ELIZABETH HEARN: HYPNO-PSYCHOTHERAPIST

MOTIVATION. FOCUS & CLARITY.

My life  is a continuum of  consciously living consciously, grounded in the practice of meditation, yoga and total-health nutrition.  

Morning  insight meditation are motivational. Afternoon insight meditation are evaluative and strategic. Evening  insight meditation are evaluative and reflective.

I am  a qualified Hypno- Psychotherapist,  Addiction Specialist, broadcaster, presenter, and online and onsite  programme  facilitator. I  have  worked in the field of addiction and mental healthcare since 1988 and specializes in wellbeing total-health initiatives, and compassionate coaching in the financial, fashion and film sectors  in London and New York.  

The focus  of  my work is  awakening self-compassion, healing from feeling hopeless and helpless.  I teach clients the practice of Budhhist Tonglen: Giving and Receiving.   A practice of great compassion.  Tonglen awakens compassion – opening up our whole being to be present to transform suffering in ourselves and others.

Suffering  is amplified when we feel disconnected from existence. Lama Yeshe gave me an introduction into Tonglen 25 years when I met with him at Samy Ling in Scotland. My question to Lama Yeshe was about how to help alleviate suffering in clients, how can I best help others heal from addiction, loss, grief, guilt and shame.

In my heart I was committed and the ongoing lessons in healing focus upon helping people recovery from feeling hopeless and helpless.  The practice of Sending and Receiving  helps me realign, rebalance and renew any blocks to awareness.

 In the moment I practice empowering clients to  thrive. From the first session I will recommend an introduction to insight meditation sessions,  cultivating compassionate awareness, focus and clarity begin with breathing  

In the beginning of meditation bring the attention to the  breath is  challenging if you are  used to shallow breathing. The uptake of oxygen will feel intense, with practice the  breath finds a new rhythm – one that helps release blocks, e.g when I mediate I automatically straighten my spine, which releases held tension in my neck, shoulders and back.

Tonglen’s Giving and Receiving  a series of  creative visualisations  and  narrative led meditations to help you ease into the stillness, and learn how to raise your awareness by attuning with your inner life.

I think of my meditation practice as an essential aspect of my being that brings happiness and peace. Because it is a creative felt-sense encounter with your neutral mind I recommend music that will resonate with the vibrational energy of mind and body.

Moby has very generously made available the following beyond-ambient music tracks.Perhaps if you a new to meditation you can begin by listening to the music, noticing your breath, slowing down your thinking by bringing your thoughts back to music…which is being in flow with all that is…

My intention is not to complicate your meditation experiences, the intention is to simplify, soften the noise from the inner critic until it eventually dissolves into the moment…

The acronym R.A.I.N. provides a format to bring your mind back to moment. I recommend this to people from all stages of meditation.

What is RAIN?

The acronym RAIN is an easy-to-remember tool for practicing mindfulness, one that you can access in almost any place or situation. It has four steps that will help you relate skillfully with difficult emotions that arise.

There are two versions of RAIN that you might find helpful.

1. Basic RAIN:
  • R – Recognize what is happening
  • A – Allow life to be just as it is
  • I – Investigate with kindness
  • N – Non-Identification – notice the shift in your sense of your own being (identity) and rest in natural awareness

Here is a link to a detailed description of the four steps of RAIN: www.tarabrach.com/articles-interviews/rain-workingwithdifficulties

2. RAIN of Self-Compassion:
  • R – Recognize what is happening
  • A – Allow life to be just as it is
  • I – Investigate with gentleness
  • N – Nourish with self-compassion

Why Keeping a Daily Journal Could Change Your Life
“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.” — J.M. Barrie
You know exactly what you want in life. But you can’t seem to get there. You have all these resolves.
You’re going to get healthy.
You’re going to write that book.
You’re going to be more present with your loved ones.
You’re going to start that home-based business.
You’re going to learn another language.
You’re going to be more patient and happy.
You’re going to get out of debt.
You’re going to be more organized.
You’re going to be a better friend.
You’re going to overcome bad habits.
But the problem is: Doing these is really hard. And it gets harder every day. Some days, it seems more realistic to just give up entirely. The whole taking one step forward and one or two steps backward pattern is getting old.
You’ve been telling yourself for a long time “Today is the day!” only to fall into old ways before the day, or if you’re lucky, the week, is spent.

In the practice  of compassionate meditation we are acknowledging the universality of wanting to be happy, valued and accepted.  Learning  to slow down the frequency of overthinking,  and disconnected feelings states by breathing, with an anchor in the present such as your breath, a mantra or mudra. Happiness is being in the flow of life, which is “held” BY becoming the observer.  

Elizabeth trained in addiction counselling with Promis, Kent. She went onto manage the Out Patient programme at Promis, London A move to Australia found her working as a therapist at Warburton, Victoria and South Pacific Private Hospital, Sydney. Vice President @ N.A.D.A.C. Former faculty member, Jansen Newman Institute.

In 1998 Elizabeth lived for a year in rural India helping vulnerable addicted individuals and families to receive therapy and coaching by  acknowledging the universality within the human condition to thrive,  be happy, valued and accepted.

Meditation helps retrain the brain to strengthen the prefrontal cortex’s capacity to regulate the amygdala. In addition to an introduction to insight meditation participants will be led into a mindfulness body-oriented process.  intention is to identify relapse and self-sabotaging triggers; how to build resilience, and restorative disciplines that reduce stress, and increase performance.

ADDICTION. COMPASSIONATE LEADERSHIP. PERSONAL RECOVERY.

CONTACT DETAILS:

MOBILE:+47894084788

Email: ELIZABETHHEARN@ME.COM 

 

 

COMPASSION CHANGES EVERYTHING….

ZEN and NOW:

I constantly work on silencing my inner critic’s negative prompts  to disconnect because – “I am not loved, validated, good enough” anchoring myself in authenticity is easy when I remember the gift of self compassion.

In active addiction I did to myself what I would  not let anyone do to me, polarising positive messages hits that inner reset point back into being in the flow…  The shadow of victimhood is my  default setting…that kept me stuck in the cycle of obsession and compulsively acting out, over thinking-everything, and reacting underpinned by  a cascade of stress hormones (cortisol and and adrenaline) ergo stress- eating, shopping, internet -social-media-surfing to feel even worse by comparing myself to others and their perceived perfect lives to silence the echo of a painful existence.

My personal recovery from addiction is in its 30th year of continuing to be in community, connected and thriving in all areas of my life.  The antidote to self-loathing is -self-compassion.   I love experiencing for its  gracious witnessing quality, acknowledging the minutiae, in the moment with a daily insight meditation practice:

RITUAL is a continuum of habits the influence our body, thinking, feeling behaviours.

REPETITION embeds felt sense: behaviours, knowledge, experience.  The bodies keeps score.

RELEASING is being in “flow’ a continuum of breathing in to receive, and out to release.

You can using the body as grounding  agent for the mind. To calm the mind begin with a desire  to restore balance. this involves learning how to engage in the process of RITUAL:  a series of felt-sense expereinces, memories encounters.    REPETITION :  same-time and place to meditate with a preferred mudra  and mantra. RELEASING : observing with attachment is letting go with consciously conscious compassion.

Surrender with grace the need to attach to any negative criticisms- not doing it right, perfectly, not the right time or place…just do it. Observe your mind wanting to control the process, intensity, stimuli and or expression. Suspend your inner-critic’s negative  judgement. Cultivating compassion is an act of self love in action.

Meditation disciplines helps  us thrive in all our relationship, beginning  with ourselves. Although any change is daunting at first…soon it becomes effortless to want to be doing everything through a meditative mind-set …compassion can be  in every breath, every action – everything.

Meditation can be beautifully explained in metaphors: “Washing the dishes to wash the dishes” by Thich Nhat Hanh about how to be mindful in everything I do..from the mundane to the magical, one of my favourite TNH teachings is: The cup in your hands.
. . . There are two ways to wash the dishes. The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second is to wash the dishes in order to wash the dishes. . . .the second is to wash the dishes in order to wash the dishes.
When  washing the dishes, and  am  ruminating, I notice my impatience:  judging  washing the dishes  as  a waste of  my precious time. Thankfully I am brought back into the moment by the very thought that disconnected  from the present moment.  And I am back, at the sink, washing the dishes….Meditation is noticing the moment-to-moment changing conditions within you. The litany of ideas and expectations that occur, in the moment an actually help us focus,  and create intentions and a meditative mindset  begins by easing into the stillness…this requires expanding awareness.

I teach people how to breathe, deeper, longer in order for the breath to become stronger and fully supporting the bodies ability to thrive. What helped me begin to transform stress into vitality  then and continues today a few decades into my daily meditation practice is the quality of  breath-work- by  focussing  on body awareness and allowing  the mind to enter the present moment.

As you pay attention to the body, and the mind enters the present moment, you will experience aliveness and a newfound presence of mind. You can easily continue to use the practices in your daily routines for ongoing access to a richer, more natural experience of life.

A typical introduction to mindfulness meditation practice begins with awareness of the breath/breathing. This can be done standing, sitting or lying down. The intention is to interrupt our mental disconnection from reality when we are projecting into the future or ruminating on the past. As thoughts continue to come and go the intention is to raise awareness of the physical sensations taking place during the process and not attaching any meaning to passing thoughts.

My daily meditation  practice has evolved over  30 years sometimes it includes a breath-body-scan, mantra, a mudra and restorative yoga postures and always begins with setting up my posture, breathing in and out…. Mindfulness meditation stress-management is proving to be one of the most promising non-stimagtising wellbeing/mental health strategies.

Cultivating a mindfulness meditation practice provides a “safe and sacred space.’ Time-managment becomes balanced and  boundaried.  Learning the value in being able to “switch-off” slows down the brain’s autopilot set point. Just as we are neuro-biologically hard-wired to connect, conditioned mind becomes “stuck” in reactionary habits.

“Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day,” says study senior author Sara Lazar of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and a Harvard Medical School instructor in psychology.

This study and many others from Harvard Medical School demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing. There are many ways to cultivate the efficacy of mindfulness through repetition and regular practice until it becomes a natural everyday occurrence in addiction &  personal recovery..

The digital addict’s brain complex circuitry systems are impacted in the same way as illicit drugs, sugar and salt. No wonder young people are highly stressed, reactive, demotivated and depressed.  However, in my experience of working with addictive personality types of diverse cultures, ages and gender there is hope for change when the person is treated holistically – with a strong emphasis upon stress and anxiety-management.

In my  daily practice  I have found that focussing on the breath eventually means that whatever I was hoping to solve by over thinking has actually happened by the energy attached to it become less intense or important.  Over time I  become so absorbed in my breath that problems  disappear. I  become the breath.

Understanding complex human behaviours with a mindfulness mindset engenders balance: the foundational key to claiming personal power, authenticity and autonomy. Fear immobilises people. autopilot reactionary behavior. Oppositional and aggressively controlling of others reality. And when I am am impatient, angry or fearful  and project this onto you how  our encounter is a setup for a conflicted views and or power struggles.

Mindfulness present-moment mind-set  interrupts over thinking. Insight Mindfulness meditation practices restore calmness by challenging the existential question: “who am I?” Flawed coping mechanisms, patterns and themes   inform our narratives. Addiction is a disconnection from reality.  Cultivating self-compassion  is reconnecting to your essential being. Meditation  is an encounter with your reality.

“When all your desires are distilled
You will cast two votes
To love more and to be happy.” -Hafiz

Easing into the stillness Insight Meditation:

Posture: Begin with a few stretches to adjust your posture, realign the spine, open the chest, and relax the shoulders. Breathe  in from the base of our spine, a long deep inhale, hold and then  exhale. You will automatically feel your body oxygenating itself.

Invite absolute conscious connection: awareness of the breath. Continue deep breathing: inhale and exhale via the nose. Attune to the sensations occurring in the moment. Begin by noticing the subtle energy shifts from oxygenating your body. For the next few minutes bring your focus continuously back to your breath.

Meditative detachment harnesses the wisdom that is uncertainty, the freedom from the past, from the known/conditioned mind. And in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities, we surrender ourselves to the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe.

In the immediacy of daily life I make the time throughout the day to conscious de-stress my thinking…often when I am moving about the city, I am aware that I am often  disconnected from the present moment, and habitually  over thinking, worrying about the future…f the stress escalation in my body, particularly my head and stop….breathe, get present and detached – back into my bubble. Reminding myself that “Just For Today” I have everything I need, I am safe, I am enough, I am present.

Just for Today I will commit myself to detachment. I will be mindful of my story and not project this onto you. I will not be wilful , thereby mind fully not manifesting new problems. I will participate in everything with mindful detachment.

Just for Today I will practice mindfulness when I am challenged with  uncertainty.  In my willingness to accept uncertainty, solutions will spontaneously emerge out of the problem, out of the confusion, disorder, and chaos. The more uncertain things seem to be, the more secure I will feel, because uncertainty is my path to freedom. Through the wisdom of uncertainty, I will find my boundaries.

I will step into the field of all possibilities and anticipate the excitement that can occur when I remain open to an infinity of choices. When I step into the field of all possibilities, I will experience all the fun, adventure, magic, and mystery of life.

Healing the disconnect between head and heart – from woundedness to wisdom is the hero’s journey. We incarnate with karmic impressions as the innocent archetype. Our individual attachment style: insecure, ambivalent and or secure is dependent upon the consistency of emotional, spiritual, and intellectual attunement we encounter with our early childhood primary caregivers.

Mature adults have four attachment styles: secure, anxious–preoccupied, dismissive–avoidant, and fearful–avoidant. The secure attachment style in adults corresponds to the secure attachment style in children. The anxious–preoccupied attachment style in adults corresponds to the anxious–ambivalent attachment style in children.

However, the dismissive–avoidant attachment style and the fearful–avoidant attachment style, which are distinct in adults, correspond to a single avoidant attachment style in children. The descriptions of adult attachment styles offered below are based on the relationship questionnaire devised by Bartholomew and Horowitz, and on a review of studies by Pietromonaco and Barrett.

Change your thinking/change your life. I recommend beginning the day with a daily reading/lesson. I began to harness a spiritual practice in 1988 by the daily reading from  “A Course in Miracles”  – 365 lessons. Followed by singing silently or singing  aloud a mantra to take me in a meditative stance. Easing into the stillness  to develop awareness when the mind is focussed on the breath.

The psycho-educational aspect of developing awareness is invaluable : if you are new to recovery begin each daily with a reading from my book of affirmations, ancient texts, talks etc from a plethora of  organically  philosophy, mythology, theology, and spiritual teachings.

The brains neuro-plasticity responds to stimulation it receives. Take mini-breaks from the computer screen and sit quietly for a few minutes. Focus on an image of peace, harmony and happiness. hold the image for a few minutes all the while deep breathing in and softly exhaling.

Every few weeks I commit to an immersion process. Learning new pathways is often covering old ground, however this is how we learn by bridging theory with practice; engaging a part of my personality in an endeavour to active wholeness is uplifting and profoundly exhilarating. Effortless softening and strengthening.

An invaluable tool is self-discipline. Meditation engenders a relationship with yourself that reflects your intrinsic/extrinsic relationship with your higher power, family and friends.Meditation engenders retraining the mind. for example doing a Metta Meditation is equipoise.

I do this to encourage a sense of emotional balance becoming more and more effortlessly available. Meditation practice opens us up to the world, and allows us to realize fully what we are feeling as we encounter both suffering and joy.

THE GUEST HOUSE

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

 

Every form of genuine awareness is liberating. Each moment we release entanglement and identification is selfless and free. But remember too that every practice of awareness can create a shadow when we mistakenly cling to it. A misuse of space can easily lead us to become spaced-out and unfocused. A misuse of absorption can lead to denial, the ignoring of other experiences, and a misuse of ordinary awareness can create a false sense of “self” as a witness. These shadows are the subtlety of  attachment. See them for what they are and let them go is   accessing the lenses of awareness to serve your wise attention.

The more you experience the power of wise attention, the more your trust in the ground of awareness itself will grow. You will learn to relax and let go. In any moment of being caught, awareness will step in, a presence without judging or resisting. Close-in or vast, near or far, awareness illuminates the ungraspable nature of the universe. It returns the heart and mind to its birthright, naturally luminous and free.

May you be free from worry and indecision. May you be happy.

 

AWAKENING COMPASSION

 

 

 

 

 

The practice of lojong or “mind training” to transform difficulties into knowledge is a skillset that can be learned over time with daily practice.   Painful emotions  are  stepping stones to wisdom, compassion and fearlessness.

When I connect to something painful, I want it to flow, to  be released. I don’t to project this onto others, nor do I wish to suppress strong emotions such as anger, fear and pain because I know feelings pass, when we let them.

 Pain is a message to  open up the heart. When I breathe in, I am opening my heart. Allowing the pain space to experience what it is, rather than automatically expressing pain which escalates into anger.

A Gyan Mudra is a conscious  connection to the mind and body. A powerful way of being anchored in the present moment is to  touch the tip of the thumb to the tip of the index finger, with the other three fingers stretched out. The Gyan Mudra  enhances the knowledge. There is no particular time duration for this mudra. You can practice by sitting, standing or lying on bed whenever and wherever you have time to  increases memory power and sharpens the brain, and  enhance concentration. Perfect for awareness.   

The Gayatri Mantra is the universal prayer enshrined in the Vedas, is  the most powerful of Sanskrit mantras.  Chanting brings happiness into my  life and rescues me from pain and adversity.Breathing is the kindest, most compassionate action I can do- deep breathing in and out. 

Om Bhur Bhuvaḥ Swaḥ
Tat-savitur Vareñyaṃ
Bhargo Devasya Dhīmahi
Dhiyo Yonaḥ Prachodayāt

General meaning: We meditate on  God as we understand God. the creator, whose effulgence (divine light) illumines all realms (physical, mental and spiritual). May this divine light illumine our intellect.

Om: Universal  sound. Bhur: our essential being.  Bhuvah: life force.  Suvah: subtle Tat:  Truth  Savitur: the Sun.  Vareñyam: devotion. ; Bhargo: effulgence  Devasya: supreme being.  Dhīmahi: meditate; Dhiyo: the mind. ; Yo: May this light; Nah: our; Prachodayāt: illumine/inspire.

