Tag Archives: Mindfulness

Through this universal Life Energy, we can connect in a positive, accepting, loving way.

This is just one of the many ideas of Virginia Satir’s Transformational Systematic Therapy. The idea of her workings to me are something I strongly believe in.I have a firm stance that at human is made of matter(body) and energy (brain) coupled with a sense of spirit. 

So why do some therapies not address the spirit, or vital energies and life forces?  As one of the only living animals on this earth that can ponder what happens after life, it makes sense to take care of this energy source while it is alive. 

Satir has an in-depth therapy system that has worked across the world and for the past 70 years. Below lists basics concepts I like to live by and hope to understand more in-depth for the benefit of my life and clients.

1. Human beings are all unique manifestations of the same Universal Life Force. Through this universal Life Energy, we can connect in a positive, accepting, loving way. 2. Human processes are universal; all human beings experience themselves through doing, thinking, feeling, expecting, yearning and spiritual connection. Therefore, these human processes can be accessed and changed regardless of different environments, cultures, and circumstances.

3. People are basically good. At their core, essential level of Life Energy, people are naturally positive. They need to find this internal treasure to connect with and validate their own self-worth.

4. People all have the internal resources they need in order to cope successfully with whatever situations life provides and to grow through them. All necessary internal resources reside within, even those that people may have learned to judge in a negative way or those that are as yet undiscovered.

5. The “problem” is not the problem; how people cope with their problem is the problem. How seriously the person experiences the problem through the meanings they make, their worries and their copings, impacts on how great a problem it becomes for them.

6. The symptom is the subconscious solution to the problem, even if it creates dysfunctional patterns. It is the result of the person’s attempt to survive the pain of their problem. Although the person’s perceived problem needs to be heard and validated, therapeutic change needs to work on wholesome solutions from the person’s Life Energy and yearnings.

7. Therapy needs to focus on health and possibilities instead of problems and pathology. Life Energy is naturally positively directional and therapy needs to tap into the natural process of human growth in a positive direction. 8. Change is always possible. Even if

8. Change is always possible. Even if external change is limited, internal change is still possible. We can learn to be consciously responsible for and decide how we will live on our insides, even when the outside cannot change.

9. We cannot change past events; we can only change the impact that the past events have had on us. It is possible to resolve impacts from the past in order to live with more positive energy and be free of old hurts, angers, fears and negative messages in the present.

10. People do the best they can at any moment in time. Even when they have done very negative or destructive things, it is the best coping that they were capable of at that moment in time and is a reflection of their level of self-worth. Therefore, there is no reason to blame them for their past failures. Helping them experience their positively directional Life Energy will help them make new choices for the present and future.

11. Feelings belong to us. We all have them and can learn to be in charge of them. We can be responsible for them and make choices about them. We can listen to the positive life message from our feelings and give ourselves the validation we need. We can choose to let go of feelings that create negative energies and events and replace them with acceptance, appreciation, forgiveness, love and peace.

12. Wholeness, growth and evolution are natural human processes and, therefore, need to be the focus of any therapeutic change. Transformational change comes from the level of Life Energy and is a part of natural human growth and evolution. It means that people are becoming more of their true, spiritual Selves rather than their reactive, survival systems.

13. The therapist’s use of Self is the greatest therapeutic tool that the therapist has to create the conditions to facilitate positively directional, transformational change. Therapists who experience their own positively directional Life Energy are able to provide clients with therapeutic relationships based on care, acceptance and new possibilities. The therapist often experiences the positive nature of the client’s Life Energy even before the client does and connects with the client at that level.

14. Hope is a significant component or ingredient for change to take place. When the therapist experiences the positive nature of the client’s true Self, hope becomes a tangible aspect of the therapeutic process and guides the way towards change.

(Aspects taken from a briefing by Dr. John Banmen, RPsych, RMFT & Kathlyne Maki-Banmen, MA, RCC)

Fear

A simple meditation for being with your fears

Sometimes high up in the forest, I find a rock to perch upon. Sometimes, I read, other times I meditate but when I want to come back to reality and lose my fears of the future; I do this.

