Saturday, December 30, 2023

Free live webinar with Matt on January 25 - Turning the Light

Dear friends, 

I'll be presenting a free live webinar on January 25 at 9am PT/ 5pm in London, on "Turning the Light: The Mystery of Presence and Attuning to the Creative Unknown."

It’s so easy to lose contact with the experience of mystery and aliveness, where we’re spending time each day in play with reality, and in those nourishing organic embodied states of imagination, awe, wonder, and the joy of Being itself.

Things have gotten so speedy, shaky, and uncertain in the collective. It’s as if there’s a slow drip of cortisol or adrenaline coming out of the matrix and into our sensitive bodies and nervous systems.

It’s vital that we take time each day to slow down, to shift our awareness out of the collective trance and the urgency of the spin, and into the body, the heart, and the imaginal world, where we can truly listen to the Soul and the guidance it has for us.

During our time together, I’ll speak about:
  • Stepping out of the matrix of the collective and attuning to the wisdom of the body and the imagination
  • Creating an inner holding environment for ourselves and the scattered pieces of soul in times of transition, liminality, and stress
  • The mysterious link between relational trauma, a broken heart, and the sacred; the wounded healer and the path of initiation
  • Trusting in the soul and the ways it relentlessly and wildly pulls us toward wholeness, including by way of our sensitivities and “symptoms”
I look forward to spending some time with everyone on Thursday, January 25. 



Friday, December 29, 2023

Early relational wounding and trauma

Much of our wounding occurs prior to the acquisition of language and is not able to be healed through the questioning and reorganization of patterns of thinking. In other words, we can’t think our way out of trauma, attachment, and narcissistic injury.

When our capacity to process unbearable terror, panic, and shame is overwhelmed, unmetabolized pieces of soul are held subcortically and in our cellular circuitry, unreachable by thinking which is a layer removed from the fires of the alchemical body.

Encouragement to “just get over it, it’s just your ego, just let it be, it isn’t who you really are” is experienced by an inflamed nervous system as the activity of empathic failure, aggression, and psychic violence.

It’s like a neural form of gaslighting and reflects a deep misunderstanding of relational wounding and implicit memory, and only contributes to the intergenerational transmission of trauma.

In addition to shattering and unendurable experience – which is painful and terrifying enough – there is a profound sense of aloneness that goes with this, the disorganizing reality of the missing Friend, and no accompaniment into the dark night. “I am alone in this.”

This is devastating to the soul.

When the lost orphans of psyche and soma come surging to be held, they’re not all that interested in our crystal-clear analysis, detached witnessing and fantasies of “mastery,” or powerful spiritual insights.

They’re longing for something else… for you, for your heart, for your holding. To know that you will stay near, that you will not abandon or shame them, that you will do your best to provide sanctuary and safe passage for them to come Home, to be helped out of that frozen, crystallized state and to live once again.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Trauma, dissociation, and relinking psyche and soma

Healing from trauma and any form of relational wounding involves a relinking of that which has become unlinked. In this way, trauma is the experience of unlinking.

To re-associate that which has become dis-associated.

To re-embody to what which has become dis-embodied.

Or, to speak more alchemically, the word dis-aster involves an unlinking from the stars, from our own stars, from the sparks of light that form the human soul.

To reconnect with the stars which have been scattered will ask everything of us, and more.

Dissociation is natural to the psyche and serves a vital adaptive function, keeping us out of states of profound, unworkable, unendurable fragmentation, terror, and an annihilatory sense of panic.

To re-associate and to re-link soma and psyche occurs by way of relationship. In this way all healing is relational in its essence.

But the nature of what this relationship is, is of the Mystery. Relationship unfolds inside the psyche as previously dissociated pieces of soul are brought back together; and interpersonally though a safe, attuned, empathic relational field.

And also transpersonally, a re-association with the Divine, with our essential Being, with that part of ourselves that was never wounded and was always Whole.

Somehow, reunion with the missing companion, with the lost Friend, whether inside, outside, or in between, for the great union and re-linking to occur.

To bear witness to this dissociation and re-linking and to offer a safe, holding, and dynamic vessel and inner Temple, where the other can feel felt and understood, can take us to the ground.

As we weep and lament together, somehow in that, in the purity of those tears, the stars are returned, the splitting is healed, the rupture is repaired, and the dissociated pieces of soma and psyche are reunited.

