Archive for Uncategorized

Melting Away Barriers

Melting Away Barriers to Finding Oneself

Once upon a time there was a young woman who was afraid to stand up for herself and challenge others to do the same. She was timid, afraid, full of self-doubt, lacked confidence, was awkward in her relationships with others no matter who they were; family members, friends, coworkers, even strangers.  She never let people see her true self or shared her desires, thoughts, feelings, or opinions. She was afraid of how they would respond to her and she would be overpowered by their remarks. Afraid that the shame she felt around not knowing what to say or do to defend herself would be exposed, she decided long ago that this was the best way to show up in her life.

For many years she walked this path, believing she was well and that nothing was wrong. This is how she lived in her family. She was the peace maker and made everyone else feel better, neglecting her own needs just to accommodate others. She was lost – unable to find real joy, unable to see herself, her talents, her beauty, and detached from her soul, her true essence.

Over the years of living this way, the one common theme that manifested was that she enjoyed helping people – it validated her existence. But one can only take this path for a certain time frame, especially when the giving wasn’t reciprocated or appreciated. Her love went out but was short coming in. It was like living in the snow and never experiencing a warm day, or hearing birds sing, or seeing flowers grow. Something was missing, something key to her spirit, which was having her voice.

Then she met someone who saw her kindness and welcomed it but grew concerned that she didn’t show her toughness, her ability to show up authentically in her life. This someone challenged her to speak her truths and to share her opinions. The young woman protested, sharing that she was happy with herself and that this someone needed to not be so concerned about her. This someone was persistent and continued to challenge the young woman. She saw how the woman denied herself and wanted to break down her barriers so that she could really see how she had been cut-off from herself and from leading a wholesome and self-fulfilling life. This someone wanted the young woman to she know mattered too.

Eventually, after many challenges, the young woman started to pay attention to what this person pointed out to her. She began to share more of herself, even if others didn’t inquire. She would offer her opinions, make corrections, challenge others, and tell them when she was hurt or disappointed. She even shared ways of how she wanted to be treated by the people in her life. She began to walk standing tall, showing up confidently to whatever challenge was before her. She would push herself, even through the extremely difficult and frightening times. She would make a point to practice whenever the opportunity presented itself.

She was beginning to feel the benefits of her work. She was feeling lighter and stronger within herself. Her mind expanded, her heart grew spacious, and her eyes began seeing what was true, not what was safe. She loved the freedom and the strength she had discovered and was eager to teach others to do the same.

The kindness and caring for others never faded as this was her true gift to those around her, but now she was present in her life. She could feel and see her work instead of being numb and disconnected, working from a place of fear.

The snow has melted and now she sees the greenery and the beautiful blossoms. Now she sees herself. She is awake from her past, her barriers are gone. She is walking a new path now. One that is truly her making. She believes that person who came into her life was an Angel sent by Creator. We all should be so lucky!

You too, can find your way out of the darkness and into the light. Make it your goal to go inward to set free your true essence.

Connect. Express. Soar.


Fear is like a vice grip!

Comments off

I’m Excited-My Spoken Words Are Affecting Change!

In honor of Women’s History month, I wrote a poem and then read it in my monthly drumming/spoken word circle. The response surprised me. I am an advocate for human rights, and one of my missions is to empower women. I’m tired of the disrespect and abuse and the second class rating women hold in America and around the world. My work is to help women show up in their lives and not be held back. The words in my poem speaks to this. We women are smart, strong, and capable of doing and becoming anything and everything. And we shouldn’t be overpowered, hurt, disrespected and demeaned because others think they have the authority or power to inflict pain on us. The audacity for anyone to even think they can! I want women to begin saying, “Not Anymore!!!!”

I was surprised at the response of my group, because even though this was June of 2012, somebody in the group knew about the One Billion Rising event that was to take place in February, 2013. And that person said, “This poem is so great, we should do something for the One Billion Rising event next year!” And somebody else said, “Yeah, I can write a rap to that!” And somebody else said, “Let’s get a bunch of drummers together!” So, from the intention of preparing something for the OBR event 7 months away, things really unfolded.

