Ep #14: Embracing Light and Shadow

Within my community here in Louisiana, as well as in my business through the people I’ve served, I have observed a major disconnect in our human experience. Emotional discord is a huge issue because unfortunately, as a society, we are taught not to feel.

This week, my mission is to change that learned behavior, to unravel it so that we can embrace the process of emotional integration. By working on my own mindset journey, I have noticed the missing link and I want to give you the powerful first step today so you can come back to a place of wholeness, where you can reintegrate old emotions that you’ve pushed aside and suppressed.

Join me on the podcast as I highlight the whole experience of our humanness – the light and the shadow. The contrast exists so we can have gratitude and joy, and I’m showing you how you can arrive at a place of emotional maturity.

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • The problem with positive affirmations when dealing with old, unresolved trauma.
  • What “mental bypassing” means and why it’s not serving you.
  • How jumping to a new, better thought is preventing your growth.
  • Why there is so much disconnect in our emotional processing.
  • One question to help you embrace the darkness of the human experience.
  • The first step to begin the process of emotional integration.

Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to Integrative Life Coach Training for Health and Wellness Practitioners, the only podcast that can help YOU help more people, create a greater impact, and make more money in the health and wellness industry. Join Clarity and Confidence Coach, Kim Guillory, as she teaches you how to integrate your passion to serve with your skills and experience to create a business you love. Let’s get started…

Hello, hello, and welcome to the show. And today I’ve got some pretty intense conversation on the way, but first I want to start off just with a little update on what’s going on around here.

So we are starting a coalition. We had our – actually our second meeting. So this started back in December after Louisiana was given its grade, and we scored a 50. This was a huge wake up call. A 50 out of the United States puts us pretty low on the scale, which means we have nowhere else to go but up, which is kind of exciting.

So, some leaders have stepped up and we have joined forced with – this is parish-wide – I mean, it’s statewide but each divided by each parish. And so Evangeline parish is where I live and we’ve created this vision that I absolutely love to really bring emotional wellness. And I like to say or think about it as Evangeline parish is the home for emotional wellness. We create the model for others to follow because we do realize this is not just a parish or statewide issue.

Emotional disconnect or emotional discord, emotional maturity is huge. We just were not taught to feel. It wasn’t cool, we needed to go hide in the other room if we wanted to act that way or if we needed to cry, if we wanted to have emotions and outburst and all that stuff. And that learned behavior is what we have to undo, unlearn, unveil, unravel.

It’s about going in and being uncomfortable. It’s not fun. But once you do it, you will have gained power and control of your life. So today we’re going to talk about some of the processing or the reason behind the process and this concept that I use in my practice.

So I work with entrepreneurs who are on the frontline of health and wellness and integrative wellness, holistic living. Just bringing in this new – embodying this new wholeness way of treating the body and not necessarily just medicating or putting Band-Aids. And where that leaves us at is bringing things to the frontline. It’s new and sometimes it’s not welcomed yet.

It’s a little different, it’s unfamiliar, it’s uncomfortable. It’s our job to bring it forward. We are committed to the cause. We’ve made the decision, and we’re cultivating it because it’s super important to us. So what I’m noticing, even way back in the day, I remember following Louise Hay’s work, and she would talk about positive affirmations.

Like, don’t think that thought, think this thought, and believe this thought, and then do this and be this way. And I remember stopping my bike on the side of the road and I was like, “No Louise, I tried that. I did that for years and years and years, but there was something else.” And if you guys did not hear the podcast from last week, go back to it. It’s about the root system, which is your belief system.

This is where the social conditioning, the behaviors, the generational patterns came from that’s so deeply rooted that the positive affirmation is basically just like, changing the treetop. You cut off the top, you plant, and you put a new head on an old root system. It just doesn’t work, or didn’t work for me, and it didn’t work for many of my clients.

And I found this missing link through my own process, through my own journey. And it’s been super powerful. I created a five-step system, which is really simple and practical that anyone can integrate into their life and be able to come back to a place of wholeness where we integrate these old emotions that were pushed aside, that are repressed and suppressed.

And we’re living in this oppression and depression and all of this stuff, and it’s because of our inability or unwillingness to feel uncomfortable, to feel an emotion. So there is this grasping and arriving at rather than just being, and there’s this avoiding. It’s like we want to avoid and not feel it and we just want to go right to accepting it like yeah, it’s all good.

My tough cases that we’re really working with trauma recovery, they are so used to pulling up their bootstraps and putting on the new positive affirmation and just like, white-knuckling it, willpowering it, that it’s tough for us to go inside because it’s a real vulnerable space, and you’ve got to be gentle, and it’s got to be really safe. And that’s tough for us tough-asses, pardon my French.

