Thursday, February 25, 2010

Can I Make It?

A week ago, I was wondering in life if I would ever come to a point in my healing where things really changed in a way that was something I could go "that's it - I've got it!" I was beginning to get frustrated and tired of this process after several years of working intensely on things. The entire ordeal of the rash that started a few months back was almost the last straw that I could take.

Life was not easy for me and these recent developments have pushed my limits to the max and made me question everything that I know as well as all that I have learned. I am a person with great courage and determination to go through all that life has given me, but even some of these recent events challenged me to the point of almost exhaustion. There is a part of me that understands the higher purpose for this but when your body becomes weary and bruised to the bone, the capacity to go on is diminished.

So many people in my situation or other situations often give up or turn to alcohol, drugs, work, or other things to numb themselves from these things. I had my own ways that I numbed myself out. It may appear that it is far easier to just numb one's self than to find the strength and courage to face these things head on. However, if we continue to run from the fear and numb our pain, than we are only inviting a life full of heartache, despair and one that just seems to be too much to deal with.

Trauma changes our biology and it alters who we truly are as a person. Child abuse and trauma take the power away from the victim rendering them as participants in their body but not in control of who they are. No matter what that individual desires, without going into the process of fully discovering, acknowledging and releasing all that has gone on, these things will continue to hold power over the individual. It is like a short circuit in the brain. The effects of trauma are biological, physical and mental.

But just as I was coming to the end of my rope, the question of blog entry, (Are You Ready To Let Go?) came front and center with me. A war was waging that day within me to let go of something that I could not put into words. However, I knew it was there. At the same time, it was difficult to even begin thinking about letting go of it. After all, it was something I had known for many years and it was something that was such a part of me. So as the session continued, I found myself being very sensitive to all that was going on but still feeling like I was coming up against the short circuited part of my brain. The part that said, you'll never get through this - you can't do this - you're not worthy - you just won't make it - you're not good enough! As badly as I wanted to let go of that part of me, I realized just how difficult it was because it had grown so interconnected within me that to pluck it out meant I had to give up something that was so attached. As the session went, Dr. Canali did acupuncture on me and my body was so afraid of it, that it was hunched over trying to protect itself. Literally, my body was shielding itself from the acupuncture.

When I left the office that day, I felt discouraged because I didn't really think we had made any progress. By the time I got home from the 5 hour drive that night, my neck, shoulders, arm and back were in pain. They were stiff, sore and I began to blame it on sitting in the car for that long. Of course by the next morning, the anger was coming through in full force. I felt like I was pissed off the moment I woke up and really didn't understand why. My body ached and I felt horrible. Of course, Dr. Canali reminded me that this was all part of the process and to not go into the fear of it. He encouraged me to work on myself on the table which I did and that helped a lot. But just as he said, by the next day, I would feel much better and I did.

I woke up that next day feeling much lighter, freer and completely different than the day before. In the past, I've had moments where I felt better and more free and more relaxed but somehow, I knew this was different. It was a feeling of being connected to my heart and just not overwhelmed like I normally am. I noticed the anger was not anywhere near the level I normally have to deal with. It was a strange feeling and unusual because I don't think I have ever experienced it before.

Several days later and through a very stressful week, I'm still feeling very light, connected and centered. It is hard to explain but it is a wonderful feeling. This is a week later and it is still with me. I'm noticing that I'm able to talk to people and not feel so shy or nervous or sense the complete terror in my stomach. I'm noticing that I'm seeing people in a different light than I ever have and that feeling is coming from compassion instead of judgment and fear. Anger has been replaced by a willingness to be in the moment, not be bashed around by the moment. The source of anger seems to be dwindling and decreasing unlike any other moment in my life. I've had experiences in the past few days where I've had some deep connections with people I hardly know and felt confident enough to share things that I do understand. I'm experiencing a confidence in myself unlike any I've ever witnessed before. The stress of the weak did not cripple me. In fact, the stress just seemed to flow through and out of me. Yes, I felt the emotions at times and the affects of it but it didn't stay. It didn't last. If I acknowledged it, I noticed that it just sort of went poof!

As I shared this with Dr. Canali today, he reminded me that what I'm expeirencing is normal and it is the way life was intended to be. I'm thinking - wow - I like this! Bring this on some more! Give me more of it! Once again, to bring this point home in a crystal clear way - - this is not something that I get my mind to focus on or wish for or do whatever else that many do. It is something that has come from the inside out at the core level of my being. It is not something I'm doing or creating - it is just happening and it is just coming from the true part of who I am. It's almost boggling to my mind to think about, let alone experience.

I'm sure there will be some more bumps along the way and I may stub my toe on the rocks in the path but for now, this is one heck of an experience. To think a week ago, I was at the end of my rope and to see where I am now is making me want to jump up and down for joy! Sometimes we truly need to get to the end of our rope in order to find out there's a ledge to stand on below us. That takes a lot of courage and faith to let go of the rope but if we don't we'd just tire our self out all the while missing the ledge to stand on below.

