Shadow Work is about making the unconscious, conscious, and integrating all of our being so that we can be whole, empowered and free!
And wow, do we tend to store a lot of our unconscious limitations and blockages in our sexuality. This makes our sexuality a powerful space to explore and dive into our inner truth, our identity and to go in and release repression and trauma.
Unless you've been living in some hidden sexually liberated Utopia (in which case you should invite me!) then you've probably seen that we as a society have a pretty messed up relationship to our sexuality. There is sooo much conditioning, repression, control and judgment happening from so many directions that it's really hard to know what is actually us and what is us doing what we've been told.
A lot of our initiations into the realms of sexuality are awkward at best and traumatic at worst. From an early age we can learn to associate sexuality with violence, with shame, with pain or with other uncomfortable emotions. Many of us were shamed for exploring our bodies even as young infants and while we might not consciously have memories of some of these experiences, often the shame and fear is imprinted deep into our subconscious.
We're told to be sexy, to not be sexy, to close our legs, control ourselves, let loose, run wild, cover up, strip down, be innocent and sweet, be wild and sexy, be modest... everywhere we go we're being told what we should be and what a 'good' sexuality should look like. How the fuck are we supposed to enjoy our sexualities fully with all this pressure?
Well, to really enjoy our sexuality we have to do some de-conditioning and liberate ourselves so that we can find out what our authentic expression is, and chances are you authentic expression will change over and over again as you grow and explore. It might look like creating safety and boundaries so you can reclaim your innocence, it might look like going wild and attending your first orgy. It might be claiming your power in a kink scene or getting into a deeply intimate monogamous relationship. It might be dating multiple people at once. Or if you're like me then you could go through all of these experiences as you journey!
What messages did you get from your parents about what a healthy sexuality looks like? Did they tell you anything was OK and anything was not OK? What about your school and teachers? Your friends? Your religion? The media?
How often do you stop and question 'Is it really true? Can I absolutely know that it is true in every single circumstance ever?'
Are there any stories or beliefs you're carrying about what a healthy sexuality should look like? How does it feel in your body to think those thoughts, to believe those stories?
If we want to free ourselves and integrate our whole being we need to ask these questions. We need to excavate our unconscious and find any stories or conditioning that was handed to us that is not our truth! Who would you be without that story? Happier? Freer? Less judgmental?
It's not that you have to change how you act by dropping these beliefs. I can let go of a story that a certain kink is wrong or dirty without having to actually participate in that kink. You can still have a preference!
What you want to aim for is freeing yourself from any judgment, contraction, fear or aversion to things that aren't actually causing anyone harm.
We also need to question our own patterns and secret unconscious desires.
Where am I giving away my power to external sources? Where am I secretly enjoying being the victim? Where do I take power in an unconscious way over others? Sometimes we notice patterns in our life where we may always be the victim or always in certain relationships, or always missing out on something. When we do shadow work we take responsibility for these unconscious desires and allow ourselves to accept and even embrace these parts. Love your inner victim who loves blaming others. Love your predator who enjoys being powerful. Love the part of you that numbs out and likes to disconnect from their body. Only by fully acknowledging and accepting these pieces will deep and lasting change happen.
Deep shadow work needs to happen on all levels. It's not just about mentally understanding something or thinking 'I shouldn't feel this way' or quoting affirmations like 'I am a sexy and empowered goddess!' even if you're not feeling it at all. It needs to be worked on through the body, through the unconscious and through the spirit.
Tapping into the heart space and the interconnectedness of all things helps us connect with compassion and understanding for other beings. We need to come from deep and powerful love for ourselves and love of all beings to truly set ourselves free. Trying to dissolve these patterns from a place of 'I'm broken' or 'I need fixing' will just create more shame. It doesn't work for long!
Tapping into the sex center and the genitals helps us free up trapped energy, numbness and traumas. Reclaiming our pleasure, our sensitivity and our power requires us being willing to explore our bodies without shame and to explore and claim our orgasmic potential.
And tapping into the spiritual elements help us to see the bigger picture, the intangible and non-conceptual connection we have with our sexuality, with other beings and with the whole universe.
When you reclaim your erotic power through shadow work, you release so much energy that was being used to suppress and hold back your true essence. This often shows up as a kundalini awakening and so much more aliveness and pleasure in your day to day life.
It's a journey well worth exploring!
My latest course is 'Shadow Self Worship' where we journey into the shadow over 12 weeks.... exploring Mind, Heart, Base, Death, Sex and Power. The course includes meditations, guided pleasure practices, rituals and embodied journeys. If you're looking to liberate yourself from the cage of conditioning and shame then come check it out!
And check out more about Shadow Work in my youtube video