Friday, May 30

Joy Transcending Difficult Circumstances , Dodging an Angry Bull, Part II

       "I feel you are not supporting me."   Here it began.  Love apples were present. They are the faint smile I had while we having our conversation.

        "That's not a feeling,"  I said. "That is a judgment, a faux feeling."

        "Well, that's how I feel." he insisted.  The fun commenced. Welcome to

Wednesday, May 28

A Restful, Full, Rich and Special Day, Celebrated With Friends............ 5/28/14

Where we celebrated tonight. 
        A day off from work.  Google surprised me.  A letter from a loved one, making my day.  Calls from family and friends.  An evening in The City (San Fran-cisco).  Heard favorite tunes played on the piano in the Laurel

Tuesday, May 27

The Innkeeper Reveals Another Side ................... 5/27/14

       Playing the guitar for a friend.  Singing for an hour-and-a-half, too.  Celebrating the warm weather, shady trees and the day semi-off.  A refreshing departure from my normal routine.

         I worked Monday afternoon. Afterwards, having dinner with a friend.  We dropped by a music store, got a replacement D string and cruised to a local a park in San Leandro.  I surprised my friend, pulling out a

Sunday, May 25

Coping WIth Life's Detours and A Tale of Two People.... 5/25/14

      What a difference a day makes. Today was warm with a cool breeze, no humid-ity, beckoning for a lazy day.  It was not to be.  I worked out. I had visions of visiting one of my favorite places, with my family.  It was not to be.

     Instead, for four hours, I pushed heavy boxes on top of others. Nonstop, making room for what happens

Saturday, May 24

My Heart Sings

    Intimacy isn't sex.  Many times sex is the furthest thing from intimacy.  Instead it can devolve into the selfish exploi-tation of another to satisfy our-selves.  Love can wait to give. Lust can't wait to get.

       Being present, vulnerable and relating with others, deeply, is where intimacy is

Friday, May 23

Character Discernment, Revisited ................... 5/23/14

Ladies, calm down. No, 
this isn't a picture of me.
     In a recent post (See here.) I wrote:
"As we grow in our relational skills, we see difficulties as opportunities which allow us to do spiritual weight lifting. We exercise the inner strength we have that is the result of applying

Tuesday, May 20

A Desired Fulfilled and Staying In the Solution .......... 5/20/14

Now, this is my kind of serenity.
       Today, a desire was fulfilled.  As worn out as I am, seeing something coming about---that I've been dreaming about for more than two years---puts a smile on my tired face.

       I'm thrilled!

       I pushed today, to make this hope happen.  Monday was a killer.  I ended up being depleted, emotionally and physically.  But what keeps me going is loving life and setting the course of my future.

    A difficult client, a rare occurrence for me, is helping me grow.   At least once every five minutes, or less---when with this person---I fantasize about ending the relationship.

                 I can no longer help you as I once did.

       Yes, I flirt with firing this person.  I've learned, that unless destitute, working with unpleasant people is unnecessary.  No need for torture.   I will not exhaust my emotional capital.

       As the Attitude of Gratitude guy---who sees everything from a positive point of view---working with this guy stretches me.  Standing my ground, exercising boundaries, practicing patience, is what takes place.

         I don't ply my trade with people who perpetually place themselves in the victim mode, which this person is good at.  Presenting ourselves this way prevents us from seeing our contribution.
 "Acting like a victim is a  choice, not a destiny."                          Hope for Today, p 189.
       He irritates when he says, "I don't think you understand that........"   Then why see me?   I find this comment similar to finding my car stuck behind a double parked vehicle on a narrow, busy street, in San Francisco, and waiting for fifteen cars in the next lane to pass by, before getting around this vehicular dilemma.

       Last session, I asked if his past efforts have been ineffective. "No," he said.  I suggested we needed to move away from such efforts. We cannot become the person we want to be, by behaving the way we always have.

       He craves revisiting past miseries. That doesn't  work for me.  Focusing on our travails only make these moments loom larger and more disturbing.

      "We will only talk about a problem once.  After that, I will not hear any more about it," I said.   He wore a stunned look.  His eyes blinkingly looked up, with disbelief, while keeping his head down.

       "From then on, we will only talk about the solutions to that problem," I continued.

       For the rest of our session, we looked at healthy, practical alternatives that helped overcome a vexing problem of his.  Depression.  At the end of the session he was happier and felt lighter.

My Gratitudes:
1.  For the strength to hold on to my convictions, regardless of the pressure or persuasions thrown my way.
2.  For seeing my client move beyond victimhood.
3.  For expressing my voice, not giving in to someone who tried to get his way by bullying.

How About You?
What are your three gratitudes for today? 

