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Appreciating The Shadow Side

This month in one of my SASA groups, we were working on appreciating our core wound and how it helped us develop into the type of leaders we are today.   It lead me to deeper awareness of my what my shadow side really is and how it helped me emerge into who I am today.    

It seems like it’s taken me a lifetime to get to the point where I can appreciate my shadow side.  

Today feels like the perfect time to share the scary truth of what my shadow is and to share the actual “work” I did appreciating this shady side of me.

Here is the full Self-Appreciation post I shared in the SASA group:

“I appreciate the path I’ve taken as a rebel against ‘masculine leadership.’ I appreciate the new awareness of who I am as a leader though the lens of who I didn’t want to become as a child and the spiritual truth that “I am that too and always have been.” Meet my shadow, “the masculine know-it-all, my-way-or-the-highway, bow-to-me-guru type leader/emotionally unavailable parent who only values actions.”

I appreciate that I became a rebel, not listening to anything anyone had to say, learning everything on my own (so I didn’t have to be under the influence of anyone else).  I appreciate the emotions of rage that would rise in me when anyone was taken advantage of by a masculine bully type. I appreciate the journey I took as a kid to ‘stand up and fight’ any and all ‘authority or control that was exercised over other people or myself.

I appreciate myself for seeing the wisdom in how I chose to ‘fight the man’ and how my shadow grew out of the very fight I was in. I appreciate the years of self-abuse that I physically & emotionally caused myself for not being able to ‘control’ myself and not being able to be ‘perfect’ in my own eyes.

I appreciate the wisdom that has emerged that I was fighting my shadow. I was fighting “the masculine know-it-all, my-way-or-the-highway, bow-to-me-guru type leader/emotionally unavailable parent who only values actions” that was in me with a completely self-directed focus.

I appreciate the 10,000 foot view where I can see the reason I wanted to learn so much about personal development, success, and abundance was so I could learn more, do more, have more, be more than the masculine leaders who I was rebelling against.  I can see how I always wanted to beat them at their own game by having it all and do it completely different than they would ever imagine.

I wanted nothing more than to be free of projections, judgments, and emotional control that I felt from this type of leadership.  I can feel how ‘rebelling’ “wanting to beat them at their own game” set me up to create a shadow that mirrored the very thing I was fighting against!   Oh I so appreciate you, wise soul of mine! I appreciate myself for never losing sight too long of my spiritual journey. I appreciate myself for always having a safe place to feel loved by the universe and by my parents and family-even as I rebelled.

I appreciate the comfort and wisdom that began to come to me as I stopped listening to everyone else and stopped rebelling against everyone else and started listening to my intuition.

I appreciate that my kids initiated me into an entirely new world of intuition and trust and an entirely new type of leadership.   Before having kids I thought I was intuitive, after having kids I didn’t have to think about my intuition.  Guidance arrived when it was needed for one purpose, “help them grow and expand and live their life purpose’s free of my projections, judgments or control.”   I appreciate how each one of my kids initiated me into a new layer of feminine leadership that I didn’t know was possible before they were born. I didn’t have a model to follow.

I appreciate that the very thing I was petrified to do (have kids) is the very thing that transformed me in ways that no personal development work, coaching, or library of books could have possibly done.  I appreciate myself for committing to doing the work of self-appreciation that continues to come through guidance and how unbelievable it is that one simple tool is effectively and easily helping me integrate my shadow in a self-honoring way.

I appreciate the clarity I have around what kind of leader I am NOT and clarity around how I’m integrating and evolving that form of leadership into something that is loving, amazing, and holds the space with grace and ease for my clients.

I appreciate a deeper understanding of how the masculine-know-it-all-guru-emotionally-unavailable-parent leader in me shows up at the perfect most loving times to interrupt patterns, create structure for change, and on occasion battle some dragons.

My shadow isn’t so scary.  It is a huge blessing and allows me to be conscious of, and master, a more harmonious type of leadership that has been emerging through me.


“Self-Appreciation helps you face your shadow.”

I appreciate myself for playing in the field of expanding consciousness of what feminine and harmonious leadership is for 20 years, getting it wrong, getting it right, making a mess, stepping back, stepping-up, leaning-in, dancing with my own expression of leadership and settling in to what feels to me to be the only real work I’m here to do, appreciate myself and help others appreciate themselves.

I appreciate the awareness that I can be in a my-way-or-the-highway role and still be loving, supportive and kind.

I deeply appreciate¬†Jeffrey VanDyk for his work in helping me uncover much of what is written above. Lots of layers of awareness coming together to help me appreciate where I’ve been, who I’m meant to serve, and what my next level calling really is.”

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