Saturday, December 4, 2010

What is it about these holidays ??

What is it about the holidays? Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Years Eve? that sends so many into a tailspin of anxiety, sadness, worry, stress and depression.

So much is going on – with daylight savings time abruptly ended, it's suddenly so much darker so much earlier—so little light. It's cold, rainy, snowy, windy. Sunshine has SO diminished!

Then, there's the “holidays” - 'family' is a word automatically associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas. And, some of us don't have such great associations, emotionally, with the word, 'family'. And then, there's the 'Expectation' word. We have expectations... how we want things to go. We want everyone to be 'happy', we want to be happy, but we find ourselves feeling to anxious and stressed out with how to make it good for everyone. How to please everyone. Especially at Christmas. Will we find the perfect gift for this person and that person that will best prove our love for them? What is it, really, that tugs at so many of us that we end up spending more than we intended or going into debt much of the coming year paying for the love we hope to show our loved ones with the presents we believed would best express our love--in ways we may, otherwise, tend not to.

I've heard it acknowledged by many – December is the month of emotional 'regression'. Emotional regression is a reverting backwards in feeling and behavior to an earlier, often childhood period of our lives whereby our coping strategies were primitive. These strategies were ways we found effective in our young life. A few key examples of emotional regression might be: shutting down, withdrawing emotionally, becoming angry or aggressive, manipulative, sarcastic, joking, clowning, pleasing.

Sandy told me she knows something is off when she finds herself feeling 'irritable' (or cranky). She tells me that when she picks up on this inner experience, she knows she needs to stop and take stock with what is going on within her psyche. 'Irritability' is what is one of the five cover-up feelings. Irritability most typically covers up our vulnerable feelings such as sadness, loneliness, emptiness, powerlessness, disappointment, hurt – to name a few.

She shared with me the struggle with 'expectations' – the struggle of living up to our perceived expectations that we believe others have over us – or the expectations we have over ourselves to do, to give, to be for others... known as perfectionism. Or, the subtle (or not so subtle) disappointment that my family (of origin) is not even close to being the loving support that I need or wish for. Although her parents weren't alcoholic, they interacted in an emotionally aloof manner, pretending all was well as if they were a close family, when, in fact, their interactions were superficial, emotionally cool and less than honest.

Barbara shared her observations she noticed while decorating her home for the holidays. She was anticipating feelings of excitement and joy as she pulled out her safely tucked away Christmas ornaments. She was surprised and distressed in feeling an unexpected sense of low-grade sadness. She didn't know where this feeling was coming from. She had been reflecting, this fall, more deeply on meaning and her standard assumptions. She became aware that she was unable to rely on the same habitual feeling year after year when so much was expanding and changing within her personal awareness and in regards to the turmoil in the greater world around her.

Toni admits that her joy had come from 'WoW'-ing her family and friends, guests at her holiday table with the biggest, best and brightest food preparations, expensive wine, best china, table center piece ect. She acknowledged that she would knock herself out for days all for the aggrandizement in pulling off a stunning holiday feast that one would anticipate could only be accomplished by a crew rather than a lone individual. This year she took an unthinkable step – she kept it simple, her eight-year-old daughter created the center piece as a school project; she asked her guests to contribute in a pot-luck style. As a result, with the space created from these previously unthinkable choices, Toni enjoyed the absence of stress and, therefore, the opportunity to actually sit and visit and enjoy the company of her guests. She was happy to 'allow' her husband to help in ways that, in years previous, she believed that only she could manage.

Shonie reflected on a vague sense of emptiness she felt as the holidays approached. She continued her effort in noticing so as to understand where these feelings were coming from. She began to catch the connection. The T.V. commercials – the jewelry ads, the expensive car ads—the surprise gift of a Lexus waiting in the driveway outside of the lovely home with a gigantic red bow  to the wife's unexpected amazement and joy.
Shonie mused, 'it's all about being given to, it's about showing one is loved by being given things, being given the amazing fantasy gift to prove how loved I am—that someone else loves me.' If I'm not receiving an awesome gift, am I really loved, enough ? If I don't find you the most amazing gift, will you feel loved enough?

She continued, 'The commercials tell me I'm missing something. They show me everything I don't yet have – and that I need to have in order to feel satisfied, in order to feel loved by someone else, and good about myself--of value. There is a subtle sense of emptiness if I don't have this thing. If someone is not giving me this thing.

How many of us feel compelled to buy gifts at Christmas time? How else will we let our loved ones know we care about them? How their feelings will be hurt if we don't buy them just the perfect gift. All the energy we spend shopping at the malls. Do we find ourselves feel Alive there in the bustle of shopping? How much do we set ourselves back, financially, each holiday time? What compels us to make this choice? Will our children be disappointed? What are we teaching them about expectation? Has the essential meaning of this holiday time been obscured by corporate encouragement for us to spend, to buy, to prove our love by giving more stuff? Has heart-felt Love and caring for one another been reduced to 'show me the money'?

More families these days have decreed a moratorium on gift-buying in the holiday season. Instead, these families are directing their Love for one another and love for others by spending Time at food banks as a family repackaging food for the hungry; spending Time making home-made baked goods, hand-made crafts for their family and friends; spending a small sum of money planting a tree in honor of a family.
More parents are concluding that their children do not need the newest toy on the market to add to their collection of piles of abandoned gifts from the previous year. Fortunate children of such parents are learning the essential personal characteristic of appreciation instead of the typical 'expectation' of you-owe-me. Families are focusing with their children in prayers of concrete gratitude for that which they already have rather than 'wants'. Adults are experimenting with the experience of giving from their hearts instead of from their credit cards.