My spoken word group came together and decided we would create something magical which would have an important offering to the community for women and girls around the world. We collaborated weekly to get our performance down to be able to take part in this important global event. Alongside my poem, a rap was written which led to 18 drummers accompanying us. At the center of the performance is a woman in chains who is journeying toward freedom as I speak the words of my poem. She vocalizes a loud sound that releases the burden of all women and girls who have been abused and violated and squelched. She accepts the invitation to rise! It’s deep and powerful to witness.

My poem speaks to what Eve Ensler is calling for with One Billion Rising-ending violence toward women and girls all around the world (below are excerpts from the poem). If you need to be uplifted and empowered and held by so many women and men allies around the world, you will want to see our Sisters Rising performance piece,  Rise, My Sister, Rise! We were the finale at the One Billion Rising event in Petaluma on February 14, 2013. Check out our YouTube-One Billion Rising Northbay/Petaluma on my Multimedia page!


Rise, My Sisters, Rise

Too many women have been abused, squelched, denied, imprisoned.

Afraid to rise.

Afraid to show their fierceness,





And their creative capacity.


Come on women.

We have work to do!

This one down position must end.

No more hiding.

No more deferring.

No more playing lesser than.


Rise, my beautiful sisters.

Rise with me.

Let’s rise together.

Let’s be fierce together.


No more following.

It’s time for you to lead.

Our settling days are over.

Reach out to your sister.

Help her up.

Support her.

Let her know she’s not alone.

The time is now!


When you change the way you think,

When you change the way you feel,

When you change the way you act.

Then others have no choice but to change.

So I invite you.


Rise, my sisters, Rise.

Release yourself from the spell.

Rise with me.

My beautiful sisters.

Rise! Rise! Rise!



Comments off

Why I Write Children’s Books

I’ve been asked, “Why children’s books?” And, often I reply, “Why not children’s books.” This response comes not from a defensive or sarcastic stance, but from a place of concern, especially considering the content of the books I write about. If I weren’t writing children’s books I would be writing self-help books. My children’s books serves that desire to help, to offer advice and support. I write these books because they are the books I wish I had access to when I was a child. I wanted to know so much about life, myself, and especially about relationships with others. In my family healthy relating was not modeled. I wasn’t able to see myself or understand certain things like emotions or why people acted the way they did toward each other. No one shared these things with me so I had to figure them out on my own. So, my childhood was about observing the chaos around me and making conclusions about what was happening in my own young, frightened, and terrified mind.

Then I respond saying, “I write children books because I love it!” I get to teach the children as well as the adults in relationship with them. I get to start conversations around the children’s thoughts and feelings, real experiences, unmet and met needs, fears, concerns, and the areas that are going well and those that are not. My heart is happy creating my children’s books because I know the messages are important for the children and their loved ones. As a result, I’m hoping that some important skills can be learned as they grow and become adults.

As an MFT I hear stories about parent not knowing how to be parents, especially around encouragement and building confidence and self-esteem and relationships with others. Children are waiting to be taught how to do the relationship dance. I believe children should be taught early on about feelings and how to express them, and how to listen and understand the feelings of others and understand their perceptions of those feelings. Kids need positive modeling. It’s my experience that parents are too busy and some of them just don’t know how to teach their children about healthy living and relating.
My children’s books focus on the crucial things in life; relationships and how those relationships affect our emotional well-being. Also they give children and the adults in their lives new ways to look at issues and situations, and even how to deal with a relational problem. They help children feel good about themselves as they encourage confidence and build self-esteem.

Each book comes with a set of questions in the back to support learning and help kids share their experience with the story and their personal experiences with issues brought forth by the story. I’ve received wonderful feedback from parents and teachers about these questions. One parent shared that when she and her family went on vacation, they had some down time so they read one of the books and then started asking and answering the questions. They were impressed that her six year-old was so wise-that he was able to give so much information about the story and the topics asked about. It was an eye opener for her. Another parent, who is also a teacher, shared that she put a worksheet together for one of the books and it was a great learning tool, because the kids had the opportunity to write about all their talents and what they do and like to do. It was very validating for the first graders. This was my intention writing the books, so adults can engage with the children and elicit from them, allowing the children’s wisdom and sense of self shine through.

