How To Create Safety When You’re Feeling Triggered

Have you ever had a cut on your finger that you had forgotten entirely about? 

That is, until you wash your hands and get that nasty zing and that stark realization that the cut is not quite as healed as you had previously thought. 

This is what is happening in our energetic bodies when we experience triggering. 

There is a wound that is unhealed that becomes activated by some external force.

As with the cut, it is not the water or the external environment that was the root cause of the triggering we experienced. 

The triggering was only exacerbating a pre-existing pain that we have not yet healed and released. 

Triggering is natural and is bringing our awareness to where work is still needed.

It is an invitation to deeper growth and healing. 

Being in conflict can often feel like walking through a minefield of hidden trigger bombs. 

Often when we feel triggered, particularly in conflict, it is can feel borderline impossible for us to continue on consciously. 

Especially if it is not something we have practiced and become familiar with and this can bring on a lot of feelings of shame and guilt. 

Should we choose to work through our conflicts and triggers to create greater harmony in our relationships? Yes! 

However, there comes a point where everything external needs to be put on pause – and this point occurs when one or both people have begun to become emotionally overloaded and start to feel unsafe. 

This is particularly crucial when the sympathetic nervous system (fight, flight, freeze, fawn) has been activated. 

So what can we do to get back to a state of feeling safety and security within ourselves and the relationship container? 

Here is my 7 Step Process for Creating Safety When Feeling Triggered:

1. Communicate with the person that you are feeling triggered and unsafe. 

Bringing awareness to this state of feeling unsafe and the activation of the sympathetic nervous system is the first part of drawing the shadow into the light of consciousness.

The caveat for this is that if the situation is actually physically or psychologically unsafe you may want to remove yourself from the situation. 

If you feel like the other person involved does not have the awareness to understand you may need to just make a mental note of this to yourself.

2. Hold space for the experience that comes with the triggering of this unhealed wound.

If the person who triggered this unhealed wound is in a space to hold space for you and you feel safe doing so, ask them to do so.

Or if the other person is unable or unwilling to hold space due to their own emotional activation or triggering, or you don’t feel safe asking them to do so, take space to do this for yourself. 

If you need additional support – ask a trusted, neutral party to hold space for you to process the experience.

3. Identify which emotions are coming up that are creating this feeling of not being safe. 

A lot of times the emotions that arise are fear, shame, anger, and unresolved pain.

Notice what core wound these emotions are stemming from.

An easy way to do this is to ask ourselves what the current triggering experience is reminding us of from our past, particularly childhood.  

4. Breathe and become aware of the presence of these emotions in your body.

Allow yourself to experience your emotions without becoming identified or attached to them – this will take practice! 

Breathe deeply into the areas of tension and allow your body to reset emotionally. 

When we breathe deeply and mindfully, we are soothing the physiological response that happens when we are emotionally activated.

5. Affirm to yourself that everything you are feeling is valid and have a reassuring conversation with yourself. 

An example of a conversation you may have with yourself to comfort yourself is – “Hey I know you’re feeling very unsafe right now because of this current situation reminding you of x previous situation and that’s very understandable given x, y, z. What can we do to make you feel safe right now?” 

Listen deeply to the part of you that feels unsafe and why they feel unsafe how ever “illogical” your thinking mind may think it is, listen with compassion and non judgement and accept them. 

If you have a history of people invalidating your emotions, particularly during childhood, tell yourself whatever you needed to hear in the past to validate your experience. 

6. Do something that makes you feel more physically safe in your body and commit to experiencing this mindfully for a length of time. 

Choose something that feels good and healing for you as a unique individual with your one-of-a-kind history.

Try to engage all 5 senses – this will help you to come into your body and back into the present moment.

Some things you can do to induce a physically safe environment in your body are ask for a hug, wrap yourself up in a blanket, take a bath, make a cup of tea, go for a walk, light a candle, listen to music.

7. Once you have created an environment that nurtures safety and allowed yourself to come back to your emotional baseline or homeostasis, let others know what they can do to support you in creating safety. 

