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Back to Basics (advice to Lisamarie)

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
I first wanted to make it just another reply to LM's "Fear thread", but ended up with covering wider topic. So I decided to make it a separate thread. This one is written with all the seriousness I can muster.

This forum is filled with abundance of technical information most of which comes from very credible sources. While there is certainly nothing wrong with sharing ideas on how to do this and that, I'm afraid those new to the sport may forget about the very basics of skiing. I can see it on this forum (with LM coming first to mind) that people tend to become too technical for their own good, thinking that as long as they have all that information and more stored somewhere in their brain they will succeed as skiers.

What is being forgotten is the very fundamental (IMHO) principle of skiing:
Skiing is not about thinking, it is about feeling.

You do not think about putting 60% of your weight on outside ski and 40% on the inside in a turn when the slope is gentle and making it 70%/30% when the slope becomes steeper. You feel the balance and weigh your skis accordingly and when you do that you do not care what the ratio is as long as it feels right.
You do not think about moving you body so much forward and inside to initiate the turn and expecting your skis to respond as your instructor told you. You start the forward motion and feel how your skis respond and adjust your input.
Your mind just gives an input about the general direction you want to go (which trail do I take from here). The rest of the time it can enjoy the feeling of freedom, control and unity with mountain. If you keep it busy trying to control your every move, skiing will become a very boring and demanding affair and also not as controlled as you want it to be, because your mind is never fast enough. If you want to progress beyond a certain level you have to develop your ability to feel. Your body, its position; the snow, the way it feels through your skis and boots; how the skis are tracking, and lots more all have to be felt not thought through...

The very basic experiences you should be looking for when you are skiing are:

Being in balance is not having your head, hands, chest, torso, hips, legs where your instructor told you. Balance is a feeling of stability that brings you confidence. Balance is not a static state. When you are going down the slope everything around you tries to through you off and you need to feel those forces so you can counteract them quickly. Only those things that you can anticipate are going through your head (you see a change in a slope pitch ahead of you and you get ready to adjust your body position) everything else you react to through your feelings not your thinking (when you hit a patch of ice or soft snow and the traction of your skis changes, you do not have time to think about "oh here is that ice patch, now lets see if I can remember what those guys at epicski told me I should do"). If you are not skiing in balance on an easy green slope, you sure won't do it on a black diamond. However if you acquired the feeling of balance while practicing on easy terrain, you will know what to strive for when terrain gets more challenging.
LM, I do not know when the picture in your profile was taken and how much your skiing progressed since then, but just by looking at this picture one can see that even your posing stance is off balance and I can easily picture you skiing style - cautious, hips back, trying to keep your skis from running away from you. Feeling of balance is prerequisite to anything you learn in skiing. Without it you can not correctly learn anything else. And certainly there is no way to overcome your fears but through the feeling of balance (few malt liquors can actually do the job with the fear part ) . One practical advice: if you own one of those "ski/walk" boots try skiing on "walk" setting, if not ski with your calf unbuckled and power strap loose.

Recreational skiing is the sport for the lazy ones: lift brings you up, gravity brings you down. (In ski racing you work hard to help gravity). All you need to do is enjoy the ride. Once you experience the feeling of balance your skiing will become more relaxed. You can not concentrate on learning new movements if your muscles are busy with something else (usually trying to keep you in balance) and you whole body does the impression of sphincter.

Once you start skiing relaxed you skiing will become more fluid. It will bring you the feeling of effortlessness, when the skis do all the job and you just need to give them a little guidance.

Experiencing all those feelings (on an easy Green slope at first) will bring you much more gratification than skidding down a black diamond full of fear (if not, you are skiing for all the wrong reasons). Once you know how it feels when it feels right, you can go to the more challenging terrain and try to make your skiing feel the same as on easy trails.

Stop skiing from your head and SKI FROM YOUR HEART , or, rephrasing that friend of mine, pick up chess.


