Shadow work: Following the footsteps of Christ
The term “Shadow Work” is frequently mentioned in the spiritual community, yet often it is not clear what it actually means. After being on my first podcast last week (see https://lightprism.net/2021/12/17/a-podcast-about-the-organic-evolution-of-human-consciousness/), I have received several requests to explain it in more detail. So let’s dive into it.
What is the definition of shadow?
What is a psychological shadow? The definition according to C.G. Jung:
In analytical psychology, the shadow is either an unconscious aspect of the personality that the conscious ego does not identify in itself, or the entirety of the unconscious; that is, everything of which a person is not fully conscious. In short, the shadow is the unknown side.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_(psychology)
So essentially the psychological shadows are the parts of our psyche that are hidden from our conscious awareness. So we don’t even know that certain things exist which might actually influence our lives subconsciously? Sounds scary, doesn’t it? It actually is quite scary because everything which lies in the shadows of our personality still influences our attitudes and behaviors. For instance, think about a situation where the child of a mother is threatened by wild animals and the mother viciously attacks and even kills those animals. In the face of death and survival, dark aspects within us can be triggered so that we and our loved ones get out of the situation. These shadow aspects however are often really frightening or shameful, so we have learned to suppress them so well that even we ourselves are not aware of their existence. Part of it is to live in a civilized society where we have to function as a predictable unit in a mechanistic system. We often repress certain events, memories, or desires so that we can continue to function in a way that is considered to be “normal”.
So far so good. But you might ask what could possibly lead to the creation of shadow aspects or in other words, the fragmentation of our awareness into conscious and unconscious aspects? The answer is simple: Emotional traumas. What is emotional trauma?
[Emotional] trauma is damage to a person’s mind as a result of one or more events that cause overwhelming amounts of stress that exceed the person’s ability to cope or integrate the emotions involved, eventually leading to serious, long-term negative consequences.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_trauma
In other words, an emotional trauma is something negative happening to us, which is so overwhelming that we cannot process it. The end result is always the same: The overwhelming emotions as well with all memories of what happened are stowed away into the darkest corners of our subconsciousness. We actually forget that it ever happened so that we can keep functioning in the outer world. A new shadow aspect is created, representing a part of our personality linked to when the traumatic event happened. Put differently, every emotional trauma leads to more and more fragmentation of our psyche. What used to once be a beautiful mirror, is shattered into a thousand little pieces. With each trauma, the fragmentation increases and our conscious awareness shrinks.
However, the traumas do not only create fragmentation in our psyche. They also create energy blockages in our bodies. The human body is equipped with a powerful system of 7 energy centers, also referred to as chakras. The lower 3 chakras keep us rooted in the physical experience and the highest 3 chakras connect us to higher-dimensional energetic planes. The central chakra, located at the heart, ensures that there is a balance between the physical and spiritual aspects. Our heart is the key to accessing our powerful divine abilities to channel higher dimensional information and manifest them in the physical world. So far so good. Unfortunately, emotional traumas are stuck in our lower chakras and inhibit the energy flow through the human body. As a result, we become zombified beings, trapped in physicality and totally disconnected from our divinity.
Shadows lead to infinite cycles of insanity
Furthermore, there is another sinister aspect to our shadows: We are unconsciously living them out with other people. You might know someone in your friend’s circles who always jumps from one toxic relationship to the next. In the beginning, with the rose-colored glasses of fresh romance, everything might be perfect but eventually, things are starting to fall apart. We often think that we can improve our life by changing things in the external, e.g. by getting into another relationship. Obviously, this rarely works. After a while, the same patterns always seem to emerge because we are subconsciously replaying the circumstances which caused the emotional trauma earlier in life. The thing is that the human body always seeks balance, especially with regards to the emotional energy flow through our chakras. Consequently, the body tries to purge the repressed traumas by triggering them up to the surface once again. For example, a man might have never received praise from his mother in childhood which created a toxic cocktail of traumatizing emotions such as the fear of not being loved. The same man might replay his traumas in adulthood by seeking out dysfunctional women who are unable to accept him for who he is. This way, relationship constellations are created which help this man to bring the repressed traumas to the surface so he has a chance to clear this blockage from his body to eventually liberate himself from it.
