February 20, 2012

my entries will now be posted at my website Hope to see you there


Time Out

February 11, 2012

Home for the day, it’s snowing outside and the afternoon may bring some of the heavier stuff. My challenge is navigating that delicate balance between feeling productive and enjoying the break. Too much of either will leave me feeling either exhausted or guilty. So how to find the balance becomes the question for today.

I know there are dozens of web sites with lists for this kind of question. There are many things one can do that is “balancing”. How do we find it? What kinds of strategies are available to recognize, evaluate and ultimately choose the next activity. We prioritize all the time, who is the most important, what is my favorite and what is the most disgusting.  The values we place on the objects of our attention have great influence over the choices we make.  Finding balance becomes elusive as we try to avoid what is overwhelming or threatening.

When we are able to slow down and take a breath we have refuge in the current moment. Activities become opportunities for mindful engagement and we step into the balance we seek. Balance is not out there. It’s with us always, in subtle and quiet ways.  Time out becomes more of a time in. We have the opportunity to become fully connected to all that is important and frightening without falling into false assumptions of  self-doubt. My day so far is one step after another, hope to keep that up.

A Sense of Unease

February 6, 2012

Unease is like that small spark that can get a serious fire going. Usually it is not connected to anything in particular so we start looking for reasons. A review of the issues in our life seems to be the starting point. Most of the time we find someone or something to blame. Who is trying to hurt or take advantage of me. Our anger is mobilized and we have the counter-punch for the unease. Problem is now we are left with this anger and a press to “do something about it”.

When the anger is directed at someone or something else we can do something and the object of our anger changes or we do something and nothing happens, it might even get worse. Both ways reinforce the  helplessness that accompanies unease. “What is happening to me is outside of my control.” When others change we set ourselves up with a false sense of power and control. Getting others to change is a futile endeavor; it can wreck havoc on our significant relationships with others. The space between us and others becomes more antagonistic and ultimately increases our sense of isolation and despair. Meanwhile our ability to identify the unease we feel stays in the background, overshadowed by insecurities, resentments, and fears.

When we intentionally slow our thoughts with an awareness of our breathing we are giving our reflective abilities the attention it needs to help us deal with our unease. Then the locus of control comes to rest inside  of us. Formal meditation is the primary tool to slow our thoughts. Yet carving out a time to practice can be a challenge. I think we can find moments in the day to sit still or walk with a focus on the breath in and the breath out. Even a minute can be a precious refuge from the pressures imposed on us. “I am aware of what is happening to me” allows us to experience unease more constructively. The space between is no longer filled with threats and defenses. We open our minds to learning and invite others to help. New ideas will expand our self awareness and boost our self confidence.

Unusual Saturday

February 4, 2012

My Saturday morning reverie is disrupted by workers who have arrived to put holes in the walls(for new windows) and repaint one of the offices. The quiet slow pace of a Saturday at work has been a standard part of my week for many years. This is the best day to get all this work done and I knew it was going to happen. Still the disruption is felt. When my girls were little we had them in day care (Small World). The hardest part of that were the times I had to pick them up instead of their mother, who always picked them up. They were irritable and moody the rest of the night. No happy thoughts or quick fixes for this one, sometimes our discomfort is what facilitates that sense of self-confidence . Being able to contain our frustrations enough to figure out the best response without relinquishing our self-control is an essential part of  building self-esteem.

An explanation …

February 4, 2012

An explanation about the title of my blog:my reference to Winnicott is out of respect for the influence he has had on my clinical training. His concepts about the importance of “good enough parenting” and “transitional objects” have been cornerstones for my work. The idea of coming into our own as a natural product of our dependence on others helps me to provide an empathic and corrective relationship with all my clients. I hope that others who are influenced by him and those who disagree with his model will comment on these entries.