Tag Archives: Emotional Wellness

Altered states of consciousness to enhance healing

We live at the threshold of a universal recognition that the human being is not mere matter, but a potent, energetic field of consciousness. Modalities of the past millennium are quickly giving way to breakthrough technologies wherein we heal ourselves at the level of all true healing, which is spirit.” ~ Michael Beckwith.

People often ask me what the fundamental difference is in my practice. The best way for me to describe is that in Western medicine/traditional psychology people tend to be treated as organs, ie. mind. In Transpersonal, sometimes referred to as Spiritual Psychotherapy, we tend treat people as a whole – mind, body and spirit. In a lot of the wisdom teachings we tend to see the mind, body and spirit as inseparable.

‘When you shut down emotion, you’re also affecting your immune system, your nervous system. So the repression of emotions, which is a survival strategy, then becomes a physiological illness later on” -An incredible important advocate in field of addiction treatment and a very interesting human being – Gabor Maté. I recently had the absolute pleasure of spending a whole week with him in Costa Rica at Rythmia Life Advancement Center off the Pacific coast of Guanacaste exploring new ways of healing from our woundedness and reconnecting with the essence of who we are..our soul. The transformation I personally experienced but more importantly what I witnessed was both powerful and emotionally healing which I share in my video below….

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Healing from Trauma

 

healing from trauma

It’s interesting how we define Trauma. This week Oprah raised awareness about early childhood trauma & it’s lifelong effects in her 60 minutes episode. I see this in my own work and the impact it can have on how we function as ‘adults’ in our lives. It can be debilitating for many.

But at the same time I often hear from people dismissing what they go through in life as not that traumatic. It’s almost as if we compare the levels of what is considered trauma. I remember when doing my own healing work around my grandmother’s murder that when the word ‘trauma’ was used to explain what I had experienced I dismissed that as I thought to myself “ hey, I was functioning okay, I got up everyday and went to work etc’ .

Trauma doesn’t have to be a near fatal incident. My dictionary defines trauma as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. Defined like that the events which can be considered traumatic are wide ranging indeed – from what might be considered the stuff of ordinary life such as divorce, illness, accidents and bereavement to extreme experiences of war, abuse, rape and genocide.

If you’ve been viewing the world one way, then something stressful happened to you that now causes you to view the world differently…that’s trauma. Stressful events can create a certain level of shock on the mind and body. If not addressed they develop into dysfunctional patterns that can impact your behavior in everyday life.

Shock to our minds, bodies and souls

Peter Levine, author of Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma and others contend that emotional trauma goes unhealed when the natural trauma response is interrupted and feelings unleashed by the event remain unresolved. Because of this, anxiety, anger, depression, guilt, hopelessness, self-blame, shame and other feelings freeze up inside of us. That “freeze” is not just emotional, but physical as well. Recent research indicates that parts of the brain become altered by traumatic events. These disruptions are actually visible on brain scans.

Just what is a natural trauma response? It’s the whole continuum of emotional and physical sensations that occur with the first inclination that something is wrong or dangerous. To understand it, Levine suggests looking at how animals respond to danger, real or perceived. After the animal has instinctively chosen to fight, flee or freeze, and the danger has passed, the animal trembles throughout its entire body, “shedding” the tension required for alertness and quick response.

Human response to danger—real or perceived—can also involve shaking, sweating, crying, laughing or shuddering. Just like the animal, such responses are natural and part of the body’s effort to return to a state of equilibrium. They are crucial to the recovery process, and they may go on for hours, days or weeks. Too often, however, we deny this process or don’t give it its due. We say to ourselves or hear from others, Pull yourself together. Forget about it. Get up and shake it off. It’s time to get on with your life.

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Forgiving the Unforgivable

 

As an Intuitive Life Strategist who acts as an emotional compass helping people navigate life’s challenges by combining my work as a Spiritual Psychotherapist, life coaching, and energy psychology many people wonder what would be the point of working with someone like me. No matter how many self-help books, courses or workshops you do none of them will work unless you really want to heal & set it as a priority. The journey to happiness & peace begins when you are ready to let go of the pain & embrace all that you are with an open heart and allow yourself to be supported.

I wanted to share something very personal with you. Even though I speak on Forgiveness often, few grasp the power it brings.  I wanted to share with you my journey into the prison to visit the man accused of murdering my grandmother, with the hope that maybe this will inspire you to see what forgiveness might bring into your life.

In 2007, twelve years after the horrific tragedy that forever changed my family, I returned to my native South Africa to face the man who murdered my grandmother. After setting up a meeting through the warden, I borrowed a car and set out on the two-hour journey from my mom’s house to the prison. The whole way there I felt really calm; I had no thoughts, no expectations. Since I arrived an hour early, I sat in a coffee shop with a little journal, intending to write down questions to ask my grandmother’s killer. “What do I want to say to him?” I asked myself. Again, nothing came.

