Over the years, I have met many spiritual people who want so much to be whole and free in their souls, and hope that there is a simple and painless pathway to get there – that there can be a transcendent practice or process that simplifies the many pains that we experience, and can ideally keep us in a kind of constant emotional/spiritual orgasmic flow of energy and light.
In my experience however, attempting to bypass emotional pain and dysfunction through spiritual practices only delays what needs healing inside of us, at best, and at worst can actually become a force of denial and suppression that creates more dysfunction. For me, spirituality is a space of intention in which our heart succeeds in holding intact what is truly sacred in life, while seeking to bring wholeness to those places in our lives where love has broken down or failed. To do this, the heart commitment inside of healthy spirituality must embrace and engage with what is wounded inside of us rather than attempt to avoid, transcend or escape it; healthy spirituality loves the whole person and doesn’t see emotions as a lower or lesser aspect of our selves.
My experience is that the path of creating a healthy spiritual life is one of being here in the present moment, in a conscious relationship with the way things are for all of us – the challenges of emotional healing that we confront because of inherited generational dysfunction also give us the opportunity to engage in a daily practice of open-hearted acceptance of ourselves and others. Emotional healing is a life-long process and path unto itself, and when we focus our healing through our hearts into a spiritual commitment to create lasting change rooted in love, we are grounded in the real world of our relationships, families and communities as well as the greater spiritual dimensions.
The First Noble Truth of Buddhism is that all life is suffering – in Doing Your Work, I shift that truth into the emotional realm where we need to do our healing work: the root of all human dysfunction is rooted in grief, many different kinds of grief that we must respond to if our spiritual and heart-centered growth is to really be grounded in our ability to create lasting healing.
I am a deeply spiritual person, and have had contact with sacred and wise dimensions of spiritual energy since I was a child. And all of that contact kept guiding me back to the need to create healing and closure in the dimensions of grief I was initiated into growing up. From high school on, I dedicated my life to finding what it takes to create real, lasting emotional healing and closure with that grief. Left unidentified within us, unhealed grief blocks us from fully experiencing the expansive and even orgasmic spiritual dimensions of our souls, and deeply inhibits where we can be fully alive and creative.
I have had the orgasmic, peak experience of contact and presence with the expanded realms more than once: in places like magical childhood bliss, in a three-day adult spiritual vision, in sacred mountain areas, in sexual freedom, in successful relationships, and in deep rapport with loving spirits of tremendous compassion and empathy. And I have also seen what has shut down that contact and presence in my life, the forces of inherited dysfunction and spiritual sickness that were present in my family and that also came back later on and challenged me to confront them, not transcend them. I was born into them, and I had to learn what it takes to bring healing to those forces. And the grief that I acquired from being shut down eventually became my beautiful and profound inner guide through my whole healing process.
It was through doing my own personal grief work and learning the art of loving, healing confrontations with family dysfunction, deeply focused through my training in Integrative Breathwork, that I created the Doing Your Work program I am sharing with you. I am a very practical spiritualist – I deeply believe that our spiritual work, rooted in the emotional healing that allows us to open our hearts to ourselves and each other, needs to grow real results of compassion, empathy and love between us as well as ending dysfunctional family cycles so that we can clear the heart space we share with each other to resonate at higher and deeper levels of what is sacred.
But the emotional healing skills and tools that we need to know in order to reach these spiritual goals are still not well understood or represented in our culture. We need to explore a clear and well organized set of goals that integrates doing our own personal emotional work in service to the spiritual expansion of love and peaceful change in the world around us.
These are the four spiritual goals that the Doing Your Work program is committed to addressing in our personal lives, our relationships, our families and our culture:
1. Doing our work to become self-reliant, self-nurturing adults who can break through cycles of dependency and c0-dependency. In doing so, we can become as emotionally healthy in our relationships with our parents as possible, so that their death and crossing over is as free from such spiritual wounds as shame, judgement, failure or trauma for them as possible. This can be done for parents who have already died as well.
2. Breaking the cycles of inherited generational dysfunction that keep perpetrating ignorance, abuse, addiction, abandonment, betrayal and trauma, all of which are carried within us as a form of grief that we must process and bring closure to. Our relationships and friendships are the places where we can focus our commitment through learning how to communicate our emotions in a healthy way and creating successful boundaries and intimacy.
3. Ending the emotional and physical violence that permeates our lives in many forms. Grief that has been repressed, suppressed, judged or denied will often express itself in a variety of violent energies, and only by honoring grief can we heal the violence. Even self-judgement, self-denial and self-hatred are forms of emotional violence that can have life-long, devastating results.
4. Recognizing the existence of the heart trauma and heart/emotional shock that usually forms within us when love breaks down or fails completely in our families and relationships. It is the nature of shock that we don’t realise that we are in it, and our powers of rationalization, compartmentalization, suppression and denial keep the reality of being in shock from our conscious awareness. Some of the deepest spiritual work we need to do is in journeying into the heart shock we carry, and healing it.
Imagine your life, the life of others, and of humanity if we could really address and bring healing to these spiritual issues.
I have lived these spiritual commitments in my own life and have seen real results, and have seen the same results in my clients’ lives as they create their own new stages of spiritual balance and self-realization through opening their hearts through emotional healing. I created Doing Your Work so that we can look at the necessity of addressing these spiritual challenges, and begin to harness the tremendous spiritual power that comes from resolving grief and growing skillful, masterful love in its place.
The attainment of these goals is a lifelong path that each of us can achieve through doing our work. In doing so, we can bring that much more spiritual balance and integrated spiritual/emotional health into our lives and into the world around us.