The message on my teabag today said “Socialize with compassion, kindness and grace." Wise words on an Election Day filled with so much anger, fear and dread. These beautiful teacups are my favorite gift from my mother and I think of her every time I use them. Since my mother and I are on opposite sides of the political spectrum this isn’t a place we easily connect, but when I focus on the beauty and love we share, that is the bridge that crosses the divide and opens the door to compassion, kindness and grace!
When I read these words from James Baldwin, I am struck by the depth of his wisdom and understanding of human suffering. We therapists often say that “hurt people hurt,” because we’ve come to understand that deep anger and rage are just the tip of the iceberg, and when we are wiling to explore what lies beneath the surface of this anger, we discover an ocean of sadness and fear, which is often perceived as too powerful a force to bare.
Expressing anger and hatred somehow feels more empowering and is just " easier “ than exploring the hopelessness and powerlessness that grief, fear and sadness stir within. I believe this is why there is so much anger and hatred in our society today. Most of us don’t want to explore the cruelty, injustice, inequity, racism, poverty and discrimination that exists in our world and we fear being blamed or judged for the role we may have played in creating and sustaining it.
It is simply more comfortable for us to stay angry, indignant and point fingers at others who we can vilify or blame as “ the one” who has caused so much suffering. But I believe our real challenge as individuals, communities and global citizens lies in exploring the pain that lives beneath our moral outrage and righteous indignation.
How do we do this? The way we heal any trauma or hurt is to first create a space that allows us to bear witness to the pain that we or others have experienced. When we create this space, it activates a wellspring of compassion that is innate to all of us, and this inner resource gives us the capacity to to listen to pain and allow it to express itself. Once expressed and acknowledged with compassion this formerly repressed, blocked and stagnant energy begins to naturally dissolve and transform into another form of energy that we can use for our wellbeing and healing.
As a therapist I have witnessed this process over and over again. There is great beauty in it, but admittedly, healing trauma is messy and can be painful. But when we are willing to discover the ways we have been silent, complicit or actively perpetuated indignities upon the human soul of another, our natural capacity for love is restored and we have the ability to respond differently.
Love heals all, even the biggest icebergs of anger and pain, and when we go deeper, we discover that what we thought was an ocean of pain has dissolved into an ocean of love.
If you are struggling with anger and hopelessness in your life, I would love to help you with that. If you want to learn more about online counseling in Florida, please click on my Services Page. If you want to continue reading other posts click on Blog.
Are you on Instagram? I'd love to connect - you can follow me @Delighttheworld.
Since our whole planet revolves around the sun and we are completely dependent on its light, the idea of utilizing solar power just makes sense to me. But we have access to an even greater source of power that that resides in the world inside of– which is the light of our souls.
When I went to visit my mother recently, the community she lives in had a sign that said “ Our staff is SOULar powered” and I’ve been thinking about what that means. When we allow the light of our souls to radiate (and use that energy to power our lives) we naturally emanate kindness and compassion and want to be a source of love and healing in the world.
One of the best examples of someone who is SOULar powered is my mother’s nurse Jen. She is always gentle, kind and soothing, and I’m in awe of her tireless patience, dedication and willingness to help and problem solve. Jen is definitely powered by the incredible light and beauty of her soul and my Mother and I are so grateful to have her in our lives.
One of the things I learned from my mother is the importance of celebrating the birthdays of people we love. Your birthday isn’t about your age, its about your presence in the world - and it is the day your soul took its first breath and began offering its light and wisdom to the world. That is definitely a SOULar power worth celebrating!
Today is Jen’s birthday, so my Mother and I are celebrating her presence in the world and in our lives. We are so grateful for the love and light she radiates from deep within her soul and Jen inspires me to be SOULar powered too! So Happy Birthday Jen – we love and celebrate you.- may all your wishes come true!
