I am remembering how important it is for us therapists, counselors, coaches, and helpers of all kinds to stay actively present in our OWN inner workings. How consistently do we use the same love, attending, and practices with ourselves that we give to our clients?

Awakening from a dream into the unexpected gift of weeping (as happened to me this morning), happening upon the delight of early morning sunbeams or scents in the garden, journaling, moving into grief, working through conflict consciously with a wife or husband, doing a sand tray, playing a game, immersing into an emergent prayer or imaginal visualization, going outside and paying attention: these are all ways to tune in with our greater beingness, just as we do with our clients.

I know this is obvious. I just am humbled by how fleeting these moments can be amidst busy life. I hear of you miraculous people who meditate every day and also somehow manage to cook amazing food, raise awesome kids, and hang out with friends. But my life sometimes seems to slip through its own worn cracks, leaving me dazed, albeit often satisfied and happy, amidst the wondering, “What is happening? Why do I feel disoriented? How is it that life is this good and challenging all at once?”

Dismantling old layers of habit that don’t serve us anymore is arduous and rewarding. For instance, I’m working on the one where I learn to surrender and soften in the moments I most want to fight. (Not that fighting is bad. I’m all in favor of a good noble battle—though not of modern warfare—rather, of that flint spark that happens when two great things are knocked together, to hone each other and take life from their meeting.) I’ve learned this before, that I’m more joyful and less afraid when I give in, give over, surrender, let go. And I get to keep learning it, ever onward.

As a kid I used to rebel when asked to bow my head in prayer (on the rare occasion I ended up in church), because I knew God/Spirit/Creator was everywhere and could meet me wide-eyed and wild-haired and didn’t need me to hang my head in shame. But as life has sweetened and softened me with her tumbles, I’ve found my stiff rawhide turning to buttery buckskin, and I go to my knees, not in powerlessness or castigation, but to touch this blessed earth and say thank you.

“There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” ~ Rumi