Old Lang Syne

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Her creative mind left malnourished destructively devoured itself. Neck deep in bland security, the soulless high walls left her painfully out of touch with her gypsy-esque beginnings. Eventually she chose passion over love, and like a fool that played with thorned stems – in her bored and middling years she dismissively rejected the blossoms.

 

The time drifted. He watched his love slip away and chose to care for her in passive silence, for there he found no rejection. He treasured her with a distant heart, and pretended the distance shielded him from the pain.

 

The deafening mistrust grew until their love went unspoken and numbingly vacant. Dream years past, barely recognizable pictures, only faded images and wrinkled memories remained.

 

I listen intently to their explanations and their half-hearted attempts to repair and amend, confusedly desperate to feel both lovingly wanted and shamefully rejected. Neither wants this familiar misery to end but they also cannot bring themselves to begin again.

 

I take no sides in this well-worn theme. The time glossed over with children, weekends, vacations, and of course their share of tragedies. But these weren’t the lives that either imagined, enmeshed together with the disarming comfort of the passionless familiar.

 

Nearing the end of this play, in the autumn of their years – they feel saddened to stay, but compelled to move on. An unknown future awaits – and at this crossroads I encourage them to follow their passion and leave the door open to the possibility of a beautiful if not distant friendship.

 

They spoke of past innocence and old adventures while the conversation ran its course. She kissed him one last time. As she drove away, she contemplated the good times they’d had so long ago, and with it came the return of that old familiar pain. When she left, the red lights blurred, and the snow turned into rain.

 

Mediated  transitional  relationship counseling is offered.

Mindfulness Based. Wise and Inspired Counseling. In person, by phone, or Skype: 941.416.1890 or michael@mbsgroup.org

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Blog: www.mindfulnessbeyondtherapy.com

Speak to Everyone Like You Would Speak to Someone You Love❤

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What people could so beautifully and consciously imagine is so very different from the darkness they all too often unconsciously conjure. What people can say is very different than what they will say. What people can do is very different from what they will do.

 

However difficult relationships may sometimes seem, there is always something you can do to be more vulnerable and reveal your good heart more fully. No matter the difficulty you are having there is always something you could say to be more kind. No matter the injury, it is always in your interest to think the very best of others. The healing will begin when your swirling mind settles and your impassioned heart is still.

 
Love others according to your capacity to love, resist the temptation to withdraw love because of distance, time, or space. You are empowered when you value others in accordance with their essence, not their action. Observe how someone transforms in your mind when you hold them gently in the light of loving awareness. Forgive yourself for ever thinking or speaking of them differently than your kindest capacity.

 
Stitch your cracked heart from any bitterness or emotion you could not convey – make peace with those broken pieces. Remind yourself when you fall from grace that you are far from burdened, it is up to you to be sweet and lovely again.

 
And despite how open, loving, and peaceful you attempt to be – people can only meet you as deeply as they’ve met themselves. Not everyone is coming from where you are coming from – love them anyway. ❤

The Power and Strength of Bearing Witness🙏❤

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Pray with me today – May I have eyes that see the best in people, a love that forgives the worst, and a soul that never loses faith in the hopeful and limitless possibility of others. Today may I have the courage to remain open and vulnerable. May I once more have the compassion to listen deeply into the depths and pain of another’s heart.

 

A witness assures that our stories are heard, contained and transcend time. Experiences in my own life and in my practice as a counselor and minister have caused me to concur with Maya Angelou that, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” But what produces the power and strength of witnessing, for the teller and often for the witness as well? How exactly does bearing witness benefit an individual? How is it reparative to us? And how do we, as fellow human beings help others bear nearly unbearable experiences?

 

Bearing witness is a term that, used in psychology, refers to sharing our experiences with others, most notably in the communication to others of traumatic experiences. Bearing witness is a valuable way to process an experience, to obtain empathy and support, to lighten our emotional load via sharing it with the witness, and to obtain catharsis. Most people bear witness daily, and not only in reaction to traumatic events. We bear witness to one another through our writing, through art, and by verbally simply sharing with others.

