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Journal into the Shadows

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

Did you know that over 90% of our mental capacity hides inside the shadows of our unconscious and subconscious mind? This means most of our thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and belief systems affecting our mental health and choices we make in our outer conscious mind arise from the depths of our unaware inner mind. With so much of our intelligence existing out of our awareness, how are we supposed to know what truly drives our knee jerk reactions and belief systems, or which inner child wounds may be sitting in our blind spot draining our energy with negative emotions and destructive cycles we can’t seem to break?

The subconscious/unconscious inner mind may also be known as our inner child, shadow self, junk drawer, or spiritual closet to name a few. By understanding our subconscious and unconscious drivers, we nurture our inner child who has been carrying around the same

emotional baggage since the beginning of time as the weight grows heavier. Since our time of conception, we are subject to emotional wounding by the things happening around us we judge to be unsafe if our emotional maturity has not evolved to the level necessary to understand the experience. We push the misunderstood, or unsafe emotional experiences behind walls of protection, or shamefully sweep them under the rug thinking there must be something wrong with us and hope they will disappear if we don’t acknowledge them. When our bags get too full, they overflow into our awareness by manifesting as mental and physical illness; or codependency and addictions until we finally understand the underlying emotional messages. It is this understanding that transforms our wounds into wisdom so our emotional intelligence and human consciousness may evolve. As humans living on planet Earth, emotional wounds are present within all of us whether we recognize them or not. By blocking, denying, ignoring, or judging our negative emotions and experiences we push them into the shadows of our inner mind where we often habitually avoid or forget we put them there. Living in a chaotic world filled with means to temporarily escape our negative thoughts and emotions through distraction or addictive coping mechanisms, we rarely take the opportunity to reconnect with our inner child until we become so imbalanced, we have to. We can only escape, mask, and numb for so long before we become so exhausted and miserable that we finally seek answers from a higher power to help us find our way out.

Emotions transmit frequencies and energetic signals to our nervous system to produce a biological response. When emotions are blocked or ignored, they lose their motion, becoming stuck in our inner mind where they continue to grow and form energetic knots. The larger they grow, the more discord they cause in our nervous system until we can no longer dismiss the mental and physical suffering or illness they produce. Every wound, injury, and illness we experience is an attempt from our inner mind to bring an emotional message into our conscious awareness. In the world of modern medicine, we often believe we are healing our ailments with pharmaceutical medication and surgical procedures, but in truth we are only putting a band-aid on the physical aspect if we don’t also address the underlying emotional wound. This key element explains why someone with a leg amputation continues to feel phantom pain after removal of the body part, why we may experience chronic pain or repetitive injury to a certain part of our body despite ongoing treatment, and why certain viruses mutate and reappear yearly no matter how many vaccinations or preventative measures we take. Once we finally access our inner wisdom or seek the higher power to help us translate and process emotional messages, our wounds may finally be healed so we can stop attracting the same injuries and illnesses.

According to the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, and Psychologist, Carl Jung, dreams are the link to the unconscious mind. The dream state is one of the places we

access our inner mind to replay mismisunderstood life experiences, lessons, stressors, and emotions so we may come to terms with them from the perspective of an observer. This allows us to more proactively see where our repressed blind spots are, giving us the opportunity to acknowledge them before suffering and illness manifest on a conscious level. What if we aren’t sleeping well due to excessive stress, irregular sleep schedules, or so many different reasons? If we don’t reach the fifth stage, or REM phase of our sleep cycle, we miss our natural opportunities to organize our inner emotional junk drawer and keep up with our spiritual housekeeping. We may start to feel anxious, exhausted, overwhelmed, and perhaps even mentally ill from the emotional congestion and weight of the chaos brewing below the surface of our inner mind.