What does my Essential Self care for and about this Season?

I welcome you to share a story from your own experience that has meaning for you in this season ...
and, honored if you care to share this link with others...
                             Have a Safe and Meaningful Holiday Season

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Birthday Wish I received & wish to Share with ALL my Valued Viewers

"We didn't come here to fit in.

We came here to Be who we are.

We didn't come here to simply work at a job.

We came here to Live our dreams.

We didn't come here for the Stuff.

We came here to Love each other.

We didn't come here by Accident!

We Each came here with a distinct Purpose
                  that is uniquely our own."

        B E
               D R E A M

                                     L O V E

                                                        T H R I VE

                 A  L  W  A  Y  S

Monday, November 15, 2010

A MUST SEE Documentary: "Inside Job" - playing now in seattle

I just viewed the much awaited documentary film, Inside Job, a documentary by Charles Ferguson.  OMG !!  An AMAZING documentary !!  First off, he is SO professional in his handling of his documentary... classy in his approach... and, you don't see him... you only hear him interview his subjects.

The photography is fantastic... yes, who would have 'thunk' that a documentary would have fabulous photography... well, much of it takes place in NYC...  as well as the origins of this story starting in Iceland, of all places !

I appreciated this film much more than the recent 'Wall Street' film because Ferguson really educates the viewer on how these Collateralized Debt Obligations  (various hedge funds) and other Wall Street Tricks are explained in very concrete terms and made understandable for the ordinary viewer who doesn't work on Wall Street. The film helps us laypeople understand what happened in terms we can understand.
I was AMAZED !

What stands out the most to me - in simplistic terms, our government is in bed with the financial institutions - or, if you will, the wolf has been appointed to stand guard over the hen house!  Yes, this wolf gets to eat whenever he wants...and as much as he wants - without repercussions - because he's NOT there to protect the hens!! (and, gasp... also true of our educational institutions.. frightful!)

Sadly (I've already been through the shock emotions) - those at the Top who are responsible for bringing down not only our national economy - but, also the rest of the world because we are all in this together as a global economy!!  Those responsible at the top are NOW (rewarded for creating disaster)  in top positions in our government creating financial policies...  favoring Guess Who ?    

This film truly makes an argument that these very individuals should be in prison instead of overseeing our financial policies in the Obama administration...(No Change here, that we were promised)  Other financial 'bandits' already in prison that had committed crimes (ie. Enron)  pale in comparison to the CEOs of these companies who bring down the economy of an entire nation... yet, these people are rewarded with Billions $$$ - or given positions in our current administration...

So many americans are struggling to either save their homes, pay for their things, make ends meet, work more hours, too many don't have the time or emotional energy to engage in grassroots change - so... WHOMEVER   C A N...
PLEASE  D O what you can DO!

Please visit this link:

Director Ferguson makes the case that the meltdown wasn't just an unfortunate accident, it was totally avoidable.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Share information and be Strengthened

As Bernie Sanders, senator of Vermont travels around his state, he hears from working people and those unemployed, struggling to find jobs. The real life stories are reflected in a new report by Pulitzer Prize winner David Cay Johnston, pasted below. Total wages fell 5 percent from when the economy peaked, he reported. Wages fell in 2009 for all Americans except those at the very top, who saw a five-fold leap in income. 

Because this post is detailed, long and contains numbers... i've taken the liberty to bold and underline areas to stand out - in case some wish to scan this article... simply gaining an overview of these issues...

Analyzing government data virtually ignored by mainstream media, Johnston blamed the recession, of course. Another culprit he identified is so-called "free trade," which he called "nothing more than tax-subsidized mechanisms that encourage American manufacturers to close factories, fire workers, and ship American jobs overseas using cheap labor in China and other developing countries." We have heard one midwest senator say for years that free trade is Not free ! Those Americans who lost their jobs - shipped overseas and now, American manufacturing jobs shipped to Mexico --are paying dearly for so-called free trade. And, now, as more and more Americans are out of a job, can't pay their mortgages - our economy appears to be strained.

I'm posting this because clear, concise and full information about what has affected our economy is not made available by mainstream media, as this article attests. We tend to receive bits and pieces - and arguments for or opposed these bits and pieces -- enough to keep most people unclear, uncertain, and, well... just tired of it all! We need to be informed, understand the implications, and make our voices heard in objection. Our social networks can be venues for energizing change ! Let's inform each other, be involved, share our understanding of the complete picture...   avoid apathy!


By David Cay Johnston
October 25, 2010

The Shrinking Middle Class

Every 34th wage earner in America in 2008 went all of 2009 without earning a single dollar, new data from the Social Security Administration show. Total wages, median wages, and average wages all declined, but at the very top, salaries grew more than fivefold.

Not a single news organization reported this data when it was released October 15, searches of Google and the Nexis databases show. Nor did any blog, so the citizen journalists and professional economists did no better than the newsroom pros in reporting this basic information about our economy.

