Friday, May 31

Time for Me, And Restorative Time ........5/31/13

        Good evening,

Today was a good day.  I'm working this weekend, so I took today off.  Was I tired, napping several times.  The Bay Area is delighting in fabulous weather in the 70's, with no humidity.

An Intensely Good Day

       Yesterday was intense, but intensely good---but draining, nonetheless.  I once worked, teaching chess theory at a federal penitentiary.   Sometimes, at the end of a class, I'd

Wednesday, May 29

Slowing Down, Taking Care of Self 5/29/13

      Good evening,

Thank you, for dropping by.  The past two weeks have been a blur.  Eight day's ago, I feasted upon Yosemite and all of its beauty.  What a day it was; doing so while cycling was fantastic, sharing the time with a

Tuesday, May 28

Gratitudes for a Special Day

      Good evening everyone,

Today was my actual birthday.  Did I ever tell you that when I was born, I was so ugly that instead of slapping me, the doctor slapped my mother?  The day turned out well, then, and today.

    Throughout the day, my phone made me smile.  It was

Monday, May 27

Honoring Those Who Served, Unwinding In the Wind ..5/27/13

Appreciating This Day

      On this Memorial Day, I'm thankful I live in the United States and am proud to be an American.  I live in a great country, doing my part to make this world a bit better.

       I'm grateful for the men and women who serve our country through military duty.  I honor those who gave "the last full measure of devotion" upholding

Friday, May 24

Expressing My Voice, Doing So Respectfully ..........5/24/13

Where we'll be tonight. The Laurel Court Restaurant at the Fairmont
 Hotel in SF, listening to Eric Shifrin play jazz on the piano. 
       Good evening everyone,

What a day, but good!  It is heartening when witnessing my personal growth.  Old habits die hard, true, but:
"It is never too late to do what is right."            Charles Swindoll 
    I faced a problem this week, resulting in

Wednesday, May 22

A Spiritual Practice: Exercising Grace While Communicating 5/22/13

       How was your day?

       My day was bet-ter than usual.  I returned from yester-day's escapade from routine.  It inspired my soul.  But my body is weary.

        Cycled all day, with a friend.  Today I remain inspired by the majestic handiwork absorbed the day before while peddling my bike. The day was spent at Yosemite.

        The new gift of a basket for my bike was used today.  My practical life made easier by this simple gift.  I'm not using a car. This basket will help when shopping.

        While waiting for a client running late, I worked on my bike.  I slipped the fittings to my rack.  The basket was rubbing against me.  Doing simple mechanics was a change from the abstract nature of my work.

Al-Anon Family Groups (AFG) 
        Tonight, I went to an Al-Anon Family Group (AFG) meeting.  This is not Alcoholics Anonymous.  Check the provided link for more infor-mation and greater clarity about AFG.

        AFG serves friends and family members of alcoholics.  At its gatherings, a person finds support and principles for the struggles encountered when relating with a problemed drinker. Members learn how to take care of themselves.  They discover the skill of detaching with love from drama.   It is emotional and mental life saver.

Staying In the Solution
        The organization is not a place for dumping and running----pouring out our problems on attendees. That is not working the Al-Anon program.  Take a listen to this passage from One Day at A Time:
When I started in Al-Anon, I thought of meetings only as a place where I could unburden myself of my troubles.  But I soon learned that complaining about our oppressions and indignities only makes them loom larger and more disturbing.  
This became clear to me when I heard other members monopolize the  time and the attention of the group with indignant, woeful recitals of the alcoholic's misbehavior.  I see this was not "working the Al-Anon program." [emphasis, mine] I am learning to put the shortcomings of others out of my mind and think constructively about putting [recovery] ideas to work in my life. 
I [grow in my personal recovery] to get rid of self-pity and resentment, not to increase their power to destroy me. I go to learn how others have dealt with their problems, so I can apply this wisdom to my own life.   
"I ask God to keep me from magnifying my troubles by harping on them continually." 
Al-Anon Family Groups Headquarters Inc, One Day At Time In Al-Anon, Virginia Beach, 2000, 75
       This passage was written by Ann B., co-founder of Al-Anon Family Groups.  It reflects the nature of this program.  Unfortunately, harping occurred tonight, by someone new to this meeting.

