It’s a popular theory that integrating dark sides of our personality helps us spiritually evolve. Thus, you get to eventually graduate to this prophesised Golden Age of humanity. And if you’re not evolved enough you might stay back, like not passing secondary school exams.
So, if you are keen on making that transition, what are the best ways? Here’s some suggestions that have worked for many people we’ve coached over the last 24 years that have given them inner peace, inner strength and wisdom to handle what life throws at them.
01:04 – A definition of shadow work
13:30 – How we live life in “story form” like a fish lives in water
17:30 – A way to hold life challenges from a larger philosophical perspective
24:00 – 5 ways to activate your ‘inner heroic nature’ to help yourself and others grow
31:00 – Proof that you can change your external reality by changing your interpretations
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Does Shadow Work Help You Ascend? It’s a popular theory that integrating dark sides of our personality helps us spiritually evolve. And the theory is that if you evolve you eventually graduate to higher densities when it’s time to move into the Golden Age of humanity. And if you’re not mature or evolved enough you stay back, like not passing secondary school exams.
So some are keen on making that transition, others not so much. So, if you are keen, what are the best ways? Here’s some suggestions that have worked for many people we’ve coached over the last 24 years that have given them inner peace, inner strength and wisdom to handle what life throws at them. Hi, I’m Carla Rieger and this is the Golden Age Timeline podcast.
A definition of shadow work is to use a systematized way of exploring, processing and integrating parts of your personality that are hidden. We all have programming, or what we call, disempowering MindStories from childhood, you know, where you made a bad decision based on a challenging circumstance. For example, in one man’s case he remembered he cried when his dog died as a child, and his father disapproved of that kind of outward display of emotion. So he made an unconscious decision at the time to not cry outwardly, and that carried on through the rest of his life, making it hard for him to feel grief, process sad feelings, which led to lots of stuck emotions…which led to depression over time. That wasn’t the only reason he ended up there, but it was a big factor. That’s a strong example, but there are big and small ways we’ve disempowered ourselves throughout our lives, causing this shadow self to build up.
How you deprogram yourself, depends on each person. You have to find something that works for you. But it is part of the spiritual evolution of any individual seeking to learn from the lessons of their life, and potentially ascending to this higher level of frequency. Every culture and every family has acceptable things and unacceptable things. You are encouraged directly and indirectly to display acceptable things, and discouraged directly and indirectly to not display unacceptable things. What might be true in one culture and one family, could be very different in another. In my family, British/Austrian no one was allowed to raise their voice. We did at times, but it was highly frowned upon. Meanwhile, our Italian neighbors were always raising their voice. If you didn’t express your feelings about things in that family, then that was highly frowned upon. So, think about that in your growing up environment…what was acceptable or not acceptable. The not acceptables are one place to look for the shadow.
So, whatever was unacceptable causes a duality in a person. The acceptable things are in the conscious personality and the unacceptable things are in the unconscious personality. And the fact that you have to separate like that is probably the first act of rejection of yourself. So you have aspects of your personality you’re aware of, and some you are not aware of. Literally, working on your shadow means working on things you cannot see. That’s why its tricky. Other people who know you well, can often see it much better than you.
But if you’ve ever met someone who seems congruent, comfortable with themselves, a true inner peace about them. Chances are they’ve done shadow work. They aren’t unconsciously fighting to repress a part of themselves. They’ve seen it, learned from it, accepted it, forgiven themselves and let it go. Because of that, they don’t need to attract negative things or people to make them pay attention and do the shadow work. Because life will bring you these things, if you don’t choose to do it consciously.
A famous quote by the 20th Century psychoanalyst Carl Jung is, “Whatever you repress and hide will only manifest itself later as destiny.”
