A Sacred and Safe Space for Workshops

The word “sacred” means different things for different people. It is usually something that is regarded with great respect and reverence by a particular religion, or a group of people, or an individual person. In different traditions, there are different places, objects or rituals which are considered “sacred”.

According to the encyclopaedia, “A sacred place is first of all a defined place, a space distinguished from other spaces”. To me it is a space created and upheld through intention and awareness to form an uplifting, safe, peaceful and spiritual area. Our intention to be respectful is key in creating and using a sacred space.

We might want to use certain rituals to honour the sacred space and to shift into a clear intention of what we want to feel and experience in the sacred space. This sacred space can be an area in your house which you set up with intention, perhaps as a meditative corner, possibly with an altar or other meaningful objects. Nature itself can be your sacred space and you might create a ritual around this. One of my best friends finds her daily meditation by going for a walk. This is her sacred and soul-nurturing ritual, her sacred time.

Part of focussing on the sacred is to set aside certain times and spaces as sacred, which means as something basically different than the everyday world we live in. When I offer a workshop, my intention is to provide a sacred and safe space for all the participants. With the upcoming Dream Workshop, I am more than ever focussing on the sacred as I have the immense pleasure to facilitate this class together with my friend Susan Webber, who is a spiritual artist and teacher.

Prior to this workshop, we have visited the space where we will be teaching and have performed a small ritual outside, asking permission from the ancestors to use the space. As a response, four—not just one but four—swarms of geese, which symbolize fertility, unity and intuition, flew over our heads. What a perfect symbol and encouragement for our workshop.

Did you know that geese never leave one of their own behind? Should a goose become injured during the flight to the south, another goose will leave the migrating flock to stay with the injured one. That sense of community is certainly what we would like to create with our workshops. We can have the experience that we are all one and can hold the space for each other during challenges times and experiences, or when we do our healing.

Geese are known as gifted navigators and instinctively know the way to warmer climates. They forge ahead, confident and brave, and thus are a symbol for courage and for trust in their team. Geese have intricate methods of communication. They smoothly take turns to fly at the front of the flock and communicate with each other about when and where to land. They keep each other safe. Taking this workshop is all about tuning into our intuition and listening to our more instinctive parts, like our inner child. It is also about safety in the group, and growing together as a spiritual family, in which healing and growth is possible.

During the workshop, we will use rituals to create a safe and sacred space. Susan will guide us through a smudging ceremony and a story ritual around the camp fire, and I will lead you through meditations. We will make sure that everybody feels safe to speak, explore and share.

Any personal healing work requires a safe space. This applies even more so when doing our dream work. Sharing our dreams with others requires vulnerability and trust. We need a space in which others listen respectfully and lovingly and do not intrude with their interpretations. Everybody allows everybody else to be the expert on their own dreams and the meaning of those dreams.

When you decide to join us for a workshop, you make the decision to set aside sacred time to do soul-nurturing work. You are part of this team of dream explorers, which holds the safe and sacred space for everybody else. Together we can be like the flock of geese, forging ahead to discover new lands.

Sacred space is where you connect with who you are at a soul level, where you find yourself again, and sometimes again and again. Workshop participants often return for further workshops to learn something new, but also to experience and connect in this sacred and heart-opening space once again.


Join us—for the first time or again—on Dec. 9/10, 2017 for the Dream Workshop in Lowville (Burlington). For more details click here or contact me




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Making Mistakes

On Saturday, I was out to run a quick errand. The white Honda in front of me had slowly crept down the street at 40km/h. Now it was turning right, and so was I. The lane was clear to turn. The Honda started turning and then abruptly stopped. I hit his rear bumper. A gentle bump but still my front license plate scratched his bumper, making repairs necessary. It was my fault for hitting him.

On Tuesday, I got out of my late morning session with a client and found a text and a voice mail from one of my favourite clients who always has a long drive getting to Mississauga. Her text said, “I am here for my appointment, rang doorbell, no answer”. I pulled up the last email I sent to her. It clearly said, “Next appointment, Tuesday, July 4 at 10:00 a.m.”. Yet, I had entered her appointment into my calendar for Wednesday. I screwed up.

I had a week of quite a few things escaping my attention, a week of “screwing up” if you so like. A few important emails also slipped my mind and an important anniversary. A mistake, screw up or failure like the ones I experienced this week is exactly what brings a particular part inside of us to the forefront: our Inner Critic loves to use any mistake or situation of fault as an opportunity to blame and criticize us harshly.

I have been asked in the past, what is the most common limiting belief? As much as we are all individuals and have very individual beliefs which hold us back in life, I would say that the most common beliefs are the ones which make us feel not good enough. At the top of the list is the belief that it is not okay to make mistakes. We learn this early on and our school system often manifests this belief. Our Inner Critic loves to “pounce” on us and really beat us up for past decisions we regret or more recent mistakes that we feel we have made.

mistakes - movie clapper.jpg

What if we could instead see a mistake just as a “missed take”, like in the movies? In most cases, we get another chance for a “Take Two” or even a “Take Three” in life. And in those case where we don’t get another opportunity we really need to let ourselves off the hook, heal the past and forgive ourselves in the process. Any choice we have made in the past was made with the knowledge and wisdom we had at the time. From a place of greater knowledge, we might have made a different decision, yet, we need to be compassionate with that younger self that did not know what we know today.