Hearing so many talking about "going within" to reconnect with our inner child and "shadow work", I used to get frustrated and confused because I didn't understand how exactly to do it. Finally, I found two different journaling practices to be highly effective for this: dream journaling and shadow journaling. To practice the dream journaling method, everything recalled from the dream state may be written down and observed for key themes and messages. This method only works for those who remember their dreams and reach the REM phase during sleep. Many of us tend to forget our dreams right after we wake up, if we remember them at all, so keeping a journal and pen by the bed to write down what we remember as soon as we wake up is essential. With some patience and practice, memories recalled from our dream state will often increase if we habitually set the intention to remember our dreams each night before bed. Setting the conscious intention to remember people, places, themes, colors, emotions, words, symbols, and the overall setting of our dreams often helps to make memories more vivid when we wake. Once our dreams are

documented, we may use our intuition along with a dream dictionary to decode their meaning. The links below highlight some of my favorite online dictionaries for dream interpretation, although this is only a small sample of what is available. Dream journaling allows us to track recurring themes or common emotional messages seeking attention from our inner mind. Energy flows where our attention goes, therefore as we pay closer attention to our dreams by writing them down, we consciously understand their messages instead of keeping them inside to clutter up our junk drawer. Eventually, we may even progress into lucid dreaming where we become conscious during the dream state and aware that we are dreaming so we may take control over our experiences or change the outcome to bring even greater healing.

Online Dream Dictionaries

The second journaling practice, I termed shadow journaling initiates a question-answer dialogue with the inner mind to bring repressed emotional messages into our awareness for understanding and healing. Just as we get to know another person by asking questions, we must also ask questions to get to know our repressed inner child self. Learning the inner depths of who we are is the key to living a fulfilling life based on authenticity, unconditional love, and acceptance. We must get to know all parts of who we are, especially the hidden

aspects we have judged to be negative because that is exactly where most self-love and

acceptance is needed. Afterall, if we can’t love and understand everything about ourselves, how is anyone else supposed to? Using shadow journaling, we can easily open a dialogue with our inner mind by asking questions to prompt a response from the inner child we’ve been accustomed to hiding. Paying attention to the stressors and emotionally charged events we experience each day provides a foundation we may later use to build on with journal questions, so it is important to make mental or written notes as these come up. Once we have acknowledged at least one emotionally charged experience from the past or present, we may begin the question-answer shadow journaling method to locate the core emotional wound that caused it. By asking questions our conscious mind gives permission for our inner mind to release the answers. Without permission, it may be considered a violation of our own conscious free will to bring the things our inner child pushed out of our awareness back in before we give the okay on a conscious level. Asking questions lets our inner mind know we are ready to see the truth. Most are amazed by the ease at which answers flow into our awareness once the emotional dam is opened by our permission. The key to this approach is keeping an unconditionally loving and non-judgmental open mind while listening for answers. If our conscious mind judges any thoughts or experiences retrieved from our inner mind, it may be assumed we are not ready so the dam will close, and our repressed memories will stay in hiding. We are our own worst critic, and we must remember the absolute truth that everyone has negativity and darkness hidden within them. In fact, this is part of what makes us human. Without the contrast from our negative dark experiences, we would not see or appreciate our positive light ones. It is truly remarkable how much of our power is stored in the emotional messages of our junk drawer once we shine the light of our awareness to transform them into wisdom. If you would like to use the shadow journaling method but need guidance on what types of questions to ask, here are a few sample questions to get started.

Sample Questions

1. What did I notice today that prompted me to feel stressed or emotionally charged? What emotions did this bring up for me?

2. Who or what has recently triggered negative emotions to come up for me? When is the very first time in my life I can remember feeling these types of emotions or being triggered in this way?

3. When uncomfortable emotions come up for me recently, do I allow myself to sit with them or do I tend to avoid them by escaping somehow?

4. What are the coping mechanisms I use most often to escape my emotions or to make them easier to handle?

5. Are there any repetitive thoughts or worries that often cycle through my mind or prevent me from falling asleep?

For more in depth guidance accessing the inner mind to access higher levels of your consciousness, I invite you to check out my Conscious Evolution Journey experience where I provide guidance using tools such as journaling exercises, astrology, and therapeutic sound to help you reconnect with your inner child and transform your pain into power. I also use tuning forks and a therapeutic sound modality called Biofield Tuning to untangle the energetic knots created by repressed emotions. By making a commitment to allowing our inner shadows into the light we not only heal and evolve our own consciousness, but also our family lines, our communities, and the collective consciousness on the planet. Like a ripple in the pond, one drop of loving understanding expands into the larger whole.

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