Monday, November 28, 2016

We Are Family

Families can be our biggest source of joy and our biggest source of pain and our biggest source of learning. We are brought up to believe that families take care of each other. This can mean many things. It can mean take we care about each other when we are sick or we need assistance. It can mean we raise our families as a village. It can mean we take physical care of each other as we age. It can mean we support each other financially. The meanings go on. But how often do we really care for each other in terms of caring for what is best for each other and caring for our souls? I know so many individuals who feel that their biological family is not their family in terms of caring for who they are as people. They may be blood relatives and love each other in some ways, but do they really feel seen and cared for? This begs the question; who are family to us?  I work with many patients who don't feel seen, understood or appreciated by members of their family. I was even speaking with a patient just the other day who was expressing how she was hoping to re-connect with her sister during a recent trip as they used to have so much fun together as children. She was so disappointed that she really didn't enjoy being with her. In fact, she even began to feel that how her sister acted was personal towards her. After their trip, she really has no desire to spend much time with her. She is working towards being able to love her but to love her from a distance rather than from being close compadres. Are they family? Yes, and maybe not a chosen family of the soul, but a family member by being born to the same parents and growing up together. There is a lot of power and pull towards our birth families as they really help to shape us as individuals. They also have the rich fodder to help us to learn about ourselves and to help us to grow and become conscious in our lives.  I was speaking with a friend of mine over coffee and I was sharing with her how one of my sisters was thinking about coming into town and hadn't contacted me but had my other sister, and I understood. We have had a difficult history together. She then said something to me, which was a very foreign thought to me. She said it would be a great time to go on a sister vacation together. I told her that is something that I would never have thought of myself. In my blood sisterhood, I don't think any of us would have thought that; to go on a sister vacation together. In my friend's world, that is what sisters do. They enjoy each other and would enjoy going on a vacation together. She has the luxury of loving her birth sister as a soul sister. I say luxury because I know I am not alone in having a different experience.  Birth families hold a lot of power over us for the good and for the painful and challenging. Who are family? On the one hand, they are those to whom we are related by blood and by life. They hold the key to understanding us and how we function and how we think and their belief systems live in us in a powerful way. Does this mean that we choose to be close to them and live with them? Not necessarily. Sometimes it is much better for us to find a way to love them, as they have shaped us, but with a distance. This is especially true with our parents, as we would not be here without them. If we can find gratitude for them and the gifts we have because of them but may decide to make the choice to love them more from afar, we become happier and freer as individuals and can then choose who our soul family is; those who we feel seen by and heard by and appreciated by.  Shift Your Story/Shift Your Life  Do you have a family member or more who you have trouble with and really don't enjoy being with? Or a family member who you feel scapegoated by or have been abused by in some way? Do you feel left out by and unappreciated by a family member? Many times this family member is a parent, but siblings are also very much involved in and with our developing selves. In fact, even those who feel have a difficult relationship within their community can be affected in a challenging way.   If so, take a few minutes, and in your mind's eye, go through an event, a discussion, a situation where you are drawn to or which comes to you regarding a shaping experience in your life. See it from beginning to end. Feel the feelings that were involved. Now, after you have gone through the discussion, event or situation to its end, go back and see the same thing happening, but through eyes of someone watching from a distance. As you go through it from a distance, see how it could be different. What might you say or how might you respond differently? Instead of experiencing it as traumatic, with this distance, see what is possible for you to do and feel instead of how you did at the time. Only you can do this. It doesn't change what happened and how the other person or persons were, but it can change you. Instead of feeling helpless or angry or lost or unloved, maybe you could imagine that the other person or people don't see you but are really blindly talking about their selves. Maybe you are able to express what they can't. Maybe you can see them as lost souls. Maybe you can see their own helplessness and their anger and rage and longing but directed towards you. As you in your mind's eye live through this in a new way, imagine you being able to know that this isn't about you at all and that you are safe. See you accepting them at a distance and beginning to feel self-empowered in a new way. Breathe this new way in. It is yours.  If you find you are not able to do this, then let it go, and maybe come back to it at a time in the future.   Now, see you choosing to be with someone or ones who appreciate you and get you. Feel their eyes upon you, maybe even their arms around you or hand linked with yours. As you do so, imagine walking into the distance with those you consciously choose to be with and follow that stroll. That movement is what is possible for you.

