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What “shadow work” really is. (Calling all wounded warriors.)

I struggled with the concept of the “shadow self” for so long. The term made me recoil. My interpretation of it: My shadow self was my dark side—my manipulative, arrogant, endlessly needy seductress. Menacing. And she deserved a good talking to.

My beloved psychotherapists and energy workers would point me toward it. “Shadow work. Shadow self.” I wanted to sob and run. Because I felt like I was constantly doing shadow work—intentionally confronting unworthiness and worth, stain and beauty. I had shadow fatigue. En français, that would be “fatigue de l’ombre.” A beautiful way of crying out, “When does the self-critical analysis ever fucking end?”

I can tell you when: When you love your wounds.

And that’s shadow work.

Your shadow is where your wounds hide, waiting for the light of your attention. It’s the stuff beneath the distractions of workaholism and comparison and bravado.
Your deepest pain is the entry point to your authentic power.

Things commonly found in the shadow are as follows: Fear—all kinds of fear, you name it. There’s an excellent assortment of shame—some of which is conscience that gets twisted, some of which are lies that external forces have fed you. Keep rummaging around and you will also find the terror of the unknown.

Our shadow self is not an evil twin personality that we have to berate and mollify. Our shadow self is our most wounded self. And criticizing her or dragging him to motivational workshops to crush fear… well, I hope that sounds less appealing than it used to.


Anne Davin, a brilliant psychotherapist and creator of Feminosity, has been a light beam for my shadow work. In her poetic, Jungian way, Anne identifies a woman’s shadow as the archetype of the Handless Maiden. She is “the wounded woman inside of you,” but she’s not untethered and hopeless. Your wounded self is the twin sister of your Heroine Self. That’s a very powerful sisterhood.

“She is stuck in a perpetual cycle of conflict and loss,” explains Anne. “In psychological language she represents our attachment wounds or traumatic emotional injuries buried deep in the unconscious [the shadow]. She will steer you in the direction of negative erotic charge (negative pleasure) in your romantic relationships, professional industry, all the way down to your unhealthy food choices. She is what stands between you and your ability to experience yourself as a sentient being, fully embodying your spiritual humanity.” Davin knows what lies beneath—our greatest opportunity to become whole.

Manipulation, arrogance, hostility, addictions—these are not irreversible soul defects. They are behaviours that override our inborn integrity. These negative actions are expressions of the wounds we haven’t healed. Shitty behaviour is our unhealed self acting out, screaming for any kind of attention it can get.

.  .  .  .  .  . 


Personal development is the nouveau religion and, like all that came before, it’s based primarily on behaviour modification—the dominant focus is on fixing character flaws. Meritorious, for sure. But stay with me…

I’ve meditated for years and done countless types of therapy. I polished my manifestation techniques and called in a lot of goodness. I have transmuted pain into strength. I modified my behaviour for the betterment of myself and the people around me. Healing progress, yes. But still, a topical treatment.

What I didn’t fully understand was that I was building up my outer strength so that I could bear the inward journey. I was creating a container—an eco-system of friends and teammates, introspection tools, and a roof over my head that was going to support me when I needed to descend into the deep darkness to retrieve the rest of myself.

Underneath all of the life skills I’ve honed, behind my accomplishments, and beside my overly sturdy boundaries, I found a bruised little girl that needed more love and care. I was neglecting her anxiety and pain on the way to enlightenment. So she made herself known in ways that brought my life to a halt.

And then she became my lifeline. Loving my most wounded self was my ultimate restoration.

Oh, there you are in the shadows, sweet wounds… fear, shame, terror. I see you. I’m not judging, I’m embracing. I’m listening to everything you need to say, as hard as it is to hear. Let my attention calm your nervous system. I promise that I have the strength to take care of you. I’m a grown up. I have skills. So, you need me to stop overworking, so we can rest and be well? Okay. You need me to get into nature more to feel nourished? Okay. You need me to break up with situations that are insensitive to your deep sensitivity? Okay. Let me value your life with my compassion and love. I get it now. I’ve got you.

Self compassion is your brightest light source. Shine it on your deepest pain. Keep giving love to what you find in the dark. Keep looking, listening, and loving. Your radiance will astound you.

And that’s shadow work.



Anne Davin is offering her Feminosity Course this month, a home-study of your archetypical selves. It’s wise and healing—made me cry and want to fly all at once. You can learn about it here.

One of the most healing practices I’ve found for shadow work is the Love + Radiance Meditation. I used this intensely during difficult times. It focuses on Inner Child healing, going where the wound originates. So many blessings in this.

Sometimes you need a symbol to evoke your loving care for your wounded self. Some sacred art, a plant you revive, a handmade doll. It’s all medicine.

One Luminous Love,


PS: Please help a friend shine a light on themselves. Press forward. xo

Tweet it out:

Your wounded self is the twin sister of your Heroine Self. That’s a very powerful sisterhood.
Your deepest pain is the entry point to your authentic power.


Click here to Pin or right click to download + share on Instagram.

Photo credit: Anastasia Chomlack


The problem with manifestation techniques and what that psychic told you. (Plus 9 principles for predicting and manifesting.)

