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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Virginia Satir and Her First Freedom

Change Is Possible
In May, 2009, I shared Virginia Satir's Five Freedoms. The freedom to see and hear what is here instead of what should be, was, or will be is the first of what she calls the five freedoms. She believed we have to stay open to new possibilities, to try new ideas and practice using them. Doing that would make it possible to experience self-esteem. Before we can change we must be honest with our feelings. That requires taking a risk and doing something we have never done before or doing the same thing in a new way.

Change Creates Change
Change affects how we feel about ourselves, how we communicate, and how willing we are to continue risking. As we become more and more authentic we can make real contact with ourselves and others. We can let go of manipulation, competition, criticism, and defensive power plays. We can be open to learning and enjoy the freedom to own our own power. Personal power gives energy to develop responsibility and make good decisions. It prevents living as life long victims.

When We Change Ourselves, Those Around Us Must Change
We have all heard this truth, "You cannot change anyone but yourself." Interestingly, when we are open to learning and change, we will make better contact with ourselves and those around us. That means they cannot continue to relate to us in the same way. Good boundary setting, risk taking, comfort with our own feelings and the feelings of others increase our self-esteem and self power. That means closer, better relationships.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Village Green Gardens Oregon Getaway

Early on a Saturday morning we left to visit long time friends in Washington. It had been years since our last trip through the luscious green mountains and countryside in Northern California and Oregon. I had forgotten how its splendor dazzles us. Our destination on that day was Village Green Resort and Gardens at Cottage Grove located on Oregon's Interstate 5, just 25 miles south of Eugene. Rooms scattered through 14 acres of themed gardens provide a haven of peace and comfort for a perfect getaway. The back door of our room led to a private garden patio.

In the lobby of the resort we saw a basketful of umbrellas sitting by the front door. I am guessing July must be the best time to visit. We spent Sunday exploring. The historical old town had some interesting stores but most closed on Sundays. Cottage Grove, the Covered Bridge Capital of the World, doesn't make it easy to find the six covered bridges within ten miles of the town. We had a good time trying. We found half of them. We also visited an interesting winery with a dozen sheep curled up sleeping in a small pasture near the front door, bushes loaded with blueberries nearby.

We passed rivers, lakes, creeks and lush vegetation wherever we drove. I can't imagine the Garden of Eden more beautiful. We never met any unfriendly people. Some Oregon service stations still have attendants who fill your tank and wash your windshields. If you want a quiet peaceful getaway, I highly recommend Village Green Resort and Gardens.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What Can Same Sex Marriage Teach

Headlines on the front page of the Sacramento Bee, "Call me Dad, not just sperm donor".

Lost Boys' actor Jason Patric wants to change state law to allow sperm donors, in certain situations, to become legal parents and share custody of children born from their sperm. His former girl friend argues that the law protects her as the child's only legal parent because she never married Patric and used a medical procedure to conceive.

I agree with Caitlan Flanagan's Time magazine essay when she writes, "No other single force is causing as much measurable hardship in this country as the collapse of marriage." Movies, television, books and magazines glorify relationship hopping. The subtitle to Flanagan's essay is: "Buffeted by affairs and ennui", the intact, two parent family is under assault. What America needs to get over its commitment issues  (Hint, it isn't love)"  We righteously deny same sex couples the right to marry, while heterosexual couples carelessly spurn that right. Same sex couples who have been together for years and may be raising children cherish and celebrate that right. We can learn from them. I hope they never lose their joy in making life-long commitments to each other.

The Western Civilization has plummeted into a time of decadence never seen before. Pornography has become a multi-million dollar industry and is not confined to dark store fronts or lavish showcases. It has entered the American home and rattled the stability of American marriage and family. Our children become casualties.

Decadence has always led to the collapse of civilizations. Read Arnold Toynbee's "A Study of History". Commitment to marriage and family can go a long way toward preventing misery caused by the collapse of marriage. Children, especially, depend on it.