Sunday, October 8

Spiritual Weightlifting----Developing Better Coping Methods 10/9/17

       As we grow in our relationships with others, diffi-culties will arise. Everyone has different values which at times will cause con-flict 

       Our past painful experiences, also leave us with emo-tional baggage. The combination of these two factors---differing opinions and our baggage----makes us rife with buttons and triggers that are easily set off when engaging others.  

       With recovery, we see these difficulties as opportun-ities. They are moments for spiritual weightlifting.  They help us develop our relationship skills. 

       We learn how to say what we mean, mean what we say, but not say it meanly

       Healthy principles are used instead of yielding to anger or passivity.  We are true to our values. We stand by them even when pressured to overlook them. 

    In other words, we are not codependent

    We get stronger when we stop using inadequate coping methods. We no longer react.  We respond, instead.  Re-sentment, fear, passivity, and anger lurk around the emotional corner if we rely on solutions used in childhood, the 3 F's: to freeze, fight or flee. 

      Our relational muscles get stronger when we overcome codependency.  Maturity is demonstrated when we stand in our power.  It is also evident when we using healthy principles instead of letting our insecurities reign.  

       Maturity is having integrity. It is being true to our values and feelings, even when pushed by dominating or manipulative others. 

      The road of life has the bumps and dips of conflicting with others.  One thing that smooths this relationship road is noticing our intent.  Are we connecting with the other person in order to relate, or are we trying to control the outcome of our conversation? 

      The relational road is also less bumpy when we are present and compassionate when relating.  Read  here, for more about that.

       Life is easier when we are connected with emotionally mature, supportive others.  These are our Balcony PeopleSee footnote.  They help us to achieve perspective.  After discussing our concerns with them, once frightening challenges are less disturbing.  

       Recovery reminds us that difficulties are moments where we want to place principles above the vulnerable parts of our personality.  Many times along the recovery road we see we are back at Step 1.  Our life has become unmanageable. 

      This is when Step 2 is handy.  In Step 2 we lean on a power greater than ourselves who can restores us to sanity.  We see things for how they really are.  

      We do not get stuck with defensive hope.  We are no longer immersed with a fantasy. We are in this unreal state when we see what we want to believe. And not the truth. 

      Step 2 is accepting the truth that smacks us in the face, when we are no longer drugged by fantasy or defensive hope. 

      It also helps when we are gentle towards ourselves.  Acknowledging the healthy steps we are taking---even if they are tiny, is a perspective that moves us towards progress and helps us to be patient with ourselves. 
"Perhaps I can let go of all condemnation for this one day.  I will recognize that I am on a spiritual path of self-improvement.  Every tiny step I take on that path moves me closer to wholeness, health, and serenity."   Al-Anon Family Groups Inc., Courage to Change, 2nd Edit.Virginia Beach, 1992, 19. Print.
      As we get stronger, we become more comfortable becoming true to our values, dreams, and decisions.  We realize it is okay to disagree. We are able to process conflicts that once would have been disturbing.  

       For more insight and skills that help when encountering a difficult or frustrating situation, click here.  

      During conflicts, the following is helpful:
After years of letting people take advantage of me, I had built up quite a store of anger, resentment, and guilt . …. So many times I wanted to bite off my tongue after saying,“yes, “ when I really wanted to say, “no.” Why did I continue to deny my own feelings just to  gain someone’s approval? ….
The answer became apparent:  What I lacked was courage. Was I willing to try to learn to say, “no,” when I meant no? Was I willing to accept that not everyone would be thrilled with this change? Was I willing to face the real me behind the people-pleasing image? Fed up with volunteering to be treated like a door mat, I squared my shoulders and answered, “Yes.”
..... Do I make a conscious choice about what I say? And when it is appropriate, do I say what I mean and mean what I say? If not, why not? All I have to offer anyone is my own experience of the truth.
‘There is a price that is too great to pay for peace… One cannot pay the price of self-respect.'   Woodrow Wilson     Courage, 207
           We are the average of the five people we hang out with.  Let's make sure these individuals are emotionally mature, kind and positive.  We deserve relationships like that, we really do.

Innkeeper's Note I am working on this post.  It will be revised over the next few days.  This is a rough draft.  In the meantime, "my best is good enough for today."  (Courage to Change, p. 9.)

How About You?
What spiritual weightlifting have you been doing?  Where are you been placing principles above your personality? 
 Footnote: 

     What a gift it has been, seeing my supportive family expand, as time goes by.  Not only have I a flesh-and-blood family, but an expanded family due to others who are a part of my life. They are my Balcony People.

