Posts tagged ‘Growth’

The Power of Contrast ll by Erin Amundson

The Power of Contrast
By Erin Amundson

   As I was leading an online dream group this past fall, something fascinating happened.  Just as we were entering the part of the group where everyone is on the brink of a wonderful, desired transformation, every single member of the group came up against resistance.  In fact, for the first time in the three years I’ve been facilitating dream groups, almost every member of the group canceled for our next session.

   I’ve seen this before.  Often in my one on one work with people. 

Just as we are getting to what I call the good stuff, clients cancel.

   Given my extensive history with my own resistance, I tend to be understanding and usually do my best to invite them back where we can chat about what came up. Every time, without fail, I see that those who do come back find that the experience of transformation brings them exactly what they want and need. 

I’m not saying it’s easy – in fact, many times it can feel emotionally excruciating.

   However, I believe there’s a way to make it less difficult by working with contrast or the tension of opposites.  Let me walk you through it. 

   The tension of opposites is often what clients feel just before a big breakthrough.  There is usually strong desire for growth or freedom and often equally strong feelings of resistance that create avoidance.  The result of this for most people is either backing away from the growth, which means staying wounded or limited, OR pushing through the resistance to the next level, regardless of the impact.  In my work with the dream group recently, I’ve come to consciously understand a strategy I’ve used for years with clients one on one.  This strategy is to shift our focus from the tension we feel to the power that contrast can bring us. 

   There are many examples of this in psychotherapy.  A client with a difficult childhood may both love and hate a parent who was inconsistent or abusive.  Clients often feel both fear and excitement in the venture of a desire, such as a new relationship or a career promotion. 

In dreamwork, our subconscious images feed us both nightmares and “good” dreams. 

   In all of these examples, I’ve found that the ability to hold both emotions with reverence and respect offers a pathway to our whole selves that we cannot otherwise connect to. 

   This means that the client who invites both the love and the hatred of the parent into her experience engages a new balance in the relationship to the parent (and probably better boundaries, too).  The person who invites the fear to speak to him before engaging the new relationship has the opportunity to understand a part of him that may need healing and will make the relationship better.  And the dreamer who engages the nightmare has the opportunity to work out a trauma or deep subconscious fear.  All of these processes bring freedom to my clients. 

   Consider this.  Imagine that you are on the brink of a new level of self-expression (as many of you truly are!).  It is going to be a natural part of your experience to fear this on some level, because you are heading into uncharted territory. 

As humans, we fear what we don’t know or can’t predict. 

   Now, I assume that what you want in this situation is the courage to plunge forward into this new and improved you.  Faced with this dilemma, it is human nature to do one of two things: DENY that you have fear and suppress it moving forward regardless, or DENY your new level of self-expression through some form of sabotage in order to stay SAFE. 

   While I preferred the first of these two responses for much of my own life, I’ve discovered that neither response provides most of us a grounded, nourishing, supportive way of experiencing growth in life.  If you deny your fear, a key part of your human existence is left behind, and left unhealed.  Typically, this fear (which is totally VALID) is expressed later on in unhealthy ways. 

   The answer, I have found, starts with telling the truth.  First, to yourself.  The truth about how we feel is not openly encouraged in this culture.  For a lot of people, it’s really hard to admit that their parents caused them pain.  It’s also hard to admit sometimes that you want more out of life.  We’ve just begun to really talk about fear and vulnerability in the last few years.  How many times have you responded with “I’m feeling really insecure” when someone asks how you are?  It’s rare. 

   I’m not saying that we should all suddenly start expressing ourselves freely.  Sometimes it’s not safe to do so.  Other times, we only think it’s not safe.  Therapy is a wonderful place to work this out.  The key is a feeling of safety in expressing and embracing our “less desired” emotions.  When you do, you’ll find the power of contrast in your own life.  

