TL;DR: When you are not feeling calm and don’t have the whole story, practice the skill of breathing through the heart on a regular basis and priming the pump with curiosity, appreciation, and gratitude. Then bring in those not-calm feelings, whatever they may be (anxiety, anger, shame, angst, mental obsessing, and impulsivity, to name a few). Be aware and compassionate towards the thoughts and feelings, and observe them without judgment or resistance. Continue to breathe for a few minutes, until you notice an internal shift. Finally, ask for guidance from your heart. Experiment with this; it works!Read More
Happy Fall to you! I hope you had a good summer - and that, while there were undoubtedly good moments and not-so-good moments, all-in-all it was just right for you.
I was talking with a friend over the weekend - it was Pam Holland from Mindful Decluttering and Organizing - about our lives and our work, and generally supporting one another.
As we were saying goodbye, she commented on how I had responded to her text that morning about arranging our time to talk. When she has suggested a time, I said, “Perfect!” She told me that receiving that response felt good: “I don’t know if it was the perfect time for you, or not, Hetty, but you made it work! You made it perfect!”Read More
A wise woman asked me this week: “Do you feel like you have arrived? Or are you still crossing the threshold?” She was referring to more than a year of my actively pushing through some major life events, including expanding my private practice, finalizing a divorce, and organizing a move, while caring for my daughter (and my senior dog!) through it all.
Have you ever felt “capsized” by an event or situation in your life?
Using the metaphor of being the captain of your ship on the ocean of life: perhaps it feels as if you are sailing along, and a huge wave comes and overtakes you. Something unexpected and completely overwhelming occurs, for a few hours or even a few days. We don’t understand what just happened — we couldn’t anticipate it and it wasn’t supposed to happen, just like ships aren’t supposed to capsize. But it did happen. Perhaps we get upsetting news, or we have a conflict or big misunderstanding with someone, and we are completely thrown off. We are in the midst of a storm, externally, and then often internally. What do we do?Read More
This fall seems to be moving quickly — where did September go? It was the anniversary month for Four Corners Counseling and Wellbeing, and also my birthday month! I find birthdays to be a great time to reflect on what I am grateful for over the past year of my life — even the hard stuff — and what I am looking forward to in the coming year.Read More
I lived in South America for a time, where I learned about a spiritual concept that many indigenous people hold, about August being the time of year when “the circle is broken.” It is a time of uncertainly, and of change and openness as well. It is not a comfortable time; there is fear and anxiety inherent in this time of brokenness.Read More
One morning last week as I was walking into my office, I noticed trash on the front lawn.
This is not that unusual, since the office is at the corner of a busy street. I went to collect the trash and saw what seemed to be the contents of a glove compartment “emergency kit” — a bag of mixed nuts, hand warmers, wet wipes, a pack of gum, a roll of breath mints, and a packet of fruit gummy snacks — all strewn about near an opened ziplock bag. Nestled among these items was a clean, crisp 3x5 card with these words written in bold marker on one side: You are of Great Worth! I was astonished. This item was definitely not trash.Read More
Here’s my suggestion: give yourself a break!
The change of seasons can sometimes catch us unawares, feeling a little more tired, not quite able to snap into the time change. I’ve read that it can take a whole week for our bodies to adjust. So what if, instead of forcing ourselves onward, we tried being really kind to ourselves?Read More
Are you starting to notice that the light is shifting? More light in the day can really elevate our moods. So often over this winter, with storms raging and darkness falling early, I found myself saying, “We’re in the bleak midwinter.” But I saw my first snowdrops last week!Read More
I was just talking to a client this morning about this. She was describing how she feels frantic, a lot, and every time she meditates she feels calmer.Read More
Do you meditate every day? Me neither. I used to feel like a “remedial meditator,” just not getting it right. Once I found mindfulness meditation, where you don’t have to empty your brain but instead simply allow yourself to notice what your brain pays attention to, moment-by-moment, I finally felt like I could “do” meditation.Read More