Dan Keusal, M.S., LMFT

Jungian Psychotherapy for Individuals & Couples

"Find Your Purpose, Heal Your Pain, Live With Passion"
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Holidays 2016 edition: 
"Finding Your Way Through The Blizzard"


As we move toward the darkest day of the year, and as developments in the world usher in a more disquieting kind of darkness, I share in this newsletter a brief essay and a poem that I trust will bring light to your life, and hope to your holiday season. The essay is from Parker Palmer's book A Hidden Wholeness. I first encountered these words while on retreat 10 years ago, but they ring just as true today--both in their description of the "blizzard of the world," and in their offering a way through it. The poem is "Winter's Cloak," by Joyce Rupp, who is becoming my favorite winter poet (I featured her poem "To Travel In The Dark" in the holiday edition of my newsletter last year).

In 2017, I'll continue to offer other ways to help you find your own light, and to bring that light out into the world. On February 10th and 11th, the C.G. Jung Society Seattle is hosting my program "The Art of Outgrowing Your Problems" (details are here, registration info here). Not long after that, I'll be offering a brand new program, one I've been looking forward to for years: "Understanding Your Dreams" (watch my future newsletters for details). 

Programs like these are one of the ways I offer you opportunities for healing and growth, and give you a taste of the deeper experiences available to those who see me for Jungian psychotherapy and/or astrology. Call me (206-523-1340) if you'd like to schedule an appointment, or if you have questions about how either of these can help you.

I wish you peace and joy as we move through the dark, and toward the return the light.


*   *   *   *   *

The Blizzard of the World (by Parker Palmer)

The blizzard of the world 
has crossed the threshold 
and it has overturned
the order of the soul

~Leonard Cohen 

  There was a time when farmers on the Great Plains, at the first sign of a blizzard, would run a rope from the back door out to the barn. They all knew stories of people who had wandered off and been frozen to death, having lost sight of home in a whiteout while still in their own backyards.

  Today we live in a blizzard of another sort. It swirls around us as economic injustice, ecological ruin, physical and spiritual violence, and their inevitable outcome, war. It swirls within us as fear and frenzy, greed and deceit, and indifference to the suffering of others. We all know stories of people who have wandered off into this madness and been separated from their own souls, losing their moral bearings and even their mortal lives: they make headlines because they take so many innocents down with them.

  The lost ones come from every walk of life: clergy and corporate executives, politicians and people on the street, celebrities and schoolchildren. Some of us fear that we, or those we love, will become lost in the storm. Some are lost at this moment and are trying to find the way home. Some are lost without knowing it. And some are using the blizzard as cover while cynically exploiting its chaos for private gain.

  So it is easy to believe the poet's claim that "the blizzard of the world" has overturned "the order of the soul," easy to believe that the soul - that life-giving core of the human self, with its hunger for truth and justice, love and forgiveness - has lost all power to guide our lives.

  But my own experience of the blizzard, which includes getting lost in it more often than I like to admit, tells me that it is not so. The soul's order can never be destroyed. It may be obscured by the whiteout. We may forget, or deny, that its guidance is close at hand. And yet we are still in the soul's backyard, with chance after chance to regain our bearings.

  This book is about tying a rope from the back door out to the barn so that we can find our way home again. When we catch sight of the soul, we can survive the blizzard without losing our hope or our way. When we catch sight of the soul, we can become healers in a wounded world - in the family, in the neighborhood, in the workplace, and in political life - as we are called back to our "hidden wholeness" amid the violence of the storm.

~From A Hidden Wholeness (by Parker Palmer, 2004)


Poem: Winter's Cloak (by Joyce Rupp)

This year I do not want
the dark to leave me.
I need its wrap
of silent stillness,
its cloak
of long lasting embrace.
Too much light
has pulled me away
from the chamber
of gestation.  

Let the dawns
come late,
let the sunsets
arrive early,
let the evenings
extend themselves
while I lean into
the abyss of my being.  

Let me lie in the cave
of my soul,
for too much light
blinds me,
steals the source
of revelation.  

Let me seek solace
in the empty places
of winter's passage,
those vast dark nights
that never fail to shelter me.  

(for more on Joyce Rupp, click here).
Dan Keusal, M.S., LMFT, Psychotherapist. (206) 523-1340. Email: dankeusal@dankeusal.com