Monday, January 30, 2017

The new path is beginning to appear

When you are triggered and have become overwhelmed – when the emotions and somatic eruption has taken you outside your window of tolerance – it is likely your core narrative is nearby. What do you believe about yourself? About relationships? About why you have come here? About whether it is safe to take a risk or to lead with your vulnerability?

This material, the template through which you have engaged the mystery until now, is close and nearby. It is circling around you, not to harm or work against you, but as a harbinger of integration. It is longing to be re-written, re-imagined, and re-dreamed with new vision.
In a moment of constellation and of flooding, infuse the environment with sacred pause. Using your breath and the open spaciousness of your awareness, make a journey inside the emotions, the sensations, and into the old stories that are now longing to be updated with revelation.

Enter into relationship with the narrative and ask it to reveal itself: why it has come, how it is trying to protect you, and what it needs from you now. Practice intimacy without fusing. Embody the sacred middle. Hold it near and honor it for all it has done for you, but with an empowered, fiery compassion, let it know that it is time for an update. And that it will be love that is downloading the upgrade.

And then, with capacities you did not have as the narrative was formed, you can begin the journey of encoding new circuitry, of laying down a new pathway. With presence, kindness, and the wisdom you have gathered, you can update the narrative and weave a new story, one that is more current, integrated, accurate, and whole.

Together, with the seen and unseen allies gathering by your side, you can make meaning of the fear, the anxiety, the depression, and the way your life has unfolded until now. Something is being asked of you and the new path is beginning to appear. Stay close. 

Ask another to bear witness with you, as this reorganization is an immense undertaking of courage. Find a therapist, a lover, a friend, a teacher, a tree, a bird, a dog, a mountain, the sky, the sun, or the moon. Allow them to hold you as you open, and see now what is most true.

Art by Josh Adamski

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now 

New book – The Path is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – to be released in April

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A humble lover of the mystery

The surging of hope and hopelessness, joy and flatness, anxiety and rest. The shakiness and uncertainty in your belly. The tightness in your throat. The raw breaking inside your heart.

The sense that a miracle is here, just beyond the veil, but how to reach it? How to fully show up and participate here, and be fully alive? What is truly being asked of you?

All the techniques, the teachings, the things to manifest, the new beliefs to take on, the worn-out ideas about who you are and why you’ve come here, about where the true source of meaning and peace will come. The questions that once had answers… only a tenderness remains, with no sign of resolution. Only a burning where the questions once existed.

An old vision seems to be dissolving, but what will it be replaced with? There is no life without the willingness to fully participate in the shattering and the death of an ancient dream. No life without embodiment to the vulnerability as it surges in its eternal forms within you. Perhaps it was never resolution you were after, but pure surging life.

As we open our hearts on this new day, in awe at the gift that has been given… as we gaze up into the lunar holding, into the mountains, the muddy earth, into the eyes of those around us… today was never going to be the day when we figured it out, got all our questions answered, or resolved the unprecedented activity of love. It is just too creative for all that. What you are is too wild for that.

Today may not be the day for answers, but to let your heart break open to the vastness of the question. To fall to the ground as a humble lover of the mystery.

The heartbreak found here is not a mistake or error that needs to be corrected. It does not need to be shifted into something else, for it is pure and complete on its own. It is not a project that needs to be solved, but a portal to step through at the threshold of the sacred world.

This longing, this burning, this uncertainty… these are your only scriptures now.

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now 

New book – The Path is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – to be released in April

Thursday, January 26, 2017

An open meadow of awareness

As young children, we did not have the capacity to discern between feeling bad and being bad. In the little one, I feel bad equals I am bad. Observe how this leftover association continues to color the landscape. When you feel sad, depressed, anxious, or ill, what meaning is automatically associated with these experiences? What judgments, shaming, or interpretations do you unconsciously add onto the raw embodied experience?

