Tuesday, October 30

The Innkeeper Was Thrown for a Loop. Do You Have Any Suggestions?

      Good evening one and all,

I hope your day filled your heart with gratitudes. The weather was overcast, but that's nothing compared to what many on the East Coast are enduring. Those touched by Hurricane Sandy have my prayers and of many who visit this inn.

       It's great seeing many posting comments. Thank you!

       I will take chances with tomorrow's weather and head over to San Francisco.  I'll leave early.  My guess is that hundreds of thousands will join me in cheering the Giants baseball players as they enjoy a victory parade in the City by the Bay.
       I met with friends this evening and was thrown for a loop.  I'm still processing what happened. Someone made a request that blew my mind.

      She wasn't inappropriate, but her request was confusing and strange.  That's where my Balcony People come in. I'll check in with them and get their perspective.  I'm very glad that I have other who help me understand life.

      I had a busy day, seeing several clients. It's important I exercise: it helps me cope with the demands  my work places on me, emotionally. Today's sessions were positive and productive. But, my introspective nature needs recharging after I put out a lot of personal energy, actively listening and dialoging with those I see.

My Gratitudes for Today:
1.  I had an awkward conversation with the person who made a request.
       I stepped back and ended our talk when it became uncomfortable.  Part of my problem is that this person struggles with anger.  I find it best to stay away from others who are emotionally toxic.
       I'm thankful that I did what was necessary for me to have emotional safety.  I'm also grateful for character discernment.
2.  One of today's clients was new, her first session with me. Our time was rich, we worked through several significant issues in our limited time.  It's an honor seeing a person grow, right before my eyes.
3.  I had a good conversation with a friend. I was touched by her encouraging feedback.
     It's funny though, how the unpleasant conversation that I had with the angry person created an unpleasant space within me. That usually doesn't happen. I think I was more vulnerable because of the intense day at work and I'm exhausted.
     I'm glad I know about being in HALT.   You can read more about this subject here.
4. I rode my bike today. Putting in a lot of hours at work has reduced my chances at cycling. I'm glad I made time today.  It helps me discharge stress.
How About You? 
What do you do when you are in an unpleasant conversation? I have my ways of handling them, but I would appreciate any suggestions you have. I can always grow and approve. 

Monday, October 29


       Thank you for dropping by. How are you? I'm still decompressing from the Giants' victory yesterday. I even took a nap this evening.

       I'm about to ride my bicycle. Hearing the waves slapping the shores of the island town where I live, the roar of the wind in my ears and seeing the moon casting its beam upon the dancing bay waters as I cycle is a wonderful moment---I feel connected with the world around me. 

       Yes, I have a headlight and tail light for my bike. In this town, you get a ticket if you don't, and ride at night. That's a good thing.

My Gratitudes for Tonight: 
1. I am rested. I've been on the go, too much so. Having a tranquil home and resting this evening was a terrific way to invest in my welfare.
2. I look forward to a good night's sleep. It usually happens when I cycle.  I think more clearly, when my mind is rested.
3. I'm enlarging my vision.  "Without a vision the people perish."  I've been reviewing my professional, personal, relational, physical, spiritual and financial goals. As the ancient Greeks said:
   "If you aim at nothing, that's exactly what you get."
4. I appreciate the more than two hundred people who dropped by today. Thank you. This inn is here to encourage you and is a place for you to exercise your gratitude muscles.
5. I'm thankful for those of you who drop by and enhance the community we share here, with your comments. I like it when there's reciprocity and mutuality.
6. Tomorrow, I meet with a new client. That's always a good time. I love my vocation. It allows me to use many different parts of me. Best of all, I appreciate making life better for others.
7. I have a busy schedule Tuesday. Knowing my priorities keeps me focused and provides clarity for the day.
How About You? 
1. What are your three gratitudes for today?
2. What is your vision for your life? Where do you want to be in five years?
                                   I'd love hearing your answers.

Sunday, October 28

Grateful for Victory, Celebrating Life 10/28/12

         For those of you who don't live in the United States, please bear with me.  I know my enthusiasm for baseball may not resonate with you.  However, if you look at the bigger picture, the lesson this team offers, perhaps you can relate with that. More about that in a second.