     These dear ones love and accept me unconditionally.  They are in the grandstands of my life. They cheer me on, as I run the marathon of life.

     They don't give advice.  They share their experience, strength, and hope instead.  They empathize and are available. And that is enough.

Image: Countryside: "Wintry Pastoral" by Tim Blessed.  All rights reserved, used by permission. 

Tuesday, October 3

A Pensive, Subdued Innkeeper 10/3/17

       I am at a loss for words, saddened by the recent carnage in Las Vegas, Nevada.

      A lone assailant shot people who were enjoying an open-air concert.  The death tally so far

Monday, October 2

Perseverance Needed For Progress.......... 10/2/17

The Angel Oak on Johns Island in So. Carolina. 
   The oldest oak tree east of Mississippi. It is cer- 
          tainly one of the most beautiful. 

 It's 1500 years old.  It's 65 feet tall, over 6 stor-
ies. The crown covers 17,000 sq. feet. Its longest
         limb is 89 feet long.

         It's maintained by the city of Charleston. It 
         grew from one acorn. Here's to our growth
Patience With Our Progress

         Today, I'm leaving several quotes. May they help us maintain an Attitude of Gratitude. Avail-ing ourselves to God on a daily basis, seeking  His will, helps our patience

Friday, September 29

Courage and Support Helps Us Face Our Fears 9/29/17

      I hope your day was fantastic.                                                                             If not, you are at the right place.  Having an  Atti-tude of Gratitude is critical if we want to get the most out of life.  It is the for-ward driving perspec-tive that enables us to thrive. 

      For more about that, click here.

Sunday, September 24

Creating A Better Today................ 9/24/17

       Beyond pretense. That was our subject.

      A friend of sever-al decades-----a Bal-cony Person of mine, and I lunched. The freedom enjoyed when facing our vul-nerabilities was covered.

Thursday, September 14

Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort........ 9/14/17

        Feeling elated, frus-trated, excited and dis-appointed at the same time. Embracing multiple feelings, is a sign of emotional maturity.  When we have it, difficulties do not distract us from life's beauty.

         Living by healthy princi-ples---using recovery---crises no longer shock us.  They

Monday, September 4

A Helpful Thermometer of People's Character 9/4/17

Now they are lemon flavored, not lime
   The other day I was talking with someone.

    Not using discre-tion, and being unwise, I said something that made her feel awk-ward. (I bet you would like to know).  She stopped me.

     "I want to be

Thursday, August 31

A Wonderful Event 8/31/17


    There's a wonderful story I want to share.  It happened Tuesday.  I was wrong.

     Someone called me on something I said.  I wasn't wise.  Her correction excited me.  I am thrilled how present  I was when this event took place.

    When we justify what we

Tuesday, August 29

Gratitudes of Another Kind 8/29/17

    It is dismaying.

   The destruction and lives lost in Houston, Texas.  I am with you, I am alarmed and sad-dened with this part of the country devas-ted by Hurricane Harvey.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it will be

Saturday, August 26

Happiness Is A Choice, Revisited 8/26/17


       "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."

      Abraham Lincoln echoed this thought with,  "Happiness requires very little, it's all in our way of thinking."  [And, I

Sunday, August 20

Resiliency Revisited.............. 8/20/17

    Thriving during difficult times.

     This is the stuff that emo-tional resiliency is made of.  It is not cowering to abusers.  It is the inner strength that pre-vents us from surrendering when the feet of our character is put to the hot coals of stress.

      Without recovery, this stress is usually self-induced, the result of our projections, judgments and interpretations of the behavior or others. 

      Resiliency is relating with difficult people and not being moved.  While such engaged, we maintain our confidence.  Our happiness is

Thursday, August 17

The Value of Boundaries ....... 8/17/17

Gratitudes for Today:
1.  For boundaries.  They allow me to keep my sanity. Today, I told some-one I was annoyed by his assumptions about me.
    He told me he knew my motives.  He doesn't.  He has

Wednesday, August 9

Being A Swami Is Not Our Job, Revisited ............ 8/9/17

A great way to avoid etching lines in your
 face is being internally referented. 
      I see the fol-lowing post, "Being a Swami Is Not Our Job"  is climbing the sidebar to your right.  I am leaving a copy here for those not acquainted with it. Here it is:

    We don't ex-perience an inter-pretation.  

