The Permanence of Waves by C. J. Clark

In “The Permanence of Waves,” the author takes us on a magical journey into the secret lives of the things we often take for granted. We are invited into a new way of seeing ourselves, others, and the world in which we live.

You will meet Olive and her grandfather, whom she is worried about. Grandpa lives with his dog Scout at the edge of the woods near a lake. Olive wants her granddad to come live with her so that she will know that he is safe. When Olive goes to visit her grandfather to move him to Kansas, she finds a story that he has written for her daughter, Lottie. While reading the story, Olive learns about herself, and others, and that all is not as it seems. Through the grandfather’s story, which gives a voice to things that often seem non-sentient, we revisit ideas of age, self-sufficiency, our forgotten past, and what is really important.

This is a gentle, uplifting story, filled with symbolism that speaks of inter-connection and influence.

For more information, visit http://www.langmarc.com/book/permanence-of-waves/

“Before I Speak, I Ask Myself . . .”

“Before I speak, I ask myself: ‘Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?’ And I usually keep my mouth shut.” Fred Astaire

This sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Yet, for me this is easier said than done. In the heat of the moment, it might seem true. Emotional reasoning has a way of coloring the truth. It might also seem necessary, because if I don’t say it, I might explode. And the concept of “kind” is often the farthest thing from my mind.

I read somewhere that Fred Astaire’s dance moves appeared effortless because he rehearsed relentlessly. Over time, the moves became somewhat automatic. I am not physically graceful, and have no dreams of dancing. However, perhaps  if I tried relentlessly asking Astaire’s questions of myself, I might be able to appear effortless in my gentle relating with others. With enough practice, it might even become automatic!

You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy.–Eric Hoffer

 

Do you ever find yourself chasing happiness? More stuff? More money? More love, acceptance, friends, drugs . . . or whatever?


Yes, we do need these things to some degree. We need a roof over our heads, food in our pantries, and people to love.


Sometimes we think more stuff will make us happy. Whatever that stuff is, whether people or things, it is outside of us. We are looking for something external to fill a hole inside ourselves, to make us complete, to bring happiness.


I would suggest that true happiness cannot be found externally. As the old saying goes, happiness is truly an inside job. You can only fill yourself with yourself. Become a complete person, grounded in the knowledge that you’re all you need. Then all the rest can truly be enjoyed.


Remember, all the stuff is just frosting on the cake. You, my friends, are the cake.


Let’s hear it for cake–with lots if yummy frosting!


 

Some people are always grumbling . . .

“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.” Alphonse Karr

So much more elegant than the “glass half empty/half full” saying, isn’t it? Yet it speaks to the same truth.

When I focus on the rose, suddenly the thorns just aren’t that big of a deal. An inconvenience, to be sure, perhaps even dangerous if I stop paying attention. But they are worth the price. The inconvenience. Because . . . oh, the beauty of the rose! The tight-fisted bud, pregnant with fragrance and beauty that is still hidden within the teasing display of outer petals. The joy of watching that bud bloom, slowly, spreading itself to drink in sunlight and dewdrops, and to give its nectar to the flying visitors that stop by for a drink. The heady  fragrance of a fully-opened rose. And the bitter sweetness of watching the rose give its final gift, dropping its petals, to be gathered and used to provide fragrance to a room. Or left to provide nourishment for the soil, so that the next season’s blooms may be just as bountiful.

To think that I would miss all of this if, in a fast cost/benefit analysis, I decided that thorns made the roses more trouble than they are worth!

A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.–Walter Winchell

I remember a (rather pathetic) moment in elementary school. There was a group of three or four of us who were “best friends.”  This was LONG before the term BFF had come into vogue. For some reason I was feeling insecure about my relationship with one of the girls. She told me I was her best friend–and so was one of the others in our group. So I tried to pin my friend down: “but am I your BEST best friend?” Not one of my high self-esteem moments!

Many years, and a lot of friendships later, I still see the value in that question. Not to ask the other person (please, never again!), but to ask myself. How do I “rate” my friendships? How do I get past the ideal that everyone I share my life with is a really good friend?