We are part of the human race, and as humans we don’t always make the strongest choices. We all mess up, miss opportunities or make decisions we regret in retrospect. In fact, we can even take it a step further. It is not “making mistakes” that is often the problem but “not making mistakes”. “If you do not make enough mistakes, that’s evidence that you are not taking enough risks, that you are not growing, that you stay in the comfort of your own safety zone” (Rachel Naomi Remen). Making a mistake can be one of the best things which happen to us because it gives us a feedback. The discomfort we feel when we have made a mistake means that we are more likely to remember what we have learned—unless we allow fear to drive our future choices.

Fear combined with the expectation that the same mistake, rejection or loss will occur again increase the likelihood that we are co-creating that same situation of failure or loss once again. We need to acknowledge the fear and face it. How can we learn from the past without allowing fear to take over our present and future?

What keeps us stuck in a feeling of “unworthiness”, of “being a failure”, is not the mistake but the lack of self-forgiveness and self-compassion. The feeling of “not being good enough” has its foundation in shame. It prevents us from going out and trying again, whether that is going to take another professional risk or healing our losses or relationships. Shame vibrates at a very low level. According to David Hawkins’ scale of consciousness, it’s one of the lowest possible vibrations.

Hawkins Map-of-consciousness

The only way out of that swamp of shame and fear is through self-love and self-acceptance. “There is this place that we all have deep inside us that is untouched by trauma and shame.” (Mark Nepo) There is a deep wisdom inside of us. Our essential self knows that we are perfect and whole, that we are love and light. In meditation or hypnosis, we can experience that place of deep and profound love-ability.

Once we have experienced this, it is easier for us to change our narrative about ourselves. We can change our story from “I am flawed. I am not good enough” to a different inner narrative of “I am human. I make mistakes. And I learned from my past mistakes”. As we change our story, we do not just change our perspective, but we literally change our brain. When we change our story, we change our life.

Often we feel stuck, when we are at a point in our life when our story needs to change. We always have the choice between a victim story or an empowering story. We have the choice to bring up a loving supportive parent voice as opposed to the judgmental voice of our Inner Critic. You are after all not your Inner Critic; that voice is just a part inside of you. Separate from it. We all have the capacity to personify and create a visual image of this part in us. You can even give it a name. Pick a name that is a bit ridiculous to make the separation even clearer and easier.

We want to be able to identify the voice of the Inner Critic. We could communicate with it. Like all parts, it has a purpose. The Inner Critic sees its job in keeping us safe from outside criticism and rejection. You can thank your Inner Critic for how it’s been attempting to help you. You can even find out what that part fears for you. Let it know you appreciate it is trying to protect you from embarrassment.

inner child - little girl

The second step is to bring up a loving parental voice and to connect with our vulnerable inner child that needs to hear and feel support and compassion. If you find it challenging to tell an empowering and self-compassionate story in a given situation, imagine the story someone who loves you tells about you, different from the story you tell yourself. Or imagine what you would say to a friend or a child in a similar situation. The Inner Critic talks to us in a way we would never dream of talking to somebody else, especially not a child. When we speak to others, we know exactly what words are encouraging, uplifting and motivating to do better next time.

Here is an exercise you can do to practice separating from your Inner Critic. Think about a choice you regret, or a moment in which you felt a sense of failure or shame. Imagine sharing this moment with a wise and loving friend. What would that friend say to you? They would most likely first of all show compassion and say something along the lines of “that sounds so difficult” or “I am sorry you had to experience this”. The second thing they might do is empathize and respond with something like, “I know how you feel. We have all experienced something similar.” The third thing they might do is remind you how lovable and amazing you are. They might encourage you not to give up but to try again. You can even write a letter to yourself pretending to be this compassionate, wise and unconditionally loving friend.

Compassion is not so much a trait but an action. I recently came across another interesting suggestion to increase our awareness of being compassionate. Get a pretty glass jar. For each time that you are compassionate with yourself (or others) you place a beautiful stone or colourful marble in the jar. The accumulation of crystals, stones or marbles becomes visual evidence for how compassionate you can be with yourself. When you do something self-critical, you can look at the jar and remember that those compassionate acts are not taken away and that the glass is just waiting for the next colourful token.

Glass Jar 2.JPG

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Angelika, Belief Change Coach & Relationship Coach

905-286-9466, greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

Taking Care of Our Vulnerable Feelings and Needs




Easter is my favourite holiday. It is a time for family get-togethers, less commercialized and overloaded with expectations than Christmas, and I truly love the feeling that spring is in the air. I loved Easter when I was a child and even more so when my children were younger and excited about the more and more elaborate Easter Egg treasure hunts I would create for them each year. Easter is one of those occasions when our own Inner Child might come out, no matter how old we are.


