Mental Health and Well-Being Professionals Committed to Change: MIE2022
Matrix Integration Exploration (MIE) 2022: For mental health and well-being professionals committed to changeMental health and well-being professionals committed to change- this is for you! The work we do is important. More than that, we are important. And yet so often we find ourselves scattered, burned out, and deficient in supporting our clients. The truth is… we have not been prepared to support our whole clients’ selves, because we have not known how to tap into the depths of ourselves. To truly serve our clients, as well as be rooted in our own well-being, we ourselves need to have an awareness about our own internal narratives and patterning, and how they are connected with our somatic bodies. Our culture (and training programs) habitually move from and connect with the mental realm—but what about the rest of us? We must know how to move from our entire selves, so that we can meet the entirety of our clients. Over 8 months we’ll have the opportunity to get conscious of the old, patterned thoughts that have co-created our life and have created the nervous system dysregulation that most of us struggle with. We will learn how to consciously and intentionally rewire these thought patterns and nervous system habits, and discover what other possibilities exist as our nervous system learns how to sustainably stay in regulation. We will discover what it is to be somatically present. Our new healthy patterning will determine a new reality of living for ourselves, and for our clients. A Call for Deepening It was life-changing for me when this simple clarity dropped into my attention: my life is not manageable as it is. It shook me awake and made me realize that I wanted more for my life. I wanted to enjoy and be present in my life, have healthy relationships, be a good model for my daughter, and be connected to my own well-being as I was supporting others find well-being. Instead, it felt like I was running around in circles: half the time it felt like I was chasing life, and the other half it felt like life was chasing me. To sum up my life? I felt so very burdened. There has got to be more, more than this, more for this life, I thought. It was a wake up call: as if I was being given a second chance at life. I became devoted to making simple but profound lifestyle changes as I deepened into self-study. I got uncomfortably honest about how I was living in survival patterning from my youth, which was leading me to innocently retraumatize myself and inflict harm on others. At the same time, I deepened into learning about the intricacies of my attachment styles, my nervous system dysregulation, and trauma patterns that came from living in an oppressive culture that does not attend to the health of our brain, nervous system and being. Most importantly, I learned about compassion, self-love, and abundance. All of this learning helped me to finally feel safe enough to slow down and stop incessantly running from discomfort. My body became my ally and treasure house. An entire reality opened up for me. In my own recovery journey, I realized through direct experience that to live a healthy functional life, my brain, nervous system, psyche… my entire being… needed to be supported and nourished. Just like plants, we humans are living organisms, and we need care and attention in such ways that our innate wise systems will shine, feel pleasure, be innovative and creative… and thrive. As I learned how to slow down, I learned how to tap into all these available realities of intelligence that supported my growth and higher functioning. As always, I started to weave my own learnings into my work with clients, and the profound work that was already happening with clients started to deepen even more. Learning the delicate art of slowing down so as to be able to tune into the exquisite wisdom of our Being, while tapping into the profound depth of connected curiosity and compassion, deepened everything. What I was left with was a passionate desire: I want this for all of us who work with others. I want all of us to be thriving—excelling! —not being dragged down by spoils of our oppressive culture. I want more for us individually and professionally. I want more for our clients. I want more for our world. As someone who was called to be a change maker from a young age, I have a special place in my heart for those of us who are trying to live differently than how we were raised—than how our culture has trained us to be. I want all of us to learn that there is another way of being than the way we’ve been taught—a different way for ourselves, for our children, for our clients, for our loved ones. I want us to be more than the product of our culture: exhausted, defeated, feeling a sense of hopelessness, of being stuck. I remember those days. That’s not our only option: there is a field of possibility available to us. We can live as effective and healthy change makers, as humans engaged in different ways than we have been taught. Well-being, mental health, teaching, coaching, and healing professionals make up half of my clients. Some things they have in common: first, they are all amazing beings, doing amazing work with clients in the best way that they can with the information they’ve been taught; two, none of their graduate programs explored the somatic realm (where trauma lives), and three, most of their graduate programs didn’t talk about how living in an oppressive culture shapes not only the psyches of their clients, but their own psyches as well. This is problematic. We have been trained to attend to and put attention on others, without knowing how to slow down to include ourselves or be aware of what is happening with our somatic systems. No wonder we’re exhausted! Until we acknowledge mind/body division, our lives will be unmanageable and/or we won’t know how to support our client’s somatic experiences as our attention will be limited to the mental realm. We are so much more than that, and so are those we support. In this Exploration you will learn how to tap into a field of abundance that is always here, that is always sustaining us, and that never runs out. But first, we will learn how to slow down. We cannot truly receive support, support others, or know and love ourselves until we experientially learn that we are safe to slow down. As we learn this, we will discover that slowing down is necessary in disrupting the violence and oppression within our own psyches, with our clients, as well as in this world. This is transformational work, and you will have a community of practice to support you along the way. We will learn and grow and support each other. Included in our time together, we will:
