Agreeableness includes trust, altruism, kindness, affection, and prosocial behaviors like cooperation, helpfulness, and attuned empathy. It seems simple on the surface. Who wouldn’t want to be more agreeable and prosocial? Traits of people high in agreeableness: interested in and cares
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.
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.
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
“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
“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
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
“Safety IS the treatment.” In order to heal, we need to feel safe. Dr Stephen Porges defines safety as the absence of threat PLUS a feeling of connection. “Trauma is what happens inside us as a result of what happens to us.
“White privilege doesn’t mean your life hasn’t been hard. It just means the color of your skin isn’t one of the things that makes it harder.” Most of our conditioned beliefs come from the dominant culture – tv, movies, cartoons, advertising,
What are your conditioned beliefs about your body? We live in a diet culture that shames us for our bodies. Our ancestors had an unreliable food supply. We evolved to binge when food was available and store it as fat
Human beings find it hard to practice violence against other human beings. Some people in power play on our fears and turn us against each other, deliberately dehumanizing people to justify hurting them: from Matthew Shephard (beaten to death in
Resmaa Menakem is a therapist in Minneapolis, and author of My Grandmother’s Hands, Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. I interviewed him in 2019 and Krista Tippet in March of this year. I highly recommend his book
What would happen if you had no rules about being a good person, a nice person, or a valuable person? Would you naturally care about people? Would you want to be decent and kind? What would you do with your
Off and on during the two months since the pandemic really landed in North America, I have noticed a heaviness in my chest. When I sit with it, it feels like grief: for people dying alone in hospitals without their
What gets us through hard times? Reflect for a moment on other times in your life when you were struggling to stay afloat. What helped you then? For many people, a sense of community, knowing we are in this together,
We all feel fear. We don’t all feel powerless. The way we experience this crisis is not the same, and we have power to change our response. We are in this together. I am not alone. I can do my
We now live in a different world from the one we lived in last week. Many people were already highly stressed before the virus reached our country and community. This week fear has intensified. We do not know what will
The dictionary defines an outsider as a person who does not belong to a particular group. We are all outsiders from most groups. I am an outsider to marathon runners, medical doctors, and chess champions. That’s neutral for me. I
Hurt people hurt people. This is obvious to us when we see physical, sexual, emotional abuse or severe neglect. Children are also hurt when parents are too stressed, busy, distracted or depressed to get to know them. To really feel connected,
September 30th is Orange Shirt Day, commemorating children who were forced into Canada’s Indian Residential Schools. Today on Facebook I saw the list of 2,800 children who died in these schools. There are at least 1,600 more unnamed children who
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.
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
“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
Forests and ocean. Stillness and movement. Space to breathe. I feel part of the network of leaves and roots, fresh air, the simple reality of nature. I was in California last week for the Science and Nonduality Conference, south of
I left home when I was 17. I crashed with a friend for a few months, hitchhiked halfway across Canada and partied in a quest for connection and oblivion. Looking back, it hits hard just how much danger I was
Reconnect and Fall in Love With Yourself, a women’s healing trauma retreat. What happens at a retreat like this? 7 women arrived Friday late afternoon and settled in at a classic old farmhouse. People are nervous before something like this.
Unresolved trauma is like undigested food in our gut. We need to improve our digestion to allow it to move through. How do we do that? We could eat healthier food in an appropriate amount, in a calm atmosphere and
I came across this writing today about my meditation teacher Swami Veda Bharati. I feel such deep love and gratitude to have been connected with him for so many years. I am sure I heard him say this many times
https://www.thetraumatherapistproject.com/podcast/meditation-healing-trauma-lynn-fraser/ I had a big experience of telling the truth this week. The interview I did with Guy MacPherson on the Trauma Therapist Podcast went live on Tuesday. We mostly focused on trauma and how I have worked with it
Listen on iTunes episode #304 or The Trauma Therapist Website I was interviewed by Guy MacPherson for the Trauma Therapist Podcast and it went live this week. Guy is experienced and asked good questions (I’m episode #304!). He asked about the
Is this the right time to make a big commitment to yourself? You may be interested in my six month program Find Your Stillpoint I believe in basic goodness We all reflexively avoid pain You are resilient, strong and courageous
As we heal from trauma, we develop strength and resilience. Our mind and system settles and we become calmer. We now know that we can’t emotionally self-regulate on our own. We co-regulate, which means we need to be around people
When I read this by Gabor Maté it rang true. What is also true is that we are no longer alone, helpless, and without support. We are adults now. We can stop shaming and judgment. We can be there for
As if feeling lonely and alone isn’t bad enough, now researchers are saying it’s bad for our health and longevity! This can feel like a rock and hard place. Rock Our primitive brain is evidence based, has a negativity bias
A few years ago journalist Johann Hari began speaking about the root cause of addiction being a lack of connection. Trauma expert Dr Gabor Maté speaks about unresolved intergenerational and personal trauma at the root of disconnection from ourselves and
Last weekend 13 women met at Reconnect and Fall in Love With Ourselves, a healing trauma workshop retreat in a gorgeous old growth Acadian forest at Windhorse Farm. The forecasted showers didn’t happen and we had warm sunshine through the
After working with me regularly for several months, many people tell me “I used to think you were overdoing it the way you keep bringing everything back to trauma. Now I get it.” Looking through this lens helps us to
The experience of feeling connected and valued feels wonderful! The experience of feeling socially isolated and left out – not so much! It feels sad and threatening. My sense is that part of the benefit of giving to others is
I’m excited to be heading back home to Alberta this week. Most of my work and community meets online. I also treasure these opportunities to meet in person. Friends With Your Mind, How To Stop Torturing Yourself With Your Thoughts
I would love to say that sexual shaming of young women today is radically different from my own experiences fifty years ago. That would be untrue. And it breaks my heart. Objectification of women and our bodies still predominates in