Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hide and Seek

Oh....that desire and search for one's "true Self." Perhaps that's a reason why I'm journaling again. Tossing off all the encumbering coats, hoping the person I'm looking for is somewhere underneath.

My "journal master" finds this a delightful subject, encouraging me to put pen to paper. This subject has always intrigued me and I do admit to being on this journey, but it's been a long hunt and wondering if this is just one of those never ending, fruitless games life Farmville. Never enough crops, buildings or animals. Do self-searchers have levels like farmers? Wondering what those statistics say about my progress....and is it progress that I'm looking for OR is it the true true Self.

Life is both long and short. Considering if there is actually such a person, and if so, where is she and how can I find her. Is she living in an exact place on my time-line? Is this all nonsense? Should I care?

Then wondering IF she truly exists, do I want to find her? And, for what purpose? Suppose my true Self doesn't get along with my husband, kids or anyone else. What if she doesn't like my career choices and has desires that aren't within my means? What then? More stress? Since I can't imagine anyone free of problems or issues, does she have a new variety for me to deal with? Certainly don't need that.

Remembering the time when I had psychotherapy after being very ill. No longer knew how to be well. Remembering my family not approving of the "new me." I imagined myself a chameleon, changing back and forth, of course, always to please others. My psychotherapist likened me to a caterpillar who was turning into a butterfly. No wonder I was more confused than ever. So much for looking for my true Self.

I ask my pen to answer "do true Selves have eating disorders?" Wouldn't mind being free of that. Life without bingeing or craving junk. Now, that might be worth leaving town for."

That last question must have popped the cork because I'm told that it is time to go deeper down the spiral staircase. Reminds me of my mother when she had enough of me. Yes, I know how to do this, so catching up with my deepening breath, I sit comfortably allowing the breath to take me deeper down. Pleasurable sensations as the body opens, releasing stored tension. The mind quiets, stillness prevails. Comfortable, like being inside a protective womb. Noticing the thoughts going down the path, to a place where thoughts go. Relieved of their duties. Probably exhausted from residing in my super-active traffic in Times Square.

Finding myself on the golden path and going in the direction of the light. This is where I usually meet up with my emotions, both negative and positive. But, today things are different. My past and future paths are filled with people of different ages, even babies being carried in baby-backpacks. I'm surprised that the very oldest people are walking without any help or devices. While they look old, their energy and spirit are obviously high. I'm confused regarding the number of people and return to my journal to clarify what's going on.

When journaling hypnotically, the pen writes by itself, without any efforting on my part. The question is known before even asking. The people are taking the places of the emotions. The ones from my past path are sitting on the left. Those from the future path, sitting on the right. According to my pen, other than the obvious, this holds no importance. It's not like one side is negative, the other positive as when the emotions appeared. They are simply divided into past and present. The youngest baby is my birth self. The oldest woman is my last self. Each individual carries two books. One represents what they have come to learn; the other what they have come to teach.

" true Self is somewhere in the crowd?"

The pen writes, "Your true Self is the self-images and in everything else. It has no boundaries. It is not your body, your mind, your thoughts, your emotions, your habits, behaviors or addictions. While it is present in those things, it is not those things. Your true Self is a spiritual essence. Look to the light."

Rays coming down, infusing all who are present including myself. Or, whoever I am, for at this point I know nothing at all, except that "I am."

This knowing is both old and new. I can't say that I didn't know this, because I did, but to sense this in the inner environment where I now find myself, is new. Yes, I have felt the connection before, but not in this way. The difference seems to be the presence of my time-line people. These are my mentors, both past and present. The two books that they hold are filled with gifts for me. A new understanding emerges. The books will guide me forward, even the books of the past individuals. Exactly how this will happen is not clear to me, but I'm assured that all will happen as it is meant to that my connections have been made whole.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Phantom KickBall

Oh...the critical nature! Yes, I've had the top professors...

There are so many different ways to play kickball and just as many self-made rules. Here's one. "If you kick harder you will win." And..."If you aim the ball at a person's head or solar plexus, you'll score a "knockout" and you will win." In other words, "destroy." This is the credo of those at the top!

It's just amazing how many people play kickball. For many, the game is on auto-pilot, so they are not aware that the game is in progress. Some never stop playing, so there is no break or recess. I happen to know quite a few of these players. I grew up in a household full of them. I'm never comfortable in their presence and in a way, that saddens me because it was difficult to know their positive gifts or attributes. Yet, I still delight in playing with many's easier when they are not family. It's easier to kick the ball harder.

A well-trained kickball player knows all aspects of the game and types of players. Some people kick hard EVEN WHEN they don't have the ball. It's as if they have a right to go around kicking at whatever they perceive is in their way. To me, these are the ugliest players of all. I call them phantom players. Truth... I've never known a phantom kickball player to win anything.

Why am I journaling about kickers? Am I blocking something...oh, another kickball term. Sometimes I don't know why certain subjects come off of my pen. However, even though I don't know consciously, there is always a reason and so I'll go and find out. There's sure to be a gift for opening any hypnotic journal topic.

Putting my pen down and looking forward to going deeper down... I've had a rough and tumble few days and yes, I do feel like I've been kicked in the head. Now that I take the time to notice, even my body is sore, like I've had a rough game. It always amazes me how sore my body can get without my even noticing. That's how stress works...blind-sided! Oh...another kickball term. How interesting. Remembering that I've been hanging around some major players, and although I took some delight in kicking back, they do tire me both mentally and physically. Take Dolores for instance. At 90 she's a finely tuned player, only second to my mother. That's probably why I find her so enjoyable. I can actually "kick" her without fearing retaliation. In fact, I sense that she respects me as a player, probably because I remind her of her younger version. Had lunch with her and came home with a major headache. Most likely the intensity of the game. !

Kick my mother....kick mySelf.

My "journal master" takes possession of me now. ( another kickball term?) Leading me down the spiral staircase with my breathing technique. With each step, my breath becomes deeper inside my lower abdomen, like a balloon that goes up and down with it's own rhythm. I enjoy balloon breathing and would like to just stay with this, but my "master" waits for just the right level of relax before leading me down the path to the ballpark. The ballpark?? My pen vibrates on my paper. It's "as if" it is getting ready to write on it's own.

"What's on your mind?" Well, for most of my life I've either been kicked around or have spent a good amount of time on defense, avoiding being kicked. The theme of our home. Through the years I've gotten very good at maneuvering, moving mySelf down the field, even getting possession of some balls and scoring. What's interesting is that I never seem to enjoy the scoring part. I like the maneuvering and for some reason knowing this bothers me. I seem to look for these opportunities, instead of just taking on the management of my own life. Yes, I do like to play around with criticizers. It's "home-grown-familiar!" But, the games are exhausting.

It's almost like a craving....addiction....something wanted, but unwanted. Not just unwanted, but despised. Yes, I despised this part of my mother's behavior. It took lots of therapy for me to be able to separate her from her behaviors. But yet, I still find mySelf headed to the ballpark. Looking to release on my old angers? This can't be healthy!"

What does my pen have to say?

"Kicking and maneuvering allows me to feel something. It's intense behavior. I can also kick and run. Attack and hide. My mother did this all the time. Attack and then not speak to me, sometimes for weeks. I remember repeating her behavior. Yes, it's very dramatic, but causes much to much anxiety for me. She must have been made of steel to execute that maneuver."

Remember, you don't have to follow your mother or the teachings of anyone else. Instead think...What do I choose for mySelf?

What would it be like to stop this completely?.... I mean, be free of kickball. No more trips to the ballpark. What would I do instead? Would I miss it like a smoker misses cigarettes? If I really choose to stop that would also mean not "talking about it". No more impressing others with stories of hot-winning games of hit, run, maneuver.

It would also mean letting go of the prodromals....the fear attached to the attack or potential kicking of others. This is big for me and is the crux of a good part of my anxiety. Am I also addicted to this? I can feel the flow of adrenalin. Is my body also used to this? Am I a fear or adrenalin junkie?

Remember, when big boxes are opened, the immediate response is often unwelcomed, but the end result is healing. The box I just opened is very, very big, especially to my origination child. But, I'm no longer that child and I choose to believe.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Apple Carts & People Pleasing

Oh, these darn "apple carts."

As I wander around my life areas, the carts seem to be strewn all over the place. I'm stunned to even find them in my Adult or Teacher Self area. What is this telling me? Of course I know without even asking my Journal. I'm a born pleaser. Even in areas where I excel, I'm so careful not to upset others. In fact, this has matured into a skill of mine. Yes, I'm an expert at not upsetting others.

How do I do this?

By "super-policing" ...noticing early indicators upset in others....perhaps even before they do. I remember someone telling me that I would make a wonderful "English butler." Taking care of everyone's needs, real or imagined, even before the need was born. Obviously, this is a very wearing job and not a healthy one.

