Thursday, September 27, 2012

The "No" thing; when we say it, when others say it

The "no" thing

I'm feeling smooth and a little apprehensive bringing this up here, and happy that I'm so happy in the small amounts of clarity I'm getting

The giver of the "no's"; when I or we give our "no's" out to people, what's going on? Especially in an invitation to get closer in some way, not the "fill up our time with more nonsense " kind of invite.

There's a Robert Frost poem about "Good Fences make good neighbors," where he questions: what are we fencing out and what are we fencing in?

That's the kind of inquiry I enjoy in my no's and the no's of others:
What in me is making this about my comfort zone and how the other person is going to upset that?
And that upset, is it really anything more than "too much" sensation?

This is very powerful in my life right now,
noticing my fear of fear
or fear of anger
or fear to some "uncomfortable" thing<
just an excuse to not want "too much" sensation
inside me

And who says, when I really sense it without a story
and really am "now" with it,
who says it's "too much,"
except my old "keep everything the way it's always been" mind?

And more about saying no to another's request to get closer:
 the usual suspects: is there something in the other, I don't want to see in myself, and by "no-ing" them away, I'm "safe" from dealing with that in myself

So, it can kind of be a nice education: what is it in me, I don't want and the no protects, so called protects, me from; what is it about the other person I don't want near me?

A nice idea: what is the reality of the situation?

And is it really the other person I'm saying no to, or some picture/ box/ story/ reputation/ look/ stereotype I'm "protecting" myself from. What am I walling out and pretending it's them, and have I given myself the time and curiosity to discover what this person is REALLY like? What am I denying myself with my petty little boundary. Or really important boundary. Or totally habitual boundary. Or totally unconscious boundary. Or conscious for old and not present moment reasons boundary?

What am I keeping away when I stop the connection from happening?

In a certain way, the path of liberation and the Gurdjieff idea of "like what 'it' doesn't like," saying "yes" to our biggest "no" is the stuff of revolution/ dissolution/ freedom

and of course, easier typed out than done

And the getting the no's

If we "need" the yes, then we are a sitting duck for disappointment.

Let me go personal, what a concept: when I was all worried and worked up about getting yeses, the no's were quite devastating and I was back in Jr. High, what's wrong with me, blah, blah

Now, that I'm pretty full, and clear that this ( the OM practice, but that doesn't matter, people want connection want connection want connection; if we offer and they reject, it's a very interesting place to be free and curious and compassionate; read on)
 is something many many many women are deeply hungering for, and they just need to be found, I'm pretty easy with no's

I can see it from the attitude: their loss

or the curiosity route: I wonder what's stopping them?

potentially it could even be compassion: too bad they've got a fence up, what else is it constraining in their life

and then good old Byron Katie, with her quip, so true, so true, that when someone rejects you, you have "been spared."

Yes, the no means, their mood, or their putting you in a box, or their busy ness, or their "not being into you," you don't have to hang with that. You've been spared.

and here's a place I'd love to see us go as a community:

"Would you like to OM/ do something that will get us closer together?"

"Of course, but a no is coming up. Would you help me figure that out, so I can come to a Yes?"

"Sure. Give me some ideas about how I could help you."

"Well... " And a whole toolkit could be available here, which is the kind of thing I love to invent, and will leave open ended for a group invention

Monday, September 24, 2012

Kids, tantrums, having enlightenment thanks to kids pushing us to be awake when it's hard to be awake

After enlightenment, do the laundry. 
How to get enlightened?
 Be present with a child, 
or yourself, 
or any loved one or creature, plant or feature
on this planet. 

Kids are dissatisfied sometimes,
and they don't hold it in.

They scream, hit, throw things,
you know the drill.

And our job, as parents,
and as human beings working toward real
which in my opinion means
being awake to the present moment

we don't take it personally

unless we do,
and then we "flip our lids"
as Dan Siegel, MD amused us describing in Austin
recently talking about the Whole Brain Child.

and how this happens:

parents "lose it"

he says: okay, it happens,
admit it, apologize,
talk to your child about her or his feelings before you
"lost it" and when you "lost it"

just repair the damage and they'll be resiliant,
and know something wonderful:
you don't have to be perfect,
you just have to be willing to communicate the love
that got lost in the "lost it"

guess what,
that wasn't what this was headed to be about:
it was headed to be about
when the child is in tantrum, anger, or whine mode,
and you are still present,
a fun and useful thing to do,
is not to repress their anger,
not to make them feel bad about that,
but to make it a game,
where you present alternatives:

would you rather throw the book, or the ball?
would you rather scream this loud or this loud?
would you rather look at me when you scream or look at the floor?
Can you switch your whining to this tone?
To this tone?