I recently read a newsletter from the spiritual teacher Denise Linn, and she shared an interview of Nelson Mandela that inspired me in the face of the darkness and fear many of us are experiencing. The interviewer asked Nelson Mandela if he sunk into despair during his 27 years of imprisonment. He replied that he wasn’t “despairing,” but rather, he was “preparing” for the days ahead. Despite the horrific cruelty, injustice and indignity he suffered, Nelson Mandela found the capacity inside of himself to prepare the way to end apartheid and achieve what once seemed impossible and hopeless.
His noble words reminded me of a song we used to sing in Catholic School called “ Prepare ye the way of the Lord,” ( which I think was from the musical Godspell). I imagined changing those words to “Prepare ye the way for love and light” to flow into our world. With all the polarization and anger about our upcoming elections you may feel a bit hopeless and think you are powerless to do this. But I believe that each one of us can do what we can, where we can, when we can, to prepare the way for light and love to flow. You can start by asking yourself “Am I adding to the darkness and despair by projecting hatred towards the candidate I don’t want to win? If so, ask yourself how can I shift my energy to add to the light?
Preparing the way for light and love is about creating a pathway for it to flow. Whether that is in the neural pathways and thinking patterns in your mind, or a literal pathway in the world outside of you, you can start right now by being gentle with yourself or another, and then doing one kind thing for someone in your sphere of influence.
Light and Love are part of an eternal and infinite stream of energy, but we need to clear all of the roadblocks inside of us and outside of us, that are obstructing their ability to flow. Do not despair. Regardless of who you are voting for, or the outcome of our elections, we need light and love now more than ever. Do your part to prepare the way!
If you are struggling with despair, I would be honored to walk with you on this journey of restoring hope in your life. If you want to learn more about online counseling in Florida with me, please click on my Sevices page. If you want to return to read other posts, click here on my Blog.
Corrie ten Boom was a holocaust survivor who was imprisoned for helping Jewish people flee from the Nazi's in WWII. She had a deep faith that enabled her to survive those atrocities and still find hope in the Divine. She wrote about her experiences and came to believe that Love is larger than the wall that shut it in. If she could believe that despite such horrific torture, we can too.
It is easy to feel hopelessness and despair in the world right now, so I love this image that Love is larger than anything we can erect to keep it out. When we are experiencing fear and uncertainty - we tend to want to constrict, go within and hide from the world outside of us, but this just walls us in our fear and creates a barricade that others must navigate around in order to reach us, so it ends up to adding to our fear and loneliness. But we are often the ones who create those walls and I agree with Corrie ten Boom, Love is larger than any barricade we erect.
If you are overwhelmed with fear and loneliness right now, I'd be honored to walk with you on your journey. If you want to learn more about online counseling in Florida with me, click on my Services page and if you want to read other posts, click her to read my blog.
Are you on Instagram? I'd love to connect - you can follow me @Delighttheworld
Last week I listened to a podcast of Charles Eisenstein speaking about political hope and the idea that movements emerge through us, we don't actually make them happen. It made me think about the word "Emergency" and I know from my experience as a social worker that something new will always "emerge" whenever someone experiences a crisis or an emergency. It may be a new insight, awareness and skill or a greater sense of understanding and compassion for human suffering. But there is always something that 'emerges."
Once something emerges, it takes on a life force of its own, and this is where our true power of influence lies. What kind of environment are you creating to nurture what is emerging from the multiple emergencies all over our planet?
Deep in my heart I believe that hope, compassion, kindness as well as a recognition of our need for connection and collaboration are emerging as movement that is birthing itself through each one of us. If we stay open and willing, instead of contracted and in fear, we can allow these energies to move through us birth these new paradigms that so many are longing for. Movements are birthed through the love and wisdom in our hearts, so what are you allowing to emerge from your heart today?
If you are experiencing a crisis, you may be feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about the future, in which case it may feel impossible to sense what good might be emerging. If you are are experiencing a crisis or feeling anxiety or depression, I would love to help you with this. Click on my Services page to learn more about online counseling with me in Florida If you would like to read more click here to return to my Blog.
