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group coaching for creative women on a mission, your shadow holds the key to your greatness, the world is your mirror, how to decode the messages the world send you

This past weekend I worked with two coaching groups I’ve started. The purpose of the groups is to help women launch creative projects stemming from their passions, talents and true desires.

These past Saturday and Sunday we were clarifying the Visions for their projects – a bigger picture of what they wish to change/contribute to in the world.

This is the work I am deeply passionate about. To envision what’s possible, to help people see the intersections between their passions and gifts, to gain clarity. We had women who came with clear ideas of what they wanted to do, we had women who had no idea of what it is they were called to create who were surprised by what surfaced, we even had some tears of joy. Needless to say, I’ve been buzzing with inspiration.

Today I wanted to tell you about some of my shadows I discovered these past weekend through working with these women.

I’ve been working with my shadows in the past few months. As a result I stay very attuned to what’s going on inside of me. I stay aware of what I react to – both positively and negatively.

The core assumption of shadow work is that my world is a mirror of who I am and people around me are my projections.

I notice carefully what I project and explore it further, using it as a tool to help me become aware of the parts of myself that are suppressed. Those parts need attention and love. Bringing those parts out to the light moves me closer to my wholeness.

That’s what I did these past weekend. I noticed a long time ago that I attract clients who have similar issues that I do. These week I was able to see it in a group dynamic.

Women in both groups are very different, for starters one group is Russian women, another one – American, yet so alike.

What I noticed I reacted to:

Passion and Love.

I was deeply inspired and moved by the passion and uniqueness of each one of them. I saw so much potential, so many do-gooders who could create positive change in the world.

I saw light in their faces. I saw so much aliveness. I saw deep compassion for others. I saw desire to help, to alleviate suffering. I saw deep yearning for doing something meaningful with their lives.

I saw determination. I saw hope.

I know those are the traits I possess myself, that’s why I positively reacted to them in women in my groups.

But there were shadows too.

I saw fear. Lots of fear. Some women admitted out loud they were scared. Some didn’t say anything but I saw fear in their eyes.

Fear to dream bigger, fear to claim their powers, fear to believe that they can do it, that they can make their big Visions a reality.

I saw them wanting to figure out the practical stuff right away and if they couldn’t see how something was practically possible right then, they wanted to shrink.

I saw hesitation in owing the fact that their projects are not really about them, that they are so much bigger than them, that the world needs them.

That fear, that desire to stay small, that hesitation to own my power are my shadows.

Today I bring them out to the light. I accept them. In fact, I am going to love them.

My fear is here to protect me. It wants to keep me in my comfort zone so I don’t get hurt.

Do I have to listen to it? No. But I can appreciate the core intention it has.

And you know what the other side of fear is?

Courage.

Where there is fear, there is courage.

And, yeah, now that I accepted my fear – I can see so much courage in myself and in women who came this weekend to envision with me.

They could have stayed home. They could have found excuses that life is busy and kids are crazy and timing is wrong. They could have said – My contribution doesn’t matter, there are so many others already doing what I want to do.

Except they didn’t. They said Yes. They decided to give it a shot. They took the first step toward more meaning and contribution.

That’s courage.

I want you to know if you’ve felt paralyzed by fear lately, not sure how to move forward – the courage is there. It’s hiding behind your doubts and limiting thoughts about what’s possible. It’s there in your darkest moment when things look like they’ll never change. That courage will find a way for you shine.

Where there is darkness, there is light and vice versa. Accept both. Love both.

P.S. I am going to announce another coaching group in the next couple weeks. If you are interested and want more details, email me at lana (at) lanakravtsova.com 

conscious relationships, handling conflict in relationships consciously, using your relationships for conscious growth and transformation

When I first got married, I thought marriage was about finding the right person and living happily ever after. I wish someone told me how delusional I was.

We are fed so many lies in our society. This is one of them. And we are paying a very high price for it.

The price is lifeless relationships and people sleeping together yet having no idea who the person next to them truly is. People swallowing resentments year after year, growing apart, getting sick, having less and less sex, yet staying together and posting happy pictures on Facebook – to keep up with the rest of the world. People getting divorced, hoping to find the right partner next time, yet repeating the same patterns in their new relationships.

I think it’s time we stop lying.

Why are we not teaching about it at schools? Why are we not setting the right expectations for what relationships truly is about?

