What is the magic of time-travel empathy?
There are different times in each year that I like to take time to slow down and acknowledge just how many miracles I have been blessed to experience in relationship with others. I enjoy recognizing invitations to deepen my capacity to both self-connect and connect with others and listen to the wisdom of our bodies through its felt-sense, becoming more and more horse-like. This year began with knowing I was stepping into a new beginning of my life, in partnership with my majestic herd, and collaboratively growing with warm community. This continues to be an ongoing relational practice.
A huge part of my learning journey has been intentionally developing my ability to be willing to trust that not only is it possible, but that it's safe, to receive deep, meaningful support for myself. Allowing myself to be vulnerable, transparent, and curious in relationship within a collaborative community of others--sharing resonant space, exchanging...
I remember a powerful experience when I had just held space for a team member who was triggered, and I was beginning to debrief with my co-facilitators. As I looked into another team members eyes, I felt a lightness in my chest and a sense of resonance. But suddenly, I felt a drop of energy in the room, like a void, a dark cloud of energy.
Glancing to my right, I noticed one of the women sitting quietly, still-faced, and looking away. I recognized a familiar sense of dread and nothingness waft over my felt sense of existing in that moment. I felt like doom was eminently near.
Immediately, my Compassionate Self silently acknowledged this inner felt part, saying gently, "I see you. I am here with you. It is safe to be you, especially now."
Breathing into my belly, I turned with curiosity to the still-faced person and said, "I'd like to check in with you. I sense it may feel as if I rolled over you, and that was not my intention. I apologize."
"Well, I understand people get...
What’s so valuable about developing body awareness?
Our bodily systems hold our memories forever, including memories of traumatic events, (the amygdala has no sense of time); until we reclaim the moments when we experienced overwhelm with attuned, warm, resonate presence. When we intentionally slow down both our inner and outer experiences, mindfully checking in with our body to notice any sensations and/or impulses to move, we open a new doorway of experiencing. Daniel Siegel describes this as "a new plane of possibility."
Is it possible to rest in our experience of what is happening in order to see it more clearly?
When pausing to bring attention to your body, notice the first place your mind rests, this opens a doorway to the Present moment. As you attune to your own inner experience, you can begin to receive the wisdom of your body, notice the sensations in this area, and intentionally take time to become aware of the subtleties within sensations (such as...
I’ve spent time with several people lately that have been really struggling with deep sadness and grief. This sadness can feel so profound that the heart contracts and it feels very similar to a heart attack. Your heart can feel heavy with grief.
Have you ever felt your heart contract with pain, to where it feels difficult to breathe as well? Panic attacks are actually an activation of the PANIC/GRIEF/ABANDONMENT circuitry. When these attacks happen, it seems as if the very ground beneath your feet falls away. You can feel lost. Your SEEKING circuit dissipates, and you have no way to even begin to make movement in your world.
As we begin to allow ourselves to be held by others, and not be alone in our grief, we can have the courage to name our experience. We can receive some acknowledgement around what it’s like to be us in those moments. Such as, “Would it be sweet if someone understood just how difficult this is?”
Notice what happens in your body as you...
With the way things have been going in our world, I’ve heard quite a few people talking about how long they have been alone. How long they have been in a sense of isolation and not having the liberty to engage with others as they used to be accustomed to.
Their life has really changed, and some people feel scared. They are noticing that the longer they are alone, the more sensitive they feel when they do get to venture out. They have a high-tuned alert sensing into other people, worrying about social distancing, worrying about who is wearing a mask and who isn’t wearing a mask.
They are worried about their own health and well-being, as well as the health and well-being of those they love. So, they might over-think things which creates a worrying cycle that creates more anxiety and stress, which creates more cortisol flooding their system. This is going to wear them out by creating a sense of exhaustion from the inside out. They have this hypervigilance for...
Sometimes I find myself falling back into really old patterns. Patterns that I thought I had let go and that I wasn’t ever going to use again. Sometimes what can happen, when I’ve noticed that I’m operating out of an old pattern, is I can just beat myself up with anger.
It sounds something like, “Oh, you are so stupid! I can’t believe you are doing that again!”
Then, inside I have this cringing with shame experience, “Oh my goodness, I can’t believe that! I’m so horrible.”
And the, I can fall even lower in the spectrum of energies. Into self-loathing, “Eeew, yuck.” Some disgust can come up.
Well, I’m really grateful that on my journey in this life, I’ve discovered that it’s possible to recognize these aspects of myself with compassion. In those moments I can acknowledge how it feels to be me. I can speak to myself, “Gloria, are you just feeling such...
What happens inside of us when we are self-critical? Where does that even begin? I’ve spent some time with this and for a couple of nights I would wake up around 2 or 3 and there would be this self-critical voice spinning around and around. The more it would spin, the more critical it would become.
What would happen for me was a contraction, a kind of collapse inside of myself. As I woke up a little more, to actually pay attention in a new way, I recognized that this voice had a flavor to it. It was, “How could you?” So, there was shame in there, and as I sat with that, I could hear underneath that “How could you?” that there was deep grief inside of myself.
This voice inside was listing all of the ways that I had failed as a mother. That’s really huge. My life’s dream when I was a little girl was to be a mother. So, it was rehashing all of those moments that I wanted...
Have you ever felt completely and utterly alone in the world? Where your experience is one that there was just a lack of tangible support available to you. For some of us our body contracts, our stomach can hurt, and there is a kind of collapse in our system. Then, our thoughts can become dark and it’s like slipping into a void.
I’ve had that happen to me before. It was not pleasant, nor was it comfortable. Yet, what I know is possible is to seek out accompaniment. So let me tell you a story.
I reached out to my empathy buddy to have a check in. We hadn’t checked in with one another in a while, and I described what it was like to be me. Then, I asked if they could offer me some resonate support.
One of the things that was guessed was, “Do you wish that an angel could come down from heaven right to where you are. Standing beside you, they would gently place a hand on your shoulder and acknowledge that “It’s...
You know, we all have an automatic voice in our head that tells us how we feel about ourselves. This part of us is known as our Default Mode Network, or DMN. It turns on and starts running anytime we relax and are not focused on doing something. When we are stressed, what it does is worry all the time, and can get on hyper-mode with its worrying. It can get super intrusive, and it gets harder, and harder, to enjoy our life.
The problem is, when we are stressed, our Default Mode Network thinks that the problem is us. That’s when it’s like a hamster wheel that goes around, and around, and around, and it becomes very, very critical of ourselves. It watches everything we do and analyzes it to prove that we are the problem.
Well, you know, even though our Default Mode Network is deeply shaped by our unconscious contracts that we hold deep within us, it is possible for our DMN to work really well for us. When it is working well, it very easily learns...