Anxiety: A Doorway to the Underworld

We live in a culture that chases the light. We worship the happy face and plaster on smiles when we venture into the world. Smiley babies statistically receive more praise than fussy babies, and bubbly teens garner the attention. In a culture that upholds the extrovert ideal as the pinnacle of personality types, we absorb the message early in life that if we’re prone to more of a melancholic temperament there must be something wrong. Keep it light, we learn. Keep it peppy, we hear. Sweep away the messy, unraveled, chaotic, loud, dirty parts of life and of ourselves. Sweep them into the dark.

We sweep it away and try to move on with life as planned, but our unconscious desire for wholeness has other plans. Just when we think we have everything together, we find ourselves bolting awake at the 3 or 4am witching hour – that time when the … Click here to continue reading…

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December: Turn Inward Against the Tide

There’s a natural rhythm to each season and each month of the year, an archetypal energy that, if we could allow ourselves to tap into, would guide us toward loving actions that would serve our inner selves. In spring we’re guided toward the energy of rebirth; in summer toward celebration; in autumn toward letting go. Then we arrive at winter, a time of hibernation, stillness and reflection.

Yet, because our culture fails us quite miserably in the realm of transitions, rituals, and teaching us to attune to the energetic stream of each season so that we can align with its current and tap into the wisdom, we flounder through these thresholds, feeling alone, confused, and scared.

As such, quite often what I hear in my work with clients is that January, instead of a time to connect to the rich, quiet darkness of winter which would prepare them for the creative … Click here to continue reading…

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The Grief Place

There is a room in your heart where sadness dwells. Each story of sadness lives there like a stagnant, frozen particle of light waiting for you to see it, to hold it, to wrap it in a blanket and bring it tea. When you visit your grief place with love, the particles of light start to shimmer and move – dance, even – for all things, even our pain, especially our pain, only want to be seen and loved.

We can live our lives ignoring this grief place, until we can no longer ignore it; until anxiety or intrusive thoughts or physical health jut up with such force that we must pay attention. The frozen particles start to move now with a new desire for attention, and hopefully, if we’re guided skillfully, we see that the anxiety is a messenger that can bring us into direct contact with our pain, … Click here to continue reading…

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Gratitude 108 Offering

We hear a lot about the power of gratitude lately. There seems to have been a hundredth monkey leap in consciousness, a global awareness that gratitude is a powerful and relatively easy way to sweep out the propensity toward negativity and connect to what’s good and right in our world.

For me, a gratitude practice is a way to connect to God (Spirit, nature, highest self; for me the word God works well). There are many ways to connect with God, of course: sitting in nature, meditating, listening to or writing poetry, a full-bodied dance in your living room, a candlelit bath, making love. I cannot say exactly what happens when we connect to the divine, as a lived experience transcends words, but you know it when you taste it.

And we know it when we’re disconnected from God-consciousness. As a culture we misplace the natural yearning to unite with … Click here to continue reading…

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Anxiety is Not Your Destiny

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“I’m just an anxious person,” I often hear my clients and program members say. The statement underlines a common globalization belief intrinsic to many who struggle with anxiety, which is: I’m anxious, I’ve always been anxious and I’ll always be anxious. In other words, anxiety is just in my wiring and it’s here to stay.

Let’s talk a bit about wiring. We are born with certain predispositions: Some people are introverts, others are extroverts. Some love airplanes and others love art. Some excel at reading and others excel at math. Some like broccoli and others like carrots. Some babies roll with the punches and others are affected by the ups and downs of daily life. Where do these predispositions come from? We can that they’re hard-wired into our genetic code, but research shows that we can actually change our genetic code. So let’s take out the hard-wiring and say … Click here to continue reading…

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