Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The best way out is through

The best way out is through ~ Robert Frost

I don't know of any other way out of pain but through. Going around it, avoiding it, pretending it's not there, willing it away or covering it up, creates a labyrinth where we lose our way and can find no exit. The way out takes willingness and the courage to connect with your pain. To finally feel, for the first time, that unexperienced experience which psychiatrist Ivor Browne calls trauma, untangles the confusion and clears our path. We can emerge from our pain with a true sense of who we are.

I believe the only way we can truly know our self is to go through our pain. What I know for sure is that avoiding pain is what keeps us stuck right in the thick of pain. Movement towards our pain, no matter how small, or how slow, is always healing.

There is no coming to consciousness without pain ~ Carl Jung

Clogher Beach, Ballyferriter, Kerry, Ireland


Even though I don't want to go through this …. I accept how I feel

Even though avoiding my pain isn't working, I'm willing to try another way

Even though I'm confused, I trust it will all be ok

TH: I want to avoid …
EB: And that's ok
SE: I understand why I feel that way
UE: I can have compassion for why I feel that way
UN: I know the reasons why I avoid pain
UC: I accept those reasons
CB: I have kindness for myself because of those reasons
UA: It's hard

TH: I don't want …
EB: And that's ok
SE: I can understand why I don't want …
UE: I can have compassion for why I feel that way
UN: I know the reasons why I don't want …
UC: I accept why I don't want …
CB: I have kindness for myself for not wanting …
UA: It's …

TH: I want …
EB: And that's ok
SE: I can understand why I want …
UE: I can have compassion for why I want …
UN: I know the reasons why I want …
UC: I accept why I want …
CB: I have kindness for myself for wanting …
UA: It's …

TH: I choose …
EB: And that's ok
SE: I can understand why I choose …
UE: I can have compassion for why I choose …
UN: I know the reasons why I choose …
UC: I accept why I choose …
CB: I have kindness for myself for choosing …
UA: It's …

Monday, March 21, 2011

Home

Where thou art - that - is Home ~ Emily Dickinson

Every time you feel something painful, you lessen your pain. You're connecting to a part of you that hurts and that connection is very healing. On so many levels you are helping yourself when you feel, you're helping your nervous system to discharge stress, you're helping parts of you feel heard, respected and understood and you're taking your experience and feelings seriously. You are listening and you are present. It takes a lot of courage to turn towards your pain.

If you tend to minimise or deny your pain, and not feel it, it will show up in your body. The presence of chronic pain in your body is a sign that your body is holding your unfelt pain. Its presence makes your pain real so you can take your pain and your feelings seriously. Its presence allows you to know that you're not just imagining it, it's not all in your head, you're not being dramatic, or too sensitive or too whatever else. Whatever ways you've learned to bury your hurt, your body will help you to listen instead so you can release it. Feeling and entering in to your pain, is like returning to your self, releasing a feeling of being homesick for something that you have being missing for a long time or even your whole life. The more you release your pain, the more comfortable you feel and the more you come home to your self, and that feels good.


Even though it's painful to feel my pain, I'm tapping for the courage to help me feel

Even though I want to turn away, I'm tapping for the courage to turn towards my pain

Even though I want to disconnect and run away, I'm tapping for the courage to fully connect to my pain

Repeat whatever reminder phrase feels right. Short cut EFT diagram and procedure

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The difference between awareness and consciousness

Article by Dr Arthur Janov http://arthurjanov.com/

The leitmotif of every intellectual therapy is that awareness helps us make progress. I’ll grant that awareness helps; but being conscious cures. Unless we are able to achieve consciousness in psychotherapy, the most we can do is tread water, having the illusion of progress without its essence.

When it comes to measuring progress in psychotherapy, it matters whether one measures the whole system or only aspects of brain function. Awareness fits the latter. It has a specific seat in the brain— Awareness and consciousness are two different animals. “Aware” and feelings lie on different levels. Awareness is what we often use to hide the unconscious; a defense. Awareness without feeling is the enemy of consciousness. What we are after is the awareness of consciousness and the consciousness of awareness. Not the awareness of awareness. When the patient is uncomfortable during a session, therapists typically take the position that “More insights is what we need. She is not aware enough.” But it is not the content of those insights that helps; it is the fact of the insight—a belief system that aids the defense mechanisms to do their job. Yet, what lies on low levels of brain function is immune to any idea. We can be anxious and aware but not anxious and conscious.

Psychotherapy has been in the business of awareness for too long. Since the days of Freud, we have apotheosized insights. We are so used to appealing to the almighty frontal cortex, the structure that has made us the advanced human beings that we are, that we forgot our precious ancestors, their instincts and feelings. We may emphasize how our neocortex is so different from other animal forms while we disregard our mutually shared feeling apparatus. We need a therapy of consciousness, not awareness. If we believe that we have an id stewing inside of us, there is no proper treatment because the cause is an apparition—a phantom that doesn’t exist. Or worse, it is a genetic force that is immutable and therefore cannot be treated. In any case, we are the losers.

There is no powerlessness like being unconscious; running around in a quandary about what to do about this or that, about sexual problems, high blood pressure, depression, and temper outbursts. It all seems like such a mystery. The aware person or he who seeks awareness has to be told everything. He listens, obeys—and suffers. Awareness doesn’t make us sensitive, empathic, or loving. It makes us aware of why we can’t be. It’s like being aware of a virus. It’s good to know what the problem is but nothing changes. The best awareness can do is create ideas that negate need and pain. Read on

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Healing our pain

We go to enormous lengths to avoid feeling pain. Does it work? Not in my experience. It might work temporarily. Connecting to pain, our pain, fully feeling it, dissolves the pain. We can paint pretty pictures of our pain, create beautiful metaphors, generate endless analogies and while these are really useful communication tools, do they really help us to fully connect to our pain? Sometimes they can, but more often than not in my experience, they lead to an over thinking and an analysis and interpretation which can often distance us from our pain so we don't have to feel it. We think our pain is resolved but we don't know and feel it is resolved. One is an experience, the other is not. Resolving pain is a feeling exercise and one we need to go through for our own sake. I believe we can't avoid feeling our pain no matter how much, or how hard, we try.

Nire Valley, Tipperary, Ireland
When some people talk of spirituality and people who are spiritual, I find it difficult to identify with what they mean or what I think they mean. Spirituality for me is not a religion, nor is it a practice, it is who we are. The spirit or life force (life energy, chi, prana etc) that animates and gives life to our bodies makes us all spiritual. Spirit is an old word for energy and has nothing to do with organised religion or any religious practice. You don't have to 'do' anything to be spiritual, you already are. For me, healing means fully connecting our spirit with our bodies; embodying our spirit. The connection feels vitalising, nourishing, healing and joyful.

When we dissociate, which is an extremely common response to pain or trauma, and we all dissociate to a greater or lesser degree, our spirit/energy detaches from our body. The greater the pain (and that's subjective) and more prolonged, the more detached our spirit/energy can become from our body. The split or severance is akin to an injury or wound and we feel this disconnection as physical and emotional pain. Our life energy stops flowing and dis-ease and dis-order may result. By feeling our pain, we repair the injury and our spirit is able to comfortably sit back into our body, the flow of our life energy is restored, and we feel 'whole' again. That's what healing truly means: feeling whole.

Terms such as 'ascension' or 'raising your vibration' don't resonate with me at all, connecting my body to my spirit does. The journey or experience is not going up, away or anywhere else but back to my self, it's an appreciation and deep gratitude for my humanity that allows me to fully feel and embody my spirit.