I find the highest rock. I find an area that seems comfortable to me, I stand tall and close my eyes. I stand there until I completely forget where I am, losing time and space. Gaining a fleeting feeling as if I am hovering above the earth.

rtable to me, I stand tall and close my eyes. I stand there until I completely forget where I am, losing time and space. Gaining a fleeting feeling as if I am hovering above the earth.

All I think about is this:

Do I trust myself deeply? Decisions, actions, future, past.

I trust myself deeply, decisions, actions, future, past all happened because I trust myself deeply.

I go through this until I mean exactly what I say.
Knowing that the universe provides always. Every time I close my eyes, I know I trust myself & the universe.

What am I going through:

Lately, I have been doing this often as my path to graduate school begins very soon. I look at where this beautiful life journey has brought me. In the beginning, I was upset I did not take this journey sooner, then I feared if it would be worth the money and as the time to descend to Boulder; I can’t help but think of how I will once again be leaving a home I just created for myself. I will be out of my element, standing out as me, the girl from California among a class of 40 other students from mostly the east coast. I have not been in a classroom since I graduated in 2012 from Fresno State. I will be asked to write & then I will be critiqued on my writing. I love to write but I fear, like so many times in the past, it just won’t be good enough. Will my conservative, liberal thoughts not be accepted by my peers? Do I realllllly want to do this? When I am feeling scared, alone or just not me, I can’t hop in the car to see the people who make me feel the best. The universe always provides, ALWAYS provides what it is & exactly what you need, the faith in me for that is deep. So while these fears are so apparent, my meditation has always gotten me to let go of these fears.

So I meditate like this

Knowing that the universe provides always. Every time I close my eyes, I know I trust myself & the universe.

Mother Earth

Today I laid arms spread wide as if I was hugging the earth.

I was supposed to be doing yoga, but half way through a posture I found myself hugging the earth.

Something inside of me deeply needed this.

And as I lay holding on to this beautiful mass we walk on every day, I felt my body melting. My mind completely still I felt it, I felt the beat of the earth.

It was at that moment, my belief in Mother Earth was greatly deepened, it was as if she was hugging back.

Mother Earth has been my support she has felt every heartbreak of every living soul, she has  witnessed every birth and will all over her cores energy, she holds us down.

Today, I lay on the ground, hugging the earth and I swear I felt Mother Earths heartbeat.

Today I became more of a human than I have ever been in my life.

Today I know, I am me.

Thank you, Mother Earth.

Forgotten

Why do I feel so forgotten lately?

It reminds me of when I was younger and my Dad was supposed to pick me up on Wednesdays from school and bring me to practice. He missed three weeks in a row before I decided to find my own way.

Its this knot that builds very low inside me. Slow building a rope that rises up through my head. Eventually cutting off my senses, I become cold, insecure and weak.

It is a feeling like not knowing if tomorrow the sun will rise.

This thought is ever lasting that there is something damaged about me, something that no one wants.

So every day I fall more madly in love with myself because I will always know who and where I am. That is what meditation has taught me to do, know my truth.

At some point, I think this can be so obsessive and how can I find a love that won’t forget me if I don’t forget myself. How can I receive with no hand to give hold to in return?

But self-loving is not just loving myself it is being selfless to others.

Giving yourself to others through simple actions. Choosing not to engage, to ignore anger, and show undenying love and affection to those who are in need of it, because I have so much for myself, everyone needs it too.

When I am not self-loving I destroy myself, breakdown and become someone I hate.

We all do.

So I choose every moment, to take it(life) as it is.

To remind myself to smile because no one likes a frowny friend.

To remind myself to be selfless because that is how you receive self.

Writing this to remind myself that this is who I am.

Practicing this & repeating these actions over and over can only change my life.

Each time I practice, the gaps in my selfishness becomes less and less.

 

This will be who I am, NOT FORGOTTEN.

