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SHADOW WORK: UNPACKING THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND


One of the best ways to recover from the negative effects of fear in your life is with Shadow work. Everyone has a shadow self, wrote Psychologist Carl Jung. He is also known for the personality testing that we have in psychology and the labeling of personality types like introvert and extrovert, the introspect, the performer, and the architect. Most everyone has heard of these tests. In fact, they are even used at most schools and in major industries to assess compatibilities. But there is so much more to these tests than what is seen on the surface level. What most people don’t know is that Psychologist Carl Jung and many others had an enthusiastic engagement with Gnosticism and metaphysics which spanned for the equivalent of their careers. In metaphysical studies, the journey of an apostle, prophet, or teacher is to become one with the Supreme Godhead- SOURCE ENERGY. To hold and understand your divinity one must embrace, love and work with both their angels and shadows to become their whole GODself. You must operate in the Law of Oneness to walk in your divinity. “The less the shadow is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser its energy.” -Carl Jung WHAT IS OUR SHADOW? Our shadow is the denser area of your identity that is suppressed in the subconscious mind. Your shadow self is basically all the parts of yourself that you would like to think are not there. You tend to push it down and ignore these parts of yourself. It’s the places that you try to abandon: the psychological and emotional trauma, the lust, the greed, the addictions, the fears, the insecurity. These are just a few areas of the shadow that reside in us. These unexposed areas prevent us from experiencing Divine Love. This can manifest as issues with diseases, feelings of low self-worth, addictions, scarcity mindset, and other mind/body health issues that can affect overall quality of life⏤All of which are rooted in FEAR. Under the social mask we wear every day, we have a hidden shadow side. Everyone carries a dark side, even if we don’t like to admit it. We catch fleeting glimpses of our shadow when someone rubs us the wrong way or when we are stressed or lacking in sleep. Aspects of the shadow come out when we’re too tired to uphold the social mask we wear every day intended to provide security and the image we are well put together. Sometimes we witness our shadows in full frontal chaos. It’s the impulsive, wounded, sad, isolated part that we generally try to ignore and bury its existence either out of fear, guilt or pure shame. You can’t just get rid of your shadow, no matter how far you run. When the sun shines even brighter, the shadow is often more apparent. Shadow work can sound scary: To embrace our Demons. Shadows. Trauma. Skeletons in the closet. And I am not going to lie, parts of it may be rather uncomfortable. However, discovering and owning our demons is a vital part of our spiritual journey. The shadows can be a source of emotional richness, vitality, true joy, and peace in life. Acknowledging, embracing and integrating your shadow can act as a pathway to recovery, and to living an authentic life and becoming your Divine Self. WHAT IS SHADOW WORK? Before I dive into what shadow work is, let me briefly mention Sigmund Freud’s work about parts of the psyche (mind)⏤conscious, subconscious, and unconscious.

  • Conscious - defines our thoughts, actions, and awareness of feelings that we own (understand). This is our everyday mind.

  • Subconscious - the reactions and actions we realize when we think of it. The subconscious acts as a filter, so we’re not overloaded with stimuli from our environment. This is where adaptive and maladaptive coping frameworks reside. For example: Pianists or typists don’t have to look at the piano keys or keyboard to know where the keys are.

  • Unconscious - the deep recesses of our past and memories as a deeper automatic mental process. According to Freud, the unconscious stores all repressed interpretations, thoughts and feelings of events, including psychological trauma. These thoughts and feelings can manifest in both everyday conscious and subconscious frameworks that we operate in. For example: suppressed fear towards one’s abusive alcoholic father can be triggered by the smell of liquor.

Shadow work is the process of diving into the unconscious and revealing repressed thoughts and feelings that make up the fixations⏤psychological rigidity frameworks⏤that were created to keep us safe in our subconscious mind. These frameworks are maladaptive coping mechanisms that are being operated in the subconscious mind. By bringing these unconscious repressed feelings and thoughts out of the “shadows” and into the light we can understand why we unconsciously think and interpret situations and events from a rigidity. Doing this work helps us integrate our shadow into conscious awareness and therefore break the rigid cycles of fear-based thoughts and behavior. This work is not for the faint hearted. But it is necessary for us to fully walk in our divinity. This process is what most lightworkers call the Spiritual Awakening process or the Dark Night of the Soul. The Western world labels it as psychological issues or even mental breakdown. It’s thought that repressed thoughts and feelings are the sources of many psychological issues. As such, psychoanalytic therapy is used to lure the unconscious “shadow” out to be addressed and integrated. In spiritual terms, we recognize this as misalignment. Many Spiritual Workers (like shamans, Babalawos and Tau/teachers), and Psychologists Jung and Freud believed that venturing into this work on your own can bring on imbalances in our being.



