The shadow self is neither good nor bad. It is simply part of the mystery of who we are. The shadow self includes parts of ourselves that are unconscious; that we’re not yet aware of. To ‘awaken’ we bring the unconscious parts of ourselves into consciousness or awareness.
We can journey within into the mystery of our shadow self and discover much information about how we work and what unknown motivations are guiding us.
These unconscious forces are either our nature, living in us through our DNA – or nurture; from our environment. Shadow work is the process of learning about things about ourselves that we tend to keep private and perhaps even hidden.
The process is similar to de-cluttering one’s home. We look at what we have, feel the emotion that comes with the item and make a conscious choice of keeping what serves us, and discarding that which has lost its usefulness.
Removing what has lost purpose for us empowers, just like a spring cleaning. For example, I might have enjoyed a certain cookbook for years but once I stopped eating a certain way the cookbook wasn’t useful, so I let it go. In a similar way, looking into my shadow self I discovered I had a particular character trait that served me as a child but was getting in the way of my flourishing as an adult. So, I let it go.
Who Are You?
Getting to know ourselves increases our trust with ourselves and with others. In honestly seeing who we are – accepting and loving that – we increase our self-trust.
These are the foundations of excellence in magick. Self-acceptance and self-love are where we derive our power to be exemplary human beings and dynamic witches. As lightworkers and spiritual seekers, we want to be people that walk our talk. This increases our trustworthiness as we are of service to Spirit.
We must have the experience of knowing that of which we speak and teach. It is essential that we were willing to experience the dark nights of the soul, to have spiritual awakenings so that we can be fully human and live the spirituality we have learned.
The more we know, love and accept ourselves the greater service we can provide to others simply by being present.
TWO TIPS FOR DOING SHADOW WORK
Witch Tip #1
Consider that everything in your world is a reflection of you. What you see before you is a reflection of what is living within you. The kind person in front of you, and the not so kind person in front of you are both reflections of you.
It might be challenging to believe we’re as lovely as the amazing person and as terrible as the jerk. Often we want to declare that the jerk is an example of what I do not want.
“We are nothing alike,” we proclaim.
Or we adamantly declare, “I would never do that terrible thing they did.”
We might say this often in our primary relationships, or about a boss, co-worker or intimate partner, “How could they do that? I would never do that to them!”
I ask you to consider how have you done the same thing? Perhaps not the same action but had the same intention? Your partner didn’t contact you and they were unreachable for 48 hours. They forgot, they didn’t care, they were too busy whatever the reason. Perhaps you think this is inconsiderate.
Look at where you are inconsiderate. Find where you can love yourself even if you are inconsiderate. In understanding that we too are capable of doing something awful, as other people do, we open the door for compassion and forgiveness. These acts of love make us powerful magical people.
Tara Brach, Ph.D.’s Radical Self-Acceptance  teaches that bringing mindful attention to our inner life, and a full, compassionate engagement with our world assist us in loving ourselves fully. In so doing we free ourselves and society from suffering.
Witch Tip #2
Prayer and meditation are excellent methods to know our inner self. Engage in conscious/mindful breathing for 3-5 minutes each day at a time that suits your lifestyle. This is the simplest form of mediation, and it will bring you powerful results!
There is nothing to hide. You are a human treasure. All parts of you are divine.
By Veronica Schultz