The new data hold important lessons for economic growth and tax policy and take on added meaning when examined in light of tax return data back to 1950.
The story the numbers tell is one of a strengthening economic base with income growing fastest at the bottom until, in 1981, we made an abrupt change in tax and economic policy. Since then the base has fared poorly while huge economic gains piled up at the very top, along with much lower tax burdens.

A weak foundation cannot properly support a massive superstructure, as the leaning Tower of Pisa shows. The latest wage data show the disastrous results some of us warned about, although like the famous tower, the economy only lists badly and has not collapsed.
Measured in 2009 dollars, total wages fell to just above $5.9 trillion, down $215 billion from the previous year. Compared with 2007, when the economy peaked, total wages were down $313 billion or 5 percent in real terms.
The number of Americans with any wages in 2009 fell by more than 4.5 million compared with the previous year. Because the population grew by about 1 percent, the number of idle hands and minds grew by 6 million.
These figures show, far more powerfully than the official unemployment measure known as U3, how both widespread and deep the loss of jobs was in 2009. While the official unemployment rate is just under 10 percent, deeper analysis of the data by economist John Williams at shows a real under- and unemployment rate of more than 22 percent.
Only 150.9 million Americans reported any wage income in 2009. That put us below 2005, when 151.6 million Americans reported wages, and only slightly ahead of 2004, when 149.4 million Americans held at least one paying job.
For those who did find work in 2009, the average wage slipped to $39,269, down $243 or 0.6 percent, compared with the previous year in 2009 dollars.

The median wage declined by the same ratio, down $159 to $26,261, meaning half of all workers made $505 a week or less. Significantly, the 2009 median wage was $37 less than in 2000.
To give this some perspective, from 1992 to 2000 the number of people earning any wages grew by 21 million, but nine years later just 2.8 million more people had any work.
These wage data, based on the Medicare flat tax on all compensation, tell us only about the number of people who earned wages and how much. They tell us nothing about whether these individuals were underemployed, had to work more than one job, earned fringe benefits, or were employed at a level commensurate with their abilities.
But they do give us a stunning picture of what’s happening at the very top of the compensation ladder in America.
The number of Americans making $50 million or more, the top income category in the data, fell from 131 in 2008 to 74 last year. But that’s only part of the story.
The average wage in this top category increased from $91.2 million in 2008 to an astonishing $518.8 million in 2009. That’s nearly $10 million in weekly pay!

You read that right. In the Great Recession year of 2009 (officially just the first half of the year), the average pay of the very highest-income Americans was more than five times their average wages and bonuses in 2008. And even though their numbers shrank by 43 percent, this group’s total compensation was 3.2 times larger in 2009 than in 2008, accounting for 0.6 percent of all pay. These 74 people made as much as the 19 million lowest-paid people in America, who constitute one in every eight workers.
Back in 1994, when the top category the government reported on was $20 million or more of compensation, only 25 people were in that rarefied atmosphere, and their average earnings came to just under $45 million in 2009 dollars.

What does this all mean? It is the latest, and in this case quite dramatic, evidence that our economic policies in Washington are undermining the nation as a whole. We have created a tax system that changes continually as politicians manipulate it to extract campaign donations. We have enabled ‘‘free trade’’ that is nothing of the sort, but rather tax-subsidized mechanisms (outsourcing of jobs) that encourage American manufacturers to close their domestic factories, fire workers, and then use cheap labor in China for products they send right back to the United States. (Let's find out who these companies are who engage this practice - and boycott them).  This has created enormous downward pressure on wages, and not just for factory workers.

Combined with government policies that have reduced the share of private-sector workers in unions by more than two-thirds — while our competitors in Canada, Europe, and Japan continue to have highly unionized workforces — the net effect has been disastrous for the vast majority of American workers. And of course, less money earned from labor translates into less money to finance the United States of America.

This systematic destruction of the working class and middle class has come during an era notable for celebrating the super-rich just for being super-rich. From the Forbes 400 launch in 1982 and Robin Leach’s Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous in 1984 to the faux reality of the multiplying Real Housewives shows, money voyeurism has grown in tandem with stagnant to falling incomes for the vast majority. There has also been huge income growth at the top and the economic children of income inequality: budget deficits and malign neglect of our commonwealth.

This orgy of money exhibitionism has created a society in which commas — it takes three to be a billionaire — count more than character. We have gone so far down this path that we bailed out bankers, allowing them to keep the untaxed wealth in their deferral accounts and, with a few exceptions, retaining shareholder value, while wiping out investors in General Motors and Chrysler as a condition of their bailouts. And while autoworkers had to take severe pay cuts, bonus time on Wall Street is at new record levels.

The American economy in the three decades before Ronald Reagan’s election did not produce a mass audience for celebrating wealth. In that era, books that emphasized character sold better than today.
During the years from 1950 to 1980, the share of total income going to those at the top declined, and the real incomes of the vast majority grew much more quickly than did nearly all incomes at the very top.
In those years, America had the money, and vision, to invest in the future through education, research, and infrastructure.

In nearly three decades of Reaganism, however, we have become a society of mine-here-and-now. Now what we hear from Washington is about today, not tomorrow. War without sacrifice (or a congressional declaration). Savings without interest. More government services while lowering taxes.

