How to Remove the Emotional Charge from a Shadow Trait

Do you feel taken advantage of? Manipulated to do things because you are after all a good person; helpful and compassionate? Do you have a hard time saying no and setting boundaries because it feels “unkind” and “selfish” to do so?

You would benefit from embracing your shadow side: that selfish, unkind, bad person inside that you have tried to starve and smother. The moment you can accept that part of you, other people in your life cannot guilt you anymore into doing something that you do not really want to do. They cannot plug into your shadow anymore.

Try the following exercises (based on Debbie Ford’s work):

1. Enlist the help of another person and sit across from each other. Say to this exercise partner, “I am a bad person” or “I am unkind.” Your partner replies, looking into your eyes, “You are a bad person” or “You are unkind.” Then it is your turn again to say your statement, and so on.

At first this will feel very uncomfortable; it might bring up emotions of anger, shame, or other strong reactions. However, as you continue with this exercise with the intention to truly own and accept that trait, the emotional charge the words have for you will disappear.

Alternatively, you can do this exercise by yourself by looking into a mirror. Say “I am unkind/selfish/a bad person/etc” until you have worked through the emotional charge.

2. Do a brief meditation or relaxation exercise to meet this sub-personality that you have disowned. Go inside with the intention to meet this “unkind and bad person”. Notice how he/she appears to you, what shape and age he/she is, how he/she is dressed, how he/she smells and sounds, etc. Give him/her a name to really personalize that trait.

Then have a conversation with him/her. Ask your shadow side what their gift is for you and how they are serving you. Find out what he/she needs to be fully integrated into your psyche. Once we are clear on how a hidden trait is positive as well, it is easier to embrace that part of us.


If you want to find out more about shadow work or the upcoming Shadow Energetics Workshop facilitated by Darryl Gurney in May please contact Angelika


Raising Children from Love, Not Fear

When we first become parents, raising children does not come with a manual or a class. Many of us unconsciously fall into the same parenting fears our own parents had.

We might worry our child is not smart enough to make it out there in the big world, or that he or she is too sensitive or too quiet and shy or even too confident and cocky. This list goes on. We try to give them what we feel they are lacking, making extra sure they get everything they need.

What we forget is that we see in them what we deny in ourselves, or on some level fear that we are. They show us our shadow. How often do I hear parents say “my daughter is like my husband” or, “my son is like me.” If we really felt we were perfect and complete, deserving and worthy, this would be a good sentence. However, as we are our own harshest critics, this is most of the time not a good view of our children.

With my first child, I fell into the same fears I was raised with, into the perception of lack. Just like my mother, I had a hard time trusting from the first day on that my daughter is perfect the way she was born and has everything she needs to live a fulfilling life of personal and spiritual growth.

It took me quite a few years to understand that parenting from fear means not truly parenting from love and trust. Fear eats away on joy, robs us of our connection with the Divine; fear breeds the inner critic and perfectionist who is hard to get rid of once it has made itself comfortable in our head.

Here is another lovely story of a little soul just wanting to be accepted. When the due-date arrived, the first shock that the mother had was that her baby was breech and would be born with a Caesarean. The second surprise was that the baby turned out to be a girl even though the parents had been told she was a boy. In their culture a boy was valued higher than a girl but this little soul had extraordinary parents who quickly embraced her sex and loved her deeply.

Yet, the learning for mother and daughter continues as the daughter becomes older and turns out to have a strong personality. She is smart and able to look through things. She questions people and their intentions or words. She isn’t manipulated easily. She knows what she wants.

The mother is concerned at times that she is too confident, not respectful enough, and going to have trouble later on in their culture, which still expects women to take the backseat. The daughter mirrors for the mother all those characteristics that she has as well but never allowed herself to show.

With Psych-K, we balanced acceptance on both sides. The mother balanced that she accepts her daughter exactly the way she is. Then the mother surrogated for the daughter to make sure her daughter feels completely loved and accepted as the person she is. The little girl needed to feel that she is safe and secure in her core family so that she is able to face the extended family still favouring boys over girls.

Her parents are going to be the first generation that can and will step out of this circle of fear that children need to be “fixed” to become a good little girl or a tough little boy. This wonderful soul picked this scenario for herself to overcome challenges. She picked parents who will parent from love, not fear. They are able to just let her be. I am looking forward to seeing her grow up to be an amazing woman living between two cultures and embracing the best of both.

