Tag Archive | Pema Chodron

Making good friends…with ourselves


“Dancing on the Sabbath” Edward Gorey  


Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet with a man whom I’d been intimately involved with for a number of years. I hadn’t seen him in decades and was a little apprehensive (also curious) about how I would feel when we finally met. We didn’t end our relationship on hostile terms but it wasn’t friendly either. At the time it ended, we were both very disappointed in each other… and ourselves.

I never expected to see him again, and yet by a set of synchronistic events, I ended up doing some work in the city where he still lives, and called him to see if he wanted to meet with me.

Within ten minutes of being together, I was struck by how much he hadn’t changed. Physically he had aged, but his personality, and way of processing the world seemed untouched by the years. We spend about 4 hrs. together, and as I listened to him, I realized that he had pretty much kept his view of the world intact. His struggles were the same ones, his view of life, which often times left him feeling marginalized, was no different.

Over the days and weeks after our meeting, the deep knowing that time alone does not change us, was driven home. I already knew this, at least at one level, but it went deeper. It was a wake-up call. It made me wonder if I was also still struggling with situations in my life that I hadn’t been willing or able to shine the light of awareness on.

There is a wonderful line in a book by Pema Chodron where she talks about her experience of going deeply within. She’d been asked to be the head of a monastery and was struggling with unresolved issues of her own that came to a head during this time. She said it was like, “being boiled alive.” A visiting teacher told her, “When you have made good friends with yourself, your situation will be more friendly too.”*

I was in the middle of reading this book when I met with my old “friend”, and I could see how very unfriendly he was toward himself. He was so hard on himself, so unforgiving, so lost…

We cannot be unmercifully harsh toward ourselves and expect to change…it simply isn’t the way. We cannot beat ourselves into shape; mentally, physically, or spiritually, without paying a great price. That price is love. Nothing that we beat can ever trust or love us. We need to stop finding fault with ourselves and begin the deep and meaningful process of gentle exploration, kind “discipline”, kind thought. Love is the power that reveals the Truth.

Special Fall Tune Up/Tune In

Pain and struggle are helpful catalysts in getting us to the point where we surrender or break open to new realities, but we can also grow by making a choice to do so. We can choose to be open, and kind to ourselves, and through this open, kind-heartedness, we can become open to being taught from within.

I believe that we all have an inner teacher/voice that directs us toward happiness and inner peace, and yet sometimes we feel as though we can’t access or trust that voice.

This fall special will be focused on exactly that: learning to hear and trust your own Wisdom. It is for everyone: new and old clients. My usual rate for a ½ hr. session is $35, but I’ve been wanting to offer something new for a while and the thought to offer a fall tune up/tune in series came to me as I was driving this morning. I also hoped to make it affordable, so it will be $75 for three ½ hr. sessions. We can meet here in my office/home or by phone.

Please contact me by email, mmuncil33@gmail.com if this offering is of interest to you.



* Pg.8 When Things Fall Apart