Monday, November 7, 2011

Live Food for Children

You won't get your children to eat healthier unless you are too. They are modeling what you do many times more than doing what you say. What do you eat for breakfast before running out the door?

There have been studies can-prayer-heal that are proving that prayer and praying over our food before eating, is more than just memorized words and ritual.
Prayer is a vibration we send forth.
Prayer is answered with a likewise vibration.
Prayer, with intent, has power.

Were we taught that in Sunday school? I watch my nephews, who attend Catholic school and are learning all about prayer, and realize that they have learned the words but not the why they are saying them at mealtime! While they get that they are supposed to pray, they aren't getting taught the power of their prayer over their food and how it affects them. Why did we lose that?

Recognize the energy of everyday things and you will begin to empower your children. Teach them moment by moment that life is alive and we are all living in cooperative relationship.

If you begin with these simple lessons, and move them throughout your day, and throughout your mind, life becomes a rhythm of love and we walk forward feeling blessed. And more importantly, they learn that they are connected to a web of life that supports and surrounds them.

NIH says that the research studies that involve prayer have doubled in the last 10 be honest that could mean that its gone from 1 to 2. But I'm still pleased to see that we can even mention PRAYER in the same breath as RESEARCH.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Positive Action

We had a series of violent hate crimes here in SLC recently. Gay men were being beaten up when they exited clubs late at night. Though the crimes were reported on the news, the police were too busy to do much.

And then a group of young people decided to take action. They call themselves
safety in numbers

They dress in costume, and they patrol the streets outside the clubs, generally laughing and carrying on, in full display. Why? They will walk people to their cars. They will surround them. They have made it a point to put themselves between the victim and the perpetrators.

I am so impressed with this action. Not only did they identify a problem, they came up with a solution AND they implemented it. They didn't ask permission, they simply and effectively just DID IT.

What if each of us took such active responsibility for our fellow man, for what is happening in our country, for what we see as a problem? What if we each just DID SOMETHING?

What kind of world would we be living in THEN?
A brilliantly light one.
We are all God's children, we are all someone's child. We all deserve to walk on the streets in safety.

Blessings to these young men and women.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Training Each Other

It occurred to me today that we aren't training each other very well. We scream at the people we love when we want them to come home. I've watched parents berating their kids. I've often thought I wouldn't want to come home to that either!

You know, once I watched my cat with her new kittens. She had these amazing mini meows she used with them, very quiet. She never lost her temper, never raised her voice. She got quieter.

They would wake and begin to toddle out of the bed, and if they got too far she would give a mini-meow and they would stop as if to say 'far enough'. If she gave two minis, it meant come home.

Most of the litter responded, except one. Except the one little boy. He would keep toddling determinedly onward no matter her call. She would let him get so far, and then with no response coming from him , she would get up and gather him up by the back of the neck, firmly but gently. He dangled from her mouth, swaying as if to say "aw mom..."

When they got back to the bed, she smothered him with her tongue, completely, and quite furiously licking him everywhere. He was loved all over. She completely stimulated him but what was the message? She loved him. She completely loved on him. Not for going away, but for coming back. For being in the nest, in the bed with her. For returning, even if she had to bring him in. And then when he was warm, and clean, she fed him.

His anchor was love in the bed, in the nest, in their space, and love with connection to her.

The next day, when he toddled out and she mini-meowed...he came in on his own. He came back to where it was deeply ingrained that he was loved and cared for and fed. He was determinedly told he was loved and safe, and he responded.

I think my cat was brilliant.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Finding Safe-be consistent.

Ultimately, safe is what we are all craving, and what we all strive to find. In the classroom, if a teacher is safe, it means she's consistent, and that she is predictable. If a parent is safe, it means they are the same.

It does NOT mean that the adult is indulgent. Indulgent does not make the child feel safe. In fact, it often feels the opposite. Sometimes indulgence codes in as indifference.

What makes us feels unsafe is changing rules in mid-stream, or inconsistent rules. Something that is a rule one day and not the next for instance, only makes us feel unsure, and unsure means unsafe.

One of my son's teachers would yell at the children if anyone dared to speak during prayers. She would be furious and would rail about being disrespectful. (Catholic school) Then later in the same week, she laughed because she forgot the words.

