What comes to mind when you think of someone who is free? Free to be themselves. Free from fear and shame. Someone who doesn’t second guess themselves. Someone who isn’t afraid to be authentic. Take a few minutes now to
There are two things I say that people are skeptical about or outright don’t believe. The first is that looking at our lives through a trauma lens reveals that most of our reactivity, compulsive thinking, anxiety, depression, fear and dread
Some of the people I interview on the Radical Recovery Summit have a very similar understanding and approach to mine. Irene Lyon is one of those people. She synthesized her training and experience into her program SmartMind SmartBody where she
We need parents who are attuned to our needs. Nurturing emotional interactions with parents are an indispensable requirement of human brain development. Children in non-attuned relationships may feel loved but do not experience feeling appreciated for who they really are.
We are cheated out of childhood when our experience is one of fear, abuse and neglect. Before we move into understanding and compassion and into being reasonable and fair, we need to acknowledge the truth of our own experience. I was
The Adverse Childhood Experiences Score (ACES) This study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted (mid 90’s) to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. It has since been studied in several states with similar results
We’ve all been there, at the wheel or in the passenger seat. We’re driving along and someone does something inconsiderate that sets off a flare of rage. They roar up beside our car then cut us off, forcing us to
What is happening right now in the space your body is occupying? There are sense perceptions, of the air or clothes on your skin, sounds, wetness in your mouth and the movement of your body with your breath. Are you
I’ll turn off the screens at nine so my brain has a chance to settle before sleep. I’ll go to bed by ten and listen to a guided relaxation as I fall asleep. I’ll wake up early enough to go
Do you feel good will towards your body? Do you love your body? Could you be friends with your body? For most of us the answer is complicated, embedded with lots of history and memories of past experiences. One of
We have all harmed others. How do we allow that in? I have harmed people I love. How can I sit with the sadness and regret and grief of that? Let’s look at it through a trauma lens. When we
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
The evidence is in. Gratitude practices rock! Oprah. Brené Brown. Scientists. So why do so many people find they turn stale and lifeless after awhile? It’s one more thing to tick off our already overwhelming to-do list. The promises of
Settle into a comfortable position. Shavasana is a classic relaxation pose – where you lie on your back with your arms and legs a comfortable distance apart. Become aware of your body from head to toes and the space your body is
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
Do you have an inner critic that is always on the lookout for anything you’ve done wrong? That ridicules and shames you for the smallest mistake? That drives you to be perfect and doesn’t let you rest? Would you like
The practice below is one of nurturing ourselves with comfort and solace in the heart center. Bring to mind a moment of joy, maybe someone you love or a favourite pet and bring your attention to your heart area. The
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
My meditation teacher commented once on how much bodily tension he saw when students typed on the computer. People put their whole body into hammering these sensitive springs that actually work best with a light touch. Try it next time
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.
I’ve had a bad cold this week, the first one in 4 or 5 years. The feeling is familiar. Fever. Sleeping on and off all day. Headache. Coughing. Runny nose. Sinus pain. Foggy brain. When illness happens our body needs
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.
Free online class Sunday March 3rd 11AM Eastern http://zoom.us/j/645904638 Following the instructions to breathe and relax can be difficult for some people with a trauma history. We’re asking people to let down their defenses and feel. Our brain and nervous
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.
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
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
A dear friend badly burned her leg a few years ago. The skin partially regenerated but it is still sensitive and papery thin. It will never completely recover. Many people had the experience of not feeling physically safe and protected
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.
Memory. Last week people all over the world were glued to their screens as a courageous woman who remembered every detail of an attempted rape recounted her experience. And the testimony of a man who might have been lying or
How does fear affect your life? For most people, it is a long list with a wide reach. Our primitive brain is set up to ensure the survival of the species and fear gets our attention. Fight, flight, freeze kicks
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
People who love high risk sports and extreme adventures become addicted to the experience in their own bodies. A similar process happens with emotional striking out. The fight reflex and the flood of chemicals and hormones it releases in the
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.