- Learn about the dominant oppressive narrative and how it influences our daily life, and what other narratives might be possible. Regardless of who we are—racism, ableism, sexism, homophobia, classism, capitalism, environmental crises and so forth impact all of us, and impact all those we work with. We will cognitively and consciously somatically explore these territories together.
- Learn how to do simple consensual inquiry (an inquiry that I developed) with oneself and others. This inquiry will also help you to slow down and connect with curious questions without agenda, even when you or your client is in crisis
- Use practices that are rooted in vagus nerve/ nervous system health, which increase self-awareness, and pave the way for having a healthy nervous system and sustained access to our somatic awareness, so that we may remember another co-existing reality of abundance, compassion and well-being.
- Actively engage in a transformative wisdom-based narrative that centers well-being.
- Learn how to be present with oneself and others through a compassionate lens of allowance, without agenda, even while having challenging/uncomfortable sensations and fearful thoughts.
- Learn how to engage in the transformative art of changing the orientation of our attention.
- Learn that it is safe to connect to other human beings through our community of practice.
- Learn how to be empowered, conscious and active change agents with our families, friends, and in the world.
- So much more!
- 16 (60-90 minute) private 1:1 sessions which will model the transformative power of Presence, Compassion and Curiosity. (Two per month, one with me, and one with Julia Stolk, my co-collaborator.)
- Personal email and text exchanges with us will provide personal support as needed.
- 13 or more group live gatherings (all group calls will be recorded, which will be yours to review as resonates) ranging from 60 to 120 minutes. First gathering will be February 20th, 2022, and last gathering will be the end of Sept/beginning of October 2022.
- Support staff and guest teachers, many of whom are ReMember Institute master teachers, to augment your learning and practicing.
- Book, audio, and video selections which center transformative voices. We will study them together to enhance our deepening.
- A social media platform off of Facebook with which to connect with your peers and engage in your practices.
Impact statements from 2021 Matrix Integration Exploration (MIE) participants:
- Matrix Integration Exploration has helped me feel unconditionally loved and supported by community as I have never experienced it before. The strong community experience and one-on-one sessions with Lisa offered me a space of trust has allowed me to really see my inner oppressive patterning and trauma that have kept me from being fully connected to myself, to others, to purpose and love. The tools we’ve acquired throughout the course have allowed me to engage with my rather intense experiencing of the world and strong emotions in a way that feels save, allowing me to trust more in change and the unknowing, be open for more than what I can control while taking ownership of my actions, surrender to life and allowing myself to be fully human, to be imperfect and whole at once. Actively building these social ties as well as the common learning process and sharing of experiences give hope and trust that after the darkness comes light, and that when things do feel too much for oneself, one really isn’t alone. Connecting back with the sacredness of my own humanity is allowing me to step into more loving relationships with others, as well. The course has taught me what I have been desiring deeply inside of me – how to decolonize and heal from inside out. I take with me tools that allow me to be my own mother and grounding place and at the same time that I can pass on to what is around me – to build healthy and supportive relationships, and do community work and activism in a regenerative way that puts love first. –University student and Social Justice Activist
- For 10 long years I was agoraphobic because my body was in a state of almost constant anxiety. Dissociation made it impossible to drive. I couldn’t work, I couldn’t socialize, and I couldn’t find joy. I was absolutely frozen and didn’t know why or how to do anything about it. So, I began working with Lisa and doing her free rest meditations almost daily. She taught me how to slowly and gently begin to re-wire my neural pathways and soothe my nervous system. At first I didn’t understand how doing the rests would help me, until one day I realized I was able to sit in my breathing body and feel absolutely safe. It was stunning. I eventually learned how to be with my discomfort while simultaneously staying connected to things that felt supportive to me (the chair underneath me, my hands clasped together, my feet on the floor) and without spinning out and dissociating. It was such a great relief and it gave me so much hope that I might thrive in life again one day.