This may include: 

  • Setting a boundary around taking time and space for yourself during conflict and returning to the conflict afterwards.
  • A request for others to offer reassuring and supportive statements that are helpful to you.
  • An invitation to do breath work  or meditation together.
  • Allowing someone to make that tea for you or drawing you a bath or bringing you a blanket. 

When you’ve experienced trauma around relationships and conflict in the past (and here’s a secret – we all have), it can feel daunting to work through these challenges without getting overwhelmed to the perceived monumental size of the task.

The more these tools are practiced, the more they will become second nature. 

It will take time, Beloved. 

Be gentle and kind with yourself along the journey. 

4 Ways For How To Heal The Relationship With Your Inner Child

In my last post, we talked about what Inner Child healing is and where it comes from. (You can read more about that here.)

I’d like to share with you guys someone very special to me today…

Meet my Inner Child – that’s right, this special someone, is in fact, my own dang adorable self!

Here is little baby Grace, approximately 3 years of age… Who would have thought this tiny bundle of mischief would be running her own coaching practice as an adult?!

When I first started my own Inner Child work as part of my healing journey before bringing it into my coaching practice, I had a difficult time being kind to my child self. 

What helped me to heal my internal dialogue with my Inner Child was carrying a picture of my child self and envisioning this part of myself when doing the work.

It’s far too easy to become detached from our Inner Child self when it is an intangible, amorphous idea, rather than a precious small child we can actually visualize and see.

If you’re like me and have a hard time initiating a healing process with a part of you that you cannot see, it may be worth it to carry around a physical or digital photo of your childhood self to assist on your journey.

This way, you know exactly who you are working together with during this healing experience.

So, how exactly do we start this process of healing the relationship with our Inner Child? 

Here are four tried and true methods I’ve used in my coaching practice as well as along my own journey that can help you connect deeply with your Inner Child to cultivate healing of childhood wounds, and to allow the magic of your radiant, creative child self to shine through!

1. Inner Child Meditation 

Visualize your child self and notice the age you are, the emotions you feel, the environment you are in. When any memories surface, dive into them if you feel safe to do so and practice observing your child self in the experience with loving kindness and compassion. Bring awareness to the dominant emotions of this child’s experience and any thought patterns that may arise. 

Diving into this style of meditation can feel rather daunting if you’ve never done it before, especially for those of us with very painful childhood memories.

Enlisting the expertise of a coach, therapist, or other trusted practitioner can be incredibly beneficial, especially to create a safe container for working through traumatic experiences.

You can also use a guided meditation, there is a plethora available on YouTube and other platforms. 

For those of us who may be more practiced in the art of Inner Child Work, you may want to accompany your child self as your current adult self throughout these meditations.

One of my favorite questions to ask clients during this process is “What does your child self need from you in this moment that they never received?” You can then create the opportunity to give that experience to your Inner Child during meditation to close out the experience. 

2. Journaling Through The Voice Of Your Inner Child

Creating a regular practice of journaling through various emotional states through the voice of your child self is particularly beneficial for those of us who find it challenging to experience and regulate our emotions.

As children, we do not come into the human experience knowing how to regulate our own nervous systems, and thus we rely on our caregivers to teach us how to do so. Some parents do a better job of this than others based on what their own experiences and capabilities are. 

You may want to settle into the journaling process by taking a few deep, belly breaths and allowing your Inner Child to come forth in your mind. 

When we tap into this part of ourselves, we encourage our most vulnerable emotions to be revealed to us, particularly if we are accustomed to suppressing, rejecting, and denying our own emotions because this is what we learned.

We may even be doing this with so-called “positive” emotions such as joy, curiosity, and love. 

Invite yourself to be uncensored in this process and let this process be a safe space for you to express freely. Allow yourself to fully feel whatever comes up for you, whether they are “negative” or “positive” emotions, and let the ink fly!

3. Reparenting Your Inner Child

While the reparenting process may sound rather obscure and abstract at first, it becomes second-nature with practice and patience. It does however require awareness of the internal experience of your Inner Child. 

A helpful place to start is to bring gentle awareness to the internal world throughout the day. 

