Change your Attitude, Heal your Soul, Balance your Life. Uplevel YOUR consciousness. Find your way HOME through MAAPS.


Reframing the Princess Myth


Reframing the Princess Myth.

The concept of reframing is allowing for a new way to view a situation, experience or thing.  To reframe is essentially to shift focus and paradigms and allow for figure/ground perspectives to emerge.  Reframing allows for an unlinking of unuseful information from useful information.

Nursery rhymes, and children’s stories are often myths that have a message in them meant to socialize children into the norms of society.  Current-day Moms were themselves raised with Princesses.  And if you were to take a poll there might be discriminating beliefs about whether the Princess myth is helpful or not for their daughters.

I loved The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music and Pygmalion so I clearly had my own taste of indoctrination as a child.

I remember my pre-mommy planning was to not give my daughter Barbies or Princesses because it wasn’t the message I wanted her to have –  that she needed to catch a man to be safe or successful.

That plan didn’t last long as she grew up, due to the hard marketing tactics of Disney toward our sweeties.

I felt disempowered to determine what came into our home – between friends, family and TV – Barbies and Princesses were ever present.  I determined to create a plan to negotiate the princess myth so that it could enhance her life rather than be made into a survivor scenario, or a negative habit reaction pattern.

Remember what survivor scenarios are?  A style of being in the world that has at its core an injury that develops into a habit reaction pattern.

Survivor scenarios interfere with thriving and mindfulness.

To raise my daughter with a sense of internal empowerment, I had to be prepared to deal with the Princess Myth.

I had to extricate the positive elements of the myth from the scenario action.

Here’s a quick synopsis of the Princess Myth, Cinderella, to further elucidate this:  Cinderella’s Mother is wonderful but dies early in Cinderella’s life. Cinderella’s Father is wonderful but is unavailable.  He remarries a woman who he thought would help him raise Cinderella, but he is not present to check on what actually happens.  The new, step- mother has two daughters that she loves more, and they bully Cinderella which the step-mother allows and models.

The new, step-mother in this story is in a persecutor scenario in the survivor scenarios.

She is acting under the paradigm that there are limited resources and in order to help her own daughters survive she must sacrifice Cinderella.  That’s the victim scenario that Cinderella has to survive.

Here’s the Princess part:  Cinderella sticks to the values, somehow instilled in her in the few years she was with her mother and father in her early life – believing in responsible action, trying hard to do the right thing, remembering the goodness of her mother – through these actions she develops into a compassionate, beautiful, balanced, mindful person.

The prince in the story, sees through the phoniness to the ugliness of the non-caring, materialistic nature of the sisters and step-mother.  And he sees through to the inner beauty of Cinderella and falls in love with her – he searches for her, finds her and saves her from her difficult circumstance and she is rewarded by being made into a princess.

It’s a survivor scenario due to the paradigm of the step-mother and the inference that it is through the right behavior of the other/prince that she is saved.

Within it there is beautiful, solid, important information about how to be in the world as a balanced, mindful, thriving, individual but it’s wrapped up in a survivor scenario and becomes a caricature of compassion as the princess myth.

You can extricate the positive elements of the myth from the survivor scenario action by focusing on teaching your children, and modeling for them, the following behaviors and attitudes:

  • The importance of staying in your center, knowing yourself, and not letting others define who you are; as well as holding close to you, positive memories and experiences, to remind you of what is right.  And promoting the attitude of not retaliating from a habit reaction pattern, instead mindfully acting and responding to your environment and circumstances.

Through these actions you are consciously creating for your child a positive sense of herself, self-confidence, and resilience.

Recently, I viewed a movie – by Disney – that was more in keeping with this picture of mindful, responsible princess behavior, called the Princess Protection Program.

I have to admit I was impressed.  In it the princess character talked about the importance of evaluating the beauty of someone as represented by their character, actions and right behavior.

