To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/GriefWithinGrief Grief is a tidal wave that overtakes you, smashes down upon you with unimaginable force,sweeps you up into its darkness, where you tumble and crash against unidentifiable surfaces, only to be thrown out on an unknown beach, bruised, reshaped. Stephanie Ericsson What I remember about May of 1992 is the crushing weight of silence. A silence that pressed down hard on my chest during many a random afternoon as I sat inert, watching the clock hands move, while my 14 month old son napped in […]Read More »
Deeper Dimensions Blog
In each one of you there is a hidden being,
still in the deep sleep of childhood.
Bring it to life!
In each one of you there is a call, a will,
an impulse of nature,
an impulse toward the future,
the new, the higher.
Let it mature, let it resound, nurture it!
— Herman Hesse, (from If the War Goes On)
Welcome to my blog.
Here, I share reflections from deep within—informed by decades of life experience, work as a therapist, and geeked-out study of all things expansive. Each post is a blend of psychology, spirituality, literature, and life.
I peer into the deeper dimensions of existence to unearth practical ideas for bringing meaning to everyday moments and to crises. I offer these discoveries to you to invite you to explore your own depths; to discover your call, your will, your impulse of nature!
Whether you're looking for words to inspire, console, challenge, or teach, sit back and make yourself at home. Sometimes finding one sentence that speaks to you at just the right time can make you feel the dawn of connection to the deepest dimensions of yourself, and thus to the world.
Bearing Our Souls: A Crash Course in Soothing the Overwhelming Emotions of a Pandemic - Part 6 - Expressing Your Emotions
To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/BearingSoulsAudio6 We find in our pain the pain we all share. Softening around pain with mercy instead of hardening it with fear, the heart expands as “my” pain becomes “the” pain. Odd as it may sound, when we share the insights arising from our pain we become more able to honor the pain. — Stephen Levine, in Unattended Sorrow Just when the overwhelm of coronavirus quarantine was amplified by the distress and outrage of throngs protesting against the brutal murder of George Floyd, I stared in disbelief at an unfathomable email that appeared in my […]Read More »
To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/CapacitytobeShatteredAudio We cannot walk out of the darkness unless we are first willing to immerse ourselves fully in it. It demands a leap of faith, for there are no signposts along the way that will guarantee our safe return. There is only a dark tunnel, leading to who-knows-where. We know the danger, we feel it in our adrenaline, pumping blood through our bodies at frightening speed. We know, intuitively, that we may never come out of the blackness. But there is no choice, for to be […]Read More »
Bearing Our Souls: A Crash Course in Soothing the Overwhelming Emotions of a Pandemic - Part 5 - What the Emotions of Upheaval Are ABOUT
To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/BearingSouls5Audio Not to make loss beautiful,But to make loss the placeWhere beauty starts. Wherethe heart understandsFor the first timeThe nature of its journey. — Gregory Orr, in Concerning The Book That Is the Body Of The Beloved Stably unstable. That’s how I’ve been feeling during these ongoing weeks of the social difficulties wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve been waking up to the lie my basically hopeful self had planted way down in the shadows of my mind. Unbeknownst to me, I was believing I’d pressed “pause” on my […]Read More »
Bearing Our Souls: A Crash Course in Soothing the Overwhelming Emotions of a Pandemic – Part 4 – Layers & Flavors of Emotion
To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/BearingSouls4Audio Emotion is the messenger of love; it is the vehicle that carries every signal from one brimming heart to another. For human beings, feeling deeply is synonymous with being alive. — Lewis, Amini, & Lannon, A General Theory of Love During the first week of my city’s pandemic-stanching stay-at-home orders, I felt as if an enormous hand had slammed into the center of my chest to shove me backwards, and had left me abruptly sitting bruised on the floor of my life with eyes wide open, blinking back startled […]Read More »
Bearing Our Souls: A Crash Course in Soothing the Overwhelming Emotions of a Pandemic – Part 3 – “Name It to Tame It”
To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/SoulsPart3Audio At a moment of intensity, a failure to be understood, to be connected with emotionally, can result in a profound feeling of shame. The shame generated by missed opportunities for the alignment of states —for the feeling of emotional resonance, of “feeling felt”— can lead to withdrawal. Even with less intense states, not being understood may lead to a sense of isolation. — Daniel Siegel, The Developing Mind, Second Edition *** Last week, in the evening after writing all day, I broke down into wracking […]Read More »
Bearing Our Souls: A Crash Course in Soothing the Overwhelming Emotions of a Pandemic – Part 2 — Why Uncertainty Is Scary
To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/SoulsPart2Audio If I cease searching, then, woe is me, I am lost. That is how I look at it— keep going, keep going come what may. ― Vincent van Gogh At the end of a loooong workday last week, I felt agitated and stressed. My son was heading out for a walk, so I went with him to decompress. Stretching my legs, breathing hard, taking in the outdoors and the (socially distant) fellow walkers, agitation gave way to exhaustion. Though it was relieving to move my body, […]Read More »
Bearing Our Souls: A Crash Course in Soothing the Overwhelming Emotions of a Pandemic – PART 1 – Stories Matter
To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/SoulsPart1Audio May we face our selves, in the wilderness and the world, and recognize the forces that drive us, so that they do not always drive us. — Pádraig Ó Tuama On a Thursday evening about four weeks ago, I said goodnight to my last therapy client of the week, closed the door behind her, and turned off my waiting room lamps. The following Sunday afternoon I sat with my family at one of our favorite restaurants, raising a glass of bold red wine over a […]Read More »
To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/TurnTowardAudio Most people have turned their solutions toward what is easy and toward the easiest side of the easy; but it is clear that we must trust in what is difficult; everything alive trusts in it. — Rainer Maria Rilke In the past couple of weeks I’ve had the good fortune to host Zoom meetings with several groups of therapists I consult with and teach. I’m moved to tears by the end of almost every one of these meetings. The willingness of these open-hearted, caring professionals to rise to […]Read More »
To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/GriefGratitudeAudio . How can we live gratefully? By experiencing, by becoming aware that every moment is a given moment, as we say. It’s a gift. You haven’t earned it. You haven’t brought it about in any way. You have no way of assuring that there will be another moment given to you, and yet, that’s the most valuable thing that can ever be given to us,this moment, with all the opportunity that it contains. If we didn’t have this present moment, we wouldn’t have any opportunity […]Read More »