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Transitions

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Death is such an interesting phenomenon and part of life. It is one which many of us try to ignore or are afraid to talk about or separate this integral aspect of living from the rest of our lives. Yet it happens with all of us. This occurs with the death of an idea, the death of a spouse or child, the death of a job or career, and the death of a dream. We watch death every day. The slow death of the grass and flowers after their blooms. The death of a robin after it bangs into a window or after a storm. The death of a beloved pet. The death of a houseplant or even the yearly death of tree leaves as they fall to the ground, fertilizing the earth to feed the next year’s growth. Some deaths we feel more strongly than others. There is nothing more life-changing and sad, and no more significant loss than the death of a child. The death of a parent is a great loss. The death of a spouse you have spent your life with is a gut-wrenching loss.Recently I experienced the death of a sibling. It is …

What's With This Anger?

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Everyone seems so angry these days. It doesn't take much to set us off. I have been thinking about what this is all about. I find even in myself when I speak with people about political happenings or individuals that if I talk with someone who sees things a certain way with such conviction and certitude, I feel angry and want to argue instead of discussing.
I know for me, part of the dynamic stems from how I react when someone speaks to me with an angry or righteous tone. What sets me off is the feeling that they are not open and will not or can not listen to me and what I have to say. It goes back to my need to be heard and seen for who I am. When I encounter a situation where a person seems closed to another viewpoint and therefore closed to me and my ideas and beliefs, I feel shut down and I, in turn, close down. I don't open to them, and I feel angry, and it sets off my own set of righteousness inside.
I also know that we as a sea of humanity, are much more alike than differ…

Being Present to Ourselves

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I have noticed a new catchword being used a lot; present or presence. I use that word also, and in fact, I use it for my web presence and my work. Being present means so many things at once, it is complicated, and yet it is so simple. Being present to oneself is about staying in our center, noticing when we are drawn out, paying attention to what draws us out, feeling what happens inside of us when we aren't centered and are reactive, being available to us and others, and being ourselves out in the world, and so much more. It is simple in that we have so much power and availability when we are present to us. It is hard in that we are taught from a young age to be present to almost everyone else except for us.

Lately, I have had a couple of experiences which keeps teaching me about being present to myself and what happens when I am not. In one instance I was with a young woman who wanted to learn from me. As I was with her I noticed that as much as she said she wanted to learn from …

Winter Speaks To Us

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A Poem Becoming dormant like the green leaves of springtime. Closing in without closing down Hunkering in front of the fire, reading a book Bundling up to brave the wind  Slowing down and going more within Giving in and going with winters movements Feeling the great quiet language of the trees as their rich inner life deepens Reaching deep inside and imagining our ancestors telling life’s stories by the fire Going into my bone marrow to remember and to make it richer as winter speaks to us in its deep growl.
My soothing words of wisdom for the week is about all the anger around us:

Bring in the New

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It is the New Year; a time to celebrate. All across the globe, people celebrate and ring in the new year through parties, groups, drink, and frivolity. What are we really celebrating? What if we were to take this opportunity for celebration and consciously celebrate bringing in new into our lives? 
It would be a great time to say goodbye to people and things about us which no longer serve us, and to allow space for new ideas, new opportunities, new people, new feelings to take root inside of us. Saying goodbye to what no longer serves us and who no longer serves us does not always occur in the way we wish. In fact much of the time we let go when a great loss happens in our lives or when something gets so bad we just have to let go. That seems to be the way we humans function in this world. 
This is a great time to ask ourselves what we would truly like to do in this life, and who or what types of people we would most like to attract into our lives and to take the time to see and feel wh…

Peace

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Peace is sitting quietly in stillness, or sitting with our pets, allowing all thoughts and feelings to permeate our souls, accepting them all as they are today, and  welcoming who we are with all our warts and all our beauty. Peace is accepting where we come from and all our ancestors for who they are and also feeling our yearnings and desires for more or for something else. 
Peace is listening quietly to another and holding our tongues when we disagree so that we can just listen and learn from another whom we might be angry with, disagree with, dislike, and to instead listen, learn and see where their words and actions touch us.  Peace is letting our toxic places inside have some air so we can let go of the old festering wounds. 
Peace is listening to music, walking in nature, building a fire, being ourselves and being ok with ourselves.
Peace is.
Happy Holidays, and may peace be with you, Gail

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 …