The Gayatri – it is a universal prayer. It has three parts, meditation on the glory of God as the illumination immanent in the three worlds – upper, middle and lower (Om Bhur Bhuva Swah; Tat Savitur Vareñyam); it has smaraña or picturisation of the Grace (Bhargo Devasya Dhīmahi) and prārthanā, prayer for compassion for the sake of liberation, through awakening of intelligence that pervades entire universe, not to any particular name or form of that intelligence; and so, all can use it and be saved by it. There can be no fanaticism, no hatred, no rivalry, if the Gayatri is adhered to, its pious repetition will clarify the passions and promote love.[‘Sathya Sai Speaks’, vol 07.37: October, 13, 1967]

The Vedic tradition of knowledge, based on the extensive Vedic literature, is the oldest tradition of knowledge in the world. Though it has been long preserved in India, this traditional wisdom has been almost lost in recent centuries—due in part to repeated foreign invasions. The Vedic tradition includes detailed information on a wide range of topics—from astronomy to music, architecture to health care, administration to economy. But it is all based on the knowledge of consciousness—including technologies of consciousness, and evolution to the highest state of consciousness (enlightenment).

Ancient traditions can enrich our lives, reduce stress, restore calm and connect our essential self to our authentic state of  love and happiness.

 Insight  Mindfulness Meditation    is available to us because we natural  have the capacity to be present, and it doesn’t require us to change who we are. It takes many shapes and goes by many names: attention, awareness, empathy, compassion, being in the zone, situational awareness, presence, flow, contemplation, and many more.
We can cultivate these innate qualities with simple mindfulness practices that are scientifically demonstrated to benefit ourselves—and through our relationships— our loved ones, our friends and neighbours, our co-workers, and the world at large.

Being mindful is part of the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times. It is likely to become a transformative social phenomenon for these key reasons:
Mindfulness is already having an impact in our schools, hospitals, offices, governments, and many other places. It’s helping us to become healthier, to lead more effectively, and to cooperate with each other in making a better world.

 Being mindful cultivates universal human qualities and does not require anyone to change their beliefs. Everyone can benefit and it’s easy to learn. It’s a way of living. Being mindful brings awareness and caring into everything we do—and it cuts down needless stress. Even a little makes our lives better.

It’s evidence-based. Both science and experience demonstrate how being mindful brings positive benefits for our health, happiness, work, and relationships. It sparks innovation. As we deal with an increasing complex and uncertain world, being mindful can lead us to effective, resilient, low-cost responses to seemingly intransigent problems.

I want to help you achieve lasting personal and professional success. You have the power to heal yourself, prevent illness, and feel connected to the universal energy around you. This is possible through the practice of mindful insight meditation, hypnotherapy, yoga, and  ayurveda nutrition. I continue to  thrive, am happy and calm   in the immediacy of daily life by practising insight mindful meditation.     

NOW & ZEN

Thousands of years before Western modern medicine provided scientific evidence for the mind-body connection,  India’s  medical doctors  developed Ayurveda, which continues to be one of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health systems. More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life Ayur:  life.  Veda: science or knowledge provides  life-enhancing  wisdom designed to help people stay vibrant and healthy while realizing their full human potential.

Ayurveda’s guiding principles:

  1.  Mind  and  body are inextricably connected
  2. Mind & Gut connection  has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind. Prevention  from illness  depends upon expanding our own awareness, bringing it into balance, and then extending that balance to the body. This process isn’t as complicated as it may sound.
  3. When I  meditate i am  effortlessly entering  a state of expanded awareness and inner quiet that refreshes the mind and restores balance.
  4. The body is restored/rejuvenated  through the practice of meditation. In the mindset  of restful awareness created through meditation, the  heart rate and breath slows, your body decreases the production of “stress” hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, and you increase the production of neurotransmitters that enhance wellbeing, including serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins.

Mindfulness Insight Meditation is the new management currency. Mindfulness is available to us because we already have the capacity to be present, and it doesn’t require us to change who we are. It takes many shapes and goes by many names: attention, awareness, empathy, compassion, being in the zone, situational awareness, presence, flow, contemplation, and many more.
We can cultivate these innate qualities with simple mindfulness practices that are scientifically demonstrated to benefit ourselves—and through our relationships— our loved ones, our friends and neighbours, our co-workers, and the world at large.

Being mindful is part of the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times. It is likely to become a transformative social phenomenon for these key reasons:
Mindfulness is already having an impact in our schools, hospitals, offices, governments, and many other places. It’s helping us to become healthier, to lead more effectively, and to cooperate with each other in making a better world.

Being mindful cultivates universal human qualities and does not require anyone to change their beliefs. Everyone can benefit and it’s easy to learn. It’s a way of living. Being mindful brings awareness and caring into everything we do—and it cuts down needless stress. Even a little makes our lives better.

It’s evidence-based. Both science and experience demonstrate how being mindful brings positive benefits for our health, happiness, work, and relationships. It sparks innovation. As we deal with an increasing complex and uncertain world, being mindful can lead us to effective, resilient, low-cost responses to seemingly intransigent problems.

 

NOW AND ZEN

1988- Post rehab, very early days into  my personal recovery, hallmarked   the end of disconnection and beginning of being in community.  The  antidote to self-obsession is generosity of spirit and commitment to thriving.  I volunteered @ the Manhattan Centre for Living. A life changing health initiative founded by Marianne Williamson & Louise Hay for AIDS and cancer survivors.
Connecting with others in healing communities is wonderfully confronting, challenging and life-changing. Cultivating compassion  and fearlessness in the face of uncertainty  in the presence of   people who personified dignity, grace, and humility  in the shadows  of death and dying.

When a close, long term recovery friend, Lorna Kelly  was diagnosed with breast cancer her smile lit-up the universe when I gifted  her a bold red Chanel Lipstick, and a bright pink scarf to wear when she went onto lose her hair, confidence and esteem  to the ravages of chemotherapy.

In 1989 I  met  Louise Hay, author  and so much of  “You can heal your life.” Feeling negative,  promotes a downward spiral into victimisation,  Addiction is isolation, disconnection and alienation from our family, peers and community. Recovery is being in community. Surrendering the negativity on a daily basis is rejecting whatever gets in the way of  feeling love,  happiness , grace and gratitude.  So Hum – I am one with the Universe.

Positive mental states…we breathe approximately 20,000 time a day. Learning how to breathe in a way that fully opens up the torso is fabulous for an instant vitality burst. Whenever you observe feeling increasingly stressed you can in the present moment you can change how you feel and think. The technique to cease ruminating on the past, or projecting into the future is by focussing on your breath. Remember it takes time, patience and practice to breathe efficiently.

For those of us who live consciously conscious – our faces reflect our inner calmness, acceptance and happiness. I once shut down a discussion about “what is beauty?” by saying the happiest, most beautiful people I know are deeply spiritual, intelligent, compassionate positive people.

Harvard Medical School (2013) study revealed people who meditate daily are happier, live longer, maintain healthy relationships, and have longer telomeres – shortened telomeres are linked to accelerated ageing.

Now and Zen: Daily decompress with a 15-minute guided meditation. I have guided meditations or podcasts on all my digital devices. Perfect for longer distance train or bus travel.

I begin each day with breath work insight meditation in my favourite ego-surrendering salutation-yoga posture: Child Pose. The mind graciously bowing down to the heart. Easing into the stillness anchors me in setting my daily intention. The benefits are that throughout the day I can bring my mind back to my intention…helps keep me centred, focussed and present.

Raise awareness, inspire change by regularly checking in with where you are holding onto stress in the body. Frowning. Tightened lips etc are instantly distressed by breathing. good breath practice is regularly checking in with YOU…. breathing in deeper, counting up to 10 and down again…for 10 to 15 minutes to revitalise the mind and body.

Allow your breath to find its own rhythm.. slower, easier, visualise sending your breath to that area on your inhalation. Imagine a knot loosening as you exhale. Repeat this cycle with each inhalation and exhalation. Do a body scan for 10 to 15 minutes. Find a comfortable seat or lie down. Close your eyes and breathe, hold the breath for a few seconds, release, and repeat. First, focus your attention on your feet. Notice any tension, pain, or stress. Take deep, slow breaths helps you  you focus your awareness on any  area of your body that feels tight, and or stressed. As if you are scanning your body with light, move your attention slowly upward.

Bring your awareness to how each part of your body feels as you continue to slow your breathing, from the top of head, the back and sides of your head, your neck and shoulders – particularly when we are sitting at the computer, or in the car/train or plane for long periods of time…I was taught at a very young age the importance of good posture.

Robust digestion: compassionate nutrition  means we have a healthy relationship with food, from planning, prepping to making whatever it is we are eating look gorgeous. I love beauty, grace and elegance. We eat with our eyes, my nature is that whatever I am doing: “Let the beauty we love be what we do.”

There are so many ways too reduce stress. Proven to bring instant relief is a mind/ body realignment technique that returns me to a state of happiness in the moment. Pause. Breathe. Straighten my back. Open my torso and instantly be connected, restored and renewed.

Want to look and feel younger, stronger and have abundant energy. Change your breathing. Stress ages our bodies, as does pollution, too much sun, smoking, sugar processed foods and an absence of insight mediation.

Our breath instantly detoxifies us. Releases any tightness and toxins which left unattended to impacts the quality of sleep, and our bodies natural ability to self-regulate. Breathing increases the flow of energy.

We can go without food for 40 days – and without water for three days. When our breath is impacted by sudden onset illness or an accident we have a few minute window in which to get help and even less if we are flying and the plane loses air pressure. Which is why it is always recommend putting on your oxygen mask first, then help your loved ones…

Meditation and mindfulness breath work focus upon the activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which brings us into a safe. comfortable calm relaxed state and soothes the overly stimulated sympathetic nervous system fight or flight mechanisms.