The rationale in my conditioned mind goes like this. " IF all needs of others are met, then there will be no interruption in whatever it is that I want to do for myself." And..."if all apple carts are kept upright, then no time needs to be spent picking up the spilled apples." Obviously, this is a very wearing job and not a healthy one.

Question. How to resign from my "English butler" duties and what about those apples that will inevitably spill because there is no butler? Who will keep the carts steady or be responsible for picking up the apples?

Answer. "No one."

As for resigning, consider it done. No one can Journal in this area and not resign. It's a given. This is the power of Inner Hypnotic Journaling. Uncovering a block or unwanted behavior or habit, then releasing it. While you may find yourSelf missing your butler uniform, notice that it is no longer "fitting."

"OK, but what about the apples?" Another indication that it's tough to let go.

"Let the apples roll where they may. You will soon come to realize that the large majority of them don't belong to you." Oh, my control issue appears. The part of me that wants to own and rule all the apples. If I take ownership, then my life will be easier. Another ridiculous story of my conditioned mind. My tired body and mind speak out. "All this apple tending is exhausting. It would be a huge relief to just let go."

All of this looks good on paper, but what about in real life. Questioning if I would really be able to just look the other way when the apples fall and roll. Will I feel guilty? I'm so used to caring for everyone and every thing.

Obviously my desire to control is not going to go quietly into the night. This is such a huge conditioned habit, one that can be traced back to early childhood. "Keep Mommy happy and you will be happy," goes the story. "Upset Mommy and life will be hell for everyone and you will be the cause." Early apple cart training.

Early stories are often very potent and best cared for in deeper trance, so I choose to go there. When the childSelf makes her appearance on the pages of my Journal, this is an indication that a deep release is possible. When she hides, then things are more difficult, so riding my breath now....going deeper down with ease, as if she is helping me to get there quickly.

She's waiting for me as I disembark from my traveling breath. A bit scruffy, but obviously a very responsible child...too responsible for her age. Reminds me of images of children laboring in factories and fields. Uncomfortable to see this. It's a lucky day for me. She is opening the "origination door." This is the earliest mind program. The program that started the need to please. The door is very heavy and I offer to help. "No, I can do it," she says. I find mySelf crying. She's so independent for someone so young...or is she? Sensing this is another part of the mind program. "I must pretend to be strong so I can take care of everyone and every thing."

I push the door open with her. Never again will she be expected to do these things....never again. We find ourSelves in the living area of our house. Our mother is lying on a chaise meant for the garden, making the scene even more imbalanced. Garden furniture belongs in the garden, not in the living room. Mothers don't do these things. Symbols of chaos despite the quietness. Is mother dying? In the eyes of the child, the mother symbol is already dead. The mother is severely depressed following the untimely death of the father. The mother is very angry, but holds it in place below the depression. The father died on the child's birthday and the child is held hostage in the mother's memory bank, as the two are linked together for life.

The child's job is defined by the mother. "Mother is sick and so, be a good girl and keep mother happy. Can you do that?" Of course, I know the child's reply. I've lived it.

Lesson Plan...No apples must fall from the cart. If the apples are kept steady, then things will be better. Always tend to the cart first before doing anything for yourSelf, for the mother is the most important person. If the mother is upset, she will also die and the child will be responsible. The child will become an expert at caring for the cart and all apples will be her responsibility.

I kiss the mother good-bye and take possession of the cart....flipping it over and watching the apples roll this way and that way. The child is frightened, but as laughter fills the image, the child begins to smile. Falling apples are not the end of the world...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Meeting the Imposter Self

Automatic Journaling opens the mind in new ways. There's always some surprise waiting. My "Journal Master" points to that ridiculously big folder of areas where I obstruct. Typical of me....knowing something is asking to be addressed, but I'd prefer not to go to deeply. Like knowing my refrigerator needs to be cleaned out, but it's never the right time. Just another way that I obstruct my progress and growth.

When I first started doing this type of journaling, I rarely touched my most "unattractive areas", but I'm older now and feel more comfortable in my own skin. Still, opening these areas of my life is never an easy choice, but knowing that benefits only come from getting down and dirty, I take a cleansing breath and bring pen to paper. I may be willing to go into an area, such as the obstruction folder, but where to begin? Willingness to take the introductory step is one thing, but where do I place my foot? Now, if a patient asked me this, I would have an answer on the tip of my tongue, but not for mySelf? Why is it so much easier to give advice to others?

My Journal Master is brimming with answers to my questions. Giving me many insights, all helpful. I'm reminded that Automatic Journaling brings answers and plans quickly. It's a very powerful resource....Reminded that's it's easier to be the Teacher Self than the Student Self. The Teacher part brings confidence, focus and Knowledge. While the Student Self may have some Knowledge, it is often not fully developed. The connection to Spirit is lacking. This under-developed part also brings baggage, some of it very old, dank and dark. Reminded that all "carry-ons" must be put aside if one desires to accept Knowledge and then to actually change. These two go hand in hand. Once a rubber band is stretched, it never returns to it's original form. This is a given.

While we all have unattractive or difficult areas, most of us choose not to see them. Common baggage for me includes hiding my truth. I call this my "imposter syndrome." Simply put....pretending. How much of me is pretence and how much is truth? How much is Student, how much Teacher? If I'm playing my therapist, parent or colleague/friend role, this can set the stage for "pretending". Some pretending scripts read that "everything is fine in my life. I'm free of problems. I'm better than you." All hog-wash. When I am in those roles, I can sense my "imposter Self" roaming around behind me with the sign...liar, liar. Thinking, if people really knew the "real me" what would they think? Just about to feel guilty about this when my "Journal Master" puts up the STOP SIGN.

Lighten up. Truly, life is one big "stage performance". My character changes as the scenes evolve. Sometimes she must slip into Teacher or Parent or Adult Self. Even if this role is not perfect, she gets to utilize the power/Knowledge she has collected to this point. It's rather like the student nurse versus the graduate nurse versus the registered nurse. All take care of the patient from the Teacher Level, but each one is different unto itself. This is also how we grow and mature. There is always a level of pretence. This is the way the mind works. Of course, balance and awareness are key. The student nurse knows she is not the registered nurse, but to the patient, she is a teacher.

I remember having this "imposter syndrome" after my children were just born. One moment I was a pregnant woman and then all of a sudden, I was a responsible parent. How strange this felt. I was both proud of my position, but could feel my "liar liar" Self hanging out in the background. "Be careful you don't kill him. You...a parent?? Don't be ridiculous."

This imposter Self hangs around me quite a bit. It seems that whatever "scene" I'm playing, it's never far away. Cooking for company, being a wife, promoted to a new job, even shopping for groceries....yes, that damn shopping cart. Hoping I won't run into any of my patients who will scan my cart, finding the two packages of Hershey dark chocolate. What does that say about me as a "therapist who specializes in eating issues?" You guessed it....liar liar! ( pants on fire ), retorts the nasty childSelf.

My "Journal Master" instructs me to go to my breath and release the garbage that has dripped onto the page of journal. A good place to clean, clear and organize my mind.

Down, deeper down. Feels good. All of the above resembling a big burp.

As I sink into the chair, the imposter part of me wanders away, shrinking as she goes. With every breath she becomes smaller and smaller. Realizing that I can utilize my breath to shrink her whenever she appears. In the past, I've been afraid of this part of me. She reminds me of Hester Prynn, the protagonist in Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter." I've worked diligently throughout my life to keep her in the background, but she only became stronger and more insidious. But no longer, for I am in charge of who plays in my moment to moment drama, as well as the script design. I also design the set. Yes, I'm the writer, producer and director.

I'm led to the area for managing Student Self to Adult or Teacher Self. It's a big wall, filled with indicators and control dials. Each indicator is a line having it's own balancing or measuring device, rather like the sound system on my computer. There is a separate unit for the many areas in my life. Some related to health, relationships, money, prosperity, work and separate projects. In some areas the indicator shows that I'm at a lower or student level. In others, I'm well into my teacher/adult level, and others, somewhere in the middle. As I turn a dial upwards, plans appear on my mind screen, showing me the way to become more adept in this particular area. Yes, this is a powerful growth area. It's clean, clear and decisive. Once again, I'm in charge.

The accompanying images playing in my mind are real, now inviting me inside to explore, play and grow. I'm on my way...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Anger Land

Thanks to all who have sent comments to my blog. Unfortunately, I had some sort of a computer glitch & I couldn't respond to you. So...please write to me again.

And now...

Approaching my journal with some angst...

Since I've been working in the Library of Desires and Talents my body has been experiencing even more tension. This is somewhat of a mystery to me and certainly not what I want to experience. I want to be rid of this body tension! It's the reason I returned to Inner Journaling. I thought returning to "fun and games" would bring delight and relaxation to all parts of me. That's why I started off in the early years area. This is when I had time to play all day. Do what I wanted. Even played hookey from school. Sometimes I wish I could play hookey from my current life, but of course, that's not an option. Too many responsibilities. The idea of hanging out in this area of my inner mind was to play hookey of sorts, but instead, I get a super-tense body! Yes, I do enjoy living inside the memories, but is this the only time I get to enjoy? Is this just another escape mechanism like alcohol or eating a bag of chips in the dark?