It’s only love that can foster that sort of reunion, a love that belongs not to a “healer” or a “patient,” but to the field itself; all we can do is allow our perception to be cleansed and our heart to be polished so that we can perceive it and be a vehicle for its embodiment and incarnation.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

When meeting with a friend who is down...

When we meet with someone who is feeling melancholic, empty, shaky, or confused, we can quickly become convinced that something is wrong, and that our role is to act urgently to fix them - to spin off into techniques, theories, and ideas to help them replace the actuality of their experience with what we believe they should be having instead.

It’s totally natural to want relief for those we care about and to do whatever we can to help; we don’t need to pretend this isn’t the case. We can hold that larger intention that they feel better, while simultaneously staying open to a call emerging in the field between us into deeper territory.

Perhaps it is something more subtle, nuanced, and merciful than relief that they’re most longing for. For the Friend, for a companion who will go with them into the dimly lit, endarkened landscape of the soul.

There is wisdom and guidance in the images, emotions, and somatic data arising into the relational field between ourselves and another, vital communication from psyche serving an initiatory function beyond what we can perceive. We don’t want to short-circuit that, especially as a result of our own anxiety and discomfort.

If we slow down and reflect, we might discover how much of our “fixing” activity, the movement toward relief, arises out of an unresolved relationship with our own shadow, untended historic core vulnerabilities and complexes, and from the spinning of the ghosts of our unlived lives.

It is possible that the most skillful and kind thing we can offer our friend is to sit in the charged energy with them, bearing witness to pure feeling together, in that claustrophobic or restless space, and stay near; to remove the burden that they come out of their experience, “feel better,” or heal in order for us to stay close.

Perhaps they don’t need to be healed, but to be held, to be heard, and to feel felt and understood, for someone to companion them as the hidden wisdom unfolds.

Where, together, we can make sense of their experience and discover the meaning in it, crafting a safe and empathically-attuned home where the shards of a broken world can reassemble.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Return into the inner temple

There is spirit buried inside matter, but we must open our imagination and allow our perception to be cleansed.

Behind the veil, multiplicity is just as holy as oneness, sound as sacred as silence, form as pure as the formless, when embraced within the heart.

Each an equal arrow in the quiver of the beloved, sent to pull us closer.

Reality is neither dual nor nondual, but way beyond all that. Those distinctions fall away in union.

In a moment when the emotions surge, a doorway appears. Sink into the earth, enter her colors, open your inner senses, enter the mandala of the imagination. The ally is near.

We are conditioned to find a problem where there is an invitation.

Place your hands on your heart. Attune to the aliveness of the somatic flow. Follow the breath back into essence. Return into the inner temple. Stay there. And listen.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

The capacity to grieve

One thing I’ve discovered in my own life (pain) – and also in my clinical work – is that it’s the capacity to grieve that creates the linkages in psyche and soma that are at the very essence of neural integration.

There is no true rebirth without passing through the portal of grief, which is not a solar journey upward into transcendence, but attunement to the descending current, into earth, body, and mud.

It is what allows us to hold and metabolize the fragments of the unlived life, held deep in the soul and the somatic unconscious.

One of the hallmarks of unresolved relational trauma is the incapacity to mourn, to weep all the way down into our cells, and make the journey of embodied lamentation.

As relational beings wired to co-regulate and co-enter the Mystery together, we’re not always able to do this on our own.

We long for a Friend to bear witness to the subtle depth of our tears, emanations of the alchemical salt, which wash and purify the way ahead.

The nature of the Ally is that of a shapeshifter and will appear in a variety of forms, and may surprise us.

As our perception is cleansed and our heart is polished, its form will become more clear, more vivid, and translucent.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Matt's 2024 Inner Work Group & Community

My new 2024 online inner work group and community will start on February 1 with registration opening for a limited time in mid-January. If you’d like to learn more and join the waitlist, please visit here:

>> Learn more about Matt's 2024 Inner Work Group & Community 

We’ll meet live a few times each month, for meditation, inquiry, imaginal practice, and to explore the mystery of Being, healing, and spiritual transformation.

Weaving together depth and somatic psychotherapies, relational neuroscience and trauma studies, and the wisdom of the mystics, yogis, and alchemists, we’ll explore an embodied, trauma-sensitive approach to deep soul healing, self-realization, and the alchemy of the heart.