 


   

   Erin Amundson loves helping people reconnect to their natural technology by decoding the language of dreams.  She is a healer, a depth psychologist and an entrepreneur who specializes in teaching people how to identify and remove barriers to success and make friends with their subconscious mind.  As the creator and founder of Natural Dream Technology, Erin knows that hidden beneath the surface of your conscious mind is a uniquely talented visionary, and she wants the world to benefit from your contribution.

   After several fights with her own subconscious mind (and a re-occurring nightmare about skipping classes and failing), Erin finally surrendered and followed the wisdom of her natural technology to get a second graduate degree in Counseling at Regis University.  A life-long follower of dreams, Erin now began to learn the language of the subconscious as she slept.  Just as Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs and Steven Spielberg all experienced, Erin began to recognize in her dreams that her best work is to help you reclaim your connection to your own natural technology through dreams and the subconscious.  She has been teaching, facilitating and engaging in dream work with ambitious professionals ever since. 

   Erin currently practices as a depth psychotherapist in Denver, Colorado and via the internet around the world.  In addition to her dream work, Erin is a certified past life regressionist, an intuitive astrologer and a lover of travel, snowboarding, deep conversations and cooking delicious food, all of which she enjoys practicing while she sleeps.

An Ode to the Garden of Home || Dorothy Wallis

An Ode to the Garden of Home

By Dorothy Wallis

     Sunbeams, blue sky and daily temperatures rising into the high 70’s beckon me into the garden.  Sweet birdsong from robins, finches and doves lighten my mood.  The bright blue jacketed jays distinctly stand out as they sit in tree branches just beginning to bud out.  I feel drawn to the mystery taking place under the dry leaves.  Finding my garden gloves and wielding one lawn rake, one shrub rake, my favorite Felco pruners, and garden shears, I venture into the orchard.  It feels so good to stretch my arms and limbs in the rhythmic motion of raking the leaves and shriveled stems off of the candytuft.  Luscious green mounds appear to float above the ground.  In just weeks these mounds will be covered in a cloud of tiny white blossoms.  Each motion of my rake uncovers more jewels of lime green shoots popping up out of the orchard bed.  Blooms of purple, yellow and white crocus and early yellow and white daffodils show their sunny faces.  Is it a trick of my eyes or am I actually seeing the wild strawberry plants dotting the sides of the stone pathways unfurling their leaves and reaching towards the light?

     The birds are very busy steadfastly scouting locations for their nests and building them.  They are not bothered by my presence nor by my cat as she stalks a vole under the low boughs of the Colorado Spruce.  The sap is rising; the buds are swelling and life is returning to the tips of the apple and pear trees.  The ruby red calyxes dripping off every twig crown the ‘Red Sunset’ maples with a regal garment of majesty.

     I trim last years stalks down to the base of the peonies and discover plump burgundy sprouts waiting to make their run to the sky.  Once released from the dark womb of creation the sovereign Paeonia surges growth of incomparable speed as it must burst its beauteous explosion of voluptuous bounty for all to see.  My heart expands with the joy of the promise of its magnificently rich buxom blossoms. 

     Another aristocrat is already showing off her pristine stellated tutu of white.  Lucky for her, Royal Star Stellata Magnolia, may actually get to pirouette and dance an entire month to entice the bees before a notorious Colorado spring snow deflates her.  She is offering a very special gift this year, as I cannot remember a year when she has so enthusiastically displayed such a flourishing abundance of bloom.  I feel her thankfulness for the years of appreciation of her splendor and for tending to her needs.

     It is a bittersweet pang of nostalgia and gratitude I feel for every being in this garden that has taught me and nurtured my growth.  In a few short months, I will be leaving this garden and moving on. 

     When I first came to this land, it was barren of trees and shrubs.  Sloping down to the south, a split rail fence fringed the property line before sharply falling to an open space meadow filled with cattails and grasses skirting a wending farmers canal.  Delicate native Prickly White Poppy wove and wildly interlaced itself between lush grasses.  It was glorious in its natural state and I could envision the home I had designed snugly nestled into it.  Purchasing and inhabiting the land began a new adventure. 

