When we have been hurt by people, we are understandably wary of giving them another go at us. Our nervous system remembers the pain and puts up barriers to protect us. The problem with letting our survival mechanisms and primitive
What are the conditions for happiness for you? How many of them are present right now? In this inquiry practice, be firm with your mind so you don’t entertain negative thoughts. We’re not suppressing them, we’re just taking a break.
What happens to the environment in our mind when we feel hate toward people greedily using their power for their own benefit, causing harm and destruction to others and the environment? Stress sky rockets. Our body tightens up. We are
Dr. Martin Seligman is a pioneer in the new (1998) field of positive psychology. Until then, western psychology was primarily focused on fixing what was wrong. My meditation teacher encouraged us to “enjoy what there is to enjoy, not suffer
Compassion arises naturally when we acknowledge truth. There is much joy and beauty in a human life and much hardship and pain. Our culture creates pressure to manage life in a certain way, to be successful, and to maintain 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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
We have a nervous system and primitive brain ideally suited for human conditions over the last hundreds of thousands of years. We avoid pain and seek pleasure. We instinctively pull back from fire. We avoid life threats. We evolved this
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
This week in our daily practice, we have been inquiring into resilience and strength. How does that show up in your body? Is there a toughness or shielding in your neck, shoulders and upper back? See if it feels okay
I offer a free daily online guided practice of meditation, relaxation, breathing and being with ourselves. We get to know ourselves in this small community of like-minded individuals. Why offer this every day? Because I know the importance of consistency.
I always thought of myself as quite calm. I was actually frozen. It is how I got through my traumatic teen years and I realize now that the protective freeze took many decades to completely thaw. This makes sense. Children
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
When we water plants in dry soil, it helps to pour in just a bit of water, let it sink in a bit to soften the soil then pour in the rest. If we don’t soften up the dry soil
“A fundamental goal of human development is the emergence of a self-sustaining, self-regulated human being who can live in concert with fellow human beings in a social context. Vital for this healthy development is a relationship with a parent who
How do you support yourself? How do you create more ease in your body? We have reflexive responses in our body, like our shoulders coming up to our ears and tightness in the back of our neck. When we really
How do we move about in the world when the fear abates? When the drive to compete disappears? When we validate and value ourselves internally? We can accomplish a lot driven by fear. And what a price we pay! Fire
Bring to mind someone you love: child, grandchild, parent, close friend, intimate partner; someone in your life now or perhaps no longer with you in person. Focus on the look on their face when they see you and smile. Bring
Allowing everyone to be exactly as they are. Just the words can create a flurry of activity in the mind. The principle makes sense to us and it is also something we mightily resist! The intensity of our response is
There is a pervasive and incorrect belief that shaming is an effective way to inspire change and improvement. Psychological studies and research in the past ten years have proven conclusively that this is untrue. The effects of shaming are that
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
The intimacy of witnessing our experience Practices of mindfulness develop the capacity to witness or observe our experience. We can do this anywhere. When we are walking. Dancing. Breathing in sunshine. Checking Facebook. Washing our face. We begin every meditation
In Brene Brown’s extraordinary book Braving the Wilderness, she has a chapter called “Speak truth to bullshit. Be civil.” She speaks about truth in our interactions with other people and points to what is happening inside. Shame can be triggered
What stops you from being authentic? From taking a risk and sharing who you really are with someone? Past experience is a factor. We’ve all taken those risks and been shut down. We’ve tried to connect. Sometimes it has worked.
Bright blessed days … dark sacred nights … what a wonderful world This time of year people reflect on endings and beginning. It feels like an opportunity to start fresh. To take stock and to realign ourselves with our true
“For a person to truly recover from a traumatic experience, they need to learn at the level of their body that the danger has passed.” Dr Bessel van der Kolk Joy. Grief. Terror. Connection. Isolation. Kindness. Betrayal. Compassion. Oceans and
Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone, by Dr Brené Brown. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, joy, trust, intimacy, courage – everything that brings meaning to our life.” Brené Brown A dictionary definition
December 1, 2015 was the 1st day of continuous live online practices. On December 1, 2017 we celebrated with a 24 hour silence retreat. A more accurate name would be a Silent Kindness Retreat. I encouraged everyone to use this
Last week I participated in a Real Prosperity workshop with Dorothy Spence through the Purpose Led Business School. She had us speak for 30 seconds on these two questions What I love about myself … What I love about my
I have a lot of quiet in my life. I live alone now, in a quiet place. I spend time in nature. Nature’s sounds feel like quiet. I meditate, in silence. My mind is mostly free of intrusive and compulsive
Connection with others is what makes life meaningful. Other people are a source of both joy and suffering. Both are true. “The surprising finding is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence
Seeing ourselves intimately is the beginning, middle and end of our healing journey. In our Friends With The Mind course this week, I shared at the end what I now know to be true. We are all basically good
What does the heart know? We are one unified system: our body, breath, thoughts; what we know in our head and what we know in our heart. It might be the big question in our life. What am I here
I feel a bit embarrassed that I watch feel-good shows or movies. It feels like there is something wrong with watching someone else have safe, connected, social engagements with people close to them instead of having them myself. Adult dramatic series
Read below or listen here (2:45 minutes) We develop beliefs based on experience. If our primary experience in childhood is that we are loved and cared for, that we are part of a family unit we feel safe in, that
I have always been interested in the mind and brain, especially through meditating twenty-five years. Dr. Rick Hanson outlines a simple way to work with our brain to heal and increase happiness. Key resources to grow resilience and tolerate what
What is radical recovery? For two months I have been interviewing an amazing group of thought leaders and innovators involved in the field of addiction and recovery. A common theme is that trauma underlies addiction. “The real calamity of trauma