Forgiveness, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Forgiveness, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

“Forgiveness is nothing less than the way we heal the world".

   -- Desmond Tutu, The Book of Forgiveness 

I was a terrible oldest sister.
 
In our dysfunctional family filled with addiction and anger, yet held together in intense love and loyalty, I raged and cried and felt isolated.

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Spiritual Challenge for 2017, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Spiritual Challenge for 2017, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

A very wise student of mine asked a wonderful Kabbalistic question:  When is ”not-making” doing nothing?  And when is it doing something?

Jason Shulman describes not making in this manner.

“Not-making is that condition in which things are simply what they are and we are not making a “secondary something” out of primary experience.  We engage with reality directly."

- Jason Shulman
Kabbalistic Healing

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My Graduation Vow, by Jenny Emerson, LMFT, LMT

My Graduation Vow, by Jenny Emerson, LMFT, LMT

Another School of Healing Arts graduation is upon us.  At each graduation, students recite their own personal vow that they developed from what they have learned at our school.  The following is staff member Jenny Emerson's vow from her graduation from our Kabbalah program in 2011.

"What I have learned in Kabbalah is that I am like a cake. You see, I start out in Asiyah with all my parts laid out on a counter like the ingredients of a cake. There is separateness here. The eggs, the flour, the water, etc. they don’t touch. Just like my sense of humor doesn’t want to be near my angry side. Here I struggle to manage and control myself. Make all my parts behave, only showing certain ones to certain people.

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Love and Tolerance of Others, by guest blogger, David Saffold

The following is my tenth entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.

Step 10:  “Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.”
 
Step 10 is found in Chapter 6 (Into Action), page 84, third paragraph through page 85, third paragraph of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  I will let the literature do most of the talking here. “Step 10 suggests we continue to take personal inventory and set right any new mistakes as we go along.  We vigorously commenced this way of living as we cleaned up the past.  We have entered the world of the Spirit.  Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness.  This is not an overnight matter.  It should continue for our lifetime.  Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear.  When they crop up, we ask God at once to remove them.  We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone… Love and tolerance of others is our code.

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Being Happy, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Being Happy, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

I am thinking about the vast array of people I know and relationships I am in.  I have many opinions and thoughts about every one of them.  Some are happy relationships, some are troubled, some people are a joy when I come in contact with them and some create conflict and feel uncomfortable.

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Pippin's Quest for Meaning Reveals Enlightenment at Home, by Larkin Oates

Pippin's Quest for Meaning Reveals Enlightenment at Home, by Larkin Oates

Saturday night, my family and I enjoyed the vibrant, acrobatic, and often humorous revival of the Broadway musical Pippin. The Cirque de Soleil backdrop for the story, added by Director Diane Paulus was brilliant. That coupled with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, the show had us all spell bound. In this story, King Charlemagne’s son Pippin seeks his life’s deeper purpose. Historically set around 800 AD, the performance was a visually stunning mix of medieval, Barnum and Bailey, and late 1800’s steampunk imagery, punctuated by Pilates balls and aerial silks.

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Making Amends, by guest blogger, David Saffold

The following is my eighth entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.

Step 8:  “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”
 
Step 8 and 9 are combined in the literature and are found in Chapter 6 (Into Action), page 76, third paragraph through page 84, second paragraph of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  However, I will focus on Step 8 in this blog entry, which is, like Step 6 is to Step 7, a preparatory (willingness) step for Step 9.  “We have a list of all people we have harmed from Step 4.  Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past.  We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will.  If we haven’t the will to do this, we ask until it comes.  Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over our alcoholism (addiction).”

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Fully Facing Ourselves, by guest blogger, David Saffold

The following is my fourth entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.

Step 4:  “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
 
Step 4 is found in Chapter 5 (How It Works) page 63, last paragraph, through page 71 of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  We are to take a personal inventory in order to “face, and be rid of, the things in ourselves which have been blocking us.  Our addiction is but a symptom.  We had to get down to causes and conditions”.  Searching and fearless means thorough and honest.  We cover our entire life, past and present, leaving nothing out, exhausting everything we can bring to consciousness.  Having set a firm foundation in Step 3, we now have the courage and strength to look within and shine light on the true causes of our problems.  What we discover we write down.  We search through every emotional aspect of our lives, resentments (anger), shame/guilt (I am a bad person/what I did was bad), fear (stress, tension, anxiety, terror) and all of our life situations: relationships (sex/people/institutions), work/career (people and institutions), finances (beliefs and fear around money), spiritual (God/religion), health (physical/mental health problems).  We look at our life events, real and imagined, how and why we were threatened by what we believed was happening, and how our actions and reactions created or contributed to the destructive outcome for ourselves and others.
 

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