Sunday, May 29

Kisses For a Son 5/29/16

         Some friends and I visited this morning.

        We stood in a circle.  The cool breeze wafting around us, a wonderful respite from yesterday's hot weather.

        Someone new to me walked by, then dropped in, joining us.  Everyone knew each other.  The odd man out was you know who.  That's okay.   The unknown woman had heard about me.  She checked me out.

        No.  Not that way.
      Her pain robbed

Monday, May 23

10 Benefits When We're Gentle Towards Ourselves 5/23/16

         “The six most important words:'I admit I made a mis-
take.' The five most important words: 'You did a good 
job.' The four most important words: 'What is YOUR 
opinion?'  The three most important words: 'If you
 please.'  The two most important words: 'Thank You.' 
The one most important word: 'We.' The least
 important word: 'I.' ”   Author Unknown     

 Image: The California coast: Point Reyes 
        Showing grace
towards ourselves. 

      We are lucky when there are opportun-ities to practice patience. Especially towards ourselves.  Driven and highly motivated, we may be.

Wednesday, May 18

Moving On With Life: The Three A's Revisited 5/18/16

"You can't undo anything you've already
 done.  But you can face up to it.   You can tell 
the truthYou can seek forgiveness.  And let
 God do the rest."            Unknown
 The Value of Awareness

       We celebrate the sanity en-joyed when we look at life real-istically. 

      This is aware-ness.  It's a good start, but incom-plete.  It's eighty-eight percent of the answer when deal-ing with problems.   There's no remedy without first seeing the issue.

       Awareness helps us overcome life's challenges and disappoint-ments.  It helps us see progress.  When our learning curve spikes upwards there's no better encouragement.

       With greater awareness, circumstances that once lingered, for months----perhaps years---are now dealt with quickly.  We begin to thank God for quicker personal growth.

Rooting Out the Problem
The Vital Need for Acceptance

      It's vital going beyond awareness, seeing the problem.  Acceptance takes place next.  This is taking the perspective awareness provides.  

      Acceptance is dealing with its emotional impact.  This step is often ignored.  If we don't take this action, we are only trimming the shrub of our problems.  We are not rooting it out.  The problems will grow back.

       Acceptance is getting in touch with the issue at the visceral lev-el. It involves five steps.  It is:
1.  Seeing the vexing area.
2.  Feeling our re-sponse.
3.  Taking our feelings a step further. We grieve the loss involved.
4.  Letting the negative sentiments go---often through forgive-ness.  Forgiveness is not forgetting, it is letting go of the hurt.
5.  Seeing what steps we can take next. This is looking at our options.

      Acceptance helps remove ten percent of the problem.  Did you notice?  Acceptance is not acceptance with resignation. "Oh, this is my lot in life.  I'll have to tolerate it."

      Here's a critical point: many go straight from awareness to action. "I see the problem, and now, this is what I need to do....."  and design an action plan.  Bad idea.

      When we respond this way we are only operating mentally.  We are going rational.  The heart level is not addressed. With-out acceptance, the problem isn't rooted out.

      When was the last time we made time, determining why we isolate?  When have we done an inventory of  a perturbing area?  When have we made the time to root out festering resentments?  When have we looked at steps that overcome the torture of self-loathing?

      We need to connect at the gut level. If we want to heal our pain.  That doesn't happen if we go rational, as most of us do.  Negative feelings just don't disappear, if ignored. 

      It is wise looking for the payoff for our unhealthy behavior.  When have we investigated our thinking, checking for false beliefs?   It's emo-tionally healing, uncovering our motives.  We don't do anything if there isn't a reward.

       There's a key point regarding acceptance.  We don't have the psychological or emotional distance to clearly see areas needing growth.  We need friends who accept us.  When we fail, they are compassionate.

       We thrive when surrounded by friends who loves us.   Yet they challenge us.  With hard questions.  This is what's needed if we want to dig out problemed areas in our lives.

       We cannot experience healing if we go it alone. 

The Shoe Leather of Personal Growth

        Awareness of what triggers us is helpful.  Handling the emotions that surface---meeting the needs beneath them is critical too.  That's acceptance.

        But next step is critical.  It is applying the shoe leather of practical action.  We want to make efforts that support meeting our need for thriving, balance, and peace of mind.

