Tag: Mindfulness

Panic Attack Tips – Easy to Follow Guide!

Panic Attack Tips – Easy to Follow Guide!

Today I will be sharing panic attack tips and techniques that have helped me overcome them in the past. Panic attacks are truly terrifying, something anyone who has suffered having one will agree with. Your heart beats out of your chest, breathing becomes more difficult,…

Overcoming Morning Anxiety – What Helped Me!

Overcoming Morning Anxiety – What Helped Me!

Today I will be sharing some tips for overcoming morning anxiety and what measures I have put in place in the past to help with it. Do you struggle with morning anxiety? Are the first thoughts that enter your mind so negative and so dreadful…

A Beginner’s Guide to the 7 Chakras – All You Need to Know!

A Beginner’s Guide to the 7 Chakras – All You Need to Know!

Today I will sharing with you a beginner’s guide to the 7 Chakras.

Chakra points are energy spots in the Human body. In Sanskrit, ‘chakra’ means ‘wheel’, and the exact definition of chakra is “wheel of spinning energy”, a whirling vortex like the powerhouse of energy.

There are total of 114 chakras in the human body and through these chakras, the energies flow.

However, the seven main chakra points are more popular among yoga practitioners, and each of these seven chakras has its own distinct quality.

Chakra is vital because even a block at one point can cause illness.

One must understand and analyse the function of seven chakras and the necessary steps that can be taken to keep the energy flowing.

Each point of the seven chakras is governed by “spiritual laws” and “principles of consciousness” which can be used for building a positive life.

 

 

Why are chakras important?

When the chakras balance, we feel balanced. When aligned, the chakras swirl effortlessly and bring a sense of wholeness in our mind, body, and soul.

We feel at ease in our relationships, actions, and thoughts. Think of a balanced chakra system as a stream of water that flows smoothly.

When the chakras are unbalanced, we feel unbalanced. When one chakra becomes overactive while another underactive, our chakras misalign.

Tension builds in the body and negative, self-defeating thought patterns develop.

Understanding the chakra system helps to understand how external circumstances and internal thought patterns affect the mind and body.

Physical postures and meditation practices that correspond to each chakra can help release tension stored in the body, let go of negative habits, and restore the chakras into balance.

We release old worries that stagnate our lives and live-in harmony with ourselves.

 

What are chakras?

As mentioned earlier “Chakra” is a term that comes from the ancient Sanskrit language, literally translating to English as “wheel.”

And when you look at artistic renderings of the chakras, you can probably understand why.

Running vertically through the centre of the human body from the base of the spine to the top of the head, the chakras are energy centres that are whirling, spinning and driving the physical and spiritual experience forward.

Just as the universe and everything in it are composed of and filled to the brim with energy, the human body is no different.

These precious energy centres are a way to harness and utilize this life force.

A-Beginner's-Guide-to-the-7-Chakras

Prana – what this life energy is often called – is continually churning and spinning through your body within these seven centres.

When properly aligned and balanced, this prana provides and sustains all aspects of existence for mind, body, and spirit.

The more you know about your seven chakras, the more you can tend to your health and well-being and ensure that these energy centres are flowing freely and in balance.

There are many practices that you can seek out or instil in your daily life to promote chakra healing and in turn promote wellbeing in every aspect of your life.

When chakras are out of balance, they manifest in negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

When chakras are left out of balance for too long, physical ailments can manifest.

They are a signal from your body to pay closer attention to yourself and find realignment.

Many practices such as yoga, reiki, meditation, sound healing and crystal healing focus on rebalancing these energy centres.

 

Understanding all 7 Chakras

The two most important things to remember about each chakra is:

  1. The corresponding location on your body.
  2. The colour association.

Learning these two things about each chakra will make it easier to remember other details corresponding to each chakra.

The location of each chakra is near a major health system of the body which provides intuitive clues on what that chakra is linked to.

