Hi, everybody :). First day of New Year 2018 here so what better way to start the year by blogging about new beginnings.
Are you ready to enter a deep shadow work process? Well, that decision is entirely up to you. But I’m going to explain my own experience so you know what to possibly expect.
In the year 2016, I just so happened to become vegan (for three months only until I broke down lol) and I started practicing yoga for the first time in my life. Since then, my eating habits have been relatively decent. I eat 50-80% vegetarian and rarely eat meat at home. I eat mostly organic. I drink a lot of green juice, kombucha, tea and coconut water. I cleanse and do parasite cleanses occasionally and take supplements. I wound up taking ayahuasca about 8 months before I started the shadow work process. Now, mind you, I had eaten relatively poorly most of my life. Not terrible but I had a diet with all of the typical American heavy, cheesy and meat-filled foods. I drank soda. I also ate fast food somewhat regularly as I was too tired to cook after work most days. All of the cleansing and yoga I did for several years (I stopped eating gluten almost entirely for a year and a half before I went vegan) before I started my shadow work, well that was coincidental, but I’m sure it made the process a lot easier. I bring that up because diet and physical health really are important during the shadow work process. It isn’t necessary or critical, especially if you’re in an emergency, but keeping your body in as best working order as you can is really going to help you recover more quickly. You’re going to be less agitated because you’re not going to be eating foods that can make you agitated, lethargic, or just feeling like crap. I believe it really does make a huge difference. I’m not saying anyone has to overhaul their eating before doing shadow work. Just keep in mind that if you’re already sick from those foods as I was (I had a lot of autoimmune symptoms due to what I later found out was primarily related to gluten intolerance), then the shadow work could put you over the edge. It took me years to figure out why I had chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, and a host of other symptoms and there were multiple reasons but my brain and body were not at all in working order due to gluten and other foods. What I’m trying to say here is if food really really affects you and makes you crazy, you want to make some changes with it before or during shadow work. Otherwise you could give yourself a nervous breakdown. Just speaking truth.
Secondly, and what hardly anyone tells you before you start shadow work…lol…. is what you’re getting yourself into. I fully understand that shadow work is an intimidating idea or concept to a lot of people as it is and it takes tons of courage to do self-work. However, I think it’s critical that people really understand what they’re getting themselves in for. Now, mind you, shadow work has saved my life and I am unbelievably grateful to have found these tools. But there’s been many days when I’ve cursed it. And this is coming from someone who was (strangely?) excited to do all this work. It can be really trying at times. Especially if you are needing to recover from a severe illness such as BPD or you have extensive trauma. I’ve been through what I would characterize as two or three cycles in my healing process in the last year. I am in a unique situation in that my mom was helping me financially, although only partially. I was hustling to make up remainder of my bills in my new career. I know not everyone has this help, but it allowed me to commit myself to a very deep process that I embarked upon for nine months.
What people don’t talk about is the fact that you’re opening up your Pandora’s Box. Now, your Pandora’s box may not be opened with one, five, ten or even 15 sessions. It depends on the person, their sensitivity, the extent of their trauma, and the modality they use. It probably really depends on nothing other than whenever your box decides to open. I’ve given a session on one person for the first time where he cried for two weeks straight after that one session. But I wouldn’t even characterize that as opening Pandora’s box. Your Pandora’s box will be open when you start shaking because more stuff is coming up for release. When you can’t stop vomiting energy, emotions, pain. This can happen and it would be wrong for anyone to pretend it didn’t. In fact, all people who go through a deep, deep shadow work process will likely experience this at one point or another. What happens when you open your Pandora’s box is that every emotion you ever ignored, every memory that wants to be looked at, will push you to look at it, heal it, and expose it. Sometimes your body is nice on you and brings things to you at a pace you can handle. And sometimes it just floods out. No two people will experience the same reactions or timeframes from the work.
