Thursday, September 22, 2016

Moving Into Appreciation


Growth is constant if we get out of the way and let it happen. I read something recently that a patient sent to me which speaks of this in a different way. It speaks of growth as being in a flowing state of transition. It is this very state which many of us are uncomfortable with being in. We often do everything we can to be where we perceive as a safety zone. We have a great need to be and feel safe, and living in a state of transition or growth often does not feel safe. 

I used to teach a way of life called The Alexander Technique. This technique founded and began by F. Mathias Alexander, is a way of life which deals with the physical bodies movements in conjunction with the mind's lead. In this work, he actively speaks of our mind beginning with a thought in which then instructs our body to move, and it is almost imperceptible. The thought is to move a certain way and the body follows allowing for an ease and grace of movement. The technique deals with the poise of our head's in the relationship with our bodies. It is a constant small, imperceptible movement where our heads are not fixed on top of our necks, but always in a state of transition, so to speak, ready to move. We often like to fix our head and neck in space, just as we like to fix ourselves in a place where we feel safe, rather than poised and ready to be able to move and flow in response to all kinds of stimuli.

What does this have to do with appreciation? As we are able to feel safer within us, we then develop the ability, consciously, to allow the movements and grace of life to move and flow within us. As we flow with life, we then can take more time to appreciate the whole process and to appreciate life itself. We can appreciate ourselves, and we can appreciate the good and the bad and the painful and the embarrassing as opportunities to grow in self-awareness and to see a greater picture beyond us. Because truly, everything is not about us nor does it revolve around each of us individually as it can feel like at times. We can sit back and appreciate life.

I had a real aha experience recently where I suddenly understood an aspect of myself I had not previously understood. As often happens with us, my body told me something about me that I didn't understand and wasn't hearing. I had been experiencing digestive issues in ways that were new to me. I had developed an irritable bowel. I knew it was an emotional reaction to something but wasn't completely sure to what. I had ideas but was kind of stuck. During a therapy session for my husband and me, I understood something in a way I hadn't previously. I had learned at an early age that I had to be responsible for carrying the ball in that I was the one who needed to initiate conversations and to try to bring people together and to find some resolution. If I didn't try, I learned it wouldn't happen. This dynamic was mostly between my mother and me. So in my life, I often feel the need to initiate and to resolve situations which have its good points and its difficult points. I began to appreciate many of the different ways this has impacted my life, including ways in which it affected my son. This aha moment has allowed me to appreciate how awesome our bodies are, how amazing we are in our connection between ourselves and our bodies, how important it is sometimes to just be and let things be, and how this old lesson has also helped me in many ways in my life. As I move into more appreciation of myself, I find I am also abler to flow with life and just let some things be; including painful and difficult things. This includes learning to sit with uncomfortable things and feelings with a greater understanding.

Shift Your Story/Shift Your Life

What does appreciation mean to you? In what ways do you find yourself struggling that finding some appreciation for yourself can ease the struggle? What do you think you could do or might like to do to help yourself move into more appreciation of something or someone in your life? What do you appreciate in yourself and/or in someone close to you? How can you improve your appreciation?

Choose one of the above questions and begin to journal about that question. I find journaling helps to clarify what I think about things. See if journaling helps you in this process. Then read what you have journaled for the next week and add onto it as new thoughts and ideas come to you.

Growth is constant if we get out of the way and let it happen. I read something recently that a patient sent to me which speaks of this in a different way. It speaks of growth as being in a flowing state of transition. It is this very state which many of us are uncomfortable with being in. We often do everything we can to be where we perceive as a safety zone. We have a great need to be and feel safe, and living in a state of transition or growth often does not feel safe.   I used to teach a way of life called The Alexander Technique. This technique founded and began by F. Mathias Alexander, is a way of life which deals with the physical bodies movements in conjunction with the mind's lead. In this work, he actively speaks of our mind beginning with a thought in which then instructs our body to move, and it is almost imperceptible. The thought is to move a certain way and the body follows allowing for an ease and grace of movement. The technique deals with the poise of our head's in the relationship with our bodies. It is a constant small, imperceptible movement where our heads are not fixed on top of our necks, but always in a state of transition, so to speak, ready to move. We often like to fix our head and neck in space, just as we like to fix ourselves in a place where we feel safe, rather than poised and ready to be able to move and flow in response to all kinds of stimuli.  What does this have to do with appreciation? As we are able to feel safer within us, we then develop the ability, consciously, to allow the movements and grace of life to move and flow within us. As we flow with life, we then can take more time to appreciate the whole process and to appreciate life itself. We can appreciate ourselves, and we can appreciate the good and the bad and the painful and the embarrassing as opportunities to grow in self-awareness and to see a greater picture beyond us. Because truly, everything is not about us nor does it revolve around each of us individually as it can feel like at times. We can sit back and appreciate life.  I had a real aha experience recently where I suddenly understood an aspect of myself I had not previously understood. As often happens with us, my body told me something about me that I didn't understand and wasn't hearing. I had been experiencing digestive issues in ways that were new to me. I had developed an irritable bowel. I knew it was an emotional reaction to something but wasn't completely sure to what. I had ideas but was kind of stuck. During a therapy session for my husband and me, I understood something in a way I hadn't previously. I had learned at an early age that I had to be responsible for carrying the ball in that I was the one who needed to initiate conversations and to try to bring people together and to find some resolution. If I didn't try, I learned it wouldn't happen. This dynamic was mostly between my mother and me. So in my life, I often feel the need to initiate and to resolve situations which have its good points and its difficult points. I began to appreciate many of the different ways this has impacted my life, including ways in which it affected my son. This aha moment has allowed me to appreciate how awesome our bodies are, how amazing we are in our connection between our selves and our bodies, how important it is sometimes to just be and let things be, and how this old lesson has also helped me in many ways in my life. As I move into more appreciation of myself, I find I am also abler to flow with life and just let some things be; including painful and difficult things. This includes learning to sit with uncomfortable things and feelings with a greater understanding.  Shift Your Story/Shift Your Life What does appreciation mean to you? In what ways do you find yourself struggling that finding some appreciation for yourself can ease the struggle? What do you think you could do or might like to do to help yourself move into more appreciation of something or someone in your life? What do you appreciate in yourself and/or in someone close to you? How can you improve your appreciation? Choose one of the above questions and begin to journal about that question. I find journaling helps to clarify what I think about things. See if journaling helps you in this process. Then read what you have journaled for the next week and add onto it as new thoughts and ideas come to you.

