Monday, March 31

The High and Lows For the Past Week 3/31/14

     How are you?  Thank you, for visiting. Today was a Red Letter Day.  I am happy about what I've learned as a result of

Saturday, March 29

Preparing For An Emotional Battle 3/29/14

"It is not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it."   Hans Selye

      How are ye?  I am preparing for an emotional battle, met with friends, encountered a lack of sensitivity and codependency, all this, this evening.  Best of all, someone supported and loved me, in my time of

Friday, March 28

Getting Oriented 3/28/14

This was my week. Using healthy principles to guide me to the harbor
 of serenity and sanity, and away from the rocks of despair and resentment. 
     Good evening.  I'm tired.  This week took me places where I haven't been, emotionally, mentally, even spiritually, in twelve years.  All good, I think, even though it has been rocky.

     Tonight was different, the second time I drove my car, after a twenty-six day

Thursday, March 27

Getting Nurtured, Filling Up My Heart. Not Seduced By The Paltry Power of Analysis.. 3/27/14

       Good evening everyone.  I'm about to veg out and watch a flick at the local theater.  The innkeeper needs a break.  I started work early today: 8:00 a.m. and finished at 8:30 this evening.  And my work can be enervating as it is.

       So, what's up with me?  Well, I've gotten timely support, when I needed it.  It means a lot.  Even though I am resilient, it's not fun, getting kicked in the teeth---emotionally.  I'm processing recent surprises life has presented.  Key to happiness, including mine, is realizing we are responsible for life's disappointments. (Have you noticed a theme, bantered around this inn, lately? Just wondering.)

       This is true even if we are not responsible for said unsatisfactory times.  This issue, working on it, is keeping me busy.  Your prayers---yes, yours---are valued.  It could be the tip given, for the work I do here.

       Oh, yeah, the past few days my last post, "Finding Rays of Light in The Darkened World of Disappointment" has struck a responsive chord.  It appears the heartstrings of the guests of this inn resonate with it.  Twelve hundred views today, so far.  Eighteen hundred plus views yesterday.  Thank you, for keeping me busy, as the innkeeper. It helps me get my mind off besetting areas of confusion. 

        Yesterday was special, gathering with friends, after work.  The time was amazing, beyond fabulous. Those there, don't you agree?  Let me hear from you.

       The topic was feelings. (Appropriate for me.  I shared the anger I once had, the result of mistreatment I endured as a lad.)  An uplifting time was had by all.  Several stories told caused a tear or two.  When hanging out with healthy others, my soul gets deposits into the love bank of my heart. Besides what was just mentioned, here are.......

My Gratitudes: 
1.  It's been raining the past few days. We need it, here, in California.  In spite of the rain, we are facing a drought this summer.
2.  I'm getting greater clarity about recent events.  It provides peace of mind, emotional safety and stability.
3.  I appreciate the stability that recovery offers. No, I'm not a drug addict or suffer from drinking. My issue at one time was knowing how to cope with narcissists, emotional vampires, social predators.  Years ago, I didn't have boundaries.
     My growth has been through what I have learned from Al-Anon Family Groups and ten years of constant, vigorous work---like 3-4 hours a day---on my personal growth.
3.  I lost the book in which I had more than two thousand hours of notes microscopically written within, Courage to Change.  How is that a gratitude?  I'm learning to hold everything I have with an open hand, including the cause for a recent disappointment.  And I'm not talking about my book, silly.
  "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord."
 4/9/14 Innkeeper note:  The book was found. A client had taken it with him, accidentally, after a session. I'm glad I have it back. Yaay!
4.  For equanimity.  It is the hard-fought product of spiritual discipline, maintaining a living, vibrant relationship with God and applying principles above my feelings----not that I'm denying them, mind you.  Oh, do I feel them.  And yet, I know a peace that transcends my circumstances and emotions.

      And there is no lesson for me to learn from the setbacks encountered the past week.  My mind, I do not worship.  There is no craving need to analyze everything.  That is a vain attempt at controlling the uncontrollable.

