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Change is Inevitable, Changes for Survival

Sheila J. Highland

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Change is Inevitable, Changes for Survival

Change is Inevitable, Changes for Survival!

Maggie was a partner in her husband’s business. They both had a different set of duties which kept everything in balance. One day a devastating blow came to her husband’s business, and over a three year period, the business dropped out of sight. Her husband had to totally reinvent himself and was yearning to fulfil a dream with a new vocation. She was happy for him and supported him fully, but still, the money was not coming in.

Maggie began to feel guilty that she wasn’t contributing to any kind of income. It had been a long time since she had worked outside the home and had to work for someone else. Needless to say, she was scared but still had faith that everything would be okay. She began job hunting and found filling out applications somewhat difficult, especially the part asking for job references. Keep in mind that she was self-employed with her husband for almost 20 years. It felt as though that didn’t count for anything as she was never called for an interview.Change is Inevitable, Changes for Survival

At the time she was job hunting her mom became more ill than she had been and ended up in the hospital for a week. Once Maggie’s mom returned home she became her mom’s helper one day a week. She did the shopping, changed sheets, vacuumed and did other things that her mother was not able to do anymore. Of course, her mom would pay her for her time and labor but she still felt she needed to find another source of income.

One of the first applications she had filled out finally came through. She passed the interview with flying colors and was told she was “exactly” what they were looking for.

Although it was only part-time it was exactly what she wanted. It was important for her to be home when her daughter arrived home from school. She was told they would be in touch when the schedule was ready. Knowing she had the job made her feel contented and productive again.

Within a few weeks though, she received an e-mail saying that the company had changed the job into a full-time position and she was not qualified. Maggie was devastated. She felt betrayed and felt she had been lied to. That evening she was alone as her husband and daughter had gone out for the night. She welcomed the loneliness and wanted to drown her sorrows in a hot tub of bubbles.

As she knew she would, she began to cry, softly at first just from the sheer pain of being rejected. Three long years of struggle had finally caught up with her. Then she became angry; angry at everything from the circumstances that got her there, to God himself. She cried harder and yelled, “What do you want me to do?” She really felt that God had abandoned her.

When she was able to cry no more, she became exhausted and gave up. It was at that moment that a silent idea came to her to offer other elderly people home care assistance.

Using another talent for computers she printed off some flyers and cards and distributed them to, grocery stores and even placed a small ad in the newspaper. Within a week she had procured two new clients.

Now, even though she’s not a CEO of a major company or a power player she feels happy and productive again. So, had God really abandoned her? Let’s look at nature for the lessons and the answer.

Before a butterfly can emerge out of its chrysalis it has to go through a lot of struggling. Yes, struggling. Each time it lunges out to escape, acids are being removed from its wings. If someone were to come along and break the chrysalis open for it, then the butterfly would die from those acids. In essence, the struggle is necessary for the butterfly to survive. Then in the stillness, when the struggle is over, the butterfly can come out and share its beauty with the world. Indeed, Change is inevitable, Changes for survival.

Moral: We as humans are not any different. There are times that we need to struggle, to rid ourselves of the acids that make up sadness, fear, and anger. It is only at this time when we are exhausted and still that we begin to hear the Universe whisper to us.


Change is Inevitable, Changes for Survival. It is an exhilarating story of courage and perseverance. The Sense of A Goose is another story of support, unity, and compassion.


 

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Motivation

The Warren Buffett Way – 83 Reasons We Love Warren Buffett

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The Warren Buffett Way 83 Reasons We Love Warren Buffett

When all of this Corona Virus troubles has settled down and the world is returning back to normal.  There will be new opportunities for fast moving and entrepreneurial folks.  The Warren Buffett way may provide you with the right answers.

If you are interested in opening a business then, you should probably be be modelling the success of those who have achieved success in their businesses. As we all know, starting up any kind of business can be very difficult, especially if you don’t have enough knowledge in handling and even operating a business.

the warren buffett wayAsking help from professional and successful business owners or just modelling other successful entrepreneurs can be a great help. Warren Buffet is arguably one of the most successful investors ever. If you are going to model anyone it should be the Warren Buffett way.

Below are 83 reasons to love Warren Buffet, which I found from www.Fool.com

There are many reasons why we should love Warren Buffett. Warren Buffet is one of the most ideal person that businessmen look up to. Not everyone knows how much he has done in helping people improve their business.

1. Intricate, occasionally contradictory complexity hides beneath the “Aw, shucks” folksy charm. As a Forbes writer once put it, “Buffett is not a simple person, but he has simple tastes.”

