Thursday, May 22, 2014

Human Rights: Compassionate Release from Prisons

For the past ten years, I have provided support services to a local hospice. To this end, I have presented hospice related material on the benefits of hospice care at end of life, bereavement services for families, and what patients want during this important and critical time. More recently, I began volunteering in a prison giving support service to the inmates who sit vigil at the bedside of the dying; inmates are carefully chosen to provide this much needed service. During the inmate hospice support group process I learned about the Federal Bureau of Prisons Compassionate Release program that addresses end of life issues for inmates. Last year, 2013, changes were made that will now slowly go into effect supporting the ending process so that inmates will have the opportunity to petition for compassionate release if they meet the following requirements.

1-The first change addresses medical release. This allows the dying inmate the opportunity to seek compassionate release within 18 months of their anticipated death. In the past, the petition for compassionate release could not be made before twelve months.

2-The second set of changes allows an inmate to apply for compassionate release if a caregiver becomes incapacitated or dies.

3- A third set of changes allows elderly prisoners who are "not necessarily dying or seriously incapacitated to seek early release. Prisoners 65 and older can seek early release if they have served 50% or more of their life sentence, have chronic or serious medical conditions relating to aging or their ability to function has been seriously diminished. Even without such medical conditions, a prisoner 65 or older who has served 10 years or 75 % of his sentence, whichever is greater, can also apply for early release."

When instituted, the above new compassionate release program regulations from prisons will allow for the psychological and spiritual process as well as dignity at end of life.

Love, Light, Healing and Blessings

Ruth Starseed Hoskins, Ph.D., H.H.S., LCSW

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Setting the Stage of Higher Consciousness

Sitting on my couch reading "Be Here Now," by Ram Das. I was twenty-two years old and something was stirring inside of me. I could not put my finger on what was shifting but change was coming. A new spiritual awareness was growing. Ram Das book seemed to say it all. "Be Here Now" is still a most treasured book one I recently shared with my thirty year old son. In my twenties, a few weeks after reading "Be Here Now," my cousin introduced me to the practice of meditation. The "sixties" was a time of change and spiritual transformation. I and many of the "sixties"generation was "initiated" into the practice of meditation. Since that time, over forty years ago, I have rarely missed a day of meditating and fondly remember the days when I still had the time to meditate two times a day as was suggested by the meditation teachers. Meditation has been a mainstay of my life helping my mind and body to relax and my consciousness to expand into the awareness of Oneness, Unity, experiencing something Greater than myself.

In the last few years I have added prayer into my morning spiritual practice. I use the hand positions from the book "The Healing Code." Then I invite my Higher Power into my life. These two practices set the stage for the day. When I say my morning prayers (and I still include everyone the same way I did when I was a child), and invite my Higher Power into my life, it makes me aware who is really running the show. I remember that I am a co-creator with God with an emphasis on the lower case "co." In my prayers I ask higher power to protect me and my loved ones, and to help me do the work "It" feels is in my best interest for that day. I ask that my intuition be clear and that I be able to hear what I need to hear to stay in alignment with my Higher Power-be loving, speak kind words, and complete the tasks at hand feeling satisfied at the end of the day.

Meditation, the effortless meditation kind that I have been practicing and teaching for over forty years, sets the stage for an expanded awareness. From all of the research I have read I know that I have reaped the benefits of this amazing technique; brain coherence, resiliency, and brain re-organization at a higher level of order. (Michael Hutchinson: Author of Mega Brain). The result has been quite healing-(increased positive thinking, confidence, better learning ability). Prayer, speaking aloud to God, is something I have been practicing more recently. The result has created a stronger connection, with Higher Power and a belief that I am cared for and loved by an unconditionally loving Supreme Being. Both practices set the spiritual stage for the day and accelerate the process of higher conscious awareness.

