Thursday, October 30, 2008


The days when I write seem to vary. Sometimes I write Monday Wednesday and Friday and sometimes Sunday Tuesday and Thursday. I know that consistency has never been my strong suit. I bet you don't care what days I write this. You probably read it when you do. So, what I can say is that I usually write three times a week, except when I don't. Thanks. It always feels so good to speak my truth and stop pretending that I don't need to. When I speak my truth something relaxes in me. Pretending keeps me from being present, whatever I am pretending about. Often when I am pretending it is because I think that what I am feeling about something isn't OK. Then I project that on to other people and think that they will be judging me as I am. Often this is not the case. Other people rarely judge me in the same way I judge myself. If I am close enough to be safe with the person I think is judging me and do a reality check with them like this," I'm making up a story that you are judging that I am a flake because I keep changing when I am writing on this blog. Is that true?" Often the person I am projecting to be judging me, isn't thinking about me at all. Letting go of pretending and being willing to be present sometimes scares me. I feel afraid of being out of control. Somehow I have it wired together that if I keep myself tense and in control I will be safer. In reality when I am pretending not to be feeling what I am feeling, I am anxious and drained. I am very blessed that most of the people in my life are people I can be truthful with if I am willing to find a skillful way to express myself. I am very grateful. Telling the truth allows me to breathe deeper and relax. It takes so much less effort to be who I am than who I am not. It is more difficult when my truth involves being mad or sad or scared or some derivitive of that. Having the courage to speak the truth has created a deeper connection enough times that I trust it more.
Sometimes it's fun to experiment and tell the truth to a new person. It doesn't have to be a monumental truth. Only the kind of thing that I would think, "I can't say that!" Like the other day I talked about politics with my dentist. I didn't get the outcome I thought I wanted and I felt good about speaking my truth. It was an opportunity to open to someone else's different truth. If I hide my truth I don't get to widen my viewpoint to different truths or feel validated for my own. In this election I have been able to talk about politics more openly than before. If I can validate my truth from the inside rather than looking for external validation, it is safer to tell my truth and easier to discern who is an appropriate recipient. It seems important to begin to recognize pretending. In my case, my mouth feels pursed, my breathing is shallow, I feel rushed and tense. Sometimes it is also important not to tell the truth and to keep pretending. A conscious choice supports my growth the most. What do you pretend about and when? Would you be willing to notice? Who do you feel safe telling the truth to? Would you be willing to acknowledge yourself and them?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Do you remember hearing the saying "you can't see the forest for the trees?" It never made sense to me. I was thinking about my experience the other day at the Obama rally and the saying suddenly came alive. The trees, were my expectations about the rally. The forest that I didn't fully see because I was so focused on the trees was the miracle of over 100,000 diverse people taking the time from their lives to come out and rally behind Barack Obama. Barack has often said that this movement isn't about him. He is the vehicle of the movement for change that has awakened in this country. We are this movement. I realized that my focus on being able to see him made it all about him. As I read others' stories the experience of being in that big a crowd with all different kinds of other people who care about this country and want it to be freer to change shines through. Focusing on Barack obscured that from my vision. So, I accept myself for my expectations and my subsequent disappointment. In forgiving myself I let go of the trees and I notice the forest. In the forest of the rally there was a sense that we are all in this together. Our energy is feeding ourselves and each other. We are feeding ourselves hope that we can feel good about the leadership of our government. When something doesn't work out the way I want it to it is easy for my ego to get really loud and tell me that nothing will ever work out the way I want it to again. When I believe what my ego tells me and act as if it is the only truth all I see are the trees. The forest of the bigger picture doesn't even exist. I forget when I buy what my ego tells me about myself and my life that it is a vehicle for awareness of my higher self. The opportunity is presented to me every time I recognize that it is my ego dissing me.
Then I can focus in my circle and breathe into my heart or my third eye and ask for help from my higher self. My ego isn't the bad guy it's only a messenger. The message is,"use me to open to all of who you are." The ego's message of fear and separation is only an invitation to a bigger party. The oneness party beyond fear and separation where we are all divine beings linked together. So, my FGO is about using the ego to grow in awareness of Oneness. Such a deal. Can you relate to this? What is your forest and what are your trees that are keeping you from seeing it? How can you use your focus on the trees to see the big wide forest in all of its spaciousness? In what area of your life do you have an example of already moving from seeing only the trees to an awareness of the vast forest?

