The Cartography of the Heart

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1.) Bio-luminescence: living things that emit light

There is much conversation about self-love and how, exactly, to obtain this elusive and sacred state. There is also much conversation about self-sabotage/self-hatred—the ‘shadow’. The interplay of light and shadow is evident in all living things, be it shimmering on the earth’s surface, or in the ocean depths as bioluminescent sea life moving through inky darkness.

The quest is internal. It is the tentative walk down the dark path, or the fall, or perhaps the deep dive. For without this experience, there is no way for you to sink into your deepest medicine…your essence…your bioluminescence.

From this place springs self-acceptance and self-love. It is this vast landscape, within your body and soul that is uniquely and beautifully yours alone. No one can really know what ‘hitting bottom’ looks like or feels like for you. No one can really understand your personal ‘dark night of the soul’. It is your experience of navigating this journey through your self that strengthens you and allows your heart to welcome you home.

You are not Peter Pan and no one is going to stitch your shadow to the soles (soul) of your feet. You must want to integrate this shadow as a rich part of your self…not try and outrun it, intellectualize it, or go around it. These are your dragons, these are your wildflowers, these are your boulders, these are your openings.

You do not ‘become’ anything other than your true self. It is not about the striving. It is about the listening. The stillness. It is within this spaciousness that you begin the walk, the internal quest, that is tenderly and completely your own.

This is your inner work. Your quest.


denise siteDenise Andes  is a Neo-Reichian Body-Centered Psychotherapist, Shamanic Teacher, CRT, and LPC. As an artist and writer, she has woven eidetic imagery and shamanic healing over the past 25+ years into her private practice in Santa Fe, NM. Denise is delighted to find her practice filled with artists. Her joy is helping people to land in their bodies and enjoy it! She works extensively with developmental, shock/trauma, and self-acceptance issues.

For more information on Denise please visit her website .

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