Up until the past few decades, a person had to find a guru or join a monastery in order to learn how to awaken into a more meaningful life. The difficulty for many is exactly how to navigate themselves on this path. Now we can be counseled, or coached (in a relatively short period of time if preferred) in the art of navigating our own individual path of awakening. In this collaborative, client-centered process, I will help you to identify your core desires as well as your strengths, and assist you in navigating a pathway that allows you to fulfill the longing that comes from your deepest nature. For my clients who are already well on their way with awakening, I will serve as more of a loving, supportive witness, and collaborative and inspiring coach.
The path of endless awakening is a level of awareness or consciousness that more and more individuals have access to. Awakening can best be described as a glimpse into our real, or authentic nature. This awakening can happen from studying a new philosophy or religion, or from beginning an embodied spiritual practice such as dance therapy or chanting. Awakening also happens when we go into such a profound grief that we are shaken to our core, and faced with having no choice but to heal ourselves by slowing down, stepping out of our human ego personality/survivor mode and letting our own soul tell us what it most needs. And then making a commitment to following through with that – for the rest of our lives!
In his 2005 book “The Translucent Revolution”, Arjuna Ardagh describes awakening as a “rivering,” a process without an end. The term he uses to describe this process as becoming translucent. Ardagh defines translucent as an individual who has undergone a spiritual awakening deeply enough that it has permanently transformed their relationship to themselves and to reality, while allowing them to remain involved in ordinary life in a process that is evolutionary and endless. There is no problem to fix, nor is there some final, higher state to achieve.
Unlike the approaches you will find in many self help books is not goal oriented. The path of awakening, or living life through your soul (as I like to describe it, although I respect that some of us are Atheists) is more a matter of shifting your consciousness into being present and checking in with your body and your intuition/souls voice, rather than getting lost in the sea of your thoughts.
My Approach to Awakening Counseling
My approach with clients in the delicate realm of awakening counseling is always collaborative. This is essential, as I am well aware of the veils that have cast over us, taking us out of our authentic power, due to woundings caused by patriarchal fundamental religion. Therefore I want to start by saying, I have a deep respect for my clients who prefer that in their process, I use the terms higher self, and inner child in place of soul. I will also always invite those clients to learn to gradually remove those veils and inevitably become more open to the realm of possibilities that can only happen with the healing and open-mindedness of embracing the light and love of the collective consciousness of all of the wisdom of human consciousness, and souls, past and present. My goal is to help my clients come into their authentic power and have that realization that “The sky is the limit!” That being said, I will now speak from my authentic power.
With the embrace of our soul’s mission at the demise of our ego’s clinging, we have shifts into higher level of source or God awareness. It’s as though we suddenly see life through the lens of our soul, rather than through our patriarchal culturally wired brain pattern of survivor mode ego persona. Once we make a marked shift into our soul mission, whether it is spurred from a deep mediation practice, deep grief that we embrace, inner child healing, soul retrieval work, or in any other way, we must go through a period of ebb and flow that can be both blissful and daunting. How can we run away from our soul mission? When to embrace our soul mission is to embrace the blissful deep, childlike love and creative genius of our timeless, unique, sometimes quirky, sometimes gentle, seemingly irrational at times, yet always our teacher, soul.
Of all the teachers I have studied, Carl Jung, Thomas Moore, Marianne Williamson, Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, John Welwood, Jean Houston, Tom Cowan, Francis Weller, David Richo, Esther (Abraham) Hicks, Bill Plotkin, and Donna Eden have been the messengers whose teachings came to me in synchronicity and most resonated with me at a holistic level, with my unique soul, my unique human body, and my unique ego/personality/mind.
I have a Jungian/Soul centered approach to awakening counseling, mostly because I have adopted an approach similar to Thomas Moore’s. Moore wrote Care of the Soul in 1994 and most recently A Religion of Ones Own. He spent 12 years as Catholic Monk in his youth, is now spiritually eclectic, studied under Carl Jung, and became a spiritually eclectic soul activist. Moore says that each of us must craft our own unique spiritual practices from our favorite teachers, philosophers, and religions.
Like Moore, I will encourage my clients to create their very own unique daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly rituals. Get out of your head and into our soul; get out into nature. dance your soul expression with abandon, listen to music that stirs your soul, play music and stop saying you aren’t good at it, sing your heart out, and stop saying you can’t sing. Stop worrying about what others think; that’s when you know you’re out of your souls guidance and listening to your fearful ego voice again. Moore will always emphasize how much our souls love and need nature. I agree with Moore, having studied this nature/core shamanic realm of soul work both in theory and self practice. I have found it to be by far, one of the most powerful and untapped resources for healing and awakening- and it is as simple as being open to the idea that our souls are connected to everything in nature.
So, whether you are feeling depressed, plagued by anxiety, worn down, or stuck in anger or victim mentality, or you are in need of a coach and a witness to your beautiful, but tricky and often painful path of awakening, I am here for you, and I will happily support and inspire you on this incredible awakening path.
Christine Dufond, MFT