INTEGRATION OF THE SHADOW

There are four parts to our being: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. To add an extra level of complexity, two of the bodies operate in masculine energy (physical, mental), and two are feminine energy (emotional, spiritual). Our culture generally emphasizes the masculine side, to the point that the Universe became off balance⏤look at technology and AI.

We are now in the new era of Aquarius and feminine energy is starting to be valued but let’s not forget the lessons learned from 2,000 years of masculine energy over-dominance that have been in place.

INTEGRATION is needed for both masculine energy and feminine energy and disregarding polarity to become One in the Divinity. BUT THIS IS A PROCESS.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” -Carl Jung

Carl Jung believed that the integration of the shadow side is necessary so that our full self is acknowledged and we can live in a balanced way.

Shadow Work is a practice that helps us to become whole again in our divinity. It works on the premise that you must 100% OWN your Shadow⏤rather than avoiding or repressing it⏤to experience deep healing.

Originally, deep shadow work was not done alone. It was done with the help of a Shaman, Baballawa, The Healer, the Mambo⏤the medicine person of the village. This was village community work guided by the village spiritualist. The village spiritualist would hold the space and walk this lifetime journey with the person as they discover their full authentic self.

But now we really don’t commune as easily. Many of us do not have access to find a Shaman or Medicine person to hold that space for you to do your shadow work. And to hold you accountable to examine and own and love your shadow.

This is not a walk in the park and most people will actively resist this process. Many of us go to great lengths to protect our self-image from anything unflattering or unfamiliar. And so it’s easier to observe another’s shadow before acknowledging one’s own shadow. Or to label shadows as bad and try to get rid of them. In reality that just masks the symptoms of the shadow which causes more harm.

RESISTING THE SHADOW

Here are a few of the ego’s most beloved techniques to prevent the shadow work process:

  • Projection is the act of ascribing character traits onto other people. I’ve heard people say: “Jake made me act that way because of the way he talks to me or treats me.”

  • Rationalization is a justification of certain acts or behaviors in certain situations. I’ve heard people say; their husbands’ evil spirit is rubbing them the wrong way. I’ve even heard people say that an extraterrestrial or paranormal being like Archons, have attached themselves to the person.

  • Social masks are the guises that we wear on a daily basis to fit in. It is easier to put on the societal mask that we were given or are comfortable with. The ego does not want our perception of ourselves or how we think other people perceive us to be disrupted.

Projecting, rationalization, rejecting, suppressing, denying, or disowning your Shadow, whether consciously or unconsciously, is a dangerous thing. The thing about the Shadow Self is that it seeks to be known. It yearns to be understood, explored, and integrated. It craves to be held in awareness. The longer the Shadow stays buried and locked in its jail cell deep within the unconscious, the more it will find opportunities to make you aware of its existence.

Both religion and modern spirituality have a tendency to focus on the “love and light” aspects of spiritual growth to their own doom. This over-emphasis on the fluffy, transcendental, and feel-good elements of a spiritual awakening results in shallowness and phobia of whatever is too real, earthy, or dark.

Spiritually bypassing one’s inner darkness results in a whole range of serious issues. Some of the most common and recurring Psychological Trauma/Shadow issues that appear in the religious leaders and light workers and spiritual developers are arrogance, manipulation, and narcissism. There are many misguided and quick-fix spiritual online courses with a lack of mentorship.

I can’t tell you how many therapists, coaches, spiritual light workers I see and know who venture into this world of shadow / trauma / demon work and do more damage to the client. We all need to know our lane and own craft.

This work is not the calling of everyone.

There is no one way, cookie cutter formula to this work that works for everyone. It is not a one time deal. It’s a lifetime journey of working and integrating your shadows into your consciousness. This is why I am leery of one-time modality sessions, online courses and quick 6 to 12 weeks programs to “healing” or so called “spiritual enlightenment.”