Loosening the Knots of Anger Through Mindfulness Practice – Lion’s Roar

via Loosening the Knots of Anger Through Mindfulness Practice – Lion’s Roar

This article is beautifully written. If you are struggling with understanding what exactly mindfulness is or how you can share it with yourself and others, Lion’s Roar will assist you!

Check it out, its worth the read.

The best day of my life

The best day of my life was the day I was adopted. Sometimes, I think deeply to myself and reflect on how extremely lucky I am. Of course, my thinking on this was not always this way and it took me much work to understand the magnitude of gratitude I could hold for this simple act.

Around the age of 13, I really started to wonder what it would be like if my parents did not adopt me. I just did not want to be at home, I thought my birth parents had a fairytale life, much better for me. Many 13-year-olds go through this stage, especially if there are other conflicts in the home, however for adopted children this can be magnified on a much larger scale. There are actually two real people out there with actual lives. Luckily for me, my parents had always allowed me to have contact with them which helped me to understand this home is my home. I knew my birth mother was not able to keep me because she was in school, but it angered me that she had a child a year and a half after. It was a hard pill to swallow and I questioned if it was because I was brown.

I then went to college and completely understood that what she is probably the hardest thing college student could do. I even spoke to my birthmother about this when I was in college. I asked her what I should do. She told she had six abortions before having me. My life may haven’t been, I am grateful. I then put myself in her shoes, a 23-year-old, living on their own, studying and constantly surrounded by partying. She carried me for 9 months with her head held high. She was not married, she was not dating the father of the child and she was going to school. I couldn’t imagine myself doing this, life is precious.

I couldn’t imagine myself doing what she did, life is precious. She deeply knew that and honored the world by bringing me into life.

I healed experiencing college and being able to put myself in her shoes.

I heal every day I look around me surrounded by the beauty of life.

I heal when I look at my life and see all the accomplishments, places, and opportunities that have been presented to me.

I heal knowing that I have defied many odds.

We as humans are not perfect, but we have the ability to heal.

Its all perspective​.

No Bohns About It

Unbound from societies constructs, I set my spirit free.

“In the most ordinary terms, egolessness is a flexible identity. It manifests as inquisitiveness, as adaptability as humor, as playfulness. It is our capacity to relax with not knowing, not figuring everything out, with not being at all sure about who we are, or who anyone else is, either. Every moment is unique, unknown, completely fresh. For a warrior-in-training egolessness is a cause of joy rather than a cause of fear.”

This statement by Pema could not be truer. For the longest time, I had a strong fear of being poor. After graduating university, I was not allowed back home and quickly joined the workforce. I did not want to starve and had to prove to my family I was capable of anything. Finding success made me feel good only temporarily, no one ever expected me to survive yet alone thrive in Orange County, but I did. Deep inside I knew this was not who I wanted to be, I thought moving around would be the cure, but the fear of being irrelevant continued to bight me.

One day I sat down with myself if I genuinely wanted to be happy I needed to follow my true path exactly. I needed to give out this act of security and carry out my truest intention.

I left my well paying corporate job to dive thousands of dollars into “creative debt” (thank you Kanye for the term)ollow my passion for helping others, to finally begin to attain my license to become a therapist. I left my corporate job which allowed me to pay my rent in San Francisco to become a yoga teacher. I left my corporate job which allowed me to buy material things that made me appear to be successful to clean houses in Tahoe for the summer before school.

I left my well paying job so that my heart could actually smile because it was living its authentic path. I left my lucrative career so my spirit could live to its highest potential.

There is no fear inside of me only joy for what is to come. To some, this is an odd way to think and people ask “how will you survive?”. I laugh because I know myself. Never turning down work that is given to me is how I live and if that is the only exclamation a person can give when you tell them you are following your soul’s path, its obvious to me there need to be more spirits in this world set free.

I breathe.

We are so confined by society and what we should do or be. Why? Why have we struggled with this?

I believe that the day I decided that my spirit was worth more than cookies cut from societies stone cake was the day I set myself free.

If I want to light my own candle, bake my own cake and sing my own song, I must listen to myself exactly and live exactly according to my voice and rejoice in its perfect song.