Focusing On Principles, Not Other Programs

         On top of that, another person mentioned stuff that Al-Anon does not  allow.  She talked about her therapy sessions.  That's not helpful.  This is not sharing our Al-Anon story.  When attending AFG, we speak Al-Anon.
The relatives [and friends]when gathered together for mutual aid, may call themselves an Al-Anon Family Group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation (italics mine).  The only require-ment for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend.                                                 Tradition Three of Al-Anon Family Groups
This tradition helps us to guard against the confu-sion that results when we allow our program to be diluted. Al-Anon's Twelve Steps and Traditions, (New York: Al-Anon Family Groups Headquarters, Inc., 1981) 99
Tradition Three explains two ways in which my Al-Anon Friends and I can "keep it simple."  One is to avoid being diverted from our program by others and two, is to welcome into Al-Anon Family Groups, anyone who is suffering from the effects of another's alcoholism.  Both are perfectly clear.  They give me an answer to those who think it would help if the group were to concentrate on problems which are not related to alcoholism, or, mistakenly feel a new-comer should be rejected when, actually, he or she does meet the condition for membership.                     Al-Anon's Twelve Steps and Traditions, 101. 
      After the meeting, I spoke with the person who talked about her therapy.  My concerns were expressed respectfully.  Gently, I share my concerns.

      I requested we adhere to Tradition Three.  "I understand," she said.  I'm thankful.  Her response allows the group to maintain integrity with basic Al-Anon principles.

      I'm grateful for the open communication and understanding we shared.  I'm glad I expressed my needs.  Her reaction was not my focus. If it had been, I would have been manipulative. I simply shared what was alive in me.  I'm grateful understood what troubled me. (Courage to Change, p. 310)

Life Is Our Spiritual Practice
      I see that attending tonight's meeting was a spiritual practice.  Even though weary---physically from my adventure in Yosemite the day be-fore, and lack of sleep, operating on four hours of sleep, for two days in a row---I had an opportunity tonight to practice patience and grace to-wards another, even when weary.

      Many times, during a conflict I could act out and be petulant.  I could rationalize it is my right when offended.  However, it would not be in my best interests.  While it might feel good for the few seconds,  the results are typically disastrous in the long term.

      I'm thankful for placing principles above my personality, and the positive results derived when I govern my feelings. 

A Fabulous Time of Getting Away .......5/22/13

Half Dome in Yosemite offered  it's beauty today. 
     Good early morning,

From Yosemite, I just arrived.  Tired, yes.  I went to bed at 2:00 a.m. Tuesday and arose at 6:04 a.m.  But, did I have a phenomenal time.  My inner child was tickled, thrilled, excited and happy, overall.  Additionally, I was corrupted in the best way, I'll get to

Monday, May 20

Reviewing Last Week: Highs and Lows. What Were Yours? 5/20/13

    Good evening,

This was a long and busy day, but good, once again.  I saw six clients today.  I'm pooped.

     Thank you, for dropping by.  Normally, at the end of the week I ask for your high and low points for the past week.  I didn't last week.  So, I'd like to catch up, hearing

Regaining Our Dignity, Revisited .......5/20/13

  I'm bumping this up. It's an entry from 3/7/12. 
         
      Good evening everyone,

This afternoon, I met with someone I mentor.  Our time was intensely good.  The subject was "seeking the approval of others."  Isn't it amazing, how easily we revert to our childish selves, if we aren't

Saturday, May 18

Being An Adult: Saying No, Gently Without Fear .......5/18/13

     “God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?”   William Arthur Ward.    
 Please do so today by posting a gratitude. It will do you good.  

      I thought I'd bump this up, for those who might have missed when I wrote this in October, 2011.
A Big Part of Being an Adult
Saying No, Gently, Without Fear
        I love seeing people grow in their awareness.  Today, I gave a public talk.  I encouraged the listeners to consider their options when in the midst of drama.  Avoiding the tendency to automatically accommodate others is important.  It frees us from the snare of codependency.   Part of being an adult is

Thursday, May 16

Character Discernment: Rescued From a Narcissist.............. 5/16/13

"Money will buy a fine dog, but only love will make
 him wag his tail ." Image byTim blessed. "Country-
side:Sunlit Canal Path"Copyrighted photo.
     Our char-acter discern-ment, or, my Pablo Piper People Picker----feel free to insert your name----is key for healthy relationships.  For the longest time, I didn't have one.  Drama, depression, people letting me down, being used and abused was my
normalcy.  

     Yes, that's how it once was for me, in my twenties and thirties.  

