Shadow work and releasing your inner critic


I often talk about blocks, and seven-year cycles, some may say I go on about it! Releasing subconscious blockages is not as scary as it sounds. I recall 100 years ago when I was learning past life regression, (it feels like it!) where regression was described as a COW (opening a can of worms) and most clinical hypnotherapists do not like practising it or teaching it, so often I was called upon to teach this regression. To understand your past you really need to understand who you are today.

Change brings a challenge into your life where your ego does not have a say in the new direction.

The shadow exists as part of the unconscious mind and is composed of repressed ideas, weaknesses, desires, instincts, and shortcomings – Carl Yung

Recently, I have found that most of my clients and friends are going through some changes in their life. Leaving jobs seems to be the main change, moving towards more of a lifestyle that brings balance. Priorities over passion, fun and creativity seem to be the thought process- However, the change comes with that inner critic that can talk us out of living the life we deserve.

When we show up and identify that we are not living the life we deserve this often triggers thoughts of the past.

“Many come to me to heal. Healing gives you leverage to move forward, but your shadow of the past will always exist. Consciously understanding your past and confronting your compressed truth allows you to be untraumatized”TRANSFORM YOUR PSYCHE, BRIGID CURRAN

Sometimes a situation may occur that triggers a behaviour within yourself that you

1. May not be aware that you had.

2. You thought you had dealt with it.

When we talk about a Shadow, immediately we are taken to a dark scary place, where we have locked away trauma. Unexplained emotions and decisions take over our personality, manifesting as irrational behaviour and we immediately label ourselves as having a self-sabotaging type of personality.

Shadow work is a term used in the psychology world, a disowned part of your personality, born in childhood and is a byproduct of your upbringing.

We are born with traits, you may have been born a sensitive soul, but your upbringing could be where your upbringing does not allow that behaviour, (that man-up behaviour) So you shut down your true self to adapt to the environment. Just an example of how we are conditioned to our environment. As you become older, and more evolved, the shadow aspect of your personality presents itself in certain behaviours- these are called triggers. Fragmented aspects of your personality that you project to the world. This is where we notice this projection as we look in the mirror.

Triggers are your best friend, as they show you your wounds and present self-healing. Let us imagine you are out with the love of your life and you notice they are talking to someone who is giving them far more attention than is necessary. You are about to lose your mind and say something. Stop! Notice that shadow and ask yourself why are you feeling this way?

The moment you ask the question, the deeper you understand your shadow. In this scenario the fear of rejection manifested itself and you were about to act out on your shadow. If you give your shadow space in your life you are expanding it. Catch your emotional triggers and you will soon identify repetitive patterns and you will find your shadows, heal and reduce them. Spot the shadow before it manifests!

Gift yourself time and ask yourself

What parts of yourself do you dislike?

What parts of yourself do you judge?

and what parts of yourself do you fear?

The goal of shadow work is integration, eliminating the darkness, the more you shine a light on the shadow the smaller it becomes and does not affect you so much.

Your shadow was born from non-acceptance so don’t antagonise it!

Observation without judgement is the key to self-healing, do not allow your inner critic to judge your shadow. Re the scenario above, catch the shadow, spot the trigger, observe the behaviour and integrate it back into your psyche, reducing that shadow. The more you do this the fewer triggers you will have that antagonise you.

When you are able, spend time alone for a childhood review. Ask yourself.

Was I accepted by those around me?

What was expected of me?

What behaviours and emotions were judged by my parents?

You will soon be introduced to your shadow self and when you spot the shadow aspect just set an intention to heal, and integrate those feelings into your life. Casting light on anything that scares you reduces it allowing you to be untraumatized

Brigid Curran-Spiritual psychologist and Author


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