Clearing Your Relationship Baggage – PART 2

Listen to PART 1 and 2 of this blog as a podcast here, or read it below!

We cannot emotionally complete our past until we are aware of what our patterns are. If we don’t understand our patterns, habits and beliefs, we bring our emotional baggage into the next relationship and our relationship history will keep repeating itself.

The first practical step to achieve clarity is to examine the relationship history. Let’s look at Robert and Ellie who just broke up.

This is Robert’s Relationship history:

Robert grew up with a critical and controlling mother. He often felt like he could do nothing right.

1997, Grade 7, Emma

Emma was the first girl I kissed. She told her girlfriends that I was a bad kisser. I felt embarrassed and like a failure.

1999, Grade 10, Hannah

I had a long-time crush on Hannah before I finally asked her out. We went to the movies. I wanted to be respectful, but she made fun of me for not trying to feel her up in the dark theatre. I felt embarrassed and like I can’t win, no matter what I do. I didn’t ask her for a second date.

2000, Grade 11, Lara

At my brother’s 19th birthday party, I got drunk and hooked up with Lara. After the party, I was too embarrassed to call her. A month later she had another boyfriend. I always regretted not having followed up with her.


2001/2002, Grade 12, Veronica

I went out with Veronica during my grade 12 year. We broke up twice because she nagged so much. I always felt that I wasn’t what she wanted. She wanted somebody who talked more and was more secure and more self-confident.

2003-2008, Anne

Anne and I had a long distance relationship for the first three years. When we both ended up in Toronto after graduating we moved in together. Luckily, we only rented an apartment. Within three months, it was clear that we could not live together. She was a neat freak and I was constantly walking on egg shells, trying to keep everything tidy and clean. She also didn’t like my friends and I allowed her to control who I spent time with. She drove me nuts and I broke up with her when I met Christina. In fact, I had an affair with Christina before I moved out of the apartment Anne and I shared. When Anne found out we had a huge blow out with her yelling and kicking me out.

2008-2011, Christina

Christina was much more easy going than Anne. At first, we had a lot of fun together, partying and going dancing a lot. Eventually, Christina also started nagging. She was very high maintenance. She often complained that I wasn’t making enough money. That made me feel inadequate and angry. I liked her less and less. She would get very angry at me when I forget to tell her something. She would even throw things at me. Her yelling reminded me of my mother. I totally shut down when she yelled. She even went through my pockets, phone and computer to snoop after me. I stopped sharing with her. After one huge fight, I swore I would never trust her again. I moved out to live with my brother Frank until I met Ellie.   

2012-2017, Ellie

I thought Ellie was different. She seemed so understanding and non-judgmental at the beginning. She was younger than me but she also wanted to buy a house, not a ridiculously huge house like Christina but a townhouse, a good investment. We both had stable jobs and it made sense to buy something together from the start. Most of my buddies and even my brother were getting married and it felt like Ellie could be “the One”.

There were some signs early on though that she needed to know everything about what I was doing. At first, I gave up some of the stuff I like to do but I soon felt trapped like I had felt with Anne and Christina. I also felt that I couldn’t do anything right. Ellie always wanted to talk and that usually meant she was unhappy with something. I didn’t want to have another failed relationship, so I just started telling her that I had to work later some days to have some time to myself. I felt like my needs didn’t matter.

During the summer of 2016, Lara reached out to me on Facebook. I knew Ellie was checking my friends on Facebook so I never added Lara, instead I started communicating with her in secret. I knew Ellie would insist on meeting her as well. When I met with Lara for lunch for the first time, I felt so good. I finally had somebody I could talk to about my issues with Ellie. Her husband had cancer and she also needed somebody to share with. I felt like she appreciated me. I felt what I hadn’t felt in a long time: good enough and capable. We first met once a month but in 2017 we started meeting once a week.

A friend of Ellie’s saw us and when she found out that we had been meeting in secret, she totally lost it. I understand why Ellie feels betrayed but I don’t know how I could have had my own needs met and also make Ellie feel happy and secure. I am moving out as soon as our house has been sold.    


Robert’s former partner Ellie also has a Relationship History:

When Ellie was five, her parents divorced. Her dad left and remarried. Ellie felt unwanted by him and his second wife. Her own mother was depressed and Ellie had to take care of her emotionally.

1999, grade 8, Ben

Ben asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend. We hung out a couple of times each week. I felt proud and totally trusted him. Six weeks after he asked me to be his girl, he told me we couldn’t hang out because he had a “family thing”. The same evening, I saw him in town, kissing Anne-Marie, who everybody knew was “easy”. I felt really stupid that I didn’t know that he had lied to me. I felt rejected and betrayed.

2001-2003,  grade 9 & 10, Michael

Michael and I were friends first. He had a lot of problems at home. I was a good listener and I felt he needed me. When he and his family moved away, I was devastated. He had promised to stay in touch but he didn’t. I felt huge sadness which felt very similar to the feeling when my dad left.


