Vision, Goals and The Hero's Journey

Visions are not created.  Your visions already live inside of you and they are just waiting for them to be revealed by you.  I like to think of them as christmas presents under a christmas tree.  They are wrapped up and just dying to be opened and revealed, to fill you up with your greatest joy and aspirations.  

Sometimes, or very often, our vision and goals change or evolve.  Not because we have given up, failed, or are incapable of achieving them, but because we have realized and revealed that we are so much more, more than we have ever dreamed of and ever imagined.  We may come to points in our life where we are called to be more, to expand ourselves.  As we move forward in our lives we discover gifts and strengths that we may have once thought were weaknesses or something we felt we lacked.  Once we look inside ourselves and go into our internal world, we realize  that we are truly limitless and capable of what would have once seemed impossible or unimaginable.  

Joseph Campbell called this the Hero's Journey.  Joseph Campbell is the king of world mythology and he discovered that myths from all over the world, from all cultures from all time, shared the same structure of steps that the character of a story or myth goes through.

The cycle of the Hero's Journey as Joseph Campbell discovered throughout world mythology.  These stories were meant to guide us and be a mirror for us to see and understand the different stages we may find ourselves in once we answer the call to our own personal adventure.

The cycle of the Hero's Journey as Joseph Campbell discovered throughout world mythology.  These stories were meant to guide us and be a mirror for us to see and understand the different stages we may find ourselves in once we answer the call to our own personal adventure.

We may realize that our intentions, our goals and our vision were born out of a limiting belief or perspective.  For example, I always dreamed of being a great master architect.  All of my creative energy manifested through architecture.  I believed this was my only gift, my talent, what I was naturally good at.  And I was, to a certain extent.  I also grew up in a family of architects and contractors.  I grew up in a building and design environment.  So this naturally fueled my inspirations and dream to be an architect.  I had a certain level of support or approval for it because it was also what my family knew and they could relate to it.  

But on my path to be the greatest architect ever, other opportunities revealed themselves.  Doors were opening up for me in certain directions and doors were closing on me in other directions.  My goal was to live and study architecture in another country and master another language.  I thought this would give me a competitive leverage in the field of architecture and I loved learning about other people and cultures and the idea of being able to speak other languages.  So, my goal to be an international architect started me on the path of learning about other cultures and languages.  This was something completely foreign to my family and how I was raised, though.  I did not know other people who had these same interests, but architecture was something everyone knew of and could imagine.

You may see that as you evolve and grow, so will your vision and goals.  They are as alive as you are.  Your vision is not something you need to create, it already exists inside of you.  As you evolve and reveal and discover more of who you are, you will reveal and discover more of what your vision is and your goals will change and shift along the way to continue to manifest your deepest visions.  You can only see as much as you allow yourself to see or you are able to see at a given moment.  So your vision is something inside you that you open up, like a present.  It's your gift.  Your purpose.  Your soul's calling. 

If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.
— Joseph Campbell

A vision or goal that you have can be a stepping stone, an introduction into a world you never even knew existed and therefore you never even imagined or dreamed of.  Being in the unknown can bring you to your greatest treasure.  I had a plan and I had planned out step by step how I was going to study architecture in Italy.  However, challenges, walls and set backs diverted me and lead me down a path  I had never even allowed myself to dream of or thought would be possible for me.

The cave you fear to enter, holds the treasure you seek.
— Joseph Campbell

This can be a terrifying place where you feel vulnerable, stupid, incompetent and other negative feelings as you let go of what you thought you knew to learn things you never imagined.  My first time living in Italy was this cave.  It was dark and humiliating as I left everything I knew.  Before I moved to Italy I was independent and able to take care of myself.  This cave though was the beginning of me tapping into my hidden gifts, talents and strengths that I NEVER would have imagined for myself.  Language for one, even my own language, English.  I was horrible and incompetent when it came to language, but I loved it.  I even ended up majoring in Italian because I was so bad and slow at learning language that I knew I was going to have to study day in and day out to master it.  I even thought majoring in Italian was a joke, and I was a little embarrassed to do so.  Who majors in Italian?! No one! And you no what that got me?  No competition, full grants, scholarships, open doors and individual attention because no one else was doing it!  Doors opened up everywhere for me to learn Italian, to live, study and work in Italy.  Even my English language skills improved as I was basically forced to teach English as a second language, which I thought I would be horrible at.  I needed a job in Italy and that was really my only option.  So, I started teaching others and myself the English language. Which again, I thought was a joke.  I thought, how can I teach, for one, and especially English?  I was being drawn to all of these other subjects like public speaking (I was deathly shy) and language which I thought were my weaknesses.  

