Shadow Company and All Things Big and Small

You are all things, including all that you oppress.

Ripped Reminder June 2, 2017

 

Most of us spend immeasurable time working on figuring out what we think is good and/or bad about ourselves and others, and then evaluating our experiences and observations to determine if they match our criteria for what we’ve deemed good or bad. And then, in order to maintain a specific identity, we tirelessly strive to do just that – bolster those aspects of ourselves that we think we should be, and rid ourselves of, or not be, those things we think we shouldn’t be. Those that we push away in an attempt to protect our ego, identity, and self-image, fall into what some psychologists refer as, “The Shadow.”

Well, as an “n of Chris,” I offer you this proposed reality: you, I, and everyone else…ARE ALL THINGS…AND…that’s cool.  For example, if I’m trying to be objective and “real,” I am…

  • Nice and Mean
  • Rich and Poor
  • Intelligent and a Dumb Ass
  • Thoughtful and Thoughtless
  • Strong and Weak
  • Giving and Selfish
  • Patient and Impatient
  • Calm and Hectic
  • Male and Female
  • Present and Distant
  • Love and Fear
  • Accepting and Rejecting
  • Listening and Ignoring
  • Private and Public
  • Hard Working and Lazy
  • Hot and Cold
  • Open and Closed
  • Knowledgeable and Ignorant
  • Righteous and Wrong
  • Developing and Stagnant
  • One who Tries Hard and one who Gives up

You get the idea and the list goes on, and on.  I am the Yin and the Yang, the Light and the Darkness, the Truth and the Lie. These are all a part of “Me.”

 

This proposed realization offers me some relief in that no matter what I or anyone else thinks of me or who I am, I am, again, unavoidably all things, and again, so is everyone else…including you.  And that oppressing my awareness and acceptance of anything that I am (any aspect of me) is unproductive if not destructive, ultimately limits the love and help I can offer myself and others, and is, well, just silly because those aspects that I try to oppress will get expressed no matter what anyway and if I remain unaware of and try to reject them, I’ll have much less or no control over how I express them when they do come out. I am all things I think I want to be AND all things I think I don’t want to be. But who or what told me what I should and shouldn’t be?

One more point, instead of thinking of any particular aspect or trait as positive/good or negative/bad, think of them as “just is” – perhaps neutral – and refocus your limited time, as well as your attention on finding beneficial ways in which to express all of your traits because again, they ALL will be expressed with or without your awareness and guidance.

 

So if you/we all are all things…then who are YOU? My guess is that the “you” that you and anyone else thinks you are is based on our experiences with how often, loudly and long each aspect of you is expressed. But that’s just an initial idea.

So I ask you…

  • What aspects of you do you try to ignore, beat down, or get rid of? (Keep in the Shadow)
  • What aspects of others do you take issue with? They are aspects of you too; perhaps in your Shadow and aspects of you that you’ve not wanted to acknowledge?
  • What is the first aspect/trait of yourself that you try hard to keep in the Shadow, but are now willing to bring into the light of Love, and acknowledge and accept (and perhaps learn from), even if you continue to choose not to express it?

 

One Law,

Chris

Unconditional

The quality of your love is the quality of your life…first, the quality of your love for yourself.

Ripped Reminder May 1, 2017

Love can be simple and/or complex, pure and/or used as a tool, abounding and/or taken away, overflowing and/or denied, unconditional and/or conditional.  Many say that love is the ultimate universal and divine vibration, and IS what our souls are.

About 10 years ago (age 34-ish), I called my father to ask him if he ever loved me and if he was ever proud of me.  It’s not that I think he didn’t/wasn’t, I just couldn’t remember him saying it, or hugging me; and I’m not saying he didn’t do any of these things, I just couldn’t remember them.  Ever since then, my Dad makes it a distinct point when we talk to say, “Remember! I love you! Unconditionally!”  And yet, for some strange reason, it just didn’t sink in…until today.

Today – this morning – I watched another Teal Swan YouTube video, this one entitled, “Integration” (https://youtu.be/QKudmMWgo70; see below for key points).  After I watched it I recalled my challenge with loving unconditionally, and then I realized the header of this post: I cannot truly love anything or anyone else unconditionally, nor feel unconditional love from another, until I love myself unconditionally first – NO MATTER WHAT!  So, of course, off I went to my 5th zumba class, and there I tested out this realization.  