Our Inner Child is that vulnerable younger part in us which carries our playfulness, our imagination and creativity, our sensitivity, our fears and needs, and last but not least, the ability to be completely in the present moment. “This child inside of us which never grows up is of the uttermost importance because it carries our psychic fingerprint, the rhythm of our essential being and it’s presence determines the level of intimacy we are able to achieve in our relationships.” (Sidra Stone, The Child Within)

In our development of our personality, our move is towards power. We move away from the vulnerable child as we develop our personality structures, our sub-personalities, that protect us in the world. Some examples for sub-personalities are our Rational Self, our Perfectionist, our Pleaser Self, our Ambitious Self, our Smart Self, our Confident Self, our Intellectual Self, our Aggressive Self and so on. Those sub-personalities make us tough and able to cope. The purpose of this development is to protect the child, make life safe for it, and ensure it is appreciated and loved by other people.


The downside of this development is that without the child, we lose intimacy in personal relationships. “You can have marvelous contacts with people, exciting, exhilarating, intellectual contacts or power contacts but there is something missing; there is always something you are yearning for and you don’t know what it is and that’s the child being a part of things.”(Sidra Stone, The Child Within)

It’s the job of our Aware Ego to be responsible for the Inner Child. The Aware Ego has the job of parenting all the different selves but with the Inner Child, it is particularly important. If the Inner Child is not cared for by the Aware Ego, that child is going to emotionally reach out and bond into another person in our environment: our partner, our friend, or one of our real children. We then expect that other person, our spouse, friend or child to take care of our emotional needs.


With nature awakening, our Inner Children love the opportunity to be outside more. They adore the playfulness of searching for hidden Easter treats. The more you are in touch with your own more vulnerable feelings and needs, your child can come out to be playful and carefree.

Here are some ways of caring for your Inner Child now at Easter and at other times:

  1. Spend Time with Your Inner Child

Visualize the little girl or little boy and feel them. Find out what his or her feelings and needs are. What type of an Easter weekend does he or she want? Does he or she, for example, really want to spend hours on the road to drive to the in-laws to sit inside all weekend and eat, or does he or she want to be outside to connect with nature? How can that need be met in conjunction with your other Easter plans?



  1. Honour Your Fears

Don’t be a slave to your Inner Child’s fears no more than you would let a small child dictate to you what you are doing with your life, but honour the fears which come up and see what you can do to make allowances or lessen them. For example, you are going to meet your girlfriend’s parents for the first time on Easter and you are nervous. What can you request from your girlfriend to make this easier?


  1. Allow Time for Creative Activities

When you engage in creative non-demanding activities, child-like activities, like playing with clay, painting, drawing, or other craft activities, your Inner Child rejoices. It is important those activities are without the goal or aim of producing something marvelous. Also be aware that our Inner Critic likes to come in and criticize child-like activity because they don’t produce anything and are not necessarily of any kind of aesthetic value. The Inner Child part is not production oriented. The adult parts in us are. Now at Easter can you engage in some playful arts and crafts with your kids or by yourself, just for the fun of being creative?


  1. Learn How to Express Hurt

Learning how to take responsibility for hurt feelings and how to communicate the fact that your feelings are hurt helps the child inside. Do you remember the last time your spouse said something that hurt your feelings and you bit your tongue? How could you successfully and productively free of blame express a hurt next time?



  1. Learn What Hurts the Inner Child and Stay out of Toxic Situations

Ask what situations or relationships you are exposing your Inner Child to that are doing damage; and then make a conscious decision whether you want to continue those situations or relationships. There are some situations which are damaging but which—as sophisticated grown-ups—we feel we should be able to manage. That could be toxic work situations or relationships we feel we have to deal with.

For example, each time you go to a celebration or event of your partner’s children and grandchildren, your partner’s ex-wife and the mother of said children is also invited, and your partner doesn’t leave her side but serves on her and flirts with her. The proud grown-up part in you might feel you just need to handle this maturely and be fine. The revengeful part in you might feel it’s best to somehow show your partner how you feel by punishing him. Both parts are trying to protect your vulnerable feelings, but you are still exposing your child to unnecessary hurt and pain.


  1. Enough Food and Rest

Sometimes we forget that having enough food and rest is basic care for that child. We need to make sure we have healthy nutritious and regular meals and get enough sleep at night.



  1. Financial Security

Inner Children feel better when we are able to pay the bills. They don’t like debt and dependency on others. In a situation where a woman is financially totally dependent on a man, her Inner Child is never completely safe because she doesn’t have money of her own. Honour your Inner Child by planning ahead, paying bills on time, and doing what you can do to give yourself some financial security and independence.


  1. Allow for Some Predictability

Inner Children, like real children, like some predictability and schedules. They can be playful and spontaneous but too much unpredictability often frightens them. Make plans for the future and give your Inner Child some predictability.


