Tag Archives: shadow

The Line Between True Love and Worst Nightmare

Happy 2gether Part IIBy Rebeca Eigen

I started studying astrology in 1985. I quickly found out that astrology is unsurpassed in its ability to help a person understand himself or herself. Most people who read the simple horoscope columns have no idea just how detailed and complicated it is. The subject is so vast you could spend your whole lifetime studying it, and there is so much to it that although I needed an understanding of the basics, I eventually developed a passion for learning specifically about relationships.

The 7th house is the house that shows us who we are and what we can expect when we are in relationships. And here is where the trouble begins, because it is a very misunderstood house (area) within the psyches of all of us. Most of us are used to finding our partners out there somewhere instead of looking inside ourselves.

A couple came to me for a reading recently, and they wanted to know “What is our compatibility?” These two people were in their mid-to-late 30s and had both been married before, and I asked them each this question: “Are you the person for you?” Yes, I know it sounded strange, but this is the real question at the bottom of our relationship struggles that we need to ask ourselves.

The people we are extremely attracted to are mirroring the parts of ourselves that we are missing. The curious thing is we can be repulsed and attracted to the very same person. When we have a feeling that we are “in love,” when we have that kind of fascination or compulsion toward anyone, it’s a real clue that it is a projection of our own unconscious contents. There will be an erotic, magnetic feeling within us when we meet someone who can carry the projection of our Shadow, our Anima or Animus as described in the analytical psychology of Dr. Carl G. Jung.

The Shadow is in us all.

This is why the ancients believed this house was also the house of open enemies, because the partner becomes the enemy that we will polarize with. At first all is wonderful. You feel you have met your true “soul mate.” But eventually (and this has to occur for our own psychological growth), the couple will begin to polarize, find fault with each other and a crisis (which is also a turning point in the relationship) will occur. The relationship will start to deteriorate so that they can differentiate, as John Sanford explains in the book The Kingdom Within. Unknowingly, they are BOTH carrying unconscious psychological contents for each other.

When we are “in love“, no amount of logical reasoning can talk us out of it either. We have to go through it in order to develop an awareness of our whole Self. Jung explained that deep within us, the Self is guiding us to our own wholeness, which he called the process of individuation. The alchemists called this meeting, the divine marriage or the coniunctio. Because it can wake us up and help us see many things differently, falling in love can be a very transformative and wonderful experience.

Then why is it so scary?

Because it can just as easily turn around and become our worst nightmare. Just as quickly as a relationship begins, it can end. The original love can turn to hate. When relationships end that violently, you know that neither partner was able to get past his or her projections. Unless they are both willing to do some inner work, they will just go on to find other partners and it will repeat and a pattern of victim consciousness continues.

As Paul McCartney sings in the song that he and John Lennon wrote:

I’m looking through you.

What did I know?

I thought I knew you.

What did I know?

You don’t look different, but you have changed.

I’m looking through you.

You’re not the same.

CHORUS

Why, tell me why, did you not treat me right?

Love has a nasty habit of disappearing overnight.

This experience in this song is archetypal because the Shadow side of us is unconscious. What’s interesting is that everyone else can see these parts of us and we can’t.

Inside us or outside of us, it is all the same — a reflection par excellence.

Whatever sign is on 7th-house cusp, whatever planets reside therein are a detailed picture of what we will develop in this lifetime with or without our intention or consent. So we might as well learn about this part of us and choose to develop it because then we can experience the more productive aspects of that energy.

I hear people with Mars (planet of action, male principle, directedness) in the 7th or ruler of the 7th telling me how violent their ex-husbands were, how they have attracted aggressive or angry partners. People with the Moon there tell me how needy and emotional their partners are, how dependent. Uranus … how unpredictable and detached, aloof. Saturn … how cold, unresponsive, limiting and critical. Jupiter … how opinionated, inflated, self-indulgent. These are simplistic descriptions, but an astrologer, knowing your 7th house, the aspects to your Venus and the ruler, has a very clear understanding of what your own specific needs are in relationships. We are all unique. Don’t feel something is wrong with you if you cannot live the cultural model of the white picket fence and the two-car garage. That may not be what your soul is requiring in this lifetime. So stop feeling guilty if you aren’t creating it.