      I know this trap.  I was this way as a young man.  Life happens.  Our challenge is going with it, not fighting the waves caused by life's vicissitudes, but experiencing and surfing them.

How About You? 
What are your three gratitudes for today? I'd love hearing them. It would comfort me, during this vulnerable time.   Just asking.....

      I'll come back and work on this Friday.  For now, my best is good enough for today. (Courage, p 9)

                  I sure appreciate your visits, and your comments.                             Especially, now.
                       Pablo

Tuesday, March 25

Finding Rays of Light, Even In the Darkened World of Disappointment 3/25/14

The gauntlet of disappointing circum-
stances are challenging my serenity.
       Pressure happens.  Dealt with a suicidal client on Monday.

        The intensity of the week often does not let up. Some-times we are beat.  But, like listening to Ginger Baker, Tito Puente or Gene Krupa, it can be a good beat.

        Dealing with distraught or irritating people adds intensity to our days.  It is important knowing how to take care of ourselves.
"A problem is a chance for you to do your best."                                Duke Ellington
          Life at times is riding an emotional roller coaster.  Resiliency helps.  We can overcome anxiety and depression.  I know.  It sounds far-fetched.

         There are steps that make it possible.  One action is applying principles above the vulnerable parts of our personality.  It gives us emotional balance.  Exercising boundaries when circumstances are not safe or fair is another step.

        The fellowship and principles of Al-Anon Family Groups or any recovery program can ground us, too.  A strong relationship with God can also be a big support.
     
       A warm, strong, supportive network holds us together.

       Especially when holes are being torn in the fabric of our sanity during stress-ful times. Good friends provide emo-tional object constan-cy.

       This constancy is needed if we want to remain strong when tested.

         Good friends provide compassion when we are filled with self-judgment.  Their encouragement helps us still see the beauty life offers even when smacked in the head with the 2x4 of disappointment.

         When times are rough it is tempting to turn our heart into a walnut.  We think it is a good idea.  We make our inner self impen-etrable, during tough times.  We try to hide behind emotional walls.

         We think it is our only recourse.  When we do, we will laugh.  But not all of our laughter.  We will cry, but not all of our tears.  And life will be empty.  And frustrating.  Because our relationships will not be satisfying.

         Our connections with others will be feeble.  They will lack authen-ticity.  There will be no intimacy.  Our relationships will have no con-nection.

        Life can be fulfilling.  When our emotional sobriety is challenged, it doesn't have to be a big thing.  We can find courage from an impor-tant source.

        We can discover hope when we draw from the well of love we receive from Safe People and God.

        This love from healthy people fortifies us.   This is especially true during difficult times.  We are nurtured when we are loved and accepted.  We derive the confidence needed to be authentic, vulnerable and real.

        We can welcome life when we are supported by our strong network of good friends.  Even during tough times.  We do not have to retreat from our difficulties.

        The grace we get from emotionally healthy others is a spackle we need.  It patches the cracks of our vulnerabilities. The love we get from good friends helps us overcome fears and our urge to control outcomes and others.

        Hope replaces bitterness.  Healing substitutes our former passive or angry reactions during tough times. Sulking will dissipate.  Serenity, wholeness, and joy can be a big part of our lives.  This can be true even when emotional storms churn within.  Is this possible?

        Yes.

        Sunday had mo-ments of vulnerabil-ity.  The gauntlet of disappointment was tossed by a good friend.  It shook my equanimity.  Pushing past fear, I said what I felt and wanted to her.

        I was calm.  Whatever the outcome, was not a statement about me.  I had faith that the future would be exactly as it should be.

        Responding is better than reacting.

         Nonviolent communication and being internally referen-ted helped.  I spoke my truth.  I said what I felt.  I expressed what I wanted.  The dragons of insecurity and fear were caged.  They did not silence me into submission or passivity.

          Even with all my recovery, the outcome was disappointing.  But I faced reality.  I connected with my feelings.  Even the hurtful ones. Dig-ging deeper, I got in touch with the needs beneath the emotions.
 
