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What is Shadow Work, Generational/Ancestral Trauma, & Inner Child Work?

We are going to be talking about shadow work today. Because right now we're going through a really intense energetic shift, and we've all been worn out by the pandemic as it is - the elections, and events all over the world. With everyone going through so much, we wanted to provide resources so that you guys can take care of yourselves during this time and also make it a productive time for healing. Let's dive into the deep, tough stuff.

There's an energy shift going on. Can you tell people what's going on? Also, what could we be doing in the meantime?

Just to start before we dive into defining shadow work, I want to say that we're not being punished or anything. It's a natural progression of our earth and humanity. We agreed to rise at a certain collective consciousness. Inhabitants of Earth and Earth itself are now contracted to start really raising their awareness, getting to the next level.

Our race is ready for a new energy and so is our earth. With that, we have to start to really cleanse, and we've been doing it. It's to help us in the long run and to help us help each other because we're just fighting. That's something really important to remember: we're not being punished. This is to help us.

We have to dive deep. If everyone dives deep within themselves with shadow work, for example, we can really get through this in a productive way and then be at a whole other level of personal evolution, getting rid of all the toxic crap in our lives.

What is shadow work?

MARIA: I just found out the other day actually from another creator that the concept of shadow work is really actually pretty ancient and belongs to some very ancient indigenous cultures, but in a modern world, it was kind of rediscovered through psychology by Carl Jung who used this to talk about concepts such as the inner child.

Really in the spiritual world, we talk about it as facing our shadows within us, because we all have a light side and the shadow side. We are dual beings.

When we are doing shadow work, what we're doing is we're addressing our deepest, darkest wounds, traumas. They are things we're doing that are toxic and things that toxic people have put into us. Also, it’s the process of re-identifying who we are and all that. What has been put on us? What has been imposed on us and who are we in our truest form?

Sometimes we don't know that, and we don't realize that we don't know who we are until maybe halfway through our lives; that's a midlife crisis. Shadow work is this deep, inner exploration of all the darkest aspects of ourselves: going back to our childhood, revealing things that traumatized us, working through these different things and slowly but surely, healing them, finding resolution, and lifting them out of our energy into the light so that we can continue to grow and know who we truly are and what we're here to do. That's kind of my little metaphysical explanation.

So just to reiterate shadow work is diving into old wounds, old traumas from your past and starting to bring them to the surface. And you can use different healing modalities to do this. We talked about EFT Tapping. For example, you can make a trauma timeline by writing it all out when all these traumas happen. And then one by one, you can meditate on those, go back to inner child work where you're telling the child that experienced that trauma or the person that experienced that trauma. You come in your current form of the knowledge and wisdom you have now, and you can say “it's okay. You're protected. You're safe.” Or you can say things to that inner child. That's just one technique. It's inner child work. But shadow work is just a general deep dive into healing your deepest shadows. So, the skeletons in your closet, that's essentially what it is and the intentional practice of working through those ones by one and starting to heal through whatever modality you choose.

TRANG: What I learned is that shadow work is dealing with deep-rooted issues. Half the time, people don't know what they are because when we've been through trauma or things like that, we've suppressed it for such a long time that usually it might take a professional to help dig that out. And usually it comes from childhood. Most of the time people are like, “I don't remember childhood”, but usually people can tackle it by saying, “How did you feel? What do you think about childhood? What were the emotions that came out of it? A lot of people, unfortunately, don't say it was all happy, glitzy, glamor. Sometimes a child can feel burdened; they can feel scared, things like that.

And I saw something on Instagram yesterday that I thought described this really well, where it says: “Emotional trauma that has not been dealt with will reveal itself in either avoidance of conflict.” So there are people that avoid conflict. People pleasing behaviors for everyone who like to people please, or make sure everyone's okay. There is a reason why you keep having a pattern of that. Codependency relationships or even abandonment fears - and so you might go into unhealthy relationships. Why does it make you go into unhealthy relationships? Why do you seek external validation from other people, avoid your own personal needs, and not having boundaries set? There is a reason why you have these patterns.

Sometimes people say, “Oh, I always end up with an asshole.” The first relationship - yes. But if you've been with four assholes in a row, you have to start questioning yourself, “Why do I have this pattern?” You know, maybe it's you. Shadow work is hard because no one wants to admit that they have this flaw, that they have this fault. And it's really painful a lot of times to dig deep into that.

Maria and I are also huge advocates of therapy because a professional can get a fresh perspective and they're also trained to do this type of stuff too, and to dig deep. But if you don't address your emotional traumas, you're going to have chaos or abuse in your relationships, whether it's romantic or with friendships or family.

Is there a light and shadow part to everything?

