Monthly Archives: March 2018

Discovering a healthy embodied relationship with Love, A Deepening Course.

Discovering a healthy embodied relationship with Love, A Deepening Course.



We can learn how to give ourselves relief using kindness and compassion, and in the process invite more embodied well being into our lives. We can learn that this is truly what love is, and what is Loving. We will discover that the true essence of Love is an innocent and profound aspect of this human journey as we explore the mechanics of our bodies and our minds.

Human beings are hard wired to experience love and yet our culture has created a meaning of love that is distorted, misunderstood, and toxic. Because of this toxic relationship with love- and all that we associate with it- we innocently learn and engage in unhealthy behaviors from our earliest days in attempts to feel love, escape from love, or “have/get” love.

When attention (what we usually mistake as love) is not given and received freely, we innately feel a gap- and we can literally spend the rest of our lives trying to figure out how “to get love,” or how to cope in its absence. As we try to figure out how to get it, cope in its absence, or deny our needs for it, we often innocently turn to all kinds of addictive behaviors and substances so that we can experience relief. Our well-being and health suffers, our intimate relationships suffer, and our relationship to sexuality often suffers immensely.

Hidden within that innocent desire for relief- and all that suffering- is the want and need to be loved/feel love. Simultaneously, this is often accompanied by a fear of being alone/feelings of separation- resulting in the subconscious dance of trying to avoid/fearing rejection, fearing/avoiding intimacy and/or anxiously craving intimacy- weaving its way through our often dysfunctional lives.

Like many of us, I started altering my behaviors to please others- to get their attention and “love”- from a young age. I routinely didn’t have someone to support me when experiencing strong feelings. My emotions were often discounted, and my discomforts were usually treated with medication. I quickly learned to suppress what I felt, and I behaved in such a way as to not cause problems, or push people away. If I did that, I was rewarded with positivity and attention- perhaps what I commonly called love. I feared abandonment, and avoided intimacy. I developed attachment challenges early in my life that led to unsatisfactory relationships throughout my life.

As I matured into adulthood I realized that there was another way to be than trying to figure out how to get love, cope in its absence, or deny the need for it. I discovered that there were other options than numbing myself out, altering who I was, or running from my fears. I found that I had the capacity to use mindfulness and inquiry to study my relationship to “the gap” and even to see through that illusive gap altogether. I established a healthy relationship with sexuality, and came to know that Love, and ultimately wholeness, was (in) me all along, whether I was in a romantic relationship or not.

We will learn together:

Join me in this course as we explore barriers to feeling and experiencing love, as well as the false meaning making we’ve given to the word “love.” I will compassionately and gently journey with you as you get to know your innocently developed strategies, core beliefs, and blockages which have contributed to harmful behaviors in an attempt to feel and experience love, but which ultimately yield a sense of separation and pain. Together we will learn that:

Experiencing relief has been an innocent part of our journey.

Acknowledging the toxic dynamics of “love” can be powerfully freeing once spotted and journeyed with.

Discovering the true essence of Love is an innocent and profound aspect of this human journey.


This course will utilize embodied practices, including the Living Inquiries, the N.O.W. practice, natural rest, breathing techniques, and some gentle experiential practices designed to explore your various experiences- shame, trauma, depression, anxiety, compulsions, identities, body contractions, debilitating thoughts and/or memories and more. You will also become familiar with the nervous system, vigilance centers, the fight-flight-freeze responses, attachment theory, and will learn about ways to support and be kind and loving with your self. I will be facilitating and guiding you in practices which will start to re-wire your nervous system and limbic system in ways that are profound. Lastly, you will get to experience the different inquiries first hand, and be able to practice skills for learning how to self-inquire.

You will have recordings so that you can practice on your own between class dates, which will help replace old habitual behaviors with new useful behaviors. All of this will set the stage for deeper self-intimacy and knowing, with compassion and love.


Course Information:

When: May 5, 19 and June 2 Noon-2 EST.

Where:  This is an on-line course. I use zoom, which is similar to Skype. You can attend from anywhere in the world using a phone, iPad type of device, or computer!

What: On top of the 3 group sessions, you will receive a total of six individual facilitations: Four with Senior Facilitator Trainer Lisa Meuser and two facilitations with Certified Living Inquiries facilitators. The investment is $495. This counts as a prerequisite for Living Inquiries facilitator training.

Also included is free attendance to the May and June Embodied Gatherings (Gathering Together, Journeying Together, Deepening Together).

All classes will be recorded so if you are unable to attend one, you’ll receive the recording. Also included in the course will be multiple natural rest and guided rest audios and videos, and a private FB group for participants to share and receive support.

Please email me for questions.



Gathering Together, Journeying Together, Deepening Together

We will be continuing to gather together!

Next gathering is March 23rd at 1:30pm EST.   This week we’ll be exploring the N.O.W. practice, which is something you can do on your own for self inquiry!

Artwork,  Caity Johnston



Support yourself in becoming truly available for your life. 

Awhile back Scott Kiloby emailed me:  “ I see so many people want to be free but stop as soon as the trauma or core story really starts to come up. Then they run.  I think it would be great idea for you to do a group,  gently guiding people…”

He didn’t know that I was already doing monthly groups at the request of the participants of deepening courses I was facilitating as well as people interested in experiencing increased well being. When the courses ended, some people would continue to come, while others would drop away. New people were always welcome.

Scott sees a need, and I love the community of groups- so I will be expanding my group to two times a month. Eventually I will be moving to Fridays- although this month I will be having one on a Saturday and one on a Friday.

There are no requirements to attend: anyone who is interested in becoming more intimate with themselves and becoming more available for their life is welcome.

We gather to intimately connect and explore the nature of being human.  In a world where it is not always easy or safe to be vulnerable, we learn that it is possible. We gather in a safe container, where we are allowed to be exactly who we are, exactly as we are. I always facilitate a guided rest. Sometimes there are a lot of questions. Sometimes I engage in a 1:1 facilitation while everyone else follows along silently. Sometimes I teach ways to assist with self inquiry, or ways to heal the nervous system. Participation is always optional. <3

We come to learn about ourselves, together.


When we don’t know ourselves we aren’t aware of thoughts we’re having, or our relationship to them. When we don’t know ourselves we aren’t aware of what triggers us, or even that we’re triggered. When we don’t know ourselves we don’t know what we need or want, or what has been missing with regards to our needs and wants. When we don’t know ourselves we don’t know what we’re feeling, or if it’s safe to feel. When we don’t know ourselves we become at the mercy of forces outside ourselves to take care of us because we don’t know ourselves well enough to take care of ourselves. When we don’t know ourselves it’s like having a party and all the guests showing up with masks on. Can you imagine such a party? I’m guessing there would be very little intimacy or connection. How can we love ourselves, how can we have compassion for ourselves, if we’re disconnected from ourselves?

When we know ourselves we are aware of our thoughts and if they have significance for us. When we know ourselves we know our needs and wants, and how to get them met without resorting to drama or manipulation. When we know ourselves we’re familiar with sensations, and how to connect with them in a way that feels safe. When we know ourselves we can develop a reservoir of inner resourcing, which empowers us and makes it possible for us to hold space for ourselves, love ourselves and offer compassion to ourselves. When we know ourselves we no longer feel like children caught in adult bodies, but capable human beings. When we know ourselves, we are aware- we are self-aware.

It’s easy to get to know ourselves, but it takes time, and often some guidance, as we learn how to do so. For most of us, no one has helped us to really get to know ourselves. In fact, too often we’re taught and encouraged to put all our attention outwards, and we lose our own sense of self in the process.

This monthly gathering will focus on practical and experiential exercises that are specifically designed for the development of self-awareness. There will be time for questions and optional sharing amongst group members. We will meet for 60-75 minutes on zoom. Each call will be recorded, and yours to keep. Please contact me with questions.

Upcoming dates:


March 9 and 23, 1:30-2:45 EST

April 6 and 27, 1:30-2:45 EST

Investment: Sliding scale based on income: 10- $15, paypal to, subject line “Gathering.”  Free to those in my current deepening courses.

Minimum required 4. Maximum is 15 people.

To read more about embodiment:

For more, visit my blog, where I write almost exclusively about embodiment.

Aha! Moments: the first steps to sustainable wisdom

This was originally posted on the Living Inquiries web site, titled Wisdom is Waiting for You. Synopsis:  Turning Aha! moments into sustainable life enriching expressions takes willingness and readiness. Here’s some useful steps to support your awakening journey. 

“I realized that it wasn’t my fault that my mother was emotionally unavailable to me.”

“I have been putting on a happy face to cover up my unhappiness for years.”

“I know I am connected to the Cosmos – I’m not alone.”

“I met a reservoir of grief in me that I didn’t know I’d been carrying around.”

“I experienced a Universe that is good.”


These are all personal accounts of amazing insight shared with me by clients and friends.

Mostly experienced in safe settings with a safe person, or in retreats where they were out of the usual daily grind, these moments of clarity were profound. The world appears “changed” in these moments, as if cobwebs have cleared, and it often seems as though the newfound clarity will be everlasting because of how radical it feels.

