Posts Tagged ‘MEDITATION’

Saturday Quotes

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Excerpt From
100 Quotations to Make You Think!
Wolfgang Rieb

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To reach a great height a person needs to have great depth.
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A half-baked idea is okay as long as it’s in the oven

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Bad habits are like a comfortable bed; they are easy to get into, but hard to get out of.

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“The best teachers
teach from the heart, not from the book.”

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Feeling Vulnerable is part of healing

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Feeling vulnerable has many different intensities, some minor while others are paralyzing.

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Feeling vulnerable was a constant childhood companion.

I was force-fed a food I vomited every week (lima beans) then dad would beat me with a specially made paddle with holes drilled in it.

He would scream and berate me like I committed a mortal sin, did other kids face these things weekly?

Forced feeding is considered torture in some circles.

Now, I avoid lima means altogether, a strategy, the easiest part of my PTSD. Is sarcasm part of an abused kids DNA?

If we are going to improve, we must be able to function when PTSD intensifies or explodes.

I have hunted down my original triggers, demystified them, and calmed the fight or flight mechanism surrounding them.

They do not pose the same threat but are awkward, uncomfortable, and still contain suffering.

Yes, I avoid many things and struggle with the depressive part of my complex PTSD more than the anxiety.

Complex PTSD still has its moments of destruction and turmoil.

My behavior is still impacted but that impact has lessened.

To heal we must take risks, and exist in very vulnerable spaces.

I risk, briefly join the masses, then retreat and hide.

Oh, it’s a well-practiced habitual pattern of mine.

Be aware of your patterns!
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Pendulation: from The Complex PTSD Workbook

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Pendulation involves alternating your attention between feelings of safety and feelings of distress as they are experienced in your body.

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The practice goes as follows:

. Within a safe environment, choose a recent distressing event to think about. Depending upon your comfort level, you can choose a relatively minor recent event or perhaps one where you found yourself triggered outside your window of tolerance. Mindfully observe any emotions, thoughts, and body sensations that you experience as you recall the event. Bring your attention to the areas of your body where you feel tension or discomfort. Stay with the sensations for a few breaths.

• Choose a descriptive word for your distress. Your word can correspond to a sensation, an emotion, a color, or an image. Some examples are “jumpy,” “angry,” “hot,” “locked,” “fear,” or “dark.”

Now, bring your attention to any area of your body where you feel calm and at peace. Maybe this resides around your heart, or perhaps in your hands or your legs. If you are unable to find any positive sensation, look for an area of your body that feels neutral. Again, allow your awareness to reside here for a few breaths.

• Choose a descriptive word for your calm or neutral sensation. Again, your word can correspond to a stay with the uncomfortable experience just a little longer. Then, return your attention to your calm or neutral sensation, any related image, and descriptive word. Perform several rounds, alternating your attention between your calm place and the distressing event.

Notice any new sensations in your body, including the desire to breathe deeply, let go with a sigh, or move your body in response to your felt experience. Perhaps you feel the impulse to shake or push your arms or legs. These impulses are part of sequencing—a normal and healthy resolution of the fight-or-flight reaction. Follow any urges to move until you feel complete.
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Reduced capacity for sensation and emotion

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Distress Tolerance from Complex PTSD workbook


“If the first goal of emotion regulation is to learn to sense the ebb and flow of your inner world, the second goal would be to increase the range of your window of tolerance.

Having a trauma history tends to result in a reduced capacity for sensation and emotion.

It is important learn how to exist with difficult feelings.

You can do this by slowly developing your ability to stay present with increasingly greater amounts of sensation.

You can broaden your capacity to handle distress by slowly stepping out of your comfort zone.

In somatic psychotherapy, you can learn to increase your window of tolerance through an activity called pendulation .

Pendulation involves alternating your attention between feelings of safety and feelings of distress as they are experienced in your body.”
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Influencing our Nervous System

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Window of Tolerance from The Complex PTSD Workbook


“The window of tolerance is a concept developed by clinical psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Siegel.

It refers to an optimal zone of nervous system arousal where you are able to respond effectively to your emotions.

When you are outside of your window of tolerance, you will go into survival modes.

Feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or panicked is a sign that you are hyper-or over-aroused, whereas feeling shut down, numb, or disconnected is a sign that you are hypo-or under-aroused.

It is common with C-PTSD to alternate between the two extremes or to feel stuck in one or the other.

When you begin to practice emotion regulation, you focus on developing the capacity to stay within your window of tolerance by cultivating mindfulness of the fluctuations in your sensations, thoughts, and emotions.

Through this, you increase awareness of the subtle signs of dysregulation.

