If you're new to shadow work, I know it sounds weird, but hear me out.
Shadow work has been an important part of my healing journey. There's an infinite number of ways for it to be done, but the goal is always the same: connecting and healing the parts of yourself that you have repressed. People are often ashamed of their shadows, or their "dark sides", but understanding my shadow allowed me to delve into my subconscious to uncover new ways to provide better care for myself. It allows me to face my unmet needs and early childhood trauma, which isn't fun, but it helps. Feels like shit when you remember the stuff your brain tried really hard to forget, but once that stuff comes up I'm finally able to release it and stop punishing myself.
If you want to try it out, I created this journal prompt as a shadow work exercise for inner-child healing:
If you were planning the perfect meal for your younger self what would it consist of?
Go deep with the details.
What’s the ambiance?
Where are you?
Did you prepare the food or order your favorite?
Try to imagine with each of your 5 senses.
Follow up Qs
How old is the younger self that you chose?
Think about what was happening in your life at that age and why you may have chosen to go back to that time.
How often did your younger self enjoy a meal like that?
What emotions came up for you?
What will you eat today to feed your younger self?
It’s okay if you don’t choose the same meal today that you wrote about in your prompt. But it’s important to remember that you in the present can heal your inner child’s wounds. Keep in mind that each meal you enjoy is a kind gift to your inner child; nourish them. They deserve it. You deserve it. Shadow work often brings up difficult emotions, feel them out, you might learn something from yourself.