What is Shadow Work? 5 Essences of True Shadow Work

This article is also available in: German

Many more people have been opening up to spirituality, consciousness expansion, and shadow work in recent years. In essence, people open up to the immaterial. This detailed and profound article is about the five essences of true transformation in shadow work. However, since I am not a philosopher or psychologist, please do not expect an article of this nature here. This article is primarily here to spark your desire to do shadow work. It is full of personal experiences and inspirational musings.

What is shadow work?

Over the last 50 years, shadow work has gained tremendous popularity. In addition to worldwide application in analytical psychology practices, shadow work also gained significant importance in spiritual settings and personal development.

Initially, the term shadow work gained popularity and importance in the West through the psychiatrist and psychologist C. G. Jung. He described it as inner work with the unconscious parts of ourselves.

Likewise, shadow work in the Human Design System became essential in illustrating self and non-self.

The Gene Keys by Richard Rudd is the system I actively work on. Also, in the Gene Keys and the Spectrum of Consciousness, with its 64 archetypal stories of human DNA, we find 64 shadows, some of which we are more and less aware of. An example from Gene Keys is the shadow conflict. So it is about resolving conflict, or as Richard Rudd beautifully describes it in Gene Keys, acting diplomatically to get into the essence of peace. To do this, we must learn to understand why we conflict first.

1. Shadow Work: Universal Understanding

Shadow Work: Universal Understanding
Shadow Work: Universal Understanding

In order to transform our shadow work and the energies bound in it, we first need a universal understanding. We could also call it inner wisdom. Many teachers, mainly psychologists and spiritual teachers, are interested in guiding you into the quintessence of shadow work. As in all the articles on


Only when we realize that shadow work is not a goal but a path can we become enthusiastic about shadow work. It is also not the path of strength as we have come to know it in our society. For it is a path of unconditional surrender. We are increasingly aware of universal rules that enable us to walk this path of shadow work. For example, we know that we are in the exact situation that we have manifested. Everything in our lives reflects our thoughts, emotions, feelings, and beliefs. Everything reflects our karma; even though karma as a concept is invisible to us, we know from every cell that we are the creator of our life situation.

That is why deep shadow work is not for everyone, but only for those souls for whom the path of shadow work arises in life, like you.

No matter how long you have been engaged in shadow work, your inner wisdom is also aware of more profound levels. As a result, you are and remain open and curious about the subject of shadow work and integrate it into your everyday life.

Even though I write that we all draw situations into our lives ourselves – it is too complex to “prove” quickly. But what we can definitely “prove” is the way we deal with our life situations and what we learn from them. Here, the attitude towards the situation makes your experience more favorable or less positive.

I liked to remember my last dentist appointment here in 2021; it was a lengthy procedure and partly without anesthesia because it was important for the dentist to get my feedback. Overall, I had a very relaxed attitude towards the procedure. I just transformed the pain and saw it for what it is—releasing energy that can be pretty intense. I just let it flow, and while the pain was noticeably very intense, I no longer rejected it and accepted it wholeheartedly. As a result, I have even stored the experience as very positive, although I, like many people worldwide, absolutely avoid visits to the dentist.

Consciousness & Matter

You are also aware of the interplay between consciousness and matter. You know the teachings of Dr. Bruce Lipton, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Eckhart Tolle, and the many spiritual teachers on earth.

Consciousness creates matter. The invisible creates the visible.

That is why we call it shadow work.

We deal with the hidden part of our shadow. After the successful shadow work, we eventually recognize the external changes in our life. The faster we perceive external changes, the more intensively and profoundly we have let go of our shadows. One of the external changes is inevitably your life’s attitude. It will often be the same situation, but you perceive it entirely differently.

This inner transformation is the optimal human confirmation of the universal rule that the invisible creates the visible. Only when we have experienced this transformation and its effects in our lives are we aware of this universal understanding. The immaterial creates the material!