Consistency means the adults operate out of the same rule book. If you don't want the bedroom door locked when they are teens, then don't lock them out when they are little. They will model what you do and not what you say.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Everything We Need Is Around Us-if we can recognize it as a gift

There was an old Star Trek (I'm talkin' the ORIGINAL Star Trek tv series) that put Kirk on a planet with an alien and they had to battle to the death to save their crew (or was it their planet?) The crew could watch on the monitors. Anyway they had everything they needed to win. It was all around them, IF they could recognize it,

Kirk made gunpowder using a bamboo sleeve and hemp for a fuse and filling it with chunks of sulfur and coal and junk. Ok ok-the details aren't important here-my POINT is the premise that they were given everything they needed to win and that it was all around them-IF they could recognize it.

I've always thought that that's what God has done with us, here on planet earth, and that we would find the cure for cancer in a weed, and probably the weed that is the most in our face and annoying. Here we are trying hard to eradicate it, and God has made it abundant so we can survive and we are too dense and rigidly in our limited thinking brain to recognize it.

Cats eat grass for instance, when they have an upset stomach.

Cudos to British researchers at the University of Nottingham's school of Veterinary Medicine for thinking outside the box-they've discovered that COCKROACHES have molecules in their brains and CNS tissue that kill bacteria like Ecoli and Staph.

NOW that is creative research! Why aren't WE doing that?
Exactly-how come cockroaches can survive anything and everything including radiation? Way to go!

For the Full AOL news article click here.

For the Full LA Times news article click here

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Birth Trauma Memories

Someone recently told me that she had heard that all children remember being born until they are about two and a half. So she had asked her grandchild if he remembered. And he said he did.

She asked him if he remembered being born and he nodded with assurance.
She asked him what it was like being inside his mommy's tummy and he made the noises of her breathing, and he made the sounds of her heartbeat, with big actions and puffed out cheeks like a bellows, which was exactly what it would have sounded like inside I imagine, not like our breathing on the outside.
She asked him what it was like being born and he touched the top of his head and made a squished up face and said "ow" in a long sound.
She asked him how he got out and this was the only time he said anything in words, "there was a door!" For a two year old I take that to mean that there was a something that he went through. A door is a place that you recognize will take you somewhere else.

He primarily acted it all out in sensory kinesthetics, in feeling language, which is just too perfect to even  be anything but in awe of! How perfect! That is exactly what it was like. It was before words, it was all sensory. Can you doubt it?

Now imagine asking every little one what their experience was like, and really listening to it, with your whole body. Feeling it the way they felt it. I work with lots of kids that were preemies and had issues at birth. And often they have issues with separation anxiety, high startle reactions, and issues with change and transitioning.

It struck me that if the sound of her heartbeat is what that little boy remembered, why don't we play the sound of their mother's heartbeat, recorded off of all those ultrasounds, to them when in the ICU? I've heard of vets putting  ticking clocks under the blankets to comfort puppies and kittens that lose their mothers.

I remember going through a rebirthing regression experience myself years ago, and after my birth I was searching for the sound that I was missing. I remember a profound aloneness that grew with intensity inside, causing me waves of increasing panic. Where where where was the sound I knew? I couldn't see, I couldn't tell where I was. (I had gone through a door into a new world).

Yes, it was the sound of my mother's heartbeat and it wasn't until I found it again that I relaxed with my whole body. My only grounding and centering channel was on search-auditory, and it was an auditory/kinesthetic search, meaning that sound fed every skin cell of my body because it surrounded me in the womb. My skin was on search for the sound, and when I found it, my skin relaxed, my central nervous system relaxed.

Without finding it, I wonder? We go through stages of stress, which cycle from shock, to countershock to exhaustion. I wonder if we asked a two year old preemie what they remembered of their birth, if they would be able to recall, or if, like someone having survived a trauma, they would start the 

Omega 3 oils and the Brain

When doing a raw diet, or raw transition diet, please make sure you are getting enough oils. Societies that have a high vegetable often have very oily dishes and I think that this may be why. Olive oil is added to many many dishes, and from the outside it might seem excessive but now, I understand! If we aren't getting our fats from animal protein, we must get it somehow, and not just for our skin, but for our BRAIN function. Without sufficient omega 3 oils, we just don't think or process as well.

On one of my other blogs, Shamans In The Raw, we've been posting recipes and nutritional information, as well as our own 'raw-ish' journals, for four years now and there is a lot of information on it. Here are links to 3 articles I wrote on nutrition and the brain that you might find interesting.

