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Breaking into Pieces

breakingintopieces Breaking into Pieces

Many years ago a family member offered one of my daughters a shiny new helium balloon.  She was very excited.  We were outside on an overcast and windy day. I attempted to help her hold on to it, thinking it might fly away.  She was an independent three year old that wanted to do it alone.  The balloon was loosely attached by a clip to her dress.    Eventually the clip failed and the  balloon  slipped from her grasp.  We all watched the balloon float farther and farther away.  My little girl fell apart into a inconsolable storm of pain, loss and anger.  I knew it wasn’t just the loss of the balloon.  We had just moved to Alaska from the East coast with out her father.  The balloon was another thing removed from her small world.  I will never forget her pain.  I will never forget feeling so lost and helpless as a parent.  It seemed like I could not ease her heartbreak.

Most adults have experienced the same overwhelming emotions and sense of loss my child did at three; just for very different things. Often we experience our losses with extraordinary anger, pain and grief; because it is tied to something else.  Regardless of our age, we can loose control in the surface wave of emotions, that pull us back into thick muddied waters holding  past events.

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What Heals Your Ego Wounded Self?

close-up-shot-of-hand-holding-yellow-leaf-of-heart-shape-with-sun-picture-id1036050176 What Heals Your Ego Wounded Self?

The journey of healing our ego wounded self is a profound and deeply sacred journey.

“Does the wounded self ever get healed?”
“How does the wounded self get healed?”
“What happens to the wounded self as we heal?”

My ego wounded self, like everyone’s, came into being when I didn’t receive the love I needed and I decided that it was my fault – that I wasn’t good enough. I hid away my core self and went about trying to figure out how to be to get love, avoid pain, and feel safe. I developed many of false beliefs about myself and others, and learned to be very judgmental toward myself to have control over getting myself to do things “right”, so that others would like me and not get angry at me or reject me.

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59 Hits

Healing Procrastination

procrastination Are you a procrastinator? Are you ready to get unstuck?

Oscar was stuck in his life; the following issue he presented in our session was one example of how he was stuck:

“My parents are coming to visit tomorrow and, as has been my pattern, my house is a dirty mess. I usually spend the day before they arrive frantically cleaning, which I will do today, but this time I’d like to do it differently and not beat myself up and judge myself. How to get the tasks done with peace, joy, and compassion? It’s a challenge because I feel pressured and get angry with myself for letting things go.”

“Oscar, there must be a good reason that you keep your house a mess and then feel frantic when you need to clean it up. How old were you when you first started resisting things like cleaning up your room? And how old were you when you started to beat yourself up for letting things go?”

“I think I started resisting things when I was very young. I resisted getting toilet trained, and I resisted getting good grades. My mother was so controlling and invasive that I think I learned these ways of not being controlled by her.”

“So the part of you resisting is two or three?’

“Yes, that sounds right. And now that I think of it, my mom was very judgmental and I think I took over the job of judging myself when I started junior high school.”

“So you have an inner system with a young adolescent trying to control you with anger and judgment, like your mother did, and then a 2-3 year old not wanting to be controlled and resisting. As long as these parts of you are in charge, you are not going to be able to clean up with peace and joy. Is it just about cleaning up that you procrastinate, or do you do it with other issues?”

“I do it most of the time with everything.”

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211 Hits

The Surprising Healing Power of the Loving Adult

lovingadult Discover why you cannot heal without a spiritually connected loving adult.
Our loving adult is who we are when our intent is to learn about loving ourselves and others, and we are connected with our spiritual guidance.

Before Inner Bonding, I practiced as a traditional psychotherapist, and I often wondered why true healing seldom occurred. By true healing, I mean that people left their work with me feeling a deep sense of self-worth and inner safety, with relatively little anxiety and depression, and they knew how to manage their pain and they understood how to create a loving relationship. I didn’t know how to accomplish all this for myself, so of course I couldn’t help others to do it. Yet I was doing all I had learned in school, all I had learned from books, all I had learned from my own extensive psychotherapy, and all I had learned from the many other ways I had sought healing.
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267 Hits

Let’s Be Ambassadors of Reconciliation

first-spring-flowers-crocus-picture-id506139864 Let’s Be Ambassadors of Reconciliation

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”  — Rumi

The other day, the priest at my church said something that caught my attention. He spoke about becoming what he called an “Ambassador of Reconciliation.”

“Are there individuals you have chosen to walk away from?” he asked. “Are there individuals you have chosen not to walk toward?”

If so, he said, then perhaps you should see yourself as an Ambassador of Reconciliation: a person who can bring reconciliation to a person or a situation that needs healing.