In this era, the incomes of the vast majority have barely grown while incomes at the top have soared. Reaganism has trimmed the base of the income ladder while placing a much heavier weight on the top. Narrowing the base while adding weight to the apex does not make a stable structure. Here are some numbers that may surprise those ages 50 and under, taken from the latest analysis of tax return data by Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, who have won worldwide praise for their groundbreaking work examining changes in income distribution:

So a three-decade era in which the bottom 90 percent increased their share of all income slightly was followed by a 28-year period at whose end income had fallen sharply. The 2009 data show that it has only gotten worse since then.
While the vast majority must get by on a much smaller share of the national income pie, the re-slicing resulted in concentrated benefits at the top. The top 10 percent enjoyed a nearly 40 percent increase in their share of the income pie. But within the top 10 percent, the re-slicing of the income pie between 1980 and 2008 was also heavily weighted to the top.
Those in the 90th to 95th percentile income category saw their income share rise by just 0.24 percentage points. The 95th to 99th income category got 2.43 percentage points more slice of the national income pie.
That means that of the 13.59 percentage points of increased pie going to the top 10 percent of Americans, the top 1 percent earned almost 11 percentage points of it. Now look at how the pie was sliced within the top 1 percent:
Notice that as you move to the right, the numbers of taxpayers shrink, but the percentage points grow.
The theme: more and more for fewer and fewer.

Income shares tell us about how groups are doing relative to one another. But you can’t spend income shares, so let’s look at incomes.
From 1950 to 1980, the average income of the bottom 90 percent grew tremendously. Not so since then:
Had income growth from 1950 to 1980 continued at the same rate for the next 28 years, the average income of the bottom 90 percent in 2008 would have been 68 percent higher, instead of just 1 percent more.
That would have meant an average income for the vast majority of $52,051, or $21,110 more than actual 2008 incomes. How different America would be today if the typical family had $406 more each week — less debt, more savings, and more consumption.

So how about the top? This is where the changes in incomes in these two eras become interesting, very interesting.

What the figures below show is that the closer you got to the top of the ladder in the era from 1950 to 1980, the smaller your relative increase in income, except for the very top, whose gains were slightly more than those of the bottom 90 percent. Since 1980, however, the bottom 90 percent of Americans have seen their incomes go nowhere, while on the highest steps of the income ladder, the further up you are, the greater your gains.
Add in today’s decreased number of jobs, and all these data add up to policies that can be described with one word: failed.

Let's stay informed, use our social networks to address issues, stay motivated, share information and be strengthened rather than feeling overwhelmed and hopeless  - let's be part of the solution !

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Personal experience with transformational family constellations work

I've had the opportunity to be a witness to a most remarkable healing, transformational tool and was so moved this past weekend that I am feeling a strong urge to share the experience here, with others who may also be yearning for ways to connect more deeply with their true nature and heal those hard-to-access inner blocks.

This past weekend I attended a Family Constellations (experiential) workshop and witnessed remarkable synchronicity and opportunity for transformation that can only be accessed through the invisible world. I have received permission to share this story from my close friend, I'll call her Dorie for this purpose, whose constellation work I had the honor of experiencing. I think I'll start by sharing the experience that I witnessed (and her subsequent explanation) and will follow up with an explanation of family constellation work.

We are all sitting in a large circle of maybe twenty or so participants. An 'empty' chair is intentionally kept open next to the facilitator of the workshop. My friend Dorie bravely leaves her seat and sits in the empty chair which signals that she is 'ready to work'. She and the facilitator smile softly to each other. Dorie takes a visible deep breath. Dorie briefly describes the issue she wants to work on: "I've been out of relationship--male/female--for some time; I'm not sure whether I want to actively pursue seeking a relationship with a man or if I simply want to focus on cultivating friendships with women."

    Please Hear that although the experience written about here is oriented toward 'heterosexual' - this is NOT the compelling point in sharing this woman's experience - while it may be relevant to her own personal development - be Clear that NO judgment is intended or prescribed for others who travel another way....
   The facilitator asks Dorie a few more questions and once she is satisfied that she has Dorie's intention fully clarified in her heart and mind she proceeds to request that Dorie set up a constellation -- by selecting among the participants a Representative for Herself--who also stands for Dorie's best interest; a Representative for the Feminine; a Representative for the Potential Man; and a Representative for the Unknown.

Arising from her chair Dorie then scans the participants who sit in the chairs around the circle - she is searching for those individuals whose energy would best match the image of those people in question (herself, the feminine, the potential man and the unknown). Individuals are selected, brought inside the circle and positioned intuitively where Dorie feels they best belong. She then returns to her seat by the facilitator to observe the movement that will take place among the representatives she has just positioned.

The facilitator then instructs the Representatives who are now standing inside the circle to notice the urges in their bodies--which way are they feeling drawn to move, where are they drawn to look, how are they feeling in their bodies, heaviness ? restriction?  And, the Representatives slowly respond to this cue; they are moving toward or away from other Representatives. This is what happens next:

Keep in mind these representatives are spontaneously moving & speaking - they know not What or Why Not - they have no knowledge of Dorie's personal circumstances; they are expressing what they 'sense' from within their bodies - informed by the Energy Field also understood as the Knowing Field. Left-brain intellect is Not part of this process! Nor are they 'play-acting' any preconceived scenes.

