Wednesday, July 30, 2008


This is my question. Whose voice do I listen to? How do we tell the difference between the voice of guidance or higher self and the ego or personality strategy? Sometimes I want to scream"shut -up in there and let the real truth step forward." I used to think if I just meditated enough the voice of my guidance would ring clear and true and all of my actions would flow perfectly from the voice of my guidance. What a crock. My ego likes that one because it is based on the idea that I am doing something wrong by not medtitating enough. My ego's core message is that I am doing someting wrong. Of course no matter how hard I try, or howevermuch I do, that is always wrong. When I discovered that whatever I am doing is my ego's definition of what doing it wrong is, it brought me great freedom. Since whatever I am doing is doing it wrong then I might as well do what I want. If doing what I think I should do is as likely to feel like I am doing it wrong as what I want to do, why not do what I want?
O.K. what do I want? I want to listen to my inner guidance, intuition, higher self. That brings me back to my question. How do I tell the difference between guidance and the voice of my ego? The ego's goal is to "protect " us by maintaining the illusion that the world is a scary place and we are separate from all other people. It supports us in maintaining our personality or mask to "protect" us from expressing who we really are and getting hurt. It tells us that safety comes from pretending to be something we are not because letting who we really are out will be dangerous. Meanwhile our essential selves are hanging out waiting for us to notice that we are more than we think ourselves to be.
One way to tell the difference between ego based guidance and essence based guidance is to listen carefully. Is the voice blaming, demanding or commanding or asking you to sacrifice, or inducing guilt? Inner guidance, does none of these. Do you feel more joyful and energized even though what you are doing might be scary and unfamiliar? Or do you feel drowsy and enervated? Does the peace you feel come from resolving the problem or denying it? Really the answer to the question of how do I tell who to listen to is to act and see. Every action probably has some component of ego. By acting, and noticing our results we can begin to discern what works and what doesn't. We can question our habitual responses and begin to peel away our conditioning and see our lives with fresher eyes. In this way I begin to recognize that doing what I've always done and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Maybe sanity starts with adopting a "don't know mind " Maybe realizing I don't know is the first step toward knowing that comes from my guidance rather than my ego. What do you think?

Monday, July 28, 2008


I get this newsletter called "Brain in the News" which is a compilation of news articles about the brain from the current month. ( free subscriptions from In this issue there was an article about Henrikje van Andel-Schipper. She was a Dutch woman who died in 2005 at the age of 115, the oldest human being according to Guiness book of world records. Researchers also studied her brain from age 111 on. Although she had trouble with her eyesight, she performed more like a person of 65 or 70. Her mind was clear with no sign of dementia or Alzheimer's. When she died she donated her body to medical researchers who have discovered her brain was young with none of the internal plaque or tangles that often show up with memory loss in the aging brain. I used to want to live to 104 and I have changed my tune since experiencing my mother's mental decline and the physical decline of Gary's mother. It doesn't look pretty to me. Madame van Andel-Schipper did it pretty. The researchers asked her what her secret was. She said to eat pickled herring and keep breathing. When she was 100 she had surgery for breast cancer and lived 15 more years. This woman was remarkable. Her attitude was very positive and she was sharp as a tack. They said her mother lived to be 100 too. Thank you Madame Van Andel-Schipper for your inspiration. So what determines how we age? It seems like some combination of genes, environment and perception. By perception I mean how we perceive and react to whatever our process looks like.What I want is to put minimal energy into cosmetically preventing the aging process and maximum energy into taking care of myself in body mind and spirit. What does that look like? Exercising regularly and not being compulsive about it, eating healthily but not being ruthless, getting enough sleep and not punishing myself if don't sometimes. Meditating and doing yoga most days tunes me up in body mind and spirit. Doing less or missing a day or a few days and forgiving myself feeds my soul. What if berating ourselves for not taking care of ourselves perfectly creates more stress than not doing it at all? Perfectionism seems to lead to paralysis. If I can't do it perfectly why bother doing anything at all? If this blog isn't wonderful, it is horrible. Black and white thinking keeps us from noticing and appreciating the ways we already are taking care of ourselves. How do you take care of yourself now? Would you be willing to appreciate yourself now and after you do each self-nurturing behavior no matter how small?