I am so !@#$% angry today. For those of you who follow my blog & of course, for those of you who live with me....this is obvious.

"Today?" responds my "journal correspondent. "Perhaps you would like to re-think that. Look inside your anger. You will see how long the path winds, through so many years. In fact, you might like to take a walk there, but best wear a protective suit."

I'm somewhat nervous to begin my session today. Yes, I do want to go inside my anger. Knowing this is the way to release, I'm still arguing & resisting. My body already hurts so much and I still don't understand how the tension got to this level, especially since I've been playing in the "theater of my mind" with my happiness toys.

"Why did you play with your happiness toys? What was their purpose?" The questions are clear and on mark. Of course, there was a reason for them, for everything has a reason. Just because I was a little child and lacked insight, doesn't mean that they didn't have their own purpose. Yes, I was escaping even then. Now it's becoming clearer why I am having this body tension. I was looking at my toys "as toys" and not as a mechanism that served me well during those times. Playing hookey was another mechanism to keep me protected. If I didn't have to leave my "toy factory", then I didn't have to deal with what was outside. This included leaving my safety place, or my home.

I'm coming to realize that many of my early issues have not been "cleanup up" and if they have been, it's not nearly enough. No wonder I am so angry. The anger runs deep, like rivers cutting through the middle Earth. Obviously I was not able to approach these rivers as a young child, not even as an adult. I'm realizing that it takes not only courage, but a high level of life experience and insight to walk the paths that go to meet these deep rivers. I'm game for this now, because "if not now....when?" I'm no longer a child, nor a young adult, nor even a middle age adult. It's time and I have both the desire, deep wisdom and freedom from many other weights that allow me to walk into deeper parts of mySelf.

Perhaps this is why I've been brought back to my inner journaling. I find that I can enter by choosing a favorite "early toy." I pick up my kick ball and foot it down the path. Always been good at kickball. Always able to find the hole in the opposition and make the pass for an easy run. Kicking the ball, running forward and sensing the freedom as my feet hardly touch the path. The sign tells me that I'm almost to the "village of anger."

Expecting it to be dark and dank, but it is neither of the two. Actually, it's quite alive with a high level of energy. Many games of intense kickball going on. Players practicing and very focused. Never thought of my inner anger in this way. I've known about my repressed anger for many decades, but I've never been to this area and I'm finding it quite exciting. Yes, the other interpretation of anger could be excitement. The air of forgiveness floats over me, like a breeze refreshing my body and mind. I sense a feeling of respect for mySelf and those parts of me that have been living in this area for so long.

Each player has a history that is written on her shirt. Here are memories long forgotten, but seeds for my current !@#$%%. The youngest parts of me have shirts filled with writing. I'm understanding that these little Selves had no voice and so the writing on their shirts is long and intense. I have the desire to hug them, hoping I can release some of their angst. How old their shirts are and how stiff are their little bodies! I feel tears welling behind my eyes. One child appears dead, and then another appears looking dead. The dead parts of me are now coming forward, too despondent to even play kickball. Yes, it's true. Looking closer at the kickball players. They represent my older or more recent Selves. The older or earlier life representatives are inert. Of course, these are the parts of me that hold me in my depressed state. The other parts, the more recent kickballers, are my more active-angry Selves. I know everyone here.

My journal advocates tell me that it's time to hold a meeting with all parts of me that live in the "village of anger." There is much work to be done here. Much healing. Much release. Much re-programming and education. Now, I'm understanding the toys. They march past me, some from very young years, others from my teens and young adulthood. Surprised, but not really, at more recent toys....each asking me to "follow." Leading me down paths less traveled, but paths that will open secrets long buried.

Cliff Hanging

As I mentioned in my last journal blog, "waking up is both delightful and challenging." Over the past few days I've been stunned to see parts of me that exhale different levels of anger and it's relatives. These are not new, but now I'm seeing/sensing them from a corrected awareness. It's like improving one's eyesight with new glasses. Seeing/sensing clearly can be very uncomfortable. I no longer have a defense system to protect these behaviors or thoughts. I dismantled that awhile back and so I'm left defenseless, embarrassed and saddened by my volatility and cutting tongue.

I rarely reveal this side of me publically. It's saved for certain people, some who are close to me and others who I don't know at all. Like swearing in the car or cursing under my breath when finding mySelf behind someone pushing their cart slowly in the center of the supermarket aisle. Yes, I did notice this part of me before I took down my defense system and I must admit to not liking it, BUT without the defense system my feelings about mySelf are much more intense. It's like waking up and finding mySelf with uncombed hair and dirty hands. Not how I choose to be. It other words, I'm experiencing the "raw me". Boomerang. Smack right in the face.

Bringing this to my journal and wondering what to do with it...

Took some time off this afternoon. Rare for me. If I'm not working, I'm at the gym where my intensity finds an outlet. But not today. A part of me prefers to be quiet, to connect with my Higher Self and journaling mentors. It's "as if" a note was placed on my desk redefining my afternoon activities. No questions asked, just follow the leader. OK

I never know what I'm going to write and actually enjoy that freedom. Tending towards always being disciplined with a whip at my tail, the idea of just going with the flow is both appealing and comes with automatic relaxation. "I don't have to do anything. I don't have to think or act, but just BE HERE IN THIS MOMENT." Remembering that years ago, before learning TM ( transcendental meditation) I would wake up to music blaring. There was no silence in my life....ever. Noise everywhere. When my meditation teacher told me that would have to change, I remember thinking "no way." But, yes "way" and now I look for this special place throughout my daily activities. One of my biggest faults is my compulsive attraction to goals and activities, always working, working, working. Yes, it's true. I'm working now, but this is not the same part of me. The "working working" part of me is sitting over there in a meditative trance, while this "outside part" of me is connecting with my journal connections.

"Never allowing mySelf to be free." Those words appear on my journal page. The toys come forward. Noticing that most of them are "action toys." Competitive, hard working toys that certainly remove me from the intense story of my life, but never offer me complete freedom. "What is complete freedom anyway?" I ask my journal. "Peace and love" is the answer given. "Oh, we always go back to that". My critical nature has taken over. "Why can't you just accept and let go? What do you think will happen?" The first words that come to mind are "that I will die."

Dying doesn't just mean "dying." It means losing out or not having control or being behind others, like in Farmville when someone is at a higher level than I am. Oh my. How I bring this intensity even into silly games that are designed to be a diversion from my work. Now I understand. "Never allowing mySelf to be free." Thinking of some conversations I had just this morning. Everything is so competitive. Tensing the body. Striving. Efforting. An absence of freedom to the body and mind.

"Where do I find this?" My journal correspondent now holds the journal, removing it from my critical nature, who feels somewhat deflated, as she should be. As I receive the answer, I understand why that part of me needed to be removed, because the answer would have made her skin crawl. There are some things parts of my just don't want to hear. Those parts prefer complicated answers with many parts and certainly not what was now appearing all over my journal page. In big, bright letters, I might add.


As I read those words, I find mySelf entering them, as if each letter was a separate door into the recesses of my mind. My body feels like it is falling off a cliff. My mind fluttering like birds crossing the sky in delicate patterns. Another door, deeper down. Letting go, dying in a sense, but not the dying that has poisoned me for so long, for this is not dying but living. Truly being alive. Tight, nasty emotions are releasing, smiling back at me with love and peace. They also needed to let go. Remembering that they've been tight for a very long time. Some of them hold up "origination signs." That tells me how old they are. Goodness!! No wonder my intensity!

There is a party going on down the path. It's near to the "light" and as I find mySelf going in that direction, I notice that I'm uncomfortable. Realizing that this is like traveling to an unknown country. I'll have to get used to it. Rather like new shoes! Pretty to look at, but uncomfortable for the first few miles!

Pulling the Plug

One never knows when a plug is going to be pulled, or a lesson is going to appear.

Some plugs have more impact than others. But even small plug pulling can provide an opportunity for "roads less traveled."

Yesterday we lost our cable connection. No TV, no internet, no phone. Thinking it would only be for a few minutes, I went on with my life, but after an hour my ansy-Self checked it. "How long is this going to be? What if it is off all night????" And yes, it was. The worst scenario. Having to make "small conversation" through the entire evening. I was stunned to feel my uneasiness and displeasure with having to do this. Of course, I could have read a book or spent some time writing, but I found mySelf more interested in my emotional reaction and the behaviors that accompanied them.

"How will we know when it has been restored?" My husband's concern. So, I wasn't alone in this world of not liking my patterns disturbed. "Let's leave the television on, so when it comes back we'll know immediately." Oh...immediately. Certainly wouldn't want to miss a minute of anything trivial.