Sunday, October 26, 2008


So this all started yesterday when I canvassed for Obama. By the time I finished it was 7 and getting dark. I took my results to the volunteer to tally, ate a quick dinner and headed to Manuel High School for the organizational meeting for people volunteering for the Obama rally today.There were thousands of people there. After they talked to us in the large group they broke us up into smaller groups. Ours was in the cafeteria. The woman in charge talked to us about how important each of us was to the success of the rally, and that no matter what job we ended up with she hoped we would do it with a positve calm attitude. Then we broke up into groups of about 15 and met with our team leaders. Ours was the ADA group. We were in charge of supporting people with disabilities coming to the rally. When we arrived and realized how close we would be to Barack I felt so grateful and lucky and excited. There were many thousands of people there stretching all the way back to the capitol house lawn from civic Center Park. When I volunteered I knew I would get into the rally but I had no idea I would end up this close. There were people stationed out of the park to assist people on line in getting in and there were those of us inside the park assiting people with seating. We were stationed within 20 feet of the podium where Obama was speaking. The experience gave me a deeper understanding that we are all one people. I got a deeper appreciation of the courage it takes to do what it takes to go to a rally with a less than cooperative body, let alone live in one every day. People were manuevering in electric wheelchairs over grass, packed in very closely. I was so glad that there is an American Disabilities Act so they would have this rally be accessable. The excitement was palpable because we all knew we were going to be so close and get to share this experience.We had been waiting since 8am and Barack was due to speak at 12. It was 11:30. The woman who had been speaking to the volunteers in the cafeteria came over to about 6 of us who were volunteering in the ADA area and asked us to go pass out placards. We went to the area where the placards were and then walked toward the back of the huge crowd where they wanted us to pass them out. It felt good to give people who couldn't even see the podium where Barack was speaking a banner or a placard. People seemed really glad to have them. Maybe it made them feel more a part of things. When my placards were passed out I realized there was no way to get back to where I was. The staffmember who had taken us to the back had abandoned us. Apparently they had other things to do.The secret service had closed everything off and didn't bend their rules for me. Another volunteer from my team and I tried various strategies to get to a place where we could see Barack. If I didn't ever think it would be a possibility to be so close I wouldn't have been so disappointed. It would have been a cool experience to just be there. I was aware of how my intense expectations contributed to my disappointment. We ended up outside the park where I borrowed a man's binoculars and I could see a tiny Barack's head between a tree. Even that was thrilling. I held on to my disappointment allowing myself to feel it. Even though I could hear my mother's voice saying dismissively"That should be the worst thing that ever happens to you." My ego voice was saying, " Suck it up. Shit happens. Is being close to Obama the only reason you volunteered?" It felt important to be with my experience and allow myself to integrate it. I went to Whole Foods and ate some carbs to console myself but it didn't really help. I took a long bike ride in the beautiful autumn colors and then sat by the river and contemplated. That did help. Telling the story to Gary who called from his Mom's in Chicago, also helped. He didn't try to make it better. It seems like when he tries to make things better they feel worse. I was grateful that he just heard me. My disappointment is passing. I have given myself time and space to be with what is. I am letting go of what wasn't. A useful lesson. Another FGO as someone I used to work with calls them. FGO stands for Fucking Growth Opportunities. Have you had one lately?

