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Dare to explore. Improve your relationship with yourself and with others.

Positive vs. Negative? What About Finding Meaning Instead?

If we focus on the negative, the negative will multiply and take over, and if we focus on positivity, the same will happen. What do you want to focus on?

Let’s take a moment for a brief note on that topic. In life, we need both positive and negative and all shades in between. Everything has value and purpose. It is our responsibility to actively engage within our lives and to gain understanding and meaning. Regardless, of your primary focus, the varied shades of positive and negative have meaning and value. Acceptance of all parts can bring us to a place of peace and greater understanding.

Both of us have a tendency to be irritated by different things, and we can become extremely bothered. Our irritations can take us away from our purpose and our calling. Imagine driving in your car, listening to your favorite song. There is a slight static noise in the background that you notice. You can decide to focus on that static, making it louder and louder. Or you can choose to focus on your favorite song. In this situation, there is a choice of focusing what brings positive emotions versus negative. Now think of this example, you can think about how you spilled coffee on your shirt before you got to work and how awful it is that you have a stain. Or you can think of how beautiful it was that your stain created a connection with a co-worker who had done the same. You can decide to find meaning and purpose behind an irritating situation event or you can allow that irritation to build, contributing a grumbly, bad day.

We make the choice on how to live our lives. Regardless of whether an event feels positively or negatively, it is our choice to step beyond our irritations and bothersome emotions and find the journey that the situation brings. Imagine waking up every day and greeting the day with a sense of curiosity and wonder, regardless of your human circumstance. You can choose to have your day be as positive or negative as you would like. You can choose to find the meaning in your days.

Standing As We Are

We’ve come across people who are fearful of baring their soul for the world to see. It can be difficult, to say the least, to present as one’s true and genuine self. And truly, there was a historical purpose for not presenting as our true selves. There was a purpose to holding a facade, a protective purpose. We have lived in a world where we have been taught to keep each other in check – ‘Don’t present as your true self! Why would you do that? It’s dangerous!’ We’ve been warned time and time again. Why would we bare our soul when there is such cruelty all around us? Why would we put ourselves in a position of potential pain? Why would we be that vulnerable?

We believe it is time for that dynamic to change and to shift. So, let’s flip the thought pattern, shall we? What are the consequences if you don’t? What are the consequences if you don’t connect and align with who you truly are?

Many of us have learned to retreat from ourselves and from others. We have learned to keep our souls hidden within. We have learned to keep ourselves from presenting to the world around us. I mean, it’s certainly scary out there. People can be vicious and cruel. And some people are genuinely dangerous (always attend to your gut or intuition).

We believe it’s time to take a stand. To bare our souls to the world and to find the strength within that. Our souls have strength. If our soul is confronted with cruelty, our soul can respond. That is our choice. Our response is our choice. And our response could very well help the soul that has taken a stance in negativity. There is growth and learning in everything. We all have the capacity for viciousness. We all have the capacity to retreat in fear. We all have the capacity to stand up for unity.

We’ve heard from others that the negativity is too strong, it is too overwhelming. What are they supposed to do with it? How can they stand their ground when confronted with that? Step out of it. Step out of the madness. It’s not that you have to help the person who is negative to understand what they’re doing. They’ll get it in their own time in their own way. It’s not that you have to take their anger as your own. You deserve better than that. Step to the side and let their anger go into the world and the earth that can care for it. Don’t engage and try to stand your ground embodying the unconditional love that you can tap into. Accept that their soul is as wounded as many others, and this is their way of crying out from their pain. Same if you find someone who is retreated, they are in pain. Only, their cry is silent. They need just as much love and support. It’s not about putting any one down. Step out of it.

When we bare our soul to another, if they act in hatred and cruelty, it is our choice what to say or do in return. Our soul has strength. We do not have to engage with them in their own internal war. We do not have to feed into their hatred. We can instead feed them our love and kindness. We can still reach out with love to unify. Even if this means the best thing to do is smile and walk away.

We had been taught various lessons by others but we knew there was more.

A Three Part Message

Part III:

We both had grasped at answers for what we had been called here to do, what we had to offer to others and the world around us. Of course, we are both psychologists, so we could allowed that to be our answer. We knew there was more. We knew there was more we had to give. We were told by some we would never find our meaning in life if we were trying so hard, because we were definitely pushing for it. We were told by some there’s nothing more to live than going to work, going home, and repeating. We were told by some there’s nothing we should be doing and nothing we have to do; simply live life and it will take us there. We would like to say to all of those people, we appreciate your words and know they were well intended, and this is not the way we found life to be. Life has different paths for everyone, and the way those paths are meant to be traversed are different for everyone. We felt the urgency for us to figure this out, this message. And the message is so simple.

