Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Everything that appears, erupting out of the stars, the muddy earth, and the oceans… out of crystalline essence of the moon, out of the very center of your raw beating heart…
All the conflict, the struggle, the emotions, the symptoms, and the heartbreak… the crushed longing, the dying dreams, the reorganization of the way you thought it was all going to turn out…
This is the rich material you have to work with. While it may seem that the aliveness you long for will be found in the eradication of the dark, it is filled with spirit, magic, and meaning. Just behind the veil, underneath the exhaustion of a life of becoming, resurrection awaits.
This resurrection is uncaused. It is of the same substance as the cells of your heart, the synapses in your brain, and buried inside the pathways of your sacred nervous system. It is already here, unborn and undying, and awaiting discovery. Please do not postpone participation in what you already are.
The alchemists referred to this essential substance as this prima materia, the creative energies that you are asked to encounter and transmute as you journey with your fellow travelers along the way. The signs, the symbols, and the messages are emerging in the most unexpected places, inviting you into the core of the tender, the vulnerable, and the raw, raging life within you.
You need not transcend your life, your symptoms, or your problems to know this. It is pure and creative inside the symptom, but this mystery is something our conventional world has lost contact with, tangled in the spell of becoming and have lost contact with the enchantment of imagination. But the modern day alchemists and journeyers of the heart – and the unseen ones and the moon, the sun, and the stars – have come into form to remind us…
“What about my passion,” Rumi asks God. God says, “Keep it burning.”
“What about my heart?” pleads Rumi. God says, “Tell me what you hold inside it.”
“Pain and sorrow,” says Rumi.
God says, “Stay with it. The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
It is up to you to keep these truths alive in the collective and to catalyze an eruption of love here. Please don’t forget what is most important to you.
My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available
Monday, August 21, 2017
The fear of being abandoned. The shame in being rejected and not seen as you are. The terror of being alone.
The panic when you allow another to matter. The anxiety that you may become dependent. The crushing disappointment as you realize things weren’t ever really going to turn out the way you thought they would.
These are the great fears that emerge as you wake, sleep, and wander along the path of the heart.
But perhaps the greatest fear of all is that you are already loved, a truth which erupts as the trance of unlove dissolves. For when you are entirely seen and fully held, it is the end of your world as you know it. Life is always seeing you, and holding you in this way.
If you will allow this revelation all the way in, you will never be the same again. You will no longer be able to pretend you are other than radiant and whole as you are, watching in astonishment as the spell of unworthiness unwinds in front of your very eyes.
You will no longer be able to stand back on the sidelines, taking refuge in the old vision that you are unworthy of a life of wild love, creativity, exploration, intimacy, and play. You will no longer be able to stay safe and protected in the cocoon of unworthiness.
While a part of you longs for this sort of shift, please consider the consequences of the death of this ancient dream. Nothing will ever be the same again. Are you prepared for this?To no longer have the companions of unworthiness to travel with will leave you naked, raw, unguarded, and vulnerable. For the beloved wants your burning, your longing, your sensitivity, and your vulnerability. She is not interested in your clear clarity, resolved awakening, and fantasies of being free from future heartbreak.
While there may always be a part of you that longs for new life more than anything, another part may not be so sure. Please honor the contradictory feelings that you will inevitably encounter along the way. For they are all valid, honorable, and workable on the path of love.
Dare to see that you were never unhealed, that nothing is ultimately missing, and that you are already fully alive. Not after you first heal your past, find your soul mate, wiggle into a “high vibration,” or replace the burning with joy. Not after you wrap it all up, become an “expert” or “master,” become “untouchable” or “utterly powerful,” or transcend your sacred vulnerability. Allow the dream of postponement to end.
Provide safe passage for the unlovable one, the unworthy one, the broken one, and the unhealed one to fall away into the fierce, tender vastness that you are. Honor the service they have provided and allow them to continue their journey back to the stars from which they came. For they are no longer needed in the magic of the here and now.
To let in the implications of this is utterly exhilarating. And completely terrifying simultaneously. One world is ending so that another may appear from behind the clouds of separation. This world is not being “created,” but has always been here, patiently awaiting your participation, longing for the day the spell of unworthiness would be broken.
Sunrise nearby at Brainard Lake, photo by Michael Chilcoat
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Buried inside even our deepest neuroses are the raw materials of love.