Friday, July 25, 2008


As I write, I am watering my lawn. I have been in denial about my lawn thriving when I don't water it regularly. When I realized it was seriously on its way out I decided to do something about it. I have been watering my lawn consciously all week. It is actually better in spots. Have I told you that my spiritual belief system has two parts? Trust in God and do my part. I was doing a little too much of trusting in god and a little too little of doing my part. For God to do her part she needs water. My part is to provide the water, even when I think I am too tired. My lawn doesn't care how tired I am. Part of this is my ambivalence about having a lawn and using precious water to feed it. There's that ambivalence again. Ambivalence is an excuse to space out and do nothing and think that everything will work out. Oh, it's true that everything will work out but in the mean time it will mean a dead lawn or a dead relationship. Ambivalence is abdicating responsibility. When I am present I am much clearer about what I want. When I am spacing out and maybe even using overeating or obsessing to fortify my ambivalence, I am avoiding being present. What's your drug of choice? Being present means showing up with all of my feelings. They run the gamut. I am grateful to have a house and a lawn and resentful about having to take care of them.I enjoy doing what it takes to take care of my lawn and feel guilty about using so much water when there are so many people who don't have clean drinking water. I know that killing off my lawn will not help them. I can continue to contribute to groups who are addressing bringing clean water to people who don't have it, and water my lawn. I have to go move the sprinkler now. Thinking about moving the sprinkler just doesn't cut it. Right now I am still unable to move objects with my mind. Think about ambivalence and how being present may be its opposite.
I get to go on a raft trip with Gary and his brother and sister-in law on Sunday. I will be floating on lots of water for many hours. I appreciate this water. I am looking forward to hanging out with people I care about and having a relaxing time. Life is good. I will write again either Monday night or Tuesday.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I am feeling so grateful today for all of the wonderful people I work with. It is such a joy to see people's commitment to their continued growth and their courage in releasing what's in the way of being all of who they are. I am in the process of creating a website. I want to work with the web designer to create a simple and beautiful site that is a taste of the sanctuary of peace it is my intention to offer the people I work with. If you have worked with me, or been in my yoga class and feel moved to write me a one or two sentence long testimonial I would love it. You can send it to my e-mail address Who can better recommend my work than the people who have experienced working with me? Thanks in advance.

The people I work with inspire me to work on myself. I have been aware of how much I have been committed to ambivalence in my relationship with my partner Gary. For three years I have been ambivalent- shifting back and forth from embracing the relationship to doubting the relationship. Gary has been the one to hold the constancy of our being together because he trusts deeply in our spiritual connection. It scares him when I convince myself that I am doing it wrong being with him. I have always had one foot out the door, although I have never acted upon it. I have chosen not to commit. I guess I wasn't ready. Out of the angst I felt I saw that it would be so helpful to both of us to create a commitment. The other day we decided to commit for six months to using everything that comes up in our relationship to get closer to ourselves, each other and to God. This is also called a no-exit agreement in that each person agrees to investigate all of the ways they are exiting their energy from the relationship. This includes using work, substances, other people or our own thoughts to avoid being present. It doesn't mean the exits magically go away. It only means there is a clear shared intention to investigate and to do the work. It is a willingness to risk the relationship as it is and to open to what it could be. We have both been scared of commitment in our own way. Mine is noisier. Since we created this commitment I have felt less critical, more relaxed and more open. Gary has felt safer and freer to be more openly loving. I'll keep you posted. What do you feel challenged about committing to? Would you be willing to investigate?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

One the movie

I saw the movie, One last night. A man who had never made a film before got this idea to make an independant film about oneness. He asked his best friend and his cousin to help him. They agreed, even though neither one of them had ever made a movie either, and the project began. Three years later it appeared for distribution on the spiritual cinema circle. (
The movie was twenty question being posed to regular people and dozens of spiritual luminaries. All of these people granted interviews to these three guys who they had never heard of because they were making a movie about oneness. The energy of their commitment to their project carried them along. This movie is a visual and auditory statement of the interconnection of all of us. I highly recommend it. The question, What is the meaning of life? was the one I loved listening to the most. . A lot of people thought about it and said "I don't know." One person stared at the camera in silence. Another person started to laugh.
I was thinking when I first heard the question that my answer would have been,"To love and be loved in return. " As I watched more, my answer moved toward "I don't know "and then to ,"We are here to learn that we are all one and to heal the fear and separation that makes us believe otherwise. Then to open to the joy that brings and to celebrate." And really, it is a great mystery and who knows? I sure don't.
This movie opened my heart and made me think. I judge whether a movie is good by whether I am thinking about it in the morning. I think I will extend that judgement to whether I want to share it with you. I woke up thinking about One and I am sharing it with you. It was so inspiring to see this man bring this movie from an idea to its fruition. Is there an idea brewing inside of you clamoring for your attention? Could you give it some?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

