Sunday, May 31

My Soul Danced 5/31/15

     What a week.

     Exceptional moments.  Time with dear ones.  Joys: I was thrilled with much of past seven days.  Life is rich and getting fuller, rela-tionally.

      I was doubly bless-ed Saturday.  Eric Shifrin played at the Fairmont where I celebrated

Saturday, May 30

Sensational Night, Not Swallowing the Bait of Blame Or Allowing Fear to Rule................. ...................5/30/15

       I am happy.

       Last night, I listened to a concert in San Jose, celebra-ting a special day.  It was a time of awe, tears, honesty, au-thenticity, openness, challenge and refreshment.  Balance was added, too.  In a way not experienced in
quite awhile. I cherish the memories the

Wednesday, May 27

A Lovely Evening, Anticipating a Special Tomorrow. 5/27/15

     I am happy. Thank you for dropping by. So much to say and this isn't the time to express myself.  My first client I see at 8:30 a.m. And it is midnight, as it is.

     I enjoyed writing the previous post.  I hope you did too.  It had a life of its own.  The craft of writing is akin to sculpting. Hemingway said it took nothing to be a writer. All you have to do, he said, is sit at the typewriter and

Sunday, May 24

Being a Swami Is Not Our Job.......... 5/24/15

A great way to avoid etching lines in your
 face is being internally referented. 
    We don't experi-ence an interpreta-tion.  

    We imagine them. Speaking my feel-ings without inter-preting is being present.Whenever we state what is alive without judg-ment or presump-tions, we let others know the real us.

     These authentic words are more likely to be heard and felt by friends than con-trol-oriented pro-nouncements. We hurt the relation-ship when we say, "Oh, you are doing this because..."  Or, "I feel attacked." Or, "Once again you are ignoring me."  Which are faux feelings.  These comments are judgments.  About another's behavior.  We are not expressing our emotions.

       The best part is not that others are more inclined to listen when eliminating our "mind chatter."  What is great is that we are saying what we truly feel.  We are not caught up with that word again, inter-pretations (or imaginings).

       We are connecting with what we sense and feel when with that person.  We are authentically expressing what is happening within. When we do, we are more likely to heal and forgive.

        That occurred a few weeks back.  I had a difficult conversa-tion, crying three times.  But, I was real.

       The next day, cycling with my son, I felt emotionally cleansed.  As if awakened from the coffin of despair.  My impassioned vulner-ability the previous day helped me soar from a bank cloud of turbulent feelings churned by the intense conversation.  It helped me emerge into a clearing of san-ity and serenity, providing peace of mind.

       I was happier, too. In my body and spirit, I was.  I was not in my mind, the old unhelpful refuge I ran to when mistreated as a little boy.

      What made this possible?  When the trauma happened, in that painful conversation, I was present.  I expressed my anger and resentment.  Quietly.  Tearfully.  Respectfully, but honestly.

       I was true to self.  I was not the nine-year old Pablo.  I was not panicking, stuffing the anger or resentment I felt within.

       It was fulfilling.  I was with someone who respected my authenticity.

       When we do not inter-pret or judge others, the other person is more likely to hear.  They will not be defen-sive.  Why?  Because we are speaking about what we heard them say instead of why we think they said it.

        It's not our job, being a swami.

        Our imaginings are not a crystal ball, allowing us to judge.  We can be entirely wrong with our interpretations.  We are not God.

        We don't know the heart---the motives---of others.  As much as we assume we may, we do not know what another person is thinking. It is absolute arrogance, believing we do.

        This is true even with those who have harmed us severely.   Often, their behavior had nothing to do with us.  It wasn't because we were bad, deserving their mistreatment.

         Their actions were the result of baggage they had before we were ever around.  A result of their insecurities.

        Do we really want to be angry because our interpretations, the men-tal static that bombards our mind?  When that happens we are not responding to what really happened.These negative thoughts and emo-tions may make us feel wronged but righteous.