Omega 3 oils and the Brain

Benefits of Fish Oil and the Brain

B6, Zinc and B12

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sleep - it's a Ritual

There are two times of day when we are procedural-meaning we do things based on a routine. Routine is doing the same thing the same way. Another word for routine could be ritual. We have our waking rituals and our sleeping rituals.

When we are in our procedural brain, we are not thinking, we are on automatic pilot. We have established a protocol and we simply go through it. 

If you are having trouble sleeping, and it's a new issue,

1. take a look at your night time ritual and see if you have inadvertently changed something in your routine. If the answer is yes, change back. We need our routines to establish safety. 

If the sleep issue has been an issue for awhile now,

2. look at what the routine was when you were sleeping well.

3. When did you used to sleep well, and what was the routine then?

4. Have you dropped any part of the night time routine that you might require at an unconscious level to give your brain/body the message that now it is time to go to sleep.

We have an internal circadian rhythm that is a twenty four hour cycle that affects the physiological process of all living beings, including plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria. We have an internal biological rhythm and it can be thrown off kilter by any number of things including changes in light, temperature, barometric pressure, electromagnetic shifts, geopathic stress, emotional tension, travel, and more.

If you are very sensitive, changes in weather patterns can affect your sleep.

If you have never slept well, look at what the night time ritual was when you were a child, for a clue to what could be out of balance. This works whether it is your internal child that can't sleep, or your own child that has a sleep issue.

There are several things you can shift and some of it is you.

1. make going to sleep a routine/establish a clear ritual. "Now we get ready for bed." "Now we do this, then this then this." When you have clear procedure, with clear expectations, it establishes safety in the mind and body. You know what is coming next. And listen to your internal dialog as you are doing this-if your background voice is saying "I'm never going to be able to get to sleep" while you are trying to talk yourself into it-who's voice is that one in the background?

2. make it safe to go to bed, and not a punishment. Forget about the old "go to bed without supper" punishment. If you link punishment with bed, or bedtime, you are going to establish a troubling confusion later.

3. make the bed for sleep only. Don't watch tv from bed, don't eat in bed, and don't work in bed. Bed is for sleep. And remember: your children will do what you do and not what you say, so if you do any of these things-break yourself of the habit. Eat at the table. Work in the office. Sleep in the bed.

4. Keep the bedroom sacred. Don't send them to their room as punishment. We used to use the laundry room which in our home was just off the kitchen. It was someplace that wasn't fun and wasn't so far removed that it was considered Siberia. By the same token, a time out was 2-5 minutes and it was so we could both catch our breaths! It wasn't for hours on end. Keep it short, and bring them back to love.

5. Blow your nose before sleep. Add this to your/their bedtime ritual because if your nasal passages aren't clear, your oxygen levels will be off and this will interrupt your sleep.

6. Cuddle. Safe touch raises oxytocin levels, and relaxes us. Cuddling, stroking and holding all relax the body unless there are other factors. Petting animals too, will do it. So, cuddle with the cat and the dog to relax. Pet, don't go play frisbee at 9pm.

7. Allow for more winding down time. Don't plan activities right up to the brink of bedtime. We need time to do nothing. Read, watch some tv, do a puzzle, journal about the day, take a slow walk around the block before bed. If you are over scheduled with activities, it's much harder to shift gears to bedtime.

8. Notice when they are sleepy naturally. Are they signaling sleepy before you are ready to put them down? Establishing bedtime at a reasonable time helps. Children need an earlier time to bed than adults, but many many adults are not going to bed early enough. We have over-scheduled our days, and we are teaching our children to do the same thing.

If we pass our natural sleep, we can have a harder time making ourselves go to sleep. My youngest son would come up to us and say "I'm ready for bed" when he was little. It would always be 9pm and he would already have his pjs on. While this is unusual (he's a Virgo) all children are actually saying it in some way. This son has never had a sleep issue. He knows when he is tired, and he heads for bed. But his bedtime was often earlier than 9pm and we would miss it for one reason or another.

He also wasn't just saying "I'm tired" he was saying he was ready for his bedtime ritual. We would go up, brush teeth, then lay together on his bed and cuddle. We would pick 3 beanie babies from my basket and they would tell us both how their day had been. Then they would read a book with us. He would put them on his shelf above his bed for the night, we would send blessings to everyone that popped into his head, turn out the night-light

 (I would always be saying 'are you sure you don't want a light on which was MY issue, and he would patiently say 'no mom, no light)

and he would turn over, close his eyes and be asleep before the door closed.