Love, Light, Healing and Blessings
Ruth Starseed Hoskins, Ph.D., H.H.S., LCSW


Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Presence of the Spiritual Guides is always there

Even though I grew-up with a difficult step-father who married my mother and moved in with us when I was seven years old, I remember remaining a buoyant and happy child. Like most children playing was the way I looked forward to the day. I woke up happy and effectively blocked out the negativity from the household; a heavy energy that predominated bringing with it a general lack of connection between the four people who lived together; my mother, step-father, sister and I. With the exception of my sister who stands out in my mind as brightly colored in contrast to the gray charcoal figures of my mother and step-father lurking in the background, I knew there was nothing I could do about the way they related to me or the way I to them. Nothing was ever going to change and it never did. They would remain punitive and negative. I buoyant and happy. So I tuned them out unless they intruded into my world needing to correct or doubt my abilities to succeed. Perhaps to escape them, at any possible time, I could not wait to get outside and play. Free and unencumbered the outdoors was the place I wanted to be except on rainy days when I recall playing monopoly and checkers indoors sitting on the floor next to my sister. I wanted to win against the older sibling who managed, through the chaos of our lives to get all A's.

School work was not on the top of my agenda. In fact I was never certain what was going on in the classroom. I was behind and  learned to fly below the radar keeping my head lower than the person sitting in front of me; perhaps I would not be called on. The three o’clock bell rang and out the school door I flew running the mile home from school to get ready to play. Playing felt good and it was during these free moments that I sensed the familiar presence of my Spiritual Guides always close by ready to help. Like the time I heard the voice of the guides telling me to "Stop" and look down.There was the lost pearl ring lying under thousands of leaves that had fallen on a blustery October day. The presence of my Guides helping, guiding and protecting.

When I grew-up and became an adult challenges increased. I had to work harder to keep the presence of the Spiritual Guides awake in my consciousness. As my unconscious mind spewed up material from childhood for processing and re-examination, it was harder to hold on to the positive energy, the familiar positive presence of the Spiritual Guides. The earth-walk was denser and harder. Still, I sensed their presence as they watched how I made decisions, what path I followed. They gently whispered and guided. Thank-you Spiritual Guides for your loving guiding hand. I am grateful for your loving and healing Presence.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Insight and Wisdom-Final Days on Earth

At the end of my mother’s life the family went into counseling. She said, “I wish I had done this before.” My mother was a woman in charge of her life; in control of herself and those around her. She loved her family and was excited to discover new things, gain insight, and grow in wisdom. Counseling would give her the opportunity. She appreciated the family support and agreement that we would attend. She was intensely interested in therapy something she had never experienced before. I, a psychotherapist knew the reasons why we as a blended family had not gone into counseling before this time. Now, at the end of my mother’s life it was too late. With the short time she had left we attended a few sessions; my step-father played his protective role of her. For him family therapy was too confrontational and threatening; his wife was dying; he did not want to upset her with emotional exchange. My step-father could not see that she yearned for insight and wisdom even during her final days on earth. Although I look back on this time as a missed opportunity for psychological and spiritual growth, today, when I am in need of healing, I seek support through different healing modalities including group support. Whether as a participant or facilitator, in a psychotherapeutic setting, we grow from feedback and interaction with others. Although sometimes confrontational, the end result-wisdom and empowerment.

I heard it said that life is painful, suffering is optional. Like my step-father, I wonder how many times I missed opportunities by choosing to avoid emotional pain and the wisdom it can ultimately bring yet encouraging others to explore their personality and emotional wounds. Understandably, emotions can make us feel weak and vulnerable the way we felt as children. Avoiding painful and intense feelings is understandable; anger, fear, resentment, jealousy to name just a few of the hundreds of human emotions we can experience is challenging. Perhaps we fear that we will suffer too long or lose control. However, exploring emotions brings insight; emotions help us to stretch and grow into a new self and direct us onto a path of self-discovery uncovering unknown hidden parts of the psyche. At any point in the life cycle, we have the opportunity to grow and discover ourselves anew, even during the final days on earth.

Love, Light, Healing and Many Blessings,
Ruth Starseed Hoskins

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Soul Satisfying Day

When I was in my twenties, I worked at an outpatient mental health clinic. I recall one of the psychiatrists telling a story about a plaque that hung on the bathroom wall in his childhood home. It said, "What have you accomplished today?" The messages he received in his home were similar to the messages in my home. In our home, we did not have a plaque hanging on the bathroom wall. There were however, many spoken and unspoken messages related to accomplishing.