For example, I had a client who was told as a girl by her mother to keep quiet and not express her opinion if she wanted to attract a man. I know that might seem funny to some these days, but it was and is actually quite common. That caused her to repress her true opinions, not just with a romantic partner but with all men. She grew up to be a repressed adult in that aspect, insecure and with little self-value about her own point of view in the world. But the moment she discovered the root of this issue, the fact that her mother indirectly condemned her as a child if she spoke up, she can now choose to keep that MindStory or change it. She can essentially grow herself up, come into the present moment, and see the world from the adult perspective where expressing her opinion can be safe and can still mean she is attractive to a man. And since she was learning to do public speaking to groups of men, this meant she could start feeling confident and comfortable on stage as well.
Now, of course, we are full of programs or MindStories that are empowering, disempowering, neutral. The trick here is to not try to get rid of all of it, because then you’d have no personality, no preferences, and no infrastructure with which to interact with the world. It’s just most people haven’t chosen which programs they want. They haven’t been the writer of their own story. So it’s just about taking back control of something that is your inherent right to control. There is a lot of highly sophisticated means in our society of entrenching people in disempowering mind stories, so if we want to evolve ourselves and help others, it helps to see through that and take back our power. Luckily, we are at a time in history when that kind of information is becoming more and more readily available, there’s more highly skilled people to help you with that, and many highly skilled processes.
If you’ve read my novel, Helio Tropez, you’ll know that shadow work is a big theme along with the idea of spiritual ascension. So if you haven’t read it, and if you learn best through a page turning adventure fantasy novel, you can read that and understand at least a few powerful ways of integrating the shadow. Shadow work is also something I have done with many coaching clients over the years especially using the AVARA Model in our book, MindStory Inner Coach. You can get both of those books at Golden age timeline dot com \ shop.
So everything you interpret is the result of a program, a mind story. For example, liking chocolate is a program, disliking brussels sprouts is a program. Running late often is a program, being punctual is a program. You can be your own programmer, and hack your system, and load up on the programs you want. If you want to get really esoteric and high-level about it, being able to see and feel a chair is also a program. So programs aren’t good or bad, they’re just the infrastructure through which we interact with the world.
But who dictates what is acceptable and what is not? Is it the society or the individual? It’s both. Your society or culture has a shadow side and a light side, as well as you as a person. Your family has a shadow side in the light side. An organization you belong to has a shadow and a light side. We live in a world of duality, so if you ever meet somebody who seems totally good and perfect, chances are they’ve got some bad and imperfect aspects as well. Perhaps part of the game of this life we live is to accept both. And when you accept both you start an alchemical process of Ascension, where they merge and grow into something new, a third entity that is unified. That’s probably one of the biggest reasons to do shadow work… as it leads to unification… and unification leads to ascension into higher realms of existence. Of course, as I said, not everyone is on the Ascension path, and if they’re not, that’s okay.
There’s a theory that source energy separates itself into microcosmic parts to experience duality, and you are one of those microcosmic part. It does that because it’s different than unity. So if you are a young soul just heading out into that exploration, you’ll want to go towards duality, conflict, shadow versus light, evil versus good, up versus down, day versus night… because that’s the adventure. But if you’ve been on the adventure for a while, you might want start to return to the source, to the unity, to the wholeness. You’ve had enough of the roller coaster, and you want to get off. Usually that’s the older souls. They’re thinking…I had my adventure, ready to mellow out again. Again, one is not better than the other, it’s just a different phase of the journey.
That said, living a life where you are unconscious of your shadow and just acting out, reacting, not understanding why you attract things you don’t like, not understanding why you feel the way you do can be very stressful. If you’re ready to have more inner peace, inner resilience, inner wisdom this is important work to do.
There’s another great quote by Florence Scovel Shinn – If you do not run your subconscious mind yourself, someone else will run it for you.
Most media and social media channels these days are filling our minds with dire news. While it does help to stay informed so you can take appropriate action, be aware that these news items do activate the survival brain trigger cycle in a lot of people, activating the shadow and cutting you off from higher thinking capacities. Many of our clients have noticed that when they do the shadow work they just don’t get triggered by media, by other people nearly as much. They stay in this neutral, calm place far more often. So instead of saying things they later regret or catastrophizing that something really bad is going to happen, they get into the neutral calm state more quickly which allows them to access their problem solving abilities and to stay healthy physically and mentally.