If you are interested to do relationship work and shift your subconscious beliefs with Psych-K to be the best parent you can possibly be please contact me for a free phone consultation


How Children Carry Our Disowned Shadow Parts

Children are wonderful mirrors for us. How do your children annoy you? How do they get you to lose your composure?

One of my daughters could make me raving mad by doing things last-minute. That took all sorts of forms over the years and for the longest time, I claimed to be the exact opposite, always planning way ahead in advance, never running around like a headless chicken last minute. One day, as I was procrastinating preparing a lecture, a new friend made a remark. He said, “Ah, you are one of those last-minute people able to just wing it! I wish I could do that!” My first impulse was to deny this trait vehemently until I realized he was right. What annoyed me most in my daughter was a character trait I had myself but was never allowed to show as a child. The moment I embraced that trait, my daughter was not able to trigger me as much anymore. Interestingly enough she also seemed to be doing these last minute things less. She did not need to mirror it for me any longer.

Chris, one of my clients, was very concerned about his son, who seemed to be unusually shy and inhibited. Chris himself felt he was a shy boy, but forced himself to become an extrovert adult—a go-getter who is outgoing and always the centre of attention. He could not see anything positive about this shyness that his son mirrored for him until I guided him through an exercise to meet this shy sub-personality.

The shy part, appearing as a pale timid little boy with glasses in the visualization exercise, reminded him of several occasions in his life where the shy part within had protected him from getting into trouble. His shyness allowed him to think first and then act, to reflect rather than to make a rash decision. After embracing this part of himself, he was able to let his son live his life as an introvert. The son is now able to find his own way of integrating both sides of his personality.

One of my sisters has a son who is very straight-forward and outspoken. If he does not want to do something, he will say it. My sister likes that. She also has a daughter who according to my sister is “sneaky.” My niece, so claims my sister, will say “yes” when told not to do something and then do it anyways secretly. My sister at times is absolutely furious about this.

As much as I love and admire my sister I have to say that she is not the most direct person. She doesn’t like conflict. If she disagrees people who know her can read it on her face but she will usually not say it. Instead she will find a different way to achieve what she thinks is best. My niece mirrors for my sister a trait she is unaware to have herself. How often has my sister told me things “after the fact”.

The moment my sister could admit to avoiding direct confrontations and perhaps being “sneaky” at times as well, her daughter might feel less judged. It would probably make my niece feel as accepted as her straight-forward brother and thus help her to have more open conversations with other about what she wants and needs.

What do your children mirror for you? How could you improve your relationship by embracing exactly those character traits in yourself?

Contact me if you are interested to work on your relationships or take the Shadow Energetics Workshop in May 2013.


Why Would I Want to Embrace My Darkness and How Do I Do That?

When speaking to people about their shadow self, one question keeps coming up. Why would I want to embrace a negative trait? They cannot see anything positive about those characteristics that they have suppressed in themselves but judge so harshly in others.

The moment we find out what that part in us is teaching us, or how it has served us in the past or can serve us in the future, it is easy to embrace it.


Margaret grew up with a controlling and manipulative mother and has made the decision never to be like her. The Law of Attraction however guarantees that she draws other manipulative people into her life. She realized that she was caught in a pattern of trusting someone and then being hurt deeply by them being manipulative and acting in a dishonest way.

She found it difficult to see how that manipulative side of her could be anything positive. Yet, Margaret is very successful in her career because she knows how to navigate a political environment. She skilfully manages people, always aware of what needs to be done or said to motivate everybody. She manipulates them in her own way to achieve results.

Another benefit of having embraced our manipulative self is that we recognize the manipulation in others and don’t fall for it. Once Margaret is fully in touch with her manipulative side she will “smell” the next manipulative and controlling person a mile away and be aware. She will be able to stand up early and say, “I know what you are up to. Not with me!”


Anger seems to be another challenging one to embrace for many people. How can anger be something positive, we ask?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with anger. A feeling of anger gives us the feed-back that something is not right. Our needs are not met, or something is unfair.

