Thursday, June 30

Open for Improvement (Also, a trivia question for ya.) 6/30/11

"In His hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind" Job 12:10  (Photographer's caption)

    Good afternoon everyone,

Welcome a new follower to this inn, Bubble Gum.  May you find hope and encouragement during your visits to this inn. Keep coming back. John Chapter 10, great seeing your picture in the followers page.

    How has the week been for you? We've had crazy weather over here in the Bay Area, rain and cool weather, followed by beautifully warm days with no humidity. The flowers above are a small gift for those who've written in this week. Thank you for doing so, I enjoy connecting with you and the community and fellowship we share, when you do.  Please continue sharing your gratitudes, I enjoy hearing them.

    As most of you know, this inn has been open for three months. The paint isl fresh and the wood paneling in the guest rooms still gleam.  May I ask you to give this innkeeper feedback, tips and ideas for this inn? What topics do you think would be good to discuss?

Wednesday, June 29

Why We Visit the Attitude of Gratitude Inn. Also, What Happens When We Go It Alone: Learning From Robert E. Lee ..............6/29/11

      I'm sharing the following with you; it's the goal of this inn:
One of the gifts I've received ... is maintaining an attitude of gratitude.  Before...I didn't understand the true nature of gratitude.  I thought it was the happiness felt when life happened according to my needs and wants.  I thought it was the high  felt when my desire for instant gratification was fulfilled.
Today.....I know better.  Gratitude is an integral part of my serenity.  In fact, it is usually the means of restoring my serenity whenever I'm straying from it.

Tuesday, June 28

Maintaining Our Values In Spite of Pressures from Others 6/28/11

     How are you?

I'll talk about the topic of forgiveness at the end of this post.  Thanks for dropping by. Be sure to have a cup of coffee and sit down, before reading this post; it's a bit longer than most.  Please take what you like and leave the rest.
Having Our Voice, Exercising Boundaries
Disagreeing with Others is Part of Being an Adult

         One of my favorite quotes is on the right.  What's appealing about that quote?  Freedom. It's important maintaining integrity with our values, even if it upsets others.

Sunday, June 26

Our Ideal Self Isn't: Awareness of This is a Big Step Towards Taking Care of Self 6/26/11

         Hello everyone,
In just a moment, I'll get to Taking Care of Ourselves and "Our Ideal Self Isn't." Welcome to our visitors from Australia, thanks for dropping by. Keep coming back, perhaps share a few of your gratitudes. Our guests from Malaysia, thanks for dropping by regularly. I hope you are doing well.
       Absolutely fantabulous, were the past seven days. (Yep, a made up word.) Where do I start? I'm still glowing, basking in the three days spent with my sons. We had a good time at an ice cream parlor; traveling afterwards along scenic country roads, which wound their way through three canyons.
       Our trip took us to country that offered

Saturday, June 25

Great Morning, More Business and a Terrific View (On one occasion, surprisingly romantic.)

      Hi, everyone.

This is your innkeeper reporting to you from his semi office---Abigail Cafe (No apostrophe s), named for the owner's daughter. I've taken over this place.  This is 25 miles from my office. I use it to see clients that live up this way, in the island city of Alameda. I met with two clients this morning.

     I'm luxuriating in the view. The prime table---is mine. It overlooks the bay and the SF Peninsula. Earlier, while studying, after my appointments, I observed lovers along the shore, locked in an embrace, kissing. I've viewed dogs taking their owners for walks

Character Discernment, Spiritual Weightlifting Part IV: Principles That Help Us With Any Relationship ...................6/25/11

Ladies, calm down. No, 
this isn't a picture of me.
     In a recent post (See here.) I wrote:
"As we grow in our rela-tional skills, we see difficulties as opportun-ities. They allow us to do spiritual weight lifting. We exercise the inner strength gotten by applying healthy principles when relating with others. We do this even with those who are dangerous and hurtful. What a deal!"
         Just a second, before going further.   