In my own process, I went to Hypnotherapy school a year ago out in California. I did about 25 sessions out there. I recovered my first memory of sexual abuse there. I left thinking, ok, I was molested. Life goes on and I was good and done. Ha. Nooooo. First off, both myself and my soul sister, Robin, who was in school with me and had received the same number of sessions (25), both started feeling more stuff coming up. Right around the same time, which was shortly after I had left, we both felt a whole other layer rise to the surface for processing. It was then that we realized that we had simply peeled the top layer of the onion, and the next layer was surfacing for healing. I also started feeling really sick and like I had so much in my body that needed to purge but was stuck. A friend happened to do some emotion code on me and it worked so well, pulling up this deep heaviness and I got a lot of relief. But because of how bad I was feeling, I knew I was probably going to need more sessions.
I also was having bad problems with my relationship, and I started getting targeted by very dangerous sexual predators. My friend told me my soul was trying to tell me I wasn’t over it, and I listened. I was really upset I had to, but I decided to enter into a deep shadow work process. My classmate wasn’t available to do endless sessions on me, of course, and I didn’t have money for lots of sessions. I am lucky because since I learned a modality, Alchemical Hypnotherapy, I was able to do trades with other people, which I did as much as possible. Since having that profound experience with my friend with the Emotion Code, I found a local healer who did Emotion Code/Body code and got 8 sessions over 2 months. These really pulled gaping holes of negative emotions out of me, and heart walls were removed. I loved getting the work done and I felt my energetic body rearranging itself and expanding. But I definitely needed a lot of epsom salt baths, water, juice and rest to recover from those sessions. Deep healing was happening.
Next, I found a flyer at my yoga studio. Sonya Sophia Illig was hosting a 7-week event called the 7-week Chakra Sweep at a local yoga studio. At $99, I decided to do the series. After 3 root sessions, one sacral, and one solar plexus, I had only what I could describe as devil energy rise from my root chakra, like slightly painful bubbles, day and night, for six days straight. This was a healing crisis but a good one. I couldn’t even believe the access to intuitive abilities I started seeing after the sacral session. My third eye was going like crazy all night that night and I barely slept. It was completely palpable, the energy shifting around my body. I finished that series.
At some point, I became impatient and was doing a session about every 3-4 days. This is pretty extreme and the reason I could handle it was because I wasn’t working other than a few hypnosis sessions that I got (I wasn’t actively seeking because I needed to focus on healing, was starting my career and had one ad in a local magazine). I don’t recommend people do more than one a week, especially starting off. Even one a week can be aggressive but always listen to your body and go with your intuition. There is possibility of a healing crisis, which would not be fun for you. Please research healing crisis and what that means. I don’t know the exact definition of it but basically it’s when you can get very sick from doing too much work too quickly, or not spaced far enough apart.
I also found a local healer who helped me with various healing sessions. He did an anger release-type ceremony on me, a past life regression, an adamantine particle soul retrieval, and a couple others. I did a few more hypnotherapy sessions. I went to acupuncture and tried something called NEAT with my acupuncturist. I did several trades for massages and reiki. All in all, by the end of six months, I had done about 55-60 sessions using above-mentioned tools. Now, why I will probably be referring many of my clients to use all of these tools, along with whatever other energy-moving/healing tools they want to use (pranic, yoga therapy, Qi Gong, etc.), is because they work really well in moving energy. Some move emotional energy in the emotional energy body. Some move energy and cleanse you in other ways. All are great and I feel that in order to make the process easier on both the healers you work with and on yourself, all people entering a deep process would really benefit from using as many of these tools as they can before and in between other deeper emotional processes like Completion Process or Hypnotherapy. The great thing about some of these tools is that you can do them on yourself (EFT) as much as you want, whenever you want, and they will keep removing conditioning and programming, thus freeing up and healing your chakras. Our chakras are clogged with all types of stuff. Trauma, programming, heavy energy. Doing as much energy work as you can will really help move everything around and get it into balance. I call upon Truth Archangel Raphael to balance and clear my chakras most days. Try it out and see if you feel anything :).
