#057 - Embodied self-pleasure

#057 - Embodied self-pleasure

Probably one of the subtler forms of “checking out” most folks do is in thinking about their bodies, rather than experiencing the preset moment sensations in their bodies. For most folks the body is a minefield; overwhelming sensations, memories, numbness, deadness, and invisible parts all make experiencing the body fraught with danger. But the body is also where we experience pleasure, joy, lightness, depth, tenderness, love, and inspiration.

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#056 - Developmental trauma "acts of triumph"

#056 - Developmental trauma "acts of triumph"

Within the therapeutic relationship acts of relational triumph can occur which translate to the clients world outside the office. Witnessing the transformative power of literally going with, emotionally and somatically, my clients to the most terrifying places in the psychic realm humbles me. The places of overwhelm, panic, and dissociation are the places where these acts of triumph live, but we must go together.

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#051 - It's not about transcending

#051 - It's not about transcending

A tact, which is useful, involves not transcending the problems of humanness but descending into the muck of life and welcoming it home. One way of thinking of this process is imagining that these painful experiences and parts of ourselves are things which need to be welcomed home, and not just welcomed home and shoved in the basement, but given a seat at the table of our life.

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#049 - A good enough body

#049 - A good enough body

About 13 years ago I was involved in a near fatal car accident. And I was the one who almost died. We, my coworkers and I, were driving from snowboarding in Colorado back to Utah to continue working as wilderness guides. I was 23 years old and for the most part thought I was going to live forever and didn’t really consider the vulnerability of living in a human body. As we crested a hill on I-70 we hit an elk, the truck rolled, and I was ejected out of the passenger side window going 70 miles per hour.

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#045 - Losing fear of ourselves

#045 - Losing fear of ourselves

For many years I spent my time managing and controlling my outside circumstances (and, honestly, still work with this!). My belief I could find safety through control was a purely unconscious drive. All I knew was that the world felt overwhelming to me, and that I was restless and irritable. I would make the connection that when I was in a certain situation or with a particular person I felt anxious, so I tried my best to stay out of or control those situations or people. I rarely thought that my real problems were my internal reactions and unacknowledged fears, which drove me and dictated my life.

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#042 - What is this like?

#042 - What is this like?

I recently returned from a meditation retreat on the east coast. I was excited to go and have many days of silence and the freedom to go deep into my own experience without many distractions. Though daily mindfulness practice and meditation are important there exists something special when we can be in deep silence and practice for an extended period of time. Our culture is very much focused on the up feeling, getting high, being excited, the big “Wow.” Those moments are wonderful and leave us feeling the joy of life. But they are also only part of the picture. When we embark on any journey of discovery we must be willing to treat the “wow’s” and the “ugh’s” equally: One to raise us up when we are bogged down, and one to humble us when we think we got it all figured out.

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#033 - Making room for Disconnection

#033 - Making room for Disconnection

Most of my life I have been pretty distant, fairly aloof. I did not want to feel the pain that came from human connection. I developed tools and methods to keep people at arms length. This felt like the best way of doing things, I was safe and they were safe from me. Underlying these actions were deep and powerful beliefs about safety and about my worthiness. On the surface these behaviors and beliefs point towards someone afraid of connection, scared of the closeness inherent in human relationships.  Though on the surface this may be true the deeper issue is a fear of disconnection.

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#031 - You're not broken: At least I don't think so!

#031 - You're not broken: At least I don't think so!

The folks I have regular contact with in my practice have been well seasoned by life, which is my way of saying they have been through some rough shit. They have been through traumas, addictions, abuse, self-harm, and have also done some pretty hurtful things to other people. So by the time I see them in my office there are big feelings of being broken, hopeless, and unworthy. For the most part this makes a lot of sense to me given what they have been through! And I can completely relate, I too have been seasoned by life, and tenderized, and cook a bit by it! 

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#019 - Relationships: Room to Come and Go

#019 - Relationships: Room to Come and Go

Has your partner ever said to you, “Babe, I need some space tonight.”? Then your knee jerk reaction is something like anxiety, anger, dread, or fear? If so, then congratulations you are in a relationship in which you are connected enough to have your core issues arise!  While no one likes to feel these deep issues of abandonment they are often hanging around right under the surface unconsciously driving your behavior. 

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#017 - And We Stop Kicking the Wheel...

#017 - And We Stop Kicking the Wheel...

Kicking the wheel goes something like this: We notice that our jaw is tight, for example, and then we say, “Oh my god I’m getting TMJ, and this is going to be really annoying and I’m going to have to go to someone to fix it. And you know who else has TMJ?! Mom! This is all her fault, she passes all her crap on to me and now I have to deal with this. Like my hips! One is higher than the other, just like her, ugh! I can not believe she passed this on to me!!” 

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