One more thing, [this "one more thing" was removed by AC]
post #2 of 43
Unfortunately there are many of us who wish we could learn by feeling, but can only learn by watching, dissecting and thinking. I believe that most "natural" athletes are "feeler", "doer" types who really don't understand what it is like to be a "thinker".
The doers learn from their own feelings and feedback. Thinkers needs someone to tell them what all of the parts of the whole look like, how they fit together and how it should feel. This is not an easy way to learn; have patience with the thinker.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 09, 2002 02:13 PM: Message edited 2 times, by Blizzard ]</font>
post #3 of 43
I told her stuff this last year...
post #4 of 43
Great Thoughts VK,


NOTE--EDIT-- My comment to VK was in regards to the feeling and not over thinking and making it too technical. It was not meant to endorse VK's side comment to LisaMarie. Sorry if this offended anyone.

My most recent "mentor" talked to us about this in a lesson. "stop worrying about how much pressure is on the outside. Your body will put the correct pressure there to keep you from falling over"

the thinking part of skiing is doing the exercises to get it into muscle memory, then go out and have fun!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 14, 2002 09:46 AM: Message edited 1 time, by dchan ]</font>
post #5 of 43

Sure, your principles are sound, namely balance.

But it's all mumbo jumbo. You're no different than what you criticize! Where's the solution? You sound like some of these lousy instructors I see -- "Feel the skis". Or some of the vague gang articles I read last year -- "Be fluid going down the hill". Or worse, some of the worthless consultants I ran into during the 90's!

Where's the meat and potatoes? What exact drills would you recommend? Why is what you recommend better than the training she got last week? Got anything in writing to support what you say?

You're right, KISS. But back to the basics? What have you been smoking? Haven't you been reading? She's experienced some major breakthroughs recently. What are you trying to do? Kill the momentum?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 09, 2002 12:35 PM: Message edited 1 time, by SCSA ]</font>
post #6 of 43
Time for the Rasta Bahn.
post #7 of 43
not that VK needs any defending but,

SCSA, try teaching something like skiing to someone who does understand any of the terminalogy sometime.

The teaching process has to be interactive. It's almost impossible to teach a non-athlete using athletic terminolgy. and it's very hard to teach an athlete not using that same terminolgy.

As a new instructor, I very much understand where VK is coming from. As I learn how other people learn and apply what we teach a lot of what we teach depends on their responses. Some people respond very well to "put that ski on edge" where many others you lead them through 2 turns and ask what did you feel and you get "i felt more pressure build up under the outside ski and I felt like I almost fell on my butt."

To these responses we would give specific tasks, feedback and exercises. Then observe and listen and do it again. Often the response might be it felt real good for 2 turns and then ... our observation might be they were real good turns and then it fell apart. So the response might be, "What did you do different?" and "try to make all your turns "feel like that" and quite often that knowledge and memory of a specific feel will be the huge breakthrough someone is looking for.

Nuff said..

Edit: I got distracted and forgot to complete my athlete learning thought.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 09, 2002 02:15 PM: Message edited 1 time, by dchan ]</font>
post #8 of 43
"One more thing, LM. In a number of posts regarding post op rehab you stated that PT is no good if he/she does not hurt you. Maybe its time for you to stop being a hypocrite and apply the same principle to ski instructions (and instructors). You are receptive only to the things that make you feel good about yourself, and actively shut out any other advice that can actually make you a better skier. Though after following your posts, I'm not sure which is more important to you."

Although much of what you say is valid, wording it as a personal offense takes away its impact. Also, looking at each and every one of my posts in Health and Fitness, I have never said that "PT is no good if she?he does not hurt you."
And more on the note of Black diamonds, I did NOT skid down full of fear. Read before critiquing, please.

Oh, BTW, the profile pics were an attempt at being puposely "Campy"!
Looks like I'm not the only one who has no sense of humor.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 09, 2002 02:06 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Lisamarie ]</font>
post #9 of 43
Great statement.

What are the basics?
I may be mistaken but I think that VK is implying that you don't learn balance, fluidity, and relaxation from drills. My feeling is that you can refine these traits with positional instruction, but until you develop these type of skills for yourself by just skiing and not over analysing what you are doing, it makes trying to arrive at the next level of skiing much more frustrating. Possibly this way of thinking leads to bad habits in the future?
post #10 of 43
One point I would like to bring up is that we should not take advice given here as a critique. It is what it is - a recommendation given by a person 1000 miles away who has no idea what your skiing likes or dislikes are.

