Tag Archives: pain

What’s the source?

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There is a movement afoot where people want to uncover where their food is sourced.  

Photo Credit: Flickr/chailey

Photo Credit: Flickr/chailey

We have seen an increase in artisan cheese makers, organic farms, grass fed beef and free range chicken. We are balking at farm raised fish and grabbing up the fresh Alaskan Salmon as soon as it drives into your stores.

We fuss about GMO foods and antibiotics injected into our meats and pesticides on our farm produce.

We try as much as we can to ingest the foods that are good for us. We know that messing with the food that nature produces may not be the best thing for our natural bodies.

We run internet campaigns against the large international corporations when they hide what they are doing with our food. We start neighborhood campaigns to help the local farmer, and we are proud when we make even a small dent in the way people think about the food they eat.

We have even seen a fast food chain like McDonalds put apple slices into a kids meal as they hope we forget that the meat in the burger may not be all meat.

I remember when they started advertising their chicken nuggets as 100% all chicken! I wondered what the heck was in the nuggets before.

Yet…we do not take one tenth of this investigative energy to put into the emotions that we take at face value and swallow as if we do not have a choice.

I was recently speaking to a dear friend who is an amazing foodie who prides himself on only cooking and ingesting the very best that he can source. He collects his own seaweed and mushrooms  and can smell the difference in fresh seafood and insists on free range chicken and grass fed beef. He only buys the freshest produce and will go without before he ingests foods not good for his system.

He is the epitome of a healthy man!

Except that he accepts the thoughts he often thinks about being not “good enough “or “being selfish” as gospel truth.

He thinks about past childhood pain and imagines that somehow he had something to do with it. He thinks he may have been ” bad” so that his caretakers had good reason to ignore him, give him the silent treatment or just brow beat him back into the mold they made for him.

He thinks that he could have “made them” love and accept him as he longed to be loved and accepted.

He is wrong.

Children are given to us so that the adults in their lives can show them how to love. They learn how to love themselves by the way they are unconditionally loved by their caretakers.

If the caretakers withhold love and support until some action is extracted then the child gets a skewed view of how to be in the world. The disease of people pleasing begins to take root.

I would love to see the day when we feel an emotion that causes us pain and immediately begin to hunt for the source of the pain. I would love to see more people “sourcing the beginning” of their pain.

If, for instance, I choose to stay home and not attend a family function, and if I am told that I am selfish, instead of accepting that diagnosis I should be able to bring up the thousands of examples where I did what was asked and realize that the  choice to say NO to a few things is MY right.

It does not make me selfish.

It makes me human.

As I take the time to reflect on life from this side of 60, I send so much compassion to my younger self who was ready to browbeat herself about transgressions that were freely lavished on her. I wish she knew that she was a good child, a good young girl, a good young woman and a good wife and mother. She wasted so much precious life energy berating herself for “crimes against the family” that she should not have accepted.

I send compassion to young and old everywhere and hope that they will find the self compassion to begin to question all the emotions that are imposed upon them by blaming voices and people who have no business judging others.

I ask you to hold yourself with loving compassion today. Even if only for a few moments.

Inhale your goodness.

Exhale your divinity.


Love & light,


Habitual habits…..


“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” J. Drydenold dirt via olddirt.wordpress

I am taking a class in Positive Psychology and my teacher, Tal, just allowed the wonderful quote above to escape!

I say escape because I felt that this quote freed me from something, but what?

As I write this, I do not know the answer to this question….and that’s okay. Actually it is more than ok. It is ok because NOW I KNOW that I will be actively searching my own life and behaviors to unearth what habits are “making me”.

I will use brushes that gently move the dirt and sand from an investigated habit, because using heavy machinery will only expose huge lumps of habits and not allow me to actually SEE what they are.

In plain language, I will not herald pompous proclamations that I will drastically change. I will whisper the change to myself and allow my mind, heart and intuition to guide me to the next place of excavation.
Let me give you a real life example.

In the past few weeks, I experienced a huge disappointment with someone close to me. I was not in a place where I could easily amend the situation. I was in a foreign country and did not have access to all that I needed to address what was happening. The only things I had were my heart, my mind, my intuition and my habits.

I now realize that I chose to investigate how I had habitually dealt with huge disappointments.

In the past, I would scream and yell, allow nasty words to escape from my mouth and make huge proclamations of what I would do in the future if this EVER happened again. I would let off steam that would quickly dissipate, but it left behind bad will and very hurt feelings. This time, I knew at some level that I did not want to act like this screaming heebeegeebee.