        Donning the shoes of practical principles and actions help us.  They protect us when we are out walking in the street of life.  Principles assist us in handling life's demands.

        They enable us to overcome the vulnerable, co-dependent parts of our personality. We want to apply healthy alternatives.  We want to move away from unhelpful default modes.  We want to replace unsuccessful former approaches with new and better behavior.

        Practical principles permit us to tread upon the gravelly aspects of life without being harmed.

       Action is the remaining two percent needed for handling painful areas. There you have it, the Three A's.  Awareness deals with the head, acceptance with the heart and action with the feet (what we do).  Applying healthier alternatives---staying in the solution---helps us move beyond what were once monuments of our past pain.

       We will enjoy better relationships, sanity, serenity, emotional health, and ease.

How About You? 
Which of the three A's are you using to deal with a rocky area in your life?

Sunday, May 15

Inventorying The Past Week ........... 5/15/16

       Highs for the past week.  This is an inventory of the last seven days.
1.  Confronted fears.  I did not allow emotions to overrule common sense.
2.  I ran five miles on Monday and walked for another six on that day.  It has been years since I have run this far.  Good news: didn't feel sore at all, afterwards.

     I walked for six miles for four days.  I ran for 4.5 miles for the remaining two.  It feels good.  It is de-stressing me.
3.  Enjoying teaching a couples workshop.  Last week was the fifth week.  This week it ends.   I love what I do.  Even better, I am thrilled for how the workshop is helping others to draw closer to their partner.

     They are learning how to truly be intimate: being present, authentic, and saying what they feel and want.
4.  I took charge over an area that was overrunning me.  A manipulative person was affecting my serenity.   I detached from the situation.  I looked for my options.  I felt much better, not letting her to disrepect me by her controlling behavior.
5.  I was texted by someone.  Not replying right away makes me happy.  I enjoy not letting social media consume my time or dictate when I will reply to texts or e-mails.  I love the freedom and autonomy I exercise when I do not measure up to the expectations of others.

    I live my by internal standards.  How others consider me or what they expect from me does not determine what I will do.  I am internally referented.

    Monday, I will update this and share my lows for the previous seven days. 

Wednesday, May 11

Agitated .............. 5/11/16

        I'm growing.

        Against my will, I am encountering a lot of instant learn-ing.  This happens when we are assault-ed with many demands.  It occurs when we experience a multitude of failures.  Being the Attitude of Gratitude guy, I see things from a positive point of view. Even during the roughest times.

        Failure and disappointment do not define us.  Instead, resilient people look at setbacks and learn from them. Then move forward.

        If thrown back once again,and they fail, IT IS NO BIG DEAL.

        I don't care for it, but I am facing disappointment and pressure.  Taxed---emotionally, mentally, physically, as I have been, for two weeks.

        An awkward and wobbly elderly person leaning on a walker to get around paints the picture of the steadiness in my present world.

         Topping it off, I was sucker punched Tuesday.  Shocked.  After-wards, throughout the day, I reeled.  And mourned.  As distraught as a cat caught in an alley jammed with feral dogs, I felt.  Couldn't think straight.
        Fear filled every pore.

         I am worn-down.  The result of hard work.  There is much to do besides sessions with clients.  Poor sleep breeds weariness, too.  I have demands shout-ing for attention.  Including improve-ments that will take place here.

       Gearing what I offer in new ways----in a fabulous direction, is taking its toll on me.  The laundry of my life is being re-sorted.  Making me disoriented.  All this is happening as I am taking steps that will help me better serve those I work with.

      Tuesday, for several hours, visions of doom took over.  Not my usual state of mind.  Making it worse, there appears to be no answers for my troubles.

       Except for two.

1.  Slowing down.  I need to be deaf to what clamors for my attention. I need to take care of me.

     I am in HALT.  I need to slow down. I will dictate how I spend my time.  Not the e-mails that assault me daily.  Nor the text messages and phone calls that barrage me throughout the week.

2.  Realizing I am powerless.  I've no control over any of the pronouns in my life: people, places, and things.  This is Step One, in recovery.  It hits hard.  Life is unmanageable.

      Growth happens when I embrace negative realities.  It is a mark of resiliency.  In the meantime, I am curious what wild things are wanting to hug me.

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.