Each of us is longing to experience lives of deep meaning,
connection, purpose, and aliveness. Many of us seldom feel these things, and I would like to point out two reasons for this. One is the traumatic experiences we endured in the past as well as our experience of the ongoing stress of surviving in a material- and capitalistic- fixated culture. Another is the disconnection from the body and the spiritual domains of our human nature (the transpersonal, trans-egoic, trans-rational dimensions of self). Another way of saying this second part is to say that our suffering is partly explained by our disconnection from Soul and Spirit.
Addressing trauma is vitally important if we are going to recover our experience of aliveness and connection, but I want to address the second point first, as I think it may be more core. As North Americans, most of us have largely lost our traditional roots, such as rites and rituals and belief systems, that help us make sense of our lives.
For the generations that preceded our own, religion offered a worldview that provided them a sense of meaning and purpose, and a way to help them make sense of the suffering that they endured and saw around them. For these generations, there was a cultural mythos that included powers beyond human reason and beyond what can be measured and held in our hands. This mythos provided guiding stories and ideas that helped the individual anchor themselves in a sense of something greater and supported them to open up to real and direct experience of something greater. This is more than “dogma”. I am not in favor of dogma – I am radically against it.
There is no doubt about this:
that there are good reasons many of us have done away with religion. Many people have been harmed in the name of it. I am not claiming that we need to return to the religion of our parents or grandparents (helpful as that may be).
The problem we face, though, is that there is a vacuum that has been left. What has filled that space is a society of distraction, avoidance, and attempts to dominate our minds, our bodies, our relationships, and the Earth, and a society in a crisis of meaning and purpose. Our perceived purpose now is to consume, consume, consume. We have come out of harmony with the ways of nature and the deeper dimensions of our selves. The current cultural mythos says that we are a biological fluke, that when we die nothing happens, and there is not essential meaning to anything or any of our human experiences. Without deeper spiritual values, we are lost. These values can be found in our deeper selves, in our hearts, in our Soul. I mean something real and practical. Each of us already knows something of what I am communicating here.
Counselling or psychotherapy that does not address this
is inherently nutrient deficient, and runs the risk of enabling the very problems that lead to the suffering we seek counselling and psychotherapy to address. If we are going to feel well, and whole, and alive, we need to find ways to reconnect to awe, wonder, meaning, and purpose. What we require now are containers where each ego, Soul, and Spirit are acknowledged and in which we have an opportunity to make connection with them. This is where the nutrients are. Your counselling, psychotherapy, and mentorship experience can include this kind of depth while addressing the practical challenges that you are facing day to day, such as the impacts of past trauma.
A vision that inspires me is a world in which more people are connected to what I call the sacred dimensions of being – I like to think of this as our spiritual roots. My work is to support others to reconnect to their roots so that these roots can plant themselves back into the fertile soil of the Ground of Being.
Being uprooted, having forgotten our depths is itself a kind of trauma
which I see most of us are carrying and suffering the impacts of. Trauma, though, can be more broadly defined as the disconnection from self that occurs as a way to manage an overwhelming experience. This disconnection can be passed on intergenerationally; and, it can be the result of an experience in one’s own life that was overwhelming.
During overwhelm, it is too difficult to stay present to the experience in the moment, and so a fragmentation occurs – a disconnection from the here and now, and from part of our self, that can endure overtime. This disconnection can become a “new normal”. Normal isn’t always healthy , whole, and alive though. So, I invite you to consider: Do you feel ALIVE? My work aims to support you to reclaim your aliveness so that you can experience this short precious life to its fullest.