One example that I have seen work very well with a number of advanced skiers is Xteam clinics (I have done a couple so far that is why I keep bringing it up), where you spend 1/2 day with one of 5 instructors. One of the guys would be teaching you about fine points of edging and weight transfer while another would be working on making GS turns down the mogul field in a manner that barely resembles control or working on getting your balance by hoping off the snow in between your turns. By the end of three days students get exposed to all different styles and take something from each one to help them bring their skiing to next level.

At some point people just got to agree to disagree and move on.
post #11 of 43

VK said it best with "stop skiing from your head and ski with your heart".

If you become a slave to technique or tethered to instructors and instruction you are missing out on so much of the good stuff.

Almost once a day the question arises where does this come from, and the only answer is, that it's the only dance that I ever learned.

The sad part of becoming an instructor is that I ski with, eat with and am constantly critiqued by &/or am critiquing technique. After a morning of clinic, we went out to "free ski" ...... but did we do that .... nope ...... we kept right on with "technique" and I came damned close to screaming ........ they were ruining the dance!!!!!!

There is a tradition in martial arts that is rarely used anymore. When a student gets too intense about training you send them home for a week. The idea here is that YOU need to control IT ....... you can't let IT control YOU.

After awhile all of the "skills and technique" will become one....... without any effort or thought ....... muscle memory through repetition (miles on snow).

Where VK and I will differ is that after the memory chip is implanted you begin to ski without "thinking about skiing" ..... that has got to be the ultimate level. Hell there are a few out there who could probably do a run and the whole time be planning dinner or adding up their time card!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 09, 2002 03:45 PM: Message edited 1 time, by yuki ]</font>
post #12 of 43
or just cruising along singing a song ....
post #13 of 43
Oz man knows the punchline to the cosmic joke.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 09, 2002 06:07 PM: Message edited 1 time, by yuki ]</font>
post #14 of 43
Right on, Oz!!!
post #15 of 43
Oooooh, this is a fun one! That's why this place is good, so many perspectives and sharing of ideas. And an occasional scrap!

Here a couple cents worth on this one...

Feeling IS learning. You can read about it, look at pictures, be told about it, see it on TV, but until you FEEL it for yourself, it ain't real!

All things intended to "teach" you how to ski must be viewed as bridges to a sensation or sensations. Written words, instructor's words, pictures, video... these things do not provide the feeling. They are just the bridges that lead to it.

To learn to ski, with an instructor or otherwise, requires three ingredients:

1) Knowledge... comes from instructors, magazines, videos, talking skiing with your buddies.

2) Practice... you learn to ski by, yep, skiing.

3) Concentration... can be defined as a practice of taking knowledge and translating it into something you can feel. It represents the combination of knowledge and focused practice.

As a student of skiing, you have complete control over the bridges you choose to try.

As much as we dig our God-like status,


we ski instructors have to realize that we too are no more than a bridge to a feeling. Certainly, we are well equipped, some CONSIDERABLY more than others, but essentially, we are just another learning tool among many available to our students.

To do our job well means gaining as much knowledge as possible. Our responsibility in the lesson process is to provide the knowledge. We must provide the FACTS. An instructor without the facts is a cheerleader. Helpful, yes, but not the whole kit and kaboodle!

Not trying to get us off the hook, but the fact is, responsibility for practice and concentration lies with the student. An accomplished and experienced instructor can help with the concentration part, but he can't inject you with what he feels.

Personality types differ, learning styles differ, but facts are facts. True, it is agreed that there is no one way to ski, but a look at the top racers and best technical skiers in the world shows a remarkable similarity in technique. There are little idiosyncrasies that talented athletes develop to suit their own style, but the science of skiing in general remains fairly constant.

For the instructor, the science of skiing is knowing the facts. The art is in helping our students translate the facts into something they can feel. Feeling is not an exact science, so it is easy to get sidetracked when someone doesn't seem to "get it" right away. The basis of any lesson is the process of detection and correction. Make sure your detection is based on facts. Explain the facts to your student. Be gentle with this... the more you know, the less you have to say! Explain that the "teaching" part is over, now we learn! Use the rest of your time practicing with a clearly directed focus at a particular flaw in technique. You are trying to turn the facts into a feeling. Without the facts, where do you propose to start? The facts are your "ground zero".

