Illustration of a Neanderthal Woman: John Sibbick (with permission from the artist)
Ellen Korman Mains came up with “Holding Our Strengths and “Little Monsters” with Equal Regard” as she reflected on her week and how she’d been relating with a disturbing part of herself. Diana Scalera and Ellen talked about being with difficult experiences of ourselves with the help of our spiritual and focusing practices.
Holding our Strengths…
Diana Scalera went to Catholic school until the 8th grade, when she gave up on Catholicism and organized religion in general as a spiritual practice because most of what she experienced from her Catholic education was demeaning treatment, punishment, and fear. Not until she began focusing did her connection to a spiritual life emerge. In one of her first sessions with Kevin McEvenue, a Neanderthal woman became present in her body to support her in a situation in which she felt weak and powerless. Diana could sense the strength in these bones and how the Neanderthal woman was offering them as a gift to guide her and make her strong. From then on, Diana let go of a traditional idea of spirituality and became open to her innate connection to spirit. Neanderthals
Ellen Korman Mains grew up in a Jewish home of Holocaust survivors where ties to previous generations seemed cut entirely. At 19, she met a Tibetan Buddhist teacher who emphasized trusting direct experience over dogma or wishful thinking, and this began her spiritual journey. Twenty years later, illness and energy work broadened her sense of connection to the invisible world and to the “larger system” that Gene Gendlin refers. Later, traveling to Poland to embrace her family’s past led to extraordinary openings described in her book Buried Rivers: A Spiritual Journey into the Holocaust, as ancestors began showing up to support her. Since 2011, Focusing and meditation have been important venues for trusting her direction and spiritual connection and helping others trust theirs.
Holding our “Little Monsters…”
In the video below, Diana and Ellen discuss how spirituality and Focusing live in their bodies. Through the years, show up to support their struggles with the “Little Monsters” by offering their strength and a sense of befriending to hold both the “monsters” and our strength equally.
Thank you to John Sibbick for allowing us to use his wonderful drawing of a Neanderthal woman. https://www.amusingplanet.com/2016/05/the-altamura-man.html
We hope you enjoy this conversation about how two individuals find their way.