For example, the third eye is close to the brain so it fuels a healthy nervous system, strong intellect, and insight into inner wisdom.

The colours themselves give clues as to what can help heal that chakra.

For example, the sacral chakra is orange so working with crystals and essential oils that are orange as well as eating orange foods can help keep that chakra in balance.

Top tip:

Curious to learn more about chakras? Excellent! This book gives and excellent in-depth look in the chakras, I definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more.

 

 

How to balance the 7 chakras?

When we talk about chakra balancing, we may actually refer to various techniques and meanings.

A commonly accepted definition of chakra balancing is the process through which the energy of the chakras is brought to a well-functioning and harmonious state.

Ways to balance your chakras:

  • Meditation.
  • The use of chakra healing stones or crystals.
  • Exercises focused on the connection of body and mind, including yoga.
  • Reiki.
  • Mindfulness
  • Practice visualization.
  • Use of certain essential oils.
  • Sound Meditation.
  • Practice Gratitude.
  • Breath work, including pranayama.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Holistic or alternative medicine such as the use of our Singing Bowls or Crystals.

At first, beginners who focus on their chakras may sense the chakras lightly or not at all.

With practice, the subtle chakra energy becomes stronger, allowing you to build a deeper connection to where soul meets body.

 

 

 

A Beginner’s Guide to the 7 Chakras – All You Need to Know!

 

Now lets break down the seven chakras and what they do!

 

Root chakra (Muladhara chakra) – “I am always safe at the centre of my being.”

Root-Chakra

The first chakra begins at the base of the spine. The root chakra corresponds to the earth element and to the roots we’ve planted, how strong they are, how deep they are, and how supportive they are. It coincides with fundamental needs like food, water, shelter, home, and family.
When in balance, we feel grounded, secure, and safe.
When out of balance, we feel insecure and anxious. We experience weight gain, depression, and stress.
Location: Base of the spine
Colour: Red
Element: Earth

 

Sacral chakra (Svadhisthana chakra) – “I flow with the rhythms of life.”

Sacral-Chakra

The sacral chakra corresponds to emotional and sexual energy in the body. Located in the lower abdomen, the sacral chakra coincides with the element of water, Like water, the sacral energy controls fluidity, versatility, and freedom, whether sexual, emotional, or creative.
When in balance, we feel creative and abundant with pleasure and fulfilling relationships.
When out of balance, we feel emotionally unstable, sexual dysfunction, and lack creative energy. In the body, the sacral chakra connects with reproductive issues and lower back pain.
Location: Above the pubic bone and below the navel (the sex organ area)
Colour: Orange
Element: Water

 

Navel/solar plexus chakra (Manipura chakra) -“I stand in my personal power.”

Solar-plexus-Chakra

Located in the upper abdomen, the navel chakra coincides with self-esteem and asserting yourself. The chakra governs personal power and identity and connects to digestion and metabolism.
When in balance, we feel confident with a sense of purpose and motivation.
When out of balance, we feel domineering or aggressive and have low self-esteem.
Location: The navel area, from the solar plexus up to the breastbone
Colour: Yellow
Element: Fire

 

Heart chakra (Anahata chakra) – “I open my heart to fully living.”

Heart-Chakra

The three upper and three lower chakras connect in the centre of the body at the heart chakra. The heart chakra corresponds with love, compassion, kindness, and harmonious relationships with ourselves and others.
When in balance, we feel love, compassion, and forgiveness for ourselves and others.
When out of balance, we feel unworthy, co-dependent, and disdainful. We may also experience high blood pressure or poor circulation.
Location: Centre of the chest (including the heart, lungs, and surrounding area)
Colour: Green
Element: Air

 

Throat chakra (Vishuddha chakra) – “I follow and speak my truth.”