        But, is it worth stirring up misery, harboring bitterness within?  The only good in living by our interpretations is validating the story in our head. And it can be entirely wrong.

        It may be as genuine as a wooden nickel.

        Authenticity sets us free from self-imposed misery.  Being in touch with what we are experiencing, our feelings, and needs allow us to live in reality.  We are able to speak our truth gently, without fear.

        Being genuine allows to say our no as gently as our yes. We will know equanimity, healing, and that peace of mind that we can be gotten no other way. 

Saturday, May 23

Success: Doing What We Don't Like, Conscientiously 5/23/15

      Shoulders sore.  The result of pulling on my handle bars and shoving my feet hard on the pedals, while wheeling up a steep incline.  Sometimes the hill defeats me.  No matter.  I get off my bike, panting and walking for

Wednesday, May 20

Growing, While Getting Smaller ...... 5/20/15

      Busy day, but good.   I put every fiber of who I am in the sessions I have. I am tuckered out, but, it is a good tuckered out.  I saw five clients today.  And I spent more time with other people tonight, capping off Wednesday.

      My future is going backwards.  But it is all good, progress, not regress, though I am going backwards.  I am growing while getting smaller.

      How's that, about my future, you ask?  I returned to regularly using my bike.  A year ago last April I started driving again, after not driving for 25 months, just using a bike to go everywhere. My endurance is what is growing as my size is

Courage Faced A Great Opportunity

  Gratitudes for Today:
1.  I think I am attending a concert next week. Variety keeps my mind alert, allowing me to see things from different perspectives. Change to routine provides

Monday, May 18

The Innkeeper Was Not a James Bond Martini................ 5/18/15

      I was not a James Bond martini.

      I was not shaken---emotionally---when confronted by someone driven insane by her interpretations of my behavior.  That was one high for last

Sunday, May 17

The Danger of Interpreting Behavior.................. 5/17/15


         Had it today.  Slept well.  Spent eight hours filing, making notes about sessions had the past week, Saturday.  The best part of this weekend was cycling. I spent an hour-and-a half riding the mountainous, arbored trails encircling Lake Chabot, four miles from home.

         Arms are

Thursday, May 14

Thriving, Living Fully: Awareness, Acceptance, Action Needed.................. 5/14/15

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. 
       I enjoy sanity when I look at life realistically.

       This is aware-ness.  A good start. It's also incomplete.  It's eighty-eight percent of the an-swer when hand-ling life's problems. There's no remedy if we don't

Tuesday, May 12

Life Is Getting Better................ 5/12/15

 Peace feels good.

       Life is settling down. Let's see, two weeks ago, my computer broke. My cell phone was crunched by an auto. I lost my wallet two Sundays ago, including my driver's license. That hasn't happened in twenty years.

        A chunk of money was coughed up while getting new transpor-tation.  I sent money back to

Friday, May 8

Being Present Part III, Experiencing What Is .......... 5/8/15

And keep us close to what is real, I would add. 
      It is critical grieving our los-ses.

     We do not want to stuff them away. Not a good idea, using our mind to stifle emo-tions.  It also isn't wise using our im-agination to define our life or others.

     There's a better way.  Expressing our feelingsWhen we do, we are more whole.  It's as if a part of us that was lost has come back home.

      Feelings can be frightful. They can also be nurturing and fulfilling.

      We want to express ourselves authentically.  We want others to know what makes us tick, what makes us disturbed.  When we do, we are being truthful with them and ourselves. We are letting them know our values and who we really are.

       For most of us, we don't say a word when bothered.  Instead, we prematurely age.  We hold the tension within.

       This happens while our resentments grow.

       Most people fear to be honest when troubled.  When someone offends their dignity or autonomy, nary a word is said.  Instead, they smile, after taking an emotional punch to the gut.

