Wednesday, December 31

The Year In Review 12/31/14

   This year in review:

1. Life was richer. My soul soared more than ever.  I had more excellent times with loved ones, clients and friends than any other year.
2. I wrote more

Tuesday, December 30

A Reflective, Grateful Innkeeper 12/30/14

      I am not quite sure who I am today.  I've gone through a lot lately. More about that when I have time to write and clear out my head.  Below are gratitudes for today.

1.  For personal growth.  I am different than I was two years ago,  five months ago, than I was last
week. I have a greater inner peace than I realized.  Mine has been strong for decades. Now, it guards my heart in ways

Roses for Ashes 12/30/14

        A bittersweet time was had Sun-day.  I let go of a relationship, sweetly.  Love accompanied sorrow, connection partnered with sepa-ation.  The visit had laughter and tears stirred together.  Ashes of loss birthed four bouquets of

Saturday, December 27

Inventory of the Past Week............ 12/27/14

      How was your Christmas?  Mine was fine, spent with someone dear Thurs-day morning and with the family in the afternoon, evening.  This holi-day will linger until

Thursday, December 25

My Favorite Christmas Story... 12/25/14

Today's illustrations are from my favorite
Christmas book,The Christ Child, Illustrated
by Miska and Maud Petersham 
     Merry Christmas.  I hope each guest of this inn had a lovely day.  I did.  What is Christmas?  Nope, it isn't about gifts.  It's about one Gift,
Christ.  This holiday is about God taking on human form, dwelling among us, full of grace and truth.  (John 1:14) I know for many this is no longer true.

     Thank you, for visiting this year. Inspired and encouraged, is my

Tuesday, December 23

Arriving at Clarity... 12/23/14

Gratitudes For This Evening:
1.  Met with friends tonight.  Lovely.  The subject was one we all connected with: feelings.
2.  Visited Christmas Lane in the island town of Alameda.  A wonder for the eyes.
3.  This week is the

Monday, December 22

My Second Favorite Christmas Story 12/22/14

     In keeping with our countdown for Christmas, I present this story.  If you missed the previous season-related tale, my third favorite, you can find it here.  

     I wrote this in 2011, presenting it on Christmas Eve, here.  I'm making it

Sunday, December 21

My Third Favorite Christmas Story 12/21/14

WWII photo of the Ardennes Forest
      Good evening, one and all. I hope life is treating you well. For many, this is a frantic, mater-ialistic season.       
        Needn't be so.  In the inn, we're having a countdown for the biggest day of this month.  For this, and the next two days, I am sharing stories I've written related to this season.  My  hope is to

Saturday, December 20

Expressing Feelings and Values, Not Acting Like The Codependent Person I Was Groomed to Be ....................12/20/14

           I visited a blog Friday night.  Appal-led.  No emotions expressed. What was written was theore-tical, giving the semblance of thoughts of an unim-aginative college student writing a college paper.  As tasty as distilled water.  Honesty, vulnerability or transparency were

Wednesday, December 17

A Recently Upset Innkeeper. Five Lessons Learned.......... 12/17/14

       I am upset.  [Innkeeper's Note: No longer true, after re-writing this post and outlining my thoughts Thursday morning.] That's okay.  It's good being emotional disturbed----the alternative is worse, not in tune with our feelings.  It is im-portant ,for our mental health, feel-ing the enormity
of our emotions. With recovery we can, without being

Tuesday, December 16

Patience Tested---I Am Getting Stronger ....... 12/16/14

          Full day of work, depleting me emotionally and physically.  I'm worn out. Wasted time this evening, prepping and driving to Alameda to see a client. She bailed out, due to depression.  Maintained my peace of mind, in spite of this happening.

