I hope you find them interesting and relevant.
Sometimes I wonder if all therapy isn’t grief therapy when all is said and done. The original Greek therapeia referred to attending, caring for, sending breath into. Not “curing,” “fixing” or even “healing,” not these heavy clinical words. But by way of our own tenderness, to infuse with life. To surround with warmth, to take the risk that this holding will always ask of us.To be a midwife for psychic and somatic reorganization, to bear witness to the birth of a new heart, one which will inevitably ache and long and break and shatter and open and crumble in the face of it all. For that is the nature of this human form, which is crafted of particles of mystery, of mercy, of grace.
In those moments when we are held, our nervous systems down-regulate, our minds soften, our hearts open, and we come into an ancient sort of rest. That rest that we've been longing for in a lifetime that always seemed just out of reach. The rest from becoming.While our true nature as open, luminous awareness is the ultimate holding environment, as tender human beings we are wired to rest within a relational matrix. To enter into this field with another – weaved of the alchemical substances of presence and of space – is one of the great mysteries of the embodied world.
So many of us feel shame related to our trauma, wounding, and sensitivities, as if they’re evidence that we’ve failed, it’s our fault, that something’s wrong with us, and that we’re broken and beyond repair.
It is so easy to take for granted that tomorrow will come, that another opportunity will be given to bear witness to a sunset, take a walk in the forest, listen to the birds, or share a moment of connection with the one in front of us. But another part knows how fragile it truly is here, how tenuous, and the reality that this opening into life will not be here for much longer.
The contradictory feelings of hope and hopelessness, meaning and flatness, anxiety and rest. The shakiness and uncertainty in the belly. The tightness in the throat. The ache inside the heart. The joy that at times is there, but never can seem to be sustained.All the techniques, the teachings, the things to manifest, the new beliefs to take on, the worn-out ideas about the true source of peace, aliveness, and flowing abundance. Perhaps there were once answers to these questions, but now there is no answer to be found. Only a burning where the questions once existed.
I’m writing to let you know that I’ve recently opened some private sessions via Zoom. There are only a limited number of spaces available and I hope to make more sessions available later in the year.
To sign up, please visit my scheduling page.
To learn more about me and my work, please visit my website.
Please note that these online sessions are offered in the form of spiritual mentorship, counseling, guidance, coaching, and consulting. Online sessions are not psychotherapy, which I provide in-person only, and only to residents of the State of Colorado.
Please take care of yourself and I look forward to staying in touch over the weeks and months to come. I’ll be starting a new online mentorship program in the beginning of 2023 and will send details later in the year.
Photo by Abhay Bharadwaj
If a child were to appear at your door: uncertain, afraid, and exhausted from a long journey…
FREE LIVE WEBINAR WITH MATT LICATA - THURSDAY, SEPT. 15
In those inevitable moments when you’re being flooded by activating, confusing, or overwhelming images and feelings, you might imagine that an important figure of the soul has appeared at the door (of your heart) and is knocking.It could be a young child, infant, or even a fetus; a lost teenager, a worried adult at midlife, or an elderly person nearing death. Or perhaps a wounded or frightened animal, a mythic or spiritual figure, or some other one who doesn’t fit into any of these descriptions.
In a moment of activation, the emissaries arrive. Spinning, twirling, visitors from another time and place. Not come to harm but to reveal, for reunion.A great meeting is being assembled. Invited guests and uninvited, weary travelers, exhausted from a lifetime of seeking light, those inner figures representing heartbreak, joy, grief, and aliveness.
There is a certain death that occurs as part of the healing process, in the deepening of self-awareness, something that does not survive illumination. While it is tempting to spin out of the uncertainty and into rebirth, there is wisdom and a purity within the reorganization itself, which we cannot know if we abandon it prematurely.The dissolution itself is initiation as it offers vision not available in the scramble to put things back together. An old part of ourselves that has accompanied us for so long, a fellow traveler is no longer permitted to continue the journey by our side. The crumbling of an old dream – my life and the way I was so sure it was going to turn out.
Many are familiar with the term “holding environment” as elucidated by Winnicott, a warm and poetic description of a relational configuration rooted in empathic attunement and right-brain to right-brain resonance.As the matrix of secure attachment, it provides the rich, creative terrain from which we can explore reality, resting and playing in unstructured states of being. From this ground of safety and creativity, we journey out of the familiar, experiment with our vulnerability, and stay embodied to the full range of human feeling.
Some are put in the position of emotionally caring for an adult early in their lives at a time they themselves need more than anything to have their own inner world mirrored back to them. To be seen as a subject with an interiority, not merely as a narcissistic reflection of the other. Until reorganized, this template orients the way we see ourselves and engage in close relationship.In these early configurations, the little one’s sense of self becomes tangled up in the other’s moods, anxiety, and injured self-esteem. The job of the little one is shifted from unstructured play and discovery into tending to the unlived life of a caretaker, a task that is not designed for a young nervous system, nor for a tender little heart.
The contradictory feelings of hope and hopelessness, meaning and flatness, anxiety and rest. The shakiness and uncertainty in the belly. The tightness in the throat. The raw breaking inside the heart. The joy that at times is there, but never can seem to be sustained.All the techniques, the teachings, the things to manifest, the new beliefs to take on, the worn-out ideas about the true source of peace, aliveness, and flowing abundance. Perhaps there were once answers to these questions, but now there is no answer to be found. Only a burning where the questions once existed.
In any meaningful relationship, we will inevitably disappoint our partners, families, and friends. To skillfully navigate the energies of disappointment is a real yoga that can take quite a lot of awareness (and compassion). The landscape of disappointing another can be incredibly challenging, especially if our role in early relationships was to set aside our own needs for another, where caring for them was the primary way that we received love and attention.What is it like for you to disappoint someone? To let them down? To not be able to save them? To feel that you could be doing more to care for their unlived life? To not be able to mend their broken heart? What does it mean about you if you disappoint them? What are the consequences if you are not able to “make them happy” or remove their anxiety, meaninglessness, or uncertainty?
It's okay to feel sad, to be uncertain about it all, to be melancholic, to lament, and to grieve.Despite the madness of our world and a collective disembodiment to the blue shades of the spectrum, these states are not evidence that something is wrong with you, that you have failed, that you need to meditate more, pray harder, become better at staying in the present moment, manifest the opposite of sadness, or that you are lost or beyond redemption.