I decided to do "nothing of the sort". Instead, inviting my "journal master" to join us, I suggested that this would be a good time for us to converse at some deeper level, I mean something other than what was found on the last refrigerator hunt. Or, what should we do on the weekend, etc. "Deeper level??" Sensing the uneasiness, deciding to ignore the emotion, "just begin" said my "journal master."

Rather like "speak-journaling." Oh...will secrets slip out as I let go or jump off the cliff? "Would that be so speak my truth?" Sensing mySelf removing my protective jacket, my words feeling permission to flow. Like opening the faucet. Shifting in the chair, releasing some tight areas, the words enjoying the freedom from the obstructions. Asking mySelf, "How often do I practice obstruction?" Practice obstruction. Now there is an interesting concept. But yes, I do this habitually. There are so many ways to do this. Some are direct, while others in-direct, such as living in my private patterns....that have now been removed by the cable company. The cable company as Therapist. Comcast CEO sitting at her desk. "Exactly what will happen if we turn off the service to homes all over the city? " Her desk? Well, yes. This is more woman-speak. Apologies to my male counter-parts.

My counter-part is waiting in anticipation of what comes next. Now, my obstruction coat is invisible, but I'm sensing that he knows I have it off.

I hand him a copy of my Therapist'sCOUCH blog. I honestly don't know why, but it seems like a good jumping off point for the evening's proposed deeper conversation. " Do you really post this on the internet?" Well, yes I do. "People actually read this?" Well, yes they do. "Why?" I honestly don't know. Perhaps it helps them in some way.

Flowing now...

"I never realized you had so much stored anger that went back to your childhood." Well, it's not something I'd discuss at the end of a work-day or over dinner. Besides, it's my inner work. Things I want to explore and put to rest on my own. Noticing that "inner work" is not a comfortable phrase. Too psycho-babble.

Realizing that as a therapist I have a tendency towards psycho-babbling, perhaps obstructing our relationship at some level. Something I can change. Never really thought about this before. Always so busy jumping from one activity to another. I tend to treat my life as an non-ending marathon that I'm obligated to run and run and run. That's what is great about "therapy", whether it be with a professional or self-administered. We stand still in quiet, non-judgmental observation. We witness our life as it has played out, or as it is playing out. We have the opportunity to spend time in areas that we often by-pass. In this instance my conversational tonality and choice of words. After all, I'm talking to my partner, not a colleague. I also wonder if this is a subconscious way of blocking or obstructing. My answer to this is....yes.

I ask my "journal mentor" to open other areas where I obstruct. Feeling like this is an opportunity to show me other aspects of my Self that will benefit this special journey.

My mentor agrees to oblige, taking out a ridiculously big folder! Oh...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Self With Two Faces

Approaching my journaling with a reminder of the importance of meditating regularly and asking the mind to go deeper than before. This deepening takes me well below all the emotional garbage that is strewn in my current reality. Much of it has been blocking my creativity and spiritual connections. Just the opposite of what I want. I'm eager to work with my emotional childSelves, but desire to do this at a spiritual level and not from my ego-Self. The first is powerful, creative and healing; the latter offers little of anything.

I'm surprised at my level of anger, as well as the anger than surrounds me. As I become more aware, it's seems like a plague. I've decided to shut off the TV and to stop reading the newspaper for now. Then there are the others who are so contaminated with anger. It's so clear to me now....their "operating systems." My reaction in the past was to move into my defensive mode, fighting to the finish. This is a very unhealthy pattern, one I'm interested in deflating or breaking completely. Of course I realize this is a lot to ask, but I'm asking anyway.

Before meditating...

I'm going to use a technique from my past that worked quite well for me. I call it the "garbage can." Opening my journal, pen on paper, requesting the pen to locate anything and everything that is blocking my mind today. Just a quick mention is all that is needed. The power of awareness. Noticing and releasing, leaving the creative space open. Inviting the Self to enter deeper levels. Lots of junk today. As the pen puts it to paper, all seems rather ridiculous. I've always had a churning mind, even as a child. I feel like I'm vomiting some of this. Some of the same themes hit the paper. First it's the "to do lists"...the never ending "to do lists." But there is more. Here come the things that want to be on the to-do list but haven't been listed as yet. In a way, they drive me crazier than the actual list. Constant shuffling. Never a moment of peace. Needing and fighting to win agreements, things that are wrong with our house, being interrupted and tensing my body as I pretend that it doesn't bother me, which it always does. That's a laugh unto itself. That part of me is hyper-active, just waiting for that button to be pushed. Here comes some more. The need to exercise at a higher level, walk further, harder, push those weights, setting more goals than I could achieve in a life-time. Here they come...the never ending goals, some as dreams, others in parts like wounded soldiers, goals carrying lists, goals pounding on my mind, goals, goals, goals. Goals choking me. Never, ever finished and never will be. I feel the anger rising in my throat...leave me alone. But, they won't because I'm addicted to them, just like my eating disorder. I hate them, but I love them for they are what I am. How sick is this? My "journal master" says nothing. It's as if I never spoke. Feeling like a crazy person needing some sort of restraint. Restraint? Of course. My eating disorder. That is a restraint. Yes, I know all about restraints... I'm requested to "shhhhhh" now...

Meditating and deepening...

"Garbage can" away... following my "master", going deeply into the chair, utilizing the "deeper down dial" that works so well, especially when debris has been removed. The regular dial has five levels, but I an requested to go deeper today where I can enter levels of my spirituality and creativity that have been absent from my life for so long. A special gift, rewarding me for working in this very difficult area and not backing away. Thank you. It feels good to go deeper and the journey is rather speedy, like the express elevator in a tall building. Passing floors that have no purpose for today. Perhaps another day, but not today. I'm grateful, for I am really tired from shoveling garbage.


The elevator door opens and the "Light" greets me. I want to bask in it. I need to, but I'm moved along. The message is "that I don't need anything." I just think I do. I have everything inside of me, including my Highest Spiritual Nature. Sensing a spring breeze touching the top of my head. It's been so long since I've felt a breeze. I've been out of touch, blocked by so much debris and anger, not even noticing. Asleep for it. Like being in a smoke-filled room, unconscious and smothered with the poisonous gas.

Waking up is both delightful and challenging. Asking to see the blockage means being willing to look with acceptance. Not a strong suit for me. I've been fighting for so long. No wonder I'm tired. My biggest opponent is me, mySelf and that part comes towards me. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. She is beautiful and ugly, like someone with two distinct faces. I tear as I write this. Something touching my soul. I feel so sorry for her, yet I admire and love her at the same time. Like a mixing bowl of emotions, all releasing themselves. Goodness...

The children come forward carrying their toys. Seeing them in a new light now. Understanding their meaning and importance to the protection and release for the child who had no other way. But, I am no longer that child and so the release must be re-designed. The part of me with two faces shows me some of the ways I've collected anger and how I handled or tried to release it. Try is the operative word, because it was impossible to truly release my anger with inefficient or addictive tools. Instead, they destroyed me further. Now, the two faces me is showing me a living diorama that displays how I even enjoy the anger. Giving permission for entering addiction.

Additional parts of my life experience are becoming clear, like a fog lifting. Realizing much more is opening to me now. I'm grateful, for this is very fertile ground for creative planting.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Buzz-Saw

There are many libraries in the "theater of the mind" and all are multi-functional. It's good for me to remember that my mind is beautifully organized because most of the time I feel just the opposite. Today is one of those days!

Before I even begin journaling, I'm reminded that sensations of disorder often follow times of great stress or tension and I've certainly experienced that over the last week. Still cleaning up after the electrical fire. Waiting for the building inspector to hopefully close this door. The electrician gave me a magnet reminder to stick on the refrigerator. Not a good idea to keep this in the front of my mind. Besides, who could ever forget the name Mr. Sparky or the jingle that plays on their phone line.

My mind is just leaving the anxiety-mode. Sensing the tension remaining in my body. Like buzz-saws. I've decided to utilize the sensations for going deeper. This is a technique for managing pain, so I'll look at the buzz-saws as a pain sensation, going deeper down as my mind locates the sawing sensations. Starting at the top of the head, scanning down, just like a hand scanner for airport security. I'm stunned at the amount and intensity of the buzzing. This sort of meditative body opening is very powerful and revealing. My shoulders reveal super-sonic buzzing. Of course, so much weight placed on them over the last week. Forgetting how vulnerable the body can be to high stress, and how out of touch one becomes when the stress experiences push themselves to the front of the line. Reminds me of people in the supermarket who would run you over with their carts in order to be first....especially in the bakery.

Thoughts are racing, arguing with the buzz-saw, demanding to be noticed. I observe them passing through my consciousness, as I travel deeper down, like swimming underneath them. Noticing them on the surface of the water, but not caring about their presence. Simply allowing mySelf to go deeper down. When my attention is brought up to the surface, I simply notice and respond by going deeper down. Meditating through mind and body clutter.