Monday, May 19

The Week in Review: Perspective From an Exhausted Innkeeper ....5/19/14

      I'm weary, worn to the bone.  Putting in a long day of work will do that.  After seeing four clients, I went to a restaurant, sitting at a booth, adding notes to their files, until 11:00.  I'm still there.

      Perspective is important.  Each new week is a mini-milestone.  They prompt me to review how I adapted to the high and low tides of  the previous week.

1.  I said my no as gently as my

Sunday, May 18

My Acquaintance Ins't God and Neither Am I ....5/18/14

      Do you believe you are God?


      For a moment, there, I was worried.  I was going to get a bucket of water and ask you to stand on it and not get your feet wet.  I am relieved you do not think you are the Almighty.  I am not God either.  I'm glad that fact is settled.

      Someone I've seen for more than

Friday, May 16

Our Ideal Self Isn't, Part II ............. 5/16/14

     Thursday, I slaved away, writing material for five hours that I used that night.  I feel good about it.  However,  I struggled with how the client received the material.

     I don't want ideas taken in, cognitively.  That is what happened Thursday evening.  Not good, bothering me, alot.  It's easy to learn, but not really live it---not know it

Wednesday, May 14

Eliminating Judgment, Focusing on Growing Our Character ........ ...................5/14/14

"It is hard to practice compassion when we're struggling with our authenticity or when our own worthi-ness is off-balance."                       Brene Brown

Life Is Great
     Met with friends tonight.  We experienced a transition.  One person guided the group for the first time and did well.

       I enjoyed the naturalness of the meeting.  It is easy, getting angry.  Equanimity is the fruit enjoyed when we do the hard work of:
1. Placing principles above the vulnerable and diseased parts of our personality: passivity, depression, anxiety, anger. Codependency is when we surrender our opinions and values because we fear the anger or rejection of another.
2. Accepting the good with the bad. This requires restraining ourselves from living by black and white thinking.  It is easy to be quick at inter-preting events and others.
      There's a problem when we do.  We are being controlling and we are judging. We also are not relating, intimacy is not enjoyed.

      For nearly three years I lived with someone who was hyper-controlling. He told me what I was going to say before I opened my mouth.  At least it seemed that way.

      How sad.

    Tonight,  I was with others who were transparent and, authentic. Everyone was open about where they were growing or struggling. That was encouraging.

     This is what relating is all about.  It gives us hope for the future of mankind.

       Life has a way of shaking out.  Truth prevails when we exercise discernment.  Each week, our emotions gets stronger and healthier. Same is true about our character.

         With recovery, we can get healed from harm experienced as a child or young adult.  Adhering to healthy principles allows us not to surrender what we hold dear.  It is critical having our voice and expressing it. 

1.  Today, time was spent on research, preparing for upcoming sessions.  Day's like today I love,  I am an eternal student.
2.  This weekend I received lovely photos from a loved one.  I enjoy connecting with others.
       The pictures made my week, month and  the first half of this year.
3.  Visitors from around the world, especially from Ireland, the UK, India, Russia, Moldova, Sweden, Spain and Germany.  Thank you, for dropping by.  Welcome!  I'd love hearing from you.
4.  This weekend, I sang for the first time in years. A cappella. (My guitar has a broken string and I didn't have a piano handy.)  Two songs. Wow. I used to be a professional musician. A person who heard me sing didn't get sick, so that's a good thing.  :->
5.  I had my best night of sleep last night. I feel better when rested.
How About You? 
What are three things that make your heart sing with gratitude?

     I'm exhausted; it's been hot the past few days. I'm calling it a night. I'll see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 13

A Special Day and My Inventory: A Partial, Semi-impartial View 5/13/14

I am the only person on earth who can make my well-
being my number one priority. Doing so let's me drink
and appreciate the little things in life. 
       Today is special. It marks the thirty-eighth month when this inn opened.  Much has happened since.

    Thanks, for cooling

Monday, May 12

A Tribute to a Special Woman 5/12/14

     Good morning.  Yesterday, I was busy.  I was also too emotionally spent to post this, then.  My heart was torn, because of the day it was.  Heavy and happy at the same time.  However, this subject is too dear to let it pass without saying something.

     The following was written the first year the inn opened.  I have edited it, adding more info about the innkeeper.  Please notice the request at the end.  It would make me happy, hearing your responses.
      May you have a terrific Monday.  I know I will.   The Innkeeper

Here's the post:    

      A special thanks to all the mothers

Saturday, May 10

Highs and Lows for the Week........ 5/10/14

  It's that time, when we review the past week.  Here is how mine was:

High Points: 
1.  Opportun-ities to practice patience.  Clients not making their appointments and dealing with logistical mixups allowed me to exercise grace, a con-cept not

Wednesday, May 7

Dodging A Mack Truck ............ 5/7/14

    How are you?  I'm beat and I am getting up early tomorrow.  So, I am keeping this brief.  I had two humdingers of a conversation today.

