Is Your Inner Self Blocking Your Abundance

Abundant Mystic Self SabotageI was standing in front of a roomful of people I had met that morning talking with one of my long-time spiritual “heroines” Shakti Gawain. It was the first day of a Voice Dialogue workshop at Shakti’s home and she had invited me to be her demonstration participant in front of the group. I was nervous and unsure… not knowing what to expect or what would come out as she led me into dialogue with my inner voices.

Shakti expertly guided me through the Voice Dialogue process and we “met” a series of my Sub Personalities until we arrived at a sub personality who called itself my Inner Seeker. The Inner Seeker said with more than a hint of pride and justification:

“Edward’s mission in this life is to evolve, to expand and to awaken. If he is spending too much of his time teaching, working and making and spending money it is a distraction from his true purpose. That’s why I keep pulling him away from his work and getting him back on track.”

This was about 3-years ago, but I remember it as clearly as if it was happening right now.
I had always known that we have subconscious forces influencing our lives. But none of those inner forces had ever so clearly articulated their thoughts in that way. When I heard those unexpected words coming out of “my” mouth I really GOT that “I” am not the only one determining my level of abundance in the world.

During that workshop I discovered a number of sub-personalities or Inner Selves that have very strong ideas about abundance… ideas that are not always conducive to the creation of a life of TRUE abundance.

Have you ever done something so absurd and obviously harmful to your financial well-being, something that “you” would definitely not consciously do?

And, after the fact, have you scratched your head and wondered what caused you to take such a self-sabotaging action?

Well it’s quite possible that some part (or parts) of you believes Abundance is actually bad for you!

Abundant Mystic - Multiple FacesWe may not all have Multiple Personality Disorders, but we all have multiple personalities. Hal and Sidra Stone, the creators of the Voice Dialogue Process call them “Selves.” And we all have many different Selves within us.

Now this is not a bad thing. After all, there are times when it is beneficial to switch from a Self that is confident and focused to one that is playful and fun.

The problem – and the opportunity – lies in what are called our “Disowned Selves.”  These are the selves that we have not wanted to acknowledge, the ones, like my Inner Seeker, that we have pushed into the corners of our subconscious mind.

But, as Carl Jung observed, “what you resist persists.” These disowned selves operate from your subconscious mind and cause you to sabotage your efforts to create Abundance.

My Inner Seeker Self was scared that my focus on work and teaching would distract me from what it sees as my true purpose – to grow and evolve. So that disowned part of me was working silently but powerfully from the shadows to ensure that I would never get too successful and thus too distracted.

Now there is some good news in all of this because when you discover a disowned self two really positive things happen:

First, when you acknowledge a Self it is no longer “disowned” and no longer confined to the shadows. So it no longer has to exert its influence on your life from your subconscious mind. You become aware of its presence and its influence on your life.

Second, there is almost always a positive aspect to that self that you have been missing.

For instance, as I got to know my Inner Seeker it reminded me of the importance of a daily spiritual practice. It pointed out, accurately, that a daily spiritual practice keeps me connected with my higher self and higher guidance even when I am focusing a lot of my attention on my work.

Abundant Mystic - Yoga Daily PracticeMy Inner Seeker agreed that, as long as I remained committed to a daily spiritual practice, even when my life is full, it would no longer create blocks and obstacles to my work.

And I have to say that my Inner Seeker has lived up to it’s part of that deal… As long as I’ve stayed committed to a daily practice my Inner Seeker has been a powerful ally in all areas of my life.

And, of course, I now know that when my spiritual practice sputters or slows my Inner Seeker will quickly remind me to get back into it.

The beautiful thing is that the Inner Seeker can now “speak” with me rather than needing to act out silently from the shadows of my subconscious. It’s a much more productive relationship!

The best part of this Voice Dialogue work is its simplicity. While the nuances of this work go deep, the basic premise is quite straightforward.