          Reality is preferred to fantasy or passivity. .  It allows us to be present.  Seeing circumstances with discernment provides sanity.
"The prudent person sees a danger and withdraws.  The simple continue on and suffer for it."  Proverbs 27:12.  
Seeing reality is better than ignoring it.  It is going to smack into us anyway.  So, why not be proactive.  A clear impression of reality often requires going through the slow jumble and tumble wash cycle of pa-tience, several times.

          What I've learned the past ten years has taught me how to take care of me.  Even when hurled through the darkened domain of dis-appointment.  I was in a bleak place Monday.

          I processed the sadness I felt.  I mourned my frustration.  I connected with the depression I felt because of Sunday's conversation.  I exercised self-compassion.

          Even so, I laughed Monday.  I listened to great music.  I told jokes, nurtured myself and had fun.
     “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in com-parison to what lies inside of you.”      Ralph Waldo Emerson
Tonsure not necessary. Besides,
 my mug usually has a smile
        Difficult times does not mean we need to wear the tonsure of humiliation. We do not need to degrade ourselves.

         We do not want to withdraw into the monastery of isolation.  We can still enjoy the nuggets of joy each day offers.  During less-than-pleasant times, we can eat nutritious food.  We can exercise to let out steam.  We can laugh when possible.

         We can rest.  Investing time with dear friends (see the last half of that link) is a good idea, too.  We can take in the beauty life offers.  This hap-pens when we live in a healthy community.  Being cooped within the cocoon of self-loathing, despair and disappointment does us no good.
May you have a great and grateful day.  I know I will,
               Pablo

Sunday, March 23

Hope For The Past, Revisited 3/23/14

Yes, our past can be restored
Self-Love:Being Gentle Towards Our Mistakes
       Life is all about balance, isn't it?  After that appointment, what did I do?  I went to my favorite cycle shop and bought a non-drip water bottle.  Am I glad.  I inexpensively treated

Saturday, March 22

Why I Do the Work I Do................... 3/22/14

     Hello everyone.  Here I am again, when I normally check in with the guests of this inn.  How was your day?  Mine, in a word: restful.  I took a four hour nap in the middle of the day. This was followed by seeing The Budapest Hotel at the California

Summary of the Week----The Good 3/22/14

        Good morning.  I'm posting later, or earlier than normal, depending how you look at it.  I corresponded with someone Friday, while in a restaurant, after working in San Leandro.  Such is the convenience of my smartphone creating a wi-fi hotspot.  It allowed me to use my laptop. The restaurant did not provide a wireless connection.

       The e-mail was sent at 12:04 a.m. Yes, I was still there, then.  Mis-reading the train schedule, I missed the last train out of this city that left at 12:21 a.m.

        At the train station, physically spent I was.  I felt the aftereffects of pushing my body Thursday. On three hours of sleep I saw five clients.  I know, I know better.  Cycling through rough parts of Oakland after midnight would not be wise.  Using a bus, I arrived home at 1:50 a.m.  It was fine, missing the train.  My mistakes do not define me.  I have value simply because I

Thursday, March 20

Maintaining Our Values, Revisited 3/20/14

How are you?

I'll talk about the topic of forgiveness at the end of this post.  Thanks for dropping by. Be sure to have a cup of coffee and sit down, before reading this; it's a bit longer than most.  Please take what you like and leave the rest.
Having Our Voice, Exercising Boundaries
Disagreeing with Others is Part of Being an Adult

         One of my favorite quotes is on the right.  What's appealing about that quote?  Freedom. It's important maintaining integrity with our values, even if it upsets others.

Wednesday, March 19

A Night Good for Soul and Spirit 3/19/14

         Good evening.  Did you have a terrific Wednesday?  I did.  And I'm tired, in a good way.  I rode my bike eleven miles (17.7 km) before work.  I haven't done that in awhile.