Families can be our biggest source of joy and our biggest source of pain and our biggest source of learning. We are brought up to believe that families take care of each other. This can mean many things. It can mean take we care about each other when we are sick or we need assistance. It can mean we raise our families as a village. It can mean we take physical care of each other as we age. It can mean we support each other financially. The meanings go on. But how often do we really care for each other in terms of caring for what is best for each other and caring for our souls? I know so many individuals who feel that their biological family is not their family in terms of caring for who they are as people. They may be blood relatives and love each other in some ways, but do they really feel seen and cared for? This begs the question; who are family to us?

I work with many patients who don't feel seen, understood or appreciated by members of their family. I was even speaking with a patient just the other day who was expressing how she was hoping to re-connect with her sister during a recent trip as they used to have so much fun together as children. She was so disappointed that she really didn't enjoy being with her. In fact, she even began to feel that how her sister acted was personal towards her. After their trip, she really has no desire to spend much time with her. She is working towards being able to love her but to love her from a distance rather than from being close compadres. Are they family? Yes, and maybe not a chosen family of the soul, but a family member by being born to the same parents and growing up together. There is a lot of power and pull towards our birth families as they really help to shape us as individuals. They also have the rich fodder to help us to learn about ourselves and to help us to grow and become conscious in our lives.

I was speaking with a friend of mine over coffee and I was sharing with her how one of my sisters was thinking about coming into town and hadn't contacted me but had my other sister, and I understood. We have had a difficult history together. She then said something to me, which was a very foreign thought to me. She said it would be a great time to go on a sister vacation together. I told her that is something that I would never have thought of myself. In my blood sisterhood, I don't think any of us would have thought that; to go on a sister vacation together. In my friend's world, that is what sisters do. They enjoy each other and would enjoy going on a vacation together. She has the luxury of loving her birth sister as a soul sister. I say luxury because I know I am not alone in having a different experience.

Birth families hold a lot of power over us for the good and for the painful and challenging. Who are family? On the one hand, they are those to whom we are related by blood and by life. They hold the key to understanding us and how we function and how we think and their belief systems live in us in a powerful way. Does this mean that we choose to be close to them and live with them? Not necessarily. Sometimes it is much better for us to find a way to love them, as they have shaped us, but with a distance. This is especially true with our parents, as we would not be here without them. If we can find gratitude for them and the gifts we have because of them but may decide to make the choice to love them more from afar, we become happier and freer as individuals and can then choose who our soul family is; those who we feel seen by and heard by and appreciated by.

Shift Your Story/Shift Your Life

Do you have a family member or more who you have trouble with and really don't enjoy being with? Or a family member who you feel scapegoated by or have been abused by in some way? Do you feel left out by and unappreciated by a family member? Many times this family member is a parent, but siblings are also very much involved in and with our developing selves. In fact, even those who feel have a difficult relationship within their community can be affected in a challenging way. 

If so, take a few minutes, and in your mind's eye, go through an event, a discussion, a situation where you are drawn to or which comes to you regarding a shaping experience in your life. See it from beginning to end. Feel the feelings that were involved. Now, after you have gone through the discussion, event or situation to its end, go back and see the same thing happening, but through eyes of someone watching from a distance. As you go through it from a distance, see how it could be different. What might you say or how might you respond differently? Instead of experiencing it as traumatic, with this distance, see what is possible for you to do and feel instead of how you did at the time. Only you can do this. It doesn't change what happened and how the other person or persons were, but it can change you. Instead of feeling helpless or angry or lost or unloved, maybe you could imagine that the other person or people don't see you but are really blindly talking about their selves. Maybe you are able to express what they can't. Maybe you can see them as lost souls. Maybe you can see their own helplessness and their anger and rage and longing but directed towards you. As you in your mind's eye live through this in a new way, imagine you being able to know that this isn't about you at all and that you are safe. See you accepting them at a distance and beginning to feel self-empowered in a new way. Breathe this new way in. It is yours.

If you find you are not able to do this, then let it go, and maybe come back to it at a time in the future. 

Now, see you choosing to be with someone or ones who appreciate you and get you. Feel their eyes upon you, maybe even their arms around you or hand linked with yours. As you do so, imagine walking into the distance with those you consciously choose to be with and follow that stroll. That movement is what is possible for you.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tears Are Coming

'Tears Are Coming' Thanksgiving Poem:

Tears are coming. Tears of joy and sadness Looking outside into the cloudy, bleak terrain Seeing the riot of color still on the trees Amidst the gray, dark, pre-thanksgiving day Wondering what it is like to enter a new land And yet, knowing as we, our world enters a new terrain Unknown, scary, filled with feeling; maybe all the feelings: Sad, mad, glad, hopeful, scared, lonely, full, unsure... Becoming one with my surroundings as our world, the nature around us Shows us how it feels and how to feel Tears of sadness, tears of joy Life goes on

Tears are coming.

Tears of joy and sadness

Looking outside into the cloudy, bleak terrain

Seeing the riot of color still on the trees

Amidst the gray, dark, pre-thanksgiving day

Wondering what it is like to enter a new land

And yet, knowing as we, our world enters a new terrain

Unknown, scary, filled with feeling; maybe all the feelings:

Sad, mad, glad, hopeful, scared, lonely, full, unsure...

Becoming one with my surroundings as our world, the nature around us

Shows us how it feels and how to feel

Tears of sadness, tears of joy

Life goes on



Friday, November 4, 2016

Loving Kindness

It seems easy to have what we call loving kindness. If we asked individuals I bet many would say they do and they practice loving kindness. Can we really know what that is when we can't and don't love ourselves and practice loving kindness on us? It is one thing to give love to our children, and it is important. It is one thing to buy someone a coffee and pay it forward. It is one thing to love your family or friends or group or community or country. In all these instances, there is good and nothing wrong. It does well for us and for our world. Any love is good love. How many of us can say we actively practice loving ourselves? How many of us gift ourselves on a regular basis, even if the gift is by appreciating us? How many of us judge ourselves regularly and find us giving us hateful messages about us and have negative thought lines going through us? I think if we are honest with us, most or all of us do to varying degrees.   The problem is that all of us because we are imperfect beings, give us and our children and others negative messages and messages that have been passed on down to us for generations. We find ourselves yelling at our children and the words that come out of our mouths are words that we heard our parents say to us and we didn't even like them when we heard them as children. Learning to love begins at home and continues inside of us on a daily basis. Remember when mom looked into our eyes and just loved us, or dad? And if not, imagine what that would be like. I am sure everyone one of us has at least heard stories or read books or seen movies that stir in us that parent/child love. We are just loved, exactly as we are. Do we do that for ourselves?  One way we can practice loving kindness is through knowing and honoring our  personal boundaries. If you are like me at all, I have trouble doing that. My need to be loved and to care for others sometimes supersedes my personal needs and so I override my boundary and do too much. One way we can tell when we do so is that we become resentful of others and we may say things to us like, I always have to do everything, or I am tired of carrying the weight of it all, or I need to protect myself from others, etc. Sometimes those are the words I find I tell myself. I am learning that when I feel this way that I went too far and didn't love myself enough to honor my boundaries.  I have a patient who is told what to do and how to do things and she wants to be able to do those things. But sometimes she just can't do them. If she does she finds that she is not honoring her inner voice. For her, when she doesn't listen to  her voice and instead wants to and tries to do what others tell her and how they tell her to do things, she finds she is paralyzed and can't do anything. She experiences a lack of energy and motivation. This is another form of overriding her boundaries and it mimics her early life when she had no one except for another young girl to guide her. In her case, she felt lost and rudderless without adult guidance. She didn't have a developed inner voice yet and so she felt lost. Now, she finds that she is back to that very young feeling when she didn't know who she was because by following someone else's way she again is not listening to her voice because now she is letting it overtake her own young developing self. Learning how to listen to herself is learning to love herself and the ultimate act of loving kindness.  In this world today where we see so much violence and we are riding a wave of blind patriotism where many of us are so overwhelmed by feeling helpless to protect us from the acts of selfishness and barbarism all around us, many people are resorting to self-protection instead of self-loving and confusing the two. As we learn to love us and see us as part of a whole where how we think affects everyone, and that every act has echoing repercussions around the world, and that true honoring of our boundaries is not the same as separation from others, we have a chance to change us and change the world. It begins with one thought and act of loving kindness at a time, beginning with us.  Shift Your Story/Shift Your Life:  Close your eyes and think about what you would like to do as an act of loving kindness towards yourself. If you are not used to gifting you, gift you in some way. If you are not comfortable with listening to your boundaries, listen to them. If you find that you have lots of negative self-talk and judgments, feel how it feels to reframe those judgmental words into words of openness and self-possibility, and so on. Once you have a sense of what that act would be, then feel in your body how that feels to you. Breathe it in and give it some life.

It seems easy to have what we call loving kindness. If we asked individuals I bet many would say they do and they practice loving kindness. Can we really know what that is when we can't and don't love ourselves and practice loving kindness on us? It is one thing to give love to our children, and it is important. It is one thing to buy someone a coffee and pay it forward. It is one thing to love your family or friends or group or community or country. In all these instances, there is good and nothing wrong. It does well for us and for our world. Any love is good love. How many of us can say we actively practice loving ourselves? How many of us gift ourselves on a regular basis, even if the gift is by appreciating us? How many of us judge ourselves regularly and find us giving us hateful messages about us and have negative thought lines going through us? I think if we are honest with us, most or all of us do to varying degrees. 

The problem is that all of us because we are imperfect beings, give us and our children and others negative messages and messages that have been passed on down to us for generations. We find ourselves yelling at our children and the words that come out of our mouths are words that we heard our parents say to us and we didn't even like them when we heard them as children. Learning to love begins at home and continues inside of us on a daily basis. Remember when mom looked into our eyes and just loved us, or dad? And if not, imagine what that would be like. I am sure everyone one of us has at least heard stories or read books or seen movies that stir in us that parent/child love. We are just loved, exactly as we are. Do we do that for ourselves?

One way we can practice loving kindness is through knowing and honoring our  personal boundaries. If you are like me at all, I have trouble doing that. My need to be loved and to care for others sometimes supersedes my personal needs and so I override my boundary and do too much. One way we can tell when we do so is that we become resentful of others and we may say things to us like, I always have to do everything, or I am tired of carrying the weight of it all, or I need to protect myself from others, etc. Sometimes those are the words I find I tell myself. I am learning that when I feel this way that I went too far and didn't love myself enough to honor my boundaries.

I have a patient who is told what to do and how to do things and she wants to be able to do those things. But sometimes she just can't do them. If she does she finds that she is not honoring her inner voice. For her, when she doesn't listen to  her voice and instead wants to and tries to do what others tell her and how they tell her to do things, she finds she is paralyzed and can't do anything. She experiences a lack of energy and motivation. This is another form of overriding her boundaries and it mimics her early life when she had no one except for another young girl to guide her. In her case, she felt lost and rudderless without adult guidance. She didn't have a developed inner voice yet and so she felt lost. Now, she finds that she is back to that very young feeling when she didn't know who she was because by following someone else's way she again is not listening to her voice because now she is letting it overtake her own young developing self. Learning how to listen to herself is learning to love herself and the ultimate act of loving kindness.

In this world today where we see so much violence and we are riding a wave of blind patriotism where many of us are so overwhelmed by feeling helpless to protect us from the acts of selfishness and barbarism all around us, many people are resorting to self-protection instead of self-loving and confusing the two. As we learn to love us and see us as part of a whole where how we think affects everyone, and that every act has echoing repercussions around the world, and that true honoring of our boundaries is not the same as separation from others, we have a chance to change us and change the world. It begins with one thought and act of loving kindness at a time, beginning with us.

Shift Your Story/Shift Your Life:


Close your eyes and think about what you would like to do as an act of loving kindness towards yourself. If you are not used to gifting you, gift you in some way. If you are not comfortable with listening to your boundaries, listen to them. If you find that you have lots of negative self-talk and judgments, feel how it feels to reframe those judgmental words into words of openness and self-possibility, and so on. Once you have a sense of what that act would be, then feel in your body how that feels to you. Breathe it in and give it some life.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

There Is So Much We Don't Understand

"People try to make sense of things, and if they don't know the answers, they make them up because, for some, a wrong answer is better than none." -Ann Aguirre  There are so many things in life and that happen in life that we just don't understand. Things happen, people say things that don't make sense to us, we hear things the way we can and through our unconscious lens, and even synchronicities and intangible things happen that we can't explain. Can you think of such an example that happened in your life this past week or so that fits into this category?  I have a friend who calls unexplainable phenomenon by a term, imaginal. I like this term as it embodies what could be interpreted as being imagined, but gives it validity through making it a noun. I guess some folks call a phenomenon like this by the word miracle. However, it is described, trying to understand the un-understandable is an ongoing aspect of our lives. This is also true through helping others to learn about, understand, and put together pieces of their selves. In my work, I often help my patients to heal and to put their pieces of the puzzle together so they can live more whole, vital and healthy lives. This process involves traversing through a woodland to find their way out. When in the middle of the woodland, where it is dark and even scary, so much occurs that we attempt to shed light on so they can find their way out and to their selves. Doing this involves walking through the un-understandable. Many times the only way to find understanding is through our interpretations of feelings, events, sensations, and words which we work together to make sense of. This involves finding what makes sense to us, even though it might not make sense to anyone else. This is finding understanding through a terrain that may not make rational sense.  When I get in the way through my interpretations and through trying to lead, it never works. I have to let go of understanding and of leading and instead trust the process and open a door so my patients can lead, although often unsure and hesitant. We then feel our way through and sometimes find ourselves trying to make sense of what we don't understand. Here often our sensations and feelings and words that spontaneously arise lead our way. Are we right? We can't know. All we can know is what feels right to the patient. This is especially true when things happen when we are very young, and/or when a large trauma is involved, no matter what the age. I often liken the journey as Hansel and Gretel, although instead of putting out bread crumbs to help chart our course so we don't get lost, putting out sensations and feelings which are always there.   What do you do when someone feels a ghost or feels and is aware of the supernatural? We suspend our judgment and need to understand and let it guide us. Who are we to know and make pronouncements of what is real or not? Are they real or are they imaginary who help us to understand something vital in us? Does it really matter if they are part of the breadcrumbs that lead us to us; some part of us that has been misunderstood and put away or even given away? If we can put away our need to judge, make sense of and understand what is mutable and has different meanings to each person, we can then help to navigate terrain that is not understood to terrain that helps to find our way home.   Change Your Story/Change Your Life:  Think of a time or place where you felt lost and just didn't understand something. Now, instead of trying to understand what happened or what someone meant or what they did or said, or even what you saw, take a minute and suspend the need to understand and sit with unknowing.   Instead of going to those old places, sense how you feel or felt by that event or those words, etc. What sensations are you aware of? How did you feel? What did that bring out in you in terms of the story you began to tell yourself or where did that take you inside; to sadness, poor me, fear, visions of something or someone, old memories, etc? Suspend judgment and move with it. How does that vision feel and how do you feel? What do you begin to think of in your life, as in what does this remind you of? Where do you go in your thinking and in your life?  Follow those threads. Write down  what comes to you even if it doesn’t make sense. Again, hold back on tying it in a bow, and just let it sit with you, if possible. Keep this as a journal so you have your bread crumbs to come back to.  Feel free to let me know how this is for you and also if you get stuck and want a little help or push to find your way through this. We aren't looking to solve things so much as to learn about ourselves through much which is not understandable in the traditional sense. We are trying to know ourselves.

There are so many things in life and that happen in life that we just don't understand. Things happen, people say things that don't make sense to us, we hear things the way we can and through our unconscious lens, and even synchronicities and intangible things happen that we can't explain. Can you think of such an example that happened in your life this past week or so that fits into this category?