2005, grade 12, Adam

I was dating Adam for six months. During prom night he got drunk and I felt embarrassed by his behaviour. I was glad that he moved away for university. 

2007-2011, Brian

I met Brian at university. He was a year younger than me. Each time I brought up wanting to get married after university, he said he wasn’t ready. In 2010, he moved into my apartment because we felt we could save money. Things went downhill from there. We had different schedules and he liked to be out late partying. I felt anxious when he was out with his friends. He felt I was asking too many questions and that I was too boring.

2011-2017, Robert

When I first met Robert, I loved that he was older and more serious. He liked that I listened to him and helped him solve some problems. He also seemed to try so hard to make me happy. I felt special. It seemed like a good decision to buy a house together but over time Robert retreated. He stopped sharing with me and talking to me. When I tried to talk to him about problems, he usually got defensive. I felt unimportant, not heard and rejected. Each time he stone-walled, I felt anxious and pushed him even more to be honest about his feelings and needs and to open up. We accumulated many issues that Robert refused to talk about. I felt rejected. When I found out that he had weekly lunch dates with his high school friend Lara and confided in her regarding our problems, my entire world collapsed. I am sure he is in love with her. I feel replaced and betrayed. Robert substituted me just like my dad replaced me with his new children. I broke up with Robert because I cannot trust him again.   


When we read those relationship histories carefully we can see unresolved emotions and repeating patterns for both partners, as well as limiting beliefs and habits they have learned. Robert’s unresolved emotions and patterns are feeling not good enough, feeling embarrassed, feeling criticized and feeling trapped. He believes that his needs don’t matter and his habits are to be secretive and to close up with his partner the more he feels controlled. Instead of addressing his needs he tends to move to the next partner who initially seems more understanding, only to find himself in the same cycle after a while.

Ellie’s patterns are to feel not heard, embarrassed, excluded, rejected, unimportant and replaced. She believes that she has to be a good listener and to be needed like her mom needed her. Her habit is to push when her partner retreats and to be controlling due to her fear of being replaced.

Both Robert and Ellie re-created what they most fear. Robert continually experienced feeling trapped, being controlled and feeling not good enough. Ellie repeatedly experienced feeling left out, rejected and replaced. Their issues fit into each other. Their relationship was an opportunity and incentive to resolve those issues and heal their old wounds.

The romantic relationship history is a discovery action. Discovery and completion are not the same. The exercise helped Robert and Ellie to remember all their past relationships in ways they had not looked at them before. They examined each of them for uncompleted emotions and the beliefs learned through the experiences. However, intellectual knowledge is of limited value. At the end of each relationship, we are left with unrealized hopes, dreams, and expectations. There are always things which we wish had been different, better, or more. Robert and Ellie need to do some deeper work on completing the relationships, including taking responsibility for their part, forgiving the other people and themselves, clearing out lingering emotions, and completing unfinished communications.

When a relationship ends, it is most of the time impossible to achieve completion in a direct communication with your former partner. Russell Friedman and John W. James, the founders of the Grief Recovery Institute, have developed a very practical program to complete the relationships we have experienced and to clear out our baggage before we move into the next relationship. Contact me for more information on Grief Recovery Work, PSYCH-K®, Shadow Energetics or other “tools” I use to help you to dump your relationship baggage.



If you are enjoying my articles, you can subscribe to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to enter your email address in the field on the left side of the bar. Thank you for your support!

Clearing Your Relationship Baggage – PART 1

Listen to PART 1 and 2 of this blog as a podcast here, or read it below!

Robert’s girlfriend broke up with him. He says, “I should have known this wouldn’t work. She had so many issues. I always felt like I couldn’t do anything right for her. She made me so mad by being controlling. I felt so trapped. I am glad she broke up with me because I haven’t been invested in this relationship for a long time now.”

Statistics report a divorce rate of 50%, and if you include the romantic relationships which end, the estimated number is as high as forty ended relationships for each formal divorce. We all at some point have experienced the end of one or more relationships. Since we don’t learn how to grieve and complete relationships that end, we carry the unresolved emotions forward into the future.

Just like Robert, the perspective we tend to have is that the other person we were in a relationship with had a lot of emotional baggage. The more important question to ask is how much baggage we brought into the relationship.

Usually, when a relationship ends, both partners tend to assign the blame to the ex-partner. This victim mentality makes the completion of prior relationships impossible. The recitation of the painful loss story, especially when accompanied by a diatribe against the former partner, does nothing to encourage the storyteller to do anything different the next time around. We have to remember that we are always 100% responsible for our feelings and for our reactions to what other people say or do. Nobody makes us feel a certain way and nobody makes us act in a certain way either.

When we hold someone else responsible for our feelings, we put ourselves in an emotional jail. That jail is built on the idea that not only do others have the power to make us feel a certain way, but we have to keep feeling this way until they release us. The victim mentality keeps us blind to our part and seemingly removes us from the responsibility of having chosen to be with or stay with that person.