Use images, analogies, exercises, drills, point out similarities and differences in other skiers, utilize different terrain or snow conditions... but do not stray from your original facts. Be sure and confident in your analysis, allow time to chart your plan, then for better or for worse, you've got to go for it! If you know your facts, then we can take the "worse" part out of "for better or for worse" and you will save all involved a lot of confusion!

Challenge your "thinkers" to do. Challenge your "doers" to think. I think "learning" could be defined as growth. Growth means leaving your comfort zone and trying something new. Too often, we hide behind our learning styles and close doors that could lead to neat and exciting expeiences.

For the thinker, this amounts to a leap of faith. For the doer, it's a test of patience. In either case, it brings about many emotions for the instructor to moderate. Of all the tools available to the student, we are the only ones possessed of the human elements of compassion, empathy, enthusiasm and the sense of knowing what the student is going through.

If we are to ask more of our students, we must follow suit and ask more of ourselves as teachers.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 09, 2002 07:40 PM: Message edited 1 time, by ihavethesecret ]</font>
post #16 of 43
I Have the Secret: You never cease to amaze me! Thanks!
post #17 of 43
Lisa, you never acknowledged my apology for directing you to VK's golf tip when I meant to direct you to his insight that what is holding you back as a skier is your head. On second thought, his tip to take up golf in a thread about fear was really quite good. If you're afraid of the environment and bargain that skiing demands, then maybe golf is a better choice. It's just as difficult as skiing but in a pretty tame environment and the bargain is just as hard to negotiate.

But more to the point, VK is giving us some GREAT ADVICE. I strongly recommend we take it to heart.

Keep it up, VK. I for one think you have the goods.
post #18 of 43
No thanks, nolo. The thought of it absolutely bores the heck out of me, and besides, I hate plaid!

These threads have been truly enlightening in that they indicate how little some instructors are actually LISTENING to what students are saying. Although I expect this of some people, coming from you, who claims herself to be the diva of listening and communication skills, this is quite a disapointment, to say the least.


Than I proceded to describe that it was skills, and not pep talk that ACTUALLY WORKED FOR ME!

But none of the instructors bothered to acknowledge that. Instead, it was the elitist concept of well, I guess you are just not good enough to join our little private club of Oberrman. Go play golf with the middle aged ladies.

A disgusting attitude, to say the least. And as PSIA executive VP, if you give the right on brother to instructors who make comments like that, than I have to say that for once I agree with SCSA, PSIA desrves to die a slow death.

You are also giving the right on to someone who has deliberately MISQUOTED things I've said in the Fitness and Health Forum.

Is this another PSIA tactic? Encourage instructors to commit slander, on a public forum where they can be held accountable for it?

Yes, there were some excellent things in what VK said. But ending with the little quip about my being more interested in things that make me feel good, than in things that will improve my skiing, was just plain bad manners.

SCSA nailed it, when he said : "But back to the basics? What have you been smoking? Haven't you been reading? She's experienced some major breakthroughs recently. What are you trying to do? Kill the momentum?"

But at least he has cause to feel "sour grapes". His girlfriend, under his watch ends up with an ACL injury, and the relative newbie skis her first Black Diamond.

Nolo, I used to think you embodied everything that was good about ski instruction. Now I realize how wrong I was. Read I have the Secret's post, if you want to understand how to talk to students.

And thanks for bringing me down off my high. :

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 09, 2002 09:34 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Lisamarie ]</font>
post #19 of 43
Golf a less demanding forum? I beg to differ.

The first time I pulled a groin was swinging a golf club. Hit the damn thing 800 yards at least! Or it felt like it by the time I hobbled up to the ball.

LM, anecdotes aside, my take on VK, having been taken to task for offering what I thought was a considered and professional response to his carrying the GF down hill on his back with what turned out to be a serious knee injury, is that he is quite capable (witness the personal attack on you) of making quite clear that if anyone should disagree with him---they are lower than dirt!

Take it in stride, let it roll of your back and ignore him.

I make you the following offer.

Right now my posture is such that personal attacks will roll quite smoothly off the lower than normal right shoulder.

