Posts Tagged ‘Mind’

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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Our Storyline is so biased

Pixabay
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Shaila Catherine:

“Most people perceive things through the distortion of desire, aversion, or delusion; grasping for objects with thoughts, “I like this, I don’t like this,” or grasping for self with assumptions of “I am this, I am not this. It is our predisposition and assumptions that distort perception.”
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My two cents: I believe our “Ego” distorts desire.

Our “Ego” craves importance, approval and reacts when he/she receives criticism and loss.

He/She (Ego) judges, comparing our storyline to our life.

In fact our “Ego” is the ultimate judgment center, highly emotional and adolescent with emotions.

Criticism and loss are followed by outrage and anger or an attack.

The “Ego” has great impact on our storyline, how we see ourselves, worthy or unworthy, victim or thriver (surviver).

Follow your “Ego back to its source. You will not find a source, he/she is created for identity.

My PTSD improves when my storyline losses importance.

We do not take our storyline with us when we die.

Must not be important.
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If our Ego disappeared would we have PTSD?

http://m.deveoh.com/old-ventriloquist-dummies?page=4

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We create this character for identity, adopting the name our parents gave us. So my “Ego” is named Marty.

Marty never feels equal to another “Ego”, always better or worse. If we walk into a room of people sitting around a big table, our “Ego” judges others and assesses our rank, our status in the group.

We decide by things we hold important. A group of athletes would give me a high ranking, while entering a group of knitters would send me to the basement.

How we rate ourselves within our peer group and how the opposite sex sees us are two important areas.

Our “Ego” is in charge when strong emotions are present. Our “Ego” feels the outrage not our observer (true self, soul).

If someone cuts me off on the freeway, it is my “Ego” that is pissed, feels disrespected or threatened.

If I take a breath, focus, and let go, the anger dissipates. That anger needs my “Egos” energy to stay alive.

PTSD goes away when I focus, let my mind empty of thought, and observe life in this present moment.

It’s like seeing everything in my landscape without judgment (observer mode).

My “Ego” takes a place in the back, in the far reaches of my mind for a minute.

I asked my therapists one day, Doc, if I can be free of trauma for five minutes while meditating, then I can increase that time more and more with practice?

She said of course.

I have learned to meditate, a space where I travel to the right hemisphere of my brain, it is “Egoless” over there.

No words, sentences, right or wrong, good or bad.

Words are pixels on this side.

Think of the “Ego” as a ventriloquist dummy on our lap.

He/She is kind of us, but can say things we never would think of.

Just think of how common sense disappears when we get really pissed.

Look at that dummy on your lap, and say Hello to your “Ego”.

We need less “Ego” and more Observer for balance and wellbeing.

Next time you get pissed, follow the “Ego” back to its source.

Trick question. Who knows the answer?

Our true self (soul) can exist without the “Ego”, the “Ego” can not be exist without our true self.

Out deep in the woods, our “Ego” loses his/her powers.

The answer: The “Ego” has no source to find, it is made up without a center.

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Meditation actually promotes the growth of new brain tissue

https://pixabay.com/users/inspiredimages-57296/

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from “The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing after Trauma”

“Meditation enhances functioning in the hippocampus, a crucial structure for quieting agitations and consolidating memory.

As you meditate, you also repair the brain connections that trauma has ruptured and rebuild brain tissue that has been damaged and destroy.

In recent years, researchers such as Harvard Sarah Lazaro and Brittany Holzel have repeatedly shown that meditation actually promotes the growth of new brain tissue in areas of the frontal cortex that trauma often damages, areas responsible for self awareness, thoughtful judgment, and compassion.”

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My two cents: I healed the first time in small increments from multiple skills and practices.

Having a skill that can grow new brain tissue in trauma damaged areas, along with better self-regulation, enhanced memory, clearer thinking, greater ability to deal with life’s stresses, seems quite valuable.

What therapy or healing skill has more impact than this?

Meditating was my anchor, my greatest healing asset.

Meditating brought me a peace of mind, I never experienced before, a calm knowing.

I strive to regain that calm.

New Years resolution coming. Have you ever changed a habit?

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Survival Mode: “The Body Keeps the Score”

Pixabay: Comfreak

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“In other words: If an organism is stuck in survival mode, its energies are focused on fighting off unseen enemies, which leaves no room for nurture, care, and love.