A trivial example is the subject of nutrition. We all know bad and too much input of sugar or alcohol maximizes the possibility of obesity. The more calories you eat, the more weight you gain. At the same time, we are all different. Some people never seem to gain weight. Others gain weight very quickly. Many studies prove that weight gain is due to our metabolism and many other mechanisms we know about, and we may consult doctors to see the research data on them. What is less known or asked is how this metabolism comes about. We know that our DNA and genes are responsible for it. But we rarely ask ourselves whether we can change or adapt our genes.

It is in the unseen, in consciousness. The transformation and transmutation of our DNA activations seem impossible for us. Beyond our free will. And yet there are people like the Iceman, Wim Hof, who make the supernatural a reality. It is, therefore, our mind that creates matter. The invisible creates the visible. The non-form creates the form. We have harnessed one of these “non-forms” in the last 100 years – electricity. You can’t see it, but it’s there!

2. Shadow Work: Genuine Self-Love

2. Shadow Work: Genuine Self-Love
Shadow Work: Genuine Self-Love

Self-love means accepting everything we have projected and manifested in the world. It also means not being trapped further in the ego’s dualism of knowing and not knowing, or truth and not truth.

Creator & Creativity

We are all creative creators, aren’t we?

Creator in German means “Schöpfer” and creativity means “Kreativität”. In English, the creator and creativity are entangled. Within the creator is creativity, and within creativity must be a creator. In the German language, we could use a word (Schöpfertum), but it is rarely used.

We all know that we are capable of creativity, of being creators! At the same time, it is fascinating that in the German language, we prefer “Kreativität” over “Schöpfertum,” and I even had to google Schöpfertum to see if the German word even exists.

It feels like we have fallen deep into the matter and expect a savior from outside. But, unfortunately, this is what much science and religion instill in us today.

“If you have sinned, go to church and put away your sin.”

“If you are sick, go to your doctor and lay aside your sickness.”

In doing so, we are, in large part, abandoning our responsibility!

It is important to note that there are significant differences here. So much of modern science is an essential milestone in our development. This includes, first and foremost, how good we have become at saving lives in exceptional situations with our technological advances. Also, our digital world gives us so many beautiful ways to communicate. But we humans, with our minds, say to ourselves.

“Where there is light, there must be shadow.”

This quote is one of the standard shadows or limiting beliefs that unconsciously make us victims instead of actively creating ourselves.

If we look at electricity, we know that it is the other way around.

“Where there are shadows, there is light.”

Because before electricity served us, it was a shadow and a taboo. It was dangerous because it was in an unknown realm. And yet, there were a few crazies who dealt with it. Without these crazies, there would be no Internet as we know it today. To know true shadow work, we must learn to let go of negative beliefs.

In addition, we have many abilities and potentials that are still hidden. And this is where we can connect with shadow work as an integral part of our everyday life. Shadow work also helps us unfold our abilities and potentials, as you can see from the example of electricity. Just as electricity is a gift today, your shadows will serve you soon. Your shadows become your gifts.

Immerse Yourself

To do justice to genuine self-love in shadow work, we need to immerse ourselves and not look away. Instead of running away from our shadows, we may shine a flashlight or candle on them.

It takes a tremendous amount of honesty to face your deepest fears and challenges and perform fundamental root cause research in your everyday life. Curiously getting to know your shadows is a prerequisite to entering the deepest levels of your basement.

Imagine yourself in a house. You walk from the first floor to the basement. It is cold, dark, and cramped. You enter the room with a candle. The room in the basement is lightly lit. Stay in your center. Be free of fears that tell you that it is dangerous to be in the basement. Open-heartedly and with mercy, respond to these fears if they arise. Remain yourself, full of loving mindfulness. After long shadow work, a part of the basement opens with a safe. In this vault is buried your core and your pearl. You will have the courage and willingness to look into the vault and beyond at a certain point in your development.

When this moment comes, I cannot tell you. However, what is certain is that this moment is reserved for all people who playfully deal with their shadows. The important thing is to pause again and again until the new meets with resonance on the outside. That means you act with distance and love in the same situations you used to argue and condemn. That’s how easy it is to find out. It doesn’t help you or those around you to think of shadow work as “short-term business.” On the contrary, mastering shadow work is the higher purpose of all human beings.

