Archive for January, 2009

Shy Son

This article was published in Rising Women, Vol. 11, Issue 3, in January, 2009

Ask An Expert

My sensitive son dreads speaking to anyone not in our family.   How can I help him overcome his shyness?  

Your son is likely an introvert, an inborn personality factor.  Introverts prefer to observe, listen, and think before speaking or acting.  They are so sensitive to outer stimuli they easily become overwhelmed.  New people are unpredictable, so expectations are unclear.  He would likely prefer to do and say nothing rather than say something wrong.  He could appear paralyzed as he thinks through various responses.

Introverts take a long time to master small talk.  When someone asks, “How are you?” he might think that person really wants to know.  He may not feel authentic saying, “Fine.”  Could the two of you role-play situations before attending them? Model different responses. He could play someone else, seeing situations through another person’s eyes. 

Help him decide what situations need: social rituals, politeness, banter, or genuine conversation.    Use a non-verbal signal or code for each category. Ask him for examples of how to respond in each case.  If he doesn’t have suggestions, then model a bad response.  This can be a lot of fun!

Enrol your son in sports or community activities that interest him.  Give him many opportunities to meet others.  In a new situation, encourage him to stand or sit with others who are quiet, and just say “Hi.”  He can look for something in common with them. 

Encourage him to think of questions to ask, if he really wants to know the answers.  Avoid asking questions about physical appearance, but questions about an item someone is wearing are usually appreciated.  People love to talk about their possessions.  Sometimes it helps to repeat a question.  For example, if an aunt asks, “How do you like your teacher this year?”  he could simply repeat her question then give a  short reply like “So so.”

Show him how to listen with interest.  Even when one is bored, asking for more details can lead to information that connects with what one already knows.  This is more interesting for both speaker and listener.

Relax.  Give your son time.  For everyone, there’s much to be gained by listening.   With practice and non-critical acceptance, your son will share his story…  if he wants to, and should he choose.


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Snow Removal in Calgary


(tune: Old Gray Mare)


City Council, it’s about the snow, you know.

Everywhere we go, you know,

Things are moving really slow.

The side streets stop us from going with the flow, you know.

That’s why we’re fed up!


Don’t call 3-1-1!

If we need our side streets done.

We’ll just have to wait for a Chinook, you know,

They won’t answer 3-1-1!


Oh, City Council tries to give us such a line

Says they’re working overtime,

For our city in its prime.

But we must travel, stuck amidst the slush and grime,

And can’t call 3-1-1!


Don’t call 3-1-1!

If we need our side streets done.

We’ll just have to wait for a Chinook, you know,

They won’t answer 3-1-1!


Written by Granny Sharon, Calgary Raging Grannies

January 2009



Since writing this post 3 months ago, we have continued to get snow in Calgary. Not every day, of course, this being Calgary. This week it was 21 & 22 degrees Celsius on Monday and Tuesday. Then Wednesday the temperature dropped as a cold front came south, bringing light flurries at 1:30, and fat wet snowflakes by 2:30. It was wet, so ice quickly formed on the streets. The next morning, under 3 inches (7cm) of wet snow, the roads were treacherous. The city did little to address the mess, so accidents exploded all over the city. What does Calgary do about snow removal? Still waits for a chinook.
Today, Friday April 24, it is warmer and the sun is shining, but it’s not a chinook. Sunlight has melted snow wherever it hits. Brilliant green shoots of grass are bursting through the lawns. Birds are chirping, twittering, singing and wheeling through the air. Spring is on its way. My daffodils and tulips are 5-8 inches high, with a few buds forming. Thank goodness they are hardy enough to tough out the snowfall!

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Healing Touch and ARC





Since 2003 I have expanded my practice of Healing Touch to include a form of healing called ARC (A Return To Consciousness).  ARC combines energy work with dialogue, so healer and client can process thoughts and feelings that arise during treatment.  I joined the ARC program to work on chronic issues, not to become an ARC practitioner.  Through ARC I have experienced >200 hours of class instruction, read twelve assigned books on healing and spirituality, received supervised practice in giving treatments, documented my independent ARC treatments, and received feedback on those treatments from Pietro Abela, the founder of ARC.    During these years I also took a fifth course in the Healing Pathway program, the Communion of Saints, at  Naramata Centre. I like both programs, and feel that each offers valid healing experience.  As a perpetual student, I read an additional five books related to healing, but not part of the ARC reading list.  I became an “ARCoholic”, as those of us in the program jest. 

 Last spring members of my Healing Touch group at Knox United Church came to my home to give treatments as I recovered from a broken elbow and surgery.  Being on the receiving end of Healing Touch clarified for me some differences between ARC and Healing Touch.  I had downplayed the value of Healing Touch because I was so focused on ARC teachings.  From March to May my energy and physical body were so weak I could only handle Healing Touch.

