Kelley Kosow is an author, motivational speaker, and the Chief Executive Officer of the highly acclaimed Ford Institute. She continues the legacy of the late Debbie Ford, New York Times best selling author and creator of The Shadow Process, and leads the development and teachings ofThe Ford Institute’s transformational programs to tens of thousands of people across the globe.
The term “shadow work” has an odd ring to it. Can you demystify shadow work for us?
A lot of people think shadow work is about the dark. Research shows 90% of behavior is driven by unconscious beliefs. We need to bring light to that which is hidden. Shadow is waking up the awareness of that which is hidden within. Shadow work includes discovering the positive and negative. Some of our best parts are hidden. It’s not our darkness we are afraid of, it’s our light. People can manifest amazing lives when they bring in the light of awareness.
Can you share examples of stellar transformations facilitated in your 1:1 coaching practice?
Coaching sheds light on your blind spots and empowers you take actionable steps aligned from your core. People have left unhealthy relationships that they’ve been stuck in for 10 years, stepped into new careers, raised their business game, and have found peace from dark secrets. People find permission to be themselves and live a
What happens in a session that brings about radical transformation?
People don’t trust themselves. I help them take a u-turn back to self. My job is to empower people to empower themselves. Coaching is action oriented and that means taking actionable steps into a new future. Aha moments without action get you nowhere. A coaching relationship is a mirror for your life.
Why do you think it’s important to have a coach?
If we could do it ourselves, we would. Bringing the same mindset to the problem does not work. 90% of what keeps us limited is unconscious. We need support in accessing these beliefs and creating shift.
What continues to fuel your passion as a transformational coach?
I’m fascinated by humanity. It’s amazing to witness the wounds and beliefs that hold a person back.Feelings of not being good enough are universal.
You use the word integrity a lot? Can you elaborate?
To me being authentic is standing in your truth and letting yourself be seen. It’s not about being perfect.It’s about honoring your soul instead of trying to impress.
The work that you do in a session points to owning traits on the outside that we despise in others. How is that helpful?
The goal of the soul is to be whole. Little by little we whittle away and lock up characteristics that we judge in others. What we judge in others, we judge in ourselves. When I could embrace and own failure,I could find the gifts in it. Finding the gifts in a trait we resist in others, enables us to access wholeness.
Can you break down the process of owning our hidden aspects?
How can this possibly open the door for us to own our positive qualities?People disown their positive qualities. We become afraid of owning our greatness. We fear that being too beautiful or talented will push people away. For example, owning weak and needy enabled me to ask for help. Integrating these qualities gives us choice. To be whole, you have to own both the dark and light. If we disown an aspect of ourselves that we judge in others, then we don’t have access to it.
What keeps a person from stepping into their fullest potential?
People don’t feel worthy. They think something is fundamentally wrong with them. We create personas to get love and approval. It starts with shame.
How does working with you support a person in manifesting an authentic life?
I don’t do bullshit. If someone is paying to work with me, I’m not going to feed the lies that hold them back. I see myself as the soul cycle of transformation. I’m going to bust your excuses and help you stand in your possibilities. Kelley leads The Shadow Process, a 3-day life changing event held twice a year in Miami and Los Angeles.
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