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This is where I've been in between my clinical work with clients ~

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Oh my gosh, I have been absent for far too long from my beloved blog. My absence has not been due to laziness, lack of interest on my part, being in a pissed off mood at the blogging community or a churlish attitude in general.  Here is the true unvarnished, un-spun, authentic deal ~ I have been ill, very ill, for a very long time.  For over two years now.  I have shared about my Unwanted and Un-invited Bastard Buddy Vertigo (BBV) who swooped in for an extended visit and decided not to depart, right?  Well, nine months ago a new uninvited health hazard Bastard arrived on my doorstep and the BBV invited him into my home and my body.

All of this is to say, that I have been fighting, literally, for my ability to remain in my physical self on this Earth plane.  However, when I finally hit the lowest of my low a couple of months ago, I chose to re-claim my healing and to stop looking outward to supposed “experts” such as Western medicine and naturopaths, etc., who were not helping, to say the very least.  I also made the decision to place the focus of my energies on my spiritual practices and return to my creative writing and visual art, both of which spark my will to live and make the most meaning in my life.  Throughout this entire journey, I have continued to work and provide psychotherapy services to adolescent youth and their families.

I have missed my little blog.  I have missed being a part of the blogging community and the connections I have made here.  I maintain a Facebook account using my legal name, however, due to the nature of my professional life, am not comfortable co-mingling the two worlds.  What I am hoping is that now that I have taken this step of writing a post today that I will be more active once again with my little blog.  Most likely not daily but more frequently than once every quarter.

I am thrilled to report that my creative writing is on fire and there is much movement in that area.  There is goodness in this world and even though my faith and spirits come and go and I am a fickle creature, I do believe that my struggles are not in vain.  Sending out love, compassionate caring and peaceful energy in these early morning hours this Saturday morning.

Maybe I am unemployable. 

Maybe I am incapable of working for someone else; for very long.  And maybe I am not cut out to be a government worker. 

Just maybe. 

Today has been an exercise in watching and listening to people whose main priority was and is to cover their own asses, thus ensuring proper coverage of their government employer’s ass, which by the by is a very large ass.  Meaning there is a lot of ass covering to ensure. 

Meanwhile, my ego and self-worth both became larger and more trampled on as the day progressed.  Funny thing how wanting to be ‘right’ and its accompanying desire of wanting others to acknowledge one’s own rightness creates a big brouhaha.  Inside one’s own head, at least.  The one in this case, is me.  Time to deflate the old ego mania; to take off the eyeglasses of judgment and inhale a big cleansing breathe. 

Oh yeah.  Reminder to self ~ remember to exhale.

Where I work there is a department called the Transitional Services Unit (TSU) that helps incarcerated youth return to their communities.  I understand that it was not that many years ago that this unit did not exist and that youth who had aged out of the juvenile justice system were simply released.  Set out on the curb so to speak.  Now each departing youth has a team who works with them and on their behalf to help them navigate the numerous changes and challenges. 

This morning, I realized that I need one of these TSUs of my very own.  Now whether or not I would make good use of their offered services, I do nots know for sure.  But I cannot help but think that there might be some comfort in just knowing I had this team of humans who were looking out and ahead for me, even for a little while. 

Because where I am today is a familiar place.  Familiar but full of danger and darkness.  This place where I end up after the ground opens underneath me and I experience the free fall into depression, a cavern of great depth.  This time, I did what I used to do many years ago, I pretended I was not falling ~ for a while.  That is until either the invisible tether securing me to the landscape of life, separated or the growing velocity of the plunge forced me to admit I was in this place, once again. 

I must snap out of my funk.  Create toe and finger holds to climb, pull and grunt my way to the surface.  Pronto.  Today is my middle grandson’s 14th birth day family celebration.  I love this boy, dearly.  I am to bring the cheese bread.  Cheese bread ~ his Grammie’s cheese bread ~ is one of his most favorite foods.  To not show up, cheese bread in tow, is not acceptable.  I love this boy. 

So I must figure my way out of this quagmire of self indulgent angst once again in order to leave my home, get in Buster Blue, drive to the grocery, purchase the ingredients, return home, make the cheese spread, drive to my daughter’s home, participate in the family birth day celebration and be part of my life ~ part of my middle grandson’s life. 

Where are the TSU personnel?  Hello?  Can you hear me? 

With or without other human help, I must assist mine own self.  I have been in this place before, many times in fact.  Surely I must know the way up and out.  I will look for some markers and familiar signs pointing ahead.

Should I stay or should I go?  This question has me off kilter, off balance, out of sync.  Centered I am not. 

It seems this question of where I will live or more specifically, where will I grow roots has been a long asked question.  One that hovers over me sort of like a lazy man’s lasso ~ too loopity-looped to really ensnare anything.  For all the years that I lived in California attending grad school, I was unsettled.  This condition was due, in large part, in knowing that upon graduation, I would be called upon to make a decision ~ to choose between a warmer clime and those whom I call my family.  The choice though is never that simple or at least it feels laden with much more. 

I chose to return to the Land of Almost Always Winter to be close to my clan.  And now here I am again at the crossroad of choice.  Do I apply for a position in a much warmer climate near the ocean or do I take a pass and continue on here?  If I take my familia out of the equation, I have to admit there would still be considerations.  Things like a regular paycheck at a job that I will have held for a year next week, a rented living space that I like (even with the leaky roof) and a few local friends whom I enjoy their company.  And then, of course, there is the little or actually big fact of not having to pack up and move, again. 

