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A Healing Space: Befriending Ourselves in Difficult Times

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A gifted teacher explores how both hardship and joy can lead us back to the sacredness of ordinary life.

What does healing mean to you? For many of us, to “heal” is to solve a problem—to remove an illness, put a trauma behind us, or change something we don’t like in our life so we never have to deal with it again. Yet does that idea of healing serve us … or does it cut us off from life’s gifts? “True healing is not a state where we become liberated from feeling, but freer and flexible to experience it more fully,” writes Dr. Matt Licata. “When we experience our suffering consciously, it reveals sacredness and beauty we might not expect. Healing will always surprise us.”

With A Healing Space, Matt extends an invitation to explore the endless richness of your life—without minimizing or turning away from hardship, nor by seeking the shelter of comfort or certainty. “I do not have any answers for you,” he writes. “Rather, I see my role as helping to illuminate the immensity and even magic of the questions themselves.” On this journey, you’ll learn to use new tools and perspectives to find your own sources of guidance, including:

• Slowness—in a speed-obsessed world, rediscover the revolutionary power of slowing down, listening, and letting the fullness of each moment unfold
• Uncertainty—why we often protect ourselves from the unknown at any cost, and how we can gradually learn to open to the gifts of uncertainty
• Alchemy—explore the wisdom of transmutation as an inner process of things falling apart and then coming back together in ways that are more integrated and whole
• Depth Psychology—integrating modern advances in psychotherapy and neuroscience with the timeless power of a soul-based psychology
• Embodied Spirituality—discover the healing potential of an approach to spirituality that honors the body, emotions, relationships, and the shadow
• Love—allow yourself to awaken to the revolutionary call to love and participate in the full-spectrum of life, dissolving the “trance of postponement” with the power of an open heart

A Healing Space is not a book to be absorbed and processed in one sitting—instead, you will find yourself returning again and again, whenever your soul calls you to examine, transform, and renew yourself. “At times,” writes Matt, “we need to crumble to the ground at the magnificence of it all, awestruck at the bounty that has been laid out before us. To fall apart. To fail. To get back up. To be humbled again. To start over. To be a beginner in the ways of love. To make this journey with our fellow travelers, and the sun, moon, and stars.”

240 pages, Paperback

Published November 3, 2020

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Matt Licata

4 books15 followers

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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Profile Image for Magdelanye.
1,607 reviews192 followers
December 12, 2021
Matt Licata, with exquisite patience, warmth and poetry invites us to inhabit the darkness in ourselves as holy ground...befriending the parts of ourselves that we have abandoned, deemed shameful or unworthy, "unspiritual". viii Rather than muscle our way through spiritual discipline and therapeutic interventions we fall in love with our brokenness at last and welcome all the parts of ourselves home. ix from the forward by Mirabai Starr

This in essence is ML's fiercely gentle approach to dealing with what he regards as 'the material', calling on alchemical tradition for powerful metaphors for the healing process. In chapter One he begins by 'Reimagining what it means to heal', stressing always that we are "not a project to be solved but a mystery coming into form" p7 and MUST HAVE CONTACT AND SPACE P40 Our challenge, he proposes, is to find the "sacred data" in the kernel of our experiencing, not to abandon ourselves to a preferred version.

INTELLECTUAL UNDERSTANDING TENDS TO TAKE US ONLY SO FAR p66
We cannot work with it directly but must apply the proper heat....The process of differentiating previously linked aspects of our experience allows us to isolate the prima materia p113
The proper heat, for ML's psychological alchemy is awareness and love, without which one is more likely to spin off into habitual responses and the vicious circles of shame and blame, rather than obtain valuable insight into our behavior.

Our lives are more than an endless self improvement project. p138
If we are not improving, will we cease to exist? p147

ML continuously encourages us to drop into the sacred middle ground between the contradictions and the extremes, the 'flow of aliveness' between Yin and Yang, being and becoming, acceptance and active participation in change, not enmeshed nor disassociated. His advice is rooted in self-care principles, slowing right down, extending kindness with perseverance and compassion for the whole being.

As tempting as it is, we cannot skip steps. p91
...tending to symptoms with presence, warmth and kindness. 93

Viewing our symptoms not as defects to be eradicated but as portals to the mystery of our being will at the very least, if not end the war with ourselves, effect a workable cease fire.

We start to sense a sacred world that is always, already here, not the product of some project of self-improvement. p35

The journey of the heart is radical and revolutionary and requires you, exactly as you are in all your chaotic glory. p206
January 3, 2022
This book is itself a healing space

Matt Licata truly knows the depth and intricacies of the human heart. Every page moves me and touches my core. I will be reading this again and again
Profile Image for Gabrielle Jarrett.
Author 1 book14 followers
December 27, 2020
Licata's message is one of complete compassion and understanding for ourselves. His philosophy is transpersonal and accessing the unconscious in order to have more peace. The way to peace is through discovery vs denial, and accepting all parts of us, hidden and unhidden. It was Licata's writing style that annoyed me. Almost every sentence was comprised of three clauses and three modifiers within one or more of the clauses. His very very long sentences. Picayune? Not when they dominate every page. I had to speed read much of the middle, but found the last three chapters to be the most useful. Now I do love longer sentences, but only in Nobel winners or those similar in quality. One of his typical sentences counted up to 72 words. My own quirky experience recommends library borrow and read the last three chapters.
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February 2, 2021
How do you know your not on the right path when you have been self healing for over 20 years and your still not "healed yet". As a number 1 in my class counselling student and personal trainer, becoming my best self has been a forever full time job. From one book to my next practice in real life experience, sure.. I have had many long term successes but... and this word is how I have discovered why my path needed to change. Or did it? A healing space has shifted my perspective and changing my life like real life magic. I am now not a practising yogi but practising alchemy. We all think we need to change to change, but when changes doesn't being you what you crave? You need a change in perspective. Matt Licata is in my opinion a real life alchemist. Want to know how to change your perspective, a must read!!
6 reviews
January 17, 2021
Much wisdom here. Took a chapter a day and enjoyed reading at this pace because the content and topics are spiritual/philosophical. At times, I wished for more practical examples, but overall, I recommend.
Profile Image for Joyce.
320 reviews
October 25, 2021
This is a helpful book. And his style is dreamy and wordy, to help you find the way in. The book gets better as it goes and there are things I highlighted and discussed and that come back to me. I understand this is meant to appeal to my heart moreso than my logical mind, but it is a book, and so it needs to engage the first to get to the second, as reading is a process of the mind - as opposed to say a dream.
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews

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