Friday, 7:30 – 9:30 pm, Saturday, 9:30 am – 9:30 pm, Sunday, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
The Shadow Experience: Breaking Through to Emotional & Spiritual Freedom
Kelley Kosow, The Ford Institute
Discover how to set yourself free from repetitive patterns in your life, your work, and your relationships that leave you disempowered, disconnected, or otherwise dissatisfied.
Do you feel like you have a lot more to give but something is holding you back?
Do you have a negative, self-defeating voice inside your head that influences your choices and behaviors?
Are you stuck in certain aspects of your life and unable to forge ahead?
“Our shadow is a divine map that reconnects us to the life we were meant to live and the people we were meant to be,” wrote Debbie Ford, New York Times best-selling author of The Shadow Effect and creator of The Shadow Experience.
In this intensive workshop, you will embark on your own sacred journey through the shadow and into the light. Through a process of personal discovery and exploration, you will break through to emotional and spiritual freedom as you:
Peel away your limitations and discover the authentic power of your true self
Expose the pervasive and often hidden impulses that influence your everyday decisions
Break free from the prison of fear, shame, regret, and self-sabotaging behaviors
Revolutionize the way you see yourself, your life, and others.
You will feel the difference in your body as you release the holding patterns of your shadow that have been secreted away in your tissues. As a result, you will leave with a more natural sense of your physical self and experience—freed up from the inside out.
Please note: Participants are required to fill out an application after registering (which will be sent to you) and are expected to read The Dark Side of the Light Chasers before attending the workshop.
Participants are required to fill out an application after registering and expected to read The Dark Side of the Light Chasers before attending the workshop.
What Is Shadow Work and Why Do It?
Eileen Fisher shares a life-changing insight she experienced doing shadow work and how the work shifts our perspective.
From Our Blog: Your Shadow’s in Action—at Home and at Work
It’s 5:00 a.m. and your phone pings you awake, sounding the start of another work day with its unduly cheery chirps. If you had your way, you’d cozy back under the covers and enjoy a slow, relaxing, lazy day at home.
But at the mere idea of sleeping in, you unconsciously spring into action. You reach for your phone and respond to your first work email of the day. Without being aware of what’s happening, you just locked yourself into a pattern you’ll operate from for the rest of the day: doing everything you can to prove you are NOT a lazy, irresponsible person.
This is your shadow in action. According to Kelley Kosow, CEO of The Ford Institute, your shadow consists of “the parts of you that you disown, deny, and deem unacceptable. Because you don’t want anyone to know or think you are those things, you create a persona that is the polar opposite of that which you despise.”
While you think you are hiding these parts of you away from your coworkers and bosses, they are actually unconsciously controlling you. To avoid being seen as irresponsible, you might work extra hours, do more than is required on projects, and constantly correct the work of your peers. In the process, you alienate your friends and family by working too much, frustrate your boss by never delivering exactly what they asked for, and annoy your coworkers by stepping on their toes.
You’re left wondering why nothing is going smoothly, despite the fact you’re working so hard.
“It’s like you’re on a gerbil wheel and you can’t get off. When the shadow is running you, you lose all ability to choose. You can’t choose the thing that’s for the highest good of yourself, your family, or your workplace. The only choices you can make are those that perpetuate the illusion that you are not the things you don’t want to be,” says Kelley.
Most of the time we think of our shadow as the “negative” parts of ourself—like selfishness, greed, or arrogance, or the fear of being overlooked, rejected, or unsuccessful. But Kelley says we can hide and disown positive qualities too—like the fact we’re brilliant, eloquent, creative, successful, or sexy—also out of fear for how people will perceive or receive us.
“I don't know if the dark or the light is harder to embrace,” says Kelley. “Are you more afraid of being unsuccessful or successful? Especially in the workplace, a lot of us want to be recognized, but then at other times we want to fly under the radar, where it’s safer to be just okay.” Either way, your wounded ego is running the show, acting like a petulant child and sabotaging all your efforts.
The Gift of the Shadow
Fortunately, Kelley says, “We can bring healing to the wounded ego and love to that scared little child and turn pain into possibilities.” By being willing to look inside and welcome all your qualities, you can tap into your authentic self. When you make peace with lazy and irresponsible, and own that these qualities are part of you, you can see how they might support you taking a day off or just doing a really great job on exactly what your boss asked you to do.
How do you know where to look to find your shadow qualities? Kelley suggests using the people around you as a mirror to show you the aspects of yourself that you have disowned and are ready to integrate back.
“To own a light shadow, look to see what you find awe-inspiring about someone you admire. You might like Ellen DeGeneres’ humor, while I am bowled over by her generosity. That’s because you need to own your humor and I need to own my generosity to make our next evolutionary leap. Once I owned that, I might see something else in her that catches my eye. It’s like following a trail of breadcrumbs that have been left for you telling you what you need next for your growth.”
Shadow Work at Work
Doing shadow work in the workplace is particularly valuable because a group is only as strong as the individuals who make it up, says Kelley. “The level of responsibility we each take for our personal growth impacts the evolution of the whole.”
Rather than spending time gossiping or worrying about others, what if you saw each of your fellow employees as an opportunity for your own growth? If you really admire someone’s creativity, where can you embrace yours? If you hate how your boss disrespects people by talking over them, where might you be being disrespectful to others?
Kelley suggests that “as you own the qualities you see in other people, you become more whole and feel more complete. Just think of how competition in the workplace would end if we saw ourselves through the eyes of wholeness instead of being afraid that everyone else has something that we don’t.”
What if your coworkers aren’t doing this work for themselves? That’s okay, says Kelley. “One person is all that’s needed to create a ripple of change. I love that so many corporations, especially those with a majority of millennials, are engaged in this conversation of ameliorating the corporate culture. But most of them are working from the outside in—they are focused on having nap rooms and ping-pong tables and free lunch for everyone, but what about working from the inside out? What about getting people to know and love themselves more?”
“When you feel more abundant on the inside you can create abundance on the outside. When you stand in your wholeness, you want others to stand in their wholeness too. When you have an understanding of how we work on the inside, you develop a compassion and humility and authenticity that allow you to have a person’s back and to support your coworkers and the business as a whole. It’s a huge opportunity for teamwork and getting things done. It’s a chance to embrace our collective responsibility and spiral up together.”
Get a glimpse at what the Shadow Process weekend workshop will do for you.
How People Who Bug You Can Help You Grow
Other people are mirrors for discovering things about ourselves we can’t otherwise see.
Three-day Workshop: $395 Saturday lunch and dinner included
Kelley Kosow is a Master Integrative Life Coach, Co-CEO & Program Leader of The Ford Institute. She is a leader and teacher of emotional education, shadow work, and personal mastery.
Kelley is known for being a “kick-ass” coach who uses her quick wit, laser sharp insight, genuine examples, and ruthlessly compassionate style to transform people’s lives. Truly gifted in supporting people to realize their limiting patterns and beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors. Known as a “coach’s coach,” Kelley works with individuals, groups and corporations worldwide.
In 2007, Kelley joined the Ford Institute staff. She was hand-picked and personally trained by the Debbie Ford to lead her programs and continue the legacy of her life-changing work. Kelley is a graduate of Brown University and University of Miami Law School. Kelley has been featured in local and national media. Oprah Magazine named Kelley as someone who could “Dream it, Do it.” She has been featured in In Style, People, NY and LA Times, and Conde Nast Traveler.
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Last Updated: April 19, 2016
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