Showing posts from 2010

Order and Chaos

Notice I did not say, Order OR Chaos. It is the “and” that makes all the difference.

Have you noticed a living room on the day after Christmas? If there are little children involved, certainly there will be chaos. Paper, ribbons, tape, bows, boxes, toys (probably some already broken) and even plates, glasses, contents of stockings, camera paraphernalia and all sorts of decorations (one or two broken or tumbled from its graceful pre-Christmas perch no doubt) strewn about. Can we say cyclone? My daughter calls it a ‘happy mess’ and so it is, filled with memories, love, service and a lot of joy. Still, it is chaos, and it needs to be put back in order before the next week passes.

Sometimes our lives are like that aren’t they? Chaotic, but joyful, crazy and messy and topsy-turvy--but all good stuff. Then there are times (sometimes too long of a span) of difficult chaos. Broken dreams, unexpected consequences, Loss, failure, financial ruins and all sorts of craziness that makes us wonde…

The Weather Is JUST the Weather


A Cure For Children Only?

I Read this today about Children. . .

“We can hurt a child’s self-esteem by:

1. Putting them down.

2. Breaking Promises.

3. Not allowing them choices and independence

4. Not giving them respect and privacy

5. Denying their feelings and personal identify.

6. Not being consistent.

Joyce and Dennis Ashton 9n “But If Not” V3p71

All excellent advice and certainly very true. BUT. . .

Doesn’t each one of these apply to all people? Adults included? I believe so. What happens when someone puts YOU down? Does it increase your awareness? Do you immediately respond with ‘Well now, that was insightful, I think I’ll change right away?” I highly doubt it. Usually we respond in one of two ways, defensiveness or ignoring. Neither are helpful or uplifting.

What about a broken promise? While it causes the person who broke the promise to diminish in your estimation, don’t we often thing, “Well, s/he must not really care about me. . . S/he must think I’m not worth following through. . .” etc. How about n…

Choose to See

Have you ever wondered why nothing good ever seems to happen?  Why your house is falling apart, your relationships, though not terrible, never have that magical feel that so many other talk about?  Feel like food doesn’t look as appetizing as it once did, that smells don’t even bring that bliss that once you remember feeling just at a whiff of home-made bread? 

Sometimes, not always, but sometimes. . . it is simply because we look, but do not see.  Humans are interesting beings.  We are made up of this little self-fulfilling mind-set that always bends towards being right.  We like to see, what we expect. 

Did you know that if there is a black speck on the windshield, and if you don’t look directly at it, but slightly to the side, it will disappear?  That is because our brains automatically fill in the gaps.  It creates symmetry, even where there is none.  Look directly back at the speck however, and it is right there, specky as always.  Fortunately for us, we have the capacity to l…

NOTICE the Bear.

Art by James Christensen

NOTICE the Bear.

Ever been in a situation where there is a huge problem, an uncomfortable situation, or a curiosity that just keeps your attention even though you keep trying to ignore it?  Just something that niggles your consciousness, pushes through your joy and lingers on the outside of your busyness?  That is the bear.  It is the big scary thing that you are trying to ignore.  Guess what, it won’t go away.  It will prod, push, growl and threaten until you turn around and face it. 

Perhaps, it will bite you.  Perhaps you won’t survive unscathed, but usually. . . it is just a figment.  It is just as frightened of being confronted as you are of confronting.  It often will just stare you in the eyes, see your resolve and power and slink silently back into the forest. 

The bear is in the room.  Giving him the attention he seeks will almost always satisfy him.  He is really just as willing to go his own way, as you are hopeful that he will, but not without b…

Unintended Consequences

Unintended Consequences
Or, the domino principle.  Have you experienced great surprise when you chose something, and not long after you see what else was affected by that change?  Sometimes it can be a good thing, but sometimes, it is a very VERY bad thing.  For instance.  I decided to finish my degree.  My university required that I was on campus for the last semester, which was in another state than my home, my family and my occupation.  All right.  I figured I’d have some things to change and take care of.  However. . . I met a man the first week I was in the new state.  Now, a year later, I am married.  That was a fabulous, but very unintended consequence of my decision.

