what is inner work spiritual shadow work

What is Inner Work or Spiritual Shadow Work?

Our mind is like a computer.  It has different levels of programming.  Our subconscious mind contains scripts which operate beyond level of conscious awareness, this is our spiritual shadow.  To grow, we need to maintain the health of this software, and fix any programming that causes unhealthy thinking or roadblocks to our growth.  See how to do this safely.

What is Inner Work?

“Inner-work” is a term for processes which heal the subconscious mind and spirit.  This psychological and spiritual work requires the right tools.  It is often emotionally and physically challenging. It is serious work.

Spiritual Shadow Work

This psychological work sometimes called “shadow-work” because it deals with the hidden mechanisms of the mind which operate in the shadows. You never know what you will find.  The subconscious levels of the mind is where we house thought scripts and memories which dictate the trajectory of our thinking and values.  So repairing unhealthy thought scripts is key to maintaining proper health.

If you want to grow as a person, you must face your fears and look into the shadows of the mind.  You must have the guidance and tools remove obstacles and repair harmful thought scripts and memories.  You can do this!

Where does this work take us?  Some of the obstacles are mental illness or conditions which affect the Ego.  The Ego controls our instincts and personality.  Much of our unhealthy programming comes from external sources in the cultural narrative.  The programming of the cultural narrative is powerful and often overrides and programing of the Ego.

Enneagram w cultural narrative

The inward quest has Eureka moments of joyous bliss.  However, to reach these experiences, we often need to overcome roadblocks.  We need to face our fears and delete harmful programming, then we can reprogram with positive self-talk, which leads to positive behaviors.  That’s one of main goals of this work.

Almost all of our harmful negative bias and prejudice programming comes from the dominant cultural narrative.  As you might suspect, this programming comes from three places: organized religion, politics and the advertising industry.

Of these three, religion is most remains the most dominant because of their social mass, they can propagate dangerous ideologies that justify the most destructive behaviors. Scary stuff.   Politics and advertising learn to use the same techniques as religion to manipulate people through various forms of propaganda.  It is almost invisible. So you must learn to see it.

The unhealthy programming of our culture makes the inward quest a destructive process.  It pulls down these negative barriers of belief, which are often blocking our psychological and spiritual growth.  Then it rebuilds the positive life-affirming ideas that blossom.

Other practices, like meditation, are also a part of this inner quest, because meditation silences the internal dialogue, allowing us to rest and recharge our minds.  Now we can use logic and common sense and get in touch with our internal wisdom.  So, both analytical and intuition add to the value and inner work meaning.

What Spiritual Shadow Do You Cast?

We all cast a shadow in the lives of others we know, and it can be a shadow of selfishness or selflessness.  It’s your choice. If we learn a lesson in life, we can use to help ourselves and others.

Every day we have the opportunity to cast the shadow as a compassionate and giving spiritual person.  On the other hand, we can choose the path of greed and selfishness.  We can magnify and glorify ourselves and our status.  Our inner work becomes a reflection of the shadow of our lives.

Public figures and famous people are a good example.  You can see when they talk and act with compassion or greed. These traits are a more accurate barometer of morals and ethics than their proclamations of faith.  Their spiritual shadow is easy to see, they teach us what to emulate and what to avoid.

inner work meaning

What type of shadow do you cast in the lives of others?  Here are some questions to ask yourself to find out.

  • What kind of shadow do you cast? What is the heritage of your life? Do you throw a long shadow as if standing in the early morning or late afternoon sun?  Or is your shadow non-existent, as if the sun is directly overhead?  What does it consist of, is your shadow positive or negative?
  • What is your sphere of influence? Where does your shadow fall? Does your shadow fall only on a select or small group of people, or does your shadow fall widely on everyone and everything?
  • Do others see your life as a blessing or a curse? How much time do you spend assisting, training, or helping others, and how does this time compare to the time you spend on yourself?

Many people are not happy with their legacy.  Yet, they are also afraid to face the fears and pain that keep them from correcting their shadow.  Spiritual shadow work is about accepting the karma you create and then changing the direction to make it better.

We recommend you test your path regularly to ensure you are on the right one.  Hopefully, the shadow you want to cast is one of kindness and generosity.  The world needs people who are making a positive impact.  One key to this path is opening the virtues of the spirit.  If your life does not reflect these higher virtues, it is a sign you need to do some of this kind of work.

What is Inner Work? — It is Safe?

A best practice to start your spiritual shadow work is testing your current path.  Testing and retesting our path is a best practice.  Answering the questions above will help you understand the trajectory of your thoughts.