The quote by Walter Winchell is a great place to start. The friend he describes is the one who is there for you no matter what. Who will crawl out of bed at 3 am to come get you and take you to the emergency room. This is the friend who celebrates your growth and successes, cries with you when you experience a loss, and witnesses your processes and struggles without trying to “fix” them for you.

With the dawn of social media, many of us have thousands of friends. Or I should say, “friends.” I’ve watched people isolate from their in-their-lives friends to spend their time with online friends. I’ve watched marriages end over virtual, online relationships. Guess what, folks, relationships with flesh and blood, actual, in-person people are messy. Complicated. Sometimes painful. And precious, and worth every moment of relationship-tending that is required.

Think about your relationships? Who do you trust completely? Who are you certain will hold your heart gently? Who have you let in too close, too soon? Who do you need to back away from? As you pay attention to your friendships, and monitor your disclosures and expectations to match the friendship level, your relationships will become more natural. Drama-free. You will be able to relax more and enjoy the people with whom you share your life.

Here’s to friends!

Announcing: Free Understanding Anger Workshop

 

 

FREE UNDERSTANDING
ANGER WORKSHOP

SATURDAY, February 2, 2013

 

Do you get angry? Are you the victim of someone’s anger? Feel free to come learn about anger—your own, or to try to better understand an angry person in your life. You will receive a packet of information on anger, as well as resources for victims of domestic violence. Come by yourself, or with a friend or significant other.

Workshop will be on February 2, from 11:00-1:30.

Meeting address:

2370 W. Carson St., #136

(Santa FeBusiness Park in Torrance, CA ).

No children, please.

Drop-ins welcome.

For further information, visit www.AngerDefanger.com or call Sheila Hatcher, MA, Connections Counseling Center, at 310-913-1868. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

There are Two Types of People

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“There are two types of people—those who come into a room and say, ‘Well, here I am,’ and those who come in and say, ‘Ah, there you are.’” Frederick Collins

I wish I was a “there you are” person. I’m pretty sure I’m not. I’m more a “here I am and, ah, there you are, too” person. By which I mean, I know (and am glad) you are there, and yet some insecurity causes me to start out by drawing attention to myself.

In school I was a well-behaved class clown. You would think that would be an oxymoron, wouldn’t you? But no. I learned to make my classmates (and teachers) laugh while not being disruptive. I was “appropriate.”

As an adult, this turned into being a performer. A presenter, singer, trainer, teacher. Often my motives were pure–to do the job at hand. Still, sometimes it was all about me. Helping you have a good time while being entertained or taught. To ease my anxiety. To put myself in control.

It’s not easy to turn these habits/adaptations off while in a one-on-one situation. If I’m not entertaining you, will you still like me? Will I feel ok? Intentionally bringing someone joy can be a method of self protection.

The older I get, and the more I travel this journey of life, the more I move into the space of “ah, there you are.” I know I am likeable even when I am not entertaining. Or at least I know it some of the time.

The rest of the time, well. . . Did I ever tell you about the time that I (insert entertaining story here)?

 

Free e-Book–Limited Time Only!

 

Free e-Book: “The Dragon Who Burned All His Friends” by Sheila Hatcher

December 7 & 8 only

I’m happy to announce a time-limited offering of my book on anger at no cost. Visit www.Langmarc.com. Under “News” click the link to my book, and then click the Amazon Kindle icon.

Free to everyone on December 7 and 8, and free to Amazon Prime members as a lending book for the next 90 days!

Random Acts of Kindness

 


 

Random Acts of Kindness

I experienced a random act of kindness moment in an airport the other day. It was a particularly busy day in the small city I flew into, and the car rental counter had become temporarily backed up with more people than there were cars ready. People were waiting patiently. Conversations were struck up between strangers.

I was next in line. Cars were becoming available again. The young man ahead of me was in the middle of his transaction when a worker came up and called out the name of a person whose car was ready. Up came an elderly man to claim his car and be on his way.

