The Love Dog News


Issue #8 www.patriciaflasch.com 4/26/2010

 

Emotional Resiliency

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"Watching the moon at midnight - Solitary, mid-sky

I knew myself completely - No parts left out."



- Izumi Shikibu -
 
 

In this Issue of The Love Dog News:

The Love Dog News is a free quarterly newsletter for those of us who long for love, authenticity, and truth. Issues contain messages from Patricia Flasch and Leading From the Heart, inspirational thoughts and stories, and tools to use in your life. Subscribe Now

I offer this newsletter in a Spirit of Tenderness and with all my love, Patricia

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Message from Patricia

Dear Ones Who Listen:

I know this sounds 'weird' but the thing I most don't want you to know is how happy I've been, how utterly, deeply and consistently happy I've been for the past 6 weeks. Some of you know that 'happiness' has never been a pursuit of mine. In fact, happiness has almost been something I've been dismissing or at least not seeking for years.

I've taken this idea so far that when it's my birthday, I ask my loved ones, 'please don't sing the happy birthday song.' It makes me feel obliged to be happy and it's too high a standard. Instead, I ask that friends sing "authentic birthday" rather than "happy birthday." Now, 'authenticity' has been the very heart of my path. I wrap my whole being around the idea of being real, telling my truth as soon as I know it.

I guess happiness is going to have to be included in the range of feelings I experience because it hasn't wanted to let me go during this time. I don't believe that it is 'better' to be happy than 'sad' - what I do believe is that it's essential to be whatever we are. So, now you know my secret. Feeling happy about 90-95% of my time, for this long, has not been something I've ever experienced in my lifetime. In a way, I didn't know what to make of it.

Here is a sweet story. Recently, my husband of 25 years, David, returned from a 10 day cruise. After he was home for about two days, we were having a conversation one night. He said, "Patricia it's been part of my purpose since we met to try to make you happy. It didn't seem to work - you just kept being whatever you were - and that wasn't really happy. Now I'm gone for 10 days, I return, and you are happier than I've ever known you. I don't know what to make of this. Do you have any ideas?"

I want to remind myself and those who are listening - I'm not interested in holding tightly to this contented place and it is no better than any other place I've visited - it's just a new place. Perhaps you'd like to pause a moment and honor whatever your internal experience is at this moment and let it be exactly as it is. But, as it turns out, I have held on. When 'happiness' began to recede into the background early this week, I tried to do all the things I could do to make it stay... "Please stay, I beg you, happiness. I don't want to let you go. I need you. You are better than all my other emotions." (My old programming took over here.)

When I'm really depressed, I always look at what's going on so I thought it might be fun to notice what was contributing to that state of contentment. Not that there has to be a reason, but more because exploring is heart opening.

There are a number of factors I can think of. Back in December, January and February, I had dental surgery, followed by headaches lasting hours every day and most nights. So, I was in an uncommon amount of physical pain and was also really stressing about not knowing what was causing the pain and therefore, not knowing how to heal it. I couldn't change the pain, so I started to learn to accept it and be tender with myself while I was in pain both physically and emotionally. My focus changed to stopping the war of fighting with the pain to make it go away... In so doing, both levels of pain began to release and a deepened level of contentment showed up in my body and being. The depth I allowed myself to feel the pain is the same depth of contentment I subsequently experienced. Perhaps they are related.

I've been doing inner work for decades to encourage the possibility that I would have strong and kind 'internal parents' and they are now here and deeply integrated. Yes! In fact, this morning, now that the 'happiness' and the 'clinging to the happiness' have both shifted -- I can welcome this morning's visitors. Yesterday I hated them for returning and messing up all the happy times -- today I really do have the heart for them -- "Good morning despair, depression and disconnection. I have room in my heart for you today. I know you are part of me, welcome home."

While I am grateful to include happiness more deeply in my range of emotion, the more important factor is how do I love myself and be tender with myself when I am far from happy. Learning to open my arms to my self when I am swallowed in some dark place, is new and continues to be my work. These loving internal parents, though, are learning to have the flexibility to do that. This new level of 'welcoming' is another celebration.

Continuing to mention more contributors to the 'happiness experience' .... there is my relationship with David. After his cruise, a new level of connectedness with equal parts of autonomy arrived in my marriage. It's awesome to feel so free and so connected simultaneously.