        Last Saturday I had a lengthy conversation.  It was disappointing.  I related with many this week.  In all cases, my reactions weren't ignored.

      Recovery teaches us to normalize whatever is disturb-ing. To see how we can get beyond what troubles us. We learn how to embrace negative realities.

     This is different from catastrophi-zing.  Where we let life get us distraught and we are unable able to think clearly.

      It important remembering we are adults.  Little children get distraught.  We are not children.

      Maturity is seeing what is.  At times, circumstances will not be appealing. As adults, we learn how to take steps that move us in the direction we want to go.

      I was in touch with what transpired within me this week.  Last weekend I experienced loss with someone I loved.   I processed it, moving on the best I could.

      Most people stay in their head.  Bad idea.  We negate our feelings when we do. 

       We are distancing ourselves from reality.  This is not caring for ourselves.  That is not recovery.  Nor is it being present.

       We want to be in touch with our emotions.  Taking care of what roils within is necessary for happiness.  Let. Me. Say. That. Again.  

       Ignoring our feelings is a sure guarantee for depression and for others to take advantage of us.  When we take care of the needs beneath our negative feelings, we will not suffer emotional pain.

     We will not be de-pressed.  We will not be frustrated.  Our disappointments will not overwhelm us.

      Nor will we suffer as much from un-happy moments we endured in the past. If we go back to the past and address unfinished business.

      Did you know you can go back to the past?  Yes, we can.

      The past always lives within us.  We can reframe our memories.  We can look back at our self-judgments regarding the difficult moments in our lives with compassion and recovery.

      Instead of remembering moments when we were passive, or timid, we can see in those same occasions where we were true to our virtues, while oppressed by emotional bullies.

     Negative times are not to be resisted, protected or fought.  They are to be experienced. 

     How do we do that?  Firstly, by sitting with our feelings.  Secondly, we discover the needs beneath. 

    Thirdly, we do what's necessary to meet them.  We learn to empty our emotions. Specters from past painful moments no longer torment us when we do this.

      Why?  How is that so?  Because we are dealing with those thoughts and moments that once disturbed us.  

      We are not ignoring areas that vexed us.  The outcome when we take these steps is a more relaxed and peaceful life.  Taking this action helps us to have the attitude of gratitude that gives us strength when we are tried.

      Compulsive mental activity prevents exper-iencing life fully.  It causes too much mental static.  We do not want our inter-pretations or the reactions of other people's behavior to agitate us.

      This includes past events.  Nor do we want to future trip----anticipating fearful future outcomes.  No longer does dread need to discourage us from adhering to our values, plans or dreams.  This happens when we place principles above the vulnerable parts of our personality.

      When we become comfortable with our likes, dislikes, dreams, wishes and choices we are able to risk the disapproval of oth-ers.  When we stand for our beliefs, we fully take on the role of an adult.  One mark of an adult is that we can disagree with others.

      We do not accept being in a one-down relationship.  Recovery is not taking on the role of a child when differing with another. We do not need to cower with those who are angry or differ with us.

      As an adult, we learn WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR OTHER PEOPLE'S DISAPPOINTMENT WITH US, ESPE-CIALLY IF WE DISAGREE.  A person's disappointment or unhappiness is their problem, not ours.

       People need to learn they will not always get what they want.

      That is life.  Others need to get used to this fact when relating with us.  For others---our husbands, wives, relatives, landlords and co-workers----to expect otherwise is to have an unrealistic sense of entitlement.

      We contribute to their sense entitlement by letting them continue their negative ways when relating with us.  How are we guilty of doing this?  Through our silence and passivity, when mistreated and disrespected, that's how.

      The second characteristic of an adult is realizing we the equal with every other adult on the planet.  Our values matter.  Our opinions matter.

      As adults we learn to stand in our power, maintaining integrity with our boundaries.

      Eliminating pro-jections is a sanity and serenity inducer.  Our judgments of others and their be-havior are stories created in our minds.