  1. Treat Yourself

Sometimes Inner Children want particular things. We do not need to go broke over those wants but some physical objects make the Inner Child feel important and good. Does your Inner Child want something special for Easter?



  1. Be Conscious of Your Environment

The Inner Child is often sensitive to how comfortable, cozy and safe the environment feels. Is there something that needs to be changed in your home or office environment? Does your Inner Child right now maybe rejoice in Easter decoration, more plants, pleasing colours or some other elements that adds homeliness?



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!

Angelika, 905-286-9466, greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

Join Dhebi DeWitz and myself for our next bi-monthly FREE webinar to get in touch with the needs of your Inner Child.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 9 from 8:00-9:00 p.m. EST or 5:00-6:00 PST

TOPIC: “Are Your Essential Needs Being Met?”

DESCRIPTION: Uncommon knowledge on how to connect with your essential self and experience greater fulfillment and soul authenticity.

Click here to register and to receive the link to join us life. The webinar will also be posted on YouTube afterwards.

“I will not find you wrong”

At the end of the four day Shadow Energetics workshop, we all hold hands in the closing circle and share with a few words how we feel; gratitude, joy, peace, sadness for the weekend being over, and most of all unconditional love and acceptance are being expressed. The most magical moment for me always unfolds when we are playing the beautiful song “I Will Take Care of You” by Amy Sky: I can literally see into every person’s soul.

All the masks that we wear on a daily basis have come off after being together for four days. Everybody feels safe enough to let the other participants see their vulnerable, authentic self. Some people are really touched by the song. Some even cry, as I did when I first heard the lyrics and allowed its message to land inside my heart.

I will take care of you

The song tells the story of a baby being born and the mother taking care of her. It talks about the girl growing up to be a bride and her wedding vows being “I will take care of you”. It continues with the mother dying and the daughter taking care of her, and ends with another baby girl being born into this endless cycle of love and care. It expresses the longing we have in our closest relationships to feel safe, protected and taken care of. It is a song about our own inner child, that part inside us that needs nothing more but to feel safe and looked after.

As I look around the circle, there is no doubt in anybody’s face that we are one big family, in which you know with absolute certainty that you are accepted the way you are. The workshop reminded us of what we all know deep down to be true: We are one.

Incredibly blessed, deeply honoured and very much aware of the responsibility I hold as I am carrying forward the teachings of my friend and mentor, Darryl Gurney, I am once again reflecting on what it takes to get to this moment at the end of every single workshop. Teaching the Shadow Energetics Work is way beyond teaching techniques and even beyond providing the opportunity to all participants to make their own shifts and changes and do their own healing. The key to teaching this particular workshop lies in providing the experience of being unconditionally loved and accepted, truly feeling that we are enough exactly the way we are.

Darryl has many times shared what was the most intimate moment in his life, when he understood what allows people to heal. He was in a session with his Body Talk Teacher. Lying face up on the massage table something came up that made him feel defensive. His Body Talk Teacher gently put his hand on Darryl’s higher heart chakra, looked deeply into his eyes, and simply said “I will not find you wrong”.

I will not find you wrong img2

The experience of not being found wrong is deeply life changing. The courage of being able to be open and vulnerable is initiated and encouraged by the instructor, yet carried by every single participant. In all my years of taking different training and workshops, I have never come across a second person who so masterfully creates a safe space in which everybody is heard, seen and held. That Darryl has been able to do this over and over again is the result of many years of doing his own work, clearing out his own shadows and triggers and being conscious enough to know that the work never ends.

During the last workshop, a participant expressed surprise that Darryl himself muscle tested out a shadow and took part in a process I facilitated. She asked, “After all those years and all the work you have done, you still find shadows to integrate?” His response was an emphatic, “Yes, of course.”

He walks his talk. Darryl’s daily practice is to wake up in the morning and to work on his dream messages. Dreams show us what is going on in our subconscious mind and which beliefs we might want to change. In our family, we work on and with each other to clear out fears, limiting beliefs, emotions and integrate our shadows. Sometimes we say, “There is no time right now” and things are postponed and occasionally forgotten.

Doing your own work is about making choices and setting priorities. Often we wait until something is wrong, we are in pain, in a conflict or a relationship is endangered. What if we all healed our issues now, instead of waiting until we are seriously ill, or the other person we have a broken relationship with has died?

Having been entrusted with the Shadow Energetics workshops for the GTA, I have an extra incentive to continue my work on becoming clearer as a person, stronger as a teacher and more unconditionally loving in every way.

Please watch out for the Shadow Energetics Workshop Schedule for Early Spring 2015.




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How do I interpret my dreams?

Dreams are one way of our subconscious mind to communicate with us. They are full of symbols. The art is to listen, to understand and to find out what needs to be done to address the messages a dream gives us. How do I open the door to my dreams?