And the best part about this, is all of this is real! It isn't someone's idea of what it should be or some result of some method that gives you warm fuzzies. It is a part of the core of my being. It is now a part that shows the real person I am. It comes from deep within and now it is part of me. I am reclaiming my life and for the first time, I'm truly getting a glimpse of what that life is about. It's beautiful and its a joy filled moment that is deeply rooted within me. That's the part that makes it so special because when our experiences and our healing are deeply rooted within the body, they are as real as you can get!

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

David And Goliath Meet Fear

For most of my life, fear has been one of my driving forces in all that I do, the decisions that I make and the things that I choose. Fear is prevalent. It is everywhere and in everything and is often a part of us. However, the thing I'm learning in life is just that I can stand up and face the fear head on, and then let it go.

In my early days of therapy, I would remember my therapist asking me to "name" the fear that was coming up and then we would talk through what is the worst thing that could happen. Once we did that, we would talk about what I could do if that happened. By doing this, I soon found out that most of my fears were just not as big and powerful as I thought they were. Yet, when you are looking at them face to face, they are often gigantic monsters.

Do you remember the bible story of David and Goliath? Where David took his little slingshot and a pebble and brought down the giant? Just think of fears in that way. They seem like they are bigger and more empowering than us but all we need to do is use our little pebble of courage and determination to take them on. Once we decide to do this and let go of the fear that holds us, the giant falls to the ground.

Fear though can show up in so many ways and often we do not recognize it. From the speeches of politicians, to the talking loud mouths of pundits on TV and the media doing their daily news reports, it is all filled with fear. Even the weather forecasts these days are fear based. Take a moment and think about this. When you turn on the TV or whatever it is that you're listening to, you hear them talking about some issue, some concern or topic. And if you take a moment to look at that and see the "fear" behind what is being discussed, how does that impact you? For example, let's say we turn on the TV and they are talking about some terrorist plot that is being cooked up but they do not have concrete details, just that it might involve a football stadium or some other public place. What's your reaction? Do you get a twinge of unease within your body that maybe the football game you are going to could be the possible target of the terrorists? Most likely you do at some level. Well, guess what - the media has been successful in instilling fear within you that you didn't have before you watched or listened to the program. I'm not saying you need to hide your head in the sand and be oblivious to what is happening in our world, but I am urging you to realize that most of the stuff is fear based. And if you don't believe me, put on your objective glasses and pay attention to what it is that you take in to your eyes and ears from the media and talking pundits in a day. Evaluate it and look at it. Don't just accept it.

Another source of fear is in the medical world of health or what we perceive health is. All of us have been through a moment where either our self or our loved ones run up against a physical condition. What do we do first? Please be honest here. Let me repeat this. What do we do first? We usually try to find something we can take to alleviate the pain, the condition or situation. If we have nothing that works, than we head to the doctor. We may demand tests or medications or procedures to "cure" us of this condition. But if you take a moment and look within all that's going on, fear is alive and well. Fear feeds upon us and we feed upon fear. It fuels all kinds of biological conditions and most of us are oblivious that this is going on. Yes, sometimes a doctor is needed to treat things. That's not the point I am trying to make here. The point is, when we come up against a biological condition in our bodies, let us first look within ourselves as to the cause instead of going into the fear that will only make things worse. If you do this, everything will be more different than you can imagine.

Fear can also show up as anger where someone is so angry and they try to bite everyone's head off at every chance. They rule with control and they belittle anyone that tries to alter what is going on. They can be loud and boisterous making sure that everyone hears them or they can talk a mile a minute dominating every conversation. In the end though, it boils down to the fear these people face and by using these different behaviors, it adds a layer of protection between them and the outside world. After all, if the fears of a person are great, it can be to much to connect with anyone around them in a meaningful and deep way.

Fear often has a way of keeping us from truly walking the path that we so deserve and healing from those moments in life that were very difficult. It is much easier to paste a fake smile on our face and try to convince the world around us that we have 'moved on' from all that we may have experienced. I know this is true because I've spent a lifetime doing it. All of these things get locked up in the body. They are somatically a part of us just as is any body part is a part of us. While we try to separate the two, fear and somatic memory components are as much us as we are them. And while you're trying to convince the world around you that you have moved on, deep down within yourself (if you let yourself go there), you know that this isn't true. I completely understand just how difficult it is to stand up and grasp fear in your hands. It seems to be much easier to run away from it as fast and hard as you can but in the end, fear will find you out.

There are so many ways fear shows up and if we begin to keep an eye out for it, we'll start to see it. Fear is an energy drain and it robs us of so much in life. When fear builds up to a high level in our lives, we become overwhelmed and we either deal with it or it deals with us. Yes, sometimes we can go for a long time and it seems like everything is fine but deep down, our body is hurting and getting ready to explode like a volcano. We'll see this through aches and pains, weight issues, medical conditions, depression, anxiety and so on and so forth. These conditions are a result of something in our body that needs to be healed and something that we are hanging on to. It is the direct result of fear showing up and controlling our lives.

