What have you observed about yourself lately?
Over the last month, I’ve taken a break from writing my newsletter, and spent some time reflecting.
Recently, I mentioned that I’d completed some “shadow work” with my holistic healer, K-M.
As a reminder, The shadow is a psychological term for everything you can’t see in yourself.
Basically, your shadow is comprised of your primitive, negative emotions such as rage, envy, greed, selfishness, striving for power, etc.
Over the past month, I took a closer look at my own shadow.
Here’s 3 observations….
1) I’ve been hyper-competitive
2) I’ve been judging others
3) I’ve lacked tenderness
Some thoughts on each….
1) I’ve been hyper-competitive:
I often tell my clients to focus on the “value” that they bring to others.
For example, in my own business, rather than giving potential clients a cost/hour, I provide an extensive list of the respective values (coaching, summaries, strength assessments, immersion, intake process, peer leadership review, etc) involved in the coaching partnership…
By focusing on value, I guide the conversation in a positive direction, AND refrain from the competitive mindset.
When you compete against others, you start imitating the competition, and focus too much on your competitor, instead of your business.
I’ve noticed that competition has played a subtle and steady role for me lately…..
…..From surfing, to relationships, to where I currently stand in my life, I’ve noticed a competitive spirit attached to my recent observation of others.
When I’m in this place of competition, it removes me from the essence of who I am, keeps me detached from my own value and creates a low level of suffering that inevitably keeps me stuck.
When I refrain from competition (aside from sports), regardless of the arena, it keeps me feeling open and expansive.
2. I’ve been judging others:
We, as a society, are in the midst of a massive transition…And, as we all know, change is hard.
When things get uncomfortable, people often gravitate towards a belief system, in an effort to find comfort.
If you happen to breeze through Facebook, you’ll notice LOTS of varying opinions, covering a range of topics, from conspiracy theories to social activism, and everything in between.
Most of the opinions on these subject matters are loaded with notions of “right” and “wrong”.
I’ve found myself getting caught up in the “right” and “wrong” game i.e. looking at posts and saying to myself “What the ‘f’ is this person talking about?!
When I feel that someone is either completely delusional, or insensitive, and I put energy behind it, I’m essentially making that person “wrong” for their belief.
When I do this, 2 things happen…
1) I give that person too much of my energy.
2) It drains me of my positive life force.
The optimal approach would be to NOT make anyone “right”, or “wrong”, and simply observe things from a place of neutrality.
The famous Rumi quote comes to mind…“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
Remaining neutral isn’t always easy, and doesn’t mean to stay silent; however, gives you the best chance to respond rationally.
3) I’ve lacked tenderness:
I had a conversation with my friend the other day….
As she shared her thoughts with me, I remember feeling eager to respond with my counterpoint.
There was a part of me that wanted to prove her “wrong”.
I could hear my own internal voice saying, “some tenderness and acceptance would be great right about now”….
HOWEVER…my desire to contradict her was reverberating internally.
I chose not to say anything, and remain silent; however, the energy I gave off wasn’t very supportive.
Due to this, I wasn’t able to fully connect to her from my heart.
Instead…..ended up staying in my head, with my own versions of “right” and “wrong”.
The transition from head to heart is a transition of empowerment.
All of the examples from above are ways in which my ego keeps me playing small, and living in my head.
The more attention that I give these things, and my shadow, the more awareness I develop.
From this place of deep awareness, and connection to my heart, is where true fulfillment resides.