Monday, November 21, 2011

This Is No Time To Be Shy

Today's blog is a bit different.  Usually I write when something has occurred to me...when some insight has given me new clarity.  On this day I feel a bit murky, although I am in familiar waters.  My hope is twofold: One, that as I write I might free-flow myself right into my own answer.  I'm a firm believer that we all have our own answers if we only listen, so this will be a test of sorts.  Two, that some of you who are reading this may comment with your insights and ideas.  I'd love nothing more than to learn from what I may hear in the words you share.  So please, this is no time to be shy!

So, here it is...I recently spent time with an undisclosed loved one .  We go way back...I should be perfectly comfortable, right?  But I was not.  In fact, I felt so uncomfortable that I actually got nauseous and thought I was going to be physically ill.  As I sat late that night at home feeling 100% better, I began to ponder what all of this means.  In truth, I did not have to ponder, rather I had to admit.  This was not the first time this spontaneous nausea had happened to me, and I was very clear about what was happening.  I was, however (and still am a little bit), confused about why I actually felt physically ill.

The truth is that I've changed a lot over the last handful of years.  I've found it easy to change some old and longstanding habits.  It's been I look one day, and OMG, I just don't have that habit anymore.  But this one...this bite your tongue and endure one...has lived on long and strong.  Why is it with some people that I ignore what I know...what I order to not upset them?  Why am I willing to do this at the price of annihilating my own experience and my connection with them in real time?   Why do I sit quietly while I'm screaming in my head...and churning in my gut? 

In my physical brain, I know better.  I know that this fear I'm creating in my thinking is way bigger than any truth that I have to bare to this dear person.  I also know that if I were to speak up, I'd be able to deliver my message with would come from a place of love.  Yet, still I vouch for a night of stomach cramping nausea over a moment of honesty dialogue.

Another thing I know is that we cannot control others, and that it is not wise to take other people's thoughts or actions too personally.  Yet I sat with this person and seemed to take on (physically) the entire effect of the night.  What am I afraid of?...or more importantly, why am I allowing this fear to be so real and alive in my life?  Didn't I just make it up in my thinking when I told myself that speaking the truth would be tragic?  Why then am I choosing to believe it as though it is factual?

Somehow "knowing" these things was not enough...I still got lost and found myself ill.  It was like my stomach said, "Well, screw you if you're going to function at such a low level!".  So this is new...this physical response to me quieting myself just when I should speak up.  The habit, however, is old and very engraved in my thinking.  It is one of those thoughts that I've called up so consistently, that despite what I know intellectually, I still find myself in it again before I'm even aware of it.

So then, it's going to take some greater awareness and some courage too.  Courage to test out what I already know is feelings tell me what is right and true for me.  Then it's up to me what I do with that information.  Sometimes my thoughts can not be trusted, and when I realize this I have to trust myself more deeply.  My true self...the me that's way beyond my little personal thoughts. 

In terms of awareness, I can see my nausea as a beautiful gift in some way now.  It is a very real indicator that I am believing this thought that "I must be quiet...kind...go along with it" again.  It's an indicator that's really hard to ignore.  My body has created a signal that matches the need.  It's up to me to use this gift wisely as the kick start, that I obviously need, when it's time to speak up!  "This is no time to be shy Cory", my stomach is quite bluntly telling me in the only way it can.

Have I just solved my own problem?  Perhaps, but I still welcome all your thoughts.  We all stumble and fall.  We all have something that trips us up, and we all have our own solutions.  My hunch is that it always has something to do with not believing everything you think & maybe not taking yourself so seriously.  What do you think?   

Monday, October 10, 2011

Feelings: Invention vs Factualism

Do not give in too much to feelings. 
A overly sensitive heart is an unhappy possession on this shaky earth.  

Feelings...they must be the most misunderstood human phenomenon to date.  We, as a society, have built up tremendous truths about feelings, and we have created practices that represent and protect these truths.  Take our legal system, for example.  It has terminology especially dedicated to how feelings may impact the law...crime of passion, temporary insanity, competency, hostile witness, no-fault divorce, etc.  

We don't understand feelings, exactly, so we make up a lot of excuses for ourselves...excuses that are widely accepted.  When I get mad, I cannot control myself...He/she made me feel this way...I can't help/change the way I feel...When I feel depressed, I've just gotta go through it.  Sound familiar?

But, the more important question is, does it really sound true?  A simple look at human experience points to a logical sequence.  It goes like this: 
1. A person has a thought.  This happens all the time, but to this thought, he/she gives attention.  
2. Very soon many thoughts in support of this original idea have been created in a moments time.  
3. Before we are even aware of this process, we find ourselves in a feeling.  We are further convinced that this feeling is a reality, because we've built up a lot of thinking about it already. 
4. Our five senses begin to re-confirm what we created, and we are now only aware of what will confirm our current personal thinking.  
5. From this some behaviors are likely to follow, and we are likely left feeling that we are at the mercy of our feelings.

