Healing Your Life

Phase One

Below you will find the text for Step Three of the Healing Your Life Course.  You will also find a link to the video of Paul Ferrini teaching this step.    Please read through the text and then watch the corresponding video.. Then, when you are ready, answer the homework questions in the journal that follows.   When you have finished, save your answers so that you can refer back to them in the future. 

Step Three
Connect to the Core Self

Goal: Find the Hidden Jewel Within

Strategy: Accept what is. Enter the silence and accept your life as it is. Cultivate the presence of love in your heart.

The Spiritual Dimension of the Core Self

The Core Self is the connection point between your divine origin and your human incarnation. It is the divine spark
or essence that you bring with you into this embodiment. Your existential worth and dignity is to be found here.
The Core Self is about being, not about doing. This is the place of peace, the resting place of universal love within your consciousness. It has many names and is spoken of in many traditions
     The Core Self is eternal, consistent, unchangeable. Some say it is not born and does not die because it exists beyond the vicissitudes of this world.

T!e Light Behind the Shadow

The Core Self is the innocent part of you that lies behind your shadow. It cannot be seen unless you look with love and acceptance. Everyone has a Core Self, but few people are in touch with it. That is because they have not yet learned to look with love and acceptance.
     The Core Self is whole and complete. There is nothing lacking in it. There is nothing in it that needs to be changed
or fixed. The Core Self contains all the gifts and talents you possess, in their potential. It is the blueprint you are born
with. Connecting with the Core Self creates a pathway for the integration of the shadow and the restoration of wholeness in the psyche. When you are connected to your Core Self, you are connected to all that is. You live in relationship to your Source or higher power.
     The Core Self exists in a state of consciousness in which there are no wounds. When we rest in the Core Self, we know that we are loved and worthy of love. There is no sense of inadequacy or self-judgment there. This is the place of unconditional love where we feel connected to everything and everyone in our experience. We feel a blissful connection to all that is.
     We lose this sense of connection to the Core Self at an early age. When our needs are not met, when we are criticized or judged, we feel that there is something wrong with us. We feel inadequate, less than, unworthy. This is our personal “fall from grace.” It is the moment when we lose awareness of our innocence and take on the mantle of fear and shame.
     Gradually, this becomes our “normal” state of consciousness. Our vibration slows down and we sink into the drama of the world, where shame and blame are commonplace. Awareness of our connection with all that is, the Source of
love, diminishes and attenuates. We have moments when we feel connected, but these are few and far between. We become invested in the world and caught up in our struggle for self-worth.
     We spend our lives running away from pain and trying to prove ourselves worthy of love. Yet pain follow us wherever we go, and no matter how much love we experience we still feel unworthy of it, or afraid of losing it.
To reestablish the connection to our Core Self is the goal of all spiritual practice. It is also a necessity for real healing to take place.
     The wounded child cannot heal himself, because he feels unworthy and has no love to bring. Someone must
connect to the Source of love within and become the bringer of love to the child. This someone is you. You are the bringer of love to your own experience. Unless you bring love to yourself, you cannot heal. You cannot experience
peace in this life.
     That is why this step is essential before you move on in this curriculum. You must discover the light behind your own shadow. You must come out of your head and into your heart so that you can connect with the Source of love within.

Identification with the Shadow

Only when you bring love and light can you integrate the shadow. Otherwise, you may get scared by your shadow and put your mask back on, or you may identify with your shadow and think you are bad, dark and un-redeemable. When you see only your dark side you forget about your bright side. This happens when you look at your shadow withoutcompassion. So the goal is to see your shadow — to know that there is unconscious material that must be integrated —without identifying with it. Otherwise you may see yourself or others as evil. You may see only the devils and lose sight of the angels.
     Dark and light must be accepted on equal terms for integration to take place. Darkness reaches for the light and
light penetrates the darkness. Fear reaches for love and love comforts and eases the fear. Integration begins to happen. Yinand Yang, male and female, high and low, light and darkness commingle. This is an act of psychological transformation that leads to a state of unconditional acceptance and love of self and others. It is essentially blissful.
     This work asks us to do two very important, but apparently opposite things. It asks us to come out of denial and
come face to face with the shadow. And it asks us to see the shadow compassionately, without identifying with it. When we can see the shadow with compassion, when we can bring love to the wounded child within, genuine transformation begins. Healing energies are set into motion and go to work to bring our entire consciousness into the vibration of love.

