Getting it through your Thick Skull!

 

I think it was when I ran into Kerouac and Burroughs – when I was 17 – that I realized I was talking through an empty skull… I wasn’t thinking my own thoughts or saying my own thoughts.                             Allen Ginsberg

“I can’t get it through your thick skull,” a character on a TV show says. What does it mean? Being a writer, I often listen for sayings and I wonder where they came from.

Have you ever talked with someone and you shared with her as clearly as you can, and when she responded, what she said had nothing to do with what you said?

Communication can be difficult when your head is full of your own thoughts. You are stuck in your own perspective and you can’t seem to find room for how anyone else sees the world.

What happens for all of us is we tend to defend ourselves by taking a stand on something. We see it our way, and close down our minds to other possibilities. In part, this can be a survival tool; to not become so sensitive to all that is happening around, and to just focus on our task.

In relationship though, this can be frustrating and derisive. Have you ever heard two people sharing with each other and you could see both sides, but they could not see the others point at all?

I remember an old 1970’s TV episode of All in the Family, with Archie and Edith Bunker. In this episode, they were discussing politics. Archie was irate when he found out Edith had voted for the opposing candidate from Archie’s. All he could see was his vote didn’t count. She had cancelled it out. They went round and round and he could not understand her vote had nothing to do with his. He would never understand this of course.

Archie

We all have this tendency to “have a thick skull” at times. Being a reader, I love seeing the world from other people’s perspective, especially other cultures. How I am in close relationship, well, that may be a different story.

The goal of course is to try to see situations from the other person’s perspective. This can be done in the privacy of your own mind. You don’t have to give up your position. Once you do practice seeing the other point of view though, it becomes easier. You don’t have to agree with the opposing view, but being open to hearing it and understanding why one would see it that way helps strengthen relationship.

Since I mentioned liking to read books that take on a different perspective, I’ll share three of my favorites.

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

poisonwood

Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi

Stones Hegi

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Cutting for Stone

Enjoy!


Listen before it’s too Late!

 

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
― Stephen R. CoveyThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

 

It is an enlightening view, sitting in my chair in my office as a mental health counselor. I am honored to sit with clients as they share about their lives and their relationships and I see themes unfold.

We have ended the year and are into the New Year.  As I look ahead at new beginnings, it reminds me of one of the most common themes. When working with couples, I notice that, for most, by the time they enter my office, it’s too late.

couples

Too often one of them attempted continually to communicate with the other, without being heard. Sadly, I watch their last attempt to keep the marriage together. The partner, let’s say the man, who has not really heard, but has listened as if she was nagging or on a rampage over something, finally understands. It is too late now for him to realize that what she was saying was important. So important, that the marriage is now over. I see him groveling and trying to make sense of it all. In the safety of another person (me) she says, “I’m sorry, but it is just too late.”

Many of us have ended relationships before the New Year. I remember myself, many years ago, sitting outside Nordstroms, having coffee with my lover on December 29th. I said, “I am sorry, but it’s over.” This was difficult to say and it was painful. I had felt though, that what I said over and over, didn’t matter and I was “pushing the river,” in order to create a change for us. It didn’t work. Once I was honest and ended the relationship; although painful, it was also exhilarating.

When I am with clients and they are suffering over a relationship, I often ask, “when did you first know this was not the right situation for you?” More than I would like to hear, they say, “in the beginning.” If not, they knew years before they decided to make a change.

Whether it be a love relationship, a work relationship or a family situation, “when you begin to lose your voice, your self-esteem, your sense of personal power; it is time to make some kind of a shift.”


Slowing Down and Being Present

“Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.”
― Ken KeseyOne Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

  

Focusing on relationships this year makes me aware of how many relationships we have in a given day. After a great massage (relationship) and feeling tired and hungry, I met with the seamstress (relationship) who is making the pants to go under my Shalwar Kameez. This is the dress I will wear to the wedding in India on February 3rd

India 2010 094

We talked fabric, which we both love, and although I felt like I was in a big hurry, because I was focusing on relationships this year, I chose to be more present. I slowed down, conversed and listened to all she had to say. In the past, I would have been short, quick, and focused on getting the task done and getting out the door. I really enjoyed being attentive and learning about her business and also realized how pleasant it was to hear her talk with the fabric store employees, who knew her well. I could see she had developed some connective relationships with them as they laughed and shared with each other.

This shift in perception, to slow down, listen, and be present can be life changing. If you to are too busy to connect and be present to yourself and others, join with me in this new adventure!


The Heart Chakra

The Heart Chakra

“One love, one heart, one destiny.”
― Bob Marley 

 

Writing about Love yesterday made me think about the heart chakra. When I was in my own heart, imaging those I love, I realized it was not my heart at all, but really the heart chakra that I focused on.

Many people are not aware of all the incredible information that is stored in the chakras. If you have ever had an intuitive reading from me, you know the power of this experience.

Photoshop Backup 7 580

The heart chakra is the one people are aware of the most. It is the Power of Love. It relates to love, self-love, love of others, love of God (or your own word for the Divine,) affinity, loneliness, commitment, forgiveness, hope and trust.

On my website I have listed detailed information about each of the chakras. Take some time to journal about the fourth chakra and see how you can bring balance into your relationships and into your life.

http://energymedicinedna.com/chakra-four

Most of all though, practice focusing on your loved ones in your heart and experiencing the incredible feeling of love! When you do this you heal your heart and theirs!


Love

 

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Laozi

 

When talking about relationships, love is in the forefront. Close your eyes and focus in your heart and feel who it is that fills your heart. Allow memories and images to come up that fill you with love.

