Posts Tagged ‘MEDITATION’

No one knows what‘s around the next Bend in the River


My kundalini teacher has struck again (sarcasm).

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Spiritual work on my PTSD.

The inner critic work this month in the online meditation group agitated my vulnerabilities, a wounded part, as Jennifer says.

Doing the work, showing up every morning for the meditation group, collides with old memories of hurt and pain. Healing starts by picking the scab, what a visual that is.

I have a trauma event, one that destroyed two lives, the deepest hurt, the most shame, and rage that stayed buried until recently.

Now it has burst into my consciousness.

So Jennifer’s advice is:

“Pray for yourself to find peace and healing, pray for them to do the same, pray for forgiveness to release yourself and forgiveness to release them. Pray for an opening in your ego to allow the heart to temper it all with love and grace.”

Man, that is eloquent and profound, Allow the heart to temper it all with love and grace. Feels like magic in those words.

Praying gives me pause, I have bad experiences with religion but I understand the concept. For me I will add this to my meditation practice, working on peace and healing.

Pray for forgiveness to release yourself and forgiveness to release them, wow, is that possible?

I needed hope, mine was low, so offering a probable solution is a wonderful gift.

Beyond therapy exists holistic and spiritual healing, tools not in the therapists bag.

The next effort to heal maybe the one we have been searching for.

No one knows what’s around the next bend in the river.

Keep paddling.

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PTSD is a fickle ______…… Fill in the blank

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For most of my life, I was always busy subconsciously running from my trauma demons.

Sometimes, whether we isolate or mingle gingerly, we suffer, we obsessively wonder, what does it all mean.

What is the best thing to do, risk or be safe?

Are we failing by avoiding or taking risks that do more damage?

That Octopus (PTSD) entangled around my brain has no clue how to heal, let go, ignore PTSD, live freely, effortlessly, or trust easily.

Being in a group accentuates how different my thoughts, my brain, my life is. Instead of leading to wellbeing, I feel isolated and totally different than them.

I wonder how they can be so free and jolly, while I suffer.

To say we feel a twinge of jealousy is normal, it amazes us how others attach and feel safe rather easily as we avoid, isolate and have mental anguish.

So risking, joining a group, does not bring more healing, at times it brings more unrest and more PTSD symptoms.

At this point, I have done Exposure therapy, faced my demons head on, tried vigorously, many therapies, holistic healers and adopted a daily mediation practice.

I am at a loss to further my healing.

Each day is a struggle, coping is arduous somedays, life has more pain than joy by far.

Help!

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PTSD’s voice: what does he say?

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This is my PTSD’s voice, maybe part inner critic, part judging mechanism, he is my flawed narrative (Ego). When PTSD is active my ego feels like this guy.

I am a lost soul, wandering through life, the demons of childhood haunt me, companions for life.

Life from my earliest memories was always coming way too fast for an abused kid to handle.

I had the burden of navigating physical and emotional abuse, a task like surviving in a war zone, my dad, on top of living and functioning at school.

Criticism is a major flaw for me. I know we should not take criticism personally, ever.

My issue stems from never having an early memory without criticism.

Violent criticism was my father’s way of raising me, an everyday regiment of abuse.

Oh, I have struggled with the inner critic my whole existence.

I avoid places that remind me of past criticism or future risk.

That avoidance is seamless, almost involuntary with little thought, my nervous system alerts me.

I force myself, overriding PTSD’s symptoms, to engage in some activities amid these perceived dangers.

We have to balance the risk versus reward in our life.

We want to participate more but we do not want to suffer more.

How do we navigate life like this?

That is our daily dilemma.

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Coping better is my Goal

Pixabay 愚木混株CDD20

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I do not think there is a cure for childhood abuse (C-PTSD), do not think there is a space where we say, I am healed.

It is possible to learn coping skills, navigate life, and find some wellbeing.

Childhood trauma is hard wired while the brain developed, so it is never going to disappear.

There is a huge difference between actively coping with PTSD and being a victim.

Knowing I will never heal is not an opportunity to give up, the journey is the same, the results maybe different than total healing, that’s all.

I am not healed but my life has both wellbeing and suffering.

Coping is using my trauma skills to minimize PTSD’s impact when activated.

When PTSD is dormant, I Strengthen my mindfulness skills, always preparing for the next battle.

It is a precarious existence, often an internal war being waged inside the mind.

Remember our hippocampus is smaller while our amygdala is larger, combined with the left Prefrontal cortex being compromised.

Trauma will explode from time to time as we navigate life.

Our goal is to live and risk in the midst of PTSD terror and enjoy our trauma free Periods fully.

Our challenges come when intrusive thoughts bombard us at a rapid pace, then our fight or flight mechanism fires, how we handle this perceived threat determines life.

Be prepared, develop as many coping skills as possible and practice daily.

There are no guarantees with childhood trauma, life will suck at times, unworthiness and fear will prevail at times.

We do have a choice, resist or give up, deciding not to have PTSD is not an option I am aware of.

