Sunday, July 5, 2020

The ally is revealed


As long as we have a body, there will be shadow. The goal isn’t to “get rid of” the shadow or even to “fully integrate” it, as its emanations are being ever created by way of psychic movement and creativity.

Rather, to illuminate and engage it more consciously, as partner, emissary, even lover. While at times it may appear as enemy, underneath the disguise the ally is revealed.

It is only through cultivating a relationship with it that we will not project its contents onto others or into the world… to allow it to take its rightful place in the larger ecology of what we are, as one voice or figure among many. In this way its wrathful intelligence can find its way here.

The shadow is not some worthless, neurotic repository of unenlightened thoughts, feelings, and impulses, but hidden expressions of wisdom, creativity, and soul, awaiting redemption and the light of awareness.

It is through the very natural and human process of projection that we come to know disavowed and previously undisclosed parts of ourselves, pieces of soul that have fallen out of awareness or have not yet found a proper portal for emergence.

That which we are unable to access, dancing and twirling within the personal and archetypal psyche, will make itself known as it is evoked in another or enacted within the relational field.

The purpose of shadow work is not to eliminate shadow. Shadow is not pathology but is path.



Photo by Anja/ cocoparisienne



My new book - A Healing Space: Befriending Ourselves in Difficult Times - is now available for pre-order at Amazon and will be published by Sounds True in November. Learn more about the book (including a full list of online retailers) and early editorial reviews and endorsements here


We've decided to leave our monthly online community, Befriending Yourself, open for enrollment during these uncertain and challenging times. For more information, please visit the course page here

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Enter the mysterium


Falling apart, holding it all together. Then falling apart, then coming back together. Cycles of clarity and confusion. Hopelessness and hope. Heartbreak and bliss. Knowing who we are and why we are here in one moment, deflated in the next as an old dream is recycled into the vast.

As in the natural world, inside the body the sacred process of death and rebirth unfolds. At times an expression of unity and order; at other times chaos and multiplicity. Each pole a carrier of wisdom, guidance, and the water of life.

Inside the opposites it is alive and creative, but there is no solid ground from which to orient. No familiar reference point to look back to or rest in. Only tenderness. Raw. Open. Pregnant. Potential. But what will be reborn from the ashes has not yet been given.

If we remain too identified with “falling apart,” we lose contact with that which was never unhealed, untransformed, and was never “together” to begin with. That innate radiance, the holiness of the breath, and the miracle of having an open sensitive nervous system. We disconnect with the magic of embodied presence, the wisdom of the earth, and the unshakable confidence in our true nature.

But if we remain too identified with “holding it all together,” we split off from our organic spontaneity, imaginative vulnerability, and the truth that the beloved will take whatever form it must to reveal its qualities within us. Raw, achy, illuminating heartbreak may approach at any time, requesting safe passage inside. But it is through this broken aliveness that the poetry of our lives will flow.

Right in the middle of “falling apart” and “holding it together” is the secret place. Send your awareness, vision, and breath into that temple, where the light and dark play in union. Enter the mysterium. It is from there that something new may emerge.


My new book - A Healing Space: Befriending Ourselves in Difficult Times - is now available for pre-order at Amazon and will be published by Sounds True in November. Learn more about the book (including a full list of online retailers) and early editorial reviews and endorsements here


We've decided to leave our monthly online community, Befriending Yourself, open for enrollment during these uncertain and challenging times. For more information, please visit the course page here

Sunday, June 21, 2020

The most unique and transmutative temple


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.




Photo by Anrita Krause



My new book - A Healing Space: Befriending Ourselves in Difficult Times - is now available for pre-order at Amazon and will be published by Sounds True in November. Learn more about the book (including a full list of online retailers) and early editorial reviews and endorsements here


We've decided to leave our monthly online community, Befriending Yourself, open for enrollment during these uncertain and challenging times. For more information, please visit the course page here