If what you are following, however, is your own true adventure, if it is something appropriate to your deep spiritual need or readiness, then magical guides will appear to help you. If you say, ‘Everyone’s going on this trip this year, and I’m going too,’ then no guides will appear. Your adventure has to be coming right out of your own interior. If you are ready for it, then doors will open where there were no doors before, and where there would not be doors for anyone else. And you must have courage. It’s the call to adventure, which means there is no security, no rules.
— Joseph Campbell

I continued plugging away though and was determined like a warrior to be the greatest International Architect EVER!  No one could derail me from that.  But, on this path as I majored in Italian as a practical step in the direction of my goal, I started studying and learning about things I never even knew existed.  I noticed I excelled in Sociology, Psychology, Film, Literature, Philosophy and Humanities in general.  Doors kept opening up for me in the areas of Humanities, Language, Literature, Linguistics, Psychology and Art but doors were closing on me in the direction of Architecture since I didn't have the financial support or the time I needed to study Architecture.

We must be willing to give up the life we have planned, so as to live the life that is waiting for us.
— Joseph Campbell

Even though I was loving what I was doing with language, linguistics, literature, humanities, philosophy, psychology and teaching, I felt at the same time my dreams, my greatest dreams were crashing and dying.  I felt like I was losing who I thought I was or who I thought I was going to be.  I thought I was losing my real dreams.  But at the same time, I had so much internal satisfaction of what I began to study and master.  It actually added so much more to myself than I could have ever imagined for myself.  I felt I had substance where as the goal of being an architect was missing words.  I had not known words, language and metaphor before I knew architecture, so I thought.  I realized what I loved about architecture, creating something out of nothing, symbolism, metaphor, beauty, art, structure, innovation, helping others, shelter, creating beauty for myself and others, changing the world, culture, history, bringing people together, could be done in many ways, the only way I ever knew of though was through architecture.  By being flexible and open to the opportunities that were opening up to me, actually brought me to me, to allowing me to see my authentic potential and it has lead me to do things and be what I had never allowed myself to dream of.

As I have grown and evolved, so have my goals and vision.  As I have become more aware of myself, more of my greatest and deepest dreams have been revealed to me, by me.  It's following your heart and soul.  Being okay and trusting in the dark, in the unknown that great things are happening for you.  The Universe/God/Higher self has your greatest interest at heart and is helping you, if you allow it, to go in that direction.

Be open to the visions you have inside of you no matter how ridiculous and outrageous they may seem.  Allow yourself to move forward towards what lights you up from the inside out, not just what seems familiar and acceptable by others.  Be Bold and outlandish.  Pay attention to the unexpected opportunities that come your way.  They may be the greatest opportunity for you to reveal your true talents, gifts, strengths, your soul and life purpose.  

If it's an opportunity and it scares you, terrifies you, and you think it's impossible for you, but yet somehow deep down inside in the dark, it resonates with you, then it is probably your call to adventure.  Just as Joseph Campbell discovered the structure of the Hero's Journey in myths from all over the world of all time, in all cultures, you can also find this today in our greatest films - Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings and so on.  There is a reason these movies capture us and are so successful.  They reflect us.  They are our mirror.  Answer your call.  It is worth it and you will see you are so much more than you have ever dreamed of.

A bit of advice. Given to a young Native American at the time of his initiation: As you go the way of life, You will see a great chasm. Jump. It is not as wide as you think.
— Joseph Campbell

I realized the path I thought was leading me to be an architect was actually leading me to myself, to my soul, my inner world, my authentic self.  The walls and failures were actually bringing me closer to who I really was.  Expect the unimaginable.  Expect to be broken down (unrevealed, unmasked) and transformed.  Expect to be terrified.  Expect to breakthrough.  Embrace your adventure.  Break yourself open to your calling.  You are the hero of your own journey.

The question is are you going to say a hearty yes to your adventure?
— Joesph Campbell

Below is a beautiful series of videos of what Joseph Campbell called the Monomyth or Hero's Journey throughout world mythology.  Today we can find the same structure used in the greatest films that show the call to adventure of the main character (you) and the different stages they go through from leaving their ordinary world to stepping into an unknown world, meeting a mentor, slaying dragons, almost dying to being resurrected again and coming back as a stronger, new, more evolved, authentic person.  You find your treasure and you become a greater version of yourself.

With love,

Jessica

 

The 11th Facet of Fitness - CrossFit & Shadow Work

AN INTERVIEW WITH AN INVICTUS COACH AND ATHLETE

Recently, I had the privilege to be interviewed by Invictus CrossFit coach and athlete, Cat Blatner, who wanted to help the CrossFit community learn about how they could benefit from the unique style of coaching I practice.  Here is our interview below.  Some great questions about Integrative Coaching are answered here. 

Jessica, can you explain to us a little bit about what your style of coaching is all about? 

Sure.  This style of coaching is called Integrative Coaching, specializing in Breakthrough Shadow Coaching.  It is a 10 week coaching program where the client gains a new tool each week that they will be able to use at any moment in their life.

What is Breakthrough Shadow Coaching? 

It is called Breakthrough Shadow Coaching because this work or practice is about learning the art of tapping into your inner wisdom, your psyche, to unveil and reveal any subconscious limiting beliefs, patterns, habits or behaviors that are blocking you and holding you back from living the life you truly desire.  We all have subconscious limiting beliefs and behaviors, not because there is something wrong with us, but because it is part of being human.   So, this program teaches you how to access these parts of yourself so you become aware of what hidden thoughts and beliefs are sabotaging your efforts or holding you back from being your greatest most authentic self and from achieving what you truly desire. 

In addition to that, what I find really interesting about this work is that it also unveils dreams and desires you did not even know you had.  I absolutely love that about this work.  At least for me and many others, doing this work, it has opened up a whole new world I would have never even known existed or thought would be possible in my life.  Doing CrossFit at Invictus and doing this interview with you is just one of many.

How did you get started in such a field? 

Synchronicity kind of brought me to this work.  I was speaking with my yoga instructor about some Deepak Chopra meditations I had been listening to.  She mentioned that he lived here in San Diego and that there was this whole spiritual community right here in SD.  I was surprised, especially being from here.  She told me about Debbie Ford’s work.  I went home a researched her and it just so happened that there was her famous three-day Shadow Process right here in SD the following weekend.  I was able to go and it literally altered my life.  I became aware of things I never knew or recognized within me.  I got signed up to start the coaching training program on the 3rd day.  It was completely unexpected, but perfect.  That was February 2012.  This is an example of how this work truly helps you to step into your greatest self.  It showed me, immediately, that at times, I was only attempting and living what I thought was possible and acceptable rather than stepping into the unknown of all that is possible and where there are no limits to what and who I can be. 

What makes you so passionate about this? 

I have seen the results and transformation in my own life.  I feel my vision and awareness was so limited before starting this practice.  I have gained so much more awareness about what has held me down in the past and kept me small, not really living who I am.  It can be like a prison.  It has given me permission to really love myself and fight for everything I love.  It has given me so much inner strength, what I call the Inner Martial Artist. It has allowed me to be all that I am without shame and guilt.  I should say because of my practice with this work, I have given myself the permission to be all that I am, with boundless self love.

So what makes me passionate about this work, is that it gives people permission to be their greatest self without shame or guilt but with total self love. It shows you how, as Marianne Williamson says, “When you let your own light shine, you subconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”  The most generous thing anyone could ever do for anyone else or for the world is to practice self love and to live their dreams.  Their love and dreams are not just a gift for them but the whole world.  It is a ripple effect.  Can you imagine how the world would be if everyone practiced this?  How could there be war and such corruption if people just focused on self love and their dreams.  This is what I have loved so much about the community at Invictus CrossFit.  You really have a community that lives this practice already, which is probably why you are interested in this work in the first place. Invictus is a truly humble and supportive community of people being their greatest self, whatever that may be at this time, all while striving to be better and to evolve.

You talk about internal wisdom. Can you define Internal Wisdom for us? 

That is an important question.  Internal wisdom is basically your intuition or your heart or soul speaking to you.  Your internal wisdom is like your internal compass.  It will tell you exactly what you need to know about yourself or the direction you need to go in your life, even if you can’t see the whole picture at times.  Most people have numbed themselves out of being able to hear this voice, inner wisdom, within them.  This coaching practice is about teaching you how to access this part of yourself, because at the basis of this work, YOU have all the answers within you.  They are not outside of you or in someone else, even me or your family, spouse and so on.  So, this is a practice where you learn to truly trust yourself and to be able to access your inner wisdom at any given time to give you the answers/direction you need in your life.  Again, I call this the Inner Martial Artist.  You look within for the answers.

What kind of transformations could someone expect from this sort of coaching? 

All kinds. From the seemingly small to a total change in your reality.  What seems like a tiny shift in your perception can change the whole reality of your life and open you up to new experiences that seem to just fall effortlessly into place.  What is so fun and exciting about this work is that when you make shifts within you, your outer world will naturally shift to match that.  You will notice things just happen without you having to make such effort in your outer world.  The work happens within.  Walls and blocks will come down and opportunity will present itself almost like magic.

How long is the program that you offer? 

This is a 10 week program.  Each week the client will learn a new skill.  The sessions are about one hour long and are done over the phone, so the client can be living anywhere in the world.  After the 10 week program is over, the client is welcome to have individual sessions to follow up or as requested. 

What would you say are some of the main goals of being involved with this program? 

To know who you are on the deepest level with total self love.  It is really a practice of deep self love.  And it is a practice, just like working out.  You don’t just go to the gym for 10 weeks get in shape and then stop exercising.  You continue on keeping yourself fit and healthy for the rest of your life, whatever that may be.  This program gives you a box of tools that you will be able to use for the rest of your life to keep yourself in alignment with your highest and greatest self.  It is a tool box to maximize your life.  

How does one differentiate between the mind and heart? What does that mean?

This is another great and important question.  With this program you will definitely learn what the difference is between the mind and the heart.  The mind is there to gather information and to protect you.  Your heart, on the other hand, is what some call your soul, internal wisdom, your authentic self, your truth, your inner wisdom, your inner child, or your higher self.   

I love the quote, “Don’t believe everything you think.”  This is really important because your mind will play tricks on you to prove to you that your beliefs (usually hidden beliefs) and perceptions are right and it will fight for their survival.  But if you have limiting beliefs, which we all have, then your mind will show you proof in your outer world that your limiting beliefs are true.  This is where we get stuck.  For this reason, it is important to understand and recognize the difference when you hear your mind speaking and the truth of what your heart has to say.  It takes discipline and practice to know the difference and to see the dynamic at play.  

