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 we feel disconnected from our heart and our gift.
When we lose our 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.
so painful. This disconnect from ourselves is often much more painful
than the surface struggle - with food, with illness, or with
relationships - itself.
Our hearts long 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.
Creating connection through art + story + community
this 6 week class, you'll be crafting a journal - 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:
"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
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
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
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
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
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. "
Here's more about the nuts and bolts of the course. You'll receive:
Dates for the Q&A webinars:
And how it works:
The most important thing? This class 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 companion
to other types of healing work like therapeutic support, contemplative
and spiritual practices, meditation, and more.
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.
I’m Karly, your guide through the course. I help highly sensitive people who struggle with food feel more compassion, less shame, and less self judgment so that they can receive support for healing and feel more connected to themselves, others and Life.
There is 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 our struggles.
Growing human(kind)ness, the name of my website, means to embrace our human struggles with a soft heart - and to allow ourselves to be softened by them. 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 write books, essays, and courses, teach classes, 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 to a desire for a more relational, compassionate, and connected world. Underneath all my work you'll find a love for the human heart and its resilience, depth and courage.
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.