Archive for the ‘Assorted’ Category

Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.” (PTSD)

Pixabay: www_slon_pics

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“Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. . . .

Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.”

—Bessel van der Kolk

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My two cents: Let the storyline fade away, take the breath to the middle of the unrest, the body sensations.

Know where trauma manifests in your body.

Know where fear and anger reside, become familiar with the body sensations.

Does anger and fear manifest in the same spot?

We spend so much time worrying, doubting and fearing, why not connect these emotions with body sensations.

Mine manifest in my solar plexus.

That big cortisol jolt, paralyzes the center of my chest, violently.

My fight or flight roares with a vengeance when triggered.

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How to minimize Dissociation

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The most damaging PTSD symptom is Dissociation, leaving this present moment in thought, entering the past or future.

https://cptsdawayout.com/dissociation/

This is jet fuel for trauma. Any skill we can develop to stay present brings improvement.

Here are a few grounding exercises: Pick out a visual subject, maybe a flower, a building or a picture. Study it in detail for thirty seconds.

Now draw as much detail as you can remember. Yes, we did not study our object like we can.

Now do it again, see how much deeper you view the object the second time. We look but really do not see, a lot.

I practice being observer. Going in a public place, I observe people and try not to judge. If I judge, I vacate the judgment, then reset. This takes practice.

I use my eyes to be present. I look closely, in detail, to the landscape in front of me. Maybe a mountain, trees or a interior wall, but all of them exist only in this moment.

Exercise: Oh yes, I have used aerobic exercise for many benefits.

When my mind is frozen from trauma fears, my legs can still move, gaining achievement and exhilaration. My mind gets to share my bodies achievement, expelling of poissons and aerobic focus.

Next, practice entering mundane chores everyday. Slow your movements, focus. Preparing a meal, I become the knife slicing the vegetables,

Let time fade away, we are preparing the best meal with current ingredients.

The second highest person in a Zen center is the cook.

Watch a Zen Buddhist monk, see his deliberate movement, mindfully orchestrated.

Thoughts hardly tempt these superstar meditators. Staying present has become an easy habit for them.

Yes, meditation will help heal our PTSD.

Takes daily practice. PTSD practices daily in my head.

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Body and Mind: a partnership

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Let’s look at life in a different way. We are granted a body at birth, sometimes parents are part of the package. A mind comes with that body, the organ that will decide if we find wellbeing, suffering or something in between.

The body deteriorates at a much faster pace than the mind in normal times. Think of the needs of your body, then your mind.

The body is never satisfied for long, desires are never fulfilled for long. Constantly fulfilling desire leads to addiction not wellbeing.

The greatest meal on earth keeps hunger pains away for maybe 8 or 10 hours. One meal does not sustain us forever.

I mean look how often we need oxygen, four breathes a minute, every 15 seconds of so.

Then the body starts deteriorating if we reach maturity. We wither and die, no one has escaped.

What does the mind need. Well it uses 25% of the bodies oxygen and is dépendant on the body being healthy.

The mind has the option of grasping our desires, then judging success or failure on how we fulfill them.

The mind can also discount the Ego’s needs, making decisions in an unbiased observer mode.

Wellbeing happens when these two forces are balanced.

We have to fulfill certain desires but we need balance and perspective.

One banana split is wonderful, the second damn good, the third brings stomach pains.

Substitute drugs, alcohol, sex, power, status or approval for the banana split.

More desire does not quench desire, it promulgates more and more.

“Happiness does not come from having much, but from being attached to little.”

—Venerable Cheng Yen!!!

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Ego versus true self, divine presence, soul

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“Ego, the self which he has believed himself to be,

is nothing but a pattern of habits.”

Alan Watts

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My two cents: Our true self, soul, divine presence, is the same since birth, our shining light.

He/She stays mostly hidden because we concoct this identity figure, our “Ego”, that hogs the conscious stage.

Common sense and neuroscience tells me, he/she is a created myth.

How do we know this?

In observer mode, I can watch the thinker work.

Who is it that is observing the thinker?

Not the thinker (Ego), must be the power of our being.

Our true self, soul, divine presence is the Observer.

A healthy Ego is essential for wellbeing in limited quantities.

Our “Ego” was made for identity, a way of differentiating us from them, not the captain of our ship.

Do not promote an Ego, who behaves like a petulant adolescent at times to supreme leader.

Observer does not judge, he/she exists in present moment, empty of thought.

It is our default position, so we can take an unbiased look at our “Ego’s” latest judgments.

We see reality, clearly in observer mode.

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PTSD’s schedule

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PTSD has its own schedule, seemingly its own power source and strong stress hormones.

A trigger can explode at any time releasing cortisol, adrenaline and Norepinephrine into our blood stream.

High anxiety ensues.

The breath has great influence on our nervous system.

Until we learn to dissipate a trigger firing, we are at PTSD’s mercy.

I use ten, slow, focused breaths to accomplish this task.

Let the storyline fade, feel where your triggers manifest in the body.

Take your breath into the middle of your body sensation.

Know your fears physical manifestations.

Mine always jolts my solar plexus.

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Demystifying Meditation for Depression and PTSD

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Take the robes, lineage and all the rules out of your meditation practice. Our goal is not enlightenment, it is improving, healing or wellbeing.

I may meditate for 30 minutes but my goal is to focus on ten breaths with very specific intention. How, you may ask?

We use a combination of our senses. Thought is the enemy, thinking is the opposite of meditating. Actually these two actions happen in different hémisphères of the brain.

