Emotional Health – Transforming Your Shadow, Part 2

KG Stiles, LMT, RBT, CBP

In the first installment of Transforming Your Shadow we talked about Your Shadow, or “hidden” Nonconsious Self. You learned that your Nonconscious Self usually has more than one voice from which it speaks and communicates with you and how to recognize your Shadow and its many voices through the situations that Mirror and trigger it.

Your first step in the process of transforming your Shadow is to focus on identifying the emotion that gets triggered by it. Practicing this step is training you how to observe your feeling without judgment or reaction to it.

By now if you have been practicing this first step as suggested you have witnessed the neutralizing affect observation has on your emotion. This frees you to make conscious and more empowering choices.

Let’s talk more now about how things work at the Nonconscious level of your mind. Research shows that intense and repetitive emotions leave imprints on your llimbic system (emotional brain), namely your Amygdala.

Your Amygdala is the storehouse for all of your past memories and emotional upsets. It operates much like an emotional radar as it continually searches out your future, looking for matches in your environment that are similar to your past life situations. A groove is formed for your practiced, habitual ways of responding which makes your Amygdala resistant to changing established behavior patterns.

Your Amygdala puts you on hyper alert and floods your body with stress hormones which build up, making you hypersensitive and over reactive. You feel perpetually under attack from your “HOT,” fired-up Amygdala.

Your Amygdala quite literally functions like a default button you’ve unwittingly activated in your bio-computer to automatically attract situations you will have to perpetually defend and protect yourself against. That is until you know how to go into your operating system and select the delete button to erase these dysfunctional patterns from your Nonconscious memory.

In this situation your mental states continually shift from moment to moment. Peace of mind eludes you. You develop strategies and emotional habits for dealing with life situations. Lights flash on and off in your neural networks, connecting the dots internally, guiding you automatically. You are like a self-fulfilling prophecy, being drawn to life situations that will attract familiar scenarios, leading you to self defeating, sabotaging behavior and further distress.

Through repetition you can install a new habit. Your Amygdala can be reset and restored to a balanced state. This reprogramming process takes about 3-4 weeks. Images, affirmations and emotional feeling states are the language of your subconscious mind. You must speak the language of your subconscious mind, consistently reinforcing the new habit of mind you are installing like a new software program with instructions that will allow your Amygdala to function properly for you, not against you.

In the next part of Transforming Your Shadow you will learn more about how things work at the Nonconscious level of your mind, the different kinds of dysfunctional, coping strategies that can result and how to transform them.

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