Until that shoulder has risen to its appropriate and rightful position I offer to run a pick for you!

Thanks for letting me vent---offer still stands

post #20 of 43
Skier j [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #21 of 43

Shoulder hurts like H___.

I am very grumpy right now, my season plans are on hold for the near future.

Anytime someone conquers a black for the first time deserves Kudos big time, not the kind of treatment you have recieved in this thread.


PS: I cannot get these smiley's to go where I want them!! Sorry!
post #22 of 43
I think there are a couple decent points here among the hurt feelings and bruised egos. I can see they apply to me just as much, if not more, than to you, although I post less often than you do.

What are my best days skiing? It's rarely when I master a task an instructor has laid out for me that allows me to improve. Sure, those are awesome days. I feel like I have improved by leaps and bounds and can do anything. They're not the best days, though.
The best days are when I don't think about skiing and just ski. All of the drilling and theory are just means to an end, not the end itself. Have you ever listened to the sound the snow makes under your ski without trying to analyze it?

I can't seem to take a lesson without over-analyzing what the instructor tells me. If they tell me to carry a cafeteria tray, I immediately think "to keep my upper body quiet and hands forward". For some reason, I just can't bring myself to just carry the damn tray and ski. The result is that I usually focus on everything but the instructor's intended focus.

My goal this year is to be more relaxed skiing the steeps. Technical drilling alone isn't going to take me there, and learning survival techniques to take my mind off of where I am isn't going to cut it either. I'm going to have to just ski until my body and mind are comfortable with the task at hand. It's a dirty job, and I hope my knees don't give out, but someone has to do it.

By the way, a Black Diamond is a significant accomplishment, no matter what ski resort it's on. Excellent!

Now, with that said, my real question is "I noticed my inside ski was at .05 degrees less of an angle than my outside ski while performing GS turns on a..."
post #23 of 43
It has probably been said already, ... there are different styles/types of learners, ... and different/types of teachers. It is great when they both match. It is wonderful when the teacher sees the difference and adjusts.

There are different styles/types of feedback. Some people only improve if they are "bad mouthed", while others are only going to improve if they are "hand-held", and everything in between. As a public school teacher, sometimes we hear that there is a group of students coming through that will get smarter, in spite of the teacher! Sometimes we hear of a student that needs that warm smile all the time in order to even come back to class the next day to try again.

Some people are more tolerate than others. Because of people's own "baggage" a "success" that does not measure up to their standards or challenges their philosophy, is not a success. Understand that motivation and recognizing success is dependent on how others view it in their terms. If they are not tolerate of difference from their philosophy, you won't get the positive feedback you are anticipating.

Why do professional skaters change coaches at the drop of a hat? The feedback is not "matching" anymore.

Lisamarie, "you go girl", "you done good", "don't let the turkeys get you down", and of course... "**** 'em if they can't take a joke".

You are skiing for you, not them!
post #24 of 43
for the last *%$@ing time, in response to

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> But at least he has cause to feel "sour grapes". His girlfriend, under his watch ends up with an ACL injury,

I was never under his "watch" and it was no fault of his. FIND ANOTHER ARUGUMENT FOR YOUR CAUSE. this one just dosent hold any water, and its getting old.

My injury was my fault.
post #25 of 43
There has been alot of different points made and feelings shown since, but if i may i would like to go back to something said in VK's original post.

Vk - when you say ski from your heart, not head, surely there needs to be a lot of theory and study to actually get the knowledge to do the task.
What i mean is, if you had never riden a bike before, and i said to you "just use your heart and you'll be fine", you wouldn't get real far. You would need to learn, practise, and perfect your style and technique before you could just ride along, acting on intinct and feelings alone.

Play nice guys..
post #26 of 43
skier_j says:

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>witness the personal attack on you <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Fact is, things didn't turn personal in this thread until LM made an attack on VKs people skills, and followed it up by telling VK to join the "boyz on the POWTA board" (what is that anyway?) in response to a joke she took offense to. And now shes all in a huff because of personal attacks? it wasnt attacks, it was retailiation. VK would even have let those go but in the very next sentence, she INCORRECTLY insinuates that my severed ACL was somehow VKs fault! Talk about going for the jugular!