Friday, October 24, 2008


I can't stop eating. When I am tired and don't feel like I have time to rest I eat when i'm not hungry. I have been doing tasks and intermittently going to the refrigerator and stuffing mouthfuls of nuts in my mouth. I am going to write this blog now and not get up and eat until I am done. When I most need to rest is when I avoid it the most. I feel impatient and urgent about what I am chosing to do and a lack of compassion for myself. When I am overtired my ego gets very loud. It's telling me that it's my fault that I tried to sleep with Gary on a work night because he was leaving on a trip this morning. We have almost always had trouble sleeping together and it's a tribute to our commitment that we keep trying. Once again I looked the word commitment up in the dictionary. (Howmany hundreds of times have I looked up that word because I can't remember how to spell it ? That doesn't feel like a coincidence that I can't even remember how to spell commitment. Thank you for that- dear ego)Most of the time we just sleep in separate beds. When I don't get a good night's sleep it isn't pretty. I am irritable and cranky and critical of myself and him. My ego goes to town about us not being able to sleep together. It tells me that it isn't normal and if I really wanted to be with Gary I would be able to sleep with him. Sometimes I know it's OK and just part of our relationship. Other times it brings up my visions of couples with two twin beds or separate bedrooms who haven't been close to each other in decades. When I was growing up, "They don't even sleep together "was doomsday for a couple. Things have changed. Houses are even being built with two master bedrooms because couples value their own space more. We are both used to sleeping alone. When I honor how hard it is for me and don't make myself wrong about sleeping separately I don't have days like today where I am dragging and sleep deprived. I am blessed because thirty years of counseling has enabled me to put aside my own stuff and be completely present with the person I'm working with. Probably if I could just be tired and not blame myself and Gary things would be a lot easier. I am reaching down into my heart to the part of me that loves me no matter what and embracing my anger and blame. As I breathe into the blame my heart softens. So, I made a mistake and stuck with it all night. It's only because I wanted it to work out. It doesn't mean that I am a stupid fool or that my relationship with Gary is a complete mismatch. It only means that if I have to work the next day that isn't a good time to see if we can sleep together without a backup plan. If I blow up my extra bed and we communicate about who goes in it beforehand that is a viable plan B. Acknowledging what is and preparing for it is a kinder mode. I feel more gentle with myself about all of this. It can now be included in what is OK. The more I can include in what is OK, the more OK I feel. Writing this blog is very theraputic. I hope it is as helpful to you as it is to me. I don't feel a need to go stuff my face with food anymore. That is a relief. I think i will take some time to rest now.
Is there something that you are holding your heart hard toward yourself about? Would you be willing to hold yourself in love and breathe into your feelings about it? I will write again Monday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I just got off the phone with my sister. I am appreciating her a lot and I wanted to share it with you.
This morning I woke up very early worrying about my trip to visit my sister and my Mom in two weeks. My daughter is coming with me and my nephew is also going down from college to be there. My sister also invited her close friend and her two children to join us for the weekend. My sister and her husband have three dogs, two who are new puppies. The plan is for all of us to stay at my sister's house. I live alone. Peace and quiet are very important to me. Sleeping is especially important.
