Posts Tagged ‘Self’

Body and Mind: a partnership

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Let’s look at life in a different way. We are granted a body at birth, sometimes parents are part of the package. A mind comes with that body, the organ that will decide if we find wellbeing, suffering or something in between.

The body deteriorates at a much faster pace than the mind in normal times. Think of the needs of your body, then your mind.

The body is never satisfied for long, desires are never fulfilled for long. Constantly fulfilling desire leads to addiction not wellbeing.

The greatest meal on earth keeps hunger pains away for maybe 8 or 10 hours. One meal does not sustain us forever.

I mean look how often we need oxygen, four breathes a minute, every 15 seconds of so.

Then the body starts deteriorating if we reach maturity. We wither and die, no one has escaped.

What does the mind need. Well it uses 25% of the bodies oxygen and is dépendant on the body being healthy.

The mind has the option of grasping our desires, then judging success or failure on how we fulfill them.

The mind can also discount the Ego’s needs, making decisions in an unbiased observer mode.

Wellbeing happens when these two forces are balanced.

We have to fulfill certain desires but we need balance and perspective.

One banana split is wonderful, the second damn good, the third brings stomach pains.

Substitute drugs, alcohol, sex, power, status or approval for the banana split.

More desire does not quench desire, it promulgates more and more.

“Happiness does not come from having much, but from being attached to little.”

—Venerable Cheng Yen!!!

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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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How To Explore Your Inner-self

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From HUMAN PERFORMANCE PSYCHOLOGY Blog

“The actual psychological personality of a person is referred to as the ‘self’ of a person. 

Each one of us has a hidden self within us, but we are not aware of it. A human being thinks that it is his consciousness that lead his actions. 

Actually, our inner self guides our behavior in our day-to-day life. This self is constructed and undergoes transformation with the passage of time as we experience new things.

Ego also forms a part of our inner self. It makes us fight for our own identity in the world. It stresses on an individual existence of a human being separated from others. 

This will make an individual proud and selfish. He will neglect certain facts, which will be an obstacle in his self-awareness and thereby degrading his self-development. 

Thus for the development of the inner-self, the foremost step is self-introspection. 

This means that an individual should look within himself and analyze his own personality. 

This way he will be able to make out his own strengths and weaknesses. 

After this, it will be easy for him to take on to the methods that add on to his strengths and subtract his weaknesses. 

A person will then become more attracted towards the positive ways of life. This can be selfless service towards humanity and moving away from the negative thoughts of life such as jealousy and frustration. This will lead to the healing of the inner-self.

Another way of self-healing is to take on an optimistic attitude towards life. Many of us are prone to pessimistic thinking, which is the reason why they fail to realize the possibility of a solution to the problem. Taking on a positive and constructive attitude will give an individual the strength to face the problems of life and seek a solution to the same.

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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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My childhood Abuse haunts me, it was hard wired

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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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Trust, is it possible for seriously abused kids.

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I am just realizing some of my habits were created from childhood trauma.

My Childhood was void of trust, it was a violent struggle for a little boy to survive. No attachments were created with my parents, I hated my father, my abuser.

After leaving the household for college, the first person I trusted betrayed me in a horrendous way.

Consequences: Life was much better not trusting people, being dependent on myself, especially when a crisis occurred.

How do you trust after a childhood where I was brutalized emotionally and physically until I left that house?

Childhood did not turn out ok, I was severely damaged and isolated from healthy connections to my peers. I was not allowed to dilute my father’s control with having close friends and a girlfriend was forbidden.

My brain lacked social skills to trust and bond with the group.

Do I cry about lacking, become a victim or do I learn to live without people’s help. That answer is quite obvious.

PTSD is an irrational disorder, we make decisions in survival mode that do not work in normal life. Things are extremely distorted inside our damaged brains.

How does a person like me get to therapy and then trust a therapist?

Trust is a shallow connection to another for me. I just realized how sad this is.

How do we trust on a deep level?

My only touch I received in childhood was getting beat. That does not promote trust or closeness.

Who do you call?

69 years of not trusting is a big mountain!

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PTSD is the biggest thief in the universe

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If you follow this blog, my decade long healing journey, triumphs and losses have been shared. I healed twice in that decade, great joy and accomplishment filled my being for a while.

Underneath my supposed healing, I felt PTSD still had power. Then four months ago the final piece of hidden trauma from college exploded. The most humiliating betrayal of my life.

It feels like my whole life has erupted into trauma and suffering again.

My childhood abuse changed the way my (your) brain wired. Our nervous systems became super sensitive to danger.

Our worry circuit was overdeveloped, danger was always close.

