Category: Humaness

The Anguish and Agony of Unrelenting Resistance

I have a client, Max, who in this moment finds himself in a life that is unmanageable. Regardless of where he is – at work, at home, in his truck driving between home and work – he is facing what feels like cataclysmic consequences. It is like he is attempting to walk through a field of land mines: whatever step he takes, regardless of the direction, it will inevitably result in a Ka-Boom! . . . . It is the end of pre-season for football. The athletes who have put their careers on the line to be chosen as one

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Artist’s Block

Artists are courageous beings. They begin with a blank slate – a sheet of music, an empty canvas, a block of marble, a slab of clay, an empty stage. There is nothing but the desire to follow the impulse to express itself to itself. Humans, each and every one of us, are after all courageous beings – we are always and everywhere artists. We approach each day as if we know what will be created and experienced. The truth is we never know. We live into a pretending, and even in that we are creating a work of art. This

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The Everyday Gurus Among Us

John is a Guru – not that he would recognize himself as one. He is in his mid 80’s, retired, and lives with his wife Eleanor. When looking at John, you wouldn’t notice anything special about him, other than he is very tall, and when he smiles he lights up the room. He doesn’t talk the spiritual talk, nor would he consider himself to be walking a path of spirituality. Yet, I find that when I’m around John, I’m relaxed, peaceful, and I’m not inclined to do anything other than just sit in his presence. Hendrick is another Guru. There

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Aging – What’s the Point?

When I think about the millions of people who are in their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, I wonder what brings fulfillment to their lives. As they disengage from the external world, by choice or by circumstance, most will question reality, much like Scarlett, Martin and Thomas do. “When I was young,” started Scarlett, who is a beautiful, vivacious 80 year old, “everything mattered: What I looked like, what I wore, who I dated, where I lived, how many children I had, where they went to school. Everything mattered! I enjoyed waking up with a sense of purpose. Now I

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Victims of Life’s Circumstances – Or Not!

Francis, a beautiful, creative woman and long time Island resident, came to my work place the other day. “I’ve been reading your articles on aging and dying in Orcas Issues, and you know,” she said with a wee bit of disdain in her voice, “aging isn’t all fun and light – sometimes there’s anger and hate. I’ve been dealing with hearing loss for a long time. My memory is deteriorating and I’m afraid that I’m losing my mind. I’m living with a lot of pain. I’m alone more often than not, and I’m angry about all of this. Sometimes I

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Dying – The Final Big Adventure!

We die a thousand deaths within one lifetime. We experience ourselves in untold numbers of transitions. We face the unknown at every stage of life, and it appears as though most of us have survived. There is the deconstruction of our childhood as we immerse ourselves into puberty and adolescence; we leave behind adolescence when we choose careers, marriage, families – arenas of life where we grow our willingness to be accountable for our words and our actions. The death of innocence occurs over and over again, as reality shows us the ugly, the horrific, and all that has us

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The Well Worn Path of Anticipation

As a child, my focus of attention was quite often on the future. I anticipated the delight of holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the 4th of July, to name a few. I anxiously awaited the time when I was old enough to go to church, or begin school – being like the big kids in my family. I longed for my first crush, my first date, my first kiss, and my first, well, you know! I couldn’t wait until I could leave my parents home, go off to college, find a husband, get married and have children. Then with the

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Will I Like This When I’m Done?

I’m just coming back to the Island after participating in a Kuhn Sisters’ Week in Michigan. I had a lot of trepidation in setting out to attend this event – will I like this when I’m done? I head out anyway, thinking about it as an adventure, with no expectations. Just go! My four sisters and I love to create art and crafts. So, one part of our time together was Craft Day, when we would all sit around the table making something fun and beautiful. On a hot and humid Michigan day, it creates a time for more personal

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Game Changers – They Happen When Least Expected

Sam is a 73 year old retired fellow, living in a two bedroom apartment in Houston. He is a veteran from the Viet Nam era, had a decent enough life with a couple of kids, an ex-wife, and a girlfriend of 25 years. Sam has been happy in his routines – stopping in at his local bank where he has coffee with some cronies. He visits with neighbors and participates in his community, as he has done for many decades. A longtime client of mine, James, in his mid 40’s, lives in Denver. He has four children, a wife he

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Aging and Change

“Your Life is a Testimony to Change.” Rasha The more years I have under my belt the more I realize the degree to which life is more about change than it is about no-change. That change occurs in the realms of physical, mental, and emotional development; social and political structures; career and finances; relationships with family and community; and last but not least, relationships with ourselves and our spirituality. How could one possibly interpret life as stable with all of the shifts that occur in so many aspects of one’s reality?! In the past, I believed if I earned enough

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