Nor is this the type of work that can be done effectively alone. The key word is effectively⏤I know many spiritual workers who claim they have done this work alone and they have only scratched the surface. They have difficulty functioning in this realm and the spiritual realm.

In addition, just like there are four main parts to our being (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) and many systems that regulate each of these parts. We may, depending how deep you are called to go, require many different workers/helpers/teachers/guides to help us with this work.

This work requires student/teacher, discipleship, mentoring, initiation, and deep psychodynamic work.

SEEKING MENTORSHIP IN SHADOW WORK

There is nothing new under the sun… Energy never dies or is created. It ebbs and flows. All of these practices, formulas, and modalities noted by physicians/psychologists, religions/spiritualists are not new. They were practiced by our ancestors. It has just been tweaked for modern times and the masses. But by enhancing a process it should not overlook the foundational components.

As a former financial regulator, I understand and respect the process of Universal and Cosmic Laws. Process and laws are governing ingredient principles of foundational components. Laws and ingredients for fundamental principles change and expand as we the people change. This is different from societal and cultural norms.

As a teacher, spiritual healer and now a mental health clinician and soon to be licensed counselor, I am mandated by a regulating body of American Counselor Association (ACA) and World Health Assembly (WHO) to use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and follow a code of ethics similar to physicians “primum non nocere” Latin for “DO NO HARM.”

Recently I had a friend who reached out to me about exploring their spiritual gifts. They are being called to a certain healing modality that they feel like they are called to administer. The 1st thing I stated was that modality is NOT my forte’ it is out of my wheelhouse. As a spiritual developer DOING NO HARM is knowing your area of expertise and helping in guiding people to discover their DIVINE craft. We went through the exercise of finding out the laws and regulating body that governs that modality.

*Hint Any physician, teacher, spiritual guide, or healer who:

  • Can’t tell you the regulatory body and their Code of ethics they are prescribe by

  • Won’t invite you to challenge their beliefs and practices in a meaningful manner

  • Claims to be a generalist they can help you with all aspects of your being

  • Or who is not a current student to a physical teacher⏤they can’t tell you what they are currently studying, who their mentors are, or the name of the person they are walking their spiritual journey with.

RUN! This is an ego driven practice. I’ve heard the saying that we should be our own guru and I believe this to be true. This is your Higher Self, your Godself. We as human beings still require interaction, engagement, teachings, and mentorship to aid our expansion and the expansion of the Super-consciousness that we are all connected to in completing our physical ascension. And even after physical ascension there is more work to do…Which I will share at another time.

This is why I try to stay humble. I welcome every opportunity to learn about myself and/or another, through advice or counsel that another feels compelled to share. I try to do this with a childlike demeanor, being open to the process that a person may want to share with me whether they are educated, spiritually awakened or not. Information can come from the mouth babes…

The Bottomline is, True “Integrative Being Development Work” (yes, I just made that terminology) that covers all aspects of our Being (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) and integrates both aspects of our polarities (masculine and feminine; negative and positive; light and shadow), requires a team of members / workers / practitioners /professionals to assist the client through their journey of Divinity Integration (another term that I’ve coined).

ASSEMBLING YOUR SHADOW WORK MENTORSHIP TEAM

Below is a list of team members / practitioners / professionals that would help with Shadow work.

TYPES OF TEAM MEMBERS

Higher Self / Soul (non-physical part of Self) – Permission is needed by this part of the person prior to any work being done. This is imperative to ensure the work can be done properly. There are times that the Higher Self will not allow the work to be done because there is something that the soul needs to experience. It will also ensure that the Law of Free Will is being upheld.

Spiritual Guides (non-physical beings) – The specific shadow aspect being worked on will determine which spiritual guides may be used. The person’s guides are needed, as well as the mentor’s guides. This will ensure the mentor’s ego does not come into play and doesn’t accumulate karma during the process.

Professional - A well trained, continuously learning team mentor who knows their expertise and helps you within that area and refers you to others when an issue is outside of their wheelhouse.

PAIRING WITH THE FOUR LEVELS OF THE BEING

The Physical Being requires an Integrative Physician. These professionals understand and respect all aspects of the Being.

The Mental & Emotional Being requires a psychodynamic psychiatrist, therapist, or counselor. These professionals understand Psychodynamic analytical approach and are insight oriented. They look to your past unconscious issues to understand your present-day symptoms/issues. The goal of psychodynamic work is to heighten self-awareness and self-empowerment.

