Monthly Embodied Gatherings
April and May Embodied Gathering: Discovering Empowerment Together
It is crucial, especially in times such as these, that as we find spaces and people who listen to and believe in our stories - to our sacred, lived experiences. Your experiences are the hallowed ground of your being and will be fully honored in our sacred and carefully created container.
In this group we are real with each other. We show up as we are, with whatever is going on for us- our joys, our struggles, our tears, and/or our laughter. In a world that has often tried to control us, or where we have tried to control ourselves, we learn how empowering it is to be fully ourselves.
Belonging, community, connection and a healthy nervous system are crucial for our well-being, and a safe community is the perfect place to discover our relationship with life. We gather to become more intimate with, and more available for, our life. For those who would like support in their journey, this is an affordable, safe option.
An empowered container for us evolve together
Every day I witness a sense of empowerment when people feel safe enough to honestly connect to their actual lived experiences, when their sorrows and celebrations are allowed, named, spoken, expressed, and felt. Being heard in a supportive environment conveys and births a sense of embodied empowerment that is known from deep within the being. Neuropathways shift, one’s sense of safety in the world changes, and relationships with life are transformed. Possibilities we couldn’t even imagine reveal themselves.
Join us as we gather and explore together. Using tools and practices I have developed and learned through my trainings in holding sacred circles, I will compassionately and gently hold space as we gather together.
These gatherings are sacred spaces where everyone is welcome. People going through their Dark Night of the Soul experiences, survivors of abuse, people who have had awakenings and want community, people struggling in their life in various ways, and/or people simply wanting connection along their journey are likely to find home in these gatherings.
April 4, 8pm ET and April 18th 2:30pm ET
May 2 8pm ET and May 16th 2:30pm ET
We will meet for 60-75 minutes on Zoom. Each call will be recorded, and yours to keep. Please contact me with questions, concerns or future dates: LLMEUSER@ME.COM
Investment: Sliding scale, what you can afford – $10-25 per gathering. Free if you are a participant in my upcoming Exploration. Anything over $20 goes to my scholarship fund. To sign up please send a PayPal payment to LLMEUSER@ME.COM, subject line “Gathering” along with your email address so I can send you a link. No one turned away due to insufficient funds.
Minimum participants required: 4, Maximum: 15
More Information: Gatherings focus on practical and experiential exercises specifically designed for the development of self-awareness, self-love, safety and a healthy nervous system. Each gathering is organically shaped around attendees' needs and wants. Each gathering includes a guided rest, time for questions and sharing, ways to heal the nervous system, and ways to engage in self-inquiry. Participation is always optional.
In this group we honor our experiences and we learn that we don’t have to pretend, or hide, or run. We gather together in a welcoming space where we are allowed to be exactly who we are, exactly as we are, and through slow, simple experiential practices we realize that profound safety can be found right here and now.
Safety is important. Our bodies, our spirits, and our psyches function with more well-being when safety is known from within.
We live in a culture that often disempowers and creates stress, a culture that conditions us to find our well-being in people, places, and superficial activities and things – without teaching us sustainable, empowering safety from the inside out. As such, we often don’t know how to cope with existing in an overwhelming world, or how to recover from traumatic experiences. Many of us have developed post-traumatic stress as a result, and have forgotten that safety is possible.
We can learn. By providing a safe environment for this deliberate purpose, we can slowly and gently learn what it’s like to feel safe.
We come together to find safety in our experiences and discover that we are safe – even when we have fear, trauma or loud core stories and emotions.
All are welcome here regardless of political affiliation, sexual orientation, race, gender or background. You are important, and appreciated, whoever you are.
From past participants:
Lisa is like a cocoon for expansion and love. I really love working with her. She walks her talk and creates a space for acceptance and non-judgment and I’m better able to accept and not judge myself and others. My heart has opened in my work with her. So grateful.
It is quite breathtaking to experience you working with a group; watching and listening to your communion with who-they-really-are. You have a gift, Lisa.
You represent what Adyashanti talks about: “A safe place for the world to come and rest.” You are that safe, benign presence in the world.
I have listened to the recording many times since our gathering. It continues to support me.
I have discovered writing as a way to connect with myself and others. I didn’t know I had these words inside of me!
Free with Deepening Courses. Email me for details.
*************************************************************************************************** (Edited to add: I had a fun conversation talking with someone about Matrix Integration and this Exploration. Click here to watch! ) Matrix Integration: A Ten-Month Exploration
I’ve spent most of my life trying to be invisible, and at the same time, trying to ambitiously be something. Phew! Starting with my childhood, I learned how to adapt to who was around me and manage what was inside of me - to be who I thought I was supposed to be. I didn’t know how to be connected with my body, how to be with what I was feeling, or who I really was, and yet at the same time I felt so much.
You might be nodding your head right now. You know: this is a rough way to live!
My life was “fine.” All those amazing adaptation and survival skills were resourceful in practical ways! But I wasn’t able to have relationships rooted in intimacy. I gravitated towards toxic people. Being on the planet was hard. I often fantasied about killing myself. I didn’t feel like I was made for this planet, or this planet was made for me. That led me to separate myself from Life even more, becoming more protective and insular in the process.
And yet, I knew there was something here for me. I’d always been very connected to something greater than myself. I just knew.
My awakening to Love
Some things happened in my life and BAM! My world as I’d known it came tumbling down and I could not reconstruct it: my psyche had been cracked open, exposed. I suddenly found myself in a dark night, and the only way out was to go through.
During that time, I woke up to realities I didn’t know existed - realities both inside myself, as well as realities outside myself. Over time I learned how they were connected, but first I had to become aware of a reality I’d never wanted to know: my own inner narratives were filled with beliefs about how I was not ok as I was. My internal reality was that I was not good enough, unlovable, and bad. My narratives were laden with a lot of should, supposed tos and have tos.My internal narratives were oppressive.
All of that had been hidden from me - all of it lived beneath the level of conscious attention - but at the same time it was running my life. When my bubble burst, my self-narratives suddenly exposed, I was devastated. Not understanding that I was shaped by the narratives that were around me, what else could I do but blame myself?
I experienced excruciating self-loathing.
So much didn’t make sense to me. I had a happy marriage, a healthy child, food and shelter, friends… Why was I so cut off from life, when everything was “fine.” Why did I hate myself so much? Why did life feel like “too much”?
I started to ask hard questions, and in the process, I began to get to know myself - not who I thought I should be, and not who others wanted me to be - just who I really was. This was like learning a foreign language! Was there really a “me”, who was allowed to be who she was?
With the loving and gentle guidance of others, as well as using Matrix Integration with myself (I have always “guinea-pigged” on myself!), I slowly began to discover that the narratives were not true, that there was a mind/body connection, and, slowly, that it was safe to live in my body. I came to see that I’d been living in my mind as a way to deal with my traumatic past. As we know, trauma lives in the body - and as children it’s not safe to stay connected to a body that is experiencing the overwhelm of trauma, so I learned from an early age how to disconnect from my body and live in my mind. I just hadn’t realized I was doing this.
I learned to see my innocence: my oppressive internal narratives were not who I really was and I was not to blame. Over time, I discovered that my internal oppressive narratives and my fragmented somatic system were created within the context of an oppressive culture - a culture that does not center wholeness, care of self, or Love.
As I learned how the inner and outer were related - are in relationship - something profound began to awaken: I learned about self-compassion, self-Love, and the matrix of Love and well-being that had been there all along, hidden by a matrix of oppression. There was something so profoundly beautiful about this, so unlike anything I’d ever experienced with the teachers I’d had in my life… I knew I wanted to share it.
Matrix Integration is a modality that I’ve been using with clients (and myself) over the past 10 years. Sometimes I say I created it, but it doesn’t really feel right to claim it as mine. I think of it more as a vision that was gifted to me: one day I was exploring with someone, and it was like I’d been given a key to a greater understanding of what it is to be human.
I knew that I had connected to something profound.
Prior to that, I had found the approaches to working with trauma ineffective and disembodied, often creating more harm than good. I had made a promise to myself that I would not engage in the therapeutic world until I knew how to engage with people differently. BAM! The time had finally come: I opened up my private practice about a month later.
I still find the way our culture journeys with people to often be ineffective and disembodied. I notice that the realms of spirituality, psychology, and activism often discount the body, the psyche, the importance of culture, and/or the power of love and compassion. I hear horror story after horror story: spiritual teachers, therapists and others, not fully understanding the nature of a psyche or what it needs to feel whole, retraumatizing people. I am called to bring this modality into more people’s awareness because more than ever we need to know our wholeness.
Matrix Integration moves from the understanding that the pain inside ourselves desires and requires Love, as opposed to fixing. People are met where they are. Agendas are dropped, and instead we move from curiosity, beginner’s mind, and Presence. As we learn, we transform.
Matrix Integration presumes that we are sacred beings (this includes our stories and our sufferings) who have had experiences that have cut us off from knowing our well-being. These experiences have dulled our light and our connection to Love, often leaving us with amnesia of our goodness, and a belief in our badness. MI gently moves attention away from fault and blame, instead including the contextual dynamics of life. Add in compassion and love, and we have a healthy environment for shame to release and Love to be Known. MI has changed my life, and the lives of hundreds of my clients. I am excited to know it will change yours.
What will make this Exploration different to other learnings or trainings?
*I have a lot of experience leading embodied explorations.
I got involved in training people how to engage in an inquiry process about 8 years ago. It started as a (Zoom) training to teach others how to linearly and logically map out the constructions of identity, anxiety and compulsions within a human being. I was trying this inquiry process out, thinking it could be a good addendum to Matrix Integration. I quickly discovered something that some part of me already knew: the intricate nature of humanity and the complex landscape of trauma required something more dynamic than linearity.
Over the next few years, linearity was slowly released from the training, and the cornerstones of transformative healing were incorporated: heart connection, fluidity, deeper listening, intuitive responses, curiosity, and Love. Dropping into the true nature of existence reveals that we are always in co-creation, in relating/relationship, ever-changing, and held within something much wiser and deeper than that which appears to a linear, analytic mind. This Exploration will center this learning. To learn more about me and my journey, please see my “About” page.
*We exist in relationship
Consciously deciding to be a student of life has taught me that the inner matrix of oppression (how we treat or see ourselves) and the structural oppression in our culture (how our culture treats or sees us) are in relationship. There is no deconstruction, unweaving, dismantling, healing or re-discovering wholeness without a clear understanding that that which is within, is also without, and that which is without, is also within. Having an understanding of the dynamics of culture guides us in knowing how to best connect with our clients. Together we discover how it is to be compassionately held in loving and wise presence.
*We focus on our well-being first Any amount of good we want to do in the world, whether it be as activists, therapists, counselors, or another form of change agent, will be limited until we see the matrix of oppression that resides within our bodies and within our psychologies. When we have these negative beliefs about ourselves, we can’t help but project “shoulds” onto ourselves, and also onto others as well. Unnoticed, we unintentionally keep oppressing not just ourselves, but our clients, those we love, those we want to lift up, as well as upholding the very institutions which oppress the most.
You will receive two 1:1 sessions per month to help you journey through your internal landscape. Nothing, in my experience has matched the profundity that comes from personal sessions, held in Loving and Wise Presence.
*Transformation through Community
We become aware of our own internalized matrix of oppression, as well as the matrix of Love that is awaiting us, when in the space of Loving Presence.
I have found that my greatest life learnings have come from being in healthy relationships with others. For most of my life, my system was unfamiliar with the space of compassion and Loving Presence. I had no idea what self-compassion even was. I had been able to learn about a lot of things on my own, or though books, but some things must be learned through human interaction.
I learned compassion and Loving Presence through my relationships to others - particularly through those trained in somatic trauma healing or had experienced trauma themselves and knew the power of presence. The way they connected with me, held space for me, and were present to me, taught me that no matter what I said, I was loved, and loveable. This transformed my nervous system.
As such, there will be no pre-recorded aspects to our Exploration. We will be communing/in relationality with each other, learning from each other, finding wholeness with each other, in real time. (Sessions will be recorded if you need to miss a class.)
*The art of Slowing down
Throughout our Exploration we will be journeying from a deep knowing of the importance of slowing down. Your nervous system and brain will slowly and gently transfigure, impacting everything you relate with, internally and externally. Together we will slow down and learn about our blind spots, and lovingly learn how to take the blinders off. We will explore this territory in the way we are designed to learn, through relationship. We will do this with each other, so that we may learn how to do this with others that we serve in our lives.
