Motherwort: a plant for the Lion Hearted

Motherwort is a common plant seen in backyards and along sidewalks here in West Michigan. I first came into contact with her in my backyard about four years ago. The latin name for Motherwort is Leonurus cardiaca - Lion Hearted. Now this is what got me, even though I didn't know it at the time. As I look back over the past few years, I can see the thread that has been illuminated by this plant. 

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Navigating Your Emotional Awakening

Over the past few years, I have found myself in the process of learning to feel and observe my emotions. Something that was so natural when I was young, had become obscured as I got older and learned push uncomfortable emotions away. Years of stuffing emotions into the nooks and crannies of my being created a lot of discomfort that eventually called for my attention. I could no longer ignore that all emotions are a normal part of the human experience. And so began my process of awakening to these emotions that had been stored, some of them for years and years.

A common question that comes up with clients when we get to working with emotions in general and particularly with difficult emotions is this:

"Why is it important to feel my emotions?

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The Healing Process: simplicity

As I learn more about this process of healing, there are a few themes that I am beginning to see repeated back to me.  I talked a bit about cycles last week and it has been my experience that the healing process (or journey) really follows this same pattern of cycles.  One theme that I revisit over and over again is simplicity.  

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A Meditation on Fear

Just sit.

Notice where you feel hard and sit with that.

In the middle of the hardness, you’ll find anger, sit with that.

Go to the center of the anger and you’ll probably come to sadness.

Stay with the sadness until it turns to vulnerability.

Keep sitting with what comes up; the deeper you dig, the more tender you become.

Raw fear can open into a wide expanse of genuineness, compassion, gratitude and acceptance of the present moment.

A tender heart appears naturally when you are able to stay present.

From your heart, you are able to see the true pigment of the sky.

You can see the vibrant yellow of the sunflower and the deep blue of your daughter’s eyes.

A tender heart does not block out rain clouds, or tears, or dying sunflowers.

Allow both beauty and sadness to touch you.

This is LOVE, not fear.

Craniosacral Therapy Part II: The Process**-From Chaos to Wonderment

I had the opportunity to attend an intensive craniosacral therapy program last week in Truth or Consequences, NM.  This intensive is one of many week-long programs hosted by Integrative Intentions, a unique organization that offers therapy programs that combines craniosacral therapy with group dynamics, water therapy, and equine therapy.

One morning, in our daily group meeting, the concept of transitioning from chaos to wonderment came up.  This concept became a theme for the group over the course of the next few days.  As these things often happen, I began to come across this concept in books and conversations.

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Pain and Power: an unexpected relationship

Where there is pain, there is also power.

Sometimes it takes extreme pain for us to begin to pay attention to our bodies and their messages.  However, when the decision is made to engage with pain and the process that unfolds, power emerges.  And it is there, that place where the most pain lies, that the most power also resides.

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A Few Thoughts on Forgiveness (and... go take a VACATION!!)

“To begin to forgive, it is good to forego for a while.  That is, to take a break from thinking about the person or event for a while.  It is not leaving something undone, but rather more like taking a vacation from it.  This prevents us from being exhausted, allows us to strengthen in other ways, to have other happiness in our lives.”

~Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women who Run with the Wolves

I have found that forgiveness, whether of self or another, is often an integral part of a healing journey.  Forgiveness does not happen once and it is done – often we revisit forgiveness in many ways and from many angles over the course of life.  The interesting thing that I have learned recently about forgiveness is that it is not often for the other person (you know, the one who did you wrong).  More often, the act of forgiveness happens for YOU, the forgiver.  Forgiveness is about opening the heart and while living with an open heart can be scary, it also allows us to be courageous and compassionate.

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