Tag Archives: piece at a time

Internal Combustion Part I

“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. “ Oscar Wilde


Have you ever felt like you are combusting inside? You know, like the pieces are breaking apart and tumbling? Or even breaking up into splinters and shards and beginning to fly around? And you can’t tell what is actually going on, other than you can tell that it all feels topsy-turvy inside?

I do. I have. And I am feeling that way right now.

In the last month, since the beginning of September, so many big things have occurred in my life that my head has been spinning. I’m surprised it’s still attached to my neck.  I’ll tell you about it all, later. Right now I just want to let you know a little of the inside story.

By the way, I really do a number on myself about admitting this.  After all, I’m a psychotherapist, and a truly good one, too. I help people sort out their problems and their issues every day. I listen to worries, doubts, fears, and pain. I listen to all the things that haven’t worked right, the broken hearts, the broken dreams, the family rejection, the personal abandonment, the lost opportunities , lost relationships, and loss of dignity.  I am the door to unburden the self-shaming, the shame imposed by others, the needs and wants and desires that feel so unmet. I listen with my mind, my heart, my soul, my talent, and my expertise. I accept unconditionally and love with my consciousness until they can begin to love themselves and see how it does all actually make sense. I’m truly good at doing what I do. And it works.

So what about when my own life feels like it doesn’t make any sense? What do I do when my own thoughts are spinning and turning so fast I can’t keep up with them?

I started using all my tools, the ones I know work so well, the ones I coach people with all the time. I took one piece at a time, and was careful not to think about everything at once, which can lead to overwhelm. I made sure to eat a little, and get as much sleep as my schedule would allow. I drank plenty of water. I caught myself not breathing thoroughly, and made sure to breathe deep, cleansing, stabilizing breaths. I put on soothing music when time would allow. I reached out to a caring friend for a little carefree chitchat, to normalize again. I reached within to my Higher Power for peace and calm and a deeper knowing.

And I did what many of us mere mortal humans do: I held on tight and tried to keep my routine going, not  willing or able ( in my perception) to take the time I needed to process all that was going on and how it felt.

Then my body took over this week and said, STOP!  I came home from work Monday evening with a stuffy nose, absolutely exhausted, and fell into bed by 10:30pm, which is early for me. I expected to get up again the next morning for a full day of clients. Hah!

My body and soul said STOP! I woke up so ill I could hardly get myself out of  the bed.  My mind started racing about all the commitments I had that day, and the next day, and the next.  My head ached so badly I couldn’t sit up. I couldn’t breathe from my nose and my chest tightened with concern for my clients. My thoughts started spinning until I finally realized that I was going to have to admit my human-ness and cancel due to illness. And all the next day, and the class I teach at the university, and all the next day, too. Horrors!

I succumbed to the truth that my body was not going to allow me to move one inch from my bed . I have texted or called all my clients  day by day.  They have each been gracious and understanding. Even my dog has gracefully been mellow, not looking  too longingly at the door for a walk, as he often does when I am home. But then the really hard part started: my thoughts. Now that I had time to actually think about some of what has been transpiring, I became aware of just how unsettled I had become by manifesting  a lot in a short period of time.

Some very old pain, fear, personal shaming and abandonment stuff has been stirred up within my personality construct, forcing me to take a look at some things I didn’t even know were there. And I am realizing that dealing with a lot of pleasure can be overwhelming, just like dealing with a lot of pain. Interestingly, both pain and pleasure are processed very close in proximity in the brain. So I guess this doesn’t surprise me; l just hadn’t thought about it that way before.

Oh – One last tool to mention: ( I had to wait til I felt better) : I made homemade chicken soup. Yes, it’s true. I make a great homemade chicken soup, too. I’ve had lots of practice, being a mother for thirty+years. For me, there really is nothing like it when you feel lousy, don’t have much appetite and need some comforting sustenance.

At any rate, that’s the skinny on why I have been off the blogging radar. Yes, the Professionals do experience setbacks – it just may not get admitted. And I recognize that I am not the best at keeping a rigorous online schedule ( because I keep a rigorous schedule working with my clients!)  So, I decided to share some of my own process with you ( which I do in the book quite a bit, too.)  If I’m not willing to do it, how can I encourage you to experience your process? What’s more, how could you know if you can trust me to understand and empathize from a place of deep knowledge?

I hope this finds you fully engaged in this process of life. Remember, it is just one breath at a time. That is how we get prepared to take the Next Bold Step. Stay tuned for more. With my love,


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