But what happens is usually quite different… unless there is continued connection with the clarity or insight.  If there isn’t a continued exploration, the clarity and insight will lose its potency and not have a sustainable positive impact.  At best, it will a memory fondly remembered. At worst, it will be forgotten, doubted and disbelieved, or it will reinforce/exasperate the initial patterning.

I knew someone who went on retreat and came back with mind- and behavior-altering revelations.

He’d realized that he’d been mistreating others – a friend of mine being one of them – because of his own shame and deficiency stories. He made many amends for the pain he’d caused, and explained that he wanted to live another way. He wanted to be the person he knew he could be when he wasn’t tangled up in fear and shame.

And then… he went on a two-month vacation.

“When I get back I’m going to jump right into continuing to explore all that’s come up,” he shared with her. He was very excited.  So was she. When he returned two months later, however, he was very much the person he’d been prior to his retreat but with even more walls, fear, and separation from love.  He was more violent and more disconnected from himself than ever.  My friend was crushed – she was truly hoping that this time he’d finally changed. Sometimes we still talk about what might have happened if he’d really dug in deep and stayed with what had been unearthed. We think about how much pain and suffering could be averted if only he’d continued to confront his demons instead of running further from them.

This may be an extreme example, but I have clients with somewhat similar experiences.

They will have one session, feel great, and be ready to tackle the world.  But that momentum doesn’t always stick around. The patterning of our behaviors and beliefs is a fascinating brain and neurological phenomenon. Science confirms: it takes time, attention, and a willingness to engage with one’s patternings (neural pathways) for sustainable change to occur.  In other words, the insight or clarity – that Aha! moment – is just the very first step.  Many many many follow-up steps will need to be taken for that insight to make a lasting impression both neurologically and behaviorally.

I think back to a retreat I went on. The retreat leader shared something along the lines of “Okay, you’ve all had some really great insights into your shadows, your patterning, your shame, your darkness, your trauma, as well as into your joy, your wholeness, your light, love and beauty. Now the real work begins.” And he proceeded to hand out a page or two of somatic-based resources to help with follow-up integration. It took only days for us to understand what he meant. Once back home, in our familiar lives, with our familiar people, and our familiar routines, it took dedication and discipline to not fall back into the same old patterning that we’d just had amazing insights into.

Sound familiar?

We all likely remember times when something felt so profound and real, and we knew we had to make and effort to “keep it going.” But more often than not, for whatever reason, we didn’t… and the profundity disappeared. Lots of intense Aha! moments are short-lived as we go back to what is familiar. In addition, the vulnerability that often comes with these insights can sometimes be too uncomfortable or unmanageable to stay with. We could say “The ego/separate sense of “I” wants to stay in control,” or “Egoic patterning won’t go down without a fight.” But I think it’s generally more useful to come back to brain science and neural pathways.

Insights are like newborn babies.

They must be tended to, coddled, fed and nourished. They will die if they are ignored, and require sustained attention and support as they mature and grow into adulthood (as they are embodied). Science explains this to us through the language of neural pathways: it takes anywhere for 18-200 days (with 66 being the average) for a neural pathway to change, so unless the insight is consciously explored – repeatedly – it just fades away. Conversely, if it’s actively engaged with it will become its own neural pathway, thereby forming a lasting impression and new habit or healthy behavior.

The more profound the Aha!, the more it must be tended to, because initially those are the least comfortable as the grooves of the neural pathways are most deeply formed. It isn’t always pleasant to unearth that which has been hiding in the dark, musky corners of our internal basements. We can experience shame and belief systems that have fueled our dysfunctions that we hadn’t previously seen. We can experience parts of ourselves that we’d, quite frankly, like to re-bury. Without staying with that new vulnerability, the ego or separate sense of self could easily come in and cover it back up, and sometimes even retaliate in the wake of said vulnerability. What may seem like a promising and expansive revelation can quickly turn into defensiveness and attack, as the opening may feel too threatening in its newborn baby state.

As anyone who has ever been around an infant knows, it’s not always easy to tend to a newborn. Infants thrive under stable environments, and so do the caregivers. If a person’s lifestyle and choices don’t allow for the sustainability and integration of those Aha! moments, then they will quickly fade. If a person’s sense of ego is too strong, or if there is too much fear, the commitment to follow up will be turned away from. Again, it’s the follow-up integrative work that allows the insight to “take hold” and be embodied.

What exactly is “follow-up?”