         This week I disagreed in a blog.   The individual took it personally.   Untasteful descriptions of my character were tossed at me.   This per-son's friends chimed in, adding more invectives.  
          My, my.    I don't take anything personally.  So, this was cyber bullying.  The response was seen for what it was.  A lack of  maturity. 

        Progress doesn't occur when attacks are used.  This illus-trated an ad homi-nem argument.  Like the one to your left. 

       Most people, when confronted aggressively, back-pedal. They become off guard.  It's more effective staying present---on topic.   A person abuses us.   That's not the time to reason things out.  Waiting for a moment when they are not emotionally intoxicated makes more sense. 

      Life happens.

      In light of the principles listed below, I kept my perspective, when attacked.   I did not drink the venom offered.  It's hard for an angry person to engage me in an emotional tug-of-war, if I let go of the rope.  I did. 

       Their response lets me understand their values and worldview.   I was not in agreement with them. 

       Sure, it can be disappointing, judged by others.  It often happens in a disagreement.  Frequently, the person is labelled as wrong, stupid, an idiot or a twit.  That's what happened this week.

       But I do not allow others to define who I am or determine my moods,  

       I stood in my power.  I maintained integrity with my values.  It's sad when people see different viewpoints as rubbish, tossing in profanities in the mix.  Unfortunately, this reaction frequently surfaces when there are differences. 

       I was not sad in that I took it personally.  It was tragic seeing personal attacks used to win an argument instead of discussing the issues.
"When we realize that we can have differing viewpoints without either of us being wrong, we can all fit in together."  Courage to Change, p. 140
      This week I was grateful for applying healthy principles. They allow me to discern who are Safe and Unsafe People. The following list comes from the book, Safe People by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend, of the Boundaries series book fame.  It's subtitle is: How to Have Healthy Relationships and Avoid Those That Aren't.  Their book, Boundaries, written in 1995 has sold over 3 million copies.   They've written numerous fine books.

      To see practical, brief, clinical video presentations on the subjects of Relationships, Goals and Success, Emotional Struggles, Leadership, Dating, Spiritual Life, Parenting and Marriage, by these psychologists, click here.   You'll be glad you did. 

       In the authors' words,
"Unsafe people have personal traits that make them extremely dangerous to other people."  
Below, we'll get a better picture of what these two psychologists mean.  

Some Helpful Principles to Keep in Mind 
Here are a few:

1. Unsafe people are defensive instead of open to feedback.
2. Unsafe people think they "have it all together " instead of admitting their weaknesses. 
3. Unsafe people are religious instead of spiritual.
4. Unsafe people only apologize instead of changing their behavior.

      For each of the points stated above, they go into detail, in their book.  I'm skimming the general principles.  The authors discuss many other points as well, in depth.  

The following points are from page 34 in Safe People:
5. Unsafe people avoid working on their problems instead of dealing with them.
    Unsafe people in this regard:
   a. Do not admit that they have problems, or they think they can solve the problems, by themselves.
   b. Do not submit their life and will to God. In fact, call others "holier than thou," when others suggest living by God's standards.
   c. Do not confess when they've wronged someone.
   d. Do not forgive people who've hurt them. They care more about the issue than they do about the relationship. (Safe People care more about the relationship than they do about the issue.)
   e.  Avoid facing relationship problems directly. (I've ended relationships because of this factor---if a person I'm relating with is unwilling to discuss the issue, there's little hope for the relationship.)
   f. Do not hunger and thirst for righteousness. In fact, they often mock those who do and minimize their own need for doing so.
   g. Treat others with a lack of empathy.
   h. Are not open to confrontation from others.
   i.  Are not in the process of learning and growing.
   j.  Blame other people for their problems, not seeing their part. [I often, when dealing with an issue between myself and another ask:  "Can you tell me your contribution, so that I won't feel like I'm the only person to blame?]
   k.  Do not want to share their problems with others, that they may grow.

