Sunday, December 30

An Antidote for Depression: Learn Less, Apply What We Know. 12/30/12

Adulthood: enjoying equality with others.
No, neither of these women is me. 
         Good evening everyone,

It truly is a great evening.  It looks like my illness may have turned a corner, for the better.  I did not fill up two tall waste baskets with tissues today, while blowing my nose.  That has been the case, for the past seven days.

        I'm not hacking and sneezing as much, either.  Ya ay!  With the following, as always, I ask you to take what you like and

Saturday, December 29

Taking It Easy ........12/29/12

    I cancelled all plans for today.  I slept.  I wrote a former friend.  I rested; slept some more, blowing my nose every fifteen seconds, when I wasn't

Friday, December 28

Still Ill, Reveries Upon Friendship---Avoiding Emotional Vampires and Those Who Only Live From the Neck Up ............................ 12/28/12

Saturday, I'll cycle beneath similar clouds and terrain. 
      Good late evening everyone,

How was your day?  Ill, I am.  I worked today, just barely.  Someone new, I met.

      We had a two hour lunch at Jim's in Alameda, a good place to eat.  The conversation was

Thursday, December 27

Boundaries, the Antidote to Chaos, And the Definition Of "No"

   Hello everyone,

How are you?  I'm still sick.  I should have invested in Kleenex tissues, I'm using so many of them.  Oh, brother, a runny nose is annoying.  Nonetheless, I met with clients and cycled twenty-four miles in cold weather.

Wednesday, December 26

Re-introducing a Dear Former Friend 12/26/12

       Good evening everyone,

I'm happy about today's post.  You might want to grab a cup of coffee, this post is way longer than most.  I'm reprising a series of posts I wrote last year about Alexander and me.  Over the past few months, I've woven four posts into what lies before you, tonight.

      Included is a new chapter, "A Loyalty Lesson," that I wrote last week.  I unashamedly love

Tuesday, December 25

My Favorite Christmas Story ........12/25/12

Taken from my favorite Christmas book,
The Christ Child, Iilustrated by Miska and
 Maud Petersham 
    Merry Christmas everyone!

Good morning.  This day will be busy.  I'm dashing this off before preparing for today's guests.  I hope each of you have a lovely day.  I know I will.

    I'm a bit under the weather.  Yesterday, I met

Monday, December 24

A Christmas Story of the Feathery Kind 12/24/12

    I'm bumping this up.  I wrote this last year, posting it exactly a year ago, today.  I see from the sidebar on the right that many have been reading it.  It is the most popular post for this week and the third most popular for the month.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did in writing this re-telling of it.

    May your Christmas be Merry and Bright.  And, Jesus is the reason for this season.   The Innkeeper. 

Here's the post: 

      Please gather round the fireplace that warms this inn.  You’ve been frazzled by the siren call of Madison Avenue, QVC, the Home Shopping Network, Radio Shack and Macy commercials.  You’ve been overwhelmed

Sunday, December 23

The Source for Equanimity ........12/23/12

     My Gratitudes for Sunday:

1.  I watched my football team get beaten, badly.  I was happy to have a change of pace. Watching the team play allowed me to get acquainted with the players.  I like the

Letting Go, Revisited

     Good evening everyone,

I'm bumping up this post. I submitted it a little over a year ago.  it's number ten on the all-time most favorite post in this inn.

    It's a good reminder of what's necessary if we want to have serenity.  Letting go is critical is a big lesson to learn.  We need to learn to retire the cape.

o let go doesn’t mean to stop caring:
     it means I can’t do it for someone else.
   To let go is not to cut myself off:
     it is the realization that I can’t control another.

Saturday, December 22

Luxuriating in My Gratitudes---A Happy Innkeeper

     Good late evening everyone,

Please warm yourself by the fire, it's cold outside.  It's been a long while since I've left gratitudes as listed below.  In my previous post, they

Being Fit to Live .........12/22/12

      Good morning,

I went to bed early----actually, I crashed and burned on my bed, upon arrival at home, last night.  No dinner.  I simply went to bed.  The week was fulfilling but

Thursday, December 20

Having A Merry Christmas Season

    My, it's been a long time since I've posted gratitudes.

It feels good, knowing I will, in a minute----my gratitude muscles can't wait.  My work has increased the past month, keeping the innkeeper away from this

Wednesday, December 19

The Innkeeper's Third Favorite Christmas Story ........12/19/12

    How is everyone doing during this Christmas Season?

It's easy allowing the frenzy of Christmas shopping to distract us from the true meaning of this season: celebra-ting the birth of Christ.  I'm bumping up the following post, written last year in December.

