I wanted to share some recent writing with you and to let you know that Befriending Yourself, my online membership site co-facilitated with Jeff Foster, will close tomorrow (February 12th) to new members until later in the year.
As a reminder, members receive two live interactive video sessions each month, pre-recorded teaching videos from me and Jeff, bonus meditation downloads, and entry into a private Facebook group where friends from around the world share their experience on the path of transformation and healing.
We do offer a 30-day money back guarantee if you'd like to try the community you can cancel at anytime.
For those unable to attend live (many are not) we will send out video replays, audio MP3s, and downloadable written transcripts for each session.
>>> Click here to learn more about Befriending Yourself
I hope you all are well and I look forward to connecting online, on retreat, or through my writing during the year.
BEFRIENDING OURSELVES IN A NEW WAY
Feel your feet on the earth. Breathe deeply from your lower belly. Open your senses.
Come out of the seductive, sticky storyline which has started to loop and is no longer safe, subtle, or nuanced enough to contain the majesty of what you are.
With the miracle of here and now awareness, call off the war. Underneath the circulating heat, spin, and claustrophobia is a tender soft core that is longing for just one moment of your curiosity, warmth, and compassion.
Stay close. Be a friend to yourself. With the fire of your own presence, break the ancient trance of self-abandonment. Turn your body into a temple where a transmutation may occur. While the habitual groove is out of the shaky center, just this once step off the battlefield and turn home.
Recognize that you have been activated and flood that moment with slowness, mercy, and tend to the experiment. A holy invitation. Open to a new way as you ask: What is it that I need right now? What have I abandoned in myself? What is being asked to be tended to, right here and right now, with a storm of lovingkindness? Why have you come, I am listening, I will not forsake you.
In this, seeds of empathy are planted in your nervous system and scattered within the cells of your heart, watered and soothed with new forms of self-care as compassion pathways are grooved and brought alive. Suddenly there is so much space. Breath where none was to be found. You are already held by something vast.
Through this aspiration to no longer abandon yourself, you come back into your power, grounded and embodied in the reality and perception of the warrior, a warrior of love, come here not only to heal yourself but as a vessel of presence and transmutation for all beings.
THE MAJESTY OF SOUL
For example, with certain forms of trauma, awareness-based meditation isn’t always the right remedy. Where there has been traumatic rupture, dysregulation, and disorganization, “resting in open awareness” can very easily overwhelm and re-traumatize a sensitive nervous system. A prescription of “more mediation” may not be the most wise, skillful, or kind.
Or, with traumatic organization acquired prior the acquisition of language, questioning thoughts and working at the level of thinking is not going to be sensitive enough to attune to this level, which is better tended to relationally, emotionally, and somatically, where within a safe, attuned relational field we are able to access, articulate, and integrate previously dissociated experience.
At times, it is structure- or resource-building that is most needed, supportive work to repair a fragile sense of self-organization, traumatized nervous system, or tragic disorganized attachment. At other times, what’s most needed is uncovering, illuminating and integrating shadow and unconscious process, reclaiming experiential responsibility for that which had to be disowned at an earlier time.
At other times, an existential way of exploration is most indicated, where we explore subtle levels of meaning, freedom, meaninglessness, and aloneness. Or the transpersonal band by way of psychic, subtle, causal, or nondual pathways. As always, the invitation is into discernment and non-homogenization.
The point is that if you do not resonate with a particular way of working, or if it not helping you or even harming you, trust yourself and your own integrity. Honor your experience. It is fine to experiment, of course, but there is nothing wrong with you if a particular method is contraindicated at a particular time in your life. It doesn’t mean you’ve “failed,” are incredibly “unspiritual,” or have succumbed to a “low vibration.” It means you are alive.
Spirituality is unique to each human heart, nervous system, and soul. There is a map written inside you that is in a language that only you can decipher. A pre-programmed, secondhand discovery will never do. You’re just too majestic for that.
RUPTURE AND REPAIR
In any close relationship (where we take the risk of allowing another to matter) we open ourselves to confrontation and integration of the two archetypal energies of abandonment and fusion. At some deep core level there may always be some hesitancy in moving into this territory, which is valid and need not be shamed or pathologized.
We come into relationship with a rich template of past relational experiences – will it be safe? To what degree can I count on the other to see me as I am, to provide holding for my eccentricities, sensitivities, and historic core vulnerabilities? Can I truly trust them? Will they turn from me? Will I lose myself? Is this all going to be worth it?
Inevitably, ruptures will occur within the relational field, in that tender intersection between ourselves and another. But we must remember that rupture is natural, organic, and quantum. From this perspective, a healthy relationship is not one in which there is never any conflict, but one in which rupture is repaired, by way of empathic linkage, shared resonance, and a simultaneous honoring of our own separateness and integrity. The cycle of rupture and repair allows the relationship to unfold, deepen, and disclose its secret essence.
Each of us arrives into the space between ourselves and the other with biographical, cultural, and archetypal patterning, scripts, and worlds of imagination. Our images and fantasies intermingle and interpenetrate to weave the relational field, along with the mysterious Other, the third who also appears. It is through this intersubjective dance of illuminating, articulating, and making sense of our experience with the other that the templates become ripe for revisioning.
This is why, in part, close personal relationships can be so achingly painful, on the one hand… while being the most unique and transmutative temple on the other.