I’ve been reading a great article on a book and DVD called, The Shadow Effect. It gives this wonderful description about our shadow traits (traits we repress) being like a beach ball that you keep trying to keep submerged under the water. Every now and again it bursts to the surface. It also talks about the amount of energy it takes to keep the ball down. Having experienced the ball rising to the surface on more than one occasion within my own psyche, I’m curious about what to do to improve this situation. Debbie Ford (co-author of The Shadow Effect with Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson) recommends accepting the parts of yourself you are repressing. So what am I repressing? How about you?
Here’s an exercise Ford models to help you figure it out…
1. What is a quality that you really love about yourself?
2. Why do you value this quality? What makes it important to you?
3. What is its opposite? This is also in you.
4. What would be beneficial for you in loving the opposite aspect within you?
5. When did this part develop during your childhood?
6. What does it need right now to be soothed and loved?
Expanding on this exercise, I’ve been working with the concept of trust. I’ve found that certain aspects of my personality get triggered by experiences that mirror life events or relationships that were wounding. When this occurs, typically the experience is much more intense and traumatizing then the actual event warrants. There is a great urge to reject the part of myself that feels the victim (a shadow trait). Using Ford’s concept, I realize that the better approach would be to look to my highest self for support. I’m finding that more than any time in my life, I actually do trust myself. Not necessarily the wounded part, but the solid, wise part. The part that coaches others is very able to coach the shadow within myself. So how do you bring forth your highest self to coach the shadow within?
After you have answered the questions above, try the following meditation…
It is a peaceful, warm summer’s day. The wind is gentle and cooling on your skin. Butterflies flutter on the flowers around you. Bees buzz and birds sing in the trees. You are sitting in the shade beneath the shelter of a huge old, oak tree. You rest your back against the broad trunk, feeling relaxed and at peace. You breathe in deeply…inhale for a count of four, hold for four, and exhale for a count of six through your mouth. Repeat this two more times. You are safe and all is well.
Your eyes are drawn to the woods to your left. You watch as a woman emerges. She walks confidently, self-assured, and relaxed. She smiles at you and you feel a start of recognition. It is the female aspect of your highest self. She comes closer and kneels down, gently touching your face. She smiles gently and sits beside you, taking your hand. From the right, you see another figure approaching. A man strides forward, confident, firm, yet friendly. He smiles as he sees you. Soon he comes up beside you and sits down. He pats your shoulder to say hello. You can feel the loving support of the male and female aspects of yourself. You know that these two aspects of you have all the answers. They know what needs to be done. They know how to care for you. You feel yourself relaxing, realizing that you can let them carry that which worries you. What a relief! Like a much loved child whose every need is met unconditionally, you find yourself feeling safe and happy. There is nothing to worry about. The wise one within you will take care of you. Every part of you feels loved and valued. All is well.
I hope this helps you integrate your own shadow traits!
Nancy Nicholas is an Intuitive Life Coach and owner of Sanctuary at the Crossroads, Crossroads Coaching, and Empowering Lightworkers. For a free Divine Purpose Survey and information on Empowerment Readings, Empowerment Products, and the Sensitive Person and Lightworker Mentoring Programs, visit Nancy’s website: http://www.EmpoweringLightworkers.com.