We go back and forth with this. I say love. I say unity. Ultimately our message is the same we just call it different things, and both can be equally pathological if intended in an ill manner.  

Unity. Love. Our next step in the journey of life. It’s time to learn to unify and love. And we’re sure after unification comes some other life journey, as a collective whole. Think of all of the speeches being made, the calling of many to unify, to bring together the people of this world. Our striving to maintain our individuality has driven us to a neurosis that blinds us to our ability to connect with others. And really, we can do both at the same time. Unifying with others is not about losing yourself. It is about maintaining yourself. To truly unify and create the beauty in unity, we must contribute our part. What if we made a change and learned to unify with one another? I mean, literally everyone you come across. If you stood grounded within yourself and said, I’m going to try to connect with the souls I come across. I’m going to stand my ground and look them in their eyes and try to unify based in love, not fear. To really make an attempt to put forth love and connection above all else. What do you think would happen?

Love. The form of love we are taught is conditional. We have to move past our experiences of conditional love in order to find the endless amounts of unconditional love. There are several definitions for love and really it is more than a feeling and more than an action. Unconditional love can be a transcendental experience connecting us to the depths of humanity and divinity. We have the privilege of being able to experience this and have access to unconditional love if we allow ourselves. Like unity, we have to be able to separate ourselves from others to really understand how to love ourselves and be firm in the love of ourselves. Once we have stopped looking for love to be “fulfilled,” then we are able to love others in the way love can be, real and unconditional. There is a debate on whether we have the capacity of loving unconditionally. If you are having this debate look harder, there is unconditional love. We challenge you to find it. Once we have the capacity to love ourselves and love others, we can be one with all things.

Our together journey taught us to unify, in the midst of a society teaching us to fear. If we ground and root ourselves deep within, we are then called to present ourselves to the world around us. We are then called to connect our souls with others. A soul to soul connection. Think of those conversations you’ve had with someone where every star seemed to align, you were deep in the throws of conversation with a person, so intimately connected, and you never wanted it to end. That was likely a soul-to-soul connection. We are here to tell you that connection can happen with every single person you come across. Our souls are meant to connect. We’ve been striving for connection and love, and we live in a society teaching us fear and hatred. True unity and love with another is not based in fear.

This is exactly what we have been practicing, and the results are mesmerizing. How often do you cross someone in the grocery store and don’t even think to look in their eyes to connect with them? How often do you check out at Target or Home Depot or the like and not even think to connect with the cashier? We don’t know about all of you reading this, but for us it was a lot. People cross our paths. Cars drive by – those have people in them. Our phones ring – those have people on the other end. We have our errands to run – those have people all over the place!

It’s time to unite through love.

Your answers come from within. Your strength comes from within. You are within.

A Three-Part Message

Part II:

When our journey to find our purpose had begun, our together path, we had no idea. We didn’t even know there was such a thing as a together path. Our society often teaches separation. We must be strong individuals. We must be able to stand on our own two feet with no one else. And that is only a part of the message. Yes, we believe standing as your own person and being strong in who you are is important. Your answers come from within. Your strength comes from within. You are within. We also believe there is more. Society has been focused on individuality, individuality is merely a point in the journey, not the end. And an important one at that. Once you truly know who you are and are firm within yourself, another journey begins. Finding yourself and learning to accept and love yourself, allows you to look out at the next journey, a journey of finding a genuine connection with others, because now you know how to truly love. Our individuality has taught us that we must stand on our own two feet, and our rigidity of maintaining that posture has contributed to an overwhelming fear. We interact with our family based in fear. We interact with our friends based in fear. We interact with people at work based in fear. We interact with our world based in fear. Maybe we don’t see it or recognize it at first, but sit with this thought, the thought of interacting based on fear. What are you afraid of when you interact with your friends? Maybe they won’t be interested in what you have to say. Maybe they will decide to leave you. Maybe they will think you’re too brusque or reject you. A fear of others and the world around you. Fear.