small things

This morning I got up and went to an 8am yoga class. I was out late last night having a birthday dinner with my daughter Monnya and her partner Issac. We had a lovely hike before dinner. At one point we climbed up on some rocks. When we got to the second set of climbing rocks I decided to honor my energy level and sit on a rock on the path as they climbed. It is humbling to see that if I listen to my body, I am slowing down. Not listening leads to injury. That has been made very clear to me. Listening leads to lovely quiet meditation time in the beautiful forest.
I have been experiencing resistance to meditation in the last few days. I am learning to trust in the ebb and flow of it. I used to get freaked out that if I didn't feel like meditating for a while it meant I would give it up forever. Out of fear I would make myself sit for longer than I wanted to which served to increase my resistance. Now I relax and know that my love for meditation will organically bring me back to it. When I don't want to sit is when I usually need it the most, though. I noticed yesterday I was swearing out loud about another driver in traffic. Regular meditation definitely makes me less reactive. My swearing helped me to understand road rage which I have always thought myself to be above. Humility seems to be the theme today. Whenever I think myself to be above anything it is only a matter of time before I offer that same behavior up to myself for forgiveness. Life says "O.K. you think you are above road rage can you accept it in yourself?" It also helps me to understand the people I judge and to get that we really are all one. All behavior is a matter of degree. That is true of positve behavior also. If someone else does something I admire I can see myself as separate from that too. I can judge myself and think I could never do that. What if that isn't true either? It's all a matter of degree. Showing up for other people doesn't have to look like Mother Theresa. In her words, "We don't have to do great things. We only have to do small things with great love." What about small things with any love at all?
What about the small things we give ourself ? That is showing up,too. Since we are all one, being loving to ourselves seems to be the best vehicle for showing up for anyone else. That brings me back to the yoga class I gifted myself with this morning. It feels so good to go to a class that someone else is teaching and I get such great ideas to pass on to my students. What small thing could you do for yourself with great love (or any amount of love at all) today?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Monnya

In yiddish there is a word called kvelling. My mother used to use it. She once used it to describe how proud she felt after experiencing my ex-husband and I teach a workshop with a women's group she was part of. It means that your heart is filled with loving pride toward another person. People use it to describe an event that really moved them. My daughter Monnya and three other wonderful women have been leading a week long camp for girls. The camp included aerial dance( hanging from the ceiling on fabric and dancing in the air) and vaulting( acrobatics on a moving horse). There were also crafts projects and writing stories. The presentation for the parents of the girls was today and Monnya invited me to come. I'm so glad I got to be there. What a joy it was to see what my daughter is doing with her life. She lives full out and is providing a model for these girls to find their passions and live them. It was so cool to see these girls flying through the air, reading their wonderful stories and then creating a dance about them and moving confidently on the back of a huge horse. Monnya said that if she could have done a camp like that when she was a kid she would have been in bliss. Now she has created this opportunity for 16 appreciative girls. My daughter is such a graceful humble strong leader. I am kvelling. My heart is full.
Do you remember a time when you felt so proud of another person that your heart filled up with love? What a great feeling. I am grateful. I am grateful to to get to share this life with my daughter. She will be 23 tomorrow. Happy Birthday Monnya. May your year be filled with love.
Thanks to all of you for listening to me kvelling about my daughter. I really appreciate it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Monday night I went to a deeksha oneness blessing. My friend Ginger ( who is a long time feldenkreis bodywork practitioner and more recently a psych-k practitioner experienced deeksha. It is an energy exchange where the oneness blessing is passed on to another person by placing the hands on the person's head. Ginger had such positive results that she felt moved to go to Fiji to Oneness University to learn to give the deeksha oneness blessing to others. She needed to raise $ Ginger is a very giving person.When she asked her inner guidance how she could raise the money to do the training she was told to ask her friends to support her in going.That was a huge stretch for her because she would have to ask for help and receive.She pushed through her fears and in three weeks had the money she needed to go. All of the donations she receives from doing Deeksha oneness blessings will now go to a scholarship fund for other people who want to go to the training.
A small group gathered on Monday night at the Creative Living Center( We sat in a circle and Ginger explained what would be happening. We would do a chant and then sit quietly as she moved around the circle laying her hands on each person's head and bringing the energy of the sense of oneness of the universe through her hands into the other person. I felt very peaceful afterward and my mind seemed clearer.It was exciting for me to do this with Ginger because in my own small way I supported her in going to the training. Ginger says she has found what she has come here to do and that everything she has done before(which she will still continue to do)has helped prepare her to come to this place. Everyone deserves to feel that way about their work. I do too. I am grateful for that.I think doing the oneness blessing has created more space in me to experience gratefulness for what is. In this moment what are you grateful for?