         Pushed on, pushing a

Monday, December 15

The Value and Joy Known When Internally Referented......... 12/15/14

     It's been awhile since I have written about external referenting, not referencing.  Check the labels at the bottom of this inn. There are several listings about this concept.  Often, we are this way when

Saturday, December 13

Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?..... 12/13/14

You may feel that the world is too messed up, that too
many wrong choices have been made,that it doesn't
matter much what you do, that it's hopeless. But that's
not true. Just as every problem can be traced to a wrong
decision, every solution begins with a wise and loving
decision to do the right thing, the loving and unselfish

A little bit of love can make a lot of difference. One act
of kindness or unselfishness can start a whole chain re-
action of events that will, in the long run, make life a
lot better for a lot of people. So don't despair because
there is so much suffering and grief and wrong in the
 world. Instead, do what you can to make things right
and encourage others to do the same. The world won't
 change in a day, but we can make a difference if we
try. (Photographer's caption) All rights reserved.

Saturday's Gratitudes:
1. I made time for me.  I had a migraine headache last night.  I slowed down today.
2. I'm thankful for discernment that allows me to avoid others who are not good for me.
3. Rain.  Plenty of it.  We needed it.  I also like how creates a different mood.  It makes hunkering down and reading a pleasure to do.
4. Wrote a letter today.  I enjoy letter writing.

Thursday, December 11

The Innkeeper Was A Burglar......... 12/11/14

     Yesterday I was a burglar.  At least two people thought I was.   I wasn't appre-hended.  As I type, I am not  handcuffed.  A fellow saw me, calling the owner of the house on her cell phone, while I made a visit.

      On the door, I rapped.  Since this event, I was told this is the burglar way.  This is what the police told the homeowner.  At least I did that right.

      Inside, the dog barked viciously, growling also.  Normally,

Tuesday, December 9

An Un-American Concept, We Are Primarily Spiritual, Revisited ......... 12/9/14

Image: "Snowdonia: Nantgwynant" by Tim Blessed.
 All rights reserved. Use by permission.
        I am re-posting what you find below.  It is one of the all-time favorite posts written, number six.  You may not have read it yet or were not around when I wrote it three years ago, this last November.   Here it is:

        I'll share a few thoughts interspers-ed with recounting a day that was demanding, emotionally and mentally.

        I prefer days like these to be few and far between.  A calmer pace allows my

Monday, December 8

Dips and Turns Are The Stuff of Life. Avoided the Fangs Of An Emotional Vampire 1,000th Post ......... 12/8/14

The Giant Dipper at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Innkeeper's Note:  This post is the one thousandth. Wow.  And I have sixty-three drafts I haven't posted.   I like celebrating milestones.

     Thank you, for your visits.  It means much, making what I do here

Saturday, December 6

Ten Antidotes to Worry, Fear ........ 12/6/14

   I am tired.Con-cerned.  Worried even.  I will focus on what makes me thankful.
1.    Not reacting or catastrophizing when hangups appear.
2.    For love received from

Thursday, December 4

Ten Things That Make For a Healthier Relationship. What's Happening With The Innkeeper........ ................. 12/4/14

  What have I learned lately?  How about this:

1.  Speak truth.  But, do so gently.  "The mouth of the wise commends knowledge. But from the mouth of the fool gushes folly." Proverbs 15:2
2.  Be present.  Share what is alive within me, graciously.  This means not being triggered or motivated by fear.  Presence is possible when we are

Wednesday, December 3

It Is Never My Responsibility To......... Revisited 12/3/14

         Good evening, the following has been around for a while---three years last November.  It's so old you may have overlooked it. I am re-posting it, for those new to the inn and those who need their consciousness to breathe in the principles sprinkled below.

         This passage is about being truly internally referented. Yes, that is an actual word. It's about taking care of ourselves---not losing who we are because of our relationships with others. 

          May you have a great, vibrant, rest of the week as you seize life, not letting it meekly pass you by.          The Innkeeper
"Amidst the constant turmoil and drama that surrounds us, as we live life, many
stop noticing what is going on with themselves.  Something more important and
life threatening always seems to intervene.  When we acknowledge a situation as
 it is, we want look at our options instead of looking at the options available to
other people."   Courage to Change, p.359

The following are general principles from Al-Anon Family Groups. I'm sure they
 will help when trying to figure out our responsibility in our relationships with others. 