For example, it was frowned upon to nap in the afternoon. Being in motion and active is what counted. Outdoor play was approved of; hours upon hours of playing hide-and-seek, bouncing the pinky-ball against the wall, touch football with the boys. I never tired and it was better than going home. Napping, resting, or lounging around on a Saturday afternoon was frowned upon. It was a sign of weakness, an unproductive child.

Luckily, I like to be on the move. As an adult, the problem with being on the go for the sake of being busy equating that with Soul satisfaction, is that it is not the same. For a real Soul satisfying day I need to write. Writing is a loved creative outlet. When I remember to write (sometimes I forget), it is easier to let go of the nagging feeling that I must be busy and on the go accomplishing anything, just as long as I am in motion.

Writing is my creative Soul satisfying outlet. I sit down to write and to create, Writing taps into my creative power (creation). That feels great! When taking time to do something I love it is much easier to appreciate my day. I don't have to work so hard to have happy thoughts or feel expansive or good inside. I just feel good-plain and simple. When I write I get in touch with a part of myself that is connected to my Soul. When this Ah Ha Soul satisfying moment comes, it is so much easier to surrender to Higher Power and enjoy my life.

A real Soul satisfying day makes life easier and creates ease and grace. A real Soul satisfying day allows me to trust the direction of my life; appreciate the lessons, the hard ones and enjoy more fully the easier and joyful ones. A Soul satisfying day brings a fresh perspective and helps me to let go of worry about the future. A Soul satisfying day helps me to stay on course no matter how long a manifestation a dream of mine may take to unfold. In fact, manifestation becomes secondary to a Soul satisfying day; it fades into the background of the many competing desires that race out of my heart and mind clamoring wildly for first place. When I write, in the foreground of my heart and mind is a colorful Soul satisfying day.

Love, Light, Healing and Many Blessings,

Ruth Starseed Hoskins


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Grateful for Lessons Learned: Looking Back 2013

On January 1st 2013, if someone had given me a glimpse of the future, I might have pulled the covers over my head and stayed in bed. There were many lessons I learned this year, many challenging albeit worthwhile for me to grow and change. In fact, lessons, as they are designed to do, propelled me onto a stronger spiritual course. For this, I am grateful. Now, as 2014 is almost here, it is a time for review.

Lessons learned:
1- I learned I have absolutely unequivocally no control over anyone’s behavior.
2- Everyone is responsible for creating their own destiny. I am not in charge.
3- I learned that God is in charge of everything and that the only thing that makes sense in terms of co-creatorship (a spiritual principle I believe in) is that I have control over my attitude.
4- The direction of my life? I must wait, in faith, for direction from my Higher Power. As of this writing, the direction arrived and was confirmed in a dream. I am grateful for that.
5- Since I have control over my attitude, what I believe and the way that I think, I am grateful to let go of psychological things that no longer serve me.
6- I am giving up all resentments past and present. I remind myself to live and let live. Thinking this way is an act of forgiveness.
7- Self-care is at the top of the list. Yes, I like to help others, but I need more than an hour each day to take care of my meditation, prayer, walking, and preparing organic vegetables for juicing.
8- To this end I completely changed my diet and eat 95% organic. 80% raw. Lots of greens and juicing with my special juicing machines.
9 -I never miss my 30 minute 1.3 mile walk daily.
10- I really cherish the time taking care of myself.
11- I learned that service to another is by far the greatest gift we can give to ourselves and to another person. To this end I have added on to the Red Cross volunteering to feed the homeless at the Sunday Mission. When I am there I am reminded over and over of the many blessings in my life. I am grateful.
12- I am putting together a new service project for 2014. More on that….
13- I am so grateful for all of my blessings that I now speak aloud to God as I walk down the street. I thank, and I thank, and I thank again. I have so many blessings that I can’t stop thanking Higher Power for all of them.
14- There is a path of compassion and I am on it. This means that I want to continue to develop compassion and live in that consciousness the best that I can.
15- Besides the meditation that I do daily and that I have been doing for forty years, I pray every day for healing for myself, my family, loved ones, friends, and the world.
16- Prayer brings miracles and the greatest miracle is that I have control over my consciousness to make it what I want it to be every minute, every second of every day. It takes a conscious effort of integrating body, mind, and spirit.
17- Did I say I was grateful for all of the new things in my life?
18- Every day, in meditation, I invite Higher Power into my life. I say aloud. “I invite you in. I know you are there facing me, and now I am turning and facing you. Help me to speak kind words and to remember that everyone has their own Higher Power and I am not it.”
19- And every day I remind myself that in “reality” I am Soul on an earth walk. This lifetime is one of thousands of incarnations that I have lived as Soul on this planet and in other places in the solar system; a powerful incarnation designed for spiritual growth. Meditation and prayer brings me closer to the awareness, the knowledge, that I am a spiritual being of light on an earth walk. I am Soul.
20-Love is everything. Striving to be the most loving person (not ignoring emotional challenges) is the most important thing to do.
I love you!
I wish you all many many blessings for an abundant 2014!