Who is the creator of this work?

Debbie Ford is the founder of the Ford Institute for Transformational Training for Integrative Coaches.  She is an internationally renowned expert in the field of personal transformation and a pioneer with her groundbreaking work in emotional and spiritual education.  She is also a national best selling author of nine books:  The Dark Side of Light Chasers, Spiritual Divorce, The Secret of the Shadow, The Right Questions, The Best Year of Your Life, Why Good People Do Bad Things, The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse, The Shadow Effect co-written with Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson, and her last book Courage

I love this quote of hers: 

“The evolution of one’s own soul is a process. It’s not a quick fix. It’s not a five day workshop. It’s a lifetime process where we let go, discover and then allow for futures to come into existence. Through connecting to our soul, to our collective heart, we can become congruent with our deepest values and our life mission. We can then allow for the realities that are always available to us to unfold.”

— Debbie Ford

How often is the coaching that someone would receive from this program? 

This is a 10 week program, one hour a week over the phone.  There is also the option to have individual follow up sessions after completing the 10 week program and that would be based on what is coming up for the client at that time in their life.

How can someone contact you to start the 10-week program or to get more information?

They can email me at UnmaskYourPotentialCoach@gmail.com

Or send me a message through my website at www.UnmaskYourPotentialCoach.com

The Art of Authenticity - The Inner Martial Artist

Being centered and present to your authentic self, to the truth of who you are is, I believe, one of the most challenging and difficult things we can do.  It takes continuous Practice, just like building a muscle, just like a master martial artist, like Bruce Lee.  It takes continuous practice and discipline to BE present with who you really are, to authentically, honestly express yourself, to remain in your true essence without losing yourself in the energies around you.  I believe this practice of Presence, of honestly expressing yourself - without lying to oneself, and continuing self knowledge is what truly builds strength from the inside out and the ability to remember and BE who you are, in the moment.  It takes continuous training and discipline.

"You have to train yourself to become one with the movement." Bruce Lee

Authenticity leads to no competition other than continuously improving yourself, gaining more self awareness and honestly expressing yourself.  This is because no one can be like you when you are expressing your authentic form, and yet as Bruce Lee says, "Under the sky, under the heaven, we are but one family.  It just so happens that people are different."

Bruce Lee, I believe, is one of the greatest examples and teachers of the power, strength, rareness and the art of authenticity and honestly expressing yourself.   So much rich and valuable wisdom he shares with us in this video below in just 25 minutes. 

Breakthrough Shadow Coaching is a profound way to delve deeper into your own inner world to access your higher self, your soul's calling, your purpose, your inner wisdom, your authentic self.  It is also a profound experiential process where you will have the platform and opportunity to reveal any subconscious limiting beliefs, patterns, outdated programmed behavior and habits that are blocking you and holding you back from taking yourself to the next level of self awareness and to manifesting and living your greatest dreams.  If you are interested in accessing more of yourself and more of your potential, contact me to start your 10 week transformational process where you will gain the skills and tools that will propel you forward to a life beyond your wildest dreams.

With love,

Jessica

 

Projection and Owning Your Chisel - The Manifesto to Self Love and Self Actualization

You are an artist.  You are the creation of your own work of art.  We are each our own masterpiece.  As Michelangelo Buonarroti says:

"Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it." 

The chisel of the sculptor is like our mind, it is a tool, not our essence, soul or our heart.  We choose how to use our tool (our mind), and how to sculpt ourselves in a way that reveals our true form, our pure essence, our beauty, our gift.  Being stuck on an idea about ourselves or someone else can be like an addiction or a bad habit.  We have to make a conscious choice to change and shift our beliefs and perspectives in a way that is beneficial to us not detrimental.

Just like a chisel, projection is a tool.  Projection is a way for us to be able to recognize ourself and see the parts of ourself that we are rejecting, suppressing and denying. Once we take responsibility for our perspective, we can take back our chisel into our own hands to create our work of art, rather than handing our chisel over to those who we believe are better creators than we are.  We then are able to become our own masters and our own creators.  

You are your masterpiece.  You are not someone else's creation.  You did not come into this world to be molded to someone else's desires and form, but your own.  You did not come in to this world to be someone else's work of art, not your family's, not society's, not authority's.  No one but your own.  You are your masterpiece.  And that is the greatest gift you could bring anyone and into this world.

Like a chisel, projection is a tool that can be used to identify the pieces of your form and their placement.  Projection is a way we are able to identify ourselves and to take back that which we give away, whether they are qualities we consider good or consider bad, by saying, "It is not mine.  It is not part of me, it is not in me, it is in you."