What are you feeling? What thoughts are running through your mind? How are you speaking to yourself?

A client I worked with faced many challenges relating to the internal dialogue he had with himself. When his Inner Child would experience a less desirable “negative” emotion such as sadness or anger, both of which are valuable messengers from our bodies, his default reaction would be to criticize and invalidate his own emotions.

Because we internalize the voices we heard most as children, as adults we now recreate these voices and often inflict abuse upon ourselves. 

Through the reparenting process, he was able to compassionately acknowledge and validate his emotions.

By changing the voice of his internal authority figure, he was able to heal the relationship between this part of himself and his Inner Child. This made it safer for him to experience his varying emotional states and gave him valuable information for how to move through the world. 

Treat your Inner Child and meet their needs in the way you would have wanted when you were younger.

Speak to yourself with kindness, be patient with your process, create structure and discipline where necessary, and learn how to best care for yourself. 

4. Create And Play As Your Inner Child

Make art, dance, sing, run around in nature, let yourself be wild and free! 

As we journey through life as adults, so many of us lose the spark of vitality and wonder we all have as children. We actively suppress or dissociate from the creative, playful nature that is integral to the human incarnation.

Yet again, we perpetuate what we have been taught. 

As children, we are often taught to grow up, to focus on the future, to stop being such a  child. It becomes second nature for us to play this narrative on repeat in our minds like a broken record player.

Little do we know, most adults haven’t evolved beyond childhood emotional maturity, and yet, the beautiful parts of being a child are things we actively resist and reject! 

Take some time to reflect on what you really loved doing as a child. Make a promise to yourself to create a regular practice of doing that thing as part of your self care and allow yourself to be fully immersed in it. 

Inner Child Work isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, though that is certainly an integral part of the process. Sometimes it can be dark, and scary. Sometimes it can be disheartening and painful.

All of us on this human journey have experienced childhood trauma. This is a part of the current initiation process on Earth that shows us where our gifts truly lie. 

It is all too easy to get stuck in despair and shadow, so we must actively choose to step out of the role of the victim and into a more empowered state.

The power to decide lies with you, and you alone.

If you’re going to choose to do the nitty gritty work, you may as well have some fun along the way, take a lesson from childhood and play! 

What Is Inner Child Work?

If you are immersed in any kind of self development and healing work, chances are you’ve come across the concept of Inner Child Work. To those of us who are unfamiliar with this practice, it can sound rather woo-woo and mystifying to be working with some obscure facet of our personality we may not be fully aware even exists. 

Along my earlier journey, I had no concept of what the Inner Child even was, let alone any depth of understanding as to how my Inner Child was stealthily running the show from behind the scenes of my subconscious programming.

I was sleep-walking through life while my Inner Child was secretly puppeteering me in nearly every facet of life with the strings of my unresolved childhood trauma. 

Inner Child Work stems from the 12 Archetypes of Jungian psychology, each of the 12 archetypes representing universal characters that reside within the collective unconscious. These 12 main archetypes embody traits that show where our subconscious behavioral patterns and motivations stem from.

We all have these archetypes embedded in our psyches that show up by acting internally or externally through us based on the experiences we encounter. 

The concept of the Inner Child comes from the Innocent Archetype. This archetype is the epitome of wholesomeness, purity, and optimism.

As with anything, there is also the Shadow side of this archetype in which they can avoid seeing the reality of a situation, other people, and themselves in favor of viewing life through idealism-tinted glasses. 

Patterns of behavior stemming from the Inner Child are driven by programming we received in childhood due to how we were raised, the kind of love we received, and unresolved trauma still lingering in the subconscious mind and the resulting build up of that emotional data stored in our energetic auric fields.  

I recently worked with a client who was plagued by people pleasing tendencies to the point of not being able to determine if her behavior was truly in alignment with her highest good or if it was to placate the perceived demands of others around her. 

She had a pattern of choosing romantic patterns that reflected back to her the same emotional unavailability she experienced in the relationship with her father.

When forming connections with women, she habitually fawned over them upon first getting to know them by fixating on only their good qualities, and when their less desirable qualities came to light, these women fell from the pedestal she placed them on and she would reject them entirely. 

