Posts Tagged ‘Acceptance’

Surrender in the Dark

December 6th, 2012


By “Mia”

When I left the Shalom retreat in October I knew I would be challenged as I went back in the world, back into the spaces where I did not feel comfortable. And soon, Sandy hit and forced me to spend lots of time alone, and with others doing things I didn’t expect. If it wasn’t for Shalom, and the work I had done all year, being at home with no electricity for 7 days would have done a number on me.

See, I’m always thinking, lots and lots of thoughts. The thoughts are better now so it’s easier to spend time with them. But in those 7 days of no electricity, just lots of candles, especially at night, all I had was myself. And those, thoughts again. The first few days were a struggle, and the hardest to avoid beating myself up. Somehow I had figured this was purposely inflicted on myself. If I had only moved, if I had never come back, rang true for me. Then I started to get more awake, and felt an inner peace. By the 3rd day I was watching my thoughts. Not stuffing them down or away, but laying with them for hours. There was no TV, or books, internet or idle chatter. And please, there’s only so much reading you can do 24/7. After a while, my eyes didn’t want to see another word!

I laid in bed with my thoughts. And in that space, I felt more control of my life than I did a week before, a month before. I actually picked my thoughts, stayed with the ones that felt good, explored them. I soothed myself from the anxiety of being without light or cell phone and all the clients that needed to talk to me yesterday. I kept my space clean, my body clean and treated myself well. I interacted more with my family and we even played a few games. As several days passed, and going to bed early happened naturally, we got our light back. Then, something else happened.

The little distractions crept back in my life. Email. Phone. Facebook. TV. Deadlines. People. They depleted the energy I had gained in the dark and gave my brain stuff to feed on all day. Simple or less is really more for me. I missed NOT having the electricity because of how it allowed me to be without distraction or problem-making, just be. The challenge for me now is riding the waves of all the distractions of my life, and remembering that surrender is really as easy as turning off the lights.


November 13th, 2012


By Francesca Moscatelli

Dealing with our shadow is a complex but guaranteed journey back to love. Not just love of another, but love for each and every characteristic that lives within you and within me – a love that allows us to embrace the richness of our humanity and the holiness of our divinity. Having faced our own internal demons, we are filled with peace and compassion in the presence of other people’s dark side. We can forgive and let go of our demeaning judgments and our resentful heart….Exploring our dark side is the gateway to understanding why we do what we do, why we sometimes act in ways that are contrary to the desires of our conscious mind, and why we spend countless hours, days, months or years judging other and holding on to grudges that only bring us headache, heartache and dis-ease. – Deepak Chopra

Every year, in the Fall, when the call to sign up for the Intro to Process Training lands in my inbox, I’ve asked myself if “this year, can I pull it off?” In the past, both time and funds have been short, and my priority has been my children. But each year, since my first Shalom Retreat in the Fall of 2004, I’ve recognized my desire to participate in the Process Training for the main purpose of continuing the rapid pace of person growth since that fateful first retreat.

Leading into the first “Intro” session, I was feeling confident and loving towards myself and working toward balance in self-care, work, and relationships. To thrive in my self-love, I exercise consistently, eat and sleep well and make choices that support my value system, growth and well-being. I journal, meditate and have fun with my friends, family and partner. Much in my life is joyous. My mantra is that I am “brave, joyous and accepting.”

I knew that I would be faced with my own demons and shadow while at the training and yet I wasn’t prepared for falling in love with myself all over again. Once again I learned that what upsets me most about someone else can be an opportunity to look at that very trait in myself (also known as “projection”). And I am open to getting to know myself better with each go around and answering the question “who am I?” at the ego, soul/essence and leadership levels. Bring it on!

This is the second post in a series that follows the 6-month Intro to Process Training. Check back next month for Francesca’s next installment of what it means to her to participate in the Intro to Process Training at Shalom Mountain.