In my company, MindStory Coaching Academy we refer to mindsets using the broader definition of MindStories to include the entire operating system behind a mindset, an attitude, a perspective, a way of being. Our research shows that humans live in stories like a fish lives in water. For example, on average, people spend 60% of their waking lives telling stories. Maybe you can relate. You’re talking to your spouse about something that happened that day. You’re sitting around the dinner table talking about something that happened to someone you know. You’re also telling stories to yourself throughout the day and giving meaning to the experiences you have.
If you can relate to that, ask yourself this question: Are you telling stories to yourself and others that are empowering and supportive, or are they disempowering and unsupportive of a way of being that helps you be your best? Most people are telling disempowering stories, and it’s happening subconsciously, below their awareness. That’s the shadow at work.
I’ll use a theater metaphor, because a lot of people can relate to that. You’ve probably acted in a play or a show at some point in your life. Maybe you put on a costume and had a script to learn. In my twenties, I studied acting, playwriting and directing. As an actor, I remember that process of putting on my costume and rehearsing my opening lines, to help me morph into that character.
If you have ever acted in a play, maybe you’ll relate to this phenomenon, too. If the play went on for a while, like over a month, I noticed that the character started to spill over into my regular life. Once I played a character who was stuck in hell during the entire play. It was by Jean-Paul Sartre and it was called No Exit. I noticed that I had a hellish experience in my regular life during that time, feeling stuck and frustrated and in conflict with many people around me. Then, when the play ended, that feeling disappeared.
The next play I was in, I had the role of a fairy godmother in a pantomime. My job was to go around and make everybody’s lives happier with my magic wand. This also spilled over into the rest of my life. I started looking for how I could make other people’s lives better. That change in role, ironically, led me to the career I have today, one in which I want to help make other people’s lives better from the inside out, and through how they influence others and communicate their message.
The truth is, all of us regularly take on characters and follow scripts in our lives, as spouse, parent, child, friend, employee, leader, etc. As the old Shakespeare quotes says, “All the world is a stage, and all the men and women are merely players.”
As I said, the brain organizes itself in story form. There are many components of a MindStory, such as archetypal characters, core beliefs and scripts. An archetype is a term coined by the famous psychoanalyst from the 20th century, Carl Jung, that I quoted earlier. Consider it similar to a software program or an app that you load onto your device. It’s full of instruction sets for implementing specific objectives. And the truth is, you can load or delete these programs, if you know how.
In fact, we have choice around all of the smaller components of MindStories too. We aren’t stuck with any of them. The problem comes if you don’t learn this ability to upgrade your MindStories, or you only remove part of a MindStory, which often happens when people only use, say, an affirmation. You might say to yourself “I believe in my ability to succeed”, but you have a whole MindStory keeping you entrenched in a character who sees themselves as a loser. They had a dad who called them a loser as a kid and it stuck. It’s part of the shadow makeup of that person. But still it was just a choice that they can unchoose if they become aware of it.
But you see there are subconscious payoffs for that inner character to not succeed, there’s scripts and plots and intentions all interweaved together that need to be disentangled before that new, more empowering MindStory becomes a reality. Another way of thinking about a process like affirmations, it’s like removing only one line of code in a Malware program. It’s still there, and still going to make you underperform.
Some people believe that life is a simulated reality, which is a theme in Helio Tropez. Some scientific papers are actually proving it. Let’s say that’s true, that life is just a game where we’re here learning certain life lessons in some kind of virtual reality playground. We were also given amnesia when we arrived in the game to give us a kind of “game handicap,” so we would stay focused and learn. If you know the whole thing is just a game, you might not be motivated enough.
If so, then perhaps we can go into the proverbial costume room of this simulated reality and choose a character to play around with. There are literally thousands of characters you could choose. Some people choose the Beggar, others choose the Orphan, or the Victim, or the Lost Girl, or the Hero, or the Guide.