My Gratitudes: 
1.  I'm glad for clarity regarding my values and boundaries.  I'm encountering someone who is controlling, who thinks he is subtle about it.  His efforts are as unnoticeable as a Mack truck.  I don't like manipulation.  Intimacy cannot thrive when people are inauthentically relating.

        Few things turn me off more than someone eliminating my choices, trying to arrange outcomes according to their wishes.  I'm thankful "no" is a complete sentence.  I glad I can refuse the expectations of others without giving an explanation, or feeling the need to.  I'm glad for freedom from passivity.

2.  I received a client approval letter today.  It is gratifying knowing someone I serve appreciates what I do, making the effort to let me know.

3.  I wrote two letters today.  Both were fun, meeting my need for companionship, to self-express, and slow down.

4.  I had tremendous times at work.  One client broke down, crying because of the material covered.  Tears of healing, they were. He is learning about being present, transparent, when with others.

How About You? 
What are your gratitudes?  All I ask for is three.

      That's it for tonight. I'm exhausted.  I'll see you tomorrow. I'm thinking of publishing here, what I've been covering with clients.  What say you? 

Tuesday, May 6

Slowing Down, Enjoying Life, Full of Hope............... 5/6/14

       Good evening.  Last night, after following three hours of the San Francisco Giants' baseball game---while filing and adding notes to clients' files----I crashed at 10:00 p.m.  I didn't plan it.  My body overtook my active mind.  At 4:30 this morning, I awoke on top of my quilt and blankets.

       Inadvertently, I played hooky with

Monday, May 5

The Beauty of Authenticity---A Partial Overview From a Tired Innkeeper ..................5/5/14

      Hi everyone.  Sunday, which just ended, was the best day I had all year.  Another day this week may replace it.  I'm expecting a fantastic gift, which will make my year.  In the meantime, I'm soaking in the wonderfulness of this day.  Oh, if you can't tell, I'm happy.

      Should I just be obvious and say it?  You have an idea as to what is going on with me.  I'm in love and this relationship is improving by the second.

The Beauty of Authenticity

      I'm happy that I have broken through the lid of my own self-imposed limitations. I say what is alive within me, what I feel, when connecting with

Saturday, May 3

The Week In Review............... 5/3/14

   This is the time of the week when we do an inventory of how the concluding week went for us.  The following is my reckoning.

Highs for The Week:
1.  I rested more.  I'm balancing the intensity of my week with sleep. I thrive more, when I relax. 
2.  I went for a walk with my good friend

Friday, May 2

We Can Be Like Fleas 5/2/14

       We are like fleas.

       How much we rely on our mind. Futile, too.  Often it is our default mode, when stressed or depressed. It boggles my mind, how we trust a limited perspective. We believe our interpretations and assumptions are accurate.  More likely, our perspective is biased, tinctured by our past, shaped by the trauma we've experienced.

Training a Flea

      You wash out a mayonnaise jar, punching holes into the lid.  Place a flea inside.  This insect jumps fifty to one hundred fifty times it's body length.  If it was a human, it could jump from end of a football field to the other.

      Once inside, this critter soon hits the lid with his noggin.  It hurts, but he perseveres.  Remember, he is using a flea brain. The pain increases as he persists in leaping out.  Soon, he jumps just short of hitting the lid.  Great idea. He no longer smacks against the covering.

      Here is where his training appears. It's not good, what he learns.  After several hours jumping without bouncing off the lid, the flea is conditioned.  It's a bad lesson for him.

      The lid is removed. The flea dies.  Freedom from its glass confines, was possible.  He could liberate himself from his glassy confines with his powerful legs.  But after his conditioning, he stays put. He jumps short of the now-imagined lid. He is held back by earlier memories of smashing against it.

      He is a trained a flea.

      No different are we. The lid of earlier circumstances that once pained us, inhibits us. Even though that lid has been long gone, like scars from childhood authority figures who mistreated us.  Even though their presence has been gone got many years,, we can still be fearful or angry when with our boss or a cop car is following ours.  We relive the fearful feelings induced by toxic parenting or an abusive authority figure.  Like the flea, we are self-domesticated.

     This is where Balcony People help us transcend fear and emotional baggage that keep us within the glass jar of fear-induced limitations. 

Thursday, May 1

Letting the Truth and Boundaries Do Their Work........ 5/1/14

      Good morning, how you be?  Sunday, was an interesting time with an out-of-control child---he is narcissistic, even.  It was fascinating watching him apply skills used to

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.