In the last week, I heard shocking news of a death.
One of my favorite authors, Debbie Ford, passed away last week at the very young age of 58.
Debbie wrote many best-selling books and the one that stands out for me is The Secret of the Shadow.
I was greatly influenced by her writing style and subject matter.
Debbie had the uncanny skill of talking about inner growth work in a very concrete, real and easy to digest way.
I believe that part of her skillset stemmed from the fact that she had many life challenges she personally overcame.
With the added gift of personal insight and complete transparency, she was able to determine what obstacles in her own life were preventing her from living her highest potential.
In fact, her emotional transparency turned out to be a very powerful gift to many.
Developing this flair of personal insight and complete transparency takes one big scoop of humility and another equal scoop of courage.
This inner work in a way represents the canvas of our lives.
It helps us determine how the strokes and colours that we use to paint our lives have altered our perspective or the way in which we see our world.
Perhaps we have experienced abuse from our childhood and the background of our picture is dark and gloomy.
Or perhaps we have endured unhealthy relationships or illness that resulted in a need to feel protected, showing up as a need for control, rigid thinking or feelings of separation.
It is easy to understand how we cannot begin to express our full potential when we are only using certain strokes or colours of the pallet.
In order to really create the masterpiece work of our lives it demands that we intimately know and acknowledge the feelings and thoughts that block us from living our highest calling.
With this acknowledgment we can embrace our lives fully and begin to let more light in.
Debbie Ford was fabulous at describing all of the on-going mental noise inside our minds that are associated with a limited perspective.
She called this running internal dialogue the shadow box.
“Your shadow box is filled with every thought you’ve ever suppressed—all your judgments, all your righteousness, all your unprocessed emotional wounds, and all your shadow beliefs,” she wrote.
“Most people never understand that their internal dialogue is like a bad tape that plays over and over, unconsciously, without edit. Most of us listen so intently that we can’t even hear what the people around us are saying.”
It was in the courage to listen to my own shadow box that I came to know myself and also embrace and love these parts of me that did not feel lovable.
Later in my life, it was this unique skillset that allowed me to identify when my brain was stuck in a specific pattern after I had suffered from an injury to the limbic system in my brain.
Knowing the brush stokes that I used allow me to integrate my internal world to produce the masterpiece of my life.
As Debbie wrote: “I want you to see that although you have many stories, many shadow beliefs, and an overly talkative shadow box, all of these come bearing great gifts—gifts intended to propel you outside your story and into the greatest expression of yourself. All of them are there for you to learn from and then to deliver your unique contribution to the world. “
Thank you, Debbie, for your timeless words of wisdom.