Here’s an exercise you can do right now to discover some of your Selves:

Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side write down 10 – 15 of the characteristics that most clearly define who you are. For example: Outgoing, good looking, helpful, caring, compassionate, short-tempered, shy, flirty, spiritual, fun, playful, hard-working, devoted, etc.

Don’t take too long; just write down the first things that come to you.

When you’re done with the left side, go to the right side of the page and write down the opposite characteristic. For example if you wrote Outgoing on the left side, on the right side you could write Shy. Hard-working could become Flaky. Fun could become Serious or perhaps Boring.

Once you’re done, take a look at the right side of the page. Most of the characteristics you wrote will reflect one of your disowned Selves.

As you look at the characteristics on the right side, this is a really good time to practice acceptance! If you can’t bear to think of yourself as boring or serious or flaky, it’s a good sign that they are part of a disowned self.

A powerful practice is picking one of those qualities and seeing if you can embrace it and accept it. What does it feel like to allow yourself to be boring or flaky or jealous or angry or…?

The more you accept your disowned qualities and selves the less power they will have to influence and sabotage your thoughts and actions from the shadows of your inner landscape.

And the more you will be able to soar into your abundance with the help and cooperation of all of YOU!

Oh, and be sure to have fun meeting your Inner Selves. They are here to help you… in fact, YOU created them to help you! Now it may be time to thank them and give them a slightly new “job.



Join the discussion 18 Comments

  • Pam Tucker says:

    I am part of a volunteer community that’s serves locally and world wide.
    It is here that I recognized there are parts of me that do not
    respond in the loving matter I thought I could expect from myself. I see
    it all so clearly and consistently in my relationships with my family.
    So far, I have not given up my search for the healed and whole person in me
    that gives and receives unconditionalIy and abundantly. There are
    so many who claim to know the best way to clear away the unhealed hurt
    of our pasts. It is each one of these pains that keep us from creating
    lives of love and joy. Not just in the world around us, but inside of us.
    This space to love ourselvs must beborn. Inside a simple manger, with our heavenly
    parents, who bow before the love they see in our hearts.
    We are given gifts and talents. We are the Christ story. Born to bring
    the Light of heaven into this world. To love the world, to love ourselves,
    and to love each other! Always and forever!

  • Kim says:

    Strange I read all the replies and my first experience was saddened and deflated. Then I rewrote them on my iPad and then it stuck me. These are the qualities I don’t like so I ignore when they have be and done their damage, push them away, hide them for myself. So then I looked closely and could see when and were they have been out and about so now I am going to allow them to come out in a healthy lifestyle so we can live in Harmony. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you???

  • Donna Blanchard says:

    This was quite the exercise. 🙂 Thank you . I have also found “The Course of Miracles” an excelent book and practice as well. Time to get back into my daily practice, for sure. Love and Light <3

  • ricci says:

    Wow! This explains plenty. So glad I read this. Thank u for reaching out Edward. Appreciate it!

  • Aishah Siddiqqh says:

    9 /26 of my qualities come across as negative.. Am I a negative person even thou I try to be positive and awake with a smile and affirmation. Or is it due to not expecting anything just accepting lol

  • toni heckman says:

    Interesting read. I had major upheavals in my life a little over a decade ago. It felt as though forces were pulling me from many directions. As I turned to meet these forces I began to meet, understand & finally embrace my disowned selves….although I did not possess this dialog about them & names for them then. As I reflect back, the overwhelming feeling that I got from them at the time was “awe” & thankfulness. They were in awe that I was finally ready to get to know them….after all of their antics to get my attention…and to listen to them and to become integrated with them. And they were so very thankful for my attention to them & my acceptancce. It was amazing. When things get to feeling out of sorts, or paths unclear I find I’ve been ignoring them again. We work much better as a cohesive team who values & respects each other rather than as a Self-perceived leader/decision maker who doesn’t Listen. Then they will yell & tug to be heard & respected! Thank you for this aaffirmation.