I have many more books to publish. Most of them are on my computer, waiting in line to be illustrated and then printed. My commitment is to publish all of them. Energy is now flowing toward my sixth children’s book. This is exciting! The developing process is just as beautiful and fulfilling as the final print copy. This is why I write children books.

Go and do what brings you satisfaction!

My best to you,

Comments off

Stepping Into Fierceness

It’s that time. Time for me to share with you. The ocean was calling me and when this happens I am called to write. Today is not the normal beach weather, sunny skies, blue ocean, many bodies walking the shore, and the many seagulls waiting for a crumble or nibble of discarded or shared food. Instead it’s overcast and windy, and very few people are around, especially where we’re planted. But the beauty is always here. The waves of the ocean are singing her song. The wind is noticeable and at time fierce in her own right, but thankfully we decided to bring a cover to protect us so we can create. Today was the day to ground into ourselves and into the earth of our creativity. We have the abalone shell with sage burning in it and as we create we get to be swept by the healing and cleansing properties of the sage. We also have wonderful food to nourish us as we absorb the beauty and comfort of being here at the beach.

As I look out onto the ocean the waves are constant, not too large or small, just constant. There are many rock formations as far as my eyes can see, right and left. It’s absolutely beautiful and I’m so blessed to be able to get into my car and drive to the beach and just sit, and think, and appreciate, and pray, and create. What a blessing! What a gift! If we choose, we can indulge the gifts around us. We first have to see them. So often we are unable to see our gifts because our minds are too full of other stuff that clutters it. This is the point of me being here today on this Labor Day. My writing and sharing it is a labor of love. Love is not work, it is peace, calm, heartfeltness, connection, healing, and an offering. This is God’s gift to me and it’s my gift to you. As I walk in love, I hope you can receive in love and so, walk in your own love.

My workshops have started! Horray! I’ve learned a Big lesson, and that is not to delay doing God’s will, my purpose, serving as I’m needed. I’m no longer postponing my work to heal and assist people in finding their true selves so that they can travel on their truest paths. My Stepping Into Fierceness workshops are one of the venues that was gifted to me to serve. The messages that I deliver in my workshop has been in my life for years. I see so many people, not just clients, but students, friends, family members, who have lost their way due to the old messages they received as children which are constantly playing in their heads. The old tapes have many untrue messages that block and trap expression of the authentic self.

I can’t stand to let my old tapes keep playing in my head, the messages that say that people will not want to do this work, and why would they want to do it with you? Yes, we all have tapes that prevent us from showing up in our lives. Just think if I would have continued to listen to this old tape, I would not be doing what’s in my heart and soul to do, and I would not be touching the lives I’m touching. Thank you Creator, for making a way for me to see my way to my heart and soul! Thank you for the strength and courage to move me to be my true self.

The Stepping into Fierceness workshop is an opportunity for you to gather tools and info that will help you approach your life with fierceness. You have to learn, first, what are those many messages that live in your head and stop you from being and becoming. These messages were mostly received when you were young and innocent, but they still linger. They have formed themselves and you probably refer to them as negative voices, or inner critics, or egos, or gatekeepers. You want to get to know them. You want to expose them. The more consciously aware you are of them the more you can control them. This is the work!

The other important work is to uncover the wise parts of yourself. Once the veil of darkness is exposed, the light in you can shine through. Where is your light? What is your light? Have you ever known your light? Do you have a desire to connect to your light so it can be revealed to you and those around you? If you’re questioning your light source, yes, we all have a light in us. We just have to work and commit ourselves to finding it. It can be done!

