sonia: Wellspring of Compassion book cover with woodland stream (Wellspring cover)
Consent is an unforced moment-to-moment agreement to participate in a specific activity.
Enjoy Enthusiastic Consent

New book responses at Curious, Healing. Have you read this? Comments welcome!
"Religion Gone Astray" by Pastor Don Mackenzie, Rabbi Ted Falcon, Imam Jamal Rahman

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
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Kids these days get too much praise: Praise, validation, and encouragement by Lis Coburn
When a child comes to an adult, dripping with defeat, and says, “I failed,” praise is, “No you didn’t! You did really well!” and validation is, “You’re really disappointed with how you did, hunh? That sucks.” And over time, if adults do nothing but praise, what children hear is: Your self-doubt and weaknesses are not wanted here. Failure is not acceptable, not even thinkable. I cannot accept you unless you do well.


Talking about racism in therapy by Lis Coburn
And often when I opened the door [to talking about racism], the immediate and enthusiastic response was the equivalent to, “I’m allowed to talk about racism? OH MY GOD LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE RACISM I’VE SEEN.”
[...]
Talking about race gave her power. It gave her the ability to change her circumstances for the better.


A Better Way to Say Sorry by JoEllen
I’m sorry for…
This is wrong because…
In the future, I will…
Will you forgive me?

This is a top-notch post about apologies, classroom management, and community. I wish JoEllen's About page didn't make my teeth hurt.
sonia: Wellspring of Compassion book cover with woodland stream (Wellspring cover)
Looks like I never posted this! Well, here you go, barely in January.

The sensation might be, "Oh, I didn't realize I was holding there!" as a shoulder drops, or "I have more room than I thought," as a hip moves back.
Explore Uncurled Posture

New book responses at Curious, Healing. Have you read these? Comments welcome!
"Knots" by R.D.Laing
"I Am Not Sick I Don't Need Help" by Xavier Amador, PhD

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
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He wrote it down.
This comes with a trigger warning. It made me cry. Two women officially tell about past abuse and are heard and validated.


via Carrie Mook Bridgman
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I loved this story, Pocosin by Ursula Vernon. Read it twice through and then sat with it, savoring. It's about women and strength and good endings that include death and doing what needs to be done and being bone-tired and claiming rest, with lots of right-there sensory details about the surroundings.
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Last year's word of the year was welcome. I meant I wanted to feel welcomed, but it immediately became an imperative to make others welcome. And perhaps to make myself welcome.

reflections )

For this year, I'm choosing "music". it's important )I hope that making room for that in my life, and doing the work, will also make room for all the things I associate with music - consonance, harmony, connection, joy, presence, and letting myself be audible and visible in the world.
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Searched on McKillip, found this lovely story after Changeling Sea, which I own a copy of, but clearly don't remember very well. This story made me want to reread it.
Leaving the Sea (Turns out this one is from 2004, because I was in the full Yuletide index. Totally worth reading anyway!)

There's been a lot of not-knowing in my life lately, so this story fit right in, as well as being a finely-crafted followup to Phantom Tollbooth
From the Mountains of Un

A right and proper sequel to Pamela Dean's Tam Lin. Along the way, it addresses heteronormativity and history classes that only talk about dead white men.
The Piper

Tristan of Hed! From Riddle-Master of Hed. Long ago, that was the book I finished, held in my hands, and turned over to start again. This story lives up to that.
The Crown of Hed

ETA: Via [personal profile] castiron, a sweet vignette
Frog and Toad Forever
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I'm noticing some of my internal rules lately.

  • When I screw up, I should say so, apologize, and take whatever lumps ensue.
    • Did you know powdered sugar has cornstarch in it? Me neither. I claimed the cookies I made were corn-free to someone who doesn't eat corn products. :-(

  • Whoever wants more distance gets their way, no negotiating.
  • Relationships require radical self-disclosure, equality, and balance.
  • Give people space to be exactly who they are. Don't expect them to change. Don't expect them to stay the same (but it's the way to bet).
  • Don't talk about emotional pain. Painful things are "hard," or "uncomfortable."
    • For the longest time I thought "relationships are hard" meant that terrible pain was expected in relationships.

  • Talk about anger in past tense.


It feels like these rules have pain and fear behind them, attempts to Be Good in response to past disasters. It would be easy to allow them to close around me like a curtain, and erase whatever I might want or ask for. They're not necessarily bad rules, but it's interesting to notice them as imperatives I might have a choice about, rather than The Way Things Are.
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Two online graphic novels recommended by a friend, both complete:
14 Nights is the love story between two men, one of whom is asexual. Not work safe. I loved the details in the art around plants and other backgrounds, although the people are often sketched somewhat hastily. I felt like the author/artist held my emotions in safe hands, even when emotions in the story ran high. Includes some disability issues as well.

Prince of Cats. This one didn't grab me in the first few frames, so I haven't read it yet, but I wanted to save the recommendation. It includes talking cats.
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Each body is normal in relation to itself, despite the myths we persist in believing against all evidence.
The Tyranny of Normal

New book responses at Curious, Healing. Have you read this? Comments welcome!
"The Rails View" by John Athayde and Bruce Williams

Happy Holidays!
I'm continuing my annual tradition of giving holiday coupons in appreciation of clients and newsletter readers. During December, anyone who comes in for a session or sends me a request receives a coupon for 15 additional minutes or $15 off a session, valid through the end of March.

