Discovering the Embodiment of Love, A Deepening Course.
Our stories may be different, and yet may overlap.
Like many of us, I started suppressing myself from a young age. My family didn’t often openly talk about emotions or feelings so I quickly learned to hide what I felt, and I behaved in such a way as to not cause problems or upset anyone. I was often in pain or scared, but I learned that my only option was to pretend that everything was ok. Before long I wasn’t just pretending to others. As a survival strategy I engaged in an insidious form of self-harm: I was pretending to myself as well, which meant I didn’t really have a self to connect to. I usually didn’t know what I was feeling in any given moment, but I was hyper-aware of others. Yes, that is as confusing and disorienting as it might sound, and something many of you will be familiar with.
I was rewarded with positivity and attention, and got “love” from the outside by pretending. That set up a life of disconnecting to what *I* was feeling and instead adapting to *others* to garner love. It wasn’t reallove, of course, but I didn’t understand that until much later.
Throughout my life I (sometimes anxiously) craved love and connection but also feared abandonment/rejection, so would avoid deep intimacy. I was not aware of any of this patterning since I was always pretending everything was ok. Attachment challenges formed early in my life led to unsatisfactory and unhealthy relationships throughout my life.
When I eventually found myself in the grips ofa narcissistically abusive relationship, I crashed and hit rock bottom. No longer able topretend, I broke apart, faced my traumas, and explored my unhealthy and grotesque relationship with love. Through intense and honest somatic inquiry (and a lot of support) I gradually came to understand that what I had always thought was love, was not. As this was seen through, something unexpected emerged. It was during this time that the true nature of embodied and sustainable Love found me. This Love, I directly discovered, held all, and required no pretending. I was truly free and worthy to be me, just as I was.
Our actions and beliefs are innocent
Whatmy years as a somatic therapist (and a student of my own humanity) has led me to understand is that human beings are hard-wired to want and need 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 (like pretending) from our earliest days in attempts to feel 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 fill or close that gap. In doing so we often innocently turn to all kinds of addictive behaviors, substances, or dysfunctional coping strategies so that we can experience relief. Our well-being and health suffers, our intimate relationships suffer, our relationship to sexuality suffers – and most importantly our relationship with our self suffers.
Love – what we’ve been after all along – becomes more and more illusive and elusive. We do not find relief. We suffer, and we seek. We seek, and we suffer.
The good news: we can get off this toxic merry-go-round.
We can learn about ourselves. We can learn about our attachment styles. We can learn how to engage in healthy behaviors and safe practices. We can learn how to give ourselves relief using kindness and compassion (I literally had to be taught this because I had zero experience of this). We can learn how to slowly and gently find home in our bodies and beings. We can learn how to safely rest in our direct experience of now. We can discover that the true essence of Love is an innocent and profound aspect of this human journey, and it is waiting for us.
A safe container for us evolve 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:
- Seeking 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 safely explore your various experiences – shame, 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. Lastly, you will get to experience the different inquiries first hand, and be able to practice skills for learning how to self-inquire.
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.
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.
When: February 2nd, February 16th, March 2nd: noon-2pm EST.
This course is purposefully spread out with two weeks between each group so you will have time to explore and learn about yourself. There will be some books suggested, but nothing required.
Where: This is an online 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 individualfacilitations: 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 applying for the Living Inquiries facilitator training.
Scholarship spots available by application as a part of my commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Also included is free attendance to the January, February and March Embodied Gatherings. January 13th, 27thand February 10th, 24th– 1-2:15 pm EST. (March TBA)
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.
Space is limited.
Please email me for questions. firstname.lastname@example.org