For us humans, it means that as long as the mind is defending itself against invisible assaults, our closest bonds are threatened, along with our ability to imagine, plan, play, learn, and pay attention to other people’s needs.

Darwin also wrote about body-brain connections that we are still exploring today.

Intense emotions involve not only the mind but also the gut and the heart: “Heart, guts, and brain communicate intimately via the ‘pneumogastric’ nerve, the critical nerve involved in the expression and management of emotions in both humans and animals.

When the mind is strongly excited, it instantly affects the state of the viscera; so that under excitement there will be much mutual action and reaction between these, the two most important organs of the body.”

The first time I encountered this passage, I reread it with growing excitement. Of course we experience our most devastating emotions as gut-wrenching feelings and heartbreak.

As long as we register emotions primarily in our heads, we can remain pretty much in control, but feeling as if our chest is caving in or we’ve been punched in the gut is unbearable.

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What abused children Become

Pixabay: Soledadsnp

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From Dr. Nicholas Jenner on his onlinetherapist.blog

“I am convinced that codependents come into adulthood seeking the basic connection with others that they failed to find with their parents.

In a process of compulsion repetition, they engage in relationships with people similar to their caregivers, trying to solve the original problem.

In the specific case of codependency, this means controlling the environment and the people in it to gain reassurance and emotional security, mirroring childhood.

As we know, this means sacrifice, martyrdom, victimhood and the main principles of the drama triangle, fixing, anger and self loathing.

Codependents feel they need to be in a relationship to feel secure and once they are, will do all they can to stay in it.

Our logical mind often tells us that we need to make changes in our lives.

This is often overwhelmed by the emotional part of our thinking that holds fear, shame and reminds us how difficult change might be.

This protective thinking is the main reason we become stuck when deciding what to do.

It protects us from our primary fears, not good enough, abandonment, fear of commitment, rejection.

The thinking we listen wants us to stay exactly where we are so we don’t face these fears.”

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My two cents: In early adulthood I was extremely vulnerable.

I stayed after a public betrayal by my first love, first girlfriend in college.

Staying was humiliating publicly and extremely damaging but I was paralyzed like this article says.

Sad, abused kids need to suffer more in adulthood without knowing why or how to fix it.

Oh yes. We have enormous rage and resentment for all abusers in our life.

We battle an invisible monster, a caregivers treachery, for life.

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Navigating a traumatized existence

https://pixabay.com/users/aitoff-388338/

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Stating the obvious, we were innocent, helpless kids without the mental or physical abilities to escape or protect ourselves.

For me, healing looks totally different than a normal person.

Everyone talks about how connecting and trusting, having healthy social relationships are part of healing and wellbeing.

I did the opposite. Socially, trusting people was never going to happen except for an inner circle of a few.

For me, isolating from most people, stabilized my nervous system, so I could heal.

I never trusted people, never.

People betraying me, did so much damage after my childhood, I became a loner.

Finding a way to be happy without many attachments was difficult, but the alternative of a loved one betraying me was never an option after college.

I stayed alive, did not commit suicide, got up and created a private world for myself.

I am alive, I survived extreme abuse as a confused, little boy.

Terror followed me, nightmares, sweats, stomach aches, vomiting, anxiety and fear ensued.

Now, when all this explodes life goes back to feeling imminent danger is near, it exists deep inside my memories.

I can not make sense of my life and all the suffering.

Was I born to be a sufferer?

How should I endure a life filled with suffering.

Where is the worth in my life, keeps nagging me for answers

Abused kids can not escape the damage.

Any insight?

Note: I am not advocating isolating, except from your abusers, even if it is a parent until after you improve.

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My childhood Abuse haunts me, it was hard wired

https://pixabay.com/users/tabor-1546010/

I have been watching “Queens Gambit” on netflicks, so I find this pic funny. Yea nothing to do with the post but entertaining for me. That’s an active PTSD brain functioning, I think. The Jethro Tull t-shirt completes the picture.

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My childhood Abuse haunts me, it was hard wired into my brain and nervous system before it developed.

It is like a bad dream when it is awakened, it is intertwined with our brains normal development. It existed before some parts of our brain matured.

It is highly irrational by definition and ever so confusing.

I never had a healthy ego, autonomy, or even safety in my entire childhood. There is no core, no resilient piece developed, I functioned in survival mode.