The purpose of the group is to come together in a true holding environment and to open to the power, beauty, and intelligence of the relational field itself as an ally and friend on your own unique path.

Here is a sample list of topics we’ll lively cover throughout the year. The depth at which we go into any of these will depend upon the way the group is unfolding and evolving together, and new topics may be added based on interest and passion from the group and from the field itself. Together, we will listen to the Self, and guidance from the soul, allowing it to lead us through the year.

While there may be a theme that emerges for each individual session, much of what occurs will arise spontaneously, creatively, and guided by soul and the Self, and the wisdom of the relational field, including much that is transmitted non-conceptually, by way of feeling, emotion, the body, and the imagination. This list is only meant to give you a sense of the possible territory:
  • The Contemporary Path of the Mystic: Union with the Divine and the Sacred World
  • Trauma and the Sacred: Exploring the Link Between Our Psychological and Somatic Wounding, and Spiritual Realization
  • The Alchemical Imagination and How All Transformation and Healing is Alchemical (and Relational) at its Core
  • Shadow Work and Illuminating Lost Pieces of Soul: Liberating the Frozen, Crystallized Orphans of Psyche and Soma
  • Dreamwork and Active Imagination: Opening into the Wisdom of the Soul and Living a Symbolic Life
  • The Role of the Body and Somatic Attunement, and How the Body and Nervous System Form the Root Alchemical Vessel
  • The Contemporary Path of the Wounded Healer and the Wisdom Within your Embodied Vulnerability, Tenderness, and Sensitivities
  • Cultivating a Daily Practice Unique to You and Your Individual Soul-Print
  • The Foundational Role of Mindfulness, Meditation, and Embodied Inquiry on the Spiritual Path, and Finding Your Own Way into the Contemplative Life
  • The Role of Relationship and the Yoga of Intimacy: The Beloved, the Ally, and the Inner and Outer Friend
  • Prioritizing Soul as we Age, and Aging as a Soul Practice: Death, Dying, and Illness as the Alchemical Prima Materia
  • Griefwork and Tending to the Blue Regions of the Spectrum of Consciousness; the Death of an Old Dream and the Emergent Coming-into-Being
  • The Various Forms of Psychotherapy, Meditation, and Inner Work as Types of Alchemical Vessels - as Experiments of the Heart
  • The Art of Befriending and Becoming a True Friend to Yourself: Cultivating the Healing Power of Self-Compassion and Providing an internal Holding Environment When Things Fall Apart
I'll be posting more information here later in the year about the group and you can also join my mailing list to receive the most up-to-date notifications. 

I look forward to being with everyone starting in February! 



Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Attachment, fusion, and the yoga of relationship

In close personal relationships, it is important to emphasize a secure attachment bond and the co-regulation of challenging emotional states. 

To practice kindness toward our lovers and friends, listen to the way they are making sense of their experience, attune to what they are feeling, and hold them during difficult times.

It is also essential to be on the lookout for unhealthy fusion, honoring the reality that we are not only connected, but also separate. 

Any secure attachment must include healthy differentiation, where at times the most skillful activity will be to establish firm boundaries, assert our independence, privilege our own personal integrity, and allow the other to struggle with feelings of aloneness, uncertainty, and confusion.

At times we will disappoint those we love, and this will activate our historic core vulnerabilities… and theirs. 

For many of us, disappointing another is just not safe, and we will do whatever possible to ensure they do not come face to face with the surging material of their unlived life. But allowing them to meet the reality of their own heart is an act of profound mercy and compassion.

While transpersonally we can speak about unity and oneness, within the relative we are also distinct, with our own histories and ways of organizing our experience. Each with our own fate and relationship with the divine, our own paths to travel; our own unique ways entering the mystery. 

To dissolve these differences into some homogenized spiritual middle does not honor the sacredness of form.

If we do not consciously explore the reality of our separateness, it will inevitably manifest in less than conscious ways, unleashing unmetabolized shadow into the relational field. 

Like all work of depth, this art form evolves slowly, as it marinates in the alchemical vessel of the body.

May we be kind to our partners as we navigate this territory – especially during these challenging times – honoring the vehicle of intimacy as one of the most provocative, sacred, and holy that we have in our modern world.