Rising Above it All

Rising Above it All

Mount your Dreams
as the Sun mounts
the Sky each morning-
fearlessly and with commitment.


A Rainbow of Options

Rainbow of Options

Rainbow of Options

God gave You a rainbow of options
to use-

Why do you insist on removing
some of the colors?

I had an interesting talk with a therapist the other day. She was talking about anger and how so many people think anger is a “bad” response and should be curtailed, at the least, and removed altogether, for the best.

I have never understood this hierarchy of thinking.

It reminds me of the chakras, and believing that you progress upwards through the chakras. That is not true.

All chakras must be open and balanced for an individual to be healthy. It does no good to have widely open sixth and seventh chakras, while the first two are so dysfuctional that the person can barely function in the real world.

I see a similar partitioning of associations when I teach my pathophysiology course. A physician friend and I were talking the other day about how patients may delay seeking help for gastrointestinal issues because of embarrassment and the “low” function we associate with this system.

A functioning GI tract is just as important to any one’s overall health as any other tissue.

When we label things as “bad”, we set ourselves up for ineffective understanding and actions.

This is true for anger. Anger is associated with boundaries. In that way, it is more of a first chakra issue. That does not make it any less valuable.

Anger is the red of the rainbow of options. Would you sometimes prefer to use the green of the heart and seek understanding? Sure.

How about the blue of the throat and communicate and compromise your way to resolution with the other person? That would be great.

Or what if you could just live in the sparkly purple of spirituality and rise above everything that has ever pissed you off? Even better!

But, this is what needs to be remembered- we were given a rainbow of options for a reason.

By fighting for our space, anger helps the other colors of the rainbow emerge.

Taking One for the Team



it is all about you
and sometimes,
it is so
very not.

The above image is people (or spirits) flying into and out of the cauldron of awareness. There are times when we are facing challenges and heading into the cauldron of awareness. We are being presented with an opportunity to grow and we are just not quite there, yet.

Seldom in these times will we be at our best.

At the same time, we head into the cauldron of awareness, others are heading out of it, for the time being. Having moved through a trial or tribulation, these spirits are on the upswing, until they cycle into the cauldron again.

I created this to remind me that all transitions are temporary. Sometimes, we are heading into the fire. Sometimes, we are exiting the flames.

When we are on the side of exiting the flames, we must remember to be patient and kind to those who are just heading into their challenges. We can assist from the other side, just as we were once assisted.


Shadow Life

Shadow Life

Don’t let your Shadow grow a life of its Own.

In Jungian thought, we each have a shadow aspect to our Being. In the simplest terms, our shadow is that potion of our Being outside of our conscious awareness.

In this image I am trying to point out that the Shadow becomes problematic when it begins to grow and predominate one’s life.

When this happens, we can truly lose sight of ourselves, as our unconscious, lack of awareness, begins to run our lives.

Let’s not Confuse Survival with Resilience



Sometimes I think we confuse “resilient” and “survival” at times.

The use of “resilient” may be especially applied when speaking about children (and others) in difficult situations.

I have often heard stated, “Well, you know, children are resilient.”

I have also heard “resilience” applied to abuse survivors, individuals who survive natural disasters, and so on.

I am not taking anything away from these individuals, or the positive sentiments implied by the use of the word “resilient”.

However, one definitions I found for “resilience” captured my concern about usage of this word.

It defined resilience as the “capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation…”

See, this is what I think we miss when we use the word “resilience”. To be truly resilient, based on the above definition, the body (or Being) RECOVERS its size and shape.

I have not found this to be true in those I witness suffering abuse or other traumas.

Certainly, individuals are capable of moving through these experiences.

However, the original state of the person is NOT RECOVERED, thus based on the definition I provided above, “resilience” can not be applied to describe these individuals.

The body (or Being) of the person does not return to its size and shape- it has been forever modified by the experience.

So, when I hear people speak about children suffering or others who are supposedly “resilient”, I often transpose their sentiments in my mind and use the word “surviving” in place of “resilient”.

The term “surviving’ conjures up an entire different emotional sense and awareness.

We can no longer absolve ourselves of our collective responsibility for those suffering, by saying “Well, they are resilient” (meaning: We needn’t worry too much. Those who we label as “resilient” will return to their original size and shape, as good as new, once this is all over.)

We should be saying instead, “Well, they are surviving”.

And with the word “surviving” we begin to capture the struggles, and perhaps, more importantly, give up the ideas that all will be “fine”, because “resilient” objects, no matter what they suffer, are expected to return to their original size and shape.


Without awareness, nothing will change.

In my own life, I find vocabulary is the first step to awareness. When we are given (or produce) the “correct” vocabulary for our situation, it is as if a key fits into the locks and things begin to shift.

This happened for me the other day in therapy. We had been talking about my “hectic” schedule. And my therapist stated, “You have always had to be ‘more than’ enough, in order to see yourself as acceptable.”

I had always thought of myself as “not enough” but her changing of the phrase enabled me to grasp the underlying energy of what I attempt to do.

If 30 hours is a normal teaching load, then I teach 36 hours and take on 8- 12 in the summer. If the deadline for a consulting project is Oct. 18, I will get it done by Oct. 1.

Who cares if we just moved? I will host a sleepover for one stepkid, a birthday party and slumber part for the other, go to two concerts (we had the tickets), attend back to school nights, stay for every football practice, handle a college fair and so on and on.

The compulsion lay in the idea that if I was not doing the maximal, I was not acceptable. “More than” was the only way I understood how to “be”- be seen, be loved, be noted, be o.k.

It was also the only way, I could see to not be attacked. If I am doing “more than” than certainly no one could criticize me for being “less than”.

My therapist continued with “this is a learned behavior”.

It is not right or wrong. It is simply learned.

If I learned it, I can “unlearn” it. But, to do so, requires awareness (and vocabulary) on my part.

Now, when I envision situations, I ask myself, “Is this ‘more than’?”

I have to use this phrase, as asking myself “is this too much?” has absolutely no resonance for me. I have NO idea what “too much” is.

“More than” gives me a comparison from which to work.

The answers are always present. Sometimes we just need the right vocabulary 🙂

The Shore



Waves run about
with their Ebb and Flow

While in silence,
the Shore stands

Receiving the same Light
without the need
of this pendulum-like movement

When I did this picture, I was thinking of our need (at times) to run around trying to receive God’s light.

We zip here and there in our minds, thinking that we will catch a glimpse of this Light.

We are the waves- responding to our thoughts and ideas – ebbing and flowing, attempting to capture this Light.

Perhaps there are times, though, when we can learn from the Shore.

The Shore stands in silence, never doubting, never flitting from here to there- and still, still the Shore is touched by the same Light.

Be the Shore and the Light will find You.

Fear and Truth

Let Laughter

Let Laughter

A True heart is impervious to
the swirls of Fear.

I was reading a book last night and it mentioned that fear and truth can not co-exist. And, I was struck by that.
The truth exists as it is. It requires nothing from us and does not respond to whims and fantasies.

When we are in the truth, we are not in a state of fear. The truth may be ugly, it may not be what we desired, but there is an authenticity to the truth that asks us to engage from power and strength, not from fright.

It is one of the gifts of dealing with the Truth. The Truth will set you free, because there is no fear in the truth.

This has been with me all day. I have been a “teller of the truth” in my stepson’s situation. Sometimes, I become fearful when I think “Who am I to be telling these ‘secrets’ ?”
And then I think-
I am dealing with the Truth…what is there to fear?