Can you hit with your other hand?
Can you stomp with this foot?
And that foot.
Can you make this sound when you hit?

if their hitting hurts,
tell them:
I am a real person,
that hurts.

I get that you are angry and let's find six different
ways you can hit the couch,
and call it me,
and tell me you hate me

so you can be angry and hit,
but I don't get hurt

I'm a real person, so
the couch doesn't mind being hit,
and what about kicking the couch
(or those little blow up clowns with sand in the bottom,
punching bags)

This not only lets the child knwo
they are safe to be angry,
but that in the context of being angry,
a real adult can see alternatives,
can allow them to experience differences,
which means being more mindful and aware of themselves

and the adult is seeing anger as an energy,
something to be used
and used in a variety of ways

this is good news all around

and if that isn't enough;
Here's a  TED talk with Dan Siegel and Goldie Hawn
on mindfulness and childrearing:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Resistance" as a red herring, sort of

someone, a wise someone asked me to go beyond the smart guy
and share feelings as I post this and that:

I'm feeling less than my usual cocky about this,
a little shy,
a little hesitant,
and also excited,
to see what I come up with,
and to share some opening that I think others might enjoy

full disclosure,
partly to show off for a sweet gal,
with whom the brains are flirting, too

And here goes:

Resistance is so widely used, that we take it for granted,
as in:
Yes, I'm in resistance,
or, He/ She is obviously in resistance

Okay, let me fumble around and try to find some loose ends
and I don't know how they tie together,
and I'm shy/ scared/ curious, confident that something will emerge:

Fritz Perls has this idea:
Distraction is just attraction away from where it's "supposed"
to be

I've gotten great mileage from that, to
the point of having a "distraction" journal,
side by side with something I'm "really" trying to write,
to give attention to the distraction before returning to what
I'm "supposed to" be writing

NLP, however messed up,
has this very sassy idea:
There are no resistant clients, only bad therapists

I loved Nicole Daedone 's  riff in Austin on NLP as the parallel to Buddhism
to mask, ameliorate suffering rather than Buddhism for liberation,
and a couple of their things, like this, and the strangely hard to accept:
The meaning of the communication is the response you got,
are brilliant

They got this from modelling Milton Erickson, possibly the genius
of psychology of the last century, who never had resistant clients.

They always moved nicely from A to B to C.

This story illustrates:
Young boy comes in, doesn't want to sit in the chair
for hypnosis.
Stomps his foot on the floor.
Milton nods:
Very good. But a "Big Boy" would stomp much harder.
Is there something wrong with you?

The boy stomps like hell.
Pretty good, and a Big Boy... would do much more,
and on and on, until the kid can't wait to sit down..

Compare if Milton:
you've got resistance, lad,
just sit down,
it'll all work out

The boy had defiance,
the boy had foot stomping energy

Obviously this is the same as following the stroke,
which in our One Taste world, I've gotten massive help
with being told to be more of my anger, or arrogance, or
"dirty old man."

So, where's the rub:

It's the way this goes down:
A has some project for B,
who balks, hesitates, whatever

A to B: you are in resistance

Two problems, at least:

People don't like to be told what they are
Two it's a power struggle,
Three, this missing ingredient:

This COAL, from Dan Siegel, author of Mindsight,
with new book on children, the Whole Brain Child,
which finds good parenting exactly the path to enlightenment

Loving ( Kind regard)

With that, the "resistant" person, is dealt with not as resistant,
but fascinating: What's going on?

And so on.

This is as far as I can go.
Maybe resistance is okay, not really red herring,
maybe it's a chance to have people express fearful energy
they want to put in a habitual direction

Actually, what the hell,
all I'm trying to unravel is the core of coaching/ therapy,
so obviously I should get it in twenty paragraphs or less

and anyway,
I feel sad (don't know why, a feeling I can muck around and "not know"
and be loved here) and honored to, to have this playground
for expressing,
living in the juice of "I don't know."


Friday, September 21, 2012

a real poem for once: You do not have to be good

a real poem for once: You do not have to be good. This is Mary Oliver. She has the real shit.

She goes out in nature every day and listens to the world beneath words.

She translates.