Learn about yourself through your astrological chart so that you can make the conscious effort to be this part of you and learn to meet people — but only halfway. And that is the dance called Libra. So as Lee Ann Womack says in her song, “When you get the choice to sit it out or dance — I hope you’ll dance!”

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RebecaEigen-72-dpiRebeca Eigen, an astrologer for 25+ years and author of The Shadow Dance & the Astrological 7th House Workbook, specializes in relationships. Using your time, date, and place of birth, she uses the astrological birth chart to evoke the symbolic and help you become more aware of your total Self. Her study of the Shadow using Astrological tools has given her an invaluable awareness of the unconscious and the role it plays in the relationships that we attract into our lives. For more information, visit her Web site: www.shadowdance.com.

Is It Love or Is It Projection?

RequiebroBy Rebeca Eigen

There is something magical about the experience of “falling in love.” Psychologically it is their feeling function that gets activated when two lovers first meet. Emotions burst forth and sparks fly that ignite a passion and an unmistakable bliss. When you are with that person, you are “in heaven,” so to speak. And when you are away from them, you are longing for the next encounter. As the song says, “Suddenly life has new meaning to me,” and they are transported into the realms of the Gods (the archetypes). In our Western culture, our movies provide us plenty of examples of this experience — so much so that we all yearn for it.

We mistakenly call this love, and many find themselves searching for their other half, their “soul mate.” We believe that this is what will complete us and that this magic is what we feel to truly value another person. As you will see when you understand the nature of the “Anima” and “Animus,” this is only the beginning of an encounter with our unconscious.

It’s interesting that the word “soul” also means psyche. In the psychology of Dr. Carl G. Jung, he explains this phenomenon of projecting our Anima and Animus (the contrasexual soul images in our unconscious) onto each other. The psyche seeks wholeness, and a union of our inner opposites is what Jung called the process of individuation. When projection occurs, this process has begun as these contrasexual images are now out in the open. We will learn a lot about ourselves by the people we either extremely love or hate.

Often we will fall in love and get involved in some very unsuitable, destructive and soul-destroying relationships, but these, too, are showing us aspects of our shadow. In order to grow and be a whole person, we need to become aware of what is really happening. When someone is “into us”, we need to ask ourselves, “Is it love or is it just projection?” Two people won’t know until time gives them a chance to see who each other actually is — and this requires self-honesty and self-disclosure.

There is no other way to see these parts of us, so it’s inevitable that they will be projected. The intoxication and the intensity of the experience are clues that we are into a projection. Ordinary human beings do not evoke the instant passion that “love at first sight” evokes.

The Anima and Animus

A woman carries an image of her male counterpart that Jung called the “Animus.” This unconscious inner male is her God (soul) image that gets projected onto a man in the outer world. As inner and outer create a mirroring effect, she will know a lot about what shape her inner partner is in by the person upon whom the projection lands. The clue to knowing a projection has occurred is the feeling of intense fascination or obsession with a man whom she will feel is her ideal mate.

A man faces a similar dilemma. When a man projects his perfect God (soul) image onto a woman, she becomes the carrier of his “Anima.” His Anima acts as a muse to bridge the gap between his inner and outer worlds. She animates him from within.

When this happens to both people at the same time, we call this “falling in love.” They definitely fall. They fall into their own unconscious image as each projects part of himself or herself onto the other person evoking a feeling of fantasy and Eros. The erotic and sexual nature of the encounter is psychologically symbolic. It is each one wanting to merge with or penetrate into themselves.

As time goes on, it is inevitable that projections are going to fall off. They actually have to so that we can see who the other person actually is and relate to a real person instead of a God or Goddess (a symbiotic extension of oneself). When relationships reach this stage of familiarity, many people addicted to this kind of high start looking outside their primary marriage or partnership. Many relationships end and the alchemical process begins all over again with someone else. Some go on to marry the person with whom they feel they are “in love with,” and later become disillusioned when they realize that they have married a person who is not who they thought they were.