       After  going into detail about this list, the psychologists Cloud and Townsend state: 
"People who are uninvolved in character growth can be unsafe, because they are shut off from awareness of their own problems and God's resources to transform those problems. Instead, they act out of their unconscious hurts, and hurting others."
      Having my perspective informed by these principles allows me to have an Attitude of Gratitude.  There's greater clarity, mindfulness with relating.  I have a guide that lets me know who to connect with.  I am more aware of those I want to avoid.

       Instead of reacting, I respond.  When I do, I remain kind and courteous towards those with whom I differ.  I detach, while still being loving.  I don't treat them as sub-human with scorn.  I'm not interested in hacking away at them with the hatchet of cruel words. 

        Detaching prevents me from responding with a gut reaction.  This regrettable emotional reaction is easy to do, if we aren't careful.  For most of us, it's a default response.  

        The good news is that my relating healthily, when challenged can improve.  It occurs when I apply healthy principles above my personality----those sore areas where I'm vulnerable to being passive, timid, aggressive, abusive or frozen in the headlights----when faced with the vicissitudes of life. 

How About You? 
1. What have you found helpful, when dealing with conflict?  
2. How do you respond towards others who are being unkind? 
3. What are signs that let you know that a person is not safe to relate with?  
      I look forward to your comments. Here's to growing communication within this inn of hope, encouragement and recovery,
 Other Related Posts: 
1. "Calmness in the Eye of an Emotional Storm."   To read that entry, please click here. 
2. "Dealing with Emotionally Charged Conversations"   You can read that here.

Friday, June 24

Questions from the Innkeeper. I'd love hearing your answers. ..........6/24/11

      Hi everyone, how are you?

I'm enjoying the delightful California weather, over here, in the Bay Area. It's 68 degrees, with a slight breeze. Tonight, Stuart, a friend of mine and my middle son and I will get together with some other friends. It will be a terrific cap to an amazingly good week.

      For those who may not have noticed, I've added another feature to this inn. You might want to check out the About the Author portion of this blog if you want to know more about me.

Thursday, June 23

Opportunities for Spiritual Weight Lifting Part III Expressing Our Voice 6/23/11

        Good afternoon!

Welcome to all who drop by this inn of thanksgiving. Don't you like the pictures on the walls?  They are the work of the Englishman, Tim Blessed, a gifted photographer. Sprucing up this place in cyberspace is fun.

     A marvelous week, this was.  Seeing myself getting stronger, characterologically, nurtures my optimism. Emotional dust storms happened this week, when relating with others. That's when the fun began.  I'm  not saying this because I like drama.  Far from it.

     As we grow in our relationships with others, difficulties become opportunities for spiritual weight lifting.  We learn how to exercise strength----applying healthy principles---even with those who are hurtful.  What a deal!

Wednesday, June 22

Readers Having Difficulties Posting: Any Suggestions?

    Good evening, everyone,
How was your day? I wrote a long post and lost it. My computer continues to act up. In the middle of typing it just goes blank.  It's done so, four times, so far, with this post. It's an opportunity
for me to practice patience. Several of you, have sent me e-mails stating that you've tried posting here, multiple times and your posts don't go through. Does anyone have any ideas why this happens?

Tuesday, June 21

A Father's Day Report from the Innkeeper ........................6/21/11

Palomares Canyon Road
      Good evening,
Hello, to the visitors from Malaysia. You've been a loyal, consistent visitors. Thank you, for dropping by. May I ask you to share a comment, sometime? It would be great hearing from you! I've had a tremendous weekend. Monday and Tuesday were terrific, too. I've some catching up to do, with the visitors to this inn.