You see, I am NOT a superb Zumbarian.  And I have a history of having a ‘fixed mindset’ (Carol Dweck, Mindset; great book).  So therefore, you can imagine that every time I miss a step I would give myself a little mental jab to the rib cage and would mentally push away the parts of me that I felt were inept, not coordinated, and not Latin (I came to find out that most of zumba is to Latin music – which I love but my feet weren’t grown that way!).  But today, I went in saying, “I will keep those parts close to me today that I normally get frustrated with and want to compartmentalize and “fix,” and I will love them and thank them for being here and for trying. I love myself unconditionally – NO MATTER WHAT – and so I will do so now too!” I even created a tiny incantation: “Every step I try, is Love of I.” And my experience changed…just like that.  I finally experienced unconditional love – and it started with unconditional love for myself including all that I did (including the plethora of wrong steps and, well, falling into the wall a few times), thought and felt.  Most times, I simply accepted it when I missed steps, and moved right on to catching up.  The times I got frustrated, I didn’t push anything away and instead thanked myself for showing up, being there, and trying.  THIS is what I want to model for my daughter.  THIS is a lifting vibration that I feel in my soul and resonates with others. THIS then had a ripple effect…

  1. I stopped looking for ‘mess-ups’ by others, and instead felt genuinely happy for each soul that too was in that zumba room working it out just like me
  2. The times when most people could probably see me (see me mess up), I assumed they were thinking kind thoughts like, “He’s trying so hard; that’s so cool,” or thinking nothing at all about me and instead, “Crap, this is hard!”
  3. I smiled, instead of looking confused and perhaps frustrated
  4. Later in the day I went to a company meeting with lost of folks, and was at ease while providing thoughts, some levity here and there, and requests, without immediate self-judgement
  5. And when I got home, I had a really pleasant evening with my wife and daughter doing nothing particularly eventful, but still quite special
  6. I can joyfully say, “Love you unconditionally too, Dad!”

I still look forward to continuing to develop me in all kinds of ways, and those who want my help to develop themselves, but I do so with unconditional love for all that I am, do, think, feel, and all that I am not, do not do, think not, and feel not.  There are SO many reasons to love myself unconditionally, and thus you too.

 

So I ask you…

  • What about you have you been trying to reject? What about it can you love and/or learn from? Can you bring it closer to you, and evolve it further if you want to, knowing that it is already loving part of you that you can appreciate fully? 
  • What does it feel like when you accept the truth of unconditional love…of yourself first?

 

One Law,

Chris


 

Notes and some of my deductions from Teal Swan’s video mentioned above:

  • Love is to love something as it is, and to pull it closer to yourself, to see it as part of yourself, to no longer exclude it from you
  • Loving is not done selectively
  • Loving is not done conditionally
  • When it comes to love, there are no exceptions whatsoever
  • Especially love those things that you push away from yourself
  • See your “adversaries” (of which there are perhaps none actually) as part of yourself, and invite them in
  • Understand that society has taught us that aspects of us are not lovable or acceptable, and thus must be excluded; when we do this we fragment ourselves and initiate hatred towards these parts of ourselves (or disappointment, self-loathing, anger, etc)
    • When we label a specific thing about ourselves or others as “good” (e.g., “good girl! good boy!”) we establish that there are then parts of us and others that are “bad” and unlovable
  • All things are ultimately love, even fear (fear is a reaction to the actual or perceived loss of something you want to hold on to out of love), and so to cast away ANYTHING is to cast away love, including things that you have been taught to interpret as pitiful, reprehensible, or disappointing about yourself
  • Focusing us on a duality of good against evil is a time-tested trap that captures most of humanity; and unfortunately, evil is depicted in many forms, including our basic “human condition” versus “divine perfection” – yes, we are taught to hate parts of ourselves as evil
  • THIS MUST STOP – and here’s how:
    • No longer want to get rid of the things you don’t like about yourself or separate yourself from them; stop wanting to get rid of the things about yourself that you think are unacceptable
    • No longer label parts of yourself as “good”…or “bad” – and love the wholeness and oneness of yourself
    • Love all that you don’t want – especially things about yourself
    • Pull all aspects of yourself closer to yourself
    • Unconditional love of those things we want to push away from ourselves – including aspects of ourselves
    • If necessary, find at least many things that you can love (and/or learn) from everything you aren’t currently thrilled with about yourself
    • Hold everything as part of yourself; exclude nothing about yourself from yourself

How Incredibly Good Are You at Boxing Out Your Limiting Beliefs?

