#055 - The gentle path of healing

#055 - The gentle path of healing

When I was younger just getting into recovery and self-healing work I was very immature. I figured all I had to do was find the right mindset, mantra, prayer, or belief, work really hard at keeping it in my mind and all would be well. So I would find a really cool idea or phrase, which had given me some relief, and squeeze every ounce of serenity out of it till I was sweating and bleeding everywhere (metaphorically of course!).

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#048 - Shame: That bad feeling

#048 - Shame: That bad feeling

There is this feeling that at times can be hard to name, it often comes in the morning right when you wake up, before you begin to distract yourself. In the body it is a sinking or dropping feeling in the stomach, a lack of energy, difficulty in lifting the head and looking the world in the eye, or my personal fave: a deep self loathing that brings into question my very existence as a being on the earth. Fun!

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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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#044 - How long will my healing take?

#044 - How long will my healing take?

I have asked this question many times. I have asked it to friends, therapists, lovers, the universe, God, you name it. I have heard spiritual teachers talk about it, offering techniques for the “fast track” to spiritual enlightenment. I have tried really, really, hard to heal myself. And some of it has seemed to work. I am different than I was 10 years ago, that’s for sure. I am less likely to drink myself into a black out (extremely less likely!).

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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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#038 - Rupture and Repair: What relationship is about

#038 - Rupture and Repair: What relationship is about

Making mistakes, conflict, and confusion in relationship are a big part of the relationship journey. As author, and therapist, Bonnie Badenoch says 30% of relationship is all warm, fuzzy, and attuned and 70% is about rupture and repair. You wouldn’t think so given our pop culture and the ways relationship is portrayed in movies, books, and music.

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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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#028 - It's still going to take a lifetime, no matter how hard you try!

#028 - It's still going to take a lifetime, no matter how hard you try!

At some point in my teens I became very good at slacking. I was skilled at not doing what I was supposed to and doing what I wasn’t supposed to as much as possible. For instance, getting high before basketball practice, skipping school, stealing, applying only to colleges that didn’t require an essay in the application were all tools of my trade.

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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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#018 - Top 5 Indicators That You Rock at Being a Human

#018 - Top 5 Indicators That You Rock at Being a Human

If you are reading this you might feel like you are sucking at life right now, because if you were a really successful human you probably wouldn’t need me to tell you! Maybe you lost a job, a relationship, your clothes don’t fit right, or you are full of self-pity for the choices you made. Possibly you are looking for a pick-me-up and hope to find yourself in this list. Well if you are a human I guarantee you will find yourself in this list! Ok lets get started…

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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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#016 - Slow Relationships

#016 - Slow Relationships

This is like slow food, but with people. It’s like slowly cooking yourself with another so that there is a melding of flavors, but still distinct ingredients that hold their form. Often this type of relationship is difficult to do, but vitally important if intimacy is tough for you. This type of fear of intimacy often comes in two forms. There is the “jump in real fast to relationship” and the “scared of relationship” type

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#014 - God In Psychotherapy

#014 - God In Psychotherapy

God, yup that’s right, I’m going to talk about God in psychotherapy. Everybody just calm down it’s going to be ok! It seems interesting to me to combine two often ineffable topics: God and psychotherapy. People since the beginning of spoken word have been trying to describe this sense of something greater than themselves, this presence, this energy, which is beyond description. Also with psychotherapy we have been trying to find a way to move this “soft science” to a “hard science,” to find some credibility for what we know works and maybe even get insurance to pay for it!

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#008 - Heart on hands off

#008 - Heart on hands off

When I was in my early twenties I was the classic “tough guy.” I was not about to let anyone into my heart or my inner life. If I was involved romantically with someone and they got too attached to me or said they loved me, I was out the door. At the time, I thought I was calm, cool, and collected: how wrong I was! In retrospect, I was terrified of letting someone touch that place in me that was so tender, so raw, and so vulnerable.

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#007 - The Three A's

#007 - The Three A's

First, a disclaimer:  I did not come up with the three A’s. I wish I did! They are a wonderful lens through which to view challenging situations or challenging emotions. I first heard of them a number of years ago and in the past few years began to really feel and experience the significance of this practice. I found the three A’s brought about a new perspective in areas of my life I felt stuck in; they are awesome because who doesn’t like to feel some movement when you’re stuck?

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