My sister works full time and teaches yoga four evenings a week and is the main caretaker for my Mom who lives in an alzheimer's facility in her same town.
I wanted to share my fear about being in the chaos without offending my sister and adding more to her already full plate. I didn't want to be a pain in the butt and I wanted to feel better about the trip.I thought about the possibility of staying in a motel. I knew as I lay in bed this morning that there was a way to communicate all of this to my sister that was clear, honest and direct.
I didn't understand why she invited her friend when things were chaotic enough. As I worked with myself this morning before calling her I knew that defensively saying, "I don't understand why you invited K to come in the midst of everything else?" was not a good idea. As I relaxed more I got clear that the best way to be clear and direct was to be clear and direct. It is definitely more emotionally vulerable to tell the truth about what I am feeling and own it. So, I called and asked my sister if she had time to listen to me. She said she did. I told her I had been up early this morning worrying about the trip and that I was afraid I wouldn't be able to sleep with all of the people and animals there. I asked her how she would feel about my staying in a motel. She heard me and said that I needed to do what I wanted to and that I would still have the same room I usually stay in and could take out my hearing aids and close the door. I felt heard and relieved and relaxed. I told her I wanted to know why she invited K and her kids and that I knew it was none of my business. She explained that she wanted to have everyone there because to her it felt like the whole family and that almost never happens. That made sense to me. I also told her that I almost didn't call because I didn't want to burden her with my stuff. I called because I wanted to feel closer to her. In the past I have been afraid of my sister getting angry at me. I have let my fear of her being upset with me color how I presented things to her. Defensively expressing myself is experienced as an attack by the other person. People who feel attacked defend themselves. Defensiveness meeting defensiveness creates diconnection misunderstanding and war, for that matter.
There are people I feel safe speaking my truth with and people I don't. Learning the difference makes it easier to risk being emotionally vulnerable. I am glad I called my sister.
Speaking the truth from my heart opens the space for real connection. In this conversation my sister and I were able to talk about our feelings about my Mom in a way that felt more real. I feel guilty that I am so far away and that Cynde is doing everything. She has been dealing with the day to day problems of my mother's decline including her aggressiveness. It has been overwhelming. I think this morning we heard each other and felt more connected. Maybe that is the purpose of sharing truth. The importance of moving unclarity out of the way in communication is to move away all obstacles to creating a deeper connection with another person. Then there is the opportunity to openheartedly experience the other person's reality. That gives us a chance to feel like we are connected to each other which opens up that feeling of being connected to everything. So maybe clear communication is a doorway to let love in. It's waiting there for us to let it in. I am grateful to my sister for her support and her openness. I look forward to growing old together and supporting each other in our growth.
Is there someone you are close to that you have something you want to share with and are afraid to?
Do you think that it might be possible that skillfully sharing it might bring you closer?