2. Many people talk about avoiding the madding crowd, but Buffett actually does it by living 1,250 miles away from Wall Street.

3. He has a fortress-like internal scorecard on all things investing, yet a vulnerable, endearing external scorecard on many aspects of his personal life. See his penchant for seeking mother figures.

4. His perspective: “In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.”

5. He is that guy in school who tells you he may have failed the test — only to bust the top of the curve.

6. His time frame for the long run consistently exceeds his life span.

7. He says it better: “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

8. He’s human. He fears nuclear war and his own mortality. He’s frequently more adept at business relationships than personal ones. He can hold a grudge. His hero is his daddy.

9. Classic line: “Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1.”

10. Once branded a stingy miser (rightly or wrongly), Buffett has evolved (assuming it wasn’t his intention from the start) into one of the most effective philanthropists I know. After growing his potential givings at a 20% compounded rate per year, he set a plan to give most of it away.

 

Read the only investing book that Warren Buffett recommends:

The Intelligent Investor – Benjamin Graham

The Warren Buffett Way

 

11. Perhaps as importantly, he put ego aside and outsourced his charitable decision-making to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Circle of competence at its finest.

12. “I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.” Contrast that with computer algorithm-based trading, day trading, and some of the moves you’ve made in your own account.

13. Buffett’s smarter than you and I, but he’s kind enough to let us feel otherwise.

14. David Sokol was once an heir apparent and arguably Buffett’s most trusted operations guy. But when Sokolgate emerged, Buffett stayed true to his word: “We can afford to lose money — even a lot of money. But we can’t afford to lose reputation — even a shred of reputation.”

15. “Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction.” He said it early, and we are reminded of it often.

16. In a glimpse of the nuance that some commentators call hypocrisy, Buffett uses derivatives himself. But he does so in a way that doesn’t threaten the entire financial system and explains exactly why in his annual shareholder letters.

17. He doomed himself from ever holding public office: “A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.”

18. I like juxtaposing these two quotes: 1) “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.” 2) “Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls-Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.”

19. “You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.”

20. He has the ability to resist the allure of the quick fix or quick buck when longer-term dynamics are at play.

21. Not sure if this quote came before or after the Internet: “Let blockheads read what blockheads wrote.”

22. For those hoping to become famous and respected, he’s a testament that the challenges and doubts keep coming regardless of the length of the track record. He has publicly prevailed so far.

23. An investing truism: “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”

24. The business side of that investing truism: “Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.”

25. He uses colorful language and analogies when drab jargon could do the trick.

26. Boring example: moat vs. competitive advantage.

27. Not-so-boring example: sex.

28. “Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it.”

29. Classic line: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”

30. He backs up his saying, “Our favorite holding period is forever,” by keeping past-their-prime subsidiaries that others would “spin off to unlock value.”

31. His Robin (Charlie Munger) can kick your Batman’s butt.

32. He makes loophole-free handshake deals.

33. “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.”

34. Quote No. 1 on keeping it simple, stupid: “The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.”

35. Quote No. 2 on keeping it simple, stupid: “There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.”

36. The Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A ) (NYSE: BRK-B ) annual meeting is an unrivaled spectacle in investing, truly living up to its billing as the Woodstock for Capitalists.

37. One of the most concise summations of why America is great: “There are 339 million people out there that are trying to improve their lot in life. And we’ve got a system that allows them to do it.”

38. Trash-bin-diving caution No. 1: “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”

39. Trash-bin-diving caution No. 2: “Time is the friend of the wonderful company, the enemy of the mediocre.”

40. He’s an eternal optimist in a sound-bite culture that often rewards pessimistsThe Warren Buffett way

41. His shareholder letters reveal an artisan-like craftsmanship only seen when the proprietor cares deeply about his creation.

42. The contrarian credo: “We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”

43. He recognizes that genius fails: “When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.”

44. Like so many great thinkers, Buffett is able to ignore noise and whittle a decision down to its core variables. After he explains those variables, the decision sounds elementary.

45. Why banking can be dangerous: “When you combine ignorance and leverage, you get some pretty interesting results.”

46. He allows me to see the name Buffett without thinking of Jimmy.

47. Buffett maintains a high thought-to-speech ratio.

48. Buffett’s librarian fantasy: “If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.”

49. He converts a deadly sin into a virtue: “You do things when the opportunities come along. I’ve had periods in my life when I’ve had a bundle of ideas come along, and I’ve had long dry spells. If I get an idea next week, I’ll do something. If not, I won’t do a damn thing.”

