Posts Tagged ‘Thoughts’

Why is change so difficult???????????

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Where does all the resistance come from? Why do we isolate, avoid unpleasant situations and people. Why do we chase and covet pleasant situations, people who approve of us, accomplishment, power, status and security?

 

Seems a decent strategy to avoid pain and soak up accomplishment in the short-term. Counterintuitive, knowing this strategy leads to suffering.

 

We have practiced habits, patterns of behavior, some subconscious in origin. We have created an “Ego” to mirror our habitual patterns. Our identity is wrapped around this “Ego”. Be it a banker, athlete, monk, priest, accountant, home maker, actor, philanthropist, etc.

 

 

Inside this cocoon, we judge ourself, find a place where we believe we fit, belong. When we enter a room, our “Ego” scans the occupants and decides if we are superior or inferior, then ranks our status.

 

 

Yes, this is superficial and kind of crazy. First, the “Ego” is a mirage, we are not what we think or judge. Second those occupations are what we do, not who we are.

 

 

Our mind is the issue, also the solution.

 

 

Fear of the unknown and this “Ego” are the main culprits keeping us from changing. We would rather suffer a known situation than risk changing, even when there is a possibility of success.

 

 

The “Ego” covets complete control. Healing means the “Ego” loses more and more control. In reality the “Ego” does not know what is good or bad for us. The “Ego” only, desires complete control.

 

 

Remember he/she generates 60,000 thoughts daily to influence where we place our attention.

 

 

You will definitely encounter your own “Ego” if you take this healing journey. He/She is not evil, he/she is only a follower not our captain.

 

 

Training the mind to empty and focus takes power from the “Ego”.
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Meditation/Mindfulness: A different type of focus, intensity!!!!!! .

 

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Thoughts are endless, 60,000 daily on average.

 

 

Focus must be intense, not anxious or strained. Thoughts will sneak in.

 

 

Trying to suppress thought, leads to the proliferation of more thought.

 

 

Letting thoughts go is the solution. We must let them fade on their own.

 

 

Without intense focus on the breath, letting go is near impossible.

 

 

Practice focus on five breaths at a time. Rest, then focus on another five breaths.

 


Start your practice with 10 to 20 minutes sessions.

 

Forget judging, focus intently, relax and enjoy.

 

No right or wrong, no good or bad, no words, no past or future where we are headed.

 


This is how we train the brain/mind for wellbeing, gratitude and being happy.
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Ways to focus our mindfulness practice on the body ?

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Our mindfulness practice can be focused on connecting our awareness to our body.

 


This is the path that integrates trauma stored in the body. Our fight or flight mechanism does not need to fire for us to be influenced by residual trauma stored in the body.

 

 

When we feel our bodies triggered, an opportunity presents itself.

 

 

We can dissociate into thought, fueling PTSD or we can observe, feel and breathe into the part that is aroused. One fuels PTSD, the other calms and integrates.

 

 

Trauma stored in the body needs an intense exploration from a friendly unbiased observer.   We sit still, focus and listen to our interior world.

 

 

The first time I healed, my body trauma left me last.

 

 

A mindful practice brings intimate awareness of all these sensations without the storyline.

 

 

When we feel anxious, spooked or fearful, another opportunity arises.

 

 

Once our body trauma is felt without the storyline, it calms a little.

 

 

Repeated acceptance and befriending of our nervous system and body will integrate some of our PTSD.
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A follower asks: Marty I have a question for you.

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I was on the receiving end of some pretty intense road rage the other day (car chasing me, guy screaming profanities, slamming his breaks on front of me, cutting me off.). My mind was very much present in the moment, I experienced both fight and flight emotions. Despite that, I was surprisingly calm during it as my two-year-old was in the back, so my concentration was on getting my daughter through it safely. However, the experience was in hindsight, terrifying.

 

Afterwards, perhaps 20 mins later, I was eating lunch and noticed my hand shaking, barely able to hold a glass of OJ. I was shook up. My mind had largely moved on, but my body was still recovering from the incident. I practiced Loving Kindness to the ‘rager’, feeling compassion for his unsettled state of intense anger. That gave me a lot of peace, I wasn’t angry with him and I forgave him instantly. I was able to return to a relaxed state through acceptance and mindfulness meditation. I was relaxed, but the incident left me feeling completely wiped out for the rest of the day. Is this the result of over working the nervous system?

 

And I do wonder why sometimes we remain calm in highly stressful situations, but afterwards our bodies show signs of stress and anxiety? Like, after the fact?
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My two cents: First, emotional trauma fatigues us more than physical exertion. Second, trauma is stored in the right amygdala and in the body. It is all connected. Healing will have to address both areas for relief.

 

The remaining calm during the event can be a hybrid of being frozen (fight, flight or freeze). Remember this mechanism releases cortisol, adrenaline, along with heightened BP, respiration and heart rate. We have tunnel vision, lose our fine motor skills, along with distorted sequential time. We are left without a beginning, middle and end.
We get stuck, we dissociate into thought and emotion. The storyline we add becomes the fuel.

 

You did a great job of sending loving kindness and acceptance.

 

Our intention is not to push it away or destroy it. It happened and real danger was experienced. Give yourself a break, observe the incident without judgment. Know that this has no chance of repeating itself.

 

Hope that helps.
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“People exposed to chronic or repeated traumatic events may also lose faith in humanity or have a sense of hopelessness about the future.” By Matthew Tull

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My two cents: I was ashamed to admit my feelings of hopelessness to myself or anyone else. It felt like a glaring character flaw, a damaged human being to me.

 

My childhood was dominated by hopelessness in the face of my narcissistic caregiver. There was no way to win, to be left alone, to escape the abuse.

 

To a child a parent can be a giant, a monster. My abuse started at an early age before my brain had a chance to develop.

 

Hopelessness and helplessness can be awakened by stress, loss and tragedy.

 

My wellbeing depends on my awareness and mindfulness skills.

 

Dissociation in its most basic description, is leaving this present moment to think about the past or future

 


Dissociation leads me towards hopelessness, inflames doubt, worry, fear, anxiety and anger inside me. Triggers explode if our PTSD is active.

 

Staying present extinguishes that flame.

 

Visually, I have learned to look and see without judgment as I focus intently on my breath.

 

One path leads to suffering, the other brings you to this present moment.


This present moment is all we have, then we move to the next moment, nothing more.
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I did not think my PTSD would return.

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I did not think my PTSD would return.

 

I also, did not think I could heal, could feel inner peace, could be worthy, but I did.

 

 

Then a prescribed blood pressure med, or more accurately its side effect, ignited my nervous system and old triggers.

 

 

I did not think my mind would dissociate so easily without constant awareness.

 

My judgments of healing and mindfulness dreamed of a euphoric life, of few negative thoughts, fewer unworthy images and an easy, happy existence.

 

In reality, my life has changed dramatically but the adversity and daily challenges test my centeredness and calm.

 

It truly is a journey, a journey with daily choices.

 

I could be sad, could be depressed at times. My meditation practice gives me a choice, be present, neutral and calm or suffer.

 

 

I still have worry and doubt at times. Worry creeps in stealthily, unbeknownst to me at first, then I catch  negative emotions arriving.

 

I feel loss at times, then know it is a judgment, air unless I give it power.

 

Gratitude, humility and giving are the tools I use to counter my “Ego’s” need for control.

 

 

I did not think it would be so challenging, so hard, so harsh after so much work.

 

My abusive childhood, my violent, critical upbringing, has left deep ruts in my subconscious.

 

 

At least now, my “Ego” sits in the back seat of my car.

 

It is not perfect but no one said it would be.

 

I am grateful I have tools to make good choices.
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Trauma Victims

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“Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. . . . 

Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.”

 —Bessel van der Kolk

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 My two cents:  Start with becoming friends with the nervous system.

 

 

Use the breath to activate our parasympathetic nervous system (the brakes)

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