If you have recently read my post about what is shadow work and why should you do it you may be wondering where you should start. Shadow work will look different for every single person that performs it. You will find that some of these tips on how to get started with shadow work will really help you while others may not be the right fit. This is okay but I suggest you try a wide range of things and step out of your comfort zone because that is what shadow work really is after all.
Starting out with shadow work
Consider professionally guided shadow work
For some people starting shadow work on their own is not the best option. If you are already using a therapist you can get started with them on helping to pull out the hidden side of yourself.
If you do not already have a mental health professional you can find a mental health care provider that is a good fit for you with sites like psychologytoday.com.
Keep a journal
Journaling is one of the very first forms of shadow work out there. In your journal take the time to explore the deeper darker side of yourself. Call yourself out on your negative patterns, toxic traits, and the things that you fear the world will see. These things are often the heart of our shadow self.
You can use shadow work journal prompts to help make it easier to work through deeper darker parts of yourself.
Life-changing shadow work tips
Avoid shaming yourself
We all grew up in a society that thought us that shaming others and more importantly ourselves is not only acceptable but the right thing to do. As you get to know your shadow self quite intrusive thoughts that make you feel shame or guilt for your shadow self. Your shadow self is simply part of you and has every right to be who they are without judgment.
Look back at your childhood
For most people, our shadow self is formed in our childhood years. From parents that are very judgemental to church sermons that told you how bad you are. Take time to unpack those judgments that made you hide away part of who you are.
Dive into past trauma
Diving into the trauma you have lived through and thinking about how it affected you as a person and what coping mechanisms you used can be a real eye opener. This will bring out a lot of who you are and allow you to make healthier patterns in your life when facing trauma in the future.
Make affirmations part of your daily life
As you learn your triggers and the things that cause you to hide away part of yourself you can help work through these with affirmations. Choose affirmations that help work against the things that trigger you. Try things like:
I am beautiful
I am strong
I am worthy
I am grateful
I deserve to be happy
I am a good person