It Is Never My Responsibility To: 
ive what I really don’t want to give
Sacrifice my integrity to anyone
Do more than I have time to do

Monday, December 1

Making Amends, Better Than Apologies...... 12/1/14

Innkeeper's Note:  Amends. Far superior to apologies.  Best way to restore fractured rela-tionships.  I wrote the following three-and-a-half-years ago.  Still a good subject.  Let me know your thoughts.  Here it is: 

     Amends is a source for emotional and psychological relief,  ridding us from unnecessary guilt. 

      It's rewarding, having the
support of caring friends and family members.  I enjoy growth when I embrace the difficult parts of life.  Such as making things right with someone I offended.

     Earlier today, I met with a friend I've known for 30+ years.  I learned of issues requiring mending with his wife.  She's held a grudge for more than fifteen years.  I had no idea. I like

Sunday, November 30

The Past Week: Good and Bads...... 11/30/14

       Once again, it's time, reviewing the high and low points for the recently concluded week.  He's how it looked for me:
1.  Had an in-depth conversation with someone dear.  Feelings and concerns were expressed lovingly,
kindly.  I love conversations where both people are

Thursday, November 27

Today Is The Biggest Day........... 11/27/14

        Good morning everyone.  Many suffer from worry, depression, frustration, self-loathing.  An Attitude of Gratitude coun-teracts these ills.  Cherishing our loved ones and counting our blessings are key.

       Thank you for dropping by.  This is the central day of this inn.  May this Thanksgiving Day be the best ever.

     Thankfulness depends not upon

Wednesday, November 26

Tomorrow, The Greatest Day of This Inn ..... 11/26/14

“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion.
 Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. 
 Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude.
  Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and
 limps along the spiritual road.”      John Henry Jowett        
       Thank you for dropping by this inn of encouragement and praise.  What thanks have you?   Of all the days of the year, tomorrow will be tops for this inn. In America, this Thursday is about the vision of this cozy place in cyberspace: sharing thanks for the good things that are a part of our lives.

Tuesday, November 25

Growth Requires Effort---Reaping What We Sow......... 11/25/14

     I awoke tonight at 10:45 p.m. after conking out on the couch while reading.  My body has more sense than me. Pre-cious, my cat, was curled at my feet.  Not done before, us being together since June.  She's letting me know I rate.

     Normally, I work late on Tuesday night.  It is holiday time, I caught a break.  Tonight, I'm reviewing

Monday, November 24

Calmly Surprising a Controlling Person 11/24/14

        The other day, while with friends, I was in a good mood.  Peaceful even.  Towards the end of our time someone said, "What's wrong with you Pablo, you were quiet tonight."

        This assumption she said, even though I shared my opinions that night.
This was her first try at

Saturday, November 22

The Demon of Denial ................ 11/22/14

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget
that the highest appreciation is not to utter words,
but to live by them.”   John F. Kennedy 
        Awhile ago I met with someone I mentored. This per-son danced around issues needing attention.When he became defensive, I held my ground,  prompting a discussion about the difference between being unaware and denial. When a person is unaware of an issue, the response often is, "Do I do that?  Can you help me deal with this, do you have any ideas?"

     Denial is entirely different.  When one is in it, he becomes defensive, perhaps agitated, or argumentative---justifying his perspective. Such responses indicate that the demon of denial has appeared.
When relating with others, and this monster lurks, I don't debate with them. There's no point arguing with a drunk person. When we're in denial we are emotionally intoxicated, beyond reasoning.

      Besides, when there's a difference of opinion, I don't argue; I share my position, leaving it at that. It's not my role to convince.  I find heated discussions unproductive; they're only good for escalating tension, creating ill-will. Who wants that?

     It was interesting noting this man's overt denial as we spoke about this very subject. It's not my job to change anyone. There is only one God.  I am not Him.

      I let this mentee know I will not avoid reminding him of this demon of denial that lives within him.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend but the kisses of the enemy are deceitful. The full soul loathes the honeycomb, but to the hungry soul [the one that doesn't have discernment or recovery] every bitter thing is sweet.   Proverbs 27:6-7
This person's reaction allowed me to know I have better uses of my time than pursuing the subject of denial regarding his relationship with a predatory woman.