I Prefer Joy to Happiness ...............................10/28/12

“Without pain, how could we know joy?' This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.” ― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars
We Are Responsible for Our Feelings
 Happiness is Oversold

       I'm thankful for God's provision and his deep, committed love for me. Apart from Him, I can do nothing.  Because of my relationship with Him I have confidence in tomorrow and joy for each day.  
       Joy is way different from happiness. Happiness, for many, is

Saturday, October 27

Taking Care of Self, Having Fun

       Just a  moment ago, I wrote about communicating our needs, rather than being passive or indirect about them. Being friendly, if we want a friendship with another person, was also covered in the previous post.
My Gratitudes for Saturday
1. My baseball team has won the first three games of a best of seven contest, the World Series.  It's always fun

He Who Has Friends Must Show Himself Friendly 10/27/12

         How was your Saturday?  I rested, gearing up for gathering with friends and watching the evening game of the World Series. It  pitted the San Francisco Giants, my baseball team, against the Detroit Tigers.  I can't complain about the results---they won.  My team is awesome.

         I relate with someone who is emotionally scarred.  I'll call him Bob.  As a kid, his mother constantly created drama and topped that off by yelling at him, frequently.  Unfortunately, his hearing isn't the best, the result of

Friday, October 26

End of the Week Inventory: High and Low Points for This Week: Please Share Yours

Image: "Autumn Bouquet" by Tim Blessed.
Copyrighted photo, used by permission
       My leg is ready for Halloween. Now, if only the rest of me was.  It's been gruesome
looking---infected, with a long open wound from above my ankle to my knee.   I've taken steps to eliminate this

Thursday, October 25

Doing What Needs To Be Done, Budgeting Time

We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege
and our adventure to discover our own special light. ~Mary Dunbar
    Good evening everyone,

How was your day? One good result after another has been

Wednesday, October 24

Can't Beat Days Like Today ...............................10/24/12

       Good evening,

I just got in. Tuesday was good, ethnically different, challenging, challenging (deliberate repetition), irritating, encouraging, full of intimacy and wonderful. 

       Other than that, not too much to say about the day. :->

Monday, October 22

Kisses From God: Unexpected Pleasant Surprises

  My Gratitudes for Today:
1. I had a great second session with a new client.  It's heartening seeing her progress, in such a short time.  Acceptance is the first step towards

Sunday, October 21

Futility: Worshipping the Mind, But a Great Day Was Had, Nonetheless ........................10/21/12

       Today, I rested, celebrated and had fun.

       Yesterday was something else. I went to bed at 2:00 a.m., Saturday morning, awoke at 5:30 a.m. and spoke

Friday, October 19

Making My Life Count While Standing On One Leg

     Good evening,

How did your day go?  I visited a doctor. It was an interesting experience. It's been years since I waited in a doctor's office, because I was ill.

       An infected leg, I have.  I'm getting

Thursday, October 18

Parading the Elephant: Expressing What Troubles Us, Revisited.

      I'm bumping up this post. I found it one of the musty boxes left in the attic of this inn.  It was written last year in May.  I'd love hearing your response.
What did the grape say when the elephant stepped on it? (Answer below)
       It's been a tough week. I didn't think it would be, but

Wednesday, October 17

Making Time for Me

Where I stolled today, with a friend
       Good evening,

My Gratitudes for Tonight: 
1.  I rested today. It's good maintaining balance, I've been working pretty hard, seeing clients and preparing for a

Monday, October 15

Time With Two Dear Friends

 Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, 
sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate
those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly 
appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it.   Ralph Marston
  How was your day?

I spent the evening here, in Alameda.  Usually, I attend a business-related meeting on Mondays. Tonight, I had proper priorities. I watched the

Sunday, October 14

Overcoming the Tyranny of Needing Approval from Others

       How is everyone tonight?

I just got in.  I led a meeting this morning and had a chance to practice Spanish afterwards when visiting with a

Celebrating a Special Day

Now that it is raining, the hills nearby are beginning to look like this. 
        Good early morning,

Usually I sneak this in before midnight. Not so, today.  The day was full, joyful, filled with love and celebration.

     How was your Saturday? Mine just concluded. We

Friday, October 12

Simple Pleasures., Part II Also, Healing Requires Time ..............................10/12/12

The beginning of Pagan's catch

   Good morning,

Thursday night, I got home at 6:30 p.m. and conked out.  I was tired, but it was a good exhaustion.  How are you? Thanks for dropping by.