Evaluating what’s on the inside, to see if it correlates to one’s outer appearance to determine whether or not to choose them as a partner.  He looks like a Prince but I wonder if he is as beautiful on the inside – referencing his character.

It had a lot of references to the importance of one’s character to being a real princess.

Consider ways you can communicate a reframe of the princess myth for your daughter, or for yourself, to help you unlink the helpful guiding aspects of the story from the survivor scenario.  Then you can build on the guiding aspects.

It will encourage a lot of mindful interaction and may end up being a lot of fun.

See you tomorrow.


Leave a comment



I keep hearing  and reading about references to transformation.

From a political perspective people are talking about changing how we relate to a number of industries.

In the energy world from the perspective of astrology and the planetary energies there is talk about transformation:

Today’s Full Moon is rich in texture, as Mercury reaches the culmination of its retrograde period at the same time. This brings profound wisdom into the light of consciousness, which will unfold in our lives through the end of May. It will come sooner if we don’t look at it or wait for it to happen. Action starts no later than May 11. What’s coming your way?  Terry Lamb

From my perspective, I have been writing about using your emotional guidance system to allow a natural transformation in your life to the next big thing, or your next big self.

Using Mindfulness as a way to create a flow into the synchronicity of life.

Those of you on the blog subscription list for the posts don’t usually get to see the comments others make about the posts.  A colleague and sister blogger, Elene Gusch, left the following comment on my blog Home is where the Heart is, where I was attempting to connect transformation and synchronicity:  Great, as usual, but this isn’t what synchronicity means, I’m afraid.

It’s true; what I am suggesting is to find your way into the flow using these various mechanisms.

Synchronicity from the perspective of Carl Jung is about how things happen in a synchronous fashion when you are in the flow and connected to the collective unconscious.

Something like this:  You enjoy writing and often feel better after doing so, you have a strong desire to write, and you put together a resume and set of short stories to exemplify your work.  As you are getting ready for your day, you have a thought to take these writings with you in your purse to review while you are grocery shopping.  When you arrive at the store you feel drawn to the vegetable section of the grocery store. You go there first even though this is not your habit.  Looking at the fruit you bump into a woman and drop an apple.  She picks it up and hands it to you – and as she does so she sees your writings in your hand.  She asks to look at them because she notices the title and states she had just been thinking about that phrase.  Then she  says she is looking for someone to hire as a writer; she reads your writing and offers you an interview for the job….These seemingly coincidental experiences are a description of synchronicity.

In this example an emotional desire guides you to write the stories; an intuitive impulse is responded to by taking the writings with you – then the synchronicity component of the collective unconscious and how the other person, who is also in the flow, is looking to connect with the perfect writer.  The flow guides, leads, brings the other person who was following her intuitive and sensory guidance system to find her way to you, and you to her.

Everything falls into place as if neatly planned but it is happenstance – that is synchronicity.

So as you can see synchronicity is good – it is the immediate integrative response to desires.  Any one would want to be able to create that clearly and quickly.

I think of Synchronicity and Grace as similar experiences because I see a spiritual component to being in the flow.

I have identified a set of mechanisms, actions, styles of being in the world which brings us into the flow of synchronicity or onto the Path to Grace or connects us with The Tao or The Way.

The use of mindfulness, figure/ground perspective understanding, paradigm shifting and attending to our emotional guidance system all help us to be in our center so that we can then mindfully interact and identify what we want – that which  is in our highest and best interests.

Previously I wrote about this as mini-internal cultural revolutions and that these are a kind of transformation from the inside out.

I encourage you to lightly and without attachment start listening to that quiet voice that guides you intuitively.

Use your mindfulness to get you into and keep you in your center so that you can respond from there to the possibilities that present in your everyday life.

Remember that fear and anger can allow you to get clearer about what you do not want, to help you focus on what you do want.

A transformation into a better more fulfilled picture of yourself, your work, your parenting and your relationship, may be just around the corner – maybe, even waiting in the vegetable section of the grocery store.