A letter to my first teacher of Mindfulness

Dear Grammy,

I hope dinner went well on Saturday, I wish I could have been there. Thank you for inviting me, it meant a lot. My Dad told me about your loss and I am very sorry to hear about it. I want to let you know I love you!
Lately, I have been reflecting a lot on a number of things and wanted to share them with you. Ever since I was young, I have always admired your faith in god. I am learning a lot about mindfulness and transpersonal frameworks as I prepare for my graduate school interview this weekend. I remember when you asked me mindfulness meant when I came over for lunch a few weeks ago and I think you already knew the answer to your own question. You were asking me to see if I knew what it was truly. I know what mindfulness is because of you. You were my first teacher of mindfulness, without me even knowing.
It is interesting to me how a belief in something (anything really) can transform your life. I wonder why I am drawn to mindfulness-transpersonal therapy and I can’t help but think back to sitting at the dinner table eating. Everyone now a days is concerned with “eating mindfully”, everyone wants to know how they can slow down and they can’t seem to because they can’t slow down in their life. They are missing necessary skills. What skills are we/they missing? I think of Grammy, who prays before every meal and is always done last. This is not on purpose to impede us, she “knows how to eat” and she also probably enjoys the meal a bit more as she not only savors the taste but the company as well. Of the differences between us and Grammy, want to know what it is? Her intentional thoughts for other, ourselves and above all the belief in something higher. Funny, how just three main categories of life can transform everything in someone’s life, including how fast they eat!
I am so thankful for having you in my life. You have shown me the graces of believing in something higher and that through devotion and practice great things can happen in all aspects of your life.
I love you and Grandpa sooooooo much because you both are amazing role models. As I prepare for my interview next weekend, I wanted to share with you my gratitude.
Love,
Allie Foo-Doo

Nervousness.

It has been a belief of mine that nerves are disguised as excitement. Before competing, before interviews, before anything I am anticipating: EXCITEMENT. This is what I tell myself,  I never think of failure. It has never been an option. See there is no failing, only an opportunity to learn. But lately, this isn’t true. I am scared shitless, I am nervous.

See, I have spent the past 9 months living in San Francisco, close to my family & surrounded by people I truly have made deep connections with. Finally, I am surrounding myself with wonderful people who foster beauty in every aspect of my life. There are so many wonderful people that want to be friends with me!

So everything I have been building, my strong wholesome root. My career, my family, my friends; will all change if I am to go to graduate school at Naropa. This scares me, my root chakra feels as if it will break. I take each moment I have here with great gratitude, hoping to make the most out of each moment.

I am nervous, my interview for Naropa is next Saturday. I really can’t remember my essay, what transformation is or what mindfulness really truly means. For the first time, I am going to be questioned about my knowledge of Mindful thinking in a professional environment. I will be tasked with talking to other peers about my knowledge of Mindfulness. I have never done this before. I am nervous because I don’t know what will happen.

As I write this, I sit here and thinking  I shoudl be excited. I am excited, excited for a new endeavor. A chance to learn, a chance to grow, a chance to pursue a dream.

If I continue to live my life with love and embody my intention, when I leave to pursue my true intention, I will feel no qualms. It will be fine, becuase I will be where I need to be.

 

 

DOING yoga or PRACTICING yoga?

Lately, I have been doing a lot of studying around Buddhism, mindfulness, and  yoga. Yes, people say all the time “I am a yogi”. I am sure you yoga a lot, but are you a practitioner of yoga? As someone who did a lot of yoga at one point in my life and still do, I was DOING yoga I was not practicing it. There is a difference here. Doing yoga, you are going through the movements, you are being mindful of your movements and you are moving your body. Usually, your life will change in some way or another. You will feel healthier, be more relaxed and love a little more.

If you are to practice yoga, it encompasses your entire life. You core values will shift as you learn the niyamas and yamas more deeply. Your outlook on parts of the world will change as you understanding the makeup of kosha’s. And finally intimately exploring ourself and others through the chakras (coming from a psychology background, I love this).  This to me is practicing yoga. Making it not just a workout but a way of life and belief system.

