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. 

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

My 30 Day Journey With A Morning Routine

For the first time in my life, I made a 30 day, nonnegotiable commitment to myself. This coming from a person who falters even committing to a too long series on Netflix.

Today marks the completion of this 30 day journey.

My 30 day commitment was to my morning ritual – yoga practice, meditation, and gratitude journaling.

I have of course honored commitments before. The difference was that these commitments were to an external source where there was built in accountability.

This time, the only one to hold myself accountable was myself. And boy was that a terrifying thing!

In the past, I’ve incorporated morning rituals into my life, but never as a daily practice. I would allow external circumstances and my internal state to dictate whether or not I actually showed up for myself. 

In my mind, this inconsistency was justified as self love – allowing wiggle room for the days that I “couldn’t” do the thing. 

When in actuality, this was simply a story I was telling myself. I had convinced myself that my desire to show up fully for myself was entirely conditional. 

I didn’t commit to loving myself and showing myself care in the way I know I need. 

Before embarking on this journey, I knew that this time would be different. 

And so I hesitated for months, questioning if this was a commitment I “could” keep or if it was something that I would abandon on a whim.

I made excuse after excuse as to why I wasn’t ready, or why it wasn’t healthy to be so rigid if I wanted to come more into my feminine energy. 

The final straw was the recent passing of my dear Grandpa, and I spiraled into a depression deeper than I have felt in many years. 

I had a choice to make. 

I could allow myself to be consumed by the depression by doing nothing, laying in bed, escaping through Netflix, isolating, and binging on snacks. (And admittedly, this is exactly what I did for the first week of the grieving process.)

Or I could choose to do something different this time. 

I knew that if I was going to dig myself through this depression and come out the other side, I would need to make a change and take action to claim sovereignty over my energetic state. 

What I came to realize was that in committing to this journey, I would have to actively choose to make it so. It was not something that I could show up to passively. 

This time, I had to actually love myself enough to honor the promises I made with myself. I had to love myself enough to be disciplined in talking myself into showing up on the mat even when I “didn’t feel like it”. 

You see, self love isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. It isn’t just the bubble baths, following your joy, and sleeping in. 

It is all those things, AND also choosing to make the challenging decisions in the present that will build you a future you thrive in.

Self love is incomplete without discipline. 

Yeah, I said what I said.

In completing this 30 day journey, I feel more in alignment with myself than ever. I have proven to myself that I CAN do anything I commit to, even if it is challenging. 

I have cultivated an even deeper relationship with myself based on self trust, mastery, accountability, love, and understanding. 

And in doing so, my Heart is opening even more to the magic within me and around me. As my Heart opens more to myself, it also opens more to others – and I am able to show up more fully for everyone around me. 

This little experiment with commitment has changed my life! And if you’ve made it to the end of this post, I know it can do the same for you.

I’ll be continuing on with my morning ritual journey and continue to show up fully in my practice of self mastery. And I’ll be embracing every state of being along the way with gratitude. 

If you’re curious about how to start your own 30 day commitment, shoot me a message and let’s talk self love together! 

How The Masculine Wound Impacts Self Discipline

Most of us have masculine wounding. And this trauma is often the root cause of a lack of discipline. 

Whether that stems from absent fathers, abusive relationships with fathers and other men, or relationships with men and fathers who are emotionally unavailable determines how this wounding is translated into the subconscious mind and subsequently how it manifests in our day to day actions, behaviors, and patterns.

Now, before I dive deeper into this – I must clarify. Regardless of gender identity, biological sex, or sexual orientation, we ALL have masculine and feminine energies within us. 

The terms divine masculine and divine feminine in this sense are one piece of the universal principles of duality energetics.

We all would benefit from balancing and healing our masculine and feminine energies. This is where duality transforms into unity. 

In the work I’ve done with clients, as well as in my own life, I’ve discovered that most Western women today have compensated for their childhood wounds by becoming hyper-masculine. 

This hyper-masculinization manifests as being extremely rigid, lack of surrender and flow, inability to receive, and use of control in order to create safety.

For men, early childhood masculine wounding in correspondence to the relationship with fathers, leads to a suppression of their own masculine energy as a survival mechanism to adapt to their environment. 

Those of us who have unhealed masculine wounding that is rooted in an early childhood abuse, suppression, or rejection of the masculine pole, display a hyper-feminization of our energy. 

Hyper-feminization manifests as a lack of structure and discipline, poor ability to assert and maintain boundaries, difficulty with being present, low confidence in personal power, and absence of drive and motivation.

The feminine or masculine energy itself is not the problem. The issue arises when there is an imbalance between the masculine and feminine poles within our own energy bodies.

So, how does the masculine wound manifest as a lack of discipline?

When our masculine energy is stuck in a disempowered state – we become passive and unstructured, unable to follow through with a drive to move forward and utilize action in order to bring about what we want into existence. 

We start to believe that our masculine willpower is of no consequence – it is worthless in creating the result we desire.