 We imagine them.  Speaking my feelings without interpreting is being present. Whenever we state what is alive without judgment or presump-

Monday, July 31

Hope For Our Past 7/31/17

     I am posting again.

     This is the fourth post in two-and-a-half weeks.  I am glad.  Writing meets my need to self-express.

     It also allows us to be together. Thank you, for dropping by.  It fills the rooms of this inn, which makes the innkeeper happy.

Saturday, July 29

Tested, Not Found Wanting................ 7/29/17

Take a guess. Who is the colorful penguin? 
     Good evening.  How are you?  I'm resting today after an intense week.

     I did something different over the past four days, in-between seeing clients.  I negotiated with someone on the East Coast.  It required

Wednesday, July 26

Rolling With Manipulative Punches, Enjoying Life.................. 7/26/17

     Good after-noon, everyone,  I am getting back to the vision of this inn of gratitude. This is the place where we can share what we are thankful for.

     I would be happy, if you could join me, by adding your gratitudes. I only ask for three.

 My Grati-tudes for Today:
1.  I am sleeping better.  I am getting more hours of it.  This is progress in the right direction. When I sleep more, my thriving and equanimity increases.

Friday, July 14

Signs We Are Toxic 7/14/17

    Many of us strug-gle as we hurdle through major is-sues. We experience conflict. We try to find ways to over-come them.

      A pattern emerges, however, that, when present, halts progress.  We refuse to acknowl-edge our contribution

Tuesday, June 6

Making It Through Storms: The Instrument Panel of Healthy Principles 6/6/17

You'll notice my knees are not shaking. 
An Attitude Check
  Innkeeper's Note: 
I see this post, written years ago is climbing the sidebar on your right.  I am presenting it again for those who haven't read itHere it is:

      How is your attitude?

      Like an airplane, is your attitude nose up, and climbing, or is it nose down, heading for a crash?

       Mine?  You know the answer.  Hopefully, it's one reason why you drop by.  The thing is, our disposition can be positive----even when times

Sunday, May 14

A Tribute to A Special Woman 5/14/17

     Good early evening, on this Mother's Day.

      Please notice the request at the end.  It would make me happy, hearing your responses.

      May you have a terrific day.  I know I will.   The Innkeeper

      A special thanks to all the mothers reading this today. Your work is unending.  Often not appreciated.  Thank you,  for your role.  Your

Tuesday, May 9

Bonding and Separating, The Best of Both Worlds.............. 5/9/17

       I noted this post was climbing the sidebar to your right.  I revised it.  About 80%.  It was fun seeing how much I've grown since this was written years ago.  I hope it helps you.

     A key point I leave out in this post.  How we create the healthy supportive network essential for us to stand firm with our boundaries.

Here's the post:

      Yesterday, there was a date with a young lady.

       We had lunch at my favorite Thai restaurant for two and half hours. It was totally unexpected.  She wants to visit again.

      I'm not sure about that.

     I need balance.

Wednesday, April 26

Codependency: Getting Enmeshed In Unhealthy Relationships

    No, I am not dead.

    I recently got my laptop back from the repair shop.  How are you?  Are you glad to see me?  I am speaking somewhere tonight, so I have to leave the inn.

     But, not before I leave a post with you.

He's in a bog. Care needed when enmeshed
in a bog of circumstances that don't serve us.
This fellow is a codependent. That's why he's
happy. He's accustomed to being stuck in a
mess.  Life offers more: peace of mind. 
      Below, is a letter written to someone enmeshed in a destructive, emotionally abusive, addictive relationship.  I'm sharing it with guests to this inn.

       It deals with externally referenting  (another view of codependency), low self-esteem, the need for character discernment and defensive hope.
     Dear _________,
A big part of our disease is that, without working on healthy alternatives in the areas where we are vulnerable, using the resources of a mentor, or connecting with emotionally mature others, we allow those who disturb us to own big chunks of our mind and heart. We give away our serenity.

Friday, March 24

Gratitudes ............... 3/24/17

     Surprise.

     My computer remains broken. It's been a few weeks now.   I'm using a borrowed laptop to make this post.

My Gratitudes for Today:
1.  I love what I do, my profession.  I am thankful I am able to serve others.  I help them become the person they want to be.  They learn how to find the direction needed to have the life they want.
2.  I look forward to resting tomorrow.
3.  I will spend time with family tomorrow and next week. We'll have a special occasion next Friday.
4.  I ran this week.  I love taking in nature as I run in the hills at a local regional park.
5.  I love my home and the peace of mind I enjoy after and before a hard day of work. 