An early sign of distress might be a sense of slight irritability or growing frustration.

Maybe you observe that your breath has become shallow or that you are clenching your jaw.

When you are able to recognize the slight changes in your body, you can engage self-care resources before you get overwhelmed or shut down.
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PTSD: A contracted state of Mind

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From Bouncing Back by Linda Graham

“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.

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With mindfulness of awareness, we become adept at putting down the pipe and looking at the whole sky again.“
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My two cents: Even with PTSD I have developed an awareness practice.

It transports me out of dissociation and back to this moment.

Develop all the tools you can.

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How can PTSD sufferers ignore their PTSD then choose to be happy?

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Yesterday during a conversation, a friend told me they choose to be happy.

I think I need to choose to be healed first. Which is easiest, to be healed or be happy?

That hit a nerve, I knew the implication was aimed at me, my PTSD.

Is our problem with PTSD the inability to choose happiness?

I can say the words, my PTSD pays no attention.

My symptoms come from a place where words can not reach.

How can PTSD sufferers ignore their PTSD then choose to be happy?

How do you accomplish this?

This means symptoms disappear, anxiety, unworthiness, fight or flight firing, depression, hypervigilance, and intrusive thoughts.

I know words do not heal PTSD.

From my vantage point, PTSD has to recede to a level few of us reach to be happy.

I would settle for being out of suffering.

Me, not healing, angers some of my friends.

They need easy solutions to all life problems.

I frustrate them.
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Does True Altruism Exist?

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Excerpt from Neel Burton M.D.

Does True Altruism Exist?

“The bottom line, I think, is this.

There can be no such thing as an ‘altruistic’ act that does not involve some element of self-interest, no such thing, for example, as an altruistic act that does not lead to some degree, no matter how small, of pride or validation or satisfaction.

Accordingly, an act should not be written off as selfish or self-motivated simply because it includes some small and inevitable element of self-interest.

The act can still be counted as altruistic if the ‘selfish’ element is accidental; or, if not accidental, then secondary; or, if neither accidental nor secondary, then un-determining.
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My two cents: My daughter with the child psychology degree tells me altruism does not exist in nature.

She studied the behavior of primates in college, concluding we always have a benefit in mind.

Some people go to church so God will be good to them or they are afraid of not going to church and the consequences they may incur.

We always have a reason.

I want to believe I am a giver.

I can see both perspectives on this one.

Full article here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hide-and-seek/201203/does-true-altruism-exist
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PTSD: Avoidance

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The question is not if we avoid, but how much.

I avoided the most when my fight or flight mechanism was firing 10 plus times a day.

My agoraphobia lasted six months, it left me scarred, afraid, and lost.

Meditation and exposure therapy helped me past agoraphobia.

It was a great victory however it was painful and I suffered.

Childhood abuse (Complex PTSD) wires the brain differently, mine searched for danger, then fired my fight or flight mechanism for protection.

Remember that shuts down some of the executive branch, our prefrontal cortex.

Triggered, we sense a near-lethal threat, the prefrontal cortex is confused and partially offline.

Our whole being shifts to surviving, we are scared to death.

Thinking is confused as cortisol and adrenaline flood our system.

Forget trying to explain this to others, you have to experience an out-of-control nervous system, the severity, and FEAR produced.

My PTSD and avoidance have matured.

Now, I navigate life a little better but do not even think about going to social functions, crowds, or certain events.

If I have to go to a function, I can block out and distract myself to limit the damage.

Normal people do not understand how much energy and pain we go through preparing to face our PTSD Triggers.

Then there are all the questions and exploration of the interaction afterward.

Our mind wants to judge, and prepare for the next time we venture into dangerous waters.

Childhood abuse brings a danger that never leaves our brain, it is like a big stain ruining the whole carpet.

How does avoidance impact your life?
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PTSD: Our Mood Swings

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I have been observing my mind more intently, the inner workings, and the judgments.

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Yesterday morning arrived with a feeling of impending doom. A weird uneasy, anxious feeling.

Internal observation showed nothing concrete to trigger this foreboding emotion.

So PTSD, the mental constructs of trauma fuels some of our mood swings.

I could not touch that awkward sensation, that tenseness in the solar plexus, that tightness in the gut, or that panic in my nervous system.

Mechanically, I hiked a little harder to flush out all the poisons and anxiety.

Emotionally, I meditated intently, letting go of all the noise I could.

I expect this unrest as part of life. This is a healthy relationship, rather than resent not being normal.

If I expected a calm and easy flow of my days I would suffer.

Know the mood will shift as always.

Happiness looks different for PTSD sufferers.

Set realistic goals for yourself.

Playing defense is part of coping with PTSD.
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