Just remember you can do this. You can heal your life. One breath at a time. One day at time. It is a universal truth that when we are happy we attract happiness into our lives. I create my reality. Love life and it loves you back.

 

LIVING IN THE SOLUTION

Beyond surviving. Living in the solution is thriving.  Overcoming negativity is possible in every moment. Cravings cause suffering when  the mind attaches meaning to everything…if we believe we are not enough we will need to fill the void of existence with people, places and things.

We inhabit an instant gratification world and can easily become addicted to overthinking, not letting go and driven by the unbridled pursuit of perfection.   You can heal your life.  Living in the solution  teach us awareness, compassion  and detachment.

“In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty… in the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past, from the known, which is the prison of past conditioning. And in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities, we surrender ourselves to the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe.”
Deepak Chopra

Recovery can  be  learning how to be happy with what is…enjoying the unfolding of life without the stronghold of attachment  to what others think is essential  to upholding the integrity of personal boundaries. A boundary is  what feels ok versus what does not. When we do have our boundaries we are in flow with life. We trust. We feel safe, empowered and esteemed. We do not have the need  to control others, nor to attach ourselves to anything outside of our reality to feel safe, or  connected.

Breathe. Return to the present. Observe where you are in the present moment. Attune yourself to mindfulness and permit yourself to observe life differently. Gratitude, surrender, self-regulating, boundaries ensure I am safe, I am enough, I am present, I am generous.

Whenever we focus on negativity we have drifted away from the present, either in the future or ruminating on the past. Neither of which do we have  control over. The root cause of all suffering is found in not getting what we want, when we want it.

If you think that you can change something simply by wishing and hoping you are denying the voice of truth, your voice of truth, to be heard. Life is series of challenges, a cycle of cycles of change, uncomplicated and connected to yet detached from anything and everyone.

I create my reality. Whenever I am in victim consciousness I am abandoning  myself, giving away my personal power and feeling  helpless and hopeless all because I feel entitled to receive the attention, approval or acceptance from something or someone outside of myself to complete me.

Generosity of spirit is extended to all of humanity not just the ones we are closest to. Personal recovery is sustainable when I remember that it’s not about me,  this mantra  holds  a resonance of truth, passion, potency, and  power. The outward expression of personal recovery  is the ability to be congruent. Challenging negative  patterns and themes is a first step towards shifting away from victim consciousness into feeling empowered and victorious.

The inner world is the world of  requirements, energies,  structure, and  possibilities that meets the outer world. In addition, the outer world is the field of your incarnation. That is where you are. You have to keep both going. The seat of the soul is there where the inner and outer worlds meet.

Addiction professionals practitioners have long known of the connection between psychological and physiological  states and immune response, notably between addiction and depression to a wide range of diseases.

Evidence-based  imagery reveals the brain’s dramatic coloration whilst in a meditative state. Now a direct connection between brain activity and immune function has been demonstrated. Neurosciences pinpoint one of the mechanisms underlying the link, revealing it to lie in the brain’s prefrontal cortex. This region has long been associated with emotions, thus establishing a direct link between brain activity and immune function.

Carl Jung influence is evident in the correspondence between Bill Wilson the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Jung wrote to the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous Bill Wilson that in his professional capacity he understood that the cure for alcoholism would have to be spirituality: a universal power equal to the potency of spiritus (alcohol).

The Twelve Steps strategies provide a relational foundation for evolving, building resilience and reducing stress.  The Twelve Steps outline spiritual processes. Each step provides structure and is a pillar of recovery management whilst learning how to become successful sober community members.  of

The pillars of recovery management:

• Acceptance: embarking upon the recovery quest is anchored in a daily acceptance of powerlessness over addiction.

• Action: identifying specific issues/unfinished business claiming individual uniqueness and personal power

• Awareness: spirituality-based alchemy: from Victim to victor.

The above is a description of the integrative process: step work, therapy, and being in community with likeminded other recovery friends. Tackling Step One signifies acknowledging that there is a problem, that there is help available that is outside of oneself, and the willingness to commit to holistic regime.

The very beginning of reciprocity: trust in something beyond oneself (such as a therapist, sponsor, or the programme), and the opening up of a closed family system. Invariably, it takes years to face the problem. I recommend establishing a home group as an essential pillar of the recovery management. Healing happens when we are comfortable with expressing our truth.

A sponsor’s role is take you through the steps.  They are there to encourage you by both listening and sharing their personal experience, strength, and hope. And provide you helpful suggestions. Different fellowships work in a more close-contact type of way i.e. calling your food plan for the day ahead or making outreach calls form integral aspects of a specific fellowships.

For all fellowships Twelve Step-sponsorship is recommended. While an Addiction practitioner views addiction as incongruence between self and experience, this does not minimise the ultimate belief in the autonomy that evolves as a direct result of being in recovery.

You will always have the help of another recovering person to provide support  with whatever problems are causing you suffering. There are two main objects to stopping thought. One is to open up space to clarify thought by distinguishing impulsivity, obsessive thinking compulsive behaviours. Differentiating intensity-fuelled addiction can be measured by loss of control.

Habits offer a choice. Addictive impulses do not. Be prepared to experience to using dreams, and or euphoric recall. The unconscious mind does not switch off. The unconscious remains active when we are asleep. A definition of insanity is repeating exactly the same behaviour and expecting a different outcome. The mantra of active addicts is: “I can control it, and stop anytime I want to.” Addiction cannot be controlled.

The paradox is that letting go of the need to control an addiction is surrendering to win and when recovery starts. As difficult as these sounds: if nothing changes, nothing changes. Intellectualising addiction is rationalising  consequences and abdicating  responsibility. This dynamic of self-justification is denial of reality.  You cannot straddle two worlds; using or non-using. One has to go. By immersing yourself in the universality of the Twelve Steps you are joining in with the global recovery community’s quest for meaning in the immediacy of living life on life’s terms.

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. The journey begins with self-examination: Identify what core beliefs, goals, or values that are currently in conflict with you arresting your addiction. Awakening the process of self-transcendence: the key to you being the change you wish to see in others.

We are hardwired to connect via a continuum of awareness with self, family, friends, community, and colleagues. Strengthening our ego boundaries engenders differentiation and detachment. An Admission of powerlessness in any or all of the following addictions is about beginning to own your impact: alcohol/drugs/love/relationships/sex/gambling and work are a few addictions – your purpose is to identify your primary addiction. Begin with where you are now.

Not where you were – the past is helpful to learn from, nevertheless staying stuck can lead to emotionally relapsing. Powerlessness: Explore the root causes of your addiction. It takes time, there is no rush, just for today you can change your thinking, change your life that keeps the focus upon sobriety.

Change your thinking, change your life. Into-action is taking even the small step away from using on your feelings something that will spiral into a relapse. I recommend daily journaling. First-thing-in-the-morning pages to ease into the connecting to your higher self, creating intention (sankalpa) the habit of writing about how you feel triggers self-honesty. This process engenders emotional honesty and balance.

The ability to self-regulate enables us to become more resilient. Negative emotions such as anger arises from an unmet need, an expectation or projecting onto others what we can do for ourselves but don’t! Ask yourself what do you need in this moment to take care of yourself? What would love do? What would compassion do?

Often people are unaware of their feelings and react with anger  from being challenged. Anger is a reaction to something external threatening thinking, and self esteem. Reacting arises when we do not get what we want. Anger from not being valued, regarded or esteemed can trigger intense reactions. Fear is a future based projection.

Confidence is an absence of fear and doubt, feeling comfortable with uncertainty. It is often accompanied by a mental picture of an individual’s success, and is closely related to hope and even faith. A feeling of security can be born of self-confidence, as if the state of being confident can literally push fears and their causes away.

Shame is a potent emotion that sabotages self-esteem and self worth and silences us. Powerful emotions are suppressed because of feeling shame, unworthy, not good enough and dependent upon others for safety, protection, and security.

Trauma bonded is  recycling pain. Jealousy is triggered by feelings of insecurity. The child-ego-state causes us to withdraw in any angry silence. The mantra of trauma-bonded relationships is “what about me? “

This how the steps can change our lives. By the time we are halfway through at Step Six we have sufficient insights into our character defects and are slowly addressing these in our shared step-work processes with our sponsor.

Self-enquiry. Answer the following questions with honesty as your primary purpose to discover how powerlessness is showing up in your life and ways to establish healing strategies.

Daily self-enquiry:

1. Do you eat/drink balanced/nutritional food three times a day?

2. Do you begin and complete your day with awareness of creating in the moment positive intentions i.e inclusiveness of mindfulness strategy/disciplines?

3. Do you positively regard your needs and wants i.e love your thoughts, feelings, and connection with yourself and others?

4. Do you make sure you look well presented on a daily basis?

5. How dependent are you on others for approval/ to provide for your needs and wants?

6.How balanced is your self-esteem in your relationships with others?

7. Do you strive and thrive at balancing work/family life/personal life on a daily basis?

Harnessing healing: regenerating the body’s natural healing responses. An emerging awareness of how to stay in the moment  happens as we harness increasingly emotional balance. The six sense organs, (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind) and the six sense objects (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and thought) begin to regenerate within 24 hours of cessation of active addiction.

On a cellular level the bodies natural healing responses promptly respond. Sustaining ongoing healing requires a daily commitment to self-care, esteem, and nurture ones brain/body connection. Addiction to Recovery. Vigilance is essential in the beginning of Stage one recovery: arresting addiction.

