Before Covid, most of our social anxiety had to do with possible rejection or exclusion. With Covid, we have added an alarming threat. Someone’s breath could kill us and we have no way of knowing who is dangerous and who
“Change the culture.” Jackie Summers. “We’re living through a second Civil Rights movement. It started with the death of Trayvon Martin, and hit fever pitch last year with the murder of George Floyd. It isn’t enough. They. Keep. Killing. Us.
Dr Gabor Maté speaks about the effect of traumatic experiences as being disconnecting. Nurturing authentic connection with ourselves is thrilling, painful and raw. It is the aliveness we long for and it is a bold move. What does disconnection look
Objectification is when we use another person as a way to fill our needs. This isn’t the interaction with others that happens all the time. We are lonely, call a friend and feel better just by feeling understood. They do
There are many ways to release anxiety. We might practice yoga, go for a swim, do a breathing practice, or connect with a friend. When we’re jumping out of our skin, we need strong action to down-regulate our nervous system.
We get angry when our expression of personal power is hampered. We can only metabolize our anger by feeling it. We then can come to clarity around appropriate expression of anger. There is a vast difference between a fight response,
How does your inner child feel about it? From one person, this can be an invitation into curiosity and to heal disconnection. From someone else, it can indicate contempt for being foolish enough to fall for that inner child nonsense.
In 2005, I was physically assaulted while riding my bicycle to work. Both police officers on the scene told me to ride my bike to work the next day or I never would. They assured me it was very unlikely
We intuitively know that justice for everyone is the pathway to true peace. We still live with de-facto segregation and isolation from each other and experience this loss, pain and grief in both obvious and subtle yet profound ways. It
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris striding confidently along with the caption “the adults have arrived” (meme on Facebook after the election results were announced) Life is chaotic when the rules of truth and civilized behavior are ignored or ridiculed. It’s
We are conditioned to believe Hallmark channel ideas about romantic love. We are vulnerable to them because humans are hardwired to seek connection. This contrasts our own direct experience which is that people can let us down and hurt us.
As we heal, at some point we see and know in our guts and bones what we lost due to childhood trauma. Our primitive brain and nervous system do their best to protect us through fight/flight/freeze/fawn. What is the cost
Who protected you as a small child through your teen years and into young adult life? Much of the conversation about anger focuses on explosive anger and out of control rage. The ruined relationships caused by lashing out or the
“Rage is the biological force that protects that which is loved.” Valarie Kaur We know anger as the fight response in our nervous system, the fiery energy of lashing out and fighting back. We recognize a transgression against ourselves. Someone
I have been thinking about community all week. Our January groups and classes began last week and we had several “first” meetings, beginning with our Sunday classes on Trust and Connection. Thanks to Daniela at Yoga Farm, we have lovely
This week we watched domestic terrorists overrun security at the Capital building in the US. Our nervous systems are alarmed and we are not sure what is going to happen – both in the next two weeks and longer term
Heidi Green believes everyone has the power to be truly happy and to have a loving relationship with our younger selves. “I have to be able to love little Heidi. Until you can see your own young self like other
This week I had the honor and pleasure of interviewing Dr Stephen Porges for the Radical Recovery Summit. Those of you who are familiar with my work have heard me say many times “Safety IS the Treatment”. It has become
“I’m not talking about blind optimism when I’m talking about hope. I’m talking about hope in the face of uncertainty. Hope in the face of difficulty. That sensibility is something I’ve found very valuable. The people I intend to admire
Neuroception is our unconscious perception of danger and safety. It is an ongoing involuntary response of our nervous system and it drives more of our life experience than we might realize or want. Our system is set up with a
How do we take in the enormity of pain in ourselves and each other? It’s like the stinky sludge in the bottom of a swamp, where we are almost used to the pervading aroma, then the wind shifts and we
“The greatest gift you can give the world is a peaceful mind.” ~my meditation teacher Swami Veda Bharati Guiding a daily online practice has changed my life in so many ways and it is a favorite part of my day.