See you tomorrow.


Leave a comment

Giving birth is the first separation


I remember just after my daughter was born I reached down and touched my belly and it felt empty.

It was an odd feeling, a sadness.

I had been transformed by carrying her.  Her birth marked both the ending of the period when she was the closest she would ever be to me and the beginning of her continued independence from me.

I remembered words that a mother had written about being separated by two skins – first your child is within you and then she is separated by two skins.  That mother was acutely aware of the feeling of separation that birth brought to her because she was placing her child for adoption.

I felt acutely aware of the full meaning of those words.

It was the beginning of the life long process of letting go of the little being that grew in my belly – who was part of me but completely herself.  Knowing that I would have to guide and teach and remain connected to her, while letting go of her, as each day, month, and year passed.

I remember this process with Max too, even though he did not grow in my tummy – in fact we met when he was twelve.

It is unique to have the intensely positive mothering feeling that I have with Max.  Although we each identified a true connection at the beginning of our relationship, the clarity of my role, that I was his mother and he my son in each of our hearts, developed over a long time.   And then once that role was solidified and sealed…. I could feel him moving away in just the way I felt my daughter leaving on the day of her birth.

It’s a necessary process but we don’t recognize it most of the time.

We take for granted the sweetness of their dependence and push them out to be independent – it is a mistake I think – they will be on their way soon enough, and if we do not take care in our caring of them, the energetic cording that holds us together can be irrevocably affected.

Recognizing that there is a loosening of the cording while allowing it to remain as needed is an important mindful action.

Being in our centers and connected to our feelings, while allowing the process to play out without holding on or pushing out – maintaining a balance – is the best way to increase our children’s opportunity for resilience, self-confidence, and independence which develops into interdependence.

Being the cocoon in which these two butterflies grew – albeit the two cocoons were very different, one physical and one imaginal – was an exhilarating and transformative experience.

It is a healthy leaving.  It is an inside out process.  It’s the process of formation and transformation on a physical, emotional and energetic level – spirit, mind and body.

Birthing ideas and other kinds of creations follows a similar process.

If you are having difficulty with this it may mean that you are either holding on to tightly or pushing the river.

Being in your center and connected to your feelings, allowing a sense of peace to guide you, will help you to find the right timing and right action to move forward in parenting and other projects of creation.

See you tomorrow.


Leave a comment

Formation and transformation


Formation is creating what you perceive you want.

Transformation is when you are informed by experiences, emotions or paradigm shifts that your creation needs to change into something else.  Or when you are just changed by those circumstances without an intention to do so.

Form is part of all three words above.  We are energy and matter.  Form is the container for the integration of our matter/energy.

I wrote about the Tower Card in the Tarot.  It is a card of immediate, unmistakable transformation but there are many constructs that describe transformation.

In the Native American Animal Cards the Butterfly and the Snake are two cards of transformation.  The Butterfly because of its metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly.   The Snake because of how it outgrows its skin and has to shed its exterior skin, to transform into its new self.

Both change from the inside out.

Neither formation is considered inferior.

One card represents quantum transformation  (butterfly – two distinct forms) and the other linear transformation (snake – a process of maturity).

Connection to spirit can transform a person.  Those connected to spirit can feel transformed by prayer or meditation.  These are inside out processes.

Mindfulness can transform a person.  Paradigm shifting allows for an internal shift of perspective which can result in a transformation in thinking, feeling and action.

Forgiveness can transform a person.  Holding on to a hurt or a loss holds that experience close – maintains a connection.  There may be reasons to do this but it also inhibits other kinds of growth and other formations.  Allowing the experience to be – to be real and to have an effect – while letting it flow into the whole of who you are allows for the release of the holding pattern.

It allows for transformation – both quantum and linear.

Forgiveness is an allowing and an accepting – it requires mindfulness, understanding, compassion and grace.