In the tantric and alchemical traditions, those less-than-awakened thoughts, feelings, emotions, impulses, and raw sensations are the prima materia for us to play with and to transmute into pure wisdom essence.
The shit, the piss, the dirt, the darkness, and the failures. The disappointment, the unworthiness, the deflation, the raging shame. The reality that things were never going to turn out the way we imagined. These are the sacred materials we have to work with as alchemists of our own lives.
Hidden within the vulnerable, the orphaned, and the abandoned, life energy is gathering within the crucible. Can you sense it nearby? Can you feel it gathering? Not to harm or to obstruct you, but as allies of integration. As emissaries come to hold the opposites as they surge within you.
There is no greater temple than your raw, tender, whole and shattered heart. There is no mystery vaster than the interior of your own body, where the ascendant and descendant intertwine, where the lunar and the solar dance and play as one.
Go into your heart and find the consecrated material. Excavate it. Travel inside the pathways inside you and see. Listen. Sense. Call on the natural world and the unseen ones to help you. Become an archaeologist of love.
Within the container at the center, the gold is longing to be known, to be touched, to be held, for its true nature to be revealed: that of pure luminosity.
Surround what you discover with the warmth of your loving presence. Flood it with curiosity and awareness. Infuse it with the erupting, unapologetic compassion of the stars.
Photo: from the holding field of Heart Nebula, constellation Cassiopeia
Thursday, August 17, 2017
I was recently asked to summarize my thoughts about therapy: why one would want to enter into therapy, what we do in therapy, and the nature of the therapeutic relationship, according to the way I have come to understand it. Of course there are many reasons to be in therapy, including the treatment of very difficult conditions such as clinical depression, anxiety disorder, suicidal ideation, PTSD, OCD, and so forth. But most of the questions I receive are more existential in nature, not related to a specific clinical diagnosis, but more to what the Buddha referred to in his first noble truth as the anguish or dissatisfaction we feel when we lose touch with the great mystery. Please keep this in mind as you read through my reflections, and seek professional help if you are struggling with one of these clinical diagnoses.
For each of us, there are times we feel there must be more to life: we feel stuck, lost, hopeless, restless, bored, confused, or that something is just "off." Perhaps we've gone through or are in the midst of a major life transition: a change of career, the ending of a relationship, the death of a friend or family member, a disturbing health diagnosis, or a profound loss of meaning or purpose.
Or maybe there is no catalyzing outer circumstance that we are aware of: we're just feeling exhausted, unclear, or unsure of what we're doing here and what is being asked of us. We sense the possibility of feeling more connected, more alive, and being more intimately engaged with ourselves, others, and what is possible. We have some vague intuition that there is a miracle taking place here and that we have some role to play, but we can't quite access it. We long to engage in the play of lover and beloved, to dance in the mysteries of inner and outer nature, to rest in the beauty of a sunrise, and to stand in awe at the wonder of life as we sense it raging inside and around us. Or, we are completely hopeless and do not sense this possibility; but still, here we are. And the longing and burning are at times our only companions.
We wonder if we are burdened by our past and if there is anything we can do about it. We hear about things like healing and spiritual awakening, and long to engage in these mysteries, but are unsure what they actually mean, and how they might be relevant in our busy modern lives of work, money, family, aging bodies, tired minds, weary hearts, and unending to-do lists. We are aware of a call deep within: an authentic desire for presence, purpose, meaning, and true intimacy, but somehow these experiences remain just out of reach.
In response to this inner call, for thousands of years curious and courageous women and men have sought counsel from shamans, priests, guides, lamas, yogis, healers, rabbis, dervishes, and their modern counterparts, psychotherapists and spiritually-attuned counselors and teachers. Because most of our early wounding arose in interpersonal contexts, many believe that it is best explored, unwound, and untangled within a relational matrix. The path of individuation (becoming who you truly are) is unique for each of us and it is often difficult to explore fully on our own. The terrain is shadowy, slippery, and at times hidden, and without a guide or fellow traveler, it is only natural to get lost, distracted, and side-tracked along the way.
Developmentally, each of us had to disconnect from certain aspects of ourselves in order to maintain the tie with our caregivers, to avoid the devastation of shame, and to fit into a world that was not able to hold the majestic, creative brilliance of a young, fiery heart. This neural groove of self-abandonment required us to split off from important dimensions of who and what we are, disavowing our native sensitivities, vulnerabilities, and the wild uniqueness of our true nature. As young children, we had no other choice than to sequester this material into the unconscious, doing whatever we could to fit in and align with the collective, often at the expense of our own individuality and creative, soul-based self-expression.