Pull back slightly and enter into relationship with the feelings. Provide a home in which they can unfold, dance, and communicate essence. Separate a bit, but not so much that you disembody. Stay close, but don’t lose perspective. There is so much space around your experience. Touch the space, the emotion, and the sensations all at once. Practice intimacy while not fusing. This is a holy art that you can learn.

You are the warm, open meadow of awareness in which all feelings come into being, dance for a bit, only to dissolve back into the vast ground from which they came. Find the sacred middle and rest there, between the ancient pathways of denial and fusion. It is in this crucible in which the great process of metabolization by love will unfold.

Listen carefully for the invitation – early in the morning, late at night, as you wander through the day, as you take the risk of heartbreak and mingle your awareness with a sunrise or with the moon in her fullness. Come closer. Open into. Breathe with.

The new way is alive and rippling. The pathways are revealing flexibility and their longing to be reorganized. Soothe the fire with presence and healing compassion. Renew your vow to no longer abandon what is moving within, to no longer pathologize your sensitivity, vulnerability, and the full-spectrum nature of what you are.

There is guidance emerging, taking whatever form it must to reach you: an old feeling, a charged emotion, an eruption of somatic aliveness. What you are is a field of wisdom, though it is a wisdom not perceivable by ordinary means. Open into what is appearing now and behold the creativity that you are. Hold it within your heart and provide illumined passage for the revelation.

Photo by Evgeniia Litovchenko

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now 

New book – The Path is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – to be released in April

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Attuned to the wisdom in the dark

In speaking recently with a friend, I was reminded of the great bias in our culture toward the light and away from the darkness. When we meet with someone who is down, hopeless, empty, or otherwise not beaming and joyful, we can become quickly convinced that something is wrong, that they are “broken,” and that we must act urgently to “fix” them.

We scramble to put them back together, to remind them of all the gifts in their life, impart spiritual techniques and advice, suggesting that they just “focus on the positive,” letting them know that everything will be better soon, and that it will all turn out okay. Or, in an even more aggressive way, we admonish them to “get over it” (this can often happen very subtly in our communication or body language), to stay in the present moment, to immediately forgive the one who has hurt them, or to just be grateful for the “opportunity” that their suffering is providing to them.

It is so natural to want to help another and to lessen their suffering and pain. It is a noble intention to help and to use whatever skillful means we have at our disposal. But we might also begin to see the subtle aggression in our strategies, this insistence that they come out of their immediate experience and into the one we believe they should be having instead. 

We can start to see how much of this “fixing” activity arises out of the disconnection with that which remains unmetabolized within us. For it is to the degree we are out of embodied contact with our own rage, heartbreak, lack of meaning, and the looming shadows of our unlived lives that we will remain misattuned to what is arising for integration in the life of our sweet, precious, suffering friend.

It is possible the kindest thing we can offer our friend is to sit in the darkness with them, conscious of what their suffering is evoking within us, and removing the burden that they change, transform, feel better, or heal in order for us to stay near. As we turn to embrace our own unmet sadness, grief, and despair, we remove the projection of our unlived lives from them. And by doing so, we lift the weight that they take care of our unresolved anxiety for us.

As we learn to trust and to rest in the wisdom-field of our present, embodied experience, we see that love is a movement of the totality. It is whole, never partial, and is raging and alive even in the darkness. In the core of the fire, the sadness, the grief, and the despair is something very real, making an attempt to break through the thick forest of partiality. But what this is may never support our cultural and spiritual fantasies of a life of invulnerability and endless happiness. The psyche is always attempting to reach us and to remind us of what is possible.

May we stay close to our own suffering and to the suffering of others, careful not to cut it too quickly, curious and available to the wisdom as it unfolds in unexpected ways. May we open our hearts to the golden, full-spectrum nature of love, as it shines out of the dark, and stay open to the mystery and the wisdom of the one in front of us, daring to know them for the very first time.

