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Episode 159 Transcript: Shadow Work Part 5: Wholeness

Nancy: Wholeness is how you become the agent of your own freedom. That’s what we’re talking about here. You’re no longer passively waiting for someone else’s validation or approval or reflection of you. You take up space. You let yourself shine from the inside out. You courageously reclaim your own light. This is what is available to you.

Nancy: Welcome to the Nancy Levin Show. I’m Nancy Levin, Founder of Levin Life Coach Academy, best-selling author, master coach, and your host. I help overachieving people pleasers set boundaries that stick and own self-worth, anchored in empowered action, so you can feel free. Plus, if you’re an aspiring or current coach, you are in the right place. Join me each week for coaching and compelling conversations designed to support you in the spotlight, as you take center stage of your own life. Let’s dive in.

Welcome back to the Nancy Levin show, and if you are listening to this episode in real time, I’ve got super exciting news. My brand new book, Embrace Your Shadow to Find your Light, my guided shadow work journal is now available. And if you’ve not yet ordered your copy, simply go to nancylovin.com journal. And when you go there, you will also be able to receive some free bonus gifts that I have created just for you.

 And today on the podcast, as we’ve been doing over the past weeks, we are looking at the final stage of shadow work. It doesn’t mean it’s the end, and in fact, it’s actually the beginning. But over the past few weeks, we have been looking at all of the seven alchemical stages. We first looked at awareness and then surrender and then responsibility, authenticity, resilience, nourishment and today we are looking at the 7th, which is wholeness. 

And one of my favorite quotes by Carl Jung, the swiss psychoanalyst who first coined the term shadow in the context we are using it. He said, “I’d rather be whole than good. So just let that sink in for a minute. I’d rather be whole than good. And the reason I love this quote so much is that as we dive into our shadow and we are able to retrieve the gold within, we really recognize that labeling things good or bad, positive or negative, doesn’t serve us. And instead it is about really moving into our wholeness. The soul’s goal is to be whole. It’s moving into our wholeness, recognizing that everything exists within us, that we are everything. As opposed to we are good or we are bad. 

And so this stage is really the solidification of your authentic whole self, free from the binaries of good or bad. And your polarities have unified to reveal a totality that is more glorious than its separate parts. So the gold of your true self has cooled and solidified, because as we’re talking about shadow work, we’re talking about it as an alchemical process, transmuting parts of ourselves, really recognizing that we are and we have the gold within. So the gold of our true self has cooled and solidified to show us what is possible when we stay connected to our deeper essence. And that’s what’s really important here in the wholeness. Remembering that we are walking contradictions, we are walking polarities. We hold the tension of opposites. So we’ve explored, embraced, integrated elements of our shadow here and from there, we are able to really step into our wholeness.

And this is the where all of this scavenging in the dark has led to the remarkable discovery that inside the cave of your shadow lives your most radiant light. And the quest that we’ve been on to collect all these lost pieces is the very thing that has supported you in shining so brightly. The fact that you’re willing to even entertain this journey, that you’re willing to look at all parts of yourself that you’ve been denying, that you’ve been suppressing. This is how you begin to move through the world, embracing your shadow and shining your light. 

And, you know, I do think of the shadow as a space within us, a cave within us. And we expend a lot of energy stuffing parts of ourselves down into that cave. We shove down the parts of ourselves that we don’t want to be and don’t think we are, as well as the parts of us that we would like to be but think we’re not. And all of that in the shadow becomes a breeding ground for shadow beliefs and shadow commitments that no longer serve us.

 And so part of the shadow work journey is putting on the headlamp, going into the cave and pulling out the gold. And what’s happening as we do this is there is a vulnerability and a transparency that lights us up from within. And so we’ve been shining a light inside that cave, and it’s resonating outward, and we’re seeing ourselves in a brand new light. And this is also what opens us up to greater possibility. This is what allows us to empower ourselves to move forward toward our wholeness. Because wholeness isn’t just the goal, as I was saying before, it’s not the end. It’s really the first step on the next leg of your journey. And this is where you really get to live in full ownership of your shadow and your light. So no matter where you are on your shadow work journey, you’re always invited to step even more decisively into your own luminosity. You get to bring that illumination because the deeper you are willing to travel into the dark, the brighter you will shine. 

So at this stage, you are illuminating more and more of who you are through your wholeness. And again, I shared early on in this series about shadow work, how I liken our process of doing shadow work to the same process we experience in the moon each month.So we look at the moon in the sky and at different phases of the month the moon is showing us different phases. So we might see a sliver, a crescent moon, we might see a half moon, a full moon. Regardless of where the moon is in its journey, it is always whole. And it is concealing or revealing parts of itself, depending on where it is at whatever point during the month. We do the exact same thing. We are always whole, like the moon is always whole. We expend a lot of energy concealing parts of ourselves. And shadow work is the process of revealing. Revealing whatever it is that we once concealed and so that we’re no longer stuck in this belief that we have to hide some part of ourselves in order to be loved and accepted. 

Now, I want to be really clear. You might choose to withhold parts of yourself from discernment, which is very different than hiding parts of yourself out of fear. So this is not about overexposing ourselves or flooding other people with all of our stuff. This is really about knowing that I don’t have to hide this anymore unless I choose to, but I’m not hiding it out of fear. 

Nancy: Hi, it’s Nancy interrupting my own show. I’ve got a lot of exciting things coming up in 2024, including a brand new book plus a group coaching opportunity, unlike anything else I have ever offered before. To make sure you are in the know, pop on over to my website now and sign up for my free weekly newsletter at nancylevin.com/newsletter so you don’t miss a thing. Okay, back to the show. 

If you’ve already experienced some level of fulfillment or satisfaction that are possible when you’re experiencing your true self instead of running away from it, you know what’s available to you here.

