Transforming Loneliness is a 10-week program that facilitates the evolution of participants' experience of loneliness through providing expansive, multi-dimensional perspectives, practices, and resources in a supportive small-group context.
Loneliness isn't about being alone. It's about not feeling connected - in an authentic and
meaningful way - to the source of our aliveness. The evolutionary impulse of loneliness is to call our attention to disconnection and to motivate us to reconnect.
The pervasive suffering of loneliness hides behind closed-doors and beneath the shiny surface of many smiling faces, success stories, and social-media profiles.
Loneliness is what it feels like to be separated, isolated, and disconnected. This could be disconnection from a person, a place, a way of living, or the creative vitality of the life force itself.
When we listen to our loneliness, it can guide us out of our human-centricity and
into generative relationships of belonging, interdependence, and reciprocity - not just with other humans, but with non-human others, including our planet, our soul, and the invisible, sacred, interconnected web of life.
When we try to solve our "loneliness problem" by focusing only on other people - as in trying to meet a new friend or lover - we sometimes discover that either we are unable to make the effort, or the efforts we do make don't fulfill our longing. Most likely, we are caught in invisible patterns of perception and behavior that block the very contact we seek.
It is also possible that our loneliness reveals a missing inner relationship - with the invisible sacred dimension of our own presence. When we are lonely, we are longing for the soulful nourishment and inspiration that come from our love affair with our inner beloved.
The Transforming Loneliness program supports participants to respond to their inner relationship needs and to discover and disrupt the unconscious habits, routines, and preferences that result in unwanted social isolation and loneliness. Through increased awareness and intimacy with NOW, participants find that their internal and external loneliness takes them into more authentic and meaningful connection with all of life.
What We Will Explore
Through small group discussion, reading, writing, experimentation, and guided imagination, we will practice:
Attending to the exiled and vulnerable parts of ourselves who carry memories and early experiences of exclusion, rejection, isolation, not fitting-in, abandonment, neglect, and being left alone with unbearable feelings.
Grieving the loss of someone or something precious to us. Lamenting what never happened, but should have,
or what happened, but shouldn't have.
Releasing the un-shed tears that clog and close our hearts.
Noticing when we choose solitude and then criticize ourselves for that choice.
Cultivating greater awareness and acceptance of why we do what we do.
Letting go of shame, self-blame, and believing our loneliness indicates there is something wrong with us.
Cherishing, nurturing, and protecting our introversion or shyness, our silence, our softness or sensitivity from the derision of cultural conditioning that devalues these precious qualities.
Seeing clearly how we cling to our good reasons for closing our hearts, and then suffer loneliness as a result. Developing the inner resources to that enable us to open our hearts and to give and receive love.
Entering inside the doorway of loneliness.
Being taken into our heart's deepest longing
Transforming Loneliness offers education and resources of a psycho-spiritual nature.
Transforming Loneliness is meant to be an in-depth inquiry into what loneliness is, where it comes from, and how it evolves and transforms.
Transforming Loneliness is not about learning social skills. We don't not offer easy answers or quick-fixes. We advocate for slowing down, entering into, and becoming intimately acquainted with your life exactly as it is.
Transforming Loneliness is not therapy. Because it touches on sensitive and sometimes painful emotional experience, you may find it necessary or desireable to seek extra support. At all times, you will be encouraged to take care of yourself, listen to your body, and go at your own pace. You will be offered ways to grow your inner resilience so that you are able to risk venturing out into life, sharing yourself, and opening up to others.
Transforming Loneliness is designed to be the beginning of an ongoing exploration. We will take up different themes each week and you will be invited to take these themes into your life between sessions. Your own readiness to start where you are and to engage creatively and courageously with the perspectives and practices offered, will determine your experience.