I have a friend who calls unexplainable phenomenon by a term, imaginal. I like this term as it embodies what could be interpreted as being imagined, but gives it validity through making it a noun. I guess some folks call a phenomenon like this by the word miracle. However, it is described, trying to understand the un-understandable is an ongoing aspect of our lives. This is also true through helping others to learn about, understand, and put together pieces of their selves. In my work, I often help my patients to heal and to put their pieces of the puzzle together so they can live more whole, vital and healthy lives. This process involves traversing through a woodland to find their way out. When in the middle of the woodland, where it is dark and even scary, so much occurs that we attempt to shed light on so they can find their way out and to their selves. Doing this involves walking through the un-understandable. Many times the only way to find understanding is through our interpretations of feelings, events, sensations, and words which we work together to make sense of. This involves finding what makes sense to us, even though it might not make sense to anyone else. This is finding understanding through a terrain that may not make rational sense.

When I get in the way through my interpretations and through trying to lead, it never works. I have to let go of understanding and of leading and instead trust the process and open a door so my patients can lead, although often unsure and hesitant. We then feel our way through and sometimes find ourselves trying to make sense of what we don't understand. Here often our sensations and feelings and words that spontaneously arise lead our way. Are we right? We can't know. All we can know is what feels right to the patient. This is especially true when things happen when we are very young, and/or when a large trauma is involved, no matter what the age. I often liken the journey as Hansel and Gretel, although instead of putting out bread crumbs to help chart our course so we don't get lost, putting out sensations and feelings which are always there. 

What do you do when someone feels a ghost or feels and is aware of the supernatural? We suspend our judgment and need to understand and let it guide us. Who are we to know and make pronouncements of what is real or not? Are they real or are they imaginary who help us to understand something vital in us? Does it really matter if they are part of the breadcrumbs that lead us to us; some part of us that has been misunderstood and put away or even given away? If we can put away our need to judge, make sense of and understand what is mutable and has different meanings to each person, we can then help to navigate terrain that is not understood to terrain that helps to find our way home. 

Change Your Story/Change Your Life:

Think of a time or place where you felt lost and just didn't understand something. Now, instead of trying to understand what happened or what someone meant or what they did or said, or even what you saw, take a minute and suspend the need to understand and sit with unknowing. 

Instead of going to those old places, sense how you feel or felt by that event or those words, etc. What sensations are you aware of? How did you feel? What did that bring out in you in terms of the story you began to tell yourself or where did that take you inside; to sadness, poor me, fear, visions of something or someone, old memories, etc? Suspend judgment and move with it. How does that vision feel and how do you feel? What do you begin to think of in your life, as in what does this remind you of? Where do you go in your thinking and in your life?  Follow those threads. Write down  what comes to you even if it doesn’t make sense. Again, hold back on tying it in a bow, and just let it sit with you, if possible. Keep this as a journal so you have your bread crumbs to come back to.


Feel free to let me know how this is for you and also if you get stuck and want a little help or push to find your way through this. We aren't looking to solve things so much as to learn about ourselves through much which is not understandable in the traditional sense. We are trying to know ourselves. 

Today's Soothing Words: Be A Gift

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Small, Service, and Surrender

"Service doesn't start when you have something to give;
it blossoms naturally when you have nothing left to take."


-Nipun Mehta


I read a speech which was recently given to college graduates which spoke to me personally. In the age of selfies and self-promotion, we all seem to want to be big and to be seen by masses and to be the best in our fields about ending the pain, proclaiming the answers to finding  the answer to everything. This, in essence, was what the speech was about. We seem to have lost the belief that being small, doing service, and surrendering to what is best for all, and what many people say is surrendering to the highest good is good enough and even a good and beneficial belief.

Being small does not mean demeaning ourselves, or making us less than what and who we are. Being small refers to being who we are, and we are all, each of us, a little piece of the big whole. Any one of us does not have all the answers or the way…..we all have some little, but important, piece that adds to our whole or oneness, or interconnectedness. We all have important insights and abilities. I am grateful for the builders and for the trash collectors and for the writers and architects and marketers and healers and artists and seekers, and so on. We are all important, and we are all small in and of ourselves.