1.    I'm thankful for sanity that happens when I do not pursue fruitless discussions.  I have better ways of investing time that offer a better return.

      This same person wanted to analyze areas needing growth. I stopped that. We need a different consciousness than the one that created them. Analysis doesn't change anything. Action does. Taking steps, albeit tiny ones, leads to substantial growth. Flowers, oak trees, human physical growth are all incremental; but they provide big results over time.

2.   I'm grateful for the progress that occurs when staying in the solution, looking at healthy alternatives when faced with problems. For more about this with specific ideas about doing so, please click here.

Encountering a Hollywood Celebrity
      While mentoring this person at a quaint but unfriendly cafe in Corte Madera, there was a smallish guy at the counter, wearing white shorts and a grayish blue t-shirt, his back to us. The person I was with and I were tucked into the bay window that fronted the sidewalk.

      The guy at the counter rose, paid his tab, facing me as he walked towards the door. His unshaven face gave a sheepish smile as his blue eyes met my darker ones.  He brushed by our table on the way out.  It was Robin Williams the actor, comedian.  He was shy.

     He pulled his over-sized black sunglasses over his face before walking out the door.  He got in his black Audi, transporting himself to whatever the day held for him.

3. I'm thankful for life's surprises, excellent weather, the cool bay breezes, clarity of thought when conversing with others and the silent, abundant joy we know when we know our boundaries and adhere to them. This peaceful, abundant joy has another name: serenity.

4.  I love my profession.
5.  Life is good, the result of having a vision and working towards my goals. As the Greeks said,
If you aim at nothing, that is exactly what you'll get.
  6.  I'm regularly getting rest. How could I not have an Attitude of Gratitude?

    You know the routine. I ask if you can share at least three gratitudes when you drop by.  You've heard mine. It would be terrific hearing yours.
Related Post:

Thursday, November 20

Lessons Learned From a Sassy Female ............ 11/20/14

       I have a new girlfriend.  She's been mentioned here, at the inn.  She's sassy, but quiet.  My type of gal.  She's immodest, doesn't like wearing clothes.  But she loves me dearly----I'm sticking with her.  Her name is Precious, a Himalayan cat.

      I thought I was training her.  I have.  But, she is

Wednesday, November 19

Being Gentle Towards Ourselves 11/19/14

“The six most important words:  I admit I made a mistake.
 The five most important words:  You did a good job. 
The four most important: What is YOUR opinion?
 The three most important: If you please. The 
two most important words:  Thank You. 
The one most important: We.
      Least important:  "I.”   
Author Unknown
Image: The California coast: Point Reyes
My Gratitudes:
1. Met with friends tonight.  Getting back at it.  For nearly a month I didn't attend-----was immersed in following my Giants baseball team as they marched on, even-tually becoming national champions.
2.   It's fulfilling seeing others getting

Tuesday, November 18

The Vision of This Inn.............. 11/18/14

Innkeeper's Note: 

       I am recuperating from a crazy week and weekend.  My sleep has been thrown out of kilter for days, along with my equanimity, though no one would know it.  This is what has happened to me, the result of being a public speaker for decades.  I have nerves of steel even when disoriented.  

       Outwardly I am calm, when my soul feels like it has been in the

Sunday, November 16

Calmness In The Eye of the Storm, Part III, Revisited 11/16/14

Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.
Image: "Countryside: Across the Valley" by Tim Blessed.  Copyrighted photo. Used by permission. 
        Busy, I have been.  Plenty busy.  But, I figured there has  been enough silence at the inn.  I have a high priority I am preparing for.  I leave this post, it was popular when this inn was new.  Let me know your thoughts. Here it is.