The Spiritual Being requires Professional Spiritual Developers, Ministers, Teachers, Workers, Mentors, Practitioners, Healers, Readers, etc.

Life Coaches can work in tandem with team members listed in group three for the spiritual aspect of the Being. Coaches provide short-term, goal oriented, skills-based solutions to present-day problems. They can help with clarifying and achieving goals by putting a plan to such desires. This type of worker is not equipped or designed to analyze the root issues or the reason for the problems and concerns.

I am not devaluing this type of worker; I think they are a needed focal point to our Integrative Being Development Work. But there needs to be a clear distinction of team members’ focus areas and expertise. Tony Robbins, one of the most famous life coaches and speakers, wrote a great article about the difference between the industry that he is known for (coaching) vs. therapist.

This view is shared by coaching certification bodies like the International Coaching Federation (ICF). You can find a coach that specializes in every area of life. Currently there are 30 different coaching certification programs. You can find a comprehensive list on the ICF website. There are a few other foundation groups that help create a standard for this non-regulated, non-licensed industry such as the Institute for Life Coach Training Professional Certification and the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR TEAM MEMBERS

What is their area of expertise? You would not go to a Proctologist for a heart murmur; you would go see a Cardiologist. The same goes with Spiritual professionals or workers. Understand the meaning between a Spiritual Developer (teacher, mentor, minister) versus a Worker (practitioner, healer, reader).

Are they a licensed or certified professional? Is the practitioner part of an association of workers or regulating body that hold the same beliefs and guiding principles that help govern each other?

Know the terminology. When one of these team members / workers / professionals state they specialize in “Healing” this implies the physical aspect of our Being: cells, tissues and energy.

The contrast “Recovery is more focused on the mental, emotional and spiritual part of our Being. This concentrates on flexibility, a return to normal function or former state prior to trauma, psyche concerns/breakdown and spiritual awakening.

EMBRACING ALL ASPECTS OF OUR POLARITY

The biggest compliment I have received was by someone who was trying to put shade on me while introducing me to another person I was considering hiring. The person said, “Mija is a Spiritual Developer and she helps people on their spiritual path. However, she doesn’t have it together. She will be the first person to say ‘that is outside of my wheelhouse’ or admit she is wrong, or she needs help. She doesn't hide her flaws. I’m helping her to develop and articulate her expertise.”

Needless to say, she and this person do not work together because I am not ashamed of my flaws and my shadows. I fully embrace them. If you work with me you know I will shine light on my shadow quickly or allow you to tell me if you see one of my shadows. I remain humble. I’m completely aware and have learned to love a couple of my shadows.

Many light workers who see my huge shadow are afraid of it. Or thinking it is bad and may even question my light and spiritual work. But we need to embrace both aspects of our polarity to walk in our Divinity.

When doing shadow work you need to understand when and why it appears. For me, my big shadow comes out when I feel like death is about to occur spiritually or in a relationship. It came to be a shadow in my soul’s life because I have been a monk, geisha teacher, tantra yogi, priest, and oracle in many of my lives and was executed in many lifetimes due to my spirituality.

When you understand why, when and how the shadow comes to be, you can use it to be your bodyguard or messenger of things to come. Seen and unseen.

I have the highest respect for Light and Shadow Work. Light work is important for enlightenment. And Shadow work is the single most important path to uncover core wounds, core beliefs, traumas, and projections. I have also observed how Shadow Work has helped to create profound clarity, understanding, harmony, acceptance, release, and inner peace in the lives of others.

It is truly deep work that makes changes on the Soul level, targeting the very roots of our issues, not just the superficial symptoms. There is SO much to be gained from making Shadow Work a part of your life, and daily routine. Here are some of the most commonly experienced benefits:

  1. Deeper love and acceptance of yourself

  2. Better relationships with others

  3. More confidence to be your authentic self

  4. More physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual clarity

  5. Increased compassion and understanding for others, particularly those you dislike

  6. And much, much more.

At my Oracular Healing events we start the process. At these events we go deep in exposing your shadows and the shadows of the Soul’s loved ones. But it does not end there with the spiritual development process. I don’t push when people are not ready to peel. Only if they are ready to discover the next level of their universe. I am always here.

If you are committed to doing your shadow work and are looking for support on your inner journey, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m happy to discuss your needs on a complimentary clarity call.