We took this step not because we were neurotic, pathological, "lost in our story," "caught in the ego," or because there was something essentially wrong with us, but in a way that was intelligent at the time - in fact massively creative - in order to ensure our own psychic (and sometimes physical) survival. We are wired to do what we must to receive whatever affection, attunement, and mirroring was possible, in order for our young brains, hearts, and nervous systems to grow. Coming to confront, hold, and integrate this split-off material as adults - often in very challenging ways in our relationships - is a critical dimension of the journey.
Each of us comes into adulthood with a particular narrative that is the lens through which we perceive ourselves, others, and the world around us. In part we inherit this narrative from our parents - and in part from the collective itself - creatively crafting it as a way to make sense of early empathic failure, lack of mirroring and attunement, insecure attachment, and developmental and situational trauma of all kinds. Together, in an ongoing relationship, with a skillful, attuned, empathic "good other," there is a unique opportunity to re-author, re-imagine, and rewire these pathways and begin to consciously participate in a life oriented in a wise mind and wide open heart.
Rather than organizing the therapeutic relationship around the elimination of your symptoms - or even orienting it in "solving your problems" (though relief and solutions can and do occur along the way) - we become more interested with your ongoing discovery of wholeness, with the unfolding of your unique journey of individuation, and the experiential discovery of a life of meaning and purpose. We work together within the relational field to transform and re-organize the ways you have come to see yourself and the world that may no longer be serving the deepest longing within you, and discover together a sacred dimension of reality that is always, already here, not dependent upon you first resolving all your symptoms, transcending your vulnerability, eliminating difficult feelings, clearing up your past, perfecting yourself, transforming all of your neurosis, or "completing" some mythical spiritual journey.
Instead, you are invited to discover the vast space around your emotional world and life circumstances, and the experiential realization that the freedom you are longing for is actually here now. You need not leave yourself, apologize for what you are, go on some self-transformation project, or abandon yourself any longer. Buried within your neurosis is immense wisdom; a rich, abundant, open field in which the raw materials of the sacred world are already present and awaiting discovery. This space is not separate from who you are and is overflowing with qualities of love, compassion, luminosity, and presence. In other words, even your "problems" cease to be "problematic" any longer, but instead become allies on the path and portals into a new life.
Buried inside your difficult emotions, limiting self-narratives, disturbing bodily sensations, feelings of existential anxiety and depression, and even within a sense of meaningless and purposelessness, there is intelligence, wisdom, and creativity; a non-ordinary gold hidden within the darkness. These symptoms and disturbing energetic movements are psyche's attempt to reach you, to remind you of something you may have forgotten, and to invite you to recommit to what is most important. Not what you thought was important or were told was important - you are no longer able or willing to live someone else's life - but by way of a direct, fiery, and compassionate confrontation with the life that is moving within you.
We all lose touch with the wholeness of our true nature along the way, especially in the busyness of our inner and outer lives, in the maintaining an array of spiritual and other identities, and in the unending and exhausting lifelong project of self-improvement. Together, in the safety of an attuned, resonant field, we can come to (re)discover and explore the guidance that is appearing (albeit often in disguised forms), erupting inside and around you, and how you might receive and most skillfully respond to the signs, symbols, and messages that are longing to reach you. No matter where you are, you can start now, in the safety and magic of the present. Even though at times you may give up on love, please know that love will never give up on you. It will search for your into eternity, spinning and shapeshifting unending forms in order to reach you and seed you with its qualities.
Engaging on the path of the heart, healing, and awakening with another human being as a fellow traveler and guide can be immensely helpful, as we all have unconscious organizing principles, self-narratives, and unmetabolized somatic and emotional wounding that may be standing in the way of our living a life of natural freedom, intimacy, sacredness, and aliveness. Research over the last few decades has consistently suggested that it is the relationship between client and therapist (or student and teacher) that is more impactful than any particular theory or technique.
In others words, it is not technique that heals, but relationship; more precisely, a specific type of relationship organized around spaciousness, presence, and empathic attunement. When all is said and done, in my experience, it is love that heals. But just what this "love" is we must discover for ourselves. Of course as therapists we all have a toolbox of techniques we can turn to, but in the end love is the ultimate medicine. As Freud once said to Jung, “… psychoanalysis is in essence a cure through love.” When all was said and done, even the old man knew.