As is often the case, in this airport one must travel a short way to find the rental car parking lot. As the employee explained all of the details to the elderly man, he was clearly overwhelmed with the instructions. The employee looked on helplessly, and the man who was completing his paperwork said “I’ll be going to the same place. I’ll be happy to walk with you if you can wait just a moment.” Then he turned to his family and asked them to meet him in the rental car area. I watched the two men walk out together.

As I approached my rental car, I saw the young man’s family waiting patiently at the curb. And then I saw the young man help the older gentleman get his luggage into the car, and point him to the exit.

While it was a bright and sunny day, it was watching this interaction that made me feel warm inside. I carried that feeling over miles and miles of state highway, often finding myself smiling at the goodness of people. I wonder how many people were impacted by that young man’s act of kindness? I know it had a ripple effect–I was especially attentive to the needs of others for the rest of that day.

 

How do you Measure Up?

 

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sometimes I read reports of every-day heroes. People who put themselves at risk to “do the right thing.” Who put themselves in danger to rescue another. Or risk derailing careers to follow their own moral codes. Even those who battle their own fears and limitations to find out who they really are, and what their purposes are, seem heroic to me. The road less travelled. . .

When I hear of these people, I ask myself, “would I have the guts to do that? Or would I stay in fear, seemingly protecting myself from whatever scary outcome I imagined?”

They say we really don’t know what we would do until we are actually faced with such a situation. I pray that I would have the courage to do the right thing. And then I often pray I never have to find out.

Let’s hear it for the heroes!

Put Your Ear Down to Your Soul and Listen Hard

“Put your ear down to your soul and listen hard.” Anne Sexton

What I find interesting about this quote is all the things it doesn’t say. For instance, it does not say:

“Ask other people what they think.”

“Read a book or look online. Do your research.”

“Consult with your guide, leader, guru, or mentor.”

“Pray about it.”

Now, please don’t get me wrong. All of those are great ways to get feedback. Or guidance. But I believe the most important piece really is to listen to your soul. To listen within, rather than outside of, yourself.

How else will you know which opinions are right for you? Which suggestions keep you on your true path? When your prayers have been answered?  We often value that which comes from external sources, because we don’t trust ourselves. We imagine that others have the answers to our questions.

I would suggest that when we look inward for answers–not with our brains, but with our hearts–when we learn to hear and trust that “still, small voice,” we will find our answers. Our direction.

Our soul has never lost its connection to All That Is. Let us always remember to tune in to our souls’ wisdom.

Travel Attitudes

Have you ever noticed how airports seem to bring out either the best or the worst in people? Or maybe, due to the various stresses involved in travel these days, we just drop our filters a bit more by the time we’ve gotten through security and found a seat to wait until boarding time.

I like to think that even when I’m exhausted, hungry, and over-crowded, I’m still decent to my fellow travelers. That’s my goal, at least. I realize other people may not experience me that way at all.

I’ve also realized that I tend to pay attention to how nice strangers often are to one another. Random acts of kindness, as they say. I continue to be impressed by humankind as a whole. Other people I know often tune in to the unfortunate interactions between people. The Inconsiderateness, rudeness, and anger.

Which kind of traveler are you? Do you take your stress out on others, or do you try to focus on being kind? How do you live in the world in general? Do you notice the goodness around you, or do you focus on all the things you dislike? The things we pay attention to affect our emotional landscape–they become the lenses through which we see the world.

Me, I’m opting for rose colored glasses, without naiveté.  A glass half full. My life feels peaceful this way.

 

“The Hairball Diaries” by Katy Byrne

“The Hairball Diaries: The Courage to Speak Up” by Katy Byrne. Illustrator: Steve Klein. Published by LangMarc Press, 2006.

What a delightful book! With a lot of humor, and an easy conversational style, Katy Byrne moves right into some deep, important material. Katy’s use of thoughtful self-disclosure allows the reader to connect with the material in a meaningful way—this is not a book of dry ideas, it is a meaty, “hairy” book of insights, ideas, and stories.

In this book, Katy covers topics as varied as Relationships, Careers, and Addiction. Through her journaling questions, she invites readers to develop a deep understanding of themselves and of what it is that they need and want in their lives.

For anyone who wants a lighthearted look at some serious topics, and wants journaling questions that can lead to serious thought and self disclosure, this may just be the book for you.