MARIA: Yes, there really is. That's part of our human existence is this extreme duality. It's one of the hardest things about choosing incarnation as a human on earth and there are various timelines. This is a tough one because we are meant to explore these shadows. So basically we are here to discover such depths of our being. That's part of why the duality is here, why the earth is designed the way it is, and why humanity is designed the way it is, so that we can exercise these different aspects of ourselves. The light and dark contrast really do help to bring things to the surface and teach us. Everyone has a light and shadow side, even the nicest person. It's just part of who we are, and we can't hate ourselves for that. We're just being human.

What is ancestral trauma? Why do a lot of people seem to encounter difficulty breaking negative family cycles?

MARIA: Ancestral trauma and generational trauma is truly one of the biggest things that hold people back from progressing in this life because they have taken on the burden, of like an entire family. How that happens is it starts with an ancestor that introduces a certain pattern into a family aligned.

So for example, great, great, great grandpa. Oh, we can see this in, for example, our president, right? His great-grandfather was not necessarily a good person. Then had his son, who was not a great person and it went on. You see how the generations just keep that as part of their generational karma, generational trauma. Believe it or not, yes, even someone like Trump was traumatized by this and it shapes people.

If that's what's modeled to you or if you're deprived of certain things, you can end up like that. So that's an example of one and a lot of people have this. So for example, I keep seeing patterns of several people who are sexually assaulting their own family members in the same family. And it goes back to like great grandpa and then grandpa, and then uncle Bob, and it's carrying down this trauma.

There's like every generation has that trauma in it somehow or some way, even if not everyone was affected by it or was a victim of it. It still affects the whole family. It becomes part of that processing. So especially in this energy, it's time to release that you do not have to sit here and suffer for your families indiscretions or negativity anymore. You can release that and, it's hard, it's a journey, but it is beautiful and it is possible to heal from it. So you can begin to break the cycle with tools like shadow work, inner child work, tapping, etc. And we'll go into some of this stuff later, but that's a little bit about ancestral trauma. Some people will call it a family curse. It's really ancestral trauma.

TRANG: I think a lot of times when people use the word curse it feels so disempowering just because people think, you know, the curse kind of gives that connotation of like you can't ever get rid of it. But a lot of times it's a response to trauma growing up and you know, with help methods and techniques you can, like Maria said can break through trauma and heal from it. Actually just realizing that there is trauma or there is that's ongoing in your family. And the first place is a huge first step to take. You know, a lot of people don't see it at all. And some people are even meant to come into this life to break ancestral trauma, generational trauma, that's been ongoing and it doesn't have to be something huge as even being, you know assaulted and assaulting each generation. It could be even things like neglect.

You know, I think I was reading the kind of like, you know, the back of a book cover, you know, the summary to be like, I don't really want to buy this book, but I just want to see what it talks about. And it was, I think Trump's cousin, who's a psychologist, that describes his upbringing. And it was because I don't think the mom was in the picture. She might've passed away, but the dad, he didn't give them any attention at all. He was a businessman and he just wanted them to obey everything he said, you know? And so that psyche is gonna that's going to mess up his psyche and then make him the way he is today. And most likely he's going to pass that down to like another generation like that. But again, you always have free will to learn and break the cycle. It's really tough. And that's why we want to share more about where you can probably seek help and support about when, if that you're encountering that in your own life right now, too.

Could breaking a family cycle be our purpose, in the family?

MARIA: Yes, it can be. So many times the people who come in that are like the black sheep that are challenging, what has been put before generation after generation. You're constantly at odds because you want to be free and live life the way you want to live it. You don't want their religion or their culture necessarily. You don't want to continue the same patterns. You vote differently than they do. You're literally coming in there. You're shaking stuff up. You're the rebel. And you make everyone nuts because you refuse to conform. You guys are likely here to break the generational cycles, break the ancestral chains and move the family to a new direction. And they're going to get so annoyed at you and so frustrated. You may even have to eventually distance yourself from them.

You are here to bring in a different energy and sometimes it's very traumatic to be in this role because you spend your whole life feeling like you don't belong in your own family. You a lot of times have to find a friend group that you've built, that is your new family, because they get you. You're kind of custom building your own family. So that is a common pattern.

Know that you are brought in differently because you were meant to be different. So embrace it. Do not let them beat you down. You're here to be different. You're here to be you.

So yes, it is exhausting. Sometimes they will never stop trying to convert you. They never stopped trying to brainwash you and bring you back into the fold, but you are meant to raise the vibration and break the cycle. So keep doing it.

Let’s talk about shadow work, but more in the relationship realm. People hear about “twin flames” or “soulmates''. Can you talk about shadow work in terms of toxic relationships?

