Monday, November 28, 2011

Oops. My timing’s off.

In more ways than one.  I have an agreement with Marty that I will write my post every other Sunday and on more than one occasion I have missed the mark.  And now we’re into a busy time of the year to be sure, and I’m still honing my juggling skills.

This week I learned something really important about timing though.  Part of it relates to a little plaque my Mom has in her kitchen and I have looked at it for years.  It reads “The hurrieder we go, the behinder we get.”  And although that little saying has been indelibly printed on my mind, it rarely had its desired effect.  I am known for getting things done “toot sweet”. And often at a cost to either me or those involved, or both.

What I am realizing though is that there is much more to be gained by taking the time to “be” while “doing”.  I don’t want to get to the end of my life and feel good because I got lots done.  I want to experience each moment (good or bad, comfortable or uncomfortable) rather than focus on the outcome and be numb until I get there. (I actually designed a little notepad entitled the "To Be List" rather than the "To Do List" and it is quite popular.  I should take a page out of my own book, as it were!)

If I’m not present, I’m not respecting other people’s sense of time or how my actions my affect them.  I can be a downright bulldozer and not even realize it.  And I’m missing a lot in the process. 

I recently stumbled upon The Slow Movement (thanks Susannah!) and am quite entranced by it.  (Probably the fact that it is in Italy has something to do with it!).  Check out the link… I think they are on to something.

In the meantime, I hope all of you can experience how time actually expands when you sink into each delicious moment.  And I hope this will help to carry you through a traditionally hectic season.

Time to go!  Talk soon …

Authentically yours,


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Don't Ask Alice!

"I knew who I was this morning, but I have changed so many times since then..."

Perception as you know is one of my favorite topics. A never ending source of eyebrow raising, head shaking wonderment when I try to wrap my head around how people can see the same thing, feel the same energy, or hear the same words and interpret them so differently it’s like they are speaking two different languages.

Last week getting to know an internet interest by phone I was told “You sound so forceful.” Of course in my world I was simply being passionate about a topic near and dear to my heart and I tend to speak with lots of enthusiasm. Then on Wednesday I was appreciated by a man who I was interviewing for a radio show, he said ‘What a lovely interview, thanks for being so gentle.” I know I spoke to him with the same kind of enthusiasm that I tend to lean toward, yet one person experienced me as forceful and the other as gentle. Give me another nibble of that bread Alice.

Needless to say one sentiment warmed my heart, the other raised my hackles.  I think it’s obvious which is which but because I can no longer assume anyone sees the world as I do I will spell it out.
 In being told I am forceful I hear judgment and a dark shadow looms over the comment as if I am emoting some undesirable aspect of the feminine.  Sad but true. If we woman were Amazonian warriors defending home and hearth I suppose being told you were forceful would be a compliment but in our culture it is synonymous with the masculine. He is rather forceful. Not necessarily a bad thing depending on the situation, but she is forceful …yeah…you get the picture. Hearing that makes me bristle and feel hard inside.

Then to contrast, when I hear a male tell me that I am gentle, the first words out of my mouth were ahhhh, how sweet, I say. Thank you for saying that. I feel all girlish and soft, warm and friendly, appreciative and open hearted. So is this me, my makeup, my past conditioning or is it inherent in the comment itself that is being directed toward me?  Is one comment actually inviting defense and the other connection?  Sure feels that way to me.

I do notice that one is an expression solely about me and the focus is ON me, ‘you are forceful’ doesn’t leave room for much more than either yes its true or no its not, agree or disagree, in a felt sense it’s a closed door. The other comment includes the speaker who is experiencing me and it’s clearly positive. It is a comment that says, you make me feel this way, not you ARE this way and I respond to that difference even if it’s only a linguistic one. It feels like a bud unfurling.

So why is this important?  I think I am at a stage where I am learning to discern in a new way which individuals are right to have in my life and which are not. Being a person who knows that upset and conflict is also a call to action and introspection in order to facilitate growth doesn’t help matters. If anything it has kept me involved with people longer than is helpful simply because my criteria for walking away is not as simple as whether an interaction feels good or not. It is far more complex since I won’t walk away from personal evolution. I know the message is coming for my own good and whether I get it with this person or the next, it will not stop until I DO get it. So I hang in thinking, well might as well do the work now.

 But you know what….I am currently wondering if perhaps it doesn’t have to be so complex. If the universe is giving me messages maybe some of them, MOST of them could be good ones, ones that feel lovely and warm and inclusive. Maybe it doesn’t have to be so hard!  I will still use upset to grow and I stay committed to looking at myself when activated but I am no longer sure it has to be as much work as I have made it in the past, or so much struggle. With the fellow who saw me as forceful, it feels hard. Granted the jury is still out since we haven’t met. He did make references to me being like a puffer fish (you know puffed up to look threatening and yet really soft inside) which doesn’t really bode well, but I did find that kind of funny and certainly at times true.