Waving a magic wand to get rid of it would be nice but there is no such thing. I get messages all the time about "products" or "healing methods" that allow you to bypass the fear. I have heard this so many times that I cannot even keep track of it. Yet, each person, healing method or product is convinced that something they offer is the key to your well being. Unfortunately, there is no way around fear. The only way to do it is to go head first into it and take back the power it has robbed from your body. You can create the illusion for yourself that method or product x works but if you're really and truly honest with yourself, you'll see the fear hiding deep in the shadows.

Again, I know it isn't easy to do this but once you take that pebble and put it in your slingshot, you too can drop the giant, Goliath, to the ground. It may not be easy nor as instant as we are accustomed to, but it will be life changing and long lasting. That which you can feel in your body and connect with is where healing comes from. It does not come from methods, procedures and products. The methods and procedures that have you totally connected with your mind and body that allow you to go into the fear - now that's the way to heal!

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Are You Ready To Let Go?

The other day, I went in a for a session with Dr. Canali and I proudly displayed what was left of the rash I've been dealing with. (See blog post about the rash from Jan 5, 2010 - Body Memories, Abuse Memories and Trauma Recovery ) He looked at me and said, "Are you ready to let go of that today?" At first, the question struck me as odd and my immediate response was of course "yes, I am!"

However, as I sat there and thought about this like I do with everything, I wondered in my mind - was I really ready to let go of it. It was hard being honest with myself because deep down, I wasn't sure if I was. Here I had responded to Dr. Canali that I was ready to let go but part of me said - you really don't believe that do you?

Once I got on the table, I looked at Dr. Canali and stated that you know I thought I was ready to let go of it but to be completely honest, I'm not sure if I am. As I explained, this rash seems like a part of me just as any other body part. To let go or get rid of the rash means I'm giving up something about myself and if I do that, I'm not sure what will replace it.

You see the fear of what is beneath it (even if it has the potential of being something good) is unknown. It isn't a hopeful oh my gawd there's possiblity there. It is more of losing a major part of yourself that you've known all your life. It is like losing your identity that you come to know all your life even if the identity is twisted and not completely accurate.

See how difficult that could be to give this up? We all have these parts of ourselves. Even if they are parts we don't like about ourselves, they might have been there to help us survive situations or get us through life. Without them, we may fear that we cannot survive or continue in life even though that may not be the case. Survival in our early years has a tremendous impact on how we view our lives from that point forward.

This is part of the ego. It is a part of the ego that desires control and feeds off our own energy. To allow this part of the ego to continue its neurotic feeding frenzy on us, aids in the denial of our true self. I'm not going to write that it is easy to let go because I know from first hand experience just how difficult this is, how much control the ego and these things have over us and just how it can affect us physically.

As I went into the session, I came up against this part of me that did not want to let go. Was I successful that day in letting go? I'm not sure. I don't feel like I was or I completely was at this point. In fact, it felt like a war was waging within me that day from where Dr. Canali and his assistant, Quayny, were trying to assist me in moving forward from the part that wasn't about to let go. In fact, he did some acupuncture on me that day and the needle he had in my heart center (think that was what he called it) had to stay in for some time. He told me that my body was holding on to it for dear life.

The next day, I felt terrible in my body and I felt the anger full force. Fortunately I was able to work on myself on the table and release some of this through my body. I feel much better now than I did the next day after the session. A lot has moved through and out of me which is good.

You know, I so badly want to flee from the effects of all that I've been through and I wish I could wave a magic wand to do it. I know there is no such thing that exists because the way through this is for me to go within myself, into and through the fear and allow things to be let go. That's a process and one that isn't necessarily easy. I'm just glad I could be honest that day with Dr. Canali about really being afraid to let go of these things because I learned so much about myself that day.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Friday, February 19, 2010

Our Body - Constantly Changing

In the book, Discovering The Body's Wisdom by Mirka Knaster, it talks about how much our body changes. I've always been fascinated with this section of the book and feel it is very appropriate for this blog.

Pg 46
We are not "a frozen anatomical structure, but literally a river of intelligence and information and energy that's constantly renewing itself," says Deepak Chopra. Every second of our lives we are remaking ourselves more effortlessly and spontaneously than we change our clothes. For example, in less than one year, we replace 98 percent of all the atoms in our bodies.

-- a new liver every six weeks
-- a new skeleton every three months
-- a new stomach lining every five days
-- a new skin once a month
-- the raw material of our DNA comes and goes every six weeks

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Antidepressants - Expensive Tic Tacs?

According to a article published on Jan 29, 2010, "The Depressing News About Antidepressants", studies suggest that popular drugs are no more effective than a placebo.