If you currently have trouble remembering your dreams, set a clear intention that you want to receive messages in the dream state. Keep paper to write or a recorder next to your bed. That way you can jot down or record your dream while you are still half asleep and in the alpha brain wave state. Once we get up and move our bigger muscles, we go into beta brain wave activity and it is much harder to remember a dream. If you still find it challenging to recall your dreams you might need to do a belief balance like “I clearly remember my dreams” or “It is safe for me to remember my dreams”, using PSYCH-K® or another modality.

If you are working with another person’s dream, honour and respect their confidentiality and vulnerability. Refrain from offering your own interpretations. Only the dreamer themselves can for sure say what a certain person, animal or object represents to them and what their dream means to them. If they are at a loss to understand their dream you can offer a respectful comment like “If it were my dream, I would wonder if…”

You can access dream dictionaries to get an idea of the symbolic meaning of dream images. However, ultimately all that matters is what something means to the individual dreamer. For example, according to Freud’s classic dream interpretation theory, a snake showing up in a dream represents a phallic symbol that could relate to how you experience male energy or your own sexuality. However, a snake might represent many other things to an individual. How does the snake act? Is the snake viewed as dangerous or beautiful? A snake can appear in your dreams as an animal spirit guide or animal totem, bringing guidance about life direction and healing opportunities. A snake sheds its old skin and renews. It might symbolize the end of something and the beginning of something new. What type of snake shows up in your dream can change the meaning. Is the dreamer themselves “acting like a snake” or is there somebody in their life who has snake-like energy? What part in the dreamer does the snake possibly stand for?

Some dreams are prophetic, most are symbolic and contain hidden messages for us. Whether you are analyzing your own dream or helping somebody else understand theirs here is a method which we use in Shadow Energetics to map out your dreams and to access the messages:

Write down the dream. Draw a box around the setting, circle the people and animals, underline each major object, draw a wavy line under each feeling and underline with an arrow the major actions. Now you can begin to muscle test or use your pendulum to figure out what part of your dream requires your attention. Is it the people, the animals, the objects, the settings, the feelings or actions?

Dream Example

Once you have keyed in on the major aspects ask how you feel about them, the people, animals, objects, actions and when did you last have a feeling from a dream in real life? To understand what a person or animal represents describe what they are like. Do they remind you of any part of yourself? When we dream of a young child, that child might represent our own inner child inside. If the child in your dream is lost and you are looking for her or him, this could reflect your own relationship with yourself. Have you lost the connection to your own vulnerability or playfulness? Do you need to pay attention to what your inner child needs or wants?

There are many more questions you can ask. Muscle testing can help you to efficiently narrow down what the message is and what you are supposed to do in regards to the message. You might need to change some beliefs and/or some concrete action steps might be required. If you are not accustomed to using muscle testing or a pendulum, you can bring a dream message into a meditation with you and ask what you need to know about this dream.

Darryl G quote

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!

If you are interested to learn more about interpreting your dreams contact

Belief Change Coach Angelika

Sign up for the the next Dream Workshop.

Or join us for a four day Shadow Energetics® Training 


A related podcast which might interest you is

The Dance of Our Parts in Relationships – PART 2 Bonding Patterns

To understand how we interact with our spouse or partner, we need to know about our inner children and about bonding patterns.


Bonding patterns are basic units of interaction between people. The primary bonding pattern emerges at birth between the child needing nurturing and the mother giving nurturing. Our primary bonding patterns with our parents or primary care givers become recreated in all our relationships as adults. We are able to solve the issues from our original families in those new relationships.

The mother parts of the woman are bonded into the son parts of the man, and visa versa, the father parts of the man are bonded into the daughter parts of the woman. Bonding patterns represent the interactions between our sub-personalities or selves.

Our Aware Ego allows us to become aware of the bonding patterns, for example to realize that we are in our inner child part in an interaction, or our parent part in another interaction. Through this awareness, I can separate from this bonding pattern. The bonding pattern itself won’t disappear but I am able to meet my partner from the place of my Aware Ego. It gives us choices in our interactions as opposed to interacting automatically.

Hal & Sidra 5

Hal and Sidra Stone

Hal and Sidra Stone are very clear that there is nothing wrong with the parent-child bonding pattern. It is a basic unit of interaction. It is always present in our love relationships. It happens automatically and allows us to be intimate and close. When we love somebody we are protective and want to take care of them. Judging these bonding patterns as “co-dependency” is not helpful. As human beings, we are naturally inter-dependent. The key is to become aware of the bonding dynamics in our relationships, enjoy them when they have a positive impact, but also separate from them when they cause problems.

The positive bonding pattern can tip over into a negative bonding pattern. When the negative bonding pattern is activated because our vulnerability is triggered, we might switch from “good parent” to “judgmental parent”, and that’s when we realize we are in a bonding pattern.

Let’s take an example. Mark makes more money than Barbara and enjoys buying gifts for her or surprising her with get-aways or other special activities. Barbara feels good about having things bought for her as it reminds her of her father who had a similar love language to show his affection. Over time, she is getting used to those gifts and might ask Mark for something more expensive, for example a bigger house. At that point, Mark’s vulnerability is triggered and his fear that he is unable to keep up these expenses. If he is not aware of his fear—and most of us aren’t—he will move from the loving caring father who fulfilled Barbara’s desires into the judgmental father. Barbara is stunned to hear him say, “You are really ungrateful and spoiled. Why do you need an even bigger house? Who do you think you are married to? A millionaire?”

