The mind is a powerful tool. It works hard to keep us alive and safe, but it can also sometimes work against us by repressing parts of our personalities, which causes us to become stuck in a negative loop.
Jessica Depatie helps people break free from these “shadow states” by using a specialized system to unlock gifts and talents that can propel their lives forward and access their fullest potential.
You can learn more and Jessica and her work here:
Tell me about your professional background and how/why you got into this field.
I went to Cal State University – Long Beach with a degree in journalism. I’ve always been interested in people’s stories. But then I learned about how most of the journalism realm operated in mainstream media and made a quick pivot to something that was just being birthed back in the day – marketing on the internet. I wanted to tell stories about organizations that were making a positive impact on their communities. So, I found myself in the fitness industry helping gyms, trainers, and fitness companies help people fall in love with getting healthy.
And as I had more and more conversations with my clients about how they would brand themselves uniquely, I found that they had a difficult time seeing their gifts because they were limbically hijacked and living in shadow states. This is how I got into shadow work. I specialize in a system called the Gene Keys which operates as my foundation. Since then, I’ve dedicated my life’s work to help people integrate their shadow and learn the purpose and gifts that are latent within them.
What has been your favorite aspect of this work?
My favorite aspect of being a shadow work educator is helping others make sense of a complex world. We live in a time when survival has been augmented. We’ve forgotten what the essentials are to live a good life. Doing shadow work leads to simplicity, calmness, and awe – something all would love more of.
It also shows us how our greatest challenges and faults are actually the KEYS to finding our gifts and strengths. The wounded healer is a good example of this.
Can you explain what shadow work is and what a typical session is like from start to finish? Is there a technique or modality in your practice that you have found to be the most beneficial to the people you work with?
Shadow Work is a term coined by psychologist Carl Jung to describe the unconscious parts of our personality that our conscious mind wants to repress. These are the unseen aspects of us that have an iron grip on our reality causing the blocks that keep us stuck in a negative pattern.
I work with a more eastern approach to Shadow Work using the foundation of Gene Keys. The Gene Keys are a synthesis of astrology, Human Design, and a natural culmination of all previous incarnations of the i-Ching – one of the oldest texts known to humankind.
There are many ways to do a shadow work session but my preference is to access the subconscious through active imagination and guided meditation. In these deeper access sessions, we can travel through someone’s subconscious states together fairly quickly to see what blocks are there to be revealed. After that, integration and ritual are needed to solidify the work. That’s where Gene Keys comes into play. We find what shadows and gifts are available for your life’s work, your purpose, your health, and your greatest challenges.
What sort of health challenges can shadow work be effective for and why?
Shadow Work is helpful for relieving chronic stress. If you have tension that seems to be coming from an overactive mind, shadow work could be a great option for you. Our minds are here to gather information and play with it. Our intuition is what’s used to make decisions. This is one of the bigger ways doing shadow work can help bring more resolve and happiness into our lives.
What is shadow work like from the patient’s point of view?
It can be tough work! People who do shadow work will view their recurring problems with differing perspectives and you need to be ready to see that. Acceptance that your story might not be reality is challenging for our egos. But as long as you can come to terms with waking up being a hero’s journey that has ups and downs, you’ll love the process. It’s really thrilling. Like being the detective of your own story.
What would you say to someone skeptical about shadow work and its effectiveness? How do you approach that?
There are quite a few people who are skeptical about shadow work or don’t even see its purpose. And that makes sense. We’ve built up our realities of what we believe to be accurate about ourselves to give us the illusion of control and safety. But the truth is that we all have shadows. And the less palatable truth is that most everyone can see our shadows whether we do or not. It’s like having food in your teeth. Most people won’t even tell you it’s there. Awkward, right? But they see it. And you need to be brave enough to look in the mirror to see what people have been staring at your whole life. It can come with some embarrassment as you wake up to some new realities but it’s SO much better to be on the other side. It’s freeing.
Besides shadow work do you have any universal health and well-being tips that you’d like to share?
Good quality sleep, breathing patterns, and natural light sources are other aspects of well-being I’m passionate about. If you’re vibing low, check to see how you’re breathing. Are you upregulated in your chest or down in your belly? Are you experiencing sleep debt? How much artificial light have you been exposed to? Sometimes feeling like crap doesn’t need to be psychologically processed or projected. Sometimes your physiology is just out of whack and you need several nights of amazing sleep, deep conscious breathing patterns, and to turn off the screens and any LEDs you have in your house.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to someone who is struggling, what would it be?
While we may exist in one of the most cordial times in modern history, people today are faced with some of the most complex challenges of our time. Many of us are consumed by concerns over environmental destruction, war, childhood obesity, economic uncertainty, political unrest, and a global pandemic that has also resulted in a growing divide among opposing value systems. At the same time, the rest of the developing world struggles to physically survive. People are stressed, confused, anxious – they’re on edge.
And being on the edge has us fighting for our lives. Fighting with the opposition, fighting with those you love the most, and fighting with yourself. And while the answer may seem to be to distract, numb, and avoid life’s obstacles. What if instead, we began to understand the purpose of adversity to find a fight worth fighting for?
Struggling is a natural part of the human experience. Because it’s often through defeat that we become stronger. Obstacles build character and resolve. Challenges test our values and strength. Life’s adversity is here for a reason and through breakthrough scientific research, cutting-edge technology, and revitalizing wisdom teachings that have survived the eons, we now have the ability to learn the art of adversity from a fresh new perspective.
P.S. We’re producing a documentary to explore this concept also known as Post-Traumatic Growth. Stay tuned!
What resources would you recommend? (books, podcasts, websites that you’ve found helpful)
-Gene Keys by Richard Rudd (Book) For the spiritual seeker
-The Art of Contemplation by Richard Rudd (Book) The most practical little book on making sense of your intuition
-Behave by Robert Sapolsky (Book) For the scientific seeker
-Ambitious Heroes and Heartache by Rick Alexander For the hero in all of us
–Consilience Project to become a more far-sighted and wise human
Working with a practitioner in shadow work can help you unlock gifts you didn’t realize you had. Through breaking down any mental repression, you can use past challenges to learn your inner strengths. Further advancing your potential.
Learn more about Jessica and her work here:
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