Another factor in the contentment is that I've also been taking poems by Rumi, Hafiz, Mary Oliver, David Whyte, Kabir and a variety of other favorite poets into my heart so that I KNOW them. These poems have become my best friends. Here are a few of the lines I love:


At Home in the Summer Garden by Yu Xuanji
"Everywhere the wind carries me is home."

The Desert Has Many Teachings by Mechtild of Magdenburg

"In the desert, turn towards emptiness
Fleeing the self.
Stand alone. Ask no one's help
Then your being will quiet
Free from the bondage of things."

And, lastly,

Kindness by Naomi Nye:
"Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
You must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
Lies dead on the side of the road
You must know that this could be you.
That he too was someone who journeyed through the night
With plans and the simple breath that kept him alive."

This poetry enriches every aspect of my life - goes with me all day and travels with me throughout the night. In mid October, I've invited Kim Rosen, author of "Saved by a poem" to come to Santa Fe to offer a Friday evening poetry performance and a Saturday day long poetry dive workshop. You are invited.

In terms of anything else I may have been contributing to the contentment spell; I've been journaling, meditating, swimming, walking, reading and sleeping in every chance I get. (I have, by the way, spent most of my adult life, even weekends, getting up at 6am so this is a huge change.) I continue those practices where ever I am on the emotional spectrum. The poetry I choose is 'integrative poetry', meaning that it includes all of our heartbreaking humanity.

If you would like to send me the poem that most touches your heart, I'd love to hear your poem in an email that you could send to phoenix@patriciaflasch.com.

The sessions with those of you I get to sit with each day or week or month are also offering a sweet kind of fulfillment. I am blessed to be with you, wherever you are in your own emotional range. Your authenticy is my treasure. Your willingness to explore the furthest corner of your heart and soul and then share your discoveries, feeds my soul.

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well,

Love, Patricia

 
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Coming Attractions

If you enjoy this newsletter, and would like to receive future issues, please go to the web site at www.becomingalovedog.com to sign up. When you subscribe, you will receive a FREE copy of The Vehicle of Self Compassion, a chapter from Patricia's book, Becoming a Love Dog. This is a dynamic system of self-management Patricia uses and teaches.

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Bulletin Board

Tune in to a podcast of Patricia being interviewed by Joanna Harcourt-Smith, dated July 4, 2009, on www.futureprimitive.org. Listen to this fascinating discussion of Becoming a Love Dog: From Emptiness to Tenderness. Then take some time to listen to some of the many other fascinating interviews in the Future Primitive archives.
 

Order Becoming a Love Dog: From Emptiness to Tenderness! This book is a map for all of us: Rumi lovers, spiritual seekers, and those simply desiring richer lives, to continue along the path of emotional maturity and spiritual integration. Patricia invites you, within the pages of this book, to become a love dog as you enter more deeply into the inner landscape of your own soul.

Order Becoming a Love Dog: From Emptiness to Tenderness from Amazon.com

 
 
Definition of a LOVE DOG
Rumi, the 13th century Persian Mystic, coins the term love dog in his ecstatic poetry. He says that a dog's moaning for his Master IS the connection with the Master. A love dog is someone who yearns to deepen their connection with the unseen world. This is the world of love, communion, inspiration, compassion, tenderness, truth, authenticity, emptiness and the Divine rather than the world of creating victory over another, deception, being right, or amassing fortune and power.

"Come, Come, Whoever You Are. Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vow a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come." - Hafiz
 

 

Do you want to refer to past issues of the newsletter?  Now you can.  They are posted on the website newsletter page.

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About Patricia

Patricia has always been fascinated by the discovery of her own soul.  In her career as counselor, mentor, and coach she has spent a lifetime passing on her learning to countless students. It is Patricia's intention to be a hollow flute for Truth and Tenderness. In other words, to allow Truth and Tenderness to whisper in her ear and for her to whisper, accordingly, in the student's ear.

Patricia realizes she can work with only a limited number of people through her private practice. Therefore, her new emphasis is to touch and inspire soul seekers through this newsletter, workshops and writing.

Patricia lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, David, and their new dog Rosie.
 


Patricia's purpose statement:  To welcome the most willing souls on earth, the love dogs, into a partnership of truth and tenderness so they can leave their caves, stand in all their glory and celebrate with their tribe.
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Patrica's newsletter design,  web site design and  maintenance, and technical editing provided by David Chittak Caldwell, www.thevastweb.com. Please direct technical suggestions, problems and questions to dcald@patriciaflasch.com.