I am here to tell you say that this old logic regarding feelings is not good enough, or even valid!  Feelings are the proof of what we are doing with our thinking.  They are a barometer for your quality of thinking from moment to moment.  This is why even during times of grief, we may have moments of contentment or a burst of laughter.  We can create what we want.  This is the actual opposite of being at the mercy of our feelings.  In fact we are the creator of our feelings.  What good news!..."Spread the news, the wicked old which at last is dead!"    d

All it takes is a new way of understanding your feelings...the curiosity to experiment next time feelings start to seem too big.  When you remind yourself that your feelings indicate that you've stepped out of your natural state and have given life to personal thoughts, a funny thing happens.  Those thoughts just die.  You've expose them as what they are...your creation...the man behind the wizard's curtain, and from this vantage point it's the most natural thing to see that you have so many other options.

I'll leave you with the wise, Darlene Stewart (1993, pg 167):
"Mental health doesn't mean you never have negative feelings or bad moods.  Mental health is knowing what negative feelings are so you don't use them as an excuse to hurt yourself or someone else.  Emotional maturity doesn't mean you never feel scared or despondent; it means you have the wisdom to recognize uncomfortable feelings as outgrowths of the way you are thinking right now."

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Art of Distraction

The art of distraction is often overlooked...minimized...misunderstood.  This may be because lots of us believe that our reality is a real thing...a factual thing that happens outside of us.  We think it is viewable from where we stand, but we fail to recognize that it is created right where we stand. 

Darlene L. Stewart said it best when she said, "Whatever we believe becomes real for us, even if it isn't real to anyone else.  If I believe in shortage of time, I'll never have enough time.  If I believe learning is hard, I'll struggle with it...If I believe people don't like me, I'll behave in ways that eventually pushes them away.  Then I'll say, 'I knew it. People just don't like me.' " (1993, p. 85). 

And so here we are with our beliefs that become real...a reality, and with a perception that allows us to see exactly what we believe.  This is where most of us live, and most of us long for some understanding or way to effect our reality.  Such a simple thing, but only when you've gained some understanding regarding the tremendous power you possess through your use of thought.

Thought is that factor that is responsible for your reality, and it is absolutley something that you get to steer and choose.  What we think about something equates how we experience it through our senses and our feelings.  If you experiment with this truth, you will see it for yourself.

Most of us on any given day find ourselves in compulsive thinking, that is not conducive to well being in any way.  This puts us in a mood, and this often leads to behavior choices.  Now, if you know anything about thinking, you also know that thoughts come fast...we can't possible make ourselves not think something.  BUT, what we can do is recognize that a thought is just mental material that we make up.  We get to decide if we believe it...if we want to give power to it, or render it powerless.

This is where the underappreciated art of distracion comes in!  Any time you are in a thought pattern that you are not enjoying, the way to a more enjoyable experience is to drop that thinking and make room for a new insight.  Dropping your thinking can simply not be done by willpower or thinking it away.  You must distract yourself momentarily...that's it.

You see, this is true, because your wisdom and well-being are buoyant.  They will rise to the surface on their own if you get out of the way for a moment.  Now, you may be skeptical about this, and I respect that, but just experiment if you feel so inclined!  The next time you are in a feeling that you dislike, give yourself permission to have a mini-distraction.  Allow your senses to be wrapped up in something else for a moment and see where this takes you.  Be aware that this experiment is an experiment in thought dropping.  Once you realize that you do this all the time, you'll be able to do it intentionally with the purpose of creating the reality that you want to see, feel, and live in.  Have fun!

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Child's Wisdom

"Children are a wonderful gift . . . They have an extraordinary capacity to see into the heart of things and to expose sham and humbug for what they are." ~Desmond Tutu 

Thank goodness for children!  I've said it before.  It is true, and I'm aware of how quickly they can pull someone right into a good feeling.  They have a way of living the place where good feelings are, and we, as adults, somehow live somewhere else...eventually even forgetting to visit this place of well being. 

We become such over-thinkers.  We explain less about our actions and expect others to understand bend to fit us.  Children, well they just find happiness in what they are doing...usually and quite naturally.  They are not in control of a lot that goes on around them...they are not trying to be in control.  They're just marching to a happy little tune within their heart.

It becomes so easy as we live and travel so many bends in the road, to be in judgement of complain & take personally.  It takes a lot of energy to do stay in a bad feeling, but we have become excellent at it. 

So much time is spent on expectations...and then on disappointment when our ideals aren't met...that the moment is lost.  We are in our heads rather than in our moment.

Children, on the other hand, use their mind for imagination, creativity, exercise...generally on how to make any given moment as fabulous & rich as possible.  Children are using all of their senses and coordination so that life becomes curious and adventurous. 

So much there is to learn from children and their natural simplicity.  A nice swing ride in the breeze...20 minutes of bubble t-ball game...a remedy every time.  Something sweet to distract us from our own creating 

The world is there for us to experience as we choose through our own lens of thought.  Wisdom and insight come in many forms, but none is more efficient and honest than that delivered via children.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Memory...a powerful part of our life.  Really just old thinking, and not to be confused with accuracy or fact.  An old story from an old perspective, yet it has the ability to create new reality and experiences in real time.  We call up our memories without much awareness of the process, and then experience whatever feelings surface.  This, of course, colors our mood in the present moment, and then dictates the nature of our reaction or behavior.  When it is put simply like this, it begins to make sense that we should be careful what memories we pull up, but somehow this simplicity turns to complexity and the truth gets lost in our overwhelming experiences from yesterday.

Our society values memory.  We even believe that it is our experiences from the past that make us who we are today.  This limits us so vastly!  Losing memory is seen as devastating, leaving others around us to feel upset and personally impacted by the loss of data.  What if, though, loosing memory (or the grip it has on you) actually was seen as a great gift allowing you the willingness to be comfortable in the unknown?  A fresh start where you are aware of your creation of meaning-making as you go.  No old, out of place supposed to' shouldn' struggle with resistance to healthy change.

We all have experiences from our past that represent a time when deep rooted patterns began.  These traits or personalities that develop are then rarely questioned later, despite the negative impact that often comes from living out of the moment. 
People are willing to give up on dreams, loose a loved one, deny themselves, etc, but we are not willing to question the quality of our thinking.  This keeps us on auto pilot...status-quo.  More importantly, it makes us all feel powerless to, or at least inefficient at, rising above our past.
For me, this just isn't good enough.  There are too many painful memories...too many regrets...too many hardships to carry.  Luckily, I know that the only one who keeps me experiencing my past today is me!  I also know that being aware of today's surprises is exactly what creates the life that I want to live.  When I pull up old memories, I know it right away, because I feel a lost soul.  When this feeling comes over me, I simply look around and notice how my feeling does not match my environment.  It is easy to see that I have gotten lost in my thinking.

At this point, I don't do anything.  I don't work hard.  I don't become hard on myself.  I just remind myself that I have created my experience based on my personal thinking.  I know that in this state of mind, I have lost my awareness of "now" and I have blocked off my ability to have new insights.  I have muffled the voice of wisdom that is always buoyant inside of me.

By doing this, I become distracted from my current thinking, and the past dies a quiet and instant death.  RIP!  Now things can happen for me that I couldn't even see before.  Suddenly clarity is mine, and I don't feel the need to take other people's thinking personally.  We are all just here on this earth doing our best.  Most of us don't have an understanding of the power of thinking, and we therefore are living a life that is below our potential.  If we could all pay attention to the times when our perspective no longer seems to fit, memory would loose its power.  The power would be returned to us as individuals who are not here to know everything, but are here to willingly be in the unknown.  It is only in this place that we can be aware of our opportunities today.  It is only here that peace and well being can replace fear as the driving factor in our lives.  It must start with's you!

Monday, June 13, 2011


I never have been a patient person...I haven't known many patient people & I never really tried to become one, although I always saw the wisdom in it.  In this rush-rush world of results and outcomes, I just never practiced, although I appreciated those who were patient with me along the way.  Patience was one of those things that I thought did not belong to me...I wasn't like that...didn't possess that quality.  I believed this thinking blindly as it lead me to many a heart-ache and many a bad result. 
Recently, and quite without premeditation, I began questioning myself...began seeing myself as patient.
Two stories...
My daughter was at the pool recently with a friend.  She is a pre-teen in all definitions of the word, and everything for me right now is a test.  Her friend's parents arrived at the same pick up time and when we got there, of course, neither of the girls was ready to go.  The test began.
Her friend's parents were slightly strict and they snapped their fingers, becoming angry about the girls' resistance.  I asked my daughter to come over, and she replied gruffly with a sassy look, "Just a minute, mom!".  I was incredibly aware of what the other parents were thinking and almost yelled at her to get her buns out of the pool.
For some reason, a pure shot of wisdom...a beautiful insight...I instead decided to patiently smile back and observe her a little bit without judgement...or insecurity.  I decided to have unwavering faith in her...quiet faith...patient faith.  What happened was that I felt understanding for her and knew I could be a little patient at this moment.  I was not okay with my daughter's behavior, but I was more aware of how to calmly handle the situation. 
I laughed to the other parents that they just wanted to finish their game in the pool.  The judgement did not change, but my reaction to it did.  I was really proud of myself, and I felt a lot of love for my daughter.  She came bounding out of the pool all legs and smiles in less time than it would have taken me to yell at her or go get her. 
What I was really aware of was how cute my daughter was, and how happy she looked.  I also noticed that the other parents were yelling or snapping.  Did they learn something, as I had?  I don't know, but I do know that I felt very pleased and very connected to my sweet daughter. 

A few days later, patience saved the day again.  We have been looking for a home to rent, and the market has been highly competitive.  We had one application in at a place we sort-of liked, got rejected from one, were 2nd in line for one that got rented out, and were in discussions with a man regarding his house, which we loved despite the bad location.  In short, we were in the game, but did not feel clear about anything that we had seen. 
We went back for a 2nd visit to the home in the wrong location, and we almost decided to go for it...almost decided to ignore our gut...almost acted without any patience.  That night a new home came on the market...perfect size, perfect location, perfect price.  We saw it right away and we both had a great feeling about the house.  Three other couples were viewing the house when we went, and the competition was obvious.  We did everything we could to let the owner know how interested we were, but ultimately we just had to have faith that it would turn out in out favor.
This morning, we got the call...the house is ours!  If we had not been patient, we'd have ended up in a home that we didn't feel sure about, and we'd be paying more money! 
Sometimes it feels hard or even impossible to be patient in this life, but that's just our thinking.  If we look at common sense, we will see that patience is quiet efficient and quiet simple.  If we could all learn to not react...until we feel clear and calm, what freedom we'd find!  We'd all have better predicaments, more time on our hands, and a nicer effect on each other.  May you be find patience today and also be treated with it!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Walk Beside Me


When you're a child she walks before you,
To set an example.
When you're a teenager she walks behind you
To be there should you need her.
When you're an adult she walks beside you
So that as two friends you can enjoy life together..
- Author Unknown.

It's Mother's Day, and I've spent it celebrating myself, to be honest.  I've looked at my kids today and I've felt proud.  I've seen them try not to argue with each other and I've seen their eyes glimmering in my direction.  I've seen their home-made cards, which pack more love and sincerity in them than anything that could be found at a mall.  I've seen what my hard work has helped create, and I've sat back in total delight.  I couldn't be more proud, and I couldn't be more thankful for my husband who allowed me the time and space to observe all of this today.

There is a  time in our lives when we begin to focus on that which our mother did not provide, or on those things that we would change if we could.  I don't know why we do this.  For me, I actually remember feeling so fiercely connected to my mom that I could not see a fault in her for many years.  Even when it was pointed out to me, I preferred my point of view and could not see a negative.  This was also true of my grandma, whom I still see through rose-colored glasses!  At some point, however, I needed to separate from not be not be in her defense.  This was painful for me to step away from her, but I did.  

I chose this poem, because it is simple and most pearls of wisdom that I stumble upon.  As a teenager I did begin to walk in front of her, never knowing the faith it took for her to have me blaze my own trail.  Never considering how it felt to be broken away from...never being empathetic to the fact that my growing-up process would include judging her harshly.  

I don't know that all other teens do this, but I do know a lot about what is age appropriate, and this seems to make me "normal".  I regret having to see her as "wrong" in order to spread my own wings and carve my own path, but this seemed a necessary part of my process.  What grace it must take to watch your child...your sweet babe...cast you out in the name of personal growth.  

The beauty in it is that she did this for me (and my sisters) without protest...without judgement.  Like knowing us and raising us prepared her somehow for this period of time when we were only willing to see how we would do it differently.  I never remember her feelings being hurt, although I do remember treating her with far less respect and gratitude than she deserves.  

This is motherhood...the giving...the faith.  It is done by many and without complaint by most.  It is a wisdom or a love that sees through what even the rowdiest teen or twenty-something can dish out.  It is what sustains this teen or gives them strength even when they don't want to accept it directly from their mother.  

I don't think a mother does this with a knowing that later in life they will be repaid with endless gratitude and friendship from their child, but this is what happens.  At some point we, as adult children, see easily past the judgements we have had, and can focus on all that was done for us...all that we learned and witnessed.  We then become our mother's biggest fans again...just as we were when our hands fit in theirs and our arms could barely reach their hips during an embrace.  We find the wisdom we had lost during our tumultuous growing-up period, and we find our mom's waiting for us with a sweet smile.  How lucky we are to have mothers.

Now that I am a mother...with a daughter who's ten going on 15...I can see just how it is that a mother endures the breaking-away period.  It happens because a mother loves her child with a heart that has no focus on personal gains.  A mother looks at her child..whatever his/her age...and sees through all behavior right to all that is hopeful and good.  A mother believes that there is a purpose for whatever is occurring without taking it personally.  A mother's heart never looses faith and sight of what her child is.  In this way, love is always the this way, we are all blessed to have a mother.

Whatever the past has brought you...whatever words have been said or acts that have been done...we are all lucky to have the love of a mother.  I am honored to be a mother myself, for it allows me the understanding of what my mother has done for me.  It gives me the delight of walking through this life with my mother by my side as I make my own mistakes...not the same mistakes, but all new ones...with my sweet children.

Cheers to all the mothers out there, in whatever form they may come in for you.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Root of the Root

I Carry Your Heart With Me
By Edward Estlin Cummings
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it (anywhere i go you go,my dear; 
and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant 
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows 
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud 
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart) 

...This poem showed up in my life last night.  I was watching "In Her Shoes" old favorite, but this time something was different.  I saw something ears heard something I had missed.  I don't even remember this poem from the handful of times that I've watched this movie, but this time it meant something to me. 

I began thinking about my grandma...all of us here in this pocket of time together.  Something exists in us that is deeper than our etched out personalities & personal beliefs...something beyond society, family ties, commonalities.  Something that keeps us all carrying humanity in our hearts...if but only for a brief second here and there.  

This thing is the root of the root.  It is higher than the soul can hope or mind can is beyond science and before explanation.  This thing that binds us is wondrous & can feel elusive at times.  It has many names, but we all recognize it.  It is this energy of life that keeps us tied together to a harmony and to all things so that we can feel our role in it all. 

I call this thing wisdom, but that doesn't matter, what matters is that we all know it and have matter how well-used or dusty it may be.  This thing helps us know things that we do not previously know without studying or doing anything at all.  How important it is for all of us to know that each of us has this...AND what a beautiful world we could create if we all began to look for it in ourselves and within others.  Acts of courage, every-day miracles, things that move the soul...they are all around us and all within us.  If you become aware of your connection to the energy that connects us all, unlimited potential is yours in an instant. 

This makes me think of a friend of mine, who is now going through a painful if some of them are not painful.  The thing that has been so luminous and inspiring for me is that she is fully in the zone.  I hardly recognize her from a week ago.  She had been in a fog and in contemplation...that's what it looked like from outside, but really she had been waiting for that moment when her wisdom showed up in full force.  

She is now moving through the separation with clarity and courage.  There is room in her mind for feelings of peace and direction.  She is not lost in her personal thinking, but is instead guided by what can be only be described as... the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life. 

May you be as well.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Birds & Bees

A few days ago I tried to write a has been awhile.  I sat at my laptop totally uninspired.  I could have forced something, but that would defeat the purpose.  I blog, because there are times when beautiful things happen...I want to share those things.  I want to blog when the words pour through my they are today.  I found my inspiration in my lovely 10 year old daughter.

She turned 10 recently, and the"big talk" was long overdue.  I have had a handful of perfect opportunities, which I cowered away from promptly.  This, I'm aware, happened for two reasons which both put me into flight mode.  One, I'm not the picture of perfect sexual health.  It's been a long road, and my sexuality has not always been celebrated.  In fact, it's sometimes been a winding, twisting road of negativity.  This is not what I want to pass on to my daughter.  Two, the way my mom taught me about sex was riddled with shame and uneasiness, leaving me without a clear model of what I wanted to do and say to my own daughter.

Then it occurred to me...I know exactly how to teach my daughter regardless of my own successes or failures, and regardless of anything my parents ever did or didn't do.  My experience does not have to be my daughter's experience, unless I keep living in the past.  I know that I want to teach her about how miraculous our bodies are and how natural physical development and sexuality is.  I know that I want to inform her about the risks and the dangers.  I know that she is a highly intelligent girl who would not put a negative spin on any of this information, unless I served it to her that way.  Suddenly I felt the greatest relief.  I didn't have to have a plan...I didn't have to be in fear.  I needed to keep it simple!  Now I knew I was in the flow, because my perspective had changed.  I was now secure, instead of wanting to run away. 

That day I had already planned to take my kids to the library.  While I was there, I was suddenly struck with the idea to look for a kid-friendly book that may help during our chat.  Ah-ha!  An insight!  A book would help me teach what I wanted to teach.  This is no earth shattering piece of information, but I would not have had the idea if I had stayed in my head....if I had stayed in my fearful thinking.  I needed to clear my head and let wisdom guide me.  Just like that,  I ended up finding the perfect book that was very informative, with all the correct terminology, but still short and lighthearted.  I chose the book, basically, because when I opened a page in the middle it said "these changes are happening to you that make you more like an adult, but you are really still a kid."  This was literally, what I wanted to hear when I was hitting puberty, and so it was a sign! 

I asked my daughter to come into the bathroom to chat with me while I showered that morning.  I asked her if she would like to go out with me that day to have a special girl's talk now that she was 10.  She was so excited, and when she found out what we'd be talking about her excitement did not diminish.  All morning she was hugging and kissing me...sending me little lovey faces from across the room.  I could feel how much she felt valued and respected.  I could feel how I was creating open communication, and how gratefully that was being received.  I knew that I was getting it right and that I was establishing myself as someone she could talk to and come to for information.  There was a new spring in my step that has not faded away.

And so we had our little talk.  We went somewhere pretty outside where we could just chat, listen, and learn from each other.  That's what we did.  She did not have a lot to say, but we held hands and held each other's gaze for longer than we have in years.  I felt a whole new connection to her.  Without even discussing it I could feel a new level to our relationship.  All I can say to try to explain it, is that it felt like love...of course I always love her and she loves me, but this kind of love was tangible, being born and redefined in real time.

It's been a couple of days since our talk, and the feeling of new, strong connection continues.  She often comes up to me now and kisses or hugs me without any words.  We just smile at each other and look into each other's eyes.  No explanation needed.  When I lay down in bed, she finds me and snuggles with me like she used to as a baby or toddler.  The feeling we have together is so strong...I am so lucky.

To think I almost missed this!  To think I almost let her remain uninformed and feel alone because I felt insecure is a travesty.  I know the feeling of puberty hitting hard and of feeling unsure of myself & unsure of how to talk to my mom.  That was hard, and I don't want that for my sweet girl.  I know my mom did the best she could.  I know she was nervous and unsure of how to teach me...I know this because I felt that way too up until a few days ago.  I'm so thankful that I've learned to question my logic or thoughts when my feeling-state is off.  I'm so glad that I've learned to recognize how easy change is once I get out of my head.  The confidence my daughter feels now, knowing the facts and that she can count on me, is contagious.  All it took was to remember that I hold all of the answers that I ever search for...naturally and innately, like the birds & bees just know how to fly.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love and Sisterhood

Valentines day, and I didn't know what to write...I had decided not to write.  So much of what I thought of seemed obvious.  I love my husband....he is my best friend, my partner in crime & the kind of father I always wanted for my kids.  My kids...there is nothing about them that isn't beautiful in my eyes.  It would be an understatement to say that they define and re-define the meaning of love for me every day...they teach me about love every day.

Then something happened today that helped me remember a different side of love.  If you read my last blog, you know that I recently got to know my dad again after 26 years.  What you don't know is that in the midst of this, my sister and I hit a little turbulence.  She is 18 months older than me and we have always been very close.  We have shared the loss of connection with our dad and have been there for each other in a fierce way all of our lives.
Before my dad's visit we had a few discussions about it.  It was I who had gotten back in touch with him.  It was I who had made his visit a possibility.  Because of this I had no expectations for my sister to be involved in the visit.  However, she and I had a very heartfelt talk in which she let me know that she wanted to go to dinner with our dad and myself.  She brought up the importance of us doing this together as sisters & I really liked what I heard.
Once our dad was here, she understandably got cold feet and felt very opposed to seeing him.  As I listened to her on the phone I felt really disappointed, even thought I simultaneously realized that it was most important for her to do what she knew was right.  So here I was with half of me supporting her in knowing what felt right, and half of me feeling angry and very let down.  While my dad's visit was 100% a good thing and something I am proud of and grateful for, it was also exhausting and overwhelming.  I went through an entire array of emotions during our time together, and I used up a lot of energy trying to adjust and observe myself at this time.  The truth is that, I really would have liked my sisters support, so I was a bit caught up in myself.

After my dad left, I was left feeling angry and upset with my sister for much longer than I was comfortable with.  I didn't know what to do, and I had a lot of ideas that felt like they were born out of insecurity.  What came to me at this time was the wisdom that it was a good time to shut up and wait awhile.  For that reason, I gave myself a time out and did not contact my sister for awhile.  I knew in my heart that she knew how I felt and that we were both probably licking our wounds.  For this reason, it was hard to stay away, but it was the right thing, also.

Our first time seeing each other since then was today, Valentines day.  The idea of seeing my niece and nephew on this day was enough to tantalize me beyond my personal, insecure thinking.  My sister, in her own sweet way, offered to make a delicious dinner for us...a peace offering that might be overlooked by others.  Because I know my sister, I also knew that this is how she takes care of people.  There were really no need for words at this point.  I was so grateful that I hadn't spoken to her earlier in all of my righteousness and judgement.

On the drive to her house, I began to let some insecurities in.  I was imagining what I might say to I might express my disappointment while still holding on to the wisdom that I actually create my own experience.  Obviously, no clear answers came...except that I should not have a plan.  So, instead I just showed up and let my heart lead.  I hugged my niece and nephew tight...I had missed them a lot during our break from each other.  I also missed my sister.  I realized she was sick and still cooking for me.  I realized her kids had been sick and that I didn't even know that they had been struggling.

On this evening I was literally overflowing with love for her.  We felt no need to talk about our dad, and there was not a lull in our conversation.  What was apparent was our connection and our love for each other.  It was unexpected, and therefore such a delight.  I was aware that we had forgiven each other many times before, as siblings must do, but this time it felt very graceful.

I know that the insight I had to not respond to her right away was my saving grace.  I'm thankful that I have somehow learned to pay attention to my own wisdom.  I know that my sister and I would have survived if I had chosen to word-vomit all over her, but I am incredibly thankful that I knew better.

Here's to love...all kinds of love.  You don't need romance to celebrate this day.  Love is so powerful and it has many different disguises.  I hope in your way that you express and experience it in a way that surprises and delights you.  And to my sister, if you're reading this, I love you just the way you are!

Monday, January 31, 2011


I believe that forgiveness is a powerful and important part of life.  I know that when you forgive, you let go of all of the turmoil and negativity that you have attached to that person or event that caused you pain.  Without forgiveness you keep that past alive along with all of the hard feelings and hardships.  Forgiveness is not for the other person, it is for you.  It also doesn't mean that you are okay with someone hurting you or that you will allow them to be a repeat offender.  Forgiveness means that you have the ability to see the situation from a healthy perspective and that you are able to surrender, knowing you are not in control of other people at all.  Forgiveness creates a sense of pride, a lighter heart, a sense of also allows the person who hurt you to be impacted in a different way.  This is how positivity creates a ripple effect and creates an outcome that is more beautiful than you would have imagined!  This is all true, but a story may be more poignant than this explanation. So, story time....

My parents divorced when I was not yet two years old.  There was domestic violence, substance abuse, and in general my parents were young and did the best they could with the resources they had.  Shortly thereafter, my parents both remarried and my mom moved my sister and I out of state.  Lots of fighting between my parents began over visitation.  At first, we saw my dad and step-mom every summer and during the holidays.  Before long, we saw him less regularly and then when I was about ten all communication with my dad stopped.  This was difficult, although I knew that many kids went through it, and at least I had my sister to share the experience with.

Fast forward about nine years and you'd find me at college.  I was dealing with a lot within my family of origin and I was self-destructing pretty rapidly in the party scene at school.  I wanted to hurt...and I did.  At this time, I decided to contact my dad.  I had questions...I was curious, and I was angry.  As you can imagine, the contact with my dad was tumultuous and short-lived.  I was very impressed by his sorrow and regret regarding our estranged relationship, however, I could not let go of my anger at that time.  I had no intention of forgiving him.  I certainly contributed to this failed attempt to know my dad.  I remember asking him why he hit my mom and he said that it wasn't that bad, because he never used a closed fist.  I was mortified and disappointed.  I vowed to never talk to him again.  As you can imagine, my path to self-destruction became more serious.

Fast forward another decade or so and I was doing much better.  I was married with a sweet daughter and my darling son on the way.  My best friend...and I were taking good care of each other, and I was beginning to learn how to take good care of myself.  This is when my sister and I got the phone call that I was always nervous about receiving.  My uncle was on the line letting us know that our dad had suffered a major heart attack and was in the hospital in critical condition.  My heart sank as his struggled to keep him alive.  Was this really how my story with my dad would end?  I was overwhelmed and not able to go visit him.  My sister and I decided to send flowers...a decision that I knew was wrong.  I felt disappointed in myself and I knew that somewhere inside of me there must be more courage.  I could not find forgiveness.