Moving Into Appreciation

Growth is constant if we get out of the way and let it happen. I read something recently that a patient sent to me which speaks of this in a different way. It speaks of growth as being in a flowing state of transition. It is this very state which many of us are uncomfortable with being in. We often do everything we can to be where we perceive as a safety zone. We have a great need to be and feel safe, and living in a state of transition or growth often does not feel safe.   I used to teach a way of life called The Alexander Technique. This technique founded and began by F. Mathias Alexander, is a way of life which deals with the physical bodies movements in conjunction with the mind's lead. In this work, he actively speaks of our mind beginning with a thought in which then instructs our body to move, and it is almost imperceptible. The thought is to move a certain way and the body follows allowing for an ease and grace of movement. The technique deals with the poise of our head's in the relationship with our bodies. It is a constant small, imperceptible movement where our heads are not fixed on top of our necks, but always in a state of transition, so to speak, ready to move. We often like to fix our head and neck in space, just as we like to fix ourselves in a place where we feel safe, rather than poised and ready to be able to move and flow in response to all kinds of stimuli.  What does this have to do with appreciation? As we are able to feel safer within us, we then develop the ability, consciously, to allow the movements and grace of life to move and flow within us. As we flow with life, we then can take more time to appreciate the whole process and to appreciate life itself. We can appreciate ourselves, and we can appreciate the good and the bad and the painful and the embarrassing as opportunities to grow in self-awareness and to see a greater picture beyond us. Because truly, everything is not about us nor does it revolve around each of us individually as it can feel like at times. We can sit back and appreciate life.  I had a real aha experience recently where I suddenly understood an aspect of myself I had not previously understood. As often happens with us, my body told me something about me that I didn't understand and wasn't hearing. I had been experiencing digestive issues in ways that were new to me. I had developed an irritable bowel. I knew it was an emotional reaction to something but wasn't completely sure to what. I had ideas but was kind of stuck. During a therapy session for my husband and me, I understood something in a way I hadn't previously. I had learned at an early age that I had to be responsible for carrying the ball in that I was the one who needed to initiate conversations and to try to bring people together and to find some resolution. If I didn't try, I learned it wouldn't happen. This dynamic was mostly between my mother and me. So in my life, I often feel the need to initiate and to resolve situations which have its good points and its difficult points. I began to appreciate many of the different ways this has impacted my life, including ways in which it affected my son. This aha moment has allowed me to appreciate how awesome our bodies are, how amazing we are in our connection between our selves and our bodies, how important it is sometimes to just be and let things be, and how this old lesson has also helped me in many ways in my life. As I move into more appreciation of myself, I find I am also abler to flow with life and just let some things be; including painful and difficult things. This includes learning to sit with uncomfortable things and feelings with a greater understanding.  Shift Your Story/Shift Your Life What does appreciation mean to you? In what ways do you find yourself struggling that finding some appreciation for yourself can ease the struggle? What do you think you could do or might like to do to help yourself move into more appreciation of something or someone in your life? What do you appreciate in yourself and/or in someone close to you? How can you improve your appreciation? Choose one of the above questions and begin to journal about that question. I find journaling helps to clarify what I think about things. See if journaling helps you in this process. Then read what you have journaled for the next week and add onto it as new thoughts and ideas come to you.Growth is constant if we get out of the way and let it happen. I read something recently that a patient sent to me which speaks of this in a different way. It speaks of growth as being in a flowing state of transition. It is this very state which many of us are uncomfortable with being in. We often do everything we can to be where we perceive as a safety zone. We have a great need to be and feel safe, and living in a state of transition or growth often does not feel safe. 