All in all though, I would rather a man simply looked past my defense and knew he could melt me. That kind of confidence is attractive. Not talking about my defense to me but standing firm and clear in action even if I circle around in feeling.  It is the masculine on purpose, unwilling to wither or shrink in the face of the feminine no matter what face it is wearing in its ever changing arsenal of feeling. 

Ahhhh, the longing to be met, to be seen and understood and in equal measure to understand another.

And yes, human, social, evolutionary skill sets are required for the successful and enjoyable execution of this dance. And the dance is not called, ‘you are this’ or ‘you are that’. A man who tells me who I am without me asking is setting themselves up for a whack!  It lights me up and not in a good way.
The dance is also not called ‘give me direction so I can decide if I should take a risk with you.’  A man who is looking for direction from a woman is also setting themselves up for a whack.

Rather,the steps of patient receiving and perceiving, listening and reflecting, curious questions that lead  in a solid and clear direction when I DO offer myself, even if its tentative at first like a soft shy colt…THAT is where you separate the men from the boys. Hint to guys....this does require action from you, a specific invitation to a woman's essence.

Can you imagine if men knew they were being called to confidently lead a woman into this response, to melt any resistance rather than believe it.

And reciprocally, that the feminine is to inspire this kind of desire to lead in a man. I think I am just learning the nuances of that task. How can I inspire a man to lead with certainty and clarity, yes I am playing with that.
But only the man himself can know where he is going, that is something that he hqs had to have wrestled with individually before I enter the scene. He would have to know his path and also how it includes and supports his beloved other, his woman’s healing as well as all those they encounter.

Yup, nobody said I was going for small potatoes! I want the whole enchilada. Ok, too many food groups, must be time for supper. No more Alice confusion, she is after all 10 feet tall!

Happy Happy Sunday ya all, the day of brunches and gratitude and the New York Times.

Authentically Yours,


Sunday, November 13, 2011

He said, she said ...

You might want to make yourself a nice cup of hot cocoa before you start reading.  Get comfortable. It’s a bit of a longer ride than usual.

(For those of you who have just tuned in, “The Robert” and I reconnected a year ago after almost 25 years of not seeing each other.  It was a long-distance thing and although a wonderful experience, it had its challenges.  I chose to end it in April and we hadn’t spoken for almost six months at his request.)

This week, The Robert was soundly nudged by the universe to communicate with me.  (He had important renewal information that he realized I needed in order to keep this blog online.) 

While he had me “on the line” as it were, he decided to share with me how he had been feeling about what had happened between us.  I’m not going to share the first six or seven emails with you … suffice it to say that it was liberally laced (on both sides) with perceived sarcasm, blame, anger and attacks – something that can easily happen when you are just looking at it in print.  It was really uncomfortable.  As the content went into a nosedive, The Robert deftly managed to pull us out of it by asking for a phone conversation.  I agreed.  When we talked, we covered a lot of ground, both of us very surprised at how we had so profoundly misinterpreted each other’s feelings.  (In one of his emails he referred to me as a “Mystical Healer Extraordinaire”, and I took it as sarcasm, hence the references to Doctor in the following excerpts of what happened next.

He said …

I think I'm in need of one more session, if it’s all right with you. I loved the talk with you yesterday, but I didn’t get to the real source of my anger/angst. I was sort of blown away by your perspective on things and I got a bit sidetracked. I have to get this out or I won’t be able to let it go from cycling around in my head. I could write it out I suppose, but email just doesn’t cut it for this stuff, as we've seen :). xox

She said …

I have actually had to think a lot about this.  What I have come to is that I am happy to have as many conversations as you like but with a caveat or two ...

If you need to vent or attack me as a way of getting to your real source of anger or angst, then no.  I’m not in.  It’s not fruitful. 

I’d like to try and explain why.  You may have felt better after you said those things in your “shredding” p.s. to me, and that’s great.  I'm glad you got it off your chest. The thing is, it won’t last.  It will cycle again in the future because it really wasn’t what you needed to do with that anger.  And in the meantime, I take the brunt of something that really isn’t mine.  Then I react from my “I'm-not-good-enough” soft spot, you feel awful because you did it, and it starts a whole other cycle of self recrimination, anger, resentment, and so on.  While I’m far from perfect, I recognize when I react and I do try to take responsibility for it and not dump it on someone else (so I apologize and reframe). My goal is to recognize it in the moment so the yucky stuff can be dealt with head on and then we can evolve.

This may sound like I’m absolving myself of any part I played in your misery but au contraire, I play a huge part in your misery and I believe that’s one of the purposes of relationship.  I said/did things that angered and saddened you beyond belief.  I know that.  What I also know is that anger and sadness existed deep inside you before I came along.  My part in all of this (not consciously) was to cause that anger and sadness to surface so you have a fighting chance to deal with it.  Imagine going through our lives with all that buried?  I am only half alive if I choose to carry that kind of stuff with me.  My practice is to continue to notice when that shit comes up, and then choose to let it go.  I don’t want to bury anything!  (I’ve had a lot of practice in this area as you know.)