MARIA: Well, this is a tough one. And I have seen so many people who have traumas fall into the trap of seeking the perfect relationship through the idea, especially of twin flames, sometimes people get obsessed with the idea of soulmates. This is a perfect example of people who are not coming from a healthy place necessarily when they are looking for a relationship. The idea of a twin flame is inherently, sure it sounds magical. It's like the twin flame is literally the other half of your soul that's manifested into a relationship or a romantic partner in an incarnation or the other half of use in another realm watching over you sometimes. But people are looking for this like a treasure hunt, of finding this other half of their soul. Inherently, that creates so much expectation and also an unhealthy mindset that you are incomplete.

You need to find your other half, right? We talk about this a lot in our culture. I'm finding my other half or my other half did this, no, you’re a whole, you’re a whole. And inherently looking for someone who is your other half and putting a metaphysical label on it that makes it sound like it's the best relationship ever. When actually, if you read more about it, it's one of the most traumatic things you could probably go through a lot of time. It's causing people to find people they think are their twin flame because it's hard. And because they are getting along with people who are sociopaths and psychopaths and narcissists who are mirroring, trying to manipulate someone who's desperate to find their twin flame. And really, they're just manipulating the other person to think that they are that person. They just absorb your characteristics and reflect it back to you.

So meanwhile, you think you've found your twin flame, but really they're just mirroring who you are back to you. They're not that person. And you end up getting stuck in some sort of toxic relationship, and you will not leave because you think, this is just part of the process. This is just how twin flames are. They can be difficult, they're just challenging me. No, do not try to find your twin flame. Just try to find a healthy relationship and know that you're whole, and you don't need someone to complete you. So come from that place and find another person who knows that they're whole, and doesn't need someone to complete them. People can also do this with soulmates too. They're like, “Oh my God, I got to find my soulmate”. And they get fixated on this one soulmate. Sometimes we have several people we are supposed to be with in life. Humans are honestly more naturally polyamorous than monogamous. So we've just manufactured a lot of this stuff.

So it's called twin flame because it's like, literally the idea of like a flame, like finding a romantic flame and it's like a twin. So it's like someone who's literally like your identical twin, but they manifest as your soul twin. And they come in a lifetime and stuff like that. So please do not fall into that trap. That's what I would say. Just focus on a healthy relationship, do not put labels on it. And if you see someone that's too much like you, that seems like they're almost identical to you, that's probably not realistic. So just be very, very discerning and make sure that you're not letting your own trauma affect the way you're viewing the relationship, so that you're not seeing past the manipulations. Let yourself use your gut instinct to process this stuff. Don't fall into the trap of, “Oh, they're just having a bad day. Well, they really do love me. I know they do, but they've locked me in my room for three days.” Do not question your gut instinct.

TRANG: I'm gonna give my cake example. Imagine you're a piece of cake. If you are really wholesome and have worked a lot on yourself, you're like an amazing piece of cake. That's like the best recipe ever. And you know, the best cakes out there don't really need frosting because they're just so yummy by itself. But a relationship, a nice, healthy relationship with someone else, your partner that's just icing on the cake. But you don't need the icing in order to survive, to feel whole, to feel fulfilled. Again, going back to that shadow work and working yourself: why do I feel like I need that person to complete me? And digging into that and you're going to discover a lot about yourself and why you've been in these negative behaviors or why it possibly has stemmed from childhood.

A lot of people in this community are empaths. Could you explain what an empath is?

MARIA: So empaths, people who are literally psychic sponges to other people's feelings, emotions, potentially diseases, pretty much anything that is in people's energy fields including things like thoughts you know, psychic insights that can be felt, that's empathy. And many times empaths may feel drained all the time. When they're around people, you might tend to be more introverted. You don't have to be a severe introvert, but maybe tend to be more introverted where you don't feel so good to be in big crowds. You get overwhelmed, maybe even at the grocery store, you feel things that no one else is picking up on. You're like, am I crazy? Because I'm literally sensing this. And then everyone's like, “What are you talking about? You're just being judgmental”. And you're like, “I'm serious. There's something about that person”. And you might get gaslighted by your own friends all the time, because they just don't understand what you're picking up on. And then it might take months, weeks, years for them to finally see what you've been sensing. So it can be frustrating.

Also, you might tend to attract people like energy vampires who were like, “Ooh, look at this, really this person who just really gives me so much emotional support and is always there for me and doesn't, and never backs down, even when I'm acting.” They might latch on to you and just suck you dry. And it might be hard to get rid of them because then they might gaslight you and tell you that you're the crazy one, that you're not a good friend, and then you might question your whole self. So yes, that can happen. You might attract narcissists easily or you know, people on the narcissistic spectrum; so sociopath, psychopath, and you could be more likely to attract them because they see your light and your energy. Also you may also have clairsentience.