But what should I do? How should I act?

I tried for 24 hours to push it away…in other words, use heavy machinery and dredge the hurt out of me.

It did not work.
The next 24 hours, I saw the habit rear its ugly head and it wanted to charge full bore into the perpetrator…it wanted to destroy!

I witnessed all this happening in my body and I was shocked at the internal war that was going on. The habit did not want to give up…it was as though it had a mind of its own.

I cried a lot about it and in between the bouts of tears I kept asking, what is my lesson here?
What is my lesson here?
I did not receive any God-like voice telling me the lesson. I so very much wanted a definitive lesson that would allow my pain to dissipate.
My pain did not disappear.
I had to rise above my pain, rise above my tears, and find a solution while in the jaws of the disappointment.
It took me about 6 hours to arrive at a solution that I could live with, that would sustain my humanity and also allow the perpetrator to sustain theirs.

Some of the questions I had to answer while in pain were:

What are you here for?
Who are you here for?
Is this situation a deal breaker for your being here?
Do you respect all the players in this scenario?
Do you believe that people can make mistakes?
Will harping of someone’s faults help you to find a solution here?

As I allowed the answers to these and other questions to float into my consciousness, I felt the tears drying up and I began to focus on how to make the best of a really bad situation. I also reminded myself that no one died and no one had a brain tumor.

So I rose above the monster disappointment and I managed to participate at the event. I was not 100% myself, but I also had not allowed the habit of flying off the handle to derail me entirely.

How will you KNOW when the HABIT monster rears its massive head?
You will know because you will want to strike out, strike at and annihilate the person you are blaming.
That is when you have to RUN in the opposite direction. That is when you have to force yourself to step off of the bulldozer and pick up the littlest paint brush and take your time to uncover the layers of dirt and grime that have accumulated over the years.

This is when you have to be the best human you can be, all the while allowing your human emotions.
It takes patience and practice, but you have the time!
Time will be your friend if you let it!


Love & light,


Compassion fatigue…when caregivers are too tired to care!

What happens to ME when I get sick from doing too much for YOU?
What happens to YOU when I can no longer hold you in my heart with love and respect because I am tired of your pain?
What happens to MY PAIN when I cannot find a way to see through your pain and into your soul?
What happens to all of us when we begin to shut down our hearts and rely on formulaic “fixes”?

These are very important questions if you are in the healing worlds of:

You must have a place to go that is safe…a place where you will NOT be judged for being tired of caring or care taking.
A place where it’s okay to say “I am tired, I am sick AND tired.”

You are human. Humans get tired.
Fatigue does not last forever. When you are fatigued you need rest. You need physical rest, mental rest and emotional rest.
Allowing yourself to rest will give you a chance to be clear. Clarity is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself.

Here are a few things that may help on a weekly or monthly basis:

A massage- There are many massage schools that charge very little so their students can practice.

A support group- find one where members have issues in common with yours. You will see that you are not alone. If you have an addiction, then try a 12 step group.
Read this blog by Kay Walten to see how much healing she is receiving from the 12 step group she stumbled into.

A yoga or meditation class- Many studios offer scholarship money for needy students. Ask and you probably will receive.

Plan a Gratitude party for your friends- Tell them who is coming and ask them to write an anonymous note to each person and focus on that person’s greatness. Ask each person to bring a small dish to share. Do not overindulge in alcohol, it dulls the senses.

Beware of compassion fatigue. It makes the sanest among us crazy…and when the brain is crazy you are not your best self.

Love and light,


Last year, last month, yesterday …

Our lives are made up of a series of yesterdays. Some are clumped as:

Teenage years
Early twenties
In my thirties
The last twenty
Last month
Five minutes ago

It does not matter what labels we use, how we describe the past, the
plain fact is
The only things that we need to take from our varied past are the
lessons, not the pains.
As we bump into familiar pains, pains that smell like, look like,
taste like and feel like the past, let’s give ourselves the
permissions to take the lessons and leave the rest.
Things change, they always do and they must. We cannot and must not hold
on to old patterns or behaviors. Old may mean tried and true. Old may
mean traditional. Old can even mean antique and expensive.

Old does not mean “stay stuck in this useless pattern.”

New years was 6 weeks ago.
That day was a long time ago.
Today is NOW.
Today is NEW.

If OLD behaviors are helpful and useful and wise, then repeat them.
If OLD behaviors cannot or do not support the true essence of who YOU are,

New is not always great.
Old is not always bad.
Be picky.
Pick YOU!

Love & light,