Another aspect of the psychological shadows is the resulting imbalance between heart and mind. As we accumulate more and more traumas inside our bodies, the heart is actually walled off and isolated so that the human mind takes over control. The mind will erect a false facade, a distorted image of the self, with has the purpose of maintaining its control and leading us away from the repressed traumas. This false self-righteous facade is often referred to as the ego. What is so sinister about the ego is that it traps us in infinite feedback loops of negativity that are in resonance with our suppressed traumas. The best example of this is psychological projection:
Psychological projection is the process of misinterpreting what is “inside” as coming from “outside” […] In its malignant forms, it is a defense mechanism in which the ego defends itself against disowned and highly negative parts of the self by denying their existence in themselves and attributing them to others, breeding misunderstanding and causing untold interpersonal damage.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection
You might have heard about the concept of projection. For instance, you might take offense at the controlling and micro-managing behavior of your boss to eventually realize that you yourself have those tendencies and are actually angry about yourself. Your boss just acted as the mirror to shine a light on a personality aspect that was lying in the shadows of your subconsciousness. In any case, there are always two options. We can either realize that everything that we do not like about other people roots back to hidden issues within ourselves. Alternatively, we can ignore those problems within us and further perpetuate those vicious cycles of suffering towards other people. Another troublesome aspect is that we often share emotional traumas with our family line. Frequently, a trauma is handed down from parents to children and this process repeats for generations. Many family traumas have been around for dozens of generations and turned into a family curse. With every generation, the downward spiral of unconscious suffering and traumatization continued and sometimes worsened.
What is shadow work?
The central question is: Are you ready to face your trauma by going within? Or do you want to keep it repressed and instead subconsciously continue to live through those cycles of suffering and drama with other people around you? Most people would probably answer the previous question with a decisive “yes!”. It should be common sense that it is better to heal your traumas within than to infinitely repeat those cycles of suffering and insanity in the outer world, which often only exacerbates the situation as the trauma is perpetuated to other people around us. The problem is that our whole society and culture are designed to prevent us from going within and facing those traumas. We have been indoctrinated to not spend time alone with our thoughts and emotions but always live in the outer world do what people tell us and stay busy with mindless distractions. We are behaving like sheep running around in circles, trapped in an invisible prison of our own minds.
Thus, doing “shadow work” is just a fancy description for facing our repressed traumas, going within, healing them, reintegrating the fragmented aspects of our psyche and unblocking the energy flow through our body. In fact, shadow work is one of the most beneficial activities you could ever engage in. It has the potential to liberate you from the invisible shackles of your past and to radically transform your life to the positive. Many people experience quantum leaps of personal growth, happiness and success in their lives after they started to actually address what was weighing down on their souls.
Another interesting perspective relates to following the example of Jesus Christ, who was carrying the cross until he was crucified and later resurrected from the dead. What this symbology actually describes is the process of shadow work: Carrying the cross represents the suffering we experience as we face our repressed emotional traumas and relive those heavy emotions to actually clear them. With each resolved trauma, we advance on our path until we are crucified. You might wonder: Who actually wants to be crucified? Don’t worry, it only has a symbolical meaning which is the absolute destruction of the false facade of our ego. The crucifixion equals the absolute death of our false ego self, for that our true divine essence can emerge again. Finally, we are resurrected which is an analogy for a rebirth so that we can embody the full potential of our higher self in the human body. In other words, it is akin to the process of how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. The old self of the caterpillar needs to perish for that the beautiful new self of the butterfly can emerge.
How to do shadow work?
Are you ready to face your repressed traumas head-on to break the infinite cycles of suffering? In the following, we will discuss a structured process of several key steps.
The fundamental problem of doing shadow work is that our repressed traumas are not visible to us. We often do not even know that certain things exist as they are so deeply repressed. So how can we heal something that we cannot even grasp? This is where triggers come in. A trigger is a situation that elicits a negative response within us. We all know this from observing others. Sometimes, an innocuous random situation can cause a dramatic turn in a calm conversation, leading to the sudden disruption of anger in the other person. Sometimes, when we trigger someone else, their rapid behavioral shift does not make any sense because we did not intend to anger them. The key is that their behavior most likely has nothing to do with the current situation. Something we said or did, however innocuous, reminded them of a traumatic experience from their childhood. And the resulting reaction of anger addressed at the other person is just a coping mechanism to not face the trauma within by redirecting the attention outwardly. Unfortunately, we are really good at not addressing our internal wounds but instead projecting externally.