The Dali Lama said something to the like of we are all born here to give something to the world. We all have purpose and meaning. It is our responsibility and our choice to figure out what it is and to provide it. Whether it be we are here to provide the next generation of children or here to help large groups of people or here to give one message to one person on one day in time. In our journey, we found life involves some basic principles – trust, faith, and choice. Similarly to what the Dali Lama had spoken of, we have the choice. We also have the choice to trust and to have faith in oneself, each other, and the world around us. There is a choice in everything we do throughout every day. Choice in who you are and who you are not. Choice in how you behave and how you don’t behave. Choice in what you say and what you don’t say. Choice on your path of life. Life does not live you, you live it. And when we both let go and decided to live in life with trust, faith, and choice, when we decided and began living life as if it was giving us 100% and we were giving it 100%, our lives began to change. We began to find our message. (to be continued…)

Our meaning, our purpose, our message is one of unity and love.

 

A Three-Part Message

Part I:

We both knew, well before we met, we had been called to do something in this world. We just didn’t know what that was. We had both been in search of that answer since childhood, and along the way, we became lost in our search. Or maybe the position of being lost helped us regain our footing. Regardless, we had both become lost. We were living in the way the world had taught us. Going to work, going to sleep, going on repeat. The daily events of life had taken precedence over our deeper, inner meaning. Something at the start of our relationship we were no longer looking to find. Our journey, separately and together, took us there. Just as your journey will do for you. Our meaning, our purpose, our message is one of unity and love.

Our journey began in Fresno, CA, where we met in the midst of our graduate school program. This was a place in our lives where we were following the footsteps of what our lives had taught us, getting a degree to pursue the career we both wanted. We worked. We went to school. We did the daily requirements of cooking, cleaning, caring for our pets, etc. What we couldn’t see then was that life had placed us in the exact moment in time with one another for a beautiful reason. Instead what we saw was the tumultuous journey life had in store for us. Although we couldn’t see it clearly then, everything we endured was a stepping stone to get to the place we are now. Everything was a lesson to learn in order to share the message we have today. We fought tooth and nail against learning those lessons, frequently being entrenched by the misery we experienced. There is an old saying – nothing is good or bad – although we frequently experience the world in such a way. We knew this, but we couldn’t find that age-old wisdom. The wisdom saying each experience is meant for growth. The world will carry you kicking and screaming if it has to, in order for you to learn the lessons it has in store. And we definitely kicked and screamed. Looking back, our journey was experienced at such intensity and such rapidity that it felt like some chaotic mess. And if we hadn’t have been on our journey, we wouldn’t be in a place to share it with others. Because to truly guide others, one must experience the journey first.

(to be continued…)

What if communication was not meaningless?

What if communication was not meaningless?

What if we all had messages to share with one another? We’re referencing each and every person. The person you cross paths within the grocery store. The person you are pumping gas next to at the gas station. Your best friend whom you’ve known for years. Your wife or your husband. Every single person we come across. What if we all have messages for one another? What if we’re standing next to that person in that long, long line for a reason.

Communication can be meaningless, but what if it doesn’t have to be? What if there is more to this chitter-chattering we have all learned to do? I grew up questioning the purpose of communication. I never understood why we stood around talking about the weather or what we ate for dinner. The conversation topics seemed non-sensical to me. I remember my mother trying to help me understand it and how to engage in others in this seemingly, socially acceptable manner. And while I gained the skill, with due thanks to my mother, I still found myself wanting to hear from people’s souls, from who they truly were not who they were pretending to be or who they thought they had to be. I wanted to have a soul-to-soul conversation. That was where the meaning was and could be found. And that, my dear readers, is where the messages are.

We’ve taught ourselves how to have the meaningless conversation or necessary conversation about the external world (plans for the day, requirements at work, etc.). What if we were to teach each other how to communicate through our souls? Consider it. If you woke up one morning, determined to only say what you truly meant to say to someone, whether it made logical sense or not, what would come out of your mouth. Here’s where I started today. My opening line to my wife, “something’s changed, and we need to figure out what it is.” Her response, “it was the winds.” Now to any other person out there, this conversation holds no meaning. But to us, it held deep and treasured meaning. One of the first days when I decided to give this message-thing a shot, to focus solely on contributing meaning to the world around me, I was strolling the aisles of the grocery store. I came side-by-side with a woman I had never seen. She said, “it’s interesting how you find the things you’re looking for when you least expect it.” I nearly exclaimed with excitement and decided to reply, “that’s it!” She had validated my entire purpose of the day. She had given me a message saying the meaning could be found anywhere, at any time. And I hoped my return message, helped her. So, I ask you, what would happen if you started listening for and providing messages? What if you allowed yourself to experience the life we can all truly have?