Genuine self-love also means allowing this distance and love to arise naturally. Today there is far too much “fake it until you make it!” Energetically, this lie only leads you further away from yourself – as you play a role again without letting go of the previous role. You are pushing the old role away and building a new role simultaneously. This behavior is called suppression, and it is precisely the energy that arises from suppressing your shadows, masks, and roles that we want to liberate.

3. Shadow Work: Dharma


Dharma is essentially about considering every relationship, interaction and event in our lives as the perfect stimulus for our emotional and spiritual growth.” – Excerpt from Gene Keys – Venus Sequence

Dharma is about the ethics of people and how they should behave. According to this, Dharma is like a transition to the astral world or the emotional body. It’s like a transition from the visible world to the invisible world, which we didn’t learn a word about in school.

That is why shadow work is so essential for all of us to deal with if we want to participate in the new earth that Eckart Tolle also writes about in his best-selling book.

How does Dharma specifically relate to the essence of shadow work? What does Dharma mean in terms of your shadow work?

In the following three subsections, we will find out.

High Sensitivity

I want you to look at high sensitivity concerning shadow work from a different light. So often, we, as highly sensitive personalities, which I count myself among, believe that we can read the energies of others on the outside. We walk into a room and receive or lose energy. We feel comfortable or uncomfortable. We attribute it to certain people on the outside that we feel well or less well.

This effect is also true because we radiate more life energy in different environments and less in others. But what I have also become aware of only recently, thanks to Jeffrey Kastenmüller’s excellent German book “I am a mistake, and I love it,” is that we always rob ourselves of energy. And the more sensitive we are, the more energy we seem to pull from ourselves.

When we trap ourselves in the victim role, we convince ourselves that our environment or “negative people” or energy vampires are pulling our energy. However, some other good reasons make us realize how inefficiently we are using our life energy through this behavior.

Energy Vampires as a Teacher

Why might energy vampires or “negative people” be teachers for us?

They trigger us. Energy vampires make us feel uncomfortable, and they draw energy from us.

That’s how we often think of them. Isn’t it so?

Then how could energy vampires be teachers for us?

Let’s look closer, look deeper inside ourselves, and realize that it is not the environment, negative people, or energy vampires that are draining our energy. Instead, we are the cause of this exhaustion!

This revelation is a true quantum leap into the field of love and compassion.

How is this possible? Why would we rob ourselves of energy and for what in the first place?

Attention. The Big Reveal.

We use our life energy to sustain our role or mask. That’s why it feels like someone is robbing us of energy from the outside. We maintain a mask or role that we want those around us to see, and we suppress a shadow that we don’t want to come to the surface.

What masks or roles are we talking about?

We have learned to play a role in dealing with these people around us without being explicit about whether we want to continue playing it. They are the masks that we maintain with our life energy! We want to hide the shadows from ourselves and others. We don’t want anyone to see them. This denial costs us an immense amount of energy.

But is this true?

At least I could observe the immense effects of this over the years with my parents. I will report on this in the next part of the article. Test it for yourself and your environment! Dare to think outside the box.

Family as a Spiritual Teacher

We all know it. Our parents are the best at triggering us, aren’t they? Many of us would love to change our parents because we recognize behaviors in our parents that we don’t want to be. Yet we are already caught in the illusion.

Many studies over the last 100 years have found how similar the behaviors of parents and their children are. Some aspects that we take over from our parents. These are often the aspects we would like to change in our parents. We visit our mother as a general example.

She loves cleanliness and is a control freak.

Now we recognize the control freak in our mother and seethe inside. We hate it without wanting to admit it. But we identify ourselves with this behavior alone and do not recognize that our mother has awakened the control freak in us.

Now we control with our control freak, the control freak of our mother.

You can probably already imagine where this will end, right?

Quarrels, emotional arguments, up to the “I don’t want to see my mother anymore – complex.”