      It's been gratifying, reading comments from new

Tuesday, October 9

The Innkeeper Flew Again---The Landing Had Much to Be Desired .................10/9/12

 No, that's not me, but it captures what I
experienced. My hair is more trimmed than this guy's. 
    Good evening everyone,

Here I am again, just before this day changes its name.  To quote Brittany Spears, "oops, I did it again."  :->

      I have a big bandage from just above my right ankle up to my knee.  My leg is stinging with pain. The front wheel to my bike is bent, and I had another

Monday, October 8

God Doing for Me What I Could Not Do For Myself

"God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all
sufficiency in everything; you may have an abundance for every good deed"

Image: "Countryside: Sunlit Canal" by Tim Blessed. Copyrighted photo, all rights reserved. 
     Good evening all,

I want to get back to what transpired last Friday. Man,
was that some day.  It was a series of many, mini gifts and an enormous one that

Sunday, October 7

Connecting With Our Feelings---Not Our Head---Is Necessary, Before Seeing Progress With Life's Problems .................................10/7/12

Today I know that I cannot control the ocean tides.  I can only go with the flow. . . . When I struggle and try to organize the Atlantic to my specifications, I sink.  If I flail and thrash and growl and grumble, I go under.  But, if I let go and float, I am borne aloft.      Marie Stilkind
    I've reworked something I posted earlier this week. I love
it when I do. I like it when something I write takes on a life of its own, moving its way through my fingers, into the keyboard and into

Saturday, October 6

Awareness and Studying Isn't Enough, If We Seek Healing, Sanity or Serenity ...................10/6/12

"Knowledge without action is insanity and
action without knowledge is vanity."
         Good morning

 I've been up since five a.m., this lovely morning. I've been writing, studying---two things I love doing.  And, how are you? Please check in.

        By now, you know that if you post, I reply.  I have answered every comment ever posted.   Let me know if I can improve your stay.

        I'm so grateful for recovery. Mine is from growing up in

Friday, October 5

Looking at Life Thoroughly, Using the Three A's: The Healing Power of Acceptance ...................10/5/12

You can't undo anything you have already done. But you
 can face up to it.   You can tell the truth.  You can seek for-
giveness.  And let God do the rest.         Unknown
      We celebrate the sanity enjoy-ed when we see life realistically.
      Awareness.  It's a good start, but in-complete.  It's eighty-eight percent of the answer when dealing with prob-lems. There's no remedy without first seeing the problem.

       Awareness helps to overcome life's challenges and disappoint-ments.

       With it, we see progress.  Our learning curve spikes.  Our life improves.  Circumstances that once lingered, for months----perhaps years---now are dealt with more quickly.  We see solutions within months.

       This is true, once we take ownership of our feelings, attitudes, and behavior, not blaming others for our pain and disappointment.  It is the only way to have a fabulous life. Thank God for personal growth.
"Freedom comes from taking responsibility; bondage comes from giving it away."                      Henry Cloud, Changes That Heal, p. 218
           Our happiness and personal fulfillment take place when we stop blaming others.  We experience a leap forward in maturity when we stop playing the "Poor Me Victim" role.  Instead, we take the steps to replace inadequate behavior and thinking with new and better alternatives.  (One Day At A Time, p. 280)
Rooting Out the Problem
The Vital Need for Acceptance

      It's vital going beyond awareness. Awareness is only looking at our issues from a cognitive perspective.  Acceptance is next.  

       This is taking the perspective awareness provides and dealing with our issues from the emotional perspective.  This step is often neglected.  If we go straight to solving the problem, we are only trimming the shrub of our issues.  Our challenges and difficulties are guaranteed to grow back.

       Acceptance is getting in touch with the issue at the visceral level.  It involves five steps.  It is:
1.  Seeing the vexing area.
2.  Feeling our re-sponse.
3.  Taking our feelings a step further. We grieve the loss involved.
4.  Letting the negative sentiments go---often through forgiveness.  Forgiveness is not forgetting, it is letting go of the hurt.
5.  Seeing what steps we need to take next, looking at our options.

      Acceptance helps remove ten percent of the problem.  Did you notice?  Acceptance is not acceptance marked with resignation.  It is not, "Oh, this is my lot in life.  I'll have to tolerate it."  It isn't passivity, giving in to what's unacceptable.

      Here's another critical point: many go straight from aware-ness to action. "I see the problem, and now, this is what I need to do....."  and design an action plan.  Bad idea.