On the other hand, if they are both committed to their relationship, growing and becoming conscious, when the projections dissolve, there is an opportunity that arrives for both people. They can now discover and embrace their missing halves. This is not an easy task as it takes work and often involves a painful encounter with the Self. In Mysterium Coniunctionis, Jung says that an experience with the Self is always a defeat for the ego but that the death of the ego (the Self as you knew it) allows one to be reborn into one’s own wholeness as projections are taken back.

In taking back our projections, we can now see and accept our partners for who they are — not what we wanted them to be; not what we wish they would change into; not for what they can give us; but who they are. The love that can now grow between them is profound because it is REAL. Real love, unlike projection, is a willingness to see and support another person to be their own unique, separate self. This will untangle us from seeking in them the perfect parent-mirror image of ourselves, for as long as we are still seeking to be completed by another person, we will not allow them their own autonomy.

As love between them grows and expands to the entire cosmos, this kind of love gives each partner their freedom — the greatest gift of all. As the duet by Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion professes, LOVE will be the gift you give yourself.

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RebecaEigen-72-dpiRebeca Eigen, an astrologer for 25+ years and author of The Shadow Dance & the Astrological 7th House Workbook, specializes in relationships. Using your time, date, and place of birth, she uses the astrological birth chart to evoke the symbolic and help you become more aware of your total Self. Her study of the Shadow using Astrological tools has given her an invaluable awareness of the unconscious and the role it plays in the relationships that we attract into our lives. For more information, visit her Web site: www.shadowdance.com.

There Are No Accidents: Illuminate the Patterns That Hold You Back

SparkBy Rebeca Eigen

There are no accidents.

We’ve all said these words at one time or another in our lives, and I wonder how much we really believe them. When something occurs in the outer world as an ill-fated event, do we stop to understand the meaning or do we continue to play the victim and let life go on as usual?

Studying Carl Jung for many years and being especially fond of his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, I came to understand that the unconscious is always striving for wholeness and consciousness. It’s almost an irreverence and disrespect to the Universe when we ignore the feedback that it is giving us. As the Taoists say, when one lacks a sense of awe, there will be disaster.

Jung often said that the unconscious will work with you if you will work with it. If you choose to ignore it, then it will find a symbolic way to get your attention. Notice the events and relationship situations that you experience, and recognize their importance even to the minutest detail.

Glenn Perry, one of my favorite teachers, once said to me, “Who you’re with is where you’re at.” I never forgot this. Like is constantly attracting like. Usually there is an unconscious collusion between both parties from the very beginning and a dance that is destined to play itself out as situations and events will repeat.

Most of us attract people who are our opposites, which automatically creates problems. Opposites need each other to complete what is incomplete in themselves. And there it will be over and over, and we will experience firsthand that there are no accidents. We have created this “other” as an opportunity to learn to see our darker side, our “Shadow.”

You will know you are headed to healthier relationships when you begin to reflect on just what this opposite is doing in your life and what the Universe wants from you. And don’t be afraid of the term “darker side.” I know it sounds sinister and foreboding but “dark” just describes what is hidden from view or awareness. As we strive toward wholeness, we will be mysteriously drawn to only those people from whom we will learn about ourselves.

Opposites are not just about marriage partners; we all have relationships. Even if we are not married or in a significant relationship with the opposite sex or same sex, we will be experiencing relationships, and these, too, will act as messengers.

Let me give you an example. A woman came to me for a consultation (I will call her Mary), and she had a pattern of attracting men who were always somehow involved with someone else. They were either married, involved with another woman, or not really available. Mary would enter the relationship thinking this time it would be different, but as usual there was always this other woman in their lives.

And here is the repetitive clue: this “other woman” was usually someone who was rather sick in her outlook on life, alcoholic, escapist, or unable to differentiate and take any responsibility for her own behavior. As time passed Mary would see that her lover was addicted to this woman, regardless of how she treated him or behaved toward others. And finally she recognized that this was a pattern for herself to attract this same situation over and over.

Through honest introspection, Mary began to recognize a familiar theme. She had tried over and over again to get her mother to leave her alcoholic, abusive father. Her mother would not protect herself and more than that, she refused to acknowledge there was even a problem by pretending it didn’t exist. Every time some big fight would occur, it would all be swept under the rug. This was very frustrating to Mary watching all of this because she could clearly see even as a young child that this situation was unhealthy for her mother. But try as she might to get her mother to leave, she could not.