Instead, the memories of what happened came flooding back. Hearing the news that my paternal grandmother had been violently murdered was a devastating shock. Even more unbelievable was the discovery that my uncle’s estranged wife, Susan, had been behind the plan to kill her mother-in-law—and that her own son, a young man whom we called Wolfe, whom my grandmother loved as her own, was the perpetrator.

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10 Ways to Cope Through Tough Times

“This too shall pass………”

We’ve all experienced difficult times in our lives, often through events and circumstances outside our control. But like great trees, humans grow stronger when exposed to powerful winds. When extreme, unexpected, life changing, or scary things happen, how can we not only survive them but also grow from the experience? Here are 10 suggestions for dealing with the hard times when they happen:

  1. Take responsibility and embrace the situation

Assume an “I can do something” attitude rather than pointing fingers. Its natural to numb in the beginning. Instead rather than avoid what is happening when you recognize that you’re in a trying time and accept that you can’t change it, you’re no longer a prisoner to your situation. You free yourself to deal the best you can with the challenge ahead of you. If nothing else, you can control your own response to the situation.

  1. Try to see past the hardship

When you’re in a crisis, it’s hard to see any upside. But, with some distance, you may be able to see the situation in a different light. When you compartmentalize the difficulty, you can focus on a workable solution. “Take a ‘crisis break’ in which you relax and observe the situation as if you were an outsider. Take several deep breaths to calm your nervous system down, silence the mind and focus on your intuition. You are very likely to derive some useful thoughts you would not have come upon within the midst of your anxious state.

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How to Be Assertive Without Alienating Everyone

“Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.” ~Unknown

You may not give much thought to the existence of boundaries in your daily life, but they are everywhere. For example, when you are driving on a two-lane road, you stay to the right of the center line, especially if there is a car coming from the opposite direction. That’s a boundary you can clearly see but what about how you are in relationships.

Boundary issues are common to most of us; in fact, our personal boundaries are often blurred leading to conflict or feelings of resentment in relationships. Most of us come from a family where boundaries were unclear or barely recognized and maybe we don’t know what a boundary really is. The simplest way for me to explain what a boundary is, is where I end and you begin. They enable use to make choices about how we feel, think or behave.

Healthy Personal Boundaries = Taking responsibility for your own actions and emotions, while NOT taking responsibility for the actions or emotions of others

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Why We Make Bad Decisions

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So being a Libra on the Zodiac chart has often been a challenge when coming to decision-making and believe me there have been times I have failed miserably to say the least. I am sure you can relate after you have made the choice that perhaps it was not in your best interest and now there are consequences that follow. Damn those consequences!

Does this then mean I am doomed to making bad decisions forever?—perhaps or maybe not. We are all faced with challenges that require decision-making. How we meet our challenges though, makes all the difference in the image of success or failure. We as humans have the ability to learn and change.

The thing about creating our reality is that we decide it from only 2 places. We either make a decision based from FEAR or LOVE. If we are not consciously making it from a place of LOVE we are more likely to be making them from our unconscious FEARS. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences reveal that our decisions are made seconds before we become aware of them. That our unconscious minds pretty much controls everything and that consciousness is extremely limited. Yikes, that’s kinds scary if you really think about who is driving the bus!

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Some days you’re the Dog, other days the Hydrant

 

 

I was having one of those days. You know, the kind of day where you do something really stupid and then beat yourself up over it for several days after. Here I was thinking ‘what was wrong with me, why have I not learnt this yet?’  So there I was well into day four of whipping myself – you know how it works, you start dredging up past wrongs, one after another, months and then before you know it a few years’ worth, and  to make matters worse you heap those on top of the current ‘wrong’ you did. Pretty soon you’ve got a dark cloud following you around. Not to mention that extra weight on your back and you’re walking around all hunched over and angry. Mad at yourself for being so stupid, mad for trusting, seeing yourself as a total screw up, over and over and over. Geez Louise.

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How to Mend a Broken Heart

 

 

This month Valentine’s Day was celebrated, like any other year. If you are madly in love, this day would have been a very special day to celebrate with your partner. You might have put lots of thought into it – the perfect card or gift, flowers, a sumptuous candle-lit dinner and romantic music in the background.

But not everyone will be celebrating the love. It could be a day reminding you what you no longer have, the hurt you feel or the betrayal by another. Mending a broken heart is never easy; it’s much safer to keep it closed than feel the pain. There is no quick way to stop your heart

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Signs of being an Emotional Zombie

 

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For most of my life, being an empath  in a world where being emotional equaled being weak or foolish it was hard to manage my emotions. In order for me to cope I would disconnect from them and became a “Bobblehead”, always in my head ‘thinking’. Perhaps you can you relate? Always stuck in your head, constantly rehashing your thoughts and not really getting anywhere.  Maybe a little control-freak issue creeping in various situations? Yes you have those goals or “To do lists’ and when you get to achieve them there’s that ’empty feeling’ and you’re onto the next thing?

The most important lesson I have had to learn is that Feelings Buried Alive never Die!

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A Year to Clear What is Holding you back from Living Your Best Life

 

With all our best intentions and goals, why is it so hard  for us to slow down, simplify our lives, and take better care of ourselves? Why do most of our ‘New Year Resolutions’  fall short or peter out?

Why are we so afraid to let go and embrace a new way of being? Is Change really that scary when deep down we really yearn for it?

As a society our drive to attain and keep ‘busy’ comes at a great cost to our soul. We are malnourished when it comes to compassionate self-acceptance, awareness, and care. We yearn for a simpler, less stressful life, but struggle to find it. We ache for balance but can’t sustain it. There is no time to juggle it all, let alone clear the things and thoughts that have caused us to feel so overwhelmed in the first place.

Stop and take a good, hard look at who (or what) is taking up space in your life. If you want change to be effective in your life this year it starts with AWARENESS. You can’t change what you are not aware of. We all have blind spots, things we know deep down are swirling away but we avoid looking at for many reasons. Until we do and are completely honest with ourselves we are doomed to pass another year of carrying around what is weighing us down, holding us back from being who really wish to be and living the life we really want.

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How to stay out of trouble & Jail during the Crazy Holiday Season

Tips to keep you out of trouble & jail during the Crazy Holiday Season

But Santa I can explain…..the twins spiking the Egg Nog had nothing to do with Aunt Mabel breaking into Sea World & trying to ‘free Willie’, or the fact that Grandma tried to ignite the Christmas turkey by using the blow torch as it ‘was taking too long’. I’m sure Santa has heard it all before and maybe you have a similar story, perhaps an Uncle Claude or a Grandpa. Either way there is a fine line between naughty and nice. It’s called “Mischievously Creative’, but not sure if anyone in the family agrees.

As wonderful as the holidays are for many – for some, holiday stress sometimes overshadows the good cheer of the season. While it is generally acknowledged that “the holidays” are stressful, most people seem to just accept that it will be stressful and continue their holiday tradition of being stressed out during the “silly season”.

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How to get your Mojo back when stuck in Funky Town

Do you feel that you have lost your sparkle? Life is guaranteed to knock us all down a time or two. What’s important is that we get back up. The hard part is overcoming the apathy that comes with loss of energy and feeling a little ‘meh’. We’ve all been there; everything sucks, everyone is stupid & in your way, you can’t do anything right and nothing is ever going to get any better.

When you were little and the teacher asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, you surely didn’t answer “miserable!” At every stage in life, unhappiness is not a state to which we aspire. Emerging research shows that while the impact of life’s circumstances has a profound impact on the brain, the brain is not as hard-wired as previously thought. We can learn & retrain ourselves to be happier.

When you’re in a funk it can be really, really hard to see your way out of it.  I’ve experienced my fare share of funks & it’s good to wallow in it for a while, as staying with the emotion and embracing it can bring about some insights. But having said that we don’t need to stay there  forever, as like Thich Nhat Hanh  (a Zen spiritual teacher) says we might “miss the wonders of life”. So I want to provide you with some easy, practical ways  that have helped me get out of that nasty funk!

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Mercury Retrograde-Is it Me or has the Whole World gone Crazy?

Mercury Retrograde Madness

 

Is it me or does it feel like the whole world is going crazy? I would say yes to both of those questions. We’ve all heard of it…the dreaded time when Mercury goes retrograde. Geez Louise! And to top it all the full moon (known this time as the Bloodmoon because of it’s vibrant redish colour) had to add it’s two cents into the mix. Holy smokes, for anyone sensitive to cyclical energy spurts you might have felt you were on a speed wobble! There are certain cycles where the energy feels confusing and ungrounded and it’s not uncommon to for you to react emotionally & feel ‘out of sorts’.

Most of us dread Mercury in retrograde. We think of it as an extremely negative period, a frustrating time filled with irritating technical problems, confused communications, and mishaps. Mercury in retrograde often gets a bad rap, but this is also a great & optimal time to let go and clean up as well. At this time patterns can be broken now as you tune into what is not working in your relationships or in your life. With the powerful energy your intuitive abilities will be heightened along with your emotions.

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Stop Comparing Yourself to Others:You are Magnificent just the Way you Are

 

Be confident

If you are like me, at times you probably catch yourself falling into the ever-alluring yet emotionally-dangerous trap of comparing yourself to others. On one hand we unconsciously do this in an attempt to make accurate evaluations of ourselves, perhaps for personal growth. But at what cost? While comparison can be a valuable source of motivation and growth, it can also spin us into a tail-chasing frenzy of self-doubt.

This brings me to an experience I had recently at an event where I was showcasing my new book on Forgiveness as well as a Soul Vision Board workshop with a twist. Out the corner of the eye I caught this woman who had just come through the door make a beeline for me. Being an empath I felt a woosh of energy come charging ahead of the woman. Lets just say it was not a pretty pink loving colour but more of a sharp cutting edgy feel.

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