So let us discuss a concrete example from my personal experience. I always used to be terrified of falling in love with a coworker. This rooted back to deep ancestral trauma but I was never aware of it. About 8 years ago, when I still lived in Germany, I fell in love with a female coworker, a kind and very intelligent lady. Despite having romantic feelings for her, we needed to keep working together on a project. This triggered an immense storm of heavy emotions within me. I was totally confused and did not know what to do. I had no clue how to process these emotions. Hence, I decided to move to another group and work on another project instead. I tried to minimize the collaboration with her because I could not face what emerged within me. I have to admit that my behavior was not exactly the best but back then I just did not know any better.
Fast forward to June 2020, right before the beginning of this Light Prism blog, a young lady was thrown into one of my projects here in South America. As explained in the first blog posts, she triggered me to the max, eliciting the same fears, which came up in Germany 8 years ago. But this time, running away was not an option. The only thing I could do was to face those terrifying emotions which were bubbling up within me. Fortunately, I had had the very competent support of an experienced shaman psychologist who helped me to resolve those traumas and taught me how to do shadow work.
2. Feeling and embracing the suffering
When we are triggered and a trauma surfaces in our bodies, we need to feel it, accept it and even embrace it. As Christ was carrying the cross, we need to embrace the burden of this suffering in order to be liberated from it. Regretfully, we have been trained to not face negative emotions. Instead, there are millions of distractions available to us 24/7 so we can avoid facing our shadows. It can be anything from drugs and alcohol to pornography and social media. The whole system tries to keep us in a state of a mindless consumer, focused on the external reality thereby negating our internal human experience. Hence, the first step is to NOT distract yourself when a trauma emerges. Instead, simply feel and accept it. A good analogy is a mother, who tries to calm a crying baby. She does not need to explain to the child why it should not cry, she simply needs to hold it in a warm embrace and direct her loving attention to it. The child will instinctively feel this and the negative emotions will be absorbed by the mother.
When emotional traumas come up, we need to treat them exactly like a mother would a crying baby: Simply keeping our focus on them, feeling them to their full extent and giving them space to express themselves. In many ways, a repressed trauma can be compared to a frightened child as they originated from a difficult situation which we were too young to deal with. In the beginning, the ego-mind will try to intervene in this process by generating distracting thoughts such as “this is just about the other person, not me”, “I need to do something else, don’t have time for this”, “this is impossible”. It is crucial to not engage with these thoughts but let them pass similar to how clouds pass above us. We notice the clouds and their movements but we do not need to direct our focus there. This is also where meditation practices help to clear the mind and to not be led astray by the “crazy monkey mind” and its cheap tricks. The easiest way to rest the mind is conscious breathing: Focus on breathing by slowly inhaling, exhaling and taking a considerable pause. Rinse and repeat this process, imagining the breathing to be like the anchor grounding you to the current now moment. Nevertheless, the mind does not need to be totally silent. It is okay if it generates neurotic thought patterns. Just try to not get lost in them and return to the anchor of conscious breathing.
As we focus on the emerging traumas, we often experience massive emotional clearings. Those emotions which we were not ready to feel like a child, will be felt now as an adult. Do not be ashamed if heavy tears burst out of you and if you start to weep uncontrollably. Yes, I am talking to you, dear brothers out there. Put aside any feelings of shame or expectations of “strong masculinity”. You have the right to cry like a little child. I’d go even further, you must do so in order to liberate yourself from the invisible shackles of your childhood traumas. And let me reassure you, healed women do not find that repelling. In fact, it is quite attractive for them to be in the company of a man who is in connection to his deepest shadows. There are not so many of those men out of there. So get on with it!
3. Addressing the inner child
As stated before, an emotional trauma often links back to our hurt inner child as well, which is a fragmented part of ourselves. Have you noticed that grown men sometimes behave like angry little boys when they are triggered? The same holds true for women of course. In any case, it almost seems as if certain triggers transform people into their younger selves. It can even seem like a cry for help by the hurt inner child who desperately wants to be rescued! This does make sense due to the fragmentation which happens when we are traumatized as children. A part of ourselves is broken off and stowed away in our subconsciousness. Put differently, every trauma leads to the loss of parts of ourselves. Therefore, each healing experience represents a reintegration of lost parts and actually increases the breadth of our conscious awareness. Our level of conscious awareness grows, as we have fewer and fewer blind spots and also fewer triggers.
So when a trigger hits and childhood trauma emerges, it is advisable to also try to consciously re-establish the connection to the repressed experience. As you are accepting and embracing the negative emotions, also ask yourself the question: Where have you felt this before? Give yourself time in silence and solitude and wait if certain memories or images surface. The repressed emotions also often link to repressed memories, which might surface again and can be helpful to understand the situation. And that is the point: You now are a sovereign adult and no longer a vulnerable child. You have the strength to face this trauma, which was too overwhelming for your younger self. As negative emotions and memories emerge, try to visualize the situation from a third-person perspective. For instance, your mother berated you, saying that you are a terrible child and she regrets having you. This was a terrible trauma for your younger self. Imagine how you enter the scene like on a theater stage. Turn towards your younger self and talk to him, expressing your support and understanding. Embrace your younger self as if it was your own child and finally take it by the hand to leave the situation. Congratulations! You have rescued your younger self and reintegrated this lost and disturbing aspect of your personality.
One of the most powerful tools to do shadow work is to visualize the traumas. When those negative sensations are emerging in your body, try to find a visual representation that accurately depicts them. For example, after your boss shouted at you, you might feel a sense of constriction in your body, as if you are tied up with heavy chains, unable to move. Try to find a fitting description for the heavy sensations you are experiencing. This is one of my favorite methods, which helped me to process certain traumas very quickly. Our visualization is a very powerful ability, allowing us to process huge amounts of information in a short time. In essence, a repressed trauma is a piece of very dense information that needs to be unpacked and decoded like a zip file on a computer. Each shadow aspect contains a lot of information, many lessons and insights which only strengthen us with each integration.
When you sit in silence, simply feeling the trauma in your body with all its subtle yet very uncomfortable sensations, also imagine a visual representation. It could be a set of heavy chains, as mentioned previously. After a couple of minutes, when you feel that you have fully grasped the entirety of this trauma, begin to resolve it. To do so, imagine white healing light streaming into your body from the top with each breath. Visualize how the light is flooding your body like clear water is running down a dirty glass tube. As this healing light runs through you, it is permeating those dark emotions and dissolving them slowly. Imagine how the trauma before was like a massive blockage, clogging your energy tubing system. But now it is broken down into smaller pieces that can be released from your system into the ground. Imagine how your feet are firmly planted on the ground and connected to Earth so that the healing light can flow into the ground, along with those resolved traumas. Eventually, the entire blockage is removed and you will feel much lighter as well.
5. Praying and asking for Jesus’ help
Another very powerful method to assist the shadow work process is to ask Jesus for help. The spirit of Christ exists on a higher level of consciousness outside the bounds of physicality and time. We simply need to request his assistance and Christ will help us to resolve our traumas. It really is that simple. We need to ask though as he is bound to our free-will decision. When we choose to request his assistance, he can contribute very powerful healing frequencies of unconditional love, a light so powerful it will illuminate the darkness within us in no time and transmute it into something beautiful. Christ in his human incarnation was an absolute master of shadow work. He was a very pure soul, unblemished by the cycles of trauma, karma and suffering humanity was trapped in. The main mission of Christ was to take on the suffering of humanity, so he took on our traumas and resolved them by feeling them through his body. Many stories also speak about how he healed others from severe illnesses. As many physical symptoms are related to energy blockages in our body, Christ might have taken on emotional traumas of other people which lead to this seemingly magical healing process. He truly was an absolute role model, showing us the way for how we can actually save ourselves by doing shadow work until we have resolved all blockages and are reborn in full connection to God. Besides, you can also visualize how Christ joins your healing session to shine his light on the situation. In my personal experience, this had greatly helped to resolve some very dark traumas.
6. Breaking the programming
The civilizational control system we are living in (often referred to as the Matrix) does everything to prevent us from focusing within. From a young age, we are told that the solution for all problems is to be found by something external. You are sick? Take this pill! You are unfulfilled? Book this all-inclusive holiday trip! You are lonely? Go on one of the numerous dating apps to find someone who makes you happy. Besides, many people are trapped in unfulfilling careers, as they are obediently doing their 9-to-5 job in an office cubicle. For many people, life is planned and scheduled to the last minute. Even the leisure activities in our time off are often planned to the last detail. There is little room for spontaneous events and unexpected surprises. Of course, this is all by design to further increase our dependency on the system and keep us locked in. The system does not want that we break out and get dangerous ideas such as embarking on an internal healing and spiritual journey. For that would result in the eventual demise of the Matrix system itself.