        It's a great feeling, not perseverating when stressed. And, right now, I am under pressure. Getting agitated never helps.  How can I be mentally clear, when

Tuesday, November 11

Increasing Our Contact With God 11/11/14

     Using a different computer.  Mine woke up sick today.   It's in the shop.  It will be the third fan put in it, in the last six months.  I asked Angelo at the computer shop if they had a loaner.  And here

Sunday, November 9

Patience is Active 11/9/14

      Today, an intense and intensely good conversation with someone dear was had. For three-and-a-half hours, making me happy.  I got clarity.

       Refreshed, alert, I am, the result of conking out this afternoon. The past week had me on a torture rack. The demands faced stretched me

Friday, November 7

Seeing Progress 11/7/14

    It's that time.  Often, here at the inn, we review the high and low points of the week just ending. Here are mine:

High Points
1.  I am getting regular, consistent sleep.  More often.
2.  I am maintaining sobriety regarding use of the internet.  I have no problems with drinking.  I said internet use. If not careful, I could spend too much time perusing the internet. When I die, I don't think I will say, "I wish I spent more time using my laptop."
3.  I am using a new paradigm when working with

Thursday, November 6

Today Is One of the Good Ol' Days We'll Talk About In the Future................. 11/6/14

Image: "Switzerland, Autumn Mist" by Tim
Blessed.  Copyrighted photo. Used by permission. 
My Gratitudes for Today: 
1.  For studying.  It helps me to contin-ually grow.  I milk more out of this day, this week and month, enjoying more of its luscious, intoxicating quali-ties, when I work on my personal growth, daily. 
2.  For rest.  I slept in this morning.  Was it needed.  It contributes towards

Wednesday, November 5

Where Has The Innkeeper Been? 11/5/14

    I have been here every day, since Friday.  My visits were unnoticeable. I worked on my previous post, every day since Friday, getting it right.

    I enjoy the sculpting involved with

Friday, October 31

Untangled From the Tentacles of Guilt and Codependency 10/31/14

1.  Fear of abandon-ment. We covered this in link above.
2.  Defensive hope.  A big problem.  It is a fantasy-induced way of living.
3.  Fear of confrontation.
Usually a result of our co-dependency.
4.  Developing char-acter discernment.  A critical skill if we want healthy rela-tionships and peace of mind.
5.  Not being codependent---swallowed up by what others think of us or caught up in rescuing others.  See the attached link for more about this subject.
6.  Romanticizing relationships.  So easy to do.  Films and TV portray the wrong approach for having a relationship.
7.  Assuming the victim role.  Passivity.  Not facing the issues in our lives that need work.  Not taking care of ourselves.  Not protecting ourselves from abusers.

      Victims surrender their dignity.

     They fear rocking the boat in the other person's life. They are afraid of offending.  Even when this boat is a garbage barge.  And it carries a city's worth of trash.

     Victims do not stop the perpetrator from dumping this barge on them.

     They let abusive others to routinely pour condemnation, judgment, and shame within the ocean of their soul.  Victims are not proactive.

      All seven issues listed we covered earlier this month.   More must be rooted out.  That is if we want healthy, life-giving relationships.  Ones where each person is present, authentic. (See here for more about this.)  When we are with a safe person, intimacy thrives.

     We bond when relationships have emotional safety and recipro-city.     These are the friendships that bring vitality.  They are connections that invigorate.  When we are with Safe People, we are energized afterward.

      We feel we are a better person because of spent time with them. Unsafe, toxic people.  They are the opposite.  They suck life and joy out of us.

      Today, we look at guilt.  Be it false, imagined or true.  This negative feeling draws predators who can smell our vulnerability through lead.
       People who carry guilt will look for someone to play the guilt inducer role in their life.  The guilt inducer plays the martyr role, acting like his misery is the fault of the person wracked with guilt. 
      The guilty party, in turn, is hooked into taking responsi-bility for the other person's pain, anger or disappointments. [Which is not the guilty party's responsibility, ever.]  He is easily manipulated.  He never feels free in the relationship. 
      The hook, however, lies within the person who picks the guilt inducer.  She will feel as if the guilt is "put on her," or so and so "makes me feel guilty." But this thinking is a disa-vowal of responsibility .  For someone to make us feel guilty, we have to have some part of us that gets hooked into that dynamic and agrees with the accuser.                                                                          Cloud, Townsend, Safe People, 105. 
       We can free ourselves from manipulators.  It is realizing no one can make us happy, sad, angry, experience guilt or any other feeling without us first giving them permission to do so.  The following wraps up the quote above:
      This is why the power to be free [from manipulators] is within us.  We begin to deal with our guilt [and our bag-gage]. We become free of the hook that guilt inducers use to control us.  Safe People 105
     I have a difficult client.  Each time we meet, she tries pin-ning blame on me. She takes no respon-sibility for what happens in her life.

