The Cycle of Healing

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We learn and heal in ebbs and flows, spiraling around the center of ourselves where our true Self dwells. When we’re in a cycle of growth, we burn through layers of ego fears and touch into that core place of wellness where peace and clarity reside. Our hearts are open and alive and we can receive and give love with ease. This is the gold of being human, and how we long to live there always! But alas, inevitably, when the false self senses that we’re growing “too much” or learning “too quickly”, it bucks like a bull at a bronco, and it suddenly feels like we’re back at square one. Then we cycle into the ebb stage, and if we don’t have a context in which to understand the cycle of healing, the fear-mind can easily grab hold of these ebbs as evidence to support our current anxiety story.

I often … Click here to continue reading...

When Fear Washes In: Health Anxiety and Other Fears of Death

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Fear is a part of life. Sometimes we can keep it at bay, but eventually, with certainty, it will creep in like a red tide on an otherwise calm beach. We try to run, but it’s faster than we are. We try to hide but it discovers all of our hiding places. Eventually we realize that the only way to effectively work with fear is to turn around and face it and to cultivate practices that push it back out to sea where it’s reabsorbed in the great vastness of those bigger waters.

Fear can show up in many ways, with many faces. We fear for our children’s health. We fear that we’re in the wrong relationship. We fear that the strange lump we’ve just discovered is cancer. I can’t tell you how many of my clients struggle with health anxiety on a regular basis. “Every time my throat hurts I think … Click here to continue reading...

“I Wish He Was Taller”

I could have titled this post with any of the phrases I hear every day from my clients and course members:

“I wish she was thinner.” “I wish he was more successful.” “I wish she had better skin.” “I wish he was more assertive.” “I wish she had a different voice.”

But this is the one that came through a few weeks ago in a session with a client (*shared with permission), so we’ll start here: I wish he was taller. What’s embedded in that sentiment? How we respond to the unbidden or undesirable thought once it arrives determines whether we walk down the path of learning and discovery or get stuck in the tar pit of anxiety. It’s that one crucial moment that defines the choice-point and makes the difference. Here’s how our dialogue unfolded:

“When I first saw him I thought, ‘I wish he was taller,’ my client shared with … Click here to continue reading...

Anxiety is a Game of Whack-A-Mole

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The anxious mind can latch onto almost any topic:

What if I don’t have enough money? What if my kids aren’t okay? What if I don’t get pregnant? What if I have cancer? What if I don’t love my partner enough and I’m making a terrible mistake? What if I don’t have enough friends? What if I’m gay? What if I’m a pedophile? What if I have an STD? What if there’s a terrorist attack ? What if I’m in the wrong career? What if the plane crashes?

How many of these thoughts have you struggled with? And have you found that you can resolve one thought only to find that another pops up in its place? That’s why anxiety is a game of whack-a-mole: if you whack down one mole (thought) without addressing it from the root, another will quickly … Click here to continue reading...

Grief Neutralizes Thought

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We are addicted to our stories. The thoughts come in and take us away on their magic carpet promise of arriving in a land of certainty, where the vulnerability and pain of life can’t touch us. We learn early to climb aboard this carpet because, as young people, we usually don’t know how to manage the big feelings of life. Big feelings coursing through a little body are only manageable when that body is being held in the arms of a loving, solid caregiver who can transmit the message, “You’re okay. It’s okay. I’ve got you. It’s a big feeling but it won’t hurt you. Let it come. Be loud. I’m here.” Most of us, sadly, receive a vastly different message, often from day one.

We become so adept at climbing aboard the magic carpet of thoughts and stories that it becomes a habit, a neural-pattern in your brain that … Click here to continue reading...