Anger becomes a problem the moment we deny having it. It will get bottled up and explode uncontrollably when we last expect it. The moment you accept that angry sub-personality, healthy and appropriate expressions of anger can take the place of uncontrollable outbursts. Our angry part is one of our biggest allies. It helps us to stand up, claim our power and to make sure our needs are met.


For more information on doing shadow work, or the upcoming four-day Shadow Energetics workshop lead by Darryl Gurney in May, contact Angelika.


Debbie Ford’s Legacy

Saddened by Debbie Ford’s passing at the age of 57 just yesterday, I have been reflecting a bit on the legacy of this courageous woman whose light always shone so brightly.


She has made the Jungian term of the shadow accessible to everyone and has given us many exercises to embrace our shadow—our dark side as well as our light—to be a whole and happy human being. She has written numerous books and taught countless workshops on how to make the transformation from a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly.

When you make peace with your shadow “you will no longer have to pretend to be someone you’re not. You will no longer have to prove you’re good enough. When you embrace your shadow you will no longer have to live in fear.” (Debbie Ford in The Dark Side of the Light Chaser, p. 3)

From deep within our subconscious mind, the dark shadow has power over our life. If left unexamined it determines what we feel we can and cannot do, what we are drawn towards, and what we avoid. “It explains the mystery of our attractions and our repulsions and determines what we will love and what we will judge and criticize.” (Debbie Ford in The Shadow Effect, p. 92)

Examining, embracing and integrating all parts of us sets us free. When you embrace a part within yourself, other people with the same quality cannot trigger you anymore. You can be relaxed with each other; you can truly enjoy them and be yourself.

Let’s honour Debbie’s legacy by continuing her wonderful work. Just like her we can reclaim our power, creativity, brilliance, and dreams. We can be free from the past and live the happiness and wholeness we came into this world with. This is our birth right.

How Our “Shadow” Uses Our Own Mind Against Us

What is this thing we call our “shadow”? Our shadow is us when we make a stupid remark out of upset, anger, or fear and hurt someone else we love, possibly ruining a relationship. Our dark shadow side is acting up when we do something out of fear to sabotage our career, our happiness or our health.

Although the fear itself is not real—it is just “False Evidence Appearing Real”—our thoughts fuel the fear and give it power. Our shadow turns against us using the power of our own mind. Our shadow is our own thinking taking advantage of our lack of self-love.

“Your shadow is as intelligent as you are, because it is your own intelligence co-opted for fear’s purpose. It has all the attributes of life, because it has attached itself to your life. And like all life, it seeks to preserve itself” (Marianne Williamson, The Shadow Effect, p. 158)

Every thought has an energy; every thought either heals from a place of love or hurts from a place of fear. The only way out of fear is love. The only way to find more light and be less directed by the darkness of your shadow is to have the courage to look at the very same shadow.

Our character defects do not mean we are “bad.” They show us where we are wounded. But no matter who or what has wounded you in the past, the wound is yours now and you alone are responsible for it. You alone can face it and embrace it. You alone can shift your thoughts and beliefs to loving ones about yourself and your entire being – including all the traits that you would rather deny.


Come to a free Shadow Energetics Intro Talk

When: Wed Feb 13th, 2013

Where: Mississauga

Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm


To get directions and register for this free talk contact me at


You Are a Magnificent Castle With Endless Possibilities

In “Love and Awakening,” John Welwood uses the analogy of a castle to show what we are like as children and what we become by the time we are adults. We are born into this world as a castle with thousands of rooms. Every room is perfect the way it is and has its own special gift. Each room represents a different aspect of ourselves and is an integral part of the entire perfect castle. As a child we explore every inch of this castle without shame or judgement. We lovingly embrace every room.

“There are endless numbers of rooms. Creativity, femininity, honesty, integrity, health, assertiveness, sexiness, power, timidity, hatred, greed, frigidity, laziness, arrogance, sickness, and evil are rooms in our castle” (Debbie Ford in “The Dark Side of the Light Chaser” p. 27).

Every room has its opposite in our castle. We are playful and light hearted and we are also serious. We are creative in some ways and uncreative in others. We are emotional and we are also rational. We are smart and stupid. We are honest but we also lie. We are confident and assertive one moment and we are also shy and reluctant. We are generous and giving in one way and we are cheap or greedy in another way. We are lazy one day and work hard at something the next day. We are “good” and we are “bad.”

