When the Slightest Disappointments Create Acute Distress

May 04, 2022

Birthday celebrations. What images come to mind reading those words just now? Do you remember looking forward to celebrating your special day as a child, or are there clouded memories of disappointment? For years our son, Rylan, began anticipating his birthday celebration right after the Christmas holidays. Typically when that magical day arrived, his nervous system was wound so tight with expectations, the slightest disappointment would trigger the aroused sympathetic branch of his system into acute distress.   

As distress levels build up in children, a hormonal chain reaction is set in motion and their bodies are primed for action. High levels of stress hormones wash over the brain and body, and there is a withdrawal of the chemicals that promote feelings of well-being, the pain circuits in the brain are activated, just as they would be if the child were hurt physically.   

I remember previous years when upon hearing that his friend could not come to...

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Balancing Celebration and Mourning

Nov 13, 2020

Today as I’ve been sitting with others, accompanying them on their journey, there was a light rain that came through. The air is much warmer, as spring is arriving here, and it smelled fresh outside. It feels like new life is ready to bloom. This new life preparing to bloom is happening for a lot of us as we have been experiencing life much different than it used to be. 

There is a sense of stabilizing. Many of us in positions of leadership have needed to work diligently in order to maintain our capacity to monitor our environment, and that of our team members and those that we are responsible for taking care of. As well as being more expansive reaching outside of our inner circle to be a resource for the extended communities in our world, creating places where there are safe zones. There are finally beginning to be places where we can trust it is safe. It’s just beginning. 

I want to acknowledge that for many of us, when we are younger, there is an inner...

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