To be fierce is to show up authentically in your life, to be in your body, connected to mind and spirit, to your experience and to own it. That’s it! Nothing complicated like learning a new trade or earning a Ph.D. However, many people would attest to that’s how it feels and that is why so many people don’t adventure towards it. It can feel huge, daunting, and frightening. Yes, and that is what fear does. It makes everything feel unreasonable and unreachable. But it isn’t! It is worth your time and energy because you are worth it! Any time that you put into your healing and growing, is worth it! You deserve to feel good, free of those nagging gatekeepers that keep you all out of sorts and living life off your truest path. It’s time for you to get back on the road of your life. No time to be afraid. It’s no time to settle and be squelched, trapped, guarded, badgered, mistreated, and humiliated.

It’s your time to be fierce!!!! That’s right! Its your time for Stepping Into Fierceness, and let it carry you where you are supposed to be. Where is your joy? What’s stopping you from accomplishing all those important things you dream about? You have the power, with knowledge, to change, grow, heal, and become your authentic self.

Look for my next workshop and come and step into your fierceness and see where it leads you. You will be surprised that your fierceness will lead you where you desire to be. How wonderful is that! And if you are unsure where that is, it’s even more important for you to show up so you can experience your light. When we all can experience our light, we, our families, communities, and the world will benefit and function better and be a better place for us to exist.

I invite you to walk in Love as I will walk with you. This takes fierceness and this you can achieve.

I leave you with love in my heart for you and yours and you stepping into your fierceness. I hope to see you someday soon. My next workshop is Sept. 25, 2-5PM -See workshop flyer under Workshops or go to Songbird Healing Center’s website for the monthly schedule.

Coobady- Grant Strength, Courage and Guidance

Dr. Dianna L. Grayer

Comments off

Coming Out Advice

Dr. Grayer’s Coming Out Advice

This advice was recorded for National Coming Out Day, 2010, but is timeless in its message. Enjoy.

Comments off

It Takes Courage to be Authentic

It Takes Courage to be Authentic

 Courage is a capacity we all need to move through our lives on a basic level, but even more so, we need courage to move beyond that basic level. The basic level is just getting through the day to day and many people “live” here for many reasons; this is all they know, this is what was modeled to them, they were ridiculed for dreaming and becoming more and better, or they were told that life is unfair and be thankful for what they have. There are many people who want to follow their dreams, who want more, but are afraid to dream and those whose dreams are buried. Some believe, “Why dream, because they won’t come true.”  This attitude takes over people’s lives and they become frozen, paralyzed, and don’t live up to their full potential. They don’t live  authentically. When this happens they’re not connected to soul.

The dream can be as basic as saying one’s truth, expressing how they feel or what they like or dislike. It can be the dream of having a healthy, satisfying relationship. It can be the dream of the perfect career, starting your own business, or buying your first home out in the country, or being creative and sharing your gifts with others, going to college, starting a family, or whatever your heart desires. But for many people, dreams are hard to reach because fear, the lack of vision, and courage have paralyzed them. Also, due to life’s situations that have happened and the chaos and despair that surrounds you in your family and politically, globally, and environmentally, you can (and many have) become paralyzed or overwhelmed with anxiety and fear, leaving you passive, powerless, and non-creative.

The metaphor that comes to me when a person is not living authentically is this: imagine a person having a conversation with another person and one or both of them are wearing invisible handcuffs, a muzzle, and their hearts are in chains, and their complete bodies are bound with heavy rope. This is the weight that deprives the soul’s expression. It is an unhappy place for so many people. It messes with people, emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. To remove the bondage from a person’s being and to free the spirit and soul, it takes courage. It takes courage to want to look, and then to risk looking and being open to what might surface. It takes courage, once you see what is wrong, broken, and need fixing and healing, to take action to make sure things are put right.  As you look at this journey you can easily go back to the beginning and see how much trouble it will be, or that it will take forever to fix, and your belief may be that you don’t have much time to do it all, or you might believe you aren’t worth all the fuss. This is why it takes courage to take the journey toward being authentic.

