Shining Light on My Shadow

Published on: June 1, 2014

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Stories From the Q Process

Shadow work is an important part of the healing process. The “Art and Practice of Living with Nothing and No One Against You” is the shadow work process used and tested in the Transformation Experience Pilot program. This process has been used in other Unity churches as well, as the following stories speak to.

My story begins when I am 5 years old and I am the center of the universe—the cutest, happiest, most loving little girl in the world. I made the sun shine and the moon come out at night and I knew everyone else felt the same way about me.

My world crashed one afternoon, and along with it my status as a beloved child of the universe. A most beloved adult in my world spoke cruel, harsh words about the size and appearance of my 5-year-old body. In the blink of an eye, I became ugly, unworthy and unloved. At this stage of my childhood development, I believed the lies. The pain was so intense I couldn’t breathe.

Belief in my unworthiness was the shadow I could not meet. My life’s experiences became the external proof of the internal belief proving that I was unworthy and unlovable. One expression of this belief was a lifelong experience of respiratory illness. In 2009 I was diagnosed with emphysema and, as a bonus, I felt like I carried a heavy boulder continually pressing on my chest.

In the fall of 2009, Rev Terry Murray interned at Unity Christ Church in Golden Valley, Minn., where I am a member. I attended a workshop she facilitated entitled, “The Art and Practice of Living With Nothing and No One Against You,” a Quantum program created by Gary Simmons, ThD, and Rima E Bonario, MA. This is the “Q” process, and it became my vehicle for a miracle.

During the workshop, I detailed my story in the Q process worksheets and Rev Terry dialogued with me about the experience I had at age 5. By working the Q process, I was gently and effectively able to expose the beliefs I created as a child and bring awareness to the truth of who I truly am. Later that day I noticed for the first time in months the weight of the boulder on my chest was gone. I was breathing easy. I was in awe breathing without challenge. An appointment with my physician and pulmonary tests confirmed the absence of emphysema.

I became a Q coach because I experienced that my life’s process is for me and not against me, and is available to aid me to become a fully integrated human being loving myself and my life. I remain in love and gratitude for all that I am!

Paula Caldwell


My real grief began after the doctor said: “You’re cancer free!” Side effects from colon cancer treatments that I’d hoped would be temporary had become permanent. I wasn’t afraid of dying, but I didn’t know how I’d live with my neuropathy and a colostomy bag.

Even though I’d been actively pursuing my spiritual growth for over 40 years, when “bad” things happened, I slipped back into old patterns. I felt frustrated and depressed that no matter what I tried, it hadn’t been “enough” to avoid these conditions.

In the midst of my distress, God provided a new resource: “The Art and Practice of Living with Nothing and No One Against You.” Since my current coping skills weren’t working too well, I decided to attend this life-transforming workshop.

By choosing to see things differently, I’m able to trust that Spirit is supporting my highest good, even when life doesn’t feel comfortable. Through the 21-day follow-up practice, I’ve anchored my ability to live with greater freedom and joy.

Currently, I facilitate our local Ostomy Support Group. As a Certified Q-Effect Process Coach, I apply these leading-edge scientific and spiritual tools to live fully—especially in the midst of challenges.

Susie Leonard Weller, MA ( is a certified Life & Spiritual Coach and author of Why Don’t You Understand? Improve Family Communication with the 4 Thinking Styles.


When I discovered Unity while in my early 20s, I knew I had found my spiritual home. Many classes furthered my spiritual growth and increased my love of our Unity teachings. When I became a licensed Unity teacher, I continued my spiritual study; however, I was unable to really see and understand a practical application of our first principle: There is only one presence and one power in the universe, God the good, omnipotent. How could I believe that there is only good, when so many “bad” things happened in my life and in the lives of the ones around me—divorce, illness, loss, death?

All of this changed for me when I took the first Art & Practice class while preparing to become an Art & Practice Ambassador for our church. By completing the 21-day process, I understood everything is for my good. I finally understood what the first Unity principle meant. I had a spiritual practice that I could use to clear out all of my emotional baggage and release it. I no longer question whatever happens in my life. I trust it’s all serving my Highest Good.

Peggy Capes is a licensed Unity teacher at Unity Spiritual Center of North Idaho, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. She is a social worker serving chronically mentally ill clients and families in the child protective services system.


Paula Caldwell

Paula Caldwell retired in 2014 and is thrilled to focus on further developing her skills as a “Q” Coach. She is a published writer, artist, wife and mother, and has been awarded title of Awesome Grandmother.

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