A popular core belief here is – “I cannot use my willpower to create what I want because what I want is wrong and using my personal power will only cause me harm.” 

This belief is especially prevalent if our authentic selves were rejected and conditionally loved during childhood. If a child views their personal will as something shameful, it makes sense that they would adapt by abandoning their own desires in order to survive.   

So the issue with discipline isn’t actually that we are lazy, apathetic, or just couldn’t be bothered to motivate ourselves. 

The root of the wound with discipline stems from the subconscious program we adopted that our masculine energy is wrong, shameful, dangerous, and bad. 

We view our personal willpower as something harmful to us, especially when it got us into trouble in childhood through a withdrawal of love, constant criticism, abuse, rejection, and abandonment. 

Naturally, it reasons to follow that if our personal willpower is something that is dangerous for our wellbeing, then the sustained use of our personal willpower to bring about a certain reality – discipline – is exponentially more harmful, and must be avoided at all costs.

This is why some of us can be so disciplined when it comes to going to school or working at a job that we don’t particularly enjoy, and yet have a challenging time being disciplined when pursuing things that are meaningful and worthwhile to ourselves. 

Personal willpower exercised to meet societal expectations feels safer. And it is even perceived as necessary to survive.

Whereas discipline for the sake of being true to one’s own calling and purpose is more challenging to exercise and sustain. It all makes sense when it stems from a pattern of vilifying our desires and authentic selves.

We’ve adopted a belief that we are inherently wrong – that something is wrong with us. And if something is wrong with us, this means we are not good enough, and our desires and goals are not valid.

Healing the relationship with discipline often isn’t as simple as just doing it. 

Yes, simply forcing ourselves to take the action may work in the short term. The challenges reveal themselves in the sustainability and longevity of these endeavors.

Radical self acceptance and shameless validation of our emotions, needs, and desires is the first step in healing our association with discipline. 

From there, we begin to build on top of our healing relationship with our masculine energy, and slowly add on other tools to craft a more disciplined life. 

With a disciplined mindset shift, the act of simply wishing evolves into becoming a force of creation to be reckoned with. 

Make The Shift From Determinism To Free Will With Discipline

Which is stronger? Instant gratification or your ability to resist temptation in order to build something greater? 

Discipline is the missing link between the life you have now and everything you want to manifest! 

Manifestation, contrary to popular belief in some circles, is an ACTIVE process. 

It is not about wishing things into existence. Instead, it is a collaborative process in which you meet the magic of the Universe halfway in cocreating what you envision through taking measured action.

Now this action may look different for everyone, and it doesn’t always mean putting your nose to the grindstone. 

Along my journey, some of the biggest pivots in my manifestation game came from cognitive shifts I actively and consciously worked on every. Single. Day. 

The discipline doesn’t always need to exist in the external force you put out into the world. Sometimes it’s about training your mind through reframing your perspectives, cultivating inner harmony with your emotions, and resolving internal resistance.

Discipline is the essential fuel in taking the action, even in the face of discomfort, and it is fed by a commitment to your WHY – your reason for being, for doing, for living. 

It’s all too easy to get distracted by empty pleasures. 

That instant dopamine hit that comes from eating that snack, binging on Netflix, or checking social media notifications can be extremely tempting. 

An untrained mind may bend and cave to impulse – it is far more effortless to do the things you’ve always done, and to exist the way you’ve always been. 

However, if we continue to operate from our subconscious programming, we fall into the clutches of Determinism – we’re not exercising our free will and we are running our life on autopilot.  

Free Will comes into play when we use discipline to reprogram our beliefs, thus changing our thought patterns, which shifts our entire reality and gives us the option to actually come into our sovereignty and exercise free will. 

The option to step into Free Will only comes through tapping into the conscious mind.

So which is it going to be? 

Are we going to allow our programming to dictate our thoughts, emotions, actions, and therefore, continue to play the role of who we have been taught to be?

Or are we going to step into our power, claim ownership over our minds and bodies, and grow into who we came here to be? 

The choice is yours, my friend! 

We owe it to the ourselves and the world to own our fullest potential and stop taking the easier path. The world needs our gifts more than ever. 

Discipline Means Not Always Following Your Joy

There is a delicate balance between following what feels good in the present moment, and discipline. 

If you’re reading this post, chances are you are no stranger to the world of self care and personal development. 

It can become an increasingly tricky world to navigate the longer we are immersed in it because of the shadow side of spirituality – the spiritual ego can masquerade as enlightenment and spiritual bypassing may dress itself up as living in the Now.

An important question we could benefit from pondering is – am I subscribing to the follow your joy philosophy because it is truly in alignment with my purpose or am I using this philosophy to avoid discomfort in the present moment? 

Growth is not found within the confines of our comfort zone. Growth and healing are uncomfortable – they push the boundaries of our current limitations. 

Just as training the physical body comes with certain aches and pains in the process of building strength, flexