Empathy – fuelling the alchemist’s fire.

Here is a paradox. Alchemy is a solitary pursuit, and yet for it to be successful it needs to be utterly shared, utterly given back, utterly given away. An attempt at alchemical transformation without this generosity, without love, is doomed to fail. You simply can not work the alchemical opus for your own, small, personal…

Mindfulness, dreams and nightmares: integration of the psyche, and trauma.

‘whatever the name of catastrophe, it is never the opposite of love.’ (Mary Oliver)   The effect of engaging with dreams and nightmares can be to bring together parts of the psyche which have hitherto been unbalanced, fragmented and misunderstood. From the beginning of psychotherapy dreams have been considered, in Freud’s phrase, the ‘royal road’…

Vast Silence….

A poem today from the state of meditation. Cultivating presence through meditation practice is one of the most valuable things which any person who walks a path of service can do. This poem captures the experience of the meditative state well – although the practice of meditation is not really the point –  the effect…

Withdrawing projections, ripping the veils, the gift of broken trust.

  The experience of withdrawing projections and rebalancing in the truth can be an immensely painful one. It is essential to the project of becoming more whole that we accomplish this task however, that we allow ourselves to see what is really the truth in our life in all its disappointment and with all its…

Relationships that kill…how to survive

Finding the balance between self sufficiency and inter-dependence is one of the major tasks of competent adulthood. Sophisticated living requires that we know when we need to depend on others, when we need to draw ourselves in to community, and to allow the strengths of others to carry us through in the areas that we…

Being imperfect….being enough….

Today’s post is offered as a salve for those who suffer the agonies of not being perfect. We long so much to get it right and most of the time we are imperfect. Actually imperfect is all we ever have to be, and adopting a kind and self-compassionate approach to our ordinariness is the only…

How therapists help clients change…new pathways….

When you take an action, a neural pathway is created which allows that action to be taken more easily next time. This is the ‘learning to ride a bike’ thing. You can’t ride a bike, then suddenly you can, and you don’t forget again. My father learned to swim at the age of 70. Throughout…

Love deeply, and without patience.

This poem is a plea for passion in the slowing down times of life. Like the Dylan Thomas poem which urges not to go gentle in to that good night, this poem calls out for persistent love. Not mistaking steadfastness for doing nothing – that is a powerful meditation for the day.   This poem…

Ode to Autumn. Keats. Landscapes of imagination.

Beautiful poetry for a beautiful time of year. Thank you to John Keats for his eye which could see this and his vision which led him to write it down. One of the things I have always loved about this poem is the personification of autumn – it brings the sense of the imaginal world…

Omnipollent nature – beauty in the ordinary

Just in case you wanted another miracle (and the The upward pointing icicle and other miracles was always a popular post on this blog) here we have a bee with blue knees. The pollen she is collecting comes from one of these lace cap hydrangeas. But the whole blue suede knees thing is to be encouraged I…

Overcoming trauma – a transpersonal roadmap

Here are four easy principles for working with complex trauma – your own and your clients’ traumas. If you follow these principles you will not go far wrong. This is based on the work of Bessel van de Kolk, and David Emerson. The reason I have posted this is to begin to address the growing…

Rigidity and fracture – be a willow tree…

When structures harden, and crash in to other hard structures, they fracture, fragment, and break. Rocks,  tectonic-plated continents, religious systems, political ideas, and of course, hearts. The hardening of our ideological positions holds the danger of rendering us brittle, subject to cracking up down the fault line of our weakness. What might once have been a powerful,…