When you are looking at someone, you will find yourself either taking in information without judgment, maybe even with appreciation, or love, or acceptance for them, just as they are.  This is not projection.  On the other hand, when you feel judgment, or you feel triggered, plugged in, or emotionally affected, hating or idolizing someone, believing they have something you do not, you can be sure you are in projection.  So, this is not the time to beat yourself up or anyone else.  It is an opportunity, the tool, to use to identify the aspects of yourself, good or bad, that you are denying, rejecting and suppressing.  That is to say, projection is a tool that can be used to identify your shadows, that which you have buried, forgotten and left in your subconscious.  When a part of you is asking, screaming for attention to be integrated into your conscious awareness, it will show up in the people around you.  You will see qualities, behaviors, judgments that actually have the purpose of being your mirror so you can see yourself.  The Law of Attraction is mirroring.  You will attract that which you think and believe, including the thoughts and beliefs you deny and hide within yourself.  This is why, if we really want to create our reality and sculpt ourselves into our finest work of art, we must consciously integrate all aspects of ourselves so as to use the chisel to sculpt ourselves and our realities in the way in which we desire most.

By all of us taking back that which we give away and owning all of ourselves, rather than just parts of ourselves, we will see a new Renaissance, a re-birth, of masterpieces and works of art in every corner of the world.  The work of art of that of which we are.  We will see, as we already are, a new paradigm shift of people taking responsibility and ownership for their lives and manifestations, a culture in which beauty, peace, connection, bliss, happiness, creativity, self-actualization, playfulness, love and freedom roam.

The impulse of the soul is to be whole.  As I mentioned in my last post about shadows, we possess every quality, characteristic, emotion, you can perceive of.  You are capable of being everything you can perceive of or conceive of.  You have all of the ingredients in your kitchen to cook up whatever you would like.  It is just a matter of "seeing" and recognizing you have everything you need already inside of you.  You are already complete.  It is just a matter of you revealing yourself.

Every quality we can see in another exists within us.  In order to see ourselves we need a mirror.  People around us reflect back to us the parts of ourselves we have disowned and tried to hide or suppress.  In addition to that, you can become someone else's projection, if you believe what they are projecting on to you.  This is often what happens with parents and their children or adults and children in general.  As children we learn, usually from adults and/or our peers, what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.  This is often passed down from generation to generation until we believe it to be societal truths.  In order for us to evolve individually and collectively, we must recognize these inherited projections and break the chain of what is essentially learned and inherited self-hatred, self-denial and imposed limitations.  When you are unaware of projection, its purpose and how it works, it can be a very confusing and limited life, where you feel powerless and a victim to your outer world.

Your soul is always evolving and moving towards expansion.  Projection is a tool or guide to move you towards your expansion, your soul's evolution.  Its purpose is not to get you stuck, to fall into blame, self-hate, and hopelessness.  Its purpose is to pull you forward towards a greater version of yourself, of becoming more and more of who you really are.  Its purpose is to bring you from the dark and into the light.

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."   Michelangelo Buonarroti

There are many gifts in working with the process of projection and owning disowned qualities.  To start, you are set free from limitations that you or others have set on you.  You gain more self-awareness, self-acceptance and so, more self-love.  You remember your purpose, you discover your gifts, the uniqueness that you are and your essence.  Once you see that the tribulation you are going through is projection, is an aspect of yourself asking and begging for your attention, love and acceptance, you become more empowered to step into the fullness and lightness of who you really are.  Once you recognize the aspect of yourself that has been suppressed, the choke hold it has on you is released as you move into embracing the quality and finding its gift.

Remember to treat yourself, and all aspects of yourself, as you would treat your own child, baby, friend, or loved one.  You would not ignore them, lock them up and tell them they are unacceptable, unloveable and better off not existing.  And, remember you can only deny in another that which you deny in yourself.  You are your gold.  You are the most important person, Being, to love, cherish and nurture.  As Rumi, the great Sufi poet says:

"By God, when you see your beauty you will be the idol of yourself."

This is not to be confused with "selfishness".  Because, as the projection game works, if you deny self-love, you deny love to others, which then, selfishness, as we typically see it, becomes activated subconsciously by needing to take away from others to fill that which we have denied in ourselves, or won't give to ourselves.  If we deny our existence, we deny the existence of others as well.   

Your soul is here to exist in its completeness, in its wholeness.  Our life is an integration, a remembrance of all of which we are and to manifest our heart's desires and happiness.  Nothing more and nothing less.

Do not give your chisel to others to carve out your form.  You are an artist.  You are your masterpiece.  It is just a matter of chipping away that which has covered up your essence and that which has been placed on you by others.  Just like the clay on the Golden Buddha that I wrote about in my second post.  The gold is in the dark.  The purpose of darkness is to see the light, again and again.

Projection is one of the most powerful tools you can use to be able to identify the suppressed, disowned and rejected parts of you that are blocking and limiting your expansion and your soul's evolution, so that you can integrate them back into your conscious awareness.  When you do not own parts of yourself, they own you.  As Debbie Ford says:

"What you can't be with, won't let you be." 

So it is in your best interest to reclaim your power, your authority over yourself and own these qualities in a way that benefits and frees you rather than imprisons you.

