Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Was your Holiday Happy? By Delia Nessim

Holiday time can be fun and exciting.  For many people, it’s one of the few occasions for friends and family to gather, share a nice meal and reconnect.  Some families have a lot in common.  They have plenty of fond memories to recall and new stories to tell.  For other families, time spent together can mean anxiety, anger and a struggle to get through the day without someone losing their cool.  There is no shame in feeling this way.  Relationships are meant to be challenging.  If they were all easy, life would be pretty boring.  The good news is there are ways to improve a relationship if you really want to.  It’s not enough to want the other person to change.  The hard part is making a decision to change your own role in the relationship and sticking with those changes.  Harriet G. Lerner, Ph.D. is the author of an insightful book on this subject called “The Dance of Anger" (A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships).   This book has many examples of troubled relationships and clear, logical ways to effectively deal with them.

A good indicator that change is in order is to recognize recurring patterns that cause you to feel angry.  Anger in and of itself is not a bad thing; it serves an important purpose just like any other emotion.  Anger gets a bad rap because many people don’t know what to do with it.  It’s not a pleasant emotion so some people try to avoid anger by pushing it down.  Sometimes, they withdraw and ignore the anger until they feel depressed and frustrated and often don’t even understand why they feel the way they do.  Other times, they explode, rant and rave about everything and nothing. As a result, they are not taken seriously.  Anger management is an important skill that is not effectively taught in our society.  Children pick up cues from adults so when adults don’t know how to cope with anger, we can hardly expect children to learn how to deal with it.

Let’s look at anger from a child’s perspective.  Imagine a three year old child who was so excited because she had a quarter and she was finally at the front of the line of a giant gumball machine.  The gumball spins around a circular ramp several times before coming to a stop in the child’s hand.  She couldn’t wait to get to the machine and turn the crank.  She used all the strength she could muster and turned it twice but she needed to give it one more little turn to get the ball in motion.  Just as she was about to turn it, her mother grabbed the crank and gave it the final turn.  The girl was crushed.  She cried loudly as she threw down a lollipop that was in her other hand and it shattered to bits. The mother scolded her for causing such a scene.  The mother then looked for support from bystanders because she has to tolerate this seemingly erratic and bratty behavior.  The child was furious that her thunder was stolen with the gumball machine, she lost her lollipop, and to top it off, she is being scolded and humiliated in public.  Perhaps the mother thought the child couldn’t turn the crank any more and she was just trying to help.  The next thing she knew, her daughter was having a meltdown.  Who is at fault in this scenario?  Both people felt justified in reacting the way they did.  In many cases, anger and arguments stem from a series of events that start out innocently and soon get blown out of proportion.  It becomes a cycle which means there is no beginning or end.  People get stuck when they become too vested in determining who started it, who is right, and who should apologize, when in fact, it doesn’t really matter.  The only way to get past the conflict is for one party to step up and take responsibility for their role in the cycle. 

When young children get mad, they may yell, cry, throw things or even hit others.  Our advice to these children is to use their words.  We say, “Calm down and tell me what you want.”  This same advice applies to adults.  The best way to get past the anger is to calm down, get clear about where the anger is coming from and decide how to do things differently.  Next, it takes courage to verbally express one's true feelings.  It’s never too late to build a better relationship with friends and family.  There is nothing more rewarding than mending a damaged relationship or building close personal ties.  Nothing is better for kids then being surrounded by emotionally healthy, honest and loving adults.

The practitioners at the Resiliency Center sincerely hope that you are enjoying the holiday season with friends and family. If you need help to improve family relationships there are several practitioners that are here to support you, including me, Delia Nessim.

Fill Up This Winter with Positive Change Practicing QiGong

As the ground hardens and the air chills, we are drawn to go ‘inside.’
In Taoist traditions, winter is the season when you are called to explore what lives below the surface, to pay attention to the internal workings of your intuition.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), winter is the time to focus upon the Kidneys, Yin, and the Bladder, Yang, as well as the adrenals.
This is a crucial time to nourish, warm and fuel your physical, mental and spiritual energy.  These winter practices have a cumulative effect upon your physical health, mental clarity, and innovative spirit.

Infuse yourself with positive change by practicing and dancing Qigong!
Qigong is an invaluable tool to unite and align your thoughts, heart and physical body.  One of the best ways to infuse your being is with your intention, to bring in and initiate positive change.

May this Winter Solstice and all holy days that celebrate the light in one way or another feed your soul, your heart, your being.  May our Qigong practice help us call this light, this Qi into a joyful dance around us, our world, your world.
May we see the light in one another and joyfully acknowledge it with a smile or a hug.

Winter in TCM, celebrates the Water Element.  The waters of the earth and the waters of your body are one. As we dance & practice Qigong together we are one in dynamic flow and movement.  Let us fuse with the Universe this New Year with Peace and Love and Light, bringing in positive change.  Feel yourself as you dance Qigong, grounded and home in flowing change.

Abundant Blessings to all of you with
Gratitude and Peace and Love.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Choice Illuminated: The Gift of Winter Solstice

Karen Steinbrecher would like to share  "Choice Illuminated: The Gift of Winter Solstice"
from Way of Joy Qigong. To link to the original and see the video go to:  
The turning point of Winter Solstice — where the nights stretch long and daylight shrinks — is an optimal time to reflect on what you are choosing to carry forward into the next cycle and what needs to drop away. In this way, your “garbage”—that is old choices, patterns of behaviors you are sick of—can simply be “composted” into neutral energy.

One way to do this is to ask yourself, “What is going on in my life right now that I don’t want?”  Listen for the answer and jot it down in your journal or on a piece of paper.  Rather than reject or become impatient with whatever the answer might be, use it as a guiding light to ask yourself “So what do I want?” Notice what you feel in your body as you bring your focused attention to the answer.

Making the choice to break non-resourceful habits grounds you in healthy ways to express your truth, experience your own power, and bring your distinctive gifts to the world around you. This is most effective when you infuse your body with that choice. Here is a short qigong practice to keep your inner flame burning.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Peacetime (A Pre-Election Special) by Dean Solon

become, and be, comfortable in your meditation posture and position;  don't rush.
be taking a couple of slightly deeper breaths, allowing your body to relax.  feeling your shoulders easing, your face softening.  feeling a sense of letting go of the night dreams and daydreams, and be coming, just be coming, into the here and now.
have a sense of the body becoming quieter, becoming still.   have a sense of the space your body fills and the space around you, that your body does not fill.
and, without any special effort, begin to be noticing, lightly, the breath.
there is no need to be grabbing at it---the breath is going nowhere.

44 years ago, an american political figure said this in a speech:  "what we need in the united states is not division;  what we need in the united states is not hatred...but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black....let's dedicate ourselves to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.  let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people."

(robert f. kennedy, minutes after the shooting and killing of martin luther king, and two months before he  himself was shot and killed)

what is the prize?
is it fame, fortune, family?  is it happiness, is it love?
what is the prize, in the crackerjack box that is your life?
perhaps it is THIS moment
perhaps it is THIS moment
perhaps it is THIS moment
...of breath, of awareness, of awakeness, of life

perhaps it is this moment     

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Suns by Dean Solon

sitting straight, without being rigid, allowing the body to be firmly...and lightly...planted on the earth, your eyes closing gently, your hands resting easily, your heart softening, your mind lightening.  sensing your body, allowing a softening of any tension(s).  letting go of any thoughts and any plans.

as much as is possible, let your natural breathing guide you into simple presence...maintaining gentle, nonjudgmental awareness, moment after moment...allowing, spontaneously, a shifting from doing to being...
there is no right or wrong here, no success or failure, just exploring...just being...allowing your presence to accommodate, to include, whatever is arising...

rumi's poetry:  "it's not a kingdom like any you know,
                                 the kingdom of God that's within you,
                                 but hundreds and thousands of kingdoms."
hundreds and thousands of suns, shining brilliantly, within you.