Many healthy circuits are ignored and thus damaging our chances of ever being normal. Survival mode, means high alert, spotting danger replaces any creative endeavors, building deep attachments etc.

If you follow this blog, you have seen me as a crusader of healing and then other times like now, you have also seen me in the abyss of active suffering from PTSD.

It is a battle, those who suffer from childhood abuse, physical, emotional or even rape know the nightmare they live.

Our trauma scares the shit out of us, commandeers our nervous system, then floods our minds with intrusive thoughts.

My healing was like a war zone. Violent exits of childhood trauma that I finally integrated were the best feelings.

Then in a few days more trauma arrived. After five years of daily, 8 plus hours of meditation, reading and applying every healing technique I could find, it was frustrating to have more abuse always surface.

It seemed it was limitless and finding peace impossible.

My optimum space for healing, found me totally focused on my effort.

If things got worse, I practiced more.

Another big advantage, I learned from being a pro athlete.

We worked out five months in the offseason without worrying about results until next season.

Childhood PTSD (C-PTSD) is not going to change much in a day, a week, or a month, so I placed all worry or concern into more practice, more effort.

Worrying is a nasty form of Dissociation, our biggest enemy stopping us from improving.

No great direction in this post. My posts are so different when my PTSD is active or dormant.

It feels a little vulnerable sharing when my ptsd is this active.

Thoughts?

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They feel that they do not have the right to exist.

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Children of narcissist emerge from the crucible with a common and most serious problem.

They feel that they do not have the right to exist.

Their selves have been twisted out of their natural shape since any movement toward independence is treated as a Betrayal and something that can cause the parent irreparable harm.

The narcissistic parents philosophy of rationalized self interest prevents the child from understanding why he feels guilty about having autonomous motives.

The narcissistic parents principal, “you don’t count,” means the child’s effort to be seen as an individual is worthy of consideration if only for trying to understand that her problems are felt by the parent to be an act of treason.

The child’s move towards autonomy is greeted by the parents pain, resentment and anger, from which the child learns that becoming a separate person is wrong.

A narcissist attempts to define his children’s reality.

He tells them what they are feeling and thinking, in contradiction to what they really do feel and think.

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My two cents: Reading in a book about not feeling the right to be alive, shocked me.

I was not the only one.

A narcissist isolates you as much as possible so he/she can have total control.

I see why knowing my identity is so confusing.

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Adult survivors are often isolated, lacking the ability or courage to trust

https://pixabay.com/users/goranh-3989449/

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From https://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/docs/librariesprovider16/default-document-library/the-long-shadow-adult-survivors-of-childhood-abuse.pdf?sfvrsn=0

Interpersonal Problems

Adult survivors of past abuse may also experience difficulties in relationships with others. These difficulties can influence your relationships with partners, friends, members of your family of origin, and your children.

Evvie Becker-Lausen and Sharon Mallon-Kraft describe two dysfunctional interpersonal styles that they characterize as “pandemic” outcomes of past abuse. Adult survivors may adopt an avoidant style, which includes low interdependency, self-disclosure and warmth, leading to few interpersonal ties. ( I have lived with few deep attachments and enjoy the security of my bedroom over any social gathering)

Or they may adopt an intrusive style, which includes extremely high needs for closeness, excessive self-disclosure and being smotheringly warm. We could call the intrusive style “codependent.”

The intrusive style is overly demanding and controlling. Interestingly, both styles result in loneliness. (You’ll also notice that the two styles are very similar to those of depressed mothers.)

Past abuse influences adult relationships. In a sample of incest survivors, those not in stable or secure relationships as adults were more likely to be depressed (Alexander, Anderson, Brand, Schaeffer, Grelling & Kretz. 1998).

Past abuse can influence your ability to trust others, make friends, and have relationships that are not exploitive. ( I have never trusted a woman in a relationship after the public humiliation in college. Fear was the driving subconscious force that enabled me to not need people)

Adult survivors are often isolated and are less satisfied with their relationships than adults who were never abused. (I Isolated, had few deep connections, never joined groups, and became suspicious of others motives, people were not safe in my world)

If you are an abuse survivor, you may find it difficult to find an adequate support network to help you cope with the stresses of parenting. ( Abused kids have few resources and are oblivious that we need therapy)

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