This is a practice that can increase your happiness, lighten your mood and shift your attitude. Isn’t it amazing how much we can shift what we are feeling through a simple image of those we love?

Today would be a good day to reach out to a loved one. You can make a call, text or email them, visit them or send them a gift. Our relationships are sacred and creating a memory with them can last forever.

When you cannot be with a loved one for some reason, you can also focus in your heart, bring your consciousness up out of the top of your head, up into the heavens. Imagine the person standing there with you and send love to the person through your heart. This can heal a wounded relationship and bring peace to one who is missing you. You may be surprised when they call you suddenly!


Manifesting and Resistance

“You can talk with someone for years, everyday, and still, it won’t mean as much as what you can have when you sit in front of someone, not saying a word, yet you feel that person with your heart, you feel like you have known the person for forever…. connections are made with the heart, not the tongue.”
― C. JoyBell C. 

Soon after I chose my word for 2014 – Relationships – came the resistance. I am beginning to think that resistance may be the shadow side to most of what I want to manifest.

When I teach manifesting, I have my students or clients think about and write down specifically what they want to manifest. As soon as they do this, I encourage them to then write down all the thoughts of why they can’t have this. Now, this may appear counter-productive, but the reality is, these thoughts are going to either surface consciously or subconsciously and it is better to challenge them outright.

So I’ll use my word – relationships. I have made a decision to focus on relationships this year. The thoughts that surface are these:

  1. I’ll have to slow down and make time for other people.
  2. I will get hurt.
  3. People will want more of me than I can give.
  4. I’ll have to be present to everyone who comes into my life and I’ll get exhausted.

Now, that I have identified the immediate concerns I have, I can challenge them.

  1. I’ll have to slow down and make time for other people.  – In this case, yes, I will do this. I have wanted to do this for a while and I can schedule my life with more play and less work and if I don’t resist this (stress and exhaustion) then I will really enjoy playing and being more present to friends and family.
  2. I will get hurt. – Just because I am spending more time in my relationships and possibly allowing an intimate relationship, I don’t have to get hurt. I can move slowly, set necessary boundaries until I am confident and feel safe. I have a lot of skills and can use them in relationship. (You will notice that my resistance here appears to come from a need to feel safe.)
  3. People will want more of me than I can give. – In this situation, the fear is not related to my friends and family, but more to other people. It will be necessary for me to be discerning of where I put my time and energy. It is not like a dam breaking. I can spend time with my friends and family without opening the floodgates to everyone. (overwhelm)
  4. I will have to be present to everyone who comes into my life and I will become exhausted. – In this case, becoming present is actually a way of being less exhausted. There will be people around me that I don’t have to be continually present with. I can be present with myself and focus my attention where I would like. I am in control. (exhaustion)

I hope this example demonstrates the fears that come right behind your decision to manifest.  Now, you can be conscious of the fears and challenge them. The theme of this 30-day blog, is not just relationship to others, but relationship to yourself. You are in control of your life, your choices and your future!


Clearing the Past

“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.” 
 J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  

Much of what I have taught over the years has been about manifesting and creating the life you want. In order to do this, often you have to bring the past into present time to heal. What I mean by this is that when you focus on the past and live in the past, your life is controlled by what you felt and thought in the past. What happens is you continue to feel those feelings in the present.  Living in the past leaves no room for what you are experiencing in the present. Living in the past, having your thoughts and feelings consumed by the past, can also control your future. Your past becomes your future.

Living in the past can create depression. 

Living in the future can create anxiety.

2010-06-27 18 27 01When I talk about healing the past, what I hear most is “how do I do that?” Well, there are many modalities for healing the past. One that I teach is to become aware of the memories and the wounds.  Feel them and change your beliefs around them. Your feelings are a result of your beliefs. Often your beliefs flitter so quickly in your mind, you have difficulty noticing them, grabbing them and examining them.

The ones you can identify is where to start. In your journal, write out a list of people and situations where you have been hurt or angry. Allow yourself to feel your feelings as you remember. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself.

Look at where you may have contributed to the situation. Take inventory of your own actions. You can use the successful process from the Big Book of AA.  When taking inventory, write out where you were selfish, self-centered, frightened, or to blame.

Now, you may not have had any responsibility in the situation, especially if you were a child. In that case, look at what was going on in the other person’s life at the time.

People do the best they can at the time. Sometimes their best is destructive and hurtful to others, but it still is the best they can do with the awareness, teachings and the consciousness they have at the time. Are there some things you would like to do that you don’t do? Are there things you do that you wish you didn’t? Have you behaved in the past in ways you would not behave today because you know better? No one is perfect.

Anger is a secondary emotion that covers up pain or fear.

You may have had desires, demands or expectations of someone. Then you find they didn’t either give you what you wanted or they behaved in ways that hurt you.

If this is so and is in the past, in order to heal yourself and move on, you can forgive them. If it is a present situation, then you can make choices on how you choose to handle the situation. If choose to continue to stay in a destructive situation, it is your choice. The responsibility then becomes yours. You cannot blame the other person when you choose to stay. What happens when you blame someone else is, they then have the power to change the situation and you become a victim. When you take responsibility for your choices, you remain empowered and in control of your life.

If you still have a lot of pain or anger about the situation, write out what happened to you. You can write it over and over until the “sting” or “charge” is gone. You may want to read it over and over to a safe, loved one until it is no longer controlling you. You can forgive and move on. This does not mean you agree with what happened, it just means it no longer controls you.

Only you have the ability to clear your past and live fully in present time, thus giving you the power to create the life you want to live.

Clearing frees you to live in present time.