 

From a psychological perspective, it is widely confirmed in the literature on the treatment of survivors of trauma, sexual abuse, and incest that validation in the course of and bearing witness is vital and necessary in remembering traumatic memories and in the healing process. And what about a story that remains unacknowledged? Does our story hold the same weight, the same significance, in the absence of a witness? Is our reality different, less meaningful perhaps, if we have no one to bear witness? If no one empathically listens to the story of our life? It seems so.

 

Sometimes an experience is so profound, there are no words, and we endure in silence. Yet, the emotional price of remaining silent, without a witness, is costly. Move past your inaction, don’t waste more years to share what you feel and what has transpired in prolonged silence. Sometimes the harboring, that is our greatest burden.

 

And what about our experience of bearing witness in counseling? Trauma survivors often cite the importance of the therapist’s validating role in their treatment; the simple act of accepting an individual’s life story can be highly therapeutic. While bearing witness is vital in the therapeutic recovery from trauma, we all have our stories to tell, even in the absence of trauma. I fondly recall the gratitude I have felt toward my own witness, whom I often refer to as an exceptional “memory keeper” and a “remarkable witness.” A witness to the story of my life, with all of its pain and joy. Sharing ourselves with others opens up a space where there once was none. Only through such space can positive memories occur and resilience prevail.

 

Although the tale of human experience is certainly universal, it contains unique elements for each us and we continue the art of storytelling, both verbally and nonverbally, each and every day. While some stories are sweeter than others, all long for the benefit and necessity of a witness, for a witness assures us that our stories are heard, contained, and transcend time; for it can be said that one is never truly forgotten when one is shared and carried in the hearts of others.

 

I would like to introduce Don Ritchie, the now deceased, “Angel of the Gap,” and one of my many unsung heroes. Mr. Ritchie is someone who gave living meaning to the term ‘Bearing Witness.’

 

For nearly five decades he gazed out of his Sydney home overlooking the Pacific Ocean, inspired by one of Australia’s most picturesque views. But it was not just a love for the sea that drew him to the dramatic panorama.

 

Don Ritchie’s window-watching had a far greater purpose. Since l964 he saved at least 160 lives, though some say the true figure is much higher. Mr Ritchie, who died two years ago at the age of 86, was known as the Angel of the Gap, a title earned for persuading people not to throw themselves off the notorious Australian suicide spot.

 

Like Beachy Head on the Sussex coast, the sheer cliffs at the mouth of Sydney harbour have long acted as a magnet to those who have lost all hope. But thanks to his calm voice and sympathetic manner, Mr Ritchie offered a helping hand to the desperate by engaging them in conversation on the cliff-top in their hour of need.

 

A modest man who did not court celebrity or praise, Mr Ritchie would spot would-be suicides from his home and slowly walk across the road to them. At the cliff-edge he would simply smile and ask them, “Can I help you in some way?” More often than not the quiet approach worked, though on some occasions he risked his own life by physically restraining the more determined from making their final leap.

 

Afterwards he would invite them back to his home for a cup of tea and a chat and occasionally they would return years later to thank him for saving their life. One survivor gave him a painting of an angel with the rays of the sun and the simple message: “An angel who walks amongst us.”

 

My ambition has always been to just get them away from the edge, to buy them time, to give them the opportunity to reflect and give them the chance to realize that things might look better the next morning,” he once confided.

 

“You just can’t sit there and watch them,” he added. “You’ve got to try and save them.”

 

Mr Ritchie’s daughter, Sue, said her father enjoyed his ocean view, but was equally determined to watch out for troubled souls. He once said an offer of help “was all that was needed to turn people around and he would say not to underestimate the power of a kind word and a smile,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

 

He was “a great mixture of strength and compassion… an everyday person who did an extraordinary thing for many people that saved their lives, without any want of recognition,” she added.

 

Mr Ritchie was a seaman in the Royal Australian Navy during the Second World War and witnessed the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay in l945.

 

Back in Sydney he worked in the insurance industry. He would later tell friends of the people he had saved: “I was a salesman for most of my life and I sold them life.”

How To Create A Beautiful World. Starting Today❤

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How do you currently see the world?
Is it a glass half-empty? Is the world over-populated? Too many people? Ecologically going down the drain? Difficult relationships?
Or is it a glass half-full? Beautiful people everywhere? Diverse? Nature and the environment are beyond measure? 
Maybe it’s a mixture or you say it depends on the day, your mood, or what happens in the news?

