After each therapy session, he would take his patient into his kitchen, and give him or her some soup that he had made himself, from secret recipes that he had perfected over many years. He firmly believed that his psychotherapy was more effective because his clients took in physical nourishment that had been prepared with love and awareness. In the kitchen of Relationship the ingredients that we make our soup with are how we speak with each other, how we touch, and how we do the myriad little things for, or against, each other.
We partake of this soup every day when we live with another person. And the emotions and thought-forms we experience with one another become metabolized as a part of our physicality just as much as do the nutrients in the food we eat. The emotional tonality of our relationships either elevates us, keeps us stuck in the same-old-same-old, or brings us down. Thus our view of life and ourselves is directly affected by the hope or despair that we emotionally eat on a daily basis. I imagine that the owner of the blue van had simply had it with her male companions. Indeed, male-female relationships can be challenging, if for no other reason than sheer biology.
Our brains work differently and our hormones are different—all of which means that we see and experience the world in radically different ways. The late ethno-biologist, Terrence McKenna, once said that testosterone the hormones dominant in males really only has three questions. When a guy meets someone new, his deeper biology asks: Can I fuck it? Admittedly this is an over simplification because not all males fit into this niche, but it does have some bearing on male behavior.
In addition, many males seem to have a deep-set desire to inseminate as many females as possible. This is in stark contrast to females who generally desire to find a single mate to nest with. And all of this goes back, at least according to biologists, to our evolutionary roots. An essential thing, I think, for men and women in relationship to understand is that they do, in fact, experience the world quite differently. And many of these differences are rooted in their unique biology—hard wired, if you will.
Now some of the differences between us men and women are rather fuzzy when it comes to the nature versus nurture question—how much of our difference is due, in other words, to our biology and how much to the ways we are socialized. A group of boys and girls who were under the age of two, non-verbal and presumably with little socialization were put in front of a television to watch cartoons. For no apparent reason to the children, the cartoons stopped and the screen went blank.
When the girls toddled up or crawled to the TV to try and get it to work, their efforts failed. In almost every case, they started to cry. But when the boys went up to the TV and failed to get it working, they started hitting and kicking it. It would appear that there is an inherent difference between the sexes when it comes to how we handle frustration. There are also fundamental differences in how our brains manage information. What this means is that women tend to have more communication channels open between the two hemispheres of their brains.
One effect of this is that they have a greater ability than men in general to communicate their feelings through language. However, some of the differences between men and women are, I think, a result of socialization. I recall a summer afternoon years ago when my youngest son, who was seven at the time, and I had gone canoeing. When we returned to the dock and got out, he fell and hit his leg against the railing with a loud thud.
He grabbed his leg and grimaced in pain. It was striking to see. There are a few guy laws that are implicit between males. Not crying and not showing vulnerability are certainly two of the more important ones. But this innate reluctance or in some cases an inability for men to show their feelings and vulnerability is problematic in male-female relationships.
For one, women, to make a broad generalization, tend more to the interconnectedness of relationship. And sharing feelings and the emotional vulnerability that sometimes comes with them are important markers that validate the relationship. While it is certainly an oversimplification to say that men rely more on thought than feeling, while women rely more on feeling than thought, there is some truth to it—though to what extent I am not sure.
And this lack of access to feelings presented real problems in the relationship. On the other hand, I have known many women clients who had the same problem, in that they were unable to feel, and lived their emotional lives up in their heads. These women, though biologically female, demonstrated very clear culturally biased masculine traits. Thus, I think that thought vs.
This points out, I think, one of the many challenges in the area of gender-based behavior—namely that our cultural filters come into play. We expect men to be a certain way and women to be a certain way. While this is sometimes true, often it is not. To confine anyone to strict sexual stereotypes is essentially a type of mental and social imprisonment. In reality, some men act more like women from our socially biased view , while some women act more like men. This could be a result of many factors, their personal anima and animus, which we discussed earlier, being one of them.
But whatever the reasons, when one person in a relationship sorts the world solely through his or her thought while the other sorts solely through his or her feeling, the ground has been laid for difficulties in the relationship. Men, in general, are challenged in their relationships with women due to several factors. This is problematic for the female because she, generally speaking, uses feelings as a barometer to tell her where the relationship is. Another challenge in male-female relationships is that men tend to be solution oriented when emotional problems arise.