The Representative chosen for Dorie is spontaneously drawn to and is moving toward the Representative for the feminine. At the same time, the Representative for the Man is spontaneously circling around trying to get the attention of Dorie's Representative, playfully waving and looking at her. Then, the Representative for The Unknown is seen gradually gravitating toward the Man. Spontaneously, the Man and the Unknown seem to link up and together, they attempt to playfully beckon Dorie's Rep.  Dorie's Rep., however, still captivated by the Feminine, responds by putting her hand up to send a message to the Man to 'hold off'  - as Dorie's rep. is still drawn to the Rep. for the feminine; she says how comfortable she feels here as the two are gazing at each other.

The Rep. for the Feminine makes a remarkable statement; she says that 'although this feels comfortable and familiar for Dorie's representative... it is an 'old pattern'. This feminine Rep then spontaneously turns and stands behind the Rep. for Dorie as if in a position of support. With this support behind her, Dorie's Rep. is then able to turn her attention to the Man and the Unknown, who are now linked together. The energy of attraction is palpable in the circle. The Rep. for the Unknown states: "'this masculine connection is new and unfamiliar territory. This masculine energy is a 'bridge to the unknown.'"

The Rep. for the Unknown describes itself as fluid, joyful, expansive, boundless, playful.

The Rep. for the Feminine speaks about the importance of Dorie's having the support of other women friends behind her--just as she is standing in support of Dorie's Rep.

The Rep. for the Man addresses Dorie's Rep: "This makes you more attractive to me--not needing me to be the center of your world, takes the pressure off - then, we can come together sharing our individual lives and interests with each other."

This statement spoken by the Rep. for the Man offers Dorie reassurance - as the pressures of expectations in relationship has been unappealing to her and caused doubt about pursuing relationship with a man.

The words spoken by each of the Representatives comes from the wisdom of the Field - not from the personality of the individual speaking the words. It's as though the words are coming through the body of that particular Representative.

Now, for the context of Dorie's "story" - Dorie has very strawberry blond hair which is quite curly--ringlets, and quite milky-white skin. She has felt invisible to men for a very long time. This leads her to doubt her attractiveness. Unknowingly, we "project" such a feeling of ourselves and others unconsciously respond in kind to our unconscious feelings. Her previous relationships with men had been limited to a more superficial level - a deeper, more intimate experience had eluded her. Conversely, she has felt quite comfortable in the presence of other women and more often sought out their companionship as it felt 'easier' and offered the depth she enjoyed. That the Representative for the Feminine picked up on this fact and spoke this truth to Dorie's Rep. was uncanny.

That the 'Unknown' had spontaneously gravitated toward and then linked up with the 'Man' was stunning - this outcome couldn't have been more true for Dorie if she designed the script, herself - experiencing a significant relationship at this time in her life would absolutely be a dance with the Unknown! The man would be the bridge to the unknown within herself. The unknown is out of our comfort zone - we don't know what to expect -we don't feel 'in control' - the experience is New and challenges us to dig deeper within.

It is also true that Dorie is much more comfortable in the presence of women friends--as the Rep. of the Feminine had stated, it is comfortable, familiar, an old pattern. We can be drawn to repeat old patterns of comfort over and over - as they are safe but don't necessarily promote growth. Exploring the Unknown takes us out of our comfort zone yet offering possibilities for growth.

How did these Representatives Know Dorie's Truths!? This is the magic of family constellations work. The Energy of the Knowing Field connects us with the level of the soul. There is Nothing intellectual about this process! This process is NOT psycho-drama! There is no play-acting, it is not role-playing. The Representatives are experiencing their direction from the Knowing Field of energy. Be prepared to be surprised And amazed.

In conclusion, all involved in the constellation--Dorie, the Representatives as well as the observing participants around the circle--gain something intangible from the experience, in different ways. Dorie expressed that by witnessing the representatives in her constellation, hearing the truths spoken--her own inner truths--she felt something beginning to reorganize within her. She described it as pieces of a puzzle beginning to find their place and fit together. Also remarkable, a Representative who is chosen for a particular 'part' often resonates personally with the issue they are representing; it's as though they are simultaneously working on their own constellation pattern. And, the participants witnessing the process of the constellation are also bathed within the palpable energy of the Knowing Field and often feel their own connection with the issue being worked on.

After Dorie experienced her Constellation, two other uncanny experiences followed on the heels.
A woman at the workshop offered to take some photos of her. Dorie was reluctant because she photographs poorly. With the facilitator standing behind her holding up a lovely colored shawl as a backdrop, the woman with the digital camera took six photos - all of which amazed Dorie - one was better than the next! (earlier in the year, a friend had shot close to 200 images - Dorie was able to chose only five that represented her well--this speaks more to the Energy that occurred during the constellation as much as skill). I pointed out to Dorie, later, the fact that the facilitator standing behind Dorie holding the shawl seemed reminiscent of the Representative of the Feminine standing behind Dorie's Rep in support of the feminine energy - I found that synchronicity to be uncanny.

When Dorie was leaving the hotel of the seminar, a young man in the lobby spontaneously, and out of the blue offered up a comment to her on her 'amazing curls' ! Dorie had no previous recollection of any man's positive comments on her curly hair.

I have also had numerous, amazing experiences witnessing constellation work of other individuals - most pronounced in my mind were constellations involving persons struggling with life-threatening illness; persons struggling with significant health-compromising excessive weight and persons who experienced childhood sexual abuse trauma.

What is Family Constellation?

Many of us unconsciously "take on" destructive familial patterns of anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, aloneness, unsuccessful relationships, lack of fulfillment in life direction, alcoholism and, most strikingly, illness as a way of "belonging" in our families. Bonded by a deep love, a child will often sacrifice, totally unconsciously, her or his own best interests in a vain attempt to ease the suffering of a parent or other family member.

