There are a number of different definitions and explanations for the Shadow.  For me, the Shadow is that part of Self that we have locked away inside of ourselves, never to see the Light of day.   We have totally withheld Love from this unaccepted part of our Self.  It fuels all of those reactive responses that we have to the world around us and feeds our self-destructive behaviors. 

Shadow Work is when we face those aspects of ourselves that we would rather not look at.  It means embracing fears, discovering why we have trouble loving ourselves unconditionally, forgiving ourselves for being imperfect, and accepting ourselves as fully human.

I have come to understand that the only way to heal the Shadow Self, to find Inner Peace and Healing, is to genuinely Love the Shadow.  That is what it is so starved for, that is why it creates such chaos in our life - our Shadow Self is seeking our Love.  When we feed it the Love that it needs, it no longer wreaks havoc in our life.

In my practice at HeartPath Wellness Center, Shadow Work is woven into every aspect of the techniques and processes used here.  Soul Return, Shamanic Reiki, Shamanic Breathwork (TM), Mandala Artwork, etc. all involve a component of healing the Shadow Self.  It is one aspect of the complete package of healing work, but a vital one.