Love, Light, Healing and Many Blessings,
Ruth Starseed Hoskins

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tug of War with Higher Power: Everything is at it should be.

I have been in a tug of war with my Higher Power. I wonder who will win. The real question however is why I am in a tug of war at all with my Higher Power? No doubt it is resistance to my changing life, my changing process coupled with getting older and feeling the preciousness of time slowly running out; a candle burning down to the end. I think to myself, “If Higher Power doesn’t hurry up and bring me what I think I need to fulfill my destiny, time could run out. I could die!” Those are the silent private conversations I have with my Higher Power. The underlying fear being death and at the same time questioning whether the direction in my life (Has Higher Power made a mistake?) is correct. Knowing that ultimately everything is at it should be. However those words, (truths) are not consoling. Everything as it should be only briefly consoles me, then the tug of war begins again. Here’s the image: God has a hold of one side of a braided rope and I have hold of the other side of the rope. Like a seesaw we are tugging, pulling, tugging, pulling-wasted effort, futile, really. At the clearer spiritual times I am aware that everything is as it should be and that in “reality” everything is an illusion; molecules and atoms spinning rapidly. I remind myself that I, including my thoughts, make-up this molecular structure-atomic illusion. Also, at moments of clarity, I know that God is everything penetrating every single molecule and atom. So who am I to argue with Higher Power and why bother?

Here’s a dream I had this morning that says it all.

In the dream I looked over at my fish tank (In waking reality I don’t have a fish tank). At the bottom of the tank was a dead fish. I was shocked. How could I be so neglectful of my fish? Had the water dried up? Where was the food? I was startled by my lack of awareness especially around anything that has to do with caretaking a pet. In the dream, I ran to the pet store and bought food. When I came back I noticed that there was a fish swimming around at the top of the tank. It looked a bit scaly like it might have some skin problem. Still it was alive. The fish at the bottom of the tank remained dead. Its presence was shocking. It was a mystery how it died because there was water in the tank. (Did I forget to feed the fish?)

 I interpreted the dream in several ways, (Ahhh….the beauty and importance of writing dreams down). The obvious interpretation is that a part of me feels dead inside; another part feels very much alive. But the dream also showed me the illusion of life. Even after we die, (the dead fish) we are still very much alive living in similar ways that we live right now. (Although a s painful separation from loved ones, death is an illusion). The third interpretation, and the one that feels closest to my psychological/spiritual place right now, is that the fish and the water (universal symbols of spirituality) represent a new emerging spirituality. As things change, the old has to die to allow for a new life to unfold. (The new life is the fish at the top of the tank). In the physical, I have to let go and surrender completely (feels like a death) and stop the tug of war. I must (no choice) allow myself to be guided by my Higher Power, the Holy Spirit, the ECK, so many names for That Which Is.
Thank-you Holy Spirit.

Love, Light, Healing and Many Blessings,

Ruth Starseed