What if I told you that the world is none of the above? That the world and your relationships are instead like blank screens and that they have no inherent or intrinsic qualities. That your mind is a projector. That you are completely projecting the world you see, the relationships you have and the very quality of those relationships. The projections have all come from what you’ve allowed into your mind and then affirmed and reaffirmed with your speech and actions?

That this is the true and only reason why the world you see looks so different from the world other people see.

That the world you see is neither a glass half empty nor half full, in fact there’s no glass at all. This is not a matter of thinking outside of the box, when you realize that there was never a box. It is not a matter of wearing rose-colored glasses, it’s a matter of understanding your mind.

Reality is a blank canvas, the world that you see if the paintbrush of your mind – there are no greens, reds, and blues and other colors out there – that is your mind.

There is no way out. This is the wisdom of no escape. You are creating the world with your intentions. Your thoughts, speech and actions.

Take complete responsibility. One way or another you are living out the world that you have made, so make it a good one.

That if you wanted to change the world you see and turn it into a beautiful world filled with love, kindness and beauty that you would have to really resist letting certain types of negative things in and work really hard to think, speak, and act positively.

That everything you do creates a potential in your mind and that potential – like a seed could grow into something very beautiful or very destructive. I’ll give you an example of how we create destructive tendencies and then explain how to create a beautiful world filled with love.

I have a client who cheated on his wife with a woman in the office. Larry says it just happened. It just happened. And he really believes this.

If was after-hours at work and Cindy was in the copy room and Larry went into the copy room and they caught each other’s eyes and one thing just led to another – and that was that – like instinct he says. He even disingenuously tells me through the mirage of insecurity that he is a really good-looking guy and women are always like this with him. Apparently to some degree it’s the woman’s fault. He goes on to ask me that if I were in the same situation if I wouldn’t be tempted to do the same thing? He then shows me a picture of her and describes how attractive she is.

 
But the seeds for cheating were planted long ago…it didn’t, “just happen,” in the copy room. The seeds were nurtured decades before. Forty years ago a young boy was secretly searching through Dad’s dresser and found the Playboy. Secretly he returned to these images again and again. The endless times Larry and his friends harmlessly just “checked it out,” consistently objectifying women. Combined with agreeing with and covering up another friend’s affair eight years ago. Having emotionally charged relationships and overt sexual conversations with other women. Fantasizing about other women while making love to his wife. Mix in a little tension at home with his wife and kids. Larry says it just happened – but it didn’t just happen. He planted the seeds and nurtured the latent potentials throughout his life.

 
The affair was the culmination of a lifetime of thoughts, speech and actions. It would have obviously been best to undo and purify the destructive latencies before the negative conduct happened obviously. But that is the gift of suffering sometimes – it forces us to pay attention and look in the mirror of our mind and discover with a little insight and wisdom where we went wrong. But for now, Larry painted his own painful reality and he’ll have to work very hard with his thoughts, speech, and actions to create a different world for himself. Simply apologizing and saying he won’t do it again are not going to erase the latencies. If he doesn’t work hard psychologically – statistically speaking – he’ll do it again.

 

The power of the unconscious mind to project it’s latencies is far stronger than the best of immediate willpower and intention over the long-term.
Everything can be changed, but it’s work – and a shift in worldview to understand and take responsibility for the worlds we create for ourselves. The world is a blank screen and our thoughts are indeed the projector at all times. There is no bad day. There is no wrong side of the bed. The world does not happen to us. We make our world. How do you make the world you want? How to construct a world filled with your highest aspirations? How to transform the world you see? Careful with what you put in, but be equally careful with what you put out and how you frame your reality. If you want to be truly happy you’re going to need to create a very different and very conscious blueprint.

 
Listen carefully – Stop saying you deserve to be happy. That’s a start. Or that you deserve a good relationship or that you are in any way entitled to anything at all. That is the giving up and loss of your power. What you deserve is the result of taking your power back and working really hard to create the life you want by changing yourself from the inside out. No more blaming and demanding that the world outside of your mind be different than it is. You need to change yourself if you want to be happy.