Our beanie baby ritual established a diffusing of the day's stress and separated 'this is what happened in the daytime' from night time.

As an adult, you might try journal writing.(But do it with a pen and paper-journaling on the computer can throw you off for up to two hours from the light affecting your eyes-true.)

On the other hand, part of our morning ritual was and still is, sharing our dreams, and by doing this, if there had been a rough night we were saying it was ok to talk about that too. Messages from the unconscious come up during sleep and dialoging about dreams is a great way to begin to decode the dream-time symbols. And saying it out loud helps you to understand.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Getting Dirty Keeps Us Happy

Science Daily (April 10, 2007) - Bacteria found in soil activated a group of neurons that produce the brain chemical serotonin.

Well well well! According to Dr. Chris Lowry, who wrote a paper for Bristol University, getting dirty produces more serotonin in the brain! Now, see that makes sense to ME because we always feel better when we get our hands in the dirt and work in the garden. Good old fashion playing in the mud made us happy. 

He says "These studies help us understand now the body communicates with the brain and why a healthy immune system is important for maintaining health. They also leave us wondering if we shouldn't all be spending more time playing in the dirt."

Yes we should! Get into the garden, play in the mud, go plant a tree, get dirty!

And if you read the last post about phthalates, then you know getting too clean (certain products that contain this chemical compound) is also not good for the brain... goes to show if you let the little ones lead they will take us back to rebelling against showers and playing in the mud, and now 'science' is saying maybe that's not such a bad thing afterall. :)

Phthalates and ADHD

Phthalates and ADHD - the chemical in personal care products

Excerpt from: Personal care ingredient linked to ADHD

Source: Natural Food Merchandiser

A new study has linked phthalates, a substance used in some shampoos, lotions, air fresheners and children’s toys, with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although research on the health effects of phthalates (pronounced “thalates”) has been somewhat inconsistent, the latest study, published in Biological Psychiatry, adds to troubling findings about the chemical.

“These data represent the first documented association between phthalate exposure and ADHD symptoms in school-aged children,” Yun-Chul Hong, MD, PhD, senior author of the study, said in a statement. He and his colleagues came to their conclusions after measuring urine phthalate concentrations and evaluating ADHD symptoms in 261 Korean children, age 8 to 11 years. They found that the higher the concentration of phthalate metabolites in the urine, the worse the ADHD symptoms.

Some studies to date on phthalates have linked the chemical to hormone disruptions, birth defects, asthma and reproductive problems. Other studies have found no significant association between phthalate exposure and health risks. 
Published: Monday, November 30, 2009
Go to LOHAS to read the complete article.

What Does it Mean to Be a Child?

Back in the Victorian Era children were dressed up like miniature adults. Little boys had powder wigs, and little girls had bustles. We look at the archival images and say "oh can you imagine?"

But are we any different today? We are still dressing children up as if they are little adults with young girls in makeup and wearing clothing that is much too old for them. Just because they can doesn't mean they should. We have gotten away from rites of passage in our country - rituals that say we have reached a new pinnacle. It's amazing how we seem to rush the aging process and not honor where we are and not honor passages, but that's for another time.

What does it mean to be a child?

We want them to be responsible and self-governing at younger and younger ages, but we don't seem to think that this is something that needs to be learned. We expect them to behave (sit quietly, respect their adults, be able to keep their emotions under control), but we don't think that this is something that is learned behavior-rather it is supposed to be just known and able to be done.

We don't think that they should make mistakes. But if we never make a mistake, how do we learn? I loved the NLP premise as soon as I heard it, and adopted it to heart: "There is no failure, only feedback." DO it again! Figure out another way.

Keep this as a guiding principle and you will quickly find that you are open to exploration when otherwise you might be closed. When you believe that there is only a right way and a wrong way, and that you will do it wrong, you immediately lock yourself into non-movement. You've check-mated yourself!

We make mistakes. We are supposed to. It's coded into our DNA-all the ways not to do it, again. Don't touch the snake. Don't jump off the cliff. Don't look someone in the eye. Don't go down into the dark basement. Don't talk back to the nuns (even if you aren't Catholic). I call it instinctive behavior modification, and it's in our DNA just the same as antibodies are in our immune system-we learn from our experiences, and from trying out metal.

