Opening Your Heart and Awakening Your Soul to what Matters with Mark Nepo [Episode 42 of the Intentional Clinician Podcast]
Paul Krauss MA LPC had the privilege of speaking with Mark Nepo during the time of “Shelter in Place” in April 2020, thanks to the technology of ZOOM. Mark is a prolific author, poet, speaker, and teacher. His newest book discusses our life journey, teaching readers to expand their spiritual resources while valuing the paradoxical nature of life. Mark highlights the importance of taking a retreat or break to reflect while also receiving feedback from your community. These principles have been beneficial to people from all spiritual and non-spiritual perspectives, and Paul anecdotally supports this.
According to Mark, the COVID-19 pandemic and other difficult times can be useful for increasing our awareness of what we know and don’t know. Distinguishing facts from speculation can help our overall anxiety levels, and help us be able to shift our focus from fear to realistic awareness. These principles and others from Mark’s The Book of Awakening have helped Paul in his personal life.
Mark explains that we extrapolate our experiences from our worldview. The way we feel can impact how we see the world, but when we break open we see that not everything in the world is related to our emotions. Good things are still going on despite our circumstances. It takes practice to realize that surrender is necessary in adopting this perspective. On the other hand, moments of joy for us are not opportunities for guilt or gloating. They are a chance to reflect on the paradoxical nature of life–the good and the bad that coexist.
Mark and Paul discuss some practices we can do, but it takes effort to be diligent and consistent. Additionally, Mark says that the mind is an inlet rather than a generator. We need to relate to other life, not just use our minds to overanalyze it. Our modern minds struggle with this, so it is important to enter reality rather than try to create it.
Finally, Mark relates the pandemic shelter-in-place to spiritual basics. We need to focus less on ourselves and more on others and the world around us. For some of us, this may be the event that breaks us open to realize some of these principles.
You can learn more and follow Mark Nepo’s work below:
With over a million copies sold, Mark Nepo has moved and inspired readers and seekers all over the world with his #1 New York Times bestseller The Book of Awakening. Beloved as a poet, teacher, and storyteller, Mark has been called “one of the finest spiritual guides of our time,” “a consummate storyteller,” and “an eloquent spiritual teacher.” His work is widely accessible and used by many and his books have been translated into more than twenty languages. A bestselling author, he has published twenty-two books and recorded fifteen audio projects.
Paul Krauss MA LPC is the Clinical Director of Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids, home of The Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids. Paul is also a Private Practice Psychotherapist, EMDRIA Consultant in Training (CIT), host of the Intentional Clinician podcast, Behavioral Health Consultant, Clinical Trainer, and Counseling Supervisor. Paul is now offering consulting for a few individuals and organizations. Paul is the creator of the National Violence Prevention Hotline (in progress) as well as the Intentional Clinician Training Program for Counselors. Questions? Call the office at 616-200-4433.
If you are looking for EMDRIA consulting groups, Paul Krauss MA LPC is now hosting weekly online and in-person groups. For details, click here.
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