And I call it “complex” on purpose because we don’t want to realize that we are the control freak. So we retreat and say, “I never want to end up like my mother so that I won’t visit her anymore!”

And that’s precisely the control we create for ourselves. So we don’t want to visit the basement with all our shadows that our mother can open anymore!

Later, for example, we behave towards our children or partners with the same control freak tendencies without realizing it because our children and partners are the most significant possible trigger next to our parents!

That’s right!

Even if we run away, we cannot escape our inner life. Even if we don’t want to see our mother anymore, we attract people into our lives who trigger us again (awaken our shadows).

So why not start the shadow work with the parents while they are still physically here on earth? But even if they are no longer physically incarnated, someone will trigger you, seemingly from the outside. Maybe the media? The pharmaceutical industry? They are all friendly people, aren’t they? They only want your best! Health erhm money 😀 Sorry, that had to be – LAUGH! So stop to look for the evil outside, because thereby we create it worldwide altogether! The Inner world creates the outer world. The invisible creates the visible.

Therefore, our family and environment are great spiritual teachers and masters that we may recognize. They awaken our demons, which we then only have to cultivate. To do that, of course, we have to know-how. There are so many permission slips for this, with which we allow ourselves to transform these shadows within us.

A small example from me: I can still remember how difficult it always was for me to go home to my parents after I had not lived with them for years.

What happened to me?

I changed with a new social environment, friends, and partners. At the same time, I was still doing little inner shadow work. Every time I was with my parents, they awakened my shadows. I wanted to prevent this and used my life energy to suppress this. As a result, I was constantly exhausted when I went home and returned to my environment. I needed breaks for days. I was simply exhausted!

Do you know this too?

Then, after I realized that it was up to me, I took 100% self-responsibility. Then, in the process of contemplation, I looked within myself and transformed that role that awoke.

I understood that to let go of my role. I first had to love it.

When you infuse the role you “hate” so much with true love, it dissolves as if by itself. For that, you must get to know the role you are playing. Like in movies, you have to be aware of your role (superhero, villain) or whatever other endless roles there are to be able to discard them afterward.

Even if you don’t want to play the role anymore, you have to learn to love it first! Then immensely much more life energy is available to you.

The essence of shadow work recognizes the outside triggers as your transformation potential for the fruits to blossom.

The triggers are like an entrance for you to look at your role.

You may live this transformation process in your everyday life. Not only at some seminars or in books.

That’s why there is the saying.

“The inner work starts in your home!”

or in other words

“Shadow work begins within you, not in others!”

4. Shadow Work: The Power of Affirmations

Shadow Work Affirmations
Shadow Work Affirmations

The Misunderstanding

The true power of affirmations in shadow work develops when we stop putting positive affirmations like “I love myself” over our “I hate myself” wounds. If we cry internally from sadness, using an affirmation like “I laugh happily” externally is not the way to go. This fakeness is then only like a band-aid of lies. Like the movie “Joker”, the laughter is inauthentic and simply false. Looking at the movie from this perspective can be a real eye-opener.

So it’s okay to grieve, it’s okay to be weak, it’s okay to accept the shadow sides that we don’t want to see, and most importantly, not to show the shadow sides to others. The important thing is to face life with love and respect. And your shadows are part of your life, whether you want to admit it or not.

True Love

Affirmations have real value in shadow work only when we have learned to love the part of ourselves that we hate after we learned to love the part of ourselves that is sad.

In Jeffrey Kastenmüller’s German book, the very title “I’m a mistake, and I Love It!” hints at this quantum leap. We approach non-love with love.

I heartily recommend this book to everyone! The book’s title, “I am a mistake, and I love it!” works in his example not as an affirmation, as we know it today, to strengthen the positive, but to awaken the shadow a teeny bit more. “I’m a mistake, and I love it.” is like another trigger to make you feel the negative sensation ever so slightly and then envelop it in love.

How can we still meet non-love with love?