Now, some might say that I am putting the cart before the horse.  I mean really, why don’t I just go ahead and apply for the position and then consider all of this other stuff.  Well because in order to apply, I must request letters of recommendation and only want to ask this favor of colleagues if I am truly interested in the job.  Plus, I realized that it’s go time as in let’s get it together and figure out where I am going to commit to living for a while.  If I am going to stay put then I could and should (beware of the should says a little voice) begin taking the steps to open a small private practice in addition to my 4-day work week. 

Come on self.  What’s the hold up?  The hang up?  What exactly is the sticky wicket?  The answers are here within my heart and mind.  Right?  Allowing myself to know what I know is easier said than done in the moment.

All of my life I have been a learner.  An avid learner and seeker of information, new ideas, fresh perspectives, truth, dark hidden places and secrets.  As a returning or non-traditional student in grad school I quickly learned the powers of reference lists and bibliographies.  Keys that unlocked treasure troves of knowledge, research, assumptions, lies, hidden bias, brand new theories based on old tried and true or not-so-true foundations and even more reference lists.  A learner’s paradise or never-can-read-everything-related-to-most-recently-adopted-passionate-topic sort of hell. 

Today was a day of learning and rich dialogue.  A most excellent day spent at a training on a topic near and dear to my heart, interest and chosen profession.  The training module centered around clinical supervision in rural areas working with indigenous people and some of the trainers and participants were authentically present and dynamically engaged.  A most superb day, indeed. 

If there was a phrase that describes me the best, I do believe I would choose that of a lifelong learner.  The process of acquiring new ideas and methods is invigorating.  I am all lit up from the experience of shared learning and am ever so grate-full to return to my sunfilled living room awash in golden sunshiny rays.

Morning prayer.

Please help me

shed my ego

for today.

So that I may be

present in the moment.

The real me

not the puffed up ego driven me.

Please help me

be of service to my

earthly counterparts

through the gift of being

present and teachable

with my ear to the hearts of others.

@junemoon 02/2012

I must admit that I am somewhat of a compliment hound.  I soak up others’ appreciation of me and my efforts like a thirsty sponge.  A kind word.  A few words of acknowlegement of my worth.  A bright sunny smile accompanied with a little praise.  A nod of the head meant to convey kudos to me for a job well done.  All of these inspire me to toward positivity and being my best self. 

Self worth is at its best coming from within.  Why have our mood and our self view be so vulnerable, so at the mercy of external feedback?  Best to have our very own anchor to keep us steady when the winds of life toss us about on the open ocean. 

My head gets that concept.  My rational analytical brain nods in agreement to this premise, the idea that self worth must come from mine own self.  In real time, however, the Compliment Hound and Praise Sponge parts of me actively scan my environment for positive reinforcers of my worth. 

Just for today, I choose to appreciate both the Hound and the Sponge.  Afterall, I love canines and sponges come in mighty handy ~ perfect complements (wink) to my sturdy well-anchored sense of self worth.

Reflecting back to a year ago as I read through previous posts, private journal entries and summoned memories, I concluded that I am better off in my current moments than in the past already lived times. Better. More. Good progress.

And then the devil’s advocate side of me chimes in, challenging the notion of words such as better and more. Judgment calls, really. Getting my attention, this wily provocateur continues with growing insistence stating that all experiences are just that ~ experiences.  Life lessons if you will.  Or maybe even simpler yet, life in any given moment.  Why, this slightly miffed one asks, do we mere mortals insist upon grading life’s happenings as if only happy contentment is the holy grail.  Life is not meant to be a jazzed up cabaret, my dear, this ruffian extols. 

Growing weary of my now ranting inner nemesis I say, not so kindly, Shut Up.  Shut the F up and get out of my inner sanctuary ~ at least for this moment.  Because in this moment Mister Insister of Multifaceted Existence, you are bringing me down.  Muddying the waters.  You see, I agree with what I believe to be your basic premise ~ all experiences hold value.  I further agree with your assertion that… 

Yada yada yada.

Blah Blah Blah.

You see this morning, Mister Advocate, I am not into deep philosophical preponderances.  I was going another route of simple reflection and simpler yet gratitude.  So back to the beginning of my thoughts I go where I was saying that every aspect of my life is better than 12 months ago. 

  • The vertigo condition, although still with me, is more manageable and being treated;
  • I am working in my chosen professional field and making a financial living;
  • My living space is 200% improved;
  • There’s major progress made in sorting out an “it’s complicated” relationship;
  • An easing and deepening of familial ties;
  • Closer and more meaningful friendships with local friends;
  • New friendships that enhance my life;
  • A renewed spiritual awakening and daily practice;
  • A change in diet, while difficult, is much healthier and life sustaining;

~ more ~ better ~

~ much progress ~

Events in my week conspired to remind me in multiple modalities to keep things simple. To return to the simple ways of life. To actively re-incorporate simplicity into my clinical work with the youth whom I serve and their families. To embrace myself through acts of simple acceptance. To uncomplicate my life in order to continue to thrive and grow instead of reverting to merely surviving.

I participated in a training workshop focused on delivering services to individuals who are considered cognitively impaired. The material reminded me that therapeutic progress is a journey. Reminded me that often times progress made by one’s soul or spirit cannot and should not be subjected to statistical analysis. No standard deviations nor quantitative studies need apply.

Change, even when defined as positive and maybe even more so when it is, has a split personality. At once both life changing and simple. Simplicity in its finest and most elemental form.

So at the end of this particular week, I am filled with a simple appreciation for my life ~ the part already lived ~ the moment I am experincing ~ and the part I anticipate with simple faith ahead of me.

April 2018
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