Archive

Nov 19

How to Survive – and Thrive – at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: a unique American holiday that is universal, unlimited by religion, race, or any category. It’s a special time to come together with family and friends to feel gratitude on this day of the celebration of abundance (oh yeah, and feasting!).

But for some of us, this isn’t an entirely pleasant holiday. We may be faced with “going home” to tension, crazy family dynamics, feeling ignored or attacked, possibly being the black sheep of the family. Perhaps you are hosting a large gathering, and stressed about pleasing everyone’s palates – or having everyone in your house! There may be a recent loss in the family that makes holidays, especially the most family-oriented one of the year, somewhat painful. Or we may be apart from our family, or feel that we don’t have one, and are faced with spending this holiday alone.
Continue Reading »

Sep 14

Out of Hiding, Into the Light

Posted in: Acceptance, Authenticity, Awareness, Consciousness, Darkness, Healing, Light, Shadow, Transformation | Comments Off on Out of Hiding, Into the Light Tags: , , , , ,

Have you felt stirred up in yourself and in your life lately, as if all your issues have come to the surface? You’re not alone. The powerful archetype of the recent eclipse has brought what is ready to heal and transform out of hiding and into the light for all of us.

Last month was the first time I had ever seen even a partial eclipse here in California. This juxtaposition of the moon in front of the sun shows us how our unresolved issues and blocks to our growth – represented by the moon – can conceal the light of our True Self.

The Shadow

An eclipse casts a shadow, and our own personal shadow is a collection of the parts of ourselves that we don’t like to acknowledge or to be seen. When we are met by this great archetype, or powerful symbol, of the inner shadow through such a potent example as an eclipse, it’s common for our own shadow material to rise out of the darkness for us to recognize, embrace, and heal. Continue Reading »

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.
Continue Reading »

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 »