Through the process of working with this client’s Inner Child, we discovered that her mother was incredibly domineering and often would pit her against her sisters, creating a family culture of a competition-based method of relating. As an adult forming friendships with other women, she perpetuated these inherited beliefs by taking on her mother’s voice and initially hyper-focusing on all the qualities she admired about these women. 

This perpetuated a cycle of not feeling good enough and brought up feelings of insecurity and shame that continued to dwell within her Inner Child. At this point in the cycle, she once again adopted her mother’s critical voice towards her child self and would lash out at her female friends as her mother had done to her in childhood. 

When we encounter patterns of behavior in our lives that seemingly perpetuate themselves, the root often stems from the scared, wounded little kid that still resides within us.

We do everything in our power to get the love we need and act out our childhood traumas in covert ways. It can be a bit frightening to recognize that most of our behaviors do not stem from a space of awareness and conscious choice, but rather from a place of recreating what we have always known. 

The beautiful thing about this realization is this – once we become aware of this hurt Inner Child running the show from backstage, we have the power to engage with this part of ourselves for deeper understanding, awareness, acceptance, and healing.

There is no right or wrong way to do Inner Child work.

In both my personal healing journey as well as in my coaching practice, this work is done through many different modalities such as a meditation connecting with your child self, becoming aware of how your Inner Child acts when triggering and reparenting this part of yourself, journaling through the voice of your Inner Child, taking yourself on a play date – just to name a few!

This work then opens the opportunity to create some very real, powerful change for how we want to move through the world going forward. 

Finding Forgiveness Through Inner Child Meditation

This is what no one tells you about meditation. 

Some days are going to suck. It’s not all going to be rainbows and butterflies, mountains and peace, rivers and joy.

My meditation this morning made me weep… like actually bawl and release a flood of giant anime-like tears that you only see in Studio Ghibli movies. 

I had just finished my yoga practice, and went to lay down on my mat. Feeling all zoned out and relaxed, I expected to have a peaceful meditation… but no. 

My Inner Child had different plans for me.

I was walking through the forest when I saw her standing in the distance, waiting for me with arm outstretched and palm open. As I met her hand with mine, she led me through the brush to a mountain with an ornate wooden door embedded into the rocks. 

As I pushed the door open, I was greeted by the people who have hurt me in the past.

Immediately, feelings of pain, fear, and anger welled up in my chest. 

In the middle of the cavern in between me and the people I had not yet fully forgiven, was a column of vibrant, green light. Drawn in like a moth to a flame, I stepped into the embrace of this healing light. 

I watched as my child self, no older than three years old, stepped up to each of my transgressors. As she looked into the eyes of each, they transformed into small children.

And I was able to see the pain they, too, held. 

I was able to see the ex who broke my heart by cheating on me – a small child dealing with a mother addicted to heroin who let his pain leak onto me because he had not healed.

I was able to see my grandpa who recently passed who made me feel like my emotions were bad by knocking me on the head when I was being “too much” – a small child who had grown up in oppressive communist China which very different values, who hadn’t healed his heart from the physical and emotional abuse he endured. 

I was able to see the men who violated my body – small children so stripped of their own power that they had to take it from someone else to feel enough, rather than reclaiming their own healing.

The tears came like an exorcism of all the pain I’ve held onto in my life as I watched my child self step up to each of these hurting, broken children and hug them tightly, wiping away their own tears and gently kissing their wounds. 

She came to me to be comforted for being so brave in the face of a very scary process of understanding and forgiveness. 

I held her close, as she sobbed, whispering how beautiful she is and how brave her heart is. The green light swirled around us until it entered both our hearts like a wave of fresh air.

And I felt so free.

You see, forgiveness is not about excusing people for how they hurt you or saying that what they did was okay or right. 

It is not about absolving them of their wrongs or condoning their harmful behavior.

Forgiveness is choosing to let go of your own pain and loving yourself enough to release what’s still keeping you stuck. 

And it only happens when you’re ready.

If we don’t heal our own wounds, we will continue to leak that pain onto everyone around us. 