Throat-Chakra

The throat chakra relates to how we communicate and express ourselves. Because it represents the first of the upper, spiritual chakras, the lower four chakras must align for the throat chakra to balance.
When in balance, we speak, listen, and express ourselves openly and authentically.
When out of balance, we have difficulty expressing our needs and listening to others. We can develop a sore throat or neck and shoulder pain.
Location: The throat
Colour: Blue
Element: Space

 

Third-eye chakra (Ajna chakra) – “I follow the path of truth and intuition.”

Third-Eye-Chakra

The third-eye chakra sits at the top of the spine between the eyebrows and relates to how we connect the external world with our internal dialogue.
When balanced, we trust our intuition, release our ego, and develop strong inner wisdom.
When out of balance, we become cynical and too attached to external circumstances. We may also have problems with headaches and vision.
Location: The space between the eyebrows
Colour: Indigo
Element: All

 

Crown chakra (Sahasrara chakra) – “There is only divine oneness.”

Crown-chakra

Sahasrara is the final chakra that corresponds to the spiritual being. This chakra allows you to transcend the physical world for a divine experience.
When in balance, we feel enlightened and a spiritual connection to our higher selves.
When out of balance, our happiness depends on external conditions. We become hyper-sensitive and struggle to function.
Location: Outside the body and hovering above the crown of the head
Colour: Violet or White
Element: Cosmic Energy

 

A Beginner’s Guide to the 7 Chakras – Final thought

The art of opening your chakras to restore proper energy balance in the body may not have much scientific support, but it is rooted in ancient wisdom.

This form of meditative healing helps you find and address the deep-seated unresolved trauma, feelings, and memories that you carry around with you.

This emotional burden tends to have a negative bearing on the functioning of your mind and body and can manifest in the form of physical illnesses over time.

Balancing your chakras is aimed at relieving you off this load and thereby improving your well-being at all levels.

I would love to hear your thoughts below on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@adam-lawrence.org. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST CHAKRA BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

CHAKRAS

18 Ways to Practice Self-Love – Ultimate Guide!

18 Ways to Practice Self-Love – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will diving into ways to practice self-love. Practising self-love can be a challenge, especially at a time when you may feel low due to circumstances surrounding you. There is never a better time than right now to start putting yourself first and taking…

Practicing Mindfulness at Work – Ultimate Guide!

Practicing Mindfulness at Work – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be sharing tips and techniques for practicing mindfulness at work. Mindfulness is an oasis of calm in our busy lives, a time to check in with ourselves and simply be instead of do. And the wonderful thing is, this dedicated daily session…

How to Sleep Better Naturally – Ultimate Guide!

How to Sleep Better Naturally – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be sharing some tips on how to sleep better naturally.

Do you ever wake up in the mornings and wish you were able to get better sleep?

Maybe you feel like you toss and turn all night or your brain just doesn’t shut off.

One of the worst things that can happen when you know you have a busy day ahead of you is to feel tired, fatigued, and unenergized.

If you work at a performance-based job where you always need to be on your A-game, getting no sleep can be so detrimental to your career.

Along with that, always being tired affects your energy levels which ultimately affects your productivity.

If you’re a busy person and you have a million things to do in a day, you know how important it is to feel awake and ready to work to get stuff done!

But, don’t worry, there are ways you can fight those sleepless nights and relax at bedtime. Below, we have shared some effective ways for calming your mind and getting a good night’s sleep.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified counsellor/therapist so all the advice is given from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. 

 

 

How to Sleep Better Naturally – Ultimate Guide!

 

Sleep is so important, so if you’re having trouble sleeping, here are some tips to help you sleep better at night – I hope they help so you can feel more energised, focused, and ready to take on the day, every day!

 

Progressive muscle relaxation

This is one of the best exercises to induce sleep. A lot of sleep experts recommend evening meditation but if you suffer from anxiety, you may not want to meditate before bedtime. It might be more stimulating than relaxing.

Here’s how progressive muscle relaxation works…

Tense the individual muscle groups on your body, one at a time. Then, release the tension and notice how your muscles feel when you relax them.