     One day while our home was being built, my three-year-old daughter and her dad went for a walk in our established Denver neighborhood and gathered maple wing seeds.  They put them in pots and placed them safely under the immense spread of the canopy of the old lilac shrub.  Early settlers brought this old fashioned variety from the mid west to the region; its fragrance and lavender color are legendary.  The maple seeds sprouted and grew into long thin stems.  We were amazed to discover that lilacs had also seeded themselves into the pots.  They grew full and lush as the months passed.  Finally, it was time to transport them to their new home.  Gently teasing the roots apart, the maples and lilacs became the first plants to settle into the new land. 

     Plans and visions emerged.  “What a gift; here is land that I get to touch with the joy and beauty I envision.”  Tedious hours spent tilling, shaping the land, building beds, amending the soil with compost, planting, cultivating and tending bestow an ever changing harmony of creation.  The land is impressed with the memory of each creature, plant and being that dwells and dies here.  What unfolds is more than a place for my artistic expression.  Nature has her own desires.  Plants grow, some thrive, some die, some become sentinels sheltering newbies and providing rich humus for wild vagabonds to join the community.  One of the beloved seed grown maples grows into a glorious beauty stretching her arms out and shading the dining room window through many summers.  An infamous spring storm dashes through bringing heavy wet snow breaking her main trunk.  We mourn her passing not only for her greatness but also for the loss of not realizing the future legacy of seeing her grow into old age, which was the sacred intention of the child and father that planted those seeds.  Yet, surprisingly the thin weak looking straggly maple at the back of the yard from those same seeds takes on the job of being the sole survivor and grows into the tallest tree on the property.  He slowly and patiently rises straight and tall before opening his arms outward as if a germ of wisdom calculated the angle and thickness of branches needed to bear the weight of wet snow in order to minimize the risk.  He still stands…for now. 

     Another prized tree, a sweet Cherry, grows a very thick shiny rust colored trunk with equally large shiny leaves.  She is radiant and captures the attention of all who see her.  The birds check on the ripening berries each spring day, tasting them and spitting out the sour ones.  The ground is littered with the debris.  We are happy to savor the sweet ones the flocks have left on the lower branches. 

      Unfortunately for the birds, and us, at twenty-two years her life ended abruptly.  High temperatures in November preceded a dramatic freezing drop.  Many fruit trees, including cherries and plums, had not gone dormant; their sap froze, swelled and burst the walls supplying life-giving nutrition.  Months later, it was painful to see her brittle bare branches when all of the other trees were green with life.  It took some time to remove her as our hearts wept.  In her place a red twig dogwood gallantly and courageously planted itself, mirroring the shiny rouge of her bark.

     Hardier species of evergreens, trees, and plants continue to adapt and bear the brutal force of nature’s onslaught along with nature’s bountiful grace.  With every plant that dies, a new one makes its entrance.  Drifts of enchanting species emerge, make a bold appearance and have their day.  Just like life, the garden is an ever-changing, self-renewing kaleidoscope. 

     The wee child has grown.  I honor this land that has given support to dreams, taught me patience, resilience and that struggle and sadness mixed with great joy are all necessary aspects of growth.  I fall in love with every life form and delight in the uniqueness of their being.  My heart hurts at their passing and my heart trumpets at the arrival of a fresh discovery.  Change is constant and the lesson is to treasure the beings and people that inhabit my world.  This land has bequeathed a divine gift to me, my family, and friends, teaching us what it truly means to love and be in relationship with one another and with life.  Reflecting on what has been and what will be brings a deeper appreciation for the precious moments and movement that create a rich life. 

It all adds up to love of Home.