Life is a process of formation and transformation.

Think about what formations you are needing or wanting to transform – or embrace the transformation that you are already in so that you may continue to be accepting, forgiving, creating, and living the whole of who you are.

See you tomorrow.



Home is where the Heart is


Home is where the Heart is – a metaphor for using mindfulness, your intuition and feelings to evaluate what is the best action or situation, or what best serves you.  This is to say that mindfulness applied to feelings and emotions helps to guide your actions and plans.

I have discussed the usefulness of anger, frustration and irritation.  These emotions can be thought of as early warning systems to inform us that we are out of balance, caught in a survivor scenario or habit reaction pattern, or that someone has crossed one of our a boundaries – just like the alarm systems on our car or home.

When feeling these kind of feelings it’s useful to evaluate how you are out of sync and what you can shift in your perception or action to be in sync.

Maybe you have a misunderstanding with another person about your relationship or maybe you are agreeing to do something that takes you away from your best situation – like taking on too much or agreeing to be in a relationship that doesn’t serve you.

We tend to want to blame someone else for a negative situation; in some situations the other person is doing something that seems unfair or unreasonable, but what matters is how we respond.

Start from the perspective that you are responsible for your attitude and responses in the world.  From that perspective feeling negative or angry has something to do with you, too, not just a reaction to the other person but something out of sync in you.

How did you get into the angry-making situation?  How can you use figure/ground and paradigm shifting to help you see how you are co-creating the negative situation so that you can own that, and realign with your  best self.  It takes mindfulness.

The other side of this is when we feel joy or happiness, a feeling of connection or being in sync with our true nature – these feelings are also part of our internal guidance system.  They connect us with what brings us joy, and if we pay attention to that and do more from that joyous perspective, then we can find ourselves feeling a lot less of those negative feelings.

Now this is different from the feeling numb which some people call feeling good that comes with obsessive addiction.  This is misinterpreted as feeling good.

Feeling the rightness of something, that you are in sync in your life, is how you can have your heart guide you head – have your emotional guidance system guide your decision-making, planning, creating and living.

You’re using mindfulness to help you increase your awareness of the whole of your emotional response so that it can teach or guide you about yourself and your needs and where your center is.

From your center you can create the best possible situation, relationship, and parenting response.  Your center is that place where you can see both sides of an equation, see figure and ground and allow for a paradigm shift if necessary.  You are able to see your part in an argument or negative situation and take the mindful course which benefits the whole.

Carl Jung talked about this as synchronicity.  Steven Covey talks about it as the 90/10 principle that attitude affects/creates your life through your actions and reactions.  Joseph Campbell and Depak Chopra call it following your bliss.  Esther Hicks talks about is as the Law of Attraction.

And I think of it as mindfulness interaction to find your Path to Grace – your way to being fully responsive and aligned to your highest good – which results in an integrated spirit, mind, and body – living in your center.

If you can practice paying attention to how you feel and what brings you joy it can help to guide you in decision-making.  So using mindfulness in assessing what your Heart desires, helps to find your way Home (to your center).

From a spiritual perspective, Home is where the Heart is relates to a spiritual path of mindfulness, forgiveness and joyous connection.

When applied to parenting, you’re teaching and modeling compassion, understanding, accepting, and being with while guiding forward.  These actions as parents make it so that injuries may be avoided or healed from the inside out.

It allows for children to discover through their internal guidance system what is in their best interests.  Where they have talents and limitations and how to incorporate these in their actions and style of being in the world to create productive, happy lives.

Recognizing that how you respond may bring you away from Or closer to what you want is the key.  So that you may be in the flow and guide your life to where you want to be.

Whether you approach life as a thinker or a feeler, mindfulness applied to emotions leads to a balanced way of moving through your life when you let your emotions guide you to your center.

See you tomorrow.


Leave a comment

Create what you Want


It’s difficult to create what you want if you do not know what that is.