I have seen it over and over again with couples in therapy. When the woman was sharing some difficult emotional material, it invariably threw the man into a state of panic. Males tend to be autonomous and action oriented.
When their partners are in distress, they want to do something to fix it. But sometimes, perhaps more often than not, when a woman is sharing her feelings, she is not wanting her partner to do anything per se. She just wants to be heard, to be understood, and for her feelings to be validated and not discounted. I recall an incident several years ago, with my former mother-in-law. She was diabetic and was not supposed to eat candy, a habit she was never able to shake. One afternoon while waiting for a taxi, I noticed that she had deftly slipped something into her mouth from her purse.
The Androgyne Within
The air was suddenly filled with the faint smell of chocolate. He grabbed her purse and opened it to reveal a stash that would have made any Halloween trick-or-treater proud. Many of us, me included, operate by what I call the Merlin Factor. I am not referring to Merlin the fabled magician, mind you, but to our family dog.
At his prime, Merlin weighed in at around pounds and was a bit more than six feet from tail to snout. If you allowed him to do so, he would try to curl up in your lap. He also liked to watch TV with the family in the den. And this is no exaggeration—he would sit on the edge of the couch with his front paws in front of him touching the floor. He was that big. But his favorite position was to be sprawled out on the sofa beside us, behind us, and over us—something we discouraged because, well…he was part Bloodhound, and the body odor could be overwhelming, especially after he had rolled in deer shit, which he dearly loved to do in the woods around our house.
It was a ritual that we went through at least a few times a week. And it made me think that perhaps the psychology of denial has canine roots. He would sneak up onto the couch backwards, yes, backwards. And he would look away from us as he did it, as if by doing so he became invisible. He would always look back at us with shock on his face—like how did you see me?
Human denial is like that I think. While this can be comic at times, it is a real problem in relationship, or to be more precise, Sacred Relationship. Denial actually works in some relationships. In fact, without it, some of them would fall apart. But Sacred Relationship is built upon a bedrock of mutual trust and truth. Without honesty between partners, Sacred Relationship cannot exist.
And so, denial is a kind of death-knell to this type of relationship. To be clear and honest with each other about everything in the relationship can be a very humbling experience. It can also be, quite honestly, annoying. I will never forget a comment made by a friend who was in her eighties at the time. The honesty and impeccability required by Sacred Relationship can quickly bring to conscious awareness our hidden flaws and defects. While this type of self-knowledge is difficult to deal with, without it, authentic psychological and spiritual growth cannot take place—at least in my opinion.
I am not speaking here of the kind of pride that has to do with positive self-esteem. I am speaking of a pride that sidesteps issues. When nothing else works to avoid being confronted by self-awareness, pride will often do the job. Perhaps arrogance would be a better word, though the two words are interchangeable according to the Thesaurus on my laptop. Arrogance puts other people off; it creates an immediate gulf, and in the presence of such an attitude, most people give up and back off.
I have personally found it helpful to nickname my various arrogant sub-personalities. And Charles Thomas is one of them. I also have another aspect that is rather Ostrich-like.
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Ostriches, as you may know, have a quirky behavior in the face of danger or threat. They stick their heads in the ground! This may be their version of Merlin, the family dog I mentioned earlier. Anyway, it helps to defuse some of the emotional charge around these aspects of our psychology when we give them nicknames. Try it for yourself. The next time one of these nasty un-resourceful selves raise themselves from your own psychological underworld, shock them and call them by name. I offer this funny little suggestion because anyone attempting Sacred Relationship needs to have his or her wits about him or her.
THE PATH TO SACRED RELATIONSHIP
We need all the resources we can muster. Those of us attempting to live the experiment of Sacred Relationship do so without the aid of maps or cultural understanding. It is indeed, the road less traveled. So as one traveler to another, I offer this simple practical advice: denial, pride, and arrogance may be our worst and most elusive enemies.
They can pop up at the strangest of times, and when they do, my suggestion is to take a deep look inside. What are you trying to avoid and why? If there is any advice I might have for those of us living in the House of Relationship, it is to genuinely seek to understand each other without projecting our un-owned desires onto each other. And we need to celebrate the differences between us. After all, it is our uniqueness that makes life interesting.
