Are you wondering where to do shadow work?
The best place to do shadow work is somewhere quiet, where you have privacy. There is no actual location or some weird shrine you go to. Instead, it’s best to have your own dedicated space to perform shadow work.
I’ll go more into why you want a quiet and private place to do shadow work. But first, let’s make sure you understand a few important things.
What is the shadow and what is shadow work?
The shadow is the side of yourself that’s disconnected and unfelt. It’s the part of yourself that’s been rejected since childhood and you have no awareness of.
Shadow Work is integrating the entire spectrum of your being. It’s the intentional process of admitting the parts of yourself you’ve ignored and repressed.
Why quiet, privacy, and solitude are important for most shadow work.
Shadow work can be a very vulnerable, cathartic experience. Many times it works as a confessional.
You are doing deep self-examination that can lead to realizations about yourself that you didn’t expect.
The last place you want to have this raw, emotional, vulnerable moment is in public.
Not because you’d be causing a scene. But because you’d be judged. And I have no idea how well you respond to judgment.
Feeling judged builds a wall between your conscious and unconscious mind.
If you have emotional catharsis in public, and then you’re shamed for it…
Well, this is going to be a traumatic event for many people. Or it will at least bother you now and then for a few days, weeks, or even months.
You don’t want to associate inner work with negative experiences. That would suck.
If you wanted to do shadow work around people, then you’d better find a very accepting community.
Like how a nudist is comfortable at a nude beach (and it’s contextually appropriate).
You also need quiet for effective self-inquiry and contemplation.
One of the easiest ways to perform shadow work is through shadow work prompts.
The best prompts will make you introspect and become more self-aware of your unconscious beliefs and behaviors.
This is easiest when you can hear yourself think.
Speaking of hearing yourself think—
The best way to perform shadow work is through a meditative technique called “Active Imagination“.
This is by far my favorite technique for shadow work.
However, my way of performing Active Imagination needs to be done in private, or else I’d look like a crazy person.
Essentially I get myself into a meditative state and speak a question aloud. Then I let go of any conscious control of the mind and allow the unconscious to rise to the surface.
This is usually in the form of an inner voice or an intuitive response that seemingly didn’t come from me.
(But obviously, it did. The unconscious takes in anything your conscious mind misses since there are too many details for your ego to notice at any given moment.
The unconscious stores everything you are presently NOT thinking about.
Your shadow is within your unconscious and Active Imagination lets you tap into it.)
If I performed this type of meditation in public, people would judge me for speaking so confidently to myself. They would suspect I have schizophrenia.
NOTE: Active Imagination works best with naturally intuitive people. People who are naturally more logical will struggle with this type of technique.
BONUS – You want to perform shadow work in a place that has many vivid colors and patterns.
The shadow is much more easily stimulated when you see vivid colors.
Even Zen cultures have noticed this and put it to use with Feng Shui.
You also want to have patterns in your room. Specifically, mandalas.
Chances are if you’re reading this, you already have some sort of mandala design in your room.
Just know that mandalas are a huge part of the historical collective unconscious. It appears in many variations across people’s dreams and drug trips.
Mandalas are something humans inherently have embedded deep within our psyches.
Where to do shadow work?
You want to perform inner work in a place that has:
- Vivid Colors
You will be able to contemplate and integrate your shadow material over time with enough deliberate intention and practice.
Take a look at my article Shadow Work Exercises & Techniques for Beginners to learn more.
Check out the Shadow Work Course here.