Until now, our lives have been largely devoted to avoiding conflict, emotional dishonesty, rejection of self and others, and emotional pain. Escape via active addiction is a reaction-based solution. Self-fulfilling prophecy is a repetition compulsion ergo ritualized patterns, themes, and behaviors. Fail fast. Own your impact.

The brain is hardwired over the years – it is never too late in life to re-program the brain /body connection. Ego reduction is paradoxical – if you are in therapy it is about building ego strengths. Living life as a spiritual aspirant it is about conscious connection with the oneness of existence.

Both pathways suggest harnessing evolving emotional/spiritual/physical intelligence hence the awareness model of working through unfinished aspects of your narrative (Steps One -Six ) social contracts to re-engage with life.

Your are then halfway through the process of learning ways in which life very differently to sustain long-term recovery which actualises slowly when you undertake all Twelve Steps. It was in doing Step Six that I saw why I had become so exhausted. I had been trying to control everything, and everyone. In the programme I was told that my part was “being entirely ready,” being ready to let God be the controller and life-changer of others and myself.

When I did that, my sponsor said, I would experience  abundant opportunities  to heal negative thinking.  when we stop control others. Moving onto  Step Seven. This attitude of readiness to change and remove the things that makes us spiritually and emotionally sick is paradoxically the doorway to active and effective change of specific lifelong habits.

Over time all the work you do to change begins to live through you, makes for emotional balance and happiness because when we know we are enough life, there is no longer a need to compare, compete or spiral down into feeling less than. This is life in recovery: a series of life changing strategies.

There comes a time when the bubble of ego is popped and you can’t get the ground back for an extended period of time. Those times, when you absolutely cannot get it back together, are the most rich and powerful times in our lives.

Life in recovery is about transforming negative perceptions into life-affirming beliefs about one-self and others. To do this on a daily basis engenders the neural pathways to regenerate positive thoughts into actions.  Learning how to “listen” to your higher self requires not acting out on your impulsivity – the difference between reacting and not reacting.

I recommend breathing, a few deep breaths to reconnect you to yourself will bring your mind/body connection back to the present moment to restore  equanimity and heal suffering in the present moment.

It is a deepening awareness of life on life’s terms i.e. reality checking about what is going on that helps halt and change the behaviour.  It is about truly nourishing ourselves. The view that is presented in the Buddhist teachings is not one of becoming a better person, or finally getting it right, but is a view based on trusting what we already have, of starting and staying where we already are.

So with letting go of an addiction, the instruction is  to connect  with our basic nature,  the basic energy of the moment.  Identifying your defence mechanism: projecting, deflecting, reacting are three psychological blocks to unpack in therapy. Owning your personal power helps heal trauma bonds/ betrayal and abandonment.

. The imprinting of patterns and themes, family genetics, psychosocial patterning are retained in our DNA. Addiction is the cause and effect of a chemical imbalance in the brain. Finding the correct medication/meditation is recommended for sustaining recovery and preventing relapse-in tandem with the existential quest  for meaning.

The importance of modifying impulsive/obsessive compulsive triggers is essential in re-programming the brain. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. Insanity is repeating the same behaviour expecting a different outcome. Restoration of sanity is in arresting your addiction.

Core beliefs drive our ego states of mind. Instinctual patterns and themes that are driven by poor impulse control.  Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, and craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission.

Life in recovery is a daily commitment to abstinence-based way of life. Without arresting addiction, undergoing treatment along with participation in recovery disciplines the addict will suffer from obsessive thinking, poor impulse control, constant craving, and compulsive behaviours. Faith is success. Fear is failure.

Change is a constant, life organismically (is in a state of flux) nothing is static, ergo you can never step into a river in the same place you did yesterday. Neuroscience demonstrates this at a subatomic level: everything is a form of vibrational energy.

Our worldview veils us from our truth. We lie to ourselves. This is precisely why we need faith. We need to trust in the unseen, the Mystery. Building ego strengths and relapse prevention techniques along with using a Mantra and daily breathe-work meditation engenders preparing the foundation for psycho-spiritual foundation.

Learning how to meditate like a monk requires sessions with spiritual teacher to familiarise your self with the process of personalise your spiritual practice. The daily ritual of chanting a mantra stimulates the chakras (energy hubs) which rejuvenates wellbeing. With growing understanding of the problem, denial breakdown, loses it stronghold and a change in thinking occurs.

Many addicts found themselves frequent visitors in psychiatric institutions (rehabs) prisons or A & E. Crime, domestic violence, and car- accidents are drug and or alcohol related. I have sat and listened in the rooms of A.A. to stores of serious life-threatening events, sometimes shocking that occur whilst they in drug or alcohol induced blackouts. Lost time, lives, and loss of one’s sanity.

The acknowledgment of powerlessness manifests as a loss of all that was associated with active addiction: secrecy, rituals, helplessness, and hopelessness. An all-consuming intensity fuelled focus filled with high-risk activities to control and manipulate others characterizes the desperation and suffering in the human condition: same stuff different day stance of hell on earth.

How to fill the existential void of living with the additional burden of negative feelings? Taming the demons: loneliness, fear, emptiness, boredom, and depression arise often. Developing the awareness that left to ones devices relapse will happen, instead taking action to change negative thinking can be helped by calling another recovering person or go to a meeting.

Being connected is essential. Existing in a “rut ” can lead to decorating it! The existential wounded-ness (the shadow) of the addictive personality is uncomfortable with change, being challenged, and or losing control.

However, if love is fostering another person’s spiritual growth then continuing to block this will result in relationships failing to thrive.  The restoration of sanity is an essential part of recovery management. Within the texts of Step 2 is the insanity that characterises the addictive personality: would you let anyone do to you what you have done to yourself?

When you begin to acknowledge that you have a potentially life-threatening addiction over which you are powerless, subject to a daily reprieve from relapsing this reality clarifies the urgency of asking for help in find solutions.

Reality itself becomes a teacher, as one is asked to continually “turn over” (to that Power) an addiction, people, and frustrating situations. The ego gradually relinquishes control, as one begins to trust that Power, the growth process, and life as well. Self-Awareness: What has been happening up until now is an increasing awareness and observation of one’s dysfunctional behavior and addiction(s) – what is referred to as “insanity” in the Second Step.

This crucial development signifies the genesis of an observing ego. Now one begins to exercise some restraint over addictive and undesirable habits, words, and deeds.  Living in the solution  is being in flow.  Abstinence and forbearance from old behavior are accompanied by anxiety, anger, and a sense of loss of control. New, preferable attitudes and behavior (often called “contrary action”) feel uncomfortable, and arouse other emotions, including fear and guilt. Group support is important in reinforcing new behavior, because the emotions triggered by these changes are very powerful, can, and even arrest recovery.

Additionally, resistance is experienced from self, family, and friends for the very same reasons. The anxiety and resistance may be so great that it triggers a relapse. There is help in Step 3: “We turn our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.” This is the practice of “letting go” and “turning it over.” As faith builds, so does the willingness to let go and move toward more functional behavior. Inventory and Building Self-Esteem Now with a bit more ego awareness, self-discipline, and faith, one is ready to review one’s past in Step Four.

It requires a thorough examination/inventory of the past, experiences, and relationships with a view toward uncovering patterns of victimhood. Ideally with a group leader if it is in a residential setting or with a trusted 12-step sponsor, disclosure of this inventory formulates Step Five – emerging development of self-esteem and an observing ego.

Building objectivity and self-acceptance, tackle residual guilt, resentments, and trauma-based shame begins to slowly dissolve. With it go the false pride, hubris, arrogance, self-loathing, and depression. For some, this process may also involve recalling childhood trauma, which is the beginning of healing empathy for oneself, compassion, and forgiveness for others. Self-Acceptance and Transformation: Acknowledgment of one’s behaviour patterns is a beginning and insufficient to remove them.

This will not happen until they can be replaced with healthier ego boundaries/ skills, and the secondary gain derived from the negative behaviour is removed. Old habits become increasingly painful, no longer working because the outcome is misery. This process is described in Step Six: “Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.” It underscores the psychological process of personal transformation that evolves throughout recovery, and represents a further development of self-acceptance, the key to change.

As long as one tries to change, and blames oneself in the process, no movement occurs – not until one gives up. Then one is “entirely ready.” Step Six asks that one give up control and ego clinging, and look for a source beyond oneself. Then, it is suggested to take Step Seven : “Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.” Compassion for Others: The review of one’s shortcomings reveals one’s effect on others, and awakens empathy for those harmed. Steps 8 and 9 suggest that one make direct amends to them – a further step in building a more solid self, humility, compassion, and self-esteem.

Step 10 – when we are in the wrong, forgive ourselves in the moment, be gracious, patient and kind. Step 11, daily rituals:  prayer and mediation,  craving  a conscious connection to all that is…living consciously conscious. This  increases confidence, improves mood, promotes new behaviour, and reduces the anxiety accompanying change. Building tolerance for the experience of emptiness supports surrendering, letting go of  negative controlling behaviours.   Step Twelve recommends selfless  service.  working with others, and practicing these principles in all our affairs.

Communicating to others what we have learned is self-reinforcing. It also reminds us that spirituality cannot be practiced in only one segment of our lives, without contamination from other areas. For example, dishonesty in any area undermines serenity and self-esteem, affecting all of one’s relationships.

