow work.
Our focus is on our subconscious, repressed emotions, transformation, and the unknown during this time of the year. Whether we're aware of it or not, Scorpio season makes us feel things; often, things we've been avoiding.
Lately, the term "shadow work" is being used all over the place. Everyone talks about it, but what exactly is it?
Our Shadow Side
To understand shadow work, we must first understand our shadow.
We all have a shadow side. Famed psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung popularized the idea of the shadow archetype. The shadow is one of four archetypes that play a role in influencing human behavior.
Basically, our shadow side is the part of ourselves that we reject. The shadow is a part of our unconscious mind that's filled with repressed ideas and emotions, weaknesses, desires, instincts, failures, and anything else that society may deem "undesirable."
Our shadow side is formed by trying to adapt and conform to societal norms and expectations.
When we fail at something or when we exhibit things like greed, lust, hate, or aggression, we stuff those emotions deep into our unconscious mind in an attempt to forget them.
You're blind to your shadow side because you don't want to see or feel those things. On an even deeper level, we've been conditioned as a society to repress our emotions and completely neglect our shadow side.
As we enter an age where everyone is enlightened and "woke," many are interested in delving into the depths of their shadow.
What is Shadow Work?
Simply put, shadow work is examining your shadow side.
Imagine a home with a huge basement. For years, you've been throwing junk and garbage down there, to the point where you merely open the basement door and just toss things in. You have no idea what's actually down there because you haven't even walked down the steps to take a look.
Now, you've decided to sell the house and move, but you have to clear it out first. You're forced to venture into the basement to clean it out.
That's shadow work.
Examining your fears, insecurities, weaknesses, shortcomings, emotional traumas, negative thoughts, and desires is the essence of shadow work.
How To Do Shadow Work
To do shadow work, you've got to bring your unconscious mind to your conscious awareness. All that means is that you've got to be aware of your shadow side and address it.
You may not realize it, but your shadow side makes an appearance every now and again. Things that you repressed and don't address have a way of seeping out from time to time.
You'll either act erratically out of nowhere, feel intense emotions, be triggered by an external force, or have nightmares or weird dreams. All of those things are your shadow side's way of getting your attention.
In those moments, you need to stop and examine WHY you're feeling the way that you feel. Try to think about when you first felt that feeling or experienced that issue.
Rather than be triggered, you may deliberately engage in shadow work, meaning that you consciously decide to enter the basement and start cleaning.
There are a variety of ways to get shadow work done. You can talk to a therapist, journal, or meditate. What's important is that you do the work and do it comfortably for yourself.
Personally, I find that I like to journal about the experience when I'm triggered and ask myself a series of questions. I'll keep asking the question "WHY?" until I get to the foundation of that emotion or issue. I've found that method to be quite helpful.
The Importance and Benefits of Shadow Work
Engaging in shadow work isn't a mundane exercise. If you've ever done it, then you know it's challenging and emotionally taxing.
Feelings of fear, shame, regret, loneliness, abandonment, and the like can, and often do, surface once we start doing the work. Feeling these emotions makes you think that you've done something wrong or that you shouldn't have done the work.
That's not true.
Shadow work allows these negative or "low vibing" emotions to come to the surface to be RELEASED. Hoarding those emotions is like having a basement full of junk; it's not sanitary.
Our emotional wellbeing is essential, and shadow work allows us to stay in shape.
There's no better time than now to get to work. While the Sun is in the sign of Scorpio, our conscious minds, as a collective, are directed toward our subconscious. The energy is perfect for diving head-first into shadow work.