Thursday, December 30, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Here Is An Interesting Fact Of Life

For me to touch them … they had to be touching me.

Most people never notice this one.

For my life to be focused and centered in reality … and in reality is the key word phrase here … I had to be real. So it follows if I am to be real:

If I can come in contact with them … and conversely … they with me … I have to consider that I might not be destroyed by the contact with them.

My conundrum was that I was afraid … I was hiding … hiding deep inside my own skin, far below the surface of my metaphorical pond … the one that I hide in the depths of, while appearing to be somebody at the surface … but if I wanted to have the life I said I always wanted to have … I had to at least come to the surface and be present and accountable for a period of time.

Being Real Counts Anywhere It Happens

… But When It Happens Where The Skin Meets The Air...

Now That Is Profound

Thursday, December 16, 2010

This is not about who I am

This is about what happened to Me

An Open Mind

An Open Heart

And a Willingness to Change



And Beautiful

Somedays My Behaviour Stinks

I'm Not My Behaviour

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

31 On Appreciating Resistance

EXPERIENCE has taught us that in our culture we do all we can to push aside those experiences that bring us closer to our deeper and hidden past. We tend to keep them at a distance and pretend they don’t exist.

It is like living at the base of the volcano and ignoring the intrinsic dangers of being there in the first place, simply because we choose not to notice.

When we think of life in this context there is some merit to the idea that we choose to be “entertained” by life in the fashion that we are.

So . . .

. . . as long as we push away the pain, it has us nailed to the wall. But when we stop resisting it we sort of let it in. It is actually a relief; we feel better in spite of it.

No Longer At Odds With Everything
Extracted from a Client's Story oh so many years ago: However in the end the pain faded and I was able to realize just how sick my family was and let go. If asked if I would do the court thing again I'm not sure what I would say.

It was hell.

However, at the time, it was what it took for me to let go of my past and turbo burst into a new future full of freedom, love and dreams coming true.

I often watched people in therapy after some times finally come to the point where they were ready to deal with their core issues. Their biggest inner demons and then over and over again always avoiding it  always with very well intentioned plans, either through intellectualization, a new relationship, moving away, a new job, getting angry with Neil and quitting, deciding they were finished just when they were actually getting started, being really busy, a series of ongoing crises (my personal favorite) etc.

For me taking the time to sort through my core family issues and all those childhood traumas; a bunch I had forgotten; so much sadness and grief, that was the key to a life of freedom.

I needed to find someone who had been through his or her own hell and back again who knew the way to support, and comfort me. To teach and discipline me so I could learn personal boundaries and most of all to love me and love me and love me until I could learn to love again. For me, that someone was Neil.

I saw five or six therapists before him, but he had really done his stuff and I can see he still does. It's that love and his humanness and experience that gave me the strength to go through.

Group therapy with a capable and compassionate facilitator is from my experience one of the most effective ways of moving through these core family issues and making permanent life changes. There are a lot of “shitty” therapists out there or mediocre well-meaning ones, and some that really know their stuff. Neil knows his stuff.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Some Times Poetry is More Clear Then Pros


Living life between a rock and a hard place

Insulting names hurled like stones

The heart turns to steel, caged like a captured animal - defenceless

You learn to put on stone armour to hide behind

Fighting back only makes things worse

Having no place go, no one to turn to

No friends for support, but so desperately seeking

There was no rest not at school, not at home.

Last again, but I knew that was coming, my place already predetermined

Back of the pack again and again

The ump calls batter up, instead I am battered up

Dodging the balls hurdled at me was a daily game I was forced to play

I am out before I reach first plate; in fact I was out before the game started

Why me, why am I always the target

No angels in my outfield, to save and protect me

Where were all the responsible adults at my greatest time of need?

As I sit and learn my ABCs and 123s, I am surrounded by the cruelty of life

The teachers correct my work but, they never really help me

The classrooms were filled to capacity, but yet I was all alone

I am frozen in time from all the cold shoulders

Taunted and haunted to no end

Nothing changes as life passes by, hiding from the pain of abuse

Constantly trashed and then recycled over and over again

When you want to find me, just look in my favourite hiding place.

I wish I would have been able to tell them to take a hike or fly a kite

The bulling inflicted was like bullets fired into my heart

Life was like playing a game of hide and seek, where I hid and no one seeks me

Encapsulated in a world that I so desperately wanted to escape

Each day brought the same old, same old; again and again until you believed it was the only way

On a scale of 1 to 10, my life was a "0"

The torture was so great I felt like I was living in hell

Escaped at last with no desire to go back – no more repeat visits for me.

