Mindfulness Mode

Shadow Work To Nourish And Grow: Winnie Chan Wang

April 17, 2022

Winnie Chan Wang is a lover of science and spirituality. Her vision is for all medicine to join as One! She is a trauma-informed licensed acupuncturist, teacher, shadow worker, Reiki, and open-hearted Tao healer. She is also a professor in acupuncture at Alhambra Medical University. She is passionate about empowering people with chronic pain to step into their source power to heal themselves. In her book “Honoring Darkness: Embrace Shadow Work To Nourish And Grow Your Power”, she and her co-author searched deep into their traumas and made lemonade out of the lemons. As they navigated the darkness, they gained trust and purpose.

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Most Influential Person

  • I'm gonna say me, okay. You know to clarify, it's choosing me over and over again. Because we all have a tendency to check out Brene Brown who talks about showing up in the arena. It's kind of like, okay, well, I checked out of my mindfulness yesterday.
  • But today, I'm gonna see if I can stay in the mindfulness longer. It's this idea that I'm just going to keep showing up day after day. That's just like my discipline, you know, no matter what, I'm gonna stand behind myself, Yes, I'm gonna say me.

Effect on Emotions

  • Emotions are full of gifts. Right? For example, anger is when I feel anger, that's when I should set boundaries with the bully. So it's really funny, Bruce, as an Asian girl growing up in Asia, I was told I have to be nice and people-pleasing, and I was completely disconnected from my anger.
  • I talked about this in my book, how, even in the moment of rape, I  shouldn't be angry. But I am not angry. So like, I should fight back, but I don't. Therefore the gift of anger, you know, my trauma responses, freezing and thawing. You know, those are kind of like the conditioning, but if I own my anger, I can really love my emotion.
  • Emotions are the most powerful thing. Definitely embrace and appreciate all the protection that comes from your emotions.

Thoughts on Breathing

  • One of my favorite breathing techniques is to put one hand over the heart and one hand below the belly button. And just really picturing myself as Santa Claus with a big belly. So when I breathe in, I'm like, okay, when he gives me the biggest Santa Claus belly you can, because the lower abdominal breathing really grounds and anchors.
  • I want to talk a minute about the recycling program. Shinzon Jung talks about this; we have all the positives in the world. That's like loving forgiveness, compassion, and light. And then we have all the negatives in the world, like shame, fear, anger. We don't actually get to the emptiness condition by love and light, we get to the emptiness condition or the oneness condition or the zero, by mathematically adding all the plus, all the negative, then we get the zero.
  • So true power, true source. Certainly, true oneness is when we put together all the positives and all the minus and get zero. So how we do that actually is below the belly button. In Chinese martial arts, we call that the dantian. And in yoga they call it the Kundalini center navel point. There's a lot of different names for this practice.
  • That is to say, when we breathe in, we breathe all the love and light. And we can source and connect to all the anger and fear and all the negative things in our body; cancer, whatever you want. Channel that into the dawn tan, and mix the light and the dark together into oneness.
  • Above all that is how I want all the listeners to try breathing. You know, when you feel angry, or scared, be like, Oh my god, I have the raw ingredients to make a powerful ball. You know, it's kind of like if I'm cooking a pot of soup. I need all the ingredients. I need the sugar, and I need the lemon to make lemonade.

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Bullying Story

  • I've had verbal abuse, emotional abuse, gaslighting, and all kinds of humiliation in my life. So I'm going to start with the other counterpart. My teacher calls this the ABCDE method.
  • First, A is aware, right? Your mindfulness is like, oh, I'm aware that this is happening, or I'm aware that I'm triggered as something happened, and I'm triggered back to the trauma that I was bullied. But A is also to accept, right?
  • This is the equanimity part to accept that this is happening. And actually to appreciate. Appreciate the sensation inside my body, okay, maybe my throat is choking. Meanwhile, I am shivering, maybe I'm even peeing in my pants, you know, like, appreciate that my body is doing what it needs to be and also appreciate that God doesn't give us bullying to punish us.
  • God gives us bullying, to help us learn how to make lemonade out of the lemons, so that we can make connections and spread love and feel the belonging. That's the other thing is that intimacy happens when we have vulnerable and difficult conversations.
  • If we just talk about hey, how's your golf game? Oh, yeah, the Lakers won, whatever. Hey, how's your food? How's the movie? If we just talk on a superficial level? We're never gonna get intimacy, right.
  • So but if I share with you my rape story, my abortion story, my bullying story, then I have a connection. So almost think about I'm not stuck as the victim. Because whatever lemons that happened to my life, I can make lemonade out of it.
  • Next is B which means breathe. Whether you're in the middle of being bullied, or you're being triggered back to a memory of bullying, you breathe.
  • C is the compassionate witness. In short, compassionate witness is our ability to validate the victim. Oh, you know, yes, you are bullied. It makes sense to me that you're feeling cold and shivering and palpitations and all of that.
  • But also the witness word is very important because that's like the observer. If we only have compassion, we actually dwell on victimhood. We're like, oh, yeah, you know, it sucks that I'm bullied. I'm a victim, I'm a victim, but the minute we bring the witness, it's like okay, I am detaching from the story, the victim card, and I become the witness.
  • C means compassionate witness. If you get to see the amazing job, okay, it took me a lot of time and years to proceed.
  • D is dialogue within and what it means to dialogue within. So meditate and reflect on what is really going on. For example, let's say I am the victim of the silent treatment, okay? Shadow Work To Nourish And Grow. Somebody is emotionally bullying me with the silent treatment. Okay, so on the top level, I am feeling abandoned, rejected, sadness.
  • When we do the shadow work, we dive deeper into our subconscious. We're like, okay, what is beneath this thing that I'm experiencing? And you check-in and you're like, oh, because deeper down, I have a thought that I'm not lovable. And I'm not worthy of my respect. I'm not worthy of other people's respect.
  • I don't know that I'm a gift to the world, and I just feel utterly worthless. Okay, so d is when we don't look at, like, okay, that person hurt me. But really go down into what is my core source fracture? Do we call this? Yes, you're unworthy. And when this one, the fact that you don't love yourself, you don't respect yourself that causes the manifestation of the bullying, right?
  • Lastly, E is an effective response. So that's when you be like, Okay, well, now that I've done ABCD, what is the effective response? So instead of reacting out of the trauma of being a bully, being bullied, it's like, well, how can I empower myself? You know, having done all the shadow work, how having empowered me, what can I do?
  • How have I disempowered myself to manifest this bullying situation? Maybe if I really own that, you know, I can work on loving myself, respecting myself, feeling that I am a gift to the whole universe, I am a legend.
  • As a result, I'm here. I'm authentic. And you know, from a place of strength and power, how am I going to respond to this bullying situation? Oh, and I do want to reference if you like the ABCDE method. It's by Dr. Raven Lee. And her book is called Unbinding The Soul: Awakening Through Crisis and Compassion by Dr Raven Lee.

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