I used to teach a way of life called The Alexander Technique. This technique founded and began by F. Mathias Alexander, is a way of life which deals with the physical bodies movements in conjunction with the mind's lead. In this work, he actively speaks of our mind beginning with a thought in which then instructs our body to move, and it is almost imperceptible. The thought is to move a certain way and the body follows allowing for an ease and grace of movement. The technique deals with the poise of our head's in the relationship with our bodies. It is a constant small, imperceptible movement where our heads are not fixed on top of our necks, but always in a state of transition, so to speak, ready to move. We often like to fix our head and neck in space, just as we like to fix ourselves in a place where we feel safe, rather than poised and ready to be able to move and flow in response to all kinds of stimuli.

What does this have to do with appreciation? As we are able to feel safer within us, we then develop the ability, consciously, to allow the movements and grace of life to move and flow within us. As we flow with life, we then can take more time to appreciate the whole process and to appreciate life itself. We can appreciate ourselves, and we can appreciate the good and the bad and the painful and the embarrassing as opportunities to grow in self-awareness and to see a greater picture beyond us. Because truly, everything is not about us nor does it revolve around each of us individually as it can feel like at times. We can sit back and appreciate life.

I had a real aha experience recently where I suddenly understood an aspect of myself I had not previously understood. As often happens with us, my body told me something about me that I didn't understand and wasn't hearing. I had been experiencing digestive issues in ways that were new to me. I had developed an irritable bowel. I knew it was an emotional reaction to something but wasn't completely sure to what. I had ideas but was kind of stuck. During a therapy session for my husband and me, I understood something in a way I hadn't previously. I had learned at an early age that I had to be responsible for carrying the ball in that I was the one who needed to initiate conversations and to try to bring people together and to find some resolution. If I didn't try, I learned it wouldn't happen. This dynamic was mostly between my mother and me. So in my life, I often feel the need to initiate and to resolve situations which have its good points and its difficult points. I began to appreciate many of the different ways this has impacted my life, including ways in which it affected my son. This aha moment has allowed me to appreciate how awesome our bodies are, how amazing we are in our connection between ourselves and our bodies, how important it is sometimes to just be and let things be, and how this old lesson has also helped me in many ways in my life. As I move into more appreciation of myself, I find I am also abler to flow with life and just let some things be; including painful and difficult things. This includes learning to sit with uncomfortable things and feelings with a greater understanding.

Shift Your Story/Shift Your Life

What does appreciation mean to you? In what ways do you find yourself struggling that finding some appreciation for yourself can ease the struggle? What do you think you could do or might like to do to help yourself move into more appreciation of something or someone in your life? What do you appreciate in yourself and/or in someone close to you? How can you improve your appreciation?

Choose one of the above questions and begin to journal about that question. I find journaling helps to clarify what I think about things. See if journaling helps you in this process. Then read what you have journaled for the next week and add onto it as new thoughts and ideas come to you.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Feeling Different

"Nature didn't need an operation to be beautiful. It just was." 
-Scott Westerfield

We all sometimes feel different than those around us. That feeling is a real feeling, and yet it also separates us from others and also from ourselves. When we actively feel different from those around us we isolate us and we look for differences. What happens then is that we may look to blame others or we reject others or we notice the things we don't like about them, and it becomes about them and not about us. Another way of saying this is that when we feel different we are feeling bad about ourselves and so look to put the blame on the other. We become a victim in those moments. We look to separate us rather than to possibly see what we don't like in the other person is actually what don't like in ourselves. Have you ever found yourself doing something like that?

I think we all have at some time or other blamed others rather than look at us,  and some of us more than others. I had an experience recently which now when I look back at it, is kind of funny. I do a weekly workout with a group called Gyrotonics. It is like a three-dimensional pilates that has machines with pulleys and weights and has a bench and a type of equipment with a handle bar type thing which we use to move our bodies through many dimensions of twisting, extension, flexion, rotating and bending. In my experience with machines and equipment, my body doesn’t seem to fit the normal mode of operating. I had struggled to try to find the right settings on these machines for quite awhile, sometimes finding a setting that works for awhile, and  then doesn't, until I got to the point where nothing seemed to be working and I got frustrated. 

When I became frustrated I began to look at my body with frustration. I saw my arms as too short, my legs as too short, my body as too muscular, and I began a little spiral in a direction I wasn’t happy with. My instructor saw my frustration and realized that something was not working for me. She found some extra time for us to just explore settings and ways in which we could work and I could work where Gyrotonics was a good experience for me again. We eventually found a way of working which was not of the norm in terms of how most people could us the equipment, but worked for me very well. I began to feel good again in this workout.

