Friday, July 31

Between Reverie and Reality..... 7/31/15

The Fairmont Hotel. Opened in 1906.
     So much to say, only my left fingers to type with.

    No, my right hand was not amputated. I broke its wrist, with a Barton fracture.  First time I ever cracked a bone in my body. Since 10:00 pm, Monday, pain

Tuesday, July 28

Slamming Against a Hard Reality....... 7/28/15

      I write tonight, dictating on my smartphone. I have an ice pack on my right wrist. My left knee has its skin removed, creating a red circle one inch in diameter.  My right

Sunday, July 26

Another Waterfall Ride ................... 7/26/15

      Another waterfall of a ride this weekend.

       Joy splashed against cliffs of anguish.  Floating upon the river of elation, my soul was later pum-meled by boulders of remorse for my stupidity and lack of sensitivity. Stunning, gliding mo-ments upon the river of bliss were matched with the free-fall cascade of sorrow this morning. I felt confusion, loss, early this afternoon.

      Not now.

      Yet, I prefer this jum-ble of feelings, than living meagerly, as a pauper, because of a life lacking

Friday, July 24

The Key To True Riches, Abundance and Joy........ 7/24/15

       My head spins.

       It luxuriates in good fortune.  Riches beyond measure are overflowing the treasure chest of my expectations.  I am grateful, my smile has never been wider. My heart wells with

Monday, July 20

An Affirmation of Life: Dreams Coming True........ 7/20/15

        More to share than the number of nuts in the mouth of a success-ful chipmunk.  But these facts will be squirreled away from guests of this inn.  Four hands typing simultaneously, for eight+ weeks, could not document all the good happening, the past two months.  Details will be spared. The innkeeper writes tonight while wearing his cloak of

Friday, July 17

Warmed Over Death, The Need To Connect and Love First ................. 7/17/15

      It gave me the creeps.

     Someone wrote a comment here, at the inn, at 8:15 this morning.  The second time he has posted in four years.  It had no heart.  The com-ment was deleted.  How easy it is, staying in our head.  Warmed over death.

     The last two sentences sounds like a a lyric doesn't it?  Don't mind me, I've been listening to Neil Young's music lately. And I

Tuesday, July 14

Intimacy---Transparently Transcending Outdated Fears and Vulnerabilities.................... .......7/14/15

      Being honest.

      Often hard.  False beliefs block the way.  We think we'll be rejected, the object of scorn, if we ex-press opinions differing from the crowd. 

      It is common to be infected by doubt and the anxiety of not fitting in. Often, fears are the offspring of outdated lessons from youth. We cling to invalid conclusions, not reality.

      As children, we may have suffered when we were trans-parent. A false belief we hold on to, now, is that we ask for grief when we are authentic or express our values.

      It's far better noticing what prompts our fears.  Instead of resisting emotional pain, it is best focusing on what is going on within us.  Not because we are maso-chists.

      Our intent is seeing what transpires when facing this black beast that instills terror.  What image surfaces?  What are we feeling?   What are the needs beneath the uncomfortable emotions?

      Compassion towards our vulner-able selves is our goal.  We are not judging our pain.  We stay with it, not resisting it.

      It's best evaluating generalized fears in light of current circum-stances, present reality.  When we do, often we'll encounter mental freedom from goblins that once goaded and harassed us.

      We'll find, like ghosts, our fears vanish, upon scrutiny--- when placed in the light of reality.  

      Holding on to the goblins of fear makes these monsters grow.  They become more disturbing.  If we submit to our negative thoughts, fear haunts our psyche, creating dread.

      Most sources for dread are our imaginings.  There is little substance or reality behind them.  Acknowledging our anxieties--facing them, staying with them, seeing where they take us---usually diminishes the generalized unease they produce.

      We want to be in touch with our feelings, not flee them.  Running away is reactive living.  Reactive living does not move us towards progress, healing our growth.

       Not at all.  Emotionally, we are responding like a child.

      We demonstrate psychological maturity when we stay with our negative feelings.  We show deeper maturity when surf them.  This means:
"Accepting the fact of a situation, then deciding what we will do about it.  Acceptance can be empowering because it makes choice possible."  Courage to Change, Al-Anon Family Groups Headquarters, (Virginia Beach, 1992) p 256
    This is responding.  This is taking our life back.

      We do not need to be frightened by the waves of negativity slapping at our happiness Our feelings are a gift.  Our negative feelings are a red idiot light on the dashboard of our emotions.

     A negative feeling reveals a need of ours---perhaps several---are not being met.  Positive feelings let us know the reverse, our needs are being satisfied.
 "Courage faces fear            and thereby masters        it." 
       When relating transparently, we don't need to be perfect.  We reveal who we are---the good with the bad.  We don't mind being  honest about our struggles.

       Comfortable in our own skin, we are.

       What makes this vulnerability possible is having a healthy supportive network.  When surrounded by good company, it is okay to fail.  It is no big deal.

       We can pick ourselves up when we fail.  With our friends, our worth is not related to how well we perform.  With good company, there is acceptance.

       We are not defined by our failures.

        Our friends may not necessarily approve our behavior.  But we are accepted for who we are, the good along with the not so good.  We are simply loved.

        Safe People---emotionally healthy people---are committed to us.  They have empathy and our back.  Empathy does not mean agree-ment but it provides compassion.  

       This is something we deeply need.  For many of us, we grew up with constant judgment.  Grace received from these friends is the antidote for feeling we never measured up to the standards of our family, school or church.

