I find life so amazing and wonderful, as Cat Stevens sang, I "Can't keep it in." My writing comes from a broad range of topics, mostly from recovery programs. Recovery from what? A unloving and critical Higher Power and inner parent, as well as a wounded inner child and false self, yet through recovery we transition to a loving and supportive Higher Power and inner parent, as well as a joyful and happy inner child, which all make up the True Self.
I'll start with a favorite story of how I met my inner children and young men during a guided imagery workshop called Homecoming.They had been left behind and locked away in my heart many years ago. Along with my youngsters, my joy and sorrow, happiness and sadness, authenticity and enthusiasm were locked away as well. Recovering my infant, five, ten, fifteen, twenty, (and so-on) year old, restored those lost feelings and emotions also. What a gift to have them all with me now!
I have facilitated many workshops over the years, but my favorite was about Happiness. The first part is the story of how we are cheated out of a true understanding and experience of happiness growing up in dysfunctional families and societies you can see here. There is a second part to this that shows the side by side comparison of false self and True Self here. Seeing them side by side helps us to understand happiness is a choice we make every day and moment. Other workshop writings are dispersed through-out the Sanity Files.
Another favorite writing is Invitation to Your Life. I don't know where the inspiration for this one came from, but it certainly was inspired! This is my favorite handout and recommendation to people I meet and enjoy. It's a good one to share with family and friends as well. Some folks have said they refer to it regularly to get a good attitude and reconnect with the love and energy of Higher Power.
In Seeds of Life we see how positive and negative opinions, ideas, and beliefs come up from unconscious memories from our past as well as from our family, societies, cultures, and other sources. We then have the opportunity to feed and nurture the life affirming "seeds" and weed out the problematic ones, but only if we are able to create and sustain awareness of their sources and impact to forgive negative influences and pursue positive growth.
In the search for a healthy identity we can't help but wonder Who We Are. This story looks at the how we got to where we are and the many possibilities available to us. Too often we were pushed into negative, inauthentic, or unrealistic roles early on that came to define us. Yet even Mark Massey's classic "What You Are Is Where You Were When" had to be followed up by "What You Are Is Not What You Have To Be!" We couldn't agree more, and again the key is awareness, so take a look and choose who you want to be.
It seems the worst feeling we can have is claustrophobia - feeling trapped and alone. So the solution and saving grace where we find purpose and meaning in life is through connections with others in loving Relationships. We like to describe Twelve Step work as relationship training, as having healthy relationships with nature, the earth, our work, health, education, with other people and life, and all the other entities with relate to. If you want to heal your relationships, it is the place to be.
For a personal story of how our founding father has grown, see Achieving Healthy Relationships.
In the search for a healthy, full, and complete life it is so very easy to consider so many things as "bad, wrong, or evil", but if we are wise we learn there is good, right, and value in most anything. This becomes apparent when we come to see The Big Picture. From this viewpoint everything appears to lie on a spectrum from ranging good to bad, right to wrong, and so forth. Yet in time we find it is all part of life, our world, and ourselves. Freedom lies in being open to it all.
This next work is a short but very important exploration called The Magic Word. Why so important? Because in our modern American society and culture it is all too easy to protect ourselves, isolate, and become lost in selfish pursuits. The solution and salvation is very simple, powerful, and satisfying, in a word; service. Here again is what really gives life connection, purpose, and meaning.
Yes, shit happens, and unfortunately growing up in dysfunctional families and environments the shit tends to pile up and can become our reality, truth, and "normal". Thank goodness this phrase and reality has morphed and become "shift happens", as changing our minds can change everything in our world. For a few pointers on how to make the shift (and leave the shit behind!), see The Most Important Thing.
Sometimes it seems so difficult to do the right thing. Probably because we find it all too easy to be self serving. But there is always a Greater Good and Higher Law we can refer to and follow if we can pause and take the time to listen to our hearts, the heart of God, and the hearts of others.
Nature has been one of my greatest comforts since I was very young. When I share about my passion for nature and how peaceful, loving, and healing it is, people often tell me they feel the same way. If you are a nature lover too, you may enjoy some of these videos on the natural wonders here in Southern California A Day In Yosemite June Lake Palm Springs Santa Barbara San Diego Ventura Monterey Big Bear Lake Sequoia National Park Sullivan Canyon Monrovia Canyon Mammoth Lakes