Monday, January 31, 2011



AND THEN . . .

On winter solstice the light is born.

Maybe you'd like to think we can leap

straight from the darkest dark

to the lightest light.

A leap of light!

Perhaps here's where you'd like that quick fix -

the one that's been promised by

too many who knew better,

or could have known better

if they weren't buried by their own

greed, their own personal agendas,

their own false hopes,

or the ice of their own illusions.

The illusions of how things work

going from darkness to light.

Even in the outer world

there are no harmless, sustainable quick fixes.

We don't go straight from

the winter to the summer solstice.

There are six l-o-n-g months between them.

And freezing or even below-freezing cold.

Feet of snow you have to shovel

or it will turn to ice.

Ack! The hard, back-breaking work of shoveling.

And inches of ice -

hard, hardened, ever so slippery ice -

you have to chip away at or find a way to melt,

or you will slide, fall, crash.

Even though it's getting a little bit lighter

day by day by day,

this can go on for at least two or three of those

six long months.

And beneath the snow and ice

there is hard frozen ground.

Nothing can penetrate it

from the outside in

or the inside out. . .

until it thaws in its own timing.


deep in the heart of the earth,

our plants are keeping warm,

nourished by the life energy

that returned down, down, down to them

from blossoms, leaves, and stalks,

right before the light was born.

And there they will stay,



until ice and snow

are dissolved and melted,

hardened ground softens once again,

and they innately know it is safe

to slowly, slowly grow up and out into the world again.

This is all true in our inner worlds, too.

Starting to birth the light from within out into the world,

we'd like to believe there are quick fixes

that aren't harmful and are sustainable.

But it isn't true. . .

and it is harmful to believe it is.

It is harmful to you as an individual person and soul,

and it is harmful to our world.

For deep in your own underground labyrinths

at the heart of your Self,

is life that you have wanted to protect for years,

since your earliest storms in life,

the ones in which you were hurt and scared,

angry and sad, resigned and hopeless.

The ones you buried deep and covered over with

layers and layers of defense . . .

defense that froze - became harder and harder,

more and more brittle,

and eventually broke off and took on a life of its own.

Hardened life, no matter how it appeared on the surface.

You can't just throw salt on a frozen heart.

You can't just chip away at it.

It's too delicate for that.

You have to melt your frozen heart with

Commitment, compassion, purpose, truth, and the fire of feeling safely.

Feeling all that you have frozen that froze your heart, too.

And when your heart is thawed,

the work will not be over.

It will take place in the warm breeze of summertime,

when the light is full and then . . .

As we enter the new year,

May you continue your journey with the growing light

and the snowy, frozen winter . . .

melting whatever is frozen within you

with commitment, compassion, purpose, truth, and the fire of feeling safely.

And if I can be of service to you in the process . . .

Feel free to let me know.

Many blessings,

© Judith Barr 2010


A heartful thank you to Betsy Bethel-McFarland for an inspiring interview with me as part of her article in OV Parent on the topic of bullying in holiday specials.

And on the same topic . . . many thanks to Mary Jacobs, for a wonderful interview with me on United Methodist Portal's website.

I look forward to working with both of you in the future!


In your outer world . . .

As I have said many times before . . . abuse of power in our world is coming out into the light of day more and more. Within and all around us are opportunities for healing!

Recently, I have felt called to begin to gather a consortium of like-minded and -hearted people, from various professions and walks of life, people who not only believe in doing the depth inner work necessary to heal themselves and our world, but who are also committed to it themselves. Together we would brain- and heartstorm how to bring further out into our world the healing it so needs . . . and to touch people even more . . . in the deep places where they are called to do their own inner healing.

I would love to have someone from each profession and arena of expertise . . . medicine, law, business, financial, mediation, government, politics, different branches of the media, publishing, entertainment, religion, spirituality, the arts . . . can you think of others?

If you know someone who may be interested in this consortium, and if you are open to making a bridge between him or her and me, please forward this newsletter to them, or otherwise take them the message, and please email me to let me know.


In your inner world . . .

During this time of longer nights and shorter days, remember that the darkness often holds the clues to the path toward our deepest healing . . .

In this "dark" time, explore your relationship with your own darkness. Use this time as a mirror of your own soul . . . reflecting your own need to go into and through the darkness within to reach the light.

As feelings arise in you while you contemplate the darkness, trace them back to your early experiences with darkness, both literally and metaphorically. Explore how your own experience of the dark has affected how you view the darkness within and the feelings you have about exploring this darkness.

If you are able, explore the dark within . . . finding both hidden strengths ready to be utilized, and hidden weaknesses waiting to be transformed. If you need help, reach out and find the help you need, someone who can help you explore safely and with integrity.

If we can all find the strength to do the inner work in our own dark places . . . imagine what our world would be like!

If this has informed you, intrigued you, inspired you . . . please help it inform, intrigue, inspire others by sharing it via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.

Judith Barr

is a depth psychotherapist and spiritual counselor in private practice in Brookfield, Connecticut. For more than 30 years, she has brought a passion for safety to the healing process and a commitment to help heal the abuse of power in every arena of life. She is one of the first in her profession to seriously and continually focus on the misuse and abuse of power in the healing arts. Her book, Power Abused, Power Healed addresses this theme in both the healing arts and other arenas of life. Power Abused, Power Healed is an invitation to look into the mirror at our own misuse and abuse of power . . . for the greatest, deepest healing possible, individually and globally. Sylvia Brinton Perera says about Judith's book: "Because Judith Barr's parables are deceptively simple, they help to raise consciousness in non-threatening ways. They creep under our defenses to wake us up." And Roger Woolger has called Power Abused, Power Healed "the best book on power and its abuse by therapists and spiritual healers since Guggenbuhl-Craig's trenchant 'Power In The Helping Professions'" and states: "It should be required reading for all therapists and healers in training." Judith offers workshops, including her life-changing "Healing Our Relationship with Power" series, her series "Making The World Safe from The Inside Out," and individual consultations and sessions for people in all walks of life. To learn more about Judith's work and her book, Power Abused, Power Healed, please contact Jenni Calladio-Nuzzo at 860-824-7923 or 203-364-7918, email Judith directly or go to

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