Do you trust yourself? Really and truly?

Last week we talked about love, which sent us into a tail-spinning direction of talking about trust.

Do you trust yourself? Really and truly trust yourself?

That means no doubts, no questions. Pure trust.

And then if we extend that out, do you trust others?  Do you trust your partner?

And then if we push that out a bit more, do you trust the universe or the world around you? An easy option would be to simply say, “ya, sure, I do that.”

Are you being real? Are you being honest with yourself? It is easy to identify whether you trust someone external to you and particularly with a partner.

These are not easy questions to answer. So let’s start with the first question, how do we know if we are actually trusting ourselves throughout the day?

Try taking one day from the very start to the very end and observing your thoughts.

No judgment.

No criticism.

Simple observation. Using that same love we talked about before. When we start criticizing ourselves for our thoughts, we can turn our own selves in a tail-spinning direction of derogation.

So, if you take one day to simply observe your thoughts, what would happen?

What you may find, is that you doubt quite a bit. Not just yourself, but others. What you may also find is that you try to justify your doubt.

Well, it’s there because that person has never been someone I could trust. Do you trust yourself to know the difference between someone you can trust versus someone you can’t? There is reason to determine whether a person can be trustworthy. We need that appraisal  for our survival

You may also notice you have thoughts such as, “should I do this or should I do that? Does that person really mean it when they say…?” And so on. If you want to take this one step further, try taking a day where you address those doubt-ridden thoughts.

Remember no judgment or criticism. When a doubt-ridden thought comes up, ask yourself, do I really need this? Does it really matter? What if I were to just say I trust.

Not trusting that others and the world around you will be what you want them to be, but trusting that they are doing exactly what they need to be doing in that time and moment.

This would also be without expectations and without judgement of what others are doing. We are all in this world at this point in time doing the best we can possibly do.

Everyone is doing the best they can with what they have. What if we were to say, “we trust. We trust in ourselves, each other, and the universe. Each and every moment of each and every day,” we embody trust.

If nothing else, maybe give it a try for a day or too and see what happens. Because we all deserve our own trust.

Let’s step out from the shadow of doubt and give that shadow one giant hug of love. And say:

I trust you doubt. I trust that you’re going to doubt, because that’s what you do best. And I’m going to try something a bit different doubt. I’m going to try trust. And I’m going to trust that I will fail sometimes, and I will fall sometimes. And it will all be okay, because I’m doing the best I can.

Treatment Approach Being Centered

Love starts within yourself

We’ve been talking recently about love and how to embody the essence of love. How does one send out love to everything around them, all day?

Yep, all day, every day.

If we really tune into ourselves (our thought and feelings about ourselves and others), we tend to find that we are in a loop of continual negativistic patterns. We’ve somehow learned to do this for generations upon generations.

For some reason the negative stands out more and our focus goes to negative more fluidly which causes the perpetual negative in life. We believe this is partly due to the need for our families and our ancestors to protect us from the world around us.

There have been times in our lives and our ancestors lives when we needed protection.

We have come into a place in society where information is readily present. People are all around us and accessible.

We have the power to protect ourselves.

We always have.

Maybe it’s that we haven’t known how to use it.

We didn’t understand our abilities because we do not allow ourselves to get there. There is this push to look outside of ourselves for everything.

We do not want to outcast or dampen our use of negativistic thoughts and emotions. These can be a part of our daily lives; however, they seem to have taken a place in our lives that has gone beyond usefulness.

We do not want to encourage you being positive 24/7, that would not be human. We are encouraging you to allow yourself to be positive. Give yourself permission to see the beauty that surrounds you. Love starts within yourself then you can give to others.

So then what do we do with the negative? We understand it. We value it. We send it as much love as we’re sending out to everything else. Underneath negativity and pain, there is fear. So the next time you’re thinking, “I can’t believe he/she would do something like that” – or – “I’m just stupid sometimes” – or – “No one will ever really love me”

Try to use your own inner voice, your own inner healer, and say, “I can respect that you feel hurt and afraid, and I love you all the same.”

 

Try imagining yourself sending every bit of love you have towards whatever that thought or emotion is.