Barbara’s inner child is surprised and hurt and she might in turn judge Mark now as being controlling with money or cheap. With awareness, they are able to realize they are in a parent-child bonding pattern. Mark can then from his Aware Ego explain to Barbara, “My fear was triggered by you asking for the bigger house. I am worried we won’t be able to carry a higher mortgage. Several people have been laid off at my company and I am afraid this might happen to me as well down the road.” Instead of having to protect her inner child by going into a primary personality part to defend herself, Barbara can now respond with love and understanding from her own vulnerable part.

We have to be kind to each other and ourselves when it comes to these bonding patterns. They are natural and we spend a lot of time living in these bonding patterns. Most bonding patterns exist in a positive form. They are not causing trouble. As long as Mark is behaving like a good father and Barbara is the pleasing compliant grateful daughter they might not even realize they are in a bonding pattern. However, the moment Mark becomes the negative father to the frightened little girl inside Barbara, it lets them discover that Mark was taking on the role of responsible father and Barbara was letting him take all the financial responsibility.

This bonding pattern also exists the other way round. When our inner child isn’t taken care of by us, our inner child will hook into our partner and expect them to take care of him (or her). When real physical children come along, and the woman is all focussed on nurturing the little baby, the little boy in the man can become triggered. He might unconsciously drift into a more passive role and let the good mother in the woman run the show. He most likely is not even aware that the only way he feels he can get her attention is by being a little boy himself. That can quickly tip over into a negative bonding pattern when the woman refuses to mother her partner as well because she feels overwhelmed and vulnerable with her new role already.

A bonding pattern tips over when our vulnerability is triggered. That could be because we are frightened, hungry, tired, abandoned, lonely or feeling misunderstood, unappreciated or unloved. When our needs aren’t met, a primary self comes in and takes over. We might get angry or judgmental. These conflicts can go on for a long time or be re-activated over and over again, especially if we are not aware of the mirrors and our disowned selves.

When I have disowned certain things in myself which my partner carries for me, I might get angry at what I don’t like in myself. If Susan is over-identified with being productive and her partner is able to relax and do nothing, she might begin to criticize and judge him for being “lazy” or a “procrastinator”. If John is more serious and his partner is more playful, he might over time judge her as being “immature” and “childish”. If Rita is thrifty and her partner is less concerned with saving money, she might judge him as “irresponsible” and “wasteful”. The ability to relax, be playful or be generous which each of them originally loved in their partner is later on the trigger for judgments.

They might express these judgmental opinions either in words or with looks and in turn their partner will flip into judgmental parent judging them for the opposite. At that point, love “goes out the window”. What once was dear and fascinating to them about their partner is what they now hate. The partner’s inner child feels betrayed and is quite confused, “Wasn’t this the wonderful person who at the beginning loved me for who I am?”

Our disowned selves which we are so ready to criticize in the other person become the bats we are beating each other up with. We forget that what our partner mirrors for us is what we need to embrace and heal inside ourselves. We need to stop when we find ourselves being judgmental and examine how our vulnerability was triggered. How do I really feel underneath this judgmental voice?

We also need to realize that no energy is bad. Energy exists in polar opposites when we have not fully integrated an energy. What if Susan allowed herself to relax more and just be in the moment without the pressure to be productive? What if John took life less seriously and allowed himself to be more playful and laugh more? What if Rita realized her fear is triggered around money but that she can allow herself to be more generous without ending in poverty or debt?

It’s the job of the Aware Ego, not your partner’s responsibility, to properly parent your own inner child. Like a real parent, the Aware Ego has to learn to be a parent to the primary selves and to the vulnerable child. That parent voice is not critical or harsh like the inner critic or a primary self can sound. The parent voice is encouraging, loving and takes care of the inner child’s needs.

If I consciously take care of my own inner child, I won’t expect my partner to do it for me. That prevents these negative bonding patterns from continuing and opens up opportunities to communicate openly about our true feelings and our vulnerability. By taking care of my own inner child, I give myself the gift to have deep, intimate, mutually supportive and honest relationships.


If you want to listen to Hall & Sidra Stone’s “The Dance of Our Parts in Relationships”, go to http://www.voicedialogueinternational.com/bookshop.php

Hal & Sidra 4

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Relationship Coaching

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Angelika, 905-286-9466, greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca


No Mothers Out There

No Mothers

The search for Mother has ended.

The story of Abandonment is over.

The too-good-mother has vaporized into the idea that she was.

No mothers are forthwith.

No mothers on order.

No mothers in back pockets, to pull out at eleventh hours, when all seems lost.

No surrogate mothers.

No hand me down mothers.

No wannabe mothers acting out their mother on me.

No mothers except for She who whispers as the wind.

