Monday, January 15, 2018

2018 retreats and intensives


Dear friends, thank you for your notes regarding 2018 retreats. At this time, there are only two programs scheduled:

April 4-9 The Place the Light Enters, with Jeff Foster, at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado. Tickets are on sale and we're about 60% booked. To learn more, please visit http://bit.ly/2lCNV7X.

June 15-18 The Path is Everywhere, also at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland. Tickets will go on sale February 1st. To learn more, please visit http://www.mattlicataphd.com/events.html. A description is included below. If you would like to be on the mailing list for this program, please write to me via my website as we will likely limit attendance to a smaller group.

Look forward to seeing everyone this spring in the mountains!

The Path is Everywhere weekend intensive: 


During our time together, we'll explore therapeutic, somatic, and meditative approaches to psychological growth, emotional healing, and spiritual transformation. The journey of individuation, becoming who we truly are, is one that by its nature requires that we work at the full-spectrum of what it means to be an open, sensitive, empowered, grounded, kind, emotionally mature human being.

Psychotherapy and shadow work, mindfulness and compassion training, meditation, body awareness, and relational work each offer a unique set of views and tools addressing the nature of a rich life of inner abundance and resources, one that is imbued with purpose and meaning, oriented in our innate longing for wholeness.

Within the holding context of a safe, empathic, yet provocative relational field that we will create (and discover) together, we will explore these approaches as well as the mystery that the path of the heart truly is, the value of not-knowing, and how it is love itself that is the ultimate medicine.

The weekend is open to anyone interested in psychotherapy, spirituality, meditation, yoga, mindfulness, or healing. We'll meditate together (no experience required!), explore what an integral approach to spirituality and healing might look like for those of us in the busy, modern world, and have plenty of time for questions, sharing, and discussion.

We'll begin on Friday evening at 7pm and end Monday morning at 12pm, meeting for a total of eight sessions. You will be well nourished at Sunrise Ranch, with fresh, local, organic food, including plenty of choices for those on special diets.



My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 




Sunday, January 14, 2018

Attuned to the inner family


Usually when we think about the “others” in our lives, we are referring to those we are in relationship with – our friends, lovers, children, families, and co-workers. We are asked to attune to their unfolding experience, to care about how they are making meaning of it, and to enter consciously with them into the relational field itself, where something unknown and creative is emerging.

But there is another “other” found inside us, weaved of the lost pieces of our hearts, broken dreams, partly digested feelings, and the entirety of our unlived lives. Just like the external others, these inner family members also long to be known, to be held, and to be honored. They appear in infinite forms – as vivid emotions, images, memories – and even as color, music, and poetry as it enters and fills us.

In this way, relational work is not only with an external other but simultaneously with the abandoned children of the psyche, the body, and the personal and collective unconscious. As we deepen our inquiry and our perception becomes cleansed, we start to see that the dividing line between the inner and outer other is quite transparent, luminous, flexible, and non-solid. In some mysterious way, they dance and play together, appearing before us as emissaries of wholeness.

It is to the degree we are able to empathically attune to the arising inner family that we will be able to truly hold another. If we are not able to attend to the inner darkness, chaos, and contradiction, we will never be able to practice intimacy with these qualities as they inevitably and organically emerge in our most intimate relationships.




Photo by Donnchadh Murphy


My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

My next event is a five-day retreat, The Place the Light Enters, with Jeff Foster, April 4-9 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, CO. Tickets went on sale on January 1st, 2018 and registration will be taken in the order it is received. 




Friday, January 12, 2018

Oneness and separation in close personal relationships


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 partners, care for their suffering, and hold them during difficult times. To allow them to matter, take a risk in leading with our vulnerability, and prioritize connection and its preciousness in our lives.

It is also important 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, disappoint our partners, allow them to struggle and confront feelings of aloneness, and to remove the burden we may have unconsciously placed on them to tend to the ghosts of our unlived lives.

While the concept of oneness is alluring and safe, true oneness does not exist without multiplicity, without a radical embrace of the chaos, contradiction, and darker revelations of love. The wise navigation of the opposites – staying within the complex and unresolvable tension between them – will reveal a portal into a new way.

Healthy intimacy is not the same as emotional fusion. Those called to relationship as path must make this discernment in the fire of their own direct experience, and stay committed to working with the chaos, contradiction, and aliveness of these energies as they arise.

While from a transpersonal perspective, we can speak about our oneness with all of life, within the relative we are also separate, each with our own unique histories, ways of organizing our experience, and distinctive core vulnerabilities. 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 express itself in less than conscious ways, in tangled and unproductive conflict, unleashing our unmetabolized shadows into the relational field. Like all work of depth, this art form evolves slowly, as it marinates and cooks in the alchemical vessel of the body.

May we be kind to our partners as we navigate this territory together, honoring the vehicle of intimacy as one of the most transformative, sacred, and challenging that we have in our modern world.




Art credit: Valentine Tree by the very gifted Alice Mason - https://www.facebook.com/AliceMasonArtist/


My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

My next event is a five-day retreat, The Place the Light Enters, with Jeff Foster, April 4-9 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, CO. Tickets went on sale on January 1st, 2018 and registration will be taken in the order it is received.