approaching therapy

musings as they come, and as they evolve …

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laughing out loud

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Reading David Sedaris.

I realized that I was laughing out loud.
and then I remembered.
This happens every time I read Sedaris.
The last time was years ago, as I don’t allow myself often the pleasure of reading anything other than non-fiction.
Imagine that, this crazy involuntary physical reaction, like sneezing or vomiting. laughing out loud.
It’s so therapeutic.
This time is was Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.
Before, it was Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.
And before that, it was Naked.

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Written by David

July 31st, 2017 at 9:40 pm

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Vulnerability

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Written by David

May 25th, 2017 at 12:48 am

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more reasons

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There was a billboard sort of sign in the Mission some years ago. It read “17 Reasons Why”.

It was on Mission and 17th, above what is now “Thrift Town”.
It used to advertise for the now-defunct Redlick’s Furniture store.

17Reasons_337

I particularly like this one from Michael Thomas Angelo on his Flickr page:

17 Reasons

17 Reasons Mission SF

A friend of mine got married some years ago, and her husband did a play on that notion, listing reasons as part of his proposal. Good idea, I thought. I think it gave me the idea.

I first started doing counseling at test sites in SF for HIV and other STDs.
This was with the AIDS Health Project.
I spoke with people about their concerns and behaviors before I administered a test, and then met with them a week later to give them results and talk further.

Over the years, I collected reasons why people “put themselves at risk,” as we say.
Some of the reasons are poignant.
It relates to my previous post, about our actions, and what they really reflect.

It’s a rich subject. Everything’s a risk, including walking across the street. So it relates to things like perceptions, sense of self, and even spirituality.

Here’s the poem I wrote back then:

21 REASONS:

  1. It was the heat of the moment
  2. You were drunk or high
  3. You just weren’t thinking
  4. You couldn’t help yourself
  5. Everyone’s doing it
  6. No one’s doing it
  7. It felt good
  8. Condoms suck
  9. You’re not concerned
  10. You were bored
  11. You were confused
  12. He took you by surprise
  13. You were abused as a child
  14. You wanted to see what would happen
  15. Sounded like a good idea at the time
  16. Someone had to
  17. You’ve always done it
  18. You already did it once
  19. Why not?
  20. You didn’t want to die without doing it
  21. You wanted to manifest god
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Written by David

December 7th, 2014 at 11:54 am

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the reversal of desire

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And to continue the theme of procrastination,

Here’s the link to a video about what is called “The Reversal of Desire”

Enjoy the perspective of Phil Stutz (and his New York accent) and Barry Michel, and their book called The Tools.

This can help with some kinds of procrastination and focus. 
Left to our own devices, we avoid discomfort.  So it takes a conscious effort to move towards our tasks, towards the discomfort. Do we want to be on our deathbed kicking ourselves for playing it safe and not living our life? In the end, facing things is usually not so painful. It’s just that we usually are sleepwalking.

And, to borrow from Carolyn Myss, it takes vigilance to notice when we are shifting from our conscious choices.  It’s a 24-hour job to be on top of ourselves, to ask ourselves, “where I am right now?  what am I doing?  where is my soul?”  And to call it back, over and over again, into the present moment, to what matters.

So, make a bee-line towards the discomfort.

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Written by David

November 13th, 2014 at 11:27 pm

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six things

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Somehow I came upon this trick from this site:
The Six Most Important Things

If you want to wrangle that “to-do” list, give this a try:

List of Six (6) most important things to do

Make a list, before going to bed, of the 6 most important things to do the next day.
You rank them in order. 1 to 6. Top to bottom.
Doing it before going to bed sets some intention so you hit the ground running.

The game works this way:
You start with task number one, the most important thing to get done, and you don’t budge off it to the next one until it’s finished.
It’s that simple.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t finish all 6 things.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t finish task #1.
If you don’t finish something, you just pick up where you left off the next day.
This way, you guarantee that you are addressing the most important things.
It takes a lot of focus and discipline.

I don’t believe life needs to be this black and white (life has a way of presenting things spontaneously that might call for our immediate attention and attending to, and how about mixing in some fun things on the list to break it up, like a reward, although I’m wary of that word and even the notion of a reward).

Give it a try.
See what works for you.
What matters is what works for you.

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Written by David

November 13th, 2014 at 11:12 pm

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spiritual bypassing

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Spiritual Bypassing is a term that John Welwood coined in 1984.

I see many people who aspire to be kind and non-reactive. So far so good. But they don’t integrate the parts that get jealous, judgmental, petty, even vengeful. I guess that’s the ego for you. It’s ashamed of itself. It calls aspects of our experience “negative” and relegates these parts to what it calls the dark side. But that which resists, persists.

As good as the intentions to be “spiritual” might be, they way some people do it seems to just bring on problems. It creates an internal conflict, because people become at odds with who they are – their humanity.

So rather than shunning, I’m all for owning. As Tony Robbins says, “we are all wanting love, and we are all afraid.” The difference is whether it owns you or you own it.

So it’s about holding all sides of our experience. The part that takes things personally and the part that knows the truth. The part that’s vulnerable and wants caring, and the part that can hold it all with caring and compassion.

Which one is present and at the fore?

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Written by David

March 1st, 2014 at 1:47 pm

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chain of reaction

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If one person expresses dissatisfaction for unmet needs, this can trigger the other person.
The strange thing about this is that the other person was fine until the first person opened his or her mouth!

Now the other person has unmet needs, for any of the following needs:

  • Appreciation
  • Understanding
  • Being seen as he or she is

Now both are triggered, both are experiencing a deficit in needs, no one is heard, and the reactions continue go back and forth like the proverbial ping pong match.

What to do?

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Written by David

June 24th, 2011 at 9:08 pm

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