Posts Tagged ‘Dissociation’

Responding to a follower, how monumental is our task?

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Part of a response from a follower: “Almost all of the traumatic thoughts are hardwired to the nerves that it is almost beyond control.”

Consciously, it is almost beyond our control, our trauma is stored in the Amygdala on the right side of the brain. No access consciously to this side of our mind.

Mindfulness/Meditation reaches our right hemisphere.

This is the reason Cognitive Behavioral Therapy was combined with meditation/mindfulness.

The path to healing does not have to be a monumental struggle.

Those hard wired traumatic thoughts can be integrated, one at a time, using ten, slow, focused breaths.

I have helped people, triggered and ready to avoid, use their focus practice to integrate their trauma.

If we can stay present, focused on the breath intently, for ten breaths, our nervous system will calm.

These ten slow, focused breaths, activate our parasympathetic nervous system. Like applying the brakes at a stop light.

Cortisol dissipates in two ways, aerobic exercise and meditation.

Using this technique, our nervous system calms, our symptoms and fears start to recede.

In time our nervous system will calm and not react to these triggers.

Make friends with your nervous system and half the battle is accomplished.

When I finally had success staying present, focused when triggers exploded, life changed.

I had found something more powerful than my trauma.

With this new found power, I hunted down my triggers.

I would visit places where I was triggered, situation and people.

Now I became the hunter.

Become the hunter, master ten, focused, slow breaths.

Remember we are trying to describe an action with words, an action in a place where no words exist.

You have to sit and experience what I am describing.

It seems mundane and weak on the surface but holds our greatest power.

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My relationship with my mind

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For sufferers of PTSD, the mind becomes an adversary. Its behavior drastically changes.

Out of my conscious influence, imminent danger proliferates, igniting my defense system, the fight or flight mechanism.

Fear dominated my life.

Symptoms complicate and confuse us. We avoid, deal with flashbacks, intrusive thoughts and memories. We are hyper vigilant, on the look out for emotional triggers.

Now, my relationship with my mind has changed.

I made friends with my nervous system. Staying focused and present when my fight or flight mechanism fired, exposed the mirage of trauma.

My nervous system calmed.

Next the thoughts and patterns were an issue.

The solution was quite simple.

I watch my thoughts now.

Unworthy or negative thoughts fade.

If I choose to give attention to any thought, it will be constructive or at least interesting.

My mind has changed its habits.

I have learned to keep my mind focused in this moment.

I have found that, this moment is all that exists, whether it is mundane, exhilarating or scary.

I have only experienced happiness in the present moment.

I have worried and doubted in the present moment, but it was about the past or a prediction.

You improve by not thinking, not ruminating!

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Where are the peacemakers in our midst?

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We are on this journey together, in harmony, granted a short period of time on this planet.

We all die, you can be pharaoh, build a pyramid for the afterlife, but these possessions stay on earth.

All those possessions we have attained have no impact after we die. You may have a giant headstone, but that is to impress the living, who will be dead soon enough.

Our goal of being happy, is not a life of chasing pleasure or avoiding the unpleasant.

Happy people are givers with a highly developed gratitude practice, people who are kind and caring of others.

In this time of turmoil, where violence, hate and fear dominate our country, how do we heal and live a worthwhile life?

Politics are so divisive, journalists have taken sides as media becomes as biased as democrats and republicans.

One side hates the other side, believing they are evil.

No one wins in a society like this, especially the needy.

Where are the peacemakers in our midst?

Do no harm has changed to, do the most harm possible, eviscerate your enemy.

Disrespect and intolerance are the norm these days.

How do we change our present condition?

Thoughts?

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“Dopamine is the neurotransmitter of pleasure and reward.

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Linda Graham: “Bouncing Back”

With the release of dopamine in the brain stem we feel good, we feel alive and energized, and we want more.

Dopamine is actually partly responsible for the way we get into ruts, doing what makes us feel comfortable, getting better at what we’ve always been good at.

The neurochemical reward we get from repeating successful patterns of behavior can hold us back from trying new strategies, from discovering new ways of being and coping.

The release of dopamine can lead to addictive behaviors, too: wanting more of what made us feel good before, even if it’s not good for us.

Maybe shopping makes us feel happier, so we run up charges on our credit card until our debt is out of control, or we try to relieve our stress with too much social drinking.

Mindfulness is the key here — awareness that always involves discernment of the wholesome from the unwholesome and the effect of our choices on our resilience.

Dopamine operates on the basis of expectation.

When the brain experiences what it expects to experience — when we turn on the kitchen faucet and water comes out — dopamine levels stay steady.

If something unexpected happens — we turn on the faucet and no water comes out — the expectation is disrupted.

The disruption switches off the dopamine and generates a slight unease in the body.

A mistake has been detected.

The brain directs us to stop moving forward until we know things are okay.”

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Erasing Shame: Self-Compassion for the Past .

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“The Self Compassion Skills Workbook”:

“We all carry around pain from the past within ourselves.

Some call it emotional baggage or unresolved issues.

My teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, calls it the seeds of suffering that have been planted in the garden of our minds.

In my experience, self-compassion can be a tremendously powerful practice for healing pain from the past so that it will no longer burden us in the present.”

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My two cents: My shame from childhood is called Complex PTSD.

My seeds of suffering have been faced during meditation, integrated to current time.

Now, healed or greatly improved, I do not think about my trauma.

It is like my chronic pain, it gets no energy, no attention, none!

It is a moment to moment awareness of my mind, guarding against ruminating in my past.

After a while practice becomes habit, thoughts fade and only visit with external stimulus.

Pay attention, refuse to grasp trauma thoughts.

Breathe, observe, focus and let the noise go.

We need to learn to be totally present, without thought for short periods of time.