This got me thinking. Where can I bring healing to my life? Where can I be an Ambassador of Reconciliation? Who have I walked away from? Who have I not walked toward?

I am a big believer that we all need healing. I believe we are all walking around wounded, and that those wounds play out in all of our relationships.

Whether we care to admit it or not, sometimes we don’t even know why we are so angry, why we are so hurt, or why we have such a strong reaction to a certain person or situation in our lives.

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158 Hits

How to Move On & Put Past Hurts Behind You

how-to-move-on How to Move On & Put Past Hurts Behind You
Everyone makes mistakes and goes through difficult times in life. But it’s not your mistakes or your difficulties that define you, but rather what you learn from them that truly matters. How you think about the past can be an excellent teacher and a great source of motivation for learning how to move on, or it can interfere with your happiness and hold you back from living your best life.

So, how do you put the past behind you?

Here are four tips I’d like to share with you today to help you heal your old wounds and move on to a better and brighter future.

1. Practice Forgiveness

Whether it’s forgiving yourself for a mistake that you made or forgiving someone who you believe harmed you, forgiveness is one of the best possible things you can do to heal yourself from the past.

You may have heard the saying, “Holding onto anger and resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” It’s true. When you continue to be angry and bitter about something that has happened in the past, the only person you end up hurting is yourself.

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574 Hits

3 Powerful Ways to End Your Suffering

sun-rising-on-half-dome-picture-id506319316 3 Powerful Ways to End Your Suffering

“I want. I want… I want…. It’s one of the most dangerous phrases you will ever speak.”~Jan

How can five letters hold such power?

I WANT has the immense and immediate ability to rip you away from the grace and power of the present moment while disconnecting you from the joy, passion, and peace that is your birthright.

In short, these two tiny words equal suffering. Let me show you how.

end your sufferingTwo Tiny Words, An Immense Amount of Suffering

I wanted to be happy. I wanted to be smart. I wanted to be successful. I wanted financial independence. I wanted to have kids. Lots of them. And I wanted to be loved (for a while I thought by George Clooney!?!) Oh, and I also wanted to have long, thin, beautiful legs. Seriously, Gisele Bundchen legs!

I wanted it all, with all of passion and conviction I could muster.

But my wants remained loftily stubborn. Out of reach. In fact, for the majority of my life, the absence of checkmarks on my ‘want list’ (and my bitchier days, my ‘deserve list’) made me firmly believe that life was against me.

I was a classic victim, sure that I had an oversized bullseye on my back. My life, I felt, was downright unfair, so I took every opportunity to remind the universe of this fact.

All because my wants weren’t showing up.

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3427 Hits

How to Be Here Now

woman-practice-yoga-with-friends-in-gym-picture-id918619002 How to Be Here Now

Ram Dass was one of the first teachers I resonated with when I stepped onto the spiritual path. He is a revered master of bhakti, or devotional yoga. I came across his classic Be Here Now at Russell Library in Middletown, Connecticut, while browsing the religion/spirituality section. My account was in good standing (an unusual state for me at Russell Library, since I was always overdue on something or other), so I took Be Here Now home. Since that day, I’ve considered Ram Dass an inadvertent punk-rock spiritual guide.

For those unfamiliar with Be Here Now, it’s a divine cookbook, divided into three parts. The first covers ex-Harvard professor Richard Alpert’s 1967 voyage to India, where, through a series of incredible events, he met Bhagavan Das, a fellow seeker who introduced him to his guru, Neem Karoli Baba leading Alpert to become Ram Dass. The third section is a series of practices from meditation to yoga (and much more) to help readers as they begin their spiritual adventures.

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577 Hits

Applying Tara Brach’s RAIN Practice of Everyday Life

purple-flowers-behind-the-wet-window-with-rain-drops-blurred-street-picture-id695633294 Applying Tara Brach’s RAIN Practice of Everyday Life

When I was just beginning to get interested in spirituality and meditation, I stumbled upon Buddhist teacher Tara Brach at my local library. I checked out her book Radical Acceptance during a time when the only thing I was willing to radically accept was deep self-loathing and an overall feeling of discontent with the world. Thanks to Tara’s insights, I began to awaken from what she calls the “trance of unworthiness.” She explained it to me like this:

“We might know we judge ourselves, but we don’t often get how much that squeeze of ‘something’s wrong with me’ is a part of everything, so that in every interaction on some level, we’re not free to be as spontaneous or playful or alive, because we’re afraid we’re not going to be the person who’s accepted by another. Even when it’s not the deep ‘I’m damaged goods,’ there’s still a sense of not enough.”




