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Feeling v Reacting

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Sometimes we are so immersed in being angry or frantic or upset that we think that is us feeling our feelings. What we are doing when we feel that way is that we are either reacting to the deep feelings coming up within us or we are experiencing deep feelings without words so that we have no way to categorize or to understand the deep things coming up inside of us. Either way, experiencing such terrible feelings or reactions can be no fun and very disturbing.
I have a patient who experiences this phenomenon frequently. Suddenly she becomes terribly frantic and upset. Often in those times she is unable to be the detective and to figure out what set her off. Sometimes it just takes lots of stuff to do or something she read and she is off and running, with no off button in sight.
One day in the recent past this occurred again. She phoned me in a state of panic. She asked me if I was trying to rub salt in her wound by writing what I did as an affirmation for her. No, I was not. In fact, we …

How Do We Respond To Surprises

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We are getting close to the end of the year. Many of us have had quite a year of surprises. Trump becoming president of the United States was a surprise. There have been many surprises throughout the world, and many of them very difficult and painful ones. And we personally, many of us, have experienced lots of surprises this year. Life happens. Surprises happen. It is how we respond to them that really makes the difference for us, and for our future generations.

I had a dream last night where it was going to be the end of the world as we know it. We had one more day until this event happened and somehow I knew it was going to transpire, but not how. In my dream when I awoke the next day there was white rice all over the ground in my bedroom and there was lots of traffic moving. The only evidence of the end of the world as I knew it was the rice on the floor. Strange dream. As I looked at my dream more closely I realized it was really about my expectation of something not good and with…

What Is Eclipsing Your Light?

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We had an amazing eclipse season this year. The world, and especially North America became very aware of one in particular on August 21st that went across the middle of America. Thousands of folk descended on the areas where the eclipse was in totality; across mid-America, and millions watched it from afar, from telescopes, and with specially made glasses. The last time such an eclipse impacted us in this way was over two hundred years ago. An eclipse eclipses some of the light or takes some of the light. If we look at this symbolically, what takes away some of our light?

We all have a spirit and soul and body. It is our soul that gives life to our bodies and which informs our bodies. We often don't realize how much we are feeling or even what we are feeling until we get a message from our body such as a stomach ache, a headache, hip pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, etc. In the Jewish faith, we often think that every one of us has a spark of God within us and all together, all of ou…

'I Woke Up To A Red Sun' Poem

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I Woke Up To A Red Sun

I woke up to a red sun peeking between the trees The change of seasons is palpable There is a sense of foreboding in the air It is almost a quiet before the storm As if the world knows anything can happen and is about to happen The unthinkable is now thinkable as we sit on a precipice  And I sit here entranced by the stillness and change of light and of being My dog companion quietly puts her nose underneath my hand As if to say, there is life and I am here; come back Come back to the present of the red sun peeking between the trees, the stillness in the air, the squirrels gathering their wares
Because life does go on

My soothing words of wisdom for the week is about your ancestors 🌙🌚

Looking Outward

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Lately, everywhere I look are platitudes, sayings, and many outward manifestations of achieving peace, harmony, and happiness. Those words are great and hold important ideas and sentiments. However, those words are just words if we don't know how to implement them or how to do the work from the inside out. We look outward for happiness and peace. And actually, it is in a sense easier to look outward for these things rather than to look inward. 
It is easy to look at a picture of a forest in the sunshine with a smiling man or woman walking along a path and to say to ourselves, wow isn't that beautiful. It is easy to look at a photo with words about joy and happiness and want that and appreciate it. What those photos and platitudes are missing is the day to day trench work of the work involved. Yes, people post ideas with 4 or 7 steps to happiness or abundance, etc. People post 7 steps to achieving success or joy with proven success. These are enticing. Who doesn't want abund…

Confident

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It is a beautiful October afternoon. The sun is shining and the air is soft and slightly cool. Fall's cool transition to winter is a bit soft and slow. The vibe is a bit summery and a bit aloof. As I sit in the glow of the day I think back to a conversation I had with a patient a while ago. The conversation centered on the word confident. This person wanted to feel confident. That word choice leads me to wonder about its root meaning. As I looked it up, it made a great deal of sense to me. The root of the word comes from being loyal and having faith. It makes sense that if one is loyal to oneself and has faith in oneself and in something larger, that would lead to a sense of personal confidence. Usually, when I hear someone described themselves as having confidence it sounds a bit arrogant to me. I really should look up the root of arrogant. Yet as I take in the root meaning, it is far from what I think of as arrogant. Confidence comes from a deep knowledge of and compassion for th…

A Miracle Pill

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Many of us consciously and unconsciously look for a miracle pill or thought or idea that will set us free. People I have spoken with have talked about an idiot pill that can keep us, happy idiots. That sounds kind of funny, but if we think about it, many of us would like a pill that makes us happy. Hundreds of thousands of people and more are on anti-depressants to help them to stay more even-keeled. Sometimes in severe depression, it is helpful to take some medical intervention to help us to get through difficult times where we feel we really need the help as we work through our depressive state. It can also be helpful for elderly who have lost so many loved ones to be able to live a more peaceful life. And yet, many of us use these pills in order not to feel bad. Sometimes we are even afraid to feel.
In truth, there is no magic pill that can take our pain away or that can make us happy. The only way I know of to live happier and more peaceful lives is to do the painful work of going …