I am going to be truthful as to why you should use these tools in conjunction. As a healer, I want to reach and help as many people as possible, as all good healers do. If someone has really deep trauma, it can be really hard on your healer to bring all of it to one person. Even if you’re paying them. Remember that healers are people too, and we have to do a lot of work to clear ourselves of negative energy that we get from clients in sessions. It’s just part of the process. I am still learning how to shield myself as I get used to my new practice, abilities, and sensitivity. But if you have deep trauma and you go to one really excellent healer to receive help, they may not be able to withstand all of the energy that will come out of you. They may make an excuse as to why they can’t help you after a certain number of sessions or they may just be honest and tell you that they’re not ready for you. This happened to a friend of mine who did 10-12 sessions on me, and it’s happened to me several times with friends I’ve done trades with or a number of sessions on. I’ve seen this theme repeatedly happen to me and happen to my friends that work with me.
I’m going to be super honest here. From personal experience of watching the people around me, most people need somewhere between 50-100 sessions to reach a point in their healing process where they’re really feeling better. Especially if they are at a time in their life when they are already suffering greatly and desperate for help, as I was, or if they have deep trauma. If you have very severe trauma, you may need over 100 sessions between multiple modalities. I know I will get to that number and way beyond. All of these modalities are relatively new and the healers learning them and practicing them for the first time are usually also in their own healing process as they work with clients. So at some points in their own process, a new healer or one also recovering may need to stop working with clients to recover themselves. They may need to take less clients. They may learn lessons in their own boundaries that they can’t handle certain cases yet, energetically or expertise-wise. This is a theme I’m seeing over and over again with myself and healers I meet. And I’m talking about the very best healers in the world I work with. The better they are, the more sensitive they are, as heightened sensitivity is part of the gift needed to help others. I’m seeing some of the best healers burn out after working nonstop for two years without taking enough breaks. Help us help you by doing the energetic work you can on yourself. We want to see you recover completely, even if it means not being able to do every session on you.
It will also get really expensive to pay for all these sessions. You can help minimize this cost by using a few tools like EFT on your own as much as possible. It will also prepare your energetic body for deep shedding by clearing out old programming clogging your system. So, it may be easier to access deeper memories or trauma once you’ve done the pre-work. That way, when you invest the money into sessions with your healer of choice, you can focus on some heavier stuff that will need clearing. A lot of the healing process involves constantly moving around and clearing energy and energy blocks. Keep in mind that there are many tools out there that work, these are just the few I’ve so happened to use that have worked great for me. Do whatever you feel called to do, explore what’s out there, and see what works for you. Please just be clear that only certain tools can truly be defined as shadow or emotional healing work. You’re going to have tools that you use for shadow work, and tools that you use for ancillary energy work. It’s all good stuff. I’ll write an article on this later to clarify which tools are used for what.
Now, of course if you’re just terrified to do anything on your own, or for specific reasons can’t, or it’s too intense for you, I totally understand and you should not take this as advice to go those times alone. I have been in that place multiple times in my cycle. There have been times where I really needed others to hold space for me in sessions. Right now I’m once again identifying new healers who can help me in my next phase of healing. But ultimately, if you want to heal and get better without always having to rely upon someone else every time you feel bad, or like most people you don’t have unlimited access to funds to pay for sessions, you’re going to have multiple tools up your sleeve for relief if needed. Having lots of options in terms of modalities, tools, and healers is never a bad thing. The fact of the matter is a lot of these tools are relatively new and we’re learning as we go.
