By Matt Licata
The aliveness, presence, and connection you are longing for will only ever found in the very center of every feeling, emotion, and sensation you have disowned and disconnected from up until now. The long-lost, orphaned pieces of your achy, tender heart are assembling around you; do you feel them? Listen carefully; open your senses to majestic somatic vastness. Stay close to these ones for they are secret jewels of the darkness. Dare to see that everything here is path that that staying fully embodied to your vulnerability in all its forms is your only yoga now. And that it is through this yoga that the path of metabolization by wild love will unfold and illuminate inside you, bringing your heart alive, and revealing your intimacy with all things. … [click on title to read and view more]
By Matt Licata
Ekhaya is a Peer Counselor in the Community Links Program in Brooklyn, New York that serves 18 to 25 year old clients, many of whom have had a first episode psychotic break. She works five days a week at Community Links, lives in a small apartment in Harlem and on the weekends takes a bus to Baltimore to spend weekends with her teacher, a Sangoma in the South African lineage. As you will see from Ekhaya’s interview she has come a long way from a history of child abuse through “Psychosis” to become an effective Peer Counselor. Her experience includes attempts at suicide, hospitalization, finding help at a Peer Recovery Center, and finding her spirituality through her African lineage. … [click on title to read and view more]
By Krista MacKinnon
I’ve worked in the mental health system for twelve years now, and prior to that was a patient for three. My family was educated to believe that I would be sick my whole life, and that they should have very little hope for my future. When I became a family counsellor, I vowed to never “educate” anyone in such a way. Since then, I’ve watched “Recovery” grow from a subversive whisper to a full-blown growing paradigm in mental health services. Countries have adopted Recovery and implemented its model into their health care planning, academics have studied it and written thousands of articles in peer reviewed journals, organizations have restructured and reorganized their teams to reflect it’s principles, and brave everyday people have told their personal recovery stories to friends, colleagues, conferences, and the media. Recovery is a strong political force, a narrative, a system, a way of life, and a tool. So why then, has this incredible force of “Recovery” not leaked its way over to Family Education? As far as we’ve come (and I mean that as a global community) why are our most intimate loved ones still being educated in old school reductionist ways of thinking about what gets called “mental illness” “Schizophrenia” or “Bipolar Disorder”? Why are there still support groups for families out there where the facilitator thinks it is perfectly okay for families to strategize and brainstorm together ways to sneak their loved ones their medications to “keep them well” or “prevent relapse”? … [click on title to read and view more]
I’ve been doing yoga nidra meditations for a couple of years as part of my collection of healing practices. Lately I’ve been doing a lot more of it and it’s so deeply relaxing and healing I thought it was time I shared it. I have to say that even though I’ve been doing it for two years it’s only recently from a greater state of well-being that I’ve come to deeply appreciate the profundity of this practice.
“Yoga Nidra is an an ancient form of guided meditation that has been proven effective to reduce stress, tension, anxiety, sleeplessness and many other psychological disorders.” … [click on title to read and view more]
UCLA study: non-drug treatment may reverse Alzheimer’s (these lifestyle changes are also good for all mental health)
This is a good place to start for most mental health issues of any kind, really — and, well, for general well-being too. Good health is actually rather simple. Sadly the human species has traveled a very very long way from simplicity and so it’s not always, by any means, straightforward to get back to good-health. Still we can take many meaningful steps in that direction and over time make some very big changes. I’ve seen it done again and again among those I work with and I’ve done it for myself. … [click on title to read and view more]
To reframe what we’ve generally been told about mental anguish and suffering by the mental illness system is a very important part of healing. Psychiatry makes out that the individual is sick. A much more honest as well as empowering way to view much mental anguish is to see ourselves as part of the web of life. Our despair is telling us something very real and valid. We should listen to it and pay attention and learn. Feeling pain is not a weakness, it is a capacity. We can learn to let it fuel us rather than cripple us. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips we lay on ourselves–the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy and addictions of all kinds–never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink away from being fully awake. … [click on title to read and view more]
A shaman is a man or woman with a special calling to live in two realities at once— the ordinary world we all know well and a deeper, higher reality, both transcendent and profoundly interior, where everything has a spiritual meaning. The shaman sometimes carries a ladder to symbolize the comings and goings between these […]
Letting go comes only through desperation when you know that it is beyond you – beyond your powers of action as beyond your powers of relaxation. When you give up every last trick and device for getting it, including this “giving up” as something that one might do, say, at 10 o’clock tonight. That you cannot by any means do it – that is it! That is the mighty self-abandon which gives birth to the stars. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
While the transformative fires of love may never feel safe, it is only through tender kindness to your immediate experience that you will know the mysteries of lover and beloved, broken and whole, and separation and union. You can slow down. There is no urgency. You need not answer any questions, scramble back to clarity, or resolve anything… for now.
There is so much intelligence moving within you. You are okay. Nothing is wrong and nothing need be fixed. … [click on title to read and view more]