So you can pair with empathy, also feeling things in your physical body like, Oh, why is my heart hurt? And then you're standing next to someone you didn't know, had a heart condition or had some knee injury or whatever. You might pick it up in your own body. You can gaslight yourself because we start to do this to ourselves because we've been told so many times that people don't understand what we're talking about. So then we start doing it to ourselves as a protection mechanism.

So if you know people that are sucking you dry because you're kind and you're there and you feel what they're feeling, you feel their pain. Do not let them guilt you into a toxic relationship. Now's a great time to cut that crap out because the energy is shifting and things are being revealed. Also psychic protection is so important or you can call it boundary setting. Some people don't like the word protection. Psychic boundaries setting is so important where you say other people's energies do not come into my energy field. They're not permitted to come into my energy. And that's just a simple thing you could say every day to yourself to create clear boundaries.

Why is it that strange, weird, or draining people/coworkers go for me. Why are they drawn to me?

MARIA: Oh my goodness. We had a perfect example of this in a client we had the other day who is a lovely person who was such a bright shining, empathetic light, talented, smart, and also just very lovely, very kind, very empathetic. And they just were getting attacked and drained by their people at work. And I told her this because I've literally been there myself. I see this pattern happening over and over, especially the empathic types, also because we can be eager to please. So that makes us more, even more likely to be taken advantage of.

I told her, your light is shining so bright that to the people around you who are very low vibe, very, very dense, very miserable, super self-conscious, whatever. When they see your bright shining, beautiful light come in, it feels the rays of your light will feel like burn on their skin. That's the level of vibrational difference. They'll feel like they're burning around you all the time and they hate it. They don't even sometimes know why they're talking down on you, even though you're like the most likable person, right?

So when you are a kind person and you come in with a genuine heart and you have a beautiful energy and you are an empathetic person, people may want to try to end all your lights. So it's really important, especially to do shadow work when you're like this, because you can even be a little bit gullible. Not gullible, as in you fall for everything easily, but you truly, maybe want to help people. You may believe people when they tell you things, even if your gut is telling you something different, you might genuinely want to believe them. And that can get you in trouble sometimes. So you're not a vulnerable person, but people can latch onto you more easily. So just set boundaries. And if you see people trying to pile work on you or trying to gaslight you at work and blame you for stuff, you have to stand your ground. That's the key and it can be hard and I know how hard that is myself. I struggle with that as well.

TRANG: I noticed with empathic people, the bullies are the narcissistic people at work, they're the ones most likely to be like, Hey, can you do this? Or bully you, because they know empaths are the nice people, are less likely to say “no”, and they're less likely to put boundaries. They're less likely to be like, “You know what? I did this last time, but this time you need to take it on”. And when it's kind of like, you know, bullies, don't stand up to the other mean people because they know they're gonna get pushback. So that's why we talk about setting boundaries, but it could be simple as being like, “No, not this time. Right now I have my work to do.”

Maybe even things like, “I need to check with my job description to see if this is within my realm of what I'm supposed to do.” Because you know, when you keep saying yes, yes, yes. And getting to that pattern of like a yes-person; people will just know to just dump things on you.

Is it common for empaths to end up in a victim position or have a victim mentality?

MARIA: I've met people in my life that have that victim mentality where something happened to them in the past, where it could be childhood or even in a bad relationship. But the thing that's unfortunate is that they think anything coming out of it, haven't resolved the issue or working on themselves, they always think afterwards that anything bad that happens, it's like they're being cursed or like, “Why do bad things happen to me?” And they start telling that narrative to themselves where they apply it to anything in life. It gets into a toxic cycle. So that's just another thing too, if you have that, it's also a shadow work aspect to work on as well.

I always manifest and end up in a cycle of trauma. Is that actually manifesting or is that something else?

MARIA: Oh guys I very much relate to that at the moment. And yes, in a way we are manifesting things that, what's happening is this, we have certain destiny markers in life that we have to experience no matter what, but in between we have free will. We can choose how to handle the situation.

And this isn't victim blaming. This isn't saying like, “It's your fault that you did this again.” It's this, we have a certain vibration. Our vibration is determined by our thoughts, our experiences, how much we are holding those traumas or positives in our body. The choices we make because of them, it all adds up to kind of the vibration of the way we live our life, who we are or who we project ourselves out to. Even if it's not truly who we are, because we have trauma we haven't dealt with or whatever. So what happens is if you have all of these, you've just pushed stuff down or you've worked on a little bit, but haven't quite gotten over the hump yet. And you may keep experiencing the stuff over and over and over until you finally stand firm.

I have personally experienced this so many times. I can't even count. I'm experiencing it right now. It's one of the hardest things I've been through. And I'm telling you, I know exactly why it's here. And I'm like, “Goddammit, I thought I got through this, but I did not”. And I see exactly where I did not stand my ground and now it's happening again. And just notice the pattern, but just know it's not because you did anything to deserve it. Please don't think that it's simply because you're meant to learn a certain lesson.

