Posts Tagged ‘Focus’

Be a Thought Detective



Can you follow your awareness back to its origin? How big is your awareness?

Can you visualize yourself sitting on a couch watching TV? Can you add a rerun of yourself from last week as the show playing?

Observing the thinker, with practice you can see you sitting on the couch.

Can you watch your mind, be aware of your thoughts. Who is the person that is aware of those thoughts? Not the thinker, we are observing him/her over there.

There is a separation between me and the thinker, we are not the same.

Is that guy in the rerun real? Some people on that television have been dead for decades. Does that TV bring them back to life?

Bringing awareness to our thoughts, uncovers the raging river, rapidly flowing through our consciousness.

60,000 thoughts everyday, one every waking second, how and why do we choose the scary ones, the negative ones, or the ones that are unworthy over the happy, kind ones?

We only choose a small percentage each day.

Experienced monks have trained their minds to let all those thoughts pass on by.

Emotions rarely uncenter them. They exist with their minds living in the current moment, void of random thought. For the most part they direct thinking when they need to, otherwise they are in observer mode.

Thoughts and emotions are partners, they choose which emotions stay and which ones go by by. Without random thoughts to latch onto, negative emotions learn to stay dormant.

Think what that must feel like for us.

Awareness uses all our senses plus intuition in one dimension, then past awareness of danger is prioritized.

Be a detective, awareness is your vehicle.



Healing takes massive change in our behavior



I have made massive changes in my life to improve from childhood abuse.

Thoughts are treated like air, useless for the most part.

Those 60,000 thoughts that arrive daily, I try to allow all to flow on through.

Emotions are ephemeral, transparent and fleeting now.

Thoughts and emotions along with anxiety ruled my world for many years, that has changed.

My awareness is a main actor on life’s stage, finally.

Do no harm starts with the guy looking back at me in the mirror. No derogatory self talk or unworthiness is tolerated.

My nervous system has become my friend, an enormous change.

I am much kinder to myself, more accepting, more loving.

My gratitude grows as I battle.

I am not afraid of traum anymore.

It is still there and takes a toll from time to time.

Guilt and worry haunted me.

They have lost great power but survive.



A one minute practice for awareness, focus and healing



First squeeze both nostrils then try to exhale, feeling the ears pop. This opens up the vagus nerve, breathing becomes more open.

Set your phone for one minute.

Try to inhale, pause, exhale and pause as slowly as possible.

How few breaths can you take in the next minute?

Slow inhale with a long pause, then extra slow exhale with a long pause.

I can get to three breaths a minute. Long pauses help me slow down my breath.

My focus seems easy for this minute.

See how much better you are after a week of practice.

One minute.

Explore, play around with your breath.

Practice like this strengthens our focus and ability to deal with anxiety, triggers, or ptsd.



The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo: Breathing



“Breathing is the fundamental unit of risk, the atom of inner courage that leads us into authentic living. 

With each breath, we practice opening, taking in, and releasing. 

Literally, the teacher is under our nose. 

When anxious, we simply have to remember to breathe. 

So often we make a commitment to change our ways, but stall in the face of old reflexes as new situations arise. 

When gripped by fear or anxiety, the reflex is to hold on, speed up, or remove oneself. 

Yet when we feel the reflex to hold on, that is usually the moment we need to let go. 

When we feel the urgency to speed up, that is typically the instant we need to slow down. 

Often when we feel the impulse to flee, it is the opportunity to face ourselves. 

Taking a deep meditative breath, precisely at this moment, can often break the momentum of anxiety and put our psyche in neutral.”



My two cents: how simple and eloquent can you describe life.

We get lost in the complexities of people and life.

Remember, we are the center of our happiness.

Focused breathing has helped me get better. I depend on its power and soothing properties.



Believe what your actions tell you, not your thought. . .

Pinterest: YourTango



Every part of us does not have PTSD. I have found areas inside me that are not traumatized.

We all have what spiritual shamans call true self, soul.

It’s the part of us that has been the same since birth.

Thought can not sense it, or feel it. Trauma can never reach it, only we can access it .

Intuition is how I have bumped into it by mistake and then on purpose.

Below cognition, under the Ego exists another world without PTSD.

We can visit, recharge and use this focus to heal a little each day. This soothing space is available to all of us.

Surely I desire that my visits (Meditations) produce total healing, and quickly.

It does not work that way. It works slowly.

Without it I would be dead of a heart attack from triggers firing 15 times a day.

Meditation helped me stop my fight or flight mechanism from firing.

My nervous system cruises at a higher pace than normal people, however it does not erupt anymore.

Most people on this earth have not experienced their fight or flight mechanism firing off like death was an arms length away 15 times a day.

I was a basket case for months. Survival seemed bleak if I did not shut this mechanism down.

That did not happen overnight.

Many hours with no return or hope is what every sunrise brought.

You have to believe improvement is somewhere in the near future.

With all my soul, I believe that.

I have experience of healing where this has been true over and over again.

Believe what your actions tell you, not your thought.



The first two skills needed to Heal

We are victims for a while, that has to change first.

Victimhood disappears with our initial action to heal.

A needed first step, simply the hardest for most PTSD sufferers.

In my opinion 5% take daily action and face their PTSD.

There are many choices after we decide to take action.

The next skill and most important for me was and is currently never giving up.

There will be helpless and hopeless moments that an inner strength is needed to continue.

If we never give up, we will stumble into a therapy that helps sooner or later.

It is my mindset that has saved my ass a couple of times in my darkest moments with suffering.