This Is Bigger Than Me Today – Lydia Taft

So things are changing again.  That’s all they ever do. Once I get comfortable, or at least somewhat comfortable with the direction I am traveling, I find that life gets all stirred up again.  And I am left to face the upheaval as it is and to once again find my place within the chaos.

I had once thought that I was meant to reorganize the chaos, but now I believe I am only meant to find where my next foot hold is, so I might ride the wave of change and see which shore I land on.  As I wrote that out, I became aware of my conditions.  I hear myself say, “But I don’t want it to look like this or that.”  “But I don’t want to lose my job,” was one very loud and clear statement.  “But I don’t want to move,” was another. 

But I don’t want to…  But I don’t want to… I hear myself whining in my own head about the many things that I don’t want.

I realize I have a very narrow picture of what I think all things ought to look like.  And while I am committing myself to riding that wave, there’s this part of me that wants to direct the wave to a particular shore and a particular outcome.  I find humor in this because I really thought I was in a place of surrender.  Turns out I am fooling myself once again!

When I’m fully honest with myself, I realize I have life plans laid out for at least the next 10 years.  And those plans have very particular sets of events that are expected to flow one after the other. 

It’s almost terrifying to think of what life might look like if it doesn’t go according Untitled-1to this 10 year plan of mine. 

I soothe myself by thinking that I am at least aware of my discomfort.  I am more aware than in the past of the conditions I’ve created.  I’m catching things earlier and earlier.  I’m getting better at this stuff.  I’m willing to keep trying. 

As I find some comfort in those thoughts, I realize there’s a higher part of my consciousness that understands there are bigger plans in store for me. 

I’ve had a lifetime of asking for things and the only way to achieve all that I’ve dreamed is to allow change to happen. 

My 10 year plan doesn’t account for the many things I’ve imagined.  It doesn’t account for personal growth and expansion.  It doesn’t include the bigger picture of myself as a dynamic being whose understanding is enhanced by every life experience I face. 

I realize that there’s going to be a point in time as early as the next moment, and as far away as 10 years from now, that includes a greater understanding of my place in this world.  And as I carry myself forward in this growth, I know that I can achieve and accomplish more than I can imagine from this particular point in time, with this very particular “now” understanding of who I am. 

Tomorrow’s understanding is greater and can accomplish more than I can imagine today. 

And I refuse to be afraid of that next thing that will take me to that next place, to live that next bigger and greater dream of mine. 

So I will find peace in surrendering to this change, because I know that it will propel me to achieving dreams I’ve yet to imagine.  I am reminded once again, that this experience is something bigger than I have the ability to imagine today. 

Therapy for the Uninitiated and Intimidated: 5 Good Reasons to Try Counseling or Therapy – Gideon Killion

Let’s be honest. If you’re like most people, you’re uncomfortable with the idea of counseling. Isn’t counseling just for crazy people, you wonder? How could it possibly help to just sit there and talk to someone? Is it worth the money? Well, here are five ways counseling can help.

1. Sometimes, we just need someone to listen

Humans are relational beings. We cannot be healthy without connection to other people. Yet our modern, fast-paced society leaves many of us feeling disconnected and lonely. If we are fortunate enough to have close friends, they are often as busy as we are and they may not have the time, energy, or relational skill to listen to us in the way that we need. A counselor or therapist is trained to listen with patience and compassion. They offer the freedom to tell our stories without the fear that we will overwhelm or be rejected by our listener.

2. Sometimes, we need to work through unfinished business

Everyone has unresolved emotional baggage from the past. Maybe it’s something we needed but didn’t get from a parent. Maybe we carry wounds from bad relationships. Regardless of the cause, unfinished business can affect the way we see the world and hold us back from the lives we want to live. Because humans are relational, sometimes we cannot fully process the unfinished business alone. We need to work with someone, like a counselor, who has the training to help us do this.