Another exercise that I am going to recommend to my clients to do on their own is an exercise you can learn by watching the How to Heal the Emotional Body video by Teal Swan. I learned this technique and it’s been a lifesaver for me. It’s kept me from needing emergency sessions. It’s been a tool I turn to many days to cope with energies that need to flow up and be released. It’s just a really excellent way to remember how to feel. I’ve asked some clients to learn and use this technique on their own to remember how to feel their emotions, truly feel them. The truth of the matter is, you can’t become dependent on others to help you release your every emotion. The new human will have to learn self-techniques for survival in the emotional realm and if this was the only exercise you ever learned how to do on yourself, you would be better off emotionally than 99% of the world. I can’t stress how important it is to learn how to be with your emotions, every day. This is a great way to do it. I do it for at least 20 minutes a day now and it’s giving me a lot of relief, especially in my deep healing process.
From what I can tell about deep shadow work from my own experience doing 93 sessions over a year, you will go through waves and cycles. You’ll do some deep work, then you’ll get sick of it and need to recover or stop. Then you’ll feel badly and need to do another cycle. And then stop. And this could go on a number of times until you get to a more stable place where you’re really feeling your life is changing. I feel like a completely different person after the last year of my intense process. But, alas, more has been triggered recently and I’m now needing to identify a healer to do a month or more of extensive sessions. This is to do my next round of deep ritual abuse healing that I will need help with. I have done 10-12 completion process sessions with a friend recently. The sessions were getting really intense and lasted between 3-5 hours. But I know my next round is going to be more intense so now I’m gearing up to work with those with ritual abuse experience more extensively. I am hoping to leave and go to a safe haven retreat or enter into a deep one-on-one process with someone over phone sessions nonstop for a month or more. Once again, being truthful and giving you nothing but THE TRUTH. I hope that’s appreciated :). Granted, my abuse is really severe but if you have BPD, the chances are that yours was too.
The feeling you get when you do shadow work is a mixture of relief and discomfort. The actual sessions I’ve done so far have not put me in any unbearable pain or discomfort, although that could be different for different people. Some people have more trouble with pain or their bodies. You might need to do more gentle, slow techniques to ease yourself in. Which is why I really love the “healing the emotional body” technique I mentioned above as the first step for getting reintroduced to our bodily sensations and emotions.
Throughout the process, you’re not going to feel well. For people who work or have lots of obligations, I recommend being careful with the number of sessions you do. Perhaps once every week or two will work for you. Typically during any type of energetic or healing session, your body will release a lot of toxins. You can help this along by getting into a hot bath with 2-3 cups of salt. The salt is great for clearing out toxins and the energy field of the negative energy you’ve just pulled up in your session. The energy gets a bit trapped at the surface and needs ways of then being pulled from your body. Epsom salt is great because of the magnesium which is really great for the body. I also like himalayan salt and you can buy large bags off Amazon. I also have heard about and started using solar salt, which is $5 a bag from Home Depot or Loewe’s, although I don’t know too much about solar salt yet so please do your research. I’ve been told by a friend that lots of pranic healers swear by it. The rule of thumb I’ve heard is 45 minutes in the bath. You can play solfeggio frequencies or another healing frequency while you’re in the bath or add essential oils. I also drink a lot of water, take MSM powder under the tongue (which pulls toxins out of the body), followed by a shot of vitamin c (orange juice or grapefruit juice) to activate the msm. I will drink some Maximum Vibrance, take some supplements, drink green juice, and drink detox tea. Anything to help your liver process toxins. And I try to eat as healthily as I can especially in the day of and following. Yoga and other energy-moving exercises assist in moving it around and balancing your new energy body. The more you do, the quicker you recover and feel like yourself again.
Until the next time you start feeling like you really need a session, which will likely be several days to a week after the last. And this is the cycle. And it goes on. And on. And on. Truth be told, healing never stops for the rest of our lives. It simply goes in waves and cycles. So there is no end and you need to know that. You might have periods in your life, weeks, months, or years where you feel good enough to stop. Or maybe once you start, you can’t ever stop or don’t want to because you want to keep getting better. All I know is that based on conversations I’ve had with friends who are further along than I am, there is no destination to healing. Give yourself a huge reward with each cycle you achieve and keep your life as balanced as you can because it really isn’t a race to the finish line. It’s more like a way of being or a lifestyle. The same way you maintain diet and exercise.