So, my dear friend, over to you.  If you are interested in these terms of engagement, then give me a call. I really enjoyed hearing your voice yesterday. oxoxdrknowitallxoxoxoxox

He said …

Hi Dr.,

Nicely said and thought out. I agree with you, that makes so much sense. I thought about it for quite a while, too, after I sent the note, and came to a similar conclusion. It was a bad idea and would not be helpful at all. I realized it would have sounded like an attack and that’s definitely not where I want to go with you. You analyzed this so beautifully anyway, I’m sure I can use this to help fill in that worn synaptic pathway. It’s really become a meaningless feedback loop. I’m tired of it. When it starts to cycle again, I will preempt it and think of what you said here instead. It will work. New pathways.

I’m very good with where we are right now. No, I’m ecstatic. What a difference a few days can make. We’ve hit bare metal and now we can build again. Baby steps first, but steps nonetheless.

Thank you very much for your reply. This is the real encore I needed. xoxaverybigfriendlyhugxox

P.S. You should blog about the process we just went through. I think it will make a great article. Maybe even a two-parter. Mention my alias, I’d like that.

P.P.S.  Love you.

She said …

Dear The Robert.  I was actually going to ask you if I could blog about this.  It is so rich is it not?  I love you too.  xoxox

He said …

Rich ... my sentiments exactly. Good for 2 or 3 installments at least! xoxox

I’m happy to report that while we aren’t communicating every day, we have the wherewithal to catch ourselves if we stray from the heart of our deep friendship.

Thank you Robert.  xoxox
Authentically yours,


Sunday, November 6, 2011

You Know!

When your body talks, are you listening?

So many people think there is something wrong with them or that they have an issue, never quite realizing that the only issue any of us have is when we stop listening to our essence and get stuck trying so hard to find solutions at a content level. Judging, evaluating, criticizing…it's enough to drive anyone off the deep end.

In truth if you were willing to live inside your body and LISTEN to the information it is offering you in EVERY moment you would feel a sense of freedom and ease beyond stories and challenges and so called ‘issues”.  Even if the sensations you found were uncomfortable, they would be authentic. Authenticity combined with acceptance, generates a state of love inside you, for yourself!

Here’s the headline…THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU!  Nothing at all.  You are not the problem, never were and never will be. Your perception on the other hand may just need some attitudinal tweaking so you can discern if the filter you are viewing the world, yourself and others through, is working for you.
 And then if not…CHANGE IT. 

When we move away from our inner body experience judging it as something we do not want to feel, we are in effect saying there is something wrong with us. Instead, DECIDE to see yourself and the world, looking through a filter that says ‘the world is a benevolent force that wants nothing but the best for me in every given instance.”

Of course you can choose your own lens and make it personally relevant. You know what your ego mind says about you in your darkest hour, flip it, choose the opposite, and make it positive, accepting and expansive. It could be “There is nothing wrong with me” or “I accept all parts of myself, I am ok”, choose something that works for you.

Then DECIDE to breathe into yourself focusing on what sensations you are experiencing in the present moment. Breath into what you notice. Tension in your belly, breath into that…tightness in your throat…breathe into that. Follow the sensory impulse and allow yourself to be in relationship with it, rather than try to change it. Then ask your body, what is important for me to know about this? Big deep breath and invite the pictures, words, or feelings to arise.

Your psyche is like an iceberg that has only a small amount of itself above water, the rest, 80-85% is buried below the surface…unconscious. The conscious mind above the water sees only water in the immediate vicinity and often will explain its feeling state by what it sees. Your unconscious mind is below the surface but accessible thorough your breath which then can transmit information to your mind. This knowing resourceful state is always available to you and waits patiently to bring you deeper into your essence, into the truth of who you really are. It is your birthright to tap into this depth and wisdom and it is your mission to ripple it out into the world.

If you follow the present experience in your body, wherever it leads, breathing into the next sensation and then the next,  it will inevitably take you deeper down, through the many layers of your psyche into the very core of your soul.

And because this is a friendly benevolent universe, if you are not listening to the truth of who you are in all your glory and vivacity, the world responds by giving you a tap on the head. If you don’t listen to that, it can become a 2 by 4 and if you keep ignoring the message, a whole house can crumbles around you. Stop shooting the messenger, those people who activate or annoy or disturb you and instead recognize that if you have a reaction, you are being called to follow it into yourself and learn something new.

So that has been my week…following impulses into greater awareness, inviting sensation and acceptance and staying open and curious about what it is all for. Lots of light bulbs for me around the masculine and feminine energies that are in me. And now to practice my insights!

It is not knowledge that is power; it is the application of knowledge that is power.

You  know.

Authentically Yours,