We are also responsible for following—or not following—our intuition. Our intuition is an early warning system. Usually, there is a point in every relationship where we know whether the person we are with is right for us. When we override our intuition, we cause ourselves and others emotional damage by entering into or staying in a relationship that does not work. Every relationship is of course work and compromise is part of that work. So as long as both people are willing to continue doing the work a relationship can function. However, often one or both people have an intuitive sense that the other person is not the right partner and make an excuse for why they should anyways continue with the relationship.

We are at least partially the architect of some of the relationship disasters because we always subconsciously act based on what we have learned growing up. Often people self-sabotage in a relationship out of the fear of getting hurt again. If you don’t get emotionally attached and instead withhold from your partner, you are already setting up the end of the relationship. In order to be really close and intimate, we need to allow ourselves to be honest and vulnerable. We need to connect with and bond into our partner and stay closely connected to him or her.

Russell Friedman and John W. James, the founders of the Grief Recovery Institute and authors of “Moving On”, recommend an exercise in three parts, which helps you to discover your part of a relationship you are in or you have been in. Until you identify your part, you will carry your baggage into the next relationship because you can’t do anything different.

  1. Take Responsibility for How You Feel

Examples of not taking responsibility is, “she made me feel not good enough” or “he made me feel unloved”. Nobody makes us feel a certain way, but our partner often has an uncanny ability to trigger our earliest childhood wounds.

For Robert, his partner triggered early childhood feelings of “not being good enough” and of “not being able to do anything right”. She also mirrored his mother who he had experienced as controlling. He felt he had to have secrets like a teenager might who was rebelling against his parent. His need for freedom and alone time wasn’t met and he felt unable to express his needs.

Where in your relationship did you blame your partner for how you feel? Can you take full responsibility for the feeling and communicate to your next partner what your needs are?


  1. Where Did You Override Your Intuition?

Robert had an early intuition before he and his girlfriend bought their house together that their different values and goals in life would create many problems. However, he felt it was time to settle down because all of his friends where in committed relationships or married. He also felt it made financial sense to buy a house.

Think back to some of the relationships you have been in and see if you can recall when you intuitively “knew” that someone wasn’t right but you continued on anyways. What ideas did you use to justify going ahead? Be as honest as you can.


  1. How Did You Self-Sabotage?

Robert had been hurt in prior relationships and entered this relationship with a heart shield. He was protecting himself from getting hurt again by emotionally giving less this time, by not sharing everything from the start and by sharing less and less during the course of their relationship. His justification was that his girlfriend would just get angry if he told her everything. His belief was that he would not be loved if she really knew him.

Did you protect yourself from getting hurt by not being open and honest in your last relationship? Did you have certain limiting beliefs, for example, “I am not lovable unless I am a certain way”, “If my partner knew who I really was they wouldn’t love me anymore”, “If I share my feelings it backfires”, “My needs are not important so I mustn’t be needy”, “Women/Men can’t be trusted” and so on? These are all subconscious beliefs which hold you back from creating a different relationship next time.

With techniques like PSYCH-K® or Shadow Energetics, you can change these subconscious programs and dump your old relationship baggage to make room for a loving and well functioning relationship.

To read PART 2 of this blog click HERE.


To do belief change work and

complete your prior relationships




If you are enjoying my articles, you can subscribe to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to enter your email address in the field on the left side of the bar. Thank you for your support!

Indigestion – Your Body Speaks Your Mind

Listen to this blog as a podcast here, or read it below!

Our body communicates to us through physical symptoms. Sometimes the message is in the symptom itself, or the effect it has, or the changes we have to make due to it. In previous articles, I have highlighted the meaning of colds and of pain, especially of headaches. Today, I would like to take a closer look at indigestion, stomach issues in particular.

Eating is not just about absorbing nutrition for our physical body. It is also about swallowing and assimilating our experiences. Digestion is about absorbing everything that is happening to us along with our feelings, and eliminating that which we do not want. Our digestive system can be a good mirror of our emotional state. When we feel safe and happy, our digestion tends to be reasonably maintenance free. If we are experiencing conflicts, stress, or emotional turmoil, that often shows up in indigestion.

Indigestion - Louise Hay 1

Often food and love are also connected, or even become interchangeable depending on what beliefs we have learned and how food was used when we grew up. Many of us have been rewarded or soothed with food. Food can become a substitute for love, attention and comfort. We might have learned to use food as a STERB (Short Term Energy Relieving Behaviour) to distract ourselves from uncomfortable emotions like sadness, anger or fear. That unconscious way of using food often increases the indigestion.