Ripped Reminder February 8, 2017

Marianne Deborah Williamson (edited slightly): “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?  Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Chris’ Commentary

WE ALL HAVE LIMITING BELIEFS.  We picked up many when we were kids, and we’ve proficiently added to them ever since.  We are all REALLY good at creating…and holding on to…our limiting beliefs.  Why do we have them? Some reasons include that we picked them up out of a need to protect ourselves from something, or to get love from someone special, or to make sense of the world.  Yes, they are all there with a positive intent, but I’m guessing you’ve outgrown their usefulness.

As such, below are some constructs to help you sort through each limiting belief you have…but you have to rise up and acknowledge those that you have first before you work on them. Common ones include…

  • I lack motivation.
  • I don’t have time
  • I don’t have enough resources (money)
  • I’m too young/old
  • It’s too late to change
  • I have too many other responsibilities
  • I have no clue where to start
  • I’m not smart enough
  • I don’t have the right degree/education

…all b/s beliefs that are trying to serve you, but don’t serve you nearly enough or as much as you would serve yourself (and others) if you flipped those into empowering truths instead.

Here are two (of many) techniques to blast through limiting beliefs.

Simple one:

  1. Fold a piece of lined paper in half (top to bottom)
  2. Put on some blaring music that gets you PUMPING!  Dance, jump up and down, scream your head off, and SHOUT, “I’M DOING THIS RIGHT NOW!!!”…3 times
  3. As fast as you can, after placing your judgement on a shelf for a few minutes, list as many limiting beliefs as you can on the left side
  4. Go back to the first one, shout “THAT’S BULLS#!T!!! THE REAL TRUTH IS…”
  5. And then on the right side of the paper, to the right of that first BS limiting belief, boldly write down what the truth is…DO IT! OWN IT!  THIS TRUTH IS YOU SO WRITE DOWN THIS TRUTH THAT YOU ARE!!!
  6. Repeat 4 & 5 for each of the other BS limiting beliefs
  7. Tear off the left side of the page and THROW IT AWAY!!!
  8. CELEBRATE!!!

One example could be as follows:  “I’m not capable”…”THAT’S BULLS#!T!!! THE REAL TRUTH IS THAT I’ve created greatness so many times already, I’m creating greatness right friggin’ now, and I will continue to do so for the rest of my long life!!!”

An Even Deeper Approach: the Pain-Pleasure 4-Quadrant Process

  1. Get a piece of paper and fold it into quadrants (then unfold it)
  2. Put on some blaring music that gets you PUMPING!  Dance, jump up and down, scream your head off, and SHOUT, “I’M DOING THIS RIGHT NOW!!!”…3 times
  3. Pick a significant limiting belief – no need to write it down
  4. In the upper left quadrant, describe the pain that you are currently attaching to letting the limiting belief go (what pain do you fear having if you no longer had the limiting belief)
  5. In the upper right quadrant, describe the pleasure you have from keeping this limiting belief (your mind is holding on to it for some misguided positive intention…but positive nonetheless…what is it?)
  6. In the lower left quadrant, describe in excruciating detail the long-standing and ongoing pain you (and many others) will continue to experience if you don’t change this limiting belief (if you hold on to it forever); this is the toughest quadrant, BUT GO THERE…DO THIS WORK…turn up the music even more if you have to and again repeat, “I’M DOING THIS! I’M DOING THIS RIGHT NOW!” What are the painful consequences of retaining this limiting belief. What won’t you and other accomplish if you hold on to it? What’s the very worst that WILL happen?
  7. Pause…smile…pat yourself on the back, and in the lower right quadrant, take some time to be really inspired and creative while describing in even MORE detail than in #6, the long-standing and magnificent pleasure you and everyone else will experience WHEN YOU LET THIS BS LIMITING BELIEF GO. What are all of the wonderful things that WILL happen as you let the limiting belief drift off, and be replaced with empowering truths?
  8. In big bold letters, anywhere you like, write down the empowering truth that naturally fits this lower right quadrant. What is the opposite of the BS limiting belief that is actually the REAL EMPOWERING TRUTH?
  9. Read the bold empowering truth, followed by the what you wrote in the lower right quadrant 3 times silently, then 3 times in a normal aloud reading voice, then 3 times in a loud voice, then 3 times as loud as you possibly can while unleashing the power within you!…and then quietly again, and then silently again
  10. Take a moment of gratitude; breath it in.
  11. CELEBRATE!!! You crazy human being, you!

