Thursday, 17 March 2016
25 Heavy-Duty Shadow Work Journal Prompts (PLUS FREE Printable Workbook)
Sometimes we can know that shadow work is needed but feel unable to pinpoint exactly what the issue is. We just know that we feel, well, 'shadowy' about stuff. Perhaps this is you right now. Maybe you don't feel like yourself at the moment. Maybe you're making harsh judgements, feeling rejected and resentful or just finding yourself trying to please others and play up to their expectations. Maybe you're reading this blog post because you're trying to ignore the big project you keep saying you'll begin or the business you really want to start. Sometimes you get that 'not quite right' feeling but you're not sure how to describe or confirm what's going on. I think that's one of the best times to do a little shadow work journalling. Clarity knows when you're looking for it, and it often rewards your searching by showing up! (Sometimes in a very unexpected place!)
So, whether you're actively engaging in shadow work now or you feel like you need to but dunno where to begin, these challenging journal prompts are for you. (They are also for anyone who just happens to read through them and thinks one of them might be just the ticket for some random self-exploration. Go for it!)
1. How judged do you tend to feel on a daily basis? Explore how much of that perceived judgement is real and how much is imagined.
2. Take a look at the best and most enjoyable aspect of your life right now. What is your underlying fear in that area and why?
3. Write about the last time you tried to manipulate a situation to your advantage and examine how you feel about that in hindsight.
4. Describe a scenario in which you feel that competition could be healthy and productive. Then describe a scenario in which competition could be toxic and unproductive. Finally, write about your emotional response to this exercise.
5. What does it feel like to have your emotions belittled or downplayed? Be as descriptive as possible and try writing about specific examples from your own life too.
6. Pinpoint something that's really frustrating/upsetting you at the moment. Then try writing an uplifting, beautiful poem about it!
7. Write about the last time you ran away from your responsibilities. Consider why you did that and what the results were.
8. How can you begin to give other people more space and acceptance to be themselves around you?
9. Whereabouts do you tend to expect other people to conform to your beliefs? (And what scares you the most about allowing people to have their own beliefs in that area?)
10. What does the term 'superiority complex' bring to mind for you and why?
11. If you could say one thing to the person who's hurt you the most right now, what would it be and why?
12. Consider yourself at your worst - at a point where all of your most negative and disruptive traits have come to the surface. Capture that version of you in your mind. Then write a letter of love, understanding and compassion to that version of you. (For extra credit: Read the letter aloud to yourself whenever you feel like you've turned into a bit of a monster!)
13. What does the word 'punishment' make you think of right now and why?
14. Write about the different ways in which people have expressed their anger or resentment in front of you over the last few months. What do you notice about their different modes of expression for these emotions?
15. What's the one thing you know you need to do but keep avoiding? Write it down. Then write a step-by-step description of actually doing it. Include every action which would need to be involved in order to get it done. At the end of the exercise, explore how you feel.
16. When was the last time you witnessed distinctly self-destructive behaviour, either in yourself or in someone else? Describe it and the emotions you had at the time.
17. What was the last cruel thing you wanted to say to someone in order to make them feel bad about themselves or their actions? Write it down and then explore your feelings about it.
18. Whereabouts do you currently feel isolated and how are you dealing with that emotion?
19. Write about the biggest experience of loss for you so far this year.
20. What do you currently envy in someone else's life and why? (For extra credit: What kinds of emotions come up when you imagine yourself having access to the thing you envy?)
21. At the top of a blank page write the following words, 'My insecurity is my teacher.' Then fill the page up with your responses to this sentence - whatever comes to mind, honey!
22. What does it feel like to be completely discouraged by someone's words? Be descriptive and consider writing about personal experiences of this in your own life.
23. Why is it sometimes difficult to tell the difference between someone saying something intentionally mean and someone just saying something accidentally thoughtless?
24. What does the term 'constructive criticism' make you think of and why?
25. Which emotion do you tend to deal with in unhelpful/destructive ways? Write about the way you usually deal with this troublesome emotion. Then write about what your life might be like if you dealt with it differently.
Keep in mind that these journal prompts are designed to be ball-busters. I like to create journalling tools which feel like a little bit of an uphill bike ride with an increasingly steep incline, so feel free to dip in and out, stop on the side of the road for a rest or take things slowly. These prompts are not designed to be done in rigid order or completed in their entirety either. Feel free to select a couple and see how you get along. No pressure. If you're even considering one of these prompts as an exercise, that means you're showing up in a big, bold way and, baby - I salute that shit, for real!
I made something for you..
If you want to commit to all twenty five prompts, go ahead and PRINT OUT THE FREE WORKBOOK that I have created for you! Staple/clip it together and fill it up with your musings. It includes all of the prompts and some inspiring extra stuff to keep you on track. With the lines thrown in for your writing, it comes to 45 pages.
Want more tools?
I teach this stuff for money, honey. If you think that you could benefit from a one-to-one chat about your shadowy stuff, feel free to BOOK A SPIRITUAL COUNSELLING SESSION and let's get into it.
You can also check out two awesome reading options which I offer to clients who want to shake hands with their shadow and reap the incredible rewards..
Shadow Threshold is all about preparing for shadow work, checking your readiness and giving you that all-important inspiration to get started. We'll zoom into the areas of your shadow which might need special attention to begin with, as well as getting some useful suggestions for kicking things off in a positive way. Never done shadow work before? Not sure where to begin? Need inspiration? This one is for you! CLICK TO PURCHASE.
Shadow Work is a ten-card reading which focuses on some of the most hard-hitting and common shadow work themes. This reading comes with a FREE e-guide which includes tips for using the guidance in the reading and a list of recommended books. If you want to take things up a notch on your shadow work journey, this is the puppy you've been looking for. CLICK TO PURCHASE.
Also, did you know that my 29 Shadows video series is now available to buy? You receive an astounding THIRTY VIDEOS altogether - each one designed to help you deepen your shadow work. The series is on SALE until 28th March - I'm knocking £20 off the usual price. CLICK TO PURCHASE.