Sunday, July 27, 2014


Self esteem is an odd thing.  We almost don’t notice it until we have lost some.  How we feel about ourselves is something we learn over time. Some part of us, perhaps the ego, takes on the job of keeping these learned ideas of who we are.

When life changes substantially:

divorce,                          family death,

illness,                          retirement,
moving to a new town,             a new boss,
school challenges,              friends being unavailable…

we can manage for awhile with the self esteem that we have stored, but eventually the stores run dry.

So when you have a moment of feeling bad about yourself, first NOTICE what has changed.  Now IDENTIFY what things, people, experiences were in your life that are not there now.  What were the particulars of what I received from those?
In other words, what have I lost from my world? 

And we want to be looking for the specific experiences that meant something to us…. Like: hugs, sex, praise, someone to cook for me, smiles, a sense of community, career satisfaction, mobility….etc?

When you have determined where the losses are, you can begin to PLAN your world with a direction, identifying, and then looking to refill and restock the storage bins of self worth.

Now you can INVITE people, events, activities, all experiences that mirror or enhance the areas that seem unnourished, and running on empty.

And then say “Fill er up please.!”  This may take a bit of time, but if you hold clear the course you can end up by saying “TOP OFF THE TANK PLEASE!”

Recovery from low esteem goes like this…





Top Off   In other words….N.I.P   I.T.!!

If a plant or tree isn’t getting enough water, what does it do?  It grows longer roots!!!!

If you are feeling low…….dig in, dig a bit deeper, until you find the source.

(the drawing of the tree and roots is from David Whyte's website.)

Happy Saturday.  Misty

July 26th, 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014


The scariest places are not in the outer world.  Yes, we are often afraid of spiders or clowns or heights or flying, but the really hard-to-deal-with fears are internal.  Terrors that are often nameless, shapeless things that loom and hover in our psychic space.

Fear is instinctual, and essential to our survival, and yet for many of us, self preservation is not at the essence of our tremors. Maybe if we think of it as survival of the ego, we can begin to understand the deeper and perhaps scarier fears that we carry. "Am I loved?"  "Do I matter?"
"Will I ever be happy?" "What happens when I die?"  These are the kinds of                   thoughts that live underneath our scariest places.

We also live in a society where feelings in general, and certainly what we would consider the “bad”,  “dark”, or “hard” ones are not easy for us to express or hear expressed.  It is Ok to be happy, or sad, but not so easily are we invited to be downright afraid or angry.  The cultural message is usually to CALM DOWN or RELAX!

Fear and pain are generally what lies beneath anger and rage.  We find that when people develop a stronger sense of belonging, social connections and meaning in the their lives, fears are diluted and carry less weight.

Notice how you feel reading this list.  That feeling of discomfort is a tinkling reminder of fear.

We don’t have to take them all on today.  Most cognitive behavior therapy for phobias or anxiety use EXPOSURE THERAPY, which is process of developing a “bravery ladder” beginning with ideas and moving towards more exposure or actual experience of something.  As we survive these moments of increasing experience, we become more courageous, confident and brave.

 Whether we are working on a fear of flying or fear of feeling sad, it is important to continue on the path, allowing ourselves to feel, for just a moment something difficult.  In one of my favorite Paul Newman movies, NOBODY’S FOOL, there is a scene where his character, Sully, is teaching his grandson to be brave by giving him a stopwatch and encouraging him to be brave for one minute.  Pema Chodron, in her book FROM FEAR TO FEARLESSNESS, describes a practice of feeling something difficult for just moments, breathing into that experience, feeling it as deeply as you are able to, and then releasing it.  Slowly, over time we develop that unused emotional muscle to make it strong enough to contain and withstand our fears.  As we do this, the fear then is allowed to transform into a more active, rather than frozen response.

Just for today, let yourself be afraid.  Just a little, just for a moment, then BREATHE, and again BREATHE, and then maybe LAUGH!

Blessings straight to your courageous heart.  

Misty Wycoff, July 19th, 2014.

Saturday, July 5, 2014







Every moment.

Every Day.

Will you?

Happy Weekend
July 5th, 2014