50. Averaging 20% returns for almost half a century results in beating the S&P 500 78-to-1!

51. Even though he has fewer and fewer meaningful investing options because of the size of Berkshire Hathaway, he continues to wow us.

52. On a chili-dog-and-onion-ring-flavored note, Berkshire Hathaway owns Dairy Queen, my favorite fast-food chain.

53. Many of Buffett’s managers were wildly successful entrepreneurs before selling out to Berkshire. Convincing successful, headstrong, boss-less superstars to subjugate themselves, and keeping those people motivated and happy, is quite a feat.

54. On a related note, Buffett doesn’t micromanage — good thing, with an empire this large.

55. He gets doubted again and again and again and proves the doubters wrong most of the time. Yet you never hear him say, “I told you so.”

56. Well, maybe sometimes he gloats. Harvard Business School rejected him, which led him to study under his mentors Benjamin Graham and David Dodd at Columbia. His “How do you like me now?” statement: “Harvard did me a big favor by turning me down. But I haven’t made any contributions to them in thanks for that.”

57. He has become America’s de facto investing teacher. And he has done so willingly.

58. Perhaps my favorite Buffett line: “We like things that you don’t have to carry out to three decimal places. If you have to carry them out to three decimal places, they’re not good ideas.”

59. Not that he can’t be ruthless, but Buffett tends to look for win-win situations where possible. Contrast that with the Wall Street art of “ripping the face off” of clients.

60. He’s often described as a “learning machine,” extending his natural abilities and allowing him to make behemoth investing decisions over the span of just hours.

61. He added to Ben Graham’s teachings with the help of that learning ability and Munger’s counsel.

62. Now is a good time to point out that companies’ annual reports, which are available to all, are the primary fuel in his learning machine. He reads them voraciously to compare and contrast companies and build his business knowledge base. See the next point.

63. When asked what the most important key to his success was, Buffett answered, “focus.” His biographer Alice Schroeder elaborates: He has “focus like you have never seen on anybody else.” For good or ill, Buffett’s entire life has been dedicated to investing. It’s much harder than he lets on.

64. There are plenty of business fish in the sea: “There are all kinds of businesses that I don’t understand, but that doesn’t cause me to stay up at night. It just means I go on to the next one, and that’s what the individual investor should do.”

65. How many people can pull off being a contrarian by buying shares of Coca-Cola?

66. Even in an investing world full of Buffett students and imitators, he manages to surprise.

67. He takes every legal, ethical advantage available in the current system, but he lobbies for a better system. For example, he supports higher taxes for the rich, more severe estate taxes, and a level playing field. As he puts it, “I don’t like anything where the bottom 20% keep getting a poorer and poorer deal.”

68. He is grateful for the advantages he has had in life — like many of us, he won the “ovarian lottery.”


Grandpa’s Rules – 7 Rules for Success in Life and Business …. more great ideas


69. When he talks, E. F. Hutton listens.

70. Like many geniuses, he is frequently the confounding exception to the rule. For example, Berkshire Hathaway has never paid a dividend and only started share repurchases recently. It also doesn’t split the chairman and CEO roles. And we shareholders thank him for it.

71. Buffett buys what he knows (and frequently loves), but he doesn’t overpay out of affection. He has the discipline to wait decades for the right opportunity.

72. He gives credit to his direct reports.

73. Not only is Buffett a great investor and manager, but he’s one hell of a writer. My jealousy grows.

74. He once picked up a date in a hearse he co-owned.

75. Before making his money work for him, he worked for his money early on with a series of jobs, schemes, and ventures. These included a paper route, selling chewing gum door to door, a pinball business, a sales job at J.C. Penney’s, caddying, marking up refurbished golf balls, and founding a horse-racing tip sheet.

76. He’s a permabull — on women.

77. It’s very possible that the house you live in is worth more than the house Buffett lives in — the house in Omaha he bought in 1958.

78. Over the years, he has relied on a similar set of answers to oft-asked questions. That his philosophy has stayed stable throughout that time is remarkable.

79. His wealth has bought him the ultimate trophy: He does whatever he wants to do just about every single day.

80. He’s the outsized calming influence a lot of us need. From his biography Snowball: “If a tornado were barreling straight toward Kiewit Plaza [where his office is], Buffett would say that things were ‘never better’ before mentioning the twister.”