Core Self, theWitness and Inner Child Work

The Core Self is your energetic connection to love. It connects you heart to heart with other people. When you abide in the Core Self, you are incapable of judgment. You cannot think or act in a way that is hurtful to yourself or others.
     Shadow work simply cannot be done without a strong connection to the Core Self and the Source of love within.
There is too much of a tendency to become lost in the object and to forget to be the compassionate witness.
When you look at your fears and buy into them you make them real. You become what you are afraid of. And that is a
scary proposition.
     To keep your sanity, there must be a distance between you and what you see. Otherwise you many believe that what you see is what you are or what someone else is. The truth is that what you see is often seen through your own judgments and fears, so you do not see what is. You see a limited or distorted picture of reality.
     The job of the witness is to see without judgment, to see and release the blocks to love one by one, as they arise. So as judgments come up, he observes them compassionately. He knows that they are not true, and so he does not try to hold onto them or justify them. He does not make the one he judges wrong or bad. He does not make himself wrong or bad for judging. He sees his judgments without identifying with them, and so he does not make them real.
     The witness steps back and looks at the content of his own consciousness. He sees how his judgments and fears color his experience of reality. He sees that they are a big drama that he can buy into or not. He sees that when he buys into the drama, more drama arises. And he sees that when he no longer buys into it he begins to see what is more clearly and peacefully.
     The witness looks at the contents of consciousness and removes the blocks to love. When his heart shuts down,
he realizes that his muscles have contracted and that fear is coming up. He learns to take a breath and breathe with his fear. He rides out the wave of fear until it breaks and falls away.
     As he does this, he begins to fall into his heart. He begins to sink down beneath the layer of consciousness permeated by fear. He moves beyond shame and blame into a quiet place. He begins to feel energy in his heart as he realizes that he is okay the way he is. Others are okay the way they are. Life is acceptable just the way it is in this moment.
     The more he accepts, the more the energy intensifies in his heart chakra and begins to move throughout his body. He begins to feel the energy of love as a palpable presence, an intense vibration, a kind of burning bush in his heart, the heat of which extends into his hands and feet, his throat and his belly, his root and his crown. Gradually, love permeates and inhabits his whole body and he is filled with light and grace. As you learn to sit in the silence and sink into your essence, your heart of hearts, you encounter the one who is innocent, whole and complete. You meet the one who lives in acceptance and bliss. That one is within you. S/he is the one you truly are when you leave the drama of the world behind.

Truth and Illusion

The Core Self is the light behind the shadow. When we look compassionately at the shadow, we realize it is all illusion. It is a construction of our shame and our fear. It is not ultimately real. What is ultimately real is what stands behind it.
Until now, the light has been hidden behind the shadow. But when we meet the shadow without fear, we can see the
light behind it. Beneath your guilt is your innocence. The latter is real. The former is not.
     Guilt occurs only when you lose sight of your innocence and buy into someone else’s story about you. That story is not true, not for you nor for him. When you know that, you don’t take the story on. You say, “That’s an interesting story, but I don’t think it’s true for me.”  You see that the shadow arises when we believe something that is not true about us or another. It is not ultimately real. But it seems to be real when most people believe it and act according to their beliefs.
     That is why it is so hard to challenge the dominant reality of the world that perpetuates shame and blame. It seems to be real enough. One person hurts another and the other hurts him back. Each is just proving out his belief. The strange thing is that he can prove out his belief and it can still be completely wrong and delusional.
     Each one of us will have an experience of the world that conforms to his beliefs about himself and others. This experience may be painful, but it still may be difficult to challenge. People think “this is just the way it is.” But in truth it is just the way “they perceive it to be.”
     Whatever a person perceives seems “real enough” to him. He identifies with what he perceives, accepts it as truth, and lives his life according to that truth. But that truth might not lead him out of suffering. It might not help him to live a
happy and fulfilled life. Indeed, it may be the primary cause of his suffering. Yet, until his pain is very great, he may not
question what he believes to be true. He may not know that he has the power to liberate himself, just as he had the power to put himself in prison.
     Sooner or later, the pain gets too much to bear. That’s when we get on our knees and ask for help. That’s when we
begin to question our assumptions and open up to looking at things differently so that we can make different choices.
The False Self will self-destruct sooner or later. Humpty Dumpty will fall off the wall and smash into thousands of
pieces. The world that we built in fear and shame will shatter when we can no longer bear the pain. And then everything will change.
      When the shadow integrates, nothing can block the light of the Core Self. It shines forth unfettered and free, illuminating all the worlds and levels of manifest existence. There is no place where its light cannot reach. There is no place that cannot be touched by its love.
     That is why we do this work. To sink into our essence. To bring our darkness to light and to become the light that we are, so that we can go forth and fulfill our creative purpose and give our gifts to the world. Your Core Self is innocent, whole and complete. It is your essence. It is the shining one you are when your heart is open to love and you know that you and everyone else is worthy ofacceptance and love.

