The Universe Doesn’t Care How We Transform…

…only that we do transform. Of course, it would be wonderful if we could heal and grow with ease, if we could simply choose to uproot old patterns and ways of being without much upset or discomfort. At times change does occur without too many disruptions. But often, as many of us can attest to, it is as a result of facing adversity that the most growth is catalyzed.   Continue reading “The Universe Doesn’t Care How We Transform…”

Unwrapping Your Gifts

The “bright shadow” is the repository of your unclaimed, and often unrecognized, gifts, talents, and strengths – your deepest potentials.  Buried treasures are hidden in our psyches.  Many of us disown the positive dimensions of our nature as much or more than our dark sides.  A psychiatrist friend told me that his patients are more afraid of their light than their darkness.  Just as it’s important to acknowledge, unearth, and integrate our repressed anger, fear, and sadness, it is equally important to recognize and free up the contents of the “bright shadow,” e.g. our wisdom, compassion, joy, personal power, and creativity. Continue reading “Unwrapping Your Gifts”

Embodied Spirituality

“Embodied spirituality regards the body … as the home of the complete human being, as a source of spiritual insight, as a microcosm of the universe and the Mystery, and as pivotal for enduring spiritual transformation.”
– Jorge Ferrer, Author and Professor of Comparative Religions

An embodied spirituality is an integrated spirituality, one that includes all of our humanness and doesn’t reinforce a split between spirit and matter.  Spirit is not separate from the body and the world.  The All is experienced as sacred and we discover that our body is a temple that houses our divinity. Continue reading “Embodied Spirituality”

The Gifts Of Presence

What does it mean to be present?  When we are present, we’re all here.  We bring all of ourselves to each moment, engaging fully with inner and outer experiences as they unfold.  We don’t impose our will on events and situations.  No longer insisting that people, places, and circumstances conform to our demands and expectations, we are open to what is.  As we live this way, we experience more ease and flow.  We become awake and alive. Continue reading “The Gifts Of Presence”

The Gifts of Adversity

The difficult events in our lives come bearing opportunities for growth and transformation.  Each time we are faced with a loss or painful experience, rather than treat this problem as an unwelcome visitor, we can be curious, open to the gifts it may bring.

When I became a mother, one of my worst fears had been that something terrible, either physically or emotionally, would ever happen to my daughter.  In 1989, when she was eighteen, Heidi was diagnosed with two debilitating and painful chronic illnesses.  Continue reading “The Gifts of Adversity”

The Joy of Imperfection

“The thing that is really hard and really amazing is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”
– Anna Quindlen, Author and Journalist

Does your life sometimes feel like one continuous self-improvement project?  Are you forever working on yourself, trying to iron every wrinkle out of your psyche?  Are you afraid to make mistakes?  Do you think it’s shameful to display weakness or foolish behavior?  Is your self acceptance conditional?  Is it based on how well you perform, how good you are, how perfect you look? Continue reading “The Joy of Imperfection”

When Did You Stop Dancing?

Singing?  Playing?  When did you stop expressing your wild and crazy ideas?  When did you silence your song?  Here is where you began to abandon your soul.  We’ve all stopped short of claiming our full potential.  Few of us were encouraged to live authentic lives.  We were taught to conform, to play it safe, to color inside the lines, to keep our voices down.  We wanted love and feared disapproval so we stifled our uniqueness and spontaneity, our boldness and, ultimately, our aliveness, in order to be acceptable and accepted.  Continue reading “When Did You Stop Dancing?”

Befriending Your Blocks

“Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.  Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke

Befriending your blocks is soul work.  Blocks are threatening to the ego, but welcome to the soul.  Why?  Obstacles compel us to dig deeper into ourselves, to investigate the roots of things, to get to the bottom.  What, for example, is causing this resistance to an exercise program I know would be good for me and that I’d enjoy, as well?   What is the source of your public speaking fear?  What is at the core of your inability to move forward with your plans to move?  Obstacles humble us.  Continue reading “Befriending Your Blocks”

Meet Your ‘Positive Selves’

“Each of us is a crowd,” writes Psychosynthesis therapist, Piero Ferrucci, in his book What We May Be.  He is referring to the idea that our personalities are comprised of many different parts, called subpersonalities.  We express different aspects of ourselves at different times.  You may express the assertive, confident part of yourself in your supervisory role at work, another part emerges when you’re having dinner with a trusted friend, another with your relatives at family gatherings and yet another when you’re enjoying solitude.  Each of these semi-autonomous selves has a style and motivation of its own.  The poet Fernando Pessoa writes, “In every corner of my soul, there is an altar to a different god.” Continue reading “Meet Your ‘Positive Selves’”

Are You Addicted to Thinking?

We can be addicted to virtually anything: alcohol, drugs, sugar, sex, TV, exercise, the Internet, money, power – and thinking. A hallmark of addiction is that in spite of evidence that something isn’t good for us, we cannot stop our involvement with it. When we’re in the throes of addiction, we give ourselves over to the substance or activity, losing sight of our ability to choose. Addictions create suffering. As Christina Grof says in The Thirst for Wholeness, “People with addictions become compulsively harnessed to the object of their addiction as well as to the destructive and self destructive behavior implicit in it.” Addictions represent a major impediment to well-being. And the healing and transformation of any addiction will make you happier and more connected to yourself and others. Continue reading “Are You Addicted to Thinking?”