Unconsciously, when I was younger, I latched onto The Orphan, The Victim and The Lost Girl. My parents split up when I was young, and they were both very busy and didn’t have a lot of time for kids. So, I basically raised myself. I remember at 12 years old, if I wanted clothes, I had to make the money doing a paper route and pay for them myself. If I had to go to the dentist, I had to take a 45-minute bus trip there by myself. Other kids didn’t have to do that. Their parents drove them there and bought them clothes! Why didn’t I get that?
When I was older, I saw that circumstance as a gift because I had become much more independent, at a much younger age than most. At the time, however, I thought it meant there was something wrong with me. I was shuffled between neighbor’s homes. Past a certain age, I was left to my own devices. I had no curfew and I just felt like The Orphan, The Lost Girl and The Victim. Another person in the same circumstance might have chosen different archetypal characters to take on. I chose these negative ones mainly due to the meaning I gave that situation.
Any archetype, like that of The Orphan comes loaded with scripts and tends to spawn other disempowering scripts. Scripts are like your core motivation. In the theatre world, directors are always asking their actors to focus on their character’s core motivation in each scene; otherwise, the scene will lose its impact.
The Orphan’s core script is usually, I’m not good enough; otherwise, my parents would be around. That spawned The Lost Girl. Her script was, I’m confused about where to go and what to do. Feeling like a Lost Orphan made me a good target for bullies. That spawned The Victim, whose script was, Why do bad things keep happening to me? One archetype tends to lead to the others and becomes what we call a Mind Virus. Living out these negative archetypes can go on for years for people, as it did for me.
While studying playwriting and acting, I had a transformational idea. It occurred to me that I could change these inner story components. The archetypal character was like my self-image, and the scripts were like instruction sets in a software program. These make up the component parts of a MindStory.
Your most commonly used characters then become your inner committee members. They are like the members of the board on your inner organization. They make decisions on your behalf for good or for bad. Most of this is happening below the threshold of your conscious awareness. But once you become aware of them you can literally fire certain inner committee members and hire better ones…which is what I did.
So, how do you break free from the unsupportive MindStories? I have talked about the Hero’s Journey in other episodes, which is a whole structure of storytelling that myth expert, Joseph Campbell, identified. He researched stories in all cultures, throughout history, and noticed that humans tell the same basic story. The compelling stories that get told over and over again and get passed down through the generations tend to have the same basic story structure. It’s where the hero gets a Call to Action in some aspect of life. They get pulled out of their comfort zone.
They have mentors and teachers that help them. They face enemies, challenges and temptations. They get stuck in the “Belly of the Whale” or what we might call “The Winter of Change”. They engage in a final conflict. If they get through that, they return home a better, wiser, and more resilient person ready to help others. So any Winter of Change or Dark Night of the Soul experience is a hidden gift activating us to be better people, if we choose to go on the journey.
The problem is that sometimes we get stuck. We get stuck in the Belly of the Whale, stuck in the winter of change, stuck in the darkness, in the conflicts, or temptations to distract ourselves rather than face the pain of growth. But if we do, then we get to continue the hero’s journey, and bring back the wisdom to others.
I remember telling the Director of the play, No Exit, that I wanted to leave the play. I no longer wanted to play a person stuck in hell. Did he have another play coming up where I could play a lighter character? In fact he did. He mounted a comedy pantomime kind of farce, where I got to play a fairy godmother full with wings, getting flown around the stage and everything. That made me realize, maybe I could ask my Inner Director to give me a new role. So the Inner Director is like my higher self, the game maker, rather than the user, or some greater part of the world’s wisdom. So I did it. I tried saying to this Inner Director, “I’d like a better role,” and that’s what I got. So here’s one way to do that in your own life.
So, think of a disempowering archetypal character you live by. Be honest with yourself. No one likes to admit they act like a victim, but many people do. Few people like to see themselves as a Beggar, but they live in a scarcity mindset around money. It’s a shadow, unconscious part in most cases, so sometimes you may need to ask someone close to you, who sees you from the outside.
