Friday, August 30

Great Fun: Nurturing the Child Within 8/30/13

The game of Pit.  This calm hand is for illustra-
tive purposes only.  It belies the intensity and 
craziness of this game. 
     Good evening.

Did you have a good day?  Mine nurtured and stretched me; the night provided entertainment, laughter, and plenty of fun.  Recalling tonight's time in Alameda

Thursday, August 29

The Miracle-Gro Quality Boundaries Have On Our Character ........... 8/29/13

Boundaries: A Source for Sanity

         There are times when we are with a controlling person.

          That presents a problem.  It in-trudes upon our need for autonomy.  Being the gratitude guy, a difficult relationship is seen as an oppor-tunity to adhere to principles.

         Time with those who cramp our style is like practicing a tennis stroke by hitting a ball against a wall.  We have opportunities to exer-cise boundaries related to their behavior.  It helps us maintain sereni-ty, sanity, and dignity----just barely.
        If not careful, our equilibrium could be thrown off.  Creating distance with an un-safe person can be won-derful, providing the balance needed.
          Bound-aries are not for others to adhere to.  They are for us to adhere to. They are sanity savers, joy producers.  They provide the dignity we need.

        Often, we relate with with boundaryless people.

        Chaos is the measure of their lives.  Their lack of preparation does not make their crises our emergencies.   (See here, too.)  Even when they desperately wants us to rescue them.  Exercising boundaries  with those who lack them, maintains our sanity.

       Relating with boundaryless people pours Miracle Gro on our recovery---forcing us to tightly adhere to boundaries.  We are not loving when we rescue others from the natural conse-quences of their behavior or lack of initiative.

         Is there some-one or a situation that teeters your totter?  Could an in-dividual dump you into the morass of frustration?  How do you handle tough times?

          We want to be mindful of a quote posted months ago.  You can read this post here.  This article is especially encouraging when finding ourselves in difficult circumstances.  The following inspires me when confronting challenges:
We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed.  For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a per-sonal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one's predicament into a human achievement.
When we are no longer able to change a situation---just think of an incurable disease such as in-operable cancer---we are chal-lenged to change ourselves.                                       Viktor Frankl

         Many good things happened this week. Even though it has been a time rife with tension.  Filled also with deep, negative emotions.  With-in the past seven days, the following gratitudes emerged.

1. Receiving practical support this week.

     Beyond my wildest dreams. Those in my supportive network emboldened me with their encouragement and wisdom.
2. Love from many gave us a strength we won't have, if we go it alone.

      The compassion, empathy, fellowship and sensitivity I've experienced gave hope during a most difficult season. It has been one of the most difficult times in my life.

      I was stunned by the outpouring of affection received.  It gave a bounce to my step that was missing earlier this month.

     Loved ones and friends, visited.   Phone calls and acts of loving service ministered to my well-being in ways beyond imagining.  Their loving concern lifted my spirit.
3. I'm adding new dimensions to work I do.  I participating in my growth.  Good for me!  I'm thankful for opportunities that are expanding my creativity and resourcefulness.
4.  I have a business mentor.  His help has been like a steady lighthouse in the midst of a storm.

Wednesday, August 28

Much to Rejoice About .......... .8/28/13

Time before an expanse of water was had today. Am I lucky. How could I not be grateful? 
      Good evening everyone,

How was your day?  Mine was an oasis, refreshing me in the midst of a demanding week. This inn was busy today, hitting a high water mark.  Over

Tuesday, August 27

Expressing Our Voice, Not Allowing Others to Determine Our Moods or Values ....................8/27/13

Good late evening, everyone.

Today nurtured my soul; I had hours alone, studying and writing.  Aah!  Solitude helps me get my bearings.  I've been alone but never lonely, not since I was fourteen.

        We feel the pangs of loneliness when we are not at peace with ourselves and when we are not experiencing community, that is, connecting on an emotional level, with another.  Sharing our deepest thoughts, dreams and feelings with another, with no fear of rejection provides us the emotional constancy--the security--we need.

       I'm improving in my dealings with

Monday, August 26

The Power of Priorities.... ...8/26/13

  Good morning,

How are you?  I've been away for several days, which is unusual. Wouldn't you like to know where I've been?

