Meet the Gremlins

I used to have a coaching practice in which I helped small business owners with marketing.

Most of the people I worked with offered services: real estate, insurance, healing practices, technology, and so on. And what all of my clients had in common was they wanted predictable ways to attract more customers and make more money.

To help them I focused on the practical, nuts and bolts things we do in marketing: creating websites, copywriting, elevator pitches, and so on.

An issue I didn’t expect to deal with was how much attitudes, beliefs, and identities would get in the way of making their marketing effective. More importantly, I didn’t realize how my own “stuff” was getting in my way until another coach told me “if I were to recommend one thing it’s that you learn to practice self-compassion.”

I was hoping for a brilliant magic bullet marketing strategy not self-care advice.

But, my self-compassion practice helped me a lot! And this led me to other spiritual practices including ancestral healing and working directly with my inner shadow gremlins. All of this made a remarkable difference in how I felt about myself and how I felt about having a business.

My main discovery was that when I kindly and compassionately met troublesome spirits, shadow elements, and so forth, they wanted one thing: to protect me.

Keep in mind the ways in which they were trying deliver this lovely gift of protection had a way of showing up in some very dysfunctional ways: self-sabotage, staying small and invisible, avoiding failure and rejection at all cost, etc. But their intention wasn’t to hurt me, they were genuinely concerned that if I took more risk, allowed people to get to know me better, and so on, “something terrible would happen!”

I don’t think these little shadow gremlins necessarily know what that “terrible thing” actually is but they are very sure something will happen and it will destroy me.

I don’t want to suggest getting our gremlins to chill out is a quick or easy thing to do. I think meeting and befriending our shadows is a life-long undertaking. But I can also say that when I began to say “Hi, what’s going on?” these little gremlins began to chill out and step back so I could actually begin to do some things that felt scary but were also important like writing this newsletter!

This is Marketing Root Work. It’s looking at what is getting in our way when we KNOW what we should be doing. It’s connecting in community and learning that actually, yes, we DO offer some very valuable gifts and qualities and that we won’t be annihilated when we share them with the world.

And nothing triggers these gremlins like marketing because everything about marketing is about becoming visible, claiming our gifts, sharing who we are and risking that people may not like what you’re doing. Rejection hurts! Indifference hurts! No wonder so many people resist marketing!

But there is no other way but through I’m sorry to say.  If you want to be more visible. If you want to connect to those clients/patrons/customers who LOVE what you do and want more, more, more. If you want to earn money in order to take care of yourself and those you love, Marketing Root Work helps us get out of our way by befriending what IS in our way.

So you might be asking, OK so what should I be doing to befriend these gremlins?

This is an excellent question! There are lots of effective practices to meet and befriend these shadows. I’ll be sharing these practices in future newsletters.

My very first suggestion is this: to get into the habit of fulling inhabiting your body. Why? I know I personally have a lot of resistance to being in my body.

The reason is, no true, lasting change can occur without all of us being fully engaged in the process. How often have you noticed that while you absolutely buy into something on an intellectual level, you still don’t really believe at some level; you still don’t take action.

Our bodies have to go along with whatever we want to believe.

I use a practice that I learned from my teacher, Larisa Noonan, and if you click here you can download a pdf of the ritual. It’s a simple, gentle practice to get out of your head and to anchor in your body. Click here to get the pdf.

May our desire to have thriving businesses which make a difference be so.

With appreciation,


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