Separation Anxiety and the Fear of Death

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Many of those who fall on the anxious-sensitive-creative spectrum and find their way to my work describe a common experience: struggling with separation anxiety as a child. When a client shares with me that she dreaded going to school, hated the beginning of each new school year, couldn’t bear going to sleepaway camp or even a friend’s house for the night, and struggled with the transition into college, I look at her with a smile and say, “You’re in the right place.” Alongside struggling with perfectionism, having difficulty making decisions, and being more exquisitely attuned to the emotional tenor of life, separation anxiety is part of the profile of most people who struggle with the myriad manifestations of anxiety.

Far from being something to feel ashamed of, I see separation anxiety as evidence that my clients as children had a healthy attachment style and were aware of the deeper, existential … Click here to continue reading…

. . . → Read More: Separation Anxiety and the Fear of Death

In the Flow of this Uncertain Life

IMG_5054

Last weekend was a challenging one for my family. The week of unrelenting rain here in Colorado created overflow in the creeks, and we were faced with a situation that was frighteningly close to the floods of 2013 as the normally gentle waters behind our house surged and swelled into a serpentine river and began to bite off large chunks of our land. Once again, my husband stayed up most of the night for several nights and worked all day fortifying our land. And once again, the boys and I helped where we could but mostly stayed inside, where I tried to calm their anxiety while tending to my own.

Living this close to nature brings the precarious position of our planet forefront into our consciousness. In the midst of this scare, my mind that longs for certainty was already planning our escape: we’ll sell this house and move to … Click here to continue reading…

. . . → Read More: In the Flow of this Uncertain Life

The Untrained Mind

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Just because you think it doesn’t mean it’s true.

Just because you feel it doesn’t mean you have to act on it.

I find myself saying there two statements almost more than any other to my clients and course members.

Somewhere along the way we learned to bow down to every thought and feeling that crosses into consciousness. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that we never learned along the way how to navigate the sometimes tricky road of thoughts and feelings, meaning how to cultivate the muscle of discernment that allows us determine which thoughts are true and which are false; which feelings are originating from health and which are rooted in fear.

Unless you learn the skill of discernment, you will become a complete victim to your thoughts and feelings. A thought enters your mind like “I don’t love my partner enough” or “I have cancer” and … Click here to continue reading…

. . . → Read More: The Untrained Mind

One Body

IMG_4976

One of the most damaging spokes of the anxiety wheel is the belief that you’re the only one who struggles with the particular thoughts and feelings that dominate your inner world. In our “How are you? I’m fine” culture that worships the happy face and denies a truthful telling of what we’re really feeling beneath the surface, it’s easy to believe that you’re the only one who struggles. This is why when you do happen upon information or people who share the shadow, a significant portion of anxiety is lifted.

The truth is that we are all interconnected in ways that we don’t always consciously realize. The isolation that has overtaken modern life belies the reality of our interconnectedness and supports the ego’s mindset of separateness, which then causes us to tumble down the rabbit hole of shame. But when we have a veil-lifting experience – one that reminds us … Click here to continue reading…

. . . → Read More: One Body

The Truth about New Motherhood

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Over the past several years, many of the women who I helped midwife emotionally across the threshold of the marriage transition have birthed themselves as new mothers. And just like our culture doesn’t tell the truth about the challenges of intimate relationships, it also fails us when it comes to offering accurate information and effective support so that women and their partners can traverse the terrain of this next transition with consciousness and joy.

We know it’s going to be hard, but we have no idea how hard it’s going to be. We know that we might be sleep-deprived or have trouble breastfeeding, but we have no idea how these challenges will effect the emotional terrain of our experience, how deeply breastfeeding, for example, is linked to self-worth as a mother and how, if it doesn’t happen easily or at all, we feel that we’ve failed.

Because I’m privy to … Click here to continue reading…

. . . → Read More: The Truth about New Motherhood