Showing posts from 2012

Trauma and Sandy Hook

After the very recent tragic shootings at Sandy Hook school, I've been asked very good questions about mental health issues. Trauma is something that affects many of us. The closer in we are to an experience, the more likely we are to have trauma symptoms. But even people who are very far from Sandy Hook may find themselves feeling traumatized for weeks following. But for the families hit hardest, they will experience this for  their lifetime.
Trauma symptoms can appear and then go into remission and then reappear. Traumatic events are quite severe on impact and it is , as I have learned from my own journey, unrealistic to expect the trauma to completely leave you. It is more common to experience remission and occasional flare ups. Recovery is about learning how to take care of yourself when you are feeling the symptoms. When we care for ourselves in the pain, we find ourselves very gradually getting relief and release from the symptoms.
Not everyone feels trauma immediately after…

Put the Joy into Simple Holidays

I'm writing this blog because one of my clients asked me to share these thoughts on my blog, so she could put it in her wallet and carry it with her all year.   She was feeling stressed with the holiday gifting, the pointlessness of the presents, and the way shopping zapped her energy. I explained that I too like to focus on values during the holidays.
I keep my gifting simple by doing it through the year. I don't do my shopping all at once in December. When I am with a family member in a special place, I may pick up a postcard, or small souvenir to later stuff into a stocking.   I like to make handmade gifs for my family. I usually begin these projects in June or August. I spend time thoughtfully looking at knitting patterns and thinking about what my family would enjoy as a gift. I try to keep those gifts simple, not big projects, but I thoroughly enjoy sifting through patterns, looking at yarn, and finally selecting my "gift" projects. I usually pick one, and then…

Thinking like a crow

I was jogging on Double Bluff Road and noticed lots of crows being busy. I stopped to watch them and saw they were carrying hazelnuts, one by one, big for a crow, and leaving the whole hazelnut in the road. Then they returned to the hazelnut trees. They were waiting for a car to pass and crack open the hazelnut.
This economy from 2008 to now nearing the end of 2012 has forced many many people to rethink their lives, their relation to their job, their money, etc. The economy has not "returned" as people had hoped or imagined. It is a new economy. Crows have adapted to what is in front of them. They are not able to open hazelnuts. It is not possible. Yet, they have found a way to open hazelnuts.
In therapy, sometimes we come to things that feel impossible.
Then we find a way.

How I learned to love the word "no"

I've been dog-sitting a shiba inu this week, and I've decided if you want really want to learn boundaries, shiba's are fine teachers.

This breed of dog reacts strongly to the word "no." They take it as a personal affront. They make good teachers because you have to be 100 percent committed to your boundary to set a limit with a shiba inu.

The problem most of us have with our boundaries, is we lack commitment to "no."

I believe commitment to our boundaries, our own rules, our own use of "no" are essential. I find it interesting that young children in every culture around the world develop a sense of "no" as toddlers. It is as if we are biologically equipped with refusal skills. In our backpack for life, all of us have an inner "no."

Whole cultures have developed to shake the "no" out of people. History proves again and again that humanity will find its way back to "no."

Having an inner yes and an inner n…