Exploration leads to discoveries. Breaking the rules leads to finding another way. Being able to hear between the lines means allowing your brain to work out new answers. Without this ability, we would not have ever had a United States of America. Without this, Columbus wouldn't have journeyed, and later our forefathers wouldn't have had the audacity to dream of breaking away from English rule.

Don't rule out mistakes. Mistakes are what solutions are built on. Do it again isn't a punishment-it's the ultimate reward!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I've always collected feathers and thought of them as messengers. I find them on walks, they show up in odd places, and always they seem to be timely.

Yesterday a client and I were standing and talking after her session. We were talking about her mother, who had died when she was five. We stood for about twenty minutes, in the hallway, just leaning against the walls and chatting at the end of the day, talking about connecting to the other side and stories of messages from beyond, both my stories and hers.

She turned and walked to the front door, and as she did, a small white downy feather came floating down behind her. I couldn't tell if it came off her, or from her, or if it was something else? Pure white, it floated slowly down, calling attention to itself in it's solitary path.

She had nothing feathery on, nor did I.
She had not been laying on a feather pillow.

Was it from her mother? From someone else? Or just a splendid coincidence?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Working with Children and Trauma

As adults we forget what could be traumatic for a child. We think we are looking for big events, but really it's anything that was overwhelming. What sticks in the memory are events that engaged all of our senses at the moment of overwhelm. In that instant, it codes into the instinctive memory with deep indelible roots.

Trauma is sensory overwhelm, and sensory overwhelm is violating in impact. It smacks into us. It hits with a high resonant volume. Often, it's things we don't understand.

What was overwhelming and traumatic for one, might be nothing to another. It also depends on what you have already experienced, and how good your sensory system is at sorting and categorizing. If you have a lot of file folders already, then your system knows what it is.

I had a mother tell me that she decided to invite people to 'pet' her stomach when she was pregnant. She invited people in to the space, and felt that the baby was experiencing, in a safe way, lots of different sorts of people's energy. Her child is now a one year old girl, and she likes people. Will this change? It will be interesting to watch. This mother is also a nurse.

She said she didn't try this with her son, who is three, and he has always had more caution around people. Is this a personality thing? AND if so, does the personality start to form in the womb? Why not? If we are experiencing emotion via our mother, why then couldn't we be learning our primitive instinctive survival from her experiences? And why then, couldn't she also be teaching us?

Since the emotional in-utero experience codes into us, why can't we teach the growing fetus, in a conscious way? I love this idea.

On the same note, I have another mother who has recently given birth to twins, and she has completely kept them isolated from the public even now and they are 8 weeks old. For two months they have been exposed to only the immediate family and caregivers she has carefully screened.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Inception-the seed of an idea of who we are

In the movie "Inception", just out now, the characters go into someone's dream to plant a seed so that the dreamer wakes with a new idea that he thinks is his own. Once accepted the seed will bloom and the mind will grow it.

He has to be the one to think it first or he won't accept it. That's the movie, but that's not necessarily true for us. We often accept someone else's idea of who we are, as our own. In the movie for instance, the son has accepted for most of his life, the belief that his father is disappointed in him. In accepting that limitation of himself, it clouded everything he did and felt. He had internalized his father's version of himself.

We do it all the time if the person is an expert or an authority of some sort like a teacher, or our parents. We accept their version of us as ours. We accept the limitations others put on us, and even if we hate it, we have their voice tone in our subconscious, carrying out their version of us.

Years ago I had a woman come to me in hysterics for an 'emergency' session. She had just broken up with her boyfriend, but it turned out she was less upset about him than she was about it making her mother right. She said her mother had always said that no one would ever stay with her because she was so horrible. This man had been abusive and violent, and she was glad he was gone, but also devastated that her mother was right. Was her mother right?

She said "even this horse's ass of a man won't stay with me"!

"But did you want him?" I asked her.

"No, but he wouldn't stay anyway because she said so, my mother said it, and it's been true my whole life." she sobbed.

Try arguing with that. You can't. Our version of our reality is all that counts, and so it must be us that changes our mind.

With the S.E.A. work, we are riding that wave of emotion back to the original moment what was a spike of overwhelm.  That overwhelm caused the internal survival system to create a survival strategy, and along with that survival strategy are limiting beliefs about who we are and how we respond to the world.

