The Book of Love
Reconnect with your deeper story
Your 'unruined heart'
"O Immaculate Heart of My Mother...keep me strong, fierce, loving, and able in this world. Remind me daily, that despite my imperfections, my heart remains, completely unruined." - Clarissa Pinkola Estes
You were born and wired for connection, joy, purpose, and meaning. You came with a gift to offer to the village, to your community and to our greater world. You came with a good, strong heart.
And life, in all its twists and turns, can bring its share of wounds and scars, where you feel disconnected from your heart and your gift.
When you lose your sense of connection
When we experience heartache, hardship, or pain, or when we struggle with something long term, like depression, illness, or a painful relationship with food, it's easy to feel like we're 'damaged goods' - like there's something wrong with us.
Our struggles can become the lens through which we see ourselves, coloring our perceptions and beliefs about who we are. We can lose our connection with ourselves or with our hopes and dreams - our sense of our abiding goodness, capability, and trustworthiness.
We can begin to feel as if we don't matter, don't belong, or don't have a gift to offer to the world.
This disconnection from ourselves is often much more painful
than the surface struggle
- with food, with illness, or with
relationships - itself.
Your heart longs for connection
we experience this disconnection, our hearts long to reconnect - to
yearn and dream, to remember and speak our story, and to sing our song
back to ourselves when we feel like we've forgotten it.
The song is still there. It may feel covered over, muted, or like it's gotten out of tune. But it's still there.
of the ways we can reconnect to our deepest selves - to the being that
we are underneath any struggle, to our soul's song - is through story,
myth, image, and symbol - all the juicy revelations and reverberations
The Book of Love is a playful, art based class to reconnect to your essence: to your deeper story, to your soul song.
Nurturing connection through story + community
this 5 week class, you'll be crafting a journal of connection - using a blank book
that you fill with images, stories, symbols and more - to create a Book
of Love, a chronicle and witness to your soul's story. Through this
creation and through sharing a space with others, you'll reconnect with
your deepest self, soften shame, and embolden courage - supporting your
healing journey with food or any other challenge.
poetry and creativity are powerful ways of supporting resilience - the
new life that longs to rise in you, what lies underneath that painful
sense of "something's wrong with me."
This class is a good fit for you if:
- you're recovering from a food compulsion, illness, or difficult time
- you're in the midst of a life transition or grieving a loss
- you're yearning for healing and wholeness
- you're wanting something creative, expressive, and playful to support other kinds of healing work
- you love to play in the realm of soul
- or if you're longing for a greater sense of connection and intimacy with yourself, your heart, and with others
*** The next group class of The Book of Love begins in early 2020.
"Karly is one of the most authentic and deeply caring teachers I know. What a gift for everyone she teaches and touches, that she has an extraordinary ability to transform the struggles, insights, hard-won wisdom and growing edges of her own journey into programs that meet people right where they are, and support them–with exquisite kindness–to take their next steps toward freedom, wholeness and deep self-care. "
- Abby Seixas, Therapist and author of Finding the Deep River Within
The course curriculum:
Module 1: Walking the road home: welcoming, belonging, and wholeness
"To be human is to belong. Belonging is a circle that embraces everything ." - John O' Donohue
- In this module, you'll reconnect with your heart, explore what home and belonging mean to you, and create a space of welcome for those parts of yourself that have been unloved, unfriended, or outcast.
- This module is especially helpful if you feel disconnected from yourself, if you long for greater tenderness, or like you've 'fallen off' your path.
Module 2: Love's warm embrace: opening to connection, community, and holding
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." - Rumi
- In this module, you'll be widening and deepening the circle of love that surrounds you. You'll reconnect with those places where you have known connection and belonging, and you'll gently connect to those tender places that have not known love but who long to be seen, to receive support and care, and to receive love.
- This module is especially helpful if you have a hard time asking for help or receiving love from others.
Module 3: Singing your song back to you: grieving what was lost, listening for the deeper story, and touching ground
"Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground." - Oscar Wilde
- In this module you'll create a space for grief to flow, seek out those talismans and reminders - who am I underneath these changing and ebbing waves? - and release shame and blame for your human journey. You'll reflect on how 'the voice of separation' shows up in your life and how to listen to the deeper story - the voice of connection.
module is especially helpful if you need support for the grieving
process, if you feel like you've been emotionally stuck, blocked or
frozen, or conversely, if you've felt emotionally overwhelmed.
Module 4: Creativity and courage: nourishing the greening, the new life that longs to be born
"Good people, most royal greening verdancy, rooted in the sun, you shine with radiant light." - Hildegard of Bingen
- In this module you'll be exploring your yearnings - the desires that lay within your heart - and your creative urges - the new life that longs to be born. You'll dance with the metaphors of seeds and seedlings, dragons and treasures, and courage and courting.