The problem with a lot of prediction and manifestation techniques is that we tend to forget that other humans are involved in our manifesting. And we can’t control other humans—as much as we would love to. Other humans = variables and complications and heaps of crazy free will.

For instance, that Soul Mate you have your eye on, they actually have their own life plans. (I know babe, their life would be SO much better if you were in it. I know.) And that big gig you’re gunning for, well there’s a cadre of players and circumstances involved—circumstances that are so out of your control.

We live in a material world that’s just a grain of the universe.


(And yes, they are paradoxical.)

1. Free will.
You can’t control much outside of yourself. And it doesn’t matter if three psychics said that you and So n’ So were SO going to get it ON this summer. You can’t out-will someone’s free will. (Unless you’re an evil dictator, but we’re talking about ethical dream-realization.)

2. Anything is possible.
Anything. You could get discovered in an elevator. Your twin flame could find you in a cabin in the middle of Alaska during a snowstorm. The admissions officer could play golf with your dad. Miracles happen ALL the time—crazy intersections and cosmic conspirations that bring it all together just for you and right on time. Believe.

3. The future can be seen and felt.
External psychic input can be extremely valuable for navigating—I have oracles and mediums I call on often. Just like the lady empath Troy on Star Trek, I think organizations should have a refined clairvoyant on their staff.

As for time predictions from clairvoyants, astral time is not the same as Earth time. So at best, timing forecasts are 50/50. Also… the channeller affects the message. Every medium puts their fingerprint on what they deliver to you. That can be good, bad, or neutral. It’s just something to be aware of.

We can often sense what’s coming—we just act like we can’t. Either way, keep in mind Principles #1 and #2.

4. You have multiple possible futures—each of which could be equally incredible.
10,000 Soul mates. 900 once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. 340 winning tickets. Infinite big breaks. Meditate on multiple pleasurable outcomes and you will loosen your grip on things being exactly how you “think” you want them to be.

5. “Hasn’t happened yet” means just that—not YET.
Because something hasn’t occurred in our desired timeframe, doesn’t mean that it’s never going to happen.

6. The universe has a way better imagination than you do.
My life has no resemblance to what I thought it was going to be—and I’m impressed with where failure, and courage, and the mystery have brought me. More colourful. More expanded. Way deeper. Way better than I imagined.

7. Things change—YOU change.
What you and your astrologer predict for you today could be on target. But you could do something tomorrow to alter that course or create a wrinkle in time. Changing.


Pre-determinism is total bullshit. FREE WILL REIGNS SUPREME.

9. Life really is what you make it. Live full out today. It’s from here that the future unfolds.


Live full out,


PS: Share this with your friend to help them make it happen.

Tweet it out:

Pre-determinism is total bullshit. FREE WILL REIGNS SUPREME.
Life really is what you make it. Live full out today. It’s from here that the future unfolds.


Click here to Pin or right click to download + share on Instagram.

Photo credit: Catherine Just


To trust in your goodness is the ultimate success.

At the end of an interview, it’s common to be asked the big finale question: “Tell our listeners how to get unstuck. Give us three secrets to happiness. What’s THE most useful thing you’ve learned?” No pressure.

I have a lot of possible answers, but recently, I surprised myself with this one:

“What’s the most useful thing I’ve learned?” I paused. “That I’m a good person.”

There aren’t three quick steps to that. No hack. I don’t know if it translates into anything helpful for anyone. It’s not particularly innovative or sexy. But it’s my greatest success so far.

Many of us learn to subsist on a criticism diet, in a kind of pain that eats us. We turn the pain we feel against ourselves, using our hurts as evidence that we must be unworthy—not awfully bad, but certainly not wholly good.

All oppressive systems feed this lie of unworthiness, of “not goodness”. This is the damning illusion of separation from Source.

But the Truth is waiting, like eternal Truth does: You’re born good. DNA goodness. Spanning all of time fundamentally good. Even when you’ve done bad stuff, the heart of your matter is purely good.

I’ve been all kinds of things I felt bad about. I’ve been called bad things, treated badly. I’ve taken most of my human shortcomings and with accountant-like precision put it in the “bad person” column. The tally included: the difficulties I had forgiving some people, my bravado, my imperfect physical health, my introverted ways. Some days, even my fundamental needs would slip into the “not good” category, including my need for privacy, affection, laughter, warm spaces, cleanliness, gluten-free options, encouragement, loyal friendship, and real Love.

We all have blind spots and addictions. Still, fundamentally, we are good.
Greed. Despair. Harm. Still, fundamentally, we are good.

A lot of religious doctrine preaches otherwise. Advertisers don’t want you to know that. People have forgotten to remind you of this because a lot of people failed to remind them.

To trust your fundamental goodness is a victory. It’s the return to Love that every mystic announces.

So how did I come to my own conclusion of goodness? It doesn’t matter, really. (It’s the work of a lifetime.) What matters is that you lock eyes with your own Soul and believe when it tells you: You’re a good person. Always have been, always will be.

That’s some very useful information.

Danielle LaPorte






Send this to the good people in your life. xo

Tweet it out:

To trust in your goodness is the ultimate success.
Lock eyes with your own Soul and believe when it tells you: You’re a good person.


Click here to Pin or right click to download + share on Instagram.

Photo credit: Anastasia Chomlack


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