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Monday, January 31, 2011

cc2011:5 Compassion Felt *Small Choices*

this is the big week that i am not only traveling for my education, but acting it out as well ~ beginning my practicum!!

encouraging news - at the end of this year i will have my LMFTa (provided the classes fall in line) (send good thoughts out for me).  What is so exciting about the "a" part is I am billable (a.k.a self-sustaining) provided I have a LMFT supervisor ~which i have~ freedom!! here i come :)

i am getting ready to head out on the road, but it is my commitment to use Monday's for my Compassion Talks ... i think it is funny when thinking of the 'finding compassion' title.  what does it all mean.  i think it took me a long time to find enough compassion for myself to begin actually offering my talents, and still i struggle at times . . . certainly an on going process.

i am certain i want to foster in others ~ compassion ~ but first i want for them to have compassion for themselves.  i want each person to reach into his or herself and find what it is that is most needed.

for myself, what i mostly need is energy.  i have a funky thyroid & am very sensitive in general, but for this illustration lets just focus on how my body responds to what i eat.  mostly when i eat i feel tired, and feeling tired means i don't have the energy to do anything different.  on the other hand if i don't eat, i feel shakey and all around cranky.  i am sure there is a complete discussion here, but what i want to share with you ~ is my forth muse. 

when i spend time with this friend i begin to slow down and become mindful about my choices; specifically the little choices in what i am eating, how i am thinking, how i am more or less pursuing mindfulness.

if i can't begin to eat better i won't have the energy to get up and get going.  there are a lot of things out there to learn, and a lot of learning has to be done hands on.

if i can't begin to eat better i won't have the energy to:
  • think creatively regarding the type of food that is served at our table
  • thinking creatively regarding the type of activites my daughter and i do
  • read all the really wonderful compositions out there
  • learn new art skills (my current is doodling)
  • write letters, real letters, to my far away friends
  • show my love to my husband in intimate details
  • get in shape so i can live long years
  • explore new adventures
  • etc, etc, etc
so, in honor of my friend i will be looking at how i am eating this week. timing my small meals & caring enough about myself that when i see my husband chomping down on chips & cookies at the end of the night i will either go to bed (smile), or be a big girl and go get some water or tea.  herbal tea really is nummy & i have started leaving a 2 cup pyrex measuring cup in the microwave so all i have to do is fill & press a button to heat.  whalah.. plus i bought a cute owl cup a few months back, so that is another happy moment too..

i love owls.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Vlog 4/52: Building this Blog Project

here i am again ...

Looking forward to all the mini-goals that will be set & all that will be learned in the mist of start & stops ~

What do you think this Blog should be about ~ What would be beneficial to you?

Be sure to leave your Compassionate Comments ♥

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Harriet Lerner: Overcoming Fear

Wednesday Wow!
It couldn't be said any better!!

this is just a clip, but i wanted to showcase this woman ~ i read and read her during my college years ~ for certain she helped me through some difficult times.

i think the message "keep showing up" is what i heard most in this brief snippit..  that fear will never go away, it will always be ~ but we travel through our goals anyway ♥

have a great Wednesday!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

cc2011:4 Compassion Felt *Goal Tending*

to my surprise ~ i am really looking forward to my Vlog this week ~ when I thought of sharing 4 lessons i have learned from others i didn't realize how interconnected the lessons would be to this blog project.

. . . .

this is the week I begin the 'hour there ~ hour back' twice- a-week school commitment.  having just completed my J-Term studies, Violent & Dysfunctional Families ~ i consider Human Intimacy & Marriage Therapy a reward!!  that said ..  hoping this season of my life, when my brain is being pulled like silly puddy, won't cause the project to suffer :)  thank goodness we are still flying by the seat of our pants here.

my friend ~ my wonderful friend ~ she is excellent with her boundaries.  what a huge lesson, so instead i'd like to streamline the discussion to boundaries when pursuing a goal.  i love that my friend has goals - heck!  i have goals, but what my friend has taught me to do is put a box around my goals. 

what!  a box?  that's no fun you say ~ how restrictive ~

at first glance, but this is a goal we are talking about, something we don't yet have and have every intention of gaining . . .

what tells us we are meeting our goals?  time.  ahh ~ time ~ the truth teller ~ ring a bell?  but time goes on and on and on, doesn't it.  ever thought about writing a letter to your child every month?  and before you know it, a year has past & you have to simply celebrate the year??

