Some strategies we use to NOT be present (in a nutshell)

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It’s so easy to NOT be present .  The culture we live in does not support being in the moment with consciousness.   In fact, most of us grew up learning how not to give our attention to what is actually occurring.

As promised, here are a handful of strategies we use to NOT be present.   These distract us from stuff like hurt, anger, hatred and envy but also from happiness, delight, joy, love, support and aliveness.

There are many more strategies than those listed below and each of us adds our own nuances to all of them.

Keeping busy so that we don’t have a chance to stop and pay attention to what we are experiencing in the here and now.

Anxiety, worry and fear are compelling enough to keep our minds safely occupied from below-the-surface discomforts such as feeling hurt.

Planning keeps our minds busy with ideas meant to encourage us to do something and be somewhere else rather than right here right now. It is possible to plan and stay connected to ourselves but we usually disconnect.

Self-righteousness – We get defensive in order to protect an ideology that helps us to feel strong and not in touch with our underlying vulnerability.

Focusing on other people’s needs and wants so that we don’t have to feel the vulnerability and discomfort of having our own.

Being judgmental keeps us at a safe distance from any underlying sense of being unworthy or less-than.  It props us up so that we can momentarily feel like we’re better, in some way,  than someone else.

Envy & Hatred (in a nutshell) Part 2

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How can we use these emotions to help us get closer to ourselves and to heal the internal wounds from which hate and envy arise?

As with any experience we have, the more we are able to simply allow envy and hatred to be present inside ourselves, the more likely we will be able to integrate and digest both.

Allowing the experience inside of ourselves means to “let it have its way” without attempting to change it in any way and without resisting it or buying into it.  If we’re present with ourselves and allow rather than resist our experiences, we can heal.

In my next blog, I’ll talk about some of the strategies we use to NOT be present.  

Envy & Hatred (in a nutshell)

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Envy and hatred are related.  Nestled right below our envy is a hatred of the object of our envy.

We do not like to admit to either one. Both are socially unacceptable.  Both are considered unattractive.  Both are common to everyone, regardless of our attitude toward them.

In order for us to reclaim our essential state of well-being, we must acknowledge, accept and give our full presence to our envy and our hatred. Denying these emotions only fans their flame.  Resistance encourages our reactivity. Our reactivity reflects our underlying sense of not being enough.  The belief and resulting felt experience of not being enough is fertile ground for the cultivation of envy and its partner, hatred.

My next blog will address:
How can we use these emotions to help us get closer to ourselves and to heal the internal wounds from which hate and envy arise?

2016 SoulCollage® Winter Workshops

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“I’m writing to let you know of a workshop that I’ve taken and loved.  Soul Collage is a way to access deep thoughts and feelings that you might otherwise miss, and you do it using a process that’s both creative and a great deal of fun!  Barbara Reiner is close friend of mine who is very skilled in spiritual counseling as well as Soul Collage.  I recommend her highly without any reservation.”
Marcia Cannon, Ph.D, MFT, Author of The Gift of Anger

What is SoulCollage®?
SoulCollage® is a heartfelt and hands-on approach to exploring the underlying truth of who you are in any given moment.  It’s an intuitive process reflecting various aspects of one’s soul.

  • It allows anyone, artistic or not, to convey, through images, a snapshot of one or more aspects of one’s life experience.
  • It is fun and enlightening with deepening exercises that accompany collage creation.
  • It is more than pasting images on a board. It is a process of self-discovery within a community of support and connection.

2016 SoulCollage® Winter Workshops Dates & Times

February 20th, Saturday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PMThe focus of this SoulCollage® Workshop will be on Compassion

March 5th, Saturday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
The focus of this SoulCollage® Workshop will be on Acceptance

Location:     Berkeley
Cost:             $79 per person per workshop.  This includes all materials.
Facilitator: Barbara Reiner, Licensed SoulCollage® Facilitator


To Apply:  Call or email Barbara Reiner at 510-506-3902

The Camino

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The Camino…IMG_1517

Saturday, September 19th
One week prior to my upcoming walk on the Camino de Santiago and I am still asking why I am doing this. My responses…I know that I have been strongly drawn to going. I know that, in my being, I feel so right about going. I know that, while preparing for the walk, including many training miles, I have developed a sense of confidence in my capacity to do it and an awareness of my physical as well as my spiritual strength and well-being. As I sit with the question of why I am going, I am also becoming aware of my capacity to be big enough to hold a whole lot of people in my heart. I am not just walking for myself.  I am walking for my greater community.  I am walking because I am curious about this ancient pilgrimage and how I will be affected. I am walking because I know that my prayers while walking will have an affect. I am walking because I am powerful. My walk is a prayer and my prayer is a bridge and my bridge is open-ended. There is no fixed beginning or end. I am holding you on my walk.  With capacity, Barbara


Embodying Spirit

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The intention of Embodying Spirit
is to expand our capacity for love. It is an invitationIMG_0559
to live in integrity and freedom and is a doorway to

 our essential selves. The challenges we encounter are
our own defenses. This work is about recognizing
and relaxing our defense structures while
learning to live and love intimately.
“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm
we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and
the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”
Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart