Thanksgiving, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Thanksgiving, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

I watched my husband play the Incredible Hulk in a psycho-drama workshop we did together many years ago.  He startled me with his “acting” talent and ability, transforming from the kindhearted, tender man I knew him to be, when he appeared on set painted green and angry.  Freedom and power exuded from every cell of his being.  I felt joyful. 

I wanted to feel THAT! 

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Truth Tellers, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Truth Tellers, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

I have been watching a special “comedy” routine by Hannah Gadsby. She is a wonderfully strong person who is intelligent, funny, well educated, and successful. She taught me lots about feeling connected in a way we all long for, beyond gender and power.
 

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Speaking Truth to Power, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Speaking Truth to Power, by Susan Austin-Crumpton
"Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly."
                            ― Ann Rice

Many years ago in another lifetime, I was leaving a marriage, in which I did not work outside the home. I left weeks of prepared meals in the freezer and directions for each taped on the refrigerator door. I had spent our entire marriage trying to earn my keep and my value (since I did not bring in financial income).

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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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Ocean of Trust, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Ocean of Trust, by Susan Austin-Crumpton
"If you don’t become the ocean
You’ll be seasick everyday."
     -Leonard Cohen

Everything has me confused and irritable.
Is it politics?  Upcoming Holidays?  Am I working too much?
Maybe, I’m not working enough?
I have no answers.

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Your Humble Request, by guest blogger, David Saffold

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

Step 7:  “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”
 
Step 7 is found in Chapter 6 (Into Action), page 76, second paragraph of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  “When ready, we say something like this:  My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad.  I pray that You now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows.  Grant me strength as I go out from here to do your bidding, Amen.  We have now completed Step 7.”

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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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Making a Commitment, by guest blogger David Saffold

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

Step 3:  “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
 
In Step 2 we came to believe (see previous blog), now we make a commitment.  Continuing our reading in The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, we find Step 3 in chapter 5 (How It Works) on page 63.  It takes the form of a prayer: “God, I offer myself to Thee, to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.  Relieve me of the bondage of self that I may better do Thy will.  Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always.”  The wording is optional as long as it expresses the idea.  I find this to be a beautiful prayer and very effective when voiced with conviction.

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Acceptance in Waiting, by Andrea Pizzano, MMFT

Acceptance in Waiting, by Andrea Pizzano, MMFT

I recently thought about the difference between being stuck verses being in waiting when life presents us with challenges. There are many times I've felt stuck and alone with no choices.

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Who I Am, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Who I Am, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

“The Art of Connection is an energy and wisdom of the heart that includes personal vulnerability and will change the world.”

     - Miles Adcox, CEO, Onsite Workshops

I am often fearful of letting anyone hear who I truly am.  I open myself to the worst of all reactions from others… silence. There I write tragic and negative stories about the messages from the other person.

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