     Sunday and Monday were spent celebrating Father's Day with my three sons. On Sunday, we went to a restaurant they've been going to since they were knee-high to a St. Bernard dog. Dinner and ice cream was had. Afterwards, we meandered

Monday, June 20

Feeling Good (And Escaping Codependency)

      Did this glass get your attention?  Good.  This post may not go where you think. Today, I am happy.  I helped a needed cause.  The proceeds of Saturday's garage sale supports a resource that helps adult children of alcoholics.  It's a meeting where attendees learn coping skills----how to thrive while living----or having lived----with a manipulative, and perhaps abusive,

Sunday, June 19

Connecting With My Community

Yummm!  I had this today. Tom Yum soup. Have you had it? It's Thai.
My gratitudes for Sunday:

1. Saturday's weather was glorious, even though I got burnt  around the neck, while involved with a garage sale.
2. I had fun connecting with those in my community. People dropped by yesterday's garage sale and checked out the treasure splayed out upon the lawn, driveway and sidewalk. As bad as the news media talks about what man does towards others, I found those that dropped by yesterday to be kind, loving,

Saturday, June 18

Enjoying Community With Perfect (But Delightful), Strangers

        Good evening,

A busy, but fantastic day. The weather was in the mid-seventies, with a slight breeze. Spoke with a bleach blonde-haired woman from Nassau County in Long Island today. She emphasized she was from the South Shore. She marveled about the weather we have here, in the Bay Area.

       She commented about the lovely temperature, how our weather cools down at night. She's out this way, visiting her son who now lives here. I told her I've never have known what it's like for it to be hot at night.

Friday, June 17

Random Thoughts and Bon Mots from the Innkeeper ..............6/17

           How was you week?

Did you fret, or find freedom from frustration? Here I am, arriving at my usual time. In 8 hours and 10 minutes I'll be helping with a garage sale some friends are having tomorrow. They need a strong back, so I'll be there to help. Three hours later, I'll have coffee with a friend.  The weekend is here.  Ya ay!

My gratitudes for this week:

1. I'm thankful for taking time developing skills that help me with the work I do. I met with an editor

Thursday, June 16

Having Fun Tonight .......6/16/11

    Good evening, all,

How was your day? I'm investing in myself this evening. I'm getting support from friends and will later have fun, including seeing a first-run movie, for free. Let me hear from you, I enjoy the interactions we share. Some of you, I haven't heard from, in awhile.

     My gratitudes:
1. Fantastic weather today: in the mid-seventies again, with no humidity
2. My car runs well. (It was in the shop last week.) I appreciate the convenience and stability a car provides, at least practically. I can go where I want and know I'll be able to get there.
3. I'll see my oldest son, later this evening. I'm always glad when we have a chance to be together.

Wednesday, June 15

Seeing Progress ...............6/15/11

   Good evening and good morning to my Right Coaster, Midwestern and east of the U.S. friends,
How you be? I got in minutes ago after spending time with others this evening. It does wonders to this soul, coming across, encountering vibrant community in the course of a day.

My gratitudes for Wednesday:

1. I met with four clients today. In three cases, they are  making progress.  The fourth was a new client, always a good thing.  With this last client, we'll meet again Friday.  I love it when the lights go on within those I work with, as they tackle the challenges they're facing.

Tuesday, June 14

Marks of a Spiritual Awakening .....................6/14/11

Image: "Duckset" by Tim Blessed, © all rights reserved, used by permission. 
       Good evening, everyone, 
Isn't that an exceptional photo, above? It looks like a painting, doesn't it? Tim Blessed,  is a magnificent photographer.  Isn't it amazing, the beauty found in nature? One mark of having a spiritual awakening is that: 
"Moments of appreciation of little things happen more frequently. Some of us experience feelings of connection with and delight in nature, or find ourselves relaxing and going with the flow."
   Isn't it tragic, those who surrender their lives

Life Affirming Relationships: How We Get Them ..............................6/14/11

Like the slow unfurling of flowers that feel the warm
presence of the sun, so is the growth of a true friendship.
      The following continues thoughts I have resulting from dining with a gang of guys last Wednesday.  I'm including a bit of what I wrote that evening and I go from there.
      What I wrote earlier:
      I visited and ate dinner with a group of men who had attended tonight's event. I know the routine, what it's like to be with men, since I'm of that species and a former jock.  But, it's not something I've done in a long while, going beyond

Monday, June 13

Letting Go & Letting God II (And, Today Is a Special Day!) 6/13/11

"Everything on Earth is woven together in an intricate connection-the choices of nations, the actions of world leaders, the state of nature and the environment, the choices of individuals. How all these factors connect and move together affects the course of history. We all have a role to play, what we do makes a difference; it matters. Everybody counts!" (The photographer's caption for this picture.)