After this, there was no more contact with my uncle.  My sister and I were left not knowing if he had survived or what his health was like. I hoped in my heart that I would have been contacted if there was a funeral, but the not-knowing was something that was always hard for me.

At this time, I began to focus on myself in a whole new way.  I was learning things in graduate school that I am passionate about, AND I stumbled upon The Principles of Mind, Thought and Consciousness.  This is what really began to transform me into a happier person, a wiser person, a better mom, a more fulfilled wife, a courageous daughter and a trailblazer for my sister.  All of a sudden one day, with this healthier outlook, not knowing my dad didn't make sense anymore.  I found myself writing him a letter.  I can remember that I had no expectations and now attachment to our past.  I had the sole purpose of reaching out to him in order to express peace and forgiveness.  I wanted him to know that I thought about him often and that when I did I always thought of him with kindness. Without a second thought, I mailed it, and I felt sure that nothing would come of it.  The letter was really for me.  I was not attached at all to any outcome.  I felt so good!  I knew I was following my instincts and the most peaceful feelings came over me.

What happened next truly illustrates the power of forgiveness.  My dad and I became pen-pals.  We sent each other photos and got to know each other.  Because of what I had understood about The Principles, I didn't let our conversations on the phone or in our letters be about the past, and I quickly stopped the guilt and shame that my dad felt the need to express.  In addition, my mother was supportive and very proud of me.  It hit me right in the heart to see that she could put her personal thinking aside in order to support me in something that was so important to me.  My sister also benefited from my act of bravery...this is the ripple effect that forgiveness creates!  She is not ready herself to know our dad, but she has been thrilled to read my letters, see the photos of him, and hear all about her dad.

The ending of this story is not really the ending at all, but it is beautiful.  Last week, my dad came to visit.  The man I thought I'd never know was right here in my living room.  My kids know their grandpa...and they love him.  My dad looks like me and my kids look like him.  My heart is full and I am so proud of myself.  The visit was overwhelming and we were all nervous, but it was probably one of the most amazing things that I've created just simply by having a healthy mindset.  It was so fun to learn about my dad, my step-mom & step-brothers, my grandparents, and cousins.  It was also really cool to see how, even though we missed out on a big chunk of each others lives, we actually knew each other quite well on a deeper level.  At the end of the trip we were both exhausted, but full of joy.  He let me know that he is proud of me and that he loves me.  I didn't know how good this would feel, but I can tell you that I am choked up even now as I type.  This feeling of forgiveness was the start to something so extraordinary.  A family was reunited, and it all came from knowing about The Principles so that forgiveness made sense, while holding a grudge became senseless.

Who can you forgive in your life?  Who can you see as innocent rather than guilty?  We're all spinning around on this earth together & I urge you to remember how much we are all alike, rather than focusing on the issues from the past that pull us apart.  I guarantee you that beautiful things await you when you find yourself in the feeling of forgiveness.  Don't be afraid to take that leap of faith!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. has long been one of the few historical figures whom I've always felt an intense respect for.  Even as a child, I can remember fighting back the tears in class as I learned of him.  I was in awe of how beautifully he spoke with such a combination of grace and power.  His courage and unwavering non-violence got my attention, and inspired me.  He served as a much needed role-model for me at one time.  Now, although I have stopped searching for guidance outside of myself, MLK Jr. remains a most enlightened and wise person whom I am encouraged by to this day.

I have chosen four of my favorite quotes from this lovely man.  Each one convinces me that MLK Jr. had an understanding of The Principles.  I am aware, of course, that he knew nothing of "The Three Principles" as I am speaking of, but he knew about their essence.  These quotes I've chosen seem to speak to the insights and/or experience that I've had as I've come to understand mind, thought, & consciousness

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
Sometimes, this is the hardest part.  Faith...having faith in something because you feel it.  Many would not consider it.  Others take a path of carefully planned tests of faith.  In this way, they never really have to notice their fearful thinking or control issues.  It is only for the brave and courageous of us, to leap into the unknown because we feel it is the right thing to do.  I say, "not guts, no glory".  How can you get what you want when you do not go for it with your actions? 
To much time is spent by to many of us doing "what is right" or "what we're supposed to."  It stops the masses from experiencing and realizing that when you follow the insights from your own mind, you are absolutely on the right path.  Things like prosperity, abundance, success, etc will come with it...not everything can or should be planned.  I promise you...but that doesn't matter, you'll have to just take the first step of faith.
A story: In my work as a counselor I was very insecure and nervous about teaching The Principles to my clients at first.  I knew in my own life, that this understanding had opened me up to a different kind of existence where I had clarity, peace of mind, and a new-found excitement for life.  So, it wasn't a question of whether I believed that The Principles could help those who came to me for relief.  Instead, I was focused on my supervisors and colleagues...paperwork and meetings...expectations and personal insecurities.  I gradually began to discuss mind, though & consciousness with some of my clients.  The results were similar to the ones that I had felt personally.  Soon, I found myself at a cross-roads.  I either needed to focus on The Principles 100%, which was what my mind was telling me to do, or I'd have to settle for less than what felt right in my work.  I'm proud to say that I took that leap of the faith and I am continuing to do so today.  Regardless of whatever insecurities my personal thinking can conjure up, I am not focusing on that.  Instead I am starting my own business, marketing myself to people I used to be intimidated by, and enjoying the ride!  I don't need to know where the ride will take me anymore...I'm too busy enjoying it!

