Quick Fix

15290127002_7507a74efb_mOn a Sunday morning, you will typically find me somewhere delving into spirituality in some capacity.  More recently, I joined a meditation class taught by a dear friend of mine.

While I had been a devoted Yogi for many years pre-kid and a sweat lodge goer in between, a formal meditation class was something new.

I wasn’t sure what to expect so I grabbed a few of my girls and settled into the car for a jaunt down the 101.

As we entered the studio what transpired wasn’t too unfamiliar.  We focused on different places in the body and gathered our attention back to focus when it drifted. Upon opening my eyes, I consistently felt lighter and clearer.

If you have worked with me before, you may know guided imagery is a tool I use in my practice.  I thoroughly enjoy taking people on a mental journey using the breath and body to connect with something deeper than the buzz of the outside world.

In our fast paced society, so often we just want to get there.  We want results and move away from the process, which is often much more important than the end result anyway.  And through the process we find much of the time we get results we didn’t even know were possible.

This line of thinking is also a reminder of what therapy is like.  So many people want to be fixed fast.  Get quick results.  The reality is it can often take time to unravel the defenses and get in touch with what lives inside.

We cannot meditate 3 times and feel we will never need to do it again to settle us down, nor can we trust 3 sessions of therapy is going provide us all with all the emotional answers to what ails us.

I will say this though, meditation and therapy can be a good start.  The work we can do to get in touch with the deeper part of ourselves is certainly worth it if we are in a place to go there.


I step outside of my comfort zone and take in what is offered to me.

Facing My Own Fear

Last week I held my own feet to the fire. Boy did it feel hot. At least in my body. Somehow in my mind it had stayed cool.


You see, I got up and spoke in front of 400 high school kids last week and gave a talk on stress management and career development. I would love to say public speaking is my thing, but…..

I have a desire to be a great public speaker and inside me burns this motivation to connect and make a difference with people in a big way. In my mind I can see myself being funny, charming, and winning over a crowd. In reality though, it takes me a bit to gain the confidence that would win over a small circle of people let alone an auditorium.

But that’s ok. Maybe, just maybe, I reached one teen. Maybe they heard about warning signs of depression so they can know when to get some support.  Or possibly, one of the teenagers took me up on the challenge to do at least one thing each day that really satisfies them and is outside of the daily grind for fifteen minutes. Then there is the possibility, in seeing an obviously anxious person give a speech to 400 strangers, one of them felt inspired to face their own fears.

Who knows? I like thinking of the maybe’s.

I kicked off this post by mentioning how my mind had stayed cool but my body clearly knew it was anxious; I am fascinated by this concept. I am constantly trying to develop and test ideas and techniques to help those dealing with anxieties, so I try and practice on myself.

What I did was tell myself I was going to give this presentation no matter what, and I didn’t need to be anxious because it was going to happen anyway. I did not allow any anxious thoughts in and just kept it positive. My motto was, “I’m just going to do this.”

Oddly enough it worked. Now I still had the physical sensations of being anxious: rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, upset stomach.  But I just moved through it and didn’t allow any negative thinking to permeate the picture.

In holding my own feet to the fire, I now officially know I am capable and have a benchmark set on how it is I can improve.

Am I in love with public speaking? No. Would I do it again? Yes. Why? Because if I am going to ask those around me to challenge themselves then I better have some life experience and training to back it all up.

In the work I do, I ask people to confront their fears. Put their own feet to the fire. The more we do it the easier it becomes. It doesn’t mean we have to like it, but maybe by some chance we will.


I can do anything I set my mind too.


Since I was child, faith has been a part of my life.  Either an abundance of, a questioning of, or a lack of, faith in God and what is above all else has been on mind.

I continue to take a deep look inside myself and in faith around me.  From others, I learn from their journeys, certainties, and uncertainties.  I am continually amazed at how my mind can be so set in one way and then shift to new thinking and questions.

By Joe Wolf4September2011

By Joe Wolf

At times I am so grounded in my faith, nothing could shake it.  And at others, I am so uncertain.  I long to just know.

This curiosity has led me to read and study.  I find excitement and knowing, then disappointment and unanswered questions.

I know I am not alone in this wavering.  Back and forth, round and round.  Just when I feel so set, the wind blows, and I am left once again searching.  I am hungry for answers and relish in the ability to think about possibilities.

As the days pass and I become more aware, I find myself wondering what I will feel and know in a year or ten.  I look forward to the unveiling and ultimately hope in the face of the day to day struggles that surround us all, the knowing will become clear and in peace I will live and rest.