Now that we know what shadow work is and how ignoring it can impact on our lives, this post explores some creative ways of exploring your shadow self. Using creativity in shadow work is a great way of stepping outside the box to experience inner healing and transformation through self-awareness.
These creative prompts can help you make peace with your shadow self so that you can find peaceful happiness to live your best life.
Start a shadow journal
Journaling can be therapeutic to write down your thoughts you don’t want to tell anyone else about. A place where you can express yourself without judgement and you can just let your thoughts spill onto the pages. When you begin your shadow work make a daily reminder to write about whatever comes to you. Don’t censor yourself, just write. Don’t overthink it, just allow you thoughts and emotions to flow onto the page. At first, journaling your emotions may be uncomfortable, but it is important to allow your shadow to be heard.
As you reflect on your words, you may spot habits – good and bad – that have been holding you back. Reflecting on your shadow journal can help you identify those habits and allow you to develop new positive ones that create value in your life.
Use the creative arts for internal expression
There are many studies out there that show using creative arts is an empowering way to bring out your shadow self. The use of art is especially beneficial if expressing yourself verbally does not come easily. Art allows you to feel different emotions when you are creating, both positive and negative. Engaging in a creative arts sessions is a time for you to allow yourself to be spontaneous and allow your inner self to create wheat it wants – no matter what it may look like.
Creative arts can include drawing, sculpture, painting, music, dance, singing – choose the medium that lights you up and allow yourself to be lost in the moment of creativity.
Observe your triggers with a meditation
As you sit in silence allow your thoughts to notice any emotional reactions that are within you. As you meditate take a step back and just observe them, without judgement. When the emotions arise, allow them to surface and simply observe what is happening. These are triggers to help you spot your shadow self. Sometimes these triggers highlight signs of past trauma, or the shadow may be sending you messages to help you realise it is time to let the hidden part be seen.
As you sit in reflection, or even in meditation, imagine your shadow sitting across from you in a café having a conversation. Start by asking your shadow some questions and wait for an answer. Keep an open mind and listen without judgement. It may feel strange at first, but it can be an enlightening way of really discovering your shadow self.
Bonus: For more shadow work prompt exercises, please download Fact Sheet 9 from my Wellness Resources page.
Disclaimer – Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t have to go through shadow work alone if it becomes too stressful or upsetting, depending on what comes up for you. You can seek the assistance of your doctor, a psychologist or a holistic counsellor who are trained to listen and guide you through shadow work. Sometimes it helps to have someone go on the journey with you – especially if you are new to shadow work.