          May the rest of this Christmas season provide you with the serenity and tranquility you seek. These qualities are ours when we abide in His presence, despite the stress involved while Christmas shopping and the frenzy it can produce.

           This is my re-telling of events, based on research and an account given by Fritz Vincken, the young twelve year old son mentioned in the story.  For more about his biography, read here.  Here's the post:

            In December 1944, the Battle of the Bulge was fought in sub-freezing weather.  The American and British troops were defeating a German force twice their number. This engagement lasted from December 16th until January 25th, 1945.  A cook for the Nazi Army left his wife and young son in a shack in the Ardennes Forest near the German-Belgium border, seemingly distant from danger.

           The poor weather---snow, bitter cold and impenetrable fog----grounded Allied aircraft and greatly aided the German advance.  That Christmas Eve, soldiers on both sides became lost.  Many looked for a place to bed down until morning, when they would resume their search for their unit. 

           The following story happened sixty-seven years ago........

          Three American soldiers stumbled upon an occupied shack.  Light emanated from the cottage, smoke pouring from the chimney.  It offered a chance to warm their frost-bit, combat-weary bodies. Upon its door, they knocked. 

          A mother, Elisabeth and her young son, Fritz, responded.  Using sign language, the soldiers asked to enter.  The woman was preparing a meal, using a scrawny chicken.  She beckoned the men in, offering her simple Christmas meal.

         One soldier was wounded, shot during a fire-fight earlier that day. The woman, using rags, stopped his bleeding.  He laid upon the living room couch. The language barrier was broken when the men learned Elisabeth spoke French, a language that one of the G.I.s from Louisiana knew. 

         The Americans unloaded their forty-five to sixty pound packs.  This evening provided a rare chance to stretch-out.  Spending the night in something bigger and warmer than a foxhole was a welcomed treat, especially in this weather.  The heat from the hearth, was an appreciated and unexpected early Christmas gift.  Little did these men know that soon, the room would experience warmth of another kind.

        More than an hour passed when a crisp rap upon the weather-worn door startled the little family and American visitors. The men grabbed their weapons while the woman answered the door.  Four German soldiers were lost.  "Was shelter available?" they asked the lady.  "Yes, come in for Christmas dinner, but I have other guests," she answered. 

        One German soldier remarked, "Americana?" She said, "Yes. This is Christmas. There'll be no killing tonight, not in my home."  She ordered the Germans to leave their weapons outside, before entering.  Those from the United States were instructed to do the same.

       The combatants stood together, men who earlier that day, sought to kill one another. The little boy, Fritz, heard his heart banging loudly.  He pulled on his winter jacket.  He didn't want everyone else hearing the emotional percussion, too. 

        For what seemed eternity---ten minutes---the room strained under the uncomfortable silence.  The men warily eyed each other.  Eventually, American cigarettes were offered to the Europeans.  The Germans welcomed them, provisions were scarce.  A German soldier with medical training inspected the wounded American.  Finding usable items within the home, he tended to the injured G.I. 

        Preparations for the Christmas dinner were completed.  The food was meager-----what was meant for the woman and her son was stretched to serve seven last-minute guests.  A bag of stored potatoes provided a hearty soup.  Before eating, the woman of the cabin spoke. 

        This woman said war was wrong. Elisabeth recounted the Christmas Story, speaking of the hope it offered.  The host spoke in German to the European visitors and in French to the Americans.

        The soldiers, including the tough German sergeant, were moved.  The eyes of few of these battle-hardened men swam, as they recalled of stories told to them during Christmas, when they were little, in their childhood homes.  

        While gnawing at the stringy chicken, the uneasiness the men had towards each other transformed into warmth. 

        After the meal, the Nazi soldiers sang Silent Night, a song of German origin.  Afterwards, two of them sang  the verses in English, along with the Americans.

        Fed and satisfied with their first home-cooked meal in months, the men slept in the cramped quarters of the tiny alpine cottage.  In the morning, a stretcher for the wounded American was crafted by the Germans. A compass and directions  were given to the Americans. The German soldiers took the lady and her son back to their lines, reuniting them with her husband.

        For one night, during a horrific battle, God's peace dwelt within nine who spent the night in the tiny cabin.  Even in the worst possible circumstances, war, God dwelt among them. 

        Two thousand years ago, a young pregnant woman and her husband were not admitted to a crowded inn, in Bethlehem. There was no room for the Christ child.  Today, this slight can be corrected. He can be welcomed into the inn of our hearts. Invite Him, if you haven't. You'll discover the greatest Christmas gift ever----eternal life.

        The Peace in Bethlehem came to nine persons in a middle of the Battle of the Bulge in war-torn Europe. Experiencing God's love and peace is just as available today, to hearts torn with despair or pain.