What was interesting for me was how one of my central early wounds contributed to my frustration in this experience. In my early life, I often felt different and felt excluded by those I loved and those I wanted to love me. I hadn't fully realized the impact of feeling excluded by a sister and brother in my early life. What contributed to this was our mother's self-preoccupation through her depression and my father's blindness as to what was going on. My go to, poor me, mode is to feel different than others and so sometimes excluded. I began to go into that mode unconsciously as I was using the Gyrotonics machines and my body didn't fit the normal mode. I began to reject myself and feel bad about my differences. In those moments things were only about me in a negative way and I had trouble pulling out of that way of feeling and being into seeing myself as different in a good way; my way. It is a good way because it is appreciating me and my differences instead of feeling bad about them. In my old brain and mind, being different was a bad thing because then I was excluded and I was and felt alone and left out. Putting these things together helped my to further my love and understanding of myself and to see the cool things about me being different. My muscularity makes me strong and able to do my work. The length of my arms and legs are proportional to my body. I am just small. I then remembered an old nickname someone coined for me. It is the mighty mouse. Being different can make all of us mighty each in our own ways.

Shift Your Story/Shift Your Life

I love using writing as a tool for self-discovery. You can do this exercise through meditation, and visualization, or through writing…whichever works best for you. Either close your eyes and begin to focus on your breath, or take out your tablet and pen or paper and pen and begin to write. The focus is on how you feel different from others. Take a moment and see or write about what and when you have felt different and removed from others in some way. What was going on in your life, what was said to you or you felt implied or you just felt? See yourself in that time and place and feel what that was like for you. Now, take a step back and see yourself as a hawk looking down at the same scenario and with a deeper and fuller perspective, taking in those around you instead of just you, being open to a view which includes others, and sees what you see and feel and notice. Write it down or just visualize. Is there something else going on, or not. What, if anything, do you begin to see and understand? Take a moment with this.


Next, take a moment and imagine and see what is there for you to learn about yourself and possibly about others. What do you see about you? Do you tend to revel in the poor me feeling, do you resent others and yourself, do you give up a part of you to try to please others not liking how you feel different, and in this vein, what do you see for yourself? After you are with this for a bit, take yourself into the present and when you begin to feel different, what if anything, could you do differently…could you talk with yourself differently, could you see what was going on with others that contributed to your feeling, is this a pattern you see that repeats in your life, is there a new way you can relate to yourself? See this, and/or write down what comes to you. Be with it for a couple of minutes and then slowly open your eyes or slowly finish what you are writing. The last step is to take about 5 minutes to go over in your mind's eye what you experienced, or to read over what you have written.

We all sometimes feel different than those around us. That feeling is a real feeling, and yet it also separates us from others and also from ourselves. When we actively feel different from those around us we isolate us and we look for differences. What happens then is that we may look to blame others or we reject others or we notice the things we don't like about them, and it becomes about them and not about us. Another way of saying this is that when we feel different we are feeling bad about ourselves and so look to put the blame on the other. We become a victim in those moments. We look to separate us rather than to possibly see what we don't like in the other person is actually what don't like in ourselves. Have you ever found yourself doing something like that?  I think we all have at some time or other blamed others rather than look at us,  and some of us more than others. I had an experience recently which now when I look back at it, is kind of funny. I do a weekly workout with a group called Gyrotonics. It is like a three-dimensional pilates that has machines with pulleys and weights and has a bench and a type of equipment with a handle bar type thing which we use to move our bodies through many dimensions of twisting, extension, flexion, rotating and bending. In my experience with machines and equipment, my body doesn’t seem to fit the normal mode of operating. I had struggled to try to find the right settings on these machines for quite awhile, sometimes finding a setting that works for awhile, and  then doesn't, until I got to the point where nothing seemed to be working and I got frustrated.   When I became frustrated I began to look at my body with frustration. I saw my arms as too short, my legs as too short, my body as too muscular, and I began a little spiral in a direction I wasn’t happy with. My instructor saw my frustration and realized that something was not working for me. She found some extra time for us to just explore settings and ways in which we could work and I could work where Gyrotonics was a good experience for me again. We eventually found a way of working which was not of the norm in terms of how most people could us the equipment, but worked for me very well. I began to feel good again in this workout.  What was interesting for me was how one of my central early wounds contributed to my frustration in this experience. In my early life, I often felt different and felt excluded by those I loved and those I wanted to love me. I hadn't fully realized the impact of feeling excluded by a sister and brother in my early life. What contributed to this was our mother's self-preoccupation through her depression and my father's blindness as to what was going on. My go to, poor me, mode is to feel different than others and so sometimes excluded. I began to go into that mode unconsciously as I was using the Gyrotonics machines and my body didn't fit the normal mode. I began to reject myself and feel bad about my differences. In those moments things were only about me in a negative way and I had trouble pulling out of that way of feeling and being into seeing myself as different in a good way; my way. It is a good way because it is appreciating me and my differences instead of feeling bad about them. In my old brain and mind, being different was a bad thing because then I was excluded and I was and felt alone and left out. Putting these things together helped my to further my love and understanding of myself and to see the cool things about me being different. My muscularity makes me strong and able to do my work. The length of my arms and legs are proportional to my body. I am just small. I then remembered an old nickname someone coined for me. It is the mighty mouse. Being different can make all of us mighty each in our own ways.  Shift Your Story/Shift Your Life I love using writing as a tool for self-discovery. You can do this exercise through meditation, and visualization, or through writing…whichever works best for you. Either close your eyes and begin to focus on your breath, or take out your tablet and pen or paper and pen and begin to write. The focus is on how you feel different from others. Take a moment and see or write about what and when you have felt different and removed from others in some way. What was going on in your life, what was said to you or you felt implied or you just felt? See yourself in that time and place and feel what that was like for you. Now, take a step back and see yourself as a hawk looking down at the same scenario and with a deeper and fuller perspective, taking in those around you instead of just you, being open to a view which includes others, and sees what you see and feel and notice. Write it down or just visualize. Is there something else going on, or not. What, if anything, do you begin to see and understand? Take a moment with this.  Next, take a moment and imagine and see what is there for you to learn about yourself and possibly about others. What do you see about you? Do you tend to revel in the poor me feeling, do you resent others and yourself, do you give up a part of you to try to please others not liking how you feel different, and in this vein, what do you see for yourself? After you are with this for a bit, take yourself into the present and when you begin to feel different, what if anything, could you do differently…could you talk with yourself differently, could you see what was going on with others that contributed to your feeling, is this a pattern you see that repeats in your life, is there a new way you can relate to yourself? See this, and/or write down what comes to you. Be with it for a couple of minutes and then slowly open your eyes or slowly finish what you are writing. The last step is to take about 5 minutes to go over in your minds eye what you experienced, or to read over what you have written.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

