Everything is energy. Energy can flow or not. In this blog you will discover exactly what a shadowside/shadow self and shadowwork is, what kind of negative influence it (unconsciously) has on you and how shadowwork helps you to live fully.
Shadow self meaning
You have all kinds of experiences in your life. How do you deal with this? Experiences (including intense, possibly deeply painful/ traumatic ) experiences can or cannot be placed and processed fundamentally. If this is not the case, your personality can (unconsciously) do its best to prevent you from perceiving/feeling this pain, for example by (unconsciously):
- Keeping the energy at a distance
This energy then becomes part of your shadow self/shadowside. This can be energy in the form of emotions and thoughts, for example. Below you will find some examples of thoughts, emotions and other examples that may have to do with a shadow self / shadowside.
Examples of shadow self on an emotional level
These feelings/ emotions may be related to your shadow self:
- Inner emptiness
- Feeling small
- Feeling inferior
Examples of shadow self on a a mental level
These kind of thoughts may be related to your shadow self:
- What you no longer know about yourself on a mental level
- The things you don’t want to know about yourself on a mental level
- What you don’t know about yourself on a mental level (just think of hidden qualities)
- The idea that you shouldn’t be vulnerable
Other examples of shadow self energy:
- Character traits
Shadowsides may have originated in this life (and also passed down through ancestors ), but also have a connection to other times such as unfinished past lives .
Carl Jung gave prominence to the shadow archetype. For example, he said :
- “Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is”
- “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of others”
- “Whatever you resists, persists”
The influence of shadowsides on your life
In an energetic sense, a shadowside is (unconsciously) ‘stuck’/it is (unconsciously) blocked energy. For example, some people feel that they are trapped in pain. The more you don’t let the energy of your shadowsides flow, the more this will (in the long run) come up and will demand attention in various areas. Below you will find some examples of how this can possibly manifest itself on different levels:
- Physical level, for example in the form of illness, not being able to be creative and/or not being successful in your work. Your shadow (unconsciously) costs energy and can lead to ( chronic) fatigue , for example , because energy cannot flow freely. There are various views on whether a dark side always causes a disease (for example, a scientific view denies this). If your body is ill, it is interesting from a holistic / spiritual point of view to investigate (on an intuitive level) whether / how shadow aspects are related to this. I could write a book on this subject ;).
- Emotional level.
- Mental level.
- Relational level. For example, relationships in your work and private life can not run smoothly / get stuck.
- Spiritual level. In daily life you wear a kind of ‘mask’ because energy is suppressed and you are not authentic. Because of this, for example, you cannot feel 100% inspired.
Shadow work meaning
Shadowwork means shining light (consciousness) on your shadow and fully accepting, loving and integrating the energy of your shadow.
Benefits of shadowwork
By doing shadowwork and integrating your shadow you can develop yourself. For example, you transform limiting beliefs. This has numerous advantages. For example, you experience more balance on a physical, emotional, mental, relational and spiritual level and more:
- Acceptance: you experience that you are good enough (and you no longer lose yourself in perfectionism and you no longer set the bar so high)
- Emotional balance. You feel better and you can more easily indicate your limits
- Connection with Yourself
- Connection with mankind
- Connection with light beings (for example with Ascended Masters)
- Connection to the Source
- That you live in the Here and Now
- Sweet dreams
Shadow work excersises
There are all kinds of exercises around shadowwork. There is no one exercise that always works for everyone. This depends, among other things, on your age, gender and degree of sensitivity.
The influence of high sensitivity
About 1 in 5 people is a highly sensitive person and recognizes themselves in these HSP traits. HSP are extra open to energy and can (unconsciously) experience the energy of their/other people’s and collective shadow more intensely compared to non-HSP.
For HSP who want to get started with their dark side, it is important to choose a method that is pure. For example, prevent yourself from taking over energy from others when you start working with your shadow. Don’t let someone else (such as through a book) ‘talk you into’ a shadow, but go on an inner investigation yourself and observe for yourself what is right for you.
How do you do shadowwork? Tips (also for beginners):
The tips below will help you work with and integrate your shadow.
