Shadow Work is a deep-dive personal development process. It is a powerful experiential method for exploring your inner mental and emotional world, allowing you to rediscover hidden parts of yourself and shift patterns which no longer serve you.
It can be an intense and incredibly rewarding journey creating profound shifts in behaviour, spirit, attitude and emotional well-being. This is carried out by highly trained facilitators in a slow, safe and deliberate way.
It works with the idea of exploring your shadow.
Our shadow is the collection of those parts of ourselves that we hide, suppress and deny either consciously or unconsciously. These are attributes, behaviours or feelings which we learned we should not have in everyday life. We banished these parts to the shadow when we found they didn’t fit in with the way those around us expected us to be.
We may have been belittled for crying, punished for being angry, told off for being loud, shamed for being quiet. Displays of big emotions such as anger, fear, grief or even joy may not have been received well by those around us. We may have then supressed those emotions or aspects of ourselves.
The shadow is made up of all kinds of facets, not just those we see as ‘dark’ or ‘negative’. There could be some ‘positive’ parts of ourselves that we have exiled to the shadow, parts which we may find to be full of power and creativity but that we have thought too risky to see or show. We may have hidden our assertiveness, our confidence, our joy for life.
“I’d placed spontaneity and playfulness in shadow. After exploring these internalised messages, I now find that these qualities can be expressed, allowing for more freedom, fun and passion!”Kate
Why should I explore my shadow?
We all have a shadow and it will have come into existence to keep us safe, loved and valued in our early lives. The problem with our shadow arises when it starts to get in the way of how we want our life to be. We can spend a lot of energy keeping things hidden in shadow and run out of energy for other areas of our life. We may find ourselves missing some of the more valuable aspects of the shadow. We may find there are aspects of our behaviour over which we have no control, these will be in found in the shadow.
It may be time to look at our shadow when we feel stuck in a pattern, unable to be our true selves or incapable of being fully free and connected with ourselves or others.
“I found I had placed love and caring for myself in shadow. This meant I felt stress and pressure in my working life and unease in my close relationships.”Waqar
How can Shadow Work help me?
“I lived a life of mostly ignoring my feelings and inner knowing. When, in a Shadow Work session, I found out why I was doing that and was able to let that go, I felt a huge freedom to listen to those neglected parts.”Kate
Everyday life isn’t always the best place to explore the shadow. Delving into a repressed way of being either at work or at home may not always turn out well. With Shadow Work, we offer a safe space to explore the shadow slowly, deliberately and safely in a shame-free setting. You can peek into the shadow and see what needs to stay there and what needs to come out. You can try out new ways of being. You can build a new pattern and from then on choose which pattern to adopt at any point.
Exploring your shadow can help you:
- Discover and build on lost strengths and powers
- Regain control over parts of you that currently have control over you
- Reclaim confidence and self esteem
- Dip into the shadow for blocked or lost energy
- Make changes in your life
- Move on from old patterns of behaviour
- Connect better with yourself and others
- Express and release emotions
- Come to terms with something
- Find happiness, peace and fulfilment
- Feel more whole
You don’t need to know what you want to work on before coming for a session, just that you want something to happen!
Is it safe?
We, like all Shadow Work™ facilitators, are trained to a high level and are committed to conducting Shadow Work in a way that is free of shame, blame or judgement. The exploration of your shadow is kept safe in three main ways:
- We follow you, we never direct or force you in any direction. You choose every step of the way. You explore any risks and decide which, if any, you’d like to take in order to get what you want. You control how far you want to go.
- We help you break things down into manageable parts so that you keep perspective.
- We work with our own shadows to ensure we have integrity. As qualified Shadow Work coaches, we are required to (and want to!) continue to do our own growth work to maintain our certification.
“The open listening and acceptance enabled me to make a connection with the vulnerable little boy inside me who stood at the door watching my father leave.”Waqar
Types of Shadow Work facilitation
There are two main types of Shadow Work facilitation. 1-1 or one-to-one Shadow Work coaching is where a facilitator works with you alone. The other method is group work as used in Shadow Work weekend seminars.