Here are some signs that you are in projection: 

-When you are emotionally affected by someone else

-You have harsh judgments of others

-When you are pointing your finger at others

-When you are condemning others

-When you are emotionally triggered by others 

-Anything that disturbs or upsets your peace

Just like ingredients in the kitchen, if you suppress, deny or ignore that you have certain ingredients to use as you wish, to cook up or create what you desire, you will need to go outside yourself to look for these ingredients.  When you understand that you are everything, it is only a matter of gaining access to that quality, characteristic, or that ingredient, you choose to use when you feel it is appropriate to do so to create the reality you desire.

There is a gift and positive aspects that come with all of the qualities, emotions, characteristics we find in ourself.  For example, I recently came across the projection of a core shadow belief that "I don't matter".  As I became aware that the emotions I was feeling was a signal that guided me toward the awareness that a part of myself was screaming for attention, I realized I was in projection.  In the middle of my intense state of distress and turmoil, I laughed in awe realizing I was in projection and so, I suddenly recognized that I was being given a gift and an opportunity to become aware of a very deeply rooted and suppressed belief, and so manifestation, that was being projected back on to me from my outer world.  This meant that since I had suddenly became aware of such a deeply rooted suppressed belief, I would then be able to transform it and release its grip and its energy that it had on me, for basically my whole life.  

Your emotions and feelings have a purpose.  They are essential for your survival, your soul's evolution and your true happiness.  They are your compass, your guidance system that help you recognize your needs and desires.  Listen to them.  Follow them.  Be with them.  They are not just your friends, they are your best friends and they guide you exactly where you need to be for your highest good and to get you where you desire.  For example, as I was in the middle of my intense turmoil as I mentioned above, I followed my emotions and feelings.  Since I had the knowledge of projection and awareness of how it works,  I had suddenly realized all my feelings and emotions lead to a dreadful, intense, devastating feeling that held the belief "I don't matter".  Funny enough, as soon as I had this realization and awareness, the grip this suppressed belief had on me subconsciously, began to loosen its hold on me.  I actually laughed in awe at how beautiful and empowering projection is and what an invaluable tool it is for survival for our hearts, our soul and for our existence.  My awareness of how to use projection as a tool, shifted a moment that was total blackness, where I saw no light, to a moment of enlightenment and a profound awareness of how I was co-creating my reality.

Since I am trained in this work, I knew what the next step was.  I grabbed my pen and journal and began to write.  I wrote down the last time I felt this way, and the first time I could remember feeling this way.  I then noticed patterns of how this has manifested and showed up in my life, and it was all over the place!  I then looked for the gift, which at first I saw nothing.  I saw no gift in my existence not mattering . Then I realized how important it has been for me and how I deeply desire to not have other people feel this way.  I do not want people to feel they don't matter.  I realized how much this feeling of not mattering filled me up with compassion, empathy and care for others which fuels my desire and passion to make people feel and recognize that they do matter, their essence, their dreams, their happiness, their feelings, their desires, their hopes and their wishes matter. 

So the projection dynamic in my example is, I projected "you matter" onto others and subconsciously excluded myself, while people reflected back at me "I don't matter" (which is a perspective, not an inherent truth) because I was not owning this belief and had simply forgotten that I had this feeling of not mattering for basically my whole life.  As this belief subconsciously festered throughout my life, it got bigger and bigger and showed up over and over again like a broken record.  This is how projection works.  It will show up again and again, until you acknowledge the message it has for you.  

Another step I took was, I wrote down what I was getting out of believing and manifesting "I don't matter", because at some point when we initially choose a belief, we most likely choose it to benefit and protect ourselves.  We do this usually at a very young age.  The problem is, the benefits become outdated to where they no longer serve us or help us to create the life we currently desire.  So, the benefits I wrote down, were things like, "the freedom to leave people without guilt (because I don't matter anyway)", "living independently and leaving family and friends to go live in other countries and places", "being alone, staying hidden and not having to make myself vulnerable and exposed to others".  Overall, I noticed I got a lot of freedom and safety in not having to please anybody but myself or risking getting hurt revealing myself and my vulnerabilities to others, because I didn't matter to other people anyway.  Again, this is a choice in perspective that I had subconsciously felt was essentially protecting me.  I also wrote down how it was detrimental for me to continue living with this limiting belief, things like "isolation", "disconnection from myself and others", and "a feeling of utter emptiness and non existence".  Understanding that it had become more detrimental for me to continue on with this belief, I then made the decision to shift the belief to something that would empower me and move me towards my deepest desires instead of away from them.

Once I recognized this subconscious belief I was holding, gave it attention, embraced it (integrated it into my conscious awareness) and found the gift in it, I felt a continuous sense of relief and felt the choke hold it had on me release itself.  The power it had over me was released, which means, the energy, the need for it to show up in my outer world to get my attention, was released.  Once we own and embrace the things we project on to the outer world or other people, they cease to manifest experiences that mirror it over and over again  like a broken record.  When you uproot anything in your subconscious you release the energy that makes you a match for that experience. This is how we set ourselves free from the subconscious limitations we put on ourselves, how we imprison ourselves, and how we confine ourselves.  In  addition to freeing ourselves, once we give ourselves permission to release ourselves to be all that we are, we subconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  You not only allow yourself to exist as you are in your true essence, you also allow others to exist as they are without needing to change them but rather in appreciation of them.