This exercise lowers the stress and tension in your body and it’s very effective for when you experience extreme anxiety. So, it’s useful for when you’re trying to relax enough to fall asleep.

How-to-Sleep-Better-Naturally

Once you’re in bed, take 15 minutes to complete this exercise. Start from the top of your head and go over each individual muscle group.

So, if you’re working on your forehead, raise your eyebrows as far as you can. Take a slow, deep breath as you do this. Do this for 5 seconds.

Once the 5 seconds are up, relax the muscle, and exhale. You will feel the tension flow out. Move on to the next muscle group.

Take care to focus on only one muscle group at a time. Don’t clench any other part of your body, only the muscle that you’re focusing on.

It becomes easier to do with practice. No part of this exercise should be painful.

 

Military method

The United States Navy Pre-Flight School introduced the now popular Military Method as part of the pilot’s training routine after they discovered that many of the pilots could not get enough sleep amidst training stress and gunfire noises in the background.

How to practice:

  • Start with your face. Relax all of your face muscles, including those inside your mouth.
  • Focus on the Shoulders. Droop them releasing all the tension and let your hands drop naturally to the side.
  • Focus on your legs. Exhale and let your leg muscles go limp and relax.
  • Take a few deep breaths. Let your chest relax with your exhale.
  • Once you relax every muscle from your face to legs, breathe normally and imagine a relaxing scene. You can also imagine yourself falling asleep.
  • If it doesn’t work, relax and say “don’t think” over and over for a few seconds.
  • You should fall asleep within a minute or two.

After 6 weeks of practice, the pilots could fall asleep in 2 minutes or fewer.

The technique worked even after drinking coffee and is also said to be effective if you need to sleep sitting up.

 

Abdominal breathing

Abdominal breathing promotes relaxation by altering the way you normally breathe.

Unlike with meditation, you won’t need complete silence. You can do it either lying down with your eyes closed or while listening to soft music.

Either way, in order to relax, you must pay attention to your breathing.

To effectively do abdominal breathing, lie on your back and place your hands on your chest and abdomen. That helps track your breathing.

Remember to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Others prefer exhaling through the nose, which is not an issue.

 

 

4-7-8 breathing

This breathing technique has been said to have the ability to put you to sleep in as little as 60 seconds – the technique is simple.

Lay on your back and breathe in deeply. Breathe into the count of four. Hold that breath for a count of seven. Exhale the breath to the count of eight.

Repeat this until you have fallen asleep. It is a cleansing breath, slow breathing technique, and will help your body to slowly calm down and create a feeling of calm.

 

 

Counting Breath

This type of breathing technique is precisely what it sounds like. You simply breathe in and count that as a breath.

Breathe out and count that as well. So, you would be breathing for each count. For example, breathing in would be count one, and breathing out would be count two.

This works for people that find counting to be restful and calming. It can also be the start of a breathing technique that bleeds into another technique like the 4-7-8 method.

 

Self-guided mediation

Many people have used self-guided meditation apps before they lay down to sleep. You may incorporate this new option into your bedtime routine.

How-to-Sleep-Better-Naturally

Combined with going to sleep earlier, practice some meditation via a free self-guided meditation app or YouTube on your smartphone.

This will help you relax your mind and in turn, you’ll slip off into slumber easier without negative thoughts.

 

 

Use a white noise machine

Do they have trouble sleeping without having at least some noise in the background?

Or if you live right in the heart of the city where it’s really noisy or in an apartment where the walls are thin, a white noise machine can be super helpful to help you fall asleep faster.

This white noise machine plays 30 different natural sounds and even comes with a handy timer so that it’ll shut off after a certain time period if you don’t want it running all night.

 

Stop using electronics too close to lights-out

You’ve probably heard that it’s not recommended to use your smartphone in bed.