The cycle of hurt continues until someone is brave enough to stop it by feeling it, healing it, and releasing it.

So yes, meditation can sometimes suck. 

Meditation can be painful. There are days where it feels like your heart is being ripped from your chest as you release decades worth of pain and suffering. 

And yet, this is the beauty of the practice. 

Because I am able to hold space for my own pain, to love myself fully in all my forms, and show up courageously, I can extend this same presence to the others and the world.

The journey always starts within. 

And no one promised that this journey would be easy, just that it would be worth it because the treasures we find in the healing are priceless.

And they are YOURS. 

Are you ready to claim your healing?

5 Ways To Give Yourself A Time Out To Reset Your Nervous System

As adults, sometimes we need to give our grown ass selves a time out.

There are moments throughout the day when we become stressed and emotionally activated. Our sympathetic nervous system, the fight or flight response, is operating in high gear.

See, what took me a long time to understand was that this fight or flight response doesn’t just happen when presented with a conflict situation. 

It can become activated when we’re checking tasks off our to do lists, when we’re at a crowded grocery store, or any other potentially stressful environment.

As children, we learned that certain situations are unsafe – emotionally, physically, socially. 

And as adults, anything that could now potentially trip that wire that tells us there is imminent danger, activates that sympathetic nervous system.

While we are working on healing and releasing our past traumas, the default setting in your body may still be set to a highly activated fight, flight, freeze response.

When I say time out, I don’t mean how many of us think of time outs as punishment for doing something wrong or shameful.

What I mean is we need to take a breather to recalibrate our nervous system to reenter that rest and digest phase – which is controlled by the parasympathetic nervous system.

Here’s some of the best ways to give yourself a little time out treat throughout your day to destress your vibes:

✅ 1. Get into nature – or just go outside for some fresh air

✨Research done by Dr. Rachel Kaplan (as well as many others) has been shown that spending time in nature counteracts the fight/flight response and activates the parasympathetic nervous system which helps us to feel calm and reduce anxiety/stress

✅ 2. Take a meditation break 

✨If you want to kill two birds with one stone (except don’t because birds are weird angels) add in some breathing exercises to super boost that vagus nerve – the key element of the PNS.

✨Meditation and breathing combined allows balancing of the nervous system. 

✨The PNS and SNS both have a role to play, and the solution isn’t the elimination of one and exaltation of the other. As with most things, the key here is balance.

✨Brain scans of people who practice regular meditation have shown decreases in the size of brain regions critical to the fight/flight response – such as the amygdala. This leads to reduced emotional reactivity to stressful stimuli and anxiety-inducing situations.

✅ 3. Repetitive chanting

✨When we chant, the movement of facial muscles in the head and neck stimulate the nerves they are connected to that supply the rest and digest (PNS) system. 

✨The stimulation of the larynx nerve in the throat are a branch of the vagus nerve which when stimulated, activates the PNS relaxation and slows stress response.

✨This also works with humming or singing if chanting feels too out there for you. Though you could always chant “I will not punch anyone today” to make it a little more fun.

✅ 4. Practice Yoga, Tai Chi, or Qi Gong

✨This mindful movement practices strengthen the body’s relaxation response.

✨For those of us who are highly emotionally activated, strengthening the PNS response helps us to become more balanced.

✅ 5. Find a loved one or beloved pet for a cuddle session

✨This is a powerful one! With extended hugging or cuddling, the activation of the PNS combined with feelings of love and gratitude, and the release of oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin contributes to feeling more relaxed and content.

✨The physical touch activates the pressure receptors in our skin and signals the vagus nerve to activate.  

I don’t know about you, but these are exactly the kind of time outs I needed as a kid.

TLDR; Time outs save lives. You’re welcome.

Want to up your self care game? Comment “YES” to receive my FREE Self Care Journaling Exercise

What Message Is Your Anger Trying To Tell You?

While doing my morning routine today, the thinking mind was strong. My thoughts were racing, the yoga flow I was doing felt half-assed, and there were emotions I needed to release.