I made hurtful decisions that hampered me from the emotional safety, harmony, order, and reciprocity I needed.  I wouldn't know a healthy relationship if it came up and pinched me.  I had no boundaries, clues as to my "must haves" and "can't stands."  Am I glad, that's not true, now. 

      I'm thankful for the lessons I've learned about boundaries, responding, not reacting, and especially this truth: 
I'm thrilled I saw her for who she was, within three weeks. I didn't need to be too smart to notice her self-centeredness.  In one of her e-mails she boasted about men fawning over her.  
      My gratitudes are highlighted in purple. 

      I'm thankful for intuition. While getting to know someone, the caution flag of discernment prodded my consciousness.  In younger years, the voices of these qualities were ignored.

  During the past two months, I'm glad I applied them while getting acquainted with this person. 

     I'm indebted to caution and patience. They helped in avoiding an unhealthy relationship.  I'm thankful I respected the part of me---the limbic system---that senses fear and danger.  I did not allow my cognitive self to overrule common sense. 
I yielded to my more basic, less rational self as it screamed its warnings. 

    This person---"Barbara"---is a kick.  Looking at encounters with her with a sense of humor helps.  It's one way of  lovingly detaching from my foibles
     
       Today, Barbara tried using charm when I saw her.  She was ingratiating, praising me in front of others. 
"Faithful are the wounds [or loving corrections] of a friend; but the kisses of the enemy are deceitful."                         Proverbs 27:6
I prefer authenticity to flattery.  A week earlier, a friend informed me she had gossiped about things I confided with her.

     I am leary of charm.  Today, listening to Barbara raised the antennae of caution and my skin crawled.  Fingernails screeched on the chalkboard of caution. 

     On the other hand, I was happy hearing her comments.  It revealed my people picker is improving.  I focus on character, not honey-toned words. 

      It is empowering taking responsibility for my thoughts, words, emotions and actions. It feelsgood,beingawareoflong-standing buttons of mine that others once pushed with success.  Now,  I don't get triggered as frequently.  All this is the result of applying boundaries. 

     I used to think I was critical, or unkind if I kept my distance with others, when they crossed my boundaries.  In reality, my response reveals I'm getting characterologic-ally stronger.  No longer accepting narcissists or unacceptable behavior is providing me with the serenity and emotional safety and ease I always sought, but could not have without adhering to my values. 

     I require equality, reciprocity and mutuality, where my needs and feelings are considered, also, not just that of others.  When relating with a narcissist---they are unable to offer provide these important needs because they lack empathy----life is all about them and their wants. 

     My gratitudes for today are a result of personal growth.  Passivity towards unacceptable behavior has been replaced by a healthier priorities.  Having better relationships, ones that don't exploit me, allow me to have an attitude of gratitude. 

            A happy innkeeper, made so because of growth 
          in the areas of discernment and boundaries
Related Posts: 
Character Discernment
Must Haves and Can't Stands, Needed for Healthy Relationships

Tuesday, May 14

Intense Night and Staying True to Values, Even If It Upsets Others .........................5/14/13

     Good evening,

Monday, I used my laptop while working with two of my clients.  Unfortunately, I left my power cord for it in the office I use in San Leandro.  I picked it up tonight.  I was computerless last night, this morning and afternoon and evening, until now, at 11:55, as I write this.

      I didn't miss much, without my laptop.  Last night, I caught up on reading,  studying material I love.  I went to bed earlier, getting nine hours of sleep, is all.  Methinks I need to

Monday, May 13

An Anniversary: Noticing Milestones .......5/13/13

     Can you believe it?  This inn is but a baby, celebrating twenty-six months since it opened its doors, on March 13th, 2011.   Much has happened in that time, and all for the good.

     This inn has been an opportunity for me to do what gives me bliss.  Thank you, for joining me as I share gratitudes that well up

Sunday, May 12

A Special Tribute, Revisited ........5/12/13

     Good morning,
The following I wrote two years ago.   I updated it, but it carries the same meaning for me that it did then.  May you have a terrific Sunday.  I know I will. 

Here's the post:    

      A special thanks to all the mothers

Friday, May 10

Slowing Down ......5/10/13

   Good evening,

I'm exhausted.  I've had a long week. I'm dashing off my gratitudes before dozing away.

