Funneling Exercise: Admired and Called

Compassionate Creative Brave Love Smart

February 23rd on Facebook, friend and poet extraordinaire Ra Avis shared this funneling exercise that helps when you feel pulled in many directions:

  • Write the names of five people you admire most.
  • For each, write eight one-word descriptors that define why you admire them.
  • Circle words that appear more than once.
  • Put in order of how often they appear (most to least).
  • Top three are character traits you’re being called to focus on.

My Results

The people I admired were Ra Avis, Sarah Fader, my husband, my mother, and my son.


  • Compassionate (3)
  • Creative (3)
  • Brave (3)
  • Love (3)
  • Smart (3)

After doing the exercise, I realized that I live the attributes I admire. Yay!

Fingers Moving, Fingers Typing


Fingers need to move
nervous energy
prompts them to keep busy

Just as my thoughts
my mind
will not be silent

My fingers will not be still
so I play Solitaire
or now type

I imagine myself crocheting
as I did long ago
as a young girl

Used to crochet
and sew

Used to paint, too
Who knows
Maybe I will do so again

Do any or all of the above
Then again
Maybe not

I don’t put too much stock
in what I do
or don’t do

Ambivalent about goals
No longer as goal oriented
as I was long ago

Well, I do have some goals
I suppose
but they are flexible

Words Do Not Flow

Words do not flow. I do not make the time to write, to free write. I let myself atrophy, my brain numb. What now? What do I have to say? To write? Anything at all? Or, am I empty?

Chafing at Structure?

Tuesday April 29th I went to group therapy and attended my first Toastmasters meeting. Toastmasters was very structured, probably too structured for my tastes; though, the structure worked well in that they covered a lot of ground in one hour. Mentioned in group that I completed my continuing education units to renew my Marriage and Family Therapist license on an active basis, and got positive feedback.  I was afraid that my psychiatrist would disapprove. Not sure why. Guess I don’t yet feel competent enough, well enough; though that fear may be unfounded. I do, of course, have some catching up to do in terms of professional development having been out of the loop for a couple of decades. This is the first time since I was thirty that I have seriously considered and took steps toward re-entering the mental health field as a licensed professional.

Where am I going from here? Well, for one thing, whether or not I attend Toastmasters again, I consider myself an orator to be, an orator at heart. I’m sure Toastmasters would be helpful, but I do not feel comfortable with the format. Time tested, yes, but, well, I don’t know, maybe it’s just that part of me that doesn’t like dancing choreographed steps. I chafe at structure. I know, or so I’ve been told, that structure is helpful, necessary even, for those with bipolar disorder. But, I prefer to live my life with fewer constraints.

The structure of my life: up at 7:00am; fix breakfast and lunch for my son; take him to school; the day is mine spent doing errands, going to writers’ groups, occasionally writing, and maintaining my social media presence; then pick son up from school; spend time with him after school, often shuttling him to and from and up and down the hills he loves to downhill mountain bike; fix dinner; and finally, relax with my husband and son in front of the TV. At the beck and call of our dogs, who want outside, then inside, then outside, then inside (bought a dog door, but need to install it); the overly excited labradoodle and standard poodle even accompany me in the car to and from my son’s school. I know I should walk them twice a day, but since they recently chased a golden retriever while on leash and dragged me along the sidewalk, I’m not taking them out. They need the exercise, as do I. But I also need peace. I paid for dog training through PetCo, but haven’t yet started, just spoke over the phone with the trainer about their behavior.

This summer I will be home with my son full-time. Not sure how that will go. Like most of the stay-at-home moms I know, I always dread the summer. I need the structure that the school day provides me. Without it, I become overwhelmed. I need down time and time to take care of household business, not to mention my newfound interests.