No mothers except for She who walks beneath me.

No mothers except for She who speaks my name without words.

No mothers except for the One that embraces the space that I am.

No mothers out there.

No mothers out there.

~ Maria Mars, copyright 2014


Maria, a very talented friend of mine, wrote this poem. It reminded me that I too used to look for a surrogate mother—until I didn’t anymore. I used to look for that ideal mother in other women my mother’s age. I used to look for her mothering qualities in all my love relationships. Until I realized that the key to wholeness is self-parenting.

The mother is not to be found outside of us in another person. The mother-love is what we open up to. It is always there. We need not earn it or learn it. We need not search for it or find it. We just need to be it and receive it.

Many of us have an inner child which feels scared, lonely, lost or abandoned. Often the only times that we connect with that vulnerable part in us is to criticize or be unloving with that little boy or girl inside. Instead of being supportive, encouraging and unconditionally loving with ourselves we make ourselves feel “not enough” in one way or another.

We can continue in the endless cycle of looking for that love and acceptance outside ourselves in other people, or we can take charge and begin to parent ourselves. We all have wounds to heal; some experiences left smaller wounds, other experiences left bigger ones. There is no wound that cannot be healed through self-love.

When my clients begin their inner child work they are often surprised by how real that little child feels. They might realize that the little one inside is scared or insecure, or feels neglected and is angry for not having been heard. Sometimes the inner child is the part in us which makes us run away from opportunities, or push people away, or act impulsively in some other way. Once we have a clear perception of that voice and realize this is an important part of us, we can embrace it and bring it into the wholeness of our being.

Inner child work is emotional and sometimes surprising; it is always rewarding. Being in touch with your inner child is a huge gift to yourself. What we call the “inner child” is the side of us which allows us to be close and intimate with others.

Being able to check in with the little child part inside to ensure her or his needs are met is the basis for an authentic and fulfilling love relationship. Before we can have a successful relationship with others, we need to establish that relationship with ourselves. When we truly know who we are and what is going on inside we can address what comes up and continuously do our own inner work.

Being aware of your vulnerability in a relationship can mean expressing your feelings and needs calmly, non-confrontationally, lovingly and with the clear expectation that your partner will understand and acknowledge them.

Taking care of our inner child includes taking responsibility for our feelings. Nobody makes us feel a certain way. It also means taking responsibility for our own needs and desires. We need to make sure ourselves that our needs are met, or we need to make clear requests for them to be met by other people.

Embracing all parts of us leads to wholeness. The rewards for doing your inner child work are relationships which arise from an authentic heart space of love, caring and compassion.

Are you ready to connect with your inner child?

Contact Angelika



Intimacy Requires Vulnerability

She is driving; he is sitting next to her. Suddenly, he blurts out, “My God! Will you get off that guy’s ass!”

Her response to being yelled at might be to react defensively and say something along the lines of, “Who is driving here, you or me? You always criticize my driving!”

Not constructive communication, wouldn’t you agree?

What happened in that situation? He went from fear to anger in an instant. Had he been more in touch with his vulnerability he might have been able to say, “I feel a bit unsafe right now. Could you give us some more distance from the car in front of us?” Her response to that would most likely have been to meet his needs with understanding.

When that vulnerable part in us—our inner child—is threatened, we tend to step into a power sub-personality to protect ourselves. One of those power parts is our angry self. Another one might be the rational self, the perfectionist, or any other personality that feels safer and more comfortable. However, to be really close to somebody, to be truly intimate with the people we love, we need to be in touch with our vulnerable self.

In her fabulous TED talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” Brené Brown analyzes what is needed to make deep connections and why we would want to do that. Connection gives purpose to our life; yet shame keeps us from making those deep connections. Shame is based in the fear or limiting belief of not being worthy of connection. For connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be really seen. Courage is required to allow others to see our vulnerable self. Cour is the Latin word for “heart” and the original meaning of courage is to “tell the story of who you are with your whole heart”.

According to Brené Brown’s research, we also require compassion. This means having compassion with others, but also treating yourself kindly. Connection requires authenticity and vulnerability. It means having the courage to love without guarantees. It requires us to stop controlling and predicting, numbing our feelings, pretending we are not vulnerable, and striving for perfection when the beauty of life is imperfection. Vulnerability after all is “the birthplace of joy, belonging and love” (Brené Brown).

Shadow Energetics work is designed to make us aware of our personality parts—the power selves as much as the vulnerable inner child or the inner critic. They are all important “players” when we make connections with others. Treating ourselves kindly means achieving separation from that inner critic whose only job is to find something to criticize. Instead we can bring in the supportive and loving parent voice to encourage us with kindness. Only if we strive to love ourselves unconditionally can we love others in the same way.

Belief change work and shadow work allows us to re-connect with who we truly are. It brings us back to wholeness and allows us to be more authentic with others. Our relationships can unfold their true beauty. Those individual connections then have a domino effect. My vision is a world in which we all feel safe to connect from love and our authentic core selves.