So the universe is like, “How about this little one?” You ignore that. How about this little one? Oh, it's getting a little bigger. How about this? And then it gets bigger. And before you know it, it's like an unbearable scenario. And then you have to act, at that point sometimes even almost life or death at a certain point.

Be patient with yourself. That's the other thing I would add because it can take several rounds of this, guys. It can take several lifetimes to finally defeat the cycle. So please be easy on yourself. Know that it's one of the hardest things to break a trauma cycle, but you can absolutely do it. And I'm so sorry to any of you who have dealt with this or are dealing with it right now. People who are feeling trapped in a certain cycle, you can get out of it. Standing up for yourself might make you want to vomit because it's such a difficult feeling. But with time, the more you break down these traumas, the easier it is for you to see your actual strength that's truly within you. So love yourself, guys. I know it's hard, but take time to learn to love yourself. Shadow work is one of the ways you can do that.

TRANG: When it comes to relationships, I just want to send you a gentle reminder that abuse and control is not love. Sometimes when you are in a toxic relationship or work relationship, we kind of start to lose our voice. That's one thing people don't realize over time, until they see it in hindsight. Maria and I have both been bullied at work before and I used to be a person that would just speak out, you know, no problem. But over time sometimes you lose voice.

So again, yes, be easy on yourself. It is very uncomfortable, and with the healing process, it's not going to be linear. It's going to be, like a little better every day. You might crash one day and think like, “Why am I crying and sobbing? And I feel like a failure.” And then it gets better and better and better. And they might have another crash again. So just know that the healing process is messy and that's okay.

Where do I start with my inner child work?

TRANG: There is a psychologist, her handle is the.holistic.psychologist and she has amazing content talking about inner child work and shadow work and integrates everything together. And that's a really great place to start. I think she also has a program too, and a group called self-healers. She believes that you can also work on healing yourself through a lot of journaling, a lot of meditations that she offers and things like that.

MARIA: Some of the ways that you can support yourself through this journey of shadow work, for example, is if you do things like I just saw someone mentioned in the comments is EFT Tapping. My gosh, that is one of the most beautiful companions to shadow work that ever could be.

It's so kind of these EFT and Tapping practitioners to put free videos on that are like guided, tapping exercises that you can do. I remember when EFT wasn't very well known and it helped me get out of an abusive relationship. I didn't know how I could escape. I literally felt trapped. I didn't know, I was going to lose everything if I left and I found EFT at the right time. And it just took a couple of weeks of EFT to just get enough strength and clarity to finally leave. I couldn't believe that I finally did it. So that's the amount of impact it can have if you're working through your traumas with it as a tool. You could also use it to boost your confidence, to heal from wounds faster, to heal through mental stuff. I mean, literally you can use it for anything. It clears out energetic pathways in your body.

TRANG: We do have a blog post about EFT tapping and it's great. And then we also have a link in there to show you it's a YouTube channel where they have quick sessions and it's not long. It's like 10 minutes of tapping exercises. It's for wealth, it's for like abundance. It could be for heartbreak. There are so many different types, so just make sure you check it out.

MARIA: Additionally, find a Reiki practitioner that can help you kind of heal in between major deep shadow work or trauma work sessions you're doing on yourself. What happens when we are doing all this hard work on ourselves internally, emotionally it does come up from the deeper aspects of ourselves and it can kind of linger in our energy field a little bit. So, you know, it might be nice to get someone like a healer, someone that you trust, that's a healer, Reiki practitioner, or any other method that you resonate with and have them work on you once a month. That way you can kind of keep the flow going and things aren't getting hung up. They just keep things moving and also heal areas that have recently been worked on. You know, because when you're removing blockages from yourself, by doing shadow work, it can leave an area, for example, in your body or in your aura, like a little patch where it was, where it was nested that has been removed. And so we can fill in those gaps and stuff. Trang and I are both Reiki masters. We do offer it remotely on zoom, but please find a practitioner that you resonate with.

We highly recommend body scan meditation. It can help you figure out where energy is lingering in your body. Even if it's emotional, it can be attached to literally an organ, a joint, you know, a certain tissue, a certain area of quadrant of your body. So that is something else I'd recommend, but there's a ton. Also make sure you do a lot of self-care during this time. Anything that makes you feel good.

Ana Lilia Breath Work is an amazing resource. We love her. She's so sweet. Again, do your research, but we've taken classes from her and she does it online stuff. She's such a sweet person, by the way. Ana Lilia is like a little drop of honey. I swear she has the sweetest energy and she's also a Reiki master. I know we're selling her. We have no affiliation with her whatsoever. We just love going to her classes and she does everything online nowadays. We used to go to her classes before COVID in person.

