Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Free videos and webinars from Matt Licata

Dear friend,

I hope this post finds you well. I wanted to let you know about six free videos you can watch below, on topics I write about and inevitably come up in my clinical work. 

These short webinars cover areas such as the nature of an embodied spirituality, alchemy and the inner fires of transformation, relational and contemplative neuroscience, self-compassion, meditation, and the endless polishing of the heart.

I hope you find them interesting and relevant.



Tuesday, November 22, 2022

All therapy is grief therapy

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.

Things tend to not turn out the way we thought they would, for they are too alive, too magical, too majestic. This “not turning out the way we thought” is not evidence of mistake or that we’ve failed or done life wrong, but of the beloved and her activity here. And her outrageous care for form.

To fall to the ground, to stand back up again, to fail well, to be lost, to be found, realizing that love will assume any of these forms, shifting shapes as it spirals out of the stars and makes its way into this miracle world of time and space.

To grieve the crumbling and ending of one world, the death of a dream that has finished its time here. To allow that dissolution and provide sanctuary and safe passage for these forms to continue their journey into the other world.

The grief of knowing on some deep level that all form must reorganize, for it is its nature to do so: The people in our lives, what we have come to think we are, what has previously provided meaning, our bodies, our own worlds of experience, with even our greatest revelations ground into dust and sent back into the galaxies from which they came.

To turn toward the broken and grieve consciously, to honor the uncertainty, collecting the shards and the ashes and shepherding them. To dare to see the dissolution not as error but as holy, painfully and preciously whole, and to stand in awe as the pieces reassemble.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Already held

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.

Held by another, held within by our own hearts, or held by a star - despite the pain and confusion and hopelessness and doubt - somehow we are already held. It's not something we must earn or deserve or frantically search for.

Held by the morning light as it comes into a room, by the song of the birds, a rainbow, by the imaginal world. Somehow. Already held.

This morning looking out at the beauty of Moloka'i island