In good therapy, we enter into a crucible together that in many ways is beyond time and space. Together we bear witness to the wild reality that you are not a project to be solved or a broken person who needs to be healed in any conventional sense. You are a mystery to be lived, a pure form of the absolute as it erupts into the relative, seeding this place with your wildness, your heart, your brain, your body, your creative uniqueness, your raging sensitivity and vulnerability, an unprecedented assembling of color, texture, of dark, and of light. It is the honoring of this eruption that will serve as the foundation for the therapeutic container and journey.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
When sitting with a friend in pain, it may not be the moment to provide answers, but to hold them as you confront the vastness of the question together. Dare to see that they are not a project to be solved, but a mystery unfolding into form.
At times, there is no apparent solution, but only raw, naked life, as it erupts in a sensitive nervous system. The invitation is to stay in the complexity, the contradictions, and the energy of the opposites, for it is alive here and overflowing with a nonordinary wisdom.
Affirm with the earth as your witness: Pain is not pathology. Confusion is not pathology. Heartbreak is not pathology. Only path. This time appearing in a fierce and wrathful form. Grace has appeared as the darkness, come to seed new meaning.
During the most difficult times, it is not usually answers that are most helpful, or strategies, techniques, advice, or teachings. Give the gift of a regulated, soothed nervous system, one that is not urgently scrambling for a cure. Relieve them of the burden that they must transform, “get over it,” or “heal” in order for you to stay close.
Yes, something is attempting to break through, but what that is cannot be known in a field of urgency, which is very unsafe, for it is not able to circle and provide sanctuary for the rawness, the vulnerability, and the tender unfolding of a heart in pain.
Slowly accompany them as they return into their window of tolerance. Contain the fire with the cooling rain of nonjudgmental, empathic attunement. Once some calm has returned, listen carefully as they attempt to make meaning of their experience, explore the purpose of their symptoms, and stay close as they attempt to make sense of what is happening.
Construct a crucible together in which the feelings, thoughts, and sensations can be held and integrated, weaved into a larger vision of who they are and what is most important to them.
Within this sanctuary, which is alchemical by its nature, even pain, hopelessness, and confusion are revealed to be harbingers of integration, disguised messengers of psyche and soma, come not to harm, but as ambassadors of wholeness. As forerunners of creativity, rebirth, resurrection, and new life.
Photo by Johnny Franzen
Monday, August 14, 2017
Dear friends, we just opened registration for the weekend in Ojai in October:
The Magic of Being Fully Human: Embodied Spirituality andthe Re-Enchantment of the Ordinary - October 14 and 15 at Meditation Mount in Ojai, California, with Matt Licata and Jeff Foster.
Learn more/ register here. We do expect the weekend to sell out. You may attend Saturday only, Sunday only, or both. Looking forward to seeing everyone in Ojai!
What would it be like....
... To break free from the prison of fear, shame and self-doubt, and truly feel ALIVE in the present moment?
... To end the exhausting Self-Improvement Project - the endless search for “the next, better moment" - and rest in the timeless Now?
... To no longer resist or run away from your heartbreak, vulnerability, doubt, sadness, anger and confusion, and instead, love, honor and deeply embrace these very precious parts of you?
... To stop trying to rework your past and control your future, and to know in a direct, experiential way, the Sacred and Divine Presence in you that was never broken, unworthy, unlovable, unhealed, un-whole, or unenlightened in the first place?
.... To fully participate in life once again, deeply connected to your True Nature, yet joyously embracing your human flaws and imperfections too, dancing and playing with life in a spontaneous, creative, fun, artistic and authentic way?
Join authors and speakers Matt Licata and Jeff Foster as they share their simple yet totally revolutionary invitation: To be exactly what you are, not who you think you 'should' be in order to please others.
Matt and Jeff invite you to end the "self-abandonment project" and break free from the painful trance that there is something wrong with you; to dismantle the lie that you must shift, transform, heal, or become enlightened in order to be worthy of a life of intimacy, connection, freedom and aliveness; and to wake up from the dream that you must “do life right” according to the beliefs of your families, politicians, gurus, spiritual teachers and “experts” on the path of the heart.
Let us dare to set all of this aside and begin anew.
Let us dare to trust ourselves once again.