In most cases people can identify what they do not want, but are less clear about the picture they want to create.

Men and women get out of bad relationships and identify the things that were problems in that relationship and then focus on not choosing a person with those things – then the next relationship fails for a different reason.

The same is true of identifying what you want in an employee or employer – individuals focus too much on the most negative aspects of the outgoing employee and avoiding those, rather than looking at the whole picture and the interplay between that individual and the make up of the group in which he worked.

While you’re focused on avoiding one thing you miss something else.

I call this being attached.  The problem with attachment is that it tangles the free flow of energy so the best possibilities are blocked or you miss them.

When working with individuals in career counseling or relationship counseling I have them do an exercise about what brings them joy.  And I have them identify aspects of a job or person that are have to haves as well as preferences.  So the focus is on what works rather than what doesn’t.

Have to haves are the important characteristics that are requirements for the job.  In relationship that may have to do with religion, or political affiliation or looks, or even temperament.  In working environments they may be skill-sets that are required.

Anyone who has developed the key characteristics for a future employee knows how difficult this process is to complete.

I think it’s because we have a general way of going about the world that is similar to choosing food to eat at a buffet.  At a buffet there is a set menu of foods available, and you move down the table comparing the choices to each other – do I want salad or lasagna.

But I think the way to really create what you want is to consider a larger set of possibilities.  Miracles could be part of that set – they do not always present themselves but they may be there.

So creating what you want can take on a different process.

First you must have the ability to know what you want de novo, outside of what is necessarily offered – regardless of what is on the buffet table.

Strangely this process is most difficult when applied to your own personal happiness.  What you want to create in your own world.

Some of the things that keep getting in the way of identifying what we want are all the expectations from others about what we should do/be; and then there’s those pesky habit reaction patterns, and survivor scenarios too that interfere with our direct relationship with ourselves to ascertain what we want.

The application of mindfulness to this process helps us to remain in the present and to use our intuition and connection to joy to see our own path to grace.

Spend some time reviewing your life to identify what activities brought you the most joy as you were growing up.  Think small and big.

Don’t just evaluate if you liked math or puzzles; also think about how you spent your days and what activities were really joyful – singing, painting, innovating, walking walls, ice skating, riding bikes.

Now just because you loved painting doesn’t mean you should become an artist  – but it helps you identify what the components of your perfect path might be – art, exercise, writing, singing, playing cello.  And then put your energies into creating what you want.

There’s that great book out there about following your Bliss, I’m suggesting creating your life of the things that bring you Bliss.

See you tomorrow.


Leave a comment

Trust the process


You don’t plant a seed and then the next day have fruit.  Whether talking about gardening, parenting, or visioning, the same is true.

Nourishment both energetic and material, opportunity, care, consistency, congruence, and mindfulness, are ever-present components in this development, growth process.  And it’s collaborative in the sense that you are being with while guiding forward.

The two biggest elements to true success in these endeavors is to remain mindful and to trust the process.

Applying mindfulness in everyday interactions takes faith. It creates faith too.  Lately my inner mantra has been “you have to trust the process”.  That doesn’t mean you are passive.  It means you are active, open, unattached, mindful and faithful.

Many valued aspects of life take time to develop, prosper, grow to maturity, and flourish.  Working to transform or create a healthy environment for learning or collaborating requires trust in the process and steadfast mindfulness.

And when there is an unexpected loss, or change in direction, the way in which you respond to that loss and integrate that transformation into the plan requires mindful, active interaction.

When working in groups you may find that you thought you had agreement but indeed you did not.

Under those circumstances it is important to go back to the beginning and see where you may have gotten off course from each other.  Usually there is a true agreement that then is affected by other matters or side concerns that are not brought into the situation openly. Other times there is a lack of agreement that has not been clearly identified.

