Do You Want Something to Change?

One of the main practices that I learned from my years of living in an ashram was the practice of surrender.

Which is another word about learning to trust –trusting the native intelligence  that allows an acorn to grow into an oak tree, or a butterfly to emerge from the chrysalis of the cocoon. Whatever we call this...this energy guides us from within.

In yoga we call it prana.  It's the life force that moves in and through and around everything, everyone, everywhere.  It's only task is to bring us home to ourselves.  The great yogi, Muktananada, described prana as the powerful force animating everything.

That's not a simple task, though!  Especially when it encounters the gnarly, crusty resistances we have inside born out of disappointments, hurts, betrayals, and despair.

Most of us didn’t get the love, attention, reassurance, and guidance early on in our lives that we needed to become the person we could be.

That doesn’t mean we can’t grow into the person we want to be, becoming who we want to be, and flourishing despite obstacles.


Getting Better is Not Too Far Away

“I’ve been alone my whole life.

Even when I’m surrounded by others, I feel separate. I’m constantly lost, scared, worried.

I guess it has to do with feeling like no one will understand me.

Sometimes I wish I had a broken arm or something physically wrong with me so I could say, ‘That’s why. That’s why I’m this way.’

But I don’t have that, so no one knows why I’m so scared, shaky, anxious, depressed, you name it. I’m all those things. You talk about safety and being in the present, but I don’t know what that is at all.”


The One Thing We All Hate Yet Opens the Door to Healing

My friend reached for her wallet.

It wasn't there.

That meant all her credit cards, driver's license, everything (well, thank goodness, since we were overseas her passport was at the hotel in the room safe).

In seconds my friend was sobbing on the street, horrified, distressed.

Having known this person for many years I grabbed her by the shoulders and in a firm, calm voice said, "Stay here with us. Nothing bad is happening right here with us!"

I could see she was going down memory lane.

In her mind she was somewhere else in some other time, not here with us, on this street, in this country.

At the same time, other people were saying, "She needs to have her feelings!"

I knew that if she kept spinning in this emotionally distress that she would be carving an old way of being into more concretized emotional and nervous system "reality."

I knew she was caught in a re-enactment.

Re-enactments are trance states, full of reactivity, usually out of proportion to the circumstance.  


When is Someone Hijacking What We Know [5 Steps to Take]

Harold realized as he was thinking about marrying his partner.

He also had a part of him that was terrified that he’d have to live with these consequences of making a choice – that he’d be stuck with this person, just like he had been stuck as a child.

This hearkened back to his history of having a violent father who could get angry at the drop of a hat.

His dad would be storming around the house.

This wasn’t the case with his partner.  But the wish to be close (so normal and natural) was dredging up these old memories that were getting projected into the present.

What if he got stuck in this relationship and couldn’t get out?


9 Steps to Find a Good Trauma Therapist

The other day I got an email from someone I respect very much asking me for some referrals.  One of his questions was, “What makes a good trauma therapist?”

Good, good, good question.  An important one.

If you’ve ever had to look for a good therapist I bet this is something you’ve had to explore.

Here’s the list I came up with.  I’m wondering what you think and if I’ve covered it all.

Secure Base

7 Qualities in Making Positive Connections

It’s often hard to chart the path forward into the unknown.  We might not like the past but it’s familiar.  We know how to do it.

When we’re faced with an unknown street sign crossroads, we pause not knowing what to do.

I think of that almost every time I take a subway in a city I don’t live in.  Even if I know I am getting out at the right stop, once I get out from underground I look around, trying to get my bearings.  Which way do I go?


What contagion do you want to be part of?

Chaos is contagious.

So is ease.  Goodness.  Kindness. Generosity.  Compassion.

In times like these, when anxiety is high, isolation and separation is the name of the day, we need to spend time developing something to antidote it.

For one thing...LAUGHTER!

Yesterday on the group coaching call for the Transformational Academy one of the people, a therapist, shared an experience and it touched everyone's funny bone.

We laughed and laughed. I can still feel the giggle in my belly.

So necessary during these times.

Since so much is contagious we get to choose which path we take.  


Healing the Heart of your Suffering

When we suffer we lose connection to the best parts of ourselves.

We find it difficult to access inner nourishment; the kind that replenishes us.  We point to the traumas of our lives and say, “That’s it!  If that was different I wouldn’t be suffering like this.”

Yet, the reason trauma doesn’t get repaired is because of the underlying attachment issues.  We need to repair the inner connective tissue that allows us to move fluidly, opening our hearts...


Reading the Heart’s Guidebook

Getting free from the debris of a trauma and attachment history requires a re-orientation.

We have to shift our habitual orientation of looking outside of ourselves for the answer, for ways to fill ourselves up. What happens, though, when despite everything we’ve done nothing seems to turn out right?

Those people whose approval you’re wanting so much can’t give you what you long for?

Or what if you’ve tried and tried for years, really and truly done everything, and still...


One Practice That Consistently Helps Conquer Triggers

Flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, images, voices, nightmares – this is the everyday reality of someone healing their history of trauma and attachment.  It’s a painful experience.

Triggers cloud and obliterate hope making life hard to bear.  Hard because they are so often and they feel unrelenting.   These triggered moments spiral into darkness and suffering.  It’s easy to feel, “This is too much.  I can’t do it.”

Buried under all this triggered experience is the nascent wish for to feel better, to feel whole, to feel solid and sure.