What Is Important To You?

"Trust is like blood pressure. It's silent, vital to good health and if abused can be deadly."
-Frank Sonnenberg

Sometimes we get so busy with life's activities that we forget what is most important to us. When we are little, time seems to go so slowly and our time is dictated by our families and communities. As we become adults we are the ones who get busy doing our lives. We work, we do our chores, if we have children we take care of them and tote them to al the places they need to go, we do our activities we get involved with things like church, working out, and then we try to find time for our partners and friends. We get so filled up with things we need to do and push ourselves to do that we sometimes forget what is most important to us.

As we get older we begin to realize again, that doing things is not all that it is cracked up to be and that there are other things than what we have to do, and feel we need to do that are more important. We begin to realize that we may have missed out on some important things like really appreciating our children and the time they need to even just explore and to just be. We rush them because we feel so rushed. I have heard that in many ways grandparents make good parents for children even though they don't have the energy we have when we are younger. What they do have is more perspective and more time or a different relationship with time.

What is most important to you? What has the most weight, in terms of carrying the most importance and in terms of how it feels in your heart? If you are like me at all, my work is certainly important and does carry weight. I am lucky in that I enjoy my work and it constantly challenges me to be better. I also enjoy helping others, and my work allows me to do that. I also value my children, and when I hold them in my heart, they take up a lot of space; they are most important to me. I value my husband, and he is important to me also, but there is just something about my children that feels even greater in a different way. When we take stock of what is most important to us, we then can prioritize differently our to-do lists.

What is important comes from our hearts first. Maybe children even get it right some of the time when they want to eat dessert first. They get it right in that they allow a great desire to take precedence without censoring their selves. What would it be like to wake up in the morning and prioritize our day? Would it change what we do or how we do things? Maybe we still have to go to work or to church or do the shopping or cleaning, but maybe we would spend an extra moment hugging our children, and make the time to go to their game, or take our dogs for a walk, even though it might be more on the short side.

I remember taking my son for a walk when he was small, and even though I was enjoying it, I rushed him along because he wasn't walking fast enough or he was taking the time to look at and explore a weed and I wanted to walk. I remember rushing him in the kitchen when he wanted to help and I didn't want the mess of his helping. Looking back, would I do things differently and appreciate more those little times that are so precious, I would like to think I would; most of the time. But we often unconsciously do things the way our parents did even though we may not have liked it. Becoming conscious of our thoughts and actions are so very integral to our patterns of living and of being and of allowing us to be and do what is most important to us. When we do, we can live more healthy, whole and vital lives and bring more joy and peace into us and into our world.