Other times we aren’t so lucky.  We may choose to quit a job for a better opportunity, only to have that company suddenly go out of business and now we are without a job at all.  We may choose to change the filter in the dryer, but while pulling it out, drop in a screw which falls into the motor and now the dryer …

Feel It To Heal It

Grief is a difficult emotion.  It is hard to even think about.  Our heart constricts; our palms sweat; our mouth gets dry; sometimes even when nothing has actually happened.  Yet, it is as much a part of our lives as joy, fun, success and contentment.  It is a rare human who slides through without at least a degree of it tagging along, yet we do not know how to embrace it. 
I’ve learned two things.  One, as mentioned, it will come.
Two, I can choose to acknowledge it, respect it, or give in to it. 
A.D. Wolfet said, “Feel it, to Heal it.”  I think what he meant was that in order to actually get through something difficult, you have to actually allow it to be felt.  If we push away difficult feelings, burry them deeply in our heart, they will remain right there, a bump in the carpet always tripping us up at the most inopportune times.
Often, we think of grief as something we feel when someone passes on.  Elizabeth Küblar-Ross gave us that grief model, and many of us are willing to …

Spun into Gold

There is a fable of the miller's daughter.
Sarah  Van Breathnach tells us to consider that we are not only the girl. . . but we are all things.  In a fable, the characters represent our inner motivations and our weaknesses. 
We are also the Miller.  Do we have those which we demand the impossible?  Do we think so much of our children that we leave them no logical way to complete our expectations? 
Are we Rumpelstiltskin, in that we have a secret. . . that we are not always willing for others to share, without a price.  Our service comes with a price tag, sometimes far more than the service is worth. 
Perhaps at times, we are the gold.  The magical wonder that is spun from our ordinaryness. 
Or, are we straw?  Willing possibilities that with the right touch, the right help, can be gold? 
Are we the king, who wants what is impossible.  Who reaps without sowing, who gathers without spinning.  Are we greedy and anxious for more.  Always more? 
Perhaps we are the daughter, or e…

Connections...a Soft Place to Land

Connections...a Soft Place to Land
Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy developed by Dr. Sue Johnson
Have you ever felt angry, but nothing was ‘really’ wrong?  Do you feel alone in a crowd, or in a relationship?  Do you remember feeling like you have no one you can call when you are feeling blue?  You may be missing a deep and meaningful attachment.
From Meet Joe Black:
How do you know? (Your wife loves you)
Quince: Because she knows the worst thing about me and it's okay.
Babies, when they are first-born, need to be with their mother’s within the first 45 minutes of birth, to be comforted and held and nursed.  If they do not have this, studies show that they can have attachment issues that continue throughout their lives.  We are no different.  If we do not have a soft place to land, someone who we KNOW is there for us no matter what, we are like a rudder-less ship, floating through experiences without an anchor. 
There is help.  
75%-80% of all couples who undergo EFT come out with …

Calm Your Storm

In “The Titans”, there was one memorable line for me.  Not that I took it how it was intended, but I loved when the female lead looked into a suffering male lead’s eyes and said, “Calm Your Storm”. 

How often do the trials in our lives spiral out of control, electrify and gain energy or pummel us with difficulty simply because when we had the chance, at the pivotal moment to Calm our Storms. . . we didn’t? 
Breathe.  Take in a moment to consider yourself at the end of a long pier with the world at your control.  The clouds darken, the electricity is crackling, and you control it all.  Is this what you want right now?  Close your eyes.  Call upon all that is loving and good and successful and warm, and send that into the blackened clouds, the rolling threatening tempest and let it dispel, calm, evaporate.    Take that moment to Calm Your Storm –
and it will never become a Tempest.

Listen to the Whispers (so you don't have to hear the screams)

Inspiration comes quietly. . . at first. A small pain in your side, you ignore.  Later a sharp pain, you medicate, then an agonizing burst appendix . . . and it screams “Surgery!”

Listen to the Whispers. . . and the screams will never be needed.