3. Sometimes, we need treatment for mental health problems

The human brain is an organ, and like other organs, it doesn’t function perfectly. It can develop conditions that make it difficult for the person attached to it to live well. Proven and effective therapies have been created for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and many other conditions. Many of us feel shame about needing this kind of help, but finding the courage to contact a counselor is often the first step toward healing.

 4. Sometimes, we need to learn to relate to others better

Relationships are one of the most important parts of a healthy, meaningful, and satisfying life. But good relationships do not happen naturally. Often, the more important a relationship is, the more difficult it becomes. Our culture does not do a good job of teaching most of us the skills and habits that make good relationships possible. Counselors can help us discover and change the patterns and habits that prevent us from creating good relationships and they can help us develop the skills for maintaining them.

5. Sometimes, we need help to grow

Many people reach a point in life where they realize they are not satisfied or fulfilled. They sense that they need to grow or develop in some way, but aren’t sure how. They think about it inwardly, or discuss it with friends, but still aren’t sure where they are headed or how to get there. That’s when it’s time to call a counselor. A trained counselor can listen to our stories and help uncover the needs and desires that long to be satisfied, the wounds and fears that hold us back, and the values and beliefs that guide our choices. A counselor can help us identify the actions we must take in order to grow and reach the next level of our lives.

 

Gideon Killion is an intern counselor in the People House Affordable Counseling Program. He also has a private counseling practice at www.lifecraftcounseling.net

Growing Pains: This Is Fear – Lydia Taft

I just listened to a phone message.  It is something frightening to me…. I don’t understand what it means and I don’t know how to respond.  It feels out of control.  It is out of my hands and I think it can go very bad.  I can imagine the many forms of bad it can take and that sets my heart to beating and my breaths become shallow. My mind races, looking for some way to handle what, at this point in time, is something that I am completely unfamiliar with. 

This is fear, I tell myself.  This is what it’s like to feel fear.

So I race to figure out what I can do, because I hate this panicky feeling.  I hate this uncertainty.  I call my husband and tell him about it.  I want him to take action for me.  I want him to make it either go away or make it something better.  He of course can’t do this for me.  I desperately want to feel better. 

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In my anxiety, I turn to research.  I think to myself, research gives me answers.  I need answers.  I find out that there is even more that I don’t understand and I contemplate the need for an expert… Things feel like they are spinning further and further out of control. I have propelled myself more fully into a fear state.

I know I have to stop. 

I have to stop my mind right now. 

I have to stop racing to every new and more frightening thought.  I’m jumping to conclusions.  I’m catastrophizing.  I tell myself: I don’t know anything about anything yet, so I’m not allowed to think about it anymore.  I’m not allowed to jump to the uncertain future.  I’m not allowed to try and complete a puzzle that I don’t have the pieces for.  I don’t have the full picture yet.  No one can put the puzzle together when they don’t know which pieces form the frame and which form the center.  No one can successfully complete anything when they don’t know what things look like. 

It finally occurs to me to ask myself what do I know?  I don’t know much at all.  I only know that it has touched a fearful place in my being.  It can be bad, but it can also be good.  I can’t predict an outcome.  I can’t say one way or another what this might turn into.  That’s all I know. 

I catch my mind once again racing.  Now I am trying to figure out what I did wrong… what might I have said wrong?  I know I’m wrong in some way.  What?  How am I wrong?  And I get afraid again.  My mind is tricky and I am an expert at playing this fear game.  I recognize it for what it is. 

So I sit with this… I take deep breaths…

Deep, deep, breaths to calm myself. 

Deep breaths to put me back into the center of my being.   I write out this experience understanding that I am afraid.  I remind myself not to jump ahead.  I just have to keep on breathing.  This is fear, I remind myself.  Fear is outside of myself.  I am not fear.  I am not fearful.  This is just fear.  I don’t know what anything is for.  I don’t know why anything happens.

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I remind myself, I am on my path.  My path is unfolding.  Everything will reveal itself in its own perfect time.  I can do the things that are in my hands to do and then I will let the rest go. 

