Where you place your attention, your energy follows

Feb 14, 2023

Have you ever noticed something when you were all alone and it both shocked and horrified you? I have. Let me tell you a story…

"NO!!!" I felt a flash of heat as I screamed in silent horror. 

Rushing upstairs to look in the bathroom mirror my worst fear was realized. I saw the beginning of a stress sore on the corner of my mouth. Without conscious awareness my inner alarm triggered panic to flood throughout my nervous system. With ghastly images becoming more hideous by the second, I frantically searched through the cupboards, looking for my prescription to head off this atrocity.  

As the panic attack triggered an asthma attack, and my breathing became very shallow, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Wide frightened eyes, raised eye-brows, and frozen facial features. Slowing down, I held my own gaze, and watched as it slowly transformed into one of recognition and then the warmth of gentle kindness. 

Silently, I acknowledged what it was like to...

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I Could Feel My Blood Boiling

Feb 25, 2022

Transitioning - this word sounds like a fairly simple thing to do; to transition from one place to another place, from doing one task to another task, to even just move from one focus to another focus. Yet how often do we acknowledge just how many skills it takes us human beings to complete a transition? Transitioning, especially with ease, requires multiple skills working in unison. Without self-regulation, our internal systems may become overwhelmed, and we can lose our ability to be present even to ourselves. Often our implicit experiences (nonverbal memories that form below the level of our conscious awareness and form our expectations of the world) hijack us into familiar "fight, fight, or freeze" reactions, rather than supporting us to show up in congruence with our deeply held values. 

I have observed that when my son is hijacked, his implicit template automatically triggers his emotional alarm system into the fight response, and my alarm system oftentimes responds by...

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Playing For Keeps Intentionally

Feb 16, 2022

Does your family intentionally play together? How do you invite family members to join you? Is it possible to both remain engaged in play and be connected emotionally when others tip over into fear or rage? This is an area I looked for support to understand when my son was younger, especially in partnership with my spouse. 

When my husband, my son & I participate in a weekend play workshop in Portland, Oregon, Kri, the organizer of the workshop invited us to join in the Play After Play* experience. I was thrilled! 

At the Play after Play Theater, the husband-and-wife 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." 

Then came the "after" part of Play after Play: playtime. 

My family gathered with other families filled with anticipation around the tumbling mats where...

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