Friday, May 25, 2018

In a moment of activation


In a moment of activation, when your emotional world is on fire, the core beliefs are threatening to take you down, and the way forward is hazy... the invitation is to slow way, way down. Separate a bit from the chaos and step off the battlefield. Stay close to yourself for you need yourself now more than ever. But not so close that you fall in, become flooded, or fused with the visitors. In between repression and urgent acting out is a refuge, the holy middle territory of intimacy without fusion. Go there. Rest there. Open to further vision.

Breathe deeply from your lower belly. Feel your feet on the ground. Surround yourself in warmth and holding. Feel how spacious the emotions truly are. They are made of space. You are made of space. Not a cold, dry, distant space, but one that is overflowing with the qualities of aliveness, connection, luminosity, and kindness. Soothe the shock to your nervous system in whatever way works best for you—take a walk, go out in nature, call a friend, lay your hands on your heart, draw or paint, write in your journal, do some yoga, make yourself a nourishing meal, roll around with your dog. Engage your senses. See. Listen. Touch. Smell. Taste.

Once you have calmed a bit, you can slowly begin to invite the previously abandoned material back into your conscious experience, where you can tend to it at a pace that is right for you, slowly training yourself to tolerate, contain, open into, and metabolize the heated material with the cooling rain of empathy, presence, kindness, and self-compassion.

This is not easy work, it’s not usually going to feel immediately peaceful or blissful, and has a way of initiating all sorts of secondary feelings of unsafety, shame, abandonment, and unworthiness. It is often messy and vulnerable and sticky and hot and claustrophobic. But it is alive. And not always what it appears. It is being illuminated from within. You can do it—one second at a time, two seconds, three seconds, and then rest. You can descend underneath the swirling storyline for just a moment (you can return to it later for reauthoring from a more soothed, grounded place) and tend to the achy, intelligent, creative surges within you.

Over time, as you attend to yourself in a new way, as you renew your vow to no longer abandon yourself, you may come to discover a certain freedom that is always present, even as you push yourself into unknown territory. Like any muscle, the more you practice, the more the pathways of empathic attunement will grow and develop, and over time it will become second nature and not require a lot of effort to engage. I never cease to be astonished at how those I have worked with have evolved this capacity over time—not years, but weeks and months.

Even those with the most profound, deeply embedded trauma and attachment wounding—the plasticity of the human brain and the courage of the human heart to seed new pathways are outrageous and truly awesome. But we must go slow. And honor the reality of what it really means to change, to encode new circuitry, and to allow love to come alive here.












My latest book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 


My next two events: 

The Path is Everywhere: A Weekend Intensive, June 15-18 in Loveland, Colorado

The Great Befriending: A Five-Day Journey of Self-Love, Deep Rest, and Coming Alive (with Jeff Foster), September 21-26 in Loveland, Colorado 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Light and shadow


It is difficult to do shadow work on our own as the territory is darkened. There is a lantern in the relational field which can bring illumination to those areas which are hidden and buried. To borrow another's soothed, calm nervous system, to wash our perception with light, to open the secret places in the body and the heart. Who and what this "other" is must be unveiled by way of our embodied vulnerability.

As we provide sanctuary and safe passage to the lost feelings, the abandoned creativity, and split off pieces of the soul, we enliven the inner ecology of psyche. It is not easy to find these ones on our own as the landscape is hazy, the forests of psyche are thick, and we all have within us a propensity to maintain things as they are. While there is a genuine part of us that wishes to heal, there are other parts that know what will be required, which is the unraveling of the world as we have known it.

While there is a certain excitement about this, it is important that we create a home for the visitors of trepidation, fear, and ambivalence, to offer a great feast where all the figures can come. If we deny these ones entry, out of some belief in their invalidity, they will find other ways to come, leaking into our bodies, relationships, work, and dreams. The unwanted ones are not what they appear, but come as light in disguise.



My latest book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 


My next two events: 

The Path is Everywhere: A Weekend Intensive, June 15-18 in Loveland, Colorado

The Great Befriending: A Five-Day Journey of Self-Love, Deep Rest, and Coming Alive (with Jeff Foster), September 21-26 in Loveland, Colorado 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Bowing to the altar of Here


The path of the heart is not only one of transcendence, where we move from matter to spirit. It is also one of descent, of dance and play and failure and joy, beholding the mystery as it spirals out of the heavens and into the earth; into the mud, the mess, the chaos, and the unknown. To accompany love as its fellow traveler, as it emerges out of the stars and infuses material.

This latter movement is not usually quite as clean, white, invulnerable, safe, or protected. It is unclothed: of fixed concept, a clear map, and knowing how it’s all going to turn out. No solid reference point to organize around, we are naked, unsure, but alive.

At points along the way, the movement from “here” to “there” is washed away and is replaced by wonder. No longer quite as interested in completing some mythical journey, we stand in awe at the ways spirit infuses time and space, comes into matter, and reveals the sacred world.

While “there” is as valid a fantasy as any, at times we are asked to bow down to the altar of “here,” realizing that our lives are more than one grand improvement project. On that altar we discover our fears, disappointments, joys, and realizations. Our grief, our dreams, our lovers, our pain.

By revering those objects and stepping into the vessel with them they reveal themselves from the inside out, illuminated with that same substance that keeps the planets from falling out of the sky.



My latest book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 


My next two events: 

The Path is Everywhere: A Weekend Intensive, June 15-18 in Loveland, Colorado

The Great Befriending: A Five-Day Journey of Self-Love, Deep Rest, and Coming Alive (with Jeff Foster), September 21-26 in Loveland, Colorado