How does shadow work interplay with the law of attraction?
This is always an interesting question that comes up because there are so many different philosophies regarding manifestation and raising your vibration.
Many coaches focus on staying really positive and training your mind to not even go to the negative... although people who say that are well-meaning, there's an entire other side of yourself that you can't ignore.
You don't want to suppress uncomfortable emotions that come up to heal and process.
We all have our shares of heavier stuff like traumas, anger, resentment, sadness, or depression.
These emotions need to be acknowledged and dealt with which is what Shadow Work is all about.
Shadow Work is an observation, acknowledgment, and recognition of anything in you that is of a lower vibration.
These could be thoughts and emotions surrounding your past your present your future. This could be traumas that you've dealt with in the past. This could be resentment or anger that you have towards other people, or unresolved unforgiveness that maybe you have for yourself or someone else.
There are a lot of things that can fall into this category of shadow work. But it's really the stuff that's not fun to deal with, right?
This is the stuff that we typically don't enjoy the feeling of. We often want to move through it quickly.
You may have some unresolved conflict with friends, family, loved ones, coworkers, and all that heavy energy. When you think about anything in your life, whether it's happening now, something in the future, or something in the past and it causes an icky feeling of some sort... any level of anger, depression, resentment, fear, frustration, you know, rage, sadness, all of those emotions... that's shadow work.
It's about dealing with the heavy stuff in our life so that we can process it in a healthy way, clear it out, heal it, and move forward.
The goal is... instead of looking back at these thoughts, emotions, or events in our life that once brought us a lot of heaviness or darkness, we can look back on the events with neutral energy. We can be grateful that the stressful event happened to us because of the knowledge and wisdom that we've gained. It allowed us to evolve, mature, and manifest better things.
Shadow work is important because I have noticed there is a lot of hype around manifestation exercises that simply raise your vibration.
Although raising your vibration and positive practices are important...
I do them and teach them all of the time too because you're training yourself to be a happier and more positive person with a higher vibration!
But here's the issue, if you're not addressing some of these other things that are going on underneath the surface, then those heavy emotions or beliefs are eventually going to rise to the surface and you're not going to know what to do with it.
The Shadow Work is important because as you raise your vibration the shadows will rise to the surface to be dealt with so that you can clear them out and raise your vibration to the next level.
Understand that you can't reach your full potential without addressing your shadows.
Maybe you're holding onto some level of lack of self-worth, lack of self-confidence, maybe you're really hard on yourself, or you're a perfectionist.
I've noticed a pattern with people who begin their manifestations journey and they're so hard on themselves for not manifesting fast enough according to their expectations. This pattern must be healed to actually manifest faster.
If you don't do the work to clear out the old patterns, you're actually just holding yourself back.
It is so important to just go inward, self-reflect, and be able to process what we're thinking and feeling in order to come to a better space.
This is a very natural process that we all experience and need to go through.
I created a process to help release shadows that I love to teach my students... I call it the letting go process.
This four-step process that I created really helped me to kind of forgive and let go of the past.
We have to acknowledge that there's something that we're holding on to that no longer serves us. Often things are hidden in our blind spots until we're ready to see them and deal with them. We are designed to only see what we need to see and what we want to see and what we're ready to see within ourselves. So it's important to have the self-awareness to watch your thoughts, to watch your emotions, your patterns, and your habits.
Then when you see something that's no longer serving you and it's no longer in alignment with who you want to be in order to manifest the life that you really desire, you just have to acknowledge that it's there.
Say, "thank you" for having that negative pattern or "so-called" negative pattern. It's not necessarily negative, because it's actually helping protect you. It's there to teach you something.
Whether it's a mindset pattern, a habitual pattern, an emotional pattern, resentment, or something you've been holding on to like anger from the past, whatever it may be, thank it for being there. It showed up for you because you needed it to be there.
It was a survival mechanism that helped you cope at the moment with whatever that experience was. It was created to benefit you and protect you. It was created to help you cope and deal with your life in a better way. But understand, that doesn't necessarily help you in the long run, which is why you now need to let it go.
Now that you know you don't need to hold onto the shadow anymore, choose to let it go.
Feel it being released from your body and mind. Continue to release it in your imagination until you feel a physical release in your body.
You may need to move, cry, scream, or be still. This part is done when actually feel a shift happen within you.
What is the new emotional baseline that you want to feel in your life?
What is the new belief system that you want to hold on to?
What is the new belief system around that old trauma or the hurt or the resentment or the event?
Like how are you now going to reframe and re-see that old event in a new way?
You have to do the legwork to shift how you're thinking and choose a new way of seeing the world or event. You must choose a new way of seeing yourself and of showing up for yourself.
Repeat this protocol as many times as you need to in order to heal your shadows. It may take one time or twenty. Each situation is unique based on how emotionally attached you are to the programming and how much you identify with it.
When it comes to focusing on this area of our life, it's going to be different for everyone. It is possible to overdo the shadow work, because by "over-focusing" on the negative within sometimes we're actually programming ourselves to be in that state through repetitively reliving negative thoughts and emotions.
It's not black and white, and it's really an individual experience.
If you avoid feeling negative feelings or thinking negative thoughts, then you may be suppressing what your body or mind needs to heal.
This can backfire on you later when you're "bucket of heavy emotions" eventually overflows. It's best to address things as they come up instead of avoiding or trying to constantly "think positive."
I have seen people that start to do a lot of inner child work, and then they just go down the rabbit hole with the inner child work. They start digging up all of their trauma, and it gets to be very overwhelming. They're doing so much healing work on their trauma, that then they're neglecting all of the positive mindset work. They neglect some of the positive reframings and naturally go spiraling downward a little bit.
Understand that there's a balance, and it's going to look very different for everyone. I have been working on my inner self for close to 20 years now. In the beginning, I was a lot I was doing a lot more inner work, I was doing a lot more trauma work a lot more shadow work because I had to. I had so much trauma from my childhood and so many repressed emotions that I never expressed.
I never verbalized my anger or rage, and I held so much in. I was so afraid to communicate because of the trauma that I experienced in my younger years. Then I covered it up with drugs and alcohol and a lot of that stuff in my teens.
Now that I'm almost 20 years down the road, I don't do nearly as much shadow work. When stuff comes up, I work on it, but it's a much smaller percentage than it used to be because I've cleared out so much.
I'm now at such a higher vibration mentally and emotionally that the inner work is a lot easier. I don't get triggered as easily, and I don't get as emotional about things in the same way. I see things for what they are, and I can feel things coming up in my body.
As a rule of thumb, keep your positive mindset-work for the majority of your time in any given month.
In the beginning maybe as much as 70% positive work and 30% doing shadow work, then work towards 80/20 or eventually 90/10.
Doing shadow work is a really big subject that's more than I can cover in this blog.
But I do have a great step-by-step guided workbook that can help give you one technique for processing your emotions...
It's the "Get Out of a Funk Workbook" that you can download in the picture link below.
I encourage you to allow yourself to feel your emotions fully. Honor your emotions, but then take an objective look at them and decide if the emotions are truly warranted or if there's a better perspective you can see things from.
Often we're reacting out of past patterns of trauma instead of showing up in the now with a clean slate and mature perspective.
In order to manifest more of what you want in a timely manner, you must heal the shadows and choose a new way of showing up both now and in the future.
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