Mar 03, 2010
Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.
As a new director of counseling at the community college level, I am greeted by a pressing need to think creatively and proactively to counterbalance the myriad students’ needs on the rise while the resources to address those needs decline. The severity of psychological and academic problems among college students disrupts the balance they need to achieve academic success. Counselors in community colleges need to wield kaleidoscopes with ample lenses that embrace the multiplicity of issues.
Jan 27, 2010
“We must all face the fact that we are very precariously suspended in life: we have a very slender foothold on the planet.” - Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan
As I sit down and prepare to write this entry, a hawk circles outside against the blue sky. I marvel as it moves slowly, precisely, graciously cruising calmly in the waves of the wind. Unlike us, who stand precariously suspended amid chaos, change, and paradox, the hawk hovers and rides the wind. I get the message. I know that my entry today has something to do with standing still amid chaos, with transforming sorrow into hope and possibility.
Jan 12, 2010
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
Where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep. -Rumi
My approach to counseling is heavily informed by the transpersonal nature of my training. My interest in transpersonal psychology began less than ten years ago when I found myself immersed in the process of recreating my life. Or I should said, it began in the early nineties when I decided to make the USA my home. As an immigrant I have gone through the process of adjustment and adaptation and have felt myself greatly changed by the experience, accentuated by my divorce in the early 90s and subsequent step into single parenting and all that came with it, and subsequent remarriage. How was I changed? Finding the answer stirred up my curiosity. Had I lost a part of me, or had I gained something big in the process? I was intrigued. My life, despite my adaptation, felt like a puzzle with missing pieces. My personal interest in finding the answers extended into my professional life. The idea of living a balanced, congruent life that is implicit in the transpersonal approach struck a chord with me. I have made it my intention and purpose in life. This new year I am renewing my commitment to it.
Dec 30, 2009
People don’t get along because they fear each other. People fear each other because they don’t know each other. They don’t know each other because they have not properly communicated with each other.-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In my work with individuals from other cultures, I always start the conversation around our differences and how these differences can improve the quality of the counseling relationship. There is so much we can learn about ourselves, and then so much we can expand if we put our differences to work. If we start the conversation about what makes us different, as opposed to pretending that “we are all the same under the skin,” we expand the periphery of our visions and enrich the texture and depth of our own cultural identity.
Dec 12, 2009
The virtues, then, come neither by nature nor against nature, but nature gives the capacity for acquiring them, and this is developed by training. Aristotle, in Nicomachean Ethics
As our profession continues to solidify, California recently became the 50th state to grant licensure to professional counselors. I echo the claim of many, in that we ought to pause and reassess our approach to the practice of counseling. Virtue and ethics should be at the core of examining our profession, as they are the pillars upon which we can build and sustain our professional personhood.