So Mary grew up with a distorted sense of her own worth because she could not get the love of a parent who could not give something away that she didn’t have for herself. We can love others only when we love ourselves. And the sins of the father, so to speak, get passed on to the children. Looking for love in all the wrong places, Mary continued a pattern that began long ago, a time she didn’t even remember because she was too young then to understand.

It always looks like an ill-fated event that brings it all to a head, but it’s a time bomb waiting to go off, as the situation has been there in the relationship from the very beginning. The unconscious is truly loving us to see who we really are. Even our dreams will warn us, but often we refuse to see until it hurts too much not to see, and that is when we do grow, and we do change. That is when the ball starts rolling in our favor, and it is always, as they say, the darkest before the dawn. Dawn is the time of illumination, the time of real love. Love of others and love of self go hand in hand.

The opposites occurring in this situation are actually only unconscious aspects of the Self. Each person in the triangle is the same. They cannot value themselves enough, but only because they don’t understand the pattern. Once the pattern and the truth emerge, each person has choices to make.

Make it a goal to be “real” with others who are willing to be “real” with you. Look at what is going on with yourself that is not chance anymore when it happens more than twice. The resulting awareness will be well worth the effort, and the synchronistic events will be clearly explaining what is next if we want to evolve. Because, as the saying goes, there are no accidents!

Photo credit: Wesley Eller

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RebecaEigen-72-dpiRebeca Eigen, an astrologer for 25+ years and author of The Shadow Dance & the Astrological 7th House Workbook, specializes in relationships. Using your time, date, and place of birth, she uses the astrological birth chart to evoke the symbolic and help you become more aware of your total Self. Her study of the Shadow using Astrological tools has given her an invaluable awareness of the unconscious and the role it plays in the relationships that we attract into our lives. For more information, visit her Web site: www.shadowdance.com.

Gabrielle Bernstein: Find Yourself in Others

In today’s vlog I share a portion of a lecture I gave on Yogi Bhajan’s Five Sutras for the Aquarian Age. This video features my talk on the first sutra: Recognize the Other Person is You. This is a very powerful message today as issues of separation are brought to the surface. As you apply this sutra in your own life you can come to realize that what you admire in others is a part of yourself that may not be developed or expressed yet. In addition, you may come to understand that what you don’t like in others is a disowned part of our shadow. Watch this video for guidance on how to release separation in your relationships to others:

Tell me your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Embrace the Beauty of Your Darkness

“The wound is the place where the light comes in” – Rumi

What to do when you’re not the happiest person you know? What about when you’re depressed, fearful, anxious, jealous, greedy or angry?

Yesterday, I was working with a client who appears to be a huge success in the outer world. She’s a coach and inspirational speaker. She jaunts around the country inspiring hundreds of people, has a strong, supportive, sexy relationship with a gorgeous man and frequently gets paid to travel to exotic locations to lead corporate retreats. Her family is loving and close. She has an enviable following on social media and garners lots of press and media coverage.

Inside…she’s shaken and feels like a fraud. She carries over $20,000 in credit card debt and has little savings or retirement fund. Her financial house is weak and therefore her confidence wavers. She’s constantly comparing herself to colleagues and can never live up to her own perfectionism.

This is her “Shadow”.

The shadow, a concept brought to light by famed Swiss psychologist Carl Jung – is the part of ourselves we don’t want to look at – qualities we deem unattractive, try to push away, overlook, sugarcoat or hide under the surface.

In the spiritual and yoga communities, the emphasis is often on positivity. Sometimes called spiritual bypassing – this is the tendency is to overlook or minimize our very real human flaws. We are encouraged to “meditate our way out of” difficult emotions or habits. The focus is on getting better, being happier, moving up and out of our current circumstance toward enlightenment, miracles, or bliss.

Moving forward is important, but we also need to honor the beauty of our darkness and not pathologize the troubling aspects of Self that may be holding us back. Taking the time to recognize the beauty of darkness allows for integration and reconciliation. We train our psyche to “own” those cut-off pieces of ourselves that we’d rather tuck away in a back closet. Instead of slapping a smile on and sitting in blissful (strained) silence – we learn to proudly integrate all the good, bad, and ugly parts of who we are.

Shadow Work: The ‘Fuck You’ Letter

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ~ Carl Jung

The quickest way to see your shadow is to notice what qualities you tend to criticize or gossip about in other people. Look carefully as these aren’t necessarily “bad” qualities, but often masquerade as traits that society applauds such as the tendency to overachieve, project positivity or be a “Supermom”.

Once you recognize the qualities you criticize in others, flip it to see how they show up in you.

While my client exuded an outer confidence and success, inwardly she was ashamed and confused by her finances. She was in denial. To bolster her wavering confidence, she criticized friends and colleagues for being materialistic and shallow. It took her years to acknowledge the sobering reality of her financial disillusionment and irresponsible spending.

A great way to start to own these qualities in yourself is to write a “Fuck You” letter. If you have someone you’re angry at or harboring resentment towards, write a letter addressed to this person and tell them what pisses you off and why.

“Dear ….., 
Fuck you for…..
Fuck you for….” 

Be as specific, graphic and thorough as possible. List out the exact qualities or incidents that irritate you.

[Caveat: This language is strong. I have found that it is useful to get this raw to access the primal, emotional core that is hurt or afraid. If you resist writing such a strong letter to someone you love (your lover, parent or child) – know that this is only 1 voice of your psyche – not the whole story, but one that needs to be heard.]

Once the letter is complete, go back to the beginning and replace their name with your name. As you read through your letter recognize where these qualities show up in yourself, even if to a lesser degree. For example, how have you abandoned, betrayed, or criticized yourself?

Practice Radical Self Forgiveness

Once you identify your shadow, you can move from judgment to understanding by practicing forgiving yourself. Allow yourself to be human and experience the full spectrum of emotions.

In yoga and Buddhism, this is known as karuna or compassion and is the foundation of self love and freedom. Soften your perception. Breathe deeply into the sides of your heart to expand. Consider how such unsavory traits were necessary in the past as a coping or defensive mechanism. Be kind and generous of Spirit.

Compassion for yourself blossoms, breeding compassion for others. Everyone wins.

Only when my client released her perfectionism and forgave herself could she turn her full attention to cleaning up her financial house. She was no longer at war within. She got honest with her boyfriend about her credit card debt and quit feeling like a fraud. The bridge between our inner and outer worlds leads to an unshakeable confidence. We actually like who we are when we know we can trust ourselves to keep it real.

Nurture Yourself 

Nurture yourself as you begin to uncover your shadow and open up. Give yourself permission to process emotions freely. You may notice that it gets harder before it gets easier. You are bringing up unprocessed, repressed material. As your shadow rises, cumulative feelings of shame, sadness, anger, and frustration may surface.

The irony (and beauty) is – you can turn this energy into fuel to fire for your passion and creativity. The energy you used to hold up a false self or hide out is now available to redirect.

Our vulnerability is the tender place where we have the most opportunity to crack open and experience deep unconditional love and authentic connection.

What are your shadow qualities? Please leave a comment below with a few of the shadow qualities you’ve identified.

Mine:

  • being late
  • being competitive and jealous
  • perfectionism leading to procrastination that holds me (and those around me) prisoner
photo by: Hamed Saber

Debbie Ford: A Tribute To The Fat Ass

For the last 20 years of my career, as I’ve been leading processes around the world, one of the top five reasons I’ve heard for why people don’t really love themselves and their bodies is “I have a fat ass.” I was born on the skinny side, so I’ve never really been able to relate to having a fat ass although I’ve always had other issues with my body, be it my belly, my sagging skin, my skinny legs or any number of other things that if I focused on could send me into a pool of bad feelings.

But since my hospital stay when I lost 11 pounds, I have come to dream about having a big, wide, round (okay, it doesn’t even have to be round) fat ass. For those of who you have tortured yourselves for millions of hours over the shape of your body, you may wonder “Why is she wishing for a fat ass?”

