Thank you for all your kind emails and messages regarding my new monthly online course Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times. I wanted to take a few minutes to tell you a bit more about the community and why I’ve decided to offer it.
As many of you know, I’ve been teaching retreats and seeing people in psychotherapy over the years, bringing together both meditative and depth psychological approaches to transformation and healing.
After many years as a devoted spiritual seeker, I began to see how my practices were not able to get at the root of a lot of my emotional and developmental wounding, especially in the more “messy” areas of intimate relationships, family, work and career, body and sexuality, and unwanted, "darker" areas of the spectrum such as uncertainty, heartbreak, loneliness, anxiety, and fear.
Things began to change for me when I started to integrate other modes of practice, including a sensitivity to shadow, somatic psychotherapy, relational work, and embodied psychological inquiry.
The reality in our busy, modern, finance-driven world is that not everyone can spend time on retreat or in long-term psychotherapy, or are not able for whatever reason to connect with a supportive, non-dogmatic, yet provocative and inspiring community of like-minded fellow travelers.
Over the last few years, I’ve received a lot of inquiries about how to work closer together, as my therapy practice was always booked and I could only manage to present two or three public programs each year. I knew there must be some other way, one that was affordable and easily accessible within the context of our ordinary lives.
It was also important to me that the offering included perspectives, teachings, viewpoints, and practices from spiritual, meditative, and contemplative traditions, as well as those from depth and somatic psychologies, including work with the body, shadow, emotions, intimate relationships, and trauma.
A new way to work with me online
In envisioning how this might work, in speaking with my dear friend Jeff Foster, a new idea started to emerge. Over the last seven or eight years, Jeff and I have been having a conversation surrounding a shared vision to rehumanize spirituality and to offer a contemporary, alive, spontaneous, creative, even artistic approach to the spiritual and healing journey. It was from this dialogue - and also through tending to our own pain, trauma, depression, and difficult relational experiences – that the Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times ongoing online course emerged.
What Jeff and I would like to do is to share with you what we’ve discovered, month by month, a teaching oriented in deepening awareness, insight, clarity, and clear seeing, but perhaps more importantly in the outrageousness, wildness, and creativity of the human heart… really, more than anything, it’s a teaching of love. But what that “love” is we must each discover for ourselves in the fire of our own direct experience.
Helping each of us to illuminate this in our own lives is really the intention behind Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times. Not for Jeff or I to tell you what that is for you– for that is beyond our pay grade – but to guide and support you so that you might have a direct meeting and integration with that love that you already are, but may have forgotten along the way.
With this new online format, we are able to share this work and this journey with you wherever you are, at a time that is convenient for you, from the comfort of your own home. No need to travel across the world to come to one of our retreats or sign up for one of our seldomly-available private sessions or undertake the financial investment in either of these options. We will come to you, energetically and with our hearts, each month, drop into your living room with you for a few hours and open together into the great mystery.
What will you receive as part of the course?
As a member of Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times, you will receive access to a growing library of teaching videos – on a wide-variety of topics such as meditation and awakening, healing from shame and unworthiness, the power of our brokenness and vulnerability, working with difficult emotions, navigating times of loss and transition, working with the shadow, cultivating self-compassion and self-love, and remembering what is most important in your life.
Additionally, Jeff and I will each create videos every month responding to your questions, from both psychological and spiritual perspectives.
Each month, Jeff and I will each offer a live meditation, which will allow us to come together and integrate the teachings we’ve been working with, to connect with one another, and with that field of love that holds us all. Whether you’re able to make these sessions live or not, you can watch a replay of the meditations and participate at your convenience, at a time and in a place that works for you.
Finally, there is a support/ discussion group where you can connect with friends and fellow travelers around the world who are also exploring these teachings and practices, and who are committed to their own unique paths of healing and transformation. Jeff and I will join the group periodically with new writing and sharing from our experience.
We’ve tried to keep the monthly membership affordable, including the creation of an annual option that offers a pretty significant savings.
I hope this email helps explain a little more about what the course and membership is and I really appreciate you taking the time to read this letter. I'd love to see you online and step into this work more deeply together.
If you’re interested in hearing more or signing up, please visit www.befriendingyourself.com. The first live meditation for the community will be on June 13th, with Jeff. I'll be offering the second meditation on June 27.
And, for any reason you choose not to join the course, I’ll still be posting my writing and sharing on Facebook, Instagram, and through my blog - and we can stay in touch that way.
Thank you again for your time and for your commitment to the path of transformation, healing, and love, however that looks for you.
P.S. If you would like to access the replay of mine and Jeff’s recent webinar on Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times, it will be available for a few more weeks at http://www.befriendingyourself.com/replay.