We go into the past to find the seed that began the 'idea' of who we accepted that we were, so that it can be changed and we can become more! Those 'seeds' are I AM statements. "I'm shy." "I'm fat." "I'm lonely." "I'm typhoid mary" "I'm terrified of driving on the freeway, because I will kill someone" but in that original moment it was an incident that carried intense feeling that drove in deeply the limitation and how we respond to the world.

The future is created in our mind, and fueled by the remembered energy of the past. When our past is riddled with repressed fear and tension still in our autonomic nervous system, it becomes our referencing field. Clear the field, calm the sea inside, and we create a more benevolent future.

And deeper still is the seed of the original blueprint of who we are, and who we are here to become. When we clear the debris of our misunderstandings, we are free to find our way back to our passion and our joy! (no pun intended...really) and become our true selves.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The fear that stalks you

We keep talking about tracking the fear, and that's really NOT hard to find because your fear stalks you. It haunts you. It comes up in your dreams, in your thoughts, in your reactions. It is knocking all the time at the edges of us. Nudge nudge. Some of us have it louder than others. Some of us ignore it better than others. But it's there.

When we look at our fear, face it, conquer it, it becomes our power. I've said this for years, and others say it in other ways too so again, this isn't new.

So in other words your power is stalking you, knocking on the walls of your consciousness, trying to get in. If your power is an energy, and energy is light, then the light of who you are is stalking you, trying to come up out of the darkness. And it terrifies us. 

Then Marianne Williamson is right-our greatest fear is our light. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond imagination. Our greatest fear is not of the dark. Our ally is the dark that we hide our light within. Our fear is coming up and out of that safe darkness, and stepping into center stage of our own lives. What does it take for us to come out and play in the light again? 

It takes safety. Feeling safe to be who you are is the key. Are you free to be you? Are the people you gather about you supporting you in your light, or do they support your hiding that light and playing a different game? Do they encourage you to spread your wings, or are they threatened by that? Look at those around you for the clues and remember, you cast them in your play. You called them in.

So many adults come for sessions, in pain, in distress, of course, but over and over I find that they locked up their passion, their play, their joy, their creativity and put it away to survive. And our children are struggling without a model of how to play and laugh and enjoy themselves as they are. They are looking to us to show them how to live this life. Can you be exactly who you are? Do you know who you are inside? Can you do it for yourself, and can you do it for your children?

In this work, I am stalking the who you are inside, finding the lost and scared child that got put away until another time. We are all children inside with a grown up body. Come out and play. It's a beautiful day! 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Open to Receive

A client was telling me about what another practitioner had explained to him. The practitioner had said,

"Life is binary. It's zero or one." Then she told him that he had a choice of being happy, or being perfect, and that his desire to be perfect was holding him back from living. His response was he didn't want to be a zero. so he was thinking of it as 'open' rather than zero. 

The problem with hearing something that someone else told them is that you are hearing it through their interpretation. I knew what the practitioner was trying to get at though. She wanted him to make a choice to be happily imperfect and get on with it already. 

I thought what he had just told me and agreed with him and added,  "in electricity, it's not zero and one, it's an O and a --- (solid line if you will) and it means open and not open or closed. Like on your power strips, you have an O and a line, rather than a one. So what if you thought of it as a choice between being open to life, or not being open to life?"

He smiled. 

Are we open to receive? Do we meet life with open arms, ready to receive whatever comes, with joyful anticipation, arms up and saying "how fascinating!" or "I wonder what this will bring?" I have another friend that ends everything with, "And have the best day ever!"

I remember when my eldest son was little and he would greet each day with "wake up wake up wake up it's a wonderful day!"

Try embracing the day, today, right now, with that sort of wonder. If there is a traffic jam, take a breath, say "I wonder what this will bring me!" and look about. See the trees, flowers, listen to the words on the song-why in that particular moment did the universe bring you to a still point? And accept it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Worry Wheel and How we Create Well Meaning Allergies

My mother, God love her, is a perfect example of the worry wheel, so let me tell you how this went just recently.

She is a tentative driver, always has been. Exceedingly careful by nature as a Capricorn, and British born, she was not raised comfortably behind the wheel of a car and didn't learn to drive until I turned sixteen. She is in her early seventies now. Her husband for the past twenty years has encouraged her phobia and has done all the driving. They are now separated. She had to get her license again, which she did. This took six months of encouragement, and it has taken six more months for her to begin to drive with it.