What Healing Touch offers is balance, so the body may more effectively heal itself.  This can come without awareness, but it surely comes.  Healing Touch works on energy and mystery.  The unconscious world is met, received and nurtured, helping the client relax to allow his/her Soul and body to heal itself.  I accepted life and energy at work, and rested in Divine Mystery, trusting myself to care by the Greater Good.  Thus, Healing Touch can address a multitude of unconscious currents.  Thank goodness. Healing Touch requires trust:  trust of the healer, trust of the process, and trust that Divine love will bring the psyche into balance.  Client and practitioners deal with “what’s on top” and move to a place of relaxation and harmony. 

ARC, on the other hand, invites the client to be active in their healing and take the lead.  ARC treatments deal with “what influences what’s on top”.  ARC is for those who feel ready to work on underlying issues that could be affecting their health.  Habits of self-repression underlie much disease and illness.  ARC involves more parts of the psyche, especially leading to knowledge of our defenses.  ARC starts with a thorough grasp of energy fields, chakras, and healing treatments using energy.  Experience in Healing Touch, Reiki, or other forms of energetic healing is an asset before starting ARC.  I believe a client will know when it is time to work more deeply to address chronic problems.  Perhaps a client needs to be fairly healthy to prepare for ARC Bodyspeak treatments.  Health achieved through energetic healing readies a person for the next stage of growth.  From my own experience, my work in ARC has helped me grow up.  At seventy-two years of age, it’s about time!

            ARC offers a different, somewhat radical, paradigm of human functioning.  Accepting that each person is the sum of many parts is an early tenet of ARC theory.  That these parts are dynamic and interactive is another.  Some parts operate as defenses, protecting an exiled part, which is the inner child’s strongest emotion (usually fear).  The New Webster dictionary describes a defense as “that which shields or protects; vindication; justification”.  Thus, knowledge of our defenses leads to increased understanding and acceptance of  habitual behaviour.  It takes awareness to bring these unconscious behaviours to light.

ARC addresses our awareness that we seem to be multiple personalities, rarely integrated or balanced in the Self.  We operate in contradictory ways, frequently being untrue to ourselves.  Parts of us are even unlikeable (criticism, meanness, sarcasm), but we cling to those parts.  Without them what would we be?  Would other people control us, riding roughshod over our sensitive Inner Child?  How can we love and protect ourselves as we navigate conflict in our daily relationships? 

            The ARC practitioner is committed to being present with the client as s/he shares what sh/e notices.  Skilled questioning of feelings leads the client away from analysis toward integration of heart and soul.  ARC enables deeply felt emotional release, often leading to tears or rage.  ARC practitioners receive training and regular supervision in being present and maintaining safety for the client.  This therapy moves beyond Healing Touch closer to psychotherapy, similar to Jungian analysis (which I experienced 13 years ago).  Because ARC uses energy work as a foundation it first establishes balance before moving deeper.  ARC moves only as deep as is safe for the client.

            What is similar between ARC and Healing Touch?

            The commonality is the presence of unconditional love.  The practitioner acts as a conduit for Unconditional Love.  This loves streams through the practitioner, from the earth, from the universe, through the hands, heart, mind, soul and words of the practitioner to the client, for his/her greatest good. 

            Healing is healing, whatever the process.  The healing treatment may be the most intimate loving experience one can have on any given day.  It is beyond personal, and beyond the ego of client or practitioner.  It is beyond the mind and rational explanation.  It is a joining of energy which focuses attention on an individual, bringing balance to all parts of his/her being.  The client heals, with or without conscious awareness. 

              As we mature, we experience both balance and greater awareness.  Healing Touch brings balance; ARC brings awareness.  ARC makes the process more conscious, so the effects last longer.  With awareness, a person can choose to change his/her behaviour. Without awareness, unconscious parts can easily take over and perpetuate dysfunctional behaviour. 

            ARC requires courage.  Courage and willingness to name our parts, recognize them and use and accept them.  Courage to start working on the issues that have bedevilled us and stymied our growth.  ARC requires trust: trust in the healer, trust in the process, trust in the Divine Healer. 

            James Hollis, Jungian analyst, teacher, and author said “The best thing we can do for anyone else is to do the work on our own unconscious, to really grow up.  Some people might accuse you of being selfish, but that is not true.  This is the hardest work in the world.  Becoming aware of the Self, including understanding our unconscious drives, is not self-centred or selfish.  It is the most giving work possible.  Besides, no one can do it for you; you have to do it yourself.” 

            If you are brave enough.    


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