Well, I’ve lost so much weight that I’m a little bag of bones. I feel like I’m 13 again except without the muscles or padding in my rear to protect me from hard seats and the bed I’ve been resting in for so many hours to get well. I can’t get comfortable no matter how I sit. Yes, I’ve even gone to the extreme step of being one of those women who has to carry a cushion around with them — one of my biggest shadows. What kind of person has to carry around a cushion just to sit down? Me apparently, even though I never even liked carrying a purse, let alone a cushion.

I’ve tried everything. On doctor’s orders, I ate Kentucky Fried Chicken and big chocolate brownies to solve my bony ass trauma. But I woke up the next day with nothing on my rear end and a belly so distended that my son asked me if I was pregnant. My kind sister Arielle got me a booty. Do you know what that is? It’s padded underwear to make it look like I have a bigger rounder butt. But the padding is at the top, not where I sit, so there’s nothing on the place I need the most help! I’ve spent hours on Google searching for a great butt pillow, but the system is failing me. It’s become cosmically funny how my pants just hang down now since there’s nothing to fill them out.

So I decided to do a tribute to the big fat ass. To all those who have been hating, ignoring, hiding, shame-filled, miserable, or embarrassed, to all of you I ask that you appreciate that one day, the extra fat might be your lifesaver. It might be your soft cushion. It might be a friend, allowing you to sleep through the night or sit through a business meeting without wanting to scream because your bones are digging into the chair.

You never know when you’ll need what you’ve got. It’s true for me too. Even as I try taping big soft foam around me, I honor my little skinny ass because I know that too comes bearing gifts (although at the moment I just can’t find them). So whether it’s your thighs, your stomach, your rear end, your flabby arms, or some other part of your body, see if you can make the sacred promise, the solemn oath, and the blessed vow to thank it and honor it.

Transformational Action Step

Go to the mirror and say you’re sorry to any part of your body that you’ve been judging, criticizing, hating, ignoring or belittling. Really bless this part of your body. Thank it. Imagine how this part of you could serve you if you got hit by a car, were in an earthquake or endured some other trauma. See how the extra flab, for example, could protect you, save you, keep you warm or allow you to be a cushion for someone else to find comfort. Thank your body for all the gifts that it offers you. Promise to be aware not of its faults but of its greatness. Do this exercise every day for 10 days until you can write a thank you letter to the part of your body you’ve most judged.

With love and blessings,

Debbie Ford

Originally published in 2010.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / bandita

Real Life Goddess

 

A few days ago I received a Facebook message which read:

"Yeah Dave, my name is Shirley Hairston and I recently took your workshop.  I got terrible diarrhea after. Just thought you should know."

Note: I wanted to ignore a message of this nature but I care very much about my students and responded…

"Shirley, are you sure it was my class? Maybe it was something you ate? Or possibly it was one of those intense backbending classes?"

Note: If I could blame it on someone or something else, it seemed like the easiest way to handle this.

Shirley responded, "No, I know when I got home from your yoga class I had terrible, explosive diarrhea and it hasn’t gone away since."

"Wow. I totally apologize Shirley. Maybe it was the chocolate I served after class?"

(Here’s where I took a moment to make sure "diarrhea" was covered under my yoga teachers insurance policy. It wasn’t.)

Shirley wrote back, "No, I love that chocolate, I think it’s you Yeah Dave. There’s something about you that causes my bowels to explode."

Wow. This was so bad it was good. Sorta like a compliment. But not really.

*****

You may remember an interesting news story from 2008.

A 3-year-old girl named Matani Shakya was appointed a living goddess in Nepal.

In order to receive this honor, the living goddess had to have perfect hair, eyes, teeth and skin with no scars, and weirdest of all, she could not be afraid of the dark.

As a test, Matani Shakya needed to spend a night alone in a pitch black room among the heads of ritually slaughtered goats and buffaloes without showing fear.

Can you imagine putting a 3 year old in alone in a dark bedroom let alone in a room with the heads of slaughtered goats?

Critics say the tradition violates both international and Nepalese laws on child rights.

Nonetheless, Matani has sat alone in a cave for the past 4 years as she will do for the next 4 until she begins to menstruate…as goes this ancient tradition.

