The Therapy Booth

resting, doodling and holding love signs

Utter beauty. True forgiveness.

My friends, treat yourself to this six minute video. In it you will see a man at the sentencing hearing of his brother’s murderer. It’s just so beautiful. It speaks for itself. I want good things for you.

 

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Spreading Love One Wave at a Time

That Johnny Barnes is living on this planet is good news in and of itself. This 88-year-old Bermuda native used to work on the railroad, and, during breaks, he’d sit on the box car and wave to folks going by. Nowadays, he gets up at 2:00 in the morning to go out to a roundabout where he spends every morning waving to commuters and telling them I love you! I love you! and sending them on about their days with good cheer.

Give yourself the gift of watching this ten minute video and try not to feel a little bit lighter. Try not to spread some love. Go ahead. Try.

 

Mr. Happy Man from Matt Morris Films on Vimeo.

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Shall I Play for You Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum

The Little Drummer Boy is my favorite Christmas song. And I love me some Christmas songs. Rejoicing in the birth of a precious child, of the faith that He’s the Lord or otherwise: it’s so beautiful. If I have a baby someday, I’d love for beautiful songs of devotion and peace to be written for him (or her!). So sweet, so beautiful, such celebration.

I haven’t been listening to much Christmas music this year and haven’t been much in the spirit. Sometimes I am. Usually, it seems. This year? Eh. I’m right here.

Right now I’m hearing the Little Drummer Boy station on Pandora. O Come All Ye Faithful is on right now: O come! Let us adore him!

How beautiful is that!?

A few years ago I learned to play Little Drummer Boy on guitar. It’s simple and warm and a few friends and I played it at our wonderful Christmas party. It was on Christmas day and about twenty people came by my place, answering my invitation that said, “Anytime after 3, bring some good food.” We ate and ate and ate and made merry and it was gorgeous.

But it was the next year – last year, when I was just coming off of an appendectomy and felt as if my whole world was turned upside down – that I really clicked with the depth of the song.

I have no gift to bring
Pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give a King
Pa rum pum pum pum

This humble child joins with the parade and all of the people coming to offer their shiniest devotions to the New Baby, bringing all he has to offer:

Shall I play for you
Pa rum pum pum pum
On my drum . . .

He doesn’t try to change himself or disguise himself, nor does he hide out from shame. He presents himself, in humble devotion and offers what he has. What he is. Nothing more, nothing less.

And, we all know what happened next:

Mary nodded
Pa rum pum pum pum

The love of the approving Mother, and, of course,

The ox and lambs kept time
Pa rum pum pum pum

And the little boy plays his best and gives his best and is himself – humble, simple, precious – sharing devotion with another child. Innocent life joining in music. I am a poor boy too . . .

And then, the Baby Jesus smiles at the little drummer boy: and we are Loved, Loved, Loved, with our humble talents, with out shining talents, with all we have in our hearts including our fears, our stresses, our sadness, our confusion, our rage, our peace, our happiness, our excitement, our heartache, our lust, our inspiration, our madness, our joy, our love.

So here I am this year, a grey and damp day in southern California, a fire in the fire place drying my sneakers that I left out in the rain. I was here on my own last Christmas, too, and I like it, being on my own, that is. But I haven’t been having the best of times, not so much in the spirit (written as if in the spirit is something other than exactly how I am, you are, we are . . . )

Hormonal stress, uncertainty in just about every area of life I can think of, disappointment at not sleeping so well on my vacation, general crabbiness . . . and the struggle and impatience with trying to handle all of it on my own . . . this has been my scene. I met with a friend today for a Living Inquiries session which was really helpful. The most useful thing about it was that it got the water works unclogged and moving. In other words, I got a good cry on.

As you know, I’m such a fan of venues where all natural expression is welcomed and loved (see http://www.thetherapybooth.com/free-expression-part-1-morning-pages/ and stay tuned for further posts filled with other spaces to share from the heart!). I’m part of a private Facebook page where we post what we feel, from the heart, no matter how it might look, and we receive only welcome. Mary nods. Today I posted something on there about having “one a dem blue Christmases”, and two friends stepped in and shared their own loneliness today. And, suddenly, all three of us were joined together (in spirit, since we’re spread out in California, Washington and Texas). The friends both said they hadn’t planned to share out loud how they were feeling. What a beautiful blessing it is to tell what’s there. To play your own precious drum.

