“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”
- Albert Camus
Therapeutic Work or Spiritual Work?
I have been asked many times if, at its core, my work is psychological or spiritual? The short answer is - it is both. Spirituality and psychology are complimentary. They are two sides of the same mountain. If done skillfully and fervently, regardless of which side of the mountain you start on, you will undeniably find yourself crossing over to the other side. Deep spiritual work will find its way at some point or other into the realm of psychology and similarly profound and thorough psychological work will undoubtedly turn into spiritual work. So don't worry about what kind of work you're doing, I care very little for labels. What matters in the end are results.
The Wholeness Within
Whatever the focus of the session is from the client's perspective, for me it is always a movement back to Wholeness. From my own deep exploration and from working with clients over the last 10+ years, it is my experience and absolute conviction that deep down we are whole, happy and at peace. Deep within, in a quiet forgotten region of ourselves we have all the knowledge and wisdom we need and seek, as well as the answers to all our problems.
Since we were little children all our focus has been diverted to the outside world and away from our own Essence and our own inner wisdom, we are navigating without a compass. It is no wonder we are lost, confused and exhausted, but it doesn't have to be this way. The answer and the key to a fulfilling life have always been right here just under our nose while we were busy looking elsewhere.
"So we must be like a tree that simultaneously spaciously extends outward towards the sun and the heavens, reaching higher, while also digging down, growing down into the depth of the earth. We don’t have to pick one direction or the other, we can simply extend in both directions, ascending towards the spaciousness and descending into the muck of our lives, that is the fastest surest way to healing and wholeness."
-Ilsa Comte Adair"
From Therapy to Spirituality - From Healing to Awakening
At first, therapy is therapy, it is about fixing ourselves and fixing our lives, but then at some point the goal shifts from fixing to Awakening. Suddenly we find that we are no longer in Kansas and are in fact going down the rabbit hole. The goal of all our work becomes profound explorations and inquiries into our Essential Wholeness. I find that this journey to Freedom contains three stages or paths.
1. The Awakening of the Mind
The first level of this Awakening work is an inquiry into our mind and its processes. Our investigation is steeped in reason, deep understanding of the nature of things and dismantling belief structures, faulty assumptions, outworn thought patterns as well as judgments and morality. As we allow the false, fabricated and obsolete to unravel, we rediscover and claim our inner-wisdom and the Wholeness of our essential nature.
This realization is achieved through deep inquiry and by questioning the validity and usefulness of everything we believe to be true about ourselves and the world. It is a transcendental path, in which we transcend our false understanding and limited views and come to know the Aware and Alive nature of existence. It is an absolutely necessary step on our journey to wholeness. It allows us to put things in perspective and find spaciousness and peace in everything. By tasting and knowing our Essence, we find the empowerment and the courage to dive deeper into ourselves. This wise inner stillness is the fertile ground upon which love is able to bud and our life flourish.
2. The Awakening of the Heart
The next level of our exploration is an awakening of the heart. When we learn to connect and open our heart, we find that love, compassion, empathy, patience, acceptance, beauty, tenderness and sweetness start to naturally permeate our life. This awakening brings joy and juice to our life; I call it Awakening because the heart is awakened from its dormant state. When our heart is opened we are able to receive and explore, with loving care, our wounds, traumas and perceived flaws, our very humanness, rather than going to war with them. Awakening the heart is a movement away from violence and resistance towards resolution and inclusion. Only when we stop doing violence to ourselves can we stop doing violence to others and to the world out there.
An open heart allows us to see the wholeness in everything and everyone, and gives us the compassion and receptivity necessary to dive even deeper into ourselves to the root of our ego, of our rage, fear, shame and sadness and start unraveling, healing and integrating all the unresolved wounds and fragmented parts of our psyche. Only then can we be truly free and Whole.
3. The Liberation of the Body
This leads us to the third level of transformation. This part of the process is much more somatic, it happens in our body. The body and more specifically the gut is the holder of the root of the ego. It is the recipient of our deepest fears and shame. It is the holder of our traumas and of all of our grief. The body also holds some of the core wounds of our family and to a certain degree the wounds of humanity. It is where we hold our humanness and everything that has to do with survival, safety, worth and belonging.
The unconscious aspects of ourselves lie deep within the core of our body. All the shadow aspects of our nature, all those things we have repressed, shunned and blocked are waiting to be freed. This level is referred to, in mystical and Jungian work, as meeting our shadow or the dark night of the soul. It often includes meeting, holding and integrating our rage, fear, anguish, sadness, and any issues around safety, death, control, sexuality and worthiness. I call this last aspect Embodied Liberation because it takes place deep in the body and it disentangle all the knots that keep us in illusion, bound to the false and stuck in our suffering. Once we have met and faced the dragons of our unconscious, then we are truly free, truly integrated and Whole.
Restored to Wholeness
From my experience, all levels work together, as the mind is freed of its limiting beliefs, the heart is able to crack open. As the heart opens, so does the rest of our body. And as the heart and body opens, more beliefs are revealed that need to be worked with, unraveled and transcended. This interconnected web of movements leads us to continually become more Awake, more Open and more Whole. Life enfolds with great intelligence and normally will not give us more than we are able to fully embrace and heal in each moment.
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IlsaComteAdair@gmail.com Ph: 303-324-8204