Exploring the Path to Healing and Self-Discovery

Jan 26, 2024

Making decisions can be a formidable challenge for some while others breeze through them with ease. What's the underlying factor that distinguishes these two perspectives?

From my own experience, it often stems from developmental trauma. It could be the result of neglect during our formative years, a lack of attention, or the absence of acknowledgment that we matter. It might also emerge from not having our distress recognized or not feeling safe enough to express it. Each of these experiences can create unique complexities within us.

As our nervous system evolves, we form intricate connections within our brain and body. The map of our identity is shaped by both nature and nurture, influenced by the epigenetic imprints we carry and the potential for generational trauma. However, it's important to note that these patterns need not remain unchangeable.

It may not be a quick fix, but lasting transformation rarely is. Healing yourself is undoubtedly a journey worth embarking upon.

So,...

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Journey to Self-Awareness: Breaking Free from Autopilot

Jan 19, 2024

I've been reflecting on those moments in my day when I slip into autopilot, becoming an unwitting passenger in my own life. It's left me wondering: how did I let myself become a spectator in my own story? How can I reclaim my presence, slow down, and truly regain control of my choices?

This phenomenon can be incredibly subtle. For instance, when I'm out feeding my horses, a wave of reminiscence can wash over me, and suddenly, I find myself lost in the "ever-present-past." In those moments, I'm no longer fully engaged; I'm merely going through the motions.

Just yesterday, as I chatted with my aunt on my headset while driving to visit my grandkids, I realized I had missed my turn-off entirely! It's become evident how frequently I slip into autopilot throughout the day. I've come to appreciate the beauty of being fully present and empowered, the ability to slow down my inner processes and truly observe my life and the choices it presents. To consciously direct where I channel my...

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Embracing Life's Layers: From Fear to Freedom

Jan 12, 2024

Today, I've been contemplating the profound impact of fear on our lives. There are two distinct types of fear that have become apparent to me: one serves as an essential alarm, notifying us of real danger, prompting our entire being to ensure our safety. The other kind of fear, however, is a much lonelier struggle – it's the fear that we don't matter. It's a distressing isolation, where we feel utterly alone, sometimes even convincing ourselves that we are insignificant in the eyes of the world, believing that nobody has ever experienced this pain before.

This particular fear can manifest as feelings of abandonment, rejection, or not measuring up to others' expectations. Have you ever been ridiculed or belittled? Perhaps you've felt dismissed, convinced that you lack something others desire, and that you can never truly measure up or find acceptance on your own. It's a bleak place to find oneself.

These feelings can arise at different stages in our lives. I recall my own...

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A Tale of Healing: My Mare's Journey to Renewal

Dec 04, 2023

I remember one biting cold morning last winter, when I found myself outside attending to my beloved lead mare, whose eye bore the signs of injury. The icy wind stung my face as I gazed into her troubled gaze, realizing that trauma had visited her world.

Her eye, cloudy and weeping, held a story of pain. It reminded me of how trauma's impact stretches beyond the surface, clouding our perception much like the misty film over her eye. It's an invisible burden that only those who experience it truly understand.

A visit from the vet shed light on my mare's struggle. An ulcer, an aftermath of trauma, had formed in her eye, casting a shadow over her vision. The pain she endured, hidden beneath the surface, resonated deeply within me. It echoed the unspoken pain we all carry.

As the vet carefully attended to her, administering a sedative to alleviate her pain, I witnessed a connection that transcended words. The mare's vulnerability touched my heart, reminding me of the universal longing...

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Unveiling the Power of Emotional Healing

Nov 27, 2023

This morning's session with a longtime client deeply touched my heart. This person and I have journeyed together for years, and their story has truly resonated within me.

Let's shine light on something often left unspoken: neglect. Neglect takes many forms, shaping our ability to form secure relationships. When neglected, our attachment styles can vary:

- A distant, avoidant attachment.

- An intense, ambivalent attachment.

- A chaotic, disorganized attachment.

These terms are rooted in attachment theories, not widely known by everyone. Yet, when born without a secure foundation, your survival instincts kick in. For many, the fight, flight, or emotional outbursts are attempts to draw in caregivers, to build that essential secure bond. It's a higher-frequency response, fostering greater resilience.

However, there are those who never experience this. Their environment imprints them deeply, leaving them emotionally numb. Beneath that numbness lies excruciating pain—the ache of...