If by chance you are feeling moved since reading this, learn about what that is that is causing you to be moved. This is the first step which is to acknowledge what is being stirred up. Do not ignore this part of yourself. My guess is that it has been ignored before and it clearly wants your attention. Know that your dreams are important. You will never know what is possible if you never try. Sometimes the fear can be so huge that it’s hard to see the beauty that is waiting for you. Do it differently this time which takes enormous courage. You have this courage inside you! Take a deep breath, maybe a few, and really honor what your heart desires and what your soul is saying. Your soul wants to be expressed. What dreams do you have that are being squelched due to fear and your lack of courage? What do you want to achieve for your future? Do you feel you are living authentically in your life and in your relationships? What goals do you have for yourself? Rate your courage from 1-10 (10 is high and 1 is low) as far as it relates to you living your life with courage. Do you say and do the things that you are passionate about and don’t let fear limit you?

You must look out into your future and believe that you can make a difference for yourself, your family, your community, and society. Even a bigger stretch would be to consider how you can impact the world. How do you imagine your ideas affecting the whole? What if you had ideas that could change your life or your community’s or even the world? What if they were not shared, and put aside or buried due to lack of courage? You would deny yourself and the world a great gift. You would deny yourself of expression and an opportunity to be alive and free.

Take some time and write in your journal about how you were affected by this article and as a result of reading it what plans or goals you have to move your life more authentically. 

“Move within, but don’t move in the way fear makes you move.” Rumi

Go forwardly with courage because you deserve to live authentically!

My best to you.

Dr. Dianna

Comments off


April 17, 2010



It’s final. I am now Dr. Grayer. What a journey I’ve been on for the last five and half years. This phase in my life as Dr. Grayer has steered me toward expanding my work as a psychotherapist to include experiential workshops for people so that they will have a venue to be able to experience themselves in different ways. I believe in order to feel truly alive we must be able to experience ourselves and experience ourselves with others. We must be able to connect with those forbidden and hidden parts of ourselves, and those parts that we’d rather avoid at any cost. We must grieve our losses. We must touch the pain, hurt, and suffering that we hold inside and see it for what it is. We must learn about it and then to move it through tenaciously so it doesn’t strangle us and take the life out of our existence, the life that keeps us living and alive.

My work is to help empower people to live their lives fully. I will do this by facilitating workshops so attendees can Connect to the many parts of themselves and then open the space so they can Express what is in them that is needing to be released. This expressing and releasing moves the years of blockage and opens individuals up and naturally invites new ways of experiencing and learning. When this happens people are able to move more freely in their lives. They will learn to Soar in that special way, just like an eagle high up in the sky. Just like the sky is to the eagle, for humans, when you’re doing the work of healing, your life can open up and you, too, can soar freely in your life, making a better and happier journey for yourself and your loved ones. I wish you well on your journey and I hope to see you at my future workshops. So, stay tuned and remember to Connect. Express. Soar.

Remember to sing what is in your heart and your soul will never be broken.

Warmly, Dr. Dianna L. Grayer

Comments off

This Is Your Year! With Self-Care Anything Is Possible!

Happy New Year!!! It’s 2010!
About me and my resolutions: Things are falling into place in my life and it’s starting to manifest at this New Year. I’m excited to be at the final stage of earning my Ph.D! I’m working on publishing my children books, a self-esteem journaling workbook, and other inspirational items like magnets and posters to display at my workshops. I’m creating a series of workshops focused on healing and removing the blocks so that people can continue forward toward their hopes and dreams. This is a big next step for me and I look forward to the adventure, challenges, and the joy of serving and offering good will and being an inspiration for others. I love the work I do! And I’m so blessed to be able to do the work I so love.
What about your hopes and dreams for this year? This New Year can be better for you in all those areas you desire. You can continue on your journey for creating a fulfilling life for yourself and in doing so you are a good role model for your loved ones. Start slowly and try not to be overwhelmed by putting so much pressure on yourself. Set some small resolutions that you can meet in a short period of time. This will show that you can be successful early on, which will give you strength, confidence, and courage to achieve your bigger goals. Self-care MUST always be first on your list because if you take care of yourself emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually, your efforts will be rewarded. How? Because when you make you a priority you change, therefore your life will change. Self-care also includes being self-nurturing, accepting and honoring yourself, standing up and speaking on your behalf, and loving yourself. When you take care of yourself, in that special kind of way that a mother takes care of her child, your other goals and responsibilities will flow with ease. With love, care, and attention we all know what is possible; we grow because we are giving nourishment to our souls. When our souls are nourished we are awakened and when we are awakened we can live more in line with our deepest and truest selves, and then anything is possible. So start this New Year off right by tending to yourselves and believe me, you shall see, feel, and experience the benefits of a life being lived authentically.
I wish you all a good beginning of a new start to loving and holding yourself in a higher light and moving toward your dreams and goals. Know that with self care, focus, and movement toward your dreams, they’re destined to be realized, because you are making them happen.
Cooboday (Grant Strength, Courage, and Guidance),