Feeling better now. Leveling off. Ready to greet my inner mentors and Universal Mind. While they are always present, it's often difficult to communicate through all of the obstructions brought about by stressors, both big and small. I often forget to notice what's flowing through mySelf and this experience serves as another reminder to stay connected.

The buzz-saw now presents itself to me, asking to be utilized for something useful. This is an example of "transmutation" or changing something into something else. In the body, it represented locked-up stress and now outside my body, it represents a useful tool. I'm understanding that I do have paths in my subconscious mind that have not been tended to over the years. They are over-grown with weeds, brambles and debris. I'm led to one of them, not even knowing where it leads. I'm reminded of how clutter blocks many things in life and how good it feels to get rid of things that often stuff closets, drawers, cupboards, to name a few. Paradoxically, clutter can take over all areas of life without even being noticed. Ask any hoarder...

I'm now wondering how many paths are blocked with over-growth and what lies beyond. My childSelf has appeared, demanding that I leave them alone. Obviously frightened, even though she maintains that she knows nothing about these. Fear of the unknown. Another childhood issue that needs to be put to rest. I'm reminded that the best way to achieve this is to go forward. The buzz-saw buzzes in response. I'll start with what is in front of me and take it from there. The brambles, vines, weeds respond to the buzz, removing themselves with little effort. Reminds me of cleaning out the garage. Items wanting to be released by donation or going to the trash. Realizing that my mind was doing the blocking and not the stuff.

The path bricks are revealed. While a bit dingy, it's clear to me that they are golden or goal-den says the journal. I can now notice a sign directing the way. This path leads to the Library of Desires and Talents. Oh, it's been a long time since I thought about any of this. My life has been so encapsulated around my work, home, relationships and daily rituals. In a way, my life has become tiresome in it's sameness. It's not that I don't enjoy my life, but every room can benefit from a fresh coat of paint.

I'm entering the Library and have decided to spend some time here. I think this is "just what the doctor ordered." Fresh paint...fresh insights into those parts of my life experience that have been ignored. I'm heading for the early years and can sense the idea of fun and games entering my body. Glad that I released the buzzing, so now I have room for taking in the joy that I know is located here. Skating, hop-scotch, my blue bike, clarinet and my kick ball are against the wall. Just like new. Just like "knew."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Believe in Angels

Beliefs are deeply-held mind programs that work behind the scenes as powerful goals. They originate from many places, some obvious, some not so obvious and others...a complete mystery. I love exploring the history of my beliefs through automatic journaling, especially if those beliefs position themSelves in the middle of my life path. It's almost "as if" they want to communicate with me, perhaps to share something that I might find useful. My Path has revealed some of these, mainly spiritual in nature.

Today's Automatic Journaling...

I ready mySelf to relax deeply into the moment, releasing my mind and body. This is usually easy for me, but this time my conscious Self keeps interrupting, trying to direct the subject matter for my journaling session. This is not the way.

Oh, how I despise being interrupted. And, as for being directed, this is not one of my strong suits, especially if, whatever it is, belongs "soul-y" to me. This is how I view my journal, the front door key to my soul. I've worked long and hard to attain this position as writer, director and producer. In the past, I would stand by the side-lines. Others ran and played with my life. Now, I'm not tossing blame here. I expected and even wanted them to do it. Lazy? Fearful of making mistakes? Always wanting to please? Many reasons to be the actor instead of the director.

Today, it seems that my conscious mind wants to return to that way of being. It's not going to happen. I get up and change my position. Back to the down-breath. Feels better this static interruptions. The thought processes slow, slow, slow. The mind screen a beautiful shade of light blue. Images arising of their own accord. Just letting them do their thing. I don't believe I'm "there" yet. Just passing by images assisting the journey inward.

I'm invited to sit inside a spiral, rather like a slinky. I had one as a child and loved watching it going down steps. Now I'm inside one, going deeper down the spiral staircase. Yes, the spiral staircase. I went down one a few days ago with my childSelf, but this time I'm alone inside the slinky. The slinky-ride is fun. Feeling like a child in an amusement park!

The slinky lands and a door opens. I'm at a different area than before, but I sense this is my Life Path, like someone is telling me that. In front of me is a library-like building with a gold door pusher. I'm already pushing it open. The sign tells me that this is the Library of Beliefs. I'm reminded of the Library of Congress where some of my father's political cartoons are in safe keeping. I sense my father's presence, wondering if this is just a heart-felt desire or something else. Whatever it is, the sensations are peaceful and loving.

As a child, I was brought up Catholic, but my adult conscious Self does not follow any organized religion, but instead harbors strong beliefs in a Higher Power, spiritual teachers and message bearers. Part of me questions the presence of actual Angels, imaging these in a different category from spiritual teachers and messengers. I've often thought what my reaction would be if an Angel Spirit came into my awareness. My current thought is that I would really "freak out." I'm here in the Library of Beliefs to explore that notion and to learn more about me, mySelf and I.

The inner mind houses many different libraries, this being just one of the many, but a very important one to be sure. Beliefs fall into categories. They are housed in sectors of this particular building. It's already known that I am here regarding spiritual beliefs and so I'm ushered into a sector located near to the back. I've come to understand that spiritual beliefs are often very old, accompanying the individual through the birthing process. If newborns could talk, they might relay some of this information, but by the time the baby is old enough to speak, these memories are often in the back of the mind. However, if you hold a baby close to your heart, you may be able to sense the energies released by these. We think of the baby as being precious, but underneath the preciousness one can find spiritual connection.

I'm hear to ask specifically about Angels.

My fingers type direct questions onto my keyboard. Sometimes the answers come through my fingers, other times through the pen that sits on top of my writing journal.

"Have I ever been in contact with an Angel?" I'm somewhat doubtful, because of the Angel image I have in my mind. I'm answered with the words of my own observation.

"What makes you believe that Angels look a particular way?" I honestly don't know. It's just an idea in my head.

I find mySelf in a sector of the library were my Angel contacts are classified by date and time. Wow! I must say that I'm surprised to know how many contacts I've had. I'm told that some of my communication was short, but very important, some even life-saving. Others were short, but with less impact. Others were huge. I pull one of the "huge files" off of the shelf. Yes, I do remember this happening very clearly. I just never thought of it as an Angel Appearance.

It was back in 1984. We had a carbon monoxide leak from three different furnaces in our new home. The house was old, but we had just moved there a few months ago. The furnaces were all replaced, but I had a cough that wouldn't relent. So, I went to stay in a section of the house that was deemed "servant's quarters." I'd been sleeping there for about a week, but the cough persisted. One night I was awakened from a deep sleep. I felt pressure on my legs. There was a blue light surrounding something or someone who seemed to be sitting on my legs. I heard the voice of my step-father who had died about five years ago. The voice was calm, but strong. "Get out of this room right now. The flue is blocked and the contractors did not put the safety switch on the furnace. The carbon monoxide is spewing into the room." His voice went on to tell me exactly the configuration of the furnace, the flue and where the blockage was. He also told me not to call the same contractors because they would lie.

Yes, this is exactly what happened and everything was as his voice told me. "And so, do you not realize that you were visited by an Angel?" I must admit, I didn't realize that. I did know that something spectacular happened that night.

I'm asked to look around this sector of the library and spend some time reviewing other parts of my life experience. "Yes, I do believe in Angels."

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Sixth Sense

Everything is connected, but sometimes we have a loose connection that needs to be attended to.

Automatic journaling is how we enhance our connection with our Higher Power, sixth sense or intuition. Journaling is not just a writing exercise, but a process of becoming fully engaged with the Universal Mind. Our level of engagement continues throughout our daily experiences in what I like to call the "workshop of the world. We know this as our current reality. It's like we are participating in a theatrical play, where the script unfolds as the scenes unravel themselves. It's an "auto-pilot" production and we are the players. The clearer our Universal connections or intuition, the better for us. We stay in the position of "heightened observer." The scenes of life become more vibrant or clearer like HDTV and our ability to ask or hear specific directions is greatly enhanced. In other words, the connection is clear because the debris has been removed.

Sometimes intuition speaks softly, other times very loudly. In my experience, it's always best to listen. Intuition allows us to see more and to make better choices. These choices can change one's life dramatically. This is what happened to me in the middle of the night.

Act I Scene I

I'm awakened by our alarm system making a strange noise that I've never heard before. It wasn't all that loud, but since I have a tendency to "policing" my life, my mind seems to stay alert to any and all changes in my environment, a result of early childhood trauma. I get up and flight on the light. No light. No electricity. Oh damn. What's going on. Heart racing a bit. Wake the husband. Just for a moment, wondering what I would be doing if there was no husband. Am I such a needy person??? Realizing the child part of me is so very fearful, but I can turn this off. Just this week I released my child from her leg braces, taking my position as a mature Self. Deciding to wake the husband, so he won't feel "left out". Also, depending on what happens next, he may be useful, especially since he really likes to take charge.