It’s just tough. I am used to – I’m not afraid. I’m not afraid to do hard work, I’m not afraid to dive in and I have a lot of grit, fortitude, resilience. I’ve learned that through a lot of old trauma, a lot of growing up without and figuring it out for myself. And what happens is we’re no longer in that fight or flight, but we don’t know it. Our nervous system doesn’t know it.

It has acclimated to that survival mode and so for a lot of these entrepreneurs and leaders that are now living a successful life or what looks like a successful life, they’re still struggling because it’s not integrated into the new way, so there’s a disconnect, a discord, and that’s the part. We’d just much rather avoid it rather than – that avoid and accept or that grasping versus gratitude or arriving versus just being.

And this repression is all about helping us with what we can’t tolerate because we just don’t know how to feel. It’s untolerable. It’s like this is super uncomfortable. My clients will text me and they’re like, “I don’t like it, it doesn’t feel good. I don’t like it, I don’t want to do it, it’s not comfortable,” and it’s my job to keep them in their lane.

Imagine we’re at the bowling alley and I just have the little bumper pads to stop them from going into the sides, into the ditches. It’s just holding that space until they can become comfortable with being uncomfortable. And I want to say, I love mindset work. It is the coaching school I was trained at, it’s everything that has really gotten me into the positioning of managing my mind.

Taking control of my brain, it’s almost like having this wild horse and you just pull down the reins. Grasp, maintain, control, hold down the fort, keep the brain settled, keep it in place, recognize what is the thought that’s causing all of this fear, all of this nervousness or anxiety. So mindset work is amazing game-changing, life-changing, I love it, I can’t say enough about it.

Same thing with just the work I’ve done in the past is aligned with this. The cognitive behavior therapy, The Life Coach School, the work with Louise Hay, the work with Marisa Peer. All of it. The thought creates the feeling, the feeling determines the action, and the actions are what ends in the results.

But it’s all determined or coming from initially the thought. Very often the thought, “I’m not safe,” turns on the nervous system and we go into this fight or flight. Frontal cortex freezes, and we just go into this wanting to dash and run and get away from and hide and turn off and we just get real graspy and desperate because our brain is like, you are not safe, this is not a great environment, you do not want to feel this. You may hurt someone or someone may hurt you, and my job is to keep you alive and this doesn’t feel like you’re going to be alive. It feels very, very scary.

The mindset work helps you to see what that thought is, and like I said, I really love it. It’s such a big part of my practice. It’s what I teach. It’s what has given me most of the transformation or the ability to withstand the transformation.

But there is also a shadow side to it. So if you guys know about spiritual bypassing, that’s like a defense mechanism. It’s a shield from the truth. It’s the disconnect from our feelings. It’s a way that we can avoid the big picture.

So we check out rather than checking in. So it’s positive affirmation, spiritual bypassing is when we go to the thing that sounds great and we turn the switch. The problem is when we are dealing with trauma, with old, unresolved trauma, unintegrated emotions that just changing the mindset, just coming up with a positive affirmation, just changing the thought and creating another feeling, it’s not – if there is a root that needs to be dissolved, an old root, then just changing the top of it is not going to work.

And I’m not saying this is in all cases. For the majority, mindset is like, beautiful, amazing. It’s a way for them to really come into their own and hold the space so that they can go in and do the emotional processing. But I’ve been seeing in my practice with my clients and many others in the circle is that there’s almost this mental bypassing.

And I haven’t heard this, I’ve been researching and looking and I’m like, I’m just going to coin phrase this because it makes so much sense. The mental bypassing is when we do the mindset work, we come up with new thoughts to avoid the emotion. So there’s a really big difference between just changing the thoughts so we can change the feeling, so we can change the action, so we can change the results.

But skipping from that processing the emotion and being able to stay with and feel and not check out, I’ll see them kind of jump the bridge and go to the other side and just like, what’s a new thought, what’s a better thought, and kind of avoid it. And that’s not what we want because you can’t heal what you don’t feel.

Now, you don’t have to go into the whole story. I do regression work, I do a lot of inner emotional work that is just where my brilliance is. It’s just very natural for me, and it’s a safe space that I hold. My clients feel super comfortable. It’s a beautiful place for these emotions to integrate.

I like holding that space. It feels very comfortable for me because I’ve had to learn how to do it in my own life. The thing is when you’re always jumping to the new thought, you kind of prevent your growth to the next level. So what happens is you get to the next big thing and then that’s uncomfortable, and then you’re not sure what to do with that. And then the next big thing, and that’s uncomfortable, you’re not sure what to do with that.

So they keep kind of backsliding and just keep changing the thought, but without changing or recognizing the feeling and allowing it to process, you don’t get the full effects, the full benefits or full transformation. So what’s come into mind for me is last week we had – we buried my son’s best friend to suicide.