To find out about an individual belief change and shadow work session or the upcoming Shadow Energetic Workshop in Toronto please contact me:










Healing in a Safe Space


September 20-23 in Kitchener

September 26 -29 in St. Thomas (near London)

November 14-17 in Toronto (Leslie/Queen)


In this four minute long you tube video Darryl explains the Shadow Energetics work



I highly recommend this workshop to anyone who is on the path toward self-empowerment. Here is my own experience:

Even though I have been in the mind-body field for ten years and have done lots of inner work on my self one of my relationships was still less than perfect – the one with my father – when my friend Darryl announced his new workshop. I was curious to try out Darryl’s relationship alignment to work on the relationship with my father.

Another male participant stood in for my father as the facilitator muscle tested the seven chakras. All the issues that came up made perfect sense. We worked through each of the chakras that were out of alignment either for me, or for my father. The process was deeply emotional and left me feeling cleansed and vibrating at a high level of heart energy.

Two days later, I called my father. Before I dialed his number, I put myself back into that heart space. I was blown away by how much the energy had changed. The conversation was a completely different one than ever before in my life. It was loving, respectful, supportive and very calm. My father let me speak, instead of interrupting me; he listened and I experienced him as non-judgmental but interested. I felt pure love in my heart, was adapting to his slower pace and delivering my opinion on different topics more softly and calmly. For the first time in my life, he actually listened to my opinion without ridiculing it. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire conversation. Instead of dreading those phone calls, I now look forward to them. We speak twice a week and have long loving conversations full of laughter. He does not trigger me anymore, nor do I trigger him. I can say that the past is truly healed.

We all have people in our lives whom we struggle with. The Shadow Energetics Workshop contains many deeply-touching techniques to become whole and to heal our relationships.




The Power of the Parental Voice

Last week, I observed a number of different parents interacting with their children. I saw positive and encouraging examples of parenting, but also several devastating ones. It made me contemplate how we talk to our children, and what messages and suggestions we instil in them. Ultimately, this also made me ponder how we talk to ourselves. What is our own inner voice saying? Is that inner voice possibly echoing messages that we received in our childhood which were less than loving or supportive?


In one museum, a boy of about eight was standing at the top of an escalator, lost in his own dream world, just looking around. Instead of bringing him gently back to the present and asking him nicely to pay attention to other people who might want to use the escalator, I heard the father bark, “Get out of the way!” followed by, “Why do you never listen to me?”

It was at the tip of my tongue to say, “Because he is trying to tune out your critical voice. If you were more loving, he would listen.”

Not only does this father send the message that the son is in the way of other people but he also implants the suggestion not to listen.

The son learns, “I am not good enough. I am stupid or clumsy. Other people are more important. I am annoying to my father the way I am.”


In a restaurant, I overheard a snippet of another conversation. A father was saying to his six-year-old daughter, “No. You are the problem here!”

I have no idea what they were talking about, if the daughter was trying to communicate her needs or opinions. But no matter what it was, the father’s comment shut her up immediately.

What a depressing message to get! The daughter learns, “In my father’s eye, I am a problem. My needs, requests or opinions are nothing more than a nuisance.”


On a parking lot, another father was pushing and pulling his three-year-old daughter along, while the mother walked ahead and ignored them both. The little girl was just being a normal three year old, taking her time enjoying the sunny summer’s day. In passing by, I heard the father say impatiently, “How many times do I have to tell you to hurry up? This is a parking lot! Parking lots are dangerous.”

Another child, another devastating message. The little girl learns, “Not only is life not safe for me, but I am also annoying my parent by being myself and enjoying the moment. I am a bother.”


One could argue that the parents are just trying to teach their children to have consideration for others, not to blame others and to stay safe. However, all these life messages could have been delivered with love. Instead, they were delivered with impatience, judgment and harshness. The children did not learn anything but that they are not accepted the way they are. They might even conclude that they are unlovable, especially if their caretakers act like this on a regular basis.


As we grow up, we still at times have this harsh parental voice in our head, the inner critic that at times is useful and tries to protect us, but most of the time just beats us up mercilessly.

How do you speak to yourself?

What does your inner voice say when you make a so-called mistake, or when you are in a situation that you could interpret as a failure?

Does it still say “You are stupid and not good enough”, or “You are the problem,” or “Pay attention! There is danger lurking just around the next corner”?


Just as children need a patient, understanding, compassionate and encouraging parent, you need to bring out that inner parent who sees you with loving eyes. The inner parent can put your inner critic in its place. That loving, caring parental voice believes in you and in your potential. It’s that part of us that helps us to bring the best out in us. If you want to be happy and feel good about yourself there is no way around self-love. If you want to love others, there is no way around self-love.

If you want to succeed and live a happy life, you have to make the choice to separate from your harsh inner critic, stop being a victim to your own inner voice, stand up for your abused inner child and begin to parent yourself differently!


For Life or Spiritual Coaching, Belief Change Work through Psych-K®, Forgiveness Work or Inner Child Work contact me