Besides, she tells us all about her cat Einstein. For a cat lover like me, it doesn’t get any better than this. Thanks, Katy, for your important contribution!

For more information, visit http://www.langmarc.com/book/hairball-diaries

Announcing New Book Corner

In the fall of 2011, I found a publisher for my book, “The Dragon who Burned all his Friends,” which was released in the spring of 2012.

My publisher, LangMarc Publishing, focuses on two types of books: Spirituality/Christian and Self Help. Most of the books are written by mental health professionals or by persons writing about experiences in their own work and personal lives.

I have begun reading other LangMarc publications. Many of the books have important things to say. They are easy to read, and frequently quite entertaining.

Because of reading these books, I have decided to start a “Book Corner,” where I will discuss books by my publisher, as well as any others that might interest my readers.

Stay tuned!

Quotations–Finding the Deeper Messages Within

I love quotes! I’ve been collecting them since I was in grade school. I used to copy them perfectly into a journal. When I entered high school, scraps of paper crammed in the journal replaced the hand-written entries. Over the years I started shoving them into file folders. Now I have many digitally stored on my laptop.

Do you have some favorite quotes? I would invite you to spend time with the ones that catch your attention. What is it about those words that catches your heart, or your mind? Think about them. Feel about them. There may be more there than you first noticed.

I’ll be posting some of my favorites here. And then looking more deeply into them. Maybe some of the quotes here will call out to you.

Awareness

From “Awareness” by Anthony de Mello

“When you fight something, you are tied to it forever. As long as you’re fighting it, you are giving it power.”

What are you fighting? What do you give your power to?

The energy is different when we focus on what we want, instead of what we don’t yet have. What would happen if we said something like “I spend my money thoughtfully” instead of “I shouldn’t buy this because I’m so in debt.” Feel the difference?

Or: “I am finding constructive ways to talk with my husband” instead of “I’m so tired of fighting all the time!” When the focus is on the positive, the thing we want, rather than what we do not want, things feel very different.

What do you wish was different in your life? Focus on how you will make the changes, paying attention to the goal rather than the problem. It makes a big difference!

Free Understanding Anger Workshop

SATURDAY, September 29, 2012 

Do you get angry? Are you the victim of someone’s anger? Feel free to come learn about anger—your own, or to try to better understand an angry person in your life. You will receive a packet of information on anger, as well as resources for victims of domestic violence. Come by yourself, or with a friend or significant other.

Workshop will be on September 29, from 11:00-1:30.

Meeting address:
2370 W. Carson St., #136
(Santa Fe Business Park in Torrance, CA).

 
No children, please.
Drop-ins welcome.

 
For further information, visit www.AngerDefanger.com or call Sheila Hatcher, MA,ConnectionsCounselingCenter, at 310-913-1868. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

Upcoming Free Anger Management Workshop

Free Workshop on Saturday, April 28.

Visit www.angerdefanger.com for details

Book Launch Party

 

Book Launch Party for the book:

“The Dragon Who Burned All His Friends: Cooling Flames of Anger Through Self-Discovery”

 

Harmony Work s is throwing the author, Sheila Hatcher, a book launch party. You’re invited!

When:   Friday, April 27, 7:00 pm—9:00 pm

Where:  Harmony Works

1705 S. Catalina Ave.

Redondo Beach

310-791-7104

Dress:    Casual

Refreshments will be provided

RSVP if you can: 310-913-1868 or Sheila@ConnectionsCounselCtr.com

If you’re not sure—please come—no RSVP required.

“The Dragon Who Burned All His Friends”–book now available!

I’m pleased to announce that my book “The Dragon Who Burned All His Friends: Cooling the Flames of Anger through Self-Discovery” is now available.

What’s a fire-breathing dragon to do when he can’t control his flame? This book is an engaging story that answers this question while addressing ways readers can get their needs met without resorting to destructive anger. It provides an enjoyable and easy-to-understand way to learn anger management techniques.

This book has been selected for the Spirited Woman Top 12 Pick list.

Please visit my online shop and check it out!