Sunday, August 13, 2017
An extraordinary meeting is being assembled, with the lost essences of your body, your heart, your psyche as the honored guests. They have been wandering in the dark forests of the inner and outer worlds, but long now for reunion.
Do you sense them nearby? Do you feel them gathering around you?
Sadness, shame, loneliness, and grief. Abandoned peace, unbearable openness, and long-forgotten aliveness. Pure vulnerability, causeless joy, partially metabolized heartbreak. Even the ancient ones unworthy and unlovable have arrived and are circling.
It is not always easy to see the lost ones, but you can perceive them with the vision of the heart. They come not to harm, but to herald a revolution. As forerunners of new life, they arrive as emissaries of wholeness.
Open to your fellow travelers and keep them close, for they are weary from a long journey. Even though they are tired, they will never give up. They will never stop appearing in infinite forms, dancing and shapeshifting around you, whether as your intimate partners, your children, raw somatic sensations, or even as colors, the sun, the moon, and the stars.
While it may appear they are no longer on your side, they love you and wish only for your full-spectrum participation in the miracle, arriving with the hope they will receive just one moment of your presence, of your non-shaming, interested curiosity and care. A home to return to where they can rest and share their gifts.
No, it is not easy to receive them, for their message is not always sweet, flowing, and peaceful. At times, it is wrathful, reorganizing, and of the dark. While it may seem otherwise, they have not appeared in order to be understood, transformed, or even “healed,” but have come spinning out of the unseen only to be held, to be known, to be allowed back into the vastness of what you are.
To complete the great cycle of the sacred return.
Friday, August 11, 2017
Even though you sense an unknown world of aliveness around you, it is not accessible until the spell that you are undeserving is broken. This trance is subtle and deeply embedded, the result of both personal and collective misperception.
The cleansing of this perception requires full-spectrum emotional attunement and reorganization at psychic, somatic, and transpersonal levels. But the required wisdom is already here. It is not something you need to create by way of an exhaustive project of self-improvement.
Inside your body and embedded in the natural world are signs, symbols, and guidance for the way ahead. But you must take a radical risk for the veil to part. It might not always feel safe and is sure to unleash the allies of disappointment, deflation, and heartbreak – pure emissaries of the sacred world.
The risk you must take is to finally be yourself. To flood this world with all of you. To no longer apologize for what is burning inside. To honor your longing. To see the majestic brilliance of what you are. To no longer postpone full participation. To not hold back from what you know is most important. To not wait any longer.
You are not broken or in need of fixing, nor is something cosmically wrong with you that must be repaired by way of process and time. You need not even be “healed” in any conventional sort of sense. Held, not healed. Open into the longing, the tender, the shaky, and the raw, as they course through you to be integrated.
While alive around you now, the new vision cannot be released into a field of self-abandonment, self-aggression, or into an environment where you are subtly pathologizing your ripening vulnerability. Only into a meadow of spacious awareness and fierce compassion, where the circuitry can be re-encoded.
This journey will inevitably require an encounter with the darkness and thus will not be all that popular. There are no quick steps, no fantasies of consistent feelings of happiness, no guarantees of getting everything we want. In the crucible the raw material for the work of love is found, buried inside the rage, the emptiness, the heartbreak, and the disappointment.
It is unprecedented here. A place of wisdom and pure creativity. Nothing is to be discarded any longer. The path is everywhere.
Art by Gustav Vigeland, c/o the Vigeland Park in Oslo
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
In each moment, the archetypal unfolding of crucifixion, resurrection, and transfiguration is being enacted within and around you. Sometimes old dreams must die, in order for new forms to come into being. This is not evidence of error, but of wholeness, and the relentlessness of love to make its way here.
The relationship you thought would last forever, the career you thought would support you, the dissolving of a close friendship. The falling apart of your health, not being seen by others, the crumbling of everything you thought was so important. The dissolution of all the insights, realizations, and images you have worked so hard to maintain.
The forms that love take will inevitably come and go, for this is the way of form. But love itself is that which is beyond birth and death, that eternal field in which all form dances for a short while only to be recycled back into the vastness, in preparation to be reassembled once again.
Buried within the inner sanctum, there are petals unfolding that are filled with vision and information for the way ahead. Look carefully. Listen closely. Attune to that which has been longing to be known for so long. Provide sanctuary for the unmet, the unheld, and the unintegrated to return home.
