Monthly Archives: October 2014

The Deception of October


There’s something about October that touches the very core of me. I’m looking out at the blue sky, and see the wind blowing the candy corn leaves off the trees like confetti. It’s a beautiful sight, but it feels a bit deceptive. As filled with beauty as October is, there is also a creeping in of cold and dark that touches inherent fear in me.

october leaves

The past few Octobers have brought big change to my life. This year there hasn’t been big transition in my outer life, but I’ve been working with the energy of the two eclipses in October to create more inner transformation. I’ve been able to tap into what seems like an infinite supply of fear. Quite honestly I’m tired of dealing with fear and was naive enough to think I had moved through most of it.

I recognize that it’s not all my fear. I’m the pack mule for generations of it in my family and I know it’s damn near impossible to live in the modern world and not be impacted by the societal fear that we’re collectively swimming in.

I have some beautiful practices that are releasing this fear from my body and mind. But in the meantime, I’m simply noticing it each time it crops up (like every minute) in either a thought or a sensation in my body. I am working to have compassion for it, acknowledge it and move on.

It’s almost turning into somewhat of a game for me. The internal dialogue goes something like, “Oh! there you are again fear…yes, I just noticed you telling me no one wants to read this dribble, or I’m going to tick off more family members when I write that.”  Or fear sneaks in through the vanity route saying things like “you’re fat, old, saggy, etc.” and for a split second it feels like that would be the end-of-the-fucking-world. But I try to catch it early and acknowledge my old friend before it totally hijacks my brain.   And there’s always the professional route, fear will sneak in and tell me “It’s time to get a real job, or no one will show up for that, or you have no clue what you’re doing!”   Fear is also sneaky enough that when I’m feeling immense gratitude it slithers in and tells me, “it’s too good to be true and everything is bound to come tumbling down soon…brace! prepare yourself.”

It might sound like I’m talking about shame or self worth and I would agree that there are elements of both wrapped up in these toxic thoughts.  But ultimately it is fear that is speaking.  Because everything comes down to either fear or love.  And those thoughts are not loving thoughts.  So my goal is to have compassion for the fear – and send it love and move on.


Victims, Vulnerability & Stoicism


Inspirational quotes about letting go of the past, not being a victim and moving on have always been the kind of mantras that played in my head.

 But now I’m recognizing there is an entire demographic of us stoics who actually need to put it in reverse, review our past and perhaps even acknowledge we have been (gulp) victims.

 Many of us have been victims of dysfunctional families and emotional neglect and abuse.  And we learned to toughen up and protect ourselves early in life with the very specific intent of never, ever being a victim.    We are the ones who have kept our hands on our bootstraps in a perpetual upward motion determined to keep moving forward, without a trace of emotion or complaint in our tracks.

 But, it takes a lot of energy to defend and armor up with that kind of protection.  And it can be exhausting.   Really exhausting…and lead to depression and anxiety and well, exhaustion.

 It’s time we take a few deep breaths and really acknowledge where we came from.  Look at those things we didn’t get in early life and allow ourselves to be the other v-word, (no not that one) VULNERABLE.  Yes, vulnerability is the kryptonite to stoicism.

But why would one want to be vulnerable and give up that strong stance you might wonder?  Because it will break you wide open and you will love and feel and live and experience joy like never before.  That’s why.  Not to mention the other way simply isn’t sustainable.  It leads to addiction, depression and illness.

I am focusing more on retreats now than ever before because I believe it’s my calling in life, but also because I believe people need a time-out to explore these concepts and have a safe space to begin chipping away at the tightly bound armor many of us live in.  I hope you’ll join me in a daylong, a weekend or a weeklong retreat.  It’s time to start living!