We can all DO yoga and it’s great if you do, just one mindful moment can have great ripples throughout the universe. But to make yoga a practice, a lifestyle is truly an awesome transformation that could lead to greater good in your life. I think any strong practice, whether it’s yoga, smoking, running, heavy drinking, dancing, cussing or reading the bible, can all give your life a jolt, good-bad, positive-not positive, devoted practice will change your life and lifestyle.

I chose to live devoutly mindfully, to practice yoga all day every day, that’s pretty cool to me.

Purusha Yoga Teacher Training

This weekend I began my journey of becoming a yoga teacher. What a wonderful experience! As I write this my eyes are heavy, my heart is whole and I am filled with love, knowledge and excitement.

We began by introducing ourselves and our intentions of this course. I chose to set my intention as growth. I thought of this deeply because there is so many areas of my life I would like to prosper. Socially, economically, fundamentally and personally growing for the better. Joy, PJ, Eric and Laxman have all expressed that the teacher training will teach you so much about yourself & I believe it already.

With only 16 hours of guidance under my belt I am beginning to learn a lot about myself. I am a very egocentric person in my outward expression. I think this is because I am quick to speak and slow to think.

Expressing my ego is something I would like to shut down almost completely, this is my goal. Mindful speaking can help be increase and grow my knowledge by allowing others to say things that I most likely haven’t heard or opens a conversation. By having a conversation, I am able to grow friends and by growing friends I will be happy which will help me be happier at work causing me to grow economically. Once I have grown enough I have set my vision at getting into Naropa’s graduate program.

Through the teacher training, I will be able to understand myself more so that I am prepared for the next journey of mine in life.

Now, SANSKIRT – what the heck is this? I am terrible at reading it aloud but through chanting and matra’s we are able to grasp a better understanding of the pronunciation. We open each session or day with three Om’s (the sound of the earth) and then say Shanti (for peace) I really like this part of the practice and provides a ritual and really prepares me for deep meditation.

I have been doing a lot of meditation in the past but I really feel a deeper thought flow during the last sittings through the guidance of the Purusha teachers, I hope I can be like them: inspirational mediation guides.

The word sorry.

Listen for the word sorry today. It is so weird, we use the word sorry for the most minimal actions, actions that are often out of our control. We have used this precious word to the point where it is a regular part of our vocabulary.

Think back to a time when you were actually sorry. Like to when your heart hurt so terribly it felt as if it was bleeding. 

Makes you think about a moment that often times makes you cringe.

Often times when you give a sincere apology, saying the words I am sorry do not change the opinions of others. So you either change your action and work toward others approval or keep on keeping on, depending on how sorry you actually are.

The other day a woman said that she was “so sorry for me being wet” (because of the rain). “Funny”, I thought in my head and quickly replied “it’s not your fault. She said, “I know but I feel bad”. Well then, I am glad we actually know what you mean know I thought.

I cannot remember the last time I said I was sorry, or apologize for my actions. I have turned into Madonnas Unapologetic Bitch. I have no real reason to apologize. I, through my actions, are working towards a greater apology. An apology to myself for not setting myself free sooner from my addictions, negative thought processes and unloving lifestyle. My actions are proving, that I am sorry without even saying a word. So yes, to you I may be an unapologetic bitch, and you can be one to me as well, I’ll not only understand, your probably on a journey too; but I will support you.

Apology not accepted.

 

The truth about liars.

We are all one. In one way or another, we all have our tiny little lies. Lies we tell ourselves for comfort. Lies we tell others to protect ourselves. Lies; they are nothing but acts of selfishness.

I have a knack for smelling others bullshit. Maybe it was the fact that my parents lied to me often as a child or my background in psychology. I often don’t react to others lies, instead, I become more intrigued. I look into why the person is lying, what are they protecting themselves from?

I try my hardest to be honest with myself in others. Sometimes it is challenging and the tact and poise of honesty can be hard. However, if you live your life in a manner that is true to yourself, lies become particles of the past.

