How To Replace Shame With Acceptance

"To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; Not to realize that you do not understand is a defect." -Lao Tzu
I was reading a very long online conversation about shame, and some folks also spoke about the concept of healthy shame. I am of the mind that there is no such thing as healthy shame, but there is such a thing as shame, and there is such a thing as acceptance. When we carry shame of any kind, growth is almost not possible. Have you ever experienced feeling exposed and feeling bad about yourself? Have you ever felt that you were afraid to tell someone something about yourself; that if you did you may not be accepted? Those feelings are aspects of carrying shame. I think we all carry such feelings at some times. Hopefully, we don`t very often, and hopefully, we are able to recognize when we do and do the necessary feeling and thinking to transform our shameful feelings into acceptance of ourselves. We all make mistakes. We all unintentionally hurt people, and some…

A Summer's Morning

The wind is dancing through the trees
The sun's heat glimmers through the leaves
I watch the boughs flow and bounce with the wind and the hazy sheen from the sun’s rays as they permeate the atmosphere
I can feel the sizzle begin as I watch my dog’s tongues loll and gag about as they sunbathe on the back deck
There is a quiet to the day as if all is hiding out in the shade…slowly emerging to the day’s heat
It is a gentle caress from the tongues of the wind on my skin, tinged with languid warmth

As I begin the day by walking my dogs to greet the summers day

It is Father's Day, and I feel moved to write about myself.  This blog is about my journey in appreciating my father. Father's Day; Mother's Day, are holidays to remember and celebrate our parents. When we are little, those days may not have much meaning other than making a card for them or spending some time with our often busy parents. As we get older and have children ourselves, often these days have more meaning to us. T…

The Eye of Ego

"We must not allow other people's perceptions to define us."                                                                                                                 -Virginia Satir

In the title of this blog, I spell the word, I, as eye. The way we look at the world and perceive the world and everyone and everything around us is dependent upon us and our ego. Our eye of perspective comes from our own unique, independent perspective. It is about us. It is this personification of ourselves which separates us from others. Yes, it makes us different, in a sense, and it also separates us. A bigger truth is that everyone has their own perspective and we all have egos which drive us, and most importantly, what happens or what is said by others is not usually about us, it is about the other. It is our reactions to others and events which are about us; it is our eye.
I was working with a gentleman recently who is a very gentle, generous soul, and who perceives his father as l…

Move Into Joy

"We can never consent to creep when we feel the impulse to soar." -Helen Keller
There is nothing like a move to challenge a relationship; actually all relationships, beginning with the one with ourselves. I am talking about any kind of a move, not just a physical one, but certainly a physical change of residence is a huge move. I just made a physical change of residence a couple of months ago, and even if you move a short distance, it is still a big change. For me, it has been interesting to watch what it stirs up in  myself. As I stayed focused on what it stirs in me, I also found I wasn’t reactive, much, to what it stirred up in my husband. As I witnessed me throughout the packing, moving, unpacking, and then trying to find things and wondering where things went and also where things go, as well as navigating through no computer and basement renovation, whew! That was quite an experience. At once I was grateful for the ability to do what I was doing and being able to move in…

Putting The Pieces Together

"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy." -Rumi
As we learn and grow and are open to going to deep places inside in order for us to put pieces of our puzzle together, we can feel like we are a mess or in chaos. If we don`t understand what is going on we can certainly feel lost in the process as well as feel many feelings like anxiety, fear, anger and so on. We go to our default way of feeling in the world when we are reactive or triggered. If we are used to feeling angry in response to things then we are angry. If we are used to feeling anxious, then we are anxious. As we trudge along, this can feel like it takes forever to put pieces together, and then suddenly, one day, it seems as if they just suddenly make sense.
It can take a long time and many years for us to be able to understand something that was said to us. There is a story one of my teachers told me which still resonates with me. She had begun facilitating family systems work in the …

Filling Our Wholes

"A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings." -Unknown
Did you ever have the experience where so much was going on and you were either wanting something to happen and it just wasn't happening, or you were contemplating something and sharing it with folks and they had differing ideas, or you were in conversation with people you respect and you found yourself losing your own perspective in ideas and things? I think this type of thing happens to all of us at some point in time. At times like these, we lose touch with our authentic selves. How do we lose touch with us; what happens in our lives in which we felt we had to give something of ourselves up, or that we just couldn't trust us? I think it begins with just that; giving some part of us up. Our task becomes filling our holes with ourselves. Or, as I put it in the title, filling our wholes; becoming whole. 
Many times in our lives we uncon…

Holding The Pieces Together

Poem of Life
I woke up this morning to a clear day The morning sunlight piercing through my early morning dreams Looking out through my window of time I witness the opening of the budding trees, as they gracefully and trustingly open to the gods of nature Each tree and bloom and unfolding is a  winking of their eyes at me and the world Their silent social network greets the day and smiles at each other Full of mischief and beauty they collude to their daily opening and gifts Each day a further revealing of their inner workings and beauty Until one day soon, they are fully unfurled Joyfully contributing their essence to the web of life itself And I just an active witness and contributor 
It’s May, the beautiful month of May. Everything that grows is going into bloom, and walking outside is a warming, colorful experience. The pieces of winter and early Spring , with fallen and broken branches, muddy and clumpy yards, stark and more barren landscapes while beautiful if their own right open up to br…