Thursday, August 26, 2010


Believe it or not I just discovered the comments page of my blog. Occasionally I have asked for comments especially when I wonder if there is anyone reading what I have written. I really appreciate all of you who wrote and shared with me about how my blog has contributed to you. I have been writing my blog for two years and I didn't know that comments existed because I don't see them after the posting. For some people figuring this out would be easy. I am technologically challenged. Something inside me freezes up when I am faced with figuring out a mechanical task. It's hard to think clearly with a frozen brain. I am grateful that I plowed through the explanations and asked for help and quieted my inner critic's voice that told me I couldn't possibly figure out how to write a blog and did it anyway. There are some things that come easily for me and some things that are more challenging.
I remember when I first started seeing clients thirty years ago. I would be so anxious when working with a new person wondering if what I had to offer would be at all helpful. For a long time I wanted the people I worked with to leave my office smiling and I thought I had done a bad job if someone didn't. I learned that each person's process was their own and the emotions they took with them were all valuable. Then there was the phase in my work when I would get what I thought was a brilliant insight about a client's process. Just as I was about to share my gem of wisdom I would hear screaming voices in my head telling me to shut-up. It took years to really listen. When I began to contain my insights and sit quietly I realized that in less than five minutes the other person would come to the insight themselves. Then it would be theirs, not mine and the person would claim it and be receptive to it in a deeper way.
I have accumulated a wonderful toolbox to support the people I work with in opening their hearts to all of who they are. With time I have learned that the best tools help people go within and listen mindfully to their own bodies, minds and spirits and to learn to trust the power within each of us. That power is waiting for us to ask for help and listen. When the people I work with tune into their own source I can hear the source cheering. "I am so happy you have asked for my help. I have waited so long. You don't have to do this alone. I am here for you."
Part of what makes me a good therapist is that I am willing to do my own work.
I know that the more I grow the more I have to offer others. Since I discovered my childhood sexual abuse in April I have been back in individual therapy. I have also participated in a weekly group for incest survivors. With this work I have claimed my femininity. I have been afraid to be a woman and to be receptive and emotionally vulnerable. I now know I can be strong and vulnerable and that vulnerable with good boundaries is strong. I am drawn to flowy skirts and clothes that are more fitted. I know I can protect myself and little Andie by keeping my heart open. Little Andie is pretty big these days. She is creative and playful. We went swinging last weekend and as we flew through the air with the wind blowing through our hair we were one with nature and the universe. Since I have been doing this round of theraputic work I have opened to my sexuality. I never understood what all the hoopla was about. Now I do. It helps to have a loving partner who trusted that if I only made love when I wanted to I would actually want to. It was a stretch for him and brought him growth. I am awed by the benefits of a theraputic relationship. It is an opportunity to trust another human being with my precious spirit and to allow myself to expose those parts of me I find unacceptable. In the safe space of love I have opened to accepting the unacceptable. I can see that even incest is a vehicle to move through my obstacles to unconditionally loving myself. My statement for the Presence Process this week is, "I love myself unconditionally."
This is my second time through the process and this time it feel way more like the truth. I am blessed to be getting the help I am getting. It is coming from my connection with my spiritual support, and my therapist and my support group.
I love to support others in moving through the obstacles to self-acceptance. It is such an honor to love people and watch them grow into more and more of the awareness of the shining star that we all are.
I would love to work with more people. Summer is almost over. Fall is a great time to bring our attention to ourselves and do some deep work. Please think of the people you know and see who might benefit from what I have to offer and send them my way. Or send yourself my way. Thank you.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Deeksha and divine mother

Oneness Deeksha blessings are a ritual I learned to do to connect with the oneness of the universe. The website is if you want to learn more. I love to give Deeksha oneness blessings to other people.