Here's what she heard one day:

Listen, listen, listen.

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

~ Mary Oliver

My feelings: I love Mary Oliver.
I feel soft and free when I read this, as if someone understands.
I am weary of being good, even the being good of "not being good."
I am
Grateful, I have found my gang, in which the soft animal of my body can love what it loves, and the soft ocean of my heart can swish and swirl in many and all directions, not necessarily knowing where it's going, but reaching more and more connection, finding the joyous scary peaceful thrill in the family of all things.
ALL things.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Beneath the facism of appearance, what's left?

attractiveness is a sorting pattern
that makes sense
in breeding beautiful children

and otherwise
it's fear and scarcity based:

these are the standards,
the closer you get to them,
the more points you get to play against
someone's money points, or car/ stuff points
or good personality points

the world of relationship
as buying selling and bartering your
assets for theirs

cruel nonsense

the only place I've ever heard this
talked about out loud
was in a Byron Katie, 14 day school,
and someone in the B group of attractiveness

talked about how the A group there,
as everywhere had created a sort of ascendency

this was shocking
and true to behold

and it keeps going on 
and on

and then,
to leave that behind....

  what's that leave?

the wonderful world of now:
what is your experience
in the present
with that person

and if things go
awry (took google to spell that, pronounced uh rye)
and they will,
what to do?

be present
be honest
see where "I don't know"
will lead you

the truth will always
either set you free
or set you closer to freedom,
and more truth will help you
where you
and I
and You
and I
and we

aren't yet free



Monday, September 17, 2012

Beneath the Limbic, the happy cat, the hunting cat

I am in this glorious world now,
in training
in learning
in transforming,
the world of One Taste
see, if you want a buzz and thrill,

they are great
I am great
you are great

they have a practice
we have a practice
with four cornerstones:

it's about the mammal in us
that wants to touch
and make love
and frolic
and have emotional connection
the wiring in our innards all primed and
glorious for being social
and sexual animals
on a big and beautiful planet

and this is called the limbic system

and the limbic system doesn't mean shit
if you are dead

so we have the lizard system,
the warrior system,
the hunger and hunter system
and it is about:
touching the ground, for real,
so you can move toward food,
away from danger,
having arms and fingers ready to reach out and create
or love
or defend
or kill food

having a neck free to look in all directions
and ears free to hear in the directions you can't see

and that sounds like a lot,
and it's why people climb ropes
or ski
or ice skate
or surf
or do tai chi
or dance

all the fun things that get us into our
and unstable and mobile (the two go together,
inversely) on the planet, in gravity, in motion

a cat is always sensing,
not vigilant,
relaxed most of the time,
but she knows where all here paws and legs are, the shape of her spine,
what is in her visual field,
what she is hearing

this is the Gurdjieff meditation
wake up
sit up

sense your right leg, all the flesh blood bone muscle nerve
from toes, up up thru knee up to hip joint,
keep the full leg "lite up" with sensing
and then add on the right fingers to the right shoulder blade
hang out with these two "lite up"

then add on the left arm, shoulder down to fingers,
hang with the 3,
then add on the left leg, hip joint to toes,

then hang in there
full of sensing
as long as enjoyment allows
and add on listening to sounds
from outside your head

now you have inner and outer attention

and then open your eyes
and pay attention to reflected light coming in your eyes
and hang there:
two arms,
two legs

I like to add, from the Feldenkrais idea of "5 lines" as our primary
self organizing image as a human being, the "line" of sensing pelvis-spine-head

this is a meditation that is done
all day,
not just in sitting

it is life being lived
from the relaxed and miraculous animal that we are

and hey:
add on the limbic when others are around,
but from real, not just bullshit saying "grounded" and not
knowing your relationship in all five lines to gravity,
nor worn out from so called "exercise"
but in your body as an ongoing "home base"
add on the sex and the heart and the lips
and the pulse of
you and another

then things
get full

I mean,
really full

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Truth vs a higher grade bullshit

Last night I got to participate in an event that so -called
stretched my limits

Going to bars and asking women this and that
and being rejected 10 times

I'm super glad I did it,
but the best parts,
were waking up to Now
within a scene almost totally asleep

standing in an the noise

and people 
and with all the "I have to go this and this" story,
and dropping the story,
coming home
to the non story,
non important
pure reality

the me
without image

the me
without accomplishment or
non accomplishing

the alive

and alive

and just stopping
back to breath
back to gravity
back to sensing feet underneath,
knowing the seeing of what I was seeing
knowing the hearing of what I was hearing

knowing this,
this nowing of me as alive right then
was fabulously more important than
my thoughts and feelings and goals and successes
and failures in the "talk to a woman" game

the game can be played
to learn...
that's good

the game can be played
to wake up...
that's gold

and then when it was over,
walking down the street
sensing each step,
aware of the I AM ALIVE
as now, now, now miracle