We also become so involved in us and our issues and our problems and our individual worlds that we forget that so much of our happiness and ability to communicate and to connect is through service of some kind. Remember that last time you were consumed with how you would buy your new house, or how you would handle your child, or how you would find the resources to pay for your heat or electric, or how you would deal with a divorce, etc.? In those moments things in the world become all about us. Yet, when we take a time out and a deep breath and open our horizons to helping another, to offering a helping hand, to saving a turtle, to saving someone's life, to teaching or being available, to helping at a soup kitchen, to opening a non-profit, we begin to feel so much better. Opening up to even the idea of service, and how we can help and be of help to others and communities takes us out of our usual stories and gives us a sense of purpose. A sense of purpose is so very important to us. I think of so many people who have retired or who have become so very depressed that they lose their sense of purpose. In those times we as humans as a collective, begin to feel aches and pains, get ill, get lost in television, gain weight, and stop growing. We need to feel that we make a little difference in this world just by being who we are. We need a sense of purpose, even if it is to help others manage their lives through organizing their closets, or cleaning their houses, or being a mentor…this is too numerous to list. 

Surrendering to the greater will; stepping aside from our big egos and our need to know and to control, to letting go and letting things happen that we don`t really have control of. So much of life just happens as we are busy trying to control things. It is great to have dreams and goals. It is another matter to keep trying to make things work when it becomes clear that what we are doing isn't working. 

Small, service and surrender are too important to get lost and forgotten. As we embrace who we are, allow us to see beyond our little selves to see us in connection to others and what is needed by others and let go of the outcome, life not only becomes easier, it also allows us to feel more joy, peace and more whole and a vital part of community.


Change Your Story/Change Your Life


Check out this beautiful speech and if you are so moved, let me know how it touches you.

I read a speech which was recently given to college graduates which spoke to me personally. In the age of selfies and self-promotion, we all seem to want to be big and to be seen by masses and to be the best in our fields about ending the pain, proclaiming the answers to finding  the answer to everything. This, in essence, was what the speech was about. We seem to have lost the belief that being small, doing service, and surrendering to what is best for all, and what many people say is surrendering to the highest good is good enough and even a good and beneficial belief.  Being small does not mean demeaning ourselves, or making us less than what and who we are. Being small refers to being who we are, and we are all, each of us, a little piece of the big whole. Any one of us does not have all the answers or the way…..we all have some little, but important, piece that adds to our whole or oneness, or interconnectedness. We all have important insights and abilities. I am grateful for the builders and for the trash collectors and for the writers and architects and marketers and healers and artists and seekers, and so on. We are all important, and we are all small in and of ourselves.  We also become so involved in us and our issues and our problems and our individual worlds that we forget that so much of our happiness and ability to communicate and to connect is through service of some kind. Remember that last time you were consumed with how you would buy your new house, or how you would handle your child, or how you would find the resources to pay for your heat or electric, or how you would deal with a divorce, etc.? In those moments things in the world become all about us. Yet, when we take a time out and a deep breath and open our horizons to helping another, to offering a helping hand, to saving a turtle, to saving someone's life, to teaching or being available, to helping at a soup kitchen, to opening a non-profit, we begin to feel so much better. Opening up to even the idea of service, and how we can help and be of help to others and communities takes us out of our usual stories and gives us a sense of purpose. A sense of purpose is so very important to us. I think of so many people who have retired or who have become so very depressed that they lose their sense of purpose. In those times we as humans as a collective, begin to feel aches and pains, get ill, get lost in television, gain weight, and stop growing. We need to feel that we make a little difference in this world just by being who we are. We need a sense of purpose, even if it is to help others manage their lives through organizing their closets, or cleaning their houses, or being a mentor…this is too numerous to list.   Surrendering to the greater will; stepping aside from our big egos and our need to know and to control, to letting go and letting things happen that we don`t really have control of. So much of life just happens as we are busy trying to control things. It is great to have dreams and goals. It is another matter to keep trying to make things work when it becomes clear that what we are doing isn't working.   Small, service and surrender are too important to get lost and forgotten. As we embrace who we are, allow us to see beyond our little selves to see us in connection to others and what is needed by others and let go of the outcome, life not only becomes easier, it also allows us to feel more joy, peace and more whole and a vital part of community.

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.