So let’s start: Visually; I use a model a continuum so getting lost in the pauses becomes much harder. There are visual models, the boxed breath and my breathing track. I also monitor what my eyes see with eyelids closed.

Auditory: A plethora of stimulus here. Pick out the quietest sound in the room, then go beneath it. Listen for the sound of your inhales and exhales. For me, I hear my inhales and exhales, as my focus stays inside my nostrils. For those experienced, a symphony plays inside our head, listen inside your ears.

Tactile: During the pauses, internal noise stops, it is a special opportunity to search for agitation, tightness, fear in the body. Focus on your inner world, intently. I , also focus on my third eye, or my upper lip close to my nostrils, feeling the cool inhales pass followed by the warmer exhale.

Smell: At the zen center form was important, incense and repeating phrases were staples. Incense can tell the brain it is time to meditate.

Mindset: No goals. We influence nothing, try to exert no energy, we observe and focus. We always set for others first.

Again, we are the ultimate observer, detached from thought and judgment, existing totally in this moment, unencumbered by the past.

We let thought clear, and hold an empty, focused space so our mind and body can repair as neuroscience tells us.

Know that ten focused breaths can deliver us to a no thought space, and active meditation. Once we are there time stops and the body repairs itself.

Question?

Inhale starts at bottom right corner traveling up and to the left.

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An Affirmation for Unworthiness

Pixabay: Bessi

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One of my affirmations to address unworthiness I harbor deep inside.

“In this moment right now, I feel kindness and goodness oozing out of every pore.”

What color would yours be?

Green slime for me.

Pixabay: OpenClipart-Vectors

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Stored Trauma: Implicit Memory

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From Mindfulness Skills workbook for clients and clinicians”. Debra Burdick,

“What is implicit memory?

• Encoded throughout our lives. 

• Probably the only type of memory infants have. 

• Allows us to remember how to do something without being conscious of how to do it, such as riding a bicycle, walking—anything procedural.

• Gets stored without our conscious awareness.

• Gets retrieved without our awareness—“I don’t know I’m having a memory.”

• Past memories come flooding in without knowing they’re from the past; it feels like it is all coming from the present.

• Drives behavior without our awareness—often negatively.

• Primes us to respond in a certain fashion.

• Readies us for the future.

• Designed to protect us.

Can create here and now perceptions and beliefs that are actually from the past.

• Can show up as a physical feeling in our body, an emotional reaction, a behavioral pattern, or a bias.

• The amygdala is responsible for implicit memory as it scans earlier memories of danger.

• Procedural memory is a subset (how to do things).”

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My two cents: Trauma, implicit memory is stored in the right amygdala.

We can not reach this right side consciously, so trauma has a ghostly quality for us.

This is why talking to PTSD consciously or thinking our way out is impossible.

Meditation transports us to this right hemisphere.

I did most of my healing exploring this right hemisphere safely, while meditating.

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Discovering PTSD’s hidden components

Pixabay: ugglemamma
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PTSD has a hidden component, Childhood trauma (C-PTSD) is much stealthier because our brain was still developing.

For abused kids, our biggest hidden component is an unworthy, a damaged “Ego”.

At 69, finally, my unworthy “Ego” has been exposed.

We have to explore our inner world, discovering what is hidden, then determine its influence in our life.

We create this person for identity “Ego”.

Heavy influencers are initial caregivers, peers, friends and enemies.

We create Marty at his core from my attachment or lack of it in childhood with my initial caregivers.

Next we evaluate how the world treats us, peers, friends and enemies, then we add how we see ourself into the mix.

Then we create our identity based on these life experiences.

Wow!

Look at how much of our self image, self worth is based on external factors.

We all need to work on changing self image, it’s kind of our “Ego”.

Our wellbeing depends on a healthy “Ego”.

Our “Ego”, the thinker is the one who has PTSD.

PTSD dies when I meditate, when I reach a focused no thought space.

Words, judgment, right or wrong, good or bad do not exist in this space.

Our right hemisphere, the expansive side of the Brain, does not know the past or future even exists.

PTSD lives, thrives in the past and future.

It’s called Dissociation, the lynchpin, the power of PTSD.

PTSD proliferates inside thought, the longer the duration the more fuel.

My healing is a moment to moment awareness or lack of it.

That building block determines my wellbeing.
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PTSD (trauma), Memory and Our “Ego”

Pixabay: trilemedia
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Normal kids have good memories, solid attachments, support.

Abused kids have nightmares for memories. When we close our eyes, we see a real boogie man, our abuser

Even now, at 69, letting my mind wander into memory has awful consequences.

Life is a battle, constantly letting go of bad memories, coming back to this minute.

I can win that battle if my PTSD is inside my window of tolerance.

Twice in my life, when an old trauma exploded, my window of tolerance disappeared. Intrusive thoughts overwhelmed my being for a couple of months.

Memories can trigger our nervous system or support other triggers firing.

Remember, while meditating, we hook up to our divine self, our core, our true self, our soul.

It is the shining light of power for our being.

It is perfect, everyday since birth.

Abused kids, it is our “Ego” that is severely flawed not our true self, our soul.

With my old trauma exploding recently, I see how damaged my “Ego” is.

Subconsciously, he has always felt so unworthy, a failure, unredeemable, to his core.

Much of this is below consciousness and remains there without inner exploration.

I have been unaware of many habits, carrying a damaged “Ego” is my greatest failure.

That is shame!

Since we create our “Ego” my plight is not permanent.

We can change our “Ego”
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