I was glad not to have been as lost
as I could have been

This is a brutal truth
for me and you and you
and even now,
typing this in,
even now,
reading this:

we only have three choices

Low grade asleep
High grade asleep
or Awake

actually, there are thousands of gradations of
and what passes as most "transformation"
is just upping the level
of sleeping functioning

but without the spark of conscious awareness
in the moment
something is lost

and DO NOT take my word for it
live today to
discover the difference in
each and every activity
non activity

life is a gift
learning is infinite
awakening is always now

ciao (rhyme)


Saturday, September 15, 2012

the being alive thing

what is the key to a good life?

perhaps this:
realizing you are going to die,
and hence,
you are alive,
and hence,
can be experiencing one and only one


Friday, September 14, 2012

supposed to be uncomfortable in relationship, part 2

in the Buddhist model
1. there is suffering
2. suffering caused by grasping or aversion
3. way out: enlightenment
4. eightfold path to enlightenment: right this and right that

in the world of relationships

1. relationships, unless you marry your twin, or have perfect parents both of you, are uncomfortable

2. the uncomfort is  from trying to make someone who isn't you, be just like you, or at least repress the hell out of themselves so YOU won't have any buttons pushed

3. way out: unconditional love
= looking forward to your buttons being pushed,
because then you can deprogram that one more button,
and love even better

4. the pathway:
pay attention, deeply
be open to what comes up, in you, guess what , you are perfect and if shit comes up, it's your shit
be curious about your shit
be thankful for your imperfect partner for showing you that you are imperfect
kiss the Earth and their feet for all your and their imperfects
love what is, the so called "worse" the better


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Relationship: if you've got it right, things aren't going right

Or, when the you is "too different" we try to fix them to be back like us,
which they don't like
and we don't like their reaction when they don't like it
and the circle goes around and around.

Fighting or boredom.

And is there a way out:

Heck, yes:
Say what you feel, in the present.
As sensation, as feeling.

I'm a big fan of the 5-5-5-5 talk, where each person gets center stage, no interrupting by the other, just five minutes at a time for at least the first half hour or so, and then questions, if they can come from real interest and compassion.

But first, tell your side: what's going on. Skip any "you should change" stuff, and say how whatever they do makes you feel. Not as their fault, but as your reaction. "When you don't talk to me, I feel left out. To say that now feels scary. I feel the fear as tightening in my throat. Now I feel like crying when I feel how lonely I feel sometime. And I don't want you to save me, but I miss our connection."

Or whatever you have to say.
Keep bringing it back to the present. "This is hard to say. " "Feels good to say."  "I'm afraid/ shy to say." "I sense this and that in my body right now." "I see you there, your eyes are ...., you are breathing in and out."

Any reporting on the other is just reporting."I see your smile/ frown/ looking into my eyes/ looking away." "I notice your breathing." No processing of how they do this and that because of their mother, or their pattern.

If it's a "trouble zone," only mention specific behaviors: "When you come home and go right to the internet"  Not, "You never give me the attention I want."

And spend time talking about just you.
"What's going on with me, is that I have this vision of writing a novel, and worrying about you, keeps me from doing it. maybe it's just an excuse. as maybe it's real distraction. but I've been wanting to write this novel for sixteen years. Now I notice I'm looking away from you while I say this, and I feel kind of ashamed of myself. When I look at you, I realize....."

Obviously, this is an art form.
The listening should be just to listen.
Watch them.
Hear their words in your mind and heart and body.
Do not prepare your response.

When they finish ( a timer goes off at five minutes), pause. Try NOT to say anything you prepared to say while they were talk. Try NOT to defend yourself or present "your side." Try to start with now, how you feel now, in this moment having heard what they said.

This is love in action.

Love is supposed to be work.
And the work of loving someone who pushes your buttons and isn't "just right," is what love is all around, because if it's not unconditional, it's not love.