We need to tell our young (and not so young) adults that their relationships is a most powerful tool for growth and self-discovery.

We need to tell them that their partners are meant to trigger their deepest wounds. And it will hurt. And it’s ok.

Your partner can be your best teacher that can take you where you want to go in life and help you become the person you were meant to be.

We need to tell everyone getting into a serious relationship that unless you are an enlightened guru, your relationship will be far from pure bliss.

We need to tell them that there is nothing wrong with them, there is no need to run.

That their whole selves are waiting on the other side.

We need to show them how.

The truth is – you are always with the right partner.

This is the person you need to help you heal and learn the lessons you need to learn.

You need to realize that whatever triggers you in your partner is whatever is in you that needs to come out to the light.

I always say that I don’t need ashrams to help me discover who I am – I have my children and my husband, right here, to get me where I need to go.

My relationship is far from blissful. We fight on a regular basis.

I experience the pain of rejection daily. Sometimes it’s from my partner’s forgetting to do what he promised or responding in a grumpy voice to my son’s request or wanting to go to a movie with his friend instead of spending an evening with me.

I have three choices when that happens.

Three stages.

It’s easy to identify where you are in your relationship by looking at the way you handle conflicts.

The first stage.

In the first stage, when I feel rejected, I might suppress my feelings because good girls don’t get angry and too emotional. Because I bought into a lie that relationship is about sacrifice and compromise. And forgiveness. Let’s don’t forget about forgiveness.

What a bullshit!

I’ll tell to myself – let’s forgive and let go.

Will I truly let go? Of course not! I’ll stuff my negative feelings inside and try to distract myself with Facebook or a shopping spree.

In the first stage I don’t know yet that suppressed feelings don’t go anywhere. They will come out in the form of me snapping at my child or getting sick or lacking energy and desire to accomplish my goals.

It’s an illusion to think that by denying what you feel, you do yourself or anyone a favor. You don’t. You make yourself sick. You make your children sick (because they react to whatever is happening with you).

Every feeling deserves to be acknowledged, respected, felt and expressed in a safe way. (Do not confuse with believed in and acted upon.)

So this pretty much sums up the first stage. Two people being “nice” to each other and trying to find compromises.

Too bad that their sex life eventually flattens and both don’t feel much energy for anything.

Many couples get stuck in this stage for years.

The second stage.

In the second stage, I will start allowing myself to express my feelings. We will have open conflicts, talk about resentments, sometimes argue and blame each other.

Our conflicts will be battles of personal values and beliefs and, ultimately, our inner childs who are trying to get what they didn’t get from their parents in childhood.

Each party will try to prove the other party wrong.

One good thing about an open conflict stage is that you at least get to express your resentments. And for some time you might feel closeness and connection with your partner because you allowed yourself to be who you are, to show your true feelings.

You might even think you are doing pretty good. The only problem – conflicts are happening more and more often and seems like you are just repeating the same patterns over and over again.

This stage is better than emotional disconnect you get into by suppressing your feelings. But it’s far from ideal. Some call it a power struggle stage.

Then comes the third stage. Unfortunately, not many couples get there.

The third stage.

So what happens in the third stage when you feel hurt?

First and foremost, you take 100% responsibility for everything that happens in your relationship. Not 50%. Not half and half. Full responsibility. That snaps you out of victim mentality right away.

Any conflict, any hurt feeling, any dysfunction is your full responsibility. And it is your responsibility to fix it.

The way you do it is through honestly communicating your feelings as well as learning to make direct requests.

At this stage all manipulation goes away. There are only two responsible adults trying to find solutions that satisfy both of them.

There is no compromise! You take that word out of your vocabulary.

No one justifies what they feel and what they want. Your feelings and desires are highly subjective, read above about the inner child.

But you have the right to feel what you feel and to want what you want. Just because.

You don’t try to manipulate your partner by convincing him how wrong he was or how your desires are more important than his. No, you simply feel what you feel (and as a responsible adult, you allow yourself to express your feelings without manipulating anyone) and want what you want.

Ultimately, you are prepared to fulfill your desires yourself. Your partner doesn’t have to do anything for you.

He will, however, most likely choose to help you feel better and fulfill your requests. Because he loves you. And that’s the only reason you ever want him to do anything for you.

Not out of guilt, or fear or shame. But out of love.