 

What I’m about to say is the great secret that’s not a secret at all all if you’ll open both your eyes and your heart.

 
This is where you must start to create the world you want: Recognize that kindness is being shown to you non-stop all of the time. Recognize that you live in a world of kindness. You are the result and ongoing recipient of universal loving-kindness.
Nothing good has ever happened to you in your life that was not due to the kindness of others. Your birth. Your clothes. Education. Your country. The roads. Your phone. The trash collector. People who wait on your tables in the restaurant. Your relationships. Your pets. Children. Even difficult people are teaching you lessons if you’ll reframe and pay attention. People are helping you quite literally – all of the time. Wake up and notice! Recognize that your life is filled with people helping you all of the time. Hardly a moment has passed without kindness being shown to you..every thread of the clothing that you are wearing right now is the result of kindness.

 
If you aren’t recognizing this there is a very precise reason. Because you’re discounting kindness. You say that’s not kindness – they’re being paid. They’re supposed to do that. If they didn’t do it someone else would.

 
You think you’re being clever by discounting? That you’re being smart? You’re not – you’re being very very foolish. You gain nothing from discounting except missing out on the love that is truly embracing you from every direction.

 
Drop your defenses and pay attention! You are surrounded by loving-kindness. Your very breath is the result of someone else exhaling. The trees, the earth and your natural environment are all providing for you. You are the living beneficiary of a great and loving universal kindness.

 
You live in abundance – stop being greedy and asking for more. Stop saying you deserve this and that. Take stock and be profoundly grateful for what you already have or you will never ever be satisfied with anything. Look at yourself. If you don’t like and can’t live with what you see then change your painful view. If you need help then humble yourself and ask for help. But whatever it takes – stop living in a self-created world of pain and begin to love and be profoundly grateful for what you already have and had. You live in a beautiful world full of never-ending wonder and potential – don’t miss it.

 
Rewind the videotape of your mind. Go back as far as you can and replay all of the kindnesses you can from your Mom teaching how to tie your shoes to your first-grade teacher teaching you how to read. Slow down. Take a day off. Fast forward through this precious beautiful life of yours. Your life has been a shower of kindness and love from others.

 
Once you recognize that kindness has been shown to you breathe deeply all the way down to the lower part of the diaphragm. If you’re breath holding then you’re resisting at the somatic level. Stop bracing yourself and resisting the kindness. Breathe it in. You are blessed – beyond fortunate. Breathe in the love that’s been shown to you.

 
Loving-kindness is a gift. No one has to be helping you. They simply are. Stop the discounting and be grateful to be alive. Be grateful that you have so much love in your life. You live with plenty. You have more than enough to be happy. Everything from here is the cherry on top. You aren’t here for very long so love deeply while you are and embrace the love that you have been so freely given. Love is a gift.

 
Finally acknowledge one last piece: That the kindness that had been shown to you has changed your life. Where would you be without the kindness that has been shown to you at every level? You are and have been the recipient of loving-kindness every step of the way along this long and interesting journey. Open your good heart now. Allow the love that is present to stream into your life – It’s all around you. Recognize now where a loving-world comes from. Love comes in from acceptance of the world around you. Love is created in projected out by your own mind, your speech and your actions, True and lasting happiness comes from this recognition. Happiness does not come from money and material things. The greatest happiness is love, and love is immaterial.

 

Have a beautiful day. You live in a beautiful world. If you don’t see it – make it so. Grow and nourish the seeds of your good heart

Truth Statements

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There is no going back once the lid on the box of deep personal insight has opened. Like a butterfly trying to return to its cocoon, a place that used to be all it knew, what was once warm and comforting, now seems small, toxic and claustrophobic.

 

Destructive habits, emotions and relationships operate, manifest, and thrive in the unconscious ecology of projective experience. Shining the light of awareness onto our destructive tendencies and taking responsibility is rewarding, and revealing but facing the truth of self-deception comes with a requisite amount of pain and resistance to change.

 

As painful as self-sabotaging behaviors can be, the allure of the known and familiar seems far too often to have an almost magnetic appeal.