Monday, July 14, 2008

what is

It is good to be writing again. Can I trust that even though I think I don't have enough time to write this and I'm not sure what I am going to write about that it will get written exactly as it needs to be. Or that it will get written exactly as it does? That may be the key. If I have expectations of what it will look like or how it needs to be "what Is" will never live up to them. "What is" doesn't care if I have been disappointed in the past or I'm worried about being disappointed in the future. "What is" keeps on being what is regardless of how much I believe my story that "what is" should be something different than it is.
As I write this I wonder if this is making sense. It is making sense to me. I guess that's all I have right now because I can't ask you. All I have right now are these green words flowing out of my heart through my hands. It's good to trust in that. I have something to say and it is being said. How simple and how lovely. My fears and doubts are just that. That doesn't mean it's not a good idea to be discerning. Discernment is making choices that come from conscious awareness. It's different than judgement. When I am judging everything looks wrong. Judgement notices what's wrong with "what is".
Discernment notices what is and asks what's next?
I notice my fingernails are still dirty from my camping trip and I wonder if I have time to clean them before I leave to go walk with my fried before leading laughter yoga? Not a mystery. I do if I choose to. I could choose to judge myself for my dirty fingernails and to feel overwhelmed by having to do one more thing before I leave. That sense of urgency clouds my brain and I start making typos which I notice eats up the time I have to write this. I can chose to write this blog and let go of second guessing myself about what shows up in it. I can relax and let the relaxed me write this blog. She is a much better writer.
Let's see if there is anything else left to say? Is this enough?Is it good enough? Is it stupid? It is what it is. For now that is good enough.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

enjoy yourself

Today I get to go on a personal retreat to my favorite hot springs for four days.I originally carved out the time because we accidentally left a lot of our camping gear there and I had to go retrieve it. Otherwise I may not have taken this opportunity when it was available. I want to relax, do yoga, meditate, eat well, hike and read and sleep. The chance to be with myself in a beautiful place where I feel safe and comfortable for four days is so exciting. I haven't been to my hot springs alone for four days in many years.Gary will be out of town going to art fairs to sell his stones and visiting his Mom. Last year I met him at his Mom's for four days. This year I will meet myself.It will be good to get out of the city and slow myself down. It would be easy for me to be speedy when I am there, too. I want to pay attention to my breath and listen to my heart about what I want to do and then allow myself to do it.
I want to be gentle with myself about my choices and release second guessing myself. If I make a choice that ends up not feeling good I want to be forgiving and move on. Mostly I want to use this trip to feel closer to myself and to nature.
I also want to have fun and let myself be frivolous if I want to. I can get so restrictive and controlling sometimes and so caught up in my own rules. My intention is to enjoy myself. I get that enjoying myself means acknowledging and accepting all the parts of myself even the ones I don't think are pretty. Enjoying myself doesn't mean that I enjoy only the parts of me that I like or am comfortable with or find socially acceptable. It means welcoming the whole gang inside me to come along on this retreat and hang out and get to know each other open heartedly.Even the part of me that obsesses is invited, although I hope she will relax her hold on my brain and let me get under her story to the feelings that drive her.Ram Dass suggests inviting these parts of ourselves and the feelings they bring up in for tea.I imagine a lovely tea party with all of us sitting around in a circle sharing in a relaxed way. Several members of my inner tribe are already chortling or sneering or rebelling at that idea. I think enjoying myself also means letting go of all of my pictures of what this retreat will look like and just being there. I will write again either Sunday or Monday. What do you do to enjoy yourself? Could there be a personal retreat in your near future? How could you enjoy yourself this weekend where ever you are? What parts of yourself might you invite along?


