So the complaint of too much stress is a familiar one. You’ve read several times in my writings that a common definition of trauma is overwhelming stress. Before you nod your head in recognition, though, let’s stop for a few minutes and challenge that notion. What constitutes “too much stress?” This is what I’ve learned: the experience of stress is greatest when our stamina is low.
Sitting on a couch does not help. Trying to run the marathon at the start does not help. Workouts that build in intensity and build our stamina do, emotionally as well as physically. Continue Reading Trauma 101: Redeeming Stress
Imagine, if you will, standing on the very top of the highest peak of a great mountain. All around you, the most magnificent view. Yet, you find yourself only able to look down, in all directions, the precarious slope, falling away in all directions to certain death. Wouldn’t you become rigid with terror, afraid to… Continue Reading Trauma: Help In Understanding
So here’s a story, and it’s a true one, the very best kind. It’s about monkeys, baby monkeys no less, adorable and playful…and very intelligent. This makes them a good study for human babies. In the fifties, a study was done using these monkeys. First, the scientists rigged a chicken-wire “mother” with feeding apparatus. The… Continue Reading Attachment (Pt 2): A Bridge Just Far Enough
Attachment. If you’re Buddhist, you know this is a baaad thing. The source of all suffering, in fact. If you’re a traditional psychotherapist, or a rabid reader of self-help books, you might identify this as the driver for codependence. Also, very baaad. And if you subscribe to the American ideal of individualism, you avoid it… Continue Reading Attachment (Pt 1): Essential to Love
It’s Valentine’s Day, and either you’re going on a date, staying in with your beloved (?), bemoaning the lack thereof, or oblivious. Because Valentine’s Day is for lovers, right? Wrong! Well, at least not always. Until the 14th century and Goeffrey Chaucer, it celebrated a multitude of saints and the value of sacrifice. In the… Continue Reading Valentine’s Day: Love and Sacrifice
Love. No emotion is as all-encompassing or as ill-defined as love. Not only romantic love, the pink-and-red hearts-and-flowers that Valentine’s Day has become, but family love, the love of friends, and what happens to us holistically when we’re not getting enough…of love. Let’s pause for a second. I’m going to ask you right now to,… Continue Reading Love & Connection: An Effort to Define the Undefinable