We have to be determined, courageous and have the ability to take action in the face of fear and anxiety.

I have learned not to resent my place on this earth, that is a victims stance.

Life Axiom: Sedentary is closer to death, action closer to life.

Healing takes daily action, suffering arrives without effort.

My Top two skills for PTSD

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My focus skills have helped me the most, have always been there to access in low moments.

Meditation, the ability to focus on an object, the breath, mantra, etc. opens many doors.

My daily practice of sitting quietly, intensely focused on the tiniest body sensation or observing a trauma trigger thought from a safe distance, calms and soothes me.

Any therapy or skill is applied through meditations focus, it is a safe space to take risks.

My fight or flight mechanism calmed from firing by meditating everyday for hours.

In my mind, this is imperative and the first goal on the healing path.

I have been able to risk at times because of meditations power. Meditation allowed me to use exposure therapy in a safe place, over and over and over and over again, until I had enough courage to face triggers in real life.

Next I learned to separate from my Ego’s grasp, allowing me access to reality, my true self without bias or confusion.

To this day my wellbeing depends more on my ability to focus, then let go than any other skill in my tool box.

Aerobic exercise has always been beneficial in many ways.

It is a physical challenge where trauma thoughts die a fast death.

I flush the poisons from my system, gain achievement which is shared with my mind, deplete cortisol and adrenaline, then escape out of my head into my body.

Aerobic exercise is such a release for my body, meditation is a release for my mind.

If you are not using aerobic exercise, a great healing opportunity awaits those who can take action.

Start slow, focus and know you are actively healing.

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Lessons I have learned

https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?rs=typed&q=ptsd%20healing

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After a long energetic effort with therapy and practice to heal, my life was still a damn mess.

In my old wisdom, if that is a real thing, learning to function in the midst of PTSD is the new gold on my healing path.

Listen, my childhood abuse, wiring of my brain in survival mode, is never going away.

My ability to function, discount the noise and take action is a part of my happiness in life, the oasis in this PTSD desert.

It is not about winning, it is how we fight, how much energy we exert, how much adversity can we respond to.

How resilient can we be along this path, how many times can we get back up.

This is not the road of an easy life, many succumb without much resistance.

My purpose is to live as freely as possible despite PTSD and inspire you to never give up.

We rarely take big risks.

We face adversity and the collapse of our boundaries.

Adversity is not a punishment, some think opportunity lies within adversity.

Adversity is ever present in our lives, attitude and effort are the tools needed to resist and continue living.

Effort has always been easy for me, attitude is difficult when unworthiness and depression try to consume me.

Another lesson I use is the knowledge that PTSD is cyclical, it explodes with cortisol and adrenaline, fills us with anxiety and fear, then recedes in time back to our normal.

Know the pattern of trauma firing up, staying a while then returning back to normal.

Some Wisdom: I have survived my worst flare ups already, with PTSD active and powered up, so my fear level has dropped.

PTSD can do nothing new to me that I have not already endured or survived.

So PTSD has thrown its biggest punches and I am still standing, so are you, maybe you have not realized the accomplishment yet.

Realize that therapy even once a week is only 4 hours a month, our time alone accounts for 720 hours. 720 hours versus 4 hours.

Where do you think healing will happen?

Mine happened on my own time, sometimes directed by my therapists input, most of the time while meditating using my tools.

Next, Find a mentor.

Books were my first mentor, books on neuroscience, PTSD therapies, war, meditation and holistic cures.

PTSD discussion boards were next, a negative place filled with victims acting out, taught me what not to do.

Lessons are hidden everywhere.

Now, I follow blogs that inspire me as part of my daily routine.

Please share one of your tools that has made a difference.

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My take on childhood abuse’s impact on the mind and body

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Childhood abuse results in a smaller hippocampus, larger amygdala and the quarterback (left prefrontal cortex) of our mind confused and ineffective.

Our minds wired around abuse, in survival mode, so the organs responsible for regulation and safety developed differently.

So memory, emotional regulation, safety and common sense have been compromised.

If we understand these shortcomings, we can grade our thoughts on this trauma curve.

Discount everything we feel and think around our PTSD. I do not believe my PTSD thoughts.

They are inaccurate, damaging and a distant memory.

That question of why we just can not let go, is answered in the damage to these three brain organs.

If we look at the Kaiser Adverse Childhood study, cancer, disease, addiction and early death come with childhood abuse, also.

It’s just not the mind, it is the body that suffers.

So let me rejoice at my advanced age to have survived and never given up.

Few will understand how we feel, now we know our brains have physical deficiencies.

This is not to use as an excuse but wisdom to live life as fully as possible in the face of our challenges.

There will be low times of hopelessness and depression, that’s why we never give up, never give in.

I have waited out serious bouts of PTSD with triggers firing, anxiety filling my body, and fear consuming me.

These spells will break, subside and life goes back to our normal.

I still hope, but hope only has a chance with daily work and courage to risk.

We journey together on this path not on competition.