 

Sometimes there is simply no happy medium, no way to have your cake and eat it too, meaning it is simply impossible to live having both the wisdom of introspection and the destructive relationship or habit. It’s going to simply be one or the other. One option is to return to the cocoon, to the familiar pain, and the other option is a vast space of endless possibility.

 

Don’t be afraid to step over the line, a demarcation, a personal rite of passage – to leave the destructive relationship, habit, and emotion once and for all. Cold turkey. This is called a moment of truth. We encourage our friends and clients to find a destructive tendency or even relationship and to make a truth statement.

 

A truth statement is a powerful intentional statement. A truth statement is a promise to never return to the former aspect of our lives that we unconsciously manifested. Never again.

 

An example of a truth statement is Gandhi’s or the the Dalai Lama’s truth statement of non-violence (ahimsa). Under no circumstance will I ever commit violence to another. Personal truth statements are very powerful – serious business; Not for the meek. When you gather your courage and fortitude, examine the destructive tendencies and relationships in your life. I urge you to make a few truth statements every year. Some relationships or tendencies simply are not manageable. They have to be severed and cut off. No looking back. Game over. When we can no longer bear the weight of our own justifications; when our rationalizations have become intolerable.

 

Life is in the present and ahead, so be brave and make the space, an allowance for personal transformation: “this time I’ll reenter into my life and world consciously, I’m done with the pain.”

Next act, next episode please. It’s time to move on now.

Facing Yourself

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One by one clients (soon to be friends) come into my space – lovely people, often hurt, scarred and wounded, but all of them, without exception are on a path to healing and self-discovery. In the beginning they point the finger of responsibility at their husbands, their wives, former lovers, their friends, co-workers and enemies. I’ll listen for awhile, gather the larger picture, and then pause the conversation.

 

From a childhood filled with hurt and anger I empathize. I’m all too familiar with blaming others and circumstances for my problems. It was a waste of energy then, and it would certainly be a waste of energy now – too conscious, too aware. Self-deception doesn’t last long these days. Like everyone, I’m fallible and human, prone to error and mistakes. I listen with this ear, with this understanding – that we are in process. We are unfolding and the pain that we experience is the medium that brings us to awareness.

 

We will never arrive at an understanding of ourselves by blaming another for our darkness. They may not be grateful, they may have lied, cheated, deceived and worse. They also are not likely willing to face themselves. No matter. If you want to grow, if you want to transform, with each instance of pain – look inward. Instead people unfortunately will do almost anything to avoid facing themselves, no matter how absurd. You must look into the darkness of your own attachments, ego-clinging, and fear in order to see the light.

 

I redirect every client, as I redirect myself, every time the finger pointing goes outward – bring it back. You alone are ultimately responsible for your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. You alone are responsible for your happiness. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, as your reality is a projection of your own. Inoculate yourself to the speech and actions of others by looking inward, and you will no longer be the victim of unnecessary suffering.

 

Looking inward is no easy task – you’re the one in the frame, so it’s hard to see the picture. Often people are so busy, that even if they have the tools, they don’t bother to utilize them. Lost in the hustle of their own busyness while their lives fall apart around them. Overwhelming at times. When you’re ready to slow down, when the blame game stops working, when you’re ready to face yourself, the good work that you’re here for, your own transformation, will begin again.

 

As always, if you need help in seeing yourself deeply, and have the courage to reach out, we’re here. Friends on the path.

The Middle Way – An Experiment With Reality: Emptiness, Compassion, and Quantum Physics.

Reality Doesn’t Exist Until We Measure It

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The highest philosophy of wisdom in the Buddhist tradition is known as The Middle Way. The Middle Way refers to the nature of all phenomena: that no thing exists inherently, but that isn’t to say that things don’t exist at all. Practically stated: that in any given moment things neither exist, nor do not exist, but existence itself depends on an apprehending consciousness. The middle way is the nature of all phenomena and is how all phenomena actually are in any given moment: resting on the razor’s edge between existence and nonexistence.

This supposedly difficult to realize philosophy is actually extremely pragmatic in nature and is deeply interwoven and imbued with compassion. A realized being experiences this reality directly – which is known as seeing emptiness directly.

