Connor Beaton | Your Pain Has Its Own Intelligence: Shadow Work, Fatherhood & Ending The War of Self

“When you really dig into the inner work process, the first place to begin is to stop worshipping and praying at the altar of perpetual growth and ascension. We are obsessed. We are addicted. We are fixated on and relient on this need to be special and this need to grow and this denies us the experience of a kind of falling apart. No man wants to fall apart and come into contact with the realities of what his grief might have to teach him. The fact is that when we really get present to it, what we're actually afraid of is that we don't know what that's going to look like. We are terrified of what will happen on the other side of not worshipping the ‘God of Growth' and beginning to allow the wisdom of this grief to enter.” – Connor Beaton

Wellness + Wisdom Episode 406

TEDx Speaker and the Founder of ManTalks, Connor Beaton, shares his own journey of coming back from rock bottom, the healing power of shadow work, how men can begin the process of fathering their inner child, and why the war of the sexes is officially over.

Are you ready to begin the journey towards deep radical healing?

Discover why pain has its own intelligence and what it can teach us when we are present to its guiding wisdom.

'When you really dig into the inner work process, the first place to begin is to stop worshipping and praying at the altar of perpetual growth and ascension because it hinders the healing process of falling apart.' - @ConnorBeatonClick To Tweet

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Listen To Episode 406 As Connor Beaton Uncovers:


[1:30] Coming Back From Rock Bottom

[15:00] Pain Has Its Own Wisdom

  • How embracing the emotional pain during his 10-Day Vision Quest allowed Josh to heal past wounds he had carried for decades.
  • The fact that our body is always trying to communicate with us at all times.
  • Connor's experience really tuning into his pain for the first time and see what it was doing to those that he loved the most.
  • What steps men can take to begin unpacking and exploring their emotions and pain.
  • Why we are obsessed and relient on this need to be special and this need to grow but it denies us the experience of falling apart and healing.
  • The fear Connor had that his life would dismantle should he allow himself to feel his pain and listen to his grief.
  • Questions to begin asking yourself including, ‘What have you been denying about in your life?'
  • What it means to go “into the cave” and experience the dark night of the soul that will ultimately lead you on your Hero's Journey.

[30:30] Shadow Work & Self Healing

  • Breaking down the keys to shadow work and begin the self healing process.
  • How to pay attention to how you react and why that response is so important to understanding your shadow and where you go when you are unconscious.
  • The benefits of keeping a journal of what you react to, how you reacted, and what narrative runs through your mind when the shadow self comes out.
  • Unpacking the differences between responding from the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous systems and applying that to your fight, fight, or freeze response.
  • Exploring capital “T” and lower case “t” trauma for men especially if they have experienced sexual trauma, physical abuse, or a family member with a mental health illness.
  • Why men who have been abused either have a “fawn” response where they freeze or they people please because it is safer for them.
  • Unpacking the co-dependent saying “Happy wife, happy life” and how it keeps people back from doing the real inner work.
  • Why we, and especially men, over rely on our intellectual understanding of things but struggle with intuition and emotions in relationships.
  • Conner's decision to not call it therapy but training because men are missing skill sets that they actually need in order to have fully functional relationships, careers, health, romantic relationships, and self fulfillment.
  • What past narratives Connor had to unlearn so that he could learn new trainings such as the arts of self discipline.

[44:30] How To Begin The Shadow Work

  • Exploring the law of reciprocity and how it relates to things happening for us instead of to us.
  • Why he believes that in some way karma is what we attract because we believe we deserve it.
  • How our pain unconsciously attracts what we don't want in life and that's why we should be paying attention to what it's telling us.
  • Why the shadow work is not a golden bullet for automic healing but it is an important part of the process.
  • The importance of easing into doing the shadow work by first realizing what areas of your life you are avoiding.
  • A shadow work game Connor would play with himself by catching himself whenever he lied to others and then autocorrect that behavior real time.
  • What he believes shadow work is in 2021 and why so many people are abusing the word and practice.
  • How Carl Jung came up with the concept of the shadow self and shadow work.
  • Connor's own experience with shadow work and working with parts of himself that he was hiding from others.
  • How Connor helps people with addiction and the 12- step process.
  • Why he believes that addiction is often an attachment dysfunction.
  • How spirituality comes into place with the process of healing from addiction.