The steps are designed to ignite  spiritual growth, may you find this is how it works for you. Each day is a new beginning. As we grow in recovery we become increasingly accountable. Self- care exponentially increases. Emotional balance is the bedrock of sustaining long-term recovery. May you be happy. May you be love, may you be free from self-seeking and enjoy the journey of al lifetime!

COMPASSION, RESPECT & HARMONY

nirvana_buddha_under_the_tree_of_life_el03

 

Within the human condition is a resistance to self-care. Many of us  believe that happiness is possible only in the future. The realization that we have already arrived, that we do not have to travel any further, that we are already here, can give us peace and joy. The conditions for our happiness are already sufficient.

SO HUM: the universality of mantra and meditation can transcend suffering, conflict, challenges and change. Many of us believe that happiness is possible only in the future.We only need to allow ourselves to be in the present moment, and we will be able to touch them.

What are we looking for to be happy? Everything is already here. We do not need to put an object in front of us to run after, believing that until we get it, we cannot be happy. That object is always in the future, and we can never catch up to it.  We are already a Buddha. We only need to wake up and realize we are already here.Pausing breaks the pattern of self-sabotaging reactivity. I use the pause moment to reflect briefly on this question: “What would love do?” Cultivating loving kindness and compassion  is not about striving to be perfect in love and life, ego happy….it is about doing my best, being my best…which has completely different energy, and  centres me in the chaos, as I connect the dots…

LIFE AT ITS BEST

 

Mastering the art of effortlessness. Surrender can be considered as counterintuitive to success, wrongly associated with losing face, weakness, and defeat. Surrender is success.   Surrender  encourages  us to become more patient, poised and present. Disrupting   a “hurry-up – life script/agenda”   enables us to change self-sabotaging  habits.

“When you are in the state of surrender, you will reject anything that comes  between you and your relationship  with God. ” Tommy Rosen founder of 2.0 Recovery.  Addiction recovery is sustainable when we continue to practice the art of insight meditation,  training the mind to go  within. We are social beings, hardwired to  connect.  In order to thrive we need  contact, communication and  connection for optimal brain development.  Dr. Gabor Maté observes an extremely high rate of childhood trauma, abuse and neglect  in the addicts he works with. The absence of consistent love, compassion, encouragement, instilled in children that the world is an unsafe place.  He asserts that it is extremely common for people with addictions to have a reduced capacity for dealing with emotional distress, hence an increased risk of drug-dependence.

Disconnection triggers addictive behaviours: obsession, compulsivity, acting out, dark-net digital dependency, substance/alcohol  abuse, eroticised rage, manifest  disconnection from reality.

Digital addiction can  affect the quality of sleep,  too little sleep disrupts the body’s ability to digest, renew and restore itself.  When we sit in front of our computers, without taking a break to eat,  we are not only not digesting our food,  habitually needing the quick-fix preference of processed (carbs) food:  sugar, fat and salt. Stress-eating occurs  as a  result of feeling vulnerable, reaching impulsively for food is a coping mechanism for people who process emotion through their gut and not their mind.

Resetting the brain, rebalancing the emotional, physical and spiritual  mind and body connection.   Amplified thinking (ruminating) is an inability to “train the mind to look within” instead the mind obsesses about  past  events Bridging the gap between cause  and affect.

When we are aware, our perception of the present moment isn’t automatically distorted and or  disconnected from reality. I think we can all agree that  agree that an emotionally intelligent mindset  consisting of awareness,  attention and engagement in the present moment is challenging in the beginning to access and over time the awareness muscle is more readily available  when  relationship ruptures   occur in the immediacy of daily life that have the potency to derail us, cause stress and fearful projections of failing.

Self-awareness  is a muscle – if you do not use it,  you lose it. Become curious. Become present.Self-acceptance  is learning to love divergent existence. An engaged mind, body soul  is connected to all that is with detachment, and discernment.   Focussing on one task  at a time –  being our best is  doing our best.

Mindfulness is a skill-set that time and practice to develop. Mindfulness is being focussed, continuously creating intentionality. Mindfulness is  being compassionate. Mindfulness is participating fully. Mindfulness is being non-judgemental.

I recommend do what I do to destress distress: as well as intermittent fasting, eating 80% plant based food, meditation, yoga and walking – I love my family, and friend because I have the opportunity to be the best me throughout the day.

Highly stressed people are over stimulated,  “have too many windows open” and no mechanisms to ‘switch-off. ” Stimulus saturation impacts mental  health-wellbeing. Seeking intensity  disconnection from our essential being and from others. The space between reacting and responding: being in the gap exponentially grows through regular meditation. Committing to daily a restorative meditation practice transform stress into strength of mind and body. experience emotional balance.

  • Autonomy
  • Boundaries
  • Awareness
  • Focus
  • Accountability

Awareness of shifting attention between the conscious and unconscious minds and the outer world.The easiest way to understand mindfulness experimentally is the  focus all of your attention on your thoughts, feelings, and actions as they occur.

Self-awareness can be practiced by actively observing yourself when communicating with others. This includes your reactions to verbal and non-verbal forms of communication, and the way those reactions influence your responses. This type of awareness also contributes to being able to  self-regulate our thoughts feeling and actions.

Lets talk about the impact of work related addiction and mental health problems:  Anxiety, Sleep Deprivation, Adrenal Fatigue, Addiction,  Compromised Nutrition Syndrome, Anxiety and Depression.

Work related stress is proving to  be highly detrimental: personally, professionally  and productively. Mindfulness stress reduction retrain the mind/body connection,   enhances congruence,  cognitive performance, and  interpersonal relationships.

 

 

Considering how much time we spend on tasks – learning how to be energy efficient with our body, thinking, feeling behaviours is what is available  when we commit to a mindfulness meditation practice. You can’t have one without the other. Both mind states strive for unity – this is a way of life that has numerous benefits.  Breath-work (pranayama) is the centre piece of meditation and mindfulness. Learning how to breathe differently requires conscious commitment to bring the breath back to centre, realign  the physical body.  Every time you bring the mind back from drifting , you’re building the muscle of concentration and commitment.  The mind wanders off and you bring it back to the breath, again and again. Through repetition you build  concentration.

Anxiety triggers shallow breathing. Mindfulness Stress management tools: Breathe. Pause. reflect. Respond helps destress the mind/body connection when unresolved trauma is triggered in the present moment. Renowned trauma expert Dr. Besel vand Der Kolk  author The  Body  Keeps   Score –  Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma  states trauma is a fact of life. He  has spent over three decades studying trauma. and transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring—specially areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust.

He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments:  breath-work, holistic therapies, mindfulness techniques, meditation, yoga, and nutrition. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The  Body Keeps the Score offers proven alternatives to drugs and talk therapy—and a way to reclaim lives.

Stress impacts  conditioned thinking: i.e.  when a person experiences a threat to their survival. The limbic brain demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilise.” In other words, stress is something we experience when we face a situation and our ability to cope is challenged. We feel we’ve lost control of events.

To find out how mindful you are think about your journey to work today. If you were driving were you “mindful”  of distractions from the past…and not focussed on the traffic, pedestrians, etc..  on auto-pilot.

Self-regulating  attributes:

Awareness

Involves being the observer of your experiences and encounters. Connected. For people with stress, depression, addiction and anxiety it is challenging to NOT be habitually constantly over thinking.  Obsessive thinking is seeking certainty.

Participating fully

Is pausing to reflect…then respond. When we reject our thoughts, suppress our needs and wants we are sending others the same message. Often others needs to be seen and heard…however autopilot functioning  is waiting to interrupt, talk over etc..realy listening and responding.

Nonjudgmental

Silencing the inner critic – people pickup on being judged, and will disconnect, withdraw and assume a defensive stance. Our mirror neurons are reflecting back to one another how we feel, and what we home others will not detect …so identify fear in your language with others – we choose to personify healthy ways of interacting with others:  fear or love?

 

 

THRIVING

 

By conquering your mind, you can conquer the world. The mind is given to you to serve you, not to control you. You breathe 22,000 times every day. How many are you really aware of?

The mind is  powerful. It determines actions, not just what you do, how you interpret what you do. The mind determines how you make decisions, what you chose to remember, and how you plan for the future. Your mind is responsible for all of your experiences, positive, negative, pain and pleasure.

“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally,” says Kabat-Zinn. “It’s about knowing what is on your mind.”

The space between reacting and responding: being in the gap exponentially grows through regular meditation. Committing to daily  a restorative meditation practice  transform stress into strength of mind and body. experience emotional balance.

Why bring Mindfulness Leadership into the workplace and what are the benefits to business productivity? Implementing a mindfulness training program into the workplace has been road-tested with long-term positive outcomes by Aetna, Apple, Google, Amazon, Nike, Saatchi etc are well known for their mindfulness community-at-work ethos with designated quiet-zones to practice mindfulness, meditate, and have a session with an onsite holistic practitioner.

What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness as a way of life means paying attention to what’s happening in the present moment in the mind/body/soul and in our external environment. A real-world guide to mind/ body balance, inner healing and self-discovery.

Helping create a life of inner peace, balance and clarity. The aim of Mindfulness is to build awareness and inspire change. The intention is to develop our capacity to learn how to live life with greater resilience, compassion and happiness.

It is possible live a life without stress, anxiety, worry and fear. Mindfulness educates us in how to master our emotions to create a more fulfilling life. Mindfulness cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day living.

This ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of the mind. It includes all aspects of one’s being, from bodily health to self-realization. The term mindful is to be intentional in what we think and feel. Spontaneously open. Creative to unfolding opportunities possibilities.

The most common reason for work dissatisfaction is power struggles —feeling unappreciated, depleted of energy, identity insecurity outside of the workplace, endless rumination, and tunnel vision stuck-ness.

Addressing mental health issues in the workplace is vital. Knowing what type of intervention to engage in is of paramount importance. The escalating expense and legal complications of replacing higher-revenue generating employees is daunting.

A glance at the loss in productivity statistics: • £9billion and climbing a year due to stress, addiction, depression, and anxiety related health problems. • 14-20million working days are lost each year from mental and or addiction healthcare issues. • 60% of workplace deaths are linked to addiction • 40% of accidents are linked to addiction • £30,614 is the average cost to recruit a single staff member, according to Oxford Economics.

There is also lost productivity from those around the person with the substance-abuse problem: for example, 14% of employees in one survey said they had to re-do work due to a co-worker’s active addiction. We now have conclusive neuro-scientific evidence that validates the ancient wisdom that is mindfulness moreover about the importance of renewal and regeneration if we are going to be our most productive, creative, and healthiest. Teaching professionals centuries old mindfulness disciplines fosters a resilient workforce and healthy, happier work environment.

People learn how to self-regulate which improves the quality of their communications, interactions, and relationships, in addition to building trust, they become more than willing to be empathic and compassionate. By learning to pay attention more to our thoughts, feelings and experiences at work, we allow ourselves to connect more fully to each moment. How stress hijacks the brain: Mindfulness stress reduction is experienced in the prefrontal cortex.

The complex circuitry system responsible for conscious thinking and planning decreases, when stressed, while activity in the amygdala, hypothalamus, and anterior cingulate cortex regions that quickly activates the bodies stress response increases. Studies have suggested that mindfulness reverses these patterns during stress; it increases prefrontal activity, which can regulate and turn down amplified stress responses. By reducing individuals’ experiences and impact of long-term stress, mindfulness may help regulate the physical stress response and ultimately reduce the risk and severity of stress-related diseases.

The most common reason for work dissatisfaction is burnout—feeling unappreciated, depleted of energy, loss of an identity outside of our job titles/description, ruminating, and tunnel vision stuck-ness. The aim of Mindfulness is to build awareness and inspire change. The intention is to develop our capacity to learn how to live life with greater resilience, compassion and happiness. It is possible live a life without stress, anxiety, worry and fear.

Mindfulness educates us in how to master our emotions to create a more fulfilling life. Mindfulness cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day living. This ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of the mind. It includes all aspects of one’s being, from bodily health to self-realization. The term mindful is to be intentional in what we think and feel. Spontaneously open. Creative to unfolding opportunities possibilities.

Mindfulness is being authentic. Conditioned mind tells us untruths. Peeling away the layers of conditioned thinking is mindfully to engage in life with authenticity and autonomy. Insights gained through the practice of Mindfulness are restorative and affirming. A typical introduction to the art of mindfulness meditation practice begins with awareness of the breath/breathing. This can be done standing, sitting or lying down.

The intention is to interrupt our mental disconnection from reality when we are projecting into the future or ruminating on the past. As thoughts continue to come and go the intention is to raise awareness of the physical sensations taking place during the process and not attaching any meaning to passing thoughts. Mindfulness practice evolves over time into including a body-scan, mantra, a mudra and restorative yoga postures.

Mindfulness taps into the constant dynamic interplay between our interior and exterior worlds. A cause and effect relationship that ripples through our essential being. Mindfulness holistic therapies have a unique role to play in addressing addiction and mental health challenges when there is a greater focus on early interventions and relapse prevention.

Mindfulness stress-management is proving to be one of the most promising wellbeing/mental health strategies, and is non-stigmatizing. Awareness of self is paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment. Cultivating a mindfulness meditation practice provides a “safe place’ and a personal sense of fulfilment when challenges arise. Managing time is a benefit of mindfulness training. Learning the value in being able to “switch-off” slows down the brain’s autopilot set point. Just as we neuro-biologically hard-wired to connect, conditioned mind becomes “stuck” in reactionary life position.

“Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day,” says study senior author Sara Lazar of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and a Harvard Medical School instructor in psychology.

This study and many others from Harvard Medical School demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing. There are many ways to cultivate the efficacy of mindfulness through repetition and regular practice until it becomes a natural everyday occurrence. Being in a mindfulness community in the immediacy of daily life is the hallmark of wellbeing.

BE the OBSERVER

Complex trauma, addiction, depression chronic stress and anxiety are treatable addiction and mental healthcare concerns. I recommend joining a recovery online and or on site community. Profound, and life changing  healing happens when we connect with  like-minded people can symbolise  the beginning of trusting the ebb and flow process, how we learn to become the observer. Become curious. Asking  yourself the following  questions is connecting the dots…

What would love do?
Who am I?
What do I want?
What is my purpose?
What am I grateful for?

I became over time comfortable asking soul questions – with peers at first led to seeking professional help, as id joins a recovery community a 12 step-group became my conduit to change and this encounter with recovering  addicts – like me-   spawned an unstoppable  interest in seeking out the plethora of  pathways to wellbeing.

A music therapist friend took me to the Vedanta Centre in NYC one wet and windy winter day in 1988. A  wonderful morning puja, part musical part Hindi poetry, followed by a meeting with remarkable people was an invitation to  an emergent  awareness.

An informal introduction with the Swami Bhuteshananda inspired me to begin attending meditation retreats to learn more about the mind and body. Initially it was Upstate New York to the Vedanta Societies retreat centre. Then gloriously enriching  India,  where I eventually settled for a wildly transformative year. Culturally unstoppable, chaotic, with many totemic and embodiments of humanity,  God-like archetypes that tick the wish-list  for all of life’s wants, needs, cravings and aspirations.

We continue to travel to sacred sites all over the planet: Australia,  Scotland,  Europe, Egypt and Istanbul, because there  are many pathways to healing, and meditation continues to be my bedrock that helps me realign, reclaim peace of mind and body, happiness and love,  and so much more. in 1988.   The journey continues.

Peter Levine – Polyvagal Theory

 

 

 

Peter A. Levine draws on his broad experience as a clinician, a student of comparative brain research, a stress scientist and a keen observer of the naturalistic animal world to explain the nature and transformation of trauma in the body, brain and psyche.

 The Polyvagal Theory

If animals were physically restrained and frightened, they would go into a profoundly altered state of consciousness where they were frozen and immobilized, unable to move. And it turns out that this is one of the key survival features that animals use to protect themselves from threat—in this case from extreme threat. Actually there are three basic neural energy subsystems. These three systems underpin the overall state of the nervous system as well as the correlative behaviors and emotions, leading to three defensive strategies to threat.
MY: That’s the polyvagal theory developed by Stephen Porges?
PL: Yes. These systems are orchestrated by the primitive structures in our brainstem—the upper part of the brainstem. They’re instinctive and they’re almost reflexive. The tonic immobility is the most primitive system, and it spans probably over 500 million years. It is a combination of freezing and collapsing—the muscles go limp, the person is left without any energy. The next in evolutionary development is the sympathetic nervous system, the fight-or-flight response. And this system evolved from the reptilian period which was about 300 million years ago. And its function is enhanced action, and, as I said, fight-or-flight. Finally the third and most recent system is the social engagement system, and this occurs only in mammals. Its purpose is to drive social engagement—making friends—in order to defuse the aggression or tension.
VY: So this is when we’re feeling threatened or stressed we want to talk to our friends and family?
PL: Yeah, exactly. Or if somebody’s really angry at us, we want to explain what happened so they don’t strike out at us. Obviously most people won’t strike out, but we’re still hardwired for those kinds of expectations.
VY: Most people have a general sense of the fight-or-flight, but would you just say a few words on it?
PL: Basically, in the fight-or-flight response, the objective is to get away from the source of threat. All of our muscles prepare for this escape by increasing their tension level, our heart rate and respiration increase, and our whole basic metabolic system is flooded with adrenaline. Blood is diverted to the muscles, away from the viscera.

The goal is to run away, or if we feel that we can’t escape or if we perceive that the individual that’s trying to attack us is less strong than we are, to attack them. Or if we’re cornered by a predator—in other words, if there’s no way to escape—then we’ll fight back. Now, if none of those procedures are effective, and it looks like we’re going to be killed, we go into the shock state, the tonic immobility.

Now the key is that when people get into this immobility state, they do it in a state of fear. And as they come out of the immobility state, they also enter a state of fear, and actually a state in which they are prepared for what sometimes is called rage counterattack.
MY: Can you say more about that?
PL: For example, you see a cat chasing a mouse. The cat catches the mouse and has it in its paws, and the mouse goes into this immobility response. And sometimes you’ll actually see the cat bat the mouse around a little bit until it comes out of the immobility, because it wants the chase to go on. Now, what can happen is that the mouse, when it comes out of the immobility state, goes into what is called nondirective flight. It doesn’t even look for where it can run. It just runs as fast as it can in any direction. Sometimes that’s right into the cat. Other times, it will actually attack, in a counterattack of rage.