Monday, October 20, 2008


Saturday Gary and I went to an amazingly beautiful wedding. My friend was marrying her longterm partner. They are both part of an accapella singing group called Sound Circle that performed at the ceremony. They musically celebrated the couple's love. It was heartwarming. As part of the ceremony, the guests were asked to share their wishes and blessings for the couple. There was such a moving outpouring of love, as people shared their truth from their hearts, that they passed around boxes of kleenex for all of us crying. The minister kept reminding us all to breathe because it was such an intensely emotional experience. I could palpably feel the love of the couple for each other and from the community for them. Energetically everyone was basking in this love. Creating that depth of love together, a feeling of closeness arose among the participants, even though I knew almost noone.
All of the guests were asked to continue holding the couple in love as they moved into their married life together. I have never seen two people so unadulterately pleased to be marrying each other. When their vows were over my friend said,"We're married!" as if it were the most amazing and wonderous thing that had ever happened to her. I felt so grateful to be invited to share in this joyous event.
Afterwards in addition to my sense of well-being, I was aware of the injustice that two people who love each other so much and have already created a rich full life together and are the respective mother and step mother of two children can't be legally married.
I am sad that in most states in this country loving couples are denied the right to a civil marriage ceremony because they happen to share the same gender. I thought about how freeing it must have been for the women there who were in couples to express their affection for each other in a community of acceptance and celebration. It's something I take for granted. I don't think I will in the same way again. Maybe one day everyone's love will be celebrated as the love that it is. None better or worse. Thanks for listening. I'm glad I can share this with you.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I spent the afternoon walking with my nephew. For the first six years of his life he lived in Denver. Jakke and my daughter Monnya are four months apart. My sister Cynde and I and our two kids spent a lot of time together before they moved to Pennsylvania.We used to take them to a restaurant in their baby carriers and talk and eat while they slept. Today Jakke was in Denver for a job interview for a position as an accountant.He graduates from college in May and is only interviewing for jobs that are in Denver. I am excited about the possibility of spending more time with him.We have mostly been pretty close. When he was a senior in High School he asked me to teach meditation to the members of his football team. I visited my sister's family in Alamagordo, New Mexico, went hiking with eight burly young men and shared a meditation practice with them.They were very receptive.I appreciated that Jakke respected what I have to offer and wanted to share it with his friends. Jakke is a sensitive, competitive enterprenuerial spirit.He is eager to enter corporate America fully. It is a pleasure to spend time with a person whose take on the world is very different from mine. I enjoy having a window into his world.I am grateful to have a relationship with my nephew that is evolving into an adult friendship.I'm glad I know him. I look forward to knowing him more.
Personality is the strongest when we are in our twenties. If we work on ourselves,as we age we begin to disengage from our egoes, opening more to all of who we are. I love spending time with people in their twenties. They are so different than I was when I was in my twenties.I believe in the evolution of conscousness. Each generation evolves in consciousness beyond the generation before. It is why children can be their parents teachers if the parents are willing to open to that.I admire the energy and motivation I see in the twenty year olds I come into contact with. It would be great to be able to have that energy again and combine it with the acceptance and wisdom I have now. What would it be like to have a conversation with my twenty year old self and see what she has to offer me now?
Maybe if I get quiet and tune into her she has a message for me
that will be valuable to my life now. She says, "You did good. I am proud of you. I am relieved you learned to relax." I let her know that I am grateful to her for all the pain she went through that helped me to be where I am today.I look forward to communicating with her again soon. Experiment with communicating with your own inner twenty year old. It is a way to connect with a twenty year old when there is none available externally.I will write again on Monday.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Since I sent out my new website to my e-mail list I have had an outpouring of support. It feels so good to acknowledge the caring, positive messages. One good reason to reach out to people is to remember how much I am cared about. What good is a support system if I don't use it for support. Isn't that the point?
Reaching out for support is a stretch. When I need support about something I am challenged by it is easy to minimize it or to decide that my friends are too busy. I can make up lots of stories about how what I want to share isn't important and I should figure it out myself. Then I tell myself that my friends are tired of hearing my same old story. The ego is very wiley about convincing us we are alone and separate. Reaching out to a trusted friend for help often deepens the relationship. The people I feel closest to are the ones who are the most real with me. The ones who say they are fine all the time aren't the one I feel safe sharing with when I am not feeling fine. My closest friends are people I can share my joys and sorrows with knowing they will do the same. Support is mutual interdependance. That is a good thing,
There is a difference between venting to gossip or create validation for a position and support. Let's say I am preparing to speak to my sister about a conflictual issue. I can share this preparation with a friend, letting the friend know what my intention is. My intention is to get support in clearing the way to be closer to my sister. That isn't triangulation. Triangulation is one person talking about a second person to a third person when the communicatiion is indirect and not intended as preparation for direct communication. In a lot of families noone talks to each other directly and all communication goes on through triangulation. It's like a giant game of telephone. Sometimes it is so common in families that people don't even know they haven't talked to the person directly and accept triangulation as a substitue for a relationship. They haven't talked to their cousin Edie but have heard about her from their mother. In a way triangulation actually prevents direct communication in families. Is there someone in your family or a friend you have been wanting to reach out to? Is there a venue you've been wanting to check out as a possible way to expand your support system?
I am grateful for the support I have in my life. It is a joy to share my new website and feel that support so strongly.

