The 11th Facet of Fitness - CrossFit & Shadow Work


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

Or send me a message through my website at