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Shadow Work

Click Here for a FREE psychic reading at PsychicAccess.comShadow work is the process of learning to speak your fears, anxieties, shame, grief, and rage before Spirit, and having it witnessed by humans. The latter is needed to heal toxic shame and to get you comfortable with being your authentic self in front of other human beings. Shadow work is speaking out whatever is currently uncomfortable for you to say in front of others. For some people shadow work is speaking out about one’s successes, happiness, gains and accomplishments.

Sharing works best when you are specific and refer to date, time, place, and people involved in actual events, as well as describing the specific emotions experienced at the time and describing actual behaviors and actions that occurred.

A shadow work group, like 12-Step programs, provides a safe sacred space and a confidential environment, where others are there to listen and witness your journey of healing, without interfering. Shadow work groups understand that they are just there to witness, and know that the real work is between you and your Higher Power.

Shadow work groups give you a safe place to practice saying things that normally are not spoken, or must be said with careful attention and energy. When you share precarious, painful, fearful or shameful information with such a safe group, you will slowly, with the help of your Higher Power, be able to heal the emotions and energy connected to those issues and events.

In time, instead of those issues and events ruling you, you will have the space to make choices – choices on who to talk to in your life circle about delicate personal matters, as well as when to do it, how to do it, or if it is even safe to share with certain people, or not.

Inside every one of us are darker problems that exist. In order to touch the very depths of our being, we must be ready to explore our buried self through shadow work. And in order to be truly at peace, we need to get in touch with our darker side, rather than repress it ~ Jude Paler

As you unload toxic memories and emotions, you free up healing space in your psyche. Shadow work occurs in layers, and when you first start you will only be able to address certain issues, or certain memories. As you get clearer, and stronger, Spirit will free up more up earlier memories, more difficult material for you to address, look at and heal.

People bury pain as a way to survive – particularly childhood pain and extreme trauma. You have to unwind slowly, and the safest way to do this is to become willing to allow Spirit, your Higher Power, to reveal material to you, trusting Spirit to know you best, to know when you are strong enough to grow through the next layer.

Discipline To Educate The Self

Sharing is only part of shadow work. As you learn more and more about your Self, you will discover wounded areas. Yes, Spirit will help with healing however you incarnated to learn and grow, to evolve. When you discover wounded areas in your life, your psyche, your emotions, your social skill set, your neurobiological patterns, you will have to literally educate yourself to learn and practice new skills.

Spirit can guide you to the best books, healers and teachers, but you will have to do most of the heavy lifting, the work, yourself. After all, it is your life that you are saving. Learn to research your wounds, your wounded Self, and read up on healthy life skills and then practice them.

Bring your reports of your progress (and even your lack of progress) in practicing new skills to your shadow work group. Often when speaking about your practice, you discover new details as you speak. Speaking your progress out loud, again being very specific, also makes your progress and hard work more real for you, as you hear it out loud and have the added energy of others witnessing you owning your work, with your Self and with Spirit.

The shadow self or subconscious does not know whether it’s sabotaging us or not, of course. Because it is hidden, it can seep into our life, our beliefs, and everyday behavior in unexpected ways – sometimes even as protective defensive mechanisms meant to keep us from owning our full, unbridled power – hidden from the world or from potential scrutiny ~ Shahida Arabi

Making Amends As Self-Care

After some time doing shadow work, you will be able to better distinguish between toxic shame and healthy shame. Toxic shame is self-hatred. It is hating your very being-ness. Healthy shame can only be recognized when you are balanced, and no longer drowning in toxic shame. Healthy shame is when you can identify actions you took, behaviors you chose, words you spoke that do not make you proud, or that do make you feel good about yourself and who you really want to be as a human being.

It takes some time to feel balanced enough to take on amends and reach this stage. Continue to be guided by Spirit, by your Higher Power. Meditation and prayer asking for support, assistance and guidance, should be a consistent practice when you are doing shadow work.

