Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The magic of emotion

As open, sensitive human beings, we may never be able to avoid the experience of emotional pain. This fact is not evidence that there is something wrong with us, but that we are alive.

Welcome. You are alive. Thank god you have a body and a heart and a mind which allow you to feel, and to make meaning of your feelings, and use them skillfully as a bridge to connect with others. Let us end the pathologizing of emotion once and for all, instead proclaiming together the holiness of feeling.

Sometimes it is as if our hearts are on the outside of our skin, rather than safely protected by the rib cage, hidden away in some fantasy of invincibility. Even the wind blowing, as it makes contact with the raw, tender, exposed flesh is enough to take us to the ground.

As we somehow take the risk of opening more, we might see that emotional vulnerability is in fact the only response that makes any sort of sense in a world that has gone a bit mad. In this way, we can re-contextualize and re-enchant our emotional experience, breathe new life into it and behold its sacredness. It is magic to be an emotional being, and we need no longer apologize for this.

Emotional pain has been pathologized in our world, along with vulnerability, heartbreak, grief, and any sort of state of feeling a bit down. We doubt ourselves and question our very being, afraid to trust in the purity and integrity of our experience exactly as it is.

But emotional pain is not pathology. Grief is not a condition to be diagnosed and treated. Feeling down and blue and a bit hopeless is not a disease which need be cured by consumption, whether that consumption is of material goods or new inner states. A broken heart is pure and is complete on its own, filled with intelligence, life, and seeds of creativity and expression. It need not be mended or transformed into something else. It is the vehicle by which the poetry of your life may flow and your unique individuality may come alive here.

To stay embodied with waves of grief, confusion, rage, fear, despondency, exhaustion, hopelessness, and doubt … to provide sanctuary and safe passage for the pieces of a broken world … to dissolve once and for all the trance of self-abandonment … this invitation is one that is radical and nonconventional by its nature, appearing now for your consideration.

To infuse the entire spectrum with breath, with life, with awareness, and with holding will liberate an eruption of skillful energy, and help us to make meaning, to bear the unbearable, and truly be there for others when they are suffering. And to be warriors in the world at those times we are needed most.

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now (we're about 80% sold out as of 27 May)

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