It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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You CAN Heal The Wounds of Abusive Parenting

“There are clear links between an individual’s psychological coping strategies and his or her physiological coping strategies. Both are established in infancy and toddlerhood and tend to persist through life.” –Sue Gerhardt, “Why Love Matters,” p. 77

Sue Gerhardt paints quite a bleak picture of our chances of being whole and happy if we didn’t receive the love we needed as infants and toddlers. At the end of her excellent book, ‘Why Love Matters,’ she does say that people can heal with extensive and expensive psychotherapy. But what if you can’t afford expensive psychotherapy?

She states in her well-researched book that part of the brain – the part of the prefrontal cortex that is responsible for being able to manage and regulate very painful feelings – does not get developed when we have parents who were unable to lovingly regulate our feelings for us as infants and toddlers. Can this part of the brain develop in adulthood?

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Stand up to Bullies

Do you see a bully?

The Practice:
Stand up to bullies.

Why?

Humans are profoundly social. Woven through the tapestry of our relationships are several major threads. One of these is power. The only question is, do we use it for good or ill?

The abuse of power can be called many things, including intimidation, fraud, discrimination, and tyranny. I’ll use a term that’s down-to-earth: bullying.

Bullies are unfortunately common. Throughout history and right now today, from homes and schoolyards to the halls of power, they create a vast amount of human suffering. What can we do?

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How to Avoid the Accumulation of Trauma

Trauma is the emotional wound that certain experiences can leave behind. As many of you know the effects of trauma can linger for years after the initial experience that caused it has been over.

It leaves behind Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, along with the tendency to project the pain of the experience on to our current situations. It essentially keeps us stuck in our past in a way that is negative and unproductive.

It thwarts our personal growth and can come in the way of the healthiness in our relationships. This includes both personal or business relationships.

It creates addiction and insurmountable substance abuse. The lives that trauma has claimed are countless.

There are different levels of trauma. Some of it is so violent and devastating that there’s really no human way possible to avoid accumulating it. i.e. creating it and storing it in your body on an emotional level. It is my experience that these traumas are able to be healed. It can take years of cellular, energetic clearing, depending on the person.

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Learning to Find Your Voice

“The moment a woman comes home to herself, the moment she knows that she has become a person of influence, an artist of her life, a sculptor of her universe, a person with rights and responsibilities who is respected and recognized, the resurrection of the world begins.” 

– Joan Chittister

“You have found your voice.”

That’s what the subject line of the e-mail said.

I stared at it for the longest time. I didn’t really even think that I wanted to open the note. The subject line was a gift in and of itself.

As I stared at it longer, my eyes welled up with tears. I had waited a long time to hear a message like that, much less read it in print.

Think about that phrase in the context of your own life. Think about someone saying that to you. How would it make you feel?

Do you feel as though you have found your voice, and if so, are you using it the way you want? If you haven’t, do you know what’s keeping you from finding it?

For many (and I’d put myself in this category) it can take a long time to find your own authentic voice. Over the course of my life, I’ve used my voice in a myriad of ways. I’ve used it to tell other people’s stories. I’ve used it to advocate for people running for office or causes I believe in. I’ve used it on behalf of those I love. I’ve used it lovingly, sternly, timidly, and assertively. And, somewhere along the way after using it enough, I’ve finally found my own true voice.

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Empowering Bad Behavior - #TimesUp Now!

Happy New Year! I have been thinking a lot about this first newsletter of 2018. In a perfect world, I might be using this post to share with you some profound, uplifting, spiritual experience that I had ringing in the New Year and setting the tone for the upcoming year, but the fact is I cannot. I rang in the New Year experiencing emotions that ranged from horrified, shocked, and speechless to feeling victimized.

I was at what I thought was going to be a sweet get-together which quickly got hijacked by the bad behavior of a 40-year old woman who, in a nutshell, was committed to proving that she was right and everyone around her was wrong because they were not adhering to her demands and doing and acting as she wanted them to. Although I've only known this woman for a relatively short time, from what I have seen, this woman's bad behavior had nothing to do with New Year's Eve. It has been on display since the day I met her and from what I have heard from people closest to her, it has always been ever-present in her life – igniting toxicity, trauma, and trouble where ever she goes and with whomever she is with.

Yet, just as troubling as this woman's consistent bad behavior has been the reaction of everyone around her. Not wanting to have to "take on her stuff," they let her stuff dictate and infect every move, moment, and mood. That was until New Year's. Seeing the horror, hurt and humiliation reflected in the eyes of people like myself and others who were bystanders as we watched the events of the evening unfold, the people closest to this woman could no longer ignore the proverbial elephant in the living room. It was painfully obvious that the air and joy was being sucked out of the room and that their tendency to choose "harmony" over truth had landed them in hell and empowered bad behavior as well as a negative, venomous presence in the space. 

Interestingly, if I have seen any theme so far in 2018, it has been very much in keeping with the one I just described. I have already received numerous calls and messages from people who can no longer tolerate accepting or enduring the bad or inappropriate behavior of others to rule the roost, be it their children, spouses, co-workers, employers, or friends. They've had it with living in denial, turning a blind eye, trying to make it better, or being blinded by their own wishful thinking. The cost of living in an environment of constant judgment, righteousness, and pessimism has not only brought them down, but also been downright depleting. 

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Spiritual Growth and Sexual Abuse

A new kind of power – authentic power – is replacing the old kind of power – external power. Authentic power is the ability to distinguish love from fear within yourself and choose love no matter what is happening inside you or what is happening outside you. External power is the ability to manipulate and control.

From the perspective of external power villains are powerful and victims are powerless. From the perspective of authentic power, the callous lust of one who abuses others to satisfy his (or her) destructive desires and the rage of those who are abused are both experiences of powerlessness. There is no power in abuse or revenge.

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Let's take a look at what happens inside a woman who has been through trauma...

If you've been following the news, a flood of women speaking out on harassment, abuse and rape are making their presence known.


And as a woman who has experienced it,
 
I wanted to offer some thoughts on how we can move through this with grace and really make a shift.


I also wanted to give a little insight into the mental and emotional gymnastics that a woman might go through as she tries to rationalize and accept what has happened.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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