 So in wholeness, I would say hand in hand, comes visibility. And when I talk about visibility, yes, it’s about letting ourselves be seen, but it’s really more about consciously shining, consciously shining our own light on ourselves, drawing attention to ourselves. And in order to be truly visible, the more genuine, the more intimate we become. And the more genuine and intimate our entire life becomes. So again, it’s about shining the light and drawing attention to ourselves, to be seen in our fullness, to be seen in our wholeness.

And this really goes all the way back to the very first stage of awareness. The qualities that we feel triggered and activated by, the qualities we disown, those qualities as I said earlier, that we don’t want to be and don’t think we are, as well as the qualities we want to be and think we’re not. Because somewhere along the line, as we’re crafting this persona that we put forward to the world, we’re shoving these parts of ourselves down into the shadow. We got messages along the way that it’s not okay to be certain ways, it’s not okay to claim certain aspects of ourselves. And so these aspects are what also make us unique, singular, beautiful, worthy of applause and attention. And we were ultimately trained to dim our own light. So we were trained to disown not only the qualities that we perceive as negative, quote, unquote, but also the qualities we perceive as positive.

And so part of wholeness is reclaiming the parts of ourselves so that we can shine the light on our innate goodness, just like we are worthy just because we are born. Worthiness is our birthright. So is goodness and wholeness.

 Let’s look at a few ways that you likely dim your own light, that you deflect your brightness, your wholeness. You might not share your opinion if you’re afraid it will be unpopular or invite conflict. You might brush off a compliment. You might deflect attention even when it’s rightfully placed on you. You might downplay an accomplishment or a gain, feeling fearful that someone else will feel intimidated with your intelligence or your beauty or your confidence. You might hide yourself under clothing. There’s so many methods of concealing yourself. 

You know, for decades, I crafted a persona that I put forth into the world. A persona projecting perfection and managing the perception of others so that they could only see me the way I wanted to be seen. And it wasn’t until I was willing to tell the truth to myself and stop creating chaos around me that I was really able to recognize how heavy it was to carry around the facade and how freeing and liberating and resourcing to me tt was to tell the truth about myself and share the truth of myself with others. 

Wholeness is how you become the agent of your own freedom. That’s what we’re talking about here. You’re no longer passively waiting for someone else’s validation or approval or reflection of you. You take up space, you let yourself shine from the inside out. You courageously reclaim your own light. This is what is available to you in doing the work inside of Embrace Your Shadow to Find Your Light. This is a really robust experience where I take you through each stage from awareness all the way to wholeness. I share with you a bit of a teaching about the stage, and then I give you journal prompts, I give you exercises, and this might even be one of my favorite parts, in the book there are QR codes to meditations that I have created for you to really integrate each stage. So each stage ends with a QR code. You can listen to the audio meditation so that you can really integrate and embody each stage along the way.

And again, you know, the stages are awareness, which is essentially shining a light on what you have not wanted to look at, shining a light into your shadow. This is when you’re really acknowledging that you have a shadow, and it’s when we begin to take stock of what’s there. 

Then we move into the second stage, which is surrender, letting go of control and allowing yourself to connect to these qualities without any judgment. Surrender, as I define it, is releasing your willful stronghold on needing anything or anyone to be any certain way. So surrendering really allows us to release what no longer serves us. 

Then we’re able to move into responsibility, and we begin embodying the qualities we are reclaiming. This is also when we are in radical honesty with ourselves. This is when we are willing to forgive ourselves and take responsibility for what we need to.

And then we move into authenticity. This is when our emotions come alive, when we’re standing in our authenticity, when we’re able to own all parts of ourselves and we’re able to embody what we had denied, then we move into resilience, which I look at as the way we bring our authenticity to the world. So it’s one thing to stay with ourselves being authentic, it’s another thing to share ourselves.

And resilience is what allows us to continue committing, to moving forward in the direction of wholeness. So your resilience allows you to stay committed and connected to the way you show up in the world. 

Then we move into nourishment. And this is really about claiming what we desire, what we desire beyond survival needs. If you’re anything like I used to be, you may have prided yourself in having no needs or desires. Everything changes when you can tap in to what it is you desire, and not only what you desire, what you have been depriving yourself of. So I really want to take a moment here and talk about nourishment, because there are so many ways we can give ourselves nourishment, feed ourselves, and we don’t need to look outside for that. And yet we tend to be the one who deprives ourselves the most. So when we come to nourishment, we want to look at our overt desires and our covert desires. What are our shadow desires that we’ve been repressing? And how do we bring those into the light? 

And then the final stage, as I said, is wholeness, which I’ve been talking about. So wholeness is who you are, who you express yourself to be when you’re fully revealed. And what’s most important is that first and foremost, you are fully revealed to yourself.

So I am incredibly passionate about shadow work because point blank, it literally changed my life. You may know that I was the event director at Hay House for twelve years, and I always say I had a front row seat and a backstage pass to all of the teachers, all of the authors, all of the speakers, all of the books. And first of all, it wasn’t until I was in my own crisis that I was able to really absorb the teachings that were available to me. And of all, of all the methods, of all the personal development techniques, shadow work is what ultimately mobilized me to make significant changes in my life, and the momentum continues. 

So I feel like this book is taking me back to basics. It’s taking me back to the foundation of all of my work, all of my books, all of my coaching and teaching and training. And I am offering you the most potent and profound transformative method I know of. And I hope you will join me on this journey. 

So remember, go to nancylovin.com journal and get your copy today, along with the free bonuses I’ve created just for you.

Nancy: Thanks so much for joining me today. I invite you to head on over to nancylevin.com to check out all the goodies I have there for you. And if you’ve enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a rating and a review. I’ll meet you back here next week.