- Matrix Integration Exploration has taught me to connect with myself in a way I never knew. It has changed me. I have learned to ‘check in’ with my body on a daily basis, and I see now that this is the starting point for everything else. All the complicated thoughts one might have, the painful memories, the sorrows of our daily lives: they are allowed to be there, in a safe space that Lisa helps to create. From there you can start transitioning. And learn that at the same time there are always things that support you, that are abundant and good. I’m very grateful for having participated on this journey, that will be lasting. —High School Teacher
- The Matrix Integration Exploration course is the most life-changing course I’ve taken. It taught me how to lean into what is present in the moment within me, and then helped me notice my conditioned patterns of thinking. With the daily practices we were offered, and Lisa’s inquiries along the way, I became more curious about how I was responding in a given moment, about my perceptions of life. I’ve developed skills that helped me slowly and gently change my perspective from a dominant, oppressive narrative to one that is more open, more curious, and more loving toward myself which helped me look at the world differently too. Probably the biggest gift of this course is that the changes are self-sustaining as long as I continue the practices that I’ve grown to love. —Administrative Assistant
- I had a tremendous experience in this course. When I met Lisa a couple of years ago, I was in a very dark place. I started looking around, realizing that I wasn’t doing anything I loved. It was all for other people- I never asked myself what I wanted. I was so down. Everybody was saying things like “be present” as if it was easy. She told me that as a human being, I can actually heal, that I can do this- It doesn’t require being a superhuman. I realized that she had been down a similar road before, that I had found someone who understood. And when I started taking this course, that feeling just kept growing, mainly through community. Being around a lot of people who are asking similar questions and going through similar things, has been very healing. And this is all done in a very accepting way. There’s no pushing this whatsoever. Another good thing about the course is that there’s no pretense that this is going to fix all your problems. It’s hard to describe, though, because there has some sort of transformation … I just feel much more freedom to relax my body. That’s what this course teaches you- it’s literally an embodied experience. And what that means for me lately is that just feeling much less tense in my body and just much more calm. And this has allowed me to be more playful. I’ve noticed that in my life, I’m doing things just because I want to, just because they bring me joy not to get anything externally. And that has a lot to do with this course. —Attorney
- My experience with Lisa’s course is difficult to capture in words because it had a lot of impact on my being and on my life, inside and outside.The biggest impact is that I reclaimed valuable parts of myself that I forgot that were there, my sensitivity, my ability to love others and myself and with that my power. Lisa is a very gifted healer that teaches by living her teachings, which is powerful. I really enjoyed being part of the community and as Lisa was guiding us we were also guiding each other. I think one of the most valuable things that you would get out of this course is being part of a community of likeminded people doing the same work, struggling with the same things. This has been a incredibly healing experience. What changed the most in my life is that I got much more courageous in showing up as myself in relationships and at work. I’m less afraid and that’s incredibly freeing, to not have to pretend anymore. I wish that for everyone. —Project manager at an international non-profit organisation