While I know that statement may come as a surprise to many and many may completely disagree with it, I'm actually learning just how true this is. At one time, I was on antidepressants as well and I actually believe they helped me during that time. It was a time where I was so depressed and suicidal that I needed something to help lift me up from that. During this time, I had very little support but did start to see a therapist on a regular basis. To me, the medications helped lift me up enough that therapy could work and I could begin moving forward in my life. Until that point, I was on a downward spiral.

My Own Medication Experiences
Than if I go back to some of my own experiences and that I've personally witnessed, I saw where drugs were the crutch and without them, the mind was much stronger than anyone wanted to believe. We often turn to the medical doctors, tests and medications first instead of taking inventory of all aspects of our lives.

I still remember when my grandfather needed pain pills after a car accident and since we lived in a rural area and it being the weekend, no medications refills could be obtained. My mother however, took some of our little candies from Halloween and convinced my grandfather that these were super pain pills. He went from being cranky and complaining about being in pain to falling asleep and having no pain. Little did he realize, that he had been given sugar candy and yet in his mind, these were pain pills.

In my own life, I've reached for medications that I thought helped but in fact, without them I could accomplish the same results. Of course that meant, I needed to address certain issues of my life and make changes in my life but in the long run, this was much better than a continued dependence upon drugs. I'm not talking minor physical complications either but situations involving allergies, migraines, stomach ulcers and some of the latest things that I experienced involving severe itching and rashes. Actually the more I tried the regular medications and drugs, the more some of my situations worsened.

Long Term Medication Harm
One thing that is important to note is that when you take medications, in order for it to alleviate some symptom or situation, you are suppressing something else in your body. Some normal process that helps keep your body in balance is now suppressed and that has implications on down the road at some point in your life. So, just because something seems to work on the surface, it may be doing untold harm to your body in ways that you're not even aware of. Most of the drug commercials on TV talk more about all the side effects than anything else, which I believe is very telling and proves the point that I'm trying to make here.

The Placebo Effect
In this Newsweek article, the following was stated which again lends credibility to what I am talking about.

But ever since a seminal study in 1998, whose findings were reinforced by landmark research in The Journal of the American Medical Association last month, that evidence has come with a big asterisk. Yes, the drugs are effective, in that they lift depression in most patients. But that benefit is hardly more than what patients get when they, unknowingly and as part of a study, take a dummy pill—a placebo. As more and more scientists who study depression and the drugs that treat it are concluding, that suggests that antidepressants are basically expensive Tic Tacs.

I'm Now Drug Free
For me, I am no longer on any medications. At one time, I was taking Zoloft for depression, Claritin for allergies, Imitrex for migraine headaches, Tagamet for my stomach problems and Tylenol for daily headaches. While I was taking these, I was told by medical professionals that most likely I would be on many of these for the rest of my life considering all that I had been through. Even though I had no clue or real understanding that I would one day be able to kick these drugs out the window, something deep inside of me urged me to keep searching. It was that little tiny voice inside that told me there was more to these things than I currently understood. The only thing I am currently taking is Fish Oils and there is a wealth of benefits that this naturally occurring substance helps our body with.

How Did I Do It?

As I went into some intense therapy where I started to face down the fears in my own life and let go of all that locked me into events of the past, my body began to change physically. So many conditions that I and the medical establishment thought were untreatable, were in reality something that could be changed. It wasn't a magic pill or a miraculous healing that did this. It was going into the fears of my life and the hidden corners of my mind to release all that was there. We all have situations in our current life or our past where things have happened to us and unless we find a way to allow that energy to exit, we hold it in the cells, muscles and tissues of our body. It is not until we fully release those things, that we truly get our lives back and function the way our bodies are meant to function.

Designed For Health And Balance
Our bodies are designed for health and balance. Our bodies are currently changing. In the book by Mirka Knaster, "Discovering The Body's Wisdom" on page 46 it says, in less than one year, we replace about 98 percent of all the atoms in our bodies. When I read that, I am astounded at just how much power our bodies have and how they biologically can change. If we continue to suppress their functions with the same information that we have relied upon all our lives, than we inhibit the change in our lives. Humans are evolutionary in that we should be changing and evolving. It is built into our biology. Let us not be content with the status quo because this is what we were raised to believe or what society offers as a total explanation to life. Let us all go beyond that and see the potential that exists even when we cannot begin to see a glimpse of it through our eyes.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fish Oils Show Promise For Mental Illness

In an AP article published on on Feb 1, 2010, "Fish Oil Shows Promise In Preventing Psychosis", "fish oil pills may be able to save some young people with signs of mental illness from descending into schizophrenia, according to a preliminary but first-of-its-kind study in Austria with 81 patients.

Though it may sound too good to be true, according to the article, one theory of what causes schizophrenia is the differance in how the body uses fatty acids and how fish oils address this. According to Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, Chairman of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center states that if it works, it will be an absolutely tremendous development.

Of course more research studies need to be conducted to verify the results of the Austrailia Study

To read the complete article: Fish Oil Shows Promise In Preventing Psychosis

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Book List

I just ordered these books the other day and am anxious to get them. They cover some topics that I'm very interested in and so I thought I would share them with everybody. Sometimes I don't find books that interest me and then lately, these just sort of jumped off the shelf at me. It is usually when this happens that the books really impact me a lot. Please feel free to browse through these and let me know if there are books you are reading that I might like as well. I'm always on the lookout for good books.

The Highly Sensitive Person
by Elaine N. Aron

From Amazon Review: Are you an HSP? Are you easily overwhelmed by stimuli? Affected by other people's moods? Easily startled? Do you need to
withdraw during busy times to a private, quiet place? Do you get nervous or shaky if someone is observing you or competing with you? HSP, shorthand for "highly sensitive person," describes 15 to 20 percent of the population. Being sensitive is a normal trait--nothing defective about it. But you may not realize that, because society rewards the outgoing personality and treats shyness and sensitivity as something to be overcome.

Lessons From the Light:
In-Sights From a Journey to the Other Side

by Sandi Rogers

The personal story of a woman who, in a near-death experience, caught a glimpse of the afterlife, presents the lessons learned by Rogers about human emotions, fears, and problems.

When Sandi Rogers attempted suicide, she had no idea that the experience would provide her with an unlimited capacity for living, learning, and loving. Now Sandi shares lessons everyone can use to promote understanding, love, compassion and the basic goodness of the Golden Rule. Foreword by Betty Eadie, author of Embraced by the Light.

You Are the Answer:
Discovering and Fulfilling Your Soul's Purpose

by Michael J Tamura

World-renowned spiritual teacher, healer, and clairvoyant, Michael J. Tamura shares his wisdom in this inspirational guide to true spiritual empowerment. You Are the Answer brings us profound spiritual lessons, highlighted by the author's powerful true stories. Discover how to use your intuition, make room for spirit in your life, and respond--instead of react--to everyday experiences. As you build a temple of the soul, you'll learn to recognize truth, create miracles in your own life, and find your purpose for living!

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Monday, February 15, 2010

Silence Is Vanishing

In a article (Jan 28, 2010 by Julia Baird), An Unquiet Nation, Audio ecologist Gordon Hempton discusses America's vanishing quiet spaces.

As the article goes on to state, "Silence is something you assume you will always be able to find if you need it. All you have to do is drive far enough in the right direction, trek through quiet fields or woods, or dive into the sea's belly." But in all reality, the quiet areas in our country and our world are rapidly disappearing.

In 1983, Gordon Hempton found 15 places in Washington State that were noise free for 15 minutes and by 2007, there were three of them.

Why should we care?
The body needs positive and negative stimulus. If we constantly give it one or ther other, our nervous system remain stagnant and do not allow for elasticity. In other words, without the effects of both positive and negative stimuli on our bodies, we just cannot handle as much as we could otherwise. Our nervous system keeps us in a very tight range of what it can handle.

However, silence is also important in that it allows our bodies, our minds and our souls to stop and rest; to repair and heal; and to experience all that is around us. So many of us live in places where constant noise is the norm from traffic all around us, to a constant flow of people, cell phones, electronic noises, and other barely noticeable sounds that impact our lives each day. With all of this going on around us constantly or almost constantly, how can our bodies come down and find a quiet moment of relaxation? If there is some activity or noise going on, where do we find peace in our day? One could make the argument that we find it within and while that is true, if we are impacted by all that is constantly around us, than can we truly find a peaceful moment?

On top of the noise pollution that is around us each day, many of us barely take the time to stop in our day let alone stop and listen to the sounds of nature around us. When was the last time, you stopped and just listened to the wind rustle through the trees, or maybe just absorbed the sounds of the many different birds singing around you? When was the last time, you just stopped in a remote, quiet place that you love and just listened and absorbed the symphony that nature provides you? Do you realize just how powerful that can be to give your mind, body and soul a place of peace, rest and healing?

We're So Busy These Days
We're so busy these days in our lives trying to go here and there, accomplish this task or that one, getting to this activity or meeting that we fail to stop and "smell the roses" so to speak. We've got music blasting continuously from our computers, the headphones on our iPods, the TV with the talking pundits or many other things. And if these aren't enough, we hear the constant buzz and hum of the computers we work on, or the fluorescent lights humming away in our office or the cars, planes and trucks zipping by on the road. Through all of this, most of the time we are oblivious that it is all occurring and we're taking in all of it whether we realize it or not.

My Challenge To You
So my challenge to you is to find a quiet place in your life, preferably outside among nature. When you find that quiet place, just sit back and take in all the sounds of nature that you can hear, even the silent ones. You can close your eyes if you feel safe or just sit there and observe, doing nothing more. Let the sounds of nature and the silent moments fill you from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes. Take it all in and notice your breathing, how your body feels and just all that you can sense. Notice your body tension, your aches and pains and your worries, than let them be adsorbed in the silent sounds of nature. Spend some time there without worrying about what tasks you have to do and see just how refreshed, relaxed and whole you feel when you come to the end of your symphony. Take a moment and be thankful for all that there is around us that is just waiting for us to connect to and make a pledge that you will do this frequently.