     These stories may---and usually are---not true.  We do not want to let conjectures capture our heart or head.  Who wants a life fillled with despair, fear or anger?

     We want to prefer reality, eliminating the "shoulds" and "coulds" in life.   We want to do this also with our wishes, expectations, judgments and imaginations. Because each of these scenarios are not based upon reality, but our active mind.

      It is better embracing what life offers right now, being present.  We do not get distracted by the white noise of an over-reacting mind.

     Judgments, interpretations, and assumptions are all means of trying to control.  We are trying to make sense of life.  It is an attempt at dealing with the vagaries of life.

      What it really is, is that we are jumping to conclusions. Preferred, is experiencing what is. We want to be in touch with what is happening.

       In. The.  Moment.  We want to use our five senses. As Susan Campbell, author of Getting Real states, 
"There's a difference between what is and the ideas [and conclu-sions] you have about it."
      We want to be softer on our psyche.  How?  By not jumping to conclusions.

      They often lead to pain. Be-ing impulsive this way often creates misunderstanding.  We don't want to become angry because of disturbing interpretations not based on truth!  Often, they are created from our emotional baggage, often from low self-esteem.

      Conclusions usually do not accurately reflect what is truly transpiring.  It is easy mistaking these two, interpretations (judg-ments, conclusions) for reality.

      It is common, not noticing it is our interpretations----not the truth----that anger or frighten us.

      In the process, we can feel wronged but righteous.  The benefit is that we use projections to affirm false beliefs.  We believe what may be a fantasy.  They may be comforting or frightful.

      We use projections and our judgments to define reality.  This is insanity.
Automatically responding to your worst internal fear is a common control pattern.  Your buttons are pushed, and you react.  This pattern keeps you in familiar emotional territory, where you do't have to risk learning anything about yourself [it always the other person's fault].   
And therefore, you don't have to change.  Susan Campbell, Getting Real, 23
      May you have a great and grateful Saturday!   I know I will.

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

Thursday, May 7

A Respite from Restlessness...... 5/7/15

      After a week without one, I have a cell phone once again. My related gratitudes?
1.  It was peaceful and frustrating, during this time of telephone fasting.  Not being tethered to today's technology was blissful, not being barraged by unwanted internet information and constant alerts.  I was my own man.  Not beckoned by a constant stream of e-mails, texts and phone calls allowed my soul

Wednesday, May 6

Gnat Swatted, Serenity Restored 5/6/15

        A pesty gnat was swatted today.  She thought intimidation and condemnation motivates me.  She thought wrong.  It feels wonderful, being present, not letting another person rent

Monday, May 4

Humility At the Highest Level... 5/4/15

      This young man, Steph Curry just won the Most Valuable Player award in professional basketball, the NBA.  He's leading his team into the playoffs.  So, what?  This is what.  On the greatest stage of his career, he gives credit to his dad.  Earlier in the conference he thanked his mother for her example of faith. 

      In the process he gets choked up, thinking of his father's influence upon him.  Can't

Being Present, Practical Details About Recovery Part II. It Makes Us Feel Better and Heal.......... 5/4/15

        Cried three times Satur-day.  It happened while visiting someone dear.  We were together from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Afterwards, I was emotionally fried.  I took care of me.  I went to bed at 8:00 p.m.

         Like wet noodles in a colander, was how drained I was.  I could not hold up a noodle of a thought.  No post written Saturday.  Recovery teaches me to make "First Things First."  Being real is healing for the soul.  I needed mending from losses suffered on Saturday.

        Sunday afternoon that happened.  I cycled with Pablo Jr.  We visited Big Basin State Park. It released intense feelings awakened the day before.  Frustration, along with sweat, poured from my body while climbing hills on two wheels.

        We trekked through Redwood trees.  We rode over roots.  We bolted away from boulders.  Cycling, removing stress from our bodies was preferred to Prozac.  It was more excellent than Xanax.  Calmness returned as my companion.