In either case, due to this a slight skew a divergence begins to develop.  If people are not remaining connected and clear that slight skew can become a large divergence resulting in two parties that agreed at the beginning finding themselves with opposite positions.

This kind of divergence can steamroll, start out as slightly different and become very lopsided.  Remember when I talked about throwing pots on a wheel?  The slightest blip of imbalance becomes a wobbling mess because of the centrifugal force of the wheel and the faster you let the speed go the worse it gets.

I see this a lot in business partnerships, relationship partnerships/marriages, and parenting.

The same is true for collaboration in groups, especially if you want people to come to a consensus.  The slightest blip in this circumstance might be discussion outside the group which is called confidential but actually is a skewing of the process through an in-group/out-group behavior;  Or a beginning confusion about goals and priorities can have the same result especially if this is not brought to the fore to be resolved.

If you add speed, ie:  we have to decide immediately, or a lack of time, so that there isn’t sufficient evaluation of paradigms, and figure and ground theory, or investigation of perspective, then you get a greater imbalance in the outcome/product.

Once the process comes back together individuals are hurried and inexact in their decisions.  There is a dissonance of information, and therefore although they think they agree they end up with a lopsided thrown pot.

This usually happens when there are parties that don’t trust the process but want to control the outcome.  This occurs when there is an overall paradigm regarding power and resources that is a habit reaction pattern or a survivor scenario.  These are based on past experiences and interfere with interacting openly and mindfully.

Need to control outcome is based in survivor scenario mentality; trust in the process is based on thriving mentality and mindfulness.

The problem with relating in past time is that you are not actually seeing the situation in front of you.  Present time interaction means the relationship is happening in real-time and related to current events not past events.  It requires fuller, and more complete interactions, gathering information and being open to whatever outcome gets presented not attached to a specific outcome.  This is especially important in all kinds of relationships, decision-making, planning and visioning.

The first step is to slow down the process – when you immediately feel defensive, question yourself – what am I feeling and how is this different?   Then you can try to do some investigation about what the other person is actually saying, meaning, doing and see in present time what you feel.  Try to get a sense of the other person’s motivation, fear or block, or your own.

Sometimes it seems like things are going in the wrong direction yet may be part of the transformative process, because some things need to be broken-down before they can be re-built.

You have to discover if it is that or a skew in the process.

Having a faith or trust in the process allows for and engenders mindfulness and increases your chance for the best outcomes in parenting, relationship and group deicsion-making, planning, and visioning.

Staying present and having more thorough conversations rather than less, will help to continuously define the best step, focus, direction, or procedure while trusting the process and being mindful.

See you tomorrow.


Leave a comment

Reframing Disney and the Family channel stories


Have you watched the Disney channel lately?

If you have a child and you have a TV you’re going to get stuck on this station at some point.  It’s not your fifties TV that’s for sure.  And what are they really trying to teach our kids?  Well I can’t get into the heads of the studio talking heads, but from my perspective I can see indoctrination hook in, addict, market hard, and then release is the fishing strategy.

It’s a challenging task to stay on top of the many ways my child is being targeted and this is the Disney channel not HBO.

I can see I have my work cut out for me if I want to raise an enlightened, mindful, centered, balanced, independent-thinking child.

There’s this way of writing for pre-adolescents and adolescents that uses their colloquial language; and I don’t mean like and you know what I mean, down-low, or 411 – that would be cool or interesting or awesome.  No, just forget about grammar – split infinitives are so ever-present it’s difficult to identify all of them.  Adverbs do not include the requisite ly at the end of the word.  While other words are truncated to parts of the word – yo‘ instead of your.

Okay, you get the point.

So what can we do.  Well you could get rid of your TV; but as my Mom used to lament when she was raising us – you can raise a kid in a vacuum, but at some point they have to go out and navigate the actual world.

I think you have to give your kids the tools to navigate the world in which they live.

