Trauma 101: Meditation

Meditation is a discipline. Sometimes, it gets to me. In this video, in which I am upstaged by my dogs, I give a little taste both of the effort I put towards sitting, and how easy it is for me to get distracted from focusing on the present. What is important for all of us to wrap our minds around is that, if you’re expecting your brain to cooperate and stop thinking, you will not succeed. You will get frustrated, and you will give up on an intervention that is free and requires no travel, taking 15-20 minutes out of your day. Continue Reading Trauma 101: Meditation

Religion and Healing: Final Thoughts

This series has been an important step on my journey, but I have no conclusions as yet. Religions have been the cause of much pain, but within them are beautiful rituals of healing, the comfort of tribal belonging, and the daily practice of faith.One of the practices that speaks to me shows up in almost every religion, the cleansing power of water. Pagan circles celebrate is as the western quarter, carrying the gift of emotion and of change. Monotheistic religions, including Judaism and Christianity, place high importance on baptism and cleansing ritual baths. It is not surprising that so many of my clients with highly distressed nervous systems find a rare calm in their tubs. Continue Reading Religion and Healing: Final Thoughts

The Case For… How Buddhism Serves Healing

For many of my clients with significant childhood trauma, hypervigilance dominates their everyday experience. This is a state of constant arousal, as all senses are trained on potential threat and in a very real sense, defined by it. As they scan their environment, they often fail to see that which is pleasant or neutral, for… Continue Reading The Case For… How Buddhism Serves Healing

Hypervigilance and the Present Moment

Hyper-vigilance is narrow, focused, worried, constricted like a flashlight beam nervously and constantly flickering around the darkness, alert for danger, for what is wrong, incessantly scanning for what needs to be done, to be fixed. Exhausting. Attentiveness is open, expansive, relaxed, receptive and allowing. Shining like the sun wherever it looks and wherever it looks seeing the beauty, the miracle that is always available in the present moment. Renewing, rejuvenating. Now for those of us that developed hyper-vigilance as a tool for dealing with trauma, that may sound discouraging, yet another way to beat ourselves up for not being the ‘right person’. I invite you to lay down the beatings for ever if you can, for right now at any rate. The next time you suspect you may be hyper-vigilating choose to investigate it, as an explorer. Choose to notice, maybe even write down the sensations. Track them like the expert you are. What does your body do? Continue Reading Hypervigilance and the Present Moment