* This exploration is rooted in Learning and Discovery, not perfecting.
Our Exploration will be a gift that keeps on giving; although we will be on a 10 month timeline, the learning in this Exploration will never end, nor will our connections or community. We will deepen together not for the sake of achievement or certification, but for the sake of knowing well-being - yours, mine, and those we interact with - for the sake of All we interact with. As such, this will not be a training, per se. Instead this will be an Exploration. After our 10 month intensive is complete, you won’t be an expert. You’ll be as I am: a lifelong student of Matrix Integration.
*We will be paying guest speakers to Share their Wisdom
Having deeply explored the historical context of my own European/Eastern European ancestry, I know my own limitations and will have guest speakers throughout our course who will augment transformative wisdom practices through their unique lenses.
*Small and Intimate
This group will be limited to approximately 20 individuals. Clients who are a good match will have priority.
Who is our training for?
Our training is most suited for the change agents of the world: those who are looking to journey through that which keeps them from stepping more fully into their own life’s purpose; therapists/healers/coaches/facilitators/social workers/nurses/body workers/social justice advocates who keep running into limitations and blockages with their clients; individuals who are looking to deepen their relationship with Love/God, compassion and well-being; people who have lost or have never had a sense of hope or trust in something larger then themselves; those who find themselves burning out, or who wind up in trauma-bonding predicaments; individuals who are wanting to develop more internal resourcing, agency, and the ability to be comfortable and compassionate with the rich terrain of being human.
How it will look
This learning will be rooted in relationship and experiential connection. There will be no pre-recorded calls as each gathering will be organic and based in the dynamics of the moment. You will have two 1:1 private sessions per month, one with me, and one with Julia Stolk, my co-collaborator.
The first half of our 10-month Exploration will involve approximately two Zoom calls per month in which we will explore Resting and Being, while learning and discovering how to notice the territory of narratives, identities, somatic relationships, emotions, and trauma. It will invite us on a journey of discovery into what has been unseen. As the training unfolds, there will be more focused exploration of the relationship between the inner (micro) and outer (macro), by naming the lens of the oppressive cultural matrix that we all exist within and which shields us from knowing the matrix of creation and Love and the well-being we all exist within. We will also begin to consciously explore naming the different “bodies”- the mental body, the emotional body, the physical body, the environmental body, and the spirit body, that exists within the matrix.
The second half will be less instruction-based and more Q and A as participants explore and learn through the practice of journeying with each other - utilizing Matrix Integration. This will not have a certification to it, as I want to decolonize as much as possible, with an emphasis on the process of learning and growing, not perfecting or achieving or owning.
You will be supported throughout our ten months together via
- 20 (60-90 minute) private sessions
- Personal email and text exchanges as needed
- Approximately 15 group gatherings (all group calls will be recorded, which will be yours to review as resonates) ranging from 60 to 120 minutes
- Support staff and guest teachers to augment your learning and practicing
- My collection of videos, audios and blog posts
- Book, audio, and video recommendations
We may also include other ways to support each other, including Facebook or other communication platforms depending on the group’s desires.
I utilize a sliding scale option, based on what you can afford. $3,500-$3,900. Those who pay the full rate will allow me to fund scholarships. I require a $500 deposit. Payment arrangements can be set up. Please email me with questions.
A Field of Possibility
Together we will engage in a conscious focus on learning how to listen at the level of both the Wise Mind and the Compassionate Being. Participating in the art of slowing down will pave the way. Listening from the Being will allow you to perceive the places where oppression lives, and the places where love is needed. Over time trust in something larger than oneself will slowly develop and be Known, and then lived from in an embodied way.
This is the heart of Matrix Integration. Discovering, Knowing and Living/Loving from Presence. All is held within this field of possibility. This will be a limited engagement. Please contact me ASAP to learn more or to get an application to apply: LLMEUSER@ME.COM
(Edited to add: I had a fun conversation talking with someone about Matrix Integration and this Exploration. Click here to watch! )
 Oppression in this context refers to restriction, constraint, or a sense of pressure which causes one to tighten and/or close, cut off from that which is life giving.
1:1 retreats are available. If you are interested in a more immersive and in-depth experience, please contact Lisa for details.