Tip 1. Make a choice to let your light flow / get to know yourself better
Many HSP fear their own greatness; that can prevent you from letting in more light and flow. To what extent do you want to stand in your light, live your light and increase your consciousness? This choice has a lot of influence on your shadow. The more you let your light flow and you expand your consciousness, the more you can gain insight into yourself (including your shadow) and get to know yourself better.
Tip 2. See your shadow as an opportunity to grow
Your shadow is not ‘bad’, but has a lot of growth potential to offer you. Your shadow wants the best for you. Make a choice to see your shadow as a friend, rather than an ‘enemy’.
Tip 3. Gain insight into your shadow during the day
Create and expand your consciousness. For example, realize in your waking life what you find less nice sides of yourself. What do you rather not face about yourself/what do you dislike in relation to yourself? Realize that this energy does not flow optimally and that you can work with it in a way that suits you.
Tip 4. Make the choice to go full for it
Shadowwork can be quite challenging. Many people prefer to run away from it, or take it a little / half way. This leads to no/hardly any results. Be brave and make this choice to go for it (possibly with the help of a professional); then you will get the most and best result.
Tip 5. Work with your subconscious on a deep level
During the day many people try to suppress their dark side, for example by being busy all the time and/or using narcotics (such as drinking alcohol).
Your unconscious and shadowside shows itself through dreams. Dreams (including nightmares ) are not ‘accidental’, but for a reason. In the night your shadow rises. A nightmare is the culmination of a dark side.
Many people prefer to blame the cause of the nightmare (such as a monster) on their anxiety/problems. They cannot deal effectively with fear /problems in their daily lives and in dreams and, for example, prefer to run away from it/close their eyes to it. They don’t want to face the fact that they (unconsciously) have created their own shadow / blockages (which can cause painful feelings) and can solve this. That’s a missed opportunity. You can also learn to deal effectively with fear/problems and, for example, investigate what a nightmare says about yourself (and your shadow)/what message it carries/how this can be healed on a deep level.
Effectively learn lucid dreaming
Do you want to discover, integrate and (nightmares) transform/heal yourself on a very profound level? Don’t you shy away from a possible confrontation with yourself? Do you really dare to face everything? Are you stuck / have you already done a lot in the field of personal development / high sensitivity / paranormality, but do you feel that you are in a vicious circle and do you want to break it?
Then work with your subconscious through lucid dreaming. That is the most direct and purest way to make contact with your unconscious and shadow. You can discover your shadow in lucid dreams and from there also let light (and consciousness and love) shine on it and also integrate / transform it. To be honest, this is not suitable for everyone, it takes quite a bit of guts and courage. Many people choose the easier way; they stay in the role of victim and emotions with charge and prefer to ‘blame’ external factors for their nightmares/shadow pieces.
Note: I do not recommend shadowwork with ‘ordinary’ (non-lucid) dreams and consulting dream interpretation books and the like. This method contains a different type of (less clear) consciousness and is not so pure compared to the shadowwork with lucid dreaming. For example, dream interpretation books contain the energy of the relevant author, which (without you consciously realizing it) can be at odds with your own energy/could be counterproductive. Shadowwork with non-lucid dreams is in my opinion many times less effective / usually does not help you very much in my view. In practice I see that it rather takes HSP away from themselves (and their spiritual essence), and does not help 100% to get closer to Yourself (your spiritual core).
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About Femke de Grijs and Mathijs van der Beek
We are Femke and Mathijs: a Dutch couple and we are both highly sensitive and highly intuitive/paranormal. We feel a non-physical presence beyond the visible site and we are very interested in spirituality and sacred places.
At a moment we felt like there was more in life than our comfort-zone in The Netherlands. We followed our hearts. We sold our house in The Netherlands. We disposed of almost all our stuff and we live like digital nomads. We travel the world since 2017 with our dog Juultje (born in 2022) and we go wherever we want.
While we are traveling we are also helping highly sensitive and paranormal persons to discover their divine calling and soul purpose and live it, so they can feel alive too.