     As most of you know, I like to ask for your

Wednesday, August 21

The Support of Balcony People, When In Crisis ..8/21/13

Two are better than one, for they have a rich reward
for their labor.  If one falls, he has another to lift him
up.  bout woe to him that is alone when he falls, for
he has not another to lift him up.  
       Receiving amazing---beyond belief---support infuses energy into this weary soul recovering from the demands of urban life.  As I type, a major, but scarey, area I am confronting.  Small, but significant victories, are popping up, in the process.  Little foxes of worry can ruin the

Monday, August 19

Out of the Hamster Wheel, Into God's Hands 8/19/13 (449)

       Good evening everyone,

My Gratitudes: 

1. This evening, I slowed down.  Nurturing ourselves, is critical.  Doing nothing is a virtue, not a fault.  If not careful, redlining our lives destroys our serenity; living in a hamster wheel gets us nowhere but out of touch with ourselves.  When assaulted by a multitude of distractions, demanding our attention, our feelings lose out.

Sunday, August 18

Checking In, Highs & Lows for the Past Seven Days. 8/18/13

Image: "Scotland: Loch Linhe and Loch Eil from
 Ben Nevis" by Tim Blessed. Copyrighted photo. 
   Good evening,

Did you have a good day? As most of you know, on weekends, I ask if you could share a recap of the previous week, your high and low points for the past seven days.   Here are mine:

Saturday, August 17

Freedom From Codependency: No Longer Naive; Not Pleasing Unpleasant People ..................8/17/13

     I am thankful for peace of mind. It is the result of relating with healthy people.  Calmness takes place when avoiding those who are not.

     I was reminded of this second point recently, at a restaurant. I witnessed a toxic parent in his thirties. He raised the hackles on the back of my neck.  And made my heart pound, like it hasn't, in years.

     Dark emotions from long ago revisited me.  Rage, shame, embarrassment and fear, melded within.  I was transported to the scariest depths of my youth.

     He blasted his second daughter, saying, "You stupid fool!"  His glares and ridicule not only demeaned her but also slugged my emo-tional belly.  I put my food down, looking for the restroom.  I was getting sick.

     Unwanted bookmarked portions of childhood memories flipped open.
     My heart sank.  His three young daughters squirmed at the table, their si-lence thick with fear.  This par-ent didn't know grace.  He did not express kindness when correcting his middle child.He did not know how to say his no as gently as his yes.

     How we do something is as important as any task we do. Often, it is more impor-tant.

    The little girls needed nurturing.  Support and encouragement from their daddy would strengthen their self-esteem.  This would be helpful during their awkward adolescent years.

      He yelled at her, "You clumsy fool."  She had spilled her soda.  The shame applied towards this middle daughter had me in a cold sweat. The scenario transported me to the angst of my youth.

      As I witnessed what unfolded before me I bonded with this blond-haired girl.

      From my table, her seven-year-old face was in full view.  Her defiant, sullen expres-sions reflected the attitude I had as a kid.  Her stubborn-ness mirrored my resistance as a boy while living in a per-formance oriented, black and white thinking home, in a no-mercy-given household.

       My emotions while wit-nessing the parenting in that restaurant had me reverting to my pre-recovery default mode.  I was sad.  Fear filled my body.  I had the dreaded feeling that I was about to be  hit, an emotion I often experienced as a kid.  And I was hit that night in the restaurant. I was struck by unpleasant memories from my past.  That's just as bad as being physically belted.

       I was filled with rage and anxiety at the same time.  I was mindful of the following quote:
“Worrying about people and problems doesn't help. It doesn't solve problems, it doesn't help other people, it doesn't help us. It is wasted energy.” ― Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
Codependents are reactionaries. They overreact. They under-react. But rarely do they act. They react to the problems, pains, lives, and behaviors of others. They react to their own problems, pains, and behaviors.”         
― Melody Beattie, Codependent No More
     The codependency of the wife and little ones was clear. They jump-ed at pleasing this anger-infested father.  They feared his knitted brow, his glares and impatience.

      I was edgy as he berated his middle daughter.  If he continues treating his strong-willed middle daughter, this way, depression will be her companion through childhood, adolescence and when she's an adult.

      I was thankful for freedom from codependency. I am thankful for the strength we gain when we are internally referented:
“I used to spend so much time reacting and responding to everyone else that my life had no direction. Other people's lives, problems, and wants set the course for my life. Once I realized it was okay for me to think about and identify what I wanted, remarkable things began to take place in my life.”     
― Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go
       Dormant negative childhood feelings can be overcome.  Emotional maturity is possible when we are present.  When we apply recovery. With it, I no longer tolerate mistreatment or accept unacceptable be-havior.  I am freed from the disease of codependency

        I am grateful for boundaries.  They protect me.  They prompted me to pour my milkshake on the guy's head when I walked out of the restaurant.  I'm just kidding.  But I did feel like giving that guy a piece of my mind.

