The Shadow Self
The shadow self is the part of the person's subconscious mind that harbors the hidden feelings and effects of traumatic situations. This part of the mind also holds repressed feelings and reasons, unbeknownst to the person, that cause them to respond in the manners that they do.
What Lurks in Your Shadows?
Do you know what makes you do what you do? Why do you get upset at seemingly silly things, or why do you insist you put your food away in a certain manner? The shadow self knows, if it relates to something you experienced and not something you inherited. Some personality traits can be inherited, and can be addressed during a shadow self session, but let's look at the traumatic events first.
Reaching Your Shadow Self
How do you delve into your shadow self? First, meditation. Entering a meditative state is a safe way to address repressed feelings. Through meditating, you can reach that part of your brain that holds memories and feelings. Find a quiet place that you can be for about 30 minutes. Concentrate on relaxing your body, starting from the top of your head, down to your toes. Now put yourself into a bubble of bright light. This will give you a sense of protection. If you want, you can put the bubble up before entering meditation. Now that you are relaxed, ask yourself if you are ready to meet the darker parts of your psyche. If you are not ready, you will feel a sense of foreboding. Back out and simply concentrate on what you need to do to get ready. If you are ready, then proceed. You can always back out of the situation if you feel uncomfortable.
When meditating, concentrate on your shadow self, the part of you that is keeping pain safe away from your daily existence. If you have not had a traumatic event, you may do this to find out why you can't keep a date, for example. Perhaps there is something about you that turns people away and you really want to figure out what it is, searching your shadow self will clear this up.
It may feel silly at first, but once in meditation, talk to yourself silently, ask yourself what you need to know. What is the first thing to come to mind? Work with this first. Let your mind flow free, let it come up with whatever images it wants.
Examine all images that come to mind, let your mind go where it wants to go. You can do this little bits at a time,at first, until you are ready to see the whole picture. Take your time and not push it. Sometimes it takes several sessions of meditating to reach your shadow self.
You Have Contacted Your Shadow Self
Now that you have contacted your shadow self and have selected an area to work on, what do you see? Are you working on why you get mad when a certain subject is brought up? Maybe you do not know why you do that. Ask your shadow self to explain to you what is going on, then allow the information to flow.
If you are reaching a part of yourself that you know is particularly painful, such as abuse or a violent attack, and you are hoping to overcome the nightmares, fears or odd behavior you believe is stemmed from that, be sure you are emotionally ready. Have a friend with you or you therapist nearby. This type of shadow work can be emotionally difficult, but very healing.
Take a Break For the Day
Now that you have had one session with your shadow self, take a break, have some coffee or take a nap. Do what you have to do to clear your mind and heart. It can be very difficult to learn unpleasant things about yourself. Be proud of your efforts to progress emotionally and become a better person.
Addressing Inherited Traits
Have you ever been told that you act “just like Great Grandma or Grandpa”? You have never met them so how could you act like them? Some personality traits, even habits, can be inherited. But what if you do something that defies all logic, that you do not know what causes it or why? You go through the list, no bad break ups that caused it, nothing traumatic,but you have been doing this all your life. Where did it come from?
Go into meditation and try to reach you shadow self. Once there in your mind, ask yourself if you have a relative with those personality traits. Your subconscious can reach areas that you never knew it could sometimes and you may just make contact at a psychic level, with one of your relatives. If you do not, that is fine,just stay in your meditative state and wait to see what comes up. Repressed memories may come floating in, introducing themselves to you as such. You may see that your mother and maternal grandmother have the same trait, but you never noticed before or just never gave it any thought before. You might release a memory of your mother commenting on how her father used to do the same thing. It is possible that you were told at some point, but you felt no need to remember it at the time. Shadow self work can bring all this to light for you.
Keep your mind open and expect anything to come to mind. Nothing is wrong, it is your mind, your memories, your experiences. If when meditating you see purple unicorns on roller skates, do not worry, this is you subconscious memories having some fun. Enjoy.