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Showing posts from December, 2018

Healing the spirit means embracing the shadow

Let me begin with a little Scripture that many of us learned in Sunday school: The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures He leads me beside the still waters He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake Even though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death I will fear no evil... (Psalm 23, in part) I became very dearly acquainted with the Valley of the Shadow of Death shortly after losing a son in 2003.  It was the darkest night of my soul and my place of deepest grief.  Until that time, I had never experienced darkness quite like this.  I was ready to die at any moment.  I felt that I could sweep my hand to the side and brush aside the thinnest veil that rests between now and eternity.  It's a shadow that now rests on my life.  And as I was going through that Valley, I recognized (with confusion) that the line right before this one says that the Lord will lead us in paths of righteousness.  Certainly, i…

Our profound interconnection

Nonduality is the awareness that we are all interconnected.  There is no I-You.  We are One.  And isn't this was Jesus prayed that we would understand?  That we are One together with our Source, that is, God?  Think on this.
Every Monday morning, I drive two hours to work three days at the state psychiatric hospital.  My work is exhausting--mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually draining.  Every evening after work, I sit alone in my hotel room and practice my energy cleansing practices--chakras, mindfulness, prayer...sometimes sage.  But this morning, I decided to prepare myself during my morning drive.
Typically, it's a long, boring drive in which I occupy myself with music and podcasts.  Today, however, for the last hour of my drive, I decided to practice mindful driving.  I put on some calming music and tried to stay present in the NOW.  I succeeded for roughly ten seconds.  Immediately, my thoughts jumped to the past or the present and I found myself lost in…

Three questions we are always asking

"Spirituality is a force, or an idea, that challenges us (as a community) to be inward and outward looking simultaneously--a journey that regulates agency with the broader collective." (Gamble & Beer, 2017)

I love this definition of spirituality.  It at once recognizes that each individual has a spirit, that it is connected to others, and that it is always simultaneously looking in and out (subjective and objective) and seeking connection.  As a therapist that has my roots deep in Attachment Theory, I believe that this is true from the very moment of our existence.  We are always seeking secure attachment.  First, with our primary caregivers and then out into the world with peers, lovers, friends.

But we are also constantly seeking connection with other things as well--nature, animals, our work, entertainment, art, beauty, etc.  We want (and I would argue need) to know who we are, to feel that our life is meaningful, and to feel connected to the world and to others.  I c…