Shift Your Story/Shift Your Life:


So let's do an exercise that might help us to discover or re-discover what is most important to us. When you get up in the morning, grab a piece of paper or your notebook or pad and get yourself comfortable. Breathe deeply 2 or 3 times and ask yourself what is  most important to you. Write down the first 10 things that come to you. After you have written them down, put them in an order of precedence from most important to the less important. Next, write down how you might organize your day differently so that you can allow yourself to do the most important things to you that day; even if for a  short period of time. Thirdly, write down how you might organize your next year in terms of what you could begin to do differently in your life so that you could begin to live your life more filled with what is most important to you. This  third list would be a goal oriented list. Read these lists over every day for 2 weeks, and see how it impacts your life. Then begin to implement what you can do to achieve your goals for the next year. Please let me know how you liked this exercise if you are so moved. I would love to hear from you.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Following The Thread

"The people when rightly and fully trusted will return the trust."
-Abraham Lincoln


Being in the unknown is a great fear many of us have in common. Letting go of needing to know the  outcome of things and needing to control what is occurring in our lives seems important to us. I say seems because what we perceive as needing, is really us desiring to know something because not knowing feels scary to us. If we can relax into the flow of life, we can open to seeing that there is a thread that becomes perceivable. As we follow that thread, many things that we are concerned about; usually about money, relationships, career, and happiness, fall into place. It is not All About the Base, it is all about the thread. 

Recently I had the opportunity to buy and sell our house. Boy, was that an experience. This was quite a time for many of my issues and of learning to deal with trusting and following the thread to come up for me. First, there was finding the house that was right for us, and there was finding 2 houses which we were sure was it, and not getting them. After not getting two houses which we were sure were right for us, then there was waiting and looking. Next, we found a house and our experience with the seller of that house was horrific. At one point we even walked away from the house because the seller was not willing to do necessary work for the house, and we were sure that was gone, and moved forward. A few days later we came to find that she was now open to doing much of the work we requested, and so the deal was on again. The negotiating was a difficult experience because she kept waiting until almost after the last minute to respond to us. We had to sit in the unknowing and in the place of trust, even with our nerves, as difficult as that was. When I sat back, I was able to see that there was a definite thread leading us along and that it was my needing to know that was causing such anxiety for me. 

Of course, in buying a house, we then needed to sell our house. We put our house on the market in the winter, not a good time to do so, and I thought it was important for our house to sell quickly not realizing that if it did sell right away, my husband would not have a place to teach the martial arts that are important to him personally and also financially. It turned out that almost exactly the amount of time we needed to build another karate studio in our new home was the time it took for us to sell that house. This period of time was fraught with nervous energy regarding the inspections, the repairing what was required, and so on, and yet, as I look at that period of time, it was orchestrated beautifully; not by me. There was a thread that leads the way and all I had to do was get out of the way. 

This also applies to the work I do as a chiropractor and as a facilitator of family systems work and as a life coach. If I get out of the way of needing to know where things are leading and needing to know how things  fit together, they just fit together and go where they need to go. If I can sit in the place of unknowing long enough, the thread leads us where we need to go. In fact, as I sit in the place of not knowing, I actually hold a container for my patients so that they feel safe in order to go where they need to go and to reveal what needs to be revealed for them at that time. We are all connected not only to our own threads, but we are all connected to each other. It is the need we have to know where we are going and our uncomfortableness with the not knowing that gets in our way. Sitting those uncomfortable spaces and opening to the flow of life to reveal itself, and trusting the process knowing things will make sense even with our doubt and anxieties allows us to grow and to know ourselves on a deeper level and live fuller, healthier and more vital lives.


Guided Visualization


Get yourself comfortable, and find a place where you won't be disturbed. Place your feet on the ground and begin to breathe deeply.   Close your eyes and imagine you going to your safe place. Allow that safe place to materialize. This may be a place where you felt safe growing up, or it may be a place that you conjure up in your minds eye that feels safe to you. See the place and notice the colors, space, touch what is around you and notice the textures and how they feel to your hand. Feel the sense of safety you have and let it permeate through you. From this place, imagine you are floating above yourself and looking into your past from this safe, higher perspective. You float above yourself in time and space and then you find a time where you were in a state of unknowing something in your life which gave you difficulty. You didn't know how something would turn out, you wanted something badly and didn't know if it would happen for you, and so on. Watch yourself from this safe perspective. See what you were doing and how you were responding. Notice the cost it took on you, and maybe your family members or colleagues or friends. Just watch and notice. Now find yourself floating back to your safe place and make a gentle landing where you again see it, feel it and touch it. You are now back inside your body and in this safe place, go over what you noticed in your life where you felt uncomfortable, possibly fear or anxiety in the state of unknowing. Feel those feelings and what you saw in this safe place. Now, imagine what you could do differently, what you might be able to do to help yourself in the future when something like this comes up for you. How could you do things differently from what you are learning? Breathe this in in your safe place. This place is yours and you know you can come back to this place at any time. Thank this place and yourself, breathe deeply two or three more times and then open your eyes. Write down in detail this safe place so it is yours anytime. Now just notice how you are feeling and jot those feelings down so you have a written record of your experience.