My Gratitudes: 
1.  I saw a movie tonight.  I went with friends. The fun part was that we saw it for free, along with popcorn and drinks.  It was great, slowing down, taking a break from the demands faced the past six days.
2.  I'm going to bed after penning this.  Balance---letting my body recuperate from the stress that accumulated this week---allows my body to thrive, rest and enjoy ease and peace of mind.
3.  I plan on filing this weekend.  The greater clarity I have when tackling paperwork, is appreciated.

How About You? 
What are your three gratitudes for today? I'd love hearing them. When you do, it contributes to the community we share here.

    Good night, I'll talk with you tomorrow, when I'm not so tired.

Wednesday, May 8

Standing In Power, Recovery and Integrity. Not Affected When Criticized 5/8/13

"He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help."
Abraham Lincoln
Gratitudes for Wednesday
1.  Someone judged me tonight, after I attended an Al-Anon Family group meeting.  I love it, when that happens.  Really.

      It's not supposed to occur there. Those gatherings are to be a safe place, free from criticism. Then again, the person giving me feedback is new to the program.  She said I was edgy.   Maybe this critic was referring to the edge of my Mohawk haircut.

What Was My Mood?

        I'm kidding, about the hairdo, not about her comments.  I was anything but on edge.  Was I in a great mood tonight?  Yes.  Was I enthusiastic, like a Giants baseball fan, about to see a game at the beautiful AT&T Park, where they play?  Indeed.  Was I energetic?  True, also.   I was on a high from

Tuesday, May 7

Kindness Transcending Rivalry ............5/7/13

    In no way am I a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  I'm a life-long fan of the San Francisco Giants.  More importantly, I am a greater fan of kindness, love, generosity of heart and resources, regardless of the uniform a person wears.

    The following clip gives me hope for mankind.  Keep in mind, this Dodger player's actions took place in the Giant's ballpark, this past weekend.  May it touch you as it did me.  The kindness Mr. Kemp demonstrates in the video below goes beyond team rivalry.  I give all

Boundaries: A Sanity and Serenity Saver .......5/7/13

Boundaries rescue us from the murky areas of life.
      How are you?

After working Monday, I was worn out.  It is my most rigorous day.  Six clients were seen.  Several faced severe situations, physically and emo-tionally.  Arriving home, I conked out, straightaway.  After a five hour nap, I remain tired, but fully awake.  Goodness. 

Using My Right Hemisphere

      From time-to-time---professionally---I write resumes.  It's fun, allowing me to use

Sunday, May 5

Being Gentle Towards Self, Revisited 5/5/13

The six most important words:  "I admit I made a mistake."
 The five most important words:       "You did a good job."
The 4 most important words:"What is YOUR opinion?"
The three most important words:  "If you please."
 The two most important words:  "Thank You."
 The one most important word:   "We."
The least important word: "I.”
 Author Unknown
     I'm bumping this up.  I wrote this January of last year.
       
Being Gentle Towards Ourselves

I'm thankful for opportunities that allow me to practice patience in general, and towards myself.  My younger self was more driven than I am now, and I'm driven.  You can imagine

Saturday, May 4

Stress: Remedies For Getting Through the Day, Revisited 5/4/13

        Hi there,
Just a quick note.   I've been ill, so I've been resting.  It was definitely needed.  A friend doctored me with some good stuff.  No, it wasn't morphine.  But, I feel much better.  I'll share with you what happened when I met with a fellow on Wednesday.  I mentioned about him on that day, the entry before last. 

      I'm getting ready to meet with someone, so I have to go.  In the meantime, I'd love hearing your gratitudes. 

      It's not often that I'm thrown

Wednesday, May 1

Admitting Faults, Being With Good Friends ......... .......5/1/13

"An admission of error is a sign of strength
rather than weakness"    Goethe
     Good evening,

I'm bookending this day with posts, not something I do often.  Just got in from being with friends, encouraged by the time shared.   I spoke before the group.  The possibility that this might happen crossed my mind, I prepared notes earlier.  It went well.

     Afterwards, sixty percent of those who attended

Facing Unpleasantness 5/1/13

     Good morning,

I bedded early last night and now, here I am, welcoming the month of May, starting it with a challenge.  Today is the day.  It is here.  I am not looking forward to what will happen, even though it was an eventuality.

     Thanks for keeping me company, I appreciate your visits, today, especially.  A month-and-a-half ago, I was sucker punched---emotionally.  You can read more about it here and particularly this post.  At 12:00 noon, I'm facing

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.

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