when thinking of a box ~ i am thinking assessment guidelines.  there are several directions to go; specifically north, south, east, west - or - any combination.  at times we will need a nice wide box & other times we will need a box that resembles the size of something a bracelet may fit ~ perhaps one long & slender (no distractions).   

using my box, if i was discerning my potential as a writer i might write for a month with the intention i will develop my skill on character development.  i will create a new person each day - and - in that day i will dream up his or her likes, dislikes, hair color and flair.

at the end of the month ~ how close have i come to developing my goal of being a writer?  if i was able to stick with the characters i would say - go forth - develop more goals towards writing short stories or novels.. if i got stumped on the 6th day ~ perhaps poetry is more my game.. and really, it could be that i am actually a paper crafter - ha!!

without the box i could go on thinking i was destined to be a writer, never fulfilling my dreams ~ stuck.  mismatched and feeling worse and worse about myself and what i thought was my life's work.  on the other hand, if i use my starts and finishes i would be well on my way to my best fit.  make sense? 

one step after another & after every step we are more clear of our abilites.

in honor of my friend ~ the one that teaches me to move forward until the next assessment ~ i will be evaluating this blog project each month.. no telling really what the end result with be ~ but whatever it is ~ it will be intentional & growing along side the community that comes along..

to the point ~ i hope . . . trying to keep my Monday commitment in the mist of an anxious heart ~ please ~ let me find a close parking space so i don't have to be scared walking in the dark ;)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Vlog 3/52: Moving along with the Blog Project

No huge insight ~ just me being me ~ thinking about how to use this blog site to the best of my ability.

Hope you enjoy & Remember ~ its OK to Fly by the Seat of Your Pants sometimes :) 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

♥Compassion for Kids♥ Memory Game Project

And she Likes it!!
Two things inspired this project, one the Legacy Blog I read last week (check it out), and two the Compassion Blog from this week ~ specifically the memory game metaphor i used (smile).

my daughter is a hands-on learner, she loves watching Donald Schultz (Wild Recon/Venom in Vegas - check out his Blog - i attached a link to his name), and i am fairly sure one of her love language is ‘treats and surprises’ (a.k.a gifts). wha-lah this is the project to show my compassion ~ by creating something that was special to her i was showing her i listen and celebrate her interests :)

logistics:  I got on the computer and found some photo’s of Donald (her first TV crush ~ hee!  funny he is a herpetologist).  I was lucky to locate pictures that related to her favorite episodes.  I adjusted the size to wallets & pressed print!  I placed them on paper with a reptile print & even laminated them!!  Note: KSS laminate’s for $0.80 a foot ~ super cheap ~ all these cards laid out ended up being just over a foot (hee!).

For Fun ~ i also chose to include two bonus cards that say, “Be Brave, Try Something New” and “Change Your World” .. as far as she thinks, these are cards that give her another opportunity to turn a card over (built in do-over)..  but as far as i think, i am helping her get over the mis-matches and moving on to the matches.  plus ~ i like to sneak positive messages in when I can..

Change Your World
Be Brave .. Try Something New


hope i explained my compassion project OK, i'm sure i missed something.  it was of course fun for me too ~ the possibilities are endless really when thinking of the card options.. you could try family pictures, animal pictures, cartoon characters. . . :)  whatever :)

oh & Bonus ~ any sort of comments they make ~ she said "i like the green circles, they look like little turtles".. how nice, how creative > i just found a print that i thought would appear the same on all the card backs < & now she is making me look good ~ ha!!

carry on & don’t forget to share your thoughts!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Elizabeth Gilbert: Nurturing Creativity


Wednesday Wow! 
It couldn't be said any better!!

I am so amazed at people and how they are able to talk and be coherent at the same time :)

If you don't recognize Elizabeth Gilbert's name, then you will recognize her book that has been made into a movie ~ Eat, Pray, Love.

I haven't actually seen it.. i know - ridiculous, but i haven't really watched  a lot of movies.  i am hoping there will be time ~ at least for this movie.  i heard that Julia Roberts actually gained a few pounds from eating the pasta.  yum!  i love pasta..

confession:  i am avoiding my mood right now.. i am depleted and sad.  i have been taking a j-term and have barely caught my breath.  the class is 'violent and dysfunctional familes' ... i am exhausted because this is the sort of writing that I am doing right now...

"The symbolic erasure of women’s identities, the limiting of women’s personal development, and the degradation ceremonies rural battered women endure (Websdale, 1998, p. 18)” reminds me of breaking the spirit of a person. . . ."