Over the last few days, I’ve had some major shifts with clients, and I am inspired every day by their hearts and desire to evolve. As they evolve and heal, the areas where I can invest even more in my own growth are reflected back to me. 

As I come into this next season of my journey, emerging from the chrysalis phase of metamorphosis like a butterfly leaving the cocoon, I am able to show up and serve more fully, more powerfully.

How did I do this?

It is because I have taken the time and care to show up compassionately and unwaveringly for myself. 

Everything that I am able to give to my clients and the world, I have already given to myself. 

As we release and grow, heal and expand, the Universe starts bringing our awareness to the shadows in our subconscious mind that still need to be brought into the light of consciousness.

Our challenges arise not to bring us down or make us revert to smallness, but instead to serve as an open invitation to rise and grow into our power. 

The more powerful and present we become along our journey, the quicker the challenges seem to arise. 

Why?

Because we are ready to accept these challenges as blessings. We are ready to take the torch of our own self-healing magic into the darkest caverns of our psyche. 

And make allies of our demons.

The demon that came up for me today was unchecked anger and rage. 

Being a fire sign, an Aries no less, anger was very prevalent in my early childhood. By the time I became a teenager, the unchecked anger had darkened into full blown rage and hatred.

We often like to demonize anger, and see it as something to be avoided. 

“Anger is unacceptable.”

“Anger means you are a bad person.”

“Anger is shameful.”

“Anger means weakness because you have lost control of yourself.”

By the time I was in my early 20’s, I had suppressed all this anger so deeply that I thought (erroneously) that I was no longer an angry person. What I didn’t realize was that I had buried all the accumulated, trapped anger deep within the confines of my subconscious mind.

I had so deeply rejected the part of me that experienced anger that whenever anger would rise up in my chest and face, I could no longer identify it as an emotion. 

I may have claimed to be done with anger, but anger sure was not through with me. 

And it continued to manifest in unpredictable ways.

My relationship with anger only began healing when several years back, I began to shift my perspective about anger and challenge my existing beliefs about anger being “negative”.

Anger as an emotion has such a crucial role to play. 

All emotions are important messengers from the body, alerting us to new information and inviting us to adjust accordingly.

The role of anger is to lift us from the state of powerlessness. 

On a vibrational frequency level, anger is a higher frequency of 150 Hz, than fear (100 Hz), apathy (50 Hz), and shame (20 Hz). 

Anger holds the power of emotional transmutation and provides fuel for changes to be made. Anger lifts us from feeling stuck and small, into taking action to shift our reality. 

As a protector emotion, anger is the masculine shield protecting us from deeper layers of the lower frequency emotions. 

In most cases, there is an underlying emotion stemming from core wounds that are coming up for healing and release.

So this morning when anger came up for me, I paused, and became very present with it. 

I welcomed the anger as a friend, and held space for it to be experienced and released. 

As I sat with it, the underlying emotion of fear began to unveil itself to me. 

Fear of not being good enough. Fear that this life I’m living is too beautiful and wonderful to last. Fear that I’ll make mistakes and “fail”. Fear that I’ll lose everything that I’ve built so far.

And I recognized that this fear stemmed from a core wound I had in childhood that led me to create the limiting belief that failure is unacceptable because it means I am unlovable.

After processing all this, I took a deep breath, and let it all go. 

I allowed the anger to move through me and leave my body by kicking my own ass with a brutal core workout. 

You see, all emotions are Energy in Motion (e-motion). When we suppress these, they become energetic blockages in our system, and we begin to feel heavy and stuck. 

When we open our Hearts and allow these energies to flow through us, we will find that they naturally evolve from one state to another. 

Especially if we allow our physical forms to facilitate this transmutation. 

All we need to do is to be present enough with our emotional landscape to gift them the space to do so.

When we can do this and allow the internal shifts to unfold, the entire reality around us will too, begin to shift.

#mentalhealthawarenessmonth2021 #angerisagift

3 Pranayama Breathwork Practices For Anxiety & Stress

Do you ever take notice of your breath throughout the day? For those of us who struggle with anxiety and regulating our fight or flight response – this is life changing!

