The dragons, demons, ghosts and zombies of this world are not only in books and movies. Why are these memes so popular? They externalise the internal so we can finally look upon it. Everything that in some way connects to our deep often wordless inner world, the unconscious, finds resonance in the outer world.

These are those dark parts of our self. The ones we try our best to keep from the public eye, such as anxiety, abandonment and rejection, shame, rage, prejudice. Even our excruciating sensitivity that may have been criticized, our sense of not belonging, our shame-filled sexuality. Those ones, that sometimes jump into the drivers seat and drive the bus like a tantrum 2 year old. Or hijack meaningful connection. Or make life feel painful and hopeless. Unskilled, out of control. They can feel deadly, out to get us. Sometimes they are.

What would happen if instead of slaying these dispossessed ghosts and raging demons, we applied all the people and transformation skills we use in successful human interactions to them. We invite them into our presence. We sit down with them and really listen to all they have to say. We look for the wisdom and request beneath the rage, pain and fear, and we consciously feed them the thing they really long for. We nurture them. We give them cookies and milk. And, like an angry 3 year old who has finally been given what she really longs for : your attention- she changes under the gaze of acceptance. She calms down. She is more willing to come into right relationship with you. And to get back into the child safety seat. And let you get back into the drivers seat.

Shadow-presencing is a personal systems alignment approach that works with all aspects of Self, including your triggers and internal allies. What are some of your demons, dragons, ghosts and zombies that can hijack and sabotage your best intentions and plans? Know them, recognise them, sit with them and listen.

(This article was originally published on LinkedIn.)

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