Indigestion is without doubt caused by the “wrong” foods, but also just as much by worry and stress. Feelings of “worry” and “fear” are held in our stomach. When we can’t “stomach” what is happening in our life, when the reality is too scary, bitter or sour to digest, or is proving too much to bear, indigestion and heartburn could be the result. According to Deb Shapiro, a helpful question to ask when you are experiencing acid reflux is, “What issues or feelings are you swallowing that are bitter, sour or upsetting?”

Indigestion - Louise Hay 2

For Inna Segal, acid reflux is also a sign of experiencing difficulties in regards to digesting life. Our body is letting us know that we are feeling uncomfortable with what we are seeing, feeling, hearing, and experiencing. We might feel irritated, frustrated and out of control. We are resisting life in some way.

Lise Bourbeau reminds us of letting go and allowing things to unfold instead of worrying or trying to control something. She also notes that the stomach sits in close proximity to our heart. A loving, accepting and peaceful heart has a calming influence on our stomach. On the other hand, thoughts such as “this is not fair”, “this is wrong”, “why do I have to take this”, or “this is not what I wanted” block the flow of energy. The more tolerant we can be and the more we can go with the flow, the easier life is to digest.

Indigestion - Louise Hay 3

Just as Deb Shapiro and Lise Bourbeau provide useful questions to investigate our symptoms of indigestion, Dethlefsen and Dahlke also suggest to listen to our inner feelings and to consciously come to grips with inner conflicts and incoming impressions. We need to ask ourselves what we are unable or unwilling to “swallow”, what we are feeling sour or angry about or what is eating away inside of us. The ability to digest life with ease requires openness and surrender.

Indigestion - Louise Hay 4

Meditation, affirmations and of course subconscious belief changes help to address the symptoms of indigestion. One meditation mantra I suggest is “Let It Be”. If you are interested in investigating your symptoms more, to clear out fears and to change limiting beliefs at a subconscious level, using PSYCH-K®, L.E.E.P.’s (Life Enhancing Energy Processes) or Shadow Energetics, please contact



If you are enjoying my articles, you can subscribe to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to enter your email address in the field on the left side of the bar. Thank you for your support!

Further RESOURCES in regards to the body-mind connection:

  • Lise Bourbeau, Your Body’s Telling You: Love Yourself!
  • Thorwald Dethlefsen & Ruediger Dahlke, The Healing Power of Illness
  • Louise Hay, Heal Your Body
  • Narayan-Singh, Messages From Your Body
  • Inna Segal, The Secret Language of Your Body
  • Deb Shapiro, Your Body Speaks Your Mind

Living from the Inside Out

Did you have a nice summer with lots of fun and interesting experiences? Perhaps you went on special family outings or even on a vacation? If so, you have collected beautiful memories. If so, you have also intuitively made the perfect choice for happiness and to recharge your emotional tank.

Spiritual teachers, philosophers and scientists have been striving to answer the question “What is happiness?” for a long time and in different ways. I have previously written about the happiness formula.

H = S + C + V

Happiness = the Set Point in the Brain + the Conditions of Living + our Voluntary Choices


Depression and anxiety are almost epidemics today, and peace, joy and happiness seem more elusive than ever. Why is that?

Are we perhaps focusing too much on the conditions, the relative facts of our life? Do we allow those relative conditions to prevent us from choosing happiness and fully experiencing it? What if instead of living from the outside in, we chose to live from the inside out?

Living from the inside out means taking charge of our mind and using it to our advantage. It includes examining our beliefs and changing the ones which do not serve us. We have the birth right to be happy. Our Good is constantly flowing and waiting to be received by us. Our beliefs are merely the impressions we have bought into. Our beliefs create our experience.

What shows up is just the out-picturing of the way we have been picturing things inside, the way we have been using our mind. When we use our mind differently, the out-picturing will inevitably be different. That does not mean to ignore the conditions but to realize that they only determine 10% of our happiness while our beliefs and mind set determine 50% and our voluntary choices 40%.

Healthy Minds RC Barker 2


We overcome negative conditions by changing our mind to create better conditions. We need to choose to be grateful and happy, independent of what shows up around us. We need to make voluntary choices which increase our level of joy. Voluntary Choices are those choices we make for pleasure or for fulfillment.

Psychology Professor Thomas Gilovich from Cornell University has studied the subject of happiness and concludes that happiness is derived from experiences, not things.

“People often think spending money on an experience is not as wise an investment as spending it on a material possession. They think the experience will come and go in a flash, and they’ll be left with little compared to owning an item. But in reality we remember experiences long afterward, while we soon become used to our possessions. At the same time, we also enjoy the anticipation of having an experience more than the anticipation of owning a possession.” (Gilovich)


A get-away or other experience allows you to enjoy it in three different ways: the anticipation, the experience itself and remembering it in retrospect. Every moment spent on picturing it and reliving it brings up heartfelt feelings of joy and happiness again.

Furthermore, experiences with family and friends are like glue to our social lives. Experiences allow us to get closer to others in ways a material possession cannot. And ultimately, as human beings, we all long to be close to others.