But! We just helped her get a new little car and she has been actually enjoying driving herself to and fro. She stays to side roads and obeys all the rules of course, and avoids the freeway. She has a little circuit of about 3 miles from home that she travels. She is not a big driver anyway. Her old car had 28,000 miles on it and it was a 1982 Nova and I put most of those on when I visited.

The other day she decided to go downtown to pay a bill and pulled into a terraced parking structure. This was a new adventure, a toe in a bigger pond! As she was going up an SUV was coming down and it was taking up more space so she tucked in closer to the right and as she came around the corner she scraped a pole crunching her door.

This shook her but she got out, inspected her car, realized she didn't hit a car but a pole, and went home.
No big deal. She called me, we laughed, congratulated her on getting the first scratch out of way so she can relax about where she parks now. That was it.

Three days later she had a panic attack behind the wheel while parked in the driveway and could not make herself put the key in the ignition. About what? Not about what actually happened at all. The panic attack was about the  'what if's - what if she had hit a child? She had almost continually IMAGINED circumstances much much worse than what had actually happened.

This had nothing to do with what happened and everything to do with the imagination run wild.
What if I had hit a child? That would be awful, SO I can never drive again. Now, to save the world and that imaginary child out there that was in danger, she couldn't let herself drive.

This is backwards thinking and the creation of fear. We do it all the time. This is the worry wheel. The mind running amuck, taking one thing that has happened, and expanding it into a fear field that cripples us.

Control your mind. Control your thoughts. But to control them, you have to hear them. It helps to write them down, and then look at the progression of one to another.

I hit a pole>it could have been a child>I can never drive again. The brain hooks this up, drops it into programming and we have a new limitation. Driving is dangerous>I am a dangerous driver>I can never drive again.

That panic attack-it's a new allergic reaction-meant to keep us safe. It's an 'away from' strategy and the payoff is 'saving the children of the world' from her predatory driving. Nightmares of the car running away from her, jumping curbs and running crowds of children over that are waiting at bus stops. Screams. Yep. You think I'm exaggerating? Nope. The mind is our biggest menace.

We worry about what hasn't happened-all the time.
We worry about the coulds. We worry about the mights. We worry about the what ifs.

Bring yourself back down off the edge by reviewing the actuals.
Breathe. Look UP. Find the memory of what DID happen, and let the worry wheel go away. The longer the brain runs the fantasy fear around the hippocampus, the more myelin the brain lays down on those neural pathways and the more real it FEELS. That doesn't mean it IS real, just that it FEELS real.

We get what we focus on. And having a full blown sweating, hyperventilating, panic attack with all sorts of physical sensory sensations does NOT mean it is real. It has been created by the brain in response to the mind's telling it to.

It does mean you have perhaps inadvertantly, created a survival strategy. In this case remember, the pay off is keeping her safe from killing helpless children, which was NOT based on hitting a child or even coming close to it. There was no one anywhere near!

The programming drops into the unconscious processing and we have a fear strategy meant to keep us safe. This is exactly why they say to get back on the horse.

My brother, bless him, encouraged her to drive to his house and he followed her in his car and told her he would tell her if she was too close to the side or if she was doing anything wrong. This in fact helped them both because he'd been worried about her driving too. (another worrier. If you have them in your family, they will absolutely argue that their worries are well founded so you just have to smile)

He realized much to his own surprise that she is a good driver! And his approval was all she needed to feel safe again behind the wheel and trust herself and her own judgment.

There is a difference between the brain and the mind...the brain does what the mind tells it to. The MIND creates the reasons and the MIND doesn't stay with real. The beauty of the MIND is that it is an ever expanding constellating field that connects up experiences and imagined experiences. The brain creates the program and says 'ok'. It doesn't care if it's real or not real. What's real anyway?

The reality was it was a pole. But the fear created in her neurology from the imagined scenario of hitting a child FELT real. Her mind had taken the adrenaline rush, the sound of the car crunching, the sweating of her palms as she realized she had hit something, and had layered it with imagined children screaming in terror. Wham slam dunk. Crippled.

Pay attention to your's a field of incredible influence and it gathers information willy nilly sometimes. If you don't hear your thoughts, you won't know what you just asked for.