Walking through Central Park one morning, as I do every morning on my way to work, I went in amongst the trees – something I also do every day. I’m often in the same areas where off-leash dogs run and play, so I’m used to having dogs appear seemingly out of nowhere as they explore their very large playground.
When I first began to commute across the park, some 20 years ago now, my body had to unlearn some early programing that constantly caused me to experience a startle response when a dog would either come toward me or suddenly show up behind or near me. This response came from grammar school experiences of being chased by a neighborhood dog where I was not at all amused, as were the boys who encouraged the dog to chase me.
On this particular morning, my attention was with the trees, as it usually is when I walk in certain areas of the park, and I suddenly felt something nip at the heel of my shoe… Read More “676th Week: Healing Happens”
A friend of mine has been pretty consistently putting posts on Facebook that ask people to focus on what they are forrather than what they are against. These posts have been very helpful in reminding all of us that what we feed grows and that, when we spend our internal time fighting against something, we actually feed the very thing to which we object. From an energy perspective, it’s as though we’re actually turning up the volume on things we’d rather not hear at all.
One example that comes to mind at this time is the pervasive presence of expressions of lack of empathy for each other. Decisions by some lawmakers, treatment of neighbors by other neighbors, seeming lack of concern for one another’s well-being if we aren’t “part of the tribe” are found on every side these days. Rather than spending time expressing helpless rage at these conditions, I want to invite us to explore some alternatives.
First, there are approaches that convey the message, “What you fight, you feed.” This doesn’t mean not to take action when action is needed to change things or to intervene. Instead, it speaks to the habits of mind and self-talk we carry around with us internally every day, all day. From a Solution-Focused perspective (solution-focused therapy is a more modern branch of psychology), we are invited to look at, and to look for, what’s going right. For our practice here, I would add that we can ask ourselves to pay attention to the qualities we would like to see expressed more generously in ourselves and in the world around us.Read More “787th Week: Orienting to Solution-Focused Awareness and Helpful Archetypes”
I’ve written a number of times about a particular dog I run into in Central Park on many mornings as I walk to my office. She’s some kind of border collie and finds a great deal of delight in chasing and retrieving a Frisbee her human throws for her each morning. What she adds to her fun is to capture the attention of certain people who walk amongst trees along a small path near where she plays, and her relentless enthusiasm has caused many of us to risk being late to work to throw the Frisbee for her “just one more time.”
One morning, I walked along a different part of this particular area in the park, up a bit higher, amongst some pine trees, and I was able to watch her discover yet another person she chose to be her playmate for that morning. It was delightful to watch her enthusiasm when the woman picked up and threw the Frisbee for her. This dog’s human is always right nearby, but he has also learned that she enjoys including others in her morning ritual of play.
As I walked on across the park, I got to thinking about the many opportunities a day provides to connect with people, animals, plants, critters of every kind. Read More “710th Week: Catching Moments to Connect”
The election in the U.S. and events unfolding in other countries around the world have been sources of anxiety and distress for many people. Sometimes, events escalate to the point where it feels possible to lose a sense of hope for the future. I’ve just finished participating in an on-line forum where we focused on subtle activism and how to engage change in ways of being and acting that don’t feed destructive emotions or tendencies. Read More “Week 660: Accessing Hope”