Remember, what comes up for you when you are coming into awareness of a subconscious aspect of yourself or any aspect of yourself, may be completely different than what comes up for someone else.  This is why it is so important to listen to your own inner guidance system (your feelings and emotions).  You are your masterpiece to reveal, not someone else's.  You do not need to match what comes up for others.  It is about the unique recipe that you are.  That is why there will never be anyone like you.  When you are in your true essence, you will be your own unique and priceless masterpiece. 

Whether we like it or not, whether we are aware of it or not, we will be projecting and mirroring each other for the rest of our lives.  It is therefore beneficial to say the least, to understand what projection or mirroring is and to learn to use it as a tool to be able to be aware of ourselves and to consciously create the life we desire.

Use projection and reveal disowned aspects of yourself as you would use a chisel to sculpt and reveal the masterpiece that you are.  That is the greatest gift you could give anyone, including yourself.

You are not fixed.  You are changeable.  You are not limited to what you thought you had to be or should be.  To go with the metaphor of the sculptor and the chisel, Alchemy is another metaphor for, or process of, freeing oneself from what seems to be fixed properties.  For more about this check out this video from Teal Swan on Alchemy and its purpose in personal transformation.  This video here  is helpful in understanding how we may feel at different points on our spiritual journey.  And here is another on Is It Selfish To Seek Happiness?

If you are interested in unconcealing and revealing your disowned qualities and projections, feel free to contact me for a session.  I would be happy to hear from you.

With love,

Jessica


Why Would I Want to Learn about the Shadow?

We, as human beings, are everything you can conceive of or perceive of.  Within all of us is everything that you can see and know of.   With that comes those bad, even horrific, qualities that we can't and wouldn't want to imagine our selves to be.  From lair, weak, inappropriate, mean, selfish, not good enough, unwanted, insignificant and the list goes on.  But what about the horrific qualities like crazy, killer, abuser?  That could be hard to swallow.  You might ask yourself, or say to yourself, there is no way that those qualities lie within me.  Well, they do and believe it or not, once you become aware of how these qualities can manifest, you will be better able to modify or reposition yourself to your greatest advantage.

The shadow is any quality we deem bad or unacceptable that we deny in ourselves.  Carl Jung coined the term "shadow" although you can find the meaning throughout literature and mythology dating back to antiquity.  Our core shadow beliefs develop in our psyches when we are children, usually when we are eight years old or younger.  We experience something upsetting and difficult for us to process.  We then give meaning to that experience which ends up becoming a shadow belief.  The negative belief we made about ourselves is forgotten and becomes buried deep in our psyches. 

Understanding that we are co-creaters of our realities and that our thoughts and beliefs create our reality, it is important to be aware of what our thoughts and beliefs are.  More and more people are becoming attracted to the Law of Attraction these days, and using positive thoughts to shift their realities, but that can be like what Debbie Ford would say, "putting ice cream on top of poop". Changing your thoughts is not enough.  They need to be backed up by belief, but many of us do not understand that most of our beliefs are subconscious - we are blind to them.  So how can you control your thoughts and beliefs when you are unaware of what they are?  

Our shadow beliefs are hidden deep in our psyches and they control our thoughts, behaviors, reactions, actions and inactions.  When we tell ourselves we can or cannot do or be something, we can be sure we have a shadow belief acting up.

Shadows hide deep in our psyches and the way they try to get our attention to be recognized is through popping up in our realities, sometimes like a slap in the face.  It could be through dating someone who makes you feel unloveable.  It could be through working in an environment where you feel you don't belong.  It could be random people popping up in your reality telling you, you aren't good enough, your stupid, your crazy, you're inappropriate, there is something wrong with you and so on.  

What I find so fascinating about this is that the ego, for survival, needs to be right.  So, if you have a core shadow belief that you aren't good enough or you don't matter then you will see in your reality all the reasons to prove that it is true.  It will show up as fact.  The ego will do this to keep this belief alive and it will fight for its survival!  For this reason, a change in belief, in thought, needs to take place in the heart where it resides and is rooted.  Otherwise, we, unaware of what is happening in our internal world, believe that we are a victim to the circumstance or other person which then creates a vicious cycle of "why do bad things happen to me?", "I can't do this.", "Why can't I create the life I want." etc.  

Once we begin to understand what the shadow is and how it shows up in our life, we are better able to shift  a moment that may seem negative or an attack on ourselves into an opportunity to gain more awareness and information about ourself.  In essence, these situations or people that may seem like something negative, actually bear fruit and nutrients for our soul's evolution and its longing to be known and whole.  

I like to think of our qualities whether it be those we deem good or those we deem bad as our little children that live inside of us.  As you gain information intellectually about how disowned qualities and the shadow work, you are better able to use your mind as a tool, as the adult that protects the child, your inner child.  