         Good for me.  The gorgeous weather seduced me, beckoning me

Tuesday, March 18

Emotional Resiliency, Part III 3/18/14

     How are you?  Thanks for giving this inn a visit.  I am resuming the series on emotional resiliency. Many of you have checked out the first two installments.

To review the first five qualities of resilient people read this. 

 6.  Resilient people are

Vulnerability: The Stuff From Which Intimacy Is Born. Also, The Value of Disappointing Times .......3/18/14

     Here I am, again, another early morning posting to complement yesterday's.  At least I'm consistent about keeping in touch.

      It's great seeing many guests from the UK, and by the large numbers, apparently many new visitors from Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Poland and  Norway. Thank you for giving

Monday, March 17

Feeling the Depth of My Feelings Without Being Overwhelmed By Them. Enjoying Serenity ...3/16/14

My view Sunday night. Was it grand. 
        Good morning.  A post cannot be posted earlier in the day than 12:01 a.m.  Tired and happy, tired and happy, I am.  Did I tell you I was tired?  I bedded at 5:00 a.m., this morning.  Awakening at 8:15 a.m., getting ready for a visit.

         I'm feeling better.  Yep, you guessed it----happier.  It's amazing, the different, concurrent levels of feeling I experience, as never before.  Throughout this day my moods pulsed.  From elation to

Saturday, March 15

Recalling the Past Week: High and Low Points..... 3/15/14

The  value of growth, change or improvement: 
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place
you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you dif-

ferently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
                                    Terry PratchettA Hat Full of Sky
    Good evening, everyone.  This is the time when we recount how the week went.  Mine was a bit disappointing.  My patience is being tested.   Here is my report.

My High Points: 
1.  Celebrating three years that this inn has been open.  The anniversary was

Friday, March 14

Overcoming Life's Challenges: Awareness, Acceptance and Action Is Needed ...................3/14/14

"You can't undo anything you've already done, but you can face up to it.  You can tell the truth.  You can seek forgiveness.  And let God do the rest."  Unknown
       Good evening.  Did you check out yesterday's post?  I re-worked it, adding content and 11 hyperlinks.  This inn crossed the 300,000 views mark today.  Making that

Thursday, March 13

Reflections On This Special Day. And, Good Enough Is No Longer Good Enough. Ending a Friendship 3/13/14

The Inn
       Hello everyone, good afternoon.  Today is special.  Three years ago, this inn opened its doors. This place is

Wednesday, March 12

Emotional Resiliency, Part II 3/12/14

       I am continuing yesterday's topic: emotional resiliency.

     Hara Estroff Marano, Editor-at-large for Psychology Today, wrote in "The Art of Resilience" 
Resilient people do not let

Tuesday, March 11

Emotional Resiliency: Three Traits Needed 3/11/14

Traits of Emotionally Resiliency:


Use of Boundaries

1.  Those who bounce back from trauma and negative circumstances have boundaries. 

      They are clear about who they are. They do not allow others to define them. Others do not determine their moods. . They are not externally referented.


 They Do Not Take Things Personally

2.  Resilient people see the Big Picture. 

 
   They under-stand that there is a difference between who they are and the cause of their present suffer-ing. They know that bad things can happen to good people.  It is not because those suffering have done something wrong. 


      Rich Buhler in his book, Beyond Pain and Pretending, writes about the Law of Eligibility.   It states that "bad things happen to bad people." It is akin to ancient Grecian myth-ology.  If you do something wrong, you'll be zapped by a lightning bolt from Zeus.  If you mess up, what will be left of you is a greasy smudge, the result of being a human lightning rod.   Or you may be turned into a pig.  Or a goat.  


      There is good news.  Mr. Buhler informs us this Law of Eligibili-ty is false.  People usually suffer be-cause there are victimizers---emotional vam-pires and narcissists who exist in the world. 


Stress Does Not Define Them

3.  For the emotionally resilient, stress might play a part in their story.  But it does not overtake their identity. They are not what happens to them.  They detach from their circumstances.  

          They do not react.  They respond.  Resilient people continuously work on their vulnerabilities.  They strengthen these areas.  They apply healthy alternatives.  