Honor the forms of love as they appear, but allow them to depart so that they may continue their journey. For it is one of immense creativity.
Yes, your heart may break as the forms dissolve in front of your very eyes. But it is by way of this breaking that you may be resurrected once again.
While the longing for resolution
may burn within you,
you are not broken,
you are not unhealed or untransformed.
You are not a project to be fixed.
You are a mystery coming into form.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
It may feel as if today is just another ordinary day, in an ordinary life, on an ordinary star. We meet the morning and we’re just not sure. Don’t I have some problems I need to attend to? I’m pretty sure there’s something wrong, just somehow off a bit. Isn’t there? Isn’t there someone I need to become? Something to resolve and figure out? Change in some way? Shift? Transform? Manifest something? Awaken? Heal?
It is so easy to take for granted that tomorrow will come, that another opportunity will be given to witness a sunrise, to take a walk in the rain, to listen in awe to the birds as they remind us of our longing, to share a moment of connection with the one in front of us. But another part of us knows it is so fragile here, so tenuous, and that this opening into life will not be here for much longer.
Recognizing this, let us surrender the dream of postponement by doing whatever we can to help others, by taking a risk to fully show up here, never forgetting what is most important, no longer apologizing for our uniqueness, our sensitivity, and the gifts of our vulnerability.
At the end of this life – which is sure to come much sooner than we’d like – it is unlikely we'll be all that concerned with whether or not we accomplished all the tasks on our to-do lists, perfected ourselves, transcended our humanness and shaky vulnerability, wrapped up our self-improvement project, played it safe, or “completed” some mythical spiritual journey. Inside these hearts there may be only one burning question: how well did I love?
Did I pause each day to behold the wonder of just one unfolding here and now moment? Was I willing to take a risk, to feel more, to care deeply about this life, to let another matter, and to honor this very experience, exactly as it has been given?
Was I willing to behold the sacred offering of the natural world – the sky, the snowflakes, the mountains, the sun, the mud, the deer, and the lunar offering of the moon as she floods our hearts with her secrets?
Was I willing to fall in love, to truly fall in love with this life, exactly as it is? Was I willing to have my heart broken and to enter inside this breaking as a portal to the aliveness I have longed for for so long? Was I willing to provide a home, a sanctuary, and safe passage for all of me, an environment of wholeness and integration to dance, rest, and play in?
Was I willing to set aside the unending need to make this moment different?
What is it that remains unlived… for you? How have you been holding back? What are you waiting for? What is your heart asking of you? What is most important? What are you unwilling to compromise any longer? What are you no longer willing to apologize for?
In what ways are you not living your own life, but someone else’s? Or living out the fantasies of a society or culture that has forgotten about love and what matters most… for you? The bounty and the harvest of this world is upon you. It is always already here, erupting in each moment, and is not waiting.
One day we will no longer be able to look at, touch, or share a simple moment with those that we love. When we turn to them, they will be gone. One moment will be our last to witness the immensity of just one more breath, to experience awe at a color or fragrance or blooming of a flower, to enter into union with the vastness of the ocean. It will be our last chance to feel the presence of a tree, to have a moment of communion with a friend, or to weep as the light yields to the night sky.
One last moment to have a thought, to feel an emotion, to fall in love, to smell a flower, to taste something sweet, and to know heartbreak, joy, and peace – to behold the outrageous mystery of what it really means to be a sensitive, alive, tender human being.
What if today is that last day? Or tomorrow? Or later this week?
Knowing that death will come to complete the cycle of the beloved in the world of time and space, how will you respond to the breath that is moving within you right now, to the feelings washing through you, and to the opportunity to know and to be the activity of love here?
What would it be like to fully allow in the reality that today may be your last? Will you open your heart to the gift of life before it is too late?
Perhaps your “life's purpose” has nothing to do with what job you will find or what new cool thing you manifest or what awesome soul mate you might attract or what mythical awakening journey you complete. But that the purpose of your life is to fully live, finally, to touch each here and now moment with your presence and with the gift of your one, wild heart. And to do whatever you can to help others to remember this, and how precious and unique they are. Perhaps this is the most radical gift that we can all give.
Please don't forget how rare and precious it is here. And please don't forget what it is that really matters to you.
Saturday, August 5, 2017
It’s okay to be shaky, to not know anymore, and to allow your heart to break. To fall to the ground and bear witness to the reality that life was never going to turn out the way you thought it would. It’s just too wild, too creative, and too devastatingly magic for all that.
