'Nothing will change so why bother'
'There's no point even trying'
Have you thought either of these in your life before? I certainly have, and I know many of my clients have too.
It can feel pretty awful seeing the disheartening news stories, fear based marketing and manipulative tactics out there. Being an entrepreneur I've seen the in's and out's of what goes on in the coaching world... paid likes, sneaky social media tactics, fear based marketing pointing out why people are so flawed they need to buy the product... the list goes on.
To be honest I felt sick to my stomach with some of the things I saw and heard in the last few years. I felt ashamed and embarrassed to be part of what I saw at the time, a manipulative industry.
I felt like giving up.
Starting anew. Changing career despite loving what I do and hearing gratitude and thanks from clients.
I realised that whilst this was all going on, I was simply seeing so much of it because I was focused on it. The grass is greener where we water it! I opened my perspective and realised that there are also so many wholehearted, authentic coaches that offer valuable support without actively promoting the 'you're broken' message.
By shying away, avoiding the industry all together, wasn't going to bring more light and change things. If I did, it would be one less person creating a positive change in an industry that needs it. If I gave up... using other people's negative behaviour as a reason to quit, I'd be running away from the shadow side of the industry and playing the victim.
And that's not what I teach.
Running away from what we find challenging doesn't change things. By running away or ignoring things it's as if we've given others (or the issue) permission to continue growing and growing. And this is applicable to everything... what we see in society, aspects about ourselves, issues in relationships... everything we find a challenge.
Those of you who have been following my work for a while will know I talk a lot about light and shadow. This metaphor is the basis of what I teach - Wholehearted NLP. Using NLP with heart for the highest good of ourselves and others, to uncover the gifts and messages of the shadow (the parts we don't like) so we can reconnect to our light (our true essence).
Light and shadow is within everything. You probably have heard of Yin and Yang right? Opposing energy forces. If you look at the image below you can see how connected the two forces are. We cannot have one without the other. Where there's night also comes day... when we can experience hot we can also experience cold.
Also notice that within the shadow side there is a little bit of light too.
This light within the shadow can come in the form of gifts, insights, meaning, connection and support all of which can be found during challenging times and situations... if we dare to open up to it and face the shadow. I've come to realise that it's not one or the other. It's both. hand in hand. Light and shadow together that invite us to fully embrace, learn from and appreciate this human experience we call life.
The light comforts, reminds us of our immense strength and supports us as we shine light on the shadow to uncover the insights.
The shadow provides gifts, deep insights and supports us to fully appreciate the light.
1) INTERNAL: If we use this metaphor to look at ourselves... embracing both the parts we like (light) and the parts we don't (shadow) this can bring true wholehearted self-acceptance. Let's use our strengths to help us overcome what we find challenging within.
2) EXTERNAL: If we use this metaphor to take positive action (light) regarding the horrors (shadow) we see in society... this is what starts to create more peace. Let's use positive behaviours and actions to create new projects, communities and experiences that support and generate wonderful change in the parts where the shadow is prevalent.
1) INTERNAL: What's your top strength? How can you use that to start transforming (even if it's simply transforming by perspective) a part of yourself you don't like? For example... my creativity is one of my strengths and this plays a key role in helping me express painful emotions from my shadow.
2) EXTERNAL: One, simple act of kindness has the ability to completely transform someone's day. The receiver can feel wonderful and often feels inclined to spread it out further... creating a ripple effect. What simple act of kindness can you do today? For example... helping someone up the stairs with their suitcase or simply a smile as you go about your day.
The big changes in the world are calling us to take a good look within and outside of ourselves. To finally face whats been lurking in the shadow for a long time, whether that's personal fears or racism, hatred and inequality in society. We cannot destroy something with the same thinking that created it. Matching fear with fear does not create love. Time is calling us to look at the shadow head on, shine our light on it, find the gifts IN it and use those gifts to create positive change.
It's up to us.
Let's use what we don't like as fuel for creating loving change rather than running away and blaming. Let's be empowered rather than victims.
It's time for change.
Have a friend who would find this useful? Please continue spreading the love and share this post.. this could count as one of the acts of kindness!
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