Reading on your cell phone, laptop or e-reader or watching TV before bed can mess with your circadian rhythms, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Plus, it may even contribute to weight gain, according to a 2019 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Disconnect from your devices well before bedtime. If you like to read before you hit the sheets, opt for a hardcover book rather than an e-reader.

And if you can, take the TV out of the bedroom altogether so you’re not tempted to fall asleep with it on.

 

Try reading

Reading is a healthy activity as it primarily sharpens your imagination. Aside from that, it can also aid you in relaxing and staying calm before going to bed.

Reading may also help your mind separate stress from sleep time.

It is important to take note though that healthy reading should be done with the paper book, not the electronic one.

Books read from electronic devices produce a type of bright light that may lower the production of melatonin, a hormone that stimulates the sleep-wake cycle.

 

Minimise caffeine intake

Most people might like drinking coffee, especially in the morning as it may help them feel awake, but caffeine can have negative effects on your sleep if consumed in high amounts.

Because caffeine promotes alertness by preventing chemicals in the brain that trigger good sleep or encourage regular sleep cycle, this will make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

The effects of caffeine may vary from one person to another, though, so it’s advisable you should not consume caffeine at least six hours prior to sleep.

 

Do a brain dump

A brain dump is simply the act of dumping all the contents of your mind onto paper as one might dump the contents of a purse onto a table.

You are spilling out stressors, your nagging thoughts, your pesky annoyances.

Whenever you feel confused, scattered, or overwhelmed.

It gets your swirling thoughts down onto paper so you can think about them and examine them and make decisions about them rather than just hold them.

If your thoughts are taking over when bed time is approaching, this method is great way of getting things off your mind to help you sleep.

 

 

How to Sleep Better Naturally – Final thoughts

If you’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep, I hope these 10 tips help to enhance your sleep quality.

These tips are very simple to put in place but surprisingly effective. So, give them a try today and start enjoying the best sleep of your life.

What are your tips and ideas to get a good night sleep?

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@adam-lawrence.org. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST SELF-CARE BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

How-to-Sleep-Better-Naturally

10 Natural Grounding Techniques for Anxiety – Ultimate Guide!

10 Natural Grounding Techniques for Anxiety – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be sharing 10 natural grounding exercises for anxiety. Grounding exercises are a way to stabilise strong emotions during stress, anxiety or trauma. Grounding is achieved by redirecting your attention away from what is causing your stress back to something more pleasurable and…

Overcoming Sleep Anxiety – 16 Natural Tips to Help! 

Overcoming Sleep Anxiety – 16 Natural Tips to Help! 

Today I will be talking about overcoming sleep anxiety. For some people, it happens like clockwork: Their anxiety is manageable during the day, but as soon as their head hits the pillow, every possible bad scenario plays out in their mind. Falling asleep is hard…

What is Shadow Work? – Ultimate Guide!

What is Shadow Work? – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be breaking down what is shadow work and the benefits this practice can have.

Carl Jung was the first psychologist to propose the idea of a ‘shadow self’- those parts of us such as personality traits and core wounds that we deny and hide from.

Everyone has a shadow self, and the more you deny it the stronger it becomes, and the more likely it is you will project it onto others.

Jung believed that we do not see others for who they are, but instead through the lens of our own shadow.

For example, the core wound of abandonment, if suppressed and unaddressed, can be projected onto others – you might assume every person who gets close to you will abandon you, and see all of their actions from this perspective, regardless of that person’s real intent.

Shadow work, then, is taking an honest look at ourselves – at our weaknesses, our faults, our core wounds and toxic behaviours.

It is facing them, learning from and integrating them into our personality so we can be more whole and authentic in our actions.

It also helps us to have more empathy for others – by looking at our own shadow we realise that often the people who hurt us simply cannot or will not integrate their own.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified councillor/therapist, therefore all the advice given is from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. 

 

 

What is Shadow Work? – Ultimate Guide!

We all have our own demons that we fight in an effort to live out the best version of ourselves.