Breaking the spirit, breaking what is unique and wondrous about a person; the simplicity of decision, the complexity of cause ~ oh, how my heart breaks.

When I read the passages surrounding this concept, I found vocabulary and direction of study. At this point what it means to me is that the woman is no longer her own. She is within his shadow, faceless. This picture isn’t immediate, but a systematic break down of the very ties holding her to herself. Like it states, “Self-identity is built, checked, and transformed on an ongoing basis through social interaction (Websdale, 1998, p.17).” If the abusive male is her only reflection, how then does she grow? She grows into what he wants her to know about herself, and to ensure her staying he keeps her under his boot, like dirt. Likely she is developing, but developing in a way that protects her. Her defense mechanisms are on overdrive and she becomes different than what she was before, forever shaped by the abuse. In fact, should she escape I believe she will literally need to be put back together, her resilience will be a factor in whether she will build stronger like a bone that has broken or more fractured like glass.

Certainly a deep subject for me.. I’m almost tearful.

not the creative writing that Elizabeth is talking about .. i am scared of this year.  in every spare minute i am reading on compassion and resilience.  there is so much!! and i'm not sure what to do with it all..  like Elizabeth says (and I really, really encourage you to watch this video) ~ i must simply show up and do my part of the job.

love to all ~ sweet dreams :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

cc2011:3 Compassion in Time

Hello 3rd Monday!! I have had so many thoughts about this blog site.  I wonder if philosophical and educational talk might get a little much after a while. After all ~ isn’t compassion action :)

How about? Compassion Quotes - what they mean to us as individuals and/or community (this would require some participation on your part) (wink,wink ~ i know you are out there ~ the stats tell me so – hee!)

How about? Compassion for kids - specific conversations or actions we are experiencing with our children that leaves the legacy of compassion ~ feeling known, loved, and acceptable (smile).  have to admit, the legacy blog hit a sweet spot in me, i’m going to be chewing on that quite a while.. (in fact, stay tune for later this week – i have a compassion project i am attempting for my daughter that i will share once completed)

now ~ how compassion was shown to me, and how my life is different today; catching you up – last Monday i attempted to express a friendship, but specifically a conversation that really allowed me to feel connected despite my flaws.  when we allow ourselves to be on the receiving end of that ~ feeling known, worthy of friendship and worthy of change ~ life can really begin to shift.

next i’d like to share with you the Show Stopper (ha!) or so i believe it has been for me.  my history would wave huge flags of predicament, after predicament.  i went from one questionable wrong situation to another, and at the time no one could stop me from digging one hole after another.  flashback!  the without-control spots.

enter in >>> my rudder.  in the calm i had decided i had all the energy in the world just lack of direction, or should i say too many directions.  people say you are free to be anything you want to be ~ possibly, but really there are only so many “good matches..” to rephrase, you are free to be anything that honors your true self and only the gifts you can give :) yes, that would make us & our world a happier place.  ever noticed it isn’t hard to do what your good at??  even if it seems hard to everyone else?

my rudder, the love that life has brought me, has in effect – given me time, and in time i have also discovered my north.  he has taught me a very valuable lesson ~ no decision is a decision.

now – how on one blog entry – would i ever describe the degree in which this has shaped my entire life since.. really, i don’t feel that i’m over stepping.  for each of my days there is a decision to be made; in order to discern the decision we must allow for time to show us the truth.  i adhere to the statement Time is a Truth-Teller.  how else do we know to trust, if someone is trustworthy – really?  time.  time offers the evidence of actions and actions give away our values.

the fact i don’t have to make a decision right now means i can experience self-control.  in fact, if someone is pressing me for an answer i have come to embrace the word, No.  No gives me the option of later..  this topic is so huge to me.. look, we can be no better than standing still or taking small steps forward. 

people rush us into action everyday & everyday we are spinning our wheels and doing things that could be better accomplished by another.  consider the options we would have in our life if we weren’t so busy spinning...

ever played the Memory Matching Game?  we would never expect to pick up matches in our first pick.  at times we are surprised by what is flipped over, but mostly we find matches by watching others find what isn’t a match for them; thankfully the ‘bad match’ gets left on the board so i can pick it up next!! hee!  life is more serious than this, but it takes time, it takes time to win at Memory, and it takes time to win at Life (everyday, not the board game –hee!).

i’m going to leave things here.  there are so many thoughts and conversations that can develop from this place....

i had a conversation with someone reading this project & the perspective was different than what i thought i was presenting.. you know how awesome that was!!  that despite me! this person gained insight.

this is the insight i am seeking for this project – this is wisdom!!

