Category Archives: shadow work

The Importance Of Having A Vision

Finding A Vision For Your Life

Let’s face it: no matter how determined you may be, you’re not going to get anywhere in life if you don’t know your destination.

Think of a GPS navigation system: it’ll take you where you want to go only when you program it with a destination it understands.

That’s exactly how your mind works, too. It’ll unfailingly take you to your destination – provided you know where you want to go.

And, just like a GPS, the mind requires a detailed set of instructions about where you’re going, about your destination in life. This set of instructions is your VISION – literally, your vision of what your ideal life will look like when you’ve achieved it.

Video – how to write a vision statement

You probably think your destination is success and achievement, which is what we all think we want.  Although true, this objective simply isn’t detailed enough for your mind to generate the energy which will take you there.

Your mind requires much greater clarity and detail before it will begin working to infallibly move you towards your goals, your desired outcomes, your vision of your future.

Right now, you may be wondering how you can get clear enough about what you want to form a vision of what your life will look like in the future.

To start with, you have to care enough about your life being different. As the quote from Anthony Robbins at the head of this section makes clear, you need something which gives you a strong “pull factor”. That is something you really want to do which excites you so much that you have a compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning!

An easy way to begin clarifying what you truly want is to make a list of 30 things you want to do, 30 things you want to have, and 30 things you want to be, before you die. This a great way to get things moving.

There are many other ways to discover what you want. You can attend workshops which are designed to help you discover what you really want in life. These can be great if you like working in groups and sharing the process of self-discovery with others. (See the resources section of this book for more details.)

Alternatively, you can work with a friend in a very simple way. To help you dig out what you really want, find a supportive friend who you trust to not make any judgements about what you say. Have him or her repeatedly ask you “What do you want in life?”

At first your answers might be purely material – you might find yourself expressing a desire for a big car, a big house, and lots of money.

Of course, if you achieve success in life, you may want a luxury car and a beautiful home. But a deeper vision of your life always starts to emerge after anything from five to fifteen minutes of constant questioning by your friend: “What do you really want?”

Shadow Work Can Help You Find The Way To Your Vision

The “superficial” answers (big house, big car, lots of money) soon give way to the real foundations of your vision. You begin to express values, qualities and actions that are the true expression of who you really are. These are the aspects of yourself which you may well have kept hidden for years – perhaps all your life.  (I explained some of the ideas behind the concept of shadow in this page of the site.)

For example, when I did this exercise a few years ago my desire for an Alfa Romeo and a five bedroom house by the beach soon gave way to my true motivation. What did I really want in life? I wanted to help people find their true selves. I wanted to serve people in a way which enabled them to overcome the trauma and emotional wounds of their childhood. And I also wanted to feel loved and respected. I wanted to have the personal power and skill to make a real difference to the lives of people who were having relationship difficulties, or problems finding their true power. I wanted to work with people who were determined to take back control of their lives from their wounded Inner Child and let their lives be run by their true Sovereign Adult self. And so on. These were the real things which I had held in shadow for many years, hiding the truth about what motivated me from everyone, including myself.

But when I started shadow work, I knew I had found a way to uncover not only my truths, but also how to manifest them. That is why I became a shadow work practitioner and teacher.

Happily for me, that is what I now do, and it’s what I am passionate about – running shadow workshops where people can open up to their true power and potential. And along with the enjoyment and fulfilment of living my right livelihood goes material satisfaction. I make money doing it.

Happily for you, the same can be true for you. When you find what you love to do, you will make money at it…. provided you have dealt with any limiting beliefs which might get in your way. 

With shadow work, which is explained here, you can quickly get a sense of your vision by answering three simple questions: What do you really love to do? Where do you really love to be? Who do you love to spend time with?

Dr Chris Stankovich is a high-performance sports coach who’s designed programs to enable athletes at all levels from amateur high school players right up to world class athletes to achieve and fulfil their maximum potential.

He’s worked with many US football teams and Major League basketball teams, and he’s a world class expert on motivation. Here’s the thing: he believes that acquiring skills is a much easier thing than developing the true passion needed to succeed.

True passion, he says, is roughly the same as “intrinsic motivation”. In other words, the best way to achieve outstanding success is to find out what you feel passionate about and then do it, rather than trying to decide what you want to do and then developing the skills and enthusiasm to do it.

Without true passion, he says, it is impossible to reach your full potential in life. He adds, “I have also discovered through my travels that it is vitally important to clearly state your goals and dedicate your life 100% towards your goals if you want to truly achieve great things.”

