December 10th 2011 Newsletter

The other day, I finally understood why the party for my book, Emotional Medicine Rx happens to be occurring in December, the darkest month of the year.  (Reminder it’s tomorrow, Sunday December 11th, 3—5PM at eda-mami Restaurant in Del Mar.) As a sun loving Southern Californian with a birthday in August, I’d been secretly wishing my book had been published in the warm light of the summer sun.

It took a profound session with a client last week to understand why this timing is perfect. My client, whom I’ll call Victor, a man at the peak of professional and personal success, was recently diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. As we wound our way down through layers of grief, anger and unbelievable fear, I could see Victor becoming more radiant before my eyes.  It seemed his skin was translucent he was shining so.  He kept repeating how kind people were being to him…loved ones, acquaintances, even strangers.

Each time Victor talked of kindness, his eyes filled with tears and he’d ask, “Why does this kindness touch me so much?”  Finally he said, “Is this kindness actually God working through people?”  As soon as he said that he started sobbing, shaking as waves of gratitude coursed through his body.  He said softly, “I’ve always wanted to feel close to God.” I gently asked him whether he was feeling close to God right now and he replied,” Yes, yes I am.” I was so inspired to be a part of this moment. I was overjoyed that Victor had found spiritual solace for his challenging journey.

After that experience, I was filled with appreciation for our human design that enables us to emotionally face our darkest hours – death, dying, unspeakable losses and come back to feel light and warmth again.  Whenever we have the courage to surrender (safely, responsibly, briefly) to anger, grief or fear, we take a step of faith. Faith that once again pain will cease, that once again we’ll feel the soft ease of calm spread through our beings.  Whether we end up feeling close to God or just resting in a cradle of inner peace, the fact that brief, embodied emotion has the power to transport us through any pain to the lightness of being is gift.

I realized that this month of winter Solstice, when so many spiritual traditions (Hanukah, Christmas, the candles of Kwanza, the Persian Shabe Yalda festival honoring the birth of Mithra, the sun god… just to name a few) proclaim faith and fealty to light during days of darkness, is a natural time to celebrate Emotional Medicine Rx.

I’m ready now! I hope you can join us in spirit if not in flesh on Sunday, December 11, 3—5 PM, eda-mami Restaurant, 2282  Carmel Valley Road, Del Mar, CA 92014 to celebrate not only my book, but the light that awaits when we allow our emotions to help us find our way through any darkness.

Here are excerpts from a favorite essay written by Fra Giovanni in 1513 BCE.

Life is so generous a giver,
but we judging its gifts by their covering
cast them away as ugly, or heavy or hard.  
Remove the covering and you will find beneath it
a living splendour, woven of love,by wisdom, with power.  
Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel’s hand
that brings it to you.  
Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty,
believe me, that angel’s hand is there;
the gift is there, and the wonder
of an overshadowing Presence.
And so at this time, I greet you.
Not quite as the world sends greetings,
but with profound esteem and with the prayer
that for you, now and forever,
the day breaks and the shadows flee away.

I send you all good wishes for happiness, vitality and peace during this holiday season. I also invite you to consider that every kindness you give or receive might just be divine.

Penelope

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