Losing Yourself to Life: Surrendering to the Ancient Cycle of Death and Rebirth, Dark and Light

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Losing Yourself to Life: Surrendering to the Ancient Cycle of Death and Rebirth, Dark and Light

Maybe you are searching among the branches for what only appears in the roots. ~ Rumi “Remember, like a tree, you rise into the light only as far as your roots will take you, as far as you are willing to immerse yourself into the medicine of the dark, tear-soaked soil beneath your feet. Therefore seek those who have the capacity to honor your tears, to hold you in them, to deepen your immersion into cold chambers of yesterday, and to help you rise anew, fed from the light of truth found only in darkness.” ~ from Awakening to Darkness, by Vince Gowmon The light of indescribable joy arrives in our hearts when we enter the depths of forgotten darkness. Down, through the many doorways […]

Transforming the School System Begins With Feeling its Heartbreaking Impact on Children, Past and Present

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Transforming the School System Begins With Feeling its Heartbreaking Impact on Children, Past and Present

Note to the reader: If you require a brief history of education to provide context for the first few sections, scroll further down to “A brief history of school”.    “Be confused, it’s where you begin to learn new things. Be broken, it’s where you begin to heal. Be frustrated, it’s where you start to make more authentic decisions. Be sad, because if we are brave enough we can hear our heart’s wisdom through it.” ~ S.C Lourie At the beginning of many of the talks I lead, the organizer of the event takes a moment to acknowledge the traditional and ancestral territory we stand on and the people it belongs to. It’s a brief period of time in which I pay my deepest respect and […]

The Fog We Must Endure When Traveling from Head to Viscera Allegiance

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The Fog We Must Endure When Traveling from Head to Viscera Allegiance

There is a transition when moving from head-allegiance to heart- and gut-allegiance. It can feel as though our mind is getting foggy, forgetful, unclear as the viscera comes more online and the senses alive. Clients in somatic therapy when experiencing trauma resolution will often become disoriented temporarily as the body integrates the healing. As they become more embodied and less governed by the fixated, binding thoughts that accompany unresolved trauma, there is more space in the psyche. This space experienced as temporary spaceyness creates room for their feeling capacity to strengthen and take hold. What we’re moving towards is not an abandonment of rational thinking, but an integration of mind and body such that the heart/gut has greater say and sway in our perception and […]

Awakening to Darkness ~ Feeling Below the Threshold of Pseudo Spirituality and Light Chasing

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Awakening to Darkness ~ Feeling Below the Threshold of Pseudo Spirituality and Light Chasing

It’s not about feeling better, but being better able to feel. Spiritual teachers speak of awakening to the light, but how many speak of awakening to the darkness, to the grim, bleak, utter vile parts of us that shudder at the thought of being seen? It seems so simple to point skyward and say “Transcend!” It seems so clean to rise above it all, to just meditate, do your chants and say your prayers; to drink your green smoothies, say your affirmations, wear your crystals, and live the life of your dreams. It seems so wonderful to be spiritually correct, nice and nice, with a sanguine look on life. But in my experience something far more raw and real is needed from us. Something much […]

Living With An Un-Mended Heart

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Living With An Un-Mended Heart

Chances are, you will never heal all your wounds, nor are you meant to. Perhaps they are to be faithful companions on your journey, worthy friends guiding you, reminding you of compassion and humility, and acting as an acutely sensitive barometer shooting aches and pains through you when you are not aligned in truth, or pushing too hard. Indeed, a necessary amount of trauma may just be necessary for all of us if we are to stay grounded in our humanity, and if we are to serve others in their path of healing and opening to the rawness of living in the unfathomable paradox of light and dark we endlessly wander through together. Slowly I’m coming to terms with this, with my own physical stress […]

The Darkening World Needs Less of Your Fight and More of Your Light

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The Darkening World Needs Less of Your Fight and More of Your Light

“You cannot change the world. You can only allow it to be changed through you.” ~ Lynda Austin As the darkness of this troubling world only gets darker, the old mechanisms you’ve dedicatedly hung your hat on may no longer work or be enough to be the change agents our world needs. While helpful and necessary, it won’t be enough to simply advocate for change, to protest with your impassioned speeches, to spread your important messages on social media. It won’t be enough to continue pushing and fighting in the way you always have in your community, in your vocation. Certainly not without an imperative inner shift. Something more is needed of us now that is far from personal, and beyond our understanding. Only light […]

Beyond the Need to Prove Yourself in Sports and Life ~ A Journey of Healing “Not Enough”

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Beyond the Need to Prove Yourself in Sports and Life ~ A Journey of Healing “Not Enough”

Those doing soul work, who want the searing truth more than solace or applause, know each other right away. Those who want something else turn and take a seat in another room. Soul-makers find each other’s company. ~ Rumi Like many boys, I participated in organized sports. I had my name on many rosters including those of soccer, rugby, hockey, basketball and volleyball. It was soccer, though, that was my first passion. I was a goalie, a good one. I generally excelled in most sports, and my bedroom was graced with a collection of trophies to prove it, but it was in soccer that I shone the brightest. And like many kids, I was competitive. Very competitive! I was hard on myself. A goal let […]

Choosing Heart and Life Amongst the Busyness of Things

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Choosing Heart and Life Amongst the Busyness of Things

“The cities, the roads, the countryside, the people I meet—they all begin to blur. I tell myself I am searching for something. But more and more, it feels like I am wandering, waiting for something to happen to me, something that will change everything, something that my whole life has been leading up to.” ~ Khaled Hosseini—And the Mountains Echoed Her voice spoke with urgency. A pressing need to accomplish a number of tasks and build new ventures prompted this coaching client to hire me. During our initial session, she shared with such a clip that it was hard to truly feel and thus hear her. The buzz of words was like a lightening storm surrounding and protecting something that felt like a quiet, deep agenda […]

Transcending the Illusion of Success ~ Thriving in Heart-felt and Hard-won Truth

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Transcending the Illusion of Success ~ Thriving in Heart-felt and Hard-won Truth

“It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery, rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” ~ Marianne Williamson I can hear my mother’s concerned voice now: “Vincent, how is your business going? Is everything okay?” My mother loves me dearly, and like many moms, she worries about her child, perhaps more than other moms do because of where I came from, and how I have chosen to travel a highly unconventional route. It wasn’t long ago that I was living below the poverty line for four years, desperately holding onto a dream that was slowly slipping from my grasp. I knew I wanted to be a speaker—to travel, leading groups deeper into […]

Sinking into Truth. Resting in the Body ~ 6 Steps to Moving Beyond the Overwhelming Stories of the Mind and into Self-Compassion

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Sinking into Truth. Resting in the Body ~ 6 Steps to Moving Beyond the Overwhelming Stories of the Mind and into Self-Compassion

“You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.” ~ Albert Einstein Sometimes it can feel like you are caught in a firestorm of overwhelming and uncontrollable thought. Concerns, doubts, “What if’s”, “Yes but’s” swirl through your mind pulling you into the fierce grip of anxiety. For the sake of simplicity, let’s call these swirling thoughts stories. If you pay close enough attention to your mind, you will see that it is a relentless and compelling storyteller. And sometimes it is difficult to know what is real and what is not. The bottomless pit of stories When your mind is bombarding you with images and thoughts that create anxiety, it may be tempting to […]