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PTSD: Can we ever be happy?

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Being abused in childhood, impacted my mind permanently. I am not saying this abuse rules my mind but it will at least lay dormant until I die.

Happiness was impossible, imminent danger lived inside my home and I was his only target.

Survival and shame dominated my thoughts, helped formulate my unworthy self image and destroyed my nervous system.

I always knew something was wrong, like I was flawed, unworthy, not like other people.

Then one day in my 50’s a family crisis ignited my childhood trauma. It was alive, bringing that terrifying jolt to my solar plexus, cortisol and adrenaline, PTSD’s scare drugs.

Took me 6 years to heal or improve, for the suffering to curtail and life to have a little lightness, some contentment.

When I improved or healed, the suffering dissipated, the intrusive thoughts lost power without attention.

For 60 years I enjoyed momentary joy from accomplishments, however happiness was a stranger.

To heal or improve, I had dedicated five hours a day to meditating and healing.

On this journey, while entering into mundane tasks, (a mindful practice) I found happy moments.

Moments free of any deadline or time apparatus, where thought had curtailed, where things unfolded naturally.

These moments calmed my being beyond any prior feeling.

Looking at nature one day, I saw perfection, was it out of body or was I just one with it?

I believe if I can find some happiness, then you can also.

It is not easy, it takes courage and daily action.

Thoughts?

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Healing Pain from the Past: “The Self Compassion Skills Workbook”:

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If we imagine a 100-year-old tree, we can see that the 50-year-old tree is contained within it. We could count the rings and point to the exact place where the 50-year-old tree is present in the 100-year-old tree.

We can see that the 20-year-old tree and the 10-year-old tree are all concretely present in the 100-year-old tree. It is the same with us.

Every experience we have is recorded in the shapes of connections in the neural networks in our brains.

If a past experience is still impacting us in any way, it’s because the connections that were made during that experience are still concretely present in our brains.

Someday brain imaging technology may become so accurate that we will be able to identify the exact place where our brain stores the experience of our 5-year-old self being humiliated by an older sibling, or our 10-year-old self being bitten by a neighborhood dog.

This is why healing the past is possible. We cannot change what happened in the past, but we can change how it impacts us.

The metaphor of the rings in a tree illustrates how the past can be accessed in the present because its marks remain within us.

We can access how those experiences are stored in our brains and change them.

In fact, neuroscientists have demonstrated that the key to transforming pain from the past is to get in touch with that pain while experiencing compassion at the same time.

This triggers a process in your brain called memory reconsolidation that literally rewrites your emotional response to a past experience.

The memory isn’t erased; it is simply changed so that it doesn’t cause distress anymore.

For this type of deep transformation to occur, all we need to do is to get in touch with pain from our past as well as our compassion for ourselves—both at the same time.

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Imagine no Racism!

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Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”
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Self-Compassion and Your Brain from “The Self Compassion Skills Workbook”:

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Dr. Richard Davidson, one of the leading neuroscientists in the world, has studied how compassion training affects your brain.

He’s concluded that anyone can develop greater compassion and self-compassion, but that it requires practice.

If you practice a little, you can develop a little self-compassion.

If you practice a lot, you can develop a lot.

According to Davidson’s research, there is no limit to the amount of compassion and self-compassion that we can develop if we dedicate ourselves to practice.

In fact, when he studied Buddhist monks who had undergone decades of intensive compassion training, he reported that they had developed a level of inner peace and freedom beyond what most people would believe possible.

In other words, the sky is the limit.

If you are willing to train yourself in the practices that make up the Map to Self-Compassion, you can transform your life.

All humans (in fact, all mammals) have a Care Circuit in their brain.

Every time you feel warmth and love, that brain circuit is active.

If we could take a detailed image of your brain, you would see it.

Your Care Circuit releases oxytocin (sometimes called the love hormone) and natural opiates to give you that warm fuzzy feeling.

As you begin training in self-compassion, your Care Circuit is going to be your best friend.

You’ll be learning different practices that can activate it, strengthen it, use it for emotional regulation, and to become kinder toward yourself.

Developing self-compassion is relatively simple.

It is about strengthening the Care Circuit in your brain and learning how to use it when you need it.

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Intrusive Thoughts and PTSD

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Intrusive thoughts were unknown to me until my trauma exploded one day during a family crisis.

It is like thoughts, emotionally terrifying thoughts, triggering thoughts, arriving at a rate similar to a gatlin gun firing.

My fight or flight mechanism would fire violently 15 times a day, because of these nasty thoughts, paralyzing me.

That cortisol dumped would light my solar plexus up enough to scare the hell out of me. That jolt was terrifying and intense, powerful in fact.

It sure felt like I was facing an imminent threat.

Now, healed, or much improved, the intrusive thoughts are still alive.

My nervous system is my friend now and does not fire unless a real threat appears.

This has given me the ability to discount, not letting these intrusive thoughts get an audience.

Without an audience thoughts wither and fade.

I use other focus tools when these thoughts arrive.

I touch my thumb with each finger, saying release, release, release, release, release.

My senses take over, sight gets total awareness first, then I listen intently, searching out sounds in an order of loudest first. Finding the lowest decibel sound in the room gives me a goal to focus on.

I feel my skin, register the temperature, then smell for any aromas.

Another tool is reciting my affirmation out loud, In this moment, right now, I feel my body overflowing with Kindness, Aprroval, and Safety.

When negative thoughts arrive, replace them with our focus tools, be prepared, practice when things are calm.

Thoughts needs attention to live.

Thinking is the opposite of what we should do when negativity or trauma arrives.

Extra credit: https://ptsdawayout.com/2018/05/24/this-is-known-as-dysregulated-arousal/

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