Monday, October 13, 2008


The enneagram, as many of you know, can be used as a psycho-spiritual map of nine personality types. Hurley and Donson, two local enneagram teachers, created a system of three centers and the enneagram. The three centers are thinking ,feeling and doing. Each point on the enneagram overuses one of these, is supported in this overusing by another of these and represses the third one of these. I resonate most with point four which is called the Tragic Romantic or the Individualist or the Artist depending on whose book you are reading. I use the numbers one through nine because that is simpler than the names. The four, for example overuses feelings, is supported in that overusing by thinking and represses doing. That means I hang around thinking about my feelings a lot and am challenged by doing. A seven in the enneagram overuses doing, is supported in their overdoing by thinking and represses feeling. Sevens spend their time doing and thinking about their doing and are challenged by feelings.
I often say that my thinking to doing time is quite long. So, several years ago I decided it would be a good idea for me to have a website. Last November I decided I wanted to have a website. I have learned to cut myself a lot of slack, setting reasonable goals that take into consideration that doing is challenging. I set the goal of having a website by December of 2008. On my last trip to Valley View Hot Springs in July I met Mike Blevins, a web designer.
I liked him a lot. It is important to me to do business with people whom I feel
good about working with. Otherwise it doesn't work. He did a great job and I highly recommend him. He was patient,creative, listened well and was willing to work with me to create a beautiful website. I think we both spent way more time and energy than we thought it would take and the result is well worth it. It was a major doing project for me to get clear about how best to express what I do. Mike is also a really good photographer. Gary, my partner, designed the logo, which is such a whimsical expression of being in sacred circle held in love. He was helpful all along the way. My friends Smokey and Graham looked over the site and gave really good suggestions. I appreciate all of the great help. My website is now complete and I am really happy to let people know about all of the work I so love to do. Please check it out at and let me know what you think. I am excited to share it with you.
So, as you look at thinking, feeling and doing, what center do you overuse, which one supports that overusing and which one do you repress? What could be a goal to bring your repressed center more into balance?

Friday, October 10, 2008

live fully, die suddenly

I did a Laughter Yoga presentation today for 150 seniors at the Senior Resource Day sponsored by the Arapahoe County Council on Aging. The event was free and open to the public. People were sitting in rows and I was nervous about how to do laughter yoga when the participants didn't have room to move around. I have done laughter yoga with seniors many times with people in independant living and assisted living and found them to be very receptive. These seniors were active people living on their own. Younger people were sprinkled throughout the audience, too. It was a hoot.
At the beginning when I looked out at the sea of faces, I had to remind myself to breathe because I was so scared. As I relaxed and got into the presentation I entered the flow where I'm not self-conscious anymore. I'm no longer thinking about what they might be thinking of me. My focus is on creating the opportunity for adults to laugh about nothing, let go of their tension and seriousness and relax and enjoy themselves by being silly and playful. It feels natural, meaningful and satisfying to be leading Laughter Yoga. Talking in front of groups has always been terrifying for me.
This fear is healing each time I present. I am grateful. I feel blessed to have three forms of work that balance each other so well: counseling and mentoring, hatha yoga and laughter yoga.
The man who presented after me talked about exercise and aging and was humorous and informative. He presented an idea that really resonated with me. It was to live life fully and die suddenly. I would love to continue living my life fully and to keep growing and changing as I age. I would love to grow in acceptance of myself and others and keep opening to ways to make a difference in the world. I would like to live for a long time.Then I would like to die suddenly and peacefully without a prolonged disease process. I wonder how much any of us has to say about how we die? I certainly don't know.We definitely have a lot to say about how we live. How are you living? Would you be willing to acknowledge some of the ways you are living more fully than you did before, however small or large they may be?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

So Anyone May Eat

Today I went to a restaurant that a yoga teacher colleague told me about. It is on Colfax and Race so I could walk from the yoga studio after teaching my class. It's called SAME. That stands for so anyone may eat. It is a donation based eatery. You eat their delicious organic vegetarian fare and pay whatever you chose to pay. The people who work there are all volunteers. You can also work for an hour to pay for a meal. It was exciting to see a group of people who have a dream bringing it to reality. Because I was so busy eating I didn't find out who this group is. The people working there were very warm and generous. This adventure was a gift to myself. When I heard about it on Saturday I thought, That would be fun to take myself there after class. I put it on my calendar. Another teacher asked me to help her with a project she is doing for the studio today after my class.
Sometimes I erase myself from my schedule if I think someone else needs me more. Instead I told her about the adventure I had planned and that I would be glad to help her afterwards. I invited her to come with me. She chose to stay and work on the project. I felt a little guilty because what I was chosing to do instead wasn't an appointment with someone or even a task on my to do list. In this culture it is rare that a person says they can't do something because they want the time for themselves.
I do know of some rare progressive work places where you can say you want the day for yourself and that is acceptable. The people I feel the safest with are the ones I can say, "Thanks for inviting me. I'd like to and I really want the time to myself. "
After I walked to my adventure, ate and walked back I helped with the project. Seva means service. Because I took the time to do something I planned to do for myself, doing seva for the studio was easy and fun. In the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, she talks about making an artist's date with yourself on a regular basis. Her idea is to create an activity that supports you as an artist like taking yourself to the art museum. I am interested in continuing to make dates with myself. Does this sound appealing to you? Is there an adventure you'd like to take yourself on? Maybe there's something you want to do that you've been waiting to find someone else to do it with.
Why not do it and enjoy your own company? Let yourself know what a cool person you are to hang out with.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Basic goodness