[57:30] The War Of The Sexes Is Over

Power Quotes From The Show

'How do you face your shadow self? Begin with the things that you have been neglecting about who you are or begin with the parts that you have been rejecting of what your life actually looks like.' - @ConnorBeatonClick To Tweet

What Inner Work Really Looks Like

“Let go of your need to find any kind of golden gun or silver bullet. When men enter this work, they think, ‘Okay, I'm going to work on my shadow; I'm going to do shadow work,' or ‘I'm going to go to therapy, I'm going to get a therapist.' They do so almost always from the place of: I just want that one ultimate equation that's going to liberate me so I can get away from this. They want to make it as pragmatic as possible but you know, you're entering into territory that may not work like that and you have have to consider that. Consider that what got you into the dysfunction that you have been in may not be the path that is going to get you out of it. That perhaps, you're going to have to learn a very different, equally valuable lesson when you begin the real inner work.” – Connor Beaton

Facing Your Shadow

“Carl Jung's work focused on facing the shadow; facing the parts of you that you have been rejecting and hiding and avoiding. Start there to begin your inner work journey and ask, ‘What have I been rejecting about myself? What have I been avoiding? What have I been denying about myself and lying about in my life?' Start there by working on those aspects because when we do, we begin to reveal that parts of ourselves that we have hidden from the people that we love and then we wonder why we don't feel like they really know us….

…So, begin with the things that you have been neglecting about who you are or begin with the parts that you have been rejecting of what your life actually looks like. For some men this is very challenging because it means that they have to come into contact with the truth that maybe they're not as happy and things aren't as perfect as they had been selling to the world for years.” – Connor Beaton

How To Father Your Inner Child

“The work that we do in many ways is about learning how to father ourselves as men. That we stop offloading the responsibility of our wellness, of our strength, of our confidence, of our wellbeing onto other people because the truth is, if we're really honest, there's a lot of men out there who have no idea how to tend to the wounded child that they've been carrying around for years. Where has he gone? If you've been abused as a child, where did that child go? Nowhere; he's in you – he is you and if you don't know how to take care of him, he's going to cause havoc in your life. If you don't know how to parent him and father him, he's going to cause havoc if you become a father.” – Connor Beaton

Links From Today's Show 

About Connor Beaton

Connor Beaton | Your Pain Has Its Own Intelligence: Shadow Work, Fatherhood & Ending The War of Self | WELLNESS FORCEConnor Beaton,the founder of ManTalks. He was raised to believe that being a man meant you had to follow certain rules. The most notable one is like the first rule of Fight Club: don’t talk about it. For most of his life, he believed all men had the same rule. Shut up and deal with it. Man up.

Over the next few years, he learned to take his trauma, shame, and denial—all the shadowy parts of himself—and integrate them. He spent thousands of hours learning and training. He consulted psychologists, historians, neurologists, and authors. Connor trained for years under mentors and leaders in Jungian psychology, somatic therapy, and holotropic breathwork. He even apprenticed under a disciple of Carl Jung himself.

In 2014, Connor founded ManTalks as a grassroots movement to further the cause: giving men the tools and training to create a truly self-led life.

The Mask of Masculinity | Connor Beaton | TEDxStanleyPark


About Josh Trent

Josh Trent lives in Austin, Texas with his love Carrie Michelle, son Novah, and a cat named Cleo. He is the Founder of Wellness Force Media, host of the Wellness + Wisdom Podcast and the creator of the BREATHE: Breath & Wellness Program. Josh has spent the past 19+ years as a trainer, researcher, and facilitator discovering the physical and emotional intelligence for humans to thrive in our modern world. The Wellness Force Media Mission is to help humans heal mental, emotional, and physical health through podcasts, programs, and a global community that believes in optimizing our potential to live life well.

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