81. Anyone who can make the hyper-opinionated Charlie Munger regularly utter “I have nothing to add” must be saying something impressive.

82. When his time to step down finally comes, it will take a village (a CEO, a chairman, and multiple portfolio investors) to perform his current responsibilities.

83. That said, he fully expects this list to one day reach well into the triple digits. And I look forward to adding those lines. Happy birthday, Mr. Buffett!

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Personal Growth

One Very Special Seed!

Sheila J. Highland

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One Very Special Seed

One Very Special Seed!

An emperor in the far east was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing his assistant or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day and said ” It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you”.The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here after one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!”.One Very Special Seed

One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story.

She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. 3 weeks.. 4weeks.. 5weeks.. went by. Still, nothing, By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn’t have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Ling’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn’t say anything to his friends, however, he just kept waiting for his seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling’s mother told him to bring the empty pot and be honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to his stomach but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful in all sizes and shapes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the others laughed at him, a few felt sorry for him and just said: “Hey nice try”.

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide at the back. ” What a great plant. trees and flowers you have grown,” said the emperor. “Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!” All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front, Ling was terrified. “The emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!”.

When Ling got to the front, the emperor asked his name. “My name is Ling, ” He replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, ” Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!” Ling couldn’t believe it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?! Then the emperor said, ” One year ago, I gave everyone here a seed, I told you to take the seed, plant it water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds, which would not grow. All of you, except Ling. have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one  who will be the new emperor!”…

 


Our Very Special Seed is a story of courage and honesty. Never Stop Being You is a poem of motivation.


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Motivation

Parable of the Pencil

Sheila J. Highland

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Parable of the Pencil

Parable of the Pencil

Pencil will become the best pencil it can be.. only if ..

1. It allows itself to be held in someone’s hand, then it will be able to do many great things.
2. It willing to experience a painful sharpening from time to time, then it will become a better pencil.
3. It can manage to correct any mistakes it made.Parable of the pencil
4. It be able to leave a mark and continue writes on any surface and at any condition
5. And the best part of the pencil is always what’s inside it.

Now replacing the place of the pencil with you would make you the best person you can be..

1. you will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God’s hand. and allow other human beings to access you for the many gifts you possess.
2. You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time by going through various problems in life, but you will need it to become a stronger person.
3. You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.
4. On every surface you walk through you must leave your mark. No matter what the situations, you must continue to do your duties.
5. The most important part of you will always be what’s on the inside.

Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot make change.

Parable of the Pencil is a motivating story. One Very Special Seed! is another refreshing story of courage honesty.


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Enlightenment

True Wealth

Sheila J. Highland

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True Wealth

True Wealth

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the purpose of showing his son how the poor people live so he could be thankful for his wealth. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?” “It was great, Dad.” “Did you see how poor people can be?” theTrue Wealth father asked. “Oh yeah,” said the son. “So what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father. The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.”
“We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.” “Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.” “We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.” “We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.” “We buy our food, but they grow theirs.” “We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them.”With this the boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added, “Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are.”

Moral: True wealth can’t be touched by hand or calculated by numbers, it only can be measured by a heart that lived!

True Wealth is a touching story.  The Caged Bird’s Escape is another refreshing story.


 

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Personal Growth

What is A Family?

Sheila J. Highland

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What is a Family

What Is A Family?

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.

SON: “Daddy, may I ask you a question?”

DAD: “Yeah sure, what is it?” replied the man.

SON: “Daddy, how much do you make an hour?”What is a Family

DAD: “That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.

SON: “I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?”

DAD: “If you must know, I make $20 an hour.”

“Oh,” the little boy replied, with his head down. Looking up, he said,

“Daddy, may I please borrow $10?”

The father was furious, “If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work hard everyday for such this childish behavior.” The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money? After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think: Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10 and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door. “Are you asleep, son?” He asked. “No daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy.“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man. “It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the $10 you asked for.” The little boy sat straight up, smiling. “Oh, thank you, daddy!” He yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father. “Why do you want more money if you already have some?” the father grumbled. “Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied. “Daddy, I have $20 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.” Share this story with someone you like…. But even better, share $20 worth of time with someone you love. It’s just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our family. An unwise investment indeed!

Moral: In our busy lives in this world, we should not neglect our family. Let us spend more quality time with our loved ones especially our family.

 


What is a Family? is a motivating story of more quality time with family. Another moving story is True Wealth.


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Personal Growth

How to master shadow work and move forward.