Limits, structure, mindfulness, attention to process, paradigm identification and shifting, and timely present-moment, compassionate interaction

The best response is mindful TV watching.  It’s an intervention similar to de-briefing after an interaction.  This is the reason that child development experts suggest you watch TV with your kids.

After viewing offer interpretations and clarifications about the misrepresentation of things and why it’s funny vs. whether it’s a good idea to have that be a style of being in the world.

I understand that many parents use TV as a nanny of sorts when they have to get things done.  Okay fine, then multitasking is required.  An ear to what is happening on the TV and an ear to what you have to do.  So that you can at least catch the big things and deal with them in a debrief moment or when they come up later in your child’s behavior.

You can’t let yourself be drawn in, you have to be mindfully present; it’s a mindfulness task for us parents to be sure.

Don’t be confused it’s not entertainment – it feels like it but it’s indoctrination.  So if you don’t want a spoiled brat, who lies to you, has little respect for authority and hard work,  and thinks you’re an idiot, all in the name of a laugh or fun – then you have to correct the premise and action on these shows.

This is a truly difficult job, requiring calm, mindful, intelligent, connecting conversation with your child.  Just calling it stupid will shut your child down to you and cause him or her to think that the show’s premise is accurate.

So be mindful and be real; and most of all be centered, compassionate, and caring.

Remember the Stop, look, and Listen techniques.

See you tomorrow.


1 Comment

The Art of Mindfulness


I spent a lot of time ice skating as a young girl – 36 hours a week.

One of the things I enjoyed most was the feeling of gliding across the ice at maximum speed with all the other skaters.  Often we would pass one another, intently focusing on our jumps and just miss each other.  It was exhilarating to be so in tune with my body and my in the moment response time.  We always adjusted for each other with great adeptness.  I could feel the wind from the other person as we passed each other, but no tangled skates  – just our energy bodies seemed to connect.

I bet there is some math equation involved in this but for me it was all feel and intuitive response.

The art of ice skating requires a highly developed sense of being in one’s center; it’s feeling in 3-D – knowing where your axis is and how to adjust for curve, lift or speed.  It is a type of pure centeredness to lift off the ice into a jump and land perfectly on one foot with grace and strength.  I miss that time as a time of pure freedom and a sense of being alive through to my core.

I watch my daughter do gymnastics and I witness this inspirational experience in her.  No nervousness, no fear, just feel/knowing/action and grace as she moves on the uneven bars and balance beam.  It’s as if the requested move is coming from within her rather than being taught to her.

Like Michelangelo’s chained statues in Florence that seem to be exiting the stone as you stand there and look on.

Centeredness is something that happens from the inside out.  It’s a listening, an experiencing, a honing, and an honoring.

Another of my favorite activities that requires centeredness is throwing clay pots on a potter’s wheel.  The wet clay begins as a triangular blob and becomes a beautiful pot, vase, plate, bowl or cup.

The key is to position it centered on the wheel and then work the clay evenly as the wheel spins.  Sounds easy but it takes a deep sense of connection between clay, potter, and potter’s wheel.  It’s an art that requires being with while guiding the development of the shape and navigating the centrifugal and centripetal forces.

When I was starting out as a therapist, I used to get my therapy supervision while throwing pots.  I have many examples of wobbly cups or bowls when I was not in my center.  The pottery wheel can sense an un-centered person and it produces off-centered  pieces under those conditions.

So what do these two vignettes have to do with the art of mindfulness?  The art is centeredness that leads to an openness to the simultaneous competing factors that lead to clarity, and clear action.

Mindfulness requires inner and outer, present-moment sensing and action.  In the most basic form one needs to be standing in their center to be open to mindfulness.

Standing in one’s center is a concept of standing in the center of your knowing while being open to new information that allows for change in perception and action.

This all happens at light speed like breathing.  While breathing for most of us doesn’t require practice, being in our center does because most people have spent their lives contorting their center in order to remain in situations which required developing habit reaction pattern formations. These are reactions that have no connection to one’s true center.

