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Episode #168 – Shadow Work by Design

Today’s shorty episode is a quick tip on how to approach the shadow work side of Human Design. Our natural tendency can be to get defensive when presented with feedback, even from a coach we are seeking guidance from. Nicole will share her wisdom on how to lean into what you can learn from our shadow frequencies so it helps you grow instead of keeps you stuck! This episode may be short, but it is packed full of powerful advice on how to step into your gifts and it starts with being curious, not critical towards the shadow aspects of your chart.


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Hello and welcome to Unshakeable With Human Design. I’m your host, Nicole Laino. We’re here today, together all by ourselves, and this is one of our “shorty” episodes. So I’m going to keep this one quick because these are meant to be tips for you to take off into your life, into the week, and for on and on and ever.

But they’re meant to be short little snippets, these aha moments that I come across and I want to share them with you. That’s what we do these episodes for on Mondays. What I want to dive into, First of all, I want to let you know about the waitlist that we have going on. We are launching something big, something new, something very exciting in June.

And if you would like to be the first to hear about it, this is something that our audience has been asking for from us for a long time, and we’re finally delivering on that, on those asks. So if you’d like to be the first to know about it and qualify for special pricing and other bonuses that we have going on for when we launch this sucker in June, please join our waitlist at nicolelaino.me/waitlist.

Or you can go to NicoleLaino.me/podcastlinks and you get all the links to all the things that we’re doing. The wait list is there, our free resources, our free guides, like the De-conditioning Guide, the Flow-ductivity Guide, which is our human design productivity guide, and all the other things that we have going on you can find on that page.

So go on over there, sign up for the wait list, be the first to know, and then join us in the new thing. We love it. Anyway, let’s dive into the episode, shall we? I want to talk about something that I have noticed come up with people particularly with people who have done a lot of personal development work.

And these are people who sit down for readings with me or who come into my world through my larger coaching program, the unshakable entrepreneur, or just in general when I’m working with somebody, even private clients, do this. Although when you’re paying the higher freight of private coaching, a lot of times people do enter into it knowing to have that beginner’s mind to be coachable.

And we hear that term a lot, be coachable. And coachable can mean, sometimes from certain coaches, believe everything I’m telling you, forget everything that you know, and I want you to just come to this as an open vessel for me to pour into. Now, I don’t look at it the same way when I’m talking about human design.

What I’m really talking about here is when I read somebody’s chart or I point something out in someone’s chart, there can be this initial reaction to get defensive or shrink. And I really want to talk about the defensive part first. The defensive part is what I want to focus on in this episode because everything in the chart, what we’re talking about, there’s the potential for shadow, there’s the potential for a gift.

And when I bring up the potential for shadow, I might be talking about Gate 29, and I would say that the gift is commitment. The shadow is halfheartedness and a lot of people have this knee-jerk reaction, and I’ll talk about where I think that comes from, but a lot of people have this knee-jerk reaction when I talk about the shadow to just be like, oh, I don’t do that.

Oh, I don’t do that. Yeah, I feel like I commit. And what we’re really doing is, it’s not a condemnation and it’s not personal. I really just want people – And so if you’re listening to this and you’re digging into your design, what I really hope that you take away from this is look at everything in your chart objectively. Look at it with curiosity, not criticism.

My mantra, everything is with curiosity, not criticism. And don’t get defensive being like, I’m not that. I don’t do that. I guarantee you do. If it’s in your chart, you touch the shadow. It’s inevitable and it’s okay as long as we don’t stay there. And human design is this beautiful tool that shows you where your potentials for shadow might be greatest.

So my advice to you and what I hope that you take away from this episode is to just open yourself up to seeing it. Because if you are defensive and you are denying that a shadow exists, you have absolutely no hope of transcending it. And that’s why you would be stuck. And that’s really, that’s the game, right?

You come, so if you’re paying for a reading or you’re paying to be in a coaching relationship with me or somebody else about anything, and they point out something that they see and you get defensive about it, you’re triggered by it actually. And if there’s a trigger, then there’s a wound. If there is a wound, then something needs to be healed.

So if you find yourself having that automatic reaction, I don’t do that. I don’t have that shadow, that’s not me. Then I challenge you to look at that one the closest. What’s the one that you resist the most? What is the one that you are just like, no, that’s not me. And it gives, there’s a charge there when someone says it, you’re half-hearted. No, I’m not. If that’s how you react, if you have your back up about something, then something is there. That is a gate, that is an area that is something that you should be working on. And to look at it with a really open heart, not browbeating yourself, not being upset with yourself for being these things, but really looking at it and asking yourself, why do I have such a strong reaction to it?

Why do I feel so defensive? What makes me feel like this is some sort of condemnation of me and my character? Why do I feel so defensive or small? What does it make me feel? Those are questions that are meaningful to ask and will hold a lot for you if you have that type of reaction and you are feeling like you’re denying it and you are defensive about it.

Okay. I’m going to keep this one super duper short for you guys today. I’m going to let you off the hook. I hope that you found this helpful. I hope that this helps you look at your shadow, look at everything in your chart with just more of an open heart with more optimism that if you can see something that is in a low expression, you have the ability to change it.

That’s the beauty of the system. So stop looking at it like, Something that you’ve done wrong and just look at it as something like, wow, what a gift for me to know about this. What a gift for me to understand this. What a gift for me to be able to see it so I can change it, and so I can release my grip on it.

Because if I deny it, I’m actually, the more I deny it or the more ashamed I am of it, then the lower the frequency that is and the more trouble that energy is actually causing. Okay. So I hope you love this episode. If you did, please share this on Instagram. Share this with your friends. Tell everybody about the show.

We want to get the word out about the show. Please subscribe to the show, wherever you are listening to this podcast. And leave us a review. Let us know what you think about it. And if you love it and you share it on Instagram, please tag me. I’m at Nicole Laino official. I will shout you out on my page.

I would love to hear what you love about the episode. If you would love to hear something on the show that I have not covered or you want me to go deeper into, message me over on Instagram and I would love to hear from you and hear your thoughts on what we could do here to make this show even better and more impactful for you.

I love you all. I am so appreciative. Have a wonderful rest of your day and go out there and be unshakeable, everyone. I’ll see you in the next episode.

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What if life came with a user manual?

Something that could tell you what your purpose on this earth was, how to lean into your gifts, stop leaking energy into the "shoulds" and expectations of others, and live a fuller, happier life?

This is what human design can teach you. 

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