Let’s use a practical example in hopes of better understanding and appreciating the philosophy of the Middle Way: Your car (although this same procedure could be applied to any apparent phenomena such as the appearance of your own body, house, job, illness..any apparent phenomena really).

1.) Does your car have prior causes and conditions? Of course. That demonstrates that it doesn’t have any inherent existence – it is empty of inherently being a car. Simply: it hasn’t always existed as the appearance of a car.

2.) Although you can’t see it with your eyes, you would agree that the solid appearance of the car under analytical examination is false – it’s not solid – the appearance is undergoing constant change. The appearance of solidity is an illusion; again demonstrating the emptiness – or lack of inherent existence.

3.) Could the car be subdivided into parts, and could those parts be further subdivided into parts, and so on? Exactly just how far could you take a part apart? That demonstrates again that the car does not have any inherent car-ness. So where does the car that you experience right now come from?

4.) The car – without you or others labeling it as a car, what is it really? Beyond mere words, labels, or imputations what is that appearance in the driveway really? Take away your labels and rest your gaze, rest in the awareness that whatever that appearance is in the empty driveway that functions as a car – isn’t intrinsically a car, i.e. it’s empty or lacks any car-ness.
To believe that things exist inherently is a mistaken view, the implication or consequence is that things exist upon a perceiving or apprehending consciousness labeling or imputing its reality. Simply put: without your conditioning to call things the way that you do – what are they really? They are definitely not really what you say they are, even though they may appear to function as you say.

The car does seem to get you from A to B. The thing is – you and A to B are also empty (lacking intrinsic reality) – and so is the mind fabricating these very word structures as well as the device you’re reading from now.

You may wonder where does the compassion piece fit into all of this? That’s easy actually. Think of the last time you suffered. What did you suffer for? I suspect that you suffered for something that was conceived to have had inherent existence. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen or didn’t exist – that’s too extreme. We are only describing how it is you’ve suffered and that if you wanted to stop suffering where exactly you would have to look.

I am clearly suggesting that you are creating the reality of your experience with your own thinking. It would be false to conclude that nothing matters, because the opposite is what you would want to infer: it’s very important what we think, because how we think creates the very world of our subjective experience and hence our happiness and our suffering.

The sub-atomic philosophy of quantum mechanics in many ways is very helpful in describing what we experience in or near deep states of meditative absorption: the middle way between existence and non-existence. For a quick study of quantum reality read the article below on the now famous John Wheeler experiment (supplied by my partner Davita Moodley).

May you be happy, well, safe, peaceful and at ease

Reality Check

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It’s impossible to own anything; a possession, a person, a child, nothing at all. These things are not yours and could never be. One way or another, you’ll eventually discover this to be true. To accept this is both freeing and uplifting, but it might take some getting used to.
It’s easy to get caught by things that are not catchable. Take stock: names on a piece of paper are all that can be shown to demonstrate something as being yours. Temporary lease holders at best – squatters perhaps, but certainly nothing to spend a life trying to acquire, possess and maintain. Enjoy the temporary illusion of what you have, but recognize the illusion, before the illusion possesses you. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the display, but recognize it for what it is, a temporary feast for the sense faculties.
The Dalai Lama described this condition, the human condition, to a group of monks sitting on a hillside in the Indian Himalayas seventeen years ago.

He stated to us that the suffering of human beings was a life spent by trying to:

(1) We get what we want

(2) We maintain what we have

(3) We spend our lives trying to be near people we like 

(4) We  avoid people we don’t like. He said, with regard to these four things: these     thoughts are futile, impossible, an illusion that brings suffering. Enjoy the illusions of life, respect their momentariness, their impermanence, but without attachment.
The litmus test: Stand in front of a loved one, a child, a friend or a possession and say to yourself, “This is not mine, this does not belong to me.” Feel how that resonates. If a smile comes to your face and you can breathe easily, this is recognition. If there is suffering, take the time to contemplate, explore and examine just exactly how you rationalize that this could be yours.
Free your Mind🌷

 

Being In An Extraordinary Relationship Might Mean Finding The Courage to Stop This One!

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Please never settle for a lackluster, a painful, or even worse – an abusive relationship. What are you (or were you) thinking? You’re fully capable of being happy and in a healthy, extraordinary relationship!