Material possessions on the other hand give us less lasting joy. After we have acquired those inanimate objects, it is only a question of time until we get used to them. New things might be exciting at first, but then we adapt to having them.

Gilovich has also studied how we tend to have more regrets over missed interactions with others and missed experiences than over possessions we have not acquired. On our death bed, we might regret not to have connected more deeply with our children or other loved ones, but we won’t regret not having purchased the new car or newest TV.

As a society, we need to ask ourselves how to live more from the inside out, how to choose beliefs and activities that support joy and happiness. Social experiences and helping others lead to attention, affection and appreciation, and therefore to greater happiness and joy.

So next time you have the choice of whether to spend your money on a material possession or on an experience, especially if that experience involves connecting with or helping others, remember that the experience will enhance and make your life richer than the material possession.


If you are enjoying my articles, you can follow Greendoor to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to click the “follow” button in the right-hand corner of your screen.

Angelika Baum, Belief Change Coach and Workshop Facilitator,

What is Holding You Back from Making “The Secret” Work for Yourself?


Dhebi De Witz - quote


In her book “The Messenger Within,” Dhebi DeWitz names 7 areas of influence which are holding us back from manifesting and creating the happy and healthy life we are able to have:

  1. Our Beliefs
  2. Our Emotions
  3. Our Essential Human Needs
  4. Our Distant Past
  5. Our Shadows
  6. Our Lifestyle
  7. Additional Energy


In “Living the Science of Mind”, Ernest Holmes compares the flow of the Universal Goodness to a huge body of water up in the mountains. The water is brought down by a system of pipes to irrigate the valley. The flow is endless and has a natural pressure within itself. It is only limited by the size of the pipe through which it flows. When no water flows or it only trickles, the reason is not that the water has stopped flowing, but that the pipe is blocked.

The debris blocking the flow of Source Energy or Goodness into our life is made up of our subconscious beliefs, the emotions we are stuck in, our needs which aren’t met, influences from the past (past lives, ancestral lineage), our shadows which we have disowned, lifestyle influences and energy blockages. The reasonable thing is to follow the pipe back and clean out the debris that blocks it.

Waterfall - small

Only approximately 5% of our words and actions originate from the conscious mind. 95% of the time, we are habitually operating from our subconscious beliefs. Those belief programs influence how we think, how we speak, how we act and ultimately, what destiny we are able to manifest for ourselves. The good news is that those subconscious programs can be changed from limiting beliefs to supportive ones.

Just like our limiting beliefs, our emotions also create our experience of reality below our level of conscious awareness. Our emotions affect our health greatly; 90% of physical issues have an emotional root. All of us experience emotional extremes at times. Emotions are normal, in fact, all feelings and emotions are good; they provide us with feedback that we need to address something. However, some emotions do not resolve themselves completely; they can cause an obstruction in the physical body, sending out a continuous interference resonance. This situation is similar to a steam kettle under pressure. As a result, we continue to operate from a reality we perceive from our emotional pain. These blocked emotions can be released from the physical body.

Our essential human needs have a life force of their own. No matter how old we are, as human beings, we all have needs and desires. Unfulfilled needs cause emotions such as frustration, disappointment or resentment. When we learn how to successfully communicate our own needs, we then in turn can also help others to acknowledge, express and fulfill their needs. The Goodness Ernest Holmes speaks about can flow into our life and into our relationships.

There are times when past-life experiences or ancestral lineage influences affect your current life. This is the case when there is a carry-over interference pattern from the past that needs to be resolved in the present. Past life memories are stored in our subconscious mind; ancestral influences are stored in our cells. The latter are passed on through our DNA to the next generation. We have the choice to heal our past lives and ancestral wounds.

Everything that is in the world is also inside of us. We are born like a castle with a thousand rooms. As a child, we explore all rooms in this magnificent castle without malice. We try out all energy or in other words all “possibilities of being” – until other people tell us something is “bad” or “wrong”. You shouldn’t be loud and enjoy attention, you shouldn’t be selfish or greedy, you shouldn’t be lazy, you shouldn’t be angry, you shouldn’t be… and the list goes on. Because we all want and need to be accepted and loved, we disown those personality traits which we learn are “bad”. They become our shadows. Because we have pushed them away, we can only perceive them in projection in others.  They become our triggers; we judge them in others. These shadows become part of the debris which blocks the life force energy. They keep us from being whole, from unconditionally loving ourselves and others. By embracing all our disowned personality parts, we become whole again.

Deepak Chopra emphasizes that we all have a blueprint for health, no blueprint for disease. However, certain lifestyle choices we make create interference patterns which disrupt the healthy blueprint within us. Those choices include—among others—unhealthy food choices, toxins, stress, lack or rest, relaxation and meditation, lack of exercise, lack of joy and play, lack of fresh air and sunshine, and even a lack of bodywork, for example massages or energy work. When we change our eating habits, rest more, and make time for healthy movement, we clear out the debris which is the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Last but not least, the flow is blocked when there is low vibrational or heavy energy affecting us. The more we are aware of the energy flow in our bodies and in our surroundings, the easier we can shift and uplift the energy through a clearing ritual or prayer.