This is where we need to ask how much we are willing to love and embrace all of who we are.  Sometimes it is easier to communicate with ourselves by envisioning this parent child role within ourselves.  The reason for this is,  if you were to put your thoughts and beliefs about yourself in the role of the parent inside of you and see how that parent inside of you is communicating with your inner child, what would you see?  Would you see a parent telling its beloved child that it's not good enough, it will never succeed, you're incapable, you don't matter, you're unwanted, you don't deserve it, you're unworthy, you don't exist, don't bother trying because you will fail because you are a failure?  

You can imagine the shadow is like a child acting up that is screaming for attention, for love and acceptance.  Instead of neglecting or abusing your child or killing its dreams, ask that child, what do you need to be whole, what do you need to be soothed, what do you need to exist? 

Once you start to see how we can so blindly abuse ourselves, and attempt to kill ourselves off from the inside out, you can see where some serious forgiveness of self is needed.  You may ask yourself, "How could I have treated myself so badly and for so long?".  Remorse and anger may come up as you have these realizations, and that is when forgiveness comes in, along with having compassion for yourself.  It is then that beauty, love and peace magnify as we are able to see and love ourselves for who we really are, and as we are able to forgive ourselves and have compassion for ourselves it then enables us to see others for who they really are with eyes of compassion and love.  As Marianne Williamson says:

 "Until we have seen someone's darkness we don't really know who they are.  Until we have forgiven someone's darkness, we don't really know what love is." 

The more you embrace all of who you are, you will become less triggered and emotionally affected by the people and situations around you.  As you embrace and love more and more of yourself, you will have this reflected back at you.  As we are all mirrors for each other we are all here to allow ourselves and each other to exist in our true essence and nature.  

So next time you find yourself in a situation you do not want to be in look for the fruit and what nutrients it is trying to give you.  When you consume the fruit you will find the gift and on you will go on to the next level of your evolutionary process.

For more information about the Shadow, you can check out Debbie Ford's books The Dark Side of Light Chasers, The Secret of the Shadow, or Why Good People Do Bad Things.  If you are interested in unconcealing what your core shadow beliefs are feel free to contact me for a session to unconceal, embrace and replace your limiting shadow belief with a new and empowering belief. 

With love,

Jessica

Teal Swan, in these videos, also explains the Shadow, Core Beliefs and Self Worth very well and how we can shift limiting beliefs to empowering beliefs:  What is Shadow Work?How to Change a Belief and How Do I Discover Self Worth?

Story of the Golden Buddha

Some time around the 13th and 14th century it is believed that the world's largest solid gold Buddha was created in Sukhothai and then moved to Ayutthaya.  It is told that around 300 years ago word got out that the Burmese army was moving in to invade Thailand wiping out everything and killing everyone along its path.  The Siamese monks who worshipped the Gold Buddha not for its monetary value but for what it represented, decided to mask the Buddha covering it with a thick layer of clay to downplay and hide its value.  Although all the monks were killed, their plan worked and the Gold Buddha now hidden and covered in clay was overlooked and ignored.  The truth of the Gold Buddha was lost with the death of the monks.

Not until 1954 when changes were being made with building structures in Thailand, did the truth reveal itself again.  While attempting to relocate the giant Buddha by lifting it with a crane, cracks were made in the clay.  The monks concerned with damaging the Buddha let it sit for the night while they contemplated how they were going to move the Buddha.  Rains came so they covered the Buddha with a tarp.  That evening one of the monks went to check on the Buddha to make sure it was staying dry.  He took his flashlight to check out the Buddha and noticed shimmers of light reflecting back at him.  He noticed the cracks and that there was more to reveal underneath the layers of clay.  He took a chisel to the buddha chipping away at the clay revealing the true essence of the Buddha, solid gold.

Just like the truth, value and essence of the Buddha was covered up with clay to be protected from invasion, we cover our true nature, our true gold, masking ourselves and covering ourselves up in order to survive and belong in our environments and with the people around us.  From an early age we begin to cover ourselves up to please others, to conform to our parent's desires, our teacher's orders, society's limitations and government demands or anything or anyone who seems to threaten our truth, our gold.

We then forget about the layers we have put on ourselves and our true rich nature remains hidden, even from ourselves.  It is not until we are shaken up, when we are "moved", that cracks begin to appear letting our light shine through, revealing who we really are.  Once we remember our light, our gold, we cannot help but to continually remove the layers we have masked ourselves with in order to get back to our true essence and the wealth and magnificence of all that we are.  

"There is a crack in everything, that is how the light gets in."  Leonard Cohen

By unmasking ourselves we gain the freedom to celebrate all of ourselves and remember our true nature and our true value.  When we reveal our true selves we are able to see the unique gift we are and the unique gifts we have to bring to the world.

The gold is hidden in the dark, my friends.  Bring it to the light!

With love,

Jessica

Here is a clip from the movie Finding Joe about the Story of the Golden Buddha and its place in the Hero's Journey.

The Guest House - Rumi

THE GUEST HOUSE

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


-- Jelaluddin Rumi,
    translation by Coleman Barks