My aim isn’t to be dreary but simply to prepare you. You want to know what you’re getting yourself in for right? Being the Shadowbaby (lol), it would be totally f-ed up if I let you believe this was all fun and roses, wouldn’t it?
What I will tell you is this work is going to change your life completely. I am not ready to speak about the extent of my abuse yet but it appears (I know), that between the ritual abuse and other abuse, it is very extreme. If this process is working for me, I honestly don’t know why it couldn’t at least help others in some way, shape or form who have been through trauma, because from what I now understand and now from going through this process, is that:
Everything is energy. Including you. You are made up entirely of energy. So in order to heal your body and your emotions, which are another form of energy, it would make sense that the energy bodies were needing healing, rearranging, and clearing. This is what I have felt, physically, on a personal level throughout my entire process. If I could say what one common theme was for my entire healing process, it would be that I felt the energy moving around and shifting throughout my body at all times. I previously knew absolutely nothing about energy or energy healing but as soon as I started using the tools, I started feeling my energy bodies pretty well. I can feel energy moving all around and shifting now, especially during sessions.
Other considerations, and why I’m telling you exactly what you’re getting yourself in for – are relationships, jobs, finances, children, responsibilities! You would want to know if this work could cause you to start shaking at work, wouldn’t you? Once again, not trying to scare you. Simply prepare you for the possibilities. We don’t want your life to collapse all around you simply because you’re entering a healing process and taking care of you. So we’re keeping you safe with knowing the possibilities. I would schedule or try to do sessions when you have the rest of that day to heal and rest, or when I have the weekend to recover. Typically, the more you have going on in your life, the less frequently you should do these so you don’t overwhelm yourself completely. Although I’ve seen people do one or two a week even though they worked. It really is all based on the person.
You also want to make sure you have access to funds to cover emergency sessions or ongoing sessions, because once you start, it can get a little sticky with needing sessions and having to come up with the money to get them. You may go in thinking you’ll just do a few but then you may get sick and really need to continue, and won’t have the money to do so. That would be really hard on you. We want to avoid that.
If you decide to enter into a deep shadow work process, you should speak to your friends, family members, and spouse or significant other about it and get their total buy-in and awareness. At least people who live with you. They will also be going through your mood swings, feeling your discomfort, and will need to understand this process ahead of time so they know what to expect. We want to keep your relationships intact and be fair to all of the people around you, right? If you don’t want your relationship to fall apart from this process, please please speak about it in detail with your significant other. You will need their support and understanding during this process.
What you need to know about shadow work, is that if your partner does not do the same emotional healing that you do, it may pull your relationship apart. I’ve learned quickly that once you start this process, people start disappearing from your life. It doesn’t mean that you did anything wrong. You’re simply now vibrating at a higher level and your vibrations no longer match. Once vibrations no longer match, that which no longer matches us simply falls away, in all aspects of life. You can feel like your life is leaving you or ending. It can be really isolating at times. You can see friends leaving your life. You may have relationship changes or relationships may end. But this is you becoming the best version of yourself. Whatever and whoever leave will leave the space for new people and experiences that match the new vibrating you. This a great gift. I can promise you that the more of the work you do, ultimately the better relationships you’ll have, the more fulfillment, the more success, the more happiness. You will be changing your reality internally, and your external has nothing to do but improve to match the new improved you. That’s the best part about shadow work. You may suffer during it and go through periods of depression, isolation, loneliness. But know that the best gifts of your life are waiting just around the corner. And with each phase, the gifts get better and better and better until you’ve manifested your dream life. It really is that simple. It will help to stop struggling and always release that which no longer serves you and know that a brighter day is coming.