Direct amends should only be made when there will be no harm done to yourself by others. Otherwise, you will have to, whilst working with your Higher Power, find very creative ways to make indirect amends. Amends are done to heal you, so that you can feel better about your Self, so you can feel better about the wrongs you committed against others, and against your Self.

Asking someone else, “How can I make amends to you?” is passing the buck. It is asking the other person to do your emotional work. This is another subject you can research. Look for good books, and also pray about it.

Shadow Work As A Lifestyle Choice

In the beginning shadow work is done to clean up your life from childhood to the present, and to learn new skills, as well as make amends for the past. This can typically take a couple of years, if you are seriously working at it. Otherwise, it can take quite a bit longer, maybe even a lifetime. After all, your childhood occurred to set you up to learn all the lessons you agreed to learn in this life, in order to evolve as a Soul.

Everyone will learn and evolve. Some will use life only as their teacher, while others have agreed to consciously wake up in this life and tackle their life lessons in a more conscious fashion.

People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. They will practice Indian yoga and all its exercises, observe a strict regimen of diet, learn the literature of the whole world – all because they cannot get on with themselves and have not the slightest faith that anything useful could ever come out of their own souls ~  Carl Jung

Once you are quite comfortable with your Self, with being your authentic Self in your life, your work, your relationships, your shadow work is still not done. It remains a work in progress on a daily basis, like brushing your teeth, like eating healthily and exercising regularly.

You clear each day by some self-examination, looking at what worked, and what could have gone better that day. You look at your choices regarding your actions and your words, and you also examine how well you kept up your self-care that day. From this examination you see if there are any amends you would like to make, and any better behaviors you would like to choose. All of this is done by first getting connected to your Higher Power through meditation, and the prayers of “help me” and “show me”.

This way each day will become ‘the way,’ or ‘the path’ of mindfulness, self-awareness, and connection to Source. Each day is your next step in evolution, education, consciousness, being connected to Source and Self, as well as joy. This is the Tao.

Spirituality Or Psychology?

The shadow work I do is detailed and mostly based on the twelve-step concept. A twelve-step program is a set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioral problems.

Some spiritual people and new agers are not very fond of twelve-step programs. Some of them also don’t like Psychology. They would rather identify any issues they have, with themselves, their relationships, their weight, their income, their health, or their life in general, with their past lives, their astrology charts, tarot spreads, or dark spirit entities, and so on. Some prefer to opt solely for crystal healings, manifesting ceremonies, banishing rituals, or past life regressions, as solutions to the problems they experience. I believe in and support most of these practices, but not as a quick fix and complete substitute for doing any of the work yourself.

We chose this life – all of it. Therefore, when we were souls designing this life, we set up all the future blessings and all the challenges for ourselves ion this life, in order to evolve as a soul, and yes to have some fun too! We designed this life as a soul, before incarnated, free from the temptations of human life, of human desires, and we did it with all of our Guides present. Taking on your life, all of it, your wounds, your shortcomings, as well as your blessings is the way. That is your path to enlightenment. That is the Tao.

How you tackle that is your choice. Personally, I teach both Psychology and Spirituality. Spirituality, to me, means having an actual practice. A practice that involves connecting to and listening to Spirit, to a Higher Power, to yourself and your intuition. This requires some form of quiet, usually meditation. Psychology is also a practice. You have to actually use the tools for it to work.

About The Author: Nonna

Nonna lives in Southern California, and is a professor of psychology and a teacher of psychic development, energy work and meditation, who has recently finished her PhD. She has been a counselor for both humans and animals for thirty years, removing energy blocks through her expertise in the spiritual arts. She also has numerous years of study and practice with classic psychological therapeutic models, family work, twelve-step processes, nutritional and body/mind/spirit healing, complementary, alternative, and quantum medicine. Nonna is brilliant at unearthing the gems in every client's soul and polishing them to a fine finish. To release your own soul's sparkle, contact Nonna at

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