A thriving relationship does not require that both partners do the same things, or that they see or experience the world in the same way—so long as there is acceptance, appreciation and mutual respect. Finally, just know that from time to time the toilet is going to back up. All this means is that one or both of you have swallowed too much resentment shit and now it is time to deal with it. You might be amazed at how many people think it is a sign to abandon the House when there are plumbing problems or when things get emotionally difficult.
To these people I have three little words—get a life. Take some responsibility. Have a heart-to-heart conversation with your partner. Clean things up. Bring it to his or her attention when it happens, without blame, without manipulation and without shaming him or her. If you are being physically threatened by your partner or emotionally abused, you might want to figure out a way to get the hell out of dodge.
Some of them are toxic and need to be abandoned. Only you can decide that. For those of us who choose to stay in the House of Relationship and find the courage and grace to allow each other to be who we really are, magic is often the result. Partners who may have been obscured from each other by their psychological projections and their resentments, suddenly find that they see each other clearly—in some cases for the first time.
Those rooms in the house that were so dark suddenly become illuminated with the hard-earned and precious light of self-awareness. And those rooms that looked out onto brick walls are suddenly filled with sunlight, because the walls that separated us from each other and from the world simply dissolve. In some alchemical traditions, especially those out of Europe, the balancing of the anima and animus is called the Sacred Androgyne and is represented as a hermaphrodite—half man and half woman.
In some traditions, this figure is actually called the Sacred Hermaphrodite, a word which is the union of Hermes and Aphrodite, male and female faces of the divine. In alchemical iconography, the figure of the Androgyne is often depicted coming out of a furnace or a fire, sometimes with the sun and moon overhead. In esoteric alchemy, the sun and moon above the hermaphrodite represent the balancing of the solar and lunar aspects of consciousness. Alchemically speaking, the sun represents the male animus and spirit, while the moon represents the female anima and matter.
The sacred task of spiritual alchemy is to balance the sun and moon to produce the Sacred Androgyne or Hermaphrodite, so that one gains access to higher realms of spiritual perception. This is very akin to the task of Jungian psychology, though in the alchemical form, the context is spiritual.
Sacred Relationships: Open Your Heart, Find Your Soul Mirror
In Jungian work the context is psychological—or perhaps psycho-spiritual. The use of the hermaphrodite within alchemical iconography shows up in other traditions as well. There is a form of Shiva that is highly androgynous. Shiva is the Lord of Death as well as the Protector of Yogis and Yoginis, and in his androgynous form he is merged with shakti the feminine power of the cosmos.
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In his Ardhanarishwara form, Shiva is a hermaphrodite, both male and female, and is depicted with the genitals of both sexes. According to yogic anatomy, we have three subtle channels that run up the spine to the top of the head. The central channel is called the sushumna and is the path of kundalini shakti which is represented as both a coiled up serpent of life-energy and as feminine in nature. As she rises up the spine, she enters the head and joins with Shiva to produce enlightenment, or liberation. On either side of the sushumna are two channels, one associated with the internal sun or masculine aspect of consciousness , while the other is associated with the internal moon or feminine aspect of consciousness.
The solar channel is called the pingala and the lunar pathway is called the ida. When the energies of the pingala and ida are balanced, then the yogi or yogini is able to catch a glimpse of the ever-present transcendent Self. The theme of balancing the masculine and feminine aspects of consciousness shows up in Tibetan Buddhism as well, in the form of Kalachakra, which depicts the union of male and female deities in the act of sexual and spiritual ecstasy. From the viewpoint of Kalachakra, this balancing point of male and female is the root of all existence and all creation whether human or super-human.
It is strongly advised to participate live as often as you can because it is far more fun, and classes are interactive. With that said, the thrill of joining this kind of online format is that you will always receive video and audio of each class within a week of class so you can listen on your own schedule.
All of the above. This course is a 6 month journey into the realms of storytelling and we will have an opportunity to play with many forms. When you register for the course, I invite you to make a commitment to yourself so you can set yourself up for a successful journey based on your time, capacity, and goals. Here is the way it is framed:. Once upon a time, one of my dearest friends, Dominique Lando, the very person who suggested I stop reading my stories and start telling them, was out in the New Mexico desert with another dear friend.
A rain storm approached. And then lightening came. And as they ran for cover and stood waiting for the storm to pass, Dominique removed her sweater.