Are you on Instagram? I'd love to connect there - you can follow me at @Delighttheworld
I recently read these wise words from Sharon Salzberg, "Love is an ability," and I've been contemplating them ever since. The word ability means to possess the skill or an innate capability to do something. I like thinking of Love as an innate capability that all of us have. This means we can't lose love and no one can take it from us either, and this can be both a comforting and challenging idea at the same time!
I believe that our ability to give and receive love is always a choice, and that slowing down, taking a deep breath and becoming aware of your heart, is the practice that will connect you to the world inside of you, where you can access this ability to love. The good news is, this ability isn't dependent on circumstances and events in the world outside of you!
If you are feeling lonely or disconnected with the pandemic swirling all around us, this may be a hard idea to accept. That's why I like to think of Love as an ability. Just like any other ability we possess, the more we practice using it, the more skillful we become. What a wonderful desire to aspire to - becoming more skillful in love!
If you are struggling with how to give and receive love in your relationships, I would love to help you with this. You can click on my Services page to learn more about online counseling with me, anywhere in Florida. If you want to read more posts - you can click on my Blog.
Are you on Instagram? I'd love to connect - you can follow me @Delighttheworld!
Years ago, I combined my clinical skills as a therapist with my love of art and interior design, and taught my clients how to create an environment inside of them and outside of them) that would support what they wanted to achieve and create in their lives. I studied Taoism and incorporated eastern design principles into my work, so I would often say to my clients " Energy flows, where attention goes!"
Where is your attention right now? Are you focusing on compassion, hope and loving kindness for yourself and others? Or, are you focusing on your anger and perhaps a sense of helplessness about all the chaos and upheaval in our world today? Whatever we focus on, we flow energy to, which helps it gather momentum and increases its ability to influence our lives.
If you realize that you've been focusing your attention on something that is causing you pain and discomfort, it can help to use an affirmation to begin to build momentum in a new direction. An affirmation is just a simple statement you say over and over again to help you be mindful of what you are focusing your attention on. The key with using any affirmation is to make sure it is something that you want to believe, and not something that feels like an impossibility, because then your mind will start to refute it and just create more mental chatter.
Sometimes, if you are really struggling, then using an affirmation to shift your attention can almost seem annoying and too hard to do. In that case, it might help to start with being willing to open up to more ease and comfort. You could say something like " I am willing to allow more peace to flow into my life." Try saying that 100 times a day, or writing it in a journal. After just a few days of practicing this, you might be amazed at how much more peace flows into your life! It may not change the situation or circumstances you are dealing with, but it can certainly help you maintain a more peaceful attitude and empower you to cope better.
If you are struggling with negative thinking or feeling overwhelmed, I'd love to help you with this. You can click on my Services page to learn more about online counseling with me in Florida. If you want to read more posts, click here for my Blog.
Are you on Instagram? I'd love to connect with you there - follow me @Delighttheworld.
I've always loved this quote by Gandhi because it reminds us that the true source of our power comes from inside of us, not outside of us. That may seem hard to believe in this deeply stressful and chaotic time we are living in.
These wise words from Gandhi came into my mind as I watched the funeral service for Congressman John Lewis yesterday, who I deeply admired. His life was the embodiment of power based on Acts of Love, even in the face of deep hatred, oppression and injustice. I woke up this morning renewed in my commitment to follow in his footsteps and walk the way of truth and love. I hope you will join me!
I've always loved this quote from Marianne Williamson. Love is your birthright and so many of our painful childhood experiences teach us to feel unworthy of love and to fear love because we associate it with pain. But you are good. You are worthy. You deserve love.
If you are struggling with feelings of unworthiness, I'd love to help you with this. Click on my Services page to learn more about online counseling with me.
Are you on Instagram? I'd love to connect with you there @DeligthTheWorld
Do you know the difference between pity and empathy? I had an interesting conversation with one of my teenage clients about this and was blown away by her insight and wisdom. It always hurts my heart when I hear a teenager say “ I hate myself” and this client said that to me a result of being bullied in grade school and never telling anyone about it. When I asked her why she kept this a secret, she replied “ I didn’t want anyone’s pity.” I think all of us have had experiences where we didn’t ask for help or get the support we needed out of fear of being pitied, so we explored why that is.
