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Coaching Healthy Lifestyle

Three Steps to Working With Your Shadow


Shadow work is the process of exploring and understanding the unconscious parts of ourselves that we typically keep hidden or repressed. It involves bringing these unconscious thoughts and feelings to the surface and learning how to integrate them into our conscious awareness. Shadow work can be a powerful tool for personal growth and transformation, as it helps us become more self-aware and better understand and manage our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

The concept of the shadow was first introduced by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, who believed that the shadow represents the unconscious aspects of ourselves that we tend to reject or disown. These may include aspects of our personality that we deem as negative or undesirable, such as anger, jealousy, or fear. By bringing these unconscious parts of ourselves into the light, we can gain a better understanding of how they influence our behavior and learn to integrate them into our conscious awareness. This means that they no longer are experienced as difficult to handle and give us access to a full richness of experience as well as the full power of these elements of our nature.

With trained support or through individual inquiry you can approach shadow work through the steps of identification, exploration, and integration.

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Opposites: Finding the Power in Polarity


There are opposites in our thoughts (Success – Failure) and our emotions (Happy – Sad). We often think of them as antonyms and independent and contrary to each other. However, they are actually connected because the way in which they are relative to each other is essential to our understanding and experience of each pole. This relationship also means that each one is not definitively good or bad.

This is often represented by the concepts of Ying and Yang ☯️. According to this ancient Chinese philosophy opposite forces are seen as interconnected and counterbalancing. 

In opposites, each is partially defined by the other, which means you get a greater sense of meaning from considering them together. Doing so is also motivating and empowering.

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The 8 Limbs of Yoga


The 8 Limbs of Yoga that comprise today’s branch of Ashtanga Yoga are taken from the Yoga Sutras. Patanjali wrote the Yoga Sutras around 400 CE as a synthesis and organization of yoga from older traditions.

The 196 sutras (some say 195) are made up of short simple verses compartmentalized into four topical books:

Samadhi pada (What yoga is)
Sadhana pada (How to gain a yogic state)
Vibhuti pada (Benefits of practicing yoga regularly)
Kaivalya pada (Liberation or freedom from suffering)

Ashtanga yoga is distinct from the Ashtanga Vinyasa style developed by K. Pattabhi Jois in the 20th century. This is also derived from the 8 Limbs of Yoga but synchronizes breath with movement as a flow (vinyasa).

The 8 Limbs of Yoga described in the sutras are Yama (abstinences), Niyama (observances), Asana (yoga postures), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (absorption).

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It’s a Gift: Gratitude Brings Awareness to the Love in Your Life


Many people have a regular gratitude practice. It could be a daily meditative check-in, journal entry, or exchange with family/friends.

Gratitude is an emotion that connects you to your essential being. Vibrationally it is the receiving aspect of love. This means you can use thankfulness to experience more loving energy in your life.

“The Magic” by Rhonda Byrne is a great resource that applies this aspect of the Law of Attraction. The exercises in this workbook direct your attention to all the experiences, things, and qualities for which you are thankful.

You can be grateful for every aspect of life. This includes your thoughts, feelings, actions, responsibilities and property, and even the things that you dislike. When you are appreciative “I’ve got to” switches to “I get to” and you switch from identifying with lack to claiming abundance.

What are the five ways to leverage the gift of gratitude?

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Efficiency: Touch Once or Chunk


Greater efficiency and productivity occur when you can handle tasks through to completion. This principle means you move tasks directly from your inbox to your outbox.

Occasionally, the task returns to the inbox multiple times. This means you repeatedly have to reestablish the point of continuance often resulting in lost productivity.

Tasks do not get completed when something necessary for completion is unavailable. You also have to revisit tasks when there is not enough motivation or time. When pieces are lacking our contribution is temporarily paused. If motivation is the issue we might be procrastinating or distracted and fundamentally are not fully committed to completion. When there is a shortage of time, it makes sense to chunk a project into distinct steps. This shifts the focus to completing each individual step.

What can we do in each of these cases? A good analogy is Tetris where you are working to create a shape that allows you to get to the outbox (drop off the screen).

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