Archive for the ‘My Favorites’ Category

Updated: PTSD: Can we ever be happy?



Being abused in childhood, impacted my mind permanently. I am not saying this abuse rules my mind but it will at least lay dormant until I die.


Happiness was impossible, imminent danger lived inside my home and I was his only target.


Survival and shame dominated my thoughts, helped formulate my unworthy self image and destroyed my nervous system.


I always knew something was wrong, like I was flawed, unworthy, not like other people.


Then one day in my 50’s a family crisis ignited my childhood trauma. It was alive, bringing that terrifying jolt to my solar plexus, cortisol and adrenaline, PTSD’s scare drugs.


Took me 6 years to heal or improve, for the suffering to curtail and life to have a little lightness, some contentment.


When I improved or healed, the suffering dissipated, the intrusive thoughts lost power without attention.


For 60 years I enjoyed momentary joy from accomplishments, however happiness was a stranger.


To heal or improve, I had dedicated five hours a day to meditating and healing.


On this journey, while entering into mundane tasks, (a mindful practice) I found happy moments.


Moments free of any deadline or time apparatus, where thought had curtailed, where things unfolded naturally.


These moments calmed my being beyond any prior feeling.


Looking at nature one day, I saw perfection, was it out of body or was I just one with it?


I believe if I can find some happiness, then you can also.


It is not easy, it takes courage and daily action.





Updated: My path was different, reading and following books replaced failed therapies!



My blog has always been very positive. Lately some have questioned how I have made this journey seem easy. This is a post to share the challenges I faced.



I was read poetry in therapy sessions when I was triggered and my nervous system extremely upset. I would sit shaking from trauma while my therapist read Louis Hayes.



This was not even a good distraction skill.   During my journey, one intuitive would ignite my trauma, having me visualize my little Marty’s, 5,7,9,12 year olds sitting around a big table with my father, my abuser.



I always departed far more terrified than when I arrived.    When we start our healing path we are naive,  clueless.   The time wasted searching for a way out,  cost me five years of my life.



This did damage because no integration was happening. I was paying for someone to supervise me dissociating into my trauma, triggering intense fear without the skill to integrate. Wish I had those wasted ducketts back.




My complex PTSD deepened, intensified as my daily suffering grew.   I was lost and being sabotaged by the  professionals.




This ended with a severe case of agoraphobia, locked in a dark garage, more terrified than any other time in my life.   My professional help took me to a place where my mind was frozen, my body would shake for hours as an unknown fear, worse than death haunted me.




Haunted me!!!!!




My reprieve was my abuser demanded perfection on a baseball field and that taught me skills of persistence, a never give up attitude, and courage.   I was isolated my whole childhood by a controlling narcissist.



Narcissist isolate you for total control.   Healing, going it alone with books did not feel strange for me.   My fathers abuse created the skills I needed to heal.   Ironic, no?



I believe my healing would have taken maybe six months not five years with what I know now.   The benefit was the experience I gained along the way.    This blog was created to fill in the voids I faced.



I turned to books, books on therapy, books on neuroscience, books on war-time PTSD, books on survivor personalities and books on meditation.



I read, practiced and applied with an aggressive type intensity.    This was not drastic for me.   I was a pro athlete, comfortable with all out effort in the off season, over six month periods.

This type of aggressive intensity meant accepting and surrendering, actually doing nothing to fight back. It was extremely scary and brought the most vulnerable feelings of my life.

Funny thing being vulnerable, humble in the face of this terror started to heal me.



I resorted back to my strengths and proceeded to attack PTSD like a competitive athlete would.   Somehow I knew intuitively healing was an internal battle.



Healing like this has given me a command, an insight into this process.


I dug out of a deep hole following my intuitive guide, a very organic journey.

The external world did not change a bit.

Life is much better, not easy or free from traumas eruptions from time to time.

Perfection does not exist in our lives, challenges will always greet us.


Updated: Permanent things: a personal example without thought!

Unbeknownst to me, a special bond, a permanent welding of spirits happened without any thought, knowledge or clue from me.

Having been released from rehab, still recovering from Guillian Beret’s paralysis and destruction of my peripheral nerves, my one month old grandson sat in my lap every morning.

It was all I could do physically for a while. It gave Brighton a secure, elevated place to get acquainted with his two loud siblings.

In the midst of this delicate dance, I became male caregiver.

Our communication can be expressed in a glance, a look, a feeling, a grin or joyous laughter.

It is called attachment in its purest form.

Buddhists describe a parents love for a child as close to real happiness as a lay person experiences.

This bond endures and dominates all other desires I covet.

He is special in a way I can not describe with words.

Thoughts or words had nothing to do with its inception or present existence.

I can feel his presence without visual input, sense his security and safety without thought, instantly.

In a crisis late one evening in the emergency room, Doctors lectured us how we misread him being in danger.

They informed us he was fine, maybe five per cent dehydrated.

We over reacted.

I voiced my concern that they were completely off, he was severely dehydrated and his life force was compromised.

They kind of laughed at this grandpa, till labs came back.

Within the hour, we were in ICU.

I can feel his life force.

Things to do while isolated: Updated: The Breathing Track: Secrets I think? –

This is one of the first videos from years ago.


Alex hogs the show.  We have both been working everyday, amazed at where this is taking us.  Alex, at 70 has changed drastically.  He was a perfectionist, rigid, clinging to thinking and fighting to be able to control life.


He used to worry, thinking about all the ways to please others, so many obligations, no time left for him.  Searching for the self-worth, that a child has hidden away from his constant search, he was lost.  Now, he has gained flexibility, a curiosity for the unknown and the focus to let go.




