Archive

Feb 08

Loved and Lovable

February – a month that, stereotypically, we turn towards greeting cards with red and pink hearts, roses, chocolates, and are inundated with commercials about diamond jewelry. Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and whether it’s something you relish or are repulsed by, it’s here in our western culture.

I tend to avoid writing about this topic, but this year some new insights flowed in. Many of my clients and students struggle with the feeling of being lovable. This time of year can be triggering, causing some to feel lonely and lacking in romance. Others are disgusted at the commercial aspects, the commodification of love. And many of us continue to explore what is love, and what is the nature of our lovableness? Continue Reading »

May 08

Just Begin

Posted in: Action, Beginning, Challenges, Change, Goals, Right Action, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Just Begin Tags: , , ,

steps_conniehabash_counseling_psychotherapy_spirituality_meditationI like to walk on the treadmill at the gym, since I don’t have a nice hilly area right out the door to walk. When I say “like”, however, that may not be the most accurate description.

For the first several minutes, I constantly look at the time – how much longer? It feels like a lot of effort, my legs feel stiff, my muscles cold and complaining. I question whether I can really do this today. I don’t feel like going up those hills, or walking so fast, or expending the effort. It seems daunting, and I am tempted to stop.
Continue Reading »

Jan 28

Think Small

bird_conniehabash_counseling_spirituality_menlopark_meditationI’m tired of everyone telling me to think bigger. “You need to play on a bigger field! You’re capable of so much more!” Does that message ever exasperate you?

It sets us up for feeling we’re not enough as we are. And that whatever we do, it doesn’t measure up, or isn’t significant enough. We’ll never feel at peace within, because we’re always comparing ourselves to what we think we should be and do – bigger, better, and more of. Continue Reading »

May 03

Anger is Unspiritual (NOT!)

Posted in: Action, anger, Authenticity, Choices, Empowerment, Energy, Fear, Judgment, Right Action | Comments Off on Anger is Unspiritual (NOT!) Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

lightningIt’s quite common in spiritual circles to put down anger. Anger is bad, they say. Or anger is unenlightened. We must transcend our anger. We must think loving, good thoughts, and put all that anger out of our mind.

Hogwash.

Saying that anger is bad, whether it’s tacit or directly stated, is just another way that we beat ourselves up and deny our truth and empowerment. It’s an easy way to judge and criticize ourselves or others for anything less than perfect behavior. Continue Reading »

Apr 07

Which Path Will You Take? What to Do When Faced With Fear

Posted in: Action, Choices, Courage, Empowerment, Fear, Illusion, Right Action, Tolerance, Transformation, Trust | Comments Off on Which Path Will You Take? What to Do When Faced With Fear

Everyone deals with difficulties in life. Sooner or later, something scares us. It may be the aging process, a snake, the fear of rejection, or a dwindling bank account.

Gone are the days when we have to worry about lions chasing us (unless, of course, you live in Kenya). Fear has become more subtle. In the words of Kristin Neff, PhD, author of Self-Compassion, now our fears arise not just from dark alleys or sounds that go bump in the night, but from “threats to our self-concept” – the idea of who we think we are. Yet, they end up causing similar levels of stress in the body as that lion chasing us. The fear that runs us, day in and day out, is the fear that we’re unlovable, of being bad, wrong, or a failure.

React or Respond

When we are faced with fear, we have two possible choices: react or respond. When we react, we allow fear to run us, to control our emotions, our actions, our words. But when we respond, we transform a moment of fear into a moment of empowerment.

What is a fear reaction? When we are exposed to a traumatic situation, there are three reactions that occur: fight, flight, and freeze (see Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine). The kind of fear I’m referring to, however, isn’t life or death situations, although learning how to respond rather than react in those is very helpful. In our day-to-day lives, it is the little fears – the perceived threats to our self-concept – that disempower us and cause us to react.

It is in these little fears that we have the opportunity to change our lives. And we see three similar reactions to those little fears: fight, flight, and freeze. Continue Reading »