Being aware of your body, you might notice what it’s asking for physically. For instance, you might use a roller to release tension. Or, to lose some weight and feel healthier, you might put your body through an exercise regime or change your diet. But most of us are not taught to be body aware, so there still is a disconnect emotionally.
Some people can be both aware of body and body aware, of course, but it isn’t taught in this culture, and I wasn’t body aware until I was taught in the last decade and began to practice it regularly.
So, what is “Body Aware?”
I can tell you what it is, and then it just remains an intellectual experience. Feeling it will be more useful. Read More
But, for some, the holidays stir up mixed feelings.
Maybe seeing family triggered painful memories and hurt feelings, or maybe a holiday song caused regret and a feeling of loss. Routines get turned on end. People sleep less and eat more. And, even if you took good care of yourself, odds are you were affected in some way. Misunderstandings and miscommunications can happen and, to complicate matters, traumatic events that occurred long ago hover beneath the surface (whether you remember the events or not). Read More
Don’t Touch That
So, the other day a friend of mine triggered me. Deftly, he located a wound that I didn’t even know was there. I got defensive. I had learned how to manage that pain from my past – thank you very much – and, evidently (unfortunately for him), that wound did NOT want to be found.
Okay, I didn’t bite off his head. I just nibbled on his arm a little.
I have a tendency to spiritually bypass. Hey, it’s better than drinking half a bottle of wine every night. I mentioned the term last week in my post, What Kind of Therapy Works. Everyone does it now and then. I was doing it when my friend discovered that wound inside of me.
Robert Augustus Masters defines it like this: “It is the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid dealing with our painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs. It is much more common than we might think and, in fact, is so pervasive as to go largely unnoticed, except in its more obvious extremes.” Read More
You Are Your Best Guide
Therapists may disagree about this, but there is no one technique that is better than another. Neuroscientist Dr. Damir del Monte explains, “The brain is self-referential…talking mostly to itself. For the one fiber that enters the brain from the periphery (the outside environment), you have 100,000 fibers in the brain… The brain does dialogue with the world, but that is a small part…So if a change process begins, it depends more on the self-dialogue in the brain than any outside input.” This is why individuals must trust their own unique personal hero’s journey. If you are in pain, you are being led to know something deeper about yourself.
It is my personal opinion, as well as my experience, that doing body-centered work is more profound, and is being proven to be more lasting. We are all wounded by the very nature of being human and entering and facing this rough world. As we heal those wounds, or create some release from their power, we live out more fulfilling lives.
Psychological and Spiritual Work
Also, psychological work clears the space for spiritual beliefs and creative abilities to flourish. If trauma or survival programming is running the show, then it’s pretty hard to think positively, tap creativity or for miracles to happen. Read More
Men are feeling the heat right now and are handling that in various ways. Some are curious; others are defensive.
First, I think it’s important to differentiate between two groups of men who may abuse women. The first set was indoctrinated with shame – that sex was bad (fallout from our puritanical, American roots). Shame creates repression and anxiety, which may turn into acting out on impulse. Some of these men may also have been sexually abused. Read More
It is scary! Truly, terrifying if you think about it – to be open-hearted and willing to love. But I’m not here to aggravate your nervous system. If you go around constantly acknowledging how scary it is to love and lose, to live and die – without a helpful framework of awareness – you’d go out of your mind. I emphasize both the benefits of learning to navigate emotions with compassion as well as the detriment of repression.
It hurts. So, we distract. Occasional distraction is inevitable, especially if you are grieving the loss of a loved one, or you just got divorced, or some other calamitous change just occurred. Those types of losses are outside the sphere of the usual pain we endure and require time to heal and lots of support.
That being said, if you have learned to consistently distract and numb out, you may not even realize that there is another way to be that feels more alive, vital and joyful. Read More
Love and connection can feel dangerous. Showing your real feelings may feel too vulnerable. You may want to connect, but if you’ve been hurt, the BODY seeks to intercede and protect you. And, the subconscious processes in the body can get the conscious mind worked up and confused. Instead of reading a text meant with neutrality, you read it as an attack.
If you’ve been hurt before you may get triggered easily. Rather than seeing the other person as your ally, your primal brain sees them as the enemy. Read More
This week I explore one of many fine lines that we negotiate in relationships, adding to their complexity. In all of it, the best thing we can do is to have great compassion for ourselves and others. This being human thing can be excruciating.
Support vs. Enabling
A favorite Marianne Williamson quip is: “Oh that Mother Theresa… she was such an enabler!” Sometimes people know what they need to do to get better, but often circumstance prevents them from getting there or doing it. Support gives people who need and want support a leg up. Enabling holds everyone in a holding pattern. Read More
Are you tired of arguing and feeling contention with the people whom you most love? Do you want to be free of anxiety and the worst-case scenario thinking that keeps you up at night? Anxiety is a curse, and the spell can be broken.
In the big picture, psychology is a relatively new field, and the neuroscientific understanding of trauma is very recent. The body-centered, or somatic, techniques that work best to neutralize fight, flight or freeze reactions that result in thoughts that spiral out of control, have only been around a couple of decades.
It’s imperative that we ALL learn this information as soon as possible. We are on the forefront of psychological evolution about the time we are intersecting with technology addictions that isolate us from others. I’m not against technological advancement, but I think we will be better equipped if we keep one foot on the warm earth – preferably barefoot. Read More