Photographer unknown

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now 

New book – The Path is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – to be released in April

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Enter inside the temple

There was an idea that as you healed, you would feel less, at least less shakiness, rage, hopelessness, and despair. That as you awakened, the emotional spectrum would narrow, into to some safe, consistent, happy, resolved calm, where you became impenetrable, where only flow and bliss and courage emerged. Somehow untouchability became the goal, but love is not interested in that. For it is full-spectrum and the beloved is oriented around your wholeness.

Some old hope that as your heart opened, the vulnerability would diminish, you’d be clear all the time, always in the flow, resting eternally “in the now.” But you are more sensitive, more raw, and more exposed than ever.

You wondered if you would be more detached, not care quite so much, and rest as the “witness” beyond it all, in some safe place of observation. But everything and everyone matter now more than ever… but in a new way. You care so deeply about the sacred world that you feel all around and inside you – about the sun, the moon, the stars, and the earth.
It can be a bit disorienting to discover that the beloved has very little interest in your safe witnessing, in wiggling into some invulnerable state, and in being untouchable. Be touched. Be vulnerable. Be alive. Finally. Let it all fall apart for once, take a risk, get your heart broken. Fail brilliantly.

Something new is being born inside you, but something else is dying. The vision, the guidance, the signs, and symbols are erupting out of the unseen in the attempt to reach you. But you must stay embodied to the chaos and inside the crucible in order to mine the jewels hidden there. You are being asked to trust in the fires of disintegration.

As you turn finally into the tender, vibrating field that is your own heart – and take the risk that this path will always ask - you may become aware of a certain penetrating sadness within and around you. This is not the conventional sadness of the mind, where something is perceived to be missing, but is the sadness of pure love, pouring out of the sky and out of your body. Before you turn from this achiness with spiritual remedies and techniques of conversion, enter inside the temple. Just step inside.

This shaky, raw life is your true home. Rest there.

Photographer unknown

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now 

New book – The Path is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – to be released in April

Friday, January 20, 2017

Always in bloom

It is not an error that we have been born as sensitive human beings, with hearts that are sometimes raw and broken. Yes, at times we may feel lost, hopeless, confused, and uncertain. At other times we will be found, clear, and erupting with faith. This is not evidence of cosmic failure, but a clear sign that we are alive.

Our vulnerability is not a mistake, but a portal into wholeness. It is important to remember that this wholeness is never partial, but contains everything.What we are is full-spectrum.

While the world may try to convince us to mend the brokenness, to abandon the dark, and to resolve the contradictions, we must look carefully to see if this response is in resonance with the vow we have taken. The contradictions, too, are holy and expressions of revelation, but must be held and entered, without any fantasy of resolution. Inside is a unique form of light, but not always perceivable by means of ordinary perception.

Just as the petals on the rose, the forms of love will always dissolve, for this is their nature. In each moment the forms are dissolving and reorganizing around us. But love itself is that which never comes and goes. The rose itself is always in bloom if it is seen with vision from beyond the veil.

The great good news – while simultaneously the excruciating news – is that the path of the heart is never going to conform to our hopes, dreams, and the ways we thought it was all going to turn out. For it is not organized around safety and the known. It is oriented toward wholeness.

While the forms of love will always come and go, we are the vast space in which this play occurs. While we may be unable to take refuge in the passing forms, we can do so in the warmth and holding of the space itself, which is overflowing with the qualities of mystery, attunement, and pure aliveness.

There is nothing more safe than that. There is nothing more sacred than that.

Photographer unknown

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now 

New book – The Path is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – to be released in April

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Attunement to the full-spectrum

Much is being said these days about healing and spiritual awakening, and the deep joy, clarity, and peace that are the promised fruits of the inner journey. Not all that much is mentioned, however, about the disappointment of awakening and the ways it can shatter our hearts, breaking us open to the reality of the crucifixion, the resurrection, *and* the transfiguration we are likely to encounter along the way.

In the rush to convert the negative to the positive, to manifest everything we (have been conditioned to believe we) want, and to manage our lives into some permanent state of “happiness,” we lose contact with the reality that there is no transfiguration without embodiment to the dark cross within. The journey of individuation, of becoming a true human person, is a bit messy by its nature, as it requires attunement to the full spectrum.

