One of the most important principles that you will ever learn is this: The way you feel about yourself on the inside determines what you will create for yourself on the outside.

In other words, your external world is a direct reflection of your internal world. The way you feel about yourself in the privacy of your own thoughts will show up in the quality of your relationships, the level of financial success you can attain, and the amount of love health, vitality, laughter and joy you will experience in your daily life.

The key to unlocking your true authentic power, opening up your heart deeply to love, and finding the confidence to go after everything you want in your life lies hidden in your shadow.

So what is the shadow?

Our shadow is made up of all the parts of ourselves that we hide, deny, suppress, and don’t see in ourselves – both the positive and the negative. Our shadow is all the aspects that we reject out of shame, fear or, disapproval. It is made up of any part of ourselves that we believe is unacceptable, will be met with disapproval by others, or that annoys, horrifies or disgusts us about other people or about ourselves. As the great Swiss psychologist C.G. Jung said, “Our shadow is the person we would rather not be.

From its invisible home deep within our psyche, the shadow wields enormous power over our lives. It determines what we can and cannot do, what we will be irresistibly drawn toward and what we will do almost anything to avoid. It dictates our attractions and our repulsions and it determines what we will love and what we will judge and criticize. Our shadow controls how much success, love, joy, and abundance we will create or how much failure we’re doomed to experience. Our shadow is an oracle that predicts all of our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors, driving the way we treat those around us -- and how we treat ourselves.

People often want to run away from their shadows.  They don’t want anyone to see their shadow. But running away from our shadows is what trips us up.  It is what causes us to self-sabotage. It is what has us not go after our dreams and stay stuck in fear.  If we want to radically reinvent our lives, be all that we can be, and turn the tide on mediocrity, playing it safe, and settling, then we must run toward the aspects of ourselves that we fear and have shame around instead of running away. It is only when we have the courage to face ourselves exactly as we are, right now, without any self-deception or illusion, that we will have the ability to give ourselves everything that we desire and deserve in this lifetime.

So the shadow is really a friend, a friend that is whispering (and sometimes screaming) to wake us up. It is inviting us to tell ourselves the truth and to come out of denial.  The shadow is really just a part of us that needs love, a part of us that has been wounded, ignored, and denied.  For us to be the fullest expression of ourselves and to manifest all we want in the outer world, it’s vital to find love and compassion for the totality of our humanity -- our light and our dark aspects, the selfish and the selfless parts of ourselves, the kind and the angry, the brilliant and the stupid -- not just parts of it. We must learn to love the totality of our humanity if we want to embrace the fullness of our human experience.

This is why we love the shadow. This is the promise of shadow work. It’s the beginning of a journey, a journey of knowing yourself, creating your life at a whole new level, loving your humanity, and allowing your divinity to be fully expressed.