Self Improvement

It’s not about “shadow” work. It’s about doing meaningful inner work on myself.

90 Days. Six Habits. One big goal. Laura DiBenedetto has become a friend, a mentor and someone I really look up to. If you follow me on social media, or listen to me in general, you may have heard me mention the program a time or two. As you may have also heard, I take this program very seriously.

I have kind of a colorful past. It might not look that way on paper, but I have been around the block a time or two. We all have in one way or another. I’ve made my share of stupid mistakes. I’ve done some things I’m not proud of. I’ve made some pretty awful choices in life. I could still turn to the dark side with some of the things I know (*But I won’t!) I’ve focused on some things in the past that I regret. I’m not going to dwell on my pile of screw-ups here.

On the other hand, I’ve done some things I can be pretty proud of. If you go by strictly matrix terms, I have a decent job. I’m college educated. I have a wife and four boys. Like the song says, “Life’s been good to me so far.” Right?

Like most American families, we fell right into the grand plan. We’re mortgaged to the proverbial hilt. We’ve got credit card debt, loan debt, student loan debt, and a messy heap of bills to pay. I know. Money isn’t a value. But it sure would be helpful sometimes.

Enter spiritual awakening in the midst of all this. I mentioned a matrix earlier. Whether you believe it’s like the movie The Matrix, or it’s just a staggering set of values and principles we are indoctrinated into from day one there is a matrix. But there’s a much bigger, much brighter world out there. There’s a world of love and light, friendship and fun out there.

Why am I slaving away at a job I don’t like? Why am I living in a city I’ve never been fond of? How did I get here? Who the heck am I again?

Let’s get deep. How do I define “me?” Am I the sum of my job title, my college degree, my earnings and my family? Is that the same thing as love and light? Is that the experience I signed up for in this lifetime? I’m not sure any more. Who am “I?”

I see a lot of beautiful women in the spiritual community talking about “shadow work” and all this just awful, dark, deep, emotional stuff. And a vast majority of them only seem to want to work with women. I’ve lost a couple of friends over that last part, but I’ll get into that later.

I did a lot of looking into the Law of Attraction. Heck, Aaron Doughty, Victor Oddo, and Jake Ducey could be the long lost little brothers I never had. Esther Hicks could be my long lost grandmother. I’ve had my back and forth with LoA. But the question was always, “why?”

Laura got to ask me the why. She was surprisingly approachable despite being Fortune 500 quality and something I read about her working mostly with women. It was something I asked her about early on. Glad she didn’t hold that against me.

Now, for some reason, I got it into my head, that maybe there was just a formula to LoA that I wasn’t seeing. Maybe there was some super secret technique, that followed precisely in the right order, might make me totally rich. Maybe I just needed the right network? The right advice? I just want to get rich and pay everyone back, plant trees, make my family happy, and never worry about money again.

Laura totally deserves a medal because I used to bug her a lot with LoA questions. I’m pretty persistent when I want to be. Okay, all the time. Little did I know, I was asking the wrong questions. LoA still works, I think. Maybe just not the way I originally believed it did.

I still get big eyes when I see dollar signs. I think I inherited it from my Dad. He was always angling on some fly-by-night, get-rich-quick scheme. I’d like to think LoA goes well beyond money, and isn’t just a way to get rich quick. Which isn’t to say I don’t want to be rich, but I’m not blindly running at every dollar sign now. Especially not right now.

I titled this piece, “Self Improvement.” I learned, maybe the hard way, as I tend to do. What really matters in terms of spiritual awakening and really anything, is that doing that deep inner work is what is most important. Feeling my best is more important than anything else I’m ever going to do. If I can make me the best I can be, I can accomplish anything else. Suddenly it’s not “shadow” work. It’s the most important thing I’ll ever do for myself.

While I don’t want to reveal any proprietary information, I’m going to work Laura’s 90 Day Habit Mastery program. Six Habits. If I can master the Six Habits, the possibilities that follow are endless. I’m going to check back into this blog periodically to let you know how it’s going.

Author: Jeff Craigmile

I'm a tabletop role-playing game writer and designer from Des Moines, Iowa. I'm the father of four boys and human to three cats.

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