Archive

Mar 14

The Ring of Faith

My family and I were determined to get outdoors to enjoy the lovely weather the last few days, and headed to Huddart Park for a hike on Sunday. We adore this nearby natural gem, filled with redwoods, bay laurels, and tan oaks, and a beautiful (and quite full after the rains!) creek running through it.

We marveled at the wildflowers already in bloom – some dainty, five-petaled white blossoms, and the sweet lavender flowers of redwood sorrel, which I had never seen in bloom before. They were profuse and a delight to the eyes.

Near the last half-mile of our modest adventure my daughter and I stopped at a stream, as we often do, to explore and to enjoy rock face painting. This is something she learned from Katie Hicks at our last retreat at Ananda Valley Farm. Taking a rock about the size of your palm in one hand, you select a colorful rock that can easily be held by the other, and rub it on the rock. After a minute or so, viola – paint is created! We enjoyed decorating each other’s faces in reddish-brown and greyish-yellow designs.

My husband decided to move along the trail ahead of us while we were immersed in our playfulness. He stepped off-trail at another familiar spot along the creek, headed a bit upstream, and sat down on a beautiful, warm, sunny spot on the slope about 10 feet above the creek. It was peaceful, meditative, and relaxing.

As my daughter and I finished up our faces, we headed up the trail to catch up with Michael. We looked upstream and didn’t see him, so we figured he must have headed back to the car. After 30 minutes of waiting for him in the parking lot, he arrived, looking a bit flustered. Upon descending the slope where he had sat in quiet reflection, he slipped and fell on his hip. His knee was scraped, and he was OK, but quite unhappy. Not because of his injuries, but because in the process his wedding band slipped off his finger, and it was nowhere in sight.
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Mar 14

Awakening of Gratitude

HMB 1I was lying on a treatment table at my acupuncturist’s office, with a painful ear infection. I had felt mentally, emotionally, and energetically better since the first treatment two days ago, but the ears continued to feel blocked, and I still was spitting up yellow phlegm.

Nalinee, my acupuncturist, talked about how much my energy field had improved. In her Thai accent, she reminded me of the power of the mind, and how harnessing that would facilitate healing.

I knew that, of course, but had been humbled. I had been struggling with my emotions for several days, feeling fearful and sometimes depressed, and had not been able to make the full shift in my consciousness to a true healing mentality. I wasn’t practicing what I knew. Continue Reading »

Mar 05

Am I Better or Worse Than…?

Posted in: Acceptance, Appreciation, Buddha, Centered, Comparison, Depression, Happiness, Mindfulness, Now, Presence | Comments Off on Am I Better or Worse Than…?

sadmonkey_conniehabash_counseling_psychotherapy_yoga_spiritualityThe mind likes to do a lot of comparing. Am I doing as well as that person over there? My yoga poses suck. I am the best in the class! Their car is nicer than mine. It would be easy to write pages of this, wouldn’t it? It’s all too familiar.

In my years as a counselor, it’s become apparent to me that comparison is the root of depression. We wish things were different than they are, and we tend to focus on what we don’t have, or what isn’t happening right now. This is a sure-fire way to ruin your mood, and it does nothing for creating what you really want. Continue Reading »

Sep 11

What Does the Woodpecker Say?

Posted in: Acceptance, Challenges, Contentment, Persistence | Comments Off on What Does the Woodpecker Say? Tags: , , , , ,

Acorn Woodpecker on a Tree TrunkI was in the backyard today, cleaning off our patio table and chairs, when I heard a tapping sound. I looked around, but couldn’t find it. I figured it was probably one of our many squirrels in the yard, trying to break open an acorn, so I went back to my cleanup.

The sound started again, and this time I looked up into the old, broad oak tree that dominates most of our yard. There it was – a woodpecker, the red crest on its head and the familiar black and white spotted feathers. We have had woodpeckers out in our front yard, particularly on the telephone pole, rapping away off and on for years, but I’ve never seen one in our backyard.

So I figured this was a special moment – a message for me. Continue Reading »

Aug 27

Small Disasters Make Me Grateful

Posted in: Acceptance, Challenges | Comments Off on Small Disasters Make Me Grateful Tags: , ,

Small_Disaster_closet_ConnieHabash_MenloPark_CounselingSometimes, it seems like one thing after another. Other times, just one thing seems like too much. This could have been too much, if I had let it.

Last week, I opened our hall closet door, underneath the stairwell, to get a jacket for my daughter. A strong odor assaulted me. Oh no. I knew this was bad. It smelled like mold.

Removing the coats and jackets so I could see better, I turned on the light, but still couldn’t make out what the problem was. I bent down to touch the carpet – soaked. Yikes! As I moved things aside, I looked up, and there was the culprit: a dripping fire sprinkler. What in the world was a fire sprinkler doing inside of a hall closet, I have no idea, but there it was dribbling over everything. Who knows how long it had been going on. Continue Reading »