Dr Chris, as he is known, says he believes we all have passion and purpose in our lives even when we’re not clear about where that lies. And he makes the point that passion and purpose literally make you love being engaged in all aspects of what you’re doing.

Without passion and purpose, people give in to pressure and stress, and begin to point the finger of blame and responsibility away from themselves and towards just about everything and everyone else. But with passion and purpose, athletes quickly move through tough times and stay hungry for the next day. The same is true for all of us.

Can you teach – or be taught – passion and purpose? Probably not. But you can certainly look for it in yourself. And a good clue to where you can find your own passion and purpose is to look at what you love to do – what gets you up early in the morning and keeps you up late at night.

One sports quote Dr Chris uses with athletes is “the only thing you deserve is what you earn.” It’s a telling quote which makes perfect sense. Those who know this do not make excuses for their failures and shortcomings. Instead they use each lesson as a building block to do things even better tomorrow.

How To Be Prosperous – Shadow Work

Finding your right livelihood is not a matter of chance – it’s a matter of planning and good intention. Here are some useful guidelines.

Consider What You Would Do To Help The World And The People In It – Right Now

Over the years I’ve worked with clients, I’ve discovered that the majority of people find their life purpose is fundamentally to do with connection.

That may be connecting with other people and supporting them in some way, or connecting with Mother Earth and supporting her.

Although I’m still wondering whether everybody’s mission is ultimately about greater connection, I rather suspect that it might be.

So ask yourself what social, environmental, community or family problem you care about, and start doing something which contributes to a solution.

Video – finding and integrating your shadow

Obviously you can’t solve all the world’s problems, but you can make a difference. Feeling powerless and disempowered helps nobody; believing that you can do something which will impact people and make a difference changes everything. And what stops you from doing these things is your shadow. You can read about that here.

Shadow work – integrating your shadow – changes everything because you reclaim your own power. You become more powerful. You become more emotionally and physically whole. You inspire other people by your example. And by inspiring other people, you are at the foundation of a greater movement which eventually becomes the norm – for you and those who emulate you as their Leader. (Hopefully a Heart Centred Leader.)

Not only that, but following your mission and purpose gives you a feeling of power, satisfaction and joy because you are indeed contributing to positive change in the world.

And people who believe they are making a difference seemed a lot happier than people who spend their time moaning about how bad things are.

What Do You Fantasise About? A Clue to Your Soul Purpose!

I am absolutely sure there’s something you want to do, something you believe you could do, something you imagine yourself doing… but somehow, for some reason, you don’t do it.

I’m sure you can come up with plenty of “reasons” why you don’t do it. Maybe you’re scared of what other people might think. But, to be blunt, there’s always a deeper reason for not doing something than “what other people might think”.

Generally it comes down to fear. And one thing I can tell you about fear is that a great way to destroy it, and all the illusions which lie behind it, is simply to take action.

The fear which is in your shadow, put there by other people, is the fear which will prevent you from moving forwards in your life and getting what you want. It will also prevent you form being the King or Queen you can be.

But when you engage with shadow work (provided, that is, that you have done enough work to bring the finer qualities of these archetypes out of shadow), little can stop you from getting what you want. Being what you want. having the impact you want. Read about the nature of shadow here. And explore the reasons for doing your personal work here.

When you do what you’re frightened of, whether that’s lifting the phone to speak to somebody, asking for an interview, trying out a new idea, exposing your vulnerability to the world, or taking any kind of risk, you defeat your fear and give yourself an insight into how courageous you truly are – even if you don’t succeed.

The women and men who allow themselves to be constrained by fear are the ones who don’t get anywhere.

So when you fantasise about doing something, and you feel you really want to do it, summon up your courage, find a way to do it and learn from what happens. You never know, you might be successful!

What Absorbs You So Completely You Forget About Everything Else?

A great clue to hunt down your passion is to look at what makes you lose track of time – you know, the one which can even make you forget to eat dinner.

We’ve all had that experience, and there’s an important message in there.

If you can become so absorbed in what you’re doing that you forget to eat, and don’t notice the passage of time, then it’s likely you’ve found one of your passions.

And somewhere in your passion there’s a clue to your purpose.

Even if your passion is playing video games at all hours of the day and night, maybe there’s a reason why that’s your passion, a reason that could help you find your purpose in life. Maybe you want to spread a message through this medium! It would certainly be a great way to connect with people!