These seven areas constitute the secret behind “The Secret” of manifesting our dreams, goals and desires using the Law of Attraction.

In the Shadow Energetics Workshop, we touch on all seven areas and devolve deeper into the first five.

  1. You learn how to communicate with your subconscious mind and your higher self through energy testing (muscle testing). You are taught a belief change process to replace limiting subconscious beliefs with more supportive ones.
  2. You learn an Emotional Release Process, an efficient and effective tool to release an emotional charge.
  3. We connect with our Inner Child and our Essential Human Needs. You will be introduced to Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication model of successfully expressing your feelings and needs.
  4. When tapping into your Higher Self through muscle testing past issues, including past/parallel lives or our ancestral lineage might come up.
  5. The core piece of the Shadow Energetics workshop are our dark and light shadows which show up in our relationships with others. Our dark shadows are parts of ourselves which we have learned to disown as “bad” or “wrong” and therefore judge in others. Our light shadows are what we admire in others and again think we are not.

For a 20 minute video interview on Shadow Energetics please click here.

The Early Bird Special for the Fall Shadow Energetic Training ends on September 2. For more info go to upcoming workshops or contact Angelika, 905-286-9466,

Starting in October 2016, Dhebi DeWitz and I will offer Shadow Energetics webinars 4-6 times a year. These one hour webinars will be open to former students of Shadow Energetics, as well as Dhebi’s students, and also new people who are interested in finding out more about the work we do and the book Dhebi wrote. If you are interested to join us please contact either one of us.

Angelika Baum, 905-286-9466,
Dhebi De Witz
Dhebi DeWitz, 425-890-4972,

In a Relationship With a Narcissist – PART TWO: What Are My Options?

(Narcissists are male or female. Please note that I have mostly used the pronouns “he” and “she” interchangeably to avoid the awkward “he or she”)

I have never had as many private messages as I did after posting part one of this blog series. Several people approached me who had not considered until they read the article that they had a narcissist in their family or were dating a narcissist. They have been wondering why it is always about the other person; they were looking for reasons with themselves, trying harder and harder to keep the peace and make the narcissist happy.

The narcissist treats others in a demeaning way, attacks verbally and has little or no respect for other people’s feelings or boundaries. For the other family members watching this from the outside, it can be hard to understand why someone would choose to continue dating or being married to a narcissist.

Let’s examine the options you have when you are indeed in a relationship with a narcissist. If the narcissist is a danger to your or your children’s safety, find professional help and get out. If his or her behaviour is destructive and toxic, yet doesn’t fall under physical or sexual abuse, you have different options. Lots of the books on the topic of narcissism simply recommend to “run, run, run and don’t look back”. If the narcissist is a friend, I agree that it is perhaps time to re-evaluate the friendship and its benefits versus its drama and emotional stress and let go of a narcissistic friend. However, in other cases, this advice might not be realistic or not that easy to follow. What if the narcissist is your boss and you don’t want to quit your job? Or the narcissist is one of your in-laws, or your own daughter or son, or your spouse, and you are not ready to divorce that partner or break the ties with that family member?

Don’t get me wrong; even in those cases you always have the option of “no contact” if the situation becomes too toxic. It might be worth finding a new job or not having any contact with the narcissistic family member. If you choose to go the “no contact” route with a family member, be prepared for a battle. Narcissists hate nothing more than to be ignored. They are energy vampires. They thrive on intimidating, controlling and manipulating others. Not to get a response out of others is the worst thing for them. They are afraid to be “invisible”. They don’t care when they hurt others, they care only about their narcissistic supply and any response from others will do.

No contact cropped

Once you decide to go “no contact”, the hoovering begins: the narcissist will try to charm, manipulate or bully his way back into your life. Why do we fall for narcissists in the first place? Because they are very good at this strategic game of manipulation and they convince us that they are “not bad people” after all, just victims of the circumstances. If you are choosing the route to cut all ties, you need to be strong and consistent. The no contact option is a marathon, not a sprint.

Narcissists are often very charming and charismatic—until their mask slips for the first time and reveal their immaturity. A narcissistic personality can make you feel like you are the chosen one and that you must be special. “In return, you’re expected to hold the spotlight steadily upon him, nod affirmatively during his orations, laugh on cue, never appear to be bored, applaud loudly and frequently, and never, ever expect to join him on the stage” (Behary, Disarming the Narcissist).

Narcissists constantly project unwanted parts of themselves onto other people. You will be accused of being controlling, manipulative, selfish, arrogant, entitled, hurtful, untruthful, angry, distrustful, opinionated, unempathatic and so on. The mirror principle is at play. The narcissist points one finger at you while being completely unaware that three fingers point back at him. And unlike the narcissist, you might be more self-critical and wonder whether he is partially right. Remember that this is all part of the smoke tactic to distract from his insecurities and issues. Projection is the name of the game.

