Using your Journal for Shadow Work
Let me start by describing what shadow work is for those of you who aren’t sure.
Shadow work, according to 8 Benefits of Shadow Work and How to Start Practicing It (betterup.com), is a practice you can take part in which can help to discover elements of yourself that have been suppressed or hidden. This can range from trauma you have experienced and the effects it had on you, undesirable parts of yourself that you or others have rejected, or you fear will be rejected. All these things you may not even be aware of. Swiss psychiatrist Carl J Jung thought of shadow work as the hidden part of the human psyche.
Throughout life we all face judgements that make us question ourselves and what we do. It causes us to alter who we are so we can fit in or feel accepted. As we grow, we may recognise that there are elements of ourselves that we want to keep private. We bury them in our subconscious, sometimes so deep that we don’t even recognise them anymore. This then causes us to behave certain ways, for example jealous or insecure. By doing shadow work we can find these parts of ourselves and heal them, so they don’t hold us back or affect us. Shadow work is not all negative, but it is a necessary part of healing and growing.
Starting shadow work can be daunting and it isn’t often clear how we would even begin such a practice. I recently watched a video on how we can use journaling to start our journey through shadow work. I’ll link that video here ((45) What Is SHADOW WORK? [5 Effective Ways To Do It!] - YouTube). In this video it is explained how to identify your shadows and work with them. One of the points that stood out to me was how to review your childhood using journaling. It was advised to ask yourself 3 questions. Was I accepted? What was expected of me? What behaviours and emotions were judged? It also suggests asking yourself the question ‘what would I do with my life if I wasn’t afraid?
I think every person can relate to that last question in one way or another. With shadow work we can look at what’s holding us back and what we really want from our lives. The heart alchemist, who is featured in the video linked above, also suggests asking yourself what parts of yourself do you dislike, are there parts of yourself that you judge, and do you fear any parts of yourself? You can use your DreamKeeper journal to answer these questions and begin shadow work with yourself today.