The confrontation with the unconscious is not pleasant, in the words of Jung, but offers new vision, depth, and meaning. We must come to face the reality that the path is not organized around our hopes and fears, or the dreams of the way we thought it was going to all turn out. It is just too creative, too magical, and too alive for all that. Your brain, your nervous system, your heart, your body – sacred temples appearing before you. There is a unique journey unfolding inside the temple, but requires a non-conventional sort of approach to find the way.

In an inclusive embrace of life - right inside the messy, shadowy, nether regions of the psyche - we are invited to open into wholeness, which includes the dark *and* the light, the joy *and* the deflation, the hope *and* the hopeless. It involves the entirety of what it means to be a fragile, sensitive, and powerfully alive human being. Paradoxically to the mind, but in ways the heart knows natively, in the core of the vulnerability is a non-ordinary gold, a jewel that is found only there.

Awakening is not only a creative process, but a destructive one as well, and love appears to be equally ready to employ either energy in the revelation of the mystery. What this mystery is we can never know in a second-hand manner, ahead of time, but only by way of primary experience, bearing witness to the numinous as it comes alive within us, and as we become crafted as a vessel for it to move out into the world.

Photographer unknown

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now 

New book – The Path is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – to be released in April

Monday, January 16, 2017

Falling apart, coming back together

Falling apart, holding it all together. Then falling apart, then holding it all together again. Cycles of integration and disintegration. Chaos and ground. Stillness and activity. Sanity and confusion. Hopelessness and hope. As flows the natural world, the unfolding of the heart is alive and of the unknown.

In ways the mind may never resolve, guidance is pouring through you, washing away that which is less than whole, preparing you for what is next. But what is next is always of the nameless and will never be approached ahead of time by means of the conceptual. Stay close in the liminal, and attune to the creativity as it emerges out of the here and now.

While the narrative that you are “falling apart” is rich and multi-layered, look carefully and see if you were ever “together” to begin with. You are the vast space in which “together” and “apart” dance in union, and you will never be limited to either of these narratives. Rest for a moment and honor the unprecedented nature of what is moving within you.

If you remain too identified with “falling apart,” you cut into the natural aliveness that is the essence of pure, immediate experience. You lose contact with the luminous within, and become misattuned to the wisdom of your unfolding experience, exactly as it is. You disconnect with the radiance of embodied presence, with the intelligence of the earth, and with the high-voltage realization that nothing has ever been wrong with you. You forget that the darkness, when provided sanctuary, is brighter than a thousand suns.

But if you remain too identified with “holding it all together,” you disconnect from your natural vulnerability and the spontaneous mystery as it appears, turning from the surging reality that your heart could break at any moment. It is true that raw, tender sadness or deflation could approach at any time, requesting safe passage inside you. But it is through this broken aliveness that the poetry of your life will flow.

Right in the middle of “falling apart” and “holding it together” is the secret essence. Stay there. It is here where the light and the dark are in union, where integration and disintegration emerge as one in love, and where lunar and solar are weaving the substance of the sacred world.

Artist unknown

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now 

New book – The Path is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – to be released in April

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A new way of self-care

The next time you find yourself activated and hooked – shaming, spinning, and blaming another for an eruption within – slow down, and give yourself the gift of pause. Take one moment and descend with the breath underneath the compelling storyline, and into the center of the fire. Stay close. For you need yourself now more than ever.

It is an outrageous act to drop into the core of your body, out of the spinning narrative, and into the somatic guidance that is coursing within you. It is fresh, alive, and unprecedented there, with your torso aglow with sacred data.

Once you have provided a home for the aliveness to illuminate, you can then return to what happened, and engage it from a more grounded place in the slowness of the here and now. Until the feelings are held and integrated, however, you will be caught in the complexes and the unconscious lenses through which you have come to organize your experience, and will inevitably re-enact an early environment of misattunement and empathic failure.