Instead of pursuing pleasure, we spend our time on point, protecting our being from attack.

Our mental resources focus to much in survival mode, which shuts down enjoyment and security (normal life).

We never really feel safe, feel like we are worthy or deserving. We are different than other kids.

My father isolated me more, severing my attachments at school.

The ACE study details how abusive childhoods will have more suffering, addiction, mental disorders, cancer, alcoholism, prostitution and suicide.

Birth is the ultimate lottery, some win big, others are severely abused.

Personally, being the target of daily criticism and violence, created a negative self image.

How do you spin a self who feels worthy out of constant criticism from your dominant first caregiver.

My life feels like it has been mostly pain and suffering to the point I have huge resentment Now.

In the middle of PTSD, life is bleak and irrational.

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“All human experiences are suffering”. Is this actually true?

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Rick Hanson from “Neurodharma”

“There are times when the mind is filled with physical pain, grief, fear, outrage, depression, or other overwhelming kinds of suffering.

I’ve had those times myself, and and it feels like suffering is all there is. There are also countless people who each day must bear pain, illness, loss, disability, poverty, or injustice.

And in a blink of an eye something might happen–perhaps a car on the highway swerving into you, or a shocking betrayal by someone you’ve trusted– that changed the rest of your life.

Suffering is certainly around us, and often if not always inside us. And still– are all of our experiences suffering?

Suffering matters because it is a particularly kind of experience–one that is unpleasant— so there must be other kinds of experiences.

The pleasure in eating a juicy peach is not itself suffering. Nor is virtue, wisdom, or concentration. Awareness itself is not suffering.

Human experience certainly contains fear and grief, but that’s not all it contains.

Further, any experience, even a painful one, is highly pixelated, with many elements like the individual brushstrokes of a painting.

Most of those elements are not themselves suffering. The redness of red, the knowledge that a ball is round…none of these is itself suffering.

These points may seem merely technical, but if we overlook what is not suffering, then we won’t truly understand what is suffering.

And we will miss out on experiences and resources that we could use both for increasing health and and well-being and for reducing suffering.

Recognizing suffering in yourself and others opens the heart and motivates practice. But these good ends are not served by exaggerating it.”

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When you were young

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Rick Hanson:

Every child is particularly vulnerable during the first few years.

One reason is that the primary neural trigger for experiences of stress and fear—the amygdala—is fully formed before most babies are born.

This “alarm bell” in your brain was ready to ring loud as you took your first breath.

Second, a nearby part that calms down the amygdala–the hippocampus–deoesnt become completely developed until around the third birthday.

The hippocampus is key to forming episodic memories—specific recollections of personal experiences—and it’s slow maturation is why we we don’t remember our earliest years.

It also signals the hypothalamus to quit calling for more more stress hormones (”Enough already”).

The combination of a ready-for-action amygdala and a needs-years-to-develop hippocampus is like a one-two punch: young children are easily upset while lacking internal resources for calming themselves and putting events in perspective.

Third, the right hemisphere of your brain got a jump start in development during your first eighteen months.

This matters because that side of the brain tends to emphasize the perception of threats, painful emotions such as fear, and avoidance behaviors such as withdrawing or feeling… which intensify the negative effects of the amygdala-hippocampus combination.

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Self-Authorship part 2: “Living with your Heart Wide Open”

Pixabay: Ben_Kerckx

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We see ourselves in the mirrors of others’ eyes and behaviors, and our stories reflect what we see there.

Who you believe you are began in your early relationships with your caregivers, and it was in these exchanges that you decided if you were worthy or unworthy, adequate or inadequate.

Your story has developed within this original theme from then on.

If you feel inadequate, for example, you may seek a sense of adequacy from people or things, from what you’ve done, or from your appearance, your talents, or your performances.

This never works out.

A sense of adequacy doesn’t come from any of these things; it comes from who you are. This is why so many of us feel deficient and unworthy no matter what we do.

We perform. We get wonderful things.

We may even succeed in proving our adequacy to others, but we never quite prove it to ourselves.

Shortly after every standing ovation, the sense of inadequacy returns and follows us as inexorably as a shadow.

The sense of inadequacy also follows us into our love relationships, where we tend to play out our role in some of the most dramatic ways.

Surely the one who loves us will give us what we always longed for.

Surely this person’s love will be enough, and through it, we will finally be enough.

This never quite works out either, even when our partners do their best to assure us that we’re okay, or even far more than okay.

In fact, the distortions of our self-authorship often manifest more dramatically in these relationships than anywhere else, due to the extraordinary perceptual distortion known as projection—attributing your own thoughts and judgments to others.

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