  • evelynchuter says:

    This sounds wonderful and I’m very excited to start using it. It’s a new concept for me, as I am new here. But I do like it a lot. I know I have Inner Selves, it’s not hard to figure that out. It will be great fun to meet them and work with them.. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. That was a great webinar! I was very impressed!

  • Beatris says:

    It was fun to meet some of my disowned selves. It felt so good to realize that I have a good relationship with so many of them, thanks to yoga, many self help workshops and trainings. I’m finding my feelings specially fascinating about my Closed self and my Ugly self. I was not aware of these Selves before, so thank you for opening me up to this part of me. The more I accept it the more I love it!

    I have studied about the Inner Masks through working with Shamanism and find this to be similar to the Inner Selves. Thank you for taking me through this awesome process of writing them down and looking at them. I really enjoyed it and got a lot out it! Great blog!

  • Jen says:

    In making these lists, the word that stood out on my right-hand list is “Destructive,” opposed to “Creative.” Hie loves to feel the powerful movement of energy bring change to what people attach to. He “gets off’ on the momentum, build-up and surge of energy that creates blissful release and relaxation. It’s like an orgasm.

    It feels like this self wants to destroy “The Machine,” the mechanisms of the consumer economy. Perhaps, by sabotaging my relationship with money, he feels he is changing my attachment to the institutions that are actually harmful.

    I wonder if I put him on the task of destroying my debt and destroying my own old paradigms, if he’d be game for that.

    Thank you for the exercise. So fun!

  • Thank you. I just had a very useful chat with my inner ‘Flaky’. She had some great insights about keeping me balanced. I’ve invited her to be on my project team, and we’ve agreed mutual obligations. I’ll set up decent financial systems, and she’ll let me fill them. Watch this space.

  • Shadi says:

    You want to tell me this a revolutionary take on the concept procrastination? An inner self trying to hammer in the urgency of dealing with an unmet need? Ed, how do we discern between procrastinating supposedly beneficial actions from messages coming from a particular inner self? Following the strong pull of spiritual path is like satiating my thirst with the sweets nectar ever, but anytime a door opens for physical improvement (an annoying chronic illness resides within my body), I lose interest very quickly. Is it only and only lack of self-worth (as my list suggests), or pure laziness? I know it’s a silly dilemma but maybe you find time to clarify this for me.

  • Joanna Walsh says:

    Brilliant! I couldn’t help but feel I have the same inner seeker! Thanks for posting this Edward. Very helpful!

    • Edward Mills says:

      Glad it was helpful Joanna. I have a feeling that many of us in the Abundant Mystic Tribe have an Inner Seeker… seeking to keep us “on track” even if that track isn’t exactly what we have in mind! 😉

  • taza says:

    very timely article! just ‘found’ one of those voices, and it felt like a big piece fell into place concerning my own abundance.

  • I have been dealing with other peoples unconscious characters ( as well as my own ) in practice as a therapist for over 46 years. With great success. This is the first time I have ever read on the internet the way it really is. There is a little bit more to it maybe, but not for here. This article is fabulous. Read it, understand it and practice it. Meet the other characters that can speak with you from within you. Not archangel this or that or big chief somebody or other.
    Your characters speak your language. Talk to them and expand your reality. Have no fear when you speak with but fear it’self. What ever you fear always remember, It will pass.Very best wishes.

    • Edward Mills says:

      David, I’m so glad that you’re working on this level with in your practice. It’s such powerful work and so few – in my experience – therapists dive in at this level.

      And yes, as you said, there is a LOT more to it then I shared in this article. And for folks who want to dive deeper I recommend Hal and Sidra Stone’s book, Partnering. I found that book to be more accessible to the lay-person. Their main book on Voice Dialogue I found to be a bit too academic – although you do get a lot of good information.

      And there are other, similar techniques such as Internal Family Systems and others. All of them are powerful tools for getting to the deeper subconscious roots of self-sabotage and more.

Leave a Reply