– In every shadow lies hidden a gift

– Keeping lightness towards karma

– Compassion towards fellow human beings or events

These three points can be a very bright light in dark times. If we know that in every shadow, no matter how dark, there is a gift hidden, there is hope. When we don’t take karma too seriously and recognize the lightness and gift within karma, it gives us freedom. When we have compassion for events and fellow human beings, it reminds us that on earth, as human beings, we are all in the same boat.

What is the role of true love?

True love is the force that pierces duality and captivates every shadow. True love is beyond the human love we are familiar with, which only attracts further suffering. True love reveals itself only when we are willing to look deep within ourselves.

To meet non-love with love is difficult, but possible! I have witnessed it live in seminars with so many others. I have been able to experience it myself. It is doable!

My secret tip: Recognize yourself in all people, no matter how ego-driven or deeply this person may have fallen and no matter how strongly the person triggers you.

Success Patterns

In 2016, I learned about a series of seminars that changed my life forever. There I learned about the playful reprogramming of my negative beliefs (CYP-Bio-Feedback System). At that time, I had never heard of shadow work. However, the seminar series was the most profound journey into the inner child and beyond, so I participated in another 70 days of offline events in the following three years. Yes, the seminar series are actual events! Events of inner transformation.

If you want to apply affirmations, I can recommend the five steps guide for overcoming limited beliefs, which I learned at the seminar series. You may follow these steps to make affirmations work successfully. Here I would like to translate the five steps into shadow work.

Step 1 is about having the willingness to change. That means not just reading this or other articles or books, but taking the initiative and being proactive. So you go down to the basement and open the door! You light a candle and dare to step into the unknown. Shadow work is the path, not the destination, no matter where you stand.

Step 2 is about tracking down the source of a shadow which is an undertaking that can be very difficult. Think of it this way. You are now in the house’s basement, where a high-security safe is hidden. As in step 1, you have lit the candle and vent into the unknown. But, first, you must find the safe in the dark, and after finding it, you still lack the access code. Again, transparency and true love are needed to unlock the access code of the original patterns.

Step 3 is about taking away the power of this shadow over you. It loses its power over you! Instead of you serving the shadow, the shadow serves you from now on. For this, you need the understanding and the connection of the origin to transform the whole energy. Here you also need to meet the shadow with love—a huge step. In the example of the dark cellar, the safe opens, and you look at its contents with distance and overview. It is essential to relate to this emotion that is connected to it in the situation slightly. That’s why I learned about the bio-feedback methodology at the seminar.

Step 4 is about giving light to your shadow. Imagine that the released energy is now ready to serve you. You are mentally creating a new loving origin for yourself. This recreation process is the step of self-empowerment. In this way, you prevent the released energy from flowing back into the same neuronal structure, to put it scientifically. Here you can also use affirmations like “I love myself,” whereas, in step 2, you still verified “I hate myself.”

In step 5, you strengthen your success pattern and act accordingly in everyday life. If you have less energy than before in the long run, you find it difficult to act according to the new ethics, and you know that the shadow still controls you, or you serve this shadow.

5. Spectrum of Consciousness

For more details, visit my articles Gene Keys.

The 64 states of consciousness of the Gene Keys offer a much broader spectrum for your shadow work. Therefore, I recommend the book “The 64 Gene Keys” to work with the alternation of the 64 shadows, gifts, and siddhis.

Gene Keys Spectrum of consciousness
Spectrum of Consciousness

Thanks for reading! Feel free to post what helps you with your shadow work in the comments! I am curious about your experiences regarding shadow work!

With Love


Dominik Porsche
Dominik Porschehttps://beyonduality.com/about-me/
Hi, nice to see you here. I am Dominik, dad, student, teacher, Gene Keys Guide, consciousness explorer, open-hearted and spiritual inspiration for the people around me. On Beyonduality I accompany you on a joyful and courageous journey to discover your Soul Purpose, your authentic energy expression. The project Beyonduality guides you in integrating and transcending your spirit awakening experiences through the Gene Keys Teachings. My vision as a dad is to accelerate the process of remembering – that we are spiritual beings – not only humans in flesh. So, we remember our inner truth of abundance and can all live in peace and harmony.


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