Sparks flew everywhere, there was so much electricity in the air. She said. I want THAT. The aliveness of life made visible. May we all have friends who call to and call out and call for the aliveness that lives within so it can be made visible for all to see. Stepping into the field of storytelling as a sacred form could invite a transformational process. Before enrolling in this course, we invite you to ensure that this is the time you are ready to say yes, because the strength of your commitment is a ripple effect that will go through you…through your cohorts, and through your teachers, and create strong binds that go in all directions.
Leah is a tenacious master who would not stop until I met the underbelly of my story and gave it voice. It was a life-changing experience with a cohort of incredible women, my story-sisters. Sign me up for the newsletter! Calling all educators, healers, facilitators, and changemakers— Also known as the myth makers, seed planters, vision seekers, healers, alchemists, and dream weavers. Welcome Storyteller…. I imagine you are here because you are drawn to story and storytelling. There are four ways your storytelling could manifest: You want to tell your own story.
You know a thing or two about betrayal and forgiveness of yourself, of others. You know what is required to reach toward a dream. Scroll down to Read more And you feel that one of the ways of making the most of this life is by giving what is yours to give. You want to tell the old stories. You feel drawn to folk tales and myths. You want to dig deep and get to know these stories because you sense they can bring something needed to the times we are living in. You may feel called to tell stories that are woven with purpose and meaning. Perhaps you are beginning to suspect that what the aborigines of Australia say is true: The old stories must be told in the present so that the future can exist.
And you might feel called to play a role in remembering. You want to change your story. Or you might be ready to change an old story. You want to be a more assertive author of your life. Perhaps you keep ending up being the victim in too many stories in your life. Or maybe you always play the rescuer. You want to tell new stories. Or maybe you have this inkling, this slight whisper from the trees and the rocks, and the wind keeps dropping bits and pieces of the earth song into your lap.
Welcome to the path of Sacred Storytelling…. The 6 Gifts of Stories:. A Case for Storytelling in Troubled Times. We make magic. This much I know is true. Register Here. Is Speak the Spark for you? You have something to give or you want to find and cultivate and dig deep for what is yours to give, and you want to learn how to do that through the medium of storytelling. You know there is more to life than just the mundane. You want to live in a bigger story , and you want to play a part in creating it. You want more than just having your voice heard or witnessed—you want to know that your voice is being used with purpose and intention to positively influence the world around you.
You are struck by the notion that every ancient religion agrees that the world was sung, spoken, and chanted into existence… and now you are beginning to grok that the words you speak matter and have an impact and influence on those around you. You are discovering who you are as a creator, and you want to consciously use this extraordinary tool of language and story to shape the world around you.
You want a new story for yourself , for how you look at the world, and for what is possible, and you want to be part of creating that new story. I have a special place in my heart…. You want to use a story to promote your business or something you are selling. You want this class to be therapy. You want to feed the hungry ghost—you are desperate to be seen and heard, so you are seeking attention through storytelling.
What will we experience in this class? Get to Know Your Story Inside and Out and in a Multidimensional Way Tap into the first language of symbol as you draw a map of your life story and get an opportunity to see patterns and metaphors emerge from your subconscious. Skill Building: Opening the Channel to Creative Life Force Learn skills and techniques that open your creative channel and practice engaging the mythic imagination as you work with integrating symbols, metaphors, and archetypes into your stories. The Hunter Gatherer: Ancestor Stories. Get to know an old story inside and out so it has a way to live and walk among us.
The Midwife: Birthing the New Stories. Birth the new narrative and mythic stories that are asking to come through in our times. Learn an old teaching story and create one of your own. The Alchemist: Changing the Story. The Healer: Medicine Stories. Create a medicine story designed to heal an unresolved story in your personal life. The Wisdom Keeper: Threshold Stories.
Explore your life experiences and how to give your hard-earned wisdom as a gift to those around you. Go on an excavation for the old stories, the lost stories, the stories that were hidden and waiting to emerge in our time. Who are my teachers? Casey Caroline W. Craig Chalquist Craig Chalquist , PhD, is a depth psychologist, professor, author, presenter, and teacherpreneur.