 

I’ve actually seen a mouse who was captured by a cat come out of the immobility and attack the cat’s nose. The cat was so startled it remained there in that state while the mouse scurried away. When people come out of this immobility response, their potential for rage is so strong and the associated sensations are so intense that they are afraid of their own impulse to strike out and to defend themselves by killing the predator. Again, this all goes back to our animal heritage.

So the key I found was in helping people come out of this immobility response without fear. Now, with Nancy, I was lucky. If it were not for that image, I could just as easily have retraumatized her. As a matter of fact, some of the therapies that were being developed around that time frequently retraumatized people.

I think particularly of Arthur Janov’s Primal Therapy, where people would be yelling and screaming out, supposedly getting out all of their locked-in emotions, but a lot of times they were actually terrorizing themselves with the rage and then they would go back into a shutdown, and then be encouraged to “relive” another memory, and then this cycle would continue.
MY: It becomes addictive sometimes, right?
PL: That’s correct. It literally becomes addictive. And one of the reasons is that when you do these kinds of relivings, there’s a tremendous release of adrenaline. There’s also a release of endorphins, which is the brain’s internal opiate system. In animals, these endorphins allow the prey to go into a state of shock-analgesia and not feel the pain of being torn apart.

When people relive the trauma, they recreate a similar neurochemical system that occurred at the time of the trauma, the release of adrenaline and endorphins. Now, adrenaline is addictive, it is like getting a speed high. [section;And they get addicted not only to the adrenaline but to the endorphins; it’s like having a drug cocktail of amphetamines and morphine.

So when I was at Esalen I actually noticed that people would come to these groups, they would yell and scream, tear a pillow apart that was their mother or their father, and they would feel high. They would feel really great. But then when they would come back a few weeks later, they would go through exactly the same thing again. And that’s what gave me a clue to the fact that this might be addictive.

Releasing Trauma from the Body

VY: So getting back to Nancy, from what you observed and what you learned from the animals’ various responses, what was your understanding of what happened with Nancy and what you did that was actually helpful?
PL: What was helpful is that her body learned that in that time of overwhelming threat she could not defend herself. She lost all of her power. Her muscles were all tight. She was struggling to get away—this was the flight response—to get out of that, to get away from those people who were holding her down and to run out of the room and back to her parents. I mean, that’s what her body wanted to do, her body needed to do—to get out of there and get back to where she could be protected.

So what happened is all of this activation, this “energy” that was locked into her body when she was trying to escape and then was overwhelmed, was still there in a latent form. When we’re overwhelmed like that, the energy just doesn’t go away—it gets locked very deeply in the body. That’s the key. It gets locked in the muscles.
MY: And that’s the foundation of your understanding of trauma—this locking of energy?
PL: That’s right, exactly. How the energy, how this activation gets locked in the body and in the nervous system.
MY: And so your objective is to help the person release that energy?
PL: Yes, to release that energy, but also to re-channel that energy into an active response, so then the body has a response of power, of its own capacity to regulate, and the person comes out of this shutdown state into a process in which they re-own their own vital energy—we use the term “life energy.”

It’s not generally used in psychology but I think it’s a term that is profound in people’s health, that people feel that they have the energy to live their life fully, and that they have the capacity to direct this energy in powerful and productive ways.
VY: Now obviously you’re just giving a snapshot of the case and we can’t capture the depth and the nuances of it. But someone who doesn’t know about this could think it sounds a little simplistic.

This woman had a tonsillectomy decades ago, and you’re having this one session with her and somehow you’re freeing up some energy that was trapped back then. How would you respond to that?
PL: Well, it was simplistic, and of course I was to learn that one-time cures were not always the case. However, over the years I started to develop a systematic approach where the person could gradually access these energies and these body sensations—not all at once, but one little bit at a time. It’s a process that I call titration. I borrowed that term from chemistry.

The image that I use is that of mixing an acid and a base together. If you put them together, there can be an explosion. But if you take it one drop at a time, there is a little fizzle and eventually the system neutralizes. Not only does it neutralize but after you do this titration a certain number of times, you get an end result of salt and water. So instead of having these toxic substances, you have the basic building blocks of life,

I use this analogy to describe one of the techniques I use in my work with trauma patients.You’re not actually exposing the person to a trauma—you’re restoring the responses that were overwhelmed, which is what led to the trauma in the first place.You’re not actually exposing the person to a trauma—you’re restoring the responses that were overwhelmed, which is what led to the trauma in the first place.

 

 

Healthy vagal tone is noticed  by a slight increase of heart rate when you inhale, and a decrease of heart rate when you exhale. Deep diaphragmatic breathing—with a long, slow exhale—is key to stimulating the vagus nerve and slowing heart rate and blood pressure, especially in times of performance anxiety. A higher vagal tone index is linked to physical and psychological well-being. A low vagal tone index is linked to inflammation, negative moods, isolation,and heart attacks. 

Heart disease is the number one killer according to World Health studies. There are a few ways  to improve your heart-health: Yoga, meditation, breath-work,  and  meditation. 

Well conditioned athletes have higher vagal tone because aerobic breathing creates healthy vagal tone, which results in a lower resting heart rate. Healthy cardiac function is directly linked to stimulating the vagus nerve. 

The  German physiologist  Otto Loewi  (1921) discovered that by stimulating the vagus nerve caused a reduction in heart rate thereby  triggering the release of a substance  he coinedVagusstoff (German: “Vagus Substance”). The “vagus substance” was later identified as acetylcholine and became the first neurotransmitter identified by scientists.  

Vagusstuff  is literally a tranquilizer that you can self-administer simply by taking a few deep breaths with long exhales. You can consciously tap the power of your vagus nerve to create inner-calm on demand. This knowledge alone should be enough to reduce the fear -of-fear-itself and give you grace under pressure next time you need it.

What exactly is the vagus nerve?

The word vagus means “wandering” in Latin. The words vagabond, vague, and vagrant come from the same root. The vagus nerve is known as the wandering nerve because it has multiple branches that diverge from two thick stems rooted in the cerebellum and brainstem that wander to the lowest viscera of your abdomen touching your heart and most major organs along the way. 

The vagus nerve is constantly sending sensory information about the state of the body’s organs “upstream”  to your brain. In fact, 80-90% of the nerve fibers in the vagus nerve are dedicated to communicating the state of your viscera up to your brain. When people say “trust your gut” they are in many ways saying, “trust your vagus nerve.” Visceral feelings and gut-instincts are literally emotional intuitions transferred up to your brain via the vagus nerve.

As with any mind-body feedback loop, messages also travel “downstream” from your conscious mind through the vagus nerve signaling your organs to create an inner-calm so you can “rest-and-digest” during times of safety or to prepare your body for “fight-or-flight” in dangerous situations.

Your vagus nerve is the commander-in-chief when it comes to having grace under pressure. The autonomic nervous system is comprised of two polar opposite systems that create a complementary tug-of-war which allows your body to maintain homeostasis (inner-stability).

The sympathetic nervous system is geared to rev you up like the gas pedal in an automobile – it thrives on adrenaline and cortisol and is part of the fight-or-flight response. The parasympathetic nervous system is the polar opposite. The vagus nerve is command central for the function of your parasympathetic nervous system. It is geared to slow you down like the brakes on your car and uses neurotransmitters like acetylcholine and GABA to literally lower heart rate, blood pressure, and help your heart and organs slow down. 

Unfortunately, the vagus nerve’s reflexive responses can backfire and turn it from comrade into saboteur. Anytime you psyche yourself out before an important event, feel intimidated, or insecure your vagus nerve interprets that you are in real danger which exacerbates these negative responses.

All of the physical symptoms of performance anxiety—racing heart, sweaty palms, dry mouth, upset stomach, shakiness—are the result of your vagus nerve disengaging. Luckily, you have the power to harness your vagus nerve and keep it engaged to create grace under pressure. By understanding  the incredible power of your vagus nerve you can begin practicing ways to flex its inhibitory strength to keep you mellow in times of distress.

When you do body scan see if you can connect deeper into the energy of each of the following organs: 

Heart. Abdomen, stomach, upper intestines, liver, gallbladder, kidney, pancreas, adrenal glands, spleen, middle spine behind the solar plexus.

You may  have in the past experienced health problems i.e. Arthritis, gastric or duodenal ulcers, colon/intestinal problems, pancreatitis/diabetes, chronic or acute indigestion, anorexia, bulemia, liver dysfunction, hepatitis, adrenal dysfunction.

Your relation map may have been disrupted by : 
Trust, fear, intimidation, low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, loss self-respect, low-ambition,  lack of courage, in ability to handle crisis, inconsistent  self care, of yourself, sensitivity to criticism, fear of rejection and looking inadequate , physical appearance anxieties, an absence of strength of character.

Questions for Self-Examination
1.Do you like yourself?

2.What don’t you like and why.Are you actively working to change the things about yourself you don’t like?

3.Are you honest? Do you sometimes misrepresent the truth? Why?

4.Are you critical of others? Do you blame others as a way of protecting yourself?

5.Are you able to admit when you are wrong? Are you open to feedback from other people about yourself?

6.Do you need the approval of others? If so, why?Do you consider yourself strong or weak?

7.Are you afraid of taking care of yourself?

8.Have you been in a relationship with a person you didn’t really love, but it seemed better than being alone?

9.Do you respect yourself? Can you decide to make changes in your life and then stick to your commitment?

10.Are you afraid of responsibility? Or, do you feel responsible for everything and everyone? Are you continually wishing your life were different? If so, are you doing anything to change it, or have you resigned yourself to the situation?