As I sit and write a bit more, I find myself in awe of this human experience, this gift of life. The uniqueness, complexity and simple beauty that we each embody are realities that I admire and try to hold close. I am also very aware of the challenges that we face as human beings in a world that seems to make both the human and the being part more and more difficult to embrace. So much in our modern world makes living an embodied, intimate life very challenging. To live in an intimate relationship with our breath, body, emotions, and the very core of our being is a radical gesture, and requires us to again and again find the courage to honor our heart’s desire to live openly and authentically. The temptation to live small, abstracted lives can be powerful. To live an embodied life – to reclaim our wholeness – is, again, to walk against the grain of much of modern life. And yet, we are at times gifted profound support, and opportunities to connect with others who share our deepest longings. The more we become aware of our suffering (the background unease we each experience as a result of having lost contact with our innermost core) -- and simultaneously more aware of our potential for joy and inner-freedom -- the greater the desire for wholeness and the need for support seems to become. I know from experience that it can be overwhelming to become very aware of the nuances of our suffering, to see with terrible clarity the incessant struggle that it can be to stay sane, grounded, and centered in this world and in our body. I also know what it is like to be highly sensitive and overwhelmed by internal and external stimuli, to struggle to maintain internal contact in relationship, to feel open and raw in a world that quite unapologetically asks us to harden. At times this awareness and sensitivity can seem like a burden and just feel like too much. We are often asked to feel and digest a lot of pain, grief and fear if we are to face the reality of our disconnection from ourselves… our history of self-abandonment. And yet, in this awakening and in our sensitivity lie the most profound gift – the opportunity to face ourselves (patiently and compassionately), and to gradually experience a deepening connection to who we are most essentially...at our core. So much of this journey seems to unfold in mysterious and unpredictable ways. Great hardships can at times appear to be gifts, and apparently inconsequential experiences can be our greatest teachers. As this mystery unfolds, we are asked to participate in it. We are in some sense at its mercy while also entrusted with the capacity and responsibility to make conscious choices. We are beings infused in paradox, granted the challenge of holding paradox again and again. I have sought out, asked for and been blessed with incredible support in my life, and Realization Process exercises have been one source of particularly profound support and meaning. I am deeply grateful for the wisdom and transformative potential contained within these exercises, and grateful to have the opportunity to share them with you.
As may be clear, I am not one to shy away from naming difficult truths, nor from acknowledging the beauty and connectedness that is always here. I deeply appreciate language, honor its power, and at times view much of life’s challenges and opportunities as, at their root, about the task of holding complexity and paradox (though I usually try to stay away from neat and tidy explanations of enormous matters of life). Questions are another part of life that I can’t seem to get enough of. I strive to ask them and live them, viewing so-called answers as often overrated. I enjoy spending quality time with people I love, dancing, communing with trees, submerging myself in cold, natural bodies of water, reading novels, watching slow, emotionally-touching movies, going for agendaless, barefoot walks, and nerding-out on Realization Process stuff with friends and colleagues in the community.