Monday, January 14, 2019

A home for the other within


Usually when we talk about the “others” in our lives, we are referring to persons external to us who we are in relationship with—friends, lovers, children, neighbors, family members, and colleagues.

The basis of a healthy and nourishing relationship is reciprocal attunement to one another’s lived experience, mutual caring for how each person is making meaning of their lives. And the capacity to participate in the relational field together, where we listen, share our feelings, provide empathy and boundaries, and allow one another to truly matter, at times leading with our vulnerability and at other times emphasizing our separateness.

To see the other not merely as an object in our own awareness, but as a unique subject in their own right and to honor this subjectivity and care about how it is unfolding. To dare to look out the window that the other is looking out and not only our own.

But there is another “other” found not external to us, but inside, weaved of the lost pieces of our hearts, broken dreams, partly digested feelings, and the content of our unlived lives. Just like external others, these ones also long to be known, heard, and cared for, to receive a moment of our uninterrupted attention.

They are not limited to only a few forms but appear in infinite ways, as shape-shifters who are of endlessly creativity in their ability to make their way into our experience to remind us of something we may have forgotten.

While we may never understand the mystery of these two or come to any fantasized resolution or answer as to whether they are the "same" or "different," we can allow them to touch and accompany us as we break open into the sacredness of the question together.




Art by Stefan Keller



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



The next book, A Healing Space: Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times, will be published by Sounds True in early 2020, details to come

The next event is The Healing Shame Retreat: Spiritual Awakening and Transforming the Core Wound of Unworthiness, April 24-29, 2019 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, with co-facilitator Jeff Foster

Friday, January 11, 2019

Oneness and multiplicity


While it is valid to speak about our oneness with all of life, we are also separate, each with our own sensitivities, vulnerabilities, and ways of approaching the mystery. True connectedness is not synonymous with fusion and unity is not more sacred than multiplicity; each are equal manifestations of love as it emerges here. To dissolve the differences into some homogenized spiritual middle does not honor the sacredness of form or the wildness of an individuated human heart.

While those of us drawn to the spiritual may naturally have a bias for union over separation, the beloved does not seem to share this preference and is ready at all times to arrange either archetypal emanation in our lives in order to reveal her (his) nature within the world of time and space and to reveal the next invitation.

If we do not consciously attend to the reality of our separateness, it will inevitably express itself in less than conscious ways as we unleash unmetabolized shadow into the relational field. If we lose contact with this in relationship with our friends and lovers, we will locate this loss and its attendant longing and dissociated feeling outside us, placing a heavy burden on our dear fellow travelers which they are unable to carry for us.

May we be kind to our partners and friends as we navigate this territory together, honoring the vehicle of relationship as one of the most transformative, sacred, and challenging that we have in our modern world. To play, dream, grieve, and explore together in that unfused middle, where we are utterly connected and simultaneously separate, where we can dance alone and together in the unfolding unknown with curiosity, compassion, and grace.



Photo by Peggy Choucair



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



The next book, A Healing Space: Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times, will be published by Sounds True in early 2020, details to come

The next event is The Healing Shame Retreat: Spiritual Awakening and Transforming the Core Wound of Unworthiness, April 24-29, 2019 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, with co-facilitator Jeff Foster


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Already held


In those moments when we are held, our nervous systems down-regulate, our minds soften, our hearts open, and we come into an ancient sort of rest. That rest that we've been longing for in a lifetime that always seemed just out of reach. The rest from becoming.

While our true nature as open, luminous awareness is the ultimate holding environment, as tender human beings we are wired to rest within a relational matrix. To enter into this field with another – weaved of the alchemical substances of presence and of space – is one of the great mysteries of the embodied world.

Held by another, held within by our own hearts, or held by a star - despite the pain and confusion and hopelessness and doubt - somehow we are already held. It's not something we must earn or deserve or frantically search for.

Held by the morning light as it comes into a room, by the song of the birds, by the imaginal world. Somehow. Already held.



Photo by RitaE/ Deutschland via Pixabay



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


The next book, A Healing Space: Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times, will be published by Sounds True in early 2020, details to come

The next event is The Healing Shame Retreat: Spiritual Awakening and Transforming the Core Wound of Unworthiness, April 24-29, 2019 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, with co-facilitator Jeff Foster

Sunday, January 6, 2019

An unfolding partner


In my experience, grief is not something we “get over” by following pre-prescribed stages, but something we may be asked to tend to throughout our lives. It is very individual and takes a unique expression for each person.

The timeline for this voyage is not given by the psychiatric community, nor by insurance panels or teachers of spirituality, but written in the stars. To pathologize the experience of grief is a work against nature.

The grieving process may not have an endpoint, a goal line, or state of completion in which we come to some final resolution, where we “finish” and land in some untouchable place, free from falling apart and breaking into pieces yet again.

While some forms of spirituality and healing have this fantasied end state as a targeted objective, the heart is endless and grief may be a companion for the duration of a life.

For me it is not so much a process as a non-linear, unfolding partner. It moves not by way of straight line, but by that of circle and spiral.



Art by Hans Braxmeier




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










The next book, A Healing Space: Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times, will be published by Sounds True in early 2020, details to come

The next event is The Healing Shame Retreat: Spiritual Awakening and Transforming the Core Wound of Unworthiness, April 24-29, 2019 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, with co-facilitator Jeff Foster

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Intelligence within the wound


In the alchemical and tantric traditions, it is believed that our wounds contain information and if we eliminate the hurt places, we will lose contact with the intelligence within them. Though the complex may never be fully eradicated, our relationship with it can change profoundly. Even though it may continue to arise, it does so within the context of enormous space and while perhaps still frustrating and painful, it is no longer able to throw us off center in the same way and tends to dissolve in shorter and shorter periods of time.

For example, a difficult conversation triggering cascading shame, rage, overwhelm, and abandonment that once took an hour (or more) to digest and metabolize, may lose its charge in 30 minutes, or 15, or 5. Eventually, in some situations, we may even notice that the activated material dissolves simultaneously with its arising, as we are able to infuse arising experience with new levels of curiosity, warmth, and awareness.

In certain meditative experience, while challenging thoughts, feelings, and sensations continue to emerge in moments of activation, they lose their charge almost immediately, where the process of arising and dissolution co-emerge, revealing not two processes, but one. If we observe carefully we may not be able to separate the arising-dissolving cycle. This is something we can each experiment with, slowly, for a few seconds at a time, within the fire of our own direct experience.

And in this embodied investigation, we might come to realize that we need not get rid of or purge certain thoughts and feelings in order to live a life of freedom, spontaneity, creativity, and aliveness. But tend to the fire in a new way, reordering our perception, and infusing the material with a wild sort of love.




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


The next book, A Friend of the Breath, will be published by Sounds True in early 2020, details to come

The next event is The Healing Shame Retreat: Spiritual Awakening and Transforming the Core Wound of Unworthiness, April 24-29, 2019 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, with co-facilitator Jeff Foster