*****

I know what you must be thinking and I agree…as long as she has TV.

Like Matani, there’s some part in each of us stuck in a cave, deep in our psyche.

Why?

Because sometimes, just sometimes, tradition is a lost leader.

That’s why Emerson suggested "a philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation and not history."

Consider, if you have some addiction, ailment, or God forbid, explosive diarrhea…don’t blame your religion, yoga teacher, spouse, or parent.

Take responsibility. Strip off all the junk that weighs you down. Once and for all, emerge from that dark place in your mind.

As a wise one said, "Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light?

Are You Really In Control of Your Life?

 As you might be aware of, your unclaimed shadows — your shame, your fear, your magical thinking, your insecurity — lurk in your unconscious and tell you what you can and cannot do, what you should eat, when you should or shouldn’t exercise even if you said you were going to do the exact opposite, how much money you can make or save, or how fulfilling your career can be (or not). Your shadow tells you how much success you will experience, how much joy, happiness and fun you will have or how much silent suffering you will bear even if you have a great big smile on your face. But you DON’T have to allow your shadow to be in control of your life. You DON’T have to tolerate this anymore. Today is the day to say no more, no mas, nie wieder, aldrig mere, finissez-en! 


Assuming you’re an adult who is making the choices each day about your life, you can ask, "Why would I let my unconscious patterning rule my life and dictate my future? Why would I hand my life over to my upset three-year-old or my jumbled-up outdated beliefs, concepts and traumas of the past?" WHY? Let me shed some light. Because unknowingly you have let your unconscious shadows rule your life. It can happen in one moment when you least expect it, when your thinking gets distorted or when you get influenced by those around you. 

Have you fallen asleep at the wheel and forgotten that you are a magnet for repetitive and familiar experiences even if they are ones that you don’t want to have? Have you forgotten that there are many layers to the human life and that there is always something greater going on here? When you are asleep, you don’t even realize that something has grabbed the steering wheel of your future and is driving you down the same old bumpy, pothole-filled roads that will lead you to the same old dead-ends. 

This is why we need to deal with our shadows. This is why we need to make sure we are awake and in the presence of our goals, dreams, desires, wants and unmet needs. When we are awake, we have the power to look ahead, map out our future, and choose our path. When we are awake, we can make sure that we are driving in the direction of our dreams. 

Your Weekly Shadow Work 

(1) Make a list of two goals that you are committed to reaching. 

(2) Ask yourself, "Are the choices I made this week moving in the direction of these goals?" 

(3) If not, identify the part of you that has been driving. Who is driving? Who is making the choices? How long have they been in the driver’s seat? And how much longer will you give them the wheel? 

(4) Set a strong boundary with this part of you by letting them know that you are now taking control, that you are going to protect yourself, ensuring your future, and that they can no longer drive. In other words, revoke their driver’s license. 

(5) When we are driving, we have the ability to push on the gas pedal. Take one action this week that proves you are in the driver’s seat. 

Once you have shined the light on your darkness, you can powerfully use your voice and feel worthy of receiving all that the universe is waiting to deliver to you. The time is now.

Photo: CC Flickr//RickyDavid

 

The Dis-Ease Of Minimizing

 I just got home from leading an amazing three day Shadow Process Workshop at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. When I say it was amazing, I mean it was absolutely mind-blowing. People who come in looking tired, resigned, angry, and worn out walk out transformed. When they leave, their eyes are flooded with light. Their smiles can light up a room. Their hearts are open and they hold possibility in their hands. It’s such a miracle to witness transformation. And it always begins with a desire for change that is so strong that one decides to commit a weekend and make all the arrangements that go into taking the time away for themselves. That intention and that commitment drive their unconscious in a new direction. And after three days of going within, saying things they never thought they would say, sharing their secrets with new friends, and laughing so hard at the absurdity of being human, voila! They become someone that is unrecognizable not just to the people around them but also to themselves. This is what I live for. But what could pull these people down or bring them back to their old ways? The almighty Minimizer. 