Being in the unknown is a great fear many of us have in common. Letting go of needing to know the  outcome of things and needing to control what is occurring in our lives seems important to us. I say seems because what we perceive as needing, is really us desiring to know something because not knowing feels scary to us. If we can relax into the flow of life, we can open to seeing that there is a thread that becomes perceivable. As we follow that thread, many things that we are concerned about; usually about money, relationships, career, and happiness, fall into place. It is not All About the Base, it is all about the thread.   Recently I had the opportunity to buy and sell our house. Boy, was that an experience. This was quite a time for many of my issues and of learning to deal with trusting and following the thread to come up for me. First, there was finding the house that was right for us, and there was finding 2 houses which we were sure was it, and not getting them. After not getting two houses which we were sure were right for us, then there was waiting and looking. Next, we found a house and our experience with the seller of that house was horrific. At one point we even walked away from the house because the seller was not willing to do necessary work for the house, and we were sure that was gone, and moved forward. A few days later we came to find that she was now open to doing much of the work we requested, and so the deal was on again. The negotiating was a difficult experience because she kept waiting until almost after the last minute to respond to us. We had to sit in the unknowing and in the place of trust, even with our nerves, as difficult as that was. When I sat back, I was able to see that there was a definite thread leading us along and that it was my needing to know that was causing such anxiety for me.   Of course, in buying a house, we then needed to sell our house. We put our house on the market in the winter, not a good time to do so, and I thought it was important for our house to sell quickly not realizing that if it did sell right away, my husband would not have a place to teach the martial arts that are important to him personally and also financially. It turned out that almost exactly the amount of time we needed to build another karate studio in our new home was the time it took for us to sell that house. This period of time was fraught with nervous energy regarding the inspections, the repairing what was required, and so on, and yet, as I look at that period of time, it was orchestrated beautifully; not by me. There was a thread that leads the way and all I had to do was get out of the way.   This also applies to the work I do as a chiropractor and as a facilitator of family systems work and as a life coach. If I get out of the way of needing to know where things are leading and needing to know how things  fit together, they just fit together and go where they need to go. If I can sit in the place of unknowing long enough, the thread leads us where we need to go. In fact, as I sit in the place of not knowing, I actually hold a container for my patients so that they feel safe in order to go where they need to go and to reveal what needs to be revealed for them at that time. We are all connected not only to our own threads, but we are all connected to each other. It is the need we have to know where we are going and our uncomfortableness with the not knowing that gets in our way. Sitting those uncomfortable spaces and opening to the flow of life to reveal itself, and trusting the process knowing things will make sense even with our doubt and anxieties allows us to grow and to know ourselves on a deeper level and live fuller, healthier and more vital lives.  Guided Visualization  Get yourself comfortable, and find a place where you won't be disturbed. Place your feet on the ground and begin to breathe deeply.   Close your eyes and imagine you going to your safe place. Allow that safe place to materialize. This may be a place where you felt safe growing up, or it may be a place that you conjure up in your minds eye that feels safe to you. See the place and notice the colors, space, touch what is around you and notice the textures and how they feel to your hand. Feel the sense of safety you have and let it permeate through you. From this place, imagine you are floating above yourself and looking into your past from this safe, higher perspective. You float above yourself in time and space and then you find a time where you were in a state of unknowing something in your life which gave you difficulty. You didn't know how something would turn out, you wanted something badly and didn't know if it would happen for you, and so on. Watch yourself from this safe perspective. See what you were doing and how you were responding. Notice the cost it took on you, and maybe your family members or colleagues or friends. Just watch and notice. Now find yourself floating back to your safe place and make a gentle landing where you again see it, feel it and touch it. You are now back inside your body and in this safe place, go over what you noticed in your life where you felt uncomfortable, possibly fear or anxiety in the state of unknowing. Feel those feelings and what you saw in this safe place. Now, imagine what you could do differently, what you might be able to do to help yourself in the future when something like this comes up for you. How could you do things differently from what you are learning? Breathe this in in your safe place. This place is yours and you know you can come back to this place at any time. Thank this place and yourself, breathe deeply two or three more times and then open your eyes. Write down in detail this safe place so it is yours anytime. Now just notice how you are feeling and jot those feelings down so you have a written record of your experience.
  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Summertime Fun Poem


Oh the summertime joys

Sitting on the  back deck with the dogs crawling over me letting the heat of the sun permeate my soul

Listening to the tinkle of ice cream trucks jostle down the street luring neighborhood children of all ages to cool off with a sweet treat

Feeling the warm wind and summer breezes comb out my humid soaked kinky hair

Allowing myself to think of nothing, emptying my mind and surrendering to the enjoyment of evening light

Listening to the enchanted talk of the local birds whistling, singing, hooting and pecking their way into my consciousness

As I am waiting for my nightly walk or excursion to my sweet indulgence of summer of cool brightly colored ices 

Enjoying the flickering of fireflies to light my way in their erratic nature

As I quietly hope for Summer nights to last forever

Knowing that this summer fun too shall pass until next summer's emergence as I openly flow towards cooler nights and shorter days and watching my pumpkin vine grow its first blossom and the last of the summer`s roses fades off the vine.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Being Vulnerable

He who does not trust enough will not be trusted.
-Lao Tzu

We spend a great deal of our time in life protecting ourselves from perceived hurts from life and from others. Some of us take on the role of being a victim and so we go through life oversharing and being over vulnerable with others, bonding over our wounds and almost unconsciously asking to be hurt again. Others of us take on more of a role of everything being ok, and not easily asking for help and not easily sharing our true and vulnerable, underbelly selves. Neither extreme is one which is helpful to us, and yet we developed those ways of coping from our early life experiences. Which way of coping do you find yourself most resonating with? 