How to find your purpose

Another way to look at this is to consider where your tolerance for failure is high.

In other words, where in your life do you put most effort towards succeeding? Where can you tolerate your mistakes, and carry on with enthusiasm and passion?

For me, the first item of wooden furniture I built gave me a clue that this was one of my passions – to create beautiful and useful objects made of wood.

And even though I made some blunders in measuring and sawing the timber for the bed I was building, my determination to create a functional and aesthetically beautiful piece of furniture drove me on until I succeeded.

Is that my life purpose? No, but there’s something about persistence, trail and error, creativity and creation in the mix here, something which can help me to understand my skillset. And that includes skills which I can bring to my life purpose of healing people’s emotional wounds.

Interview Your Younger Self and Your Older Self

If your five-year-old, your ten-year-old, and your fifteen-year-old selves could come back to life and speak to you now, what would they tell you about the way you’re spending your life? The answer, of course, is that they would tell you – whether they knew it or not – about the shadows that formed in your early life. They would reveal. simply by speaking their truth, what qualities and attributes they had hidden away to stay safe, to continue to be accepted. And that  would give you a clear view of what you could have achieved if only you had examined the unspoken and hidden shadows in you unconscious using shadow work earlier in life. And perhaps still can, if you do the work.

Finding Hidden Shadow Beliefs With Shadow Work

Well, the good news is that your younger parts are available to you, and they can do exactly that.

All you have to do is imagine your 15-year-old, 10-year-old or 5-year-old standing opposite you, close your eyes, and ask them a question – “What did you most want to do in the world?”

You can then switch yourself physically into the position of your younger self, and answer that question from the knowledge and wisdom of the younger part of yourself which still lives inside you.

Crazy though this may sound, all the parts of you that ever lived are still present in a very real way inside your mind. They can tell you better than anyone about your childhood dreams and aspirations.

Perhaps the answers to the questions you have about your life purpose lies somewhere in a conversation with those parts of yourself. This is one of the fundamental techniques of shadow work.

Try it with an open mind. You’re almost certainly going to be surprised by the answers.

And if you wish, you can have the same conversation with the beautiful and older parts of yourself, the seeds of which currently lie inside you.

Choose an age – perhaps the age at which you consider you will have reached wise elderhood – and imagine that part of you to be standing opposite you.

Ask that part of you, with your eyes closed, “What are you most proud of having achieved in your life?” Or perhaps “What would you most like to have achieved in your life?”

Again, physically switch into that place and answer the question from the imagined elder that you will become.

After all, that part of you already knows what you will most regret not having done when you come to your final moments on earth. And of course, that part of you also knows what you could have been most proud about doing in your life on earth.

Read more about shadow work and depth psychology here.

Finding Your Right Livelihood 3

Continued from here

Finding Right Livelihood and Overcoming Blocks

You see the theme here? It’s about bridging the gap between what excites you, what you’re good at, and the way in which you can make money doing it.

Often it’s surprisingly easy to bridge that gap – because building the bridge simply needs a little creativity and imagination. But of course, as I said in my previous post, you may also need to overcome the blocks which hold you back. (Read more about how these beliefs operate here.)

And that’s why you need to be open to any possibility.

Having a clear vision is the first step in creating that mindset; we’ll explore how to create a vision for your life in the next post.

Another thing you can do is deliberately open yourself up to new possibilities, coincidences and little miracles – simply by taking action.

For example, you might choose to start a random conversation with everyone you meet. Suddenly someone comes along who turns out to have some information you need or offers the perfect opportunity. This is how the Universe works… coincidence, synchronicity, chance. Little miracles. It’s not your job to understand. It’s simply your job to accept that it is so.

A great way to make this shift in your thinking is to put yourself fully into your life. To put yourself fully into your life you might like to consider exploring shadow work – it is the most powerful system for unblocking mental problems that hold you back.

Video – shadow work – how to integrate your shadow

Shadow work allows you to jump in and try new things. It means you stop resisting the unknown. It allows you to make an effort to be fully present in the here and now. It lets your passion lead you in life. It means that you trust your hunches or intuitions. It means that you’re open to talking to strangers. It means that you notice opportunities when they present themselves. And it means you think, act and behave with a positive attitude. What a difference that can make! (Considering trying it out? Get some more information on this here.)

Do you, for example, consider yourself lucky?