Constellation Work is a process of exploring challenging issues in life in a deeper soul context than is available with the current psycho-therapeutic approaches. Constellation work brings to light unresolved patterns in family relationships with our children, parents, siblings, work-related conflicts, as well as illness or addictions through the lens of the family and our ancestry. Constellation work offers an immense opportunity to find lasting solutions and alleviate our deepest suffering by remembering our families, our ancestors, our countries, and reconnecting with their souls.
Family Constellations allow us to break unconscious patterns so that we can live healthier, happier, more fulfilled lives. In a moment of insight, as a result of being offered a visual map of familial dynamics, a new life course can be set in motion. The results are often immediate and life-changing.

A final caveat:  Having had the valuable experience of witnessing the work of many family constellations facilitators over the past five years, I will warn that, like anything else, training - trained by whom - length of training and of practicing prior to taking on role of facilitator - may make all the difference between an immensely valuable experience, or not so much. Furthermore, facilitators may either follow the Energy Field or force the Field to follow the facilitator - which creates two very different experiences. The guidance of facilitators who understand the necessity of respecting the ancestors and all this means, who have the skill and capacity to hold a safe and respectful container have provided deepest experiences. You are invited to contact me if you are interested learning more about this dynamic approach in healing and of my recommendations and contact information for facilitators whose work I have experienced as insightful, respectful and clear.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Today appears to be a good day to reflect on Attitude toward Time - and - boredom. It's a national holiday falling on a Monday--and it's raining; some business establishments are closed. Maybe folks have decided to go see a movie, or go shopping--spending some Time. I find that when the weather changes significantly in one day, my energy level can be affected. (It's been explained to me that negative ions--found at the ocean--energize us; and positive ions can feel draining.)

Today I don't feel like going out. Knowing that one of my grocery stores would be closed today - and the banks closed, my usual routine would be shifted. I wasn't in a hurry to 'get going'. I responded to e-mail, talked to some friends on the phone. Then, I asked myself: "What needs to be done?." After having been sitting for a few hours, I could tell my body need to move - be moved.

All the items that had been 'calling' to me all week to be dealt with could now have my attention. I started with my kitchen counter tops where papers like to co-mingle with each other--as well as other items that get 'temporarily' laid down & left. Next, I attended to my table that doubles as a work space and receiver of mail. Slowly and methodically throwing away or filing. No rush. Moving in a circle from room to room. The laundry called. I thought I was too tired to put the new sheets on the bed - but then I find myself doing just that. With the task complete, I step back for a brief moment to appreciate the new state of my bed and a completion.

I pay attention to the time because on days such as this, I can forget to eat. I just heard a trainer at the gym say that when we go too many hours without eating, our body holds on to the fat. However, by eating small amounts of healthy food - every 3.5 hours, it's better for the body (and the fat problems). So, I take a few moments to be Present to the experience of ingesting some nutrients.

Clothes get put away that like to pile up on a chair. Then, I think: I need to change centers --  I've been moving for the last few hours; I'd like to sit down and use my mind for awhile.When one center becomes depleted of energy, we can change to a different center and find plenty of energy there. Which I find true - as I reflect on what I'm wanting to share in this blog.

Gratefully, I don't find myself bored - even though it's a low-key day and my energy is not abound as it was during yesterday's sunshine, I seem to have just enough energy - or is it really motivation(which I think might also have to do with our mental state) to accomplish a number of small task that I know the outcome of which will be quite satisfying to me.

What did you notice about your experience of this rainy, holiday Monday?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Attitude toward TIME and BOREDOM

Almost everyone these days has issues with TIME. Most people say they don't have enough time. But, then, I hear people telling me that when they have Unstructured Time – they don't know what to do. Actually, they don't exactly Say that... they say, instead: “I'm Bored.” So, they tell me—as a result of being faced with this unstructured time -- they flop on the couch – they turn on the TV—and zone out... or, they eat – even though they are not hungry. They explain that they feel bored--unmotivated to do anything.

I am wanting to open a dialogue on TIME and people's experience with Time. Synchronistically, I recently came upon an article written in June 1990, interviewing Jeff Davidson, who wrote on Time Attitude—20 years ago! Let's see what has developed during this time of twenty years.

Many people multi-task. They think they're saving time. This one person I know repeatedly sends e-mails with errors of dates & information – then has to send follow-up e-mails offering the corrected information while apologizing for the mistakes – with the explanation of multi-tasking.
Perhaps we're sending ourselves messages that 'I don't have enough time' – so I have to undertake these different activities simultaneously—reinforcing the sense of feeling pressed. If I focus on one thing – and do it with my full attention – then, calmly move on to the next – I may even feel LESS rushed – because I am IN the Present Moment. In the Present Moment, there Is Enough Time.

I am struck, in my conversations with others, how so many people structure SO much of their time. Let me begin by distinguishing Planners v.s. Spontaneous types. Let me insert here that these two types are on a Continuum. Neither is 'more' or 'less' desirable... 'better' or 'worse'. Planners Like to have a Plan – they schedule time with their friends, their calendar is typically quite full of planned activities. These are BUSY people. They are 'on-the-go'.

