As my mom liked to tell the story … my parents were awakened one morning by howls coming from my bedroom. My mom rushed in, only to find me on the floor.
“Anzie fell off the bed-DAH,” I announced.
Indignant! Righteously indignant! With special emphasis on the second syllable of the monosyllabic word ‘bed’ … to make the point that not only was this NOT RIGHT, it was terribly WRONG .
I was two years old.
In the 3rd grade, I was sent home from school for being disrespectful to my teacher, Mrs. Griffin. She made the mistake of announcing one day that since Senator Saltonstall lived in the same town, all our parents would vote for him in the upcoming election. When I told my mom, she said, “Nonsense.” (Senator Saltonstall was a Republican, and, my parents were two of the five registered Democrats who lived in the town.) So, next day I informed Mrs. Griffin, in front of the class, that...
Twelve years ago, when I took my first Foundation class, I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. Traditionally trained as a child and family and play therapist, and at that point, with a relatively successful and fulfilling clinical practice of almost 20 years, I was always on the lookout for tools and tips I could pass along to my clients, to assist them in whatever path of change or healing they were choosing.
I had taken my first Bars class the day before, and, was resonating in the energy of how far outside the box of my traditional trainings that class was … and in the incredible changes my body experienced that day, (and was continuing to experience.)
I showed up for that first Foundation class with some trepidation, a lot of curiosity, and, a willingness to take the next step. After all, how could it get any weirder?
It shook my world. Layers and layers of beliefs I had held dear for so long began to peel off. We were presented...
On an airplane a few months ago, I sat behind a Dad and his two young children … a boy aged 6-ish and a girl aged 4-ish. He was sitting on the aisle, grim faced. As people continued to board the plane, the boy, who was seated in between his father and his sister, spoke with his Mom. “Yes, Mom, we’re on the airplane … it hasn’t taken off yet … No Mom, the door is still open! … Ok Mom, I’ll have fun! … Mom, do you want to talk to Daddy? … (The dad stared straight ahead) … Ok Mom, bye Mom I love you too Mom.” As he handed the cell phone back to his dad, he sneaked a peak at him. Dad continued to stare ahead.
He then turned to his sister, who had been silent during the phone call. She began a blow-by-blow narrative of everything she was observing out the window. “Look at that red truck … there are the suitcases … why is that man standing there? Who are all those people? When is the plane...
“Darling … You’ve got to learn not to take the bait … They’re just doing it to get you!”
Those are the words my mom would say to me, as I ran crying to her, seeking comfort from the teasing that my brothers and father used to do periodically when I was a little girl.
I so desperately wanted to be in on their jokes, to be included in their camaraderie, to not be made fun of or laughed at … and … from my perspective, it didn’t happen … and, they were merciless.
They made fun of what I said and how I said it.
They laughed at the way I looked.
They would promise to stop … and then keep on even more.
Moments of inclusion in their worlds frequently ended with me in tears, as they would say or do something that they knew would upset me.
And, as I lost it, they would laugh, and then grow quiet, knowing that my mom would reprimand them and demand that they “Stop it.”
by Anne Maxwell, LCSW
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
~ Albert Einstein
It has become clear to me, having worked as a psychotherapist for the past 25+ years with children, families and adults of all ages and kinds, that there are particular cultures of thinking or attitude in regard to the way people, and especially kids, should function. Those that don’t function according to the rules and regulations in play around them are labeled with ‘disabilities,’ especially in educational and medical communities.
Autism is one such definition.
I have a different way of viewing people who have been labeled with autism, and, 10 years ago, when I discovered the tools of Access Consciousness®, my practice changed, as did the children and adults I was working with... more ease, longer-lasting change, happier families.
Some questions I was invited to...
“Want to go riding?”
My friend Alison and I were in Dublin with other friends, attending a class. She had found a stable just outside Dublin. The website showed spectacular views, through woods, up in the hills, looking down on the city of Dublin and the ocean … hard to resist!
On the day of the ride, the sun was shining, soft blue Irish ocean sky with puffy clouds.
We arrived at the stable and were welcomed by horses peeking out from their stalls, curious. “You picked a good day … the weather is beautiful,” the guide said, greeting us. “It doesn’t happen like this very often!” She had us fill out paperwork (the last time I rode was as a little girl, riding a large, gentle old horse named Sasha, bareback.) She and the stable hands saddled up horses and brought them out in the courtyard.
“This is Divo,” she said, as she handed the reins over to me. ...
How many New Year’s resolutions have you made?
And how many have you kept?
Not so many?
I cannot tell you how many times I tried … and tried … for years … and I would greet each New Year with renewed seriousness and earnestness and intention and gravitas … It was exhausting!! And ultimately not very satisfying, as I observed my weight creeping back up or my continued attraction to men who preferred to be with other women or my inability to sustain a workout routine or my continued attraction to people who viewed themselves as superior to me or my earnings that never seemed to go above a ceiling … the lists went on.
So, I decided to quit with the resolutions … except I never really did … I just didn’t announce them or claim them or admit that that was what I was up to … with similar results.
And whose beliefs were those, anyway? Where did I make myself think I needed to weigh...
My family always had a thing about money.
Sometimes we had it, sometimes we didn’t. And during the times that we didn’t, we never let on … it was a secret. We kept up the appearances of having it and nobody was to know.
Money was not that big a deal to my dad. His point of view was if he had it, he spent it … and if he didn’t have it, he still figured out a way to spend other people’s … they would either loan him money (which he rarely repaid) or gift it to him. For my mom, appearances were important.
I grew up in an affluent suburb of Boston, in a beautiful old house, surrounded by fields and woods, with a river just over the hill. My childhood consisted of private schools in Boston, summer camp in the French Alps, a boarding school in central France, and multiple trips to Paris and to the south of France. By all appearances, we had money.
And yet, there was always an undercurrent … a...
I took my first Foundation class eight years ago. That class changed everything for me. It turned my world upside down. It created space for me that hadn’t been available before. I was different. I was happier. I actually liked myself a little! And I noticed that people wanted to be around me, more than before.
The day after that class, members of my family and extended family came to our house for a holiday celebration. They stayed for three days. We had been estranged from each other for many years, and this was the first time in a very long time that we occupied the same physical space.
It was incredible!
We enjoyed each other’s company. We had conversations with each other we hadn’t dared dream about. Old wounds healed. The past lost its significance. And, we had fun together.
And, it happened without upset, without drama.
It was so different.
Since that first class, I’ve taken many Foundation classes and facilitated even more. What I love...