        My personal growth allowed me to leave that restaurant emo-tionally intact.  Slipping into my car, I was no longer triggered. Past memories were seen for what they are: memories.  They are not de-mons that still haunt me.  With recovery, I leave unpleasant memories where they belong: in the past.  

        This way I move forward unencumbered by the weight of ancient emotions.

        I appreciate boundaries let me know who is safe and who isn't.   With them, naivete is replaced with common sense.  Manipulators are not given reign because I am being "nice."  Now, I say no, when I am un-comfortable in a conversation.  I say what disturbs me.

        Recovery teaches me that I am not "causing problems" when adhering to my values.  Now, I know I'm being "nice" when I stand for my boundaries.

        It lets others know who I truly am.  I am no longer Mr. Nicey.  When I was him, I always was kind.  I wanted to please everyone.  There was a problem.  Operating this way, I lack sincerity.  I didn't let people know how I truly felt because I was a coward.  I feared the disapproval or anger of others if I disagreed with them or saw things differently.

        Now I'm authentic.  I am true to my values.  I have my voice. I own something else, too.  I have self-respect and the peace of mind that goes along with it.

Related Post:
 A Detailed Overview of Codependency
Guarding Our Emotional Sobriety (Second half of this Link)

Friday, August 16

Handling Stress 8/16/13

       How are you?

Life has its drama.   One source, unexpected unpleasant information, was brought my way, today, during a phone call.   It's an opportunity for practicing patience and grace towards

Wednesday, August 14

The Innkeeper Is Grateful Again ...8/14/13

   Good evening,

Gratitudes for Wednesday: 
1.  I slept in this morning.  Then again, I didn't go to bed until

Tuesday, August 13

The Film: Fruitvale Station: What Would I Have Done, If I Was There The Night Oscar Was Killed? 8/13/13

Oscar Grant
           It's been a long time since I attended a film that moved the audience to tears.  That happened Sunday.  Hearing people sob, from different parts of the room, towards the end of the movie, in the Alameda Theater, was different, but good: it was encouraging hearing the

Sunday, August 11

Relating With a Curmudgeon and Highs and Lows Time 8/11/13

    Hello everyone,

Greetings.  I had a busy morning, Saturday. The after-noon, however, nurtured the innkeeper.  The crisp weather, 20+ mile visibility (that included the San Francisco Peninsula, across the bay, from the south shore) and the brilliantly teal waves surrounding the island city of Alameda was a tonic for the innkeeper.  The smell of surf and foam---along with a leisurely seven mile ride, even though I carried thirty pounds of books in my pannier, I had been with someone I mentored---was coffee that revived this bone-weary soul.

     I retired early in the evening and here I am, fresh, this pristine

Thursday, August 8

Best Features of Work 8/8/13

Image: "Cumbria: Dalt Wood" by Tim Blessed.
Copyrighted photo. Used by permission.
     Hello everyone,

How did your day go?  I'm tired, so straight to my gratitudes I go:

Calming a Tense Moment
1. Someone this afternoon was severely disturbed, upsetting the Alamedan community.  I worked with the police and a local agency, helping this person.  The occasion was similar to work I once did in a psychiatric hospital.

Joy of Work
2.  I enjoy the flexibility my work provides;  I call my own hours, which is nice.  Those I work with, I pick.  Contributing towards the well-being of others makes

A Record Day ......8/8/13

      What a day for the inn.  Counting the gratitudes I categorized in my previous post---five, and the five in this one, plus those from guests who dropped by and shared their joys in the post before this, there were

Tuesday, August 6

A Rich Day ......8/6/13

Treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to
 them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with
no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again. (Og Mandino)

Image: "Cumbria: Rainy Day, Dream Away" by Tim Blessed. Copyrighted photo, used by his kind permission.
    How are you?

My day was wonderful, positive, encouraging, nurturing and honest. This morning I met with someone at my favorite breakfast place.  I got to know him like

Monday, August 5

God Is Not My Spiritual Bell Boy, Revisited 8/5/13

This is not God. I'm
sorry if you were
     Good early Monday morning,

Sunday, after seeing clients in the afternoon, I went to a secret place, studying for four hours, nurturing me.  Did it feel good, but I got home late.

    In the sidebar to your right, the following post has spiked up the list of popular ones for this week.  I'm posting it for those who haven't read it.  Here it is:


        Recently, I was schooled in a lesson while laboring on a

Saturday, August 3

Emotional and Verbal Aikido 8/3/13

       How is everyone?  I'm happy you dropped by.  I wrote what follows April 27th, 2011.  I'm sharing it with those who not have dug around in the dusty boxes-----the archives of this inn.

      I've had a fantastic day, so far.  I delight in writing.  It's a big difference from what I do professionally: listening

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.