Well, it turns out lucky people create their own good fortune. And – more importantly – “unlucky” people actually create their own misfortune. An experiment by Professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire shows this very clearly.

He and his colleagues asked a group of people to describe themselves as lucky or unlucky, and then invited them to an interview, supposedly to discuss taking part in a psychological study.

What the participants didn’t know was that the study was already underway as they went to the interview. The researchers had placed a $10 note on the sidewalk at the entrance to the meeting place, and they surreptitiously recorded who noticed the money and picked it up.

You won’t be surprised to learn, I’m sure, that only a few of the people who describe themselves as unlucky noticed the $10 bill.

And yes, you guessed it, most of the people who considered themselves to be “lucky” saw it and picked it up. Read more here.

The lesson is clear: open yourself up to what the world has to offer and the world offers a lot more than you could ever have imagined.

Richard Wiseman sums this up very clearly:

“My research revealed that lucky people generate their own good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, they make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, they create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and they adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.”

3  Allow Yourself To Listen To What Your Heart Is Telling You

You already know in your heart the answers to all your questions about what and why you’re here.

To be more successful, you simply have to stop trying to work things out with your mind, and instead follow your gut instincts, your intuition, and your heart’s promptings and longings.

So how about simply asking yourself what it is that you love to do, hearing the answer, and then start taking steps to do it? This will connect you with your joy and open the gates of inspiration.

When you allow yourself to be led by your heart, you’re naturally in a much more joyful place, and you’re much more motivated to explore possibilities. And the more you do what you love, the more opportunities you’ll create for greater inspiration and more profound joy.

As you explore the possibilities which open up, you’ll eventually come to understand your passion and life purpose. After that, life becomes less about finding your mission and more about living it.

And then you move into joy….

4 Remember There Could Be More Than One Thing That Matters

When we talk about life purpose being expressed through a job about which you’re passionate, it’s important to remember there are many routes to reach the same destination. Most people’s path of personal development is like a Quest, a search for meaning. Most people who quest successfully will follow a diverse and rich path fill of different experiences, all of which contribute some element of knowledge and wisdom.

In fact, thinking there might be only one way to express your deepest self can limit you in many ways. It closes possibilities off to you. You need to open your mind in as many ways as you can.

As Shannon Kaiser puts it, “The notion we have only one thing we are meant for limits us from fulfilling our greatness …. I have six different job titles. I’m a life coach, travel writer, author, speaker, teacher, mentor, designer, and each thing I do brings me joy but none of these are my purpose, they are my passions. Let go of thinking there is only one purpose for you and embrace the idea that our purpose in life is to love life fully by putting ourselves into our life! This means we jump in and try new things; we stop resisting the unknown, we fully engage in what is happening right here, where we are … The feeling that something is missing goes away when you lead a passion-filled life.”

5 Take Action

Discovering what you’re passionate about in life can be a matter of listening to your heart, but it can also be matter of taking action.

Simply put, the more things you do, the more likely you are to discover what you enjoy, what excites you, and what feels right for you. And if this sounds like a trial and error process, maybe it is.

But every time you try something new you gain a little bit more insight into what excites you and what does not. As Mark Manson says:

“Let’s pretend there are no useless websites, no video games, no TV. You have to be outside of the house all day, every day until it’s time to go to bed — where would you go and what would you do?

“Sign up for a dance class? Join a book club? Go get another degree? Invent a new form of irrigation system that can save the thousands of children’s lives in rural Africa? Learn to hang glide?

“What would you do with all of that time? If it strikes your fancy, write down a few answers and then, you know, go out and actually do them.”

 

Finding Your Right Livelihood (2)

How To Discover Your Right Livelihood

“I have not always chosen the safest path. I’ve made my mistakes, plenty of them. I sometimes jump too soon and fail to appreciate the consequences. But I’ve learned something important along the way: I’ve learned to heed the call of my heart. I’ve learned that the safest path is not always the best path and I’ve learned that the voice of fear is not always to be trusted.” ― Steve Goodier

To find your right livelihood, and perhaps the expression of your soul purpose, you need to access the knowledge of your subconscious mind. (Read about the unconscious or subconscious mind here.)

There are many ways to do this, and here are just a few of them.

1 Look At What Do You Do in Your Spare Time: What Are Your Hobbies?

Years ago, I worked with Alan, an accountant who was thoroughly bored with his corporate job. When he came to me for a coaching session based on shadow work methodology, I asked him to tell me what made him excited. He shuffled his feet and eventually replied, “Nothing, really.”

