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On Longing: A Pilgrimage Toward Our Heart's Deepest Desires

Each life is wrapped around longings set inside dreams, wound into the fabric of our souls. We die for a lack of knowing how big our longing truly is, and we die from allowing our true longings to be diminished by the banality of life and the ways in which we continue to abandon ourselves.”

~Michael Meade

So many of us are experiencing the little deaths that come from longings denied, longings diminished, longings unfulfilled. We may have abandoned our true longings, or at best, tucked them away in the security of our journals or explored them freely only in the safety of our therapist’s office. Still, we may be experiencing what Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the fierce urgency of now,” the desire toward self-actualization and individuation that would have us give way and sway to our deepest dreams and longings. If not now, then when?

In this program, we will

  • Explore thirteen archetypal longings, those longings that come with being human
  • Name our own true longings, the ones wound into the fabric of our souls
  • Discern different loci for our longings, including the personal, the physical, the relational, the familial, the cultural, the political, the vocational, and the spiritual
  • Uncover and discover what gets in the way of the fulfillment of our longings, the ways we abandon ourselves, and why
  • Explore our addictions to things like perfection, safety, conformity, and many more which keep us from our truest self-expression
  • Return to childhood, and look at how “the tyranny of should” (Karen Horney) took ahold then
  • Recover our longings, and renew our vows to live our life in accordance with them


This program begins with two live Zoom sessions of approximately 3 hours each, then continues online for 6 weeks. Each week will contain a small presentation by Jennifer, followed by a set of reflective questions for participants to journal about to further deepen into the topic at hand. Participants will be invited to share what they’re discovering each week on the discussion boards and exchange written dialogue with Jennifer and a small group of individuals with similar longings. PLEASE NOTE: The online portion of the program is asynchronous. Participants can log on anytime during each week at their convenience to listen to the pre-recorded presentation and participate in the discussion boards.

Jennifer SeligJennifer Leigh Selig, PhD, is a depth psychologist, an educator, and an author who resides in California, but who travels and teaches all over the country and internationally. She spent thirty years as a full-time teacher. The first half of those years, she taught high school literature and writing, and the second half, she taught depth psychology, research, and the humanities at Pacifica Graduate Institute. In 2018, she untethered herself from institutional life, and now calls herself a “traveling teacher” or an “itinerant educator.” In addition to teaching courses for the general public, she is a writer whose most recent book, Deep Creativity: Seven Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit (Shambhala Publications) co-written with Deborah Anne Quibell and Dennis Patrick Slattery, recently won a gold prize in the Nautilus Book Awards in the category of “creativity and innovation.” Jennifer’s many other books, writings, and public talks can be found on her website, Jennifer also owns a boutique publishing company, Mandorla Books, where she publishes non-fiction, memoir, and poetry. The topic of longing has haunted her for a lifetime, and can be crystallized in this quote by James Hillman: “Tell me what you yearn for and I shall tell you who you are. We are what we reach for, the idealized image that drives our wandering.”


Program will be hosted online.


Cancellations 21 days or more prior to the program start date receive a 100% refund of program registrations. Less than 21 days, up to 7 days prior to the program start date, a 50% refund is available. For cancellations made less than 7 days of program start date, no refund is available. The Retreat at Pacifica reserves the right to cancel any program at any time. In this instance, you will be refunded in full.

For additional information, including travel, cancellation policy, and disability services please visit our general information section.