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Unlocking Your Inner Power

Nov 20, 2023

Ever feel like you've tuned out of life's melody, lost in a sea of disconnection? It's a journey many of us unknowingly embark on. Picture this: a shutdown so complete, it's as if your soul's radio went silent. You're there, but not really there.

I recall leading a high-stakes business meeting, the room vibrating with tension. The irony? The company was about wellness, yet its energy was anything but. At that time, my life seemed to crumble on all fronts, leaving me vulnerable.

As I stood before my team, an invisible fog crept in. Panic whispered, 'You're going down.' In a surreal moment, I handed over control, my voice silenced. I retreated into my own mental fog.

But the fog lifted. I chose belief over despair, found the courage to reach out for help. I embraced my inner world, nurturing it like newfound skin. My energy matured, forming a protective cocoon. I began to differentiate my energy from others', engaging without personalizing intensity. I became my guide, listening...

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Ready to Rewrite Your Story?

Nov 13, 2023

I remember the morning a client inspired me to reflect on those moments when I was told I could never do something. The words, 'What do you think you're doing? You can't do that!' echoed in my mind, accompanied by dismissive looks and doubtful expressions.

I was told I'd never have my own business, that my voice wouldn't be heard or valued. Speaking up in a group? Impossible. I'd never be good enough or smart enough. Instead of dwelling on these limiting beliefs, I started questioning them.

It all boils down to B.S. - Belief Systems.

A huge revelation struck me: these beliefs might not have been mine alone. They were passed down through generations, shaping who I was supposed to be. But who I'm supposed to be isn't who I truly am!

Recognizing this, I found the courage to shed those shadows I hid behind for years. I feared showing my true self, scared of being alone. But guess what? It's possible to be authentic, to chase dreams, have meaningful friendships, and a job that fills your...

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How Original Play Can Strengthen Family Bonds

Nov 06, 2023

Do you intentionally play together with your family? How do you invite your family members to join you in play and maintain emotional connection when someone gets upset? These were questions I wanted answers to, especially in partnership with my spouse. When Kri, the organizer of a weekend play workshop in Portland, offered an opportunity for me, my husband, and our son to participate together in a Play After Play* experience, I was thrilled!

At the Play after Play Theater, the acting team, Marc Otto and Melanya Helene, performed a 20-minute show based on a folk tale, with just a few props and traditional songs. "The play will begin, and then the play will end," Melanya said. "That is the time for wild applause."

After the play, it was time for the "after" part of Play after Play: playtime. My family gathered with other families filled with anticipation around the tumbling mats where Marc, Melanya, and Kri each invited a child into the middle of the circle to "play" with them. They...

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Unlocking the Power of Play: How Original Play Can Transform Your Relationships and Parenting

Oct 25, 2023

When someone invites me to play, it opens up a world of possibilities. However, when my child becomes stressed, terrified, or overwhelmed, I find myself disconnected and flooded with fear and shame. Receiving empathy support and learning about the brain has helped me live in congruence with my values, especially when it comes to parenting.

But I remember how I still felt like something was missing. I longed for a dis-confirming experience that would allow me to keep my heart open and present regardless of environmental factors. Then, my empathy buddy invited me to a weekend play workshop in Portland, and I was thrilled with the possibility!

During the workshop, I sat with 30+ others in a big circle. Our instructor, O. Fred Donaldson, introduced us to the world of Original Play through a framework of concepts, choices, distinctions, and patterns. I found the guidelines illuminating: no contest, no winning, no losing, no fault, no fairness, no revenge, no tickling. I realized that the...

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Navigating the Overwhelming Role of Parenting a Child with Special Needs

Oct 18, 2023

Today, I want to share with you my personal experience as a parent of a child with special needs. I know what it feels like to be overwhelmed and in need of someone who can truly understand what you are going through. It can be difficult to manage your emotions and maintain your composure in the face of your child's heightened nervous system. I have often found myself in this situation, feeling like my cup is nearly empty and desperately needing empathy and compassion.

During these times, I have learned the importance of showing myself the same love and acceptance that I seek from others. One technique that has helped me is using a deck of GROK "Needs/Values" cards. I sorted the cards into two piles, one with needs/values that resonated with me and another with those that didn't. Out of 54 cards, 33 resonated with me, and I grouped them under the seven basic human needs.

I focused on the need for connection, which had the largest cluster of cards, and counted 16 cards, including...

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