Being With Brokenness: a New Workshop With Erin Miller Shrader

By Erin Miller Shrader of Sacred Grove Wellness, reprinted from her blog

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There is a story in the Jewish tradition about the beginning of the world. I am familiar with Rachel Naomi Remen’s telling of the story, as it was told to her by her grandfather. In the beginning, God created the world as light. He placed this light within vessels and sent them out into the world. Somewhere along the way, the vessels broke, scattering this perfect light in all directions. The work of creation, and of humans in particular, is to see this holy light throughout creation and to restore it to wholeness. This act of restoration is called Tikkun Olam. You can hear her telling of the story here: https://soundcloud.com/onbeing/rachel-naomi-remen-the-story-of-tikkun-olam

 This story deeply resonates with my experience of life on Earth. From my very earliest memories, I could sense that something was amiss. Something seemed broken. There was always a feeling of longing and exile for me, for as long as I can remember. This sense has been the seed of my path throughout life, and I consider it now to be a great gift. My longing to discover the root of this brokenness, and to heal within myself and the world, has lead me into some truly remarkable experiences and has guided my connection to many amazing people.

This brokenness manifests in our lives in many different ways. Some days we hardly notice the places where we are cracked or dented, while other days we feel utterly shattered. Most of us have experienced long periods, or seasons of our lives that are suffused with this energy of brokenness. While terribly painful, I have come to see that these seasons are some of the most precious and sacred of our lives. The Buddha called this state dukkha, which translates roughly as suffering or unsatisfactoriness. He believed that this was a prerequisite for awakening, and a universal condition for human life. One of my favorite teachers, Shree Rajneesh (or Osho as he is most commonly called), states that the movement toward Yoga, or union, is not possible without dukkha. It is this brokenness and the hopelessness that it engenders that makes wholeness possible.

What is beneath this brokenness? What is the root of the suffering? What is possible when we turn toward the suffering with compassion and gentleness? I am eager to explore these questions and to offer some fruit from my own practice. Please consider joining me at Firefly Hollow on August 19th from 2:00-5:00pm as we explore this turning toward brokenness both in ourselves, and in the world.

Registration is open to all and available through Firefly Hollow Wellness Center. 

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Body Talks Therapy Community Members Facilitate July’s New Moon Gathering

Temperatures finally heated up last month, and we’ve had few breaks since! Regardless of where we go to escape, the humidity is pervasive, pesky even indoors.

Something deep, down inside of me (a nagging gut feeling) has worked similarly. It has demanded my attention, followed me around, and gotten persistent by becoming physically and emotionally uncomfortable when I’ve tried ignoring it by staying busy. It has called me into deeper silence, stillness, a place you may have encountered if you’ve ever tried a sensory deprivation tank (which I highly recommend). Like the summer heat, my need to go deeper into this experience of personal transformation hasn’t yet broken.

Some members of the Body Talks Therapy (BTT) community have described similar experiences recently (more on that in a later post). Yet others have sent me text messages and e-mails expressing the need to stay connected to each other in-person.

I want you to know: I hear you. This is your community, after all, and as a BTT member pointed out: We need each other now more than ever to move forward in our collective mission to heal the planet. (I feel you on that; I’ve never sensed the urgency more than I do today.)

You don’t necessarily need me though to facilitate the connection. As I am a healer, so are you (even if you don’t get paid to be). While each of our journeys looks unique, we’re all heading to a similar destination. And there has never been a hierarchy here; you are my peers.

Thus, BTT community members will hold space while I get my fill of mine this month and possibly the next.

Join the BTT community on Sunday, July 23, for our next New Moon gathering. Registered Nurse and Penn State University Lecturer Whitney Nevins will lead the group around a fire pit at my home in rural Lititz, at 6:30pm to 9:00pm, rain or shine. (Bring bug spray and a blanket or lawn chair. I’ll provide free citronella bracelets! We’ll move inside if it rains.)

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Frankly, this was what I had envisioned when I created BTT: a community of artists, healers, and other Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) that would grow and become something greater than I. So if you have a special skill set or desire to be of service to like-minded and like-wired folks or to join forces with each other to serve humankind in the way you feel called, reach out to me and let’s chat.

Our newest member, Registered Nurse, Yoga Instructor-in-Training, Spiritual Director, and owner of Sacred Grove Wellness, Erin Miller Shrader, has already begun offering spiritual counseling at the BTT Lancaster office. I’ve discovered personally how intuitive, compassionate, and gifted she is. I’m confident as well as honored to recommend her services. Erin does not tell you what to believe; she witnesses your unfolding and assists you in accessing your truth.

Meanwhile, I hope that all of you are enjoying the season. Summer can be an HSP’s delight, with temperatures inspiring us to spend more time in nature and motivating us to dive into the creeks, lakes, and oceans that soothe our nervous systems so splendidly!

And I promise that when my personal retreat ends, I’ll share in future posts all of the gems I’ve discovered. For now, I look forward to sitting beside you on the New Moon!

Space for humans and cars is limited for the New Moon gathering, so please carpool with other members if you can. RSVP to receive the address, directions, and instructions on where and how to park your car. Cost is $5; please pay cash upon arrival.

Allison Brunner, LCSW, RM, Body Talks Therapy