Facing the reality of our experiences is the only way to find freedom from some of their apparent tyranny. For in facing an experience and owning an experience, we honour the sanctity of our experience.

How? I personally find a contemplative practice of one description or another goes a long way in helping me process difficult material. Some of the most useful have been journaling, long walks, meditating, or even just pausing for five minutes to reconnect with myself—it is, more or less, the art of listening.

The genius in contemplative practice lies in that it creates space—space much needed for the clarity of thought and feeling that guide us with a degree of grace through our experiences. It provides a framework within which we may re-discover our inner world and become acquainted with its ineffable contents—our thoughts, deep feeling states, subjective perceptions and other senses—the truth of our experience laid bare.

And, with a degree of proficiency, contemplative practice also unveils native sources of intelligence and insight—the truth of our inner wisdom laid bare.

Honouring the sanctity of our life this way makes plain the intrinsic sanctity of life generally, after which it becomes impossible to see our relationship to the world, to each other, to the cosmos, as anything other than the sacred affair that it is.

Facing our experience—journaling, praying for guidance or simply sitting in stillness—is an expansive, liberating, heart opening approach to getting better acquainted with life’s realities. We may not understand these realities, or like these realities, nevertheless holding these experiences in the womb-like space of some sort of contemplative practice is essential for metamorphosis—for finding our wings.