You do not need the narcissist to agree that she is projecting. You need to understand how shadows operate and how your buttons are being pushed. “It needs to be enough for you to know that you have put the projections back where they belong in your own mind, regardless of how the Narcissist sees the situation” (Sandy Hotchkiss, Why is it Always About You?) Do not get into a right and wrong discussion. Do not invest any energy in wanting the narcissist to understand and admit her issues. You do not need anything from her; you just need to be clear in your own mind who you are and that you love and accept yourself the way you are.

arguing with a narcisist

Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be addictive, confusing and utterly devastating, especially when we expect the narcissist to think and act like most people. We have to remember that due to their childhood experiences they have a personality disorder. They do not have the same perception and do not play by the same rules as most adults.

The diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association defines a personality disorder as a pattern which manifests in two or more of the following areas:

  1. Ways of perceiving and interpreting self, other people, and events.
  2. Range, intensity, lability, and appropriateness of emotional response.
  3. Interpersonal functioning.
  4. Impulse control.

The narcissist sees the world differently than other people. Empathy comes with maturity, except in the case of a personality disorder like NPD. To the narcissist, other people are there to supply their needs. Their idea of fair is that they get what they want when they want it. It completely escapes them that other people have the right to say “no” or deny them something.

Their emotional responses of anger are unpredictable, intense and completely out of proportion. These responses resemble the temper tantrums of a two year old. After the narcissistic rage follows a period of the narcissist pretending nothing ever happened. The narcissist does not apologize or take responsibility. They almost make us doubt that something inappropriate occurred. They explain and defend. Their immature explosion of rage is always due to other people or circumstances. They see themselves as victims of fate and of other people.

If you decide to go with “minimal contact”—or “contact” in the case of actually living with a narcissist—you need to learn how your own childhood issues tie in with the narcissist’s issues and how to navigate the relationship. A good book which describes our childhood schemes and how they are related to attracting a narcissistic partner is “Disarming the Narcissist” by Wendy T. Behary.

In order to change the interactions with the narcissist in your life, it is extremely helpful to examine and change the beliefs you have learned about yourself and other people, for example, do you truly subconsciously believe you deserve respect and boundaries? What other limiting beliefs have you learned which hold you back from refusing unhealthy interactions with the narcissist?

Shadows also play a big role in the relationships with a narcissist. Have you for example disowned your own anger or sense of entitlement to a point where you are not able to be assertive and stand up for yourself and advocate for your rights and needs? What if you were able to respond differently to the aggression the narcissist has no trouble stepping into?

When we feel threatened, our survival instincts are triggered and the fight, flight or freeze response sets in. That is what the narcissist counts on. The narcissistic energy vampire thrives on aggression and intimidation. In order to have an effective communication you need to work on modifying your own instinctive responses.

If you typical response is to fight back, curb that impulse. Instead, calmly stand up for yourself without counter attacking. If your usual response is avoidance (flight), give yourself the gift of a “time-out” and distance from the upsetting exchange but remember that in order to resolve a conflict, you need to eventually return. If you tend to freeze or surrender, remember that the situation is not helped by taking all the blame. A bully cannot be pacified by submission; it only causes more abuse.

The narcissist typically is a show-off, a bully or the “entitled one”. Of the three, the show-off is easiest to deal with. He feels not good enough and therefore tries to dazzle and impress with his achievements or possessions. Focus on affirming his moments of thoughtful kindness instead of the outstanding accomplishments he wants you to admire. Let him know that you interested in him, not in what he does or has.

The bully has a great mistrust of people and their motives. She is afraid that others will try to control her, make a fool out of her, or take advantage of her in some way. She fears that nobody truly cares about her. Her unacceptable behaviour stems from a deep sense of shame and inadequacy. Her protective mechanism is to criticize and control others. When others feel small and powerless, she feels strong and secure. Whether the other person responds with anger (fight) or with fear (flight, freeze), she wins. The only place to defeat a bully is to stay in contact with the advanced part of your brain that is able to think clearly and rationally. Respond from that rational part.

NPD Lucy

When dealing with the entitled one, remember that he makes up his own set of rules and feels he should be able to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. He takes but seldom gives. He has issues being on the receiving end of the word “no”. He has no interest in understanding the other person’s opinions, feelings, needs or boundaries. Calmly hold him accountable and consistently set and re-set those limits and boundaries.

Behay points out that in order to shift the relationship with the narcissist, “you need more than an intellectual literacy in his issues and life story; you also need an emotional literacy in his inner world. In other words, you need to feel what his experience of the world is like.” (Disarming the Narcissist) This is what is known as empathy.

