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Mental wellness: empowering ways to consider our difficult experiences

Part of coming to understand our profound capacities to heal and transform is to first know that it’s possible. I know 1000s of folks who’ve been able to discover this now. I have met them in mental health circles and chronic illness circles both. I’ve also met them among people who’ve never suffered in these ways but were lucky enough to be born into situations where they simply learned how to do it right from the beginning. Imagine that. We can create a world where we teach children how to profoundly take care of themselves and others. …

healingdarkemotions

Healing through the dark emotions

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]

A neighbor's goat

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

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]

nothing-wrong-with-you

There is nothing wrong with you

“What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomena of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all.” A. Watts — 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]

big medicine

There is Big Medicine in Everyone

(a post from May of last year that I remembered today when listening to the same music) “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]

mandala

Convert fear to awe

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]

jung-curling-snake-red-book

Red Book — Jung’s dialogue with the serpent

“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]