So how do you work with the ego? How do you begin to discern your own voice of fear and separation that lets you know you suck or don't quite measure up or that you're not good enough? First of all it is helpful to do an inventory. When do you hear your critical voice? Is there any kind of a pattern? Whose voice do you hear? Do you actually hear a voice or is it more of a gut feeling that lets you know you aren't OK? Do you feel shame or guilt? Then it is useful to look for a core belief. What sentence does your inner judge use most often to let you know of your shortcomings? For me is is that I should be feeling something different than what I am feeling. Or a variation is that I should be doing something different than what I am doing. Basically it is that I am doing it wrong whatever it is. Underneath that is the belief that there is something wrong with me. What my inner critic tells me is wrong with me is that I don't know how to truely love. I used to say that when the quality for unselfish loving was passed out I was in the bathroom. I stopped saying that because that kind of a joke really isn't really funny and validates my fears.
So, how do I work with the ego? I have had a lot of practice lately because my ego has been really lous and insistent. The first step is awareness. Recognizing when I am judging myself and saying something to acknowledge that. Sometimes I say"Ego". I used to say," thank you for sharing" because it was amusing. I also tried "f--- offf" for a while but using aggression to counter aggression went against my values and didn't seem effective. My ego is also way better at arguing than I am so I don't try to argue anymore. After I can recognize that I am being attacked by my ego what helps the most is coming back to my circle and asking for help in remembering I am lovable just as I am. When I remember to breathe into my body in my circle and let myself feel held in love I often can disengage from my ego. Realizing that the self-hate is itself a messenger of an ego attack lets me know I am more than self-hate. Noticing I am hating myself and being kind to myself allows me to witness my harsh judgement. The alternative is to notice I am judging myself and judge myself for judging myself. That is two steps away from self-love. All is not lost though. Awareness can happen no matter howmany steps way we are from holding ourselves kindly. Remembering our basic goodness beyond the particular ego story is also useful. It also helps to remind myself what I would say to a child who approached me feeling self-hate. In my wildest dreams I wouldn't say,"buck up and get over it". I would say, "I can understand how you would feel that way
and move toward the child lovingly with words or touch." When I offer that to myself, it lets me know that I do know how to truely love and am lovable just as I am.
My suggestion is to begin to investigate how your ego addresses you and how you react to it. Appreciate yourself for doing this courageous work. If you've already begun this process acknowledge yourself for that. Hold yourself in love for your basic goodness. This goodness comes from being a human being regardless of what you do. Hold yourself or ask for help in holding yourself from an unconditionally loving being of your choice. When we are present in our bodies breathing into our own basic goodness, the ego , whose messages are based on the past and the future, has to take a time-out.

