I just got back from a week on Cape Cod.

What a beautiful spot! Have you ever been? 

It was my first time, and here's what I loved: 

1. NO CELL SIGNAL on the beach. Cell service was spotty everywhere on the Cape, but I'm talking zero signal on the beach and the roads leading up to it. Not one person was on her or his cell phone. People were talking to each other and looking at each other. I loved this.

2. Whale Watching. Something happens to me when I see a whale up close. This is my third time seeing humpback whales, and the same thing happened the first two. When I saw the whale close up, I connected with it energetically. Something shifted big-time in my body, and I felt incredibly peaceful.  

  Photo from  whalewatch.com

Photo from whalewatch.com


3. Learning Something New. This was a workplaycation. Is that a word? I went to the Cape Cod Institute and learned new therapy skills. I've been at this for almost 20 years, and I'm always trying to be the best therapist that I can. I care deeply about my clients and want them to feel better. Learning new things helps me do that.

Tell me what's it like for you. Leave a comment below.

Oh and after taking a 2 month hiatus, I'm back doing New Moon Oracles. We have a new moon in Leo Saturday morning, plus a solar eclipse, plus 6 planets in retrograde. It's a doozy of a time! Click here to get yours.

I was a writer.

I do something different now, but, from the time I could put thoughts on paper, it's all I wanted. So off I went to college for English, graduated, and set my sights on it.

After knocking on many doors, I scored a meeting with the metro editor at the now defunct Rochester Times Union. He was a kind man with warm brown eyes behind thick black plastic frames. I wore him down by calling him every 2 weeks for a few months and landed a spot on the features desk.

It was a glorified editorial assistant job. I was mostly responsible for weekly movie times, the recipe exchange, and writing wedding announcements (yawn), but I wrote the occasional features articles whenever they let me.

I was over the moon -- dream come true, and all that. After the excitement wore off, I realized it wasn't a good fit. I didn't want to write on command under constant deadline pressure. It was so not sexy.

Deep down, though, I began feeling like reporting on people's stories was a poor excuse for really listening to people's stories. 

Listening, witnessing and honoring what people go through in their Gate Passages is what I do now. It's a much better fit. 

I still love writing. I recently wrote this for Medium. Grab a mug of steaming coffee and have a read. I'd love to hear what you think.

The Gate Passage of Endings

In a few days, you're bringing this year to a close.

It’s an ending. For some, it's a welcome end. For others, not so much. Either way, as a culture, we aren’t great with endings. 

Endings are Gate Passages. They lead you from one thing to another. I’ve shared some of my own Gate Passages this year, and I’m in the midst of another one -- closing the psychotherapy office I’ve had for the past 9 years. 

It's been a slow dance of breathing, witnessing, feeling, and allowing.

This ending is very different from how I used to end things. In my teens and twenties, destruction was the only tool I had. From situations to jobs to relationships, I'd blow it to pieces, angrily blame the other person, and move on before the dust settled.

It pretty much sucked, and I felt like hell every time. After a long while, I realized it was NOT a very satisfying way to end anything and I learned how to do it differently.

In my years as a psychotherapist, I’ve seen over and over how difficult endings are for all of us. 

It’s not like you're taught in school how to do it (but this kind of learning would benefit you far more than memorizing the multiplication table). The good news is that you can teach yourself.

The next time you're faced with an ending, I offer you some things think about: 

  • How can I end things with grace and honor? 
  • How can I end things without denying or blaming the other person, and with owning the part I've played in it? 
  • How can I loosen my grip on the things that hurt and embrace what felt good?

You can start with this ending -- saying goodbye to 2017 and hello to 2018.