         I ask God to show me, how I can demonstrate character like the mother in this story.  Being an instrument of His peace is my desire.  The world desperately needs to know hope, freedom from fear, gratitude and peace.

         May you have a Merry Christmas, 

Tuesday, December 18

Assistant Innkeeper's Personal Growth: Applying Awareness, Acceptance and Action ............................12/18/12

        Hello everyone,

How are you?  Our new assistant innkeeper, Carl, shares with us lessons learned as he applied the Three A's at a recent company party.  He reminds us of the need to respond and not react, that we have choices. We do not have to be victims to life's circumstances.

       Thanks, Carl, for your insights.  May every guest today have a great and grateful day as we grow in grace towards ourselves and others.   Here's the post:

For more about  the
Rosetta Stone, read here. 
Rosetta Stone: "A clue, breakthrough, or discovery that provides crucial knowledge for solving or understanding a puzzle or problem."   
      A wise, battle scarred, present-day sage in the field of human behavior once shared that page 256 in a relatively obscure daily reader, Courage to Change, is the

Monday, December 17

Weathering External and Internal Storms

  Good morning everyone,

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty good. I've been wrestling with stress, storms, on several different fronts. It was good getting rest the last two days. It was the first

Friday, December 14

Breaking With An Innish Tradition, Rightfully So .....12/14/12

"The great men and women of history are remembered not because they never failed, but because they didn't let their failures stop them." 
        Hello everyone,

I'm breaking with an innish tradition.  For only the second time----in five-hundred and sixty-four posts----am I not saying "good

Wednesday, December 12

Inkeeper's Update, Part II, Also, Not Accepting Unacceptable Behavior. 12/12/12

Today, I roamed the streets of the island city of Alameda
    Good evening everyone,

I've been away for a few days, uncharacteristic of the innkeeper. Thank you for visiting.  In less than a month, I've added

Monday, December 10

Innkeeper Update

    Hey everyone,

I'd value your prayers. There are many issues wanting to swamp my time. Knowing priorities holds back the tide of demands that would engulf me, if I were not diligent in using boundaries.

    During this busy time, your support is appreciated.  I'll see about showing up later, after finishing a project.

    Reading your gratitudes would be a wonderful tonic, during this challenging time.  Don't worry. I'm taking this evening fifteen minutes at a time----staying in the moment.

    See you later,


Saturday, December 8

Conclave: Improving A Relationship ........12/8/12

My life is looking up, like this dog
Image: "Whiskey" by Tim Blessed.
It's nice having this kind of whiskey. 
     How are you?

I'm bushed, like beat. This week has engrossed all my energies, including spiritual, mental and physical, not to mention emotional.  Today, the week was concluded by

Thursday, December 6

The Healing Power of Tears. Also, Responding To the Viscissitudes of Life 12/6/12

Image: "Cumbria: Windmere Dawn" by Tim Blessed
      Hello everyone,

How was your day?  As I said the other day, the only difference between a rut and a coffin is that the rut has the two ends kicked out.  Being in a rut, is not my plight----I'm being

Tuesday, December 4

Overcoming Challenges, Resting In God, Enjoying the Support of Balcony People ................12/4/12

    Good evening,

I'm beyond being tired.  Emotionally depleted and physically exhausted, I am.  I'm fighting the good fight, maintaining my equanimity, despite

Expressing Our Voice, Not Being Externally Referented, Protecting Ourselves From Emotional Vampires 12/4/12

Avoid emotional vampires
     Greetings to everyone,

Many suffer from depression. Many are angry. Much of the world is filled with people gripped by the ravages of abuse. There's hope for overcoming

Monday, December 3

   Good evening,

I'm slipping this post under the wire, before the new day arrives.  Did you have a fine Monday?

My Gratitudes for Monday: 
1.  Wow. I've been on the go. Today, I saw four clients.  I'm tired. Sessions take their toll on me.  The gratitude in that?  It forces me to cling to God. I am not capable of doing anything, apart from His strength and the encouragement of knowing His love.
2.  I'm making time tomorrow to take care of my needs. I'm glad that in the midst of the professional obligations I take time to H.A.L.T.  HALTing allows me to keep balance and reminds me to keep a close eye on my needs and meet them.
3.  I came across a former client.  I dropped by her job. No, not to see her. I know others who work at the same place. It was a fascinating experience. I saw sides to her I never knew, and it wasn't good. In fact, it was scarey.  I appreciate the deeper understanding I have regarding her nature.
4.  I had terrific sessions today. I love seeing clients making progress.
5.  I rode twenty-three miles today.
      And I didn't get shot at, killed or mugged. I rode down a very dangerous street in Oakland---International Blvd, all the way down East 14 the Street from Marina Blvd. in San Leandro.  I ended up at 17th and Harrison, not far from Lake Merritt.

