Tag Archives: conscience

30 Days of Brené Brown — Day 14: #universality #inadequacy #healing #group #ACOA


Welcome to Day 14 of “30 Days of Brené Brown.”

Here is today’s quote:

Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.
― Brené Brown

Or, this shorter and wittier take, which I admire more:

We’re all alone in this together. –Lily Tomlin

It’s all true. We feel alone, but we’re not. We feel as though no one gets our pain, our perspective, our feelings of inadequacy and less-than -ness, but they do.


We all just have to be willing to take that step and trust the person we’re relating to when we say, “I feel like a loser sometimes…” and hope to Sweet God on High, that the person we’re sharing with isn’t Biff Tanner:

So, yes, we are alone until we open up. If you watched that clip, you can see the elder McFly laugh and try to “join in” when Biff’s friend mocked Marty, but it was fleeting. He wanted to belong, even if it meant making fun of someone else, which was against his inner goodness and character.

Opening up needs to happen with like-minded people; and they will come into your life in ways you won’t be able to imagine.

How? You must believe and be ok with the truth that you are “small,” not in an inadequate way, but in a “humbling” way: that you are a soul with lessons to learn from life experiences (“lessons”) both “good” and “bad.” You must allow them all to synthesize in order to grow.

When those lessons happen, and when you’re paying attention, their messages will line up for you, like ducks in a row, and then you will see that it all makes sense. Your challenges are not personal.  This is how the Universe, energy, fate and life work.

Taking the “inadequacy” route and the “victim” path will help you find other people, but they might not be The Best People to find.

Ultimately, we want people who help us grow, feel good about ourselves and thrive. You don’t want people who remind you of a problem or who sit and stew with you, right? Those stewers keep you in the problem.

Soul bearing and stewing are a “tear in your beer” song apart. It might feel good and help you get your stuff out, but after a while, you should want to take a shower (or have an “aura combing” as we did on the retreat) because it’s actually misery.

Short and sweet: A healthy person does NOT want to be miserable all the time. (You should see the face I’m making as I think about all that; it’s like I encountered a hairball in my closet.)

So yes: Helpful People exist, but you won’t heal until you open up and allow your humility to show you that you don’t have all the answers. Who wants to have all the answers?

Those Answer Guys. You know I hate ’em.

We get through this stuff together. Like The Breakfast Club. Even Dick Vernon, the teacher in that movie had his moment of self-awareness. The best character of all? The Conscience?: Carl the janitor.

"I am the eyes and ears of this institution, my friends."  (c) universal pictures

“I am the eyes and ears of this institution, my friends.” (c) universal pictures

The other lesson is that those other people on this planet who are still asleep: their antics are NOT about you, it’s about THEM and it will NEVER be about you and it will ALWAYS be about them. As much as it might pain you to realize that you don’t matter at all to them and in fact you matter so little that they do this stuff automatically as if you’re not even around, it’s the truth.

Here’s the good news: no one thinks about you as much as you fear they do. Here’s the bad news: no one thinks about you as much as you wish they would.  –Dr. Phil (I love that dude.)

They are still learning; sometimes they are us. We are they, they are you and you are me and we are all together. Remember that as you sit on your cornflake, waiting for the band.

I have a phrase, “The lessons will continue until we learn them.”

Woo-woo confession: I had a consult yesterday with an Angel healer because I’m really trying to figure out my purpose here on this planet. My mom was not my purpose. She was an agent of my purpose. Trying to save her from herself was not my purpose no matter how it was foisted upon me. It has taken me a very long time, 45 years, to accept that; so now, the question is: what IS my purpose? I’ve had inklings and thoughts and feelings and impressions and grand piano crashes, but it helps to throw money at someone else who can help you figure it out.

Sometimes we just don’t want to give ourselves the benefit of already knowing.  Or if you’re singing from my sheet of music: oftentimes you were told that what you saw or believed you saw wasn’t happening or real, so you condition yourself to not believe what’s going on, to push it aside and ignore your gut reactions and your intuition. Then you learn to rely on others (the deniers) as your barometers of truth and fairness. Sometimes you can be led well, other times you’re tossed off the track.

The consult was validating. The message was clear: my purpose is as a communicator, a healer and a teacher — because I am a seeker. I was told to write the memoir. Keep writing, but the best use of my talent and my life’s purpose is to create a book that has a practical application and which isn’t just about spewing my story. That was a huge interest of mine — to not sound like some inadequacy-nursing, lunatic adult child who never got her act together. I don’t see the point in ranting if I can’t be of service and add value to what I’m trying to impart. It’s just who I am. But I was stuck, so I really needed some guidance. The guidance was: share how I’ve survived the world I came from and how I’m thriving despite it.

The only way my work will benefit and serve others is for me to share my history and show its all-too sad commonality: there are a LOT of ACOAs out there. Many are afraid to come out. They needn’t be. What happened to us all is Just Awful.

So when I reveal and illustrate my feelings of “aloneness” I will relate to the audience that so dearly needs to hear that peace is there, that our truth is: it’s nothing personal despite the pins and daggers and shooting pains (physical and emotional) that feel like they are personally aimed at us.

The “imperfection” Brown speaks of: it’s in us all. We are all imperfect; that’s what makes it so great!

It’s because of that imperfection that we might repress, deny, or fear which allows us to be suck jackholes about or toward other people. It’s hard to admit we’re imperfect; if we don’t, we aim outwardly at others and it’s all projection. It’s along the same lines of “I know you are but what am I?!” playground smack. We can’t see in others what we don’t possess in ourselves. (Don’t worry, I’m not always deep like this at cocktail parties, but I am always paying attention, I can’t stop it now.)

So it’s a tightrope for us all: be careful of how you bemoan your life; for there is always a lesson it it.

i've done this. have you done this? i've been the demon, the kid and sometimes, the cookie. it sucks.

i’ve done this. have you done this? i’ve been the demon, the kid, and sometimes, the cookie. it sucks.

The thinnest line of all is when we consider another person The Selfish / Wrong / Jerky One and don’t see ourselves and how Wrong / Inadequate we are being as we label that other person*, “The Problem.”

So remember: the next time you want to mouth off about someone else’s imperfection, selfishness, hurtful behavior, arrogance or whatever, make sure you’ve got a mirror handy solution, or a drop of self-awareness, or allowing a  smidge of vulnerability to admit you’re hurt too. If that’s the case, that you feel that way due to personal history (you better get a handle on that history) that’s really why you’re mad.

Thank you.

*drawing and then seeing that cartoon shook me up a little. there are exceptions and it’s when life feels tragically unfair: when we are neglected, abused, cast-off and blindly hurt by other people, most often by our adults when we were children. this is the cruelest cut of all — i swear it’s not personal. but catch it though — see where that hurt and abuse repeats itself in other areas of your life: are you letting in more Biff Tanners into your life without noticing it? i wrote this post about when i’d done that. (click on the red.) or worse, are YOU continuing that cycle? if that’s what’s going on: get help. find help. use the help and then you will become the help.

30 Days of Jung — Day 30: #Conscience #Attune #Harmony #Spirit #Confidence #Intuition


This is it! The last day of 30 Days of Jung! Are you as bittersweet as I am? I sort of can’t believe I started this a month ago. Yet, it is just like me to start something (a 30-day program) in the middle of something else (like a month). I have learned a lot about myself and I hope you have learned a lot about yourself while also learning unsolicited information about me.


The first post was on the 19th anniversary of my wedding’s rehearsal dinner and I wrote about the chemistry between two people and the last one is about our intuition.

Welcome to Day 30 of “30 Days of Jung,” my series, wherein (soon, I will start repeating myself, like now) I take a famous quote of Carl G. Jung‘s and try to make sense or refute or invert or disembowel it or where I turn into a heaping pile of mush because of it in 1,000 words or less.

If you don’t know who Jung is, he formulated the theories of introverted and extroverted personalities, the stages of individuation, the basis of the “Meyers-Briggs” personality (INFJ / ESFJ, etc.) tests. He’s a “father” of modern-day psychoanalysis. In short, he’s a badass. But he’s dead, so he can’t be with us today.

Here is today’s:

“Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune. ”

I guess the only way I get to pick an ending here is to choose another quote, but I won’t. I’ll stick with this one because I know there’s a message in it for me.

When I am about to say something I don’t mean or that I shouldn’t say or which needs rephrasing, I often get a physical sensation and I’d like to say that it’s subtle, but it’s not. In fact it’s so NOT subtle that I have to work consciously to ignore it, steam ahead, push through and possibly wreck something.

It’s a sensation in my solar plexus and it’s an equivalent to a tap on the shoulder, except that it’s a tug on the gut. (That was almost a palindrome.) And if I had to put a “word” on it, it would be this: “No,” or “Stop,” or “Don’t” or “Wait.” Sometimes I notice it most when I don’t mind my own business. When I speak for others, when I talk over people, when I tell people what to do or try to influence them when I have no right. Hypocrisy and / or being a busybody are HUGE vibration messed-uppers.

I suspect that tug is my “something is out of tune.” (Jung was not very clever with the analogies or metaphors… ‘tune’ — what are we on Broadway?).

Actually, I eat my words now.

I had to stop what I was doing a moment ago and save this post. But I didn’t have a title, so I had to think of one and as I typed “attune,” I thought of our spirit being attuned to someone or something or ourselves and then I thought of “harmony” as in being in harmony with our actions and our thoughts and then I got the gist of this quote, that when Jung said ‘out of tune‘ he might have been talking about our inner conscience (of course and obviously), but I also get the sense that he was talking about the larger cosmic vibrations and harmonies and that when we fight them, we do know it and we can feel it; an unsettling, a twitch, a nagging thought….

I am sitting here nodding at myself like a churchgoer, looking at the NO ONE sitting next to me with a knowing glance, “Mmm-hmmm…”

I’m such a dork.

Anyway, yes, we do know when we are acting against our better sense and our better selves.

When we gossip. (Guilty.) Is it for malice or good? 

When we yell. (Yup.) Can we be kinder and still make our point?

When we know, without hesitation, that what we are considering doing needs more time.

When we put ourselves last. When we ignore our intuition and allow unhealthy people in our lives. When we enable. When we become codependent. I know this.

So how do we change this? How do we become attuned to the correct way and the healthy way to act?

We slow down.

We listen and don’t feel a need to respond right away.

We don’t judge.

We allow ourselves the very thing we’d allow anyone else: time.

I was one of those people who had to have the answer, had to be a first-responder, had to have a witty retort because I wanted people to like me. I just read a great post, “You Like Me? You REALLY Like Me?” by Mary Swan-Bell. It resonated with me because this is where Mary’s taking the gloves off and is saying, “I don’t need you to like me anymore,” and I totally dig that. She’s not against anyone, she’s just “FOR” herself. She’s “pro-Mary.”

I’m in this place, a lot like where Mary is, where I’m at peace with where I am and that I’m gonna be OK when someone doesn’t like me. That is my natural state: neutral and at peace. I can feel it when my conscience is telling me, “This isn’t what you want to do. You know it. Stop faking.” The best part is that it’s all on me when that happens: I can stop what is unhealthy or out of tune it as much as if I decide to start what is healthy or in tune. All of us have this opportunity: we don’t have to wait for something to react to, we can just be in tune.

That concept used to bother me a few years ago. I was afraid that if I became neutral that I would lose my “edge”: my sharp wit and my clever observations. It’s still there, I still make mistakes, I still joke around, but I don’t feel a need to do it to Be Someone Else. I do it when it feels right. There’s no more jockeying for position.

My yoga retreat is on my mind a lot now; I’m clearly distracted by it and I feel like my writing is affected by it all. I’ve been receiving an email a day for the past couple days from the retreat organizers and I’m getting nervous and happy and curious. They sent me our daily schedule and it’s going to be so jam-packed! From 6am until 6pm we will be in an actively yogic frame of mind: learning, chanting, eating, sharing, posing, meditating and practicing. It’s going to blow my mind because I want it to. I’m ready.

I know how I feel whenever I leave my twice-weekly traditional 90-minute yoga classes: like I’m a feather in the air, gently wafting down to the sidewalk… I can only imagine how I’ll be after 12 hours straight every day for 16 days. I might glow and float.

Yes, the diet concerns me: Nothing but fruits, vegetables and dairy for the entire time. Fruit likes me. I’ll just leave it at that. Some are predicting I’ll be “cut” and toned; I really have no clue; I think I’ll be different… not sure how… In the summer, I’m a vegetarian for the most part. Except for those burgers last night… and three nights ago… oh, and the Costco pizza…I guess I’m really not that much of a vegetarian. Pesto? Does pesto count? And lots of brie? If I could have a yoga mat made of brie, I’d be all set.

So I plan to write again soon this week; I do want to tell you about my trip to rainland Canada. I have lots of pictures and had a great time.

I can feel though that I’m starting to peel back, separate a little from “this world” that I’m in now; I’m already mentally packing for my retreat; thinking about where I’ll hide the Slim Jims and the Cap’n Crunch and I wonder…. is it out of tune to think like that? I’m partially kidding; I talk a good game… I’m pretty sure though that I’ll be ready to commit. After all, I don’t do anything halfway. So much for neutrality. But I’m excited! I start this weekend for a quick three-day primer, then shove off on the 25th for the mountains.


Ok, back to the quote. Yes…

So listen to your gut and you’ll be in tune. It’s really fairly simple. You’ll know when you’re not; you’ll feel it and it won’t feel right. You’ll have a hard time letting it go and have a deep soft, yet nagging need to make it right or different. That’s good. Listen to it. Don’t be afraid to do the right thing. It will make you uncomfortable and that’s when you know you’re growing. We all know how it feels to have growing pains. If you’re in constant comfort, you’re doing something wrong. A good life is one that makes you do a double-take every once in a while.

So … yeah. I’m at my word limit. 30 Days of 1000+ a day. This has been great. I feel like asking someone to take a photo of me with all you guys…

Will you sign my yearbook?

I almost feel like Dorothy when she was about to start clicking her heels…

Thank you. Really, thank you for reading whatever you have of this series. I plan to post while I’m away, if the spirit moves me. Maybe just a picture every once in a while or maybe some really heavy-duty observations. We will see. But I already have my title: “Missives from the Mat.”

…bye! for now! 🙂