So the question is when to confront someone or something head on, directly and honestly and when to let things ride for a while? Most people seethe in silence and then eventually blow up. Both create headaches, upset stomachs and low self-esteem. Suppressed resentment over time is a strain on body mind and spirit. The inevitable blowup that results is hard to reconcile with our image of ourselves as good hearted, well intentioned people.
Let's say that clear direct communication is preferable to either. It might come in the form of: When you do X I feel X and what I want is X.
For instance, Gary often says "we" when speaking about his ex-wife. I have asked him many times to say "Lucy(not her real name.) and I." I feel hurt and Dr. Phil agrees with me citing it as a red flag for a person not complete with a past relationship. I have communicated my wishes to Gary in clear direct communication. "When you say we in talking about Lucy and you, I feel hurt and angry. What I want is for you to say Lucy and I instead of we." Now he mostly says Lucy and I . I've attempted to explain to him why I feel the way I do. To me it is making an assumption that he and she are still a couple. I feel excluded. I want to be his We. Even though he doesn't get it at all why I am upset, he is willing to honor my wishes. So, when he does say we I sometimes let it slide deciding that he is really making an effort most of the time. I guess I let it slide one too many times. On Saturday Gary and Lucy tentatively planned this family party for his adult daughter's birthday that day and then he ran it by me afterwards.
I felt angry and left out of the loop. I let him know that I felt excluded and disrespected. I asked him to run things by me about plans for the weekend before he plans things with Lucy. The party didn't end up happening. Gary's daughter wasn't in on the planning either. Gary and I were hiking later that day and when we got part way up the trail, he said, "This is where we took the kids up to." He was referring to the previous hike that he and his ex-wife had taken to the same spot with their grandchildren. I don't have a problem with his being friends with his ex-wife and I'm glad they did a hike with their grandchildren. That's how I got to go on this beautiful hike because Lucy told Gary about it. I like her . It's this We thing that really upsets me. I guess I had let things slide for too long and feeling left out of the party planning compounded
things. When he said "We" I felt the anger rise in me and I said, in a raised voice "Take your We and cram it up your butt." and other variations on the theme. I realized later that I had been seething and didn't feel resolved and my resentment was building. It was only a matter of time before I would blow and blow I did. We talked some more and I was able to more skillfully express myself about how I felt and apologize for attacking him. He still doesn't get why it upsets me and sees no problem with his we. Even so, he is willing to work on saying Lucy and I. I appreciate that. I am willling to look at myself about where I am coming from about this. Thanks for your part in listening to my story. It is risky for me to share unresolved issues. I am committed to continuing to go beneath the story to the feelings below to gain more clarity for myself. For now Gary and I are agreeing to disagree. I will write more about when to confront and when to let things slide. In your life how has this played out?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

trees water moon and grandmother

I'm back from the mountains. It was cool and lovely and very green. It is so enlivening to be close to nature. We went on a beautiful hike near Jamestown that went through a forest next to a river. Moving water and forest energy are two of my most potent elixers. I feel safe and held by large trees and I found an especially comforting one to hug. When I press my heart or my spine against certain trees I feel connected to them and to their history. This tree shared its silent wisdom with me. It was soothing and I felt energized. When I hug a tree I also feel as if I have something to offer the tree because we are two beings exchanging energy. We waded in the river which was very cold and envigorating. Moving water has been my teacher for many years. I love to hang out and watch it flow and sometimes I experience merging with it. Every day I say a water prayer to the moving water in the park where I walk. Monnya and I made up a bedtime prayer and I say the first few lines with arm movements as my water prayer.
"Thank you for my wonderful life.( hands at the heart) I trust in peace and joy and love.(arms outstretched open wide, head up) I am enough. (hugging myself)"
Tonight I walked when I got home just as it was getting dark. I am always grateful that I live in a neighborhood where I feel comfortable walking alone at night. I forgot to say my water prayer to the water so I said it to the moon. I call the moon grandmother moon. I feel a strong connection to the moon and always watch her move through her phases. When Monnya was sixteen and spending five months traveling with Youth International and studying dance in India we used to send each other moon mail. We would each go outside and be with the moon and send messages to each other through the moon. It made me feel close to her at a time when more direct communicatiion was very difficult.
The moon kind of feels like the same energy I felt with my grandmother growing up. I felt special because of our connection and supported in being myself. She had a big impact in my life because I knew she loved me when I wasn't certain who else did. I am grateful to her for loving me and being such a playful and young at heart person. She was a great role model for me about being active and doing what she wanted regardless of what other people might think. I have felt her guidance and support over the years since her death when I was twenty six. As a matter of fact I think I will connect with her soon. It's been a long time and I could use a dose of unconditional love right now. So, who or what do you feel support from? Could you draw on that support sometime soon?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Campaign '08

