Drawing the essence of what we know out of the shadows

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

Today I tried something new. I enjoyed it so much I thought I’d share it with you. I could tell you all about it, but then you’d be reading my summary and not what’s below … 

Writing is drawing the essence of what we know out of the shadows. ~ Karl Ove Knausgård

that’s the prompt for throw-down thursday from deb cooper. i was just introduced to her via kylie bellard, whom i adore.

the shadows. i feel like i’m working with and through the shadows all the time. the shadows of the past, present and future. the shadows that are my own as well as those who once knew me. the shadows they cast upon me as i sit in my living room and type with the windows drawn, the music off, the cats licking.

my routine has been cast into the shadows by vacation. why do we do this to ourselves? we go out and get new experiences that we can remember vividly for a time and then cast them into the backs of our minds, left to cast shadows on previous memories left behind from years ago, and to have shadows cast upon them at any given point just because we went out and found something new to experience.

i have this aversion and moth-to-a-flame calling toward the word authenticity. it’s an overused buzz word. it’s both specific and vague—ambiguous, even!—at the same time. everyone has some sort of idea of what it means. it means to be the original. the real thing. we are who we are and if we are who we are all the time, doesn’t that make it impossible to be inauthentic? doesn’t that mean that we’re succumbing to what someone else’s perception of authenticity is? but if we could just focus on what our own version of authenticity is… what does it mean for you—specifically for you in your life? does it mean you’re nice, you’re mean, you’re honest, you say what’s on your mind?

it means not holding back because you fear what someone else wants from you ,or how they will react to what you want from them. be real, be genuine in your givings to the world. be genuine in your takings. it’s not about being more you—yeah it is, but it’s so much more than that. we have this idea that we have to live a certain way that fits society, that fits what our parents or colleagues or teachers or strangers think we ought to be living. but inside we’re dying. you know the feeling when you feel great about what you’re doing, saying, thinking, feeling, and then someone comes along and says, oh no you shouldn’t be doing THAT, you shouldn’t be saying, thinking, feeling THAT! and then we cringe and go into hiding because we want people to like us. and that’s bullshit. but we all do it. i’m no saint, no profit, i do it, too. i learn form my clients who hide. i learn from my clients who shine. i learn from my clients who learn. i’m always seeking to learn, and even though i know a hell of a lot about authenticity, i’m still human and struggle with it often. i mean, like really often. like on a daily basis. and i do this shit for a living.

i’ve been hiding for years. trying to be this perfect image of what an authenticity coach should look like. but i haven’t posted a real slice of life in quite some time. and still, i know a hell of a lot about how to be authentic, it’s all in the application. how does this relate to shadows. my authenticity is living in the shadows of this person that’s living my life on the outside for me. some days there is more light and less shadow, while other days my authentic self lives in darkness, although never in fear. my authentic self doesn’t fear what others will think because she knows who she is, knows how to stay true to that being. knows that her truth works for her, and that it’s okay if someone else doesn’t get it or agree with it. my authentic self trusts herself, understands that even the darkness has something to teach her. the darkness is always drowned out by the light. every time. where there is light, darkness cannot prevail. where there is dark, a light can peek in and the darkness immediately begins to fade. it is the way of the world. maybe even physics.

you cannot be something you are not. you can behave in a way that doesn’t seem to go with your outer image, but it’s all a part of you. we do things for crazy reasons. we search and search for love, only to realize that no one will love us if we don’t love ourselves. and we know this, but still we leave it up to someone else to love us first before we feel we’re worthy of love. how will someone know how to treat you if they don’t learn from the way you treat yourself? and then they might learn a little something on how to treat themselves, as well.

this writing thing. drawing the essence of what we know out of the shadows. that’s kind of like what coaching is. it’s about drawing the essence of you out of the shadows. i know she’s in there. and so do you.


I wrote the above as a journal entry, content to leave it in the shadows of archives on 750words.com. Then I realized that while I’d written it for me, I’d also written it for you. What’s in the essence of your shadows?

© 2013, Authentic Realities. All rights reserved.

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In Darkness, There Is Light - Kelly Gill Writes ...
November.21.2014 at 2.53 pm


Deb September.26.2013 at 12.28 pm

I am SO glad the process inspired you to get these thoughts on the page. (yay)

I was particularly moved by this statement: “trying to be this perfect image of what an authenticity coach should look like…”

I’ve been working on similar stuff as a journaling/unleashing personal awesomeness kinda-coach. I’ve wondered how I can encourage others when I’m thinking I need to show competency and sureness in order to give the gifts of what I know. I think we have to be willing to keep writing, and be messy and open and vulnerable.

Kinda like you just did. 🙂

Dian Reid, CPCC September.26.2013 at 1.50 pm

Thank you, Deb. So true that we need to be willing to keep writing, and be messy, open, and vulnerable. I’m almost always willing to do that privately (journaling, or sharing 1:1), and now it seems apparent—obvious, even!—that there’s some good learning to be had in doing those things publicly, as well. Thanks again for the prompt, I’m looking forward to contributing to Throw-Down Thursday more often 🙂

Deb September.26.2013 at 2.02 pm

I see you’re a CPCC’er. (go CTI) I used to work there a long, long time ago when I lived in the Bay Area (back when they were in their old building on 4th street in san rafael.) Love making connections to other CTI peeps. (thanks again to ms. kylie for the connection.)

Dian Reid, CPCC September.27.2013 at 11.31 am

I AM! Actually assisting a Fundamentals course this weekend. Glad to make the connection, as well. Happy Friday, Deb 🙂

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