An affirming newsletter for Lesbian Women
and their Partners
April 2009- Vol 1, Issue 1
In This Issue
Out For Work - Conference & Career Fair
Human Rights Campaign for Equality
Rent - The Musical
One Night Stand Up - Comedy Night
When Pain Is Your Teacher
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Out For Work - LBGTQ Career Fair/Conference

OFW logo

Each year, Out for Work organizes a career conference for LGBTQ students and their allies. The Annual National Conference takes place in Washington D.C each fall. However, this Spring will be the 1st ever Regional West Coast LGBTQ Career Conference, April 17-19, at the Williams Institute on the UCLA campus, in Los Angeles. The Career Fair is free to attend, the conference is $15 for Friday-Sunday. You can visit the website to find out more information about the organization and the events taking place at .

Human Rights Campaign for Equality
HRC logo
 The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has added four new anti-gay faces/voices to their interactive wall at  The wall features videos, audio, pictures, and quotes, calling out those who maliciously use lies and misinformation to interfere with the LGBT community's path to equality. By clicking on the panels of the wall, users can access more information about those highlighted, watch videos, add comments on multimedia discussion boards, and learn how to take action to counteract their misdeeds.

The 2009 Corporate Equality Index is a free PDF download from the HRC which provides a current report card on LGBTQ equality in Corporate America. 
Rent - The Musical
Please lend your support to the Corona Del Mar High School Spring Musical production of Rent. Opening night is April 25th at 7:30 pm. Tickets are on sale now at the ASB office, or can be purchased at the Theatre ticket office.  Adults: $15, Students and children $10.
For more information: (949) 515-6000.

There has been much controversy surrounding this event, and the ACLU is now suing the High School for cultivating a homophobic environment. To read more on the unfolding story:
L.A. Times Article

Community Events
one nite oc One Night Stand Up - Comedy Night
at the Samueli Theatre,
OC Performing Arts.
April 11th, 8pm.
For more info and tickets: 
This event is co-sponsored by The Center OC.
Spring is here. All around are the signs of growth, renewal, and regeneration.This month I am sharing with you the way in which the practice of mindfulness has helped me to create growth and reduce pain in my own life and my practice as a therapist. How can mindfulness help us in the journey of growth? Our present experience is a powerful lens for self reflection and discovery.

2sunflowersMindfulness is the practice of being in the present, attending to our experience, sensation, emotion and thought-without judgement. The disciplines of meditation and yoga are  ways of developing this mindfulness.  All of us are ever changing and growing. I hope this article will inspire you to look again at your life with curiosity, wonder and possibility.
Lisa Maurel, MFT
Lic. 32416

"Whatever relationships you have attracted in your life at this moment, are precisely the ones you need in your life at this moment. There is a hidden meaning behind all events, and this hidden meaning is serving your own evolution."
- Deepak Chopra
When Pain Is Your Teacher
I recently have had some significant back pain. I was aware of it-but I usually pushed through it.  One morning  the pain became so severe, I could no longer ignore it. I hobbled into my physicians office and after a series of x-rays; I was told that I had a degenerating disk in my lower back.

Looking at the model of the  spine: I could see the connection between  bone, muscle and the complex way my body had been trying to cope with the pain I was ignoring. I felt compassion for my body-twisting and tensing itself to protect me from the pain. My body had made a kind of sacrifice for me. I felt this urge to be kinder to it;  to thank it for making the sacrifice and I my intention to treat my body with more care. 

As I have begun to heal, I have seen this lesson everywhere. What I notice is that my life reflects back to me, the problem and the solution. But without mindfulness and awareness of the present, I fail to grasp the wisdom that is contained within this moment.

Mindfulness and Therapy

"A further sign of health is that we don't become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it's time to stop struggling and look directly at what's threatening us."  Pema Chodron

Mindfulness is the ability to stop struggling or fighting with what is and to face up to what we fear. It is our willingness to see what we are experiencing, without judgement and to welcome our experience and invite it to enlighten us. Like a good friend, it arrives in our psyche or our body, to offer its wisdom. 

spiderweb in grassThis messenger comes in many forms. We often begin the journey of seeking wellness through therapy because of emotional pain, relationship conflict, loss, substance abuse, or the search for deeper meaning in their lives. While our unique experience is shaped by our ethnicity, our gender, our sexuality; our birth order and our family of origins; we all carry wounding that centers itself in our fear and shame. 

With all of my clients,  I serve as a kind of mirror.   Using awareness and attention to the present moment with all its experience, I reflect, without judgement.  I serve as a kind of teacher and guide into the territory that has terrified or confused for so long. Through the experience of being heard, we become more adept at listening to ourselves. My clients use this experience to increase their own self awareness and self acceptance as well as using other disciplines that support their growth.

Mindfulness and the Heart

Fear constricts. Love expands. Mindfulness enables us to expand our hearts.

When we live our lives from a place of fear, we become high-jacked in to states of  physiological arousal that affect our ability to problem solve. We often live out habitual reactionary states when fear is our normal. This hampers our power as people, to consider the infinite possibilities of our lives. Fear keeps us in the cage of "should's", "have to's" and "must's" ; rather than living from a place of our truest desire and passion. 

Fear is a constant part of the human experience. But we can learn to observe our fear, without becoming enslaved to it.

rainbow road

We can expand our hearts beyond fear. Through mindful ways of living and being, we can live our lives from the ground of our infinite hearts and our truest desires. In traditional psychology, we might understand this as our "differentiated adult" or our "actualized self". There are many roads that can help us find the way to our center: our open heart. And when we are ready to make this journey, we will usually encounter a book, a teacher, a therapist, or a mentor that brings us along the next leg of our journey.

Arriving at Your Own Door: 108 Lessons in Mindfulness
by Jon Kabat-zinn by Hyperion
Paperback ~ Release Date: 2007-10-30
List Price: $12.95
Our Price: $4.97
Buy Now

This Moment Is the Perfect Teacher: Ten Buddhist Teachings on Cultivating Inner Strength and Compassion
by Shambhala Audio
List Price: $29.95
Our Price: $17.84
Buy Now

The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life (Chopra, Deepak)
by Deepak Chopra by Three Rivers Press
Paperback ~ Release Date: 2005-09-27
List Price: $14.95
Our Price: $8.52
Buy Now

Until next month...
lisa - headshot
Peace to you on your journey,

 Lisa Maurel, MFT 
"Growth is in your hands" 

  2009 Lisa Maurel, MFT, Lic. # 32416 - All Rights Reserved.