Sunday, March 29

Inventory of the Past Week........ 3/29/15

Highs and Lows for the past week.

1.  Maintaining balance, even though my schedule is intense.  Setting aside time for me to decompress. This includs time for more sleep, even when I have had enough. I am happy that I am active

Friday, March 27

Embracing Differences ........... 3-27-15

     Who likes tension in a relationship?

     Wouldn't it be good, learning a skill that reduces that pos-sibility?  Embracing differences honors everyone trapped in the web of a conten-tious relationship issue.  It helps when relating with loved ones.

     This practice prevents the two forms of inauthentic relating: eva-siveness and indirect communication.

     Can you imagine what it would look like, clearing the air with someone who irritates us, doing so nonjudgmentally, arriving at answers we never dreamed of?

      Tonight I introduce this skill.  In another post it will be demonstra-ted.  This practice steers us away from assuming, analyzing, interpre-ting and assessing the behavior and words of others.

      When exercising one of these four possibilities, we are not present.  We are being controlling, instead. Yes, manipulative.

      The best part is this skill promotes intimacy, meeting our need to understand and be understood.  When using this truth skill, fears we have in a relationship
dissipates.  We em-brace relationships fearlessly because judgment does not take place. 

      How great is that?  We do not deny who we are in order to keep our connection with that person.
Defining the Skill
Embracing differences is taking in several points of view at one time so that we can consider them in relation to one another.   It is listening and empathizing with opinions that differ from ours.  We do this while still grounded with our boundaries and perspective. 
    Embracing differences reminds me of a quote:
"Our mind is like a parachute.  It only works when it is open."
     I add a corollary: we don't want our minds to be so open that our
brains fall out.  This skill is about step-ping away from black and white thinking.  Typically, when someone sees things differently than we do, we say they are wrong.

     This practice helps us not do that.  In many cases, when there is a difference we think we have three possibilities: flee, yield or fight.  This truth skill provides another option.

     We expand our vision.  When we realize that we can hold different positions without either of us being wrong, we can all fit in, just as we are. There are some sacrosanct areas: murder, stealing, lying, adultery, etc. are never right.

     But other than these and a few critical values, the sky is the limit.

     Our perspective is broadened.  Moving beyond preconceived notions happens when exercising this skill.  Narrow-mindedness is reduced.  Right-sized, we are.

     We become aware that we are part of something bigger than our-selves, when relating with another or a group.  In recovery, this is Tradition Two.  We operate by consensus---everyone's voice is heard and considered before coming to conclusions.

     Do you know what is absent with this approach?  Dominance, ego, pride.  Instead, there is mutuality, reciprocity, honesty, authenticity, integrity and emotional safety.  This provides a win-win situation where conflict usually arises.

    No longer is it our way or the highway.  Embracing differences moves us beyond passivity.  It is critical expressing our feelings and needs, when relating.

    The skill discussed today is a terrific antidote to the sickness of codependency.  In this post, this subject is detailed.  A one sentence definition: codependency is surrendering our opinions or values because we fear the anger or rejection of another.

     I no longer suffer from codependency.  A slave to it, I was, for decades.  Freedom from its shackles happened after working intensely on this weakness of character for three years.

    I have been maintaining it for another nine, using recovery. Al-Anon Family Groups, its principles, and its literature  has freed me from being a slave to the opinions of others.  Anne Wilson Schaef's book on this subject is an enormous help as is Boundaries, by Cloud and Townsend.

Wednesday, March 25

The Benefits of Exhaustion ........... 3/25/15

Gratitudes for Wednesday: 
1.  I rested.  My physical reserves have been taxed the past two weeks by all the pain endured.  Halting is a great way of taking care of me. 
2.  Met with a new client. Terrific session. We hit it off right away.  She is the recep-tionist I met at the oral surgeon's office last Friday. 
3.  I love serving others through the work I do. 
4.  Met with

Tuesday, March 24

Freed From the Dragon of Distress............ 3/24/15

       Still kicking. Had surgery done on a tooth today, en-countered the worst pain, ever, tapping the doctor's arm, several times, when I felt pain, even after numbed multiple times by a giant needle.

      But I am happy. I took care of

Friday, March 20

Humor In the Midst of Pain.................... 3/20/15

"Like sunshine after the rain, and a lovely lonely flower
in a bleak environment, so is the joy we can know even
in the darkest and most painful of times. And so it is,
 when we know recovery and the love of a gentle, gracious 
               God"           The Innkeeper
    Last Sat-urday night it began.

    Pain stab-bed me.  I was robbed of the equanimity I usually enjoy.  It was stolen by physical torture.I could not sleep until 5:00 a.m. Sun-day.  After two hours of bles-sed sleep, nature called.  Then, a par-oxysm of another kind accosted me.

     It brought me to the floor of desperation. It lifted me to the height of something else.

      The wooden sides to my bed are high.  They are even with the mat-tress.  I swung my legs over the side.  I tried getting out of bed as I headed for the bathroom.  The frame created an outburst of cramps in my right leg.

     They turned my calf muscles into stone.  Agony seized them.  Three times I planted my feet on the bedroom floor.  Three times, convulsive leg spasms took over my calf muscles.  For more than twenty seconds,
 my leg con-tracted in agony.

      The pain threw me back in bed.  I writhed while moaning in the early hours of Sunday. What a way to start the week.

