Posts Tagged ‘Mind’

May I be at Peace

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Living with your Heart Wide Open:

“May I open to great self-compassion.

May I open to deep reconciliation of my past with the wise understanding that all of my past has led me to this moment.

May I hold myself gently, with mercy, kindness, and levity.

May I accept my imperfections and see that I am imperfectly perfect just as I am.

May I be as healthy as I can be.

May I have ease in body and mind.

May I be at peace.”

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Self-Authorship part 1: “Living with your Heart Wide Open”

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The stories you repeat make up your personal history and identity.

They include the place and time you were born, the way it was in your family, the things that happened to you, the things you did, the things others did, your first love, and your first betrayal.

It goes on and on—as long as you repeat it.

When you really look at your self-stories, you may discover that they’re repetitive and even arbitrary, depending on your mood.

It’s likely that the details don’t even match up with those in the stories of your parents or closest siblings.

A good question is “Who would you be without your story?”

Seeing yourself without your story is an excellent way to let go of taking things personally (which can be very helpful with shame and inadequacy).

Self-authorship begins very early in life in our responses to our caregivers.

If we are raised in a safe and secure environment in which we feel accepted and validated, we tend to have more self-compassion and less self-criticism (Neff and McGehee 2008).

But if our caregivers are more critical or aggressive or we feel unsafe with them for any reason, we tend to become more self-critical and insecure as we grow older (Gilbert and Proctor 2006).

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What is the mind?

Pixabay: Gadini

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From Meditation for the Love of it:

According to the tantras, the phenomenon we experience as “mind” is actually a particularly vibrant and subtle kind of energy.

An ocean of energy, in fact, in which waves of thoughts and emotions arise and subside.

Your thoughts and feelings—the difficult, negative, obsessive ones, as well as the peaceful and clever ones—are all made of the same subtle, invisible, highly dynamic “stuff.”

Mindenergy is so evanescent (passing out of sight quickly) that it can dissolve in a moment, yet so powerful that it can create “stories” that run you for a lifetime.

The secret revealed by the tantric sages is that if you can recognize thoughts for what they are—if you can see that a thought is nothing but mind-energy—your thoughts will stop troubling you.

That doesn’t mean they’ll stop.

But you’ll no longer be at their mercy.

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I am Responsible: first three words of healing


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We are Responsible for our life, our behavior, our reactions and our attitude.

 

Realize excuses are failures to take responsibility.

 

My father was an abusive, violent narcissist.

 

In spite of my father, I am responsible for how I live my life, treat other people and treat myself.

 

If you want to heal this bridge needs to be crossed.

 


We need not forgive but we must take total responsibility for our life.

 


Next, Wellbeing will be harder for me to achieve, it is the challenge I was born into.

 

My responsibility let me accept the challenge of changing it.

 

The buck stops with us, we are the captain of the ship, the quarterback of the offense, the one who is responsible for our actions.

 

Hard to avoid giving all out effort, if you take responsibility.

 


If you do not take responsibility, victim will be the label you earn.

 


Conclusion: Do not compare your challenges with another, think of your challenges as a heavy sled, we are tasked with pushing a certain distance everyday.

 

Focus intently on moving the sled, distractions will find it harder to break through.


Responsibility brings the gift of purpose.

 

My father wins if I fail.

 

That’s all the incentive I have ever needed in the dark times of doubt and helplessness.

 

What is your incentive.

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Anything that fluctuates can be influenced

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Both Chronic pain and PTSD entered my life with me being clueless about their power, intensity and mechanism.

It took me 6 months with each to understand the challenge and form a plan to cope.

One of the first patterns I witnessed was how PTSD and chronic pain fluctuated during the day and night.

So my pain or PTSD did not have a constant intensity or duration.

PTSD rotated from calm to extremely triggered in seconds. Some times were calm and easier, others pure terror.

Chronic pain has an ebb and flow, intense times along with easier times.

My relationship with chronic pain was different than the other 14 in our chronic pain group. I took action, lost the fear of my pain and improved.

They lived a sedentary life filled with 30 pills a day, they suffered.

I hiked uphill causing my pain to spike, then the music was cranked, my goal was to never let pain stop my legs from moving.

Hiking another 15 minutes with my pain as a companion, in a month my chronic pain started to compress. I did not fear my pain after that month.

PTSD was a roller coaster ride of terror, followed by mental anguish and then worry about future anxiety.

The only breaks happened during times getting lost in a chore, nature or a hobby.

I found meditation provided the focus and platform to observe my fears without being part of them.

It takes time, courage and willpower.

My recent eruption of a buried trauma has challenged my skills.

I forgot how intense a serious trauma can be.

Taking action, even the slightest action moves us out of victimhood.

Better to resist, to take action.

Being sedentary powers chronic pain and PTSD.

Thoughts proliferate in a sedentary environment of Pain or Trauma.

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I learned Triggers were an Opportunity to heal!……. The door to the other side

Color Inspiration – 25 Magical Doors

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When my trauma exploded later in life, my fight or flight mechanism erupted, brought enormous fear and anxiety.

A lethal threat seemed to follow me, my adrenal stress response firing throughout the day filling me up with cortisol and adrenaline.

Fight, flight or freeze always ends with freeze for PTSD sufferers.

Fight or flight may happen the first couple of triggers, however repeated triggers firing causes us to freeze.

We try to avoid our triggers firing as a coping mechanism.

One day an epiphany hit me, I was terrified of my fight or flight going off.

