Waking up is a lifetime endeavor...
The Light of God’s Shadow reminds us through earthy, vulnerable and humorous musings, stories, and poetry that waking up is a lifetime endeavor. Psychotherapist and spiritual director Jinks Hoffmann encourages us to listen for the divine daily call to wholeness—in our relationships and work, our joys and dreams, our messes and triumphs, our losses and grief. We accompany Jinks on her journey through radiant and dark shadow, and we learn with her from the wisdom of her teachers. We grow in understanding— and in our bodies, hearts and souls—that when we welcome our vulnerability and strength, we heighten our humanity and heal our souls. By becoming kinder and more compassionate with ourselves and with one another we keep waking up and we bring healing to the world.
“Her stories and poems remind us that the Divine is meeting us in and through it all. For both those who accompany and seek accompaniment, we will find within these pages a hand reaching out to us. The hand of a sage with wide open eyes, delicately attuned ears, an ever-expanding heart, and
both feet on the ground.”
—Diane M. Millis,
author of Re-Creating a Life, Deepening Engagement, and Conversation-the Sacred Art
About the Author
Jennifer (Jinks) Hoffmann, poetry editor for Spiritual Directors International, was born in South Africa but has lived in Canada since 1966. Originally a Speech Therapist, Jinks is now a Spiritual Director and Psychotherapist. Jinks has had a book of poetry published (It’s All God, Anyway) and has had many poems published in books, journals and on-line. A devotee of waking up for over forty years, Jinks reads, writes, walks, works with her dreams, and pays attention to her daily messes and triumphs—ever in search of Mystery, all the while knowing that Mystery is searching for her.
Enter my room with me and your own inner sanctum, where, naked and vulnerable in our authenticity, we can speak from within-not about-our lives. When we ask for moment-to-moment guidance from the Great Creator we learn more about ways to awaken, to glimpse the unity. Now, with more faith in entering the dark, we receive and embrace the light of God’s darkness. Here we find harsh loneliness, the cruelty of nature, the biting entanglements of human relationships, the cold abyss of grief, mystery that can terrify. We also find unspeakable beauty, the blaze of love and community, the uplift in awe, creativity, and the Breath of Life on our cheeks. We find the courage to love, to love more, to allow the light of God’s Shadow to shine through us.
Going in and down, feeling the pain, staying with ourselves with soft bellies and open hearts, both redeems us and brings us closer to the Holy One. In the time of COVID-19, some are saying, “Focus on the positive” or “Get over it. This is your life now.” “Getting over stuff” does not work for me. I trust that grief is sacred and needs witness. Allowing pain to run its course is holy work.
One of Jung’s fine teachings was that long-term relationships are excellent—and often challenging—containers for transformation. Psychological and spiritual change may occur when anyone in a partnership—or in any family or other social system—begins to awaken in some way. When just one person begins to change, it is almost inevitable that the whole social system will be stretched, and more consciousness for all may be the outcome.
At times, we sleepwalk through life. It may be hard to stay awake to the bigness of the moment, except very briefly. Perhaps there is no brighter light but that which emerges from darkness. The more we awaken, the more we see how the whole world can shine, even in times of heartbreak. When we are openhearted with the reality of life’s darkness and our own dear imperfect psyches, we may be more able to feel the love that underlies all existence.
There may be moments when, stalking our finitude, we become simultaneously aware of the gift and the fragility of loving. It is hard not to flee at these times, for the searing meeting with another when we love from the edge of our skin can almost hurt. Open, vulnerable, in the field of love, we know that love and loss are inextricably entwined. In these moments we may experience the sacred. There is no safety once you hold hands with your God-given love teachers. If we love
unequivocally, our hearts will be broken open—more than once. The elemental and the concrete, the hidden and the revealed conjoin in rare moments. An everyday experience, like watching a child concentrate on creating a LEGO castle, becomes suspended in time, yet as
immediate as a line in the palm of your hand—everything shimmering and humming. How do we bear such love?
Bulk discounts are available.
Please call the SDI Office for more details at 1-425-455-1565, or e-mail [email protected].
Aviva Goldberg (verified owner) –
Jinks Hoffmann’s book is most wonderful and insightful. Replete with personal reflections, humor and intelligence, Jinks shares with us her life journey of spiritual exploration, of profound moments of joy and unbearable moments of sadness. Through her own experiences and the teachings of her six mentors Jinks guides us with humor , humility and wisdom to learn from our past and live more fully in the present. Her clear, open, often brilliant prose and poetry awakens us to everyday moments of sorrow and happiness and to exquisite unique moments of the ineffable. This book is a gift to all who read and reread it.
Judith Posner (verified owner) –
This book is a pleasure to read. All of the prose and poetry are accessible to ordinary readers who may not be familiar with more esoteric spiritual writings. Makes it an excellent gift for friends who may be new to the field. My favorite concept in her writings , and a thread throughout her book, is the notion of “schmutz”, a Yiddish term for dirty, trash or yucky. In Jungian terms, schmutz is what we might call a complex. Areas in which we are not conscious or clean in our awareness. And this lack of awareness tends to rule our emotions and behavior in undesirable ways. Hoffman argues that the journey of life is about becoming more and more aware and awake. It is a never ending saga about our true agency and brings richness and meaning to our very existence and to all of our relationships. More importantly, she provides many examples of how this concept has been central in her own life and the lives of some of the people with whom she has worked. She is especially forthcoming in disclosing to her readers her own foibles and follies, oftentimes with humor. These examples are wonderful teaching devices which inspire the reader to find a way to examine one’s own shadow in a more constructive light, rather than focus on shame, guilt and regret. All the while reminding us that happiness and contentment is always an “inside job.”
Pam Winthrop Lauer (verified owner) –
Review of The Light of God’s Shadow by Jennifer (Jinks) Hoffmann:
Recently I saw that Mitch Horowitz characterizes this book as a “recovery memoir”. That’s not how I think of it at all. It’s a mysticism-informed, life-sharing, wisdom book, to me.
I read this book slowly, savoring the pages, allowing myself just a few pages each morning, trying to end each reading of prose sections with one of the poems, which poem I then began reading again the next day. The days of reading this book helped me to grow into a stronger practice that was inspired by the author. The practice of, at every turn in the day, asking “what now, my Love?”
Jinks Hoffmann does not have a “flowers-and-rainbows” idea of God. She sees God in everything, a mysterious Unity. And yet she is so close to this mystery, walking in the Presence moment-to-moment.
I am inspired by Jinks’ integrity in her openness to what is true, what is real. And I’m inspired by the way she brings herself back, day after day, night after night, into relationship with this mysterious Unity.
We learn of the intensity and suffering that come into Jinks’ life over the two years in which she is writing this book – we hear the stories of what is happening, then we get a deeper view through the poems that come to her during this time.
If you would like a book that supports you to stay in loving relationship with God, no matter what, without needing even to have any clear idea of what G-d is – this is your book. It is a gift, through Jinks, of that very Mystery.