Training Modules. Live Interactive Classes. Guest Master Teachers. Get inspired by 6 live, interactive classes with guest master teachers of the craft. Private Facebook Group. Each month you will receive a training video on the topic of the month. You will have an opportunity to watch on your own or with the group before our workshop class. Speak the Spark is an incredibly rich, meaningful, useful and inspired offering. It has been the most inspiring part of my life for the past 6 months! Before taking the class I dreamed of having storytelling be a part of my daily life. I now find myself feeling more confident, taking the initiative when I'm in a group to tell a story, and able to tune into the stories that want me to speak them and for the first time I am actually receiving stories!!!
It's been such a magically fulfilling experience. Weekly Creativity Igniters. A creativity prompt will be emailed to you each Friday to inspire your momentum and provide food for thought to work with in your small-group cohort. Creation Cohort. You will be assigned to a group of 4 who are committed to calling out the greatness in you and your stories! Master Teachers Library. I came to this class on intuition, that there was something for me to do here I wanted to immerse myself in this space with you all and see what happened. I wanted something to grow and shift in the way that I talk story, which I do a lot.
A lot of it is in the realm of business and strategy and climate crises. And I wanted to bring something much deeper and more evocative and unconstrained into that. My pace is different. My register is different. Gil Friend speaking to his fellow cohorts on the final day of Speak The Spark class. Relax, rejuvenate and create in a rustic retreat setting held by the redwoods north of San Francisco. You will be nourished by catered meals, commune in nature, and soak in the hot tub as you make space to dive into the depths of your story work.
Prepare Your Audience. Discover the behind-the-scenes art to designing a performance and how to increase the engagement of your cocreators and listeners. Embody Your Gifts. Explore how the story wants to be lived through your body as we investigate the parts that are asking to be expanded and tend to what is constricting and blocking the flow of your creative expression. Sing to the Genius. Learn how to give and receive feedback as you draw out the best in the stories and storytellers around you. Develop Production Skills.
Collaboratively develop, market, and produce our cocreated performance event. Get hands-on experience in everything that is involved with producing an event so you walk away with confidence, knowing what it takes to bring your stories to the stage. Receiving can live on the other side of giving; collect a percentage of the income generated from our final performance.
Leah is a masterful guide and a committed advocate for creators and for the Creator in us all and has taught me a new way of being in partnership with inspiration and wisdom. Speak the Spark has been an experience so much more profound than I expected. Focus: Working with story as ceremony plus solo performance We begin by focusing on developing a story ritual around betrayal and forgiveness. Online Performance Intensive 6 online workshops No prior experience required. Registration for The Performance Intensive is by interview. Please schedule your 20 minute session here:.
Schedule Appointment with Leah Lamb. Schedule for Speak The Spark. Schedule of Live Classes. The Performance Intensive: Introduction. The Performance Intensive: Initiation. The Performance Intensive: Online Schedule. Your voice is needed. Why Register Early? Are you ready to prioritize the creator in you? Leah made it clear that the listener is an active participant and needs to be seen, acknowledged, and given a task. I took this idea into my own classroom the next day and watched my sullen, phone-obsessed 18 year olds transform into charismatic jokesters making plans to do the assignments together over the weekend.
Helen M. Leah Lamb is a storyteller and media strategist of unparalleled talent and unmatched wisdom. A collaboration with her will leave your own work and understanding of the world forever impacted, for the better. I was deeply moved by how rich, expansive, and essential Leah's work is.
She isn't just a storyteller and her work is not just about storytelling. Leah is a midwife holding space for the creative force to move through us and birth a new paradigm. Claudette Thomas. Leah engaged us, our voices, from the very start in the creation of our sacred story. I realized it is time to unlock my voice and share my medicine with the world. Ever grateful. Mary Lally. Through the lens of sacred storytelling and meditation, Leah approaches my chaotic thoughts with care and grace, creating a space that truly nurtures growth. She has a knack for spotting the gifts of others, and her methods are perfect for bringing out the unique potential in each of us.
Aided by her consistent and stable anchor, I am gently pushed to succeed at forming real process and long lasting discipline. Elora Lydia. What is the value in taking a 6 month course? Is this course for men and women? Because it seems like there are a lot more women in your world then men.
What happens if I miss a class? Fairy Tales? Personal Narrative? What kind of commitment are you asking of me? Here is the way it is framed: I want to absorb, take in, and receive. I want to relish in the joy of play and creativity with no goal or outcome in site. PS: Where does the term Speak the Spark come from?
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