Be they emotional wholes (intentional spelling), spiritual promptings, social, intellectual longings or physical attentions needed. 

Listen.  Shhhhhh, be still.

Recycled Love

Ok, this time I just have to share a wonderful tip.  You know all those delightful cards, birthday notes, letters, "just because" cards that you have received and don't know what to do with, but really hate to toss?  I use mine for bookmarks.  It is the most delightful thing, to pick up a book and find within a precious sentiment from the past.  Today I paused and actually read the card I've been using as a marker for the book I was reading.  I had forgotten how sweet the message, how precious the sentiments. . . and I cried.  What a delightful moment tucked in my day.  A week ago, I picked up one of those 'daily thought' books, and there was a lovely card from five years ago from a precious friend of mine.  Again, I was brought to tears of gratitude as I recalled the difficult time that the card came in, the sweet peace it brought me. 

So. . . I'm passing along my little bit of cheer.  Instead of a torn slip of paper, or a fancy purchased bookmark.  Tuck…

What If This Is Supposed to Be?

No, really.  Whatever is wrong in your world, what IF. . . just go with me here, what IF it was exactly what is supposed to happen at this very moment.  Why do you think could be the possible reason?
Go ahead.  Write it.  Right now.  No, I'm serious.  Get a pen, open your online journal, whatever.

Has there ever been, in your experience, something that you thought at the time was terrible, but turned out for the best?  What if this too. . . turns out for the best? 
There is power in ‘What if’.  
There is also danger in it.  
Make certain that your “Ifs” remain on the positive side of the continuum for the most part.   Just the consideration will cause a shift, open new avenues and allow your mind to consider and perhaps even embrace,  “Maybe So.”

Attention Shift

Dean Byrd says that there are two types of perfection.  Horizontal and vertical.  In Vertical perfection, or striving for perfection vertically. . . we have a zig-zag approach, always striving, then falling back a bit, striving again, always feeling overwhelmed, inadequate an unbalanced.   In Horizontal perfection we are able to pause and evaluate.  Walk a while with our most recent progression.  Enjoy where we are  for a time before choosing another goal to accomplish.

Vertical Perfection
Horizontal Perfection

Sometimes all it takes is a pause. A change in attention and focus to see something just slightly differently.  The shift in focus allows a view that may change your whole outlook.  When I discovered that I could no longer see clearly to read, I went to the dollar store and bought me a pair of simple reading glasses.  Instantly, things came into focus.  I could read with clarity and without squinting.  Headaches disappeared, frustration lessened and reading was again a pleasur…

Irritated by the Rub

Rumi said this:  'If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?'
I heard that one day and thought about it.  Long and hard.  I've had a mosquito bite that just won't let me have peace. I've also had those itches that no matter how long and hard and wide you scratch, they refused to be sated.  I've also polished nails, rocks, pottery and sanded wood.  All of these experiences swirled around in my mind as I heard this statement.   Is it my intention to be comfortable or to be better?  That was a difficult question to come face to face with.  Sometimes, if I'm honest with myself, I don't WANT to be rubbed!  I don't want to go to the gym, I don't want to have difficult experiences, and I don't WANT to have to have my patience tried in order to gain more of it.  However . . . I've also learned that usually, there is no other way.  
Wanting is tricky business.  It comes down ultimately, to what I want MOST.  Do I really want that…

Is that Absolutely True?

“I’m not beautiful.”
“My sister hates me.”
Are you absolutely certain what you just said, is true? 
It doesn’t matter what the world tells you, it will tell you over and over again, but if you believe it, you’ll continue to believe it. 

Who are you, and why are you here?
Think about it again.  Take any ‘story’ you tell yourself, from “I can’t make any money.”   To “I don’t want to be me.”  Put it up against the test of complete truth.  Ask it three times. 
Is this Absolutely True?
Is this Absolutely True?
Is this Absolutely True?