TRANG: Breath Work is a very different type of meditation. You get definitely more usually tingling sensations and stuff, and it's a two-part breath. It's very different. She at the moment during COVID is offering breathwork sessions. It's free, but you can donate money. Maria and I have had just amazing experiences with it, where we definitely shifted afterwards.

MARIA: Yeah. It's incredible and it's a nice addition to your other work. Another resource just for anyone who is dealing with toxic relationships, narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths, whatever, whatever gnarly or just people that are toxic...Over the years, I've found Dr. Romani on YouTube. She's got her flaws too. We all do, but she is an expert on these types of people and she basically dedicates her whole life and practice to how to deal with narcissists, empaths, techniques, things to look out for. That's another one.

We do our best as healers and we do our best as teachers and we're not perfect, but she's really cool. There are a couple of others too that I can't remember, but she's the main one I've been watching over the years and she's helped me and how to handle these things.

MARIA: Anything that we recommend or anyone recommends please do research. Please see if that feels right to you. Again, these are just personal perspectives. There are tons of resources out there. So please do find one that resonates with you.

TRANG: Yes, kind of like the same thing with working out. People might recommend pilates, but you know what, maybe Pilates doesn't resonate with you and you like swimming more. At the end of the day, it's what it's really what fits what you vibe with.

Also, another thing when you were talking about that other resource Maria, I think it's kind of beautiful in a way when people show their vulnerable sides, in terms of like, they're going through things. You see Maria and I on Zoom and we're Tik Toking and that kind of stuff, but we also have our ups and downs too. And so, you know, we don't want to give you this illusion that everyday life is going to be perfect because it's not. Life can be messy at times and we are humans just like you guys.

MARIA: Yeah, we do our best, everyone. We all do our best. And one of the things that we do that can really help our progress is when we are so hard on ourselves, for every little thing that we perceive we're doing wrong, we are here to be imperfect humans, whatever that means for each individual soul path, as inconvenient as that sounds. That's what we're here to do.

Is it common to lose lots of hair or have certain symptoms during a spiritual journey?

MARIA: Oh man. That's what I've heard of a lot. when I started my spiritual awakening, my hair, of course I think there's probably something hormonal going on too, but it happened around the time of my spiritual awakening. Make sure you're getting your hormones checked. Make sure you're getting your D3 levels checked, your B12, all your vitamins, make sure you're not anemic. You know, have your normal routine blood tests done. And if you think something's happened, that's out of normal, please do get it checked out first. But also, in addition to that, yes, like superficial things like skin changes or hair loss can happen with spiritual awakenings shadow work, deep upheaval of some sort, but also you know, you can bring up old health issues that have been in remission or it can cause new issues.

You can have new food sensitivity show up out of nowhere, new ailments, things that were maybe really small that were being ignored because you didn't know they were there that suddenly blow up and you're like, oh my God, now I have this whole disability or this whole thing that can happen. It can happen. I've also experienced that myself, but finally, after like 10 years of dealing with this, I've finally found an integrative medicine group that is helping me with this. And they're the only ones who have been able to help me so far and it's working great. So, find practitioners that work for you, but please do get medical help if you think anything is really abnormal out of the ordinary.

What should someone expect on a spiritual journey?

MARIA: It's different for absolutely everyone. It is custom to every soul and we cannot judge other people's spiritual journeys. We can get upset if people are doing shady stuff, of course, but at the end of the day, that could have been why they're here. It doesn't excuse toxic horrible people, but even they're here for their own little journey. Now, as far as spiritual journeys, we'll say generic things, you can expect entire meltdowns of your identity. You will potentially break down everything you are and realize that you've been living someone else's life that was trained on you from when you were a kid. So, you might suddenly not resonate with your family and friends anymore. You might change friend groups. You might suddenly think, why am I in this career? It's almost like you wake up and look around and you're like, whose life is this? This isn't my life and you could have an existential crisis of that level.

And your diet can go completely changed. Like suddenly you just want to be like a vegan, like out of nowhere or you can't stand eating certain foods or certain things make you nauseous, or you suddenly get really, really sensitive to like violence on TV or games or whatever. Like you may not be able to tolerate certain things. You might have a lot of mental breakdowns that you didn't use to have. Your anxiety might get worse. These are some of many things that can happen during a spiritual journey of their generic. But a lot of people do kind of look to the metaphysical. I've heard of people who were with atheists, who suddenly realized they wanted to understand a different idea and they went to the metaphysical to understand that better. So, it's different for everyone.

I cannot for the life of me get rid of tricksters, negative, or toxic people. What are the techniques or methods for protection?