More Information About Gordon Hempton

Book by Gordon Hempton: One Square Inch Of Silence

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Highly Sensitive Person

I've known for years that I'm extremely sensitive - hyper sensitive as I always called it. When I was a kid, I would cry at the smallest things. One example I love to use is if a rock got kicked around (especially if it was my pet rock), I would cry or feel extremely sad. While most people hardly see this as something of significance, many things around me in nature and the world have always taken on a different meaning and significance to me.

Friends have nicknamed me "space cowboy" because I just picked up on things and sensed things. At first, I wasn't too happy about the nickname but then I began to look at all that I do pick up. Often times, I could not verbally tell you in detail what that is but I truly sense and feel so much. For such a long time, I thought everyone could do that but I am learning that most people are not even aware of it. And I pick all kinds of things up around me in all kinds of different ways.

For example, if I walk into a building, I can tell the "energy" or "mood" of the building. It is usually instant for me and has a lot to do with the people in the building but sometimes it seems like it is the building itself. If I'm around people especially in close proximity to them, I pick up their mood, their attitudes and its almost like I feel like I'm feeling or sensing or living through what they are in their lives. Sometimes I hear sounds that are so faint, no one around me hears. I'll hear delivery trucks or people walking on the street when I'm so far removed from them it would be difficult for ears to pick up. I sometimes smell the slightest scents from a distance and sometimes I can smell individual scents as well.

One of the things for me though is I cannot take much loud music at all. Even what some would consider to be a normal level is often way to loud for me. It gets in the way of all that I hear and pick up and just causes confusion as well as me feeling overwhelmed. I look for quiet places and enjoy the quiet surroundings. Just hearing the sounds of nature can be more than enough for me and better than any symphony that could be performed.

While I enjoy being around people, I have to have my down time away from everyone. I need my space and I need my quiet peaceful moments. Being around too many people especially in close proximity can be very overwhelming for me and the only way I can do this is to find a quiet place to retreat. While I can talk to people, I do tend to be on the shy side until I get to know someone. Actually more often than not, I am more content watching people in crowds or social situations and their interactions than to have the desire of really wanting to interact with them. I do keep my distance from people.

There are many times that I've been in study or discussion groups and picked up stomach problems, headaches, pains and different physical conditions. Often there is much more that I pick up and the more I go through my own healing in my life, the more this intensifies.


Animals are one thing I've always been connected to and sometimes, I feel as if I pick up what they are feeling, thinking or experiencing. It feels to me that I can almost talk to them and listen to them. It is like they understand me and I understand them. Often in life, I've felt more at home with animals than people and much more understood by animals than people.

Bright lights or intense sounds or flashing lights affect me in a big way. In my vehicle, I have a rear view mirror that auto dims at night when bright lights are behind me. Actually I had this added on to the vehicle when I bought it because otherwise, driving at night is just too difficult for me. Flashing strobe lights on TV or even with an emergency vehicle are almost painful for me to view. They almost hurt my eyes and I try to avoid looking at them.

I just became aware of a website and a book about Highly Sensitive People and I've got to read this book. For years, it has felt like a curse to be so sensitive and to take in all that I do. Some days, it is too much and I long to just escape all of it. Some days, I almost have to shut down just to deal with it and to be honest, it is frightening at times. I don't completely understand it or why I am the way I am. I know that trauma in my past has had a lot to do with how my brain developed but being sensitive in our world is not always regarded as positive.

If you want to take a self test, the link is

Here's a few things that Elaine Aron shares on her website,

--Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?

--Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?

--Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?

--Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?

--Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?

--Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?

--Do you have a rich and complex inner life?

--When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?

Here's the link to one of the books that Elaine Aron has written that I'm ordering and going to read. I'll keep you updated on the book as I read it.

Please feel free to comment or leave me a message if you're a highly sensitive person. I'd love to know that I'm not the only one out there.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How To Release Emotions

Life Learning Lessons: How To Release Emotions

For the past several months, I’ve been dealing with a rash that for the most part has gone away. However, there is still one section of my upper left arm that is hanging on. It changes of course from moment to moment, day to day. Some days, it is almost nonexistent and some days, it bothers me with an intensity that would make a grown person cry.

So the other day I was in a situation where I was working on a client site in close proximity with someone. This person was a touchy, feely person without strong boundaries. While their behavior was not with malicious intent, the touching and slapping they were doing around me was irritating to say the least. My body is very hypersensitive and the area they were touching was the area on my arm that still has a rash. It sort of felt like every time they touched this area, they were pressing the button on the atomic bomb and it was like, my arm kept saying – how lucky do you feel as they touched this part of my arm. The fear that comes up is that I’ll go off, lose control and go back into whatever is behind this rash on this particular spot on my arm. Right now, I cannot consciously describe what that is but I know without a doubt, it is there.