Wise Life Lessons

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How to master shadow work and move forward.
If you’re someone who has had difficulty putting the suggestions of self-help books into practice, you’re not alone. But don’t take it personally—it’s not your fault. Well-intended though they may be, many self-help books generally… don’t.

Help, that is.

What they often do is point out ways in which we can change our behavior, attitudes, beliefs, and even thoughts, to bring about changes we desire in our lives. There is no arguing that these suggestions can be beneficial, if we can implement them.

If.

But often, our ability to do so is more limited than we realize, not because of any intrinsic deficiency, but because we may be locked into unconscious patterns to which we have a stronger allegiance than we realize.

Self-help books can assist us in finding the paths that can take us to our desired goals, but they often fail to address the piece of the iceberg underneath the surface of our awareness that is committed to resisting change. And although they can be useful in suggesting behavioral changes, they often miss the mark in providing the necessary link between a good idea and a new outcome.

When we can’t do what we think we need to do or should do, it’s easy to be left with a feeling of inadequacy, personal failure, or disappointment. Many books remind us that we just need to let go of our fear, drop our resentment, practice forgiveness for our partners, stop manipulating, and be more honest and vulnerable.

Well-meaning as this advice is, as most of us have discovered, embodying it is usually quite a bit easier said than done.

Part of the problem is that behind every intention, there is a (usually unconscious) competing commitment, or shadow intention, to do the opposite.

For example, behind the intention to be more open is another intention to close down and protect. Behind the intention to stand up and speak your truth, there may be an intention to avoid disapproval. Our failure to adequately appreciate the strength of our shadow commitments’ grip can leave us angry at ourselves for not “doing what I know I should do.”

But self-condemnation isn’t particularly helpful when it comes to making life changes, most of which require patience, practice, self-compassion, understanding, and support.

But self-condemnation isn’t particularly helpful when it comes to making life changes, most of which require patience, practice, self-compassion, understanding, and support. Click to Tweet

Recognizing the shadow aspects of ourselves—those parts we have denied, disowned, or attempted to conceal from others—is a powerful step in becoming a more self-accepting person, an important aspect of any successful relationship.

Yet the desire to shed light on our shadow has its own shadow—the commitment to continue to conceal what we consider the unattractive aspects of our personality in order to promote a more favorable impression to others. The commitment to continuing to do what we have always done and avoiding the risk of potentially upsetting life changes is an intention present within most of us—even when it seems to make sense to risk upsetting the apple cart

There is no getting rid of the shadow—but the good news is that we don’t need to.

Since it’s not possible to get a “shadowectomy,” the next best thing is to identify, accept, and even appreciate its gifts, and in so doing, transform our perception of it, from adversary to partner.

Again, easier said than done, but doable. And worth the effort.

Neutralizing the shadow’s resistant aspects without eliminating it requires a willingness to illuminate that which has been concealed in the darkness—to recognize the underlying attachments, desires, and fears that keep the shadow in place. In doing so, our relationship with the hidden aspects of ourselves changes from denial to acceptance, from concealing to revealing. Changing our relationship with parts of ourselves is the first and most important step in transforming the quality of our relationships. As many of us know from experience, it’s impossible to change how you feel toward others until you change your experience of yourself.

“Shadow work” is essentially a process of cultivating self-love and self-acceptance. It is not “search and destroy,” but “search and befriend.” As we bring a curious, accepting, and non-judgmental attitude to our own experience, parts of ourselves to which we had lost access become available in ways that allow us to see ourselves, and others, in radically different ways.

We don’t have to do anything differently. It’s more a matter of viewing ourselves through new lenses, rather than trying to be the person that we think we “should be.”

Shadow work isn’t for the faint of heart. It requires a strong desire for authentic relatedness, a willingness to be ruthlessly honest with ourselves, and a hunger for deep and meaningful connection with others.

The demands are high, but the benefits great. When we are no longer afraid to face ourselves or be clearly seen by others, we can finally be free. That freedom means no longer being a slave to the need for external acceptance or others’ approval, and living with integrity and open-heartedness.

This path is habit-forming. Once you start, the old defensive patterns gradually lose their appeal and grip. The sweetness of an open heart is very compelling. Once that genie is out of the bottle, you can’t put it back in.

But, then, why would you want to?


Other Good Shadow Work Books to consider.

Shadow Work  intro to shadow work  shadow work  shadow work


Article by Linda Bloom, L.C.S.W., and Charlie Bloom, M.S.W., are the authors of Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truths from Real Couples About Lasting Love.

 

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