Rather than spin from the death as if it were a defeat, with your breath as your guide, travel inside. There are jewels hidden there, filled with meaning, with pure feeling, and with relentless outrageousness of love as it erupts into the world of time and space.
You will never find your life’s purpose by way of a frantic, urgent, exhausting search. Your life’s purpose is to live. Fully. To participate, to take a risk, to slow down and see the signs, to commune with the colors, the songs of the birds, and to listen to the intelligence of the stars.
The forms that love take are by nature arising and dissolving in each moment, for this is the way of form. But love itself is that which never comes and goes. You never know what form love will choose to take in the future, for there is no love in the future. Love is only now. You will never be able to resolve or pin down the movement of love as it is infinitely creative and at all times unfolding into greater wholeness.
If you become too fused with a specific form you believe you need love to take, your heart will inevitably break when love obliterates that form for something new, which it always will. This shattering is the great gift of form. This dissolving and reorganization is a special kind of grace that the mind cannot know. But the heart knows. The body knows.
Before you seek to “heal” your heartbreak via spiritual process, turn to your heart and ask if it truly wishes to be mended. For this breaking is sacred, sent here so that new forms may emerge.
Be grateful for the forms of love while they appear, but allow them their own journey of death and rebirth. Seek refuge not in love’s forms, but in the field of love itself, that which never comes and goes. For this is what you are.
Today may not be the day where answers will come, but to let your heart break open to the vastness of the question.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
It is no secret that, for many, intimate relationship is one of the great amplifiers of the unlived life. We can count on our partners to relentlessly illuminate everything that is unresolved within us. Not because they have some agenda to do so, but simply by the nature of the crucible that is formed when we allow another to truly matter to us.
We come to our relationships with an already-existing patterning that formed long ago. While this template longs to be updated, until reconfiguration it looms over us and colors our perception. It functions by way of a time machine where, when activated, it is as if we have left the “here and now,” crossed the liminal, and found ourselves back in the “there and then.”
There are aspects of ourselves that are aching to come out of the shadows and into the warmth of holding awareness. Not to harm, but as emissaries of wholeness. There is nothing like a close relationship to remind us of the orphaned feelings and vulnerable parts that have lost their way in the tangle of somatic and psychic pathways. They are exhausted from a long voyage to reach us, but have not given up.
The reminder of this truth can at times be a bit agonizing, as the other seems to have extraordinary powers to open the raw, tender, and naked dimensions of our being. But this achiness is sacred. Inside the ache is a jewel. Go there.
Please be kind to your partners and the inevitable conflict that will arise as you make this journey together. Training ourselves to harness the energy of conflict – and engage it directly, skillfully, and with an open heart – is the activity of inner and outer revolution, and requires the encoding of new circuitry.
The transformative art of rupture and repair is one that is endlessly profound, revealing that relationships of vast depth and meaning are not those free of conflict, but ones where working through conflict is embraced as path, where the participants are transformed into an alive vessel of purification, love, and healing.
This is a difficult realization to come by, and one that is unfortunately not all that popular in a world that has forgotten the gold buried in the dark. But here we are. It is up to us to bring these fruits into the collective.
Photo by h.koppdelaney by way of Flickr
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Some will tell you that fear is the opposite of love. And in this teaching the war begins.
But love has no opposite, for it is whole and without division. Love is the field in which all form comes and goes, including the temporary, wavelike appearance of fear. It is the vast, tender space in which all emotions, feelings, and raw sensations arise, play in light and dark, and then dissolve.
Just like passing clouds could never taint the purity of the sky, the temporary dance of fear could never stain the majesty of what you are.
The longing for fearlessness is honorable and holy. But that realization is possible only by way of intimacy with the fear itself. Drop the word “fear” and enter into the very core of the feelings, emotions, and tender, achy sensations that are arising for integration.
Dare to see that these ones are not enemies arriving to annihilate, but secret guides come to illumine. When fully met in the sanctuary of wise, wild, and reorganizing compassion, fear is able to reveal itself, like all other form, as none other than love in disguise.
If you will take even your fear as a lover, new life will emerge from this union, from this seed. You need no longer practice a spirituality of aggression. Fear is not the opposite of love, for love has no opposite.
Photo: resting in the holding of St. Clare of Assisi, Taos, New Mexico