So once you have it, like in my case The Orphan, find the opposite. To me, that meant The Connector: the person who had friends, family, community and support, who created it and attracted it. Instead of the Lost Girl, I wanted to be a Guide who had clarity of direction and helped others do the same. Instead of the Victim, I wanted to be the Hero of my own life, responsible for my own choices.
These archetypes and scripts became new, supportive MindStories, which acted like the antibodies healing me from the Mind Virus of disempowerment.
Then you want to look at scripts. These empowering archetypal characters had, embedded with them, better core scripts. For example, the Connector script might be, “I am good enough to be supported.” The Guide might have a core script of, “I know the way and I’m here to help others find it, too.” The Hero says, “I rescue myself.”
Many people think, “I have to wait until something outside of me happens to change a self image or archetypal way of being in the world.” Almost always, however, the impetus comes from within. It’s a decision deep within that can happen in an instant. It’s very hard to change the external world, without changing the way you view the world first. The external follows the internal and not the other way around. Most people don’t realize it, or forget it. It’s the exploration, deconstruction and re-construction of the MindStory that causes changes outside. That’s easy to forget even for people who have done years of personal growth work.
The good news is that you’ve already changed your MindStories many times throughout your life. How do I know that? Think of an external event in your life when your self-image seemed to go up or down dramatically. For example, I spoke at a huge international conference when I was 30 and I got a standing ovation. After that, I began to think of myself as a good speaker. Before that, I thought of myself as just an average speaker. Was it the external event or an internal choice? I chose that new self-image. I received a standing ovation a year before but I had interpreted the situation differently. After the first one, I said to myself, “I got that standing ovation because the audience just likes to do that for speakers. It’s not about me and my abilities as a speaker.” The second time was also in front of an audience that often gave standing ovations, but I chose to see myself as a good speaker after that. And of course my skills improved because of my self image. It’s always the meaning you give to those external events and the decisions you make as a result. Since you’ve done this many times before, you can do it again. I’m just helping you do it consciously.
Our research at MindStory Academy shows that the greatest minds and hearts on the planet have a different set of MindStories than the average person. Your results in any endeavor will always match your subconscious MindStories. If life is a game, you have control of the joystick. You can develop a MindStory that supports your vision or one that shackles you to failure. It’s all up to you.
To uncover disempowering Mindstories you need to be totally honest with yourself. You may think you are free of a limiting MindStory when you aren’t. This is another way people get stuck. I had a client who came to me for help to get ready for a high profile speaking engagement. She taught interpersonal communication and had studied personal growth topics for years. I could see that she felt terrified, by her tone of voice, shaking hand, furrowed brow, but she insisted she felt fine.
Finally, a few days before the event she had an emotional breakdown, which led her to open up first to herself and then to me. I helped her see the old scripts and archetypes from her childhood that still influenced her. Even though to the outside world, she seemed successful, on the inside she felt like an imposter. She didn’t feel worthy of the money and status that went with her career, and it all got magnetized during a high profile speaking engagement like that.
The good news was that by accepting those hidden feelings, we could then explore the interpretations driving those feelings. By using her neo-cortex to view a survival brain trigger cycle, she actually started to change the way the neuropathways fired, training her brain to stay in a high performance state in a high stakes situation. The speaking engagement ended up being a huge success, she got a standing ovation and five invitations to speak again. It was a good reminder that no matter how much inner work a person thinks they’ve done, myself included, the old MindStories may still surface. Having tools like the ones we teach at MindStory Academy, or ones you’ve successfully used in the past, are important to keep close at hand. Here’s a few practical tools to help you break free of any limiting mindstories.
An important step in forming your new, more empowering MindStory is to realize what your beliefs are and to question those that no longer serve a purpose. Otherwise, beliefs left unchallenged will continue to limit you. To that end, answer the following questions to the best of your ability. What is a goal or vision you’d like to achieve? It could be a financial, life success, health, relationship or career goal. Just pick one specific one for the sake of this mental activity. E.g. Bring in 3 new coaching clients over the next month, or produce a new zoom webinar, or set up a home gym. What is one disempowering story in the way to achieving this? Most of us talk ourselves out of our successes before the day even begins. We tend to focus on the negative. Is that true for you? Think back to this morning? What happened when you first woke up? Did you worry or doubt or regret? If so, how did that voice sound? Start to examine this voice from a neutral place like you were a curious scientist, rather than getting pulled into the drama of the voice. These voices are unique to every individual, but below are some of the ones that we frequently hear from clients when they start thinking about achieving a goal. See if you identify with any of them.
