Retrieve

Transformation sounds so sexy don’t you think?

Too bad it isn’t.

I know you know what I’m talking about – those of us who have walked through any up close and personal experience of deep transformation know (sigh!) that it is anything but sexy. I think immediately of effluvia – tears and snot and spit and bodily fluids. Of curling in a fetal position. Or fists clenched face red shouting. Of feeling raw and naked and empty. Of dark nights with all the voices of your head. Of the loneliness that comes from being the only one who can walk your own inner landscape.

I think of heartbreaks that crack you open and keep cracking until your capacity to love is alchemized into something stronger, deeper. I think of a sharp inhale of breath after the stark ripping of impermanence – whether it is the loss of safety or love or even simple habits. I think of the way we are driven from the inside towards change. How our souls are always stretching, never satisfied relentlessly reaching for improvement, depth, variety… regardless of the risk.

Transformation is messy and raw.

I have a deep respect for this kind of transformation. And there is one story that holds it all for me. The story is one of my very favorites because – stay with me here – it features a big freaking meat hook at the center of it. It’s a story of retrieval, of going deep into the underworld. Where the heroine meets the pieces of herself that she has been ignoring and, as she comes face to face with them, they…kill her quite dead. She hangs for days on the hook as “rotting meat”. And while this image is over-the-top gruesome, it is also very satisfying to our deep smart parts because that feeling of hanging on the hook – the hook of WHATEVER we are transforming – is apropos poetry. Hanging immobile unable to use all our habitual ways of skirting the issue. When we are on the hook of true transformation we have no choice but to let our lies and facades rot like old meat.

Transformation is about coming face to face with what is true. And it doesn’t happen anywhere but on your own “meat hook.” All my work is dedicated to providing a context and support for a transformational conversation with your own deep parts. Because you – the inner faces of you – know without doubt what transformation wants to occur. You feel the shadowed exiled parts of yourself. You know the tender places. And your transformation requires only that you show up, listen deeply and let whatever is ready to die hang from the hook.

We love to leap to the end point, past the lead to the polished gold, past the burning nest to the brilliant phoenix. But transformation is the pathway that links the two and it only happens from walking it yourself.

What do the shadowed parts of YOU have to tell you about what is ready for transformation?

We’ll be using a BIG Journal so we have some elbow room to excavate – I’m choosing the 14×17 size and I just know how obscenely gorgeous it is going to be all full and colorful with your own telling of what it was like to walk this story. I’m really looking forward to this experience with you. – Jenafer Joy

Never Taken a Class with me? Watch video prompt from Chapter Four Above!


“People who’ve never read fairy tales, the professor said, have a harder time coping in life than the people who have. They don’t have access to all the lessons that can be learned from the journeys through the dark woods and the kindness of strangers treated decently, the knowledge that can be gained from the company and example of Donkeyskins and cats wearing boots and steadfast tin soldiers. I’m not talking about in-your-face lessons, but more subtle ones. The kind that seep up from your subconscious and give you moral and humane structures for your life. That teach you how to prevail, and trust. And maybe even love.” ‚Ä®From "The Onion Girl" by Charles De Lint.

Supplies

You'll want the general suggested supplies for this one except instead of the 9x12, you're going to want a BIG journal:

  • BIG journal (Canson XL Mix Media in 14×17 size: here) or similarly large one such as the Moleskine’s 11¾" × 16½" Watercolor Folio Book.

And also:

  • Fat stick of charcoal
  • Sewing needle & red thread
  • totally optional - stamps, stencils, calligraphy pen!
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