Through our upbringing, life experiences and the healing work our soul needs from past lives, we have shadows, demons, skeletons in the closet, whatever you want to call them.

This may be parts of ourselves we try to repress because they make us feel sad or wounded.

They can also reflect how we internally perceive ourselves and ways in which we try to play small in society.

In my opinion, these demons are here are teachers to help elevate our consciousness, help us strengthen our relationship with ourselves, build compassion and help us evolve into the highest and best versions of ourselves.

As we heal and evolve, our ‘dark side’ and shadows become more apparent.

If we suppress these demons or let our dark side run without being attended to effectively, our lives will turn into chaos and we’ll remain stuck in our spiritual evolution and physical health journey, keeping our wellbeing stagnant and ridden with toxicity.

what-is-shadow-work

Not attending to the healing of our shadows can manifest in mental health issues, diseases, feelings of low self-worth, addictions, scarcity mindset, and other mind/body health issues that affect our quality of life.

Our shadow self often harms our life, in ways that are unconscious to us at the time, as a habitual reaction to particular places, people or things.

Our shadow self-blocks us from acting for our own greatest good and can prevent us from reaching our true potential in life.

Through integration of our shadows, fully acknowledging our full self, we can live harmoniously and abundantly in our lives.

Society, especially in the age of social media’s highlight reels and filters, has told us to hide our shadows and show up ‘perfectly’.

And often in the programming we received in our upbringing, we have been taught to suppress our pain and darkness.

We began to believe on a subliminal level, that if we experience struggles or pain, we aren’t being ‘good’. Expressing negative emotions isn’t ‘right’.

However, in reality, through acknowledging our darkness and working through the pain, we are able to enhance our sense of self, leading to greater success and living a more radiant and self-actualised life rooted in our truth.

Top tip:

This is an excellent book on the shadow-self – Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche

 

 

Working with your shadows

Facing our shadows and doing cleaning up the debris is necessary to live a fully integrated life that helps you to continue to evolve and elevate your wellbeing.

Facing your pain takes courage and an open heart. It’s easier to numb the pain, ignore it or suppress it.

Facing it head on and showing up to do the work, allows you to better understand yourself and create more ease in your life.

 

Is shadow work dangerous?

Shadow work is not dangerous, in fact it will actually improve your mental health and the way you interact with the world. I will  talk about the benefits of shadow work soon.

Becoming aware of our ‘dark’ side allows us to heal old wounds and to integrate those unconscious parts into our conscious selves in healthy ways.

You can’t fix or heal something if you don’t know it’s broken, right? So, shining a light on your shadow self lets you change or heal it.

It allows you to talk to that hurt part of yourself and tell them they are loved and safe.

 

Benefits of shadow work

  • Spiritual awakening
  • Greater authenticity
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Emotional freedom
  • Improved relationships through understanding yourself & others
  • Increased energy and improved immune system
  • Overall enhanced state of wellbeing and mood
  • Better communication with others
  • Ability to set boundaries in your life
  • Cease the cycle of self-destruction

 

Before you begin shadow work

Prior to beginning your dive into the shadow – please consider a few things.

Have you developed a solid self-care practice?

Shadow work can be emotionally overwhelming, stressful, and flat out challenging.

It’s good to have a handful of healthy self-care habits and routines that you can utilise to help yourself decompress after getting into shadow work.

 

 

How to do shadow work

So we talked about what shadow work is, how to identify our shadow, things we should be aware of before and during shadow work.

Now lets go over a few things we can use to help guide us through our journey of working with our shadow self.

 

Begin with Inner work

When we identify the aspects of our shadow that need attention, we can begin true healing and growth.

Allow this work to encourage you and present opportunities to expand to your next personal level.

We all have parts of ourselves that we tend to hide or even ignore.

Limiting beliefs or negative self-talk, grief or feelings of isolation- it varies from individual to individual.

