A Shaman in Kansas

What would Dorothy have done following her return from the land of Oz? She got back home by clicking her heels three times and repeating a mantra to herself: ‘there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home’ until she did get back home.
Then, when back home, nobody believed she had been on this amazing journey in the land of Oz.
The movie ends at this point but if the story were to continue, what would have happened?
She would have continued her journey. She would have looked for answers to understand what happened to her, and would learn what she would need to do to get answers to her questions and to continue to grow.

She would have gone through a phase of not speaking about her experiences, not wanting to experience the scorn of disbelief, but would instead go on long, contemplative walks. She’d sit on a rock, close her eyes, and in her mind, go back to that land. As she did this, overtime, she would find herself reaching new insights. New insights about herself as well as new ideas on actions to take that would enable her growth while living in Kansas. The first action would be to no longer be silent about her experiences.

We all sometimes feel like we are living in Kansas, or sometimes we just work there – existing in a dustbowl where nothing really thrives and everyone barely makes enough to get by. We imagine, fantasize, about a life ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ but rarely take action. We all have the ability, however, to have that colorful life on this side of our dreams. And, it does not necessarily involve leaving Kansas. It involves contemplation, gratitude, and acknowledging and experiencing the loving relationships that are already there. What does need to shift is our sense that we don’t innately have the power to change our circumstances – clicking our heels, changing our attitude and taking action.

What is your Kansas? What can you change about your attitude? What is a small action that you can take today? I would love to hear from you.

Honest self – appraisal without self loathing

Will I just take my slick to the grave

I’d rather live telling the truth than be judged for my mistakes

I went to the gym this morning, trying to start going regularly again. As I walked to the gym, I imagined a news crew at the entrance interviewing people who go to the gym in 5 degree weather. I imagined I’d say it was my first day back, and that I was determined to start coming back regularly. As I imagined this, I chuckled to myself as I remembered that last month was my ‘first day back’ and I believe the month before I also went to the gym, determined to start going regularly.

Certain recovery programs have a saying that you can always ‘start your day over’ in the middle of the day, the afternoon, in the evening. The idea behind it is that even if you start your day on the wrong foot, you can take a step back, regroup, and start over.

‘I love you, you’re perfect. Now change’. This is the title of a play, I don’t know what it’s about exactly, but the way I see it, this phrase highlights the idea of balancing the unconditional acceptance of oneself as being ‘good enough’ while also embracing the idea of being a ‘work in progress’ and there being ‘room for improvement’.

A difficult part of honest self appraisal is to not get caught up in the quagmire of berating yourself for your current situation. After becoming aware of your the role you played in your current situation, the next step is to lovingly accept yourself. Then, without criticism, self loathing or judgment, go on about your work of acknowledging and correcting your behavior.