As many of you know I am big into shadow work. I have been doing personal work with my shadow work teacher Robert Masters since the start of 2016 and I began training with him in the summer of 2016. My studies of depth psychology and attainment of my Master’s degree from Pacific Graduate Institute was my first conscious confrontation with the unconscious and that which was in the underworld (I began to dip my toe into the shallow end of the shadow work pool) – but my work with Robert threw me into the deep end!
This work has been so meaningful and profound for me that I share it with everyone. I have now begun teaching it at festivals (including Bhakti Fest, Shakti Fest, Sedona Yoga Festival) and I weave it into my readings, my writing and my teaching. I am still very much on a journey of deepening into this work and letting it permeate all aspects of my life.
Shadow work is not for the faint hearted. As my teacher Robert says, ‘people like the Light but not the heat’. Shadow work takes you into the transformation fire. It is an alchemical crucible in which all your ‘stuff’ comes up to confront you. It is NOT an easy process and it does not happen overnight, in a one-week training or even in a couple years of committed shadow work. It’s a life long process, a journey of facing what is unconscious and unresolved within oneself and working with what is constantly arising.
the benefits of shadow work
The biggest benefit for me in regards to the shadow work I have done is that it is helping me become more embodied. I have always been very heady and very spirit-centric. From a young age I could leave my body – ascend and go up and out quite easily. In many respects this was me disassociating, but it was also quite easy from me to experience states of bliss as well. Shadow work has been a process of descension for me. As opposed to ascension and going up and out – I have been working to fully come down and in. In the spiritual community there is a huge focus on ascension, light and the heart chakra and up (from heart to crown). What is often missing, and is in fact key to true enlightenment, is facing and integrating the shadow and healing/strengthening the integrity of the lower chakras (root, sacral and solar plexus). And shadow work does just that!
shadow work + relationships
Shadow work has also helped to clarify relationships in my life, helping me to trust my intuition and learn to discern more clearly what is healthy, aligned and in integrity and what is not – in myself and also in others. Of course this has also shown me clearly where my relationship patterns are repeatedly keeping me stuck in karmic, wound-ship type relationships. The light being brought to the shadows has helped me see where I have work to do.
A big arena that shadow work is helpful for is dealing with family karmas. Ram Dass says, ‘if you think you are enlightened go spend a week with your family.’ It’s so true. When I am all by myself I am so contained and can feel such peace and grounding. Now put ‘I’ into a relationship with a family member, a partner, sometimes even my child (when she is melting down) and all of a sudden that peace and grounding seems to go out the door. I am in the deep inner process of shifting huge ancestral lineage patterns and karmas that have been passed down for generations. I am up against a default pattern that everyone previous to me has chosen. It’s like swimming upstream – It takes a lot of effort and a lot of awareness not to just go with the flow and take the easy path.
I have seen so much benefit in my spiritual life, emotional life, work life, financial life and relationships from this deep work I am doing – and this is why I love to share it with others. This summer we have some perfect astrological configurations that will make it a rich time for doing shadow work! We have a triple eclipse portal and mars retrograde – very activating transits and times that doing this deep inner work will be incredibly supportive of (as let me tell you – a lot of stuff will be coming up and out so you can either work with it consciously or have it work you over).
try your hand at shadow work
If you want to learn about shadow work and start to cultivate a relationship or deepen an existing relationship to your shadow come join me at triyoga Shoreditch on Friday 29th June from 7.30 – 9.30pm, where I will be teaching a class on shadow work. This class will cover theory (what is shadow work, why should we do it, what are the aspects of shadow work?) as well as some simple embodiment practices and guided meditations to help you anchor the work in an experiential way.
Click here to book this workshop.