Back to the tools. You may want to research all of the tools ahead of time or start reading about some of them and how they work, see which resonate with you. Always follow your intuition. But nothing can replace simply diving in and doing the work. You can read for hours and days and fret about all of the different options but it’s best to just choose one and dive in and see how it works for you. The best tool I’ve found so far for really deep healing from trauma is The Completion Process by Teal Swan. You can buy her book and actually learn how to do the process on yourself. I’m going to be buying it soon as I’m going to her training this coming February 2018.
Another consideration is taking time off to focus solely on healing. Now I know many of you have lots of responsibilities and can’t do that but I am going to be honest here again and say that it’s very hard to enter into a deep healing process (truly deep) while working or doing anything but focusing on said healing process. Once again this goes back to the emergency level you are at in your process. If you have a lot of trauma, ideally you are able to focus time and effort solely on this process, the same way you would if you had to go to an inpatient treatment center, or a recovery center. If you were ritually abused, I’ve heard recently from a friend that was certified by Teal Swan that you will need constant Completion Process and 24-hour monitoring, but I haven’t looked enough into this yet, please do your research. Once again it goes back to making you first and doing whatever you can to help yourself be successful in this process.
You can also research healers and start locating some different people you want to work with and have a kind of directory for yourself in case of an emergency. Unfortunately, insurance does not cover any of the modalities I’ve been using, to my knowledge. You can check your coverage. Some healers will be open to doing trades if you have a service or product you can offer them in exchange, or to accepting sliding scale. If you have a financial situation but are desperate to receive help, it’s best to find healers who are just starting off, which there are many, let them know your situation, and ask if they’d be open to doing either trades or sliding scale. If you come to them with a committed amount of money you can spend or a certain amount of sessions they are much more likely to work with you on pricing, especially if they are starting off. Always respect the healer’s boundaries. This can change from situation to situation, person to person, and depending upon their own life situations as they change. If the healer is flexible with you, be flexible with them. Ultimately we all want to get our bills paid and help others while being appreciated for our work and compensated fairly for our energy. Some healers would rather work with people who are able to enter long-term processes with them and who are really needing the help, because they know they will really be appreciated and that’s something us healers need. They may enjoy seeing a person’s process unfold. So they may rather take a lower-paying client who will treat them with lots of appreciation and will be ongoing, than full-paying clients that book one or two sessions.
I want to be clear that you don’t need to be afraid of shadow work. If you’ve come to the place where you’re considering this, you’re a warrior that has already been through far more than any process could take out of you. Your soul will know when you’re ready, and it will never deliver more to you than you can handle at any one given time.
If you decide to enter into a process like this, your life will transform the more work you do, in ways you could have never anticipated. You get out what you put into it. This work is worth it. I would do it a million more times if I had to to achieve the same results I’m getting. I went from being pretty sick and miserable to being pretty happy and finding my life purpose, I’ve had lots of amazing things and people entering my life, I’ve met lots of soul family since I’ve started. The universe will begin aligning with you and you won’t even have to try to start attracting all of the things you’ve ever wanted into your life; they will just come to you. It really is that simple. Law of attraction. Once you heal your wounds, better things come to you.
I really hope this helps you! My intent is not to overwhelm but to be honest about a serious process that needs your serious commitment, the same way you would commit to a relationship. This article is for those who want to enter a deep process and recover from extreme abuse/trauma or who are in need of deep emotional healing. This article is not all-inclusive but should give you a better idea of what to expect from a deep shadow work process. Best of luck to you on your journey. I believe in you.
***If you have a history of mental illness or suicidal tendencies, you must speak with your doctors, therapists, and psychiatric teams and get approval before entering into a shadow work process. All ideas in this article are based upon my own experiences and of those around me and cannot be applied to all people and situations. I am not a medical doctor or a therapist, am not licensed, and cannot diagnose, prescribe, treat, or cure any medical condition. Use your own discretion***