Good, and signing off for Thursday, the night of Mushkil Gusha. Sign up for my newsletter, out today and two weeks from today, if you'd like

Love and freedom in all aspects of your life,

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Work, a happy word, with son, in LA, the "valley"

i was lucky enough in my younger years
thirties and forties and some of fifties
to mainly do what i call
"real work"

I moved my body and brain
and a hammer or saw
or wheelbarrow,
I build decks, put in French doors,
remodelled, built small outbuildings,
put in amazing gardens that included bizarrely wonderful fences,
combines fruit and vegetable and flower beauty
and to cap it off created the three acre core
of what has become the five acre
public garden, the Sonoma Garden Park

whoopee for me?

who knows,
and then I learned this and that
about how to be relaxed and happy in any body
and yesterday I was out with my son, who is 36,
and we were digging the holes and mixing the cement
for what's going to be on Thursday an amazing
and shade producing and plant holding and
space defining trellis arrangement

and I was dead tired after
and so was he
and we ate a lot
and conked out easy

life is good

( this is in LA, the valley, where it gets
hot in the nineties in the day,
sort of like Austin,
but no humidity and no bugs,
and unlike Austin
gets to a cool low seventies high sixties
at night,
and as we worked late yesterday,
pulling out cords and lights to work by,
no mosquitoes,
and we finished,
body tired,
and this was something we co designed,

and building something real
with a grown child is
a great
gift to one's life

i hope it happens  for you


Tuesday, September 04, 2012

6 step Protocol: Deep Change, including depression, bipolar, huge life shift

I've written on this before,
at "6 steps for your special needs child, or yourself in times of amazing
and real change"

and it took me a long time to stroll down the index to find it June 28, 2011
and I was impressed by all the different posts you might read.
or I might re-read,

And anyway: this has "come up" a couple of times recently,
and I love to see how I can do from memory so here goes:

This is a protocol Dr, Dan Siegel used to combine brain plasticity
and mindfulness with many backup and supplemental pieces
to help a teenage youth who was verging on serious bipolar,
not need to get involved in meds.

This is not to try at home,
and could be an adjunct to any real change
that you wanted deep and clear and amazing in your life.

The parts are:

1. Good sleep.
Which doesn't have to be all at once, the standard 8 hours,
but does need enough so you feel really rested,
which might well include
and being able to "meditate" in times of waking at night,
with "no worries" about sleep coming or not.

Which ties in with the last, mindfulness.
To be mindful in waking night time is one of life's
and under appreciated joys.'

2. Food
that feeds the body soul and brain,.
with a high emphasis on high quality omega-3 (grass fed , wild caught, you know
the drill)
my food ideas are long and detailed.
you can see them at the

suffice it to say, Don't panic, go organic. And the closer to Paleo you can hang and love it, probably the better.

3. Exercise:
Movement is good.
Movement with attention is better.
Movement with attention and fun and variation and slower and learning is even better.
Dan Siegel just says: Move.
I say, move in the amazing ways of the Anat Baniel Method and the Feldenkrais Method®

4. Relationship:
The better the better.
Core to my coaching is that any movement level and any relationship level
can get better and better.
At least a great start in honest and present communication will eliminate a huge
section of the stress that can push mental states into unsavory place.

5. Novelty.
Break habits, improve the brain, get back to life as it is meant
to be
one of continuous learning.
Love is very close to this,
in a way that whole
or grand mystical poems could hint toward.
For today: the above movement with amazement and learning
is perhaps the quickest way to novelty
and my executive coaching hinges around finding at least five
ways to do EVERYTHING,
from standing up from a chair, to saying hello, to thinking about someone you like
and/or don't like, to behavior toward those same folks, to....

6. Mindfulness
Dr, Siegel teaches meditation and a life of examination.
This is a great start.
Being present is wonderful:
always here,
always a goal
always a means
always makes a real and immediate change
always now
and then
the next now

even this one

Okay, have fun with this.
If you or someone  you know would like to explore this as a pathway with
me, find a link to the right for setting up an appointment via time driver


feel free to one at a time
play with the above potent six in
your own life.


Monday, September 03, 2012

win win

you're going to die it's all over
you've got nothing to lose
by being happy
and loving

and life is bizarrely wonderful:
if times are great,
love it

if times seem to suck
love it as
a chance to find, listen to,
inquire and smile your way
of the story alone
that keeps you trapped

you've heard that before
you know it

and sometimes forget
oh, well

i do, too

it's like that:

and underneath:
joy and happiness
and love
course thru us
just waiting to the crack to come fizzling up