“You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, well, you just might find. You get what you need.” Rolling Stones We want people to be careful with our tender hearts. We long to be seen and
If you celebrated when the US election results were called last week, you may have noticed a change in your body this week. Many of us are talking about it. The tight grip in our stomach loosening a bit. Our
What part does fear play in your life? In modern life? In the US election? In our response to Covid-19? Our human bodies evolved nervous systems that respond to threat with fear then activate survival responses – flight fight freeze
It is Tuesday morning, November 3, 2020. We are watching the rise of fascism and the fall of democracy in the US. And we are watching a groundswell of activism and determination to fight back and to create and recover
“Without a clear and present focus on the body, trauma cannot be addressed.” Resmaa Menakem, My Grandmother’s Hands Like many others, I have been more deeply engaged in racial justice and anti-racism since the murder of George Floyd in May
Listen here if you prefer We all long for it. That moment when we share something personal and the other person “gets it”. Our direct experience is that we took a risk to be authentic, and we are rewarded with
It seems so clear, doesn’t it? If that person would just follow my advice, they would get better, stop obsessing about that lost relationship, get their projects in on time, or not wake up hungover every Sunday. If they would
Listen here if you prefer. Kindness and connection are foundations for healing. We do connect with others, but connecting with ourselves, inviting our exiled parts home, comes first. Without that, we can’t be authentic and risk sharing who we really
If you prefer to listen, please click here Shame is a tool to teach young people the rules of our culture, and to maintain social order and hierarchy. It is meant to create an immediate bad feeling to arrest an
Are you making New Year’s resolutions? Would you like some support and a fresh start in 2020? Are you resolving to treat yourself better? To take action to improve your health? Time is an odd construct. Humans evolved to discount
There are so many ways we can be present to ourselves in the moment. Because most of us have well established patterns of disconnection, it can be helpful to bring in a variety of resources to help us stay grounded.
Do we actually need that ongoing commentary about our experience? What are the sensations in your neck and shoulders? Contracted and tight? Painful? Soft and comfortable? Are your shoulders up around your ears? When you let your shoulders become a
The truth we both fear and hate is that we don’t know what is going to happen. We long for love and authentic, deep connection with other people AND it is with our loved ones that we are at our
We figure it out in our heads long before we feel comfortable with the energy in our body. We are adults now and have the capacity to understand the sequence of events from childhood through to present day. We know
We have 3 brains: head, heart and gut. 80% of messages flow upward to the brain in the head. Only when we quiet the cacophony of internal noise from stress and anxiety can we hear our own intuition and wisdom.
We notice what moves. This is part of the negativity bias in the brain. Being vigilant for potential danger helps keep us safe. Are you held hostage by your primitive brain? This can be dramatic when there is a sudden
Jon Kabat-Zinn: “Mindfulness meditation is the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally”. Mindfulness is an intimate witnessing. We are having an experience at the same time as we are aware of the
We learn from our experiences by evaluating evidence. We form beliefs based on our interpretation of what happened. Many people have an underlying belief that they are unworthy, not good enough, not lovable or somehow fundamentally wrong. As adults, we
Literally, what’s the hurry? Yogis count our lifespan in breaths, not years. The average person breathes 21,600 times a day. If you were to breathe 25% slower, about 16,200 times a day … You do the math. It adds up
32 fascinating interviews with innovative leaders in the field of addiction and recovery. I love talking with the people in the Summit because they are passionate about their work. Addiction is so prevalent in our society and the stats for
Look into your eyes in a mirror and say “I love you”. Many people tell me they can’t do that. “That might work for someone else. Not me.” Loving yourself unconditionally might not be fully available to you right now.
We have moved through the longest night, the December winter solstice and now add a few minutes of light each day. The cold here this time of year combined with the small incremental change in daylight hides this from view.
When my granddaughter was two years old, her parents played a little game with her. Her mom would ask “who loves you?” and she’d say “Mama!”. Her dad would ask and she’d say “Daddy!” One time when I was there
I love you. I support you. I’m on your side. What gets in the way of connecting with yourself? Of being your own supporter and friend? It feels sad to me when we can’t be our own biggest fan, when
There are many things in life for which we are responsible. Fixing our parents is NOT one of them! It is an impossible task, especially for a child. Yet over and over we step up and try. We fail because
Anger. Irritation. Fiery. Cold and implacable. Indignation. Righteous. Infuriated. Resentment. Tantrum. Enmity. Fury. Hatred. Violence. Blow up. Mad. Rage. We have a lot of words to describe the varying intensity of anger. Is it dangerous to feel angry? It feels
“Trauma causes us to disconnect from ourselves, our sense of value, and from the present moment.” Dr Gabor Maté I recommend Dr Maté and tell his definition to people at least a dozen times every week. Trauma doesn’t only happen
Do you remember that scene in The Bodyguard where Whitney Houston is swept into Kevin Costner’s arms and carried to safety? Adrenaline is pumping. The danger is extreme and Kevin Costner is on high alert. Due to his action, the
The energy, sensations and feelings in our body are a rich source of information on what has not yet been resolved and healed. Welcoming and attending to our experience, turning towards instead of away from our feelings, is the key
“Some people find relief in drugs like heroin, some are finding relief and validation in harboring hate. Both hate and addiction are a manifestation of a society that is ill, disconnected, and traumatized. Just like addiction provides relief to people