Shadow work is not like any other coaching work you have ever experienced. If you want to maximize your time in session, it helps to know how to prepare for your shadow work session.
In this article, I will give you some tips that will make your first session great.
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll see just how easy it is.
Let Go of Control
If you are a control freak, or even if you aren’t, you have to let go of control. Trying to control the session, anticipate what is next, anticipate what I want you to do, or “get it right” interferes with the process. All that is left-brained, masculine energy of do-ing.
Shadow work is intuitive, right-brained, be-ing energy. You can’t do being. You have to be being.
You already know how to do this. You were born knowing how to do it. Just allow yourself to be.
I am going to be asking you questions about your experience, and giving you instructions that are very specific. Please listen to what I am asking and respond to what I am asking.
They are not meant to be trick questions, but they are meant to elicit specific types of responses without leading you in any particular direction.
It doesn’t matter what your answer is. There is no way to get it wrong as long as you answer the question. If you give me information that I am not asking for, I will rephrase the question.
Most of us are not used to listening in this way. Please don’t let this frustrate you. Remember that we all might fumble a few times before we do things with grace.
Practice Noticing “Sensations”
To prepare for your shadow work session, you may notice what sensations you have in your body. I may ask you about this, so it might be a good idea to practice noticing beforehand.
If I am angry, I might notice a hot, red, flaming sensation in my shoulders, neck, and face.
If I am sad, I may notice a heavy, dark blue, stuffy, cold type of sensation in my chest.
These aren’t objectively real. No one else can see, feel, touch, taste, or smell that, but that is my experience of my body when I have emotions.
So, don’t worry about getting it wrong. You can’t get it wrong. Just report on what you notice.
Practice Deep Breathing
I may ask you to take a deep breath. For lots of people, this means a rapid, deep inhale, and a slower exhale that takes about five to ten seconds.
To prepare for your shadow work session, please practice taking long, slow breaths that are even-meaning the inhale is the same length as the exhale, and long-meaning that each breath is at least ten seconds long. If you can go to thirty, that’s even better.
Don’t stress yourself out. The point isn’t to become a deep-sea diver. It’s to follow the instruction to make the breath long and deep. If requested, you will only need to do a few breaths and only for very short periods of time.
If I Ask You “What’s It Like?”
To prepare for your shadow work session, you may start to pay attention to how people speak. We all talk in metaphors all the time. We say things like, “I’ve got to get off this hamster wheel” or “I was a million miles away” or “She has a heart of gold.”
When we say things like this, we aren’t being literal. We’re speaking in pictures.
If I ask you “what’s it like,?” I am asking you to create a mental picture of your reality. Trust me. I won’t look ANYTHING like the reality that you and I see with our eyes.
On the outside, a disastrous marriage might look like two people who don’t touch or talk to each other. In a metaphor, it could look like a monster with a storm going on inside. He’s standing on a cliff with a huge drop off on one side and a bear coming at him on the other.
The key to answering “what’s it like” is to feel it. Don’t think about it (because the conscious brain doesn’t have the answer) and let me guide you to the answer. Relax and it will come easily.
Keep Comments to a Minimum
One of the things that many private people love about shadow work is that you don’t have to tell your story. Language is a left-brained, logical thing, and remember, we want to stay away from that.
I only need enough information to understand how your discomfort, stuckness, inauthenticity (or whatever the lack of desired state is) shows up. I don’t need a lot of details or explanations. In fact, that will get in the way of having an awesome experience.
If you have questions, by all means ask at any time.
It’s good to have a trusted person to talk to, or a journal, for afterward for processing. If you’d like to process with me, we can set that up as well, but we generally don’t do that in the coaching session as it’s for working, not processing.
Come Prepared With 3 Issues
A session is twenty-five minutes. We may only have time to process one issue, but sometimes things go really fast! If that’s the case, why not use that time to diffuse a lot of unwanted programs? If we get to more than one, fantastic!
I’m probably a stranger, so I won’t ask you to trust me. I will ask you to trust the process. Watch the video above, and you will see how quick and easy it is.
If something comes up that you don’t understand, roll with it. Your unconscious mind understands what your conscious mind doesn’t. It’s totally fine if you don’t “get it.” You just have to receive the benefits of your unconscious mind getting it.
All this may make it seem hard or complicated. It’s not. Some people find this very easy. Others struggle. It’s all normal. Everyone can get it with practice.
Got more questions>? Check out my Shadow Work FAQ.
Ready to schedule? Contact me and let’s set up your shadow work session now!