The first two basic skills are not cognitive and definitely not complex.

Very simple to take daily action until trauma symptoms arrive.

Running a mindfulness group in person for 8 years confirmed what I believed.

A few healed while the rest did not even try.

My words were the same, some improved and the vast majority listened, nodded and remained stagnant.

What is the difference?

Inner drive and desire to heal that turns into action is the difference.

Ability to take action when we are frozen with a trigger firing.

We must face our fear and take action. It is the only path.

I would sit and surrender to my fears, opening my heart like a butterfly net, catching what I feared most.

Now that took courage. Something inside decided if I gave up, my abuser, my dad, would win. You need to find a purpose like this to drive you.

Taking daily action to heal has dominated my last decade of life.

Instead of complaining, I constantly apply my skills to improve.

It has become habit to continue even when things feel helpless.

I been at helpless a few times and I still continue.

How about you?

When PTSD is percolating: What’s it like?




What is a day like when PTSD is active, alive and percolating.

In as little as five seconds it has grasped our consciousness with an old, traumatic, intrusive thought.

My head drops, the strong emotions churn my stomach, somehow they are alive and intense.

Some days this happens multiple times each hour, others days it can run constantly without any input from me.

No way to unring that trauma 🛎 bell.

Best I can do is limit its duration.

When active these thoughts, fear and humiliation haunt my consciousness.

My damn mind, in an insidious way, is enthralled with my worst trauma.

I beat it back, let it go, focus and meditate but he is always right under the surface.

Maybe in due time, I will Succeed but for now life has suffering.

I have come to the point where I accept my suffering.

Running from it or denying it exists, brings more grief.

Accepting my suffering, let’s me not give up. I do not not have to run, get upset or react.

Or make it any bigger.

Each day I meditate with all my intensity, taking physical actions to heal.

That is the utmost of importance.

We do not control results.

We control effort and attitude. That’s it.



Updated: Awareness: know your trauma Patterns

An example of what a functional MRI scan looks like. Brain activation is averaged across 20 PTSD patients compared to healthy controls in an emotion regulation task.



Yes, I am drawing a pattern out of only two episodes of trauma in my life.

Here are a few patterns I notice.

The obvious, my trauma buries itself quite deeply for decades.

This pattern allows trauma to have subconscious impact without anytime spent trying to heal.

My childhood abuse did not erupt until I was in my fifties.

Secondly, the first couple of months are extremely intense.

My nervous system is agitated and intrusive thoughts seem to come at a rate of a Gatling gun firing.

I see that my whole personality changes.

One of my symptoms brings the feeling of imminent danger to my being.

It is irrational and very confusing.

Imminent danger for me is not physical, I fear the annihilating of my ego, emotional death in a sense.

I am intense, consumed and out of my gourd for a couple months.

You have witnessed this in my recent posts.

I sound and act like a victim, hopeless, helpless, it is embarrassing but sharing will help others push through their humiliating thoughts.

At my lowest, agoraphobic, hiding in my dark garage during the day, I thought something was going to come through the tile roof and do something worse than death.

Look how abstract that fear is. I have no idea what is coming through the roof, man, animal or alien.

My danger does not need a gender or even an origin but it is what I fear most, the unknown.

PTSD has that unknown quality about it.

The tragic memory is incomplete at the time trauma happens.

If it happened in childhood, the brain has not fully developed, storing an incomplete, distorted memory.

Somewhere in our background we need that skill that does not give up when all Common sense says it is the prudent choice.

At my lowest, Agoraphobic, contemplating suicide, a moment of clarity and strength surfaced for me.

From somewhere deep inside my head, the words, my abuser, my dad wins if I give up.

That may seem a feeble judgment by some, but every fiber in my body would not allow him to win.

In a crazy moment of crisis, I accepted my suffering, decided I would rather sit and suffer than let my dad win.

I did not realize this was a pivotal moment on my healing journey, inside my ego, that inner voice knew I would never give up.

Healing from PTSD is a war zone, expect the turmoil as part of the journey.

Ironically, surviving my fathers abuse developed the traits that helped me heal.

We have to fight for our wellbeing, fight the demons our childhoods created.




Shaila Catherine explains Attachment



“Find an experience that is pleasant: looking at a sunrise, feeling the smooth fur of a cat, holding a warm cup of tea, or any other such simple thing.

Practice moving the attention between the object and the pleasant feeling it elicits.

Shift your attention between the object of pleasure (the visual image, feeling of warmth or softness) and the pleasurable feeling it evokes.

Practice allowing the attention to settle within the experience of pleasantness without adding attachment.

If the desire for more arises, notice that attachment.

Ask yourself—what is this feeling of attachment?

Does attachment increase the pleasure, or decrease it?”

Many people will recognize attachment by a characteristic feeling of contraction or separation.

How do you notice attachment to pleasure as distinct from a simple experience of pleasure?”

My two cents: Let’s explore our attachments to approval.

How real is others approval. Kind of abstract and biased.

How permanent?

How much pleasure, how much happiness, do we derive?

Approval can disappear, actually turn to criticism, instantly.

Look at our cancel culture.

How do we feel then? We have to know approval is hollow at some level, but I sure crave some.



My attitude (stubbornness) has helped me



I have experienced trauma throughout my life.

I have also experienced never giving up every time trauma arrived.

I do not have to achieve anything to never give up, ever.

Who am I?

I do not control the trauma, I do control not giving up.

Who are you?

Our first responsibility is to never give up, never give in.




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