      Hello, to the readers from Germany and Malaysia, thanks for dropping by.
I hope all visitors of this inn are having a great day, I know I am.  May I offer you tea? This is a special day. Today is our third month anniversary, this blog is but a baby!

Sunday, June 12

A Marvelous Weather Day

    Good evening, night owls and early birds,
I just got in. All day, I've been gone. How are you doing? I'm tuckered out.

My gratitudes for Sunday.

 1.  The weather was glorious today. I'm thankful for living in a place where the weather was in the mid seventies, there was a breeze and no humidity. Some of you guys will have to tell me what that word means. We don't experience it, in the Bay Area.
2.   I was able to do research

Handling Conflict with Grace and Some Questions for YOU 6/12/11

      Hey, let me know what you think of this video link from psychologist John Townsend. He's an author I respect. To see it, click here.

Questions I have for you: 

1. What do you do, to resolve conflict?

Saturday, June 11

Relating With the Emotionally Fevered ....6/11/11

     Good evening everyone, a special welcome to the visitor from Germany!

Tonight's topic I'll get to, in just a  minute. But, first, I want to check in.  Alexander's death, I'm accepting, slowly and grudgingly.  Today, I got away from the events of this week by haunting what is fast becoming my favorite places for tea, Abigail Cafe. It faces the bay with the jagged, mountainous  San Francisco Peninsula as the backdrop to this body of water. Little varmints poke their heads up, in the foreground, along the shoreline. Taking in the view, sipping Moroccan tea while chatting with a friend, helped me unwind from the drama

Thursday, June 9

Suffering Loss, Detaching With Love, Winning the Grand Prix of Life ............6/9/11 Alexander Part IV

    Hello everyone,

I'll talk about winning the Grand Prix in just a minute, after these comments and my gratitudes.  First, I want to process my feelings.

     This was not a good night.
Expressing Feelings of Loss
A Rare Occurrence for the Innkeeper

       Regarding words, a stickler I can be. I did not greet you with a "good evening" tonight, my usual intro. It's not; Alexander the Grey(t) died tonight.

       For those who don't know, he was a cat I dearly loved.  I have been tending to this Russian Blue with hospice care for six months. For more info, please read this post, this here, or click the blue link in the previous paragraph.

       A pall envelopes me as I write.  I'm at his house.  In the living room, he lies lifeless. I already miss him.
       I loved his quietly persistent and curmudgeon personality.  The latter was a facade.  Despite his serious-looking mug, he was a junkie for

Wednesday, June 8

A Scene from Home Improvement .......6/8/11

My gratitudes for today:
  Welcome to my friends from Denmark, Germany and Malaysia. I hope you are doing well. May I ask you to share your gratitudes? Please feel free to do so in your language, that would be terrific! Here's to having a great and grateful day. 

      This evening, I spoke for a half hour. Having a spiritual awakening, was the topic. No, it wasn't a church service. It was a public meeting for people who want to learn how to cope with the challenges they face in life. Many have friends, neighbors, co-workers or family members who are addicts, alcoholics or people who are controlling, perfectionistic, skilled manipulators or emotionally abusive. Other than that,

Lessons Learned From a Dying, Semi-Paralyzed But Tenacious Cat ....6/8/11 Alexander Part III

    For my regular readers,  this post will not be about gratitudes. You are forewarned.
     One night, when Alexander the Grey was two years old, a car hit his backside. His owner, Arlene, didn't know this fact right away. Worried, she was, when, for an interminable day, his mischievous presence was absent. The following evening, while cooking dinner, Arlene heard a loud thump.

      Somehow, he managed to

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.