Monday, March 13

Special Day.............. 3/13/17

      Celebrate with me.

      Hello there, friends, guests and passersby.  Today is special.  I'm publish-ing this post before the day changes its name, for good reason.

      Six years ago, on this day, this inn

Thursday, March 9

Overview of Nearly Six Years............. 3/9/17

The Attitude of Gratitude Inn
        My computer is broken.  Now, for several weeks.  Not working is the space bar.

        The last post was a pain.  In between every sing-le word, I added a letter.  Then colored it black, thereby

Wednesday, March 1

Calmness in the Eye of the Emotional Storm 3/1/17

Troubles are often the too;s by which God fashions us for
better things.  Image:  "Countryside: Across the Valley by Tim
      Blessed.   Copyrighted photo
      Thanks for drop-ping by.   Please remember the vision for this inn. This is a gratitude journal for those who drop by in cyberspace.

        It's a great feeling, not persev-erating when stressed. Getting agitated

Monday, February 13

Authenticity, Revisited ............ 2/13/17

     How hard it is, genuinely relat-ing.

     It is sensa-tional having a heart-to-heart connec-tion with someone, where we are accepted. What a joy it is, being seen for who we are.  Our weak-nesses are reveal-ed and we are loved nonetheless.

      Expressing vulnerable thoughts.  Scary idea, saying what we feel, letting others know what

Friday, February 3

The Source for Strength, Hope and A Dynamic Life 2/3/17

      It is in our best interests, connecting with God.

     Several hours before work that is something I do.  It is best that before mundane concerns distract us from drinking in His Presence.

     Avoiding the Internet, and video games is a good idea, too.  Little personal growth happens when we are consumed by e-mails, Facebook, YouTube, and TV.  It is better profiting our souls.

      Yes, we can find a biscuit in a garbage can.  But that is not where we

Monday, January 23

Joy, Love and Peace Discovered While Cooped-Up 1/23/17

       Went through a box of Kleenex yes-terday.  My bed and I have been compan-ions for nearly a week.

Insights gotten during this time:

1.  Never take for granted the ability to breathe normally.  I have been abnormal since last Thursday.  My friends will say I have

Friday, January 13

Another Video: The Three A's: Awareness, Acceptance, Action: Getting Unstuck.... 1/13/17


   The key point for per-sonal growth is under-standing acceptance.  It is a critical stage we must go through to overcome difficul-ties.  Acceptance is active.

    It is not yielding to nega-tive circumstances. Nor is it believing there no alterna-tives for our plight. We can transcend whatever challenges

Wednesday, January 11

Being Present Conteracts Manipulation From Others. Also, Coming to Your Neighborhood, A Visit With Your Innkeeper

      I made a mistake.

      I gave a title to a second video I created.  It goofed things up.  I am not able to upload it to my Youtube channel.  Accomplishing this would let me present it here.

      I am working on this glitch.  Being the positive guy I am, I see this problem is

Friday, January 6

The Courage to Wait During Restless Times 1/6/17

      What is written below is a comment from a visitor of this inn.  It is his response to "Expressing Feelings," written on New Years Day.  He sent it to me in an e-mail.

       Please, join me in welcoming Tony Barreto as today's guest blogger!  Let me know your re-sponse.  I appreciate his insight and sensitivity.

      Thank you, for dropping by.

********
  
         Dear Innkeeper,

         I love this stuff, too.  Thank you for your share.  I re-read a book I interestingly found at a used bookstore, on New Year's Eve.

         I was familiar with it years ago.  It's a small thin book with 88 small pages. It comes with a strong message.  The book is called Practicing Peace in Times of War, written by a Buddhist monk.

     The main theme was about having the courage to wait.  Wait for what, one might ask.

Thursday, January 5

Discernment Needed For Healthy Relationships. The 1st Video Message From the Innkeeper ...................1/6/17

      Today's content is different.

      And how.  It fol-lows my strongest suit as a public speak-er. This is my foray into using video at this inn.  It is the first of many that will be shared here.

      Today's topic is in line with the previous post, "Expressing Our Feelings."  It deals with discernment.  There are indicators that help us determine whether it is wise relating with someone.

      It is important to know who is safe and those we want to

Sunday, January 1

Expressing Our Feelings, Revisited 1/1/17

        It great expres-sing feelings.

       It helps to be constructive, when we do.  If we are sup-portive and affirming while communica-ting, that's even better. Ongoing prac-tice is necessary if this way of conver-sing is to be a part of our lives.

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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