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  • Writer's pictureAnnelisa MacBean

Students of the Mystery

Emotionally-sensitive, somatically-grounded inner work is unique to each nervous system. We discover for ourselves the most skillful, direct, and compassionate ways to open and attend to the body, psyche, and heart. No one can tell us what the right way is. The journey is unique and individual and experiential by nature. No religious generalizations, collective spirituality or psychological methodology will ever fully meet the very singular, personal longing within.


That being said, it is difficult to do emotional, shadow-illuminating work on our own. It is often more realistically approached via an empathic, attuned relational field, where our resistance or activation can be co-regulated, in very small doses. It can be healing to feel into our own rhythm of titration and pendulation, moving with the pulsation or vibration of emerging feeling states by resting into the relational field itself. To “lean into” the more soothed, calm nervous system of another when entering into the uncharted territory of the body and psyche can support the body to re-member and re-call the breath, the tide, the safety of simply being.


Embodied experiential discovery is not easy. It is process; it is tender; it is return, remember, rest, repeat. This is not five-steps to empowerment or thinking your way into permanent happiness, abundance, and bliss. This is a process of humility, surrender and it is heart wrenching at times. We will be asked again and again to compassionately meet and include the disowned parts of ourselves that are longing for reunion and acceptance.


The objective is to learn the art of self-regulation. Leaning into the relational field allows us, over time, to be able to shift wisely, skillfully, and compassionately between the secure system of another and our own sense of embodied security and peace.


Wherever you are on your journey, consider asking another to guide, to bear witness as you move into unknown territory. This can honor the reality that reorganization requires immense courage and support. Find a therapist, lover, mentor, or friend; a tree, a bird, a mountain, or dog; the sky, the sun, the stars, or the moon. A God or Goddess, wise inner figure, or being of light.


  • Allow your symptoms or concerns to merge into these resources.

  • Breathe in the stable maturity and safe sense of being these protectors are offering.

  • Lean into the complimentary nervous system that is at rest; breathing deeply.

  • Practice moving in and out of intimacy with your inner material while simultaneously supported.

  • Resting in your resourced state, engage with your inner need, without fusing with it.

Experience and understand the beautiful rhythm, pulse and tide of self and other, of separation and union, of sun and moon. Your body knows the way . . . the movement, the phrasing . . . open into the questions together, you and your resourced support. Process together as beginners, as amateurs, as students of the mystery.



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