Unpacking the aspects of our shadow self and discovering the root of its effects is part of the journey when healing or spiritually awakening.

shadow-work

Start by identifying the following:

Are there any ancestral or familial behaviours or beliefs that you’ve absorbed into your being? (Examples: racism, poverty, abuse, helplessness)

Oftentimes we inherit traits or mentalities from our family and it can develop into negativity within ourselves.

When repressed or unaddressed- this becomes a part of our shadow self.

This doesn’t mean they are bad or did anything wrong (usually), but when we become aware of the patterns or beliefs we may have been programmed with – powerful healing and growth can occur.

Identify any beliefs or behaviours that you currently notice within yourself that may have been absorbed from negative family experiences or tea

 

Examine limiting beliefs

Do you currently operate with limiting beliefs?

Do you often think thoughts like “that could never happen for me” or “I could never achieve that” or “I grew up this way so I’ll always live this way?” If so, you may be operating from limiting beliefs.

Shadow work involves examining beliefs about ourselves and about life. When we identify areas, we may be blocking or restricting ourselves- we can begin the process of healing the shadow.

 

Addressing and caring for the inner child

Inner child work is one of the most powerful things I’ve discovered on my shadow work and healing journey.

It’s as simple as “talking” to your inner child. Envision yourself as a kid again, and tune into what you needed to hear or needed overall as a child. Tell yourself what you needed to hear.

Maybe it was “I love you” or “I support you” or “I’m proud of you.

Look at pictures of yourself as a child and remember what it felt like to be little. Acknowledge the innocence of your inner child and visualise connecting with yourself at that age.

It might seem weird but just envisioning your current self-talking to or hugging yourself as a kid can be so healing.

 

Ego work

Shadow work often involves us identifying and learning from our ego.

When we identify the difference between our ego (false self) and our soul/higher self (true self) it becomes much easier to grow and heal.

The ego does the following:

  • Blame
  • Views everything as separate
  • Acts from jealousy or anger
  • Focuses on power and materialism
  • Complains
  • Blocks us with Pride
  • Denies our own need to heal or improve

The higher self does the following:

  • Accepts easily
  • Views everything as one and connected
  • Acts from a place of love
  • Is grateful, friendly and open
  • Humble
  • Appreciates simplicity
  • Tolerant
  • Acknowledges their part in things
  • Focuses on the present moment

 

Triggers

This is one of the hardest parts learning how to view our triggers as teachers.

Every time someone triggers us- they are simply pointing to something within ourselves that we need to heal.

This may be a hard one to accept, but it’s true.

If we are not triggered by something, that means we are coming from a place of understanding and are grounded and connected to our higher self.

But when someone triggers us, that means we are being shown an area within our own self that needs to be addressed.

 

Negative patterns and habits

Shadow work is about looking into the darker parts of ourselves. This means our negative qualities or bad habits. These things often reveal to us what needs healing.

Being able to admit and acknowledge our negative patterns and habits is a huge healing step in itself.

 

Watch your emotional reactions to other people

Chances are that you are triggered by some things other people do because they are unexpressed parts of yourself.

You feel anger or shame at these qualities and feelings when you see them mirrored in other people.

Make a list of qualities in a person who really annoys you.

Then look at that list and see if there is anything that you relate to. If your first reaction is denial take a second look.

When you notice you feel angry at a particular behaviour ask yourself some questions about it.

  • What am I really feeling?
  • Are there other emotions tied to this feeling?
  • Does it make me think of a person or event from my past?
  • Can I identify the true root of this feeling?

You may not be able to answer these questions right away but over time they will come to you.

This can also manifest through jealously. When you see someone, who is happy and seems to have what you want and you just can’t help but hate them, you need to figure out why you are triggered by someone being happy.

 

Be honest

Once you start the process of shadow work you have to be honest about what you find, no matter how hard it is to admit you may be in the wrong about something.

Identifying those biases could be uncomfortable, but you will be a better and more compassionate person if you’re honest with yourself.

