Shadow Work

What is it?


Claudia Rose

6/13/20231 min read

woman walking with shadow
woman walking with shadow

You’ve come here to learn about shadow work and I’m very happy for you. Not many people will enter this phase of their life. You are rare, my friend.

First, you should know that shadow work is a Jungian philosophy. Carl Jung (famous psychologist) believed that each of us has a shadow self that has been “repressed, hidden and made to feel inferior.” This repression breeds guilt and many other unconscious issues. The main focus of shadow work is to bring forth the repressed, “less palatable” parts of ourselves and explore them. At the very least, we should accept them as a part of us instead of abandoning them.

The most beautiful aspect of shadow work is the fact that it is transformational. There’s no self-help book that will do more for you than facing your shadow self. You will have to break yourself down before you build yourself up. It will take honesty and hard work, but it will be worth it.

The basics

You can begin with questions to explore like the ones below or you can choose a meditation.

What is a promise I make to myself and continue to break? Why can’t I keep this promise?

What irritates me about other people? What about that irritant relates to me or what I am missing in my own life?

What behaviors was I not allowed to exhibit as a child that I continue not to exhibit as an adult even though I have free will?

My own personal experience

Through shadow work I was able to accept multiple levels of body image issues. I was able to learn emotion identification as well. This may seem basic, but as a child my emotions were stifled. I tended to bottle them until they exploded. Through shadow work, I was able to bring forth my anger from repression and accept it. Without my anger emotion living in repression, I had no reason to bottle my emotions and could identify them as they arrived.