Im not sticking up for him here just because hes my boyfriend and I dont really like to get into these kinds of things but EVEN I took exception to that! He has felt HORRIBLE that he couldn't keep me off the skis and its been some work to convince him that it WASNT his fault. He has been so supportive and helpful and has gone out of his way to help me out during this time, to make sure I had everything I needed. He is by nature a caring individual and has been my best friend throughout all this. He meant no harm by his initial golf comment, everyone can see this, it got blown way out of proportion.

And his main point is valid. Its been said somewhere in here that skiing is more like dance than football...just like dance or music, you can learn the steps or the progression of notes perfectly, but until you FEEL the music, until you BECOME the steps, you arent actually dancing, or making music.

Have you ever just flew down the mountain without mages of notes flipping through your head? do you understand the connection with the wind and gravity and the mountain itself? Arent you exhausted at the end of the day, skiing being more work than it is fun? Waiting for that mythical day when everything clicks and you are perfect and all of a sudden skiing feels good? It would make sense to be that analyitical if you were fighting for hundredths of a second off of your time, that is if you want to stay on par with all the Other World Cuppers...not cruising down blues or blacks at your local speed bump.

I guess point being, Just dont forget to have fun...and that is all.
post #27 of 43

I don't know VK from a load of coal, but I feel he gave you good advice. It's exactly the advice I would give you if you ever (not likely now, is it?) took a lesson from me. I would say, ski from your heart, let the intelligence of your body do it, and put your brain in neutral. I wouldn't say this to everyone, but I would say it to you, because from what you post it seems that you are over-intellectualizing this sport, which is all about freedom and self-expression.

The other piece of advice I would offer is not to take things so personally. If you don't like what someone says, disagree and let it move past you without disturbing your composure.

Something I have noticed in 21 years of teaching is that the single greatest handicap a skier has is EGO. The best students are those who are more interested in mastery than protecting their egos.

Skiing is an amusement for the SELF. It is not the SELF. This confusion is the cause of many an Intermediate Plateau.

post #28 of 43
VK's got some good points . . .

I know that when I read some of these threads in the Technique and Instruction section, I wonder how people can accurately assess what is going on in the fraction of a second between a turn. It's nice to put some technical terms behind the feeling, but for me, skiing is all about feel and the process of learning while doing. I have been skiing for years and really had no clue what a short swing or even a wedge was until reading this forum. (I DID know what a snowplow was!) Untutored, I just learned on my own and did it, putting the technical terms in place some 25 years later.

Sooner or later, like with golf, you have to forget about all of the technical mumbo jumbo and just do it. Trust your swing, so to speak, relax, stay balanced and go with it. If I start thinking too much about my posture, footwork, etc, etc, I'll run out of slope and slam into the woods. It is good to practice this stuff from time to time, but to truly have fun and learn, you just have to ski and push your personal envelope.
post #29 of 43
Although VK has some good points, they are merely a camoflage to cover what is a personal attack.

This in itself negates the value of what he is saying.

Lm, please observe what is going on here. As the winter olympics approach, you are seeing the frustrations of teachers who wish that they themselves were competing, not having to instruct the likes of enthusiastic students such as yourself.

Read the other threads that Nobolono and VK have been involved in. Nobolono is an angry, bitter, frustated woman. And while VK can contribute excellent content, he cannot seem to do it without launching a personal attack on someone.

The fact is, they were just NOT GOOD ENOUGH themselves to be olympic ahletes. Try not to take their frustrations to heart.

Let this go, LM! You have already given Linda an excuse to turn this into a thread about herself, lets not encourage any more of this. Enjoy your victory.
To HELL withose who cannot feel happy for you!
post #30 of 43
Most of us tend to gravitate to those things that make us feel best about ourselves and assuage our egos. I expect that most of us are also always working to let go of our egos in order to be able to explore a wider world. I think I could probably give just about anyone the advice to "not let their ego get in their way" and have it fit some part of their lives. So while this is probably good advice for just about everyone let us also remember that it probably fits us all. If we remember that the advice we try to give also fits ourselves we may find we give it in a more compassionate and supportive fashion.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 10, 2002 09:03 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Si ]</font>
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