There is a call right now for white people to listen to BIPOC… to understand and feel the pain of the discrimination they experience… to know that they fear for their lives daily, or to know their loved ones and their people have been senselessly abused and murdered. If you feel numb right now or want to turn your eyes and ears away, I understand, I once did this too.
It’s instinctual for us to avoid pain. And for me, having a stress related auto immune disease, trying to feel good and avoid pain was a primary focus of my life for many years. I believed this was a path to elevate my consciousness. Though at one point, I realized, that to be a man meant that I could not turn my eye to the evil and pain that exists in the world. I began to see that I might have been elevating my consciousness, and I was also allowing a little boy inside of me who wanted to avoid pain to continue to hold a strong influence over me and my life.
As children sometimes our parents protect us as best as they can from seeing and feeling pain. It can be traumatic and we are still learning how to process trauma from when we were a young person. When we are old enough to be able to process pain better, trying to escape the pain, or avoiding looking at atrocities prevents us from fully growing up.
I am not saying that we should not seek joy and happiness and enlightenment and to be in the light and all that…. But rather, the path to be a fully integrated adult human being requires us to not turn away, and to learn to be with it all, no matter how much it hurts.
In order to be able to be with pain… and right now to be with the pain that many of us are feeling today, we may need to be held in order to fully surrender into it… This holding may come from your mother, your son, your partner, yourself or a stranger even… I virtually offer you now my arms and my chest, my heart and my soul as a place you may lay your head… and your heart… we as walk each other back home.

Stefan Grafstein

Stefan Grafstein is a Coach, Speaker, Author, and Adventurer. He is the founder of Live Ignited: facilitating human potential through adventure. He has been leading retreats and workshops to create more freedom, success, and meaning in life since 1999. He is a big wave surfer, a back-country snowboarder, a class-5 river guide kite surfer, and back-country snow-kiter. An award winning cognitive neuroscience researcher, Stefan has an M.A. in Spiritual Psychology, and a B.A. in Developmental Psychology. During a battle with an autoimmune disease early in his life, he developed a dedicated yoga and spiritual practice. Stefan now lives in balance and flow, disease free. His journey has informed his life path and purpose. Along the way, he developed his own techniques called: Retinal Field Meditation, The 3 Voices Framework, and Shamanic Vocal Expression. These and other methodologies he’s trained in offer a unique and powerful experience for the business leaders and athletes that hire him to multiply their impact in the world. Stefan also coaches individuals and couples in finding mutual understanding, deeper intimacy, and connection in their business and personal relationships. His book "The Power of Risk" inspires a path of personal transformation through taking risks in life and adventures and is due to be published in 2020.

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