And then I asked him what he did in his spare time. For the next 30 minutes he regaled me with stories of making wine at home, in his cellar, with the wine press he’d built by hand.

Sensing I might be on to something, I asked him: “Alan, have you ever considered a career in the wine industry?”

There was a long silence, eventually broken by a string of expletives expressing, I imagine, his astonishment that this had never occurred to him.

Then, tentatively, as if he were nursing this new idea like a new born infant, he asked me, “How do you think I might do that?”

I happened to know that the local college offered a part-time course in Wine Education, under the auspices of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, a body dedicated to furthering people’s careers in the hospitality industry.

Next thing, Alan phoned me up, very excited, to tell me that he’d signed up for the course. And a couple of years later he passed all the exams with flying colours and moved seamlessly into a job as a wine buyer for a national supermarket chain.

For several years he had a great time touring and sampling wines all over the world. Sensing it was time to move on again, he studied for a degree in winemaking and then moved to Australia, where he immediately landed a job as a winemaker with one of the large wine companies.

A few years later he’d accumulated enough money and contacts to fund the purchase of his own vineyard. He recently sent me an email in which he told me how happy he was having found “his passion”.

“Everything about this job suits me,” he wrote. “The connection with the land. The investment of time and care in Mother Earth which you need to produce a quality product. That deep sense of being so linked to Nature. The movement through the seasons. The science of fermentation. The art and craft of producing high quality wine which enhances so many people’s lives. And beyond all of that, I totally love how wine brings people together in such a fun way.”

As Alan’s story shows, what you do in your spare time can be a crystal clear indication of where your true passion and interests lie.

Video – uncovering your true passion

When you look at what you do in your spare time, does it have an underlying purpose which excites you and drives you on to achieve more in this area? Is there some way in which it benefits the world or the people in it?

And if that’s true, then how might you begin turning your hobby into an occupation?

Now – a word of caution. Often people have a sense of their passion, but are inhibited about following that path. they fear failure. They think they are not good enough. They are scared of being seen, of “putting their heads above the parapet”. In other words, their fears hold them back. Bit here’s the rub – those fears can be unconscious. You may require some therapy to uncover them; you may require more therapy to overcome them. And yet, without such therapy, how are you to get what you want – your passion? I  will say more about this in a moment.

2 Take Note of What Interests You and Excites You

When you read books, what excites you? Stories of adventure, exploration, discovery? Science, art or literature? Which programmes are unmissable for you on television, and why is that?

What in the world gives you happiness, pleasure and satisfaction?

Video – why are people so unhappy?

(Unhappiness is a massive block to seeking fulfillment and passion in your work because it blocks motivation.)

One of my clients, Susannah, who was working as a mechanical engineer in the railway industry, told me that she loved watching TV documentaries on the history and geology of the British landscape.

In fact, she told me, she’d enjoyed a sense of connection with nature since she was a little girl, when she used to play endlessly in the fields, mountains and streams of the English Lake District.

And her face lit up when she talked about introducing other people to the pleasures she knew so well. In fact, her passionate desire to share this landscape and her knowledge of it was very clear. She talked a lot about reconnecting people to Nature.

But like so many people in this situation, she hadn’t chosen to explore her excitement and joy any further. Her fear, her unconscious fear, stopped her. And note  that was fear she barely knew existed in her mind. It was, as the psychologists say, “in shadow“.

What she needed was a catalyst to show her how she could turn her passion for the land into something bigger: a pastime, a job, an occupation, a life purpose even.

Often people know what excites them but they fail to make the connection between their excitement and the possibilities which lie hidden within it. For Susannah, all that was needed to bridge this gap was to learn just enough about the art of documentary filmmaking.

Now, you may say, “That’s such a big thing.”

But a little learning about how to make documentaries allowed Susannah to submit some simple videos to a number of TV companies all over the world. Soon, her videos came to the attention of a producer on an American TV channel.

And then Susannah was invited to submit a script and a test shoot for a series of programmes on the British landscape – with her in front of the camera.

Finally, with her script accepted, she was invited to present the programs on camera for a commissioned TV series.

Last I heard of her, Susannah was living her dream.

She was exploring and adventuring in the landscape she loved, introducing millions of other people to the possibilities of pleasure in this glorious countryside.

More than anything else, she was living her life purpose: bringing people to an understanding of the delicate ecosystems on which we all depend.