I feared a body mechanism because it was linked to a traumatic childhood memory.

It took many hours of meditating and practice to realize a trigger was an opportunity to heal.

Instead of fearing my adrenal stress response I welcomed the opportunity to integrate the traumatic memory.

My triggers were the door to the other side.

When a trigger erupted, my PTSD was at its apex of power, PTSD was also at its most vulnerable.

I found out if you stayed present, focused on the breath and body sensations Ptsd lost power.

Ptsd has a glaring weakness, it was a bully bluffing of real harm.

I analyzed a trigger erupting.

Cortisol and adrenaline are secreted, bp, respiration and heart rate climb, opioids and coagulants are added into the blood stream, tunnel vision and loss of fine motor skills lead to mental confusion.

In ten or maybe twenty long minutes, all the chemicals dissipate and the nervous system calm back down.

In the aftermath no harm is permanently done but we feel great emotional loss.

I had to know there was no danger, PTSD just had access to my fight or flight mechanism.

Our fight or flight firing gives PTSD it’s powerful aversion.

That imminent danger does not exist, adrenaline and especially cortisol strengthen traumas bluff.

I did not heal by avoiding triggers.

I healed by confronting the bully and his bluff.

Ask yourself, after a trigger erupts, and things calm back down. where is the permanent danger?

There is none.

Ptsd is a mirage of fear.

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Top down or bottom up regulation

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“The Body Keeps the Score”

Knowing the difference between top down and bottom up regulation is central for understanding and treating traumatic stress.

Top-down regulation involves strengthening the capacity of the watchtower to monitor your body’s sensations.

Mindfulness meditation and yoga can help with this.

Bottom-up regulation involves recalibrating the autonomic nervous system, (which, as we have seen, originates in the brain stem).

We can access the ANS through breath, movement, or touch.

Breathing is one of the few body functions under both conscious and autonomic control.

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top down or from the bottom up.

Pixabay: clip art

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“The Body Keeps the Score“:

In PTSD the critical balance between the amygdala (smoke detector) and the Medial Prefrontal Cortex (watchtower) shifts radically, which makes it much harder to control emotions and impulses.

Neuroimaging studies of human beings in highly emotional states reveal that intense fear, sadness, and anger all increase the activation of subcortical brain regions involved in emotions and significantly reduce the activity in various areas in the frontal lobe, particularly the MPFC.

When that occurs, the inhibitory capacities of the frontal lobe break down, and people “take leave of their senses”:

They may startle in response to any loud sound, become enraged by small frustrations, or freeze when somebody touches them.

Effectively dealing with stress depends upon achieving a balance between the smoke detector and the watchtower.

If you want to manage your emotions better, your brain gives you two options:

You can learn to regulate them from the top down or from the bottom up.

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Meditation is a matter not of theory

Pixabay:Pexel

This is a very healing action!

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“Meditation is a matter not of theory but of practice, just as it does not satisfy your hunger to read a restaurant menu if you are not going to eat something from it.“

Matthew Richard

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My two cents: Meditation is not an intellectual property, reading a book or taking a class helps little.

Our healing will happen internally by our own action.

This action for me was meditating and integrating.

If this does not work for you, then find an action.

As one therapist told me, if you have to limp, get out on the dance floor.

The conditions for those of us with ptsd are never going to be perfect.

Each trigger, I forced myself to stay present for one breath before I avoided, denied or froze. In time that one breath grew to two, then five and eventually ten.

By that time panic had calmed and I guess I ate the elephant a bite at a time. Small actions work.

I could of labeled those stepping stones failures instead they were valued as successes.

We need Little Successes and that happens with daily activity and direction.

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Quickest way to improve from PTSD!

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My healing lacked direction, wasted precious time everyday. Confusion, fear and intense anxiety placed me in survival mode again and again.

Now I would approach healing entirely different. The sequence of what to address first, would be changed.

I looked for help inside and outside the box. Intuitive, holistic healers were used along with many therapies.

The one constant that I relied on was aerobic exercise. Pushing myself to near exhaustion brought exhilaration to my body and mind. This practice would stay.

Next, all effort would be invested in calming the nervous system. Stop the fight or flight mechanism from firing erroneously.

Our triggers firing give PTSD the mirage of power, potency, the ability to cause harm. That huge jolt in the solar plexus (cortisol) can freeze us, numb our bodies in terrifying fear.

This is survival mode, we need to fix this, our broken nervous system first. Yes, our adrenal stress response is out of whack, spotting danger everywhere, even in mundane situations.

Meditation/Mindfulness can be simplified, the big connotation and complexity dropped.

If I were helping someone improve from PTSD today, all effort would be directed at mastering focus on ten breaths.

Ten slow, focused breaths, where thought has faded, can calm that trigger exploding.

Ten breaths can Escort us out of survival mode, relieve the biggest fear PTSD brings us.

Avoidance, hyoervigilance, flash backs, anxiety and fear lose massive power. Symptoms weaken, PTSD loosens it’s grip when we calm down.

If our triggers fail to ignite the fight or flight mechanism, not much left to fear.

In my opinion this is the fastest way to heal and quickest way of having some peace of mind.

Ten slow, focused breaths can change your life.

Simple, specific, concrete and bulletproof.

I have done this, have helped others sit still and focus when triggered.

It is scary and having a mentor to encourage and reassure your safety are very helpful.

Can you master ten breaths?

You can practice anytime, anywhere.

What stands in your way?

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