Growing Pains: New Things Are Possible Now – Lydia Taft

Transformation is on my mind.  Transformation, change, movement, growth… whatever one decides to call it, it is stalking me.  I see the clock and it reads 5:55.  The license plate, the tarot cards, the signs all around me read 5.  My attention is 5 oriented.  Change, change, change.  I am haunted by the idea.

I realize I’ve never fully embraced the idea of change.  It’s different, it’s new, and it’s unknown.  I sit here and feel this idea out.  Regardless of whether I welcome change or not, there’s no denying that I am ready to give birth to something new.  That statement resonates as true.  As I write that, I recall the experience of pregnancy and ultimately giving birth to my two daughters.  The very first thought that comes to mind was that it was painful, but if I am truly honest with myself, I realize it was also so much more. 

It began with expectation, and dreaming, and imagining what might be.  It was exciting.  I was expanding in every way.  My body, my emotions, my thoughts, my identity: they all grew and carried me along.  Ultimately, when it was time to give birth, any fears I might have held about the unknown future no longer mattered because there was no going back.  I gave birth.  Each time, with each daughter, when the nurse placed my child in my arms, I was this new being.  They were born and I was born.  I was transformed.  No matter how painful, there is not a single moment of my birthing experience that I would wish away. 

My beautiful daughters have continued to enhance my life.  They have challenged me to expand over and over again.  If I was stuck on one way of thought… well, they would offer unlimited other ways to view a situation.  With them, I’ve had infinite opportunities to release, to embrace, and to expand my perception of self and the world we share.  

Yes, sometimes this growth has been painful. There have been many ideas I’ve not wanted to release.  There have been many moments I’ve fought my own expansion and I suffered in my struggle.  I’ve built walls and have had them torn down.  I’ve held firmly to my own opinions and fought to keep them.  I refused growth and I suffered for it.  And then one day I gave birth again.  I transformed whether I wanted to or not.  And all the fear and resistance I held onto no longer mattered.  I am reminded that when change stalks you, you may as well just surrender.  You just can’t stop a birth. 

So here I am again.  Change is stalking me.  It is coming.  Change is here.  I am reminded not to fight it.  My growth is inevitable.  I am being transformed and expanded, and born again.  I face a new me. I have given birth to myself today.  I left an old idea behind.  I stretched beyond what I was, and entered into now.  I have changed. New things are possible now. 

GROWING PAINS: Now What? – Lydia Taft

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My boss told me she is getting ready to retire.  It is right around the corner.  I initially took this in with some feigned excitement.  Feigned because, well I felt anything but excited.  Stunned, or perhaps shocked might be more precise of a feeling, and disappointment might even lurk somewhere in the shadows of my mind.  But in the instant that it took me to run through the list of emotions, excited was identified as the most appropriate emotion to express in the moment.  Yes, excited is perfect in this situation.  This after all is good news given by someone I care about!

I certainly could have stayed with feigned excitement for the entire conversation.  That would have been completely fine.  But no not me… I tend to drop into authenticity fairly quickly these days.  And since I respect my boss, I allowed myself the opportunity to tap into the truer part of myself, and tears sprang from my eyes as I felt something very deeply.  Loss.  Loss of what is familiar and what is simply beautiful and admired.  She is a beautiful person and I will miss her in my every day work life.

I quickly realized that I couldn’t just keep crying in front of her!  Shedding tears at work actually felt kind of horrifying.  Not that I haven’t done that before in front of her, but I didn’t want her to feel bad, and I didn’t want to feel sad, and I don’t like to brim with emotion as often as I do.  So I gave myself something to focus on; I made myself present to watch and to hear her.  I allowed myself to stand as a witness to the emotion traveling through me.