It was intelligent and made sense to dissociate at an earlier time, but you are being called to something new: to make new meaning, to work through the old circuity, and to update it with revelation. To seed the pathways with empathy, with holding, and with all the wisdom you have gathered until now.

As you slow down and re-orient, you can then ask what it is that you truly need right now. What are you being asked to provide for yourself? What have you abandoned or lost touch with that is now surging to be held and re-integrated? The invitation is to care for yourself in a new way, to encode new circuitry and to rewire old pathways, planting new seeds which will bear the fruit of embodiment, and will reveal an inner power.

With your heart open, make requests of your lovers, your family, and your fellow journeyers, knowing that they will sometimes be able to meet you, to see you as you are, and provide what you are asking for. When they do, you can rejoice in this, and give thanks. And when they do not, you can rejoice in that and give thanks as well, for the clear reflection of the mystery of the relational field, and for the opportunity to take care of yourself in a new way. For this is a profound gift that they have to offer, though it is one that is non-conventional in nature.

Through this holy aspiration of self-care, you come back into your vulnerability – into the tender and into the raw, for there is tremendous energy, power, and creativity there. You are then able to step fully into the reality of a warrior of love, come here not only to heal yourself but to be a vessel of presence and transmutation for all beings.

Art by Eli Vokounova

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now 

New book – The Path is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – to be released in April

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A hidden gold

In just one ordinary moment, you can return into the aliveness of the sensory world, sink into mystery, drop into the muddy earth, and set aside the urgency to be other than you are. Your imagination is holy, your vision is open, and there is no temple greater than your own body.

Even the symptoms – the exhaustion, the confusion, the hopelessness, the hesitation – communications from within, attempting to reach you with new direction for the way ahead. Listen carefully, for the guidance will often come in disguised forms, in ways that the conventional world may never understand. But you were never born for the conventional. You are just too vast for all that.

There are colors here, eyes to gaze into, warm ones to hold, and water to drink. Sunsets to commune with, hearts to attune to, and birdsong arriving from the other world. Something is attempting to break through, but is still in the liminal.

Yes, a death has occurred, it was never going to turn out the way you thought it would. Your relationships, work, family, your body, that which used to provide so much meaning. Death has come, but the rebirth has not yet appeared. What will arise out of the ashes of the reorganization? That has not been given, and that non-giving is pure, is holy, and is one of the fierce and deflating expressions of love.

An old dream has dissolved, and a new one is forming, but has not yet erupted into conscious awareness. It’s okay to feel anxious, shaky, and a bit disoriented. There is pregnant, overflowing, full-spectrum creativity inside the core of the death. Rather than scramble to get out of it and exchange it for the known, the invitation is to turn into it, for in its center is a hidden gold.

Return back into your senses. Touch the earth. Look up in the sky. Listen to the birds. The wind, the sun, the moon, and the stars – the trees, an owl, a deer, a color. There is vision everywhere.

While it may seem confusing and overwhelming to a mind longing for solidity, love will never ask you to abandon your present experience and trade it in for another. For each of her children, each member of your inner family, is an illumined portal into the sacred.

Look carefully, for your lovers are everywhere.

Photo by Donnchadh Murphy

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now 

New book – The Path is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – to be released in April

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Leading Edge of Psychotherapy online training

Dear friends, I want to let you know about The Leading Edge of Psychotherapy: A Yearlong Online Training in Neuroscience, Trauma, and Attachment, that I have put together for Sounds True. This video-based training will be taught by my friends Bonnie Badenoch, PhD, Stan Tatkin, PsyD, Linda Graham, MFT, and David Wallin, PhD. See below for course titles and descriptions.
To attend two online classes at no cost - with Bonnie and with Stan - and to learn more about the training, please visit
We'll be offering up to 40 hours of Continuing Education credits for completion of the course.
If you have any questions about the training, please contact

Course titles, descriptions, and start dates:
Starting 2/6 - Bonnie Badenoch, PhD on Trauma and the Embodied Brain: A Heart-Based Training in Relational Neuroscience for Healing Trauma
4/17 - Stan Tatkin, PsyD on What Every Therapist Ought to Know: Attachment, Arousal Regulation, and Clinical Techniques in Couple Therapy
6/26 - Linda Graham, MFT on Neuroscience for Psychotherapists: A Practical Training on How to Strengthen Your Client's Neural Platform of Resilience & Well Being
9/11 - David Wallin, PhD on Attachment in the Practice of Psychotherapy: Relational Transformation, Nonverbal Experience, and the Psychology of the Therapist

A bit of background...