Who ever came up with the saying "Sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you", never lived a life like mine, as the names did hurt, a very deep lasting hurt.

J M H - 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

So All Is Normal ?

STATEMENT OF FACT: So All Is Normal?- All Is Well?  ... and How Do I tell?
May not be a statement of truth, and the higher probability is that in all likelihood it does not define Healthy either, even though most of us assume it does.
For some, denial may have been a learned survival or safety mechanism. If you really saw or talked about what was happening in your family where you grew up, you might not have survived childhood. You may have been taught not to notice what was happening to you and to other people in your family in order to maintain a "one big happy family" fantasy for the outside world. Of all the things you were taught to ignore, it is the lack of recognition of your own feelings that usually has the most devastating effects on you and your re-lationships and others. Co-dependency, like most addictions, is a feeling disorder.
Consider the following:
7R's and 6 D’s
  • The 7R's of living in Life are as follows: Rules, Roles, Relationships, Respon-sibilities, Respect, Resources, Returning Cycle.
  •  The 6 D’s are a slightly more abstract as in understanding that codependency has six major faces or sides. They are Denial, Delusion, Distortion, Defensiveness, Dishonest and Despair.

Simple Statement of Truth:

Simple Statement of Truth:

Experiencing our discomfort simply as it is and not being carried off imagining that it is the end of the world, has some hidden benefits; benefits that we may never have either considered or imagined without slowing things down enough just to notice.

The experience of having our feelings, simply as they are, presents unexpected outcomes, but only if you take the time to notice. For instance simply having the experience rather than attempting to shun it or push it away, or mood alter can in and of itself have the ability to open us up to dynamics and to places within us that are so vast and rich, so full of the presence of spirit and creativity that it would be hard to describe them, let alone imagine them to be there without having the opportunity to experience them.

People who have experienced this awakening to the deeper side of life have done so as the result of experiencing life from a prospective that was life threatening and or terrorizing, and they report that in the midst of all the clamber and hullabaloo they came in contact with aspects of themselves that they never would have imagined were there to be contacted in the first place. Now the oddity of it all is that they might never have considered of looking inside the pain, the confusion the clamber and hubbub to see what was there and they only reason that they did was because they had no choice, it happened to them.

• So how can one become skilful at taking benefit from those observations and intimacies that scares me nearly to death?

• How can one go about touching base with the deeper side of things that seem only to be accessible via methods that are both scary and uncomfortable?

• Then if you wanted to stretch it just a little further how could one use the wisdom gleaned from the experience of crossing over into that place as a template for resolving life’s difficulties.

• Is it possible to source the deeper aspects of yourself and not be scared to death as you do it?

Simply have the feeling. Not being lost in it or having to run away from it or re arranging it to appear to be something that it is not but rather to simply sit on it and noticing, just watching to what is happening both on the inside and the outside.

Just notice.

That is all that is required.

All most to a person, we have a strong desire to shun the sensation of what is initially perceived as unpleasant or uncomfortable and all most to a person we will hesitate to even admit that this opportunity of deep introspection is there just waiting for us, should we choose to try it.

• Scary thought not to run away from the fear or the hurt and the pain.

• Scary thought just to have it and notice all its qualities.

I have done this many times and noticed one consistent thing; the feelings are never what I thought they were. Scary is not scary after I get passed the initial moment or onset and not reacted. I have found that there were stages to move through as I sat with the feelings, and the first and most intimidating of all is the overwhelming sense of vulnerability.

Vulnerability is like a vestibule or waiting area that leads to the deeper workings of the soul. The front hall if you like. Be there in vulnerability can be something akin to sitting in the dentist’s office waiting for your turn. Being there in vulnerability often seems to be an empty, creepy and lonely thing to doplace, yet when your consciousness simply stands there in it, waiting, it is then that you notice that there is a very particular discomfort that sets up deep within you. This discomfort has many noticeable features that can change from situation to situation and they can come together and seem to gather momentum to be come the working definition of creepy or lonely or empty and the list goes on and on.

We notice this strangeness and we will, quite naturally, want to make every effort to avoid it.

But … and this but is a major but … if you can just stay centered in the moment and allow yourself to delve deeper into the introspection of the natural and painful processes, know this, growth is hidden within the process of examination.

There is really only one major requirement and that is; that we stay with the sensation of vulnerable, or metaphorically, stand in the vestibule, and then simply notice what comes along in our consciousness.

Then simply notice.

Don’t grasp, don’t push, don’t run just notice. Allow it to be what it is and how it is.

Free from your influence that is being driven by your underlying fears.

Simply notice.

This is often said to be done in a fashion that we have never would have imagined possible and often as not, to heighten the affect, we do it with people or in circumstances we would have thought impossible to either be with or be in.

Imagine that ... doing something that I would never have thought possible.

Question To The Universe

So does vulnerable equal defense¬less?

1) And if it does, then when these two places in our consciousness come together do they conspire to bring about the pain, the pain we are afraid to have in the first place.

2) Am I complicit in my own suffering either covertly or overtly?

3) Are there times where life conspires with the circumstances to present situations that simply have no appetizing solutions, it seems that it is just more despair and depression?

So there you are in the midst of experiencing turmoil on many levels, intense sensations that most would want to call painful at levels in your being that you would never have imagined.

Now if you stay steady with it for just a few brief moments in time you may begin to notice something unusual, the sensation, in and of itself, begins to change. The business of standing in the vestibule of your soul becomes an interesting place to be.

The feelings evolves and as it does some of it evolves into that motivating force that will begin to move you towards sharing things you never would have dreamt of sharing with people you never would have thought of sharing with, ever, but … and here is the magical big but again … you do this because in all honesty, you need to for your own well being.

It is like an awakening or birth where the soul breaking out of its shell, the ego, much as a butterfly has to break out of the chrysalis to complete the transformation process, of becoming … what you might ask … of becoming intimate, actually become an intimate, someone who has had the experience and gleaned the wisdom to be able share from the heart.

Having the facility to share and listen and not be dominated with or by fear.

To be able to translate and transfer that experience to and with people in a fashion you never would have thought possible.

Imagine that ... doing the impossible.

What everyone notices who venture into this process is this:

(a) Those barriers that stood between you and you sharing with the world outside of you slowly began to fall away as an indirect aside from taking the time to appreciate the sensation for what it is.

(b) The appreciation process becomes the tool or the instrument of release from the cocoon of the ego, it is the process that is melting those barriers mentioned above.

(c) By stopping and doing this marks the beginning of the undoing of the self imposed isolation of self and the beginning of the undoing of that tiny little painful knot that is hidden deep down in your heart, something like the single pebble in the heal of your shoe. It becomes very wearisome after awhile.

(d) It also marks the beginning of the process that will allow you to touch the existence of the reality that lay at and just beyond the very surface of your skin. Something akin to a fish in a pond that discovers the surface and senses that there is something more out there, no idea what, but a sense that something is there and it is important to have. So he pokes his head up to the surface and begins to hang out there simply for the experience.

(e) By simply being willing to explore the deeper aspects of your own sensory output, this will eventually cause you to become aware that for you, more is possible.

Here is the interesting fact of life; for me to touch them they had to touch me, for my life to be focused and centered in reality I had to be real.

You can come in connect with them

and they with you

and not be destroyed by the contact.

My conundrum was that I was afraid and I was hiding deep in side my skin, far below the surface of my metaphorical pond but if I wanted to have the life I said I always wanted I had to at least come to the surface and be present and accountable.

Being Real Can Only Happen Where The Skin Meet The Air.

My pain brought me to the surface. I never said out of my body, just to the surface of my being.

It is at the surface of our existence, the skin line so to speak, where we find things like compassion, and understanding, love and caring, things that if we allowed them to sink in, to be absorbed, then we could begin to give over the hard driving perfectionist tread mill that we keep our selves on.

• We also might even notice others just like us at the surface too trying figure out what the hell to do too.

• We may just very well awaken into a place where we can begin to appreciate that we are not alone on the face of this planet and God has not made a mistake.

• That we really are here for a reason, and that reason might not have a darned thing to do with our logic and reason.

• We might notice that if we are actually paying close attention to all that is we might notice that there just might be a message in the fact that we are here in the midst of 6 or so billion other lost souls here too and maybe we should try experimenting with what we might be able to do with at least some of those others who seem to be aware of the predicament we are all in.

All our natural defenses of resistance are just devices we use to keep our focus off the job at hand, of exploring the universe we were born into.