And note that she did this by working on her unconscious fears: which meant, for her, seeing a psychotherapist qualified in shadow work, who could uncover and eliminate her deepest fears and self-doubts.

Sure, you may not want to make TV programmes, but you can still think about what excites you.

And, as a corollary, you can think about what scares you. And when you find out what scares you, you can do some personal work on it. See, for example the description of what is possible on this website about shadow work. The author says: “If you are wrestling negative emotions, beliefs, or habits, it’s not because you are broken. With enough commitment and curiosity, you can address these things and move beyond them….”   

For example, what do you post about on Facebook, Pinterest or any other social media site? What unique knowledge and talents could you share with other people?

Sarah Charles graduated in 2007, but rapidly discovered that undertaking graphic design work contracted by large corporations didn’t prove as fulfilling or creative as she’d hoped. So in her spare time, she created her own prints inspired by nature – owls, armadillos, wolves, trees, flowers, and so on.

Because she was open to the possibility of new ways of expressing her art, Sarah set up a store on Etsy, a newly developed online platform where craftspeople could sell their products. Etsy brings together skilled artists and buyers who appreciate the time, creativity and effort which the merchant-artists put into their products.

And sure enough, customers began to find her. Better still, her customers began asking her to make T-shirts, pillows and throws screenprinted with her designs.

This allowed Sarah to make a few extra thousand dollars a year for several years doing what she loved to do.

And then, in 2012, Etsy featured her on its homepage for five days. This led to thousands of new orders and allowed Sarah to turn her hobby into a full-time career.

Literally overnight, she stopped working for companies and started to focus entirely on her own creations, selling them through her online store. Her business is now thriving, and paying her more money than she’d earned in any other job.

This means Sarah can focus on the artistic and creative side of the business. As she says, “I’m in the sweet spot where I’m at my capacity but I’m making great margins and paying myself well.”

Continued here

What Is Your Soul Purpose?

What Is Soul Purpose?

Think of your soul purpose as a mission statement for your life – in other words, what you could achieve by your actions, by your very presence on planet Earth. For example, my own mission, my soul purpose, is “to recreate connection with self and others by bringing people to an understanding of their deepest desires, and I do this by running shadow work workshops.”

So my right livelihood, the way in which I strive to bring my soul purpose to fruition, is to coach people in ways to express their gifts more fully (using shadow work). Through shadow work, people can begin to bring their deepest emotional wounds into the open and heal them. This way, they can express their natural gifts and talents and hopefully achieve success…. as well as finding their soul purpose.

Finding Your Soul Purpose – Video

A trained facilitator can help people overcome limitations and find their souls purpose by running healing circles and personal emotional process work workshops like these. These are “time outs” from life where men and women can dive deep into their childhood emotional wounds and get the healing they need.

However you see this, one thing is clear: your right livelihood feels good not simply because you enjoy it, but also because it is an expression of the deepest essence of who you are. It is both a job you enjoy, and a way of bringing your greatest gifts and the most profound aspects of yourself into the world.

And when you do this, the world will respond by presenting you with coincidences, openings and opportunities which help you achieve that – and perhaps also offer a way to make a great deal of money.

Video – Right Livelihood (Thich Nhat Hanh)

There are two things which are really important here.

First, don’t fall prey to the idea that you have to choose between your right livelihood and a job with a decent income.

That’s only a limiting belief, and it’s best ignored. I call this stepping around the belief and choosing to do things differently. That is the premise of the King archetype – that you have a real choice about how to live your life. (Read about this idea here.)  However, if you can’t ignore it, then PLEASE do some shadow work to resolve and dispel your limiting belief. The simple truth is that without shadow work, all your aspirations may well come to nothing.

All that said, there’s another way of thinking about right livelihood. This is based on a belief system which says the only obstacles to having a job which is both fulfilling and allows you to earn a decent living are the ones you create. And of course, if you created the obstacles in your life, you can just as easily destroy them.

Even so, your right livelihood doesn’t necessarily have to be a full time, money-earning, wage-paying job from the day you find it.

Your right livelihood can be something you do part time on weekends or evenings, maybe, as you learn the skills and abilities necessary to become an expert in that field. This, of course, is a great way to overcome limiting beliefs. You learn gradually about the reality and extent of your abilities.

Eventually, if you have a clear intention, you will find that your right livelihood can indeed become the way you earn your living and become abundantly prosperous and successful in what you do.