Over the last decade or two, a number of changes have occurred the in field of psychotherapy, which have affected how some therapists care for their patients and clients. Given the vast amount of groundbreaking research in neuroscience, trauma, attachment theory, and arousal regulation, many therapists have felt left out.

While receiving an adequate education in graduate school, many are desiring more in-depth and up-to-date training in the new developments in the field. It can all be pretty overwhelming when scanning the literature, and confusing as to where to even start.With this online training, our goal is to bring together a few of the world’s foremost psychotherapy educators to present a series of intensive online trainings offering both theoretical but more importantly experiential training for the practicing therapist today.

Over the course of a year, you will go through four complete, individual trainings with Bonnie, Stan, Linda, and David. Each program consists of eight weeks of video-based instruction as well as two live online meetings with the instructors, where you can ask questions and clarify the content you are exploring. If you are not able to make the online meetings when they occur live, that is fine; you will be able to listen at your convenience. There is no need to be online at a specific time so you can easily participate from anywhere around the world, working around your schedule.

If after reading through the details you have any questions about the training, please contact and the good folks at Sounds True can walk you through whatever additional information you need.

We look forward to sharing this special training with you, and truly hope it contributes in even a small way to the reduction of suffering, and to the realization of freedom and wholeness in yours and your clients' lives. Please visit for more information.

A key to a sacred door

When you find yourself triggered. When your emotional world is on fire and you are hooked into shame, blame, and rage. When you notice you are practicing self-aggression, spiraling into addictive behavior, or complaining about your life, blaming others, and erupting with resentment… slow down. The messengers have arrived.

Do not dissociate and split from them, meditate them away, or transform them into a higher vibration. The invitation is one of intimacy, a curious journey toward the feelings, and opening into the vision that is longing to emerge from their center. Return into the aliveness of your body and listen. For your need yourself now more than ever.

Something is attempting to break through, out of the murky darkness and into conscious awareness. Some unmet emotion, some abandoned aspect of yourself, some underlying state of vulnerability that was not able to return safely at an earlier time.

What is it? What is knocking on the door of your heart and longing for reorganization? What lost part of you is shape-shifting out of the unseen and up from of the muddy soil of your body, so that it may share its wisdom in a world that has forgotten? Is there something you’ve been neglecting about what is most important to you? Some discrepancy between the life you know is possible and the one you’ve been living?

In the past, it was intelligent to split off from overwhelming experience that you could not metabolize at the time. But these pieces are looking for you. They come as emissaries of revelation and carriers of light in the darkness. As ambassadors of the somatic world, they serve as gatekeepers of portals into aliveness, connection, and wholeness. Though it may appear otherwise, they do not come to overwhelm you, or to engulf, or to take you down. But to show you life. To reveal a key to a sacred door.

Whether you choose to provide a home for these ones – or you do not – they will never relinquish their search, and will continue to appear as your friends, your children, your emotions, your lovers, and your life circumstances. Look carefully and you will see them. They will even come in disguise as the mountains, the ocean, the blue, and the purple, to remind you of something astonishing about who you are, that you may have forgotten along the way.

Please consider the possibility, though, that the “forgetting” is equally as sacred as the “remembering” and that love will use both of these energies to find you and to awaken you to what you are. Each are special arrows in the quiver of the beloved, who will never, ever give up and will look for you forever.

Art by Ern Mainka

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now 

New book – The Path is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – to be released in April