      When we respond this way we are only operating mentally. The heart level has not been touched. Without acceptance, the problem isn't rooted out.

      When was the last time we made time, determining why we isolate?  When have we done an inventory of  a perturbing area?  When have we made the time to root out festering resentments?  When have we looked at steps that overcome the torture of self-loathing?

      We need to connect at the gut level. If we want to heal our pain.  Negative feelings don't disappear, if ignored. 

      It is wise looking for the emotional payoff for our unhealthy behavior and limiting beliefs.

     When was the last time we did an inventory of our thinking, checking for false beliefs? When have we noted lingering childhood feelings that keep us caged with depression and powerlessness?  We want to challenge current behavior formed as a child, young adult.

     It's characterologically healing, to ask ourselves if our habitual feelings or thoughts are really true. It's important noting that as children, we may not have had the emotional and psychological wherewithal to process our pain.  As adults, it is more likely we do.

     For this to happen, we need psychological or emotional distance.  It helps us clearly see areas needing growth.  We get this from emotionally healthy friends who accept us.

    When we fail, they are compassionate.  They don't judge us our weaknesses. Instead, they help us discover behavior and thoughts that serve our need to thrive and celebrate life.
       We thrive when surrounded by friends who loves us. Yes, they challenge us, asking hard questions about our feelings, attitudes, and behavior. But they still love us. This is necessary to replace problemed areas in our lives with new and better behavior.

The Shoe Leather of Personal Growth

        Awareness of what triggers us is helpful.  Handling the emotions that surface---meeting the needs beneath them is even more critical.  Next, is applying the shoe leather of practical action.  An action plan is a bridge that takes us from our need to the steps necessary for us to have the life and peace of mind we want.

       Donning the shoes of practical principles and actions help us when we are out in the street of life. They assist us in handling life's demands.  We want to apply healthy alternatives.  We want to move away from unhelpful default modes.  We want to replace unsuccessful former ap-proaches with new and better behavior.

        Practical principles permit us to tread upon the gravelly aspects of life without being harmed.

       Action is the remaining two percent needed for handling painful areas. There you have it, the Three A's.  Awareness deals with the head, acceptance with the heart and action with the feet (what we do).  Applying healthier alternatives---staying in the solution---helps us move beyond what were once monuments of our past pain.

       We will enjoy better relationships, sanity, serenity, emotional health, and ease.


     Recently, life offers more drama than I care for.

     I not sleeping much. No fun.  Am I complaining? I hope not. Inventorying the past few weeks, that's all. Awareness precedes improvements.

Being Kind Towards Myself
"We achieve inner health only through forgiveness - the forgiveness not only of others but also of ourselves."                         - Joshua Loth Liebman
     I lost a notebook containing important records.  Telephone numbers listed within are not recorded on my phone.  It included a lot of my writings.  I'm frustrated and annoyed with myself.

     Occasions like these allow the practice of patience.  It reminds me to be gentle towards myself.  This means forgiving me.

     I'm human. My recent behavior is like many, when stressed in different areas.  Life has been unmanageable.

     I'm thankful for several supporting me today.  Their insight and wisdom provide clarity I don't have right now.  I feel scattered.  Their humor lifts my spirit when, without recovery, I would be in the dark tunnel of despair.

     I provide myself with greater clarity by spending time with friends today.

     I don't take life's gifts for granted. This includes friends.  Life is tense without them.  Some of you, guests to this inn, are included in this group.

      I value prayer. Without it, I'd be lost.  I've discovered over the years that I'm as strong spiritually as I am in my prayer.

How About You? 
Which of the three A's are you using to deal with a rocky area in your life?

Wednesday, October 3

Reducing Clutter

       Good evening,

It's still warm where I live.  How has the week been treating you?  I'm tired.  At 4:00 a.m., I've been rising each morning, this, after going to bed 1:00 a.m., or later. I agree, it's not the best arrangement.
My Gratitudes For Wednesday:
1. A terrific session with

Abundance: Thankful for Health: An Inside Story About The Innkeeper

 “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise” 
                                     ~Benjamin Franklin 
The problem was, when I was ill,I laid in bed for more than two months. Did it restore my
 health, make me wealthy and smarter? Yes, on the first count,  but not in tangible 

                             ways, for the remaining two. 
My Gratitudes for Today
1. Life is good, the weather in the high nineties---that's unusual, with no humidity.
2. I'm happy, enjoying

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.