Choices July 2001
 

CHOICES
an e-newsletter for deliberately living people

July 2001
Volume II, Issue 7
 
 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.  There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  Marianne Williamson

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Note from Erica
Facing the Shadow
Action Guide
Resources

Note from Erica

Dear Choices Community,

Have you recently been called to adventure?  Are you tired of your ordinary world?  Want to make a change in your life?  Self-actualization requires passion, focus, and support.  A coach is the perfect ally to help guide you to success.

Clients work with me because:

  • they are in personal or professional transition.
  • they want to rediscover their personal power and live a passionate life.
  • they want to connect with their spirit and intuition to make better decisions.
  • they want to complete a new adventure.
Is it time for you to take your life to the next level?  Do you know someone who would benefit from coaching?  Please contact me to arrange a free coaching session. 408-739-2975 - coach@ericawang.com

Warmly,
Erica

Facing the Shadow:  Attempting Big Change

Are you the hero of your own life, or the supporting character of someone else's story?  Who makes the choices in your life?  Whose life are you living?

In Facing the Shadow, the eighth stage of the Hero's Journey, the hero finally faces his own unrealized and rejected dark side.  Ironically, the hero has journeyed a long way to face the part of himself that has been with him since the beginning of his travels.

This stage is the real heart of the journey and it signifies the death of the ego and the spiritual transformation of the hero.  Please note that there are four more stages to be explored before the journey is complete.  It is not enough just to face the shadow, it must also be embraced and the truth of it brought back to the oridinary world.

We all have parts of ourselves that we hide not only from others, but from ourselves.  Somewhere along the path of our development we were told that being outspoken, smart, dumb, fat, thin, selfish, <insert quality here>, was undesirable.  We believed the message because the messenger was a loved one (parent, friend, schoolmate, boss, spouse) who thought they were doing the best for us by telling us "the truth."  More than likely, the message also came wrapped in an emotional experience: a fight, a shaming, silence, etc.  We learned that in order to be liked, we needed to disown this part of ourselves.  To be human, however, is to have access to ALL emotions and qualities.  This is our birthright.  There are times in our lives that require us to be outspoken, smart, dumb, fat, thin, selfish, <insert quality here>.  Every part of who we are wants to be loved and accepted and reminds us from time to time that it is waiting in the wings, that it is still a part of us.  The Hero's Journey is a metaphor for everyman becoming whole.  "We must let go of the life we had planned in order to have the life that is waiting for us." [Joseph Campbell]  To complete this journey is to be at peace with who we are.

Next month:  Seizing the Sword: Consequences of the Attempt

Action Guide

Take a quiet moment to answer the following questions:
  1. The shadow (villain) symbolizes the hero's fears and rejected qualities.  How are you your own shadow?
  2. What purpose does it serve for you to ignore or project the part you dislike?
  3. Given that you can never run from your shadow, what perspectives are gained by facing it?
  4. What insights are gained by addressing your shadow self?
  5. What inner support is necessary for you to attempt a big change?
  6. What support do you need from your community when going through an ordeal (encouraging words, understanding, a kind ear, a force to push off of)?  Who do you want near you during this time?
  7. How are heroes and monsters different?  How are they the same?
  8. During the ordeal the hero goes through a symbolic death, usually the death of the ego, and is reborn.  In what ways have you symbolically died?
  9. How are you reborn after attempting a big change?
  10. The shadow often escapes at this point in the story rather than being fully defeated.  Why does the attempt at big change take humans more than one try?

Extra credit:

Read The Dark Side of the Light Chasers : Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance, and Dreams; by Debbie Ford, Neale Donald Walsch, Jeremiah Abrams

Resources

The Pleasure Prescription : To Love, to Work, to Play Life in the Balance, by Dr. Paul Pearsall, psychologist and expert on the immune system, who believes it is the lack of joy, not stress, which contributes to our illness.
The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, by the Dalai Lama, Howard C. Cutler, Dalai Lama Bstan-dzin-rgya-mtsho

The Top 10 Ways to Demonstrate Acceptance
Distinction: Acceptance Vs. Surrender

www.debbieford.com - author, coach, and workshop leader

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(c) 2001, Erica Wang, Coach.  All rights reserved.