Posts Tagged ‘PTSD’

A Question from a viewer, Nik, how do I begin, where do I start????

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This post is three years old but just as relevant today.

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Nik, has recently experienced a full blown trigger with a big cortisol shock and panic feelings. Also he inquires how to deplete cortisol and begin healing.
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let me set the stage by describing our attitude towards healing, our practice; No right or wrong, good or bad, judgments or dialogue is involved. Cognitive thought and dissociation are the culprits of strengthening PTSD.
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Print out this simple model, a continuum of inhales, exhales and pauses without any counting, abstract thought or places to get lost. We will address this as a focus skill for the moment, no more no less. Mindfulness brings many connotations and judgments, so we practice this focus skill for now.
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Place your finger on the bottom right corner, starting the inhale, followed by the arched pause, where we hold our breath, before exhaling slowly. Then we pause again before starting a brand new cycle.
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The goal is to train the mind to slow down and let go of thought. The mind wants to go fast, activate the sympathetic nervous system, fill with adrenaline and cortisol, as usual.
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At first keep your eyes open, focusing on the rhythm of the breath as you slow it down. The inhales and exhales are equal, as are the two pauses, a sort of music symphony of the breath.
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Feel the cool inhales, feel the warmer exhales, and balance the body and breath with equal pauses. The inhale sets the pace, speed and duration of the balancing exhale. The first pause after the inhale, is matched by second pause after the exhale, giving the breath a sort of slow melodic feel.
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If a thought emerges, come back to the model, that is it. practice ten minutes twice a day for a week without judgment or goals, except to practice everyday.
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Let us round off the start with “Affirmations” said out loud and recorded everyday. In the shower, driving, working or before bed.
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I strive to accept all of me, the human strengths and frailties, the flawed and exceptional me, as well.
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I strive to accept my current position in life with gratitude, staying present to live fully today.
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I strive to take action in the face of distraction and thought, today!
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good luck, act, give up thinking for a while.
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Nothing can be changed, altered, improved until awareness arrives

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Beech Forest, Germany: Photograph by Martin Hertel, Your Shot
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“Awareness is the greatest alchemy there is.
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Just go on becoming more and more aware,
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and you will find your life
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changing for the better in every possible dimension.
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It will bring great fulfillment.”
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Osho

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The Self

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Pieter de Molijn, Dutch, 1595-1661
Prince Maurits and Prince Frederik Hendrik Going to the Chase, 1625
Oil on wood panel
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“Buddhas Brain”
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“The point is to see through the self and let it relax and disperse.”
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We look before and after, .

A Summer Night

WINSLOW HOMER: “Summer night” – 1890 – oil on canvas, 76.7- 102 cm. – Paris, Musée d’ Orsay
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We look before and after,
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And pine for what is not;
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Our sincerest laughter
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With some pain is fraught;
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Our sweetest songs are those
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that tell of saddest thought.
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~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ode to a Sky Lark”
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Asleep or Awake?

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ARMAND GUILLAUMIN: “Soleil couchant à Ivry (sunset at Ivry)”, 1873 – oil on canvas, 81-65 cm. – Musée d’Orsay, Paris
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Human suffering,
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while it is asleep,
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is shapeless.
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If it is wakened
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it takes the form
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of the waker.
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Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
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We are what we perceive and accept.
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Our judgments become reality, engulfing every waking moment.
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All that exists in this life is this next breath.
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Accept the next seemingly boring, mundane moment as the entire universe.
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Counting our Blessings

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Pantanal, Brazil: Photograph by Mike Bueno
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Better to lose count
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while naming your blessings
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than to lose your blessings
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to counting your troubles.
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~Maltbie D. Babcock~
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What fires together,
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wires together.
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Where we place attention grows,
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where we withhold withers and dies.
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Thought is a prison, judgment a penitentiary! .

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Hard Drink: Photograph by Bernardo Cesare, National Geographic Your Shot
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Be empty of worrying.
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Think of who created thought!
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Why do you stay in prison
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When the door is so wide open?”
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― Rumi —
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Let us deal with judgement about others and ourselves, first.

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Thought is a prison, judgment a penitentiary!
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Acceptance holds the key to one door, letting go the key to another, gratitude completes the trifecta.
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“Think of who created thought”, the Ego, left hemisphere, our cognitive engine.
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The door opens when we sit, let go, empty our mind and just be.
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