In my last blog post, I wrote about a situation which has been causing me a lot of heartache and how, despite all of the tools and wisdom that I have as a life coach and teacher of transformation, it has been hard for me to find a sustained sense of peace. I shared how after going to healers, therapists, and doing lots of deep work around my core wounds and projections, I was so grateful to read Debbie Ford’s new book Your Holiness: Discover the Light Within because it reminded me that when I feel cut off at the knees, I need to get down on my knees and ask to be shown. Bottom line, I needed some divine guidance to support me in finding resolution, relief, and a deeper understanding of self.

Days after working my way through the book and using prayer as a vehicle to connect and receive, I was running outside and heard the words, “Just be with the hurt.”

Stunned and amused, I stopped dead in my tracks. I realized that I had been literally running away from my hurt. In my fixation to figure out and fix my pain, I had avoided really feeling the deep hurt that was being triggered inside of me. I was trying to get to the destination without going on the journey. I’d been trying to bypass the feelings in my heart and resolve my pain in my mind, which, of course, was a strategy I developed long ago and even wrote about in The Integrity Advantage.

“Whenever we hate or resist something, we are pushing it away, but we can’t learn a lesson from something we refuse to look at….As the saying goes, ‘The only way out is through.’ No matter how much we try, we can’t get rid of our unwanted emotions until we feel them. We need to develop a healthy relationship with our emotions, so we can be informed and not affected by them, so we can feel and heal whatever is going on. To be in integrity, we need to get out of our minds and into our hearts and feel what we need to heal.”

Obviously, we teach what we need to learn and of course, I see myself in so many of the people I work with. Their adult mind, which has done “so much work” on themselves or an issue, thinks it knows, can figure it out, or somehow tie up their issues and insights in a pretty package and be done with them. To find resolution and distance themselves from their pain, they rationalize why something happened or someone acted as they did. They say things like:

“They were doing the best they could.”
“They didn’t mean to hurt me.”
“I know it’s not about me.”
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Or they quote some spiritual text that sounds really good and exhibits a level of understanding about why something happened. Although everything they say is “true” and “makes sense,” you can still feel the pain in their voice and struggle in their heart when trying to wrap their arms around the issue. The adult mind, the ego, is really good at justifying things. Even though we understand something on a cognitive level, that does not mean that we are healing it on a cellular level. The head can’t take us what the heart wants to go. No matter what the adult knows, the pain is coming from that little child inside that was so deeply hurt. It’s that little child inside of each of us that needs to be seen, let their feelings be expressed, and be loved, honored, and nurtured.

Just taking a few days to acknowledge and feel my hurt lifted a burden from my heart.

Many of us avoid feeling our feelings by numbing out or staying distracted. Keeping busy and always doing, is my escape route from feeling. One of the many reasons I love The Shadow Process Workshop is the singularity that the workshop provides. We are all there to do one thing: go within, take time to reflect, feel what needs to be felt, express what needs to said, and just do us. We shut off our phones, unplug from our businesses, and ask our families to respect our need to disconnect so we can peel back the layers of protection and self-sabotaging habits that have kept us from feeling and healing at a deeper level so we can soar to higher heights without the weight of the past. The gift of our own time and attention, as well as the safe, supportive, and loving cocoon that is quickly established, empowers everyone involved in the process to lean into the feelings and issues which they had previously only wanted to run away from.

That’s why I’m excited it’s coming up in a few weeks. If you are ready to get off your own proverbial treadmill, then I encourage you to run, not walk, to The Shadow Process.

I hope to see you there or soon!

Transformational Action Steps:

1. Identify an emotion you have been pushing away or afraid of feeling.

2. Take some time to be with the emotion. Talk to it. Listen to it. What does it have to say to you? What is its biggest fear? Don’t try to push it away or fix it. Just give it some time and attention to express itself and see what happens.

3. Come to The Shadow Process April 6th to April 8th in Los Angeles. Learn more and register here.

Author's Bio: 

Kelley Kosow is the author of The Integrity Advantage, a motivational speaker, and the Chief Executive Officer of the highly acclaimed Ford Institute. She continues the legacy of the New York Times bestselling author and thought leader, the late Debbie Ford, and leads the development and teachings of The Ford Institute’s transformational programs to thousands of people across the globe. Known as a “kick-ass coach” to high-level executives, change makers, and celebrities committed to personal transformation, Kelley blends her quick wit, laser sharp insight, and relentless compassion to help people upgrade their lives on a cellular level. Throughout her impressive career as a successful lawyer turned personal growth super star, she has been featured in Oprah Magazine as someone who could “Dream it, Do it,” as well as In Style, People, Working Mother, Latina, NY Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and LA Times. Kelley has also appeared on “The Balancing Act” and Connect with Kelley at or