There were some tough lessons at the Summer Solstice Ceremonies this year. Challenging and painful, but critically important. Several days into our gathering, Ann Coughlin and Eve Costello conducted a series of ceremonies that guided me deep into the beauty of my heart. After each successive ceremony, I found myself to be more and more open and sensitive. When I returned to sit around the fire between ceremonies, I noticed even the most subtle forms of sarcasm or cleverness became difficult to be around. I could see how it created separation and feel how painful that
was. I remember saying to Ann, "It's a whole different deal when your heart is this open." I saw that throughout the week I had been on both sides of being sarcastic and being affected by the sarcasm .
I couldn't help but think, how could we participate in something so beautiful and then immediately indulge in divisive sarcasm, cleverness, and criticism? It soon became evident to me that our minds were having a difficult time allowing the beauty we had experienced in the ceremonies. I remembered my teacher, Bart Anderson, asking his students during a ceremony, "How much beauty can you stand?"
When we experience more beauty than we are accustomed to, we tend to say and do things to shut it down. This happens unconsciously. We experience something beautiful, and without realizing it, something stupid comes out of our mouths to shut it down. Perhaps we encounter someone is open and feeling something deeply, and we unconsciously say or do something so we do not have to feel the openness and beauty that we have not been allowing ourselves.
So the remedy is natural. We find the courage to open our hearts. We bring awareness to what comes out of our mouths- especially when we encounter beauty. We allow and enjoy the beauty that is all around us. Seemingly simple, but much more challenging to do than I expected.
About the Author
I, Michael Hoffman, am a licensed psychotherapist, teacher, and author with 25 years experience in counseling and teaching experiential workshops. I have maintained this blog since 2009, and my second book Natural Way of Being will published in 2019.
I offer in-person and video-conferencing counseling, intensive workshops, and online courses to allow participants to directly experience their natural way of being and the life they would have for themselves.