Your partner is unusually distant for days. A sibling snaps at you. A friend quits initiating getting together. You feel hurt and vulnerable, maybe even abandoned. Ideally you would say – to the friend, for instance – something like: I miss you. I feel sad that we haven’t been able to connect lately because I care about spending time with you. Is there something going on? Can I help in any way?
But, instead, the feelings of abandonment begin to spin stories in your mind, like: maybe they don’t really like you. Maybe other relationships have become more important, which means you are unimportant – even unlovable. Past trauma and associations continue to fuel the stories and the belief that you need to keep up a wall, armor and protect yourself. This distressed and hypervigilant mindset is a way of being for most people and causes them to react out of proportion to what is actually going on. Read More
You wouldn’t choose to live with a bully, and yet you roll out a red carpet and invite your own inner bully into your daily life. And living with an inner bully, or as I like to refer to her, with an inner nasty or “IN,” will cause you to strike out at others, which causes further shame and anxiety.
Elaborating on last week’s post Arguing Hurts, I decided to speak a little more about your “IN.” I’ve written numerous posts about the inner critic, but the information cannot be reiterated enough because understanding this is the difference between you thriving and you stuck and “surviving.”
Understanding this is the difference between you thriving and you stuck and “surviving.”
Arguing with people whom we love hurts. It’s confusing and often resolves nothing. Thankfully, there is there a way to make conflict feel less out of control. By developing the awareness about what your thoughts are doing to make the situation worse, you can learn to feel connected after a disagreement, rather than farther apart.
Once Upon a Time Long Ago…
I was hiking on a relatively low-traffic trail with someone I cared about very much. Suddenly I noticed he was walking farther ahead of me and replying cursorily to what I was saying. I told him I wanted to turn around and go back to the car. He said, “Okay, the keys are on the rear, driver’s side tire.” It was like he wanted me to go. Read More
Imagine the members of Congress brainstorming, inventing, rethinking, laughing, researching, discussing, agreeing and truly caring for the well-being of one another. Envision a world that gets along and makes decisions with expansive possibility thinking from the creative and rational part of the brain. We’ll get there evolutionarily (hopefully sooner than later!). Trauma therapists are making that change person-by-person, family-by-family.
What stands in the way?
What stands in the way of possibility thinking is how “triggerable” you are. Read More
In our quick fix culture, the idea of sleeping during a therapy session might seem ludicrous. But action alone will not create permanent change. We require a period of integration that often occurs during deep rest.
I admire the clients who are willing to fall asleep, because they fully trust their brain and the process of Brainspotting. They never sleep for long. If they dream, the dream often offers keen insight to our session. Some say they have never experienced that kind of “deep rest” in their lives! It reminds me of the clients emerging from my Reiki sessions who say they feel like they are “crawling out of the womb.”
Our greatest learning occurs during the stillness between active states.
How do you feel when you are asked to give a toast or to speak from the heart in a group setting? Is it a breeze? Or do you take a big gulp and feel your stomach turn? This post will offer some suggestions that can help to overcome the terror that wells up inside your belly.
Christopher Ingraham in the Washington Post explains that 25.6% of Americans fear public speaking. It’s the number one fear beating drowning, flying, snakes, heights, needles, strangers, earthquakes, darkness and, yes, clowns and dying.
Pubic speaking requires a skill set that can be learned, but this post offers helpful suggestions for the moments when you don’t have time to write a script; when you are required to speak from the heart and risk vulnerability. It gets easier with practice, but you have to start somewhere.
Before: “Perfection Paralysis”
I was the only bridesmaid who did not give a toast at one of my best friend’s weddings. Read More
Brainspotting shares similarities with traditional talk therapies, and there are marked differences. The main commonality is that “talking” is also part of Brainspotting, especially at the beginning and end of a session. Talking lights up the neocortex as we report, analyze and, ultimately, integrate important insights and information.
I’m going to spend some time here explaining the main difference that makes Brainspotting so effective.
The body speaks
Brainspotting can initially be disconcerting to people accustomed to “figuring things out.” Chronic thinkers feel confused and even somewhat threatened by the body-centered process. It can feel like not enough is going on to be successful. I encourage thinkers to notice the agitation coming up. Read More
Do you think will power, positive thinking and good intentions can change your mood? It’s doubtful. Because it all boils down to programming. The good news is that programming CAN be changed. Until it’s changed, you don’t have much power to switch tracks if you’ve gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.
Remember much of what you do is outside of conscious control and physiological, not psychological.
What’s happening over on the wrong side?
You wake up and remember the financial straits you are in or maybe last night you fought with your husband or your kid told you he’s depressed. Life can be so so hard. The last thing you need is your primal brain bringing you your morning coffee! Read More
You may have heard the terms “the slingshot effect” or “gravity assist” on a Star Trek episode, and NASA makes use of it. It’s where a spacecraft uses the gravitational field of a planet to pick up some speed – a lot of speed – to get to where it wants to go in less time and with less fuel.
You can do this too – no planet, stars or space ship required… just a willingness to do the deeper work. Read More
by Mary Oliver
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a context but the doorway
into thanks and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
Christians call it contemplation and prayer. Buddhists call it meditation. Read More