Please Leave A Compassionate Comment Below ~ simply tell me What you received from the reading today (smile)

Thank You!! Thank You!! 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happier with Myself & My Parenting

i love non-pressure days ~ when i am using my blog site in the same way i used it before.. to just write.. whatever, whenever the thought to compose conquered :)

i have some thoughts about different mini topics along the way.  for instance, i would love an opportunity to hear how people are showing compassion to their children.  ideas really.  i read a wonderfully inspiring blog entry the other day..

Building the Legacy 

Your Children Will Remember  

its a big, bold title but hey ~ its a big bold topic.  there was a section that emphasized the point ~ if i want to leave a legacy of hospitality then i had better be the home with doors open.

i went on to think about the legacy i am leaving now... when in doubt, ask..

i told my daughter i had a little project i needed her help with.  she didn't bat an eye because i have been in the mist of my master's program for the last 3 years & life for her - is Mom & her Many Projects.

i have this scrapbook that i haven't used.. go figure, don't we all have those?  at least those of us that hoard tools.. (kitchen, craft, garage, or otherwise)

i digress. 

i told her i needed small pictures of different ways of describing me.  i didn't let her know it was a legacy thing, because - really what is a legacy other than a topic leading to when i'm gone.  we don't have to go there .. right now i just want to check in with her, when all i do boils down ~ how does she describe me now.

anyway.. wish i had an answer for you - that was friday morning during oatmeal time before school, will get back with you on the results..

if you get a chance ~ read the blog attached ~ its marvelous.  in fact, in the three days since i read it i have actually perused parenting differently & i am happier with myself.  less critical.  i am intentionally thinking throughout the day how i can make this experience more positive.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Vlog 2/52: Seeking to Connect

i am becoming so savvy with my computer options... i am actually a You Tub Star!! ha!  me and the other 68 Trillion people ~ hee!

I thought long and hard about what I wanted this Video Log to talk about .. I had a desire to keep these video's down to 3 minutes.  I am finding that to be impossible!!

Wasn't sure too about the title.. Have you ever thought about the amount of creativity it takes to actually come up a with a unique title for each post ~ I am in awe of what people are doing on these blog sites!! All my time can swoop away simply by diving into a few blogs each day.  I'm still trying to figure out how to follow & share - some are not blogger sites, and some are not on 'networked blogs' ..  i may be a little punchie.. up too late, but sometimes it just feels good to get to sleep once the day is done.

That said - hope you enjoy the next Vlog installment.  I picked a topic that seemed appropriate ~ what do you think? - and - yes!  it is a real question ~ leave your Compassionate Comments below (double hee!)


Monday, January 10, 2011

cc2011:2 Compassion is Connection – Open & Sustained

after viewing last week’s video a few times, and receiving Miranda’s response (again ~ thanks so much for the input), i started to think of all the things the video left out.  in fact, i had a little seize come upon my heart until self-talk took over.  i told myself this is the beginning and in the beginning things are never clear.

just like life, there is always more to the story.

the day, at last, has become quiet so i can spend time with this very special project.  thank You for this space ~  i am excited to share some ways others have shown Compassion for me, in fact no one gift out weighs another; and so i was unsure until i received some wisdom from our forming group...

many, many moons ago ~ before i knew the present would ever arrive, i was lost ~ and inside a small voice echoed over and over . . . worthless . . . worthless . . . worthless . . .

nothing from another seemed to connect because i felt disconnected; like a dirty little girl, no shoes, in rags.  and though i didn’t appear much different than i do today – then, like a hole, i was empty.

i felt ashamed of myself, not in control of myself, destined to never be any different than myself & my self wasn’t something i considered worth saving.  in fact – multiple times i deliberated with my safety.

in the middle of self-loathing and wishing for breathe to stop; i happened across the sweetest soul.  it would be hard to describe her, but like a melody, she is soothing in her rhythm. 

through our conversations ~ i learned another could relate to me despite not being me.  by her listening to my story and sharing her own, i felt something real was formed.  like the bond formed in the middle of mutual smiles, the knowingness.  just seeing her was an encouragement. knowing she had struggled – was still struggling in fact - like i, with managing the without-control spots, the spots that remind each of us of our integrity’s vulnerability.  receiving such an important message ~ that i wasn’t alone, aloud me to feel loved by the divine measures implemented years prior when we first met.

all of our lessons require groundwork, a tilling of the soil.  it is the loneliest place ~ feeling unique in struggles.  as years pass and i am exposed to more and more of what we attempt to hide, i find we are more similar than separate.  

having worked with addicts; it never surprised me how often they rejected the idea that someone, could honestly help them, that hadn’t experienced the same addiction; and in some cases the exact drug of choice. 

each of us hold a history; within it, the capacity to relate intimately to the ‘without-control’ spots; be it cookies, cakes, toxic intimacy, shopping, gossip, perfectionism, chemicals, gambling, isolation, oh ~ let me count the ways we are allowing our lives to be lessened by our shadowed woes. 