After a couple of times asking the person to not touch me especially not in this area, they continued. Of course I know they weren’t doing it intentionally as it was a subconscious thing within them. Something in them triggers this type of behavior in an autopilot mode where I’m sure they don’t even realize what they are doing. There is a very good chance; the action is mimicking something from long ago in their life that has now become a pattern. I understand that and can recognize it but it still makes it a very tough ordeal to experience.

However, here is where the series of events go into overdrive. After the second time of him hitting me in the arm, I picked up a chair in a joking manner and said, now go ahead and touch me there. I was trying to drive the point home enough so that he would stop. Fortunately he did but by that time, the itching had picked up dramatically and my arm was extremely painful. It was the kind of phantom pain that went deep to my bone and muscle and had nothing to do with the physical touch of being slapped. This was much deeper than that.

So I drove home and probably a good two hours after this happened or more, I all of the sudden found myself in a furry of rage at nothing or at no one. Yet, I was so full of rage. I was cursing, screaming at every little thing that seemed to go wrong on my computer or whatever was around me. At first, I didn’t even realize I was that full of rage until I stopped and took a look at myself. I kind of felt like a dog chasing his tail, who that actually caught his tail and then stopped and looked at what had happened. Yet, even in this moment, I could feel the deep rage bubbling up inside of me but with no explanation or connection to why it was there. From that point, the anger just increased exponentially to the point where it was unbearable. I wanted it to end. This led to me thinking thoughts of how can I end my life from this which of course then led to feeling like I wanted to cry but wasn’t able to cry. This all happened in a matter of moments and switched back and forth as easily as one could step forward or backwards.

It left me feeling like I was such a screw up and like I was just so darn messed up that I would never get through all of this that I am healing from. It felt like there was no tomorrow and no reason to go on. I struggled to keep myself from just wanting to give up. Again, this is in a matter of minutes or less and it switches from one emotion to the next so quickly.

I struggled through the next day of this wondering why all of this had happened and felt very sad for myself that anyone should have to endure this. After talking to Dr. Canali today about it and sharing with him what happened, so much more made sense.

You see, at one time in my life, I had no outlet for many emotions. It was not something that was allowed, condoned or even possible in my family. I was always a hypersensitive kid and that didn’t mix well with my family. We did not show anger in front of my father at all nor was I allowed to show tears without being told to grow up, whipped for it or being called a cry baby and humiliated. My mom was the one that seemed to be allowed to cry but then that was ok in my family because as I was taught, she was a woman or it was her time of the month so it was expected. That was the teaching I received from my Neanderthal father. Plus, the only anger I ever saw being dealt with in my family was my dad going off into a rage. There was no example I had to follow of watching someone release anger in a mature and safe manner.

Now fast forward to later in life when I have absolutely no clue as to how to deal with emotions in a healthy way and treat them as if they are a normal part of life. They were something to be feared, to be loathed and avoided at all costs. Yet, the stuffing of emotions deep within me got me many medical conditions from ulcers and illnesses, to migraines and daily headaches. So now, at my adult age, I am trying to parent myself and teach myself how to release emotions in a normal, healthy and balanced way.

Hearing from Dr. Canali that all of this that was going on, was my body and mind’s attempt to learn how to release emotions and deal with the emotions in a positive way, was like manna from heaven. Here, I had been beating myself up for it and getting lost in the fear of losing control rather than embracing the newness of my awareness for all that I was becoming conscious of. I thought it was a dreadful thing when in reality; this process is a good thing. If I can keep myself from diving deep into the fear of the moment and allow it to unfold and allow myself to learn from it, I know I will be able to transform some more of these deep hurts and lessons missed in my life. The more I get swallowed up by the fear of what is happening in moments like this, the more I am fueling the series of events to loop around in a circle with no exit.

It is a process to learn to heal these things and to fully reclaim one’s life. It is not a quick fix of I’m through this part so that’s it. We as humans are constantly evolving or hopefully we are and through that constant evolution, we are becoming more and more who we really are. To deny this or stop this process is denying the inner truth about our self. It isn’t easy going through this but as I have learned through the many other experiences that have come my way, there is the reward of a life filled with so much more than I could have imagined.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog*

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Will To Survive

There are many people in this world that have been through extraordinary circumstances and some that are almost too difficult to believe that one can endure as much as they can. Yet, even in the midst of many things that people have had to struggle against, most find a way to make it through what they have encountered.

I'm sure most of them would say that the trying times were difficult beyond belief and at the time they didn't feel as if they could make it. However, in some way, manner or fashion, these people made it. They survived. They had the will to survive.

Today, I'm probably writing this for myself as much as for anyone. My life is no stranger to adversity and situations that an average person could fathom let alone experience. Some people cannot even begin comprehending some of the things that I have been through and to be honest, my mind sometimes has as much difficulty understanding all of it as well.

