Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The alchemy of your own life

The sadness, the shame, the rage, the confusion, and the sense of unworthiness. The shit, the piss, the despair, the conflict, the bewilderment, and the darkness. The limiting self-beliefs, the reactive emotions, the painful challenges in our work and relationships. This is the prima materia that we have to work with as alchemists of our own lives.

It can all appear as garbage and waste, clear signs that we’ve done it wrong, that we’ve failed, that there is something fundamentally wrong with us. But things are not always as they appear.

The invitation is to allow all of this material into the vessel, into the container and begin to heat it up with curiosity, awareness, compassion, and warmth. Not to get rid of it – or even to understand, shift, transform, or heal it – at least at first. But to mine the gold buried in the core of the chaos.

There is intelligence and wisdom in the symptom, but it is often hidden and out of ordinary sight. There is meaning in the mess as psyche attempts to reach us, revelations about how we are living our lives and what is ultimately most important. We are being called in some way, pulled into a future that is not yet known, into something new, something creative, something alive.

To provide sanctuary and safe passage for the wisdom to unfold is difficult and demanding, and in many ways goes against the status quo, not only the status quo of the conventional world, but against a more general self-help world that is oriented in the unending project of self-improvement and urgently replacing the darkness with light.

There is a light buried in the core of the mess, the chaos, and the darkness of the unknown. But its revelation and unfolding requires a cleansing of perception and the cultivation of a new sort of kindness toward ourselves and our experience. It is the work of a lifetime and endless in its meaning and depth. The path of the heart is infinite.

The next two events are a five-day retreat, The Place the Light Enters, with Jeff Foster, April 4-9 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, CO

The Path is Everywhere: A Weekend Intensive, June 15-18 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, CO