It can feel so confusing to witness ourselves and others behaving in ways that seem incongruent with what we profess to be our values or desires - especially when these actions lead to hurt, harm and destruction to ourselves and others.
Shadow work and embodied awakening are all about helping the anesthetic to wear off - to gently dismantle the armour we have created around us to protect us from feeling everything from the exquisite vulnerability hidden within our fear, grief, shame, sadness and sorrow, through to our wrathful rage and hatred as well as our erotic pleasure and ecstatic joy.
Over time these deeply transformative processes support us to reveal, integrate and transform beliefs and emotions that we are unaware and unconscious of - but which more often than not are determining how we show up in our relationships, service, work and play in any given moment.
The truth is, to truly be able to walk our talk and live in integrity with our values we need to be willing to turn towards shadow work and embodied awakening.
It is only through these transformative processes that we are able to become conscious of the conditioned beliefs and emotions that are getting in the way of us being able to fully chose how we show up in our relationships, groups and the world at large.
The role of trauma
Since trauma lies at the heart of creating what we call shadow, it is vital that those holding shadow work and embodied awakening processes are trauma-informed and able to create the necessary conditions for participants to feel enough safety in their systems for this work to be healthy and transformative.
What this means is that shadow work and embodied awakening is what you could call 'advanced' inner-work. Before embarking on this it is therefore important to grow enough emotional ground that we are able to hold ourselves in the strong emotions this work can evoke.
Check out our pages on transforming trauma and cultivating resilience for more information on this.