Testing is something you should do regularly, that way, you won’t take a wrong turn and waste time.  Perhaps you’ve been on the same spiritual road for a long time.  Ask yourself, is your current path producing a positive shadow?  Or maybe your spiritual practice is failing to produce positive results? It happens to almost everyone at some time.  Don’t be afraid to question and test.

Organized religion does not want you to test your path, they want to keep you a paying customer.  They try hard to keep you tied into their system by linking you, your family, and friends.  These tactics make it hard to leave.  However, many people find ways to break this cycle and create their own spiritual path.  Are you one of them?

Inner work is safe because it’s the best way to confront and remove the harmful programming of negative bias and prejudice.  That doesn’t mean it is fun. It’s hard work that brings up many powerful emotions, but it’s worthwhile.

One of the most important life lessons is learning to question everything.   Start with your own beliefs.  As yourself, if what I believe is wrong, do I want to know? If what I think is wrong, can I change what I believe?  Regardless of what religion tells you, questioning your path is safe and prudent.

Many people inherit their belief system they do not get to choose.  Parents indoctrinate children into their belief systems.  So many people inherit their spiritual beliefs and never question them, which is a mistake.

It’s a good idea to observe your thinking.  Ensure you are not or reinforcing negative bias and prejudice.  Make sure you are an explorer and not a follower.  Learn tools to expand awareness and explore higher states of consciousness.

Help Others

Doing something positive for others is an indirect method for growing good karma. Still, it is an effective way to augment your more intense spiritual shadow work.  It gets you to focus outward instead of continually inward.   If you only lift yourself, then your job is only half-done. It is a sign that your inner work is lacking a critical component.  Half of your time and effort should involve giving back and helping others. Whether you view this as a spiritual law or something else, the result is the same.

Giving is part of the reciprocal spiritual aspect of receiving.  To grow fully, you must learn to give back.  Once you start on the path of compassion, the Universe will bring both resources and opportunities to use them.  You may even become a warrior of light, confronting injustice and prejudice with compassion and love.

“Your Inner work serves no purpose unless it has a beautiful outward expression.” — Guru Tua

inspiring helping hand spiritual shadow work

Similarly, if your giving excludes anyone, your giving will be hollow and selfish.  You can’t just give to those who believe like you.  Spiritual work should be an unbiased sharing experience. It’s important to remember that we all share a connection of consciousness.

At our core of consciousness links everyone and everything. It’s a little scary because it means it also connects us to those who project hate.  However, this is how we awaken others.

There are two paths to Oneness: a direct experience of the transcendent through meditation and the other is through the analytical process of confronting our beliefs.  We recommend taking both approaches. It’s a wise choice.  Many teachers tell us those who are awake are helping to raise the consciousness of humankind.   So, it is vital to make room in your practice to help others.  When you give and help others on their path, you’ll find yours more rewarding.

If someone asks you, what is inner work?  Now you can tell them it is about removing roadblocks.  You repair your own and help others do the same.  Self-development is an inward journey where we gain wisdom to share it with others.  We learn as much from sharing the information we do in learning it.  You won’t grow in isolation.

True Spiritual Teachers

Above all, we know the greatest Seers and Prophets share their wisdom without prejudice, their focus was on lifting the lives of others. That’s why religions use their names.  We must not forget the noble pioneers of consciousness exploration. They brought us many “spiritual technologies.”

Real teachers do not want to be celebrities—for example, Gandhi, the Tenzin Gyatso (the 14th Dalai Lama), and George Gurdjieff.  Many of the best teachers are not in the public eye and remain unknown except their inner circle.  They want to focus on the content of what they teach, not on them.

Some teachers or gurus have always lived their lives, focusing on giving.  Some people who began their careers in the public eye seem to be examples of awaking spirits.  Their legacy is evident in their actions.  Some awakened people leave speeches, books, and music.  These are people like Keanu Reeves and Russell Brand.  They are not perfect, but all of them take about spiritual shadow work in different ways.  They may not refer to it by this term, but they all describe and use the methods we’ve outlined.

In Conclusion

We hope this answers the questions, what is inner work, and is it safe.  The proper use of psychological diagnostic tools needs to be a part of your journey.  Test your path regularly to make sure you are progressing.  Learn the value of facing the obstacles that hinder your growth. Become a freethinker.

Learn to take the wisdom and knowledge you gain from this quest to others.  You share and help others.  Caring and sharing with others help complete you, which is your spiritual shadow.

If all else fails, try to be a kind person,  be kind to others, to animals, the environment, and yourself.