For most of us, our breathing tends to be erratic and shallow, with different situations affecting our breath patterns. High pressure situations will tend to speed up your breath. 

Different mental states are connected to their own breathing patterns.

In breathing purposefully and with mindful intention, we can induce stillness and clarity to the mind and begin to direct our energy in a desired manner. 

All the body systems are interconnected in a divinely complex way we are just beginning to grasp.

Pranayama is a Sanskrit word meaning extension of the prana, or the practice of breath control. This is an essential yogic practice that originates from ancient India.

Pranayama (breathwork) is a practice that is built over time with patience and understanding. 

Life stressors active the sympathetic nervous system – the fight, flight, freeze response. This is our bodies’ way of coping with stress. 

We can activate the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest response) by tapping into diaphragmatic breathing. 

The vagus nerve is the main influencer of the PNS and manages the nervous system response and reduces the heart rate. 

When we activate the vagus nerve through conscious breath – a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine is released, which lowers anxiety and increases focus and calmness. 

The more you are able to stimulate the vagus nerve, the more acetylcholine is released, and the greater effect it has on reducing anxiety. 

So, in other words, through consciously breathing – we can drastically improve our ability to cope with anxiety. How wild is that?!

Here are my top 3 favorite breathwork techniques:

🔥Belly Breathing – breathing deeply into the belly first, and then expanding the upper lungs outward and upward.

✅If you’re a beginner to conscious breathing, it can help to lay on your back and place a hand on your belly. As you breath, focus on pushing your hand up. 

🔥4-7-8 Breathing – inhale fully for a count of 4, hold the breath for 7, exhale slowly for 8

✅This technique is akin to a nervous system reset and is particularly useful in lowering anxiety, managing anger responses, and falling asleep quicker.

🔥Ujjayi (Ocean) Breathing – with a gentle restriction at the back of the throat, inhale fully and exhale completely through the nose, creating an ocean wave-like sound

✅It helps to imagine fogging up a bathroom mirror with the breath but with the lips closed. This will create that restriction at the back of the throat.

✅As you go deeper into the breathwork practice, see if you can draw out the breath to be longer and slower with each cycle. 

👉🏻For more info on pranayama, comment “YES” on this post. 

TLDR; Breathing cures anxiety, cuz science. 

Breathe easy, my friends! 

#mentalhealthawarenessmonth2021

How Morning Pages Helped Heal My Mental Health

Stream of consciousness journaling changed my life, and it will change yours too. 

I first started this practice back in 2016 upon reading Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. I desperately needed tools to begin healing my relationship with my mental health.

Julia Cameron talks about using the Morning Pages – 3 pages stream of consciousness journaling first thing in the morning – as a way to clear the mental clutter for the day to tap into greater creative potential.

At first, I was skeptical – Three whole pages every day? What on earth would I write about? And was this really going to work?

At that point in my life, I was still on most of my medications, “treating” various mental health ailments. The thought of stream of consciousness writing – basically vomiting all the thoughts I had onto paper – was truly terrifying.

I had a major resistance to seeing what truly went on in the maze of chaos I called my mind. 

I let this resistance stop me for several months, before finally committing myself to the promise of self healing. I was going to need all the help I could get in tapering off the rest of my medications.

After several weeks of journaling every morning – I began to notice how cyclical and repetitive most of my thoughts were. I was complaining and fearful about the same damn things. 

After several months, my thought and behavioral patterns became very clear. I was allowing my self abusive speak and fearful complaints run my life and dictate how I would show up to each day. 

“I am so tired.”

“I feel so anxious, I don’t want to leave my bed today.”

“ I can’t do (thing I want to do), because (insert excuse here).”

Sound familiar?

A major pivot in my mental health game was when I began to actively challenge these intrusive thoughts through my journaling. When a negative thought would spill from my pen, I’d immediately reframe it with a better perspective.

And my challenges began to turn into my blessings. 

This kind of journaling was such a helpful tool for me because I could see all my thoughts in tangible form. Rather than being some amorphous demon that I couldn’t see, my mind became something I could hold, and therefore begin to retrain.