The Minimizer showed up three days after I arrived home. I was listening to a very disturbing conversation about someone who had trained with me for over three years, someone who I watched transform from a crying, angry, powerless woman to a strong, independent, self-respecting and talented transformer. Here, years later, I heard that this woman was angry at me and one of my staff and that she was saying quite horrible things about me despite all the value she had gotten (the gifts are beyond anything I could list). For a moment, I was perplexed that she could minimize the hundreds of transformational moments she had with us, all that she had learned, all the ways that she had grown, and then I realized that she had just been afflicted with the dis-ease of minimizing. She couldn’t remember anything good. In fact, she was caught in her own projections. This is a classic example, and we are all in danger of coming down with this dis-ease. Maybe we minimize our mothers who cared for us, who carried us around, who fed us, who drove us to school or afterschool activities. Years later, we focus on what we didn’t get from them, what didn’t work, or the incidents we feel scarred us. Or maybe we minimize our teachers who supported us, pushed us, told us that we could be better than we are, and now we can’t even remember their names. Maybe we minimize the impact that our exes had on our lives, even if they tried to make us better people, supported us in bringing forth our gifts, or gave us our kids who we love. In the midst of heartache, all we can remember is what we didn’t get. 

The ability to minimize those who have been the great contributors to our lives has deeper consequences than we can really imagine. As we minimize all that we have received, we are also minimizing ourselves. When we are not in deep gratitude or appreciation for the growth that has been given to us, when we spend our energy making others wrong, finding their flaws or just being ungrateful, the effects are far-reaching. We actually draw forth that same minimization inside ourselves. We hear the voice of our Minimizer inside our own minds. "I’m not strong enough, not good enough, not young enough, not lucky enough." Sound familiar? That’s the voice of the Minimizer. "I could have done better. I should have done better. That person should have done this for me, said this to me, looked at me like this, talked to me like this." The Minimizer exists right now inside of you and if you want to take your power back and remember who you are and let the light shine bright through your eyes, you can do this by busting through your Minimizer. You can start by acknowledging all those you have minimized. As you acknowledge what you did receive, what did support you, what did help you, what did change you, what did move you forward in your life, you remind yourself of the true gifts of another and at the same time, you acknowledge the gift that you have been to another. 

This week, allow yourself to see all those you are making wrong, all those you are projecting on, all those who have given you new life in some way that you are hating on. And then transform the lens through which you see these people. Start to write down the gains, what you’ve gotten, how you’ve grown, who you’ve met, and who you’ve become. There, you will find the power and be able to heal the dis-ease of minimizing.

 

The urgency of reconnecting with our wholeness

We see the state the world is in and many of us feel the need to do something, to make our contribution.

The first urgent contribution we can all bring is reconnecting with our wholeness.

In my work helping people from various countries, I see the problem of criticism and judgment is everywhere. You might have been criticized or judged in the course of your life for the way you are, your values, beliefs, how you behaved. This might have caused you to hide aspects of yourself or hide your weaknesses. This might have caused you to feel ashamed of parts of you. This might have caused you to beat yourself up for those aspects of yourself or for being the way you are. This is negativity and this is causing you problems in your life and it is contributing to the negativity in the world.

You are perfect underneath, unique, precious, magnificent. If you are not you, the whole world will miss out. If you are aligned with who you are, you will feel ease and wellbeing in your life, you will find what you love most doing.

Feeling good about who we are is the secret to happiness, peace, joy and abundance.

When I help people suffering from social anxiety, they often beat themselves up the whole time. They feel their weaknesses define them. In truth, your weaknesses are simply aspects of yourself you have not yet welcomed and loved. You do not need to fix yourself, just welcome and love the whole of you.

 It is a 4 steps process:

– you need to be absolutely and totally honest with yourself, which means let go of hiding yourself for having those weaknesses 
– let go of beating yourself up for those parts
– let go of resisting those parts of you – as you let go of resisting them, they begin to heal, like the pus in a wound needs to come out in order for it to heal
– let go of wanting approval from others and give yourself approval  

And do not be discouraged if things do not change fast, it is not a one day job, it is a 24/7 job. 

But you can do it, for sure. 

Love heals

more on http://blog.pgcoaching.co.uk

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