Give the gift of compassion
Wellspring of Compassion: Self-Care for Sensitive People Healing from Trauma is available in paperback, Kindle, and Nook formats. Purchase two or more books directly from me or my website (US only) for a $2 discount on each book.

Gift certificates for sessions are also available.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.

Stories

Dec. 2nd, 2014 08:55 pm
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Two stories by Marissa Lingen, and one by Ginger Weil. I loved these. People find a way out! Women, specifically. Become more themselves and find a way out.

"The New Girl" and "Boundary Waters" by Marissa Lingen

"The Stagman's Song" by Ginger Weil
sonia: Wellspring of Compassion book cover with woodland stream (Wellspring cover)
When we allow all our conflicting feelings to be present, drop what isn't ours, and imagine the problem is already solved, we can emerge into new terrain.
All Done! Tools for Rapid Change

New book responses at Curious, Healing. Have you read these? Comments welcome!
"Sea Change" by S.M. Wheeler
"A Theory of Everything" by Ken Wilber
"Mass" by Leonard Bernstein
"The Art of Empathy" by Karla McLaren
"Disarming the Narcissist" by Wendy T. Behary, LCSW

Article updates
[personal profile] tim pointed out that Change the Rules, Inhabit Your Pelvis was cissexist in the way it talked about female and male pelvises, because someone who identifies as male might have a wide pelvis, and vice versa. I edited the article to include more acknowledgment of trans people's experience.

A client mentioned that Portland's SIA meetings are currently women-only. I edited the Learn More section of Triggered! Now What? as well as the Website Resources page to reflect that information.

Thanks to you both for your feedback!

The holidays are coming
As a holiday tradition, I link to one of my first articles, Choose Your Traditions. May you navigate the holidays with lightness and grace.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
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"White Dog" by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
This story was just the right thing for me to read on an evening full of anxiety and ancient fear.

via [personal profile] firecat

Out

Oct. 11th, 2014 08:55 pm
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I'm 45 years old, and I currently identify as bisexual. This is subject to change without notice.

The age is in there because I'm bemused that my sexual identity is still subject to change.
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My cat brought me a bird today, a little bigger than a sparrow, yellowish. I grabbed a paper towel and got him to drop it. As I picked it up I realized it was still alive, and held it gently as it panted. It was only bleeding a little, and eventually flew away. Best wishes, little bird!

Willow and Lilac used to bring me one bird a year. I hope that's Basil's limit as well. I think we'd both find a bell annoying.
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I was kindly notified (feel free to let me know in comments if you want to be named) that in my article Change the Rules, Inhabit Your Pelvis, referring to female and male pelvises is cissexist.

I want to change the article to be more correct/welcoming, and I'm looking for suggestions for better phrasing. "People with uteruses" probably correlates fairly well with wide pelvises, but seems indirect to me. "Assigned female" has the benefit of being compact, but is not entirely accurate. "Child-bearing" pelvis? What would I pair that with?

I welcome google search suggestions - I haven't come up with useful search terms yet. I imagine that trans-aware anatomists have come up with acceptable terminology, but I don't know how to find out what that is. What's a good way to say "anatomically female," or "female-bodied," or ....?

ETA: I changed female to cis female, and added a bit of text about "your pelvis may be wider or narrower than you expect." I thought about eliding gender altogether, but that felt like silently going along with cis male being the default everyone learns about.
sonia: Wellspring of Compassion book cover with woodland stream (Wellspring cover)
Suddenly we are defiantly thirteen, or playfully four, or speechlessly afraid when we would prefer to be competent adults.
Triggered! Now What?

New book responses at Curious, Healing. Have you read these? Comments welcome!
"Getting to the Heart of Interfaith" by Pastor Don Mackenzie, Rabbi Ted Falcon, and Sheikh Jamal Rahman
"The Focusing Student's and Companion's Manual" by Barbara McGavin and Ann Weiser Cornell
"Core Awareness" by Liz Koch

Online Interview
Caroline van Kimmenade, creator of The Happy Sensitive website, interviewed me by email. I enjoyed her low-key interview process and also appreciated the chance to get to know her site, including her wise articles on sensitive people encountering narcissism.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
sonia: Indonesian winged dragon carved from wood (dragon)
Got chased out of choir by fragrances. People mean well, but they leave conditioner in their hair or put on just a little fragrance in the morning and then they follow me when I move away from them. We're all standing and moving around and for some reason people sense when I'm moving away from them specifically. Fascinating, but not conducive to having a good time singing.

A couple of weeks ago, I finally asked one woman to please move away from me, and she stayed close to me and said she didn't understand and demanded an explanation and didn't even really respect the universal "talk to the hand" sign and finally went off crying. OMG. Choir director emailed both of us and this woman went on about feeling attacked, and I did my best, "This is what I hear you saying, is that right? I hope you understand that my experience was different." No response, and haven't seen her at choir since.

Last week was better, but this week was worse again. I think I'm done.
sonia: Wellspring of Compassion book cover with woodland stream (Wellspring cover)
In the face of non-response, we can choose to inquire, wait, or write off the interaction.
Decipher the Silent Treatment

New book response at Curious, Healing. Have you read this? Comments welcome!
"The Anatomy of Self" by Takeo Doi, MD

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
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