Then there are the Spontaneous types – they tend to prefer 'waiting to see what presents itself' rather than planning ahead. This type equates planning with being 'pinned-down' – which feels uncomfortable to them. This type prefers the spontaneity of deciding from moment-to-moment what they would like to do – rather than planning a week or more in advance. Spontaneous types cannot book a vacation six months out because they don't know if their thoughts or feelings would change – or if something else would be more desirable at that time. Spontaneous types prefer to flow, spontaneously, from one desired activity – in the moment - to the next.

What I have been learning about Planner-types is that they don't seem to fare well with tuning in to themselves and what They Want in a given moment – when we scratch beneath the surface of things. Planner-types find themselves feeling “bored” when they've hit unscheduled, unstructured time. Anxiety may develop if they find themselves faced with unstructured time. Because they have difficulty knowing what they want – they find it difficult to connect, Intuitively, with their Desire of the moment – and to Flow with that desire. They may feel a low-grade anxiety, instead.

My speculation may be unpleasant to consider-- however; I suspect that our Attitude toward Time - as well as the role the Media plays affects many of us, unwittingly. The subliminal messages we receive - told what we want, what we need, what to buy, how to look & how to smell – and, having unstructured time – what do we fall back on??? 

And, if someone can explain this NEXT question to me: How is it that parents feel compelled to comply with coaches' demands that parents' children must attend 4-5 practice sessions a week – as late as 8 or 9 p.m. ?? I have been baffled by this one. We are teaching our children to become Compulsive Over-schedulers ! WOW!
Who'se got the power?

Some ideas for feeling less time-pressed and possibly more Present-in-the-Moment:

*Consider a brief Breathing & Counting exercise in the morning – maybe 10 breaths and visualize, at the end –  what items you wish to accomplish this day. Changing a habit – and reinforcing another way of Being.

*Consider having No TV as background noise – try soothing music 

*Get In Touch with Nature – Notice and Experience a sunrise, or a sunset. Take a walk outdoors in a natural setting near trees, a stream, by the beach and BREATHE in the ambiance. Notice when your mind is rushing into the Future – bring it back to the Present Moment. BREATHE 

*Take a short trip – nearby – to receive New Impressions. New Impressions are Incredibly rejuvenating. Changing up any routine can also bring about new impressions. 

*COMPLETE one task before moving on to a new one. 

*If, at your workplace, you got through some difficult situation- rather than let it spoil your whole day – Acknowledge to yourself: “Well, I got through that one!” giving yourself credit. 

*The mind Needs completions, partitions and transitions. Instead of racing through your day on auto-pilot – just take a moment and acknowledge to yourself what you've just 'finished' before moving on to the next activity. 

*Unclutter your surroundings—clear your counter tops, file your papers, give things away.Things crowding or laying around PULL your attention and will be draining, subtly. 

*Open your mail near a waste basket – throw it away if you don't need it.

Davidson stated twenty years ago: “We absolutely have to change our attitudes toward what is right and necessary to spend our time on. He goes on to say: I am afraid of what our society will be like if we become totally time-pressed. Already, family time is being forced to be low priority and you even hear kids who only see their parents at scheduled intervals. Too many important social causes are suffering because people can't find the time to volunteer. If we can't find the time for things that truly matter, we will wind up being less than human.

I invite and welcome your comments, experiences, conversations. If you value this topic, share the link with others.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Our Inner Spirit that Speaks to Us - when we Listen

On the fifth anniversary of my Dad's passing, 

I would like to share a significant and most remarkable sequence of
events and experiences with you...

on monday 8/22, I had met with a friend/colleague to
review and explore with her, several of my recent dreams...

Since the beginning of the year i had been meeting for this purpose
at her office... however, on this particular occasion, and for no 'apparent' reason, on a whim...
i requested to meet her at her home
(which is over twice the distance from me than her office would have been --
where i usually meet her when discussing my dreams....)

In fact, on the drive over to her home
I kept chiding myself for making such a decision that would take me so 'out-of-the-way'
and be more time-consuming! "Why did i DO that?" I wondered.

She lives right on the Puget sound, so
after our dream interpretation meeting,
on a "whim" - instead of getting into my car, i  walked
a few yards further and
i went and sat on the 'ocean wall' just a half block from  her place -
to reflect, to BE...

as i sat and looked out at the 'ocean' - i saw a small motor boat -
similar to the sort of boat my father
enjoyed as a child and adolescent on the long island sound.
as i sat and watched a distant 'figure' in a small boat out on the Sound -
some sort of "fantasy" or "vision" began to transpire...

>>>    in the boat was a young boy...    he motored
over to the shore
- i went to the water's edge to meet him - he looked
like my father at around age 9 or 10 y.o. 
I asked him his name.
He said, "David".  (Which is also my father's name).
I asked him his birthday.  he said
"December 4"...(my father's birthday)... I asked him
what year he was born...  he told me "1917"  (my
father's year)...

he told me that he 'wouldn't be meeting me like this
for much longer' -
he said that,
soon / instead,
he would be meeting me at 'nighttime' (like in my dreams)...

interesting... the whole exchange was so
matter-of-fact on my part -- 
i didn't ask ANY curious questions, which would be my typical reaction...
like: why or how is this happening... ?   
i did say
that i'd be sad if i wouldn't be meeting him, here, any more,
that i would like to see him in the daylight...
but, he said: not much longer - however,
that we would meet at night...

i did cry, intermittantly, sitting there on the sea wall...  yet,
interestingly, in the vision, that
'part' of me was Not sad...