To get to that love, you have to take 100% responsibility, be honest about your feelings without blaming him and make direct requests.

You both have to realize that it is simply a request.

The way you know it is simply a request and not a threat? You do not withdraw love if request is not fulfilled. It’s that simple.

(Please do  not confuse this stage with a compromise stage. They might look alike, but they are drastically different. In the compromise stage you suppress the feelings and true desires, still secretly hoping to get what you want from your partner.)

At the end of the conflict in the third stage relationships we have two people who connected through honest expression of their feelings and found a solution that satisfies both of them.

Being able to do what I described above is an art and I haven’t fully mastered it yet myself. I still spiral between the second and third stage.

The third stage requires radical honesty with yourself. It requires you to grow up and take full responsibility for everything that happens in your life.

It requires courage to be vulnerable, show your dark side, own your feelings. It requires you to accept your partner’s dark side.

It requires you to get rid of any co-dependencies that might exist in your relationship.

In short, it requires being an adult.

Once you are able to do this, there is still more you can do to grow. I consider it a part of the third stage.

After you’ve expressed your feelings and made a request, connected with your partner without manipulating him and figured out a solution that works for both of you, you need to look inside and see what wound was triggered.

Why did you react emotionally?

If I feel rejected, I most likely have some childhood wounding around the topic of rejection. Where is it coming from? How can I heal? Also I most likely reject people myself quite a bit –  it’s my shadow that gets reflected in my partner.

Going back to responsibility, we need to realize that whatever triggers us is what’s in us that needs to come out to the light. Your partner is simply a mirror that helps you see your reflection.

You look at the shadow, bring it to the light, accept it and hopefully it will stop haunting you.

How to do that is a whole big conversation I will save for next time.

Not many couples are able to get their relationships to that level.

If you get there though, you are ready for co-creation stage. I guess it’s a fourth stage.

You are ready to use your unique personalities, blend them and create something together. It could be a business project, a philanthropic endeavor or something else.

Maybe that’s where the bliss starts.

The relationship becomes a union of two unique beings who don’t need each other for fulfilling each other’s needs and wants but choose to be together because they value intimacy, connection and growth. They use that connection and birth something uniquely theirs to contribute to the world.

To sum it all up:

Relationships are painful. And it’s ok. They were sent to us to reflect our shadows and to heal our wounds. The faster you understand it, the faster you’ll get to the co-creation stage.

Your close relationships are a gift to you. How will you use it?


Please share this article on social media if you enjoyed it.

With Love,

Lana.

how to stop your victim mentality, strategy for dealing with victim mentality

I was standing in the kitchen, frustrated with a pile of dishes and dirty floors and hesitation over my choice of what to cook for dinner.

I heard my old friend starting to whine – “I can’t do this, I was born for so much more, I am tired, I need to get away and I hate making fish sticks from scratch, the flour is going to be everywhere, it will take forever to clean it up.”

My friend who is always there in moments like this.

The victim.

I know her all too well. In the past I tried to fight her. I tried to self-improve her. I tried to negotiate with her. I tried to be aware of her and suppress her as soon as she showed up. Nothing really ever worked 100%.

Sometimes she is obvious, sometimes she creeps in unnoticed and wrecks havoc before I am able to figure out what’s going on.

She is there in every conflict I have, always ready to support me. She is there when I am tired, she knows that is the best time to offer her advice.

She is a good friend with my ego. In fact, I think she is my ego’s best tool in convincing me that I shouldn’t go after my dreams and that life is hard and everything sucks.

She uses anger, guilt and blame as her primary weapons of choice. She loves to manipulate. Without ability to manipulate people she starves and gets very unhappy.

“Hey, you can’t do this all by yourself. How come your husband is not helping you more?” – she screams into my ear.

I love her. She is cute. I know she is there to help me, to protect me. She just doesn’t know how.

She hates responsibility. She is a victim after all!

And responsibility is the only way you’ll ever be able to lovingly decline her advice and stop blaming and manipulating others and yourself.

Yes, you do it to yourself too. Like when you say – “I am not organized enough, I can’t start a business. I don’t have enough time, resources, experience (insert your own). This will never work.” That’s your victim talking, not you.

So how do you do the responsibility thing to help you deal with your victim?

You ask yourself one question.

What do I want?

