Posts Tagged ‘AWARENESS’




Think about the attitude, personality and energy we bring to others.

Think about how differently we treat friends and people we do not like or get along with.

We are responsible for how we interact with others.

Can we give up talking about others, gossiping in a harmful manner.

Kindness to others is a boomerang. Are you seen as a friendly, kind person who has a smile and greeting for others?

Build the “Ego” around being a kind, considerate person to others.

Recognize the importance of giving, connected intimately to the core of happiness.

Can we refrain from being right all the time, can we not respond to criticism?

Can we give up being angry about petty things, using that time to be free and focused.

We can practice meditating, building focus, creating a space between stimulus and response.

Others actions should not automatically elicit an emotional response.

We have control of our reactions and behavior.

Can we take a breath, focus, then let go of anger, resentment, jealousy or depression?



Ricard again: pursuing a happy life



“We willingly spend a dozen years in school, then go on to college or professional training for several more; we work out at the gym to stay healthy; we spend a lot of time enhancing our comfort, our wealth, and our social status.

We put a great deal into all this, and yet we do so little to improve the inner condition that determines the very quality of our lives.

What strange hesitancy, fear, or apathy stops us from looking within ourselves, from trying to grasp the true essence of joy and sadness, desire and hatred?”




My two cents: Do we understand what a “Happy” life looks like?

It is not the pursuit of pleasure, the avoidance of critism or the desire for approval.

Happiness flows out of an internal way of being, a way of being grateful for what you have and a desire to help others on this journey.

Happiness may not be a euphoric, blissful condition, but a moment to moment awareness of our mundane life.

An acceptance of ourselves, totally in this mundane moment, is required.



Caring for someone with PTSD can sometimes lead to secondary trauma.


Photo by Grace Ciszkowski

National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine

Caring for someone with PTSD can sometimes lead to secondary trauma.

And researchers at the University of Utah wondered just how bad that secondary trauma could be.

While completing her graduate studies, Catherine Caska Wallace, PhD and her research team studied two groups of male veterans, along with their female partners. In 32 couples, the veterans suffered from PTSD, and in the control group of 33 couples, PTSD wasn’t a factor.

The veterans in both groups had been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan at least once in the past decade.

After the researchers interviewed the couples to measure PTSD, depression, marital satisfaction, and areas of disagreement, they asked the couples to undergo a brief experiment.

Researchers asked each couple to have a conversation about a current issue on which they strongly disagreed.

Before and after the conversation, researchers took physiological measurements from both partners, including blood pressure and heart rate.

Some of their findings probably weren’t surprising. Both veterans and partners in the PTSD group reported significantly higher emotional stress, measured through disaffection and disharmony. They also reported problems with frequent and intense emotional conflict.

But when they looked at the physiological measurements, researchers found something particularly interesting.

While the couples in the PTSD group showed elevated blood pressure during the conversation relative to controls, the partners of the veterans in particular showed the highest blood pressure – even compared to the veterans themselves.

It’s important to note that this study didn’t use random assignment when selecting its sample, so there’s a limit to how much we can generalize its results.

Although preliminary, this research suggests that PTSD can have far reaching and significant physiological impact even among people who don’t suffer from it.

Of course, the blood pressure finding stood alone in this study. I’d like to see more research that examines other physiological and mental factors with the partners of post-traumatic stress sufferers.

If PTSD really carries significant health risks for the partners of veterans, more attention should be paid to them in future research.”



When things flare up, focus and awareness are key



We must limit the depth we fall when PTSD, anxiety or depression grabs us.

Sometimes we need to play defense, using focus and awareness.

I refuse to make any decisions when PTSD flares. My thoughts can be irrational, highly emotional and extremely negative.

A good amount of my time is spent letting go of the negative thoughts.

Awareness helps us steer attention away from thought and to the present moment.

Another helpful activity is exercise, strenuous if you are capable.

Keep yourself busy and focused for a day or two until things settle down.

Know that the crisis will pass and things will return to what your normal has been.

If we can let go of our thoughts, we limit the depth of depression, anxiety and PTSD.

Healing is cultivated better when we keep our minds calm and focused.



Happiness is connected to Acceptance.



If happiness only occurs in the present moment, accepting everything about ourselves right now, is imperative.

Things we do not accept, block us from truly being happy.

Common sense tells me these perceived flaws are the doors to our suffering or joy.

It takes persistence and practice to accept our flaws, our unworthy parts, our devious parts and especially our shameful parts.

All these biased judgments have no power as soon as we release them.

I am not my thoughts, or judgments, or emotions, or my ego!

I am present, focused, aware and following what my senses absorb.

The trick is to not identify with our flaws, trading judgment in for being present for this next mundane moment.



Decide today!

Since happiness only happens in the present moment, can you decide to be happy today.

We need to ask this question, What needs to happen for me to be happy right now?


We do not need to accomplish anything, attain any possessions, titles or status to be happy, now.


If we can not be happy now, chances are that next week, next year or next decade, happiness will not happen.


Is there a more important question for our lives?


Matthew Ricard says our purpose in life is to be happy.


Happiness contains giving and gratitude, not chasing pleasure or collecting possessions and power.

Shame and Perfectionism

The Complex PTSD Workbook: A mind-body approach to regaining emotional control and being whole

“Shame is often hidden underneath perfectionism. As a child, you may have internalized the belief that you had to act perfect because your parents couldn’t handle your authentic feelings. Or perhaps you believed acting “good” would stop the bad things from happening. In either situation, you may have had to hide your true feelings to avoid rocking the boat.


Perfectionism is maintained by critical self-talk that attempts to push down painful feelings. When the inner critic berates you for being lazy, stupid, or useless, you are again confronted with your shame. Let’s take a closer look at some practices that can free you from the cycles of shame and perfectionism:


• Explore your use of language: Dr. Siegel points out the difference between saying “I am bad” and “I feel bad.” The first statement reflects identification with a painful emotion, whereas the second statement allows for recognition of a feeling without being consumed by it.


• Avoid “shoulds”: “Shoulds” are one way of pushing perfectionism or perceived expectations on yourself and rejecting your authentic presence. You might say, “I should be over this by now,” “I shouldn’t make mistakes,” or “I should be strong.” When you say or think the word “should,” I invite you to step back and instead focus on self-acceptance.



• Imagine shame is a bully: Seeing shame as a bully can give you some space from the emotions and allow you to talk back! How do you feel when the shame bully puts you down? What do you want shame to know? If you have a hard time standing up to shame, you can bring in your ally from chapter 3 (here) for reinforcements. Who would stand up for you and protect you? What would you and your ally say to the shame bully?



• Experience the body’s sensations of shame: Often the most difficult part of healing shame is tolerating that felt sense in your body. Words can hardly describe the often intolerable “yuck” that accompanies shame. You might experience an encompassing sinking feeling or a vague sensation as though you did something wrong. A valuable practice for unwinding the somatic experience of shame is to return to the pendulation practice from chapter 4 (here). The goal is to slowly build tolerance for the physical discomforts that accompany shame. Once you can feel your body, you have greater choice about how to move and breathe. There is tremendous power in reclaiming your body from shame. Perhaps you find a posture that feels strong and capable, or maybe you place your hands over your heart in a gesture of loving kindness.



• Invite vulnerability: When feeling shame, it is common to hide your true feelings for fear of further embarrassment. Showing people how you really feel allows them to support you. Dr. Brené Brown’s research has shown that expressing one’s most vulnerable feelings is a sign of strength and facilitates health. She explains, “We cannot selectively numb emotions. When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”



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