And there was a lot of young guys. So he was 20 years old, so there were lots of friends there. A lot of heartbroken guys. It’s a really sad story and there was – it’s a tightknit community, there was a lot of horsemanship and brotherhood. It’s just the way we do things out here in the rural area. Everyone knows everyone, it was like heart-shattering.

And what I saw from this experience is the opportunity that he left for all of these people in the community, not just the brotherhood or not just the friendships, but everyone. The mothers, because we, as mothers, feel the pain. I felt the pain for my son. I felt the pain for his mother, for his parents, for all of his friends and their parents.

And what happened with this incident is it offered the opportunity for people to feel, to not shut down, to really be in that grief. And with empathy and compassion and understanding. So he opened the opportunity for the gateway for emotional processing, to be able to see the suffering of humanness.

Suffering the contrast, the things that life presents for us. It was such a surreal, beautiful, heart-wrenching, all of it. All of it. I was like, not willing to miss any of it. The pain for my son, the not understanding the watching the brain trying to figure things out, trying to make it indifferently, what could have changed, all of that stuff.

And there was opportunity just to come up with a new thought and then bypass the pain. We hear this all the time. “Oh, they’re in a better place, they’re not suffering anymore.” There’s lots of suicide here. This is not an unfamiliar case, and I’m very sorry to report that, but it is a fact.

And we can’t keep bypassing this. We can’t keep coming up with new thoughts. We can’t keep changing the mindset and not getting to the root of what’s really going on, and that is that there is a disconnect. There is a disconnect in people with their mind, feelings. All of this stuff where we think a thought, we feel a thing, then we don’t want to feel a thing, and we go back to the thought and then we take an action to avoid it.

So we buffer. We drink or we eat or we gossip or we create drama. We stir shit. We stir the pot and all of that just in order to avoid the feeling. And so what we lack is coping skills. What we lack is a reconnection process. What we lack is awareness and presence, right down to the point that awareness and presence that we have feelings and it’s okay to feel them, and they’re not all going to feel great.

Matter of fact, a lot of them are going to feel terrible, and that’s okay. That is part of life. But we, as a society really need to work on coping skills and emotional integration, emotional processing. What do we do with these emotions, how do we process and where do we put them? It’s not just about changing the mindset and changing the thought and bypassing the process.

The practice here that I would like to leave with you is it’s to get to the freedom and feeling of the messiness of the humanness. Practice what it’s like to be in all of that, to be uncomfortable. We’re not supposed to rise above it. We rise within in. We rise because of it, we rise despite it. All of that.

We don’t rise and run from it. We are to be with it. Be with it. Recognize the contrast so we can come into the gratitude and the joy of the opposite. Knowing what it’s like not to be in it. The heaven and hell, the knowing, not knowing, the anxiety versus the peace. The contrast between the two worlds.

And so the mental practice is to practice being present to all feelings, and being willing to see the darkness and then to shine the light on the darkness. And the beauty of that is we are the light. We also possess the light. We are the light in the darkness, but when we’re in shame of what we’re feeling, when we’re wanting to run and hide from that, it’s basically like being in a closet with the light off and holding the door shut and hiding in the shame and in this pain and in these emotions that we don’t want to expose.

And on the outside of that door is light, is opportunity, is the passing of. And on the inside of the closet with just the switch of a light is also light in the darkness. It’s all of it. If we stop running and we’re willing to feel all of the feelings, we will notice that we’re only running from ourselves. It is not outside of us.

This is emotional maturity. The ability and willingness to feel an emotion, to be with it, to allow it, to process it, because there we gain flexibility, responsibility, personal growth, non-judgment. We create more resilience, more calm and ease. We become more approachable and less triggered. We have more fun. We’re able to appreciate all aspects of life. All of it.

The shadow side, the bright side, the joy, the fun, the light, the death, the grief, the pain, the separation. Feeling it, coming to that first step of awareness so you can recognize it. That is where the beauty is. That’s where life grows. That’s where we plant new roots. That’s where we begin to become.

So the takeaway today is could you consider having the willingness to feel, to be present, to allow, to be still in the discomfort? To be okay with not liking it, to not try to make it something that it’s not. To not just change the thought and not change the environment and not change whatever it is in the environment. Whatever’s going on, but feel it. Be willing to feel it so that we can process what we weren’t available to process in the past.

Because the pain that’s being triggered, the fear that’s coming up, the doubt that’s coming up is from our past experiences. That’s how we recognize it. And the thing that is happening in the present moment today brings that up and it triggers us and we react to it and we run from it instead of staying with it and recognizing it and navigating around it.

If you want to change the thought about it, change the thought from I am not safe to it is okay to feel this, of course I am safe. And still be in it. Find a way instead of to bypass it, to stay with it, to integrate it, and embody it. That is how we return to wholeness and safety. We bring back the parts of us that we left behind in the trauma.

