When Helping…Isn’t

tribe-2Dear T.R.I.B.E. Friends,

Ram Dass wrote a wonderful, simple book for helping professionals entitled “How Can I Help?” in which he addresses the desire of the “helper” to sometimes help too much, or in the way they think to be best, but not a way that actually serves the greater good.The simple question “How Can I Help?” speaks to discerning the felt need of the person or situation.

Interestingly, an article in Forbes Magazine says this can be the worst question to ask, and maybe in business, where hidden agendas are rife, it opens more questions than those it answers. But in this matter of spiritual leadership, I think it really is a good place to start.

One thing I know for sure is that I am fortunate. I have been a sober person in AA for many years now, and I simply cannot guarantee my continued sanity or sobriety if I become entangled for long with things that do not work for me ethically.
I MUST listen to my gut… I would suggest we all actually must.

Daniel Golemen, PhD, who coined the concept of Emotional Intelligence, suggests, in his new book,” Focus” that we each engage three areas when we enter a situation: 1) What we are good at doing 2) Personal emotional engagement 3) Our own inner ethical sense.
We attempt to ignore any of these at our peril.
I actually learned this the hard way…
Hence- a Sabbatical

I am not sure what works. That is part of what a sabbatical is about. Fortunately, I don’t have to know. I am listening right now.

How can I help?

With love,

SAVE THE DATE- We will be taking reservations for our next NYC Gathering
Topic: “In Her Voice- The Female Voice of God” to be held at TANK, just off Times Square on Sunday evening, October 19th at 9 pm.



The Artist In You



Hey T.R.I.B.E. Friends,

I am spending the early Fall in Southern California again…for the first time in four years. One of the things I love about this part of the world is that the advent of the seasons is more subtle here. When I used to come out here from NYC to work or visit over the years, I was like a lot of New Yorkers in my situation. I would wear shorts and tank tops in December and spend every free second at the pool.

But Southern Californians don’t do that! It took me years of living here to begin to feel the subtle shift in the air, to see the slightly different angle of the light as what we know as summer began to evolve into Fall. When visiting New Yorkers were hanging at the pool, Southern Californians have the good sense to know it is winter in December!

But now I can feel it in the air! Yes, there are still lemons and figs and bananas growing on the trees, Yes, people are still playing volleyball on the beach, but there is an unmistakable shift in the air.

The cultivation of the artist in each of us has to do with this kind of incremental observation of every moment. Being fully present to the moment can be painful at times, but that pain is honestly balanced by unbelievable bliss at other times. And the process of managing the shifts may be what “technique” is all about. Through the discipline of daily practicing the scales, or drawing the figure, or writing the pages, or doing the exercises, we develop an artist self- a self that can serve as a strong channel for the Muse/Ru’ach/Spirit to use.

We develop the ability to observe and be present in the subtle shifts of life, of season, of mood, of loss and gain and the rhythm of life. This is our gift.

Happy September 🙂
See you in NYC soon!