Conscious Aging

How would you like to awaken your inner sage?  I got an insightful clue last weekend by participating in a conscious aging workshop.  Don Adams, PhD, CSL and Stacy Grove, MDiv helped us in  “Awakening Our Own Inner Sage”, based on Sage-ing.  To find balance and age well, we reflected on ways to nourish body, mind, emotions and spirit.  Together we pondered our mortality and took a look at life repair and the power of forgiveness. We began the process of harvesting our life wisdom and explored how to share our gifts across the ages.  Imagine our wisdom lasting like a Greek temple from 400 BCE or a centennial tree.  This workshop opened me up to a more expansive way of thinking about aging.

Create the path you want as you age.

aging tree

Untangling Tangles

I recently completed a 6 day Workshop-Retreat called Treasure Maps to the Soul where we untangled our tangles.  It was experiential learning, as we worked on our own inner struggles and learned to help others with their inner struggles.  This was an advanced Inner Relationship Focusing workshop.  I’ve been training in Focusing for years and this brought the process to a new level.  Focusing is a gentle way to be with our whole self getting a “felt sense” from our “self-in-presence”.   A tangle is a stuck place that feels repetitive and keeps us from moving forward.    The origin of the tangle may have been a trauma or “stoppage” of life energy in our early life.  Typically it has multiple parts that need to be recognized and cared for.  My tangled parts appreciate the time and attention I spent and continue to spend with them. In addition, I was privileged to be part of the process to help other people untangle their tangle and find more life forward energy.  This was all done in a loving community of people, with natural surroundings and good food.  We worked together to untangle our tangles and move forward with life energy.

On the Question of Race

I am touched by this poem of identity. We, each, are so much more than a box to check. As you read this, you may notice your own thoughts, sensations and emotions that arise.

On the Question of Race

By Alicia Chambers

They ask me to write down my race

And I think
And I think
Very seriously

And I consider
Writing down the truth
And have my answer read

I have a strong woman
Colored like coffee
Whispering the secrets of our past
Inside this body

I have a wise man
Dark as chocolate
Beating his drum, fighting for freedom
Inside this body

I have a brave woman
Pale as snow
Reminding that we are more
Than meets the eye
Her secret is safe
Inside this body

I have a lost man
Colored like me
He is weak
Stumbling from place to place
Trying to find his way home
Warning me of everything
I do not want to become

I have all this music inside this body
The rhythms guiding me
Songs of freedom and hope
A name that can’t begin to
Where I’ve been or where I plan to go
Inside this body

They ask me to write down my race

And I think
And I think
Very seriously

And I consider
Writing down the truth
And have my answer read

I have the heart of my great-
The strength of mi abuelita
The spirit of my grandfather
And my mother’s understanding
Inside this body

I have jacks
Dr. Seuss
Lullaby and Good-night
And marbles
Inside this body

I have Ray Charles
James Taylor
Bob Marley
Sly and the Family Stone
And We Five
Inside this body

I have a brother whose appearance
Does not reveal his culture

I have all our past
And so much future
Inside this body

But I stop and simply write down


Society has constructed boxes to put us in, to categorize us in neat, standardized ways. Something in me pushes against that. I am unique. You are unique. And we don’t fit into neat standardized categories. I am inspired by this poem that wants to open and expand the boxes. Race is a social construct and perhaps it is time to open and expand how we relate to it. As this poem illustrates, heritage is important, where we come from, what is inside us is important. What would it be like to write our truth and have it read? Your truth is welcome here.


Nature’s Lessons in Healing Trauma

After studying animals natural reactions to trauma, Peter Levine developed Somatic Experiencing to heal trauma.

After completing the first 2 years of the 3 year Somatic Experiencing training, I’ve learned more about how we experience trauma and how to heal it.  I’ve incorporated this into my psychotherapy practice to help build resilience in my clients.  SE helps people to recover form chronic stress, illness and pain.  It helps people who have had developmental trauma, childhood abuse, neglect or distress.  I am pleased to have these additional skills.

Anger as Medicine

Anger is an essential, primal, mammalian emotion, whereas violence (when there’s no actual need to protect oneself or others), crime, and hate are the byproducts of internalized, repressed and misdirected anger.  Irene Lyon

Somewhere along the line anger got a bad rep.  Anger is an emotion.  Violence is a behavior.  Many of us have been conditioned to repress anger as something bad.  This conditioning often happened when we were very young.  Healthy expression of anger is health promoting.

Anger as Medicine: How to Cure Self-Sabotaging Behaviours


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