     She believes her problems are be-cause of the behavior of others.  She is unable to see her contribution to her difficulties. Dur-ing sessions, I do not accept her victim mentality.

        According to her, this makes her feel bad.  I don't accept the guilt she tries to ply.  Every time I do not accept her accusations, she's startled.

        I understand why.  Ninety-six percent of the world is code-pendent.  Such people are susceptible to guilt.  She has never met a person who wasn't moved by her manipulation.

       Until now.  I am not motivated or intimidated by the guilt.  Her blaming comments don't move me.

     People loved by a supportive network, are untangled from tentacles of code-pendency.  Wracked with guilt, they aren't.  Nor are they anguished by mistreatment.  The grip of lies and gossip cannot grasp a person with a strong supportive network.  Such an individual has a healthy self-image.

     It is derived from the love they get from their Balcony People.

     Resilient people embrace negative realities.  They use such circum-stances to further their personal growth.  They do not have a victim mentality.

         Guilt no longer rules the feelings of those who stand in their power, recovery and integrity.  The resilient are bathed in love.  They are acquainted with authenticity.  Reciprocity and emotional safety mark their relationships.   Condemnation, within or without is given perspective.

         When we are resilient, mistakes are not seen as failures.  Lapses of character or fortitude are opportunities for growth.  We are gentle towards ourselves during when we fail.  We forgive ourselves.

       We maintain our integrity.  During tough times we remain true to our values. This includes enjoying healthy relationships. We also maintain integrity by being honest---present---with our friends.

        People with recovery are loved.  We are filled with grace.  Emotionally healthy friends do not condemn us when we err.  Acceptance, not ridicule happens when revealing our vulnerabilities.  We are loved by our supportive network.

        Moments of vulnerability----admitting weaknesses---are easy. We take to heart the quote above from Goethe. We are aware of our triggers.  We mention them when they surface.  This openness with others is a result of an accurate perspective of who we are---the true definition of humility, teachability.

       Recovery allows us to be transparent.  Errors are seen as opportunities for growth.  Negative generational legacies are replaced.

        Condemnation once known when making a mistake is replaced with self-compassion.  We are tender towards our wounds.  When we err, compassion replaces self-judgment.

         Living authentically, we reveal our warts to close friends. We know our flaws do not define us.  They do not reveal there is something wrong with us.

        We are forthright about who we are, the good and the bad.

        When our vulnerable, less-than-best part of ourselves is loved, it can be healed and transformed.  If this Hunchback portion of Our Inner Self is condemned, we have a problem.  Our progress will be slow. The wounded parts of who we are retreats.  When this happens, growth does not happen. The Quasimodo that lives within does not get restored.

       Healing takes place when the truth is matched with loving grace.  Our inner deformed self transforms into a prince.  I know this to be true.

        I see this take place every day in my work.  It requires effort, not excuses.  It happens when the truth is balanced with grace.

       With recovery, we learn we are not loved for what we do or don't do.  This is true even when we think we should have done more, try harder.  It is fantastic, being loved for who we are.

       Our outlook changes when we realize who we are is good enough.  If that isn't so in another person's eyes, that individual is unsafe, not us.

       If a person is falsely accused, boundaries and recovery allow him to not swallow the poison of shame proffered by the accuser.  Guilt mongers no longer manipulate a person who is internally referented.  The unsafe person who accuses us needs to process his inaccurate judgments.

       It is his problem.

How About You? 
How do you prevent guilt from eating or manipulating you? 

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.