Comments off

I’m Back!



It has been a long time since my last post. This was not my plan but I was buried in my dissertation process. As of June 9, I can breathe more freely and have more time to offer to you. The weight of my dissertation has been lifted, but I still have important parts lingering before I have completed the process and earned my Ph.D. The journey has been long and hard but very fulfilling as well. Especially creating my study design, recruiting my eight participants, doing my study which consisted of three meetings, one individual and two group, experiencing the participants express themselves so openly and so powerfully, and combing the data for learnings. What an amazing experience.

It was also exciting to compile the whole thing, all the chapters, and the front and back matter which included the table of contents, abstract, and the appendices. Over three hundred and thirty pages on my topic of childhood maternal wounding, exploring the transformative potential of deep grieving, which I hypothesized would move people toward cultivating self-mothering capacities, self-respect, dignity, and autonomy.

These women were able to connect with their unresolved grief about their childhood maternal wounding and express their hurt, pain, anger, and disappointment in the presence of other women who had similar experiences. Expression was the key to their new awareness and understanding of their childhood. Within the facilitating environment that was created, they were able to express so deeply their painful experiences. One must move to the depths of one’s pain in order to be set free to move toward more functioning ways in one’s life and to become authentic. Their expression of their experience melted away the traps of the past and opened them up to compassionately tending to the hurt child in the way they wanted from their mothers.

When we express, things happen, things that once were constricting and limiting, can be released and set free. This way new growth is possible, life is restored, and potentials are endless. We can see what we haven’t been able to see, able to hear what we couldn’t hear, and we are able to feel more loving toward ourselves and others.

I want to leave you with a quote to ponder until next time when I will share more about the power and healing potential of expression. This quote is from the president of the school I attend.

Expression is essential to transformation and transformation is essential to the soul’s well-being. Aftab Omer


Comments off

Last Minute Blues

I find it to be mind boggling that so many people wait until the last minute to take care of important responsibilities. Just to name a few, people wait to pay bills, write papers, follow-up phone calls, doctor appointments, registration of some sort, or seek some form of psychological help. Even though they face consequences such as, late payments, throwing away money they don’t have, a lowered grade or a late paper fee, deteriorating health, missed opportunities, delay in some forward progress or reconciliation, relationship discord, overwhelming stress, and depression, what I call the last minute blues, their behavior does not change.

Are you a last minute person? Do you find your spirit low, somewhat like a deflated helium filled balloon, when you don’t take care of business? Take some time and think of all the things you have neglected to do. Now imagine that you have taken care of everything that needed your attention. Check in with your body, mind, spirit and, soul. Notice how you feel. My guess is that this experience is how you would like to feel. So what stops you?, is the question of the day. Why don’t we do what we know? Or better yet, why don’t I do what I know is best for me, my soul, and others in which I am in relationship?

MAKING MOVEMENT-I suggest you take time to ponder this question and repeat the experience of imagining ALL YOUR TASK ARE COMPLETED. Hopefully your body experience will move you to action and toward taking better care of yourself. Know that baby steps are better than no steps at all. Let yourself witness the smile back on your face and the life back in your body.

Until next time,

Cooboday (Grant strength, courage, and guidance)

Comments off