- This module
is especially helpful if you want to reconnect with your passions and
desires, if you feel disconnected from your sense of purpose, or you
feel like your struggles have kept you from connecting with others in
sharing your gifts.
Module 5: Beauty and blessing: we enter dancing, we were born for joy
"I believed I wanted to be a poet, but deep down, I wanted to be a poem." - Jaime Gil de Biedma
- In this module, you'll be a lover and finder of beauty, gratitude, praise and joy, opening to the blessing that your own birth and being offers to our world as well as the blessings that you have received from others.
- This module is especially helpful if you feel
disconnected from the beauty of life, if you feel worn down by your
challenges, or if you're wanting to reconnect with the everyday
sacredness of life.
What past students have said:
A note of transparency: As The Book of Love is a brand new course, we don’t have customer feedback to share about this particular course. The following are reviews from students who’ve taken previous courses so you can get a feel for what we offer and how we help folks.
"Where do I start? I listen again and again, read again and again and keep learning new things! I'm finally changing, peeling the layers of my eating disorder, developing a loving relationship with myself so that I can then be a better mom, daughter, teacher, human!! Karly's work touches me in a way I can't fully articulate! I listen, take notes, listen again, feel so understood and supported, and see that I'm changing!"
- Julie M.
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your honesty and compassion. Your approach and writing, above any other, helps me see my eating disorder with kind eyes. "
- Emily D.
"I’m so incredibly grateful for finding your website when I did. It really hits home for me and as I work through the material, I am gaining so much insight and understanding about the source of my behavior patterns. I am unraveling so much about my life. Each module is a small journey towards healing old wounds and finding my true self and the courage to express her. It amazes me as I listen to your teachings and every single day something rings true to me and another lightbulb goes on. I am so grateful to finally have this insight and support in my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your experiences for the benefit of all of us in the community. I finally feel like I’m coming home to my own heart and I’m no longer so lonely because I’m surrounded by so many wonderful people just like me. That alone makes this whole journey worth every single step. "
The nuts and bolts of the course
In this course, you'll receive:
- 5 guided lessons to support your journey of healing and restoration
- A private, closed forum/sharing space where you can connect with others in the group, share your journey, and ask questions
- Bonus materials – stories, rituals, practices, poetry and other nourishment for the soul
- 5 Q&A webinars where you can ask questions, share your experience, and connect with others who are also going through the course
How it works:
- You watch and listen to the weekly lessons at home, on your own. There are 5 main lessons.
- You use the weekly lesson and materials – poems, stories, songs, and more – to shape the creation of your Book of Love. You work on creating your book at home, on your own, with images, songs, stories, poems, notes, photos and more that speak to you.
- You join me and the others who are going through the course for regular Q&A webinars. This is where you can ask questions and also share more about your own journey.
- You can also share about your journey and ask questions in the private, closed forum.
The most important thing
This class is meant to be play, not work and is designed to be playful, creative and expressive.
It's a soulful approach to healing
that trusts the healing power of creation, symbol and story - a natural companion
to other types of healing work like therapy, contemplative
and spiritual practices, trauma therapy, meditation, body based practices like yoga, dancing, or martial arts, and somatic practices.
Not sure if The Book of Love is right for you? Please email us with any questions. We're here to help and want you to find the right fit.
About Karly, the course creator
Hello! I'm so glad you're here. I’m Karly, your guide through the course. I help highly sensitive people who struggle with shame, sugar, overdoing and perfectionism and who yearn to create a kinder, more compassionate relationship with themselves.
There's a deeper story that lives underneath the surface story of your struggle, and this story is both more true and more merciful. It's this story that I help midwife into being. There is so much beauty - and so much tenderness - that lives in and underneath your struggles.
Growing human(kind)ness, the name of my website, means to soften self criticism and shame, and to claim the wholeness that is our birthright. This work arose from two things - from my own experience with 20 years of multiple eating disorders, chronic depression and anxiety, and from bearing witness to others' stories of challenge, growth and rebirth.
I teach classes, write books and courses, and speak to groups.
I offer this teaching in service to all who feel the shame of human stumbling and who yearn for wholeness, and a desire for a more compassionate and connected world. Underneath all my work you'll find a love for the human heart.
I live in Austin, Texas with my husband Patrick and our family, two dogs, a very frisky cat, lots of dust bunnies, and beautiful oak trees. I love good stories, good music, good food, good words, lifting heavy things, and long walks.