It’s hard to make money, especially these days
I don’t know where to begin
It just seems too hard
I’ll do it later when I have a few free moments
I can’t make money doing what I love.
I’m not good enough; I don’t have what it takes.
I’m not smart enough; other people are smarter than me.
I’ve got children, you don’t understand.
I’ve got problems, you don’t understand.
I’m too young.
I’m too old.
I don’t have enough time.
I’m unworthy of success.
I just don’t get the lucky breaks in life that others get.
I’m just not meant to make any money.
I guess I’m destined for a life of struggle.
This situation is going to get worse
People won’t think what I offer is of any value to them
I’m not experienced enough
I’m not organized enough
Now just pick one for now. Assuming you were to hold onto this limiting story for the next five years, how would it limit your future? How would it affect the quality of your life and relationships? How would it impact your finances? Now, how can you start the day with a new MindStory? For example, the minute you start hearing the old, familiar voice of negativity you could have a memorized phrase such as, I’m so happy and grateful for the support I’m going to get today, Another day where I’m moving closer towards my big vision. What an amazing opportunity to step up and contribute to helping others and making the world a better place.
You can also simply do a turnaround on them. You may not believe them at first, but after a while you could hypnotize yourself into believing them, through repetition. Remember, it’s just a game. For example,
It’s easy to make money, especially these days because of what I offer
I can easily figure out where to begin
It seems doable
I’ll do it first thing
I can make money doing what I love.
I’m good enough; I totally have what it takes.
I’m smart enough;
Even though I’ve got children, I can still make this work.
Even though I’ve got problems, I can still get this happening.
I’m the perfect age
I have enough time.
I’m worthy of success.
I often get lucky breaks in life
I’m meant to make any money.
I’m destined for a life of success.
This situation is going to get better
People will think what I offer is of great value to them
I’ve got enough experience now
I’m organized enough now
I’m enough now
One of the most powerful tools is to ask yourself “What difficult things have I accomplished before?” I remember back to when I wrote my first novel. I remember getting my first batch of books from the printers and this overwhelming feeling of accomplishment that I had at the time. As soon as I tapped into the empowering mindstory, it’s like it loaded the software in my own biocomputer to keep moving forward with my present day book writing goal. Acknowledging your own successes helps you build belief in your ability to achieve important goals. Belief is the engine of manifestation.
Your answers to these questions are starting to build your new MindStory at the neural network level of your brain. Imagine those new neural networks of empowering MindStories forming and building strength. Remember to do one of these the next time you catch yourself looping, like first thing in the morning. The more you do it, the better you get.
So, if you enjoyed listening to this podcast, and want more tools like this, do check out our FREE online masterclass entitled Re-Inspired – Discover the 5-Step TriUnity Process to Get Clarity on What’s Next in Your Life by Overcoming Negative Inner Stories — So You Can Achieve Life-Changing Results in 2022. Just go to the Events tab at GoldenAgeTimeline dot com to sign up.
Also our audio and video online course called MindStory Blueprints is available. You’ll learn how to strengthen 15 of the most important core beliefs for thriving in the coming Golden Age. It supports you over 66 days to change old train tracks of thinking and exchange them for good ones.
And you can check out the MindStory Inner Coach book if you like non-fiction books with fill-in-the-blanks processes to guide you through finding and releasing regrets/resentments/past blocks and freeing yourself up for creating a life you love.
Also do check out the page turning fantasy adventure novel, Helio Tropez – it is the winner of 4 books awards. All books and online courses are at Golden Age Timeline dot com backslash SHOP or just go to the SHOP tab. We take crypto as well as cards and PayPal.
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