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710 Hits

Healing Our Nation Starts From Within

landscape-of-sunset-on-the-field-picture-id697308736 Healing Our Nation Starts From Within

“If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.” — Chinese 

I’ve been thinking so much lately about what can bring us together and what can bridge our deep divide. All kinds of ideas have come to mind.

Some are so very basic, like “vote! vote! vote!” It’s a gift and it’s our civic duty, so let’s exercise that right on November 6 (which just happens to be my birthday).

I’ve also thought about the importance of seeking out our neighbors. It’s such a simple idea, and yet, it’s an important step in building community, connection and common ground.

So are Sunday dinners. I’ve talked about the power of them before and it’s an idea that I’m really hoping will catch on. Invite people from all different walks of life — people from different races, people who hold different political views, people who have different life experiences than yours. After all, if we want to bring people together, then starting in our own homes is a powerful place to start.

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1216 Hits

"Need Some Healing Light?"

japanese-zen-garden-with-three-candle-lights-in-row-at-blue-picture-id976569880 "Need Some Healing Light?"

Every evening for many years, I continue with this little ritual that I’d like to share. Although it’s quite simple, I find it’s really powerful to have an intended thought powered by light. The simple act of lighting a candle every night for me reminds me that all thought has power, and keeping a candle lit safely for a while helps me to send and keep positive thoughts on a desired intention.

Candles have been used since the dawn of time for meditations, blessings, spiritual and religious ceremonies, healings, prayers, celebrations, abundance, psychic development, to feel comforted and protected, to hold the memory of a loved one, and yes … even romance! The uses are endless.

Many people choose candles by scent, some choose by color, while others are simply fine with a plain candle, or even a tea light in a votive purchased from a dollar store. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. No matter what you choose, it’s the positive use of the candle that makes it special.

Every day people use candles in a positive way without even knowing it. Ask yourself: “How many times have you blown out a candle on a birthday cake?” What you’re actually doing is that when you close your eyes to make a wish (holding that special thought) and then blowing out the candle, is that you’re actually sending off the wish while bringing your desires to light.


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643 Hits

The Blame Game – How to Take your Power Back Today!

angel-with-a-violin-picture-id869171782-1 The Blame Game – How to Take your Power Back Today!

BLAME

Man is this a tough one for some of us. It sure was for me.

Blame was my go to. It was my only recourse many times. “It’s not my fault or don’t blame me” were common responses when I was in “trouble” both as a child and even as an adult. I found a senses of freedom in blaming someone else… for my bad day or bad mood, my ruined event or experience… It was “easier” to blame someone for the seemingly bad things in my life…

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1171 Hits

Is Your Self-Help Helping?

selfhelp Is Your Self-Help Helping?

Market studies show that the personal development/self-improvement industry is growing at a rapid pace. More and more people are spending more and more money to help them lose weight, improve relationships, manage stress, attain success, increase productivity, achieve balance, and find fulfillment.

Yet despite the increase of people investing in self-help tools, techniques, technologies, teachers, and coaches, daily I hear from people who are stuck. They feel helpless, resigned, and frustrated after months or years of: 

  • being on diet and exercise routines yet not seeing a shift in their weight or inches
  • trying to adhere to a budget yet never getting out of debt
  • practicing yoga and meditation daily yet still being consumed/paralyzed by stress and anxiety
  • looking for “the one” yet finding no one special
  • wanting to start, ramp up, or change careers yet continuing to sit at the same desk or lie on the same couch

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761 Hits

Healing Depression with Meditation – Part 1

man-with-a-cup-of-cappuccino-with-a-sad-face-picture-id901912720 Healing Depression with Meditation – Part 1

Most people get depressed at times, and many suffer greatly from bouts of major depression. At the heart of the suffering is the experience of severed belonging—of being imprisoned in the pain of separation, unworthiness, unlovability and hopelessness. These two talks explore several meditation practices that reconnect us with our natural aliveness, open heartedness and awareness. They empower us to develop our inner resources, energize us to awaken, free us from rumination and remind us that we are not our depressive thoughts and feelings. The growing realization of the loving awareness that is our home heals the very roots of depression.

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673 Hits

Expanded Awareness: Turning the Tables on Your Brain

alzheimers-picture-id912219896 Expanded Awareness: Turning the Tables on Your Brain
Sometimes the enormous success of science leads to some wrong assumptions. In the case of brain science, the advent of sophisticated brain scans opened a window to the brain as never before. It used to be said that figuring out the human brain was like putting a stethoscope to the roof of the Astrodome to figure out the rules of baseball. That's no longer true.

