April 30, 2010

Accepting Our Shadow

Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength. (August Wilson)

I had trouble getting back to finishing the continuation I promised you. My mind has visited so many other ideas!!! It bored of "the shadow" very quickly. I have to either finish what I start in one "fell swoop" or very soon after I leave it.
This is another reason for procrastination: fascination with the "new". It's not a bad thing in itself, but what about if it leaves others who have been depending on the finished product, or whatever the finished "thing" may be, hanging?

And even when no one is waiting on us to complete a task, I believe it's a good thing to be accountable to oneself. Once I realized that this is an issue for me....an uncomfortable feeling washed over me. I wanted to make all kinds of excuses!

It was then that I realized that I could accept this about myself! With acceptance comes the bonus of not having to feel guilty. It's no longer a matter of I should be, but how I AM. I don't much like it, but all I have to do is accept it.....accept myself as being human.

Our shadow can only wield its power over us when we keep it in the dark. And instead of something to be denied, feared or rejected, the shadow has our most treasured gifts: the essence of who we are. When we bring light to the darkness, we find the fundamental parts of our true self buried inside. And as we explore this part of ourselves we most feared, we become free—free to experience the full range of our humanness, free to bask in our glorious totality, free to choose what we do in this world. Our shadow delivers us the blessing of our entire self.

When we make peace with our shadow, our lives transform. We no longer have to pretend to be someone we're not. We no longer have to prove we're good enough. We no longer have to live in fear. Instead, as we find the gifts of our shadow and revel in all the glory of our
true self.

April 19, 2010

The Shadow

Our shadow, formed long ago, contains all the parts of ourselves that we have tried to hide or deny, the parts we believe are not acceptable to our family, friends and, most importantly, ourselves. It is made up of everything that annoys, horrifies or disgusts us about other people or about ourselves. It holds all that we try to hide from those we love and all that we don't want other people to think about us or find out about us. 

As the great Swiss psychologist C.G. Jung says, our shadow is the person we would rather not be.  From its invisible home deep within our psyche, the shadow wields enormous power over our life.

It determines what we can and cannot do, what we will be irresistibly drawn toward, and what we will do almost anything to avoid. It dictates our attractions and our repulsions and determines what we will love and what we will judge and criticize. Our shadow controls how much success we're entitled to create or how much failure we're doomed to experience. The shadow is an oracle that predicts all of our behaviors, driving the way we treat those around us—and how we treat ourselves.   ~~Debbie Ford~~

I think the main objective of most therapy is to teach the client acceptance of
his/her shadow side.  To suppress it takes a tremendous amount of energy, causes many difficulties, including physical illness, it is believed.  Whether one believes that illness results from stress, or that illness is "dis-ease"...a lack of 'ease',  i.e. a spiritual problem, the result is the same.    (To be continued)

April 15, 2010

We Are All Crew

“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth.

 We are all crew.”

-Marshall McLuhan 

April 9, 2010

Take Responsibility for Your Life

“Wherever you are, be there totally.  If you find you’re here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options:  remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally.  If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now.  Then accept the consequences.”  ~~~Eckhart Tolle~~~

April 8, 2010

Handling Personal "Disasters"

I think that some people are just more volatile than others.  If you are anything like me, you may have wondered about the reason for this.  I think that regardless of what we were born with, or even learned while growing up, we can change that which we don't want to keep, while substituting thoughts and behavior that we DO want for ourselves.

First, we need to get honest with ourselves.  Are we taking in a lot of caffeine?  Not sleeping well?  Too much sugar?  Junk food?  Medication effects or interaction?  I suggest that all these kinds of issues be addressed first.  And, though it sounds simplistic, the next step is to learn a new way of being....a new way of behaving, with or without assistance from a professional.

The payoff is big!  It is personal peace and improved relationships.

If you stop and think before you act, your life will be more in control—in your control. Whether you are facing an overbearing colleague or a delayed flight, keeping your cool and reacting thoughtfully can be your new M.O. Here are a few ways to tackle your next disaster:

Looking Glass

Self-awareness will improve clarity and help you see yourself. How do you really feel when a friend doesn't call you back? Instead of losing your cool or stuffing your feelings, take a look at the situation. You may find that it's not about you at all.


Do you think and speak negative thoughts? Then cut it out! Negative inner dialogue will get you nowhere. Try distracting yourself with positive thoughts about loved ones, a vacation spot or an enjoyable activity. Also, relaxation exercises such as deep breathing or meditating can help.


Open up and put your ideas on the table. Chances are others will find what you have to say engaging. In addition to speaking up more, listen to others as well. This will help you exchange ideas and points of view.