As the conversation continued, I eventually did find the excitement.  I am thrilled at her courage to move along in life and take that next step.  She shared that she has always known who she is throughout the stages of her life.  She has been student, mother, wife, manager, and on and on. She has very clearly known and embraced all of her identities and now she is stepping into a future of “retiree.”  This future is not very clear and certain.  She can imagine leisure, but how much time is she interested in pursuing that?! She finds herself a bit unsure, because she doesn’t have anything planned.  There is no “to do” list.  There is no need for a calendar at all!

I realize she is asking: “Now who am I?  Now who will I be?”  I found myself thinking, yes, we always go back to identity.

Who am I truly?

And so we talked just a bit about this “Now what?” experience.  She has so much opportunity ahead of her.  Now is her time to take a taste of the many things she had put on hold.  Now is the time to try different ways of being.  Now is the time to experience life in a completely new way.  She can learn a bit about stillness, presence, and trust.  She can also learn to re-experience her home, family, and friends from her new perspective.

As always, I see myself being reflected back to me.  I am on my own quest to experience freedom, stillness, presence, and trust in myself and in my life.  I am also on a quest to identify who I truly am.  I realize that her journey touches my own heart’s longing.  As I contemplate my experience of our conversation, and our intertwined lives, I am left with this very simple idea: At any point in time, I am anyone I choose to be.  It’s not necessary to wait for retirement, or any special day or occasion.

Now is the perfect time to be any being I desire. 

Growing Pains or Growing Panes – Lydia Taft

As I sit here and consider the first thing I might write in this column, it occurs to me that a brief introduction about the person doing the writing might be necessary.  Of course I can give you the basics… the credentials behind my name, the hours worked doing one thing or another, maybe even a bit about the years I’ve been on this healing path.  But as I consider that, and write and cross things off my list of who I think I am in this world, I realize I wish to express a deeper part of myself.  I’d like an outlet to share how I go about seeking and finding the truth of me.  I’d like to express the knowing and uncertain aspects of myself… all that inspires my exploration, has me bumping into stagnation, and, at times, achieving expansion.

This blog will explore Growing Pains: my life’s growing pains.  While considering what I would write about, I had asked the universe what the theme of this blog should be and I awoke one morning and heard “Growing Pains.”  It was a very clear statement and so, of course, I argued with it.  I tend to do that a lot, fighting against intuition, and I find myself smiling as I write this because that’s a perfect example of my struggle:  I ask for a clear message, I get one, and then I argue with myself about why it’s wrong.

So that morning, after receiving such a clear message, I circled around in my mind about what the significance of growing pains could be and what about it had me bothered.  I realized I didn’t like the word pain.  It has a negative connotation after all and I have promised myself I will exist on a path of positivity.  So I knew I didn’t want to emphasize the word pain.  But I still wasn’t convinced and since this little argument with myself was going on a bit, I gave myself permission to just let it be and wait to see what the universe had to show me.

I went to work and ran it by my girlfriend.  When I told her the theme that I had in mind, she immediately heard the word pane, instead of pain.  And then she shared this: “Sometimes in life we are simply looking out of the wrong window.”  When she said that, what I heard is that there are times in life when I need to turn my attention to a different view, so I might see something more beautiful.  She sold me.  So whether one hears Growing Pain, or Growing Pane, it is all the same thing.  It’s only a matter of what I am choosing to focus on.

So here’s what I expect we might share in this series of blogs…  I am on this life journey and I am guaranteed to run into my own barriers and judgments and opinions.  It’s a daily occurrence that I have surrendered to.  I have learned that the more entrenched I am in my own beliefs, the more difficult it is to get up and look at things from a different perspective.  This is the painful part.  This is the part I will explore in my writing.

I expect that I’ll share the walls I run into and the stumbling blocks I trip over.  But I’ll also share my journey to the other side, past those obstacles. And if I am in a place of awareness, I’ll share how I actually get there.  Always, I will seek to view things from a different perspective.  And if you have your own insight, as I stumble along this path, I am happy to take a look out of your window.

People House: a Center for Personal and Spiritual Growth