The Dual Yearning of the Heart

October 19th, 2012

By Francesca Moscatelli

“When we open our hearts to the wonder of the journey and search through the pain for the truth of our experiences, we begin to glimpse a new light that will guide us deeper into ourselves. There we will meet our whole, undamaged and pristine essential self. In touch with this essential self, we can experience powerful levels of intimacy while engaged in the most ordinary behaviors. This is the promise of undefended intimacy. This is the satisfaction of the longing to love and be loved, directly, immediately and without restriction.” – from the book Undefended Love

Today I am pondering the “dual yearning of the heart”, that longing to be known and to know another on a deep level, with no secrets, no defenses and no need to be anyone but myself. Intrinsically, the deeper we know ourselves; the deeper is our capacity to know another. Here I sit, practicing, practicing and practicing loving with no strings, no attachment to what it might look like, no guarantees or requirements, no need to trust anyone but me. I am succeeding more and more because I know that if I can stay present to all the emotions, even when I feel exposed and excruciatingly vulnerable, I reach that place where I am centered and the feelings of being emotionally disconnected, incomplete or unloved, disappear.

There is no waiting for something to fall into place, for the right circumstance or partner. I am living life one moment at a time, stretching my assumptions and finding the strength within me to face each moment as it comes. Consistently challenged by the events of life, I vow to love with an unguarded heart even when the outcome is uncertain. When I chose love (and it is a choice) and happiness, my interactions are more fulfilling.

I speak my truth, am free to make my own choices and won’t apologize for what I feel, nor for what I want. I continue to be my own best fan and supporter, prior to doing that for someone else. Daily I taking care of me and am true to myself, through whatever feeds my soul. When I am in touch with my deepest sense of well-being, my dedication to stay open comes naturally. My own growth is primordial.

Today, I understand on a completely different level that, in order to achieve the intimacy I desire, I must accept the inevitable distress and dissatisfaction that are part of every relationship, as essential. Without it, I don’t get to look at myself and I don’t get to grow. I am free because I no longer need confirmation, agreement or validation from another to know that I am OK, that I am golden. I am no longer defined by my history.

The connections to others are everywhere, and my friendships are growing ever deeper. The journey continues with the first session of the Introduction to Process training at Shalom Mountain on October 20th. See you on the path!


“Dual Yearning of the Heart” was originally published in the Shalom Seacoast newsletter.  Click here for more information on Shalom Mountain and its local communities.

It Might Surprise You To Know….

September 7th, 2012

By Cerridwen

It might surprise you to know…

It might surprise you to know
all is unfolding much better than you think,

and you are better at loving and feeling the love available to you,

and the gentle touch at your shoulder is the nudge that you need.

Notice the nudge.

Let the breeze take your fretting
and the trees ground the noise and distraction.

Rooted in the strong compost of all that you don’t need,
your energy can rise to meet the opportunities available.

It might surprise you to know
that letting go frees your hands to catch the really good stuff,

And your instincts to generosity can fill the empty places.

The aches and yearnings are the bittersweet  blessings of aliveness.

Feel their guidance.
Move with them.

Your hands, heart and feet want the beauty of the moment.

Go toward beauty.
Let your eyes see.

It might surprise you to see
and allow inside
the smile that belongs in you.

It might surprise you to discover
how much there is to surprise you
and bless you,
taking your hand,


Love in Action

November 22nd, 2011

by “H”.


Earnestly she sought her home whilst the clock ticked
But being small, she didn’t understand time
She, who was unloved, knew only shame and guilt
Until eventually she lost her way.

She tried and cried and panicked inside…
and sadly the little girl starved and then died
She, (who is also me), became swollen and ugly
She filled ALL OF ME with grief, and a rage so deep
I became a rag doll…

The kind of doll you can drag around, stand on, pull
until it made her a sexual doll too
(But I wasn’t really there)!
And me, who is also she, and also the doll
Needed desperately to find home

It was so hard, carrying the dead little girl
and the rage, the shame and the rag doll
I gave up the struggle and escaped for years; YEARS!
She and the Rag Doll lived through me
Misunderstood, misguided, frightened and alone
I couldn’t move forward and could no longer hide
What a war ensued inside!

After years of war, pain and shame, I was dying.
But the tiniest spark inside me reached out
AND dragged all of me up Shalom Mountain, kicking and screaming
(In fact, we barely got there)
What was I going to find? Please God let me sleep!
Love had other plans for me:
Love knocked on my door and awoke me
Love demanded I didn’t sell myself short
Love cradled the child and she came alive and cried
Love allowed an outlet for her rage; and she was heard
Love gave the rag doll dignity (thank you, Thank you)!
Love washed her clean and nourished my starved spirit
Love dared me to look into eyes; and I did!
Love shone back at me with acceptance (not rejection)
Love gave me power
Love called me Beautiful!
Love held me high and supported me
Love brought all of me…HOME.