The Core Self, the False Self and the True Self

When you try to act without a connection to your Core Self, all that you create is wound-driven. Every attempt to
act without this connection is simply wrongdoing. It leads to wrong relationship, wrong livelihood and all other expressions of self-betrayal. These are the activities of the False Self.
     When you meet and align with the Core Self everything you do is congruent with it. As a result, you spontaneously
honor self and other. This leads to right action, right livelihood, right relationship. These are the activities of the True
Self.
     The False Self betrays the Core Self. The True Self honors the Core Self. Indeed it can be said that while the Core Self is not in the world, the True Self is the engine of its expression in this world.

Making Time for Self-Communion

To be a light-bearer, you must have the courage to enter the dark tunnel of your shame and pain and reclaim your innocence. You must learn to hold your fears gently and bring love to all the wounded places in yourself.
     Your most important practice is to take time in silence each day to connect to your Core Self and the presence of
love in your heart. You connect to your Core Self by letting go of your judgments, accepting your life experience just as it is, and by feeling gratitude for all the gifts you have received.
     When you feel connected to love, you sink into your essence and know it deeply and without question. You reclaim
your innocence and bring love to all the wounded places in yourself. Then you can emerge from the darkness holding the light, first for yourself, and then for others.
     The choice to connect with your Core Self and to learn to trust it is the most important decision you will make. Making time and space for this connection may require a reordering of your priorities in life.tep One Teaching Video

Step Three Teaching Video

Homework for Step Three

Important Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Your Core Self is innocent, whole and complete. It is your essence. It is the Being you are when your heart is open to love and you know that you are worthy. It is the spiritual part of you that cannot hurt or be hurt. Have you discovered a place within your heart where you feel safe, whole, complete, accepted and loved?
  • Do you take time each day to enter the silence and connect with your Core Self?
  • What was your most profound experience or encounter with your Core Self and how did it change your life?
  • When you are connected to your Core Self, do you notice that shame and blame fall away and you see your innocence and that of others?
  • The Core Self contains the blueprint you were born with, including the talents and gifts that make you unique. What gifts of self were you born with that make you unique? Have you nurtured and expressed these gifts or have you disguised, covered up, or neglected them?
  • When you judge anyone including yourself you cannot connect to your Core Self or that of others. Can you think of times when you dropped your judgments and experienced a profound connection with your Essence or that of other human beings?
  • The choice to connect with your Core Self and to learn to trust it is the most important decision you will make. Making time and space for this connection may require a reordering of your priorities in life. Have you been willing to make this choice in the past? If not, are you willing to make it now?
  • Give an example of when you were living in integrity and felt most connected to your Core Self and most in alignment with the truth of your being.  Give an example of when you were living in self-betrayal and felt most disconnected from your Core Self and most out of alignment with the truth of your being.
  • Have you ever used the mantra that Paul Ferrini gives us: "Are you loving yourself right now?" as a spiritual practice throughout the day? If not, are you willing to begin using it and see how it changes your consciousness and experience?

Move on to Step Four

Return to the Phase One Menu