I am reading The Shadow Effect – Illuminating the Hidden Power of Your True Self. This book was written by three authors; Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford and Marianne Williamson. It has been sitting on my book shelf for three years! Not uncommon for me actually. I buy the books I get recommended by fellow coaches or are the hottest on the book lists, only to place them on one of my many book shelfs for future reading. Anyone else have that problem?
Often I am never sure what draws me to take a book off my shelf, but this time I knew exactly. I am attending an adult teaching and training class at our local college. During one of the classes I stuck my hand up to give an answer regarding opportunities to use a particular teaching method in a classroom situation. A fellow student who was demonstrating the method seemed to quickly disagree with my suggestion citing it could be detrimental to the introverts in a class.
I had a reaction. The fire of anger and shame flew up my body. Out came an old trigger of mine saying ‘I am stupid’.
Phew not the fellow student’s intention but I felt the burn start in my belly and move up my body like a flash fire. I stared the poor girl down messaging through my body language I was ticked at her. At the first break she came over and I told her I felt she was protecting a certain ‘type’ of student and I didn’t appreciate being wronged.
Dang! It took only a short time to go through the SHAME segment to seeing this is my trigger not hers and finally settling into owning the mess and looking for a multitude of ways to apologize for being human AND it was inappropriate.
So it was no surprise that I grab The Shadow Effect off the bookshelf and finally crack open the pages.
The shadow increases when you resort to the following;
Keeping secrets from yourself and others,
Harbouring guilt and shame,
Making yourself and others wrong,
Needing to blame someone, (sounds familiar to my example)
Ignoring your own weaknesses while criticizing those around you,
Separating yourself from others,
Struggling to keep evil at bay.
Deepak has a multitude of information about the shadow at work in our lives. The shadow according to Carl Jung, tells us to ignore our own weaknesses and project them onto others.
Deepak says the first step is make different choices. He quotes for steps.
1. Stop projecting!
2. Detach and let go.
3. Give up self-judgment.
4. Rebuild your emotional body.
This is deep work which is why they call it our shadow. We are a work in progress. Notice..awareness is the first step to all personal growth, be kind to yourself (self-compassion is healing), have good support from people who love you – just as you are and take one baby step at a time.
The I Ching tells us, “It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any self-deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events, by which the path to success may be recognized.”
I took this photo in Port Carling in 2013. I call it Universe’s Joyful Light.
I would love to hear from you. Have you read the book? What is the impact of this blog post? Are you willing to share?