Act I Scene 2

Well, as expected, he takes over, directing me through the house with flashlights, calming the child, even though the child was calmed long ago, but no need to announce that. Nothing to be gained. "Just a regular black-out" was his diagnosis. As for the alarm, "who knows. It's not the first time the damn thing did something strange." I do have to agree, although the police, investigative part of me isn't satisfied, but no need to get into this discussion in the middle of the night. Those subjects are best saved for another time, if at all. Lessons learned from many years of marriage. Husband returns to bed, snoring within minutes. The investigative-police part of me is happy to have him removed from the scene. She also likes to be in charge.

Act 2 Scene 1

Awake and alert. Time to research and collect evidence. What's really going on here? Another presence is felt. I immediately know it to be Universal Intelligence, an active group of spiritual helpers. Some people call these "angels." Whoever they are, I'm happy they're here. I feel at peace and safe. The childSelf is directed to sit quietly on the sofa to observe, for this is how the child part of us learns to mature.

I'm told to disengage the alarm and go into the garage. Calmly now. As I open the door, the smell of smoke touches my nostrils. I look around, but everything appears normal, except for the smell. I wish the lights were on. I'm instructed to call the electric company and receive a recorded message. Our address is checked via their automatic-response computer and I'm told that the problem will be resolved by the next morning.

The investigative-police part of me isn't satisfied, but it's more than that. She will not go to sleep, but stays vigilant, shining the flashlight in different parts of the room, just in case this is more than it seems, for my intuition is convinced that there is more than meets the eye.

Act 2 Scene 2

The mind and body are calm, but alert. 4 AM Lights and voices on the side of the house and a banging on the window. A man wearing a construction hat informing me that there is no problem and telling me to trip the main breaker.

It doesn't move. I'm not strong enough. He agrees to push it for me, even though they are not allowed to enter any premise. I open the door and he takes a step back. "Don't touch anything. The electrical panel is smoldering. It may spark or explode if you touch it." The car sits next to the electrical panel. My husband is snoring down the hall.

Act 3
Finding an electrician on a weekend and one who would be able to handle this job. I look through the phone book with my flashlight. Don't know any electricians. My pen moves towards the name of a company with a ridiculous name. "I would never call a company with a name like that." The pen ignores my comment, encircling the name. Oh, someone else is in charge here. The pen then makes a 1-2-3 list as to why this is the right company. Intuition.

Snoring stops and agreement is reached without debate. Strange? The company with the odd name responds immediately, dispatching a knowledgeable professional...clean, neat and focused. "You're very lucky you didn't lose your life or your house last night." Yes, I do know that and I am grateful. There is tremendous power in heightened awareness and healthy connections!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Releasing the Up-Tight Self

Relaxing deeply into the moment now. Fingers not touching the computer keys. Eyes closed gently and slightly turned up. Entering the subconscious mind via the spiral staircase, the suggestion of the childPart. Most likely this also has a meaning, so I'll remember to ask. Going down, down and further down. Eyes opening, fingers working independently from my mind. Questions appearing as if being asked by themselves...

Down the spiral foot before the next....paying careful attention to the placement of my feet. I've never been keen on spiral staircases & wondering why the child part of me chose this way of getting to where we need to go. Since I'm working with "right brain or automatic writing", I can hear the child explaining this to me, even before my fingers type out the question.

" I have to go slowly because of my leg braces. You always go everywhere so fast. I never get to see anything."

Critique accepted. Yes, she's absolutely right. This is an important reminder for me. Take more time while enjoying the moments. Life is not a marathon event. This is a habitual way of being for me, so I'm asking my subconscious mind to awaken me.

I'm being asked to clarify this. On a scale of 1-10? "Please wake me at level 5." It's easier to change something BEFORE it gets too big and over-whelming. In nursing these are known as the "prodromals" or behaviors that "come before." Obviously, it would be a nuisance if I'm continually aware of how fast I'm moving along in my day. To my mind, level 5 is where I'm placing my foot on the gas.

I have some idea about the child's leg braces. I've worked with this image in my original inner work. Thought that was over. The braces are old-fashioned, buckles covered in rust. Again, thought this was over. Wondering, "Are old issues every over? Are we just collectors of "issues", cramming them in the closets of our mind, never to be free?" This is not a happy thought, but I'm reminded that thoughts and emotions have their own purpose, so perhaps this is a good thing? I'll have to ask.

Once in the mind and in front of those that share my automatic journaling, there is no need to ask, for the question is already being answered. Once something is noticed, then it is explored and tended to. Rather like "automatic gardening." Weeds notice...weeds gone, but in this instance, a special learning or healing takes place.

I'm asked a question. "What are the braces telling you?" Perplexed. "Go over and help the child to remove them. The braces are wise. They have been holding the child upright."

As I maneuver the buckles, trying to get them to open, I notice the rust has come off on my hands, forming words. "Happiness, joy, love, compassion, forgiveness....freedom." Seeing "freedom" brings tears to my eyes. Why hasn't the child been free? Did I place the braces on her legs? Am I responsible for keeping her from running and playing, experiencing the joy of life? I respect freedom so much, this idea of being responsible for this is pouring guilt over my being. And, what's with the sweater, hat and scarf? "When one can not experience happiness, joy, compassion, forgiveness and love, one is often cold."

The words in my journal ask me to relax and release. "You know not what you do and so guilt serves no purpose here. Now you are aware and in charge of keeping the child free to explore life wearing happiness, joy and love. She forgives and has compassion for what happened in the past. Now, you can forgive as well, for those who originally placed the encumbrances on the child did not know what they were doing, just like you." An image of my mother, father, brothers, aunt and grandmother present themselves. I draw a forgiveness heart on the page of my journal, observing as it is transferred to my family images.

A noise interrupts. The child is laughing. Chasing a butterfly down the path, winter clothing and braces no where to be seen.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Theater of the Mind

Can't believe this... I re-sprained my old knee injury! Hit it on the corner of the car door. What is this business with my mind and body keeping me "chair-bound?" Knowing that "there are no accidents", I have to assume that I'm meant to delay returning to my life as usual. I'm reminded that I have choices. Either sit here, complain and snarl, or open myself up to whatever this is all about.

Remembered my automatic writing journal. A great way to work inside the "theater of the mind.". Love that journal and I've had great experiences with it in the past. I'm interested in knowing when I used it last and what happened. It seems that our own mind, given the opportunity, will grab it, taking us to where we need to go at that particular time and I'm ready to go somewhere now.

Here it is. The last time I wrote in it was in October, 2001. Noticing I was engrossed in a conversation with my "alive part." Reading further, recalling what was going on with me. A season of mild reactive depression. Little desire or energy to do anything. Inner journal or automatic writing is a great way to have well-guided, self-hypnotic experiences. Reading through some of the inner conversations and suggestions from the Higher Part of Me, following the experience, observing the healing, the exit door back to a healthy, balanced life being held open by my "alive part."

I haven't thought about that part of me in a long while and I'm happy to have the time to reconnect. Wondering what my "alive part" would have to say about some other things that I'm currently experiencing. Becoming re-ignited and anxious to get back to this.

Even though I haven't written in this journal since 2001, I accept life as a continuation. While I've side-stepped on tangential paths, it's still a journey of what came before, what comes next and what comes after that.

I'm reading that my "alive part" has suggested that I design my own outcomes, as I would like to have them. The depressed part of me would benefit from "mind re-hab" and changing it's relationships with particular emotions that are related to the wearing of "heavy shoes." Another suggestion is to change my family of origin...not exactly eliminating them, but making up images of different brothers and sisters that are more balanced in their approach to life. Working in the subconscious mind is often like child's play. The inner mind has a great sense of humor, loving metaphors that while appearing silly, are just the opposite. Imagining having Thanksgiving with my new and delightful, agreeable and friendly family of siblings. But, sensing mySelf being encumbered by ridiculous heavy shoes is not too far from the truth. Perhaps my subconscious hasn't been in shoe departments lately!

Automatic journaling allows me to frame areas of my life that I choose to work on. This can be anything, from problems, health issues, habits, addictions to areas of creative living and design. I spend some time thinking about what I would like to address. Usually choosing just one or two things at a time. I'm never sure how many parts of me might like to weigh in on the issue, and I might even have some visitors from the Universe at Large. One thing for sure, it's always an enlightening experience.
Sometimes I meet up with some of my younger Selves. On occasion, future or much older Selves have joined the conversation, along with the inner workings of a particular problem. I can always expect emotions to be exposed, both positive and negative. Once again, this all happens automatically and right off the end of my pen or on the computer screen, if we all choose to type. WE? Yes, we. All parts have points of view and flashlights to shine on different aspects of whatever is on the table. As for the Universal Guests, can never be sure who will turn up.

I do have a meeting room in the "theater of my mind", but most of the time we just meet in a quiet, spiritual place....perhaps in a garden or by the side of a stream, or under the "library trees." Those are trees with built-in reference texts from the most powerful Universal Beings. I especially love going there because the energy is so BIG.

