Your anger and damage and grief are the way to the truth.  We don’t have much truth to express unless we have gone into those rooms and closets and woods and abysses that we were told not to go in to.  When we have gone in and looked around for a long while, just breathing and finally taking it in–then we will be able to speak in our own voice and to stay in the present moment.

And that moment is HOME.

-Anne Lamott


Just Breathe…

I am a big believer in the power of our breath.  What a fabulous tool–always accessible to us, intrinsically tied to our body, and an amazing pathway to our core (or soul or spirit).  Yes, everyone breathes and you don’t even have to think about it.  But if you really pay attention to that process you take for granted, you may find that one of your core life supports is in need of a serious overhaul.

There is a right way to breathe!  In fact, there are several right ways to breathe!  A couple of my helpful tips…  One, breathe into your belly first and feel it fill up then your chest will rise a bit.  Many of us breathe strictly within our chest and that sends signals of potential danger to the rest of our body.  Our body can not relax when it is being told to be vigilant and cautious.   Two, imagine breathing in what you need (peace, love, compassion) and breathing out what doesn’t serve you (judgment, shame, hate).  Finally, PRACTICE!  Make time every day to be aware of your breath and give yourself some nice, nourishing and relaxing puffs.

Here’s a great set of exercises from Dr. Weil to help you on your way.  Happy Breathing!


Begin Within

I have this good friend who noticed that one of my bumper stickers was outdated and needed replacing.  I was fixin’ to get around to it but weeks turned into months until her “suggestions” appeared outside my office.  She had bought me three new stickers to select from–this was going to happen and happen now.  I like a good push every now and again.  She had clearly made it her mission to push me right into my next statement and she nailed it with two bright yellow words…BEGIN WITHIN.

On one hand, so simple.  On the other hand, simple enough to be profound.  At least to me.  I think what most of us need are reminders, not the “I never heard of that before” kind of lessons but little nudges to remember what we already possess that is so valuable.  I see much of my work in therapy like that.

I am the delivery girl for reminders.  Folks sometimes come to me believing that they must undergo some overwhelming and drastic changes in their behaviors, feelings, or character.  They have dragged themselves in for some painful extraction or impossible rebuilding project.  You can imagine the looks on their faces and their natural hesitancy to believe they are actually going to pay to undergo this work.  This is not a great moment for either of us and to both of our satisfaction, we soon (sometimes in a few minutes, sometimes in a few sessions) get to watch the change happen.  Some very welcome relief and joy wash over them as they discover that they have just lost touch with a part of themselves that has already been created, is right there for them, and is waiting for some game time.  Score!

It is always true, despite the times we wish it weren’t so, that YOU CAN ONLY CHANGE YOURSELF.  You have to find pathways to understand what is happening for youYou need to meet yourself right where you are and if you don’t like that spot, the good news is that you get to decide that you won’t be staying there.  That is beginning within!  Once you’re there, you get to decide what works for you (and what doesn’t), explore your options and make some dreams.  By dreams I mean the kind that come true when you lean into them.

And next?  Begin within and repeat.  Begin within and repeat.  There is no rest for the discovering.  You will awaken to the gift of what it is to live life intentionally and you will feel hopeful as you recognize that this growing thing lasts a whole lifetime.
So get in there…

Here I Am

Well, well, well.  My very first blog–I have arrived.  Please stay awhile and roam around.  You can check out the stuff I have managed to figure out how to post and come back again to see what else I will discover.  I’m a quick learner with lots to say so do check back–I hope to pleasantly surprise you.  Thanks for visiting me here on my very own blog.  Come on in…

This Therapist’s Therapist

I have just returned from yet another enlightening visit with my Supervisor.  For those of you that do not know or who resist the simple truth of it– supervisors are like therapists for therapists.

As it is for most folks in therapy, I simultaneously revel in and dread the experience of lobbing my stuff out there to another human being.  That said, I do really  appreciate the chance to give up my spot in the chair for a spot on the couch.  It provides me a chance to get what I am more often responsible for giving.  A chance to get my share of the comfort, support, patience, challenges, inspiration and understanding that marks my own work.  All human beings need it to flourish.

One of the first things you have to do is assure you have the right human being with whom to entrust your “stuff”.  When it’s right, you will always get something.  The list includes, but is absolutely not limited to, the following–a new idea, a new question, permission to be just who you are, a revelation, a comforting word, or some moment of clarity that feels like a big ol’ gift.   If it is not right, you will inevitably leave with more confusion and less of your self, more doubt and less power.  You are looking for safety, support and growth.  Insist upon it.

It sounds kinda simple and maybe you’re thinking that I should save my money and counsel myself or call a friend.  I’m a sucker for saving a buck, especially in a recession, but this therapy thing is money and time well spent for me.  It’s true that I walk out with less money in my pocket but it always pays me back.  Perhaps it is a moment I can go easy on myself or an answer that finds its way to me eventually or an opening that lets the next good thing into my life.  No, it’s not groceries or a fabulous new pair of shoes but it’s all good to me.

The biggest bang for my buck?  Remembering that being rich is never simply measured by how much you have, how much you do or what’s in the bank.  The greatest wealth, and the goods nobody can take from us, is our richness in spirit, joy, love and life.  And more good news–it is ours for the taking.  I wish any and all of you who are seeking or are currently in therapy the same kind of enriching experience.  I hope you find that it pays you back too…