When I do I feel a sense of love and connection with the other person. It is as if the veil of the personality has parted and I experience connecting soul to soul. Deep beautiful colors flood my visual screen and I feel bathed in gratitude. I have been giving blessings to everyone who wants one, although I sometimes forget to ask. Some people aren't drawn to receiving a blessing but mostly the people I ask want to. I know I'm not doing the blessing. I am a vehicle for the blessing to move through. It is a good feeling to move out of the way of my ego that thinks I have to make something happen to be of value. Deeksha blessings aren't about fixing another person or making something happen. It is OK to have an intention and then to let go of the outcome. Deeksha blessings fit well with my spiritual philosophy which is: Trust in the universe, do my part and let go of the outcome. When it comes to giving Deeksha blessings trusting in the universe is about knowing that the universe is a beneficial force of energy and that all of us can tap into that energy. The oneness blessing is one tool to do that with. Doing my part is to be willing to put myself out there about offering blessings. That is a challenge because I still care about what other people think and make up stories about that. I don't want to be perceived as wierd or too out there. I am learning to tune inside to know who to offer a blessing to. Not everyone would resonate with receiving a blessing and if a person says no I am not taking it personally. I still get to feel good that I extended myself and asked. The third step is letting go of the outcome. That means both with offering a blessing and with what happens before during and after. If the people I am giving blessings to are receiving any part of what I experience from giving the blessings that is worthwhile. I know other people will have whatever experience they are having. That is good.
Is there something you'd like to offer to a friend or family member that you've been too afraid to? What would it take to know that what you have to offer is of value simply because you want to offer it? What about something you'd like to ask for from another person but have held yourself back? I think it is easiest to feel an intimate connection with another person who clearly and directly asks for what they want and need. I have begun to believe that the people I trust will say no to me if my request doesn't work for them. In fact, trusting that I can ask for what I want and that the other will honestly say yes or no is how I know someone is trustworthy.
Giving and receiving is supported by a variation of an exercise I learned in a deeksha givers support group. Imagine being held by an unconditionally loving divine mother to whom nothing you want is ridiculous or too much. Imagine asking her for what you want and then seeing a vision of her compassionately hearing your request and validating that you want what you want and it is OK. Breathe deeply and take in that sense of being loved for who you are unconditionally. Practicing allowing myself to feel loved by a divine mother energy helps me to feel that love for myself. That is what we all deserve. See if you feel moved to practice.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Gary and I went to look at a house in Boulder on Monday. The long term plan has been for us to move up there eventually. We have been doing a long distance relationship of 90 minutes for over five years. We see each other on the weekends-at his house in the summer and at my house in the winter. Our arrangement has been perfect because we are two people who have each lived alone for almost twenty years. Both of us raised our respective children during that time. Each of us was involved in many relationships and yet neither of us chose to live with any of those people. Even as we have been looking at houses it was understood that this would be a gradual process. I would keep my house in Denver and be here at least three days a week to work, see my friends and have my sanctuary. When we went to look at this house in Boulder I got very scared.
I was so scared that I had to talk myself down and soothe myself by telling myself I didn't have to do anything that doesn't feel right to me. I reassured my little girl inside that I would protect her and not make her do anything that was unsafe. I am aware that everytime Gary and I look at houses or consider buying a house together or even when we put a contract on one house my level of fear has become intolerable. All this time I thought it was because none of the houses felt right to me. Either the location wasn't right or there wasn't enough space ( Gary has so much stuff and runs three businesses out of his home)
or the space that would be my office didn't feel right. There was always something that made me freeze in my tracks. On Monday the fear intensified to the point where it was difficult to breathe. It was the closest I have ever come to a full-blown panic attack. I realized that right now I treasure my light-filled orderly home and I love living alone and that no matter what other house we look at it won't feel right to me. When nothing feels right I have learned that I need to do nothing. Doing the presence process has taught me that often when I am upset I am triggered about something in the past and it is an opportunity to integrate that charged emotion by feeling the emotion underneath the story. Since Monday I have continued to experience waves of fear. The story is that I have to do what makes Gary happy just as I had to do what made my Dad happy. When I be with the felt sensation under the story and breathe into the tightness in my chest and stomach I can experience being a little girl with no sovereignty over my world. I am out of control and what I want doesn't matter.
When I soothe myself I let myself know that now what I want does matter. Tomorrow I am going to see my therapist. I have been back in therapy since I discovered my childhood sexual abuse. I will work with this fear with the help of a skilled practitioner. In the safe space that she creates I will be with the little girl inside and see where this fear takes me. I know that is the beauty of a good theraputic relationship- I feel free to be myself and to go to the deep places I might not otherwise allow myself to go. It is OK for me to get support. It doesn't mean I'm not strong. In fact, I have come to believe that one of the strongest acts is to let another person be there for us at our most vulnerable. I am learning to receive and release my mistrust. That is another gift of a strong theraputic relationship. Everytime I go back into therapy and experience the benefits of a skillful witness my gratefulness to be a therapist is deepened. It is such a blessing to love my clients and support them in freeing themselves from the suppressed emotions that keep them stuck in the past and the future. Watching people move more and more into all of who they are is such a joy. I am honored to be allowed to be part of the miracle of growth. I admire the courage of the people I work with as they move their obstacles out of the way and emerge more into present moment awareness. In my own work and in my work with others we are getting more skillful about being in our circles in our daily lives. Wherever I live and whatever I do I want to spend more time in my circle, my own sacred space inside, and learn how to honor myself and others at the same time. That is also what I wish for you.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

the highest intention

I went to a workshop with Jack Kornfield on Saturday. He is a vippasana meditation teacher and a psychologist. One of the exercises we did was a partner exercise where we looked deeply into another's eyes for about ten minutes. Gary and I attended this workshop together and partnered for this exercise. The exercise had four parts. For the first few minutes we were to look into the other person's eyes and imagine their loving human qualities. Then we were instructed to see the other person's suffering, then to look into the other's eyes and see all the people we loved in them, and last to see the other person as all people and as the connectedness of all people. I was very grateful for the deep connection we have and that we do eye gazing on our own frequently. When I was looking at his suffering I saw the shy little boy inside of him who has a hard time asking for what he wants. My heart went out to that little boy. I could see that Gary's attempts to be funny at my expense were an unskillful strategy he learned to connect with others when he didn't know how else to do it. Since then it has been easier for me not to take it so personally. Rather I have been better able to see being triggereed as a chance for me to be with my hurt little girl inside smarting from her father's teasing. I am learning not to shoot the messenger and to get the message. In this way I can better use my relationship with Gary to heal my own childhood wounds. I felt so much love for Gary during the eyes open meditation exercise. I felt blessed to have a partner who would go to a workshop like this with me. It was even his idea. I was aware of our soul connection and how that is the strongest bond we have and both of our most important values. All of this love was welling up between us and it seemed to move out beyond us to include all of our loved ones and all people everywhere. The lunch break was right after this exercise. At lunch we had a big argument and I was reminded that love creates the space for what isn't love to come up and be experienced and healed. It was funny to look back on that later and to see how the process worked, even though in the midst of my anger and hurt feelings it wasn't funny at all. I am doing The Presence Process for the second time. Michael Brown, the author of the presence process book says that we are imprinted in the first seven years of life by the supressed emotional experiences of childhood. He says that everything that happens to us as an adult is an opportunity to bring those suppressed emotions to consciousness to experience and integrate them. Each time we do this we increase present moment awareness. I acknowledge the courage it takes for me to be in a committed relationship. I have knowingly signed up to be triggered by another person and to stick around and heal. I appreciate that Gary has done this too. When we are both invested in being right and blaming the other for our suffering it isn't pretty. We know how to hurt each other quite well now. In the workshop this Saturday Jack Kornfield said when he is in this place with his wife and he can remember who he really is he asks himself,"What is my highest intention? He said that this awareness moves him out of his defensiveness. I want to have the presence of mind in the midst of an argument to remember that I actually have a highest intention outside of beating down my enemy. Also, in the midst of beating up on myself I want to remember to ask myself, What is my highest intention? My highest intention is to use my life to be connected to God and to use love as the vehicle to get there. Maybe it will help me to love myself even in the midst of my self-hate and fear. I'd like to use the obsessive quality of my thoughts when I am lost in self-doubt to remind me of my highest intention. I could use the awareness of myself as that rat on that wheel going around and around to imagine jumping off the wheel and asking for help. I could imagine being in my circle breathing love from my spiritual support into my own heart to my little girl inside, thus connecting with the source. What is your highest intention? How could you remind yourself of it in the midst of your self-hate and fear?