Deeper Dimensions Blog

 

In each one of you there is a hidden being,
still in the deep sleep of childhood.
Bring it to life!
In each one of you there is a call, a will,
an impulse of nature,
an impulse toward the future,
the new, the higher.
Let it mature, let it resound, nurture it!

— Herman Hesse, (from If the War Goes On)

 

Welcome to my blog.

Here, I share reflections from deep within—informed by decades of life experience, work as a therapist, and geeked-out study of all things expansive. Each post is a blend of psychology, spirituality, literature, and life.

I peer into the deeper dimensions of existence to unearth practical ideas for bringing meaning to everyday moments and to crises. I offer these discoveries to you to invite you to explore your own depths; to discover your call, your will, your impulse of nature!

Whether you're looking for words to inspire, console, challenge, or teach, sit back and make yourself at home. Sometimes finding one sentence that speaks to you at just the right time can make you feel the dawn of connection to the deepest dimensions of yourself, and thus to the world.

 

 

Bearing Our Souls: A Crash Course in Soothing the Overwhelming Emotions of a Pandemic – Part 4 – Layers & Flavors of Emotion

To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/BearingSouls4Audio Emotion is the messenger of love; it is the vehicle that carries every signal from one brimming heart to another. For human beings, feeling deeply is synonymous with being alive. — Lewis, Amini, & Lannon, A General Theory of Love During the first week of my city’s pandemic-stanching stay-at-home orders, I felt as if an enormous hand had slammed into the center of my chest to shove me backwards, and had left me abruptly sitting bruised on the floor of my life with eyes wide open, blinking back startled […]

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Bearing Our Souls: A Crash Course in Soothing the Overwhelming Emotions of a Pandemic – Part 3  – “Name It to Tame It”

To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/SoulsPart3Audio At a moment of intensity, a failure to be understood, to be connected with emotionally, can result in a profound feeling of shame. The shame generated by missed opportunities for the alignment of states —for the feeling of emotional resonance, of “feeling felt”— can lead to withdrawal. Even with less intense states, not being understood may lead to a sense of isolation. — Daniel Siegel, The Developing Mind, Second Edition *** Last week, in the evening after writing all day, I broke down into wracking […]

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Bearing Our Souls: A Crash Course in Soothing the Overwhelming Emotions of a Pandemic – Part 2 — Why Uncertainty Is Scary

To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/SoulsPart2Audio If I cease searching, then, woe is me, I am lost. That is how I look at it— keep going, keep going come what may. ― Vincent van Gogh At the end of a loooong workday last week, I felt agitated and stressed. My son was heading out for a walk, so I went with him to decompress. Stretching my legs, breathing hard, taking in the outdoors and the (socially distant) fellow walkers, agitation gave way to exhaustion. Though it was relieving to move my body, […]

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Bearing Our Souls: A Crash Course in Soothing the Overwhelming Emotions of a Pandemic – PART 1 – Stories Matter

To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/SoulsPart1Audio May we face our selves, in the wilderness and the world, and recognize the forces that drive us, so that they do not always drive us. — Pádraig Ó Tuama On a Thursday evening about four weeks ago, I said goodnight to my last therapy client of the week, closed the door behind her, and turned off my waiting room lamps. The following Sunday afternoon I sat with my family at one of our favorite restaurants, raising a glass of bold red wine over a […]

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Turn TOWARD the Pain: A Counterintuitive Approach to the Fear of Covid-19

To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/TurnTowardAudio Most people have turned their solutions toward what is easy and toward the easiest side of the easy; but it is clear that we must trust in what is difficult; everything alive trusts in it. — Rainer Maria Rilke In the past couple of weeks I’ve had the good fortune to host Zoom meetings with several groups of therapists I consult with and teach. I’m moved to tears by the end of almost every one of these meetings. The willingness of these open-hearted, caring professionals to rise to […]

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Gratitude: It’s Not For Sissies

To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/GriefGratitudeAudio . How can we live gratefully? By experiencing, by becoming aware that every moment is a given moment, as we say. It’s a gift. You haven’t earned it. You haven’t brought it about in any way. You have no way of assuring that there will be another moment given to you, and yet, that’s the most valuable thing that can ever be given to us,this moment, with all the opportunity that it contains. If we didn’t have this present moment, we wouldn’t have any opportunity […]

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Batting My Way Out of Hell

To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/BattingAudio From my archives: Periodically I publish pieces I wrote almost 30 years ago, when I was immersed in the throes of my grief. This personal essay is one of those — I wrote it in 1996, four years after my husband died. On this bright spring Saturday morning the sun filters through the living room blinds and spotlights a mound of sports equipment uncharacteristically piled next to our front door. The assemblage of a pair of baseball bats — one made of hollow banana-colored plastic, the other of faded […]

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Serenity? Sorry. Freedom Is Not an Escape

To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/SerenityAudio . Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. — Lao Tzu I’ll never forget the way her frown pinched her forehead after I read my essay aloud. I’d written about bashing a chair into bits with a baseball bat. Grunts and moans and yelling jumped off the page and shattered the smooth perfection of the ever-so-proper living room where our writing group sat on the […]

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Stretch Your Heart to Feel >1 Emotion: You Won’t Regret It

To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/MoreThanOneEmotionAudio . When we achieve the mark of mature intelligence… we can hold in the mind two opposing thoughts without undermining either one of them. So the inescapable uncertainty of human life is accepted as our destiny from which we do not flee. — Rollo May It happens all the time in my therapy room: People fear that if they examine parents’ actions or words that had a painful impact on them in childhood, and if they discover they feel anger or grief or hurt toward these beloved […]

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Feeling Anguish? Listen to Your Body. Not to Other People.

To listen to an audio reading of this post, click here or go to bit.ly/FeelingAnguishAudio . The body says what words cannot. — Martha Graham I love swimming in Austin’s amazing Barton Springs Pool — it’s cold and enlivening. Most of the time I swim there three times a week, year round. But last year my dad and my dog died in the depths of winter. It doesn’t get that cold in Austin, but it takes much more mental discipline and grit to jump into the cold spring water when it’s 25–45 degrees outside than when it’s 95! When my dad and my dog died, everything in […]

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