So here is the conundrum:

We are left right in the middle of a life that has brought us to our knees by the sharp fragments and shards of it’s circumstances and there seems not to be an appetizing solution at hand, but there is a door, and that door seems to go places that could be both scary and painful, but as we stand where we stand in our life’s circumstance the very pain of standing there is slowly becoming overpowering so we either have to mood alter, pretend or get on with it and go through.

It is simply a decision.

It is the ramifications of that decision that are mind boggling when you stop and think about it.

As we begin to examine the pain of it all, we might just notice that there is a choice hidden away in there and I could have if I wanted it and that choice seems to be for me to step through the thought/passageway/door and enter a deep world of appreciation that has nothing to do with outer world values, that is now opening to me if only I choose; a place that is called by many different names and a place that for a time initially will appear to be filled with unknowingness, unfamiliarity and sometimes raw fear, but I now know that this will all pass, if only I give it a chance.

Finally as we are brought into touch with a place very deep inside our souls we find that this unknowingness slowly gives way to a place that has a quiet sense of immense strength and spaciousness.

It is place where courage and strength is sown and harvested, where our ability to imagine and accept and go on in the face of adversity comes to maturity and if drawn upon this place it allows us to preserver and get on with life as it is laid out for us.

It is a place where we can be stretched beyond what we think we could do, and then do whatever it is that comes next and needs to be done. This can all come to fruition in the face of the unfamiliar and the uncertain and done is such a fashion that your next action will be full of both a sense of self and a sense of creative genius intertwined into one new sensation.

It is a mystical place where you and your physical reality can meet up with your eternal essence. This meeting up is more a blending and it does not happen because of the pain or aversion, but rather out of a respect for life gained as you examine the pain and aversions of your life. It comes about because of the willingness you display to play on the edge of, and explore into the depths of, which allows you a greater access to that deeper part of you.

The re¬sistance to exploration of the pain is us holding that opportunity at bay purely out of fear of fear, because we believe we don’t know, and we don’t want to go round the corner and see. We are simply too scared. But if you just take the time to enter into the feeling of being scared you will notice it has deeper qualities too and it is only the device our mind is using to keep us from seeing our own true nature.

When we open to our suffering we open to our humanity … to all that is.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What I didn't know before I had kids. Author Unknown

How many seconds it takes to microwave 4 fish sticks perfectly.

Who John Jacob Jingle Heimershmitt is.

How to change a diaper in the dark, in a parked car, on a standing child-and all of the above simultaneously.

Which lines of The Cat in the Hat and If I Ran the Circus can be skipped over without a child noticing.

How bright a 3 a.m. full moon is.

The design marvels of hooded towels, Velcro-strap shoes and mitten clips.

Locations of public restrooms all across town.

Why anyone would bother retracing their steps for miles just to retrieve a lost blankie.

That tigers live in the trees in our backyard.

The amazing technicolor variety of infant stool.

How to open a van door while bobbling 2 lunch boxes, two extra coats, a purse, a diaper bag and a baby.

The fine art of vacuuming a floor without hosing up a Barbie shoe or a Playmobil cannonball.

That solid white socks get lost in the dryer at a much slower rate than do the mates of patterned socks that coordinate to special outfits.

How little sleep a human body truly needs to function.

Almost every Disney lyric ever penned.

How to spell amoxicillin.

That one can never own too many sippy cup lids or refrigerator magnets.

Scientific names of dinosaurs from A to Z.

That reverse psychology really works.

The recipe for a homemade version of Play-doh.

That Duplo and Lego blocks procreate in the night.

The distinctive sounds of Cheerios crunching underfoot.

Why they call them Happy Meals.

The names of the leaders of Celesteville, Busytown and the Pride Lands (Babar, Mayor Fox, and Mufasa, Scar and Simba)

How far you can dilute juice and still retain it's taste.

That man (or child anyway) really can live on peanut butter alone.

That gender inequality starts early in clothing: Boy's underpants have a wide band on top, while the waistband and leg holes in girls look the same, increasing the odds that she'll pull 'em on tangled or upside down.

Sesame Street's air time.

The remarkable resemblance of a state-of-Florida puzzle piece (or a plastic hammer, a splay-legged Barbie or a piece of cheese scultped just so by tiny bites) to a gun.

That the bunny's name isn't Pat.

Translations of myella, babana, panyo, snunk, maldations, and nibbles (vanilla, banana, piano, skunk, dalmations and nipples).

That the more my kids learn, the less I seem to know.

The blessedness of naps, the inviolate importance of routines.