Compassion is Connection – open & sustained, thank you friend ~

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Karen Armstrong: Charter for Compassion

As you know - I am not the authority on Compassion; however, there are others who are. As I am doing my own research on the topic I will come across things that are best said by these very same others.

One amazing person I just listened to for 20 minutes is Karen Armstrong. Amazing, Amazing - a true Authority! Listening to Karen I felt like a preschooler on the mat, listening in wonderment;  almost silly thinking of how i reduced Compassion to a simple turning of a makeshift happy/sad face.  but ~ this is where we start.

If you have time & a quiet space (because what she talks about is profound and unexpected), please click the link: Karen Armstrong/Charter for Compassion ~ hope it works for you!!  Otherwise, feel free to copy/paste the following: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/234

These are the quotes that stood out to me:

"Religion is about behaving differently"

Compassion is closely linked with the "The Golden Rule"

"We must not leave an interpretation of scripture until we have found a compassionate interpretation of it."

"Scripture must be governed by the principal of charity."


"We do not confine Compassion to our own group."

ps.  I had no idea when I thought of this project ~ Compassion had so much to do with the World Religions . . . (ha!  aren't you glad I'm the fearless leader)

no telling - really - where the year will take us!!  i am truly excited :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

VLOG 1/52: Empathy, Sympathy and Compassion

hey Look ~ a New Vlog :)

Let me know what you think?  Is the concept of empathy, sympathy & compassion any more clear??

Have a Wonderful Today :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

cc2011:1 What is Compassion?

and Compassion Challenge 2011 begins ~ 1 Monday down, 51 to go!!

it was likely 6 years ago when “Finding Compassion” happened across my heart, and it is funny to finally be doing something with it.

it would be silly to think in all this time i had never utilized a search engine for the following: “What is Compassion,” but a few days ago i did and was pleasantly surprised by what i found.

Wikipedia states: Compassion (from Latin: "co-suffering") is a virtue —one in which the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy (for the suffering of others) are regarded as a part of love itself, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnectedness and humanism —foundational to the highest principles in philosophy, society, and personhood.

Wow!  compassion sounds deep ~ ha!

better still.. i awoke last night at 3 a.m. and for an hour i tried to fall back asleep until finally i could not.  and you know what was on my mind.. Compassion Challenge.  i put literal letters on a large sheet of paper the night before, anticipating a picture (wink!).  and now in the middle of the night i am thinking of Violette’s Journal Bliss (a fun book that inspires me to try new ways of writing). 

i am then thinking i am crazy, what is the closest book to my reach because i’m not going all the way downstairs to retrieve an activity book ~

i switch on my reading light, look down and Lazarus’ Passion and Reason (1996) is staring back.  Awesome i thought, i’ll get a jump on February’s topic, because January is taken care of, or so i thought...  low and behold there is a chapter written specifically on Gratitude, Compassion, and Aesthetic Experiences.  good for me, good for the project!!

it reads, “Unlike empathy, in which we relate to another’s emotion, compassion is a single emotional state, which we ourselves generate and experience.  Although we can feel compassion, because we are capable of identifying and empathizing, feeling compassion is our own state of mind, not merely a copy of the emotion of another person.”

Compassion means to suffer with ~ .  I ask, what allows me to dig in and allow myself to not only discern that another person is struggling, but a willingness to step in and ease the pain.  how is it that i can allow myself to identify my pain and offer it to another??

we are about finding compassion for others – yes, but for ourselves too.  looking back on my life 4 specific qualities have made a tremendous difference in how i see the world.  for the next 4 Monday’s I’ll be offering these qualities by way of honoring 4 individuals who inspire me daily. 

Ask Yourself ~ “Who in my life has guided me by their action, what specific quality comes to mind when thinking of this person.”

oh!!  as always, if you haven’t left your thoughts on Compassion, please do so by responding to the following entry :)