   
       It is something sorely need for souls wounded by blame, shame, guilt, fear or judgment.  Being gra-ciously loved by supportive friends, we are motivated to be gentle to-wards ourselves, our weaknesses and failures.

       It is essential finding people who prefer truth to being comfortable.  Avoiding honesty to protect others from feeling uncom-fortable or ourselves from their reactions, if we are honest, is insincerity.  Let me say that again.

       If we are a chameleon about our values, adapting them to what-ever group we are with, we are as phony as a plastic flamingo stuck in our front lawn.  When others accept us, they aren't, really.  They are accepting the false person we presented to them.

        Without transparency, we will not laugh all of our laughter.  We will not cry all of our tears.  Without authenticity, life loses its fullness.

         Strong, authentic connection will be impossible.  There's a word for strong contact.  Intimacy.

       Living trans-parently, shedding our chameleon skin, can be our reality.  And does it feel good!  It also heals our souls.

      Being authentic brings genuine friendships. This is a great source of emotional health.  It allows bond-ing with others as we have never experienced before.

         We are also moving towards greater wholeness, health, and personal growth.  When that happens, we will have An Attitude of Gratitude. 

Friday, July 10

The Pathway to IIntimacy: Being Transparent ..... 7/10/15

     Being tongue tied.

     Fear, being timid, or having low self-esteem prevents us from speaking the truth. We are op-pressed by others, we lack courage to stand true to

Wednesday, July 8

How to Have a Rich Life...................... 7/8/15

    Surprise.  I nor-mally post late at night, after my evening is done.

     Having a rich life is not about money. It is about living life fully. Abundance is not in how much we have, but in how much we enjoy.
  
    A mixture of feelings percolate within. The main thing is I am hap-py, more than content.  Over-joyed, in a quiet way,

Thursday, July 2

Speaking Our Truth, Why We Don't............... 7/2/15

         Saying what we want.

         How difficult it can be.  Fearing the reactions of oth-ers. It makes us feel like walking on egg-shells.  Wanting to please, we have a false belief.   We think our needs are less impor-tant than others.

        We are not honest.  We don't disagree---outward-ly.  Yet inwardly, we protest.  We do not state our o-pinions---what we want or do not want. We com-ply. Inside, we fume.

       Being authentic is hard.  Often, we fear rejection if we are.  We dread disapproval. Expressing our feelings and wants doesn't happen.  We fear ruining the relationship.

       Big question.  What type of relationship is it, if we can't be honest?  Is it worth having?  I say no.

        Not express-ing our true selves does not let others know the real us.  How empty is that?  Nobody's needs are met.  Our need for connection and closeness are not met.  Intimacy---to know and be known is not satisfied. The need of others to understand us is neglected.  Relating to us---genuinely---doesn't take place.

      The ancient Greeks used masks in plays.  The classic tragedy and comedy masks we know.  They indicated a performer's role.  Built within them were megaphones. They amplified the character's voice.

      This is where the mask got it's name.  Personna.  Per---which means through---and sona, which refers to sound.  The personna was the image the character portrayed as he "sounded" through a mask.

      This is the source for the word "person."  More than 2,700 years later, it is still true.  Many people continue to speak through a big mask, not revealing their true selves.

      We say, "I'm fine" when asked how we are.  While the fact is we aren't.  Our relationships are as tasty as shredded wheat.

     That is an insult to shredded wheat.  That fiber-filled cereal is tastier than insincere, inauthentic relationships.

      Today, I was real.  I was angry with someone.  This person had not seen me this way.  A rare occurrence.  However, there was no mask.  I said what I wanted. I expressed what I didn't want and what irritated me.

       It.  Felt.  Good.

      There's nothing wrong with anger.  It's how we express it that's important. We can be intense without being frightful.  With strong emphasis, I stated my feelings without judgment.

       This required noticing the judgments and seeing where I was blaming another for my feelings.  

       Instead, I took responsibility for my emotions.  Our feelings are our property.  No one can make us angry, sad, happy or have any other feeling without us giving them permission to do so. 

       In today's case, I removed the "shoulds" I had towards this person.  I felt much better.  I connected fully with the deeper needs underlying my negative feelings.

       I expressed the needs not being met.  When I did, I felt immediate relief.  It did not require the other person to change.

       I was now standing in my power and recovery. I was true to values I hold dear, acting with integrity.  My life became manageable.

      How did I experience release?  By expressing my feelings about my needs fully, with intensity.  But I was not scary while angry with the person who upset me.

      I took responsibility for my feelings, not blaming her.  I did this by expressing the depth of my emotions about needs not being met.  They were expressed without judging her.

      Because I did, the other person heard me.  Thank God for recovery.  I responded, not reacting.  My needs to self-express and enjoy peace of mind were met.  And for that, I have an Attitude of Gratitude.
Gratitudes: 
1.  My life is richer beyond my imagination ever considered.  I am thankful for all the blessings I enjoy.
2.  I enjoy being present. I am not hampered by fear or anxiety.  I love discovering where my relationships will go, not manipulating out-comes.
3.  The nature and depth of my friendships.  It satisfies my soul, connecting with others, where loving, considerate honesty is matched with integrity, authenticity, compassion and emotional safety.
4.  I am happy helping people from different corners of the Earth. Today, I had a session with someone in Bavaria. Yesterday with a client in Austin, Texas and one in Reno, in addition to those I saw in person, in San Leandro.
5.  I love the confidence that recovery offers.  I love being free from codependency and the discretion/prudence recovery gives me.  I am bathed with the garlic of recovery----it keeps emotional vampires away, freeing me from toxic relationships.

How About You? 
What are your gratitudes for today?

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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