If it isn’t, what IS Absolutely True?
In our lives we too often get in the habit of making blanket statements.  Soon enough, we begin to believe them, even if they are neither helpful or healthy for us.  Even if they are not true.  Take a good long look at something you believe that is hurting you.  Is it really true?  Absolutely?  Completely?  
What IS true?  Instead of "My sister hates me"  perhaps the real truth is, "My sister needs mo…

The Empty Cup

“When the student is ready, the teacher comes.”

“What if the teacher comes before the student is ready?” I was asked.  
Doesn’t work.  No teacher can teach, no student can learn, if they are unwilling to turn their cup, rightside up.
Wanting to learn, is the genesis to learning . . . anything.  
“A man convinced  against his will, holds the same opinion still.”
Trying to teach an unwilling student, is just like pouring into a cup, that is upside down.  You may give out all that precious information and wonderful experience, but it will just run around on the outside.  
Then there are those who come with their cup upturned, but completely full of other ‘stuff’.  A full cup can receive no more.  

Come to a teacher  with an open,  empty cup,
Waiting to be filled,  and you will be.    ~MSK

The Pen and Paper Principle

As an old Chinese proverb goes: “The dullest pencil is better than the sharpest memory”. You may not entirely recall your brilliant ideas, but at least you’ll have a better stab at them if they are scrawled somewhere tangible.

Something that has helped me tremendously is just this simple. Keep a pen and paper (Or pencil if you prefer them) handy. A blackberry will do, or whatever you use that you can record your thoughts with easily and quickly. I’ve found that we forget things even epiphanies that we know will be life-altering. “Oh, I’ll remember that! It is perfect!” but lo and behold, you get home, and it has vanished like a humming-bird.

Even better, buy a notebook that is specifically for your ideas. Buy three. Keep one next to your bed (a pencil is best, for sleepy-eyes won’t be able to tell if the pen is actually writing or not!). Keep another in the kitchen, and a third in your car. (or maybe a small tape recorder is better for this. I have ‘voice notes’ on my p…


We have GPS, we have paper-maps, we have Google-maps and we have hand-drawn maps.  It seems like everyone has someone who wants to show or tell them where to go, and how to get there.  They can be very useful tools, however it is essential that you take a good look at that map and make certain it is the where you wish to be headed to. 
Sometimes we have our parent’s life-map.  We just go tootling on our way using their mind-set, their rules, their goals for us and their morality and beliefs.  Sometimes we are content doing so, but other times, society’s map, the maps of our political party, our religious persuasion or our friends is called into question. 
Tossing the 'baby out with the bathwater' happens almost as often as following blindly.  Whereas people think that just because they didn't come up with a map themselves, and they are doing some introspection, the ‘old’ map must be faulty.   There is a caution here as well. 

One of the very useful tools is to take inve…

Coming UP

For those following this blog, here are some of the up-coming topics I'll be sharing thoughts on in the next weeks:

Cultivate ceremonies of personal pleasureCalm the StormDancing through the PresentAttention ShiftEcstasy in the MomentIrritated by the RubPen and Paper Principle Don't push the River

Look forward!  Follow this blog and find me on Facebook


In our society today there is an overload.  There is too much information to be usefully assimilated.  There is too much food, too much waste, too many choices, too much good to do.  That isn’t even looking on the negative side of the scale.   Ever just feel like giving up?  That it is all just too much?  I’ll confess that I have. 

On those days however, somewhere in the mess of to-dos, want-tos and have-tos, seems to be this little voice whispering softly that only a few things really matter.   REALLY matter.  Really MATTER.  You know? 

Like a juggler trying to learn, usually with some practice she can successfully get three objects in the air without dropping them all.  When you add in a fourth however, that is an entirely different set of problems.  So I submit that you pare your list down to three essentials;  Just three.
What are the three very most important ideas, relationships, goals, people, dreams, whatever that you want to daily make certain get some focus? 

JUST three…

Visiting vs. Packing Up and Moving In

"Stick to the mundane and the exceptional can't help but shine through." ~ Elder Kevin Steed
Sometimes,  I think that we don’t give ourselves enough credit.  There is a huge difference between visiting a place, and packing up and moving in permanently.  In our lives there are moments, sometimes days, when we just can’t seem to move forward.  We allow ourselves to ruminate, dwell in emotionally charged places or wallow in self-pity and back-wards thinking.  Then we sigh and berate ourselves for being so weak, and often give up because we just can’t be positive and progressive all the time. 

