Ahhh…..the wonderful holiday season is upon us. Stress thrives at this time of year, and without awareness, it can overwhelm us.
We can jump in and allow ourselves to ride the wave (tidal wave for some). The tide will overwhelm us if we aren’t looking. It may be strong enough to erode the ground we stand on. We can’t control what happens out there. We can allow it to devastate us, but where will we be then? – and who wants that?
We can be resilient. We can come out of the storm stronger, with more awareness of how we want to be. We simply must let go, and breathe, and feel the rush of cool water startle us, as it splashes our body, knowing, that as fast as we had watched in come in, and felt it touch every part of our being, it will return to sea. We will stand there on the shore, content, with dry feet, looking toward the horizon, and feel the awe of life that is greater then us in this moment. Continue reading
Think back to some difficult childhood times. How did you cope? Did you sleep with the radio loud to drown out your parents fighting, or did you spend all your time out of the house to avoid them? Were you stuck in the middle and forced to fight for survival, or protect others, from the angry drunken wrath of your father? Were you forced to fend for yourself, and deny that you had needs because your mother was too overwhelmed and depressed to notice you?
Write down how you learned to get by, or survive, in your childhood home. These are behaviors we learned to help us when we were in distress. These early relational patterns were necessary then, and without realizing it, we carry them with us. Most likely, this is how we guard ourselves against distress in current relationships, and consequently, these patterns may also be the cause of the distress in our relationships.
It’s also helpful to realize that this very body that we have, that’s sitting right here right now… with its aches and it pleasures… is exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, fully alive.”
~~ Pema Chödrön
The new year is a perfect time to renew focus on ourselves and our relationships. We want to feel satisfied and fulfilled but we don’t know how to get there. To become fully alive we must realize that our efforts at denying, avoiding, withdrawing, or reacting unconsciously to the dark side of our emotional being have failed us. We so desperately want to believe that today, in our most intimate relationships, we have forgotten about our wounds from our past. We try to minimize the attachment we had, and still have, to imperfect caregivers, who themselves have the same skills of denial, avoidance, withdrawal, or unconscious reactivity (they taught us). Continue reading
Someone asked me, in response to last weeks article – “How do I know if I am treating my husband consciously, the way I would want to be treated?” My attempt at answering her follows, but first, lets define what I mean by conscious communication. This is when you can think before you speak, have awareness of the feelings that are present in the moment, and realize how you are making the other person feel, instead of just responding automatically.
Just ask. Have you ever asked your partner, or someone very close to you – “Did I say something that hurt you? Is it the way that I speak to you that hurts so much? Do I listen to you and take what you say to me seriously? Do I follow through on what you are needing from me? Are my answers to you supportive, or am I blaming or criticizing you? Am I dismissive to you? Do I respond to you in a way that works?
A large focus of my practice is helping people become conscious. This involves being genuine and authentic with ourselves, taking ownership over our needs and wants, listening and responding to others honestly and openly, and wanting the same in return for ourselves.
A very important piece of this process is how we treat one another. If we faced those we loved with purpose, and treated them with kindness, respect, and love – how would our relationships change? I work with many couples who truly love one another and at the same time treat each other very badly.
Living a conscious life IS attainable. I find that many of us just react to our environment, triggers, partners, etc. with anger, fear, contempt, blame, or criticism. What if we were able to take a few seconds and pause before we speak or act, and ask ourselves – “How am I treating the person in front of me? Continue reading
How do you know that what you do, or are doing, is the right thing for you and those close to you? I’m not sure that we can always know in the moment – sometimes we have to trust that the journey we are on will lead us down the path that is right for us.
Sometimes we are forced to make a change in our lives and other times we choose to try something different. It can be scary to go in a different direction without certainty that you will arrive and arrive well. This is life though – right? When can we ever have certainty? We can’t. We have to trust in ourselves, and the process, that we are doing what is right for us, and what fits with how we want to be.
My journey includes wholeness, connection, happiness and satisfaction, love, intimacy, peace, and success. I try and be present in my body, with awareness, so I can make sure that I take action that fits my journey. When it doesn’t, I ask my self why – what does this mean? I often find that fear is the monster that will get in my way.
It is hard to trust in yourself and in others because it doesn’t always work out, and sometimes people do hurt you and let you down. Overcoming fear means that you are willing to try, and that you are prepared and able to overcome an unexpected result. It takes trust in the process that our experiences will lead us to a place that meets our needs.
Trusting that the journey makes sense and to weigh the journey greater than the current moment can help when fear seems overwhelming. Trust in the process and don’t let your fear derail you. Be who you want to be in the moment, and with direction of the future, and you will make it work for you.
‘The Quicker You Let Go of Old Cheese, The Sooner you Find new Cheese’ – is a great quote in a great book entitled “Who Moved my Cheese” by Spencer Johnson, MD. It is a very simple, easy read to help you deal with change in your work and your life – or at least it makes it sound very simple.
For some, change seems unattainable. Fear and anxiety can take over and bring out all of our self-defeating thoughts about how we are incapable, not worthy, not smart enough, etc. Or, the anger and bitterness we are stuck in can leave us in the same bad place, always blaming others for the relationships we are in, without taking ownership over our own ability to make a difference.
If we can conquer the fear then we can realize our potential. We can make a difference and we can create the lives we want. We just need to take stock in ourselves, realizing our true capacity and support our weaker side that may get us stuck.
This is the perfect time to plan on getting rid of old cheese. We have about 6 weeks until the new year. What new cheese are you wanting, and what do you have to do to make it happen?