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Francis Weller is a psychotherapist, writer and soul activist. He is a master of synthesizing diverse streams of thought from psychology, anthropology, mythology, alchemy, indigenous cultures and poetic traditions. Author of Entering the Healing Ground: Grief, Ritual and the Soul of the World, he has introduced the healing work of ritual to thousands of people.

For over thirty years Francis has worked as a therapist and has developed a style of work he calls soul-centered psychotherapy. As a gifted therapist and teacher, he has been described as a jazz artist, improvising and moving fluidly in and out of deep emotional territories with groups and individuals, bringing imagination and attention to places often held with judgment and shame. His writings have appeared in anthologies and journals exploring the confluence between psyche, nature and culture. He is a frequent presenter and keynote speaker at conferences, bringing insight, poetry and a breath of humor to his talks.

Francis is currently on staff at Commonweal Cancer Help Program. He has taught at Sonoma State University, New College of California and the Sophia Center in Oakland. He is currently completing his second book, A Trail on the Ground: Tracking the Ways of the Indigenous Soul.

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Aiming for Perfection? Just Live!

Recently I offered several workshops focusing on self-compassion. I began each one by saying, “This weekend is a project in non-self-improvement.” This statement was often followed by laughter and then a slow realization that gradually revealed a premise that nearly every one of us carries: We must always be improving, forever trying to make ourselves better, thinner, more spiritual; in a word, perfect. For many of us, it is our primary motivating concern. Hidden under this pressure is a belief that says, “Unless I improve, make myself better, bordering on perfect, I will continue to live outside the circle of…

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