SMUG // A self-satisfaction that you hold the correct world view. Usually immature and adolescent in its formation and a natural repellent to those who value listening, learning and remaining curious to life's input.



"The moment one give's close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent would in itself."   Henry Miller


The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry, "The Peace of Wild Things" from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry. Copyright © 1998. Published and reprinted by arrangement with Counterpoint Press.

Source: Collected Poems 1957-1982 (Counterpoint Press, 1985)

 Neurodiversity. Our Brains Cannot Be Identical!


Healthy Relationships & Avoiding Co-Dependency

 Gottman's Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:

Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, Stonewalling

Solutions in order from above : 

Gentle Startup, Take Responsibility, Describe Your Own Feelings/Needs, Do Physiological Self-Soothing



"Helpfulness is the sunnyside of trying to control someone or something." (always check your motives and don't be co-dependent!)

"I'm worried about you" is often code for "I want you to be doing it differently," or, "I'm not happy with your choices."




My mother returned from a trip to Israel Friday, landing at LAX just as the attacks in Paris were unfolding. My aunt and uncle were in Paris exactly one month ago. I travelled through four European cities in July of this year (France, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland). And our beloved babysitter was just two weeks ago sunbathing in Croatian waters. The world is not so big anymore.  
In 1989, I studied English Lit in Cambridge, England. This was my first introduction to the constant threat of bombs and nearby danger - we were often called off the bus or tube, malls were daily evacuated, packages exploded if left unattended and streets ropes off, although it was a different warring party than today's. This was the beginning of my healthy and necessary understanding, adult insight of our global condition.
I realized on my early morning walk today, that while I do not have a solution for the fear and suffering and anguish this kind of violent act brings to all of us, I will not be part of the problem. If I cannot be part of the solution (I feel angry, powerless and impotent today) I will at least not be part of the problem.  
I will not raise my children to hate other religions or ways of life. I will not tell them there is ONLY ONE WAY. I will not vilify whole groups or parties, even those that seem stupid or wrong to me.  
I will call out and name hate and evil, as some will always court death - that is intelligent and wise to push back the sociopath and sadists, teaching my children to be suspect of such mixed agendas and ulterior motives that harm others. Wrong is wrong. Dogma, zealotry, and rigid beliefs are dangerous in all areas of life.
All religions have beauty and all cultures have darkness - so let's be right-sized.

 Most opposing societies co-exist along side others with respect and tolerance. If you doubt this, reflect on the numerous Indian reservations scattered throughout our county, which is what we have asked those Native Peoples to do for us. Tolerate. While honoring my own religion of choice, as my family has a faithful religious practice, I can allow others to do the same, without prejudice; not inconsistent.  
Everyone has a Paris story. My husband spent three weeks with the Rolling Stones in the 70's. He only remembers four days, but it was a highlight. He still admires the black top hat that held a bottle of Dom Perignon from the experience.  
If you don't have your Paris experience yet, be sure to get one! 

U2 Pays Tribute to Paris Attacks and Cancels Nearby Concert

Instead of saying "I don't have time," try saying "It's not a priority." That is more honest and might be perfectly appropriate - Hellen Mirren


Lack of Female Sexual Desire / Causes and Solutions

I have posted often here on female sexual dysfunction within a couple.
Sexual dysfunction, for our purpose, is defined as low sexual desire that results in relationship distress.
Most couples hope to have desire that is equal to each other. 
If mine is low, and yours is low, we have equal desire and neither is suffering.
But if your desire is greater than mine, we most likely feel stress or unhappiness around our unequal libido.

While it is not always the female that has desire lower than her male partner (in fact, same-sex couples also experience unequal desire), I am speaking here about common reasons for low libido in women.
Some common reasons
  • Childbirth within the last year - often related to very low hormone levels, Post-Partum baby blues, feeling touched out, exhaustion
  • Low Hormone Levels - Post menopausal symptoms that lead to vaginal dryness, absence of lubrication, thinning of pelvic floor lining
  • Painful sex - Vaginismus 
  • Depression
  • Body Image - shame/fear/worry  (even when supportive partner says, "I love your body!")
    Some solutions include
  • Sensate Focus Therapy - couples can attempt this at home with great success
  • Vaginal dilator
  • Steroid cream
  • Fantasy Play
  • Biofeedback
  • Mindfulness - the ability to focus on here and now and allow the daily to-do's to quiet. Mindfulness allows for catharting, breathing and throat vocalizing.
Remember that the partner with low desire deeply wishes she could crave sex and intimacy with her spouse. She very often feels "terrible, guilty, responsible" that she  cannot rise to the occasion and make something happen in the bedroom. 
The male partner needs to be heard and respected for his emotional and physical needs that are not being met. A loving husband/partner usually comes to this conversation feeling badly about his needs as well, "I know she's tired. I want her to want me." 
The kind and engaged husband senses that he should be more patient or not so physically needy, but this leaves him feeling emotionally abandoned, rejected and unwanted by his beautiful bride that he so needs and wants. These can be uncomfortable and shameful feelings for both parties.
Healthy conversation with a trained clinician can open the dialogue for a solution-oriented treatment plan. Don't give up!


Five Things Never to Say to a Person with Chronic Illness

 Some examples of chronic Illness include on-going physical pain, depression, IBS, cancer.

Here are 5 things never to say to someone with chronic illness.

1) Have you ever tried____?
2) I have a great person!
3) Could it be emotional?
4) Are you stressed out?
5) You should just......... 

While it's difficult to watch our loved ones suffer (powerless!), and you may have helpful personal insight with the exact same issue, no one ever feels better with such an exchange. Instead, try one of these:
I'm so sorry. 
Can I do anything specific?

Over time, people stop sharing daily struggles with their loved ones as the unwanted advice morphs to shame and criticism, making one feel less competent, and ultimately, physically and emotionally worse.