Monday, March 31, 2008

hope and faith

One of my students said she had no hope and didn't know how to get it. I told her I didn't know the answer to that question. But, I do know, without a doubt, that in each of us we have the power to figure out our own answers. Others can help and support us in finding those answers, but they are only found within ourselves.

Here is a quote from Patrick Overton which I most recently read in a book I'm currently reading and loving, Succulent Wild Woman by SARK:

"'When you come to the edge of all the light you have, and must take a step into the darkness of the unknown, believe that one of two things will happen to you: either there will be something solid for you to stand on, or, you will be taught how to fly.'"

May hope and faith be with you.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Relaxation can be defined in many different ways by different people: reading a book, laying on the beach, taking the dogs on a walk, soaking in a hot bath, practicing yoga, getting a massage, walking in nature...the list could go on and on. However, for me getting things done at work, cleaning the house, picking up groceries, and checking things off my "to do" list typically aren't associated with relaxing or being relaxed. After reading the following quote by Martha Beck, it made me rethink the definition of relaxing and how I approach many of my daily tasks:

"There is not one useful thing we can do that we don't do better when we're relaxed." --Martha Beck

When thinking about it in this way, it would definitely be a positive shift if we could all try to approach our daily activities and lists of "things to do" in a relaxed manner.


Monday, March 24, 2008


From Eckhart Tolle's book The New Earth:

"Someone recently showed me the annual prospectus of a large spritual organization. When I looked through it, I was impressed by the wide choice of interesting seminars and workshops. It reminded me of a smorgasbord, one of those Scandinavian buffets where you can take your pick from a huge variety of enticing dishes. The person asked me whether I could recommend one or two courses. 'I don't know,' I said. 'They all look so interesting. But I do know this,' I added. 'Be aware of your breathing as often as you are able, whenever you remember. Do that for one year, and it will be more powerfully transformative than attending all of these courses. And it's free.'

Being aware of your breathing takes attention away from thinking and creates space. It is one way of generating consciousness...

Be aware of your breathing. Notice the sensation of the breath. Feel the air moving in and out of your body. Notice how the chest and abdomen expand and contract slightly with the in- and out breath. One conscious breath is enough to make some space where before there was the uninterrupted succession of one thought after another. One conscious breath (two or three would be even better), taken many times a day, is an excellent way of bringing space into your life." (pgs. 244-245).

Simple enough, huh? I think I'll try it.


(art by Jody Uttal)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

superwoman has checked out


When I hear the word affirmations my mind immediately goes back to the Saturday Night Live episodes with Jack Handey, and I can't help but smile and hear, "I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And, gosh darn it, people like me."

However, I was reminded of the helpfulness of affirmations this past week when one of my students said her homework was to write down 50 affirmations a day. This wasn't her school homework but homework that was assigned when she was released from the trauma unit of a hospital. This was her homework to try to begin re-programming her brain. With awareness, we might notice there are times when the mind begins reciting negative talk about ourselves. It is important we notice this negative self-talk, or we just might start believing it. Replacing the negative self-talk with affirmations really does work.

As our conversation went on, I proceeded to tell this student how proud I was of her, how I don't know how she had managed to take challenging courses and make good grades while trying to deal with some very difficult emotional and mental challenges. I said, "You're like a superwoman." She told me that that was one of her affirmations. "What is?" I asked thinking she was going to respond by saying, "I am superwoman." Instead, she replied, "Superwoman no longer resides here." Interesting twist on an affirmation, huh? I think I just might use that one myself.