When others lie to me, I care for those people more deeply. They probably think they are pulling one over me, and that is okay. My father often says “totelos” greek for in the end. In the end, we all get what we deserve. If they would like to take advantage of me in some way, go ahead. I know my compassion and love will show them that there is no need to lie.

My patience for liars is great. Liars are the ones that need the most love.

We must never take our health for granted.

Since I finished the 30-day challenge a lot has changed in my life. Weird because it’s only been a week and a half since I last wrote!

I got a phone call last Thursday, my Mother was letting me know she was getting surgery for a tumor that had metastasized in her sacral area. It was the size of a grapefruit, and when I found out I had a feeling that everything would be okay. My heart silently dropped for her as I knew she would be missing out on an epic ski season. My earliest memories of Mom pushing me down the driveway on my plastic skii’s on whiteout days, or her dragging my sister and I down black diamonds. When I think of adventure sports and snow, it’s synonymous with my Mothers love.

When she came out of surgery the growth was malignant and Jo-Mama was fine only in a lot of pain. A week later I am with some friends doing yoga and when re-injured an old meniscus tear into what is believed to be a bootstrap tear. I drove myself 7 hours from LA to the East Bay, where my Dad took care of me and drove me back to San Fran (seriously, so thankful for my Dad, has always been my best friend, though he is rapidly aging – more on that later). A little while after I went to the Dr. who prescribed an MRI, on my way back home I decided to check on Mother. I could hear the waver in her voice, I asked her how she was, she said “Not good”. She humbly explained that her wounds hadn’t healed and that she had diverticulitis. I broke down (which isn’t usual, only when it’s my Mom or Dad). I couldn’t believe it, the women who has defied most Dr.’s odds & despite knee & other surgeries has never missed a ski season EVER.

We grappled on the phone together & just as she had said when I called her frantically with my knee injury she said, “that’s why we always need to be thankful for our health & never take it for granted”. I know I was abusing my health & over working myself, my Mother, I can’t say she was taking her health for granted but living to the words she was preaching to me.

So as I prepare for potential surgery in the next few weeks I reflect on how I can better live a life of active balance & so I shall!

Bringing consciousness of good health in all the wrong ways

Since I finished the 30-day challenge a lot has changed in my life. Weird because it’s only been a week and a half since I last wrote!

I got a phone call last Thursday, my Mother was letting me know she was getting surgery for a tumor that had metastasized in her sacral area. It was the size of a grapefruit, and when I found out I had a feeling that everything would be okay. My heart silently dropped for her as I knew she would be missing out on an epic ski season. My earliest memories of Mom pushing me down the driveway on my plastic ski’s on whiteout days, or her dragging my sister and I down black diamonds. When I think of adventure sports and snow, it’s synonymous with my Mothers love.

When she came out of surgery the growth was malignant and Jo-Mama was fine only in a lot of pain. A week later I am with some friends doing yoga and when re-injured an old meniscus tear into what is believed to be a bootstrap tear. I drove myself 7 hours from LA to the East Bay, where my Dad took care of me and drove me back to San Fran (seriously, so thankful for my Dad, has always been my best friend, though he is rapidly aging – more on that later). A little while after I went to the Dr. who prescribed an MRI, on my way back home I decided to check on Mother. I could hear the waver in her voice, I asked her how she was, she said “Not good”. She humbly explained that her wounds hadn’t healed and that she had diverticulitis. I broke down (which isn’t usual, only when it’s my Mom or Dad). I couldn’t believe it, the women who has defied most Dr.’s odds & despite knee & other surgeries has never missed a ski season EVER.

We grappled on the phone together & just as she had said when I called her frantically with my knee injury she said, “that’s why we always need to be thankful for our health & never take it for granted”. I know I was abusing my health & over working myself, my Mother, I can’t say she was taking her health for granted but living to the words she was preaching to me.

So as I prepare for potential surgery in the next few weeks I reflect on how I can better live a life of active balance & so I shall!