Heal Your Shadow Self With Reiki

Heal Your Shadow Self With Reiki

Conscious and Unconscious

Many cognitive neuroscientists have conducted studies that have revealed that only 5% of our cognitive activities (decisions, emotions, actions, behaviour) is conscious whereas the remaining 95% is generated in a non-conscious manner.

Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) the founding father of psychoanalysis, developed a topographical model of the mind, whereby he described the features of the mind’s structure and function. Freud used the analogy of an iceberg to describe the three levels of the mind.

On the surface is consciousness, which consists of those thoughts that are the focus of our attention now, and this is seen as the tip of the iceberg. The preconscious consists of all which can be retrieved from memory. The third is the unconscious, from which stem the processes that are the real cause of most behaviour. Like an iceberg, the most important part of the mind is the part you cannot see.

It is not just the conscious mind that is creating our reality, but our unconscious mind as well. The unconscious mind has a powerful influence on our decisions, our communication with others and especially on our body language. It also expresses directly through our energy field.

The unconscious mind can have both healthy and unhealthy aspects and it is the unhealthy aspects that are often called the Shadow Self. By working through the power of the unconscious mind, the Shadow Self is responsible for creating our unwanted experiences. Therefore, the only meaningful way to prevent unwanted experiences from taking place is by getting to know the Shadow Self and then to help it heal. 

The Shadow Self

One important insight is that the Shadow Self is actually created by the way we deal with our unwanted feelings and thoughts. Unwanted feelings don’t simply go away, but accumulate in the unconscious mind, still very much alive and often even more angry and resentful for having been rejected in such an uncaring way. 

These Shadow Self feelings take on an identity of their own, retain a great deal of energy and are intent on expressing themselves.  Because the Shadow Self is in the unconscious mind, we are unaware of it and the influence it is having on our lives. It is through this process that the Shadow Self is empowered and motivated to create difficulties in our lives. 

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung says of the shadow side:

“It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses – and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster; and each individual is only one tiny cell in the monster’s body, so that for better or worse he must accompany it on its bloody rampages and even assist it to the utmost. Having a dark suspicion of these grim possibilities, man turns a blind eye to the shadow-side of human nature. Blindly he strives against the salutary dogma of original sin, which is yet so prodigiously true. Yes, he even hesitates to admit the conflict of which he is so painfully aware.”

Carl Jung (“On the Psychology of the Unconscious” (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.35)
Culturally-Created Self and Authentic Self

When a person is born, we depend from our parents for food, shelter, clothing, physical contact and everything necessary to support our lives as a child. This dependence forms the basis for the development of the child’s identity. Because of the influence of the parents and exposure to the everyday world around it, the child is encouraged to develop a personality based on cultural conditioning. As the child grows, and matures, he or she comes to identify more completely with the Culturally-Created Self, which has a limited view of who it is, what it can accomplish and possessed a very limited awareness.

The Authentic Self is the aspect of our inner nature that is composed of the pure, unaltered self. This part connects directly to God consciousness and possesses the awareness and power of the Universe.

Unwanted experiences

Unwanted experiences are actually a reflection of our own Shadow Self. This means that if there is someone in your personal life that you have strong negative feelings about and wish would go away, according to the Law Of Attraction it is your Shadow Self that has attracted them to you and caused you to feel the way you do toward them.  And in fact, it is likely that the characteristics of this unwanted person that you dislike the most are characteristics of your Shadow Self. In other words, you have these same or similar traits within you.

It is possible to stop yourself from directing your negative feelings toward the outer person, and turn your attention inwardly to consider your inner state and search for any aspects within that may have the same feelings or characteristics you dislike so much in the other person.  This requires humility, but it is a step in the direction of healing, and it allows you to change your inner world, which reflects on your outer world as well.

This triggers a process of inner discovery and healing.  The Shadow Self exists because, rather than heal the feelings that have created it, for one reason or another, you chose to ignore and deny them. If you are to heal, it is necessary to reverse the process by paying attention to the Shadow Self and accept it as part of yourself. When you begin to do this, only then is it possible to heal.  Once the Shadow Self begins to be accepted and the healing process begins, you will find it much easier to accept the outer person as well, making it easier to find solutions and resolve issues. Or it may result in the person going away with little direct contact needed, or in you simply not being affected by them as you have in the past. 

Using Reiki to heal the Shadow Self

There are incredible benefits in working with your Shadow Self as part of your regular Reiki self-healing treatments.

Let’s say, for example, that there is someone in your life that is causing you grief, and you would like to use this experience to heal your Shadow Self.

1. Start by meditating on the feelings you have toward the person. Then ask yourself, “Is there a part within myself that is similar to this person?” . As you do this, locate where in your body or energy field these feelings and/or the part resides.

2. Direct Reiki energy there with your hands. Use the mental/emotional symbol along with the power symbol or the master or other Reiki symbols you feel would be helpful if you have them. If you are a Holy Fire® Reiki Master, use the Holy Fire® Master symbol. As you do this, communicate with the Reiki energy and ask it to show you the part of yourself that has attracted this experience into your life. This can bring up hidden aspects of yourself that you have been unaware of, but need attention. These insights may come to to as feelings, pictures, emotions.

3. When you begin to feel the part, connect to it and express your gratitude to it for showing itself to you. Tell this part you would like to build a healthy relationship and to help it heal. This process may sometimes feel uncomfortable, but make sure that you continue sending Reiki and it will help you work with your emerging Shadow Self. Allow yourself to have compassion toward the part(s) that come into your awareness. 

4. Continue to send Reiki and also, if you are open to it, say a prayer and ask for help from the Higher Power using whatever name feels comfortable to you. Continue sending Reiki, feeling compassion and looking into this part of yourself with the intent of understanding it and helping it to let go and heal. As you do this continue to thank the Reiki energy and/or the Higher Power for its help. 

5. You may also include affirmations such as, “I release all negative feelings into the Reiki energy to heal now”, “I am my Authentic Self” or “I am a spiritual being having a human experience” or other affirmations you feel are right.

I am a spiritual being having a human experience
I am a spiritual being having a human experience

6. Continue to do this until the session feels complete for now and end the session with a grounding meditation, thanking the Higher Power and setting the intention that the healing will continue as long as is needed. Repeated sessions may be necessary until you have let go of all the negative feelings and you feel at peace. 

As you use this technique or variations of it, your Shadow Self will continue to heal, and the hidden parts of your personality that had been intent on creating problems for you will become available to you as allies. These healed parts will now support you by making available to you incredible gifts in the form of unlocked skills and abilities.


Giancarlo has over ten years of experience in practising and teaching Healing Arts. He is a Reiki Master Teacher of Usui/Tibetan, Holy Fire® and Karuna Reiki® systems of healing and works as a Consultant Spiritual Healer at the College of Psychic Studies in London.