     An exposed nerve in a tooth, made me insane with pain.  More tired than when I've cycled 40 miles (64.37 km) in a day, I was.  Sleep was not my friend.  I was also enjoying the lingering remnants of my late cat Precious.  I was a Happy Meal for the fleas she left behind.

      I also needed to use the restroom and couldn't.    Wow.

     This is when something else kicked in.  Hu-mor. I laughed at the ridicu-lousness of my circumstances.  I was now men-tally a zombie because I was sleep deprived.  My jaw throb-bed.  My legs tingled from fleas tasting my juicy legs.

      There was no relief for my bladder.  My legs were in painful spasms. All this happen-ing at once. The story of a fellow who woke up discovering his water bed was leaking, came to mind. The man then
remembered he didn't have a waterbed.

       That was not going to be my lot, Sunday morning.

       If I saw an film character suffering from all the maladies I was struggling with, at one time, I would think it far fetched.  But it happened at 7:15 a.m.   Sunday morning.  And I laughed, even though in severe pain.
So, My Gratitudes: 
1.  For patience and the presence of mind that recovery offers.  Recovery gives me perspective, including humor, during rough times.  I don't let the green monsters of projection define my reality.  Because of recovery I do not believe I did something wrong and I was punished with the physical challenges endured this week.
2.  I had fabulous times visiting with the staff at my dentist's office and the office of the oral surgeon I saw today.  Four asked for my services.  Three I am seeing next week, appointments were booked. Didn't expect that.
3.  For the many who prayed for me as I went through the most difficult week, physically and emotionally I have known in years.
4.  For not allowing my mind to prevent me from experiencing life and being in touch with my feelings. This was especially important this week as I experienced death to comfort, depletion of my finances and a huge disruption to my work week, cancelling many appointments.
5.  I gave a presentation to colleagues yesterday on holding differences, maintaining multiple perspectives in a relationship.  Doing so, greatly improves our relationships with others. Several who attended approached me afterwards wanting me to coach them.
6.  My bike has been refurbished.  It better than I have ever had it----better than new.  I am thrilled!   I will cycle tomorrow.  Can't wait!

How About You? 
What are your three gratitudes for this weekend?  You heard mine.

Wednesday, March 18

The Benefits of a Painful Time..... 3/18/15

I am hoping my dentist will be the bridge that takes
  me from torment to peace of mind and tranquility
    How do you respond, when pain sucker punches you? Can you re-member the last time you were there?  In agony, I am, due to an infec-tion endured since Saturday night.  I visited my dentist Monday.  No prescription was given for a pain that makes it hard to see.  I am constantly grimacing, as a stabbing

Tuesday, March 17

Insane With Pain............... 3/17/15

      In agony. Saturday night, rolling in bed, the throbbing on the right side of my lower jaw, made it impossible to sleep until 5:00 a.m., Sunday.  Pain so bad, I couldn't think.  I was a zombie for the rest of the day, when I woke up.  Right now, I can't gather my thoughts too
well, I hurt badly.  I am letting guests to this inn know why

Friday, March 13

A Special Day For the Inn.......... 3/13/14

      Today is an important day for this inn of gratitude.  On this date this inn was birthed, lo, four years ago.  An adventure it has been, stretching this innkeeper.  I am grateful for those of you who encourage with your comments.  Much has gone on since the doors to this place were opened.

      Last Sunday, we passed the half a million mark.  The past few months, this abode of thankful-ness had more than 800 views per day, some days

Thursday, March 12

An Exhausted Innkeeper.......... 3/12/15

 Busy day. Saw seven clients. A twelve hour day. But, here are my gratitudes:
1.  I am loved by many. I enjoy the authenticity we share.
2.  I am in the best place, emotionally, physically and mentally, than I have ever been.
3.  I am going to bed as soon as I finish this post.
4.  I love a new

Tuesday, March 10

Comfortable In My Own Skin, Even When Judged........ 3/10/15

      Just returned from Sebastopol, driving 130 miles today.  Earlier, I saw clients, including one who had a car accident on her way to see me. What dedication for her personal growth. Today's busyness has me beat.  I am

Friday, March 6

Five Steps That Kill the Giant of Depression, and, Our Ideal Self Isn't, Part II.............. ...................3/6/15

      Is the Giant of Depression chasing you?  Such happens to many.  Dealing with an abusive per-son can cause this monster to appear.  This beast also contributes towards sleep problems. Not to mention anxiety, and havoc upon the mind.  He clobbers our self-image, too. We think we deserve mistreatment.

      "Bad things happen to bad people. Look at the problems I am going through.  There must be something wrong with me."   This is a

Thursday, March 5

Balanced Living and Thank God for Garlic Pills....... 3/5/15

      No fun to-night, when I got home from Alameda.  Be-lieve me.  More about this, later, Thurs-day.  After I take care of the problem.  One temporary antidote I can use for tonight:
odorless garlic pills.  Gobs of them.

      In a Science Fiction situation, I imagine myself.  Under attack, is how

Monday, March 2

What Makes You Happy? ............ 3/2/15

    What makes you happy?  Do you remem-ber as a kid, you could spend hours, play-ing with blocks? What hap-pened to that sense of wonder and the ability to enjoy the simple things of life?  Does your happiness depend upon how the

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.