And when I say trauma, it doesn’t have to be a big major trauma. Trauma is to the eye of the perceiver. Whatever you are able to perceive at that point in time, at that age, at that understanding. So it goes way back to before we were nine years old. It’s little bitty incidences and then they happen again, and then they happen again, and then we begin to believe it because that thought, if it’s thought enough times, it becomes a belief. And those beliefs are our root system.

So again, you can go back and listen to last week’s episode where I planted a foundation for that. So the first step is always presence and just being willing to sit through this episode and just consider emotions that come up, even when I spoke about suicide. Even when I spoke about the pain of the community and the separation, and what we are witnessing today.

This coalition is being formed because of the disconnection. 30% of our youth are disconnected. Do you know what that means for our future if we don’t find some solution here? If we don’t start bringing opportunity and new possibility to the table, and this is not just in my parish. This is not just in my state and this is not just in my country.

My business is global. This is happening around the world. And what we are called to do is take responsibility. The ability to respond. We can do things different. We can begin to just start with yourself and become present with yourself because I am present. I hold presence. I am that bridge to help others arrive at presence. I am the bridge that’s connecting the disconnect.

That call to integration, the first step is to be willing to feel. That presence, that awareness, that is what’s going to give you the ability to heal. What you can feel can be healed. And running from it, hiding from it, scurrying away, crunching on chips so that you don’t hear it or feel it, that is not the answer. That’s what we have done in the past and that is why there is so much disconnection.

And so I invite you to a life of flexibility and responsibility and personal growth and non-judgment and compassion, and growing that resilience by being willing to be in the discomfort and recognize it’s only discomfort. It’s only discomfort. It’s a sensation in your body. It’s a feeling.

When you don’t run from it and you allow it to process and you allow it to be felt, it loses its power. And this is how you gain your power. This is how you gain power and control of your life, of your business, of your relationships, of your future, of the future that you’re creating for yourself, the future you, who you’re becoming in this.

It is all about evolving as a human. Living a better life, teaching, leading, showing, being an example. And as we grow, society grows. As we grow, our environment grows. Just one person can make the change. There’s no obstacle outside of yourself that can stop the growth, evolvement, and transformation.

No one else can stop you. Nothing else can stop you. Nothing else can stop this shift from happening. It is not the responsibility of other people to do it so that you feel better. It is your responsibility so that you feel better, and then you become that example. And then more of you in presence creates more presence because we bring that presence forward.

Just having a conversation with me, I know I have the ability to turn on emotions. I am an emotional activator. I am an emotional integrator. I am that bridge. That is my gift. That’s what the whole punch line approach is all about.

And the first step to that system is presence. And in presence is awareness, and in awareness is healing. How fabulous is that? That’s how simple it is. It doesn’t take a diagnosis, it doesn’t take a surgery, it doesn’t take all of these supplements and test and pills and all of the stuff to get over chronic pain and disease. It takes awareness.

We are going to dive more into this, I promise you. Just I really want to set a really solid foundation so that you can go back and listen and then move forward and go back and listen and really come to own this so you can gain power and control of your life, your relationships, your finances, your spirituality, your business, your freedom, all of it. Your finances, everything, your communities. That’s what a whole coalition is about.

It’s not just about one person. There is no prejudice here. There is no particular group that is isolated from this. It’s in all of us. We are all humans having an experience. We are feeling. That is what humans do. We feel. We think, we feel, we act, we create, all of that stuff, and that one piece missing is the bridge that the integrative life is creating. That is what we are building this structure and foundation on.

This is the hope. This is the hope for the shift, for the transformation. This is the hope for all of us and for everyone that we’re going to affect. This is the impact that we can make. And so for my health practitioners and wellness leaders and professionals that are in mind-body medicine, this is the gift to give your clients and your patients. This is what’s missing. Such a beautiful thing.

Thank you for listening. I will chat with you next week. Go out there and be willing to feel. Watch, be present. Become the watcher of your own emotions. Just notice. You don’t have to do anything more than that, and it could start with I feel my feet on the ground. I feel my butt on the seat. I feel my hands touch my head. I feel the tingle in my fingertips. It could be as simple as that.

Just start to recognize the breath, the sensations, the heartbeat, what’s going on in your belly. This will be the most magical experience of your life as you begin to integrate and bring back those missing pieces into yourself, into all of your life. Mentally, emotional, physical, financial, occupation, intellectual, spiritual, all of it. Your relationships, your environment. Such a beautiful thing. Alright, bye.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Integrative Life Coach Training for Health and Wellness Practitioners! If you’re feeling stuck on your journey to mind body integration, head over to KimGuillory.com to download your Stability First Meditation today.


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