Becoming Real

In my first Come Alive, 40 years ago, this short passage was read:

The velveteen rabbit asks the Skin Horse, the oldest and wisest of the toys, “What is REAL?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse.

“It’s a thing that happens to you. ….

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. …

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.

Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”  
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Today I am real, and I am still becoming.

I am so grateful for the skin horses (i.e. Come Alive leaders) that helped me commit to being real.

I am older, wrinkled and loose in the joints and it still hurts sometimes.  I even have some sharp edges and at times think I should be more carefully kept.

Haven, Come Alive, Couples Alive coupled with ongoing breathing and a commitment to intimacy and growth over comfort and looking good, make the effort worth it.

Now I often feel like the Skin Horse.  

Let’s be clear it’s not like this road to being ‘real’ is for everyone.  However, being able to access my loving even when it hurts is the only back home.

I do my best to bring Haven everywhere I go.  It’s not always easy.  I don’t do it perfectly.  But nothing else has been as effective and fulfilling to practice and believe in as the core tools: the communication model, resonance and breathing into sensation instead of trying to get rid of the uncomfortable. 

Out in the world, it is easy to get focused on doing and achieving.

Often this becomes more about control and looking good then being vulnerable and human. (Real)

Underneath all our bells, whistles, dollars and technological advances, we humans are still just an amazing, delicate, living, breathing, vulnerable mess of cells, organs, tissues and energy.

All the armor won’t take away the pain, the uncertainty or reality that we are basically here to become ‘real’. All the ‘power’ in the world does not ever take away the vulnerability.

However, an open heart and an open, awake mind is like a candle in a pitch-black room. It does light a path.

I’ll be at Haven in late May with CrisMarie for Couples Alive, leading a Come Alive just after and Couples Alive II in September.

I encourage to take your next step to becoming ‘real.’

Upcoming Programs with Susan Clarke

Couples Alive: Foundation: May 24-28, 2024
with CrisMarie Campbell
Come Alive : May 30 – June 4, 2024
Couples Alive II: Igniting Passion & Aliveness: September 18-22, 2024

Programs with Susan:
All Programs:

Other ways to work with Susan and Crismarie visit: