Misogyny: As American As Apple Pie, But Now…

Thanks to the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing, the MeToo movement is morphing into a tsunami, as it must in order to have its needed impact. More than silences must be broken; the edifices of male denial, entitlement, and aggression must be leveled. This asks not for reasonableness or calmness, nor for violence, but for a fully alive anger from the heart as …

Meeting Your Edge

If you’re not afraid, it’s not your edge. If you’re not resistant, it’s not your edge. If you can coast through it, it’s not your edge. If you’re not feeling raw, it’s not your edge. If you’re trying to fit yourself into a cognitive framework, it’s not your edge. If you think you’ve got it figured out, it’s not your …

Signs That Your Shadow is Present

Once we realize that we, like everyone else, have a shadow, and don’t take this as some sort of shortcoming, we are in a position to do more with our shadow than just thinking about it. So where to start? Begin by identifying the signs indicating that your shadow is showing up. This means bringing a penetrating eye to your …

Poetry and Me

Poetry took hold of me when I was 8, stirring me with its magical blending of meaning and rhythm. I didn’t even know it was poetry, didn’t name it thus, didn’t get self-conscious about it despite my unrelenting shyness. It was but wordplay, the verbal face of my love of art and bare creativity. By Grade 3, I was busily …

Antidotes to Aggression

Aggression is what happens when anger loses its heart and goes on the attack with a dehumanizing hardness. Aggression militates against intimacy, keeping relationships in the shallows, marooned from any significant healing and deepening. To get to the heart of aggression, to undo its armoring without stranding ourselves from our anger and capacity to take care of ourselves, is a great …

Here Dwell Dragons

HERE DWELL DRAGONS TRAVELING, AND A DEEPER TRAVELING Komodo Island, December 1973 I awaken just after dawn in a bony corner of the hut of the kepala desa (village head), surrounded by a chattering clump of staring children. Groggily, I remember my arrival here late last night by outrigger canoe from Labuan Badjo, a tiny port on the Indonesian island …

A Different Kind of Intimacy

Along a colorfully crowded sidewalk I walk, slowly. I feel both right here and all over the place. There’s a very subtle pleasure suffusing each step, starting in the center of my soles, spreading through my feet and up through my torso. I have a growing sense that there’s nowhere in particular to go, no one in particular to be, …

The Edge of the Edge: My Heart Attack

It’s my first time in an ambulance. I’m in extreme physical and existential agony. My upper left chest, my left-side ribs and arm are massively aching with a deadly intensity. The paramedics are very quickly working on me, to determine if I’m having a heart attack. I am, they say. I am groaning, crying, enduring, too squeezed and crushed to …

Safety In Intimate Relationship

To go truly deep in an intimate relationship, we need to feel safe with our partner. We need to know — and know with our whole being — that we can trust them, and not just when we are physically with them. This trust is based not on thinking that we should trust them, but rather on consistently sensing in …

To Emerge from Our Pain We Have to Enter It

Whoever we are, wherever we are, we inevitably experience pain. And just as inevitably, we tend to store as much as possible of our pain in our shadow, finding strategies to numb, bypass, or otherwise get away from our pain. The more we try to flee the felt presence of pain—whether through denial, dissociation, or distraction—the more deeply it takes …