The DIY Path to Joy from



The key is intention, says Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, and author of The How of Happiness. “I’m not suggesting we all try to become happier,” she tells me. “But those who feel their lives are not quite flourishing or who experience a lot of negative emotions can benefit from positive interventions.”

Although Lyubomirsky suggests multiple strategies for boosting happiness, she cautions that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. “Many of us persist in searching for the one true path to happiness, like the one diet that will work when all others have failed,” she says. “In truth there is no magic bullet. There are hundreds of things you can do. You have to experiment and choose what’s right for you.” Hearing this comes as a relief; I’m always suspicious of books and articles that evangelize the one true way.

Among the many strategies that Lyubomirsky discusses are: conveying your gratitude to others either verbally or in a letter; cultivating optimism; practicing deliberate acts of kindness; nurturing strong social relationships; forgiving those who may have hurt you; genuinely savoring life’s joys; participating in activities that truly engage you; practicing mindfulness; and taking care of your body, including exercising and cultivating laughter.

“Start with small steps to create an upward spiral,” advises Lyubomirsky. “Sense which of these activities feels most natural and most easily fits with your lifestyle, then try something a little more challenging later on. Ideally, some of the practices, such as focusing on relationships and becoming a better listener, will in time become automatic. Others may require ongoing intention and effort, like remembering to take a dose of a helpful medicine.”

Practicing gratitude, in particular, may feel artificial, but study after study has shown it to be one of the most powerful activities we can engage in. Lyubomirsky says, “Gratitude is a great way to consider what’s good about your life, instead of focusing on what’s not good or what other people have that you don’t. Lots of people say it’s hokey to count your blessings, and I’m actually one of them, but the payoff is tremendous.”



updated: Awareness of the Whole Self —–Linda Graham, a neuroscientist describes self! no self sort of!!!!!!


We learned in chapter 3 to develop the awareness that all emotions and sensations of the body are transient, as are all contents, processes, states, and traits of mental activity.
Awareness — the state of mind that observes all of that coming and going as coming and going — is itself not coming and going.
Our awareness of that greater awareness may come and go; most of us lose awareness of awareness in our busy daily lives.
But the awareness itself is ever present, always ready to be rediscovered any time we choose to focus our attention.
When we find the space between the stimulus and the response, we alter the rhythm of our doing; we wake up and create space for being.
Awareness is the knowing, not the contents that are known.
We can experience it as a vast sky that can hold all the clouds and storms moving through it.
We usually pay more attention to the contents of clouds and storms than to the sky that contains them.
As the Zen teaching tells us, when we are in a contracted state of mind, it’s like looking at the sky through a pipe.
With mindfulness of awareness, we become adept at putting down the pipe and looking at the whole sky again.
My two cents:  Unbelievable, Each sentence is amazing to me!


Where do I start?

Giving without regard for reward has many benefits.


Giving this way, opens up our compassion center.


Gratitude will grow when you help others, a great side effect.


Life looks and feels different when giving takes over.


If you need a purpose, none better than giving.


Gratitude and giving change us, transforms us, offers us the space where wellbeing and happiness live.


Besides my family, giving is the most precious possession I have.

That awareness has developed with daily meditation and practice.


Besides being a possession, giving is a boomerang.

Throw giving around and watch what comes back.


Even smiles and kind words have enormous power.

updated:_____ this is old but helpful….Breathing Track Basics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The Need to Please: Mindfulness Skills to gain freedom from People Pleasing and Approval Seeking: Micki Fine

34573890-AEC1-4720-A1F4-434FC7C0E010 .

“Another childhood dynamic contributes to feelings of unworthiness. As children, because our parents are bigger than we are and know more than we do, we believe that they’re all-powerful and wise. This belief is important in helping us feel safe, and because we rely on our caregivers for survival, it isn’t easily shaken. Therefore, we believe our caregivers even when they say or do things that are abusive, unloving, or unaccepting and then assume that we are innately flawed.



Then, to avoid being hurt again, we disconnect from our emotions and bodies, where we actually feel the sensations of love: warmth, expansiveness, ease, or tingling, to name a few.




This numbing becomes the norm.


In addition, because our original experience of love is receiving it from others, we believe that love originates outside of ourselves, and we look for proof of it from others (Welwood 2006).




This further disconnects us from our own nature of love.


Accordingly, we compulsively strive to earn love and are fearful of the possible consequence of not receiving it: abandonment.”

Continue reading

I did not think my PTSD would return.


I did not think my PTSD would return.


I also, did not think I could heal, could feel inner peace, could be worthy, but I did.



Then a prescribed blood pressure med, or more accurately its side effect, ignited my nervous system and old triggers.



I did not think my mind would dissociate so easily without constant awareness.


My judgments of healing and mindfulness dreamed of a euphoric life, of few negative thoughts, fewer unworthy images and an easy, happy existence.


In reality, my life has changed dramatically but the adversity and daily challenges test my centeredness and calm.


It truly is a journey, a journey with daily choices.


I could be sad, could be depressed at times. My meditation practice gives me a choice, be present, neutral and calm or suffer.



I still have worry and doubt at times. Worry creeps in stealthily, unbeknownst to me at first, then I catch  negative emotions arriving.


I feel loss at times, then know it is a judgment, air unless I give it power.


Gratitude, humility and giving are the tools I use to counter my “Ego’s” need for control.



I did not think it would be so challenging, so hard, so harsh after so much work.


My abusive childhood, my violent, critical upbringing, has left deep ruts in my subconscious.



At least now, my “Ego” sits in the back seat of my car.


It is not perfect but no one said it would be.


I am grateful I have tools to make good choices.

%d bloggers like this: