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“How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of goodwill! In such a place even I would be an ardent patriot.” Albert Einstein

Sometimes it is truly difficult to find inspiring conversation among friends and acquaintances. It is at these times, when small talk doesn’t cut it. The nightly television programming doesn’t do it. The radio DJ lacks the magic. Even those closest to us are not equipped to supply an endless line of intriguing comment to add to our wisdom base. It is at these times, when I most identify with the prayer of Virginia Woolf for “A Room of One’s Own” in which to simply be.


It isn’t meant to hurt anyone else’s feelings that I must have this time to think, to grow, to expel and inhale. In fact, it is my great salvation that I have come to believe that I am not responsible for the feelings of any others. I am responsible enough for myself, and to add an extra burden of being responsible too for the emotional cries of the ones who choose to feel anything at all and blame that on me ~no thank you.

As a gestalt practitioner, I am happy to offer tools for healing old wounds. And I do so with full awareness that I am not responsible for the original wounds. Just because I care does not make me a party to the ways in which others choose to respond or react to the inputs of their lives. This separation is what allows me to provide the tools and show the patron that the reins have always been in front of them, waiting to be picked up and pulled on. I am not a guru. I am not responsible for any life but my own. And I am responsible for all my actions. That is where my responsibility starts and ends.

Do you find yourself being tugged on by others? Are you manipulated by guilt? This is an especially effective ploy of both parents and children. Manipulating thru guilt is at the core of many institutions including religious, governmental, and perhaps especially, familial.

If you notice a tendency to manipulate others using guilt as a tool, ask yourself where you learned the technique. Conscious awareness of one’s own behavior is instrumental in creating personal growth. If you don’t see it, how can you transform it?

If you notice a tendency of others to manipulate you, ask yourself where you learned to be manipulated. Chances are, a supposed care-giver was the role model for your learning experience. Again, conscious awareness of one’s own behavior is instrumental in creating personal growth. If you don’t see it, how can you transform it?

In either case, it is a decision of the self to decide to be manipulated or to manipulate or in both cases, to not manipulate or not be manipulated. Choice is the strength of the human spirit. Choose to be authentic. No manipulation is required in life.

What does this all have to do with having, “A Room of One’s Own” or even better as Albert Einstein said, “an island”? Moving away from unsupportive behaviors such as manipulation, and moving towards those great thinkers who inspire through shared conversations of discussing ideas, possibilities, and fascinating concepts may mean that you have to find a closet in which to think. Your inspiration may come off the pages of great books, or your fulfillment may come from solitary walks in nature. You may not have an immediate circle of profound thinkers in your life. That’s okay. Your mind, body, spirit connection can be filled by yourself, with just a little awareness and dedication to personal enlightenment. Wherever your spiritual fodder comes from, be certain to include it in your daily diet. This is the message of Spiritual Gestalt(TM). Feed your whole self, body, mind, and soul.