 

What are your most limiting beliefs?
What have they cost you and others already? How are they f-ing up your life right now? Who are you going to mess up in the future if you don’t let them drift off starting now?

What are the very best things that WILL happen when you replace those limiting beliefs with empowering truths?

One Law,

Chris

Crazy for 8s

Ripped Reminder Jan 17, 2017

“My life didn’t please me, so I created my life.” ― Coco Chanel

Chris’ Commentary

Life gets (is) crazy. Sometimes we perceive a/our situation as out of control which then leads us to feeling trapped, powerless and often fearful of the unknown, AND fearful of the idea that the situation will never change and we’ll be stuck forever.  Pay attention to what you do next.  From what I understand, most people (me included!) enter a “Crazy 8” where they cycle back-and-forth between sadness/bitterness/depression, and anger/rage/frustration (and all related feelings) – see the image below.  For example, you might experience this as alternating between self-pity and wanting to kick someone’s a$$.

Image result for crazy 8 symbol

Also know that when one enters the Crazy 8, they’ll typically start on one side or the other and then cycle back-and-forth; I start on the anger side of the 8.

So yes, you could try to avoid the Crazy 8 altogether forever and yes, we are trying to create a civilization on Mars too…or, you could learn how to recognize and exit it…in healthy ways.

  1. Unhealthy ways: berating someone for having “done something to you,” drugs or alcohol to dampen the feeling, gamble, anything else that provides you with temporary distraction.
  2. Healthy options:
    • Change your model of the world and/or your rules of the game
    • Get better at recognizing the triggers that make you feel out of control and find different “go to” solutions to either side of the 8 (e.g., finding love and lessons in the situation, etc., etc., etc.)
    • Stop thinking the situation is happening TO you and realize that (1) YOU are causing the situation and/or (2) YOU are causing your perception of being out of control and/or (3) life is happening FOR you and not TO you
    • Be your creative human self and write down at least 3 possible ideas to either regain the control you think you’ve lost, or to enjoy and profit from the situation as it is

Which side of the Crazy 8 do you enter?

The last time you got yourself out of a tailspin in a healthy way, what did you do? How did you do it? Learn from that experience for the next time you find yourself feeling powerless.

One Law,

 –          Chris

A Message in an Emotion

Ripped Reminder January 20, 2017

EVERY emotion has a message for you.  APPRECIATE the message.
“Negative” emotions are simply signals that YOU want something changed.

 Chris’ Commentary

Let’s say I’m in a meeting presenting a new project idea, I state an opinion, and someone else says, “Really, Chris?” with a very harsh look of disdain on his face, and I get angry at that response.  Why? Hmmm…let’s first return to our 6 core human needs: Certainty/ Security/ Safety; Variety; Significance; Love/Connection; Growth; Contribution.

In my case, I got angry because I was trying to rally support (connection) for a new project (variety, growth, contribution), and I was afraid that his words/actions would cause others to reject the idea which would mean I couldn’t then do the project (loss of variety, contribution, growth), and that “made” me feel trapped (unsafe) and unable to do something that would have taught me a lot (loss of growth) and helped thousands of people (loss of contribution).  And, if I’m being honest, not being about to do the project would mean that I would lose the chance to “shine” (loss of significance), and quite possibly get worried about retaining my job (certainty). And, I thought I had a real connection with that person and his words/actions (the harsh disdain) made me feel like the connection was lost.

 So what did I learn from getting angry from the response I got?

  • I don’t think I’m contributing enough to the world in general…and there are still plenty of other ways to do so even if the project gets squashed
  • I care too much about what others think of me as a source of significance…I’m significant by default so who cares
  • I care about retaining a connection with that person…and I can turn my emotions to curiosity to understand his skepticism
  • Perhaps I jump to conclusions way too quickly and that I interpreted his words/actions NOT as he meant them (maybe he just sucked on a really sour candy at the same time!!!)
  • I need a new job that has more variety and growth incorporated into the position/function [hypothetically speaking, my colleagues!!!]

 

Think of an event, thought, or experience that generated an emotion…ANY emotion, even “positive” ones.
What about YOU created that emotion from that event, thought, or experience?
What needs did you think were being filled or threatened from it?
What can you realize about yourself and what you want based on those needs?
What do you want to discover now that you’ve thought that through?

 

One Law,

Chris