On Wednesday, 24th, i received word that my father
left his body, passed away... two days AFTER
this 'vision' had occurred...

I learned from my mother during that weekend of his funeral, that
it was on Monday,  22nd that
he 'suddenly' took a turn for the 'worst'...
this was the same day i sat on the seawall and received the vision -

and, now, i'm so glad
that i had and
FOLLOWED my illogical
'whim' to meet my friend
at her house by the water - and after the meeting
i'm grateful that i followed the whim to Sit on the seawall
rather than
just get in my car and leave!  ... you know...the 'on-to-the-next-have-to-event' routine...

    as in how we typically feel pushed and pulled...

these choices came from a very subtle place...
i had to be open or i would have totally missed it !

the final amazement was when, at home that weekend, i was looking through all
the many photos of my dad, from his childhood on through adulthood - and,
there in the midst of the massive pile of photos
was a black & white photo image of my father as a young boy -
     he was sitting in a small outboard motored dingy
    on the waters of the long island sound....
    and, he was around the same age as the boy who showed up in my vision -

I find the whole experience quite remarkable!

 i'm learning about Being present - paying
Attention - Listening...
and most importantly,
Not shrugging off or dismissing impressions
                                          just because they don't 'make sense' to my so-called rational left-brain thinking

Perhaps my experience will inspiring your sharing of your own experience with (inner) Listening -
          i welcome your posting...

or, inspire to Listen, inwardly for your own experience...


Friday, August 13, 2010

Thoughts are Things

These three issues have been weighing on my mind mind, today--as the news presents a regular repeat of the weather horrors occurring in Pakistan, China and Russia. Thousands of people suffering in ways I can't even imagine--I prevent myself from imagining--with the flooding in Pakistan & China, Human Beings like you and me -- losing Everything and then many getting dreadfully sick. And, the crazy wildfires in Russia making it prohibitive for people to even get a decent Breath of Air.

Why am I writing this? As I hear this news while I'm driving to wherever in my car, I don't know what to do with this information. I find myself not wanting to think about what I just heard. I want the words to trail away into some other conversation that won't sit so heavily on me. But, then... a thought occurred to me...
   'what if I get myself Present in This moment, Feel my heart - and make a wishful prayer of Love, of Well- wishing, of Help for all those caught in these dire, desperate conditions'.

Although my so-called 'logical' left brain "knows"--because it has 'heard'-- that thoughts are things ...  nevertheless, my 'rational' left brain wants to scoff at me... 'that's ridiculous', that part wants to say... 'how could your measly little thought make any difference in such dreadful circumstances?'

But my right brain that connects with my heart wants to believe that Thoughts are Things ... and that if enough individuals held firmly to the intention to send Wishful prayers of Love and Help...  I want to believe that this Effort of Intention can matter on our Mother Earth.

With all the pain and suffering in the world, today... it's rather staggering - even here in our own country with the troubled economy - what would happen if I consistently make a mental/emotional effort of Wishful Prayer...when I hear of tragedy... or even sirens in my own neighborhood --  instead of being too preoccupied with my own momentary thoughts or plans?  I realize that this is by no means a new thought--however, it is one with which I struggle. And, just knowing that like-minded & hearted others are holding this Intention - that I'm not alone in this wish, gives me Wish...

Will you join me?  I would be honored to hear your thoughts & experiences in this venture...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

what does it mean?

i've been wanting to create a blog for some time, now...
to create a sense of community with others who seek meaning, possess curious minds, and who seek more than the recycling of habitual thoughts circulating in their heads. 

more than book club discussion, the intention of this site offers a place to actually experiment with new ideas, share outcomes & new learning... a respectful and safe place to share questions, experiences.

we are like scientists in our lives - and our life is our laboratory. as i cultivate the practice of mindful noticing i increase my possibility for more conscious choices rather than those habitual thoughts, feelings & reactions.

my favorite question that i am currently working with in my own life-- when i notice a negative emotional reaction to what someone did or said, i ask myself:  what am i making this mean?   
i have an example to share:
     I was making plans on the phone with a friend (she & the second friend were already 
        at her place. I was attempting to negotiate what i was wanting to do, we were going
        back & forth a bit. Then, she said she'd call me back. Well, 10 minutes went by and
        no call. I felt kinda down - i started pulling some weeds in my garden. I noticed 
        feeling sad. 
        then, i wondered -
        "What am i going to do with these sad feelings? I don't want
        to just stuff them or ignore them."  So, i pulled out my journal and wrote down the
        experience... that i was negotiating how i'd hoped to spend our time - and that she 
        didn't call me back. Then, i asked myself: "What did i make it mean?" 

I realized, then, what i made it mean - that she didn't call me back -
was that i shouldn't have asked for what i wanted, and, because i did -
i made her angry with me and she changed her mind about including me.

I realized, then, that I had NO idea if that thought i was having was True - 
therefore, the sadness was Unreal ! The Thought was what made me sad because i had no True information about why she hadn't called back.

Then, the phone rang. It was my friend suggesting we meet up at this great
spot with outside seating on this sunny day for appetizers & cocktails.

I have learned better than to trust every thought floating in my head - especially when the thought causes me emotional distress. Questioning "What am i making this mean?"

Do you have an experience to share?