That’s it. As soon as you hear your victim talking, ask – “What do I want?”

That one question disempowers the victim right away. No one ever asks her what she wants.  Victims by definition are not asked what they want.

And then, once you asked what you want and got an honest, direct answer (emphasis on honest and direct), ask – “What can we do to make it happen?”

Again, responsibility. You will actually take the steps to make something happen. Victims just don’t do it. At that point your victim will feel completely defeated and go away.

It’s ridiculously simple.

Amazingly lots of people are not able to answer this simple question. To answer this question we have to grow up and own our desires. Take full responsibility. Be willing to take action, have hard conversations, ask for help without manipulating anyone, gain clarity, not give up.

Yesterday in the kitchen I asked myself – “What do I want?”

I wanted the dishes washed, I wanted time to write (to feel my bigger contribution to the world) and, most importantly, I didn’t want to make the fucking fish sticks for dinner!

What do you want to make for dinner? – was the next question.

“I want baked fish with avocado salsa, pasta and brussels sprouts.”  – “You promised fish sticks to the kids, what kind of mother are you?” – the victim was trying to save the situation.  – “Hey kids – are you ok with this?”  –  “Yeah, anything with pasta!”

The dishes – we can wash them later.  Getting out of the house to write? – “Hey, honey, can you watch the kids for couple hours?”  – “Sure, why not!”

Done.

The process is the same for anything. Just ask what you want and don’t give up until you hear an honest, direct answer from yourself. Then ask – “What do I need to do to make it happen?” Then take the steps.

You can reach all your goals and dreams. Yes, you can. If you keep your victim in check.

shadow work, uncovering the gift behind the shadow
I remember myself as I child hiding behind a tree in my neighborhood, trying very hard to hold the tears. One of the bullies was being mean with me. I felt hurt. I felt humiliated. But most of all – I felt ashamed. For showing my weakness, for hardly being able to hold the tears. What if anyone sees me crying?

I was about 6 year old. If I look back I remember many similar situations scattered around my childhood. Holding tears. Do anything, but don’t cry.

My mom was proud of me. She would make comments like – “I am amazed with her cold calmness.” “No, my daughter never cries.”

In the past few months I’ve been exploring my shadows deeper.

I grew up but that girl who rarely showed emotion when she felt hurt, is still there. I needed to rescue her. I needed to accept her.

At the same time my husband thinks I am too emotional. He used to get overwhelmed witnessing the outpouring of my raw feelings, which I interpreted as rejection. No, he wasn’t rejecting me.

He was just doing his job – bringing me back to my wholeness by helping me uncover my shadows. That’s the purpose of relationships after all.

The ambivalence. I am too cold and too emotional, at the same time. I feel ashamed of being too emotional, yet deep inside I feel proud of feeling intensely.

That ambivalence helps you uncover some of your core shadows. The ones that hold the key to your core gifts.

Those gifts were suppressed since you were a child. You never developed them. You never allowed yourself to fully express them.

Those gifts can transform your life.

What are you too much? Or not enough? What are you ashamed of the most about in yourself? What does your partner reject in you? What are you proud of the most? Look for ambivalence. Look for your too muchness. Look for the points where you feel awkward, yet still have a feeling that those are your gifts.

That’s one of the ways you uncover your shadows. There are more, of course, I’ll share them later.

Why do you need to become aware of your shadows?

To integrate them back into your conscious self and become whole. To help you tap into your potential. To develop your gifts that are hiding behind them. To release all the energy that is used right now for hiding, suppressing, keeping a secret.

My gift of feeling intensely, of being alive (feelings and emotions are in a way life flowing through us) – I could use this gift in so many ways – to help, to nurture, to heal.

What are your shadows? What gifts do you need to uncover and develop? 

I welcome you to become more aware of those edges – feeling proud and ashamed at the same time, feeling awkward but knowing deep inside that you need to do it, what you reject in yourself, what you feel embarrassed about, yet you would never let go. What’s in between those edges might hold the key to your greatness.

 

 

telling your truth

I figured two things that make us most happy. Alive. Joyous.

Intimacy and giving of our gifts.

Another thing I figured – there is no one truth.

There is only truth in the moment.

Life – flowing, changing… One truth comes after another.

Telling your truth in the moment helps with both – intimacy and giving of your gifts.