        In the morning, the most emotion expressed in the fewest words took place.  The hurricane of feelings swirling within me flew from a fountain pen.  The alchemy of poetry transformed what was alive in me.  Intensely expressed measured lines where changed into a pool of prose.

        Scribing subsided the churning within.  The inner me was given voice.  I was not stifled, like I was as a child.  I was real.  With myself.

         I faced my emotions.  I honored what was alive within me.  I met my need for expression.  My need for connection and emotional safety was met later, when with my son.

        Sensations were not ignored.  I was present.   I sat with the negative feelings.  These disturbing feelings were the result of Saturday's visit.  All of Sunday's efforts---poetic and physical---helped me recover from loss.

        They were an ointment.  Sunday helped sooth scrapes encountered when I was thrown upon the asphalt of reality.  Reluctantly, I am picking myself up.  I'm processing the broken wrist of disappointment. I am stinging from road burn of sadness.

      On the way to Big Basin State Park, the oldest in California, I listened to my son.  The intensity of his work he shared. Fortunately, he's not getting gray hairs.  I am proud of his diligence. I respect his street smarts. I am happy about his success.  It was soothing music for my soul, being with him.

      Saturday, my time with someone dear, was devastating.  I spoke my truth.  I was gentle.  Towards the end, I cried.  I felt my hurt.

      I was emotional.  I did not stay in my head.  I expressed my feelings and needs. I was present.  I experi-enced a burning not known before.

      At first, I closed my eyelids.  I dammed tears that wanted release. She told me it was okay to cry.  I could release my feelings.  They streamed across my face.

     Being real made me feel better.

        I am present and authentic as I write this post.  What are my plans, going forward?  I have no idea.  But, I am in a better place.  Even though it is not the place I thought I would be.

       Acceptance is hard.  It is not submitting to a degrading situation. That's passivity.  Page 256 in Courage to Change helps.  It says acceptance is coming to terms with my circumstances.

       It is looking at what steps I can take.   Acting like a victim is a choice, not a destiny.  We have options.  What is the woman with a sex addict, controlling, alcoholic, narcissistic, bullying, husband to do?   Get rid of the bum.

      For me, it is resting in God's love.  It is being in touch with my feelings.  It is emptying them out.  I did in my conversation two days ago.  Today, I feel more in tune with myself.

      I feel emotionally whole.  I am happier.  I am like the bird that twitches after slamming into a window.  The trauma has been shaken off.

      I did not hold my feelings within.  Many do.  I released them.  I don't care to have emotional constipation. It's also known as depression.

      Pain, depression, fear, anxiety and anger are not etched into my face.  I have not prematurely aged.  It is futile not expressing emotions.  The trick is doing so, maturely. I am not interested in harming others in the process.

Recovery Defined

      This requires recovery.  It is applying healthy principles.  It overcoming our vulnerabilities.  It is drawing close to God.  Recovery is being gentle towards ourselves.

      It is nurturing ourselves, especially during difficult times.  We respond, not react.   We do not let others define us or determine our moods.   It is being present with what is.  Whether reality is painful or pleasant.

      It is not using controlling measures. We do not use them to overcome fear, anxiety or insecurity. Recovery is not presenting ourselves as more confident than we are. It is being vulnerable within our community of Safe People.

      I don't know yet the outcome Saturday's conversation.  I am entering into uncertainty.  I enjoy a confidence made possible being present.  I know the support of the good company I keep.

Friday, May 1

Revising An Earlier Statement: Important Truth Skill That Creates Sanity and Serenity .................. 5/1/15

     Yesterday, my smartphone had its life crushed out of it by a car.  Right in front of my eyes. It is no longer smart. Better it than me.  My welfare was more important that darting in front of moving cars on E. 14th Street in San Leandro.   My computer died Thursday, too, the result of past abuse by this innkeeper, although I was nice to it, 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.