Saturday, July 26, 2014

Deep Listening

Today, I was asked why I do what I do, meaning metal health therapy with newly recovering addicts and alcoholics.  My response was threefold: 1) I’m good at what I do, 2) I like to watch people grow, and 3) I enjoy being of service.  That represents quite a shift from the way I used to be, when I did not care about anyone other than myself.
One of the biggest changes that I have gone through has been increasing my ability to listen.  I now incorporate deep listening into what I do.  For me, deep listening involves listening from a deep, receptive, loving and accepting place in myself, to deeper and often subtler (sometimes even unconscious) levels of meaning and intention in the other person. It is listening that is empathic, supportive and accurate.  Listening from a totally open perspective to the words, inflection and the body language of the other person.  Listening without judgment, assumption or projection.  I have found this type of listening to be both very difficult and fulfilling, resulting in a much better level of connection.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Shift In Attitude

I would really like to see and be a part of a general shift of attitude from fear and anxiety to one of love and faith.  Personally, I have made such a shift in my life, beginning with recovery from drugs and alcohol and continuing with more general life and attitude changes.  The shift has resulted in some physical, emotional and spiritual changes within me and some changes in the atmosphere around me.  Physically, I went from a self-destructive to a healthy life style and the resulting physical health.  Emotionally, I have shifted from hurt, angry and depressed to having joy, peace and fulfillment in my life.  My spiritual shift has been from a void to being a partner with whatever that is, very exciting.  I now affect those I work with and have an obvious impact on everything and everyone in my vicinity.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Love Not Fear

As I said yesterday, thoughts and actions based on love influence everyone in such a way that it causes more love.  Thoughts and actions based on fear tend to do the same, so it is totally understandable that there is as much fear and violence as there is.  Both fear and violence are prominent all around us, in this culture and elsewhere in the world, which is why I limit my exposure by choices like not having a TV.   For the sake of everyone and everything I would like to see the emphasis change.  However, I can only change the way I act and react, which is a large part of the reason I do what I do.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Effect Of Loving Action

It is quite clear in movies, the internet, books and real life that actions based on love, compassion and understanding change everyone involved in the interaction. It is also quite clear in me and my personal experience.  It seems that loving actions awaken the love part in each of us.  On the other hand, actions based on fear and violence, no matter how subtle, support the attitude of fear in each of us.  I can and do go either direction, often changing my thoughts and feelings very quickly, though I usually do not act on the fear.  In part, for that reason, it is important that I begin each day with a period of prayer and meditation, firmly rooting myself in love, compassion and understanding.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Today, I was doing some hands-on healing with Maria, my wife, and I began to, spontaneously, slip into the unconsciousness of zoning or deep meditation at the same time.  After beginning to do that for, perhaps, fifteen seconds, I backed off abruptly and took my hands away.  The reason I stopped is that I had instantly become scared of two things; the loss of conscious control and the amount of power that I sensed there.  I hope to do more of the same thing, without stopping, in the future.  However, the action is one of those things that I can allow to happen but not will it.  Meaning that I can set up the conditions and form the intent, but the outcome is not up to me.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Violence Vs. Love

As far as I can tell, violence is generally caused by fear and, ultimately, leads to more fear and violence, while love is generally associated with peace and, similarly, leads to more love.  Personally, I have the potential for both inside me and I notice the same potentials in everyone I meet.  I Have experienced each side of myself in ample quantities, and I now make the choice of love since it seems to have a very positive effect on me and the world in general.  However, learning to make that choice, simple as it seems, has been a lengthy and convoluted  process.  When I look around me, I note others in that process, a pleasure to observe.  My hope is that, as a species, we learn to make that choice prior to causing our own extinction.  I am passionate about doing all I can to help that happen.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Silly Choices

Today I attended a workshop, primarily to get some on-going training for my license, and I made the comment that we humans are pretty silly, that we do some pretty silly things.  These things can be relatively trivial such as being drawn into the drama of a news story or the things I am referring to can be more serious such as the hate crimes or even wars and killing each other.  I call them silly for two reasons.  The first reason is that, historically, they do not lead to positive results or the desired results, and we keep doing them anyway.  The second reason that I consider the actions to be silly is that many people think they are important, while they have little or no long term significance.