Enter the shadows to find your light.
I offer myself as a guide and ally. Together we can recover and reweave the lost, wounded, or rigid parts of Self into a shining whole.
There is no place within us that is too ugly to be seen, no place too raw to be felt. When we have the courage to lay bare our selves to our own awareness, to hear their stories and feel their pain, we embody understanding and love. This is the awakened heart space required to truly connect, share intimacy, and live our purpose.
Awareness and Shadow work
A useful way to understand the self is to think of it as a community. For example, there could be a member who learned that achievement earns love, and therefore focuses on doing, another who learned that attention had to be claimed, and therefore behaves like a gregarious showman, and yet another who mourned the inauthenticity of putting on an act, and therefore seeks to be alone. Some of our parts may be familiar, others may be almost entirely hidden. This can create stuckness, frustration and confusion. The goal of shadow work is to become aware of our community of selves.
Feeling and Presence
One of my spiritual teachers taught that the avoidance of feeling is the root of suffering. Every habit, strategy and coping mechanism that we use to escape our feelings takes us away from our truth and our connection to Source; in fact, they are forms of self-abandonment. Babies and small children are quite adept at expressing their present moment experience; if these feelings are met with even subtle forms of denial, suppression, or rejection, the feeling itself becomes an internal threat to connection and self-worth. Because feelings generally are expressions of met and unmet needs, this internalizes a conflict between different needs, and leads to fragmentation and disorganization. The beginning of healing these patterns is to turn towards our feelings with care and acceptance, as we might hope to do with a crying child.
Connection and Space
We are a deeply interdependent species, relying on each other to both survive and thrive, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Because our need for connection and belonging is so fundamental, we can adopt many strategies and compromises that take us far from who we actually are and what we actually want. The key issue of authenticity is “Can I be be true to myself (my feelings, needs, desires and values) and have you too?” That is why when someone offers us spacious acceptance, (what the psychologist Carl Rogers called “unconditional positive regard”) it can have a profound impact and give us the capacity to embrace more of ourselves.
“For anyone struggling to love what you deem to be the most unloveable parts of yourself… and allow for greater forgiveness and vulnerability, Oren is a great man to work with.” —Rose