I love San Francisco.  I love the people, the electricity in the air, the tourists, the locals and the gorgeous variety.  I grew up near “The City”, but never, not even once in my life. . . have I wanted to live there.  It is a place I visit when I need the memories, the charge, the day’s vacation from normality.  It is not a place I set up camp and settle into.  While I recognize and …

The Other Side of the Mirror

Life Is An Echo
What you send out - comes back.
What you sow - you reap.
What you give - you get.
What you see in others - exists in you.
Pravs J

We went to see Alice in Wonderland the other day, in 3D, dorky glasses and all.  I was thinking (surprise) during the whole down-side-up-side-down eye-feast, about what we really see in our world.  For instance, the next day we went to San Francisco.  There are people of every persuasion, financial, political, gender, race and intelligence there. There are beggars, street performers, tourists, locals and a whole lot of just regular folk.  

A woman asked me for my 'spare change'.  I don't have a lot, but I wondered. . . what if the world turned around, and I was the beggar, and she was the one all dressed in sequins on her way to see WICKED?  

Do we ever really know the stories of the people we come across?  Could it be, that the woman on the street corner had actually decided, even before she arrived in this place, at this time, i…

Follow Your Bliss

Have you heard that before?  Follow your bliss, and it will all be wonderful?  I am the sort of person who reads.  A lot.  I love hearing what others think, how they describe and relate to the world, be it through fiction, science, history, esoterics or whatever.  I enjoy the tidbits of wisdom that comes from all sources.  I hear over and over again, in one form or another, to 'follow your bliss'.  

It sounds wonderful doesn't it?  Yet I get this sort of airy arms outspread-sort of feeling.  Something that happens in movies, not in so-called 'real-life'.  Then I discovered that perhaps I wasn't connecting with that statement because I wasn't sure what my bliss was. I know things I enjoy.  I know some things I'm good at, but I'm not really sure what that ONE thing is, that I want to just drop everything else for and follow.  

I realized, finally, that the path to finding it wasn't through a sit-down session with myself to struggle out and define an…

NO Thank you.

Are there times when you WISH you could just say those words?  Are there times you do, but wish you didn't have to?  How about those times when you OUGHT to, but don't?  I heard something yesterday by a woman named Byron Katie.  She said basically that when she got her life in balance, smoking 'quit' her.  That guilt and rage 'quit' her.

I loved that perspective.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if our little annoying habits would just 'quit'?  No more temptation, no more grinding against will, no more 'trying' or struggle, just a simple 'No Thank You', and away they would wander to pest someone else.

Is it wholly possible that this can happen? 

What if, when one of those little pesky temptations comes knocking, we can simply and confidently say, "No Thank You", and replace it with something we DO want in our lives.  No more trying to justify, no more 'just this one last time', not even a fleeting, 'I really don't …

This attraction thing.

Ok, I've been following with interest, a good share of skepticism, and some real curious occurences; the hype about the law of attraction.  This doesn't mean (for those still untouched by the 'Secret' and other self-help gurus) the cute woman walking by, or the good-looking guy who just smiled at you.  It basically is explained as karma, what you give out you get back, or universal magnetism. (More or less). 

Let me give you a few examples.  I always get a great parking spot.  Always.  I drive into a 'full' parking lot yesterday, just across the street from where I want to go, and there isn't one single spot!  I couldn't believe it.  Then I thought, "Well, where is the guy who was pulling out for me?"  Sort of tongue-in-cheek and all (Wait, can you have your tongue in your cheek if you are just thinking something?  Ugh, nevermind).  So I shrug and start to pull out.  Just at the driveway, a car pulls up next to me and honks.  I look over and …

Arriving Where You Began

Ever feel like, no matter how long you work to conquer something; no matter how many times you have lost ten lbs; or gotten ahead in the fast lane; or eliminated that nasty habit; you look out at the road ahead and find you weigh the same thing you did a year ago; you are right behind that stupid over-jacked truck; and here you are again indulging in your favourite sin. 