My client decided that being pitied is an experience of someone being above you, looking down on you and this triggers shame and a feeling of being less than, which is almost as bad as the original insult or hurt. When I asked her about empathy, she described this as an experience of someone being equal to you without judgment, and then you feel safe to ask for support or help. So we established that pity causes shame and separation and empathy creates safety and connection.
As I sat and contemplated the her teenage wisdom, I realized that after 25 years of social work, I couldn’t come up with a better description of the difference between pity and empathy. All of us need empathy in order to feel safe to share our pain and be willing to ask for help. This is essential for our soul’s journey.
If you are having thoughts like “I hate myself” it may help to explore online counseling with me in a safe and empathetic environment. If you want to learn more about it, click on my Services page and if you want to read more posts, click here on my Blog.
Are you on Instagram? I’d love to connect with you there – you can follow me @Deligththeworld.
Have you ever had someone insult you or do something that upsets you and you don’t say anything about it when it happens? But then you spend the next three days obsessing about it, coming up with all sorts of great lines you could have said in response and wishing you had thought of then, instead of 72 hours later!
Years ago, my mentor taught me what she called the 24-hour-rule, which is a way to stop yourself from doing this. Invoking the 24-hour-rule means you that when you are upset about something, you give yourself 24 hours to speak up about it, or you forfeit the right to complain about it or spend anymore time analyzing or obsessing on it.
What I like about the 24-hour-rule is that it can help you feel more empowered and less victimized. Forfeiting the right to obsess about something because you didn’t speak up about it within 24 hours, means you are making the choice to liberate yourself from the ongoing angst, instead of letting it control you. And when you do speak up, even if its not the most witty, perfectly worded comeback, you are standing up for what is important to you – and that has great value!
So try the 24-hour rule if you need help learning how to set boundaries and speaking up. And if you like more support and practice doing this, you can click on my Services page to learn more about online counseling with me, and if you want to read more posts click here for my Blog.
Are you on Instagram? I’d love to connect with you there – you can follow me @Delighttheworld
Whenever I’m working with a couple that is arguing and unable to listen to each other, I ask my clients this question – Would you rather feel right or feel better? I think if we are honest, most of us would rather feel right than feel better, when we become entrenched in an argument and want to prove our point.
But in your effort to prove yourself right, you are usually single mindedly focused and your energy is contracted, which means you are no longer listening or creating a space for a new way of conceptualizing something, which is how solutions are born.
So why do we need to be right? It feels good! But that's a temporary gain. When you are determined to be right, there will be always be a cost because you will be engaged in a mental battle that disconnects you from the love and wisdom in your heart. You may win the battle but lose your sense of peace and connection to a person you care about. Which one do you value more?
If you are experiencing conflict and considering couples counseling, I would be honored to work with and help you find more peace in your relationship. You can click on my Services page to learn more and if you want to keep reading more posts, click on my Blog.
Are you on Instagram? I’d love to connect and you can follow ma @Delighttheworld.
Many years ago I was unemployed and struggling to survive, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to find a way out of the hole I was sinking into. We attach so much of our self worth to what we do, and when we don’t have a job to define our value, it can affect our self-esteem in ways that catch us by surprise. If you are struggling with this right now, I have enormous empathy and compassion for you.
What I learned from my own experience is that regardless of what you do or don’t do, or how much money you earn or don’t earn, you already have a job that has extraordinary value and purpose. You can BE LOVE, and add to the kindness, gentleness, compassion and hope in the world around you. There is no greater gift or resource you can give another human being, especially when your ability to BE LOVE, affirms the dignity of another's soul.
But if you are struggling to do this right now, you may be in a season of your life where you have to allow others to BE LOVE for you. Many people regard allowing other people to help them as an act of weakness, but actually, it is an act of self-esteem. You are worthy to receive what you need, regardless of how much you do or accomplish. You always deserve to BE LOVED.