     All told, I rode twenty-eight miles today.
6. I gathered with friends tonight. I'm glad I did. The subject matter was one I like: having a spiritual awakening.
7. I will have time to relax a bit tomorrow morning. I need the rest!
8. I enjoy the close friendships I have with others.  Their support undergirds me when I'm a bit frayed.
How About You?
 What gratitudes do you have for Tuesday?

Sunday, December 2

Pushed To the Limit. An Opportunity to Maintain Balance. Also, Being Gentle Towards Self ..12/2/12

  My Sunday Gratitudes:
Isn't stress fun? 
1.  I had a terrific time with new clients today, a couple. I like working with couples. It is such a privilege having a window into the inner works of another universe.  I'm meeting with them next week, too.
2.  I was corrected this evening and deserved it.  I enjoy honest

Banana Pancakes: An Opportunity to Transcend Unhealthy Legacies

      Good afternoon, everyone.

A happy new week to each of you.  I'm happy to announce this inn is
improving. We have another person on staff. He has contributed so

Saturday, December 1

Loving My Work and How I Go About It. Also, Power Through Prayer

       Good evening everyone,

This week was amazing, thrilling, offering more drama than I'd care having.  Nonetheless, it was also terrific, causing my character to grow.  I've missed hanging out with you guys.

       I'm seeing new clients.  Eight this week, four more in the new week starting in a few minutes.  Today, I received two calls from two new people wanting my help.

A Possibility To Know Me Better
(At least a video tape of me.)

      Changing subjects,  I haven't heard from any other readers, besides Keith, who want to see the fifteen minute video clip of a talk I gave two weeks ago.  If there is enough interest, I'll embed it in this inn.  You'd get a better idea of my personality and you'd hear me (not to mention getting a sense of my humor).

       Yesterday, I worked with my intern.  I learned more about her in the process.  I'm thankful for her help.  Today, I saw five clients and will visit with another tomorrow.

       Tomorrow, I'll sneak in watching my football team----the San Francisco 49ers.  For those not in the know, there's been a bit of a tempest about the quarterback.  It looks like Coach Harbaugh has gone with \the newer QB.  He prefers Colin Kaepernick, who appears to have more abilities than Alex Smith, who has been quarterbacking the team since 2005.

       It will be nice watching the game, engaging in something fun, not intense.

My Gratitudes for Saturday: 

1.  I love my work.  It's my ministry.  Yes, it cab wear me out.  But, I enjoy making my life count.
2.  Work allows me to weave many parts of me.  I use my research, education, past experiences, my ability to hear, communicate and synthesize.  My spirituality is also critical in what I do.

     I find clinicians are often in denial.  Most have not done recovery work---so what they share is from the neck up.  Often they present themselves as not having vulnerabilities.  To show otherwise makes them fear that they will not have authority to help others.  I totally, totally disagree.  Did I say totally?

     That's a subject for another day.  I find most therapists are paid co-dependents, which is sad.  Often they say what the client wants to hear.  They do not challenge those they serve.

     With my clients, they have tasks to do between sessions.  I insist that they are in touch with their feelings.  "I feel that........" statements are of declarations of thought, not feeling.  It's critical for us to be in touch with what is alive within us.
3.  I rode my bike in-between rain storms.  I love releasing tension from my body.
4. I met with a prospective client, during lunch.  Our conversation was fabulous.  He was abused as a child.  We had a wonderful rapport. I appreciated how much work he's done to overcome his past.
5. Two people called me, asking for my services today.
6.  I'm getting increasing clarity about my work.  It feels good.  I've had to rearrange what I normally do on week nights, to fit in the surge of work I've had.

Power Through Prayer
        Last night, I visited with a friend.  We talked, checked out sailboats and prayed.  I learned more about him.  When the evening was over, he gave me a ride home----it was raining, I did not have my bike.  Before I got out of his car, he said he liked the time shared in prayer.

        Prayer is a central part of me.  Without it, I couldn't live.  We are as strong spiritually as we are in our prayer.  I asked my friend if we could pray, before we did.  That's not something a person usually requests from an associate.

7.  I took care of a commitment today.  It's a relief having it off of my mind.  I have two more next week.  Only with God's help, will I succeed.
8. It's  storming outside. A good book, a warm room and time nurturing my inner self is always good during such times.  And so it has been.

How About You? 
What was you low and high points for this past week?  Please share, I love it, when you do!

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.