Archive for May, 2011

Giving ourselves permission

May 26, 2011
posted by Admin

When we are little guys and gals, we entertain all different kinds of dreams. We picture fun things to do. We idealize certain people and situations. We want to become a ___________ (fill in the blank). As little kids, we want to feel less small and more powerful! We want to explore what it means to become our own version of a Super Hero. However, as we get older, we come up against the obstacles that interfere with what we want to attain in life. The promise of realizing ours dreams are often dashed and before you know it, a sense of disappointment takes over. We feel led down a path of certain failure. All the doors of opportunity and dreams appear closed to us!
As we grow older, we tend to be closed to our dream possibilities. We protect ourselves from the hurt and pain that we felt as a little kid. We fear feeling our original disappointment and we do not want to look back on our original dreams. We are afraid to open ourselves to possibilities and the chance to build something brand new in our life. In our self-conversations, we ask, “Why did I ever think that I could have what I wanted? We deny ourselves what we long for, mostly out of habit and fear. Without our fullest awareness, we bathe in our helpless, powerless feelings. We tell ourselves we cannot have what we want.
But what if we were to revisit the place of our original dreams? What if we took up a hobby or sport that we have a vague memory of enjoying and we felt passionately about it? As adults, why do we so easily toss away stuff that feels like pure play to us?
I grew up with a piano in my home. I always had a desire to play it. But I kept this as a secret. Coming from a large family and understanding the financial strain my parents were under, I never verbalized my desire to play it. I felt like what is the use. I knew that I would be turned down and disappointed if I had asked my parents for lessons. The lonely piano stood un-played against a wall in our dining room for years.
Recently, I’ve re-discovered my original yearning! I realized that it was connected to my love for classical music. So, each day I sit and practice classical pieces that my piano teacher has assigned. I have the experience of magic flowing through my fingertips. Sometimes, when I play, I spontaneously cry. Why? I think it is because I am following through with a yearning to reconnect with a lost, past love. By uncovering that which was buried, I have re-connected to a part of myself that brings me pure joy!

What to do when tragedy strikes?

May 16, 2011
posted by Admin

Every day, in my office I hear words, I listen to phrases and I try to capture a section, a moment, an event of a person’s life. Not in a sensational or dramatic way, but rather in a way where I am able to break down all the various parts of a person’s interaction with a significant other or the critical timing of events in a patient’s daily life. Inevitably, in listening to all of these individual moments in any one meeting, I come up against my own uncomfortable feelings of helping a patient “face” a mini-tragedy (like losing a wallet or ring) or at times, a life-changing tragedy (like death of a family member or loss of a job). Our knees quiver and shake when we come face to face with tragedy. Of course, as the professional, the patient looks to me for answers. But, I plain and simply don’t know what to do. In short, I too feel helpless!
Our world is colored and painted with tragedy. Yet, as we go through our daily lives, we don’t expect tragedy to befall us. We often are surprised when someone is diagnosed with cancer or has a serious car accident. As we vigorously swim our way through the obstacles and problems of life, we will be forced to face tragedy. The reality is this is a natural part of being a human being! So here’s the question that begs asking: What if we were taught to slow down and develop an awareness that tragedy does exist in our world. At any one tragic moment, our bodies move into fight- flight response and our brain gets distracted and our hearts feel helpless. But what if we took that helplessness and followed it all the way out and simply just sat with it? What if we did nothing and simply decide to take a walk, breathe, pray or meditate or self-reflect? What if when tragedy struck we just sighed deeply and often. Or what if we spoke so softly to those we live with or softly and gently to ourselves. My guess is if we did these things we would open ourselves to the possibility of healing.