No more conversations about the weather and how your family is doing. You will talk about meaning and shame and love and things that stir your soul. And you’ll feel close. Intimate. Alive. 

Telling your truth gets your mind out of the way. It creates space for ideas to surface. It unblocks whatever is blocked. It lets life flow through you and as a result you want to create, to express who you are, to contribute in your unique way.

How do you start? 

To tell your truth in the moment to others, you first have to tell it to yourself.

I hate my job. I feel disappointed with my relationships. I feel anxious because I hoped I would have figured things out by now. I feel overwhelmed with demands that come with taking care of my children. I feel sad and I don’t know the reason.

You allow yourself to feel what you feel. That’s the first step in telling your truth in the moment.

You create awareness. You stop stuffing the pain.

And then you can’t help but take responsibility and come up with a plan to change what’s not working.

Then you tell others your truth and create meaningful intimate relationships.

And then you start giving a part of yourself to the world. You take your gift and create something beautiful with it. Because that’s your truth.

Somehow magically telling your truth in the moment takes you home.

Try it. Start right now.

I feel…

What do you feel?

what drug do you use to numb the pain

Some use drugs to numb the pain, others use sex

Some use drugs to live, others use sex to deepen their relationship with Divine

The same thing – different people, different reasons

To celebrate life or to numb the pain of existence

Some drink to live, others drink to run away from reality

One of my clients said she eats hundred apples a week

I think she exaggerated even though I didn’t clarify

My question was Why?

It doesn’t have to be a drug to be used as a drug

Some drugs are obvious – alcohol, tobacco, cocaine

Others – not so much – shopping, TV, social media, gossiping

Yet, some are apples – innocent and healthy and recommended by doctors

But only you know your why

Is it to escape the pain or to let life flow through you?

What I noticed is when I allowed myself to feel all my feelings many drugs started falling away by themselves

I started eating simple foods and sugar is a rare craving

I stopped abusing Facebook and don’t feel the need to go to the mall

I am far from being fully drug-free and I might never get there

But at least I had a taste of freedom

Ask why. Always ask why

setting your conscious intention, truth poem, this I want a message to the universe

I want to live in a white cottage with big windows and a green backyard where tall strong oaks have been singing songs to the wind for decades

I want to grow flowers and herbs in my garden and make it a safe haven for birds and butterflies

I want to write poems every day sitting in my special nook by the cozy window looking out at the trees and asking them for wisdom

I want cold winter outside and fire in the fireplace and woolen blankets and hot tea with milk and honey

I want to eat simple foods that my mind understands made fresh from scratch every day – vegetables, eggs, meats, maybe an apple pie for dessert

I want to make art with my kids, all of us piled up on the floor in our living room with rolls of paper and bright paints scattered around

I want to make love to my husband on a big mattress that sits directly on the wooden floor covered with linen sheets and blankets in our bedroom that has soft lighting, candles and nothing extra

I want to invite like-minded souls over and talk about our dreams and desires feeling deep gratitude for being understood and held up to my divine potential

I want my husband to write music and sit in his office with a notebook trying to solve an unsolvable math problem

I want my kids’ smiles and loud laughter as they run in and out with their friends they spend hours climbing trees, exploring the woods, fighting and learning the value of true friendships

I want bunk beds and playroom with lots of books and crayons and wooden toys that speak peace, inspiration and harmony

I want fire in my soul and glow in my eyes and soft soft softness in my heart

I want to walk to small cafes with my laptop where I would write and watch people – young lovers, elderly couples, students studying for yet another test who I’d want to tell those tests mean nothing, but I would stop myself and laugh at my own ignorance

I want a challenge of another goal to light me up not weigh me down

I want to explore the world and meet people who are so different and stand in awe when I discover how similar we really all are

I want to cry from sadness, scream in rage and hug my little family all day every day with all the fierce love I have for them

I want to be a channel to Life that wants to live through me not ever suppressing any expression of who I am and what I feel

I want to inspire people from all over the world to live their truth and then go for a walk in a park kicking fall leaves on the ground as I marvel at the unreal beauty of nature that I have a privilege to touch

I want flow. I want inspiration. I want challenge. I want daring. And joy.

And to always keep moving forward.

I want to accept what is and courageously go toward what my soul craves to be

I want my life to be like that white cottage in my dreams – stripped to essential, holding simple luxury and lots of meaning