Inner integrity is our basic nature—the effortless emotional wholeness that is our human birthright. When we tune into our direct experience as it actually is in this moment—not what our heads think about it, but what we actually experience—we find ourselves acting in alignment with life, rather than wrestling with it.
Sounds simple? It is—and yet it’s not. Most of us have years of practice in dissociating from our inner experience, or in struggling to control it. Somewhere along the way we started believing that life is too painful to fully accept and experience just as it is. Somehow we became convinced that we are too much, or too little. We started shutting down, judging ourselves (or others), criticising ourselves (or others), filtering our raw experience through a subconscious tape loop of old voices.
The therapeutic work I do aims at clearing away this confusion so that we can reconnect with our actual experience. As a presence-centered psychotherapist, I blend the insights of depth psychology with the tools of meditation practice to focus on the truth of the present moment.
Talk therapy excels at articulating your head’s version of your painful life. This work is the next step: bringing your awareness down into your body with conscious compassion, so that you can know the full range of your emotions—your shadow, your pain, your longings.
To be able to stay with your own experience and allow it to be just as it is—this is the practice of awareness and compassion combined. Healing comes about through relating to your problems and yourself with the spacious awareness that is your basic nature. Releasing the illusions of control as expressed through the addiction to answers and agendas, you learn to embrace the flow of life as it arises in each moment.
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“Let yourself be in the emotion, go through it, give into it, experience it. You begin to go toward the emotion, rather than just experiencing the emotion coming toward you. A relationship, a dance begins to develop. Then the most powerful energies become absolutely workable rather than taking you over, because there is nothing to take you over if you are not putting up any resistance . . . the music and the dance take place at the same time. This is the lion’s roar.”
We come to learn that while we can’t control what life brings us, we can deal with whatever comes up. When we are solidly grounded in our body and able to experience the free flow of our own emotions, we gain a powerful sense of our own being–our strength as well as our vulnerability. Working from this calm center of inner awareness, we find ourselves increasingly able to accept life’s challenges. Difficult experiences transform us as much as we transform them, as we learn to navigate our way through life with grace and an increasing sense of wholeness.
Opening more and more fully to our own experience, we gain a sense of peaceful grounding within ourselves, and the confidence to allow whatever arises to manifest. The end result is inner integrity—our complete and undivided self, the whole self, shadow and light.