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‘You either get bitter or you get better. It’s that simple. You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you.’
– Josh Shipp
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‘Excessive analysis perpetuates emotional paralysis. You cannot heal and resolve your emotional material with your mind. Your emotional material does not evaporate because you watch it. You can only heal your heart with your heart. The mind is the great divider- the heart is the great connector. When it opens, healing happens…’ -Jeff Brown


“It’s easy to understand why you might seek a heart-to-heart dialogue with a parent who disappointed you. You long to make sense of, to heal from, to resolve. You intuitively know that they have information that can put what you experienced in context. 
At the same time, you have to be careful not to expect something that they cannot provide. For many of those who came before, it is absolutely essential that they stay away from the hotbed of emotional material that you seek to excavate. It’s too loaded, too guilt-ridden, too overwhelming, and they intuitively know they will not survive the process. They know that the dialogue will force them to awaken a whole web of unresolved emotional issues they are not able to confront. There is little worse than ending up between two worlds- one unconscious and repressed, the other conscious and awakened. Sometimes its necessary to remain asleep, because awakening is just too darn difficult. 

The important thing- when you seek dialogue with those who have hurt you- is that you understand in advance that any refusal to participate is not a reflection of your inherent value. It’s a reflection of their inherent limitations. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you. It doesn’t mean that they don’t privately wish that they could have done better. It often just means that they have chosen, or must choose, to never look back…
-Jeff Brown 

The Hungry Child

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‘One of the great challenges for those who have survived abusive and neglectful parents is that there is often a part of us that is still waiting for them to love us, even if there is very little chance of that happening. Locked in an archaic mindset, we continue to go back for more, looking for love in all the wrong places. Somehow we imagine that they will come around one day, realize their mistakes, see our worth, soften those armored edges. And some do, often when they are very old, made vulnerable by sickness and time. But many don’t, and we need to stop putting our emotional lives on hold waiting for something that may never happen. The bridge from stagnation to empowerment lies in our willingness to see them for who they really are, to take them off their primal pedestal and recognize their human limitations. This is not easy- the hungry child self clings to illusions- but it is oh so necessary. Until we accept the reality of who can’t love us, we cannot embrace the love of those who can.’-Jeff Brown

YOU ARE WILD NOW By Jeff Foster

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‘Sometimes you are walking alone, and it is late, and you are lost once again in the dream of past and future, of yesterdays lost and tomorrows unlived, of choices to be made or not made, of words to be spoken or left unspoken. Yesterday’s enlightenment feels a million miles away, and the spiritual clarity you thought you had has faded into the evening. Now, there is only the sound of footsteps on a cold pavement, the rustling of trees before sleep, the naked glow of orange streetlamps, and a deep melancholy burning inside. You are out of time, out of body, finding your home in neither form nor the formless. Perhaps you are the only one of your species on the planet. Perhaps you do not even exist at all. Perhaps this is the price you pay for awakening, for your commitment to opening your heart to everything, this never ceasing questioning of everything solid, this abandonment of every single reference point.

And suddenly you remember: this too is life! For whatever reason, you turn towards your present experience, you hold it again the way a mother holds her new-born baby. You focus on what you have, not what you have lost; what you see, not what you may never see again. Your solitude is sacred, you remember, your doubts are nothing less than holy, the evening breeze on your cheeks is a caress, a kiss, not a block to some imagined future. It is okay to feel the way you feel. It is okay to feel a little broken by life. It is okay to touch the depths in yourself. It is okay to forget, and to remember, to remember and to forget. All movements are held in the vastness, as the ground holds the trees, as the sky holds the planet, as the house holds the family, as the story of your life is held in pristine awareness on this night of all nights. Even your disconnection is so damn connected. There is something humbling about never being able to come to a conclusion, something touching in your raw vulnerability to the evening, the way you are moved by everything now, your sensitivity to even the subtlest movement of consciousness, your heart that cannot be closed.

You vow to never lose your love for these evenings. They have brought you so much.

Presence is not a destination, friend, it is the ground.

You are wild now, and unbound.’

– Jeff Foster

To the Beautiful People, you know who you are.

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“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” –

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Be Still and the Answer Will Appear

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“Every feeling has a message. Maybe that message is simply to allow yourself to feel the emotion until it dissipates. Maybe the feeling is guiding you toward some action… If something persists—anger, fear, or anxiety—simply ask it what it wants to tell you. Sit quietly and allow the answer to appear. When you feel peaceful, you have your answer, whether or not you like what that answer says.”

~ Amber Adrian

A Different Take on Forgiveness

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“Forgiveness is not a concept. It’s a process. And, if you choose not to forgive at the end of that process, you are not a bad human. No-forgive and forget, works too. It’s okay to not forgive in certain situations. It doesn’t mean you are not spiritual. It doesn’t mean that you are unresolved. It doesn’t mean you will come back in the next lifetime to live it out again. The assumption that forgiving the abuser is the benchmark of a completed emotional and karmic process is the mistake. It’s another way the New Cage movement insensitively vilifies the victim. The real benchmark of resolution is whether we have gone through our emotional process authentically and have arrived at a place where the negative charge around the experience has dissipated. Perhaps we learned some lesson, or perhaps we just feel liberated from the memories—the important thing is that we feel at peace again. Focusing on our responsibility to forgive a wrongdoer sidetracks the whole process. If it’s there, it’s there. If it’s not, it’s not. Just because you don’t choose to forgive doesn’t mean you haven’t let go yet. Maybe you realize forgiveness is not essential to your healing, and not your responsibility. Some of us actually heal and choose not to forgive. Imagine that.” –Excerpt taken from ‘Spiritual Graffiti’ (image from Naldz Graphics)