I was raised in a Jewish liberal democratic culture that placed a high value on social justice and has strongly impacted who I am today. I thank my parents for their caring and progressive political ideas. Whatever your political persuasion I think this election is very important and has already changed the face of american politics. The very fact that Barack Obama who is african american and anglo and Hilary Clinton, a woman, were competing for the democratic nomination, represents progress in and of itself and is very exciting. Barack Obama is my man and with the help of a forwarded e-mail from someone who worked full time on the Kerry/Salazar campaign and thoroughly enjoyed it, I have just signed up to work on his campaign. You can work as little or as much as you want. Send me an e-mail at if you want me to forward this e-mail to you.
I see Barack Obama as a humble and confident guy who is committed to transforming the challenging place we have gotten ourselves into with the current administration. Today I heard that he wants to give college students $4,000 a year. In exchange they will be required to perform 100 hours of community service. That makes so much sense to me. Help kids out and give them a chance to give back. I am looking forward to learning more about the campaign and about Barack Obama's vision for the future of this country. I too worked for John Kerry part time for the last two months before the election. I was working to get out the vote and it was was very satisfying to go door to door and talk to people. I think this time will be more fun because I have so much more enthusiasm for Barack Obama than I did in the last election.
There is also a group of people http://www.meditation who are organizing a silent meditation retreat during the whole democratic convention. It will feature rotating meditation teachers from all different groups and meet in a public park near the convention. It is open to the public. You can participate in as much or as little as you want to. I think it is a great idea to bring the powerful healing energy of group silence to the convention. The organizers are also hoping to have some people who are convention participants join them on breaks.
These are certainly interesting times. Happy Independance Day. I think it is a good day to think about what I have become independant of this year. Two things come to mind- caring so much about what other people think and obsessing so much about whether I am in the right relationship. How about you? I am grateful that I get to go to the mountains for the weekend and I probably won't write until Monday.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ratio of three to one

I work with a lot of couples. I have been in many relationships. Sometimes I wonder how I , with my patchwork relationship history, can work with couples. As I may have already told you my daughter Monnya's answer to the question
is, "But Mom you know exactly what not to do."
I also work with singles to help them learn to rely on themselves and, if they chose to, to enter into a relationship that is healthy. Joyce and Barry Vissel who work with couples and write an e-newsletter called "A Shared Heart" wrote about finding a life partner. They suggest to allow yourself to begin to feel how much you love your life partner even before you have met the person. Letting yourself feel that will naturally attract that person to you. Once you meet the person they suggest throwing out your list and trusting in your intuition. In my case, fears of intimacy may prevent us from recognizing our life partner. Only after we work through those fears is it possible to see the other person's beauty and to experience love freely. I think the most important quality in a relationship is whether both people are committed to working on themselves.
That work could take many forms. When a person is ready to use a relationship as a means to grow and to embrace the hard work involved in working things out with another person, the relationship has a chance of deepening and evolving into a true spiritual path. Relationship can be a spiritual path because it is like walking around with a mirror in your face. When your partner holds the mirror for you to see yourself with love, compassion and respect it provides a safe space to grow together. When both people are committed to being fully expressed beings individually and to supporting each other in being fully expressed beings there is an amazing opportunity to move beyond old conditioning especially the wounds we carry from our original families. Even so this is really hard work. My friend Smokey and her husband Graham love each other very much. They have vastly different personalities. In the past five years a sweetness has developed from all the hard work they have done to accept each other as they are. They put energy into repairing and resolving conflicts and into cutting each other a great deal of slack. It is so inspiring to be around them now. John Gottman in his research with couples who report being happily married, has found that there is a three to one ratio of positive to negative comments. If you are currently in a relationship with a partner begin a practice of noticing what you appreciate and getting it out of your mouth. Let's practice making that ratio true by beginning with ourselves. Whether we are in a primary relationship or not if every time we say something negative to ourselves we then say three positive things it makes sense we will be happier. It would go like this, "I probably already wrote about that in here." - One negative, then three positives, "Even if that is true it is still a good idea and worth repeating. I have good ideas. It is gutsy of me to share my good ideas on this blog." That was quite pleasurable and required me to use my creativity to appreciate myself. I'm going to experiment with three positives for every negative. Would you care to join me?