Healing through the dark emotions

healingdarkemotions

Fear, grief and despair are uncomfortable and are seen as signs of personal failure. In our culture we call them “negative” and think of them as “bad.” I prefer to call these emotions “dark,” because I like the image of a rich, fertile soil from which something unexpected can bloom. Also we keep them “in the dark” and tend not to speak about them. We privatize them and don’t see the ways in which they are connected to the world. But the dark emotions are inevitable. They are part of the universal human experience and are certainly worthy of our attention. They bring us important information about ourselves and the world and can be vehicles of profound transformation. … [click on title to read and view more]

The exiled scapegoats, the black sheep, the nonconformists and creative maladjusted…

A neighbor's goat

Exiled scapegoats can, thus, return to serve the collective as agents of its deepest and most difficult needs…. But they are also a community unto themselves.

They form a loose society of nonconformists. It is one devoted to transpersonal processes underlying the individuality and secular collectives.

Those in this society listen for the guidance that comes from the intersection of life and death, joy and pain, love and wounding. They are more or less willing to feel its paradoxical and raw nature. Since they struggle to continually accept that intersection in their own hearts, they can work with inevitable shadow projections, not as a prelude to scapegoating and splitting in order to attack, but as a means of life long personal growth and ethical actions. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

There is nothing wrong with you

nothing-wrong-with-you

I’ve known that Cheri Huber identifies somewhat with the label “bipolar” because I once went to a retreat at her center in Mountain View and I’ve met others who know her. What makes her an effective teacher, in part, is that there is a deep understanding about how the phenomena that gets labeled bipolar is part of the normal spectrum of being human and coming to understand it allows one to understand their own humanity and that of others while freeing themselves from whatever suffering it might be causing. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

There is Big Medicine in Everyone

big medicine

I woke up at 3 am this morning. The spring is a time of big energy for me. Once upon a time in my life this energy was pathologized and called manic, bipolar. I was taught to fear it and drug it and by no means express it. I have been unlearning all that for some years now. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Convert fear to awe

mandala

If someone is acting defensive consider the fact that it’s because they are feeling fear…from there it’s easier to find compassion…(and that holds true for when we get defensive as well. We can stop and ask, what am I afraid of in this instance? and from there perhaps choose to respond differently) … [click on title to read the rest]

Red Book — Jung’s dialogue with the serpent

jung-curling-snake-red-book

“What he discovered were manifestations of both his personal and collective unconscious. In this sense, he demonstrated by personal example that the enigmatic phenomenon we call “psychosis” is often about being completely inundated or possessed by the personal and archetypal unconscious rather than caused by a genetically predisposed biochemical imbalance or “broken brain,” that it has psychological and spiritual significance, meaning and purpose, and that it can potentially be psychotherapeutically treated with the proper skills, commitment and knowledge.” … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Menopause can be a magical time of growth and transformation (reframing may be necessary)

woman

Menopause just like so much else in our modern life has been pathologized and women have been make to be at war with their own bodies because of this. Reframing what our bodies go through quite naturally can not only be liberating but transformative.

Menopausal stuff is becoming more and more an issue in the mix of my coming out of the psychiatric drug withdrawal. I’m 48 years old, but this stuff can start happening to women even in their 30s. A whole lot of women affected with psych drug withdrawal issues are also dealing with menopausal (and peri-menopausal) issues. It’s a very common theme on the withdrawal boards. People try hormones to mitigate the phenomena and sometimes feel comfortable on them but more often those of us with sensitized nervous systems don’t do well adding any sort of hormones, included bio-identical ones. … [click on title to read and view more]

Amen

don't

Don’t change. Change is impossible, and even if it were possible, it is undesirable. Stay as you are. Love yourself as you are. And change, if it is at all possible, will take place by itself if and when it wants. Leave yourselves alone. The only growth-promoting change is that which comes from self-acceptance. … [click on title to read and view more]

Reframe your insomnia

insomnia-cartoon-chruch-com

Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep is a very common complaint. Mindfulness can help but one must first radically revision the nature of the problem.

People tend to get into a negative feedback loop with insomnia: Not getting to sleep leads to worry, leads to further difficulty sleeping, leads to more worry, leads to…. What to do? One possibility is to start thinking about the night in a different way. This is a conceptual reframing, a profoundly different paradigm regarding the issue of sleep. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

The “mental illness” paradigm—an insidious cancer

1paris

For those of you who haven’t read this recent story in the New York Times, I highly recommend it. It is essentially a woman’s (Linda Logan’s) rich and moving autobiographical account of her struggle with “bipolar disorder.” The main message that I imagine most people will take away from this story is that the current mental health care system has some real problems — especially with regard to the often cold and dehumanizing way that “patients” are treated—but that the general paradigm from which this treatment model has emerged is simply not to be questioned. In other words, Linda has clearly adopted the “mental illness as a lifelong brain disease” paradigm and has personally identified as someone who has such a “mental illness.” … [click on title for the rest of the post]

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