My journal is ready and inviting. However, I'm not alone today. A childPart of me has presented herSelf, wanting to travel along with me. I had a feeling that something special was going to happen, so perhaps this is a clue. The child is wearing heavy braces on her legs, rather like the kind children wore when polio was common. She's also dressed in rather cumbersome clothing. Heavy sweater, hat and scarf. This is Florida, but obviously that means nothing to this part of me.

Relaxing deeply into the moment now. Fingers not touching the computer keys. Eyes closed gently and slightly turned up. Entering the subconscious mind via the spiral staircase, the suggestion of the childPart. Most likely this also has a meaning, so I'll remember to ask. Going down, down and further down. Eyes opening, fingers working independently from my mind. Questions appearing as if being asked by themselves...

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Missed Appointment

One of my patient's cancelled her appointment. Hearing the news, the peach recliner beckoned to me, or was it another part of me doing the beckoning. This wasn't my usual response to a cancelation, but for some reason I must admit to feeling some level of happiness. Another part of me slammed the door, telling me that I had too many other obligations and deadlines. Much better ways to spend my newly found free time. I know this part well. Always raining on my parade. It's a very old part, even older than me. Noticing that it doesn't even want me to write about it here. Sacrilege. Shining a light on family secrets, rules and regulations. "Time is not for wasting. Time is for doing." Even the message feels tight, uncomfortable and confining.

Thinking that all is lost, I let go of any ideas I might have had about moving over onto the peach recliner. Accepting my fate of always following that stick-carrying part of me, I wait for further instructions. After all, that part is right. I do have lots of "real work" waiting for me and I could utilize this time in a better way. Feeling a bit self-righteous, better than those people who just sit around whiling away their hours in purposeless play.

"Move over to the peach recliner." The instructions, kind, but firm, like a parent or teacher or healer reaching my ears. I'm waiting for the rebuttal from the stick-carrier, but there is silence. My body moves over, as if being transported on some sort of effortless conveyance. I check my watch. The hands are gone. How will I know when my time is up? A feeling of "no-need-to-think" answers my question. Wow...I rather like that part. It's like being absent from mySelf.

Sinking back into the recliner, being pulled down gently, traveling quickly and finding mySelf in the parking lot of my office building. What? Hearing the rain and wondering if my car windows are closed. This isn't exactly what I had in mind. Two cows appear, signaling for me to follow them, so first I check the car windows and then follow the cows. It takes me a few moments to realize that it is very odd to find cows in the parking lot, but I couldn't care less. They're quite a bit ahead of me, so I quicken my step, noticing that I'm passing some beautiful landscapes. A few other animals appear, letting me know I'm on the right road. I'm floating now, moving faster over the pastures and can see my life area underneath me. My feet turn downwards, making it easier to land. Noting that I'm wearing golden shoes with an ankle strap, like Mary Jane's. I have no idea if I'm an adult or child, and once again, couldn't care less.

The path is also golden, with clearly marked gardens on each side. I'm requested to follow the path past the bend to the right. In the distance is a huge rainbow, housing a light underneath it. To the right and left are chairs, divided into sections by the golden path.

A parade of child-like individuals parade in, some going to the right, others to the left. I'm told there is a chair for me directly on the path, in front of the light, but then I notice there are two chairs, side by side. I sit in one, observing the parade. The individuals on the left are a bit messy in appearance, some bigger than others. I notice the stick-carrying person, rather surprised to makes it's company here, although it pays no attention to me as it takes it's seat. Those on the right are a mixture of big and small, all very neat and composed. The chair next to mine is now occupied with someone that seems familiar, but I can't seem to remember where we met before. There is no conversation from anyone, as if the light has hypnotic qualities. I can sense a great respect. A powerful energy is obviously present. This is a spiritual moment, but it's still not clear to me what's going on. The compulsive part of me wants to talk to the person in the next chair, but I sense mySelf being pulled deeper into the chair where I'm sitting, so I'm assuming that something is going on, even if I don't understand what it is.

The child-like individuals, to the right and left, are now bathed in light. Those to my left becoming smaller, while those to my right become bigger. I notice black drops leaving the fingers of those to my left, falling onto the path and transmuting into golden dust. Those to my right are also producing golden dust, but there are no black drops, just pure gold. Each child-like individual has a small container and is filling it with the dust. Each takes their leave, walking under the light and the rainbow for destinations unknown by me. There goes the stick-carrier.

The person who sits next to me tells me that my emotions have been called for a balancing of sorts. Those to the left were my negative emotional states, those to the right my positive emotional aspects. Rather at a loss for words and feeling a bit shy. "I seem to have many negative parts." Goodness, I even run mySelf down here! This doesn't go un-noticed.

"It's time for you to respect all parts of yourSelf. Each part of you has something to offer. Now you are being invited to the schoolhouse where each emotional state will teach you something you didn't know before."

"When will this happen?" That's me....always compulsive and in a rush.

"When it's supposed to happen"...comes the Wise Reply.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Peach-Colored Chair

In my office I have a peach-colored recliner. It's been there for many years and it never surprises me when a patient, old or new, sits down and immediately changes in some way. Patient's have told me that for some reason, sitting in that chair makes it easy for them to go into a trance state and start their own work. I'd been thinking about the chair when I was home recovering from whatever that was, wondering what effect the chair would have on me. Would I also experience a different level of existence? Would the chair take me somewhere I've never been before? Is it possible that the chair actually stores hypnotic energy in the fibers of it's being? Goodness...better stop these thoughts now and just wait to get back into the office.

I decided to go to work early. I had thought about staying later and experimenting at the end of the day, but then I thought that my mind would travel over areas that were visited by patients on that day, and I preferred to experiment with a cleaner slate. The office building was very quiet and that suited me perfectly. I love quiet and rarely have the opportunity to experience this during my work-day. Entering my office, I already felt somewhat different. In this moment I was not the therapist, but someone else. Locking the door, I set the stage with lighting, just as I would do for a patient, and then sat down in the peach-colored chair. Feet up...slight recline...arms resting comfortably on my lap, just as I've seen patients do for decades. Since nothing happened, I closed my eyes, taking a cleansing breath, as if I could hear mySelf telling mySelf to do just that. I peeked out at my therapist's chair and saw some foggy image sitting there. Oh, I do have a great imagination!! Or do I?

I'm very eager for the experience and for answers. Most certainly, this is part of my compulsive personality. Of course, this goes along with being very impatient. As I wait, I'm very aware of this. Part of me wants to push the fog-filled therapist into some sort of action. Wondering if my patients feel this about me? Something or someone tells me to "cool it" and so I do. Why not have a good half hour of rest? What does it really matter if the experience isn't any more than this?

Almost immediately, the letting go of my expectations cleared the way.
The way down into trance was very swift, as if the peach-recliner was motorized in some way. It was somewhat like an elevator experience, going down, down, down and then we were there. The door opened and the path presented itself. I have been here before, but his time the colors were much more vivid, the workshop much clearer in definition. The door opened as if it expected me. This time my desk was clear. No list...nothing at all. Part of me wondered what I was expected to do, but nothing was expected. I don't know how I knew that, but I did. It was such a lovely place, clean and organized, beautifully furnished, views from the windows welcoming to my eyes, my body responding in kind.

A table offered me field glasses, inviting me to look out at the wide expanse of my life. It was clear that this was mine and no one elses. I could see beyond my place, to the place of others who share my life experience, but their place was not my place, nor was mine their's. This ownership of Self felt very good. I understand being self-responsible, but this clear imagery underlined this fact, as well as helping me understand the importance of others also being self-responsible. That includes my family, friends and patients. While the peach-recliner allows me to take them to their place, it is their place to care for. My responsibility as a therapist, is just the same as my responsibility to mySelf and my family. Self-ownership.

I'm asked to put the glasses down and go over to the closet. Oh no...I'm not fond of closets. Breathe says the Self. I have a multi-colored history with closets. I've hid in them, been locked in them, hoarded things in them. To me, they hold my secrets and I don't want to open this closet, certainly not in this place. Oh, why did I come here. My body spelled out resistance, but the fog blew my way, covering me in a gentle hue of blue. I reached for the knob, turning it to the right and gently pulled the door open. A little broom appeared in my hand with an invitation to sweep. Clean and clear was the tune in my head. The fog helped by absorbing whatever was being swept and I found myself enjoying the process. I was now invited to enter the closet where I found another door asking to be opened. Having been reassured by the fog, I simply opened it and was shown a beautiful flower garden.

Gardening shoes, just my size, sat on the brick path. I slipped them on, finding myself skipping like a child again. Light and airy. So happy, peaceful and excited to explore the plants. Shhhh...not so fast. No need to hurry. A watch appeared on my wrist. It had a face, but no hands. "Time does not exist here" said the watch. "Take all the time you like for it makes no difference. The idea of time simply tightens it's grip on the plants, making it difficult for them to grow. Loosen and lighten and they will grow." As I began studying the plants, I realized that each represented something I had struggled with previously, with the belief that I would never complete these things. Of course, the struggle had tightened the growth. That was the message.