If you are struggling with self esteem and letting others help you, I’d be honored to walk with you on your journey. If you’d like to learn more about online counseling with me, please click on my Services page and if you want to read more posts, click on my Blog
Are you on Instagram? I’d love to connect with you there @Delighttheworld
All of our spiritual teachers had moments of despair and I find comfort knowing that even Gandhi, Jesus, Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King had moments where they doubted that love, light, patience, and faith were the way through darkness, pain and injustice. If they had moments of doubt and hopelessness, then surely we will too!
Right now, it is easy to have moments, hours or even days where it seems like the fight against racism, greed, poverty and any other indignity to the human soul seem hopeless. But Mahatma Gandhi reminds us that the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall.
Sometimes the tyrant dwells inside of you and the oppression and injustice you are battling are the false truths you have come to believe about yourself and your worth as a human being. But I believe that the way of love and truth can win inside of you too.
If you are feeling depressed or hopeless right now, I would love to help you with this.. If you want to learn more about online counseling with me, please click on my Services page and if you want to read more posts click on my Blog.
Mark Twain wrote these wise words long before we had the internet and a lie could actually travel half way around the world in less than a second. I find that comforting, because it is easy to think that technology and social media have destroyed our ability to know and recognize the truth, but this simply isn’t true.
It has always up to us to see and hear the truth when it is offered, regardless of how it is presented. It is our connection to our hearts and the wisdom in our soul that gives us the power and discernment to recognize what it true for us, and the ability to question what isn’t. No technology or form of social media can take the place of that. It has always been an individual journey of each one of us listening to the small still voice within that knows what is true and right for you to listen to and respond to. No force outside of you can stop you from finding the voice of truth.
If you don’t know how to set boundaries with the turmoil outside of you so that you can listen to the wisdom and guidance inside of you, I’d love to help you with this. If you want to learn more about online counseling with me, please click on my Services page and if you want to read more posts click on my Blog.
Are you on Instagram? I’d love to connect with you there @Delighttheworld
These wise words from Khalil Gibran inspired me to look up the definition of generous, which is defined is “ liberal in giving; marked by abundance or ample proportions’ characterized by a noble kindly spirit.” Then I looked up synonyms for generous, which are words like unselfish, unstinting and free-hearted and I decided that I want to practice generosity!
When we give more than we can, we feel open-hearted and open-handed, but when pride prevents us from taking what we need, we feel small, constricted and closed off. In either case, what causes us to feel open or closed is often the presence or lack of shame.
Shame is the sticky, gooey energy that makes us feel unworthy, think we are not enough and it can cause us to believe that we are a bother and shouldn’t take up too much space. Shame is always lurking in the shadows and makes us want to hide, close ourselves off and avoid exposure to keep us feeling alone and invisible
But here’s a secret I’ve learned from my own experience. Shame cannot abide in the energy of loving kindness, which opens your heart and naturally restores your generosity and your noble, kindly spirit. So when you practice loving kindness towards yourself, you can’t help but practice generosity and as an added benefit, you kick shame to the curb!
If you are finding it hard to practice loving kindness towards yourself or others, I’d be honored to walk with you on your spiritual journey and help you with this. If you want to learn more about online counseling with me, you can click on my Services page and if you want to keep reading more posts, click here for my Blog.
Are you on Instagram? I'd love to connect with you there, so you can follow me @Delighttheworld.
When I was growing up I had five older sisters, so I was always thrilled when they’d let me hang out in their rooms and if I was really lucky, they’d let me listen to music with them! We had very strict parents, so every once in a while, my mother would forbid us to play certain songs in the house, which of course, only made them more enticing to listen to!
I recently heard one of these forbidden songs from my childhood and as I listened to the lyrics of Yummy, Yummy, Yummy I’ve Got Love In My Tummy, the child in me giggled in delight! I decided to play it for some of the children I work with who were struggling with sadness this week, and we danced and sang together, which instantly lifted their moods. It was such a powerful reminder that regardless of the time and space between us (and the screens we have to use for online counseling) music connects our hearts and lifts our spirits, even in the most challenging times. I think the child in all of us could delight in listening to this song, so here’s a link to an old version of Yummy, Yummy, Yummy by Ohio Express, if you are in need of something to lift your mood! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4aQiFaCod8
It may feel hard to life your spirits right now, and I'd love to be able help you with this. The nice thing about online counseling is that you don’t have to google a “ therapist near me,” because we can connect wherever you are from the comfort of your home! If you’d like to learn more about online counseling with me, you can click on my Services page and if you’d like to continue reading more posts, you can click here to return to my Blog.
Are you on Instagram? I’d love to connect with you there - follow me @delighttheworld.
When I was training to be a therapist at the Gestalt Institute of New Orleans, my mentor Anne Teachworth would often quote the founder of Gestalt Therapy (Fritz Perls), who used to say “Lose your mind and come to your senses.” He wasn’t advocating that we lose our sanity, but rather that we lose the false grip of control we think have when we are trying to solve a challenge by thinking and analyzing it in our mind, without any awareness of how we feel about it.
Our feelings are like an internal GPS inside of us, which constantly guides us to where we want to go. But so often, we get stuck in our heads, attempting to mentally solve a problem without listening to the guidance of our feelings and then we get frustrated because we don't know what to do! Sound familiar?
It's a bit like sitting in your car and programming your GPS, and then talking about it (and analyzing it) instead of following it, and then wondering why you aren’t getting where you want to go. Our feelings are important messengers that can guide us about how to get our needs met, but in order to pay attention to our emotions, we have to feel them in our body, not think about them in our head.
Do you ever find yourself wondering am I depressed? Often, when clients explore this with me, they will say I don’t really know what I feel. If you don't know what you feel, you don't know what you need. Using your senses is a gentle way to start identifying what you feel (and thus need). Then you can use your inner GPS to guide you in the best direction to get your needs met.
I you need help identifying what you are feeling right now, I'd love to help you with this, so please click on my Services page to learn more about online counseling with me, and if you’d like to continue reading more posts, you can click here to return to my Blog.
We had major plumbing challenges at my house last week and on several occasions the water was turned off for long periods of time. When I first learned about the magnitude of repairs that were needed and how long it would take, I wasn’t very happy to say the least. But I remembered that in Traditional Chinese Medicine, water is believed to be the most powerful element because it is completely non-resistant and can go anywhere. Since the entire house needed to be replumbed, and I didn’t want to stay in a hotel due to Covid 19, I decided to practice being completely non -resistant in order to keep my peace.
All week long I hummed the song Peace Is Flowing Like A River and was determined to go with the flow. I like to think that I go with the flow most days, but this experience helped me realized this isn’t really true - I usually have some plan or direction in which I want to go that sets the tone of my day. But last week, almost every time I planned to do something, the plumbing situation required I re adjust so here’s what I learned about going with the flow.
Creativity can feel empowering. We had an elaborate system of pots and pans to use for water and flushing the toilet, and I mastered boiling water on the stove for quick sponge baths and doing a load of laundry in the tub, which increased my confidence in my ability to be resourceful. Re-plumbing a house takes a great deal of coordination between many pieces and parts, so everyone ended up pitching in and I got to know some of my neighbors much better, and this was an added surprise. I also felt a renewed sense of gratitude for the luxury of having hot water to take a shower and a washing machine to do laundry, which many people do not have.
Practicing non-resistance can seem like we are passively accepting something that we don’t like or don’t agree with. But going with the flow last week showed me the great power stored in non-resistance. It actually felt expansive and liberating, allowed me to keep my peace, and invited more creativity, community and gratitude to flow into my life.
If you’d like to create more peace in your life, I’d be honored to help you with this, so you can click on my Services page to learn more about online counseling with me. If you’d like to continue reading more posts, you can click here to return to my Blog.
Are you on Instagram? I’d love to connect with you there - follow me @delighttheworld.
I’ve always loved the word Delight! To me it means “of the light” and with all the darkness and fear in the world today, I wanted to create a place where we can gather together, restore our connection to the light and help one another to Delight The World with love, kindness, gentleness, beauty, compassion and grace. —Amy Rose, LCSW