It allowed me to become painfully aware of all the limiting beliefs, self defeating thoughts, and emotional triggers and patterns that needed healing.

In any change we desire to make in life, awareness is the first step. 

We must first become very clear on what we are doing that isn’t working. And from there, we can discern what changes are necessary and how to get there.

The Morning Pages can essentially become free therapy, in which you play the role of both patient and therapist. And for me, having unsuccessfully tried many avenues of therapy – this was perfect. 

After all, no one had more intimate access to the true state of my mental health than me. I was claiming sole responsibility and ownership of healing my mental dis-ease. 

This is when I began to make leaps and bounds in my personal development game.

Legendary creators like Alicia Keys (singer-songwriter), Martin Scorsese (film director, producer, screenwriter), Tim Ferriss (Author of The Four Hour Workweek), and Elizabeth Gilbert (Author of Eat, Pray, Love) all swear by the Morning Pages in being huge contributors to their creative process.

But you don’t have to just take it for face value and believe my own experience or those of the mega-creators I mentioned above.

Try this powerful process for yourself!

I invite you to start a 7 day challenge with starting your own Morning Pages practice. 

✅ Comment “I’M IN!” on this post and I’ll send you free info on the morning pages. 

You are worth the time. You are worth the energy. You are worthy of your own love and devotion. 

And let’s face it, no matter who we are or where we stand, we could all use a little extra care with our mental health. 

#mentalhealthawarenessmonth

Get at me privately by using my contact form at https://lotusawareshare.wordpress.com/home/contact/

Or email me directly at lotuscoaching13@gmail.com

My Mission For Mental Health Awareness Month 2021

If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness (either by a professional or by Dr. Interwebs) – then I’ve got a secret to tell you that you didn’t know about yourself.

You’ve got a super power. 

I know, I know. It sounds pretty ludicrous, but hear me out! 

Back in the days of old, long before the Books of Face and the Grams of Insta…

There were roles in tribal style communities that relied on intuition, spiritual attunement, high levels of sensitivity to stimuli, and the ability to deeply feel. 

These roles included medicine men and women, shamans, seers/prophets, herbalists, ceremonial leaders, mystics, lore-keepers/storytellers, dream interpreters, and artists of all kinds – just to name a few!

The root cause for much of the mental dis-ease prevalent today is not because there is something inherently wrong with or broken about you. 

This form of illness comes instead from seeing the reality of the world we live in today, and not being able or willing to tolerate and/or fit into it. 

Add underneath that the traumas we’ve all endured during childhood, gifts that we were taught are not valuable, and we’ve got the perfect breeding ground for the pandemic of mental dis-ease that we see today.

20% of people in America alone have some form of mental “illness”. 

This isn’t because we’re all crazy or we just happened to inherit some fucked up genes. 

It is because we live in a profoundly ill culture that has eliminated (or at the very least vastly inhibited) important community roles that utilize the function of the right brain – the creative, intuitive part of the brain.  

To quote Krishnamurti – “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

But, who am I to be talking about mental illness and why should anyone pay attention?

As someone who has:

✅Been diagnosed with five different mental health disorder labels

✅Lived through the ins and outs of the entire mental illness system

✅Undergone 15 rounds of electroconvulsive (electroshock) “therapy”

✅Successfully tapered herself off of a cocktail of 8 medications

✅Self healed to a point where I am no longer defined by any mental health diagnoses 

One could say I’ve experienced the world of mental illness very up close and personally. 

And I’ve got some things to share with those of us who have been in a similar boat.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, for the month of May I will be sharing my own mental health journey, the insights and tools I’ve acquired along the way, and a gentle reframe of our current approach to and understanding of mental health. 

As a coach, I extend the invitation to you to interact with any of the topics I’ll be covering this month and to reach out privately if you need a nonjudgmental, safe space to be seen and heard. 

With love, may you remember that you are not broken. There is nothing wrong with you. And you are a gift to the world who has not discovered yourself… 

Yet.

#mentalhealthawarenessmonth

Get at me privately by using my contact form at https://lotusawareshare.wordpress.com/home/contact/

Or email me directly at lotuscoaching13@gmail.com