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When I was 7 I had some new friends over for a playdate. We were in the garage playing school. I was in my favorite role as the teacher. I loved teaching about grammar and spelling–two of my favorite subjects. After my friends left, a family member said to me, ” You should try not to be so bossy or you won’t have any friends.” They didn’t say this to me to be mean, they really wanted me to have friends and be happy, but they heard me bossing people around and was fearful I would push them away.

Having just moved to San Francisco and not knowing a single soul, these new friends were really important to me. I didn’t want to be outcasted. I had already run into some bullies and finally I had some girls who were excited to hang out with me! So I took that part of me, that bossy, controlling girl that appeared that day and I blocked her. It wasn’t a conscious blocking, but she was done. I wanted no part of her.

The problem with this situation is that this bossy girl was a very unskillful,  inexperienced and underdeveloped leader waiting to emerge and by me blocking her that day, I was also blocking her Becoming.

I spent the bigger part of my life with a lump in my throat and quieting my voice, fearful that my words would repel those around me. I found myself drawn to and at the same time jealous and judgmental of other girls who didn’t hold back speaking out.

Internally, I was in an unconscious war. I felt like there was something pulling at me, something bigger for me to do, but I didn’t know what it was. I just knew that it was uncomfortable and so I found ways to muffle it. I turned to drugs and alcohol. I focused my life on my intimate relationships instead of myself. And they would work for a time, but that nagging, pulling feeling was always there.

And then I found yoga and meditation.

Yoga and meditation got me clear and strong, so that I had the courage to do the deep dive into what it was I wanted for my life. Instead of running from the internal conversation, I learned to open my ears to it. But then what? I didn’t know what to do with all these messages (e.g. feelings) that were coming up. I had done therapy and that served me to a point, but I was tired of just talking. I needed something more tangible. So I searched and researched and this is when I uncovered this tool for understanding myself that changed the course of my life. It gave me a breadcrumb trail back to myself–back to that bossy little girl and it helped me foster her, grow her and not be so afraid of her.

Now I spend every day standing in front of people, teaching them, helping them and showing myself to them. And I spend every night so freaking grateful and inspired that I have the blessed opportunity to spend my days doing what I was called to do. Now, when I see other women living in that space, instead of jealousy or judgment, I feel connected to and empowered by them!

This is not just about career. I use this tool in every aspect of my life. There are 100’s of parts of us that hold us back from intimacy, self-worth, career, art and inner peace. I can’t imagine where I would be without this tool in my life and I want this for you too, which is why I created my workshop: Spirit of the Shadow. In it, we explore what the Shadow is, where it came from, how it shows up in your life today and how to let it empower you instead of sabotage you. I offer it multiple times a year, so feel free to e-mail me to find out when the next one is.

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