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Archive for June, 2008

I’m always amazed by how just a little encouragement can change everything. Like magic, someone’s willingness to come alongside makes all the difference.

I spent 2 hours yesterday with someone who has the gift of encouraging others. Two hours with this new friend was like seeing myself as Cinderella at the ball, instead of Cinderella on her hands and knees, covered with soot.

One way that’s MY WAY is being wired an extrovert. Not so much in the gregarious, life of the party, people person – I can actually be quite shy sometimes – but because of the way I orient to reality. Little makes sense until I hear it or see it reflected in the people around me. I can come up with a zillion theories in my head, but never know how ridiculous they may be, or how brilliant they may be, until they’re bounced off someone else.

This leaves me in need of community.

Which is great if you have it.

Sucks if you don’t.

And in our increasingly isolated, disjointed world, community is hard to come by. Which leaves most of us in community with the committee in our heads. And we know how encouraging THEY can be

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p.s. to yesterday’s post. I can’t believe I didn’t put her first on my list of people keeping me sane. Kathy is the number one, first in line, go-to woman when I need a good dose of how it really is. What would I ever do without you, girl?

cat

The other thing? Trying a little zen practice – minus the statue. What does it mean, be the bliss?

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Sometimes the “cure” of psychotherapy is worse than whatever disease you might be in therapy for. This is certainly true of this psychotherapist – yes, moi. I’ve been hyper-thinking lately and, to answer Dr. Phil, no it’s not really working for me. Introspection, journaling, getting in touch with my feelings, and increasing self-awareness – logical tools in the heady realm of self-analysis – sometimes go awry.

I’ve been awry lately. Very very awry. And my handy therapist’s toolbox is making it worse.

Here’s what’s been saving my sanity lately:

Venting at the top of my lungs on Judi’s answering machine

The F word

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert

Santana

Guitar Hero on Wii

My new church – AMC Fellowship – did I mention movies are $5 before noon on Sunday?

A night of packing books, eating nachos, drinking daquiri’s, and playing – you guessed it – Guitar Hero at Caren’s

Friday night open grill on the patio at our place

My new bike

…these are good for what ails me

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My Way?

My first mentor, Ray, had a saying about two kinds of people. I’m a sucker for that one. There are two kinds of people in the world – blank and blank. Fill in the blanks.

Ray was my boss, the person who convinced me I would be a good counselor. He said, “there are two kinds of people in the world, boundary invaders and boundary evaders.” Boundary invaders are those who thrust themselves upon the world, declare I’M ME -DEAL WITH IT! Boundary evaders are those who defer to the boundaries of others and who need to be invited into the world. Each type has it’s upside, each type it’s downside.

I’m generally a boundary evader. I wait to be invited.

At one time I thought that’s the way a person ought to be. The appropriate way, the healthy way, the spiritual way, the mature way, the nice way. I had a faith system that seemed to support me in my belief. A good Christian is this way, I thought. So I worked harder at being the right way.

I sometimes don’t like that I’m a boundary evader, so I work on becoming different. After all, healthy people are assertive, strong, positive, and non-apologetic, showing up in the world without asking permission. I’ve spent a lot of time and money trying to become this other way.

Sometimes I just say F-it, and dance the shadow side, make-believe I’m Aretha Franklin, Queen Latifa, Uma Thurmon, and a host of other kick-ass ladies, who, I guarantee you, do not ask permission.

Sometimes in an effort to be a different kind of person, I unleash myself on those who don’t deserve the dose of me I’m dishing out at the moment.

Today all this introspection just makes me tired. So I’m sifting through, and working to accept, those things that constitute “my way.” I invite you to do the same.

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Giving Notice

The Committee returned from hiatus in Florida this week – with a vengeance. It seems they read about themselves while they were gone, decided they’d been duped, and loaded up with vitriol to take up the cause. They took me down for awhile. Luckily I called my friend Judi to see if she could help me find my sanity, and she rallied the Anti-Committee Insurgents with a quote from one of my favorite books.

Describing her mind as a harbor (place of refuge, port of entry); and her “Self” as an island, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, writes the following:

This island has been through some wars, it is true, but it is now committed to peace, under a new leader (me) who has instituted new policies to protect the place. And now – let the word go out across the seven seas – there are much, much stricter laws on the books about who may enter this harbor.

You may not come here anymore with your hard and abusive thoughts, with your plague ships of thoughts, with your slave ships of thoughts, with your warships of thoughts, that are filled with angry or starving exiles, with malcontents and pamphleteers, mutineers and violent assassins, desperate prostitutes, pimps and seditious stowaways – you may not come here anymore, either. Cannibalistic thoughts, for obvious reasons, will no longer be received. Even missionaries will be screened carefully, for sincerity. This is a peaceful harbor, the entryway to a fine and proud island that is only now beginning to cultivate tranquility. If you can abide by these new laws, my dear thoughts, then you are welcome in my mind – otherwise, I shall turn you all back toward the sea from whence you came.

That is my mission, and it will never end.

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Often I find it difficult to be the author of a blog like this, to dance around the line of propriety when it comes to matters of my own personal musings and struggles. The soul is a sometimes cloudy place. Mine has been overcast for several months now.

Hope is a topic that has been the center of some struggle for me, and I’m not sure I’m any closer to settling the issue in my heart. But this morning I’m ready to move on.

Some final thoughts on hope:

1. Hope cannot be reduced to either a wish or a feeling.

2. Rather, hope is a capacity, an ability of the soul/spirit.

3. It’s the capacity to be energized by possibility.

4. This creates a kind of buoyancy that enables a person to move with power into the particulars of life.

This is what I know so far.

Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Here’s a sardonic parting shot:

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Hope-go-round

You need money to make money.

To get a good job, you need experience. To get experience, you need a job.

Good things will come to those who have hope. If you lose hope then nothing good will happen.

Can anyone explain this to me?

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