MARIA: So, gosh, there are so many things I could recommend about this. First, before we talk about protection, let's talk about trusting your gut. I know most of you on here are sensitive in some way you're most, you probably have some level of extra sensitivity, whether it's a specific psychic ability or just general several, or maybe you're empaths, but you people on here who are interested in this stuff are trying to figure themselves out, right? So, they may have more of a tendency to sense things about people. So even most humans can do this to varying degrees.

So, first thing, when you meet someone, pay attention to how you feel. Do you get thoughts in your head that say something, a feeling, a vision, something nondescript that's just a knowing. And just pay close attention. Do not look at how they are smiling. You do not look with how they're dressed, do not look at what other people are saying about them and their reputation. How do you feel about that person specifically? And you don't have to tell anybody else about it. You can give it to yourself, because sometimes people, one of the other downfalls is you starting to tell other people about it and they make you doubt yourself and then you throw it out and then you end up wondering how you got there, so that's one.

The other thing is do not, especially if you get a weird vibe from someone like that, do not over share your stuff with them because trickster types can use that against you. And I'm not saying, we need to find people that we are comfortable sharing stuff with, but man, I can't tell you how many times I've messed up on this, guys. I cannot tell you how many times I failed in trusting my gut and not listening to my inner instincts, letting other people talk me out of the way I felt. And then letting my guard down completely because other people were, and then I ended up getting it used against me. So that's something. So be careful, you don't have to tell people everything about you, just bare minimum if you don't trust them, follow that instinct.

Also, yes when you're working in a place, when you're working with other human beings, whether it's even just like being around family or being around people at work you know, put up a little basic boundary protection, a little boundary, energetic bubble around you/ We're talking about like trickster people, like basically manipulators, people who aren't who they say they are, narcissists, sociopaths, just general a-holes that make your life miserable, but they may seem like you're nice people and they might slowly wear you down in ways that you didn't even realize that were happening. So that's what we mean by tricksters. So, have general energy protection just for everyone, like when we're working in close quarters, especially like our energy fields touch. Like when I see people in cubicles, I'm like, and I've worked in cubicles before, you could like, literally your energy fields are like touching and it's super awkward, because it's so invasive.

So, set an energy boundary around your cubicle, around you. Say “No one's energy, besides my own is allowed in this area. It is not permitted. And if anyone thinks anything negative about me, and is not for my highest and greatest good, let it bounce off my energy protection”. So that's something you should do every day, no matter what.

Some people I met say, they just feel protected. They don't have to do anything. And I believe that that works too. Like if you feel genuinely protected all the time or genuinely like your energy field is not being affected, good for you. You're probably just on a subconscious level, more trusting of that. Those of us who've been through trauma can have trouble believing that. So, doing intentions like this could be helpful.

Is shadow work complete after you acknowledge and work on your traumas?

MARIA: Here's the thing, guys, we're always evolving. There's always something new, right? And it may not be as much as we used to experience, but there's always being a human here is kind of challenging. We can have a pretty paradise like experience if we really, you know, set our boundaries and hone and believe in ourselves. Sure. But most of us will still have some other things come up with interpersonal relationships, jobs. You know, we can't be a hundred percent, like on top of everything all the time. So, you know, if a new thing arises or even you realize that you didn't process a specific aspect of a trauma, you've processed most of it, but didn't realize there was one part left that shows up later through another trigger.

Just be prepared to always dive back into shadow work. However, I will say I've been noticing over and over that people who are doing shadow work, it's like a lot of times, it happens in big waves. So, you might like in the beginning of your spiritual journey, when you're going through your spontaneous spiritual awakening, you might suddenly feel drawn to do shadow work. You're working through all this stuff coming up, because your vibrations want to rise. So, you know, you, you start to plug away at that and then you, then you get relief, right? And then you go about your life. And you're like, Oh my God, a whole new set of realizations. We are spiritual awakenings come in waves. And if we would probably not make it through, if it was that consistently difficult all the time. So, we get little breaks in between.

In-between, we get these little lulls and little breaks to process. Everything could be months or years and then some other trigger event will happen that will start a whole other set of shadow work. So, it's kind of ongoing, but the big chunks can be done in several phases. And then, you know, maybe as you clear all the stuff out and reset your boundaries, now you've learned all this stuff through the shadow work. Maybe now you won't experience so much trauma and if it does happen, you know how to handle it now and it's in a much smaller amount.

Does the evil eye really work with protection?

MARIA: I do think so, if you believe it does. So, I'm Greek so this is really big in our culture and many other cultures, it is too. Like as a Greek baby, my parents put a little glass evil eye on my baptismal cross chain.

I think it's all about intention. Some people buy these evil eye charms and I'm like, do you even know what that does? Like you got to really believe it. You gotta say this charm, this evil eye charm or amulet protects me from negative energy. So basically, you can put it over your door. I've seen a lot of ethnic households who have this in their culture who will put it over their door. So, when people are entering their home, the evil eyes protect them from any jealousy, negativity, things like that.