dedicating to spirit.  re-dedicating to spirit.
this earth.  this earth. 
you, committing to spirit,
connecting with the wisdom teachings, with the Masters,
you living with hundreds and thousands of suns,
shining brilliantly.
hundreds and thousands of suns, shining brilliantly, within you.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Silence by Dean Solon

clouds passing across the big sky.
mind-forms informing, re-forming.  mind-forms disintegrating, evaporating.
in this space, perpetually and eternally under the orange-red sun in the center of the big blue sky, there is nothing to be forgiven, nothing to be forgiving. 
          all there is
          is God,
          within and without.  all there is
                                                    is God,
                                                    within and without.
all else is included,
all else is nothing
other than illusion,
other than distraction
and drama
and wrestling.
           release, relief, resurrection, redemption.
           connecting with all there is
           ...God, within and without.
           recreating and renewing
holding to the hem of the garment
holding to the hem of the garment
holding lightly, holding loosely
holding loosely, holding lightly
           loosening the ties to limitation,
           opening mind, opening heart
           as presence, your presence.
           all presents.

Friday, September 28, 2012


The September issue of Shambala Sun, a magazine,  speaks about finding Peace during stressful times.  Are you familiar with that word, stress?  Here are some inspiring ideas   to share with you from this issue.   .

“Life is stressful, and no matter what we do, that blunt fact will never change.  Yet we’re not powerless.  The way we think about stress and the way we react to it-that is always up to us.”;  Judy Lief’s article on the “;Middle Way of Stress” tell us that  “Not only do we have to lean into our own stress at times, but we also have to be willing to allow others to learn in that same way.  It is hard to watch someone struggle without feeling anxious and wanting to help out…but it is not always so simple.  For instance, if you see a butterfly struggling to break out of it cocoon, and you try to ease its struggle by prying open the cocoon, that butterfly will emerge in a weakened state and may even die.  The butterfly needs the stress of working its way out of the cocoon to build up strength and to dry its wings.  Clearly, a certain amount of stress is part of life, but how much stress and what kind of stress?  How can we navigate a course that is challenging but no overwhelming?
We think that if we were smarter, prettier, wealthier, more powerful, living somewhere else, younger, older, male, female, with different parents-you name it-things would be different.  But things are not different.  It makes more sense to learn how to deal with the stresses that inevitable arise.  Yet Lief teaches that there is real hope for relief and that it lies in practice.”

This leads us to  QiGong.  Here is a flowing dance with gentle, stretching movements that help us, enable us to let go, let go of the stress, the pain and the worry as we seek to find our balance.  Balance is like happiness, it can be fleeting.  But the practice of QiGong,  the Gong, the focus, the intention as we move the Qi [Chi – life force, energy]  toward aligning Body, Mind,  Heart,  Spirit and Soul towards who YOU ARE, is my secret that I want to share with you.  And her basic suggestion about getting to know your own mind by following the breath RESONATES with Qigong.  The Breathwork is an important element in QiGong practice.  As Lief suggests, and also in QiGong practice, we bring our attention to our inhalations and exhalations, thereby discovering that there IS something steady and reliable about our mind.  That when life becomes stressful, we can draw upon that inner strength that lies within each and every one of us.

Join me and others as we Dance and Practice Qigong here at the Resiliency Center
every Thursday @ 2 P.M. and @ 6:15 P.M.  in the open work space.   $10.00 charge.

Friday, September 14, 2012

"Hypnosis: Use it on anything" by Delia Nessim, MS

           Clinical hypnosis is not just for weight loss or smoking cessation.  More and more people are realizing that since the subconscious seems to be running the show, it behooves us to get in there and have some say over where it’s leading our life.  The motto of the national guild of hypnotists says, “We help ordinary, everyday people with ordinary, everyday problems of all kinds.”
How does it work, you might ask? Well, the subconscious mind is good at recognizing patterns and speeding things up by jumping to conclusions. This way, the things we do routinely get done quickly and easily without troubling the conscious mind.  For example, I used to drive a car with a stick shift.  At first, it took concentration and coordination to learn to press down on the clutch and shift gears.  After a while my subconscious took over and I hardly thought about it.  Then when I drove an automatic car and I prepared to stop, my left foot instinctively looked for something to press down on.  After slamming on the brakes a few times, I realized that my conscious mind had to be activated to remind me that there was no clutch and my left foot could just relax and enjoy the ride.
So one goal of the subconscious is to automate our life and another goal is to keep us safe by doing what is familiar because those things kept us alive up to this point.  These two things make it difficult for us to welcome changes of habit into our life. New behaviors are threatening to our security and they are in conflict with our familiar patterns.
Hypnosis is not an attempt to control anyone’s mind. Contrary to what some people believe, a hypnotist cannot make people do things against their will. The client’s values and morals can never be violated. Another fact is that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.  The client must allow the hypnotist to assist him/her into trance.  The suggestions the hypnotist uses are a combination of standard scripts interspersed with suggestions gleaned from the conversation between client and hypnotist regarding the client’s desired changes.  Although everything that is suggested while under hypnosis is for the highest good of the client, the client has the wherewithal to reject any suggestions that don’t feel right.
So what does hypnosis do exactly?  Hypnosis gets the critical mind out of the way and allows the hypnotist (or the self in cases of self-hypnosis) to convince the subconscious mind that it is safe and desirable to make certain changes.  Once the subconscious is on board, it becomes easier to make behavior changes.  The client no longer relies solely on willpower, which we all know is not very powerful or long lasting.  Hypnosis is safe, pleasant and there are no unwanted side-effects. So it turns out that you really can use hypnosis on anything.
For more information about hypnosis and to participate in a group demonstration, Please attend a free workshop to be held in the Resiliency Center community room on Wednesday, October 3, 7:00-8:30 pm.
For private hypnosis sessions, please contact Delia Nessim at (610) 416-7535. Or email

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Let's talk about sex! - by Dr. Marla Cobin

We live in a culture which sensationalizes sex but doesn’t really allow us to talk about sexual difficulties.  It’s easy to tell our friends that we have a headache or need to go to the allergist, but it’s not easy to tell our friends that we have a sexual “problem” or concern and much less societally acceptable to seek “sex therapy.”  So we tend to keep sexual concerns to ourselves.   These concerns can become overwhelming, leading to shame, poor self-esteem, and anxiety while also creating havoc in romantic relationships.  And, really, the truth is sexuality is an important part of who we are and it deserves to be treated as such. 

When I was growing up, the mother of a friend was a sex therapist who worked out of her home.  My uninformed teenage self really thought that she must be teaching people to have sex, and maybe they were even having sex in her office!  When I learned, many years later, that one can actually get a degree in sexuality, I was curious, having no idea what that might entail.  I soon discovered that sex is rarely talked about in general therapy programs.  I also learned that there is quite a wide range of sexual difficulties and people need support and education!  So, I dove in with the goal of becoming someone that people would feel comfortable talking with about their sexual difficulties.  I received two Masters degrees from Widener University.  One is in social work and the other is in education in human sexuality.  I then received my doctorate in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. 

So, what is sex therapy?  Sex therapy is a form of psychotherapy focusing on sexual health.  The following are often addressed in sex therapy with individuals and couples: questioning sexual orientation, exploring gender identity, sexual trauma, sexual pain, orgasmic difficulties, erectile dysfunction, intimacy, low or high desire, desire discrepancies, masturbation, shame, guilt, and fear of sex and intimacy, etc. The list goes on.  The first goal of sex therapy is to create a safe, supportive environment where clients can talk about sexual concerns with a knowledgeable therapist.  Sex therapists strive to assist and guide the client(s) in reaching a state of increased function and health, increased awareness, and a more integrated sense of themselves and their sexuality. 

Many clients share things they have never told anyone before.  I have often been the first to hear of someone’s sexual abuse, the first to hear of someone’s struggle with orientation, and the first to hear of someone’s sexual pain or low desire.  People have so much shame around these issues that offering a space in which they feel safe enough to share and explore is incredibly rewarding.  I have seen dramatic shifts in people’s levels of anxiety, sense of self-worth, and sexual satisfaction after our work together.  It’s exciting and incredibly rewarding.  My hope is that if we can get more therapists and more clients talking about sex and sexuality, slowly the stigma will disappear and the reality of sexuality being an important part of our identity will gain recognition and encourage conversation.  It’s time to embrace our sexual selves.  Let’s talk about sex!

For more information or to schedule a session, please contact Dr. Marla Cobin at
Here’s to healthy sexuality and open dialogue!