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.
Nov 16, 2009
Shifting from the laptop screen my eyes glance at the family of cardinals landing on the deck, one after the other, forming a red line, to then disperse in a disorderly manner. Their perky crests sticking up proudly, chests open, confidently pecking the seeds stuck between the boards, while a few finches dance their way around the openings in the hanging feeder. I push the computer aside to give the birds my undivided attention. A family of blue jays, five of them, arrives, and the cardinals fly away. The blue jays establish supremacy, and the finches too depart. One blue jay ventures so close to the glass door that I can see how the blue darkens in a circle around the neck, the wings and tail spotted with white and light blue. In the distance, I hear other jays singing out their dominant call. The visiting jay finds its way around, hopping from one end of the deck to the other, until a red-bellied woodpecker bullies it away. Not content with pecking at the suet feeder hanging to the left, the woodpecker flits to the cylinder feeder, and once again chases away the finches, who had ever so stubbornly returned. I look in ecstasy at the gleaming red cap, the slender body and the long beak and feast on the privilege of my seat.