Finding the courage to leave a relationship that’s over is a battle I watch many of my clients go through, and we’ve all been there. The usual questions and ruminating thought processes are: The pain of repeatedly wondering, How can I be sure it’s over? I’d rather be in this than face the fear of being alone and starting the long process of starting all over again. What will people think? It will be too messy financially, and if there are children involved, what kind of message am I telling them if I quit? Can’t we work through this? What about counseling? Isn’t love enough?

When we begin to probe deeper, the checklist in sum or in part that it may be time to move on includes but isn’t restricted to:

  • The sexual intimacy is absent or has become rote or a duty, the blame game (exacerbated by name-calling) has become quietly or overtly routine, only one or neither side enjoys spending time together, the feeling of walking on eggshells in the presence of the other person, the absence of joy, the shared goals and vision of the relationship have diminished or are absent, the thoughts of being with another person are becoming frequent or emotional and/or sexual contact with other prospects has begun.
  • Don’t wait for the other person to end it when you know it’s over! The worst thing you can do in this situation is to begin behaving so poorly that the other person will be forced to end this because of the pain associated with your destructive behaviors. Be compassionate, end the self-sabotage and confront the fear.
  • Can’t we walk it back to how it used to be? Try again? You feel like you’ve exhausted all efforts, and you’re still there. It’s okay to give yourself permission to stop, to let go, to value yourself and the other person enough to move on. It’s okay to stop the fight. Admitting that it’s over does not equate to failure. With maturity and emotional responsibility there’s even the possibility of friendship in the future. Trust that you’ll be okay, that you’ll handle the outcome, you’ll survive and life will begin again. It’s vital to confront your fears, to not waste your life away in an angry roommate scenario, to go on and live your life. At the end of the day, you are not responsible for how the other person feels or their actions, but you are completely responsible for yours. If you need help, it’s okay to reach out to find resolution. You’re worth it. You can be in an extraordinary relationship, one that you’ve always dreamed of, you either need to reinvent this one, or find the courage to move on to the next. Either way, confront the fear.

Free your mind.

Self-Discovery: An Inner Journey

Integrative-Medicine

Roughly five hundred years before Christ, Socrates issued his famous dictum, “That a life unexamined was a life not worth living: Know thyself.”

At approximately the same time in Northern India the ascetic wanderer Siddhartha Gautama, soon to be known at the Awakened One, the Buddha, was exploring the depths of mind, consciousness, and body through a process called mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the ability to non-judgmentally and non-reactively observe thoughts, emotions and physical sensate experiences (pain and pleasure) come and go without attachment. The result of this process is a deep inner-contentment, a joyful release, and a freeing of being pushed and pulled by sense faculty desires and aversions, stories created by the mind and the ensuing emotions that follow. Freedom from stress and suffering – in the beginning a temporary freedom, and finally a lasting freedom known as awakening or enlightenment. In effect, mindfulness at its deepest levels is a knowing (insight) of oneself that finally transcends the very egoistic self that was restlessly pursuing the very freedom it was seeking. This realization is known as Nirvana.

In the interim there is a massive reduction in the production of the four primary stress hormones (cortisol being primary), high blood pressure, insulin levels, bone density loss, a massive reduction in afflictive and destructive emotions such as anger, anxiety, depression and guilt. All of this is quite testable and done without medication. A deep acceptance, love, and compassion for oneself and others are the results of long-term practice.
Our next ten day retreat begins the day after Christmas and can be found at:

Mindfulness Meditation Centers

Please put aside the typical excuses such as I can’t sit still or my mind can’t calm down..of course we know this already, this is what everyone says..this is precisely what we do, we help you learn exactly how to manage and understand these very processes.

We do not promote Buddhism or any other religion, only introspection and self-examination. There is no need to be frightened by the process of sitting quietly with your own mind and body without electronic distractions for a few days. Unplugging is good for you – healthy, and inspiring. You will have a penetrative understanding of your own being, you will learn so much about yourself by sitting still and being radically simple that you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done this sooner.

Thousands of people of all ages, races, genders and sexual orientation walk through our doors each week (donation only) from all levels of socio-economic status.

Mindfulness is for everyone.