Please always know that you may share from the heart in The Therapy Booth. The ox and lamb will even keep time.

ox and lamb

Light of the world, you shine upon us.

Merry Christmas, sweet friends. Having you and the Booth are great great blessings in my life. May you feel the love in your pure innocence today and always.

Love,

Carin

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Free Expression, Part 1: Morning Pages

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”

― Franz Kafka

I facilitated an inquiry session today with a friend who was looking for what she named the misogynistic control paradigm. It was unfindable, as it turned out, but the topic remains of interest to me. My friend was talking about this subtle self-defeating language that we use, culturally, to make excuses or apologies for our present state, our loves, our longings, our snackings . . . She said, “[It’s like] we’re obliged to deny ourselves certain things.”

I’ve been wanting to write a blog post about my passion for telling things exactly as they are – or exactly as they occur, right now, fully, one hundred percent, and completely unapologetically.

Then I realized I have so much to say on this topic and so many different ways that I celebrate as paths to full expression, that this would have to come as a series. Here’s the first entry.

I read the Kafka quote above on Facebook today and swooned. I have already loved his quotes for this reason and that, and, as a writer and a budding artist, these words are like sweet, sweet balm. They are the opposite of that self-defeating language my friend was pointing to today.

In the following posts, I’ll be sharing about the different venues I have – THANK GOD – for pouring out my natural, unapologetic unedited expression.

Let’s start now with the beloved Morning Pages.

Made famous by Julia Cameron in her creativity guide, The Artist’s Way, Morning Pages are simple: three handwritten pages of anything. They are uncensored, and, in fact, are a training against self-censorship. Julia writes that we usually start telling the truth around the page-and-a-half mark. I’ve been writing MPs for several years, and I’d say I’ve learned to jump right into that unleashed honesty, at least there on the sacred page. These pages are not shown to anyone ever, and, Julia recommends that we don’t read the Morning Pages, at least for two months after they’re written.

This writing is not meant to be good. It’s not meant to be something that you’ll publish. But, if you are a writer, you can enjoy the practice of flexing the muscle. Natalie Goldberg, in recommending at least twenty minutes of timed writing daily, suggests that this practice keeps us warm and healthy, so that when some official writing (whatever that is) is ready to come through, we’ve stretched and limbered up.

But Morning Pages and other timed writing exercises are NOT just for writers. In fact, Julia Cameron says that sometimes they’re harder for writers since we try to write well. Lucky for me, I don’t have that problem with my MPs. And you should see the madness that hits those pages!

Which brings me back home to the Kafka quote (“don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical”). Is it, in fact, madness, when it’s simply pouring through my heart, out my fingers, onto the page?

The first time I wrote Morning Pages, I started them with the hopes that they would affect my writing in a positive way. I got a huge surprise: I found my singing and music-playing transformed. As if through hypnosis or sneaking in through the back door, somehow I was singing in a voice I didn’t recognize. It was clearer, more honest, more warmly toned. I was like a sponge learning new songs and couldn’t wait to play them for friends who came to visit. I gave full credit to the MPs. This shift started about three months of writing them every day.

I don’t always do them first thing in the morning. Before bed is a nice time to do the clearing as well. Either way, or sometime in the middle of the day, I almost always experience a sense of relief and gratitude for the movement of the pen on the page. I’ve found the perfect kind of notebook and perfect style of pen for me, and I invite you to do the same. And, on those days when there isn’t relief, I’m still grateful to the pages for receiving my longing, my fears, my delight, my swooning love, my begging for mercy and relief, my dreamy contemplations and prayers for comfort, support and help.

Morning Pages have given me a jumping off point for this whole world of Telling It, and we’ll get to more venues soon.

Meanwhile, I invite you into your own private space where nothing but nothing is rejected. Be angry, be lustful, be dreamy, bored, desirous, delirious. Just get it out on the page.

And then see what happens.

Love,

Carin

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12.12.12? What time is it now?

 

Since we’re very interested in the date and the times today, I figured we might as well have some colorful doodle fun with it, too. I know some of you have seen this already, but, I don’t tire of it, so I hope you won’t either!

What time is it where you are?

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