Both ways actually keep us from being truly vulnerable in a life-affirming way. They are defenses built to protect us from hurts. Defenses could also be called fences. These fences keep others out from our hurt selves and keep us in, really not allowing our further growth and expansion. We developed these fences as a way of surviving. Our old instinctive brains, our young developing brains, are all about surviving in a world that is perceived as dangerous. To us in this young developing stage of life, it is all about surviving and belonging. We need to belong in order to survive. We are willing to do almost anything in order to be part of our family group and to survive. This includes giving a part of us up who is seen as different or bad from our caretakers. It also includes building fences around us so we don’t feel the pain and hurt and so we can live. This old primitive brain then continues to rule us in life as we get older unless we are able to learn how to recognize what is happening and learn how to talk with our young selves as well as our older selves, creating a continuous dialogue between our old primitive brain, and our brain which is aware and rationally relating to us, to others and to events and things around us in the present tense. 

Our old brains get stuck in the past and don't recognize that what is occurring now in our lives is not the same as occurred when we were young and experiencing hurt or trauma. Learning to be vulnerable with ourselves and others is a part of learning how to build a bridge between our primitive brains about survival and belonging to our newer, rational brains which can take in and recognize that what is happening now is in the present and not necessarily related to the past. What this looks like in relationships with others, is that we are able to recognize when we find ourselves withholding a part of ourselves and our feelings and thoughts from a partner or friend or colleague, etc., and are consciously and unconsciously protecting us from sharing how we really feel and  how we really think. 

I have one client who is over vulnerable. She overshares her issues and what is going on with her and how she is feeling. This over-sharing comes from not trusting herself or knowing herself very well, and identifying with being a victim. We don't always consciously realize when we are identifying with a victim mentality. This can come from having someone in the family, as she does, who hasn't led a good life, in her perception. She has an aunt who is mentally challenged from early birth trauma, and she has a sister who really struggles in life. This woman almost feels as if she has to struggle, and has to make things hard and doesn't understand why. This way of behaving seems to be vulnerable, but it too is actually a way she has learned to act that in fact prevents her from knowing her own self, her own true strengths, and vulnerabilities.

I have another client who seems so defended and like he has to be strong and be the fixer and the person people come to for help, not realizing he is not really being his true self and vulnerable with them in terms of being with his feelings. In fact, he is wounded, as we all are, and works very hard to cover up his wounds until he can't anymore. He attracts women to him who think he can fix them. Then when his vulnerabilities show up, they don't know how to handle it, and they leave him. His mother was an alcoholic who could be an out of control drunk, so to speak. His father was worried and asked his son, this young boy, to let him know when his mom acted up again. He  did so, loving his father, and his mother and his father confronted his mom. Mom then knew her son told her, felt betrayed, and turned on her son. She basically disowned her son; that is how it felt to him as a young boy. So, trying to please his father and trying to help his mother, he ended up losing his mother. As he grew up he became a busy fixer. This worked well except for when his issues reared their head in relationships with women in particular. There comes a period where his fears of betrayal and abandonment become a problem, and these women don't understand, feel betrayed themselves, and the relationships end. As this man learns to feel his feelings and to be vulnerable with himself, he can then be truly vulnerable in a relationship with others.

We all have a little of both within us. Some of us have more of the victim aspect, and some of us have more of the openly defended aspect. Learning how to be truly vulnerable with us and with our feelings is the path to our healing and living more whole, vital, and healthy lives.

Change Your Story/Change Your Life

Take a moment and breath deeply. Get into the rhythm of your breath. Think about which you mostly resonate with; the openly defended, or the openly too vulnerable victim aspect. Think of an example in your life where you had to defend yourself from someone or something. What was happening at that time? How did you feel about yourself? What, if anything, were you afraid of or anxious about? How did you respond, and how did the other person involve respond? How did you feel afterward?

Now, go through that event or conversation again in your mind, but this time, imagine yourself responding differently. Imagine saying your true feelings and thoughts to yourself and to the other. Imagine how it feels to you in being able to do that, and imagine how it might feel to the other involved. See and hear their reaction to your truth. How does that feel inside of you; any different than what actually did happen? Remember how this felt to you, and then begin deeply breathing again in 2 or 3 deep breaths, and then come back to the present.


Write down how this was for you and what you learned so that it becomes more available to you. Again, would love to hear how this worked for you if you would like to share your experience.