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Part Two: how-does-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-change-the-brain by Viatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD,

Amygdala activation during acquisition of fear learning in PTSD. There was an increase in amygdala activation during acquisition of conditioned fear learning in women with PTSD related to early childhood abuse. Yellow areas in the amygdala show areas 

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Effect of trauma on the ventromedial prefrontal cortex

Severe emotional trauma causes lasting changes in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex region of the brain that is responsible for regulating emotional responses triggered by the amygdala.

Specifically, this region regulates negative emotions such as fear that occur when confronted with specific stimuli.

PTSD patients show a marked decrease in the volume of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the functional ability of this region.

This explains why people suffering from PTSD tend to exhibit fear, anxiety, and extreme stress responses even when faced with stimuli not connected—or only remotely connected—to their experiences from the past.

Effect of trauma on the amygdala

Trauma appears to increase activity in the amygdala. This region of the brain helps us process emotions and is also linked to fear responses. PTSD patients exhibit hyperactivity in the amygdala in response to stimuli that are somehow connected to their traumatic experiences.

They exhibit anxiety, panic, and extreme stress when they are shown photographs or presented with narratives of trauma victims whose experiences match theirs, or if they listen to sounds or words related to their traumatic encounters.

What is interesting is that the amygdala in PTSD patients may be so hyperactive that these people exhibit fear and stress responses even when they are confronted with stimuli not associated with their specific trauma, such as when they are simply shown photographs of people exhibiting fear.

The hippocampus, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and the amygdala are part of the neural circuitry that mediates stress. The hippocampus facilitates appropriate responses to environmental stimuli, so the amygdala does not go into stress mode unecessarily.

The ventromedial prefrontal cortex regulates emotional responses by controlling the functions of the amygdala. It is thus not surprising that when the hypoactive hippocampus and the functionally-challenged ventromedial prefrontal cortex stop pulling the chains, the amygdala gets into a tizzy. (This explains a lot)

Hyperactivity of the amygdala is positively related to the severity of PTSD symptoms. The aforementioned developments explain the tell-tale signs of PTSD—startle responses to the most harmless of stimuli, frequent flashbacks, and intrusive recollections.

Researchers believe that the brain changes caused by PTSD increase the likelihood of a person developing other psychotic and mood disorders. Understanding how PTSD alters brain chemistry is critical to empathize with the condition of the victims and devise treatment methods that will enable them to live fully and fulfill their true potential.

But in the midst of such grim findings, scientists also sound a note of hope for PTSD patients and their loved ones. According to them, by delving into the pathophysiology of PTSD, they have also realized that the disorder is reversible. The human brain can be re-wired. In fact, drugs and behavioral therapies have been shown to increase the volume of the hippocampus in PTSD patients. The brain is a finely-tuned instrument. It is fragile, but it is heartening to know that the brain also has the amazing capacity to regenerate.

(I would love to get a functional mri of my brain)

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Is Ptsd a bad genie in a bottle?

Genie in a bottle

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PTSD’s power emerges from the fear and anxiety it perpetuates through dissociation.

Dissociation is the lynchpin of Ptsd, the fuel trauma uses to control life.

Without time spent in the past, judging, ruminating or just handling trauma thoughts, Ptsd whithers in that moment.

There is normal healing where life becomes easier to navigate.

Set accurate expectations, we are never going to be happy go lucky or be like others, we will be our own happy self, whatever that looks like.

Thinking in absolutes seems to be the rhetoric of the inner critic (Ptsd) employs to control us.

If we leave this present moment to delve into the past, suffering will materialize.

It’s almost like a genie in a bottle, Ptsd that is.

Ptsd is a bad genie, traumatized and unworthy at his core. Sounds like the inner critic’s voice.

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If we rub that lamp, suffering comes pouring out.

I entertain the dream, I am perfect as my true self, right now, right here, right this second, then I move onto the next minute.

Know the enemy and how he/she operates.

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PTSD is a con artist

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PTSD is a con artist, he/she entices us into thought, discussion and then judgement.

This con artist, my inner critic, defines my dysfunctional relationship with my true self.

PTSD wants me to live as a victim, avoid risking, living fully, actually giving up a productive life to hide.

When I observe PTSD from a distance, the irrational parts stick out as flawed and filled with suffering.

I have calmed my fight or flight mechanism with therapy and meditation so I can take the opposite action.

PTSD wants me to stop living my life freely.

How about you, what does your inner critic want, a true victim to control?

Therapy and meditation have limited his powers but he still found a way to regenerate and thrive.

Now, I have learned to not only resist but to change the storyline around the inner critic.

If I stop the ruminating immediately, the narrative dies a quick death.

I refuse to feel my old PTSD unworthiness, those sirens sing but their song has lost some power. It sounds out of tune for me now.

It is these little battles for dominance that decides our PTSD war.

Discount the inner critic, take immediate action, embrace contrary thoughts, go in the opposite direction, fast.

My ruminations have lessened but this is a moment to moment battle and perfection is not our goal.

Keep on the offense, vigilant and aware of the con artist.

He/she operates best when we dissociate, leave this moment to think, this is our Achilles heal.

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