I think back to my early days on this planet where I was subjected to all kinds of conditions that a child should not have to endure. During those times, I learned how to numb out, to escape and not be present. It was my way of surviving events that were just too great for anyone, let alone a child.

Then I'm taken to the point where I became paralyzed and realizing that from one day to the next, we just never know what can happen. I found out then that life can change in a dramatic way giving us challenges which we were not prepared to face. And through those moments, the strength and courage come to help lift us slowly from this time and place. It is not without its trials, tribulations and weariness that one has to find the will to survive.

I'm reminded of the times that the will to survive included the need to not commit suicide. Even though I tried many times, I was never successful and it was in those worst of moments that somehow, something inside of me kept me going. While many may credit it to a religious figure or what not, I learned that whatever it was that kept me going was deep within me. It was that faintest of faint moments where my life said, "no - it is not your time - you must keep going". It was in those moments where the will to survive met the horrible evil secrets my life was holding. That meeting of two opposites, created the spark that ignited enough sustenance to continue.

Even now as I continue my own healing and I go deeper into the process, I find that time and time again, I come up against some of the worst moments of evil I have fought so hard to forget. I could continue to try and play and hide and seek with them but I know that sooner or later they will find me out. It would seem to be the easier way to deal with them and may feel like it but in the end, it comes down to how far I'm willing to allow myself to travel through my own journey. And believe me, there are many days when I say, this is to much - this is more than any person should have to deal with.

Sometimes I have no clue where the will to survive comes from or how I even find the spark to ignite it. Sometimes, it seems like there is absolutely no hope, no way forward, or no idea to begin the way forward into hope. Sometimes, all that seems to appear is a void of blackness with a lifetime sentence of futility.

It is in these times, when I realize that I may need to crawl back into my bunker and plot the next course of action. It is in these times, when maybe all I can do is look down at my feet and see they are still planted on the path of my life's journey. It is in these times, that just making it through the day is accomplishing as much as building the world's tallest mountain range.

I've even witness the will to survive in many animals I cared for on farms that I managed. If the animals still had the fight left in them and I mean the fight of wanting to stand up or just drink water and eat some food, then they had a chance. The animals that did not have this fight seldom made it. The fight was half the battle and the rest of the battle was their body healing and mending itself.

So if you're facing the dark doom filled glare of the void of darkness in your own life, know that this too shall pass and that you can make it through this. Allow yourself to stop and crawl back into your bunker while you plot the next course of action. Or if that is too much to do, allow yourself to look down and see that your feet are firmly planted on the ground below you. Give yourself the moment to be there without any expectations of what to do next. Give yourself, the option to do this.

I'm not here to tell you that all of life will be easy or these difficult moments will be a piece of cake. I'm not here to tell you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps or chin up because I know it is much more difficult than that. Most likely it is a difficult time and the despair is knocking on your door. However, just know that this too shall pass and you can make it through it. Remember, the fight is half the battle and as long as you kick, scream, yell and push or whatever it is that you do - you will find your way through it.

And if you think you can't find your way through it and there seems to be no open doors, just closed ones - than look for a window!
*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Healing Piano Music

WOW – no let’s make that a DOUBLE WOW! This CD, Healing Piano by Steven Cravis, really surprised me. I was expecting the sounds that I had come to know in Steven Cravis’ other CD’s but when I heard this one, I was surprised and amazed. I think this is one of Steven’s greatest works that he has done. Here’s why I say this.

The music is gentle but has flowing ripples of musical notes, as if you were staring across a rippling brook flowing gently through a lush meadow. The songs have delicately placed pauses in them, as if they just knew where exactly to be located to give the mind an opportunity to absorb all that it is receiving. The sounds range from more dominant tones to more mellow, with some tones just following one another in single file that is full of dimension, time, and space. The music is so deep and vibrantly full of life and energy that I find myself wanting to immerse myself in it, as if I’m soaking in a relaxing bath. To say this music is amazing is limiting my description by a vocabulary that can not explain the fullness of the sounds, tones, and inflections.

So I put this music to the test using my pulse meter to measure just what impact it would have on me. Using my iPod and noise canceling headphones, I laid on my massage table and just played the music as I closed my eyes. I took my pulse with the pulse meter and it was around 80-85 before I started. After listening all of the way through to the end of the music, I once again took my pulse. My pulse had gone down to around 69-74. It definitely dropped my pulse rate down about 10-15 points and that is an indicator that the “relaxation response” or parasympathetic mode is being reached, which offers the body a chance to heal through rest and repair.

This music is not only beautiful but so relaxing and inviting that I know you’ll want to check it out. I’m sure my clients will enjoy having relaxing massages to this music and I’m sure I will also be using this in my own relaxation and meditation times. This CD, Healing Piano by Steven Cravis, is truly a piece of art and Steven is going to have a difficult time creating work that outdoes this CD, but knowing his creative ability, I’m sure we will see many more great things in the future.

You can learn more about Steven Cravis at:

You can download music by Steven Cravis on:

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog


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