During these hard times, I have big hope that we can stay in touch with the softness in the heart of our hearts.
In this moment, I’m taking a spacious inhale and a long unhurried exhale. I’m softening my belly, unclenching my jaw, widening my gaze, lengthening my spine, and settling more fully into my seat as I write. Join me?
I have a few things to share today and I hope they might offer support and inspiration.
I’m grateful to share about a new course Watering the Seeds of Soul
to help us meet these trying times. We begin in February. You can read more about this upcoming offering below.
Working with grief helps us keep our hearts soft; helps us stay permeable to beauty and resilient to despair. Whether you join us for these events or not, we hope you’re finding abundant ways to care for tender hearts, both your own and those around you. As Audre Lorde wrote, “We must consciously study how to be tender with each other until it becomes a habit.”
The “Inner Nature” podcast series is a collection of conversations between thought leaders exploring the intersection of contemplative practice and environmental action. The series explores how we can tend to our inner lives so we have the creativity and clarity to imagine the future we know is possible and the mental and emotional stamina to work toward that vision, even if it takes a lifetime.
And after a long hiatus, we’re happy to celebrate the return of our Embodiment Matters podcast – coming this week! First up will be an interview with the brilliant writer Kristin Flyntz in which we take a spiritual, soulful, and (eco)logical look at the pandemic, inspired by her viral poem An Imagined Letter To Humans from Covid 19
. Next up will be an interview with Abigail Rose Clark about her new book Returning Home to our Bodies. Make sure you’re subscribed to Embodiment Matters
wherever you listen to podcasts so you can tune in. I feel like we’ve grown about 10 years since we began in 2018. We have a beautiful vision for the podcast in the year ahead and we are so grateful to be back in the groove.
The lovely image above was created by my dear friend Holly Truhlar
, with whom I’m grateful to be co-facilitating a nourishing course in response to these tender times. After many years of holding space for grief-tending, we’ve heard many requests for a deeper and slower opportunity to be with this tender territory, and so this offering, Watering the Seeds of Soul, was dreamt through us.
We’ll be gardening with soulful seeds at the gates of grief and embodying the elements of an apprenticeship with sorrow over six months together starting in February 2024. If you’re interested in deepening with us please check it out. Applications are now open! You can read more about Watering the Seeds of Soul here.
We aim to create a soulful and embodied sanctuary for learning and practice, full of kindness, depth, skillful support, and utterly free of toxic positivity. This is for:
- People with heavy hearts and those anticipating heavy-hearted times ahead
- Those who yearn for something radically different than the typical numbing and denial of the over-culture in response to challenging times, whether personal or collective
- Those of us committed to becoming ripened adults and elders during these threshold times
- Tender and brave souls who want to welcome, and over time, transmute sorrow and grief into medicine for ourselves, our families, and our communities
- Healers and helpers who want to soulfully support others in cultivating intimacy and right-relationship with the heart-softening guest of grief.
Our Monthly Topics Will Include:
February: Introduction to Soul Work & Apprenticing with Sorrow, Everything We Love We Will Lose, & Practice as a Form of Ballast
March: The Parts of Us That Have Not Known Love & The Robust Practice of Self-Compassion
April: The Sorrows of the World & Staying in our Adult Presence
May: What We Expected and Did Not Receive & Remembering our Wild Entanglement with the Wider World
June: Ancestral Grief & Growing a Relationship with Silence and Solitude
July: The Harms We’ve Caused & Developing Right Relationship with Sorrow, Plus Closing, Goodbyes, & Aftercare
“The old woman sings over the bones, and as she sings, the bones flesh out. We too “become” as we pour soul over the bones we have found. As we pour our yearning and our heartbreaks over the bones of what used to be when we were young, of what we used to know in the centuries past, and over the quickening we sense in the future, we stand on all fours, four-square. As we pour our soul, we are revivified. We are no longer a thin solution, a dissolving frail thing. No. We are in the “becoming” stage of transformation.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estes
In response to these times, may we become larger rather than smaller, may we become softer rather than harder,
may we become fierce in our tenderness,
and may we be patiently shaped by life into the wise elders the world needs.
I am sending a little bird of courage and another little bird of kindness on a migration right from my heart to yours. So grateful we’re in it together.
p.s. You’re always welcome to join me and Carl and a wonderful group of folks any weekday morning for Embodied Meditation.
As Rumi says, “Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.”
If you can’t join us live, feel free to access our recordings. You can also join our Patreon here.
I personally love supporting several creators and writers on Patreon and Substack whether I dive deep into their work or not. I know what a hugely buoyant gift it is when someone throws a few bucks a month under the lives of creative and soulful weirdos (like us) who usually don’t receive regular paychecks and that makes me feel good. Thanks to all of you who support us in known and unknown ways! We’re grateful for you.
p.p.s. Here’s one of my favorite prayers originally given to me by my teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche many years ago.
May the precious mind of Bodhichitta (the awake heart-mind)
arise where it has not arisen. Where it has arisen may it not fade away but grow and flourish infinitely, forever.
May the precious recognition of interbeing arise where it has not arisen. Where it has arisen may it not fade away but grow and flourish infinitely, forever.
May the precious conduct of non-violence arise where it has not arisen. Where it has arisen may it not fade away but grow and flourish infinitely, forever.
May it be so.