In neuroscience, as brain function becomes more and more illuminated, the assumption grows stronger that our brains control our behavior. This idea isn't true except in a limited sense that needs to be carefully defined. There are things that your brain controls, such as the fight-or-flight response. But for the vast majority of brain functions, you have a choice how to respond. "My brain made me do it" doesn't hold water even when it comes to things we want to blame it for. Take mental disorders, for example. If you are depressed, there may be a family history involved, which suggests a genetic component, and the drugs to treat depression act on the brain, without a doubt. But consider the following:
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1943 Hits

Let Toxic Relationships Go For Good

freedom-concept-picture-id935739044 Let Toxic Relationships Go For Good

Have you ever severed a relationship, but even though the person was no longer in your life, you still continued the relationship in your head? Consider that the very act of keeping it alive even if only in your mind means you are still in it. Perhaps that happens when you feel a relationship is unrequited, and you’re not letting go, or you’re nursing a resentment because you won’t, or lack the self-awareness to see your part in the dynamic.

This is not about self-blame at all. It’s about self-accountability and freedom.

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1213 Hits

How can we Heal our Heart when it Closes?

silhouette-of-man-on-bench-picture-id512131741 How can we Heal our Heart when it Closes?

When I talk about opening the heart, what exactly do we do?

Well, one thing you do, is you acknowledge that you feel ‘closed.’ That’s the first thing. You don’t make believe you’re open hearted, which most people do much of the time. They’re making believe they are open-hearted, while they’re aloof a little more than they’re feeling themselves to be. They always end up feeling a little hypocritical.

First thing is to acknowledge what you’re feeling: “My heart is closed.”


I’ll tell you there are numerous practices for this, and you have to find one that’s comfortable for you. For example, I work a lot with my breath, and I breathe in and out of my heart, and when I’m breathing out in my heart, I allowed whatever love I can muster for anything to be offered to people, to beings around me, and when I’m breathing in, I’m taking the existence of the universe into myself, and I keep feeling this breath going back and forth, and the breathing out is, “May all beings be free of suffering, may all beings be peaceful, may all beings be happy,” and I say:

“Hard-hearted though I am, and closed hearted though I am, I am going to use my energies to the extent that my mind and my heart can do it for the benefit of others. I’m gonna wish them well.”

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1400 Hits

An Attempt to Solve a Problem

tryingtosolveaproblem An Attempt to Solve a Problem

I first learned about Dr. Gabor Maté through his groundbreaking book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, which explores his work with addicted individuals living on Vancouver’s skid row, as well as being an exceptionally comprehensive delineation of just what the hell addiction is, its causes, its effects, and so, so, so much more. Aside from that, Dr. Maté is a renowned speaker and bestselling author, highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics, including addiction, stress, and childhood development.

 

I’d heard that Gabor believes addiction is not the problem but rather a person’s attempt to solve a problem in his or her life. I reached out to him because I wondered, among other things, how he would define addiction and what his perspective was on people using addiction to solve their life problems.

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554 Hits

What looked like a suicide attempt was the start of my recovery

jogging-outdoors-on-autumn-morning-picture-id517191808 Hospital

I can’t breathe. F#$k. F#$k. F#$k. I can’t breathe! My eyes pop open as a full-body panic attack sets in. Through my haze, I see my hands strapped to the bed. Oh, f#$k. Not again. I’m gasping for air.

 

There are tubes coming out of my mouth. This is new. I raise my head and realize I’m in a hospital. But where? How did I get here? What the f#$k happened? That’s when I see my parents sitting in chairs at the end of my bed, near a window. The heartbreak and despair in their eyes are unmistakable. A nurse stands nearby. She’s telling me to calm down and let the tubes do the breathing for me, but I’m too panicked. I begin thrashing in the bed, trying to break the woven nylon straps that are keeping me from ripping the tubes out of my mouth. Later I’ll find out this is the reason I was restrained in the first place.

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861 Hits

Sometimes All I Am Is a Dark Emptiness

Sometimes All I Am Is a Dark Emptiness Sometimes All I Am Is a Dark Emptiness

Because I have lived so much of my life caught in a cycle of addiction, recovery, relapse, repeat, a quote from Zen master Ikkyū Sojun—Sometimes all I am is a dark emptiness—sums up and shades much of my experience. I’m no stranger to relapsing and the pain, shame, guilt, confusion, and heartbreak that come along with it. Nor am I a stranger to detoxes, rehabs, emergency rooms, jail cells, and psych hospitals. What is strange for me is that after my last relapse, I began to care about relapsing. In the past, when I found myself in a place where I was willing to pick up a bottle of vodka or succumb to depression, I didn’t give a damn about the consequences. Fights, handcuffs, lies, withdrawals, self-cutting, hospitals, vomiting, and pissing blood—none of it mattered. I meant nothing to me.

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943 Hits