Needless to say, it does not facilitate doing shadow work when we are busy running in the career hamster wheel. It is clear that it is crucial to break out of the system as much as possible. Fortunately, the Coronavirus has already achieved this as the endless quarantines and lockdowns have eliminated the most comfortable distractions and guilty pleasures we used to engage in regularly. As a result, many people suddenly found themselves alone and with a lot of time on their hands – an ideal situation to start focusing within! For me personally, it all started in 2015, where I had a burnout at my old job in Germany. I was really unhappy with my life and just could not function anymore as the system expects. Hence, I started doing an MBSR course (Meditation Based Stress Reduction) at my university. It was the best thing I have ever done. I learned several meditation and awareness techniques that helped me to escape the insane asylum of the mind, which likes to keep us in endless unnecessary thought loops. Afterward, I also reconnected with nature by doing many spontaneous walks through the beautiful forests of Northern Germany. To this day, I remembered all my worries disappeared and I was often overcome by streams of inspiration. As a result, my performance at the workplace was even better than ever before.
Finally, I would recommend cutting out the media from your lives. This of course includes the mainstream media and news outlets which provide little tangible value at all. Their main job is to provide narrow-minded narratives and instill fear so that the viewers remain stuck in a constant state of fear, worry and shame. However, this also includes a lot of alternative social media sources. There are so many channels talking about potentially disastrous events or they are focused on the corruption of the old systems. Of course, it is not a bad idea to expand one’s perspective and prepare to be more self-sufficient but there is a risk to be stuck in an endless loop of fear programming as well in alternative media sources. At some point, it is advisable to leave this behind entirely and get out of the headspace to switch over to where our true power lies: The heartspace.
7. You are what you eat
Another very important factor is our diet. Our body is composed of the foods and drinks we consume on a daily basis. “As within so without” – everything is connected. As we purge emotional traumas from our bodies, deep clearings also occur on a cellular level, i.e. the body will detox and release toxins and other substances as well. Obviously, the body needs to be as light as possible when doing so. Again, our culture has programmed us to overeat, especially in the West. We put way too much food in our bellies than we actually need. As a consequence, the body needs to expend a lot of energy towards digestion, which leads to fatigue. Instead of listening to the body’s natural response, we are addicted to other substances such as caffeine so that we can overwrite the feeling of fatigue and keep functioning in society. Not to mention the vast amounts of unnatural processed foods and sugary drinks which are very burdensome to our system. Last but not least, our culture tells us to numb our senses with alcohol, which drastically lowers our vibrational level and has detrimental effects on the body.
Thus, the diet is a key part of a spiritual journey. Most importantly, you need to listen to your own body and act accordingly. For instance, do not force food inside you when you do not feel any hunger. Practice conscious eating, the opposite to “fast food”, in a very decelerated manner and observe the signals of the body. Once there is no hunger anymore, stop eating. And most importantly, hydrate with pure filtered water. For me personally, my body drastically changed in 2021 so I eat way less now and also don’t crave certain foods anymore. For instance, after a stomach sickness, I stopped drinking coffee at all – which I never believed to be possible as I consumed 4-5 cups daily just a year ago. Furthermore, I stopped drinking alcohol about 1.5 years ago. My diet shifted drastically too as I now eat way less processed foods and much more vegetables and fruits. Start listening to the signals of your body and take them seriously.
Best of shadow work experiences
In the following, you will find some links to other posts where I described my personal experiences doing shadow work and clearing old emotional traumas. In 2020, I met a very experienced shaman who taught me his techniques, as I was experiencing intense heartbreak:
In many of the sessions I did with the shaman, past life visions emerged from my subconscious, for instance about Ancient Egypt:
Or about horrible ancestral trauma from my father’s bloodline:
In other shamanic sessions, I got very interesting insights about details of my mission in this current transition process of human consciousness:
The next challenge for me was to apply the shamanic techniques I learned to help others. A young lady, who is to me what is referred to as “twin flame”, returned into my life in June 2021. I received a mission to surgically remove traumas from her emotional energy body as she was not ready to do so and totally overwhelmed. I still do not understand how exactly it worked but I managed to successfully transmute several traumas with her consent:
The time has come for many of you to level up your game to the next stage: Leaving the headspace to enter the heartspace. This is how you will unluck your true power and higher consciousness abilities. The process of shadow work to face and resolve your unconscious repressed emotional traumas is the best investment you could ever make. While it is extremely challenging, it has the potential to dramatically improve the trajectory of your life through the transmutation of dense, compressed old energy which has been stuck for too long in your energy body. Thank you for being part of this journey!