“Empathy is a capacity to truly understand the experience of another, emotionally, mentally, and sometimes even physically. It doesn’t mean that you necessarily agree with, condone, or support the other person’s feelings and behaviour, simply that you understand it in a ‘felt” way.” (Disarming the Narcissist)

Having empathy does not mean you continue to allow the narcissist to bully you and others, but that you understand that a key aspect of narcissism is attempting to feel visible and that—like with young children—it is better to receive negative attention than no attention. Empathy allows you to stand your ground without taking things personally and to hold the narcissist accountable for her own actions, without anger, defensiveness or submissiveness.

For the narcissist to learn empathy himself, professional help from an expert in the field of NPD is necessary. Unfortunately, the narcissist does not see that he needs to change. Unless he is afraid to lose something of importance, like the relationship, he rarely agrees to therapy.

Independent of the lack of empathy of the narcissist, you can still be empathetic—while making sure your own needs are met. When the narcissist flips into one of his or her narcisstic rages, superimpose the image of him or her as a lonely and unloved little child over the grown-up in front of you. Being able to see his deep shame, loneliness and emotional emptiness will help you to respond calmly when you do not allow him to get away with being hurtful, condescending, selfish, controlling and destructive.

In your communications with the narcissist, make sure you differentiate between fault and responsibility. Fault and blame put us in a place of defensiveness. Make sure nobody is to blame but everybody is responsible for the effects or consequences of their words and behaviour. Respons-ibility is the ability to respond and create different outcomes.

Blame vs Responsibility

Always be aware of and set limits and boundaries in the relationship with the narcissist. In order to do that you need to, be very clear in your own mind about what you are willing to accept and what is unacceptable and needs to change. Provide positive feedback when the narcissist is behaving in a more mature way. And last but not least, lovingly speak your truth. In order for the narcissist to feel connected in relationships, she must learn what she never learned as a child, that she is lovable for who she is.

 NPD Lucy 2

You can follow Greendoor to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to click the “follow” button in the right-hand corner of your screen.

Relationship Coaching, Belief Changes and Shadow Work




Sexual Moksha – Sexuality Beyond Our Limiting Beliefs

Here is a brand new workshop, created by my friend Darryl Gurney. He calls his workshop “Sexual Moksha. Liberating Your Sensuous Soul for Pleasure, Magic and Creativity.”

“Moksha” is a Sanskrit word and means “Liberation” or “Emancipation”. Why would we want to liberate ourselves from our sexual conditioning, you might wonder? Is it really that important? What do I gain from working on that area of my life?

Our sexual energy has an impact on our overall health and happiness. This energy is located in our second chakra and is also our creative energy, our innovative impulse and life force energy which allows us to be connected to our spirituality.

One in three women and one in six men have been sexually abused at one point. These experiences affect us consciously and subconsciously for the rest of our lives. Abused children usually make these incidents mean something about themselves; they often experience guilt or shame and learn beliefs about themselves which prevent joyful and fulfilled relationships. Every one of us, whether we had abuse experiences or not, has been affected in some way by the sexual shame present in our culture. Sexual shame, dysfunction and guilt block our life force energy, stifle our creative energy, our passion, and our joy. Beliefs about being a bad person (shame), about having done something wrong (guilt) or not deserving the best that love and life have to offer are the root for co-creating a reality of limited health and happiness.

Our sexual energy has an impact on our overall health. Sexual energy is energy in motion which keeps our body vibrant, young and healthy. Leonard Laskow. MD, a former gynaecologist, has done extensive research on sexual diseases and has found a strong correlation between our sexual-emotional issues and physical issues. Herpes, for example, on the emotional-mental side can be connected to difficulty trusting others, struggling to forgive ourselves and others and challenges around self-love and loving others. As his patients healed their emotional issues, the physical symptoms dissipated. Impotence, to just mention one more of many examples, has been connected to a fear of loss and confusion in relationships, performance stress or sexual shame.

When we liberate buried emotions and release limiting beliefs, our life force energy can flow again. Our sexual energy can connect us to the Divine, and allows us to experience unity and bliss with a partner. Our sexual energy is also a potent force for manifestation. When we place our intention to create and manifest something at the tip of an orgasm, the energy goes out into the field with great power. If you want to read more about how we block our true potential please continue reading part two of this blog, called “Sexual Moksha – How We Block Our Energy Flow”.


Those of you who have met Darryl have known him as a heart-centred healer who creates an atmosphere of trust and safety through his loving presence and laughter. So you won’t be surprised to hear that this workshop once again has lots of moments of playfulness, light and a lot of fun. Dress comfortably, be prepared to move your bodies, dance and play with different energies and let the inner child come out to liberate your soul.

I am sponsoring the first 2 day “Sexual Moksha – Liberating Your Sensuous Soul for Pleasure, Magic and Creativity” Workshop in Mississauga on April 23 & 24, 2016. Contact me to sign up. Early Bird is as always three weeks prior to the class, on April 1.

Angelika 905-286-9466,