First of all, it comes down to the willingness and readiness to really meet what’s been revealed through the insight, how it relates to the everyday life of the person, and a commitment to continue looking and exploring.

Follow-up can be done many different ways, but generally speaking it takes the form of some kind of active engagement or participation that keeps the insight “alive.”  This may look like: finding and then repeating new and useful behaviors as opposed to engaging in old unhealthy habits, reading something which supports the continued exploration of the insight, and/or inquiring deeper into the insight on one’s own using meditation or other mindful body-awareness approach.

Sometimes we need someone who is trained in embodiment/somatic practices to help us flush out the old gunk and give more room to the clarity received so that it can take up more occupancy in our being. Using the previous metaphor, this would be helping the infant insight grow into embodied maturity, until it is no longer just an insight but a fully-actualized and lived reality.

Patterning and habitual behavior are often buried for a reason.

Sometimes it’s become so routine or “normal” that we have been unable to consciously see our dysfunctional ways. Other times we’ve experienced pain or trauma in our lives that have led us to develop walls of protection which keep us from being truly available to the wholeness of life.  Someone who is trained in exploring trauma and pain body will be able to help in the integration process, enabling the insights to move into a sustained way of being.

Insights and clarity – those magnificent Aha! moments – are gifts. Filled with wisdom, they can enrich our lives, creating a life that we feel at home with and a part of.

Here are a few simple ways to extend the shelf life of your Aha! moments:

Pause: Pause what you’re doing, and take in as fully as you can what has come into your conscious attention. Before jumping to analyze it or understand it (or announce it to the world as a facebook post), just pause.  Breathe in the wisdom of the insight – not from your mind, but from your being.  As we know, god/presence/love/etc does not live in our brain or mind. It is Known experientially. So take a few moments to pause, breathe, and feel what is coming in at the level of Being.

Be curious: After you’ve sat with the insight or Aha! moment, and you’ve taken in all that subtle but profound Knowing, grab a pen and some paper.  Science tells us that the act of writing can help us somatically process and integrate information, so take some time to journal or make notes about your experience. Be curious and open to any further insights that might come from your initial Aha! moment.  All sorts of connections may be coming to you now. Learn about yourself. Learn about your habits. Learn about your strengths, and your weaknesses.  Be curious and learn. Write with abandon – don’t worry, no one is looking!

Feel: As you’re curiously connecting to the tendrils of the Aha! moment and writing about it, feel into your body so that you can write from that space of physical awareness. Feel into where it seems to be living in your body. This may feel good,  or this may feel bad. Write about what you’re feeling. Write about the emotions that you’re noticing. Try to maintain curiosity as you do this. If you don’t like writing, try to make some simple notes or just jot a few things down. This isn’t for publication, it’s for your own continued journeying. If you aren’t able to write something, or you just don’t want to, that’s fine. You may want to record a voice memo to capture it. You may even want to call someone – sharing it with yourself or with others after you’ve taken some time to take it in may help you to further connect with the Aha! moment so it can be explored more later on.

Stay with it: What good is an insight if you don’t do anything with it? There are lots of ways you can stay with insights to see where the rabbit hole goes. Keep leaning into it, and keep learning. Keep exploring. You are a vast ocean of remarkable depths. You can do this as a solitary journey, with a professional, or with a group of like-minded individuals. If you need help finding resources, contact me and I’ll do my best to hook you up with something that meets your needs and interests. There are so many resources out there these days when it comes to embodiment practices!

Get support: We’re a tribal species. We’re meant to connect with others. Again, if you’re not sure where to turn, let me know and I’ll try to help you out. Keep going!

Dive in: Keep on pausing, being curious, and feeling with regards to your Aha! moment, and your continued insights. Get intimate with yourself and your history on this planet. Ask your insight for more insight. Ask for clarity. See what comes. Keep going deeper and deeper. Don’t stop until your mind, body, and spirit feel integrated. I meet so many people who think they have to live with their fears, their grief, their lostness, their misery and discontent. There is always another way when you feel stuck. There is always something deeper, underneath pain and suffering, that is waiting to be discovered. Stay with it, and get support.


Remember the insights I listed at the very beginning?

Those were just the first steps in these people’s lives. They were not final resting places – they hadn’t magically found peace. Rather, a door had opened up, and the magic was found when they opted to walk through it.  Most of them dove into their Aha! moments with vigor and found a new and thrilling world waiting for them. It wasn’t always easy, or pleasant, but they were able to safely connect with and detach from belief systems that had been keeping them stuck and in suffering.

You are not alone.
Take in the wisdom that found its way to you, and always be ready for more.