As we grow up, we come across different people who feel that one or several of our rooms are not perfect and because we want love and acceptance we close off those rooms that we are told are “bad” or “wrong”. By the time we are grownups many of us have locked up so many rooms that we forget that we ever were this magnificent castle. We believe we are just a small, run down two-bedroom house in need of repairs.

Because we deny that we have ALL traits in us, we can only perceive our “negative” personality traits in projection in others. When we see someone else being what we perceive as “wrong,” we judge them. The more disconnected we are from our traits, the more adamant might we be in judging them in others.

Everything we hate, resist or disown about ourselves takes on a life of its own and makes us feel unworthy. As we are judging others, we are judging ourselves.

Are you interested to find out how you can be like that castle with thousand rooms again?


Who do you judge? Who do you think you are not?

Come to a free Shadow Energetics Intro Talk

When: Wed Feb 13th, 2013

Where: Mississauga

Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm

To get directions and register for this free talk contact me



“Fat, Loud and Stupid”?

A few years ago, I was dating a man who had a grown-up daughter who I just couldn’t stand. She triggered me like no other person in my life. I felt she was manipulative, controlling and scheming. I judged her for being fat, loud, stupid and vulgar. She was a “wannabe” actress, who only talked about it but hadn’t succeeded so far. I was annoyed by the disrespect she showed her father, who she treated like a little boy. I could see that she was very insecure about her father having his first girlfriend after separating from their mom but no matter how hard I tried to feel compassion and empathy for her, I just couldn’t take being around her.

Only when I began my shadow work did I realize that the reason for this was that in one single person several of my shadow traits were brought to my conscious awareness to be reconciled.

Wasn’t she what my mother already hated about her own sister-in-law? Fat, loud, stupid and controlling? Wasn’t it normal to hate those traits?

If something bothers us this much it is a sign that we have suppressed exactly those sides of ourselves that we see in the other person. I suddenly realized that my own skinny mother was afraid of being fat and judged as too loud, stupid and bossy.

And what about myself? Didn’t I have all those traits I so resented in this young girl in myself? I had to look at one trait at a time and come to peace with it, starting with the easier ones.

I have certainly weighed more at different points in my life than I was comfortable with. And if I was depressed and insecure like she was, I could certainly put on a lot of weight as well. That one was easy.

What about being loud and drawing all the attention to herself? As a child I was never allowed to be the centre of attention. “Little girls are supposed to be seen but not heard.” I became shy and introvert. As an adult—even though I dropped my shyness—I was only comfortable being the centre of attention in an “appropriate way,” for example giving a speech about my expertise. But how much did I long for some attention as a little girl? I have that drama queen in me too, who wants to be noticed.

Have I been manipulative and controlling at some point in my life? You bet I have. In fact, I can think of several people complaining that I am trying to control something. Have I resorted to being manipulative or scheming when there seemed to be no direct way to achieve my goal? Absolutely.

Those three were relatively easy to accept.

But what about being stupid or vulgar? Nobody wants to be stupid. I have certainly always made sure I only say things that are clever or meaningful. I have never allowed myself to just let unfiltered chatter flow out of my mouth. This young woman was showing me exactly what I had never given myself permission to do. I judged her as stupid for not censoring her talk. I could, however, have looked at it as her making others feel comfortable with her idle chatter.

Have I done and said things that were stupid at some point in the past, or am I capable of saying something stupid in the future? Of course! I have done many things in my life that were stupid in retrospect.

Vulgar was even harder. It took me a while to admit that I have said things in the past that would be considered vulgar. I have used the f-word or other less ladylike terms. And in a moment of emotional upheaval, those words might even have slipped out of my mouth in public. Was I vulgar and embarrassing sometimes? Yes.

And what about the “wannabe” judgement? Even though I never dreamed of becoming an actress, I certainly had my dreams of wanting to be something. And I also had a lack of courage to pursue some of those dreams. I was as much a “wannabe” as she was. However, it was so much easier to see this in her and deny my own failures.

And then there was her lack of respect for men and in particular her father that annoyed me most of all. Did I respect my own father as a young woman? No, I didn’t. Even today I am struggling in many ways with respecting him for who he is.