I heard some movement in the hallway of my office building. Could I have been here an hour already? I peeked at my watch, noticing the hands had appeared on the face. Oh I prefer the other watch. But, it was time to return to the day at hand. The peach chair asked me to return in a more dignified way...slow & gentle. No rushing. Promising that I would be returning again, in fact many times, for there was much to know here and this was my life, no one else's.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Secret Wishing

Most of the time we are not aware that we are on the path leading to illness. We wake up to the activity of our day, or I should say, "we wake up IN the activity of our day" because the mind and body are already well involved before the clock radio is called to action. While I know all of this, I'm no different from everyone else, therapist or not.

My recent illness was both a surprise and not a surprise. I was expecting it, actually wondering where it was. My breakneck pace of life that always seems to be my response to additional stressors had brought me back to areas "less visited" during my more balanced days where addictions and compulsions stayed away without a fight.

As I lay here, I'm thinking that I probably had been secretly wishing to be ill. At least I would be forced to do nothing. Over the years, I'd cleared out most of my addictions and they no longer held the same love appeal, but the old programmed mind wanted to hang out anyway, like a big tease. Now I find their presence annoying, preferring to escape through sleep instead of through a plate of ice cream.

It's been a full day since my inner visit. I've thought about it and now wonder if it was simply my fever breaking. I hope not. The last time this happened for me was several decades ago when I was seriously ill and my life seriously shifted. I'm hoping there are other doors, other than illness, that will keep me connected. As a therapist, I believe and practice meditation, but this place is something more and I WANT IT. Oh, how typical of me. Just like a child stamping her foot, demanding that she be given what she wants.

As the image of my outrageous child matures, I find myself laughing at her ridiculous patterns. The voice from nowhere or somewhere else responds with gentle demeanor "Ask politely." Once again I feel tension draining from my body, as if I'm back in that chair that pulls me down. While I'm delighted to be back, I'm wondering if this inner traveling will be interrupting my day whenever it wants to. Certainly that can't be a good thing. How will I ever get anything done? Or, maybe I'm sicker than I believe and these visiting images are active delusions, setting me up for some serious medication.

Stop now. It's time to give it all up...all the hindrances that have blocked for decades. Give them up? Goodness, I'll be empty! It's obvious in this moment that I have a liking for the most miserable parts of myself. The idea of releasing them, just letting them go is more unsettling than my fever-pitched headache.

Question time. Where would I begin? Answers coming even before the questions fully materialize. Yes, I remember this happening before and it was enjoyable, at least then. Let's see how it feels now. The headache opens and I'm already inside the corridor, back in the chair, surrounded by teachers I can't see or hear, but somehow I know who they are. Some are very old and wise, others younger, perhaps seeking their own spiritual merit badges through their work with me. Somehow I'm remembering the time I went to have my hair colored at the local beauty school and realizing what a mistake that was, but for some reason that experience doesn't mesh with this. I'm accepting what's about to happen before it happens. It feels comfortable.

The answers flow. There is no beginning and no ending, just Knowledge and the experience it lends. The Universe is eternal and fluid. Everything experienced of this so called life plan is an illusion. So, let me get this straight. Nothing is real?

It's made clear to me, and not for the first time, that life is like a big story book that can be edited both past, present and future. And, since this my story book, I'm invited to do the editing, along with Universal Guidance. There are no mistakes, nothing to forgive, nothing to fear. A pile of fresh-start clean slates are always available. Yes, I've known this for a very long time, but for some reason it feels new again. Perhaps I've entered through a different door and the clarity that I'm experiencing is moving me up to a higher level.

Checking in on my headache and can't find it, so this is also good news. I'm wondering how to proceed, when the answer is presented before the question is fully formed. I come to know that I am already proceeding and yes, I will be interrupted many times, just as a pilot needs to keep checking, perhaps re-adjusting the positioning of his plane. The life that my body and mind are experiencing are tantamount to a big school, where the teachers are all spiritual in nature. Some appearing in bodies and some not. I'm now plugged in, meaning that I am on an accelerated path. I'm excited by the possibilities, but also feel myself holding back, not wanting to open everything at the same time.

I'll be communicating through inner journaling, as well as straight-forward mind-chat. I know where I want to begin, but I also accept that perhaps I don't know what is best. We'll see.

Internal Landscapes!

Therapist's Couch Self-Hypnosis Webinars to begin later this month. Receive my newsletter for the schedules.

I've been away...not on vacation, but on my own journey of self-honesty. It's not something I raised my hand for, but my body & mind decided to shut down business as usual until I took the time & personal space to address some of my own issues. Oh? A therapist with issues? Why not? Everyone else has them!

It's been several years since my body decided to take a trip into the dark abyss of illness. In a way, I was excited because I knew that once I started to feel better physically, I still had to fully recover & it is in that time-space that an inner journey would take place. I know from past experiences that my mind knows where to go, but living life "as usual", never affords me the time to arrive at that special destination...the place that holds the questions, as well as the answers.

Two whole weeks away from work, desk, computer, phone & even a meaningful conversation of any length. Days & nights consisting of sleep & more sleep. No need to worry for this is the preparation for the journey that would take place very soon. No preparations necessary. The body would alert the mind when the time was right & I would simply find myself there.

It happened in the middle of a morning at the end of the second week or so I seem to recollect. I didn't do anything special, just took some tylenol, closed my eyes, waiting for the pain to go somewhere else. Instead, the pain opened, just like a door in the middle of my forehead. I recall a long hallway, dimly lit, but appearing friendly, as if it was expecting me. I sensed a lack of hesitation on my part, a wanting to go in & down the corridor...starting to feel better, a little stronger & clearer despite the pain waving me on. The pain no longer had meaning, other than to be some sort of director to the scene. I didn't seem to mind it's presence because it was the one thing that remained familiar to me, rather like a touch-stone. As I moved further down the corridor, I no longer felt a need for it's presence & so as if it could read my mind, it stepped to the side, becoming part of the wallpaper.

I was not asleep, but instead very much awake. I know this because I opened my eyes & looked around the room where I was resting. Everything seemed the same & so I simply chose to go back. There was no difficulty in getting back to that place. That in itself was interesting because before getting sick my level of concentration had been waning.

I found a chair & sensed an invitation to sit down. There was no one there, or at least no one that I could see or even sense. The chair was comfortable & began pulling me further down into it, not enough to frighten me, but enough to let me know that I was to be there for awhile.

The next thing I remember was the fog. I've lived in England, so I do know fog, but this was a different variety. Very colorful with blurred images that seemed to be lining themselves up & then leaving to the left. I started to become aware of what things were, despite never hearing any voice or instruction. It was simply a sense of inner knowing that was accompanied with a feeling of deep certainty. Things not only needed to leave, but they were simply leaving on their own. No efforting, no decisions to be made, no thinking things through, just peaceful exiting. By body began to feel lighter, as if I was floating upwards. Now, in my usual awake state I would not have been accepting of any of this. My tendency is to hold on & never let go, but that part of me wasn't present at this time.

Now I found mySelf standing in back of my body. I placed my hands on my shoulders & could feel them, but I was definitely outside of myself. I walked to the right side of "me", then to the left & then found I could float up & look down at myself. I was aware of where tension had been stationed inside my body. I also understood that my mind was not in my "head", but instead in all parts of my body, experiencing the tension as blockages. I was then invited ( I don't know by whom ) to reach down & remove a block. The blocks were rather small, but when I removed one, it grew in size. I chose another one & this one also grew, but not as big as the first one.

I was instructed to place the blocks on the table & somehow knew that I would be spending time with these. The answers I was seeking, even though I didn't know the questions as yet, would be given to me by the blocks.

At this moment I came to the realization that I was hardly alone, but instead, there were many "beings" with me, each one an instructor of sorts. I didn't see them, but their presence was obvious to me. I also understood that they had been assigned to me, to walk me through my healing & then into a clearing, where my purpose or work would be synthesized by them. I would also become acutely aware of the emotions that would be part of my life from now on forward.

This was not to be a one time meeting, but would happen frequently to be enhanced in meditation. My body would be welcomed, but I am not my body. It is simply a conduit for moving around the Universe. My focus in this regard would be changing & there was really nothing I had to do.

I found myself opening my eyes, fully returned to the room & my bed. There was nothing else. No fanfare, no lights, no angels, no eureka or ah-ha...just a knowing that change had happened & perhaps for the first time, without any struggle.

Before I became ill I had been working on many different projects, always feeling like I was chasing myself. It's become clear to me what parts of these have left & what has replaced them. These are not plans that I worked out in my usual way, but instead, an inner knowing of what I am to do.

I invite you to join me in making contact with your own Universal Connections.