As open, sensitive human beings, we’re all going to be met with unwanted and difficult experience at times - things like disappointment, sadness, uncertainty, and grief. These and other related states - melancholy, deflation, heartbreak, and longing - are often dismissed on the spiritual path or seen as evidence that we have failed or done life “wrong.”
We all learned to turn away from parts of ourselves and experiences that didn’t always fit in. In order to protect ourselves and stay safe, we sent these parts away, into the underworld of the psyche, or what is often referred to as “the shadow.”
While it was intelligent, creative, and adaptive to disembody and locate certain experiences outside our conscious awareness, these very human, valid, and essential parts of ourselves continue to look for us, and leak out in our bodies, dreams, relationships, moods, and thoughts. The process of integration or wholeness asks that we turn back toward these ones and provide a home or sanctuary in which they can return to the larger ecology of what we are, warmed at the fire of our own presence, mercy, and kindness.
Through meditation, healing inquiry, and an embodied, trauma-sensitive approach where we “start exactly where we are,” we will navigate this full-spectrum territory together, and open to the healing potential in embracing the shadow.
- The healing potential within difficult experience such as grief, disappointment, heartbreak, and loss
- The power of our vulnerability and how it can be a portal to a deeper experience of aliveness and connection
- Unraveling the cultural (and spiritual) trance of “being happy all the time” and the wisdom in our native melancholy and sensitivity
- The poetic beauty of “not-knowing” and seeing through the fantasy that we’re always supposed to know what to do with our lives
- The tenderness of a broken heart and its deepest longing not to be “healed,” but to be held
Especially as we head into the winter months (for most of us, anyway) it seems an appropriate time to gather together, in a way that is both safe and challenging, to explore the beauty and mercy in the darkness, as it unfolds within the natural world as well as within our bodies, hearts, and souls. And to discover, together, the light that is found only there.
We look forward to getting started with our first live session on Thursday, December 3rd and would love to have you join us.