If you find something you don’t like in your shadow self and push it further into the dark instead of dealing with it, you are only hurting yourself.

 

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is not necessarily for the person who wronged you, it can be just for you.

You may have deep hurts living in your shadow self that you are carrying around like a weight on your chest. They lead you to unconsciously act in negative ways.

Forgiveness is a shadow work tool that lets you shed that weight. It allows you to feel better and excise some of that pain.

It’s not about changing the outside situation; it’s about changing on the inside.

shadow-work

A forgiveness method you can do to with shadow work is the Ho’oponopono method.

Ho’oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian prayer that helps you repair a situation or relationship.

The mantra is “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.”

I’m sorry for holding onto the situation for so long.
Please forgive me for any part I played.
Thank you for the lessons you’ve taught me.
I love you

When you practice think of the person (it might be yourself) or situation you need to forgive, let those feelings come to the surface, and repeat the mantra until you feel calm and peaceful.

Shadow work can be uncomfortable. Accept the discomfort and work through it. If you hide from it

will just come back another day.

 

Practice mindfulness/meditation

Being mindful of your thoughts is an important part of shadow work because it helps you notice your inner dialog from an outsider’s perspective instead of being caught up in it.

Mindfulness lets you step outside the river of your thought so you can look at them impassively.

You can watch them float by, and when your thoughts are on the negative side you can just observe them without letting them take control and create negative feelings.

We can do a lot of powerful shadow work while in meditation. Some of my favourite shadow work to do in meditation is connecting with my inner child and identifying what she needs/needed.

Meditation is an amazing tool for learning to be mindful. I highly suggest trying the free versions of apps such as Calm and Headspace, they have beginner’s courses that will get you started.

Below is an excellent guided mediation by Aaron Abke for shadow work.

 

 

Shadow dialogue journaling

Journaling can  help you learn what’s at the heart of your issue, what it is that wants to be released or accepted.

Begin with any issue you’d like to resolve, though I’ve found that annoyances and insecurities as mentioned above are particularly fruitful.

You’re going to be taking on two voices in this exercise.

You’re asking the questions and giving the answers in order to learn some deep truths about what’s in your shadow.

Start by briefly describing the situation and how you feel about it.

You can ask questions such as the following:

  • Why do I feel this way?
  • What am I trying to protect?
  • What am I afraid might happen?
  • (to your shadow) What are you trying to show me?
  • What is there to heal here?

Keep in mind that your whole being wants to heal, that is its natural trajectory. No need to force anything here.

Just relax and answer as best you can from the place of knowing within you. Do not judge what comes up. Journal away.

Related post:

Top tip:

This is an excellent journal to log your progress – Into The Wild Shadow Work Journal: Reclaim Your Wholeness

 

 

Therapy

I mentioned this above but sometimes we need help when diving into our wounds and our shadow self.

There are plenty of incredible and qualified therapists out there.

If you feel you need that type of support in this journey (many do) then begin your search for a therapist that fits well with you.

Don’t be afraid to talk with several and ‘interview’ them until you find the right one.

 

Coaching

A spiritual coach or life coach can help guide us through our shadow work and give us tools to use to empower ourselves through this process of shadow work.

I’ve had the opportunity of working with a wonderful coach who helped me to identify the parts of my shadow self that were seeking to be healed.

It’s a huge benefit to get an outsider’s perspective and advice on how to use this work to help ourselves grow and become freer to walk into our best self.

 

What is Shadow Work? – Final thoughts

Shadow work is finding those scared parts of yourself in the dark and loving them back out into the light. It is gentle and patient work.

It is not digging up past wrongdoings in order to further victimize or blame, but to free your heart from the bondage that has felt safe for so long.

It requires a level of bravery and willingness to look into the dark aspects of one’s self in order to come out on the other side more enlightened, authentic and connected to self.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@adam-lawrence.org. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

 

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