Remember the tree pose in yoga.  That’s a great beginning to get you into your center, feel your axis, experience your feeling in 3-D.

See you tomorrow.


Leave a comment

Survivor Scenarios


What are Survivor scenarios?

This is a term that I have developed to describe styles of being in the world that were created by individuals to aid in navigating through a difficult situation that become habitual.

They are habit reaction patterns that were developed to survive that situation but often result in actually interfering with an individual’s growth once they survived a difficult situation.

A survivor scenario is a filter, or way of seeing the world.

An equation of sorts that defines how to react under certain circumstances.  It has triggers of words, internal feelings, and actions on the part of others.

It’s an equation of what certain words and actions mean, and how to react,  that are directly applicable to a previous situation but not necessarily true about the current environment in a person’s life.

Survivor scenarios cover deep long-standing injuries and are an answer to an internal conflict at the root of which is an injury.

Think of injury in broad terms – don’t think only physical tangible also include spiritual, developmental, and emotional woundings.  And an injury or wound can be a misinterpretation of events that has stuck in some way in a person’s psyche or unconscious.

Some survivor scenarios are in response to actual abuse and neglect or injury.  Some are a result of a misinterpretation of an event.  The importance of understanding the origination of the wound is useful but not required to change the behavior.

The most important action is to become mindful that there is a survivor scenario that needs to be put into its proper place.  It is important to respond in the present moment, including questioning and mindfulness to see the whole picture and see the figure/ground of the current situation.

I have identified five survivor scenario groups or styles:  protector, savior, survivor, victim/martyr, and persecutor.

These have varying degrees of positive aspects to the survivor scenario.  Protecting, Surviving, and Saving seem like positive scenarios to develop – altruistic and strong.  They are.  They do not seem to be related to victimization in nature.

The reason they are victim or survivor scenarios, and not thriver scenarios, is that these are defined by the victim/other.  In order to maintain the definition you need the victim in relationship.

In order to be a protector, survivor, or savior one needs someone or something that requires protecting, surviving and saved; so it is co-dependent in nature rather than thriving and mindful.

This doesn’t mean that taking the action of protection, surviving, or savior in a specific situation is a negative co-dependent action.

It is that action, as a definition of your person, self, and/or personality, that makes it a reactive victim/survivor scenario style of being in the world.

It is more clear how persecutors (many bullies) and victims or martyrs scenarios are more directly related to victimization.

Survivor versus thriving.  Originally, I developed this work in response to how people developed as survivors.

Thriving is responding in the present moment with mindfulness, rather than reacting from your unconscious reaction habit patterns.

A thriver uses anger as a message that there is a problem or that some boundary has been crossed.  Responding with neutrality and focus, not anger.

A thriver allows the energy to flow through while being in your center.

Learning about paradigms and shifting perspectives, returning to center, and moving from figure to ground to gather more information to respond fully and from your center, and seeing the whole picture; remaining in the present – the here and now – to make choices and take action, and to create connections and develop, fuller, clearer, more fulfilling relationships.

And in parenting to create stronger, more resilient children with better self-esteem.

As you think about how you define yourself you may find that you do consider yourself someone who would go into a fire to save someone or that protecting your child is of the utmost importance.  These strong feelings are not survivor scenarios.  These are actions you would take in a given, specific situation and identify that you have a strong picture of your character.

If you find that you are always having to survive a situation or that you find that you are always having to protect others in many different situations.  And that is a primary way in which you see/define yourself.   Then you may want to evaluate if you are functioning under the influence of a survivor scenario.

Your best antidote is to apply mindfulness, and present moment, responsive action in situations and allow them to develop.

You will still need those skills of surviving, saving, protecting to deal with specific situations that in a mindful way, need that kind of response.

You may find some of the time the situation may develop in a different way, and that you may not have to apply the scenario equation in order to resolve the situation.

See you tomorrow.