And how often have I felt that a man was weak or stupid, not able to see things clearly, or unable to be as intuitive and smart as we women are? How many times have I not protested when another woman has made comments along the lines of “men are just hopeless, they need someone to look after them” or “most men just haven’t grown up yet.” This girl was showing me my own disrespect for men, and I did not like it at all. After all, I had tried to hide it from myself for such a long time.

The one thing I probably liked to see least of all was her insecurity and her fear because I have always felt insecure about my own father’s love. I know that if my father had a girlfriend, I would be very challenged myself, worried not to be important to him anymore. It would not be easy for me to like that “rival”, or to see anything positive in her. This young woman clearly showed me all the things I did not want to see in myself.

Had I known about shadow work at the time, I could have reconciled these traits in myself earlier and formed a friendship with her. Instead, my inability to accept her without judgements put a strain on the relationship with her father and we stopped dating. I missed an opportunity to be whole and happy with all my traits. It also robbed me of making a conscious choice whether I wanted to pursue the relationship with her father or not.

Who do you dislike? Who do you judge?

Come to a FREE Shadow Energetics Intro Talk

When: Wednesday, Feb 13th, 2013

Where: Mississauga

Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm

To get directions and register for this free talk contact me


Who Pushes Your Buttons and Why?

Last night, going to the theatre, we experienced a typical example of how someone who is not in touch with their anger attracts other angry people into their life and allows them to push their buttons.

The lady taking our tickets, checking our reservations, and directing us to our table was pleasant enough even though I could detect that she was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed. I had to make a conscious effort not to judge her. The thought popped up in my head that being in the service industry, she should be friendlier. Underlying that, is my own belief that when “on the job,” one cannot show it if one is having a bad day. We judge in others what we can’t accept in ourselves. I tend to judge myself harshly when I have a “bad day” and don’t function at my best to help my clients.

However, my non-judgmental stance was really challenged when the people behind us presented her with a voucher and she told them in not the friendliest of tones that they should have let them know on the phone ahead of time. The customer replied, nobody had asked her. The response she got from the ticket lady was they couldn’t ask all their customers if they had some sort of a discount or coupon. So slowly getting annoyed, the customer suggested that maybe they should make it a habit to ask. The theatre employee pointed out to the guest that it did say (in very small print) on the coupon to let them know about a voucher ahead of time.

The argument went on and on with each of them getting more and more annoyed with the other. Meanwhile, a long line of other patrons was forming behind them. Each of the two could have stopped the argument at any given point if they were in touch with their suppressed emotions and beliefs but they both had the need to be right. Both parties attracted another angry and opinionated person into their energy field because they were angry, felt overwhelmed, and couldn’t admit that they might be wrong.

Standing there listening to the conversation, I had a hard time not being drawn into their unpleasant energy field. The customer triggered me with her need to be right and made me realize that I don’t like that part of myself that wants to be right. The employee triggered me even more, arguing with a customer. I felt myself judging her as rude and incompetent, as not deserving of her job. Again, that mirrors for me how I feel about my own work and that I only deserve to be in contact with people if I make them feel better.


Why does this happen?

How do we get triggered by the people around us?

How can we stay calm, non-judgmental and compassionate and turn an encounter with angry colleagues, customers or family members into a productive and positive situation?

“Imagine having a hundred different electrical outlets on your chest. Each outlet represents a different quality. The qualities we acknowledge and embrace have cover plates over them. They are safe: no electricity runs through them. But the qualities, that are not okay with us, which we have not yet owned, do have a charge. So when others come along who act out one of these qualities they plug right into us” (Debbie Ford in “The Dark Side of the Light Chaser” p. 39).


Who do you judge? Who pushes your buttons?

Join Darryl Gurney as he explains the energetic dynamics that have us repeatedly drawing in the people that challenge us the most and also see how these unresolved dynamics can sabotage our relationships, contribute to illness, compromise our self-worth, and hijack our ability to make conscious choices. Darryl will then show us how to get clarity on how these disowned energies have been operating in our lives and then discuss various strategies that simply and effectively allow us to energetically reconcile our relationships to these patterns.


Shadow Energetics Intro Talk

When: Wed Feb 13th, 2013

Where: Mississauga

Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm


To Register for this free talk contact Angelika