Do You Love Yourself?

Dec 07, 2022

I worked with a young man one time, and it was tough. I remember hearing him cry out in despair, "I just want to kill myself!"   

When you hear those words, spoken in pain by someone you care for, how do you feel inside? Does your stomach clench and spasm? Or does a semi-paralysis claim your whole body and your breathing nearly stop? How do you hold space with love and support for someone when they are experiencing a primal response from the ever-present-past of trauma?   

We may not be aware of a past trauma holding us back in the moment when we are triggered, yet in attempting to protect us, our hypothalamus and triple warmer can lock us into outdated defensive strategies that rigidify our habit field.  

It is not possible for a person to think clearly when the blood has left the forebrain and moved into the limbs for fight or flight. Even though many people know the kinds of changes they want to make, they find themselves unable to make...

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I Can’t Breathe!

Oct 12, 2022

After walking up the stairs early one morning, I heard my lungs begin to wheeze, and as a rattling stirred deep in my chest, my mind screamed, "I'm not getting enough air - I can't breathe!" instantaneously my whole body tightened into resistance with such an intensity that blind panic coursed through me. 

My eyes desperately scanned my outer environment for some means of help, and in that moment, I recognized this inner-state of being on a cellular level; learned helplessness. As I stopped, frozen in the ever-present-past, another layer of implicit belief emerged; “even if there was someone there - they couldn't help me - it'd make it worse.” 

When that was not instantly made wrong by my inner critic, I felt a slight inner-shift as a tender aspect of my inner self emerged, which seemed very vulnerable and all alone. So completely and utterly alone there was no one else to reach out to, no one to see me, to hear me, or to help me. 

I resisted the inner...

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Feeling Nervous Being Watched Closely

Apr 20, 2022

What kind of relationship do you currently have with your child? When you think about your relationship, what happens in your body? Do you experience an opening within or a sense of contraction?  

I remember when one of my daughters and I spent a whole day together caring for my three youngest grandchildren. We got to take them on an outing for one of their friend's birthday parties. During lunch the children asked me for more Cheetos. When I gave one to them, I noticed a furrow between my daughter's eyes as she watched me.   

My internal alarm system rang a muted danger signal, and I noticed my heart rate increased, my chests tightened, and tension began to form at the base of my neck. With intention, I slowed down my inner experience, welcomed the sensations. I breathed into them as I acknowledged to myself that when I am being watched closely I feel nervous, uncertain and worried - so very much wanting relaxation, to have fun, closeness and a shared joy,...

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Feeling Stressed With Our Kids

Mar 23, 2022

Do you remember what you thought about parenting when you were a young adult? Did you have an opinion about what makes a "good parent" or how kids "should" be raised? Did you have any ideas that were different from the way you were brought up? I remember saying, as a young expectant mother, "I'm never going to yell at my kids, I'm going to listen to them and pay attention to them. I'm going to be a good mother." Needless to say, I have experienced surprise at my own behavior when I have reacted more harshly than I ever thought I would to my children. How could this happen when I said I would never behave this way?

My fierce love for my children has always been a focal point throughout my life; the intensity of this strong emotion has been an anchor for me to the high-road state of mind. By high-road I am referring to our ability to have choice about how we act and our ability to choose our long-term goals for our children's well-being over short-term goals like quiet or ease. This...

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