"The time is always right to do what is right."
This is so true.  For me this quote speaks to consciousnessConsciousness refers to your awareness.  The point is that, you always have your mind guiding you and giving you answers and insights that are valuable and perfect for you.  There is now technique or way to tap into your mind, but there is a connection between it and your ability to be aware in the moment without personal thought distracting you.  Consciousness has levels and you move through them all of the time.  When you are at a high level of consciousness you may feel creative, in the zone or flow, in the now, clarity, quiet, etc.  When you are at a low level of consciousness you may feel overwhelmed, caught up in your thinking, stressed, frustrated, detached, etc.  It seems that MLK Jr. must ave lived in a pretty consistent state of high consciousness, because it is in this state that one can not only see what is right, but also give others the courage to see it for themselves.

"Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words.  Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart."
This is stated so eloquently that I can barely dare to comment.  So much of the power behind gaining an understanding of mind, thought, & consciousness

"If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values-that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control."
To me this is a way of pointing out how we are all connected.  We all share these same Principles, that explain our experience of our reality.  I very rarely speak about The Principles in spiritual terms, although I am fully aware of their spiritual nature.  This is because I have a natural connection in my brain between religion and spirituality.  I also have some negative memories related to religion, so the whole picture has the potential to get skewed for me.  However, I do believe in my own spiritual existence and I do know that there are many things that I cannot explain, yet I don't need to, because they are simply true to me.  I see this truth in myself, in others, in animals, in all of us. 
According to MLK Jr. we are to go back to the simplest ideas of goodness.  To me this is what we all are at our essence.  We all have something that I'm calling mind, but you can call it whatever you want.  How else, but in spiritual terms, can you explain something that we all have innate and equal access to, that gives us insights and direction in life...if only we listen.  This is not intelligence, retained knowledge, or memories.  This is something that is bigger than us, yet it is is ours and every one's. It is mystical, and beautiful...and if MLK Jr. couldn't define it with perfect clarity for you, than I'm not even going to try!

Here's to the late Martin Luther King Jr...may we all be encouraged to have faith, do what's right, and believe in that which no words can describe.

Monday, January 3, 2011

It's NOT Positive Thinking

It's been a while since my last blog...the holidays were much to rich to sit in front of a laptop.  We even celebrated a birth in our family!  Such a gift to hold a new, sweet baby! 

The holidays gave me a chance to visit with family.  In my family, I suppose because I'm a I can't say's been true since I could speak, I am the one people go to for advice.  The graduate degree just makes it official now. 

I've found that my understanding of mind, thought & consciousness has been ongoing, and has had a ripple effect on those around me.  In the crazy spin of things, my family of origin has been last to feel the ripple.  I've struggled most to speak to them clearly about my understanding.  I believe that this is because they really matter to me...I want them so badly to hear beyond my words that I focus on the outcome.  The result is that I am not listening...and then I feel insecure (or is it the other way around?). 

While "home" for the holidays I began to notice that I was really enjoying the process of advice giving.  I was really good at hearing a complex question and boiling it down to the simplest terms by my understanding of mind, thought & consciousness.  I was having quite a good time being the professional know-it-all! 

As I observed myself, I realized this sense of grandeur.  Translation, I was off the mark!  I sat up in bed....the bed I had grown up in...thinking about what I really wanted to say to these family members.  It was something like, "You know more than you give yourself credit.  What do you think?".  

So, the next night with my mom, the perfect moment came my way.  She said she wondered if there was any hope for teens who had experienced serious and/or ongoing trauma.  I wanted to yell out, "Of course!  Each of us has the power to be our birthright!  The past is only alive in our thinking!  Haven't you been listening?" :)  Instead, I asked her what she thought.  A nice conversation followed, in which I pointed out her mind and how she already depends on it for guidance.

Soon after my trip, she texted me a couple of cute things about positive thinking.  It was clear to me that she was on the right track, but that she was missing something key.  I knew this, because it was familiar to me...I, too, once thought The Principles were about controlling the matter of your thinking.  It's an easy pitfall, but I couldn't find the words at first to put her back on the right path.  That's why I love texting...a non-reply is okay for a while!

(I love this next part!) As I sat to write my blog today, I felt unsure of what exactly to discuss.  I did what I often do, which is to pull a book out from my Principles library, flip to any page, and read for inspiration.  Today I chose Our True Identity...Three Principles by Elsie Spittle.

And I read, "Please understand the process is not about controlling thought.  It is about realizing that you are the thinker.  Realizing this allows you to be more an observer of behavior, yours and others, without becoming attached to the behavior."

Brilliant!  Exactly!  This is what I was doing with my own thinking when I realized that I needed to listen to my family members and help them tap into their mind.  This was also what I was unable to put into words to help my mom differentiate The Principles from positive thinking.  Aw, now if that wasn't an insight, I don't know what is! 
Gotta go...texting my mom now! :)  Enjoy your observations of yourself and others in this hopeful 2011!