No?  Great!  (now tell me how. . . ) Unfortunately, like the figure eight train track, retracing the same path again and again, I often feel that way.  I get all fired up and I make amazingly (or so I think) simplified and obtainable goals, I make a plan, I even work my plan and have great success!  Then, one stormy night months later, I take stock and find out that I'm right back at square one.  (I'm mixing metaphors aren't I?) 

So, I decided that there has to be a reason for it.  There has to be some amazingly simple principle that I am  completely  missing and I'll smack myself upside the head when …

Stress and Chocolate

So, the data is in, and for those of us who already LOVE dark chocolate, it is a boon.  "The sweet stuff might lower our stress hormones."  Might?  Ok, I can attest, it does.  Those who actually eat a little bit (stressing the LITTLE in the bit part) of dark (again, note the DARK) chocolate every day for two weeks showed the most improvement in stress levels. 

Why am I spending the time and attention to this little detail in my sliver of cyber-society?  Sure, I love dark chocolate, but some folks don't.  The point then for me, was not just that this little treat can lower stress levels, but on a larger scale, anything that you do for yourself, indulge in just a little, can have the same affect.  However, the caution remains that a 'little' goes a long way.  Few of us berate ourselves for a tiny bit of pleasure.  It is when we over-indulge, over-do, over-spend, that we look back with remorse.  Those of us who never take the time to reward ourselves for simply maki…

The Soul Made Visible

"My business is not ot remake myself, But make the absolute bet of what God made." ~ Robert Browning 
As I have struggled with challenges, insecurities and darkness, I've learned one very important thing. Light and darkness can not exist in the same place at the same time.  A very helpful mental tool that has done wonders for me, is the thought of a switch.  I marvel at electricity.  I don't understand it fully, but I respect it and know how much it infuses my day.  Thus it is not a far stretch for me to visualize in dazzling detail, the concept of a switch turning on, or off. . . something. 

When I have those pesky pessimistic thoughts, I can pause, mentally 'turn off the switch' and miraculously the thoughts fade away as if they were now literally 'in the dark'. 

I have also been able to 'turn on the switch' mentally of energy, a good habit, or more optimistic thoughts.

Sara BanBreathnach says "The authentic self is the soul made visi…

The dismissive power of “but.”

"You look great in that. . . but. . . "
"I loved it, but. . . "
"Well, I thought it was successful, but. . ." 
"I love you but. . . "

How do each of these make you feel?   If you are like me, you cringe every time you hear that 'but'.  Beware of the buts.  They are the place where the previous positive (usually) comment gets diminished and often discarded entirely.  Even when used in the reverse, the positive comment is weakened by the 'but'.

"It could use some polishing, but. . ."
"If you worked harder you could improve, but. . . "
"I didn't like dinner much, but. . ."

While this makes for a better feeling, how about replacing the buts in your life with 'and'?  This does the job of allowing the positive comment to remain on its own and refuse to be diminished by the next statement.

"You look great in that. . . and. . . "
"I loved it, and. . . "
"Well, I thought it was su…

Yodaish Wisdom

"So sure are you.  With you it is always, 'I can not.'" 
Do you have little voices in your head too?  Not the ones that mean you are crazy, (at least not entirely so) but the ones coming from your best or worst selves, telling what 'reality' is; What you can not have, what you can not do, what you can not be? 
What if you could? What if you didn't listen to the worst part of you, and only listened to the Yodaish wisdom of the best part of you?  Could you change how you feel?  Your life?  How you look at your future? Your past?  
 I learned about a little game.  It is playful and fun and just makes you feel good.  It is from and is called the 'What if' game.  (Or Wouldn't it be great if. . . ) Basically, you merely take where you are, and shift your focus to another true, but more 'feel good' place of possibilities.  
For instance.  My husband wants a truck.  We aren't currently in a position to go out and buy a new t…