Personally, I was told a story when I was a baby that I got really sick after my parents had a bunch of people over. Like I was fine and I was suddenly like suffering and my great aunt happened to be there and she's a healer. And she was I think one of the only members of my family that had the evil eye removal procedure passed down to her. It has to be passed down like old tradition. At least that's how it used to be traditionally. So, she went and did this evil eye removal ritual on me and it lifted it. It was gone like immediately; I was better. And then the same thing happened to my dad when he was a young adult in Greece and she did the same thing and he just immediately healed. It was kind of insane.

So, it works. And apparently one of my uncles not related to by blood knows how to do it and it's worked like it. So, if you don't want to use an evil eye amulet, just again, do basic energy protection, especially you empaths before you go anywhere, anywhere, just imagine a little bubble of light protection. Imagine whatever color you want in there around you is like an egg protecting you. And you say like, “No negative thoughts or energies can penetrate my energy boundary. Other people's energies may not be permitted inside my energy field. I do not take on the energies of other people.” Like just say this kind of really quickly as you're driving somewhere, as you're about to enter someone's home or go to the grocery store. That's a good way to kind of, if you don't want to do something that's kind of ethnically associated like the evil eye.

TRANG: Imagine you're a bubble boy, just like the movie.

MARIA: Yeah. Basically, like energy bubble boy.

What about crystals, amulets, sprays, or any other items. Do they work?

MARIA: Yeah, they do work if you believe they're going to work. I always tell people who are skeptics this about crystals, for example, I'm like at the very least at the very, very least let's talk about no metaphysical stuff. [Holds amethyst piece in her hand]. Come on, isn't that beautiful? Doesn't that just make you happy a little bit looking at it, look at that beautiful color. At the very least it is color therapy. At the very least, it takes your mind off something because it's so beautiful and you can get lost staring at the facets, right? So, at the very least it's color therapy, it's aesthetic therapy.

With intention and accepting that the crystal can help you in specific ways and asking it to work with you. Yes, crystals are a great tool to have, but not necessary. But they are great tools, so if that's something you're being drawn to, do start to look into that as well as any other type of metaphysical items. It's what you make.

TRANG: Exactly. I always try to remind people that at the end of the day, you always have the power. These tools can help, but don't feel like a crutch without them.

Is 2020 a collective human shadow work crash course?

MARIA: Totally, absolutely. That's a great way to put it. It really is though. The whole world is purging, but not everyone is choosing to do the shadow work and you'll see people not functioning like crazy right now.

Are spiritual or sensitive people usually plant people too?

MARIA: Yes, as you can see, I am a psychic medium and I love my plants. I have plants everywhere. In my office, all over. It's like a jungle in here. I have plants all over my house. It's a natural thing to be attracted to if you're sensitive because plants have a really high vibration and they're great teachers. They teach us patience; they can heal us. Just by having them in our space. They can teach us how to heal by using parts of them. And if you're sensitive, have as many plants as you can I would say, because they're very high vibrational.

Can severe health episodes signal something is changing in your spiritual life?

MARIA: Absolutely, that's actually, and again, please do get professional help for this when you're experiencing sudden mental episodes happening. You want to make sure your chemicals are good. You want to make sure you don't have any deficiencies in your body. Make sure to assess your family history, mental illness; all that's very important.

However, some people may have exacerbated mental illnesses that show up. We're not talking about because mental illness can manifest at its peak starting in like 18, 19, 20 years old in a lot of younger people, especially men. So, if it's outside of that time and you're much older and you're all of a sudden like, oh my God; be gentle with yourself, get a therapist, get a psychiatrist, make sure you don't need to be treated with medication. At the very least get a licensed psychotherapist. And then, you know, do things to start to dive in and make a kind of list as it comes up.

Mental health issues can flare up really bad or just start at any age really when you're having a spiritual awakening. So, try to keep track of what is triggering those things. If there are triggers, again, do energy boundary setting, because you might be absorbing other energies around you. Try to minimize, try to take care of those basic things that can have more focus on what's going on. As far as bodily stuff, yes, your body can have all kinds of issues flare up. Like we talked about earlier. You can have all kinds of conditions that were working there that you didn't know you had just suddenly blown up or you know, all kinds of stuff like that. Pain can start, chronic pain, headaches, migraines, cluster headaches, skin rashes can just start up and you're like, what the hell. Food sensitivities and all kinds of stuff can happen. So be aware of that and get the help you need, but also spiritually take care of yourself by doing self-care.

Please take care of yourselves. Be kind to yourselves, it's a tough time. And we hope to be back soon.

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