Friday, October 3, 2008

honoring feelings

Today was such a gorgeous day. When I was out for a walk with my friend Wendy I took the time to notice the beautiful trees and flowers. I don't remember fall being this lovely before. I think at least part of it is I am noticing more. More of my attention is available to notice what is going on around me. It is easier to be present than it used to be. That feels very good.
I worked with Wendy today on my pattern of ignoring my feelings. I know how I feel about something and then I try to convince myself that I feel differently. It is a pervasive pattern that crops up all over my life. Today I went shopping to find a pair of jeans. I found a pair I really liked and when I sat down in them they were tight. I knew they didn't feel comfortable and that after they were washed they would be even less comfortable. I tried to convince myself to buy them anyway telling myself that I was too picky because I don't like to wear tight pants and that they would be fine.I started to think that maybe I would lose some weight and I quickly moved back to my center. I don't buy clothes with losing weight in mind anymore. If it doesn't fit me now, I don't buy it. I tried them on many times and then left the dressing room with them. On my way to the check-out line I heard a screaming voice telling me to put them back. I was confused because yesterday I decided if my internal voice was mean it wasn't in my best interest. Today however, I decided to do an experiment. I decided to listen to the voice because maybe it was speaking to me insistently because I was refusing to listen.I put the pants on hold and left the store. Then I went and did another errand and hung out with how it felt to let go of the pants. At first I felt disappointed and deprived.Soon
I began to feel relieved.I really like to breathe comfortably when I have clothes on. Breathing is always good. I remembered how many times I had gone against the screaming voice and ended up returning things. I remember one winter when my daughter was younger and I wanted to buy black boots. I put Monnya through many stores and many returns. I felt sad about doing that and glad I am becoming more aware of this pattern now.It is a symptom of not being willing to listen to myself and trust in my truth.
I am grateful to be unraveling this pattern.I want to learn discernment about what feel right to me beyond right and wrong. I want to practice knowing the difference between intuition and ego. It is a complex process process and oh so interesting. There are many times I do listen to myself and many times I don't.I want to start to notice more how it feels when I honor my feelings and how it feels when I ignore them. I want to encourage you to do the same.
Someone I worked with always said, "Have a day." She said she could always wish someone to have a day without saying how their day should be and know they would. Have a weekend. I will write again on Monday.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Compassion gardening

My friend Graham, who is a very good editor, looked at my last blog and pointed out several misspellings. I am not the greatest speller and I'm sure in all of the blogs I've written there are many more mispellings and typos I didn't catch. I appreciate your patience. When I went back to edit the mispellings he found my computer jumped me out. For now they will stay as they are. Thanks for your understanding.

If I could have compassion for hating myself, I would be loving myself and nothing about me would need to change. Cheri Huber

I really likes this quote that I got from my daily peace quotes (
When I am aware of my ego or false self yapping about what's wrong with me it is useful to notice. For instance" Why are you rushing to write this blog? This is a stupid topic. You don't have anything to say about it." So first I interrupt the urge to stop writing and go eat something I'm not hungry for. Then I remember that any voice which speaks to me unkindly is most definitely my ego. So, I say "Ah, ego" and keep writing. When I can have compassion for myself for hating myself, I am loving myself. If instead I said," There you go again. You have the most ruthless ego I can ever imagine. You are really messed up."
Who do you think that is? It is the ego or false self telling me how bad I am because It is so strong. If I let it, it gets me coming and going. Compassion means caring about someone else's suffering. When it's my own suffering I care about, I can shift out of listening to my ego and pretending that I am my ego. I am so much more than my ego. Sometimes it is useful to ask for help by drawing my circle around me and bringing someone or something that I feel loves me unconditionally into my circle. Imagining being held in unconditional love or asking for the experience of being held in unconditional love in the midst of self-hate or self- criticism can be very helpful. Bringing my own higher self into my circle is a great relief . I get to see that I don't have to do it alone. Self-soothing doesn't have to be a solitary project. There is help available if we are willing to ask for it. It is always there. It is us that pretend we have been abandoned.
Do an experiment. Close your eyes. Draw your circle around you. Let yourself be quiet and go down into your body by using your breath as a focus. Ask for the experience of being loved for being exactly who you are and see if you can contact that feeling within you. imagine it could include the things you hate. Breathe and be still a few more moments. See what you notice. It's kind of like creating a compassion garden. Gardening compassion. Do this practice every day for a few minutes for a week. See what you notice.