Be Proactive

Find and implement reasonable problem-solving solutions rather than sitting idly and stewing over a bad day. Define your problem, remember your goals and think about how to really get there. If you are always late for work, for example, then get up 10 minutes earlier.

The Art of Persuasion

People who rise to high places don't crack under pressure, they coolly think about the situation at hand. And they employ skills that work such as persuasiveness, conflict management and taking a leadership position.

Saying No

No one wants to be labeled a pushover, nor do they want to be confrontational. But how do you assert your needs without 1) collapsing into a pile of mush or 2) stepping on everyone's toes? There are ways to assert yourself in situations that don't suit you. You can say no by keeping it simple and including an explicit "no."

Empathize with Others

Everyone has a bad day. So be empathetic. This may help you reframe a person's bad behavior. And in the end, it's not about you.   ~~~Aysha Hussain, Psychology Today~~~

April 5, 2010

Neediness, Not a Dirty Word

Though this article was written for the self-employed, I think it is of universal interest.  Neediness is so seldom addressed in a positive, or even a neutral manner, that I am most grateful to Molly Gordon who wrote this.

It seems that neediness has become a dirty word. If you are needy, your friends will pity you, acquaintances will shun you, and clients will stay away in droves.
It's as if you have a disgusting rash.
But you know, it's hard enough to feel needy without heaping guilt and shame on top of it. Besides, there is a real way in which neediness is not only okay, but essential to your business.

Human beings have needs
So long as you are alive and your survival instinct is intact, you're going to have needs. Some of these needs are physical, for food and shelter, for example. Others are emotional. You need to feel accepted as part of a family and community or you will fail to thrive.
And then there are needs related to making meaning. And making meaning is essential once your basic needs are met.

Meaning is a human need
From earliest times human beings have sought to explain their place in the cosmos. Myths sprang up around the communal fire to explain such stunning events as eclipses, not to mention the mysteries of weather and even the cycles of our own bodies.
Without a way to make sense of the world around you (and your place in it), you are adrift. Meaning is what anchors you to a certain view of the world. What gives you your value systems and tells you what things are worth doing and what are not.

The intersection of need and self-employment
Self-employment brings you face to face with many levels of neediness. To begin with, there are survival needs, which vary depending on how much of your livelihood depends on your chosen work.
And even if you have other sources of income, your needs to be valued and to make a contribution can be insistent.
There's just no way of avoiding neediness in life or self-employment.

Facing neediness takes courage
Facing your own neediness takes courage (heart). You need to be able to observe not only what you need but how you respond to the lack.
And you need to be able to engage with what you need while staying open to having your needs met.

Neediness is part of the hero's journey
In all of myth you won't find a hero who isn't needy. At the very least there is the need to complete the journey and attain the reward at journey's end. Then there is the shadow side of heroism where marginalized aspects of the personality such as fear, need, and greed lurk.
And self-employment is nothing if not a hero's journey.
Very well, you say. You get that neediness happens, that it is inescapable. But how the heck are you supposed to deal with it so it doesn't beat you down and drive business away?
The key is not to collapse into neediness, but to let it be your teacher.

How to engage your neediness without collapsing into it
The problem with neediness isn't that it happens, it's that collapsing into it brings growth to a screaming halt. But you don't have to collapse into neediness. Instead, you can regard neediness as your teacher.
Here's some of what neediness can teach, and how your business can benefit from the lessons learned.

Humility. The first virtue neediness will teach is humility. If you're feeling "less than" and needing reassurance that you are enough, welcome to the real world. In and of yourself you aren't enough and never will be.
That's actually good news. It's an invitation to tap into a larger Source of meaning and value. You answer that invitation by reaching out to the community around you. By studying masters who have gone before you. And by connecting with Spirit.
Whenever you open yourself to humility, a path will show up before you. Just remember that you may be shown only one step of that path at a time.

Emptiness. Closely related to humility is the virtue of emptiness. Emptiness is essential to the creative process. The seeds of new projects, new ways of promoting your work, and new ways to prosper take root first in emptiness.
Make some time every day to be empty. Take a walk without your iPod. Stare out the window instead of reading a book. Do the dishes with full attention instead of watching television.

Sufficiency. One of the mysterious lessons of neediness is that you have everything that is sufficient for your well being right now. If you are reading these words, you have what you need in this moment.
I'm not talking about settling for a small life, but about recognizing the larger possibilities that your life already contains. When you tune into the myriad ways in which you are already supported, these possibilities spring up like crocuses in spring.

Neediness is a beginning, not an end
It can be scary to feel needy. But that fear doesn't need to bring your growth as a person or a business to a halt. Practice noticing neediness without judging or rejecting it. As best you can, open to its teachings. And know yourself to be a hero on the most important journey you can make: living your own wild and precious life