          In other words, they use antidotes for their depression. They know how to overcome fear.  Resilient people remedy resentment.  They take action against anxiety.  

          They pray.  They turn their problems over to God.  They meditate.  They talk out their stress.  They empty out to good company.  They get out their stress by exercise. They journal. 

*************

   Last Novem-ber there was a horrific experi-ence at an Al-Anon Family Group meeting. 

      It created an opportunity to practice resil-iency. 

       It morphed into abuse.  It happened o-ver four weeks.  Gossip, lies, slander, defama-tion took over.  A sweet meet-ing became a cesspool of rife. 

       The group spun out of control.  Someone new to this program was asked to guide the group.  A huge mistake.  Being codependent, she made matters worse. She placed her dam-aged, vulnerable personality above principles. 

      Bad idea. 


      Al-Anon's spirit departed from that meeting. The root prob-lem was envy.  The common wel--fare of those attending was not considered.  Two women shatter-ed the unity that was once there.
  
      The foundational principles of this fellowship were ignored.  What transpired revealed that many attending did not know the steps and traditions of Al-Anon Family Groups.  The situation was similar to individ-uals reciting liturgies at church and not living by them. 

      I had attended this meeting for six years.  My response was simple.  I appealed to the group.  I asked if Al-Anon's principles could be applied.  

      Egos got involved.  Judgment, divisive-ness and character assassination grew.  The place became toxic.  


      The startled ma-jority lacked courage.  They could not voice their discomfort.  They were unable to stand up to those spreading lies and discontent.


       One option remained.  Leave.  It is not our role convincing others or to correct.  Taking care of ourselves is staying in the solution.  We can bless those creating the discord and stop attending.  


      The two damaging this meeting were not God's gift to the group. The people God has for us have our best interests in mind.  That wasn't the case here. 


      Life-giving people are emotionally mature. They are supportive. They live by healthy principles. 


      Many who attended that once-healthy meeting voted with their feet.  They moved on, birthing a new meeting.  They are focusing on Al-Anon principles and its litera-ture.


      Am I glad.  I attend this meeting. 

Friday, March 7

Peace, Progress, Purpose, Pleasure. Care and Feeding Of Healthy Relationships .................. 3/7/14

        This is the time when we review the past week, sharing the high and low points that emerged.  Here are mine:

High Points:
1.  I am pushing forward, developing my craft.  I help many in an interesting area: dating, an important subject.  Offering a different perspective, one motivated out of fullness and clarity, not desperation, is

Wednesday, March 5

Lesson Learned From Processionary Caterpillars, Enjoying A Spiritual Awakening, Revisited 3/5/14


         I wrote this a while back. I'm sharing it with those of you who were not regular visitors, then. 
**** 

        Today, I'm attending a meeting.  At one time, I went to many.  Not so, now.  Life's demands, make it imperative for me to have time alone.  (Mind you, I'm with people all the time.  If you have been isolating, it may be that God wants you connecting with others---pronto.)

        What a joy it is

Tuesday, March 4

Bad Idea: Creating God's Character in Our Image. A Happy Innkeeper 3/4/14

The hills where I sprouted as a kid.  Fremont, CA. They look this way, after receiving rain. 
"We unwittingly project onto God our own attitudes and feelings toward ourselves... But we cannot assume that He feels about us the way we feel about ourselves -- unless we love ourselves compassionately, intensely and freely.”     Brennan Manning, Abba's Child: The Cry of           the Heart for Intimate Belonging
        It is uplifting knowing God has

Sunday, March 2

Highs and Lows. Also, What Moves Me. Learning From Circumstances 3/2/14


     It's that time again.  Often, on weekends, we survey the past week, recalling the good, the bad, the favorable and the unfavorable.  The following is how

Saturday, March 1

A New Innkeeper Era. Also, I'm a Happy Man........... 3/1/14

     Good evening.  This has been a fabulous day.  Life is great, a lucky guy I am.    Better fortune is in store, tomorrow.  That's when

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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