Then imagine yourself letting it go to whatever source you believe can better care for it (God,  Universe, Source, Spirit, etc.).

You deserve every bit of love in your life, and you deserve to send that out to others.

We can all choose to embody love. We have choice.

Couple Therapy

Meditation Can Be Simple

On the journey of finding true connection in relationship with someone else, the power of meditation can be strong, yet entirely daunting. Throughout our work and personal journeys, we have heard some individuals state that one must be specifically trained in various forms of meditation to not only teach, but to practice. This did not seem right to us.

 

It would make logical sense to teach a standard form of meditation one would need to be trained in that form, and we can respect the point of view. However, there does not seem to be sound logic behind needing to be trained to practice meditation. We have heard from some individuals who are yet to practice meditation that they cannot sit still for thirty minutes or an hour in silence with their eyes closed without suddenly being awoken by their own loud snoring. (At this point, we giggle.) Some individuals state that their minds are constantly going, like Charly Chimp the cymbal playing toy monkey, so they certainly cannot sit and empty their minds out to engage in meditation.

 

Really, meditation can be simple. One of the purposes of meditation is to be present and in the moment. This means tuning into every last detail. How does your body feel? What has your mind been focusing on? How are you feeling? What is around you, if your eyes are open? And what do you see if your eyes are closed?

 

Meditation can be for two minutes or it can be for hours. It can be sitting still, standing still, lying still, walking around, jumping, taking a shower… you get our drift. You can meditate at any time of day or night and in any location. Here’s the simple version: Call your attention to the present moment. Try to relax and release any type of tension held within your body, mind, and soul and look around you. Just be present.

 

Now, we’re going to extend on meditation to include your relationship with someone else. We raised the topic of meditation today to help others understand meditation can be utilized to strengthen your relationship with another. Here’s the simple version: Try sitting or lying down next to each other and focusing your meditation (your intent) on your relationship.

 

Your relationship is what the two of you create together, your third. Set a specific amount of time to meditate. Some individuals are helped by having meditation music playing for a designated amount of time, such as fifteen minutes. This could be doing an activity as well, like going on a hike together with the intention of meditating about your relationship or your third as we call it. A meditation with two people can be powerful, because of the intimate connection already present within the relationship.

 

After the meditation, sit with your partner and communicate with each other about what occurred in your mutual meditation. What did you find was drifting into your mind? Thoughts? Images? Moving pictures? What were you feeling? Was there complete silence? Did you hear sounds? See if you can find any points where your meditation co-existed with each other. Maybe you heard birds chirping and your partner was visualizing being in the woods. Maybe you felt a rush of positive emotion that filled you with happiness, and your partner felt the same. See if you can find the mutuality of your meditation. Your third deserves that attention. To all of the thirds out there, we support you!

Treatment Approach Being Centered

Through Finding Yourself, You Can Find One Another

Our blog has been a mish-mash of topics, as we have been discovering what we would like to share with our readers, and we appreciate your patience!

Today,

is the first day we have begun to focus on our intention for this blog.

Our work has driven us to focus on raising consciousness within individuals and within relationships, particularly with couples.

We recently wrote a book titled, Awaken Love. The book tells of Dr. Huff’s and Dr. Reyes Castillo’s long journey in finding themselves and finding each other. The book is a non-fiction about the journey of a marriage between two female psychologists. Our story is one of love. We met in the midst of chaos during our psychology graduate program.

This takes you highlights the strength we both held as individuals and the long and winding path one takes in truly getting to know one’s inner path and one’s soul. The journey, we discovered, does not end there.

The journey continues through gaining a similar level of awareness and consciousness in relationship with another, supporting the new power of love that can arise. The story tells of the beauty and cruelty of love and the lessons learned along the way. Our determination led us to learn how love was meant to be experienced, a way that society does not frequently examine or experience love. A love that we can all have, if we allow ourselves to look for it. We look forward to sharing our future writings with you about this path.

Through finding yourself, you can find one another.

Positive vs. Negative? What About Finding Meaning Instead?

If we focus on the negative, the negative will multiply and take over, and if we focus on positivity, the same will happen. …

Standing As We Are

We’ve come across people who are fearful of baring their soul for the world to see. It can be difficult, to say the least, …

We had been taught various lessons by others but we knew there was more.

A Three Part Message Part III: We both had grasped at answers for what we had been called here to do, what we had to offer …