Making Money With Your Right Livelihood

I know a lot of people find this hard to believe. Craftsmen and craftswomen, artists, writers, musicians and so on, generally feel that their gift to the world, their right livelihood, is to produce beautiful music or objects or paintings.

But often they tell me that there’s just no money in their work. They believe they must choose between fulfilling their hearts’ desires or making money. (Interestingly, I find they often choose to be fulfilled and happy but poor.)

I think there’s a fundamental misunderstanding of how the world works here. As far as I know, there are no spiritual laws which limit how much money you can make!

Truth is, your income is always capped by your own limiting beliefs. These are all the shadow beliefs you hold, consciously and unconsciously, about yourself and about your relationship to money. By far the most important of these is what you believe you’re worth.

Although many artists, craftspeople, and other creative folk believe there’s no money in what they do, I know of artists who have become multimillionaires on the proceeds of their work. Many others are certainly doing very nicely, thank you very much.

For example, take the example of Katie Marks. She’s achieved extraordinary success making beautiful and individually designed coffee mugs.

These are mugs like you’ve never seen before, and they sell for up to $420 each on Instagram. Her stock sells out each time she releases it. Kate is doing very nicely, no question about it. So what makes her different to the rest of the pottery community? Or, as one member of the pottery community wryly observed on the ceramicartistnow.com website in reference to Katie’s work, “What in God’s name are we doing wrong?”

Is Katie exceptionally talented? I don’t honestly know, but I think she would probably deny it. She says, “I have always loved clay. It’s been my medium of choice since I was a little girl. Even though college wasn’t an option for me, I knew I wanted to learn the art and craft of clay. I took one class at my local community college and I was hooked.”

She then found a potter’s wheel on Craigslist, bought it and went on to teach herself how to throw pots. Perhaps her biggest break was finding a guy she describes as “an incredible production potter” who became her mentor, and from whom she has learned “everything from glaze chemistry to kiln firing”.

If you think selling a coffee mug for $420 the minute an online auction opens is a rare achievement among potters, you’re probably right. But the point is this: if Katie did it, so can anybody else. Think abut that for a minute. If Katie did it, so can you. Or something similar.

She didn’t have a privileged background, she didn’t have financial backers, she just had the determination to succeed and some business acumen.

Her current successful business model is to make a batch of work, announce a sale on various social media platforms, and then watch the money pouring in as her work sells out in 15 minutes or less.

Her mugs are generally between $75 and $125 each, but in many cases they have gone for between $200 and $400. Rather snootily, one ceramics website observes that her pottery “lacks the functional craftsmanship and carefully considered elements that traditionally determines quality in ceramics.” (Does Katie care? I doubt it.)

Of course ­– as the writer goes on to point out – Katie is a lot more successful at making money than even the top percentage of the most skilled potters. They are, well, just pottering along in life. So is she just very clever at working out what the general public want?

Possibly. But I think the real issue is that Katie doesn’t have any limiting beliefs about her work. And this is where the importance of finding and working through your limiting beliefs comes in. The limiting beliefs you hold, are, obviously, the things which hold you back. They are the unspoken beliefs you hold about yourself which are out of conscious awareness – in other words, which are held in your unconscious shadow.

As may be clear by now, your Shadow is the part of your mind which holds 99% of the mental imagery and beliefs about the world which are effectively your daily “operating program” or in effect the computer program which runs your brain, completely out of your awareness. What is in this “program” determines how you live your life: limited or not limited, area by area. 

Katie’s certainly not limited in the way traditional ceramicists seem to be. They all seem very clear about how a coffee mug must be designed before it can qualify as a real mug. Amazingly, they also know how it must conform to certain standards to be regarded as a “quality” piece of porcelain. And best of all, they are sure they know the maximum retail price for a “proper” coffee mug! This is a perfect example of a LIMITING BELIEF system at work!

(I also suspect they also have a lot of limiting beliefs about how much money they, as individuals, might be able to make in this profession.)

I’m sure you can see how all these limiting beliefs are standing between them and the kind of success Katie has achieved!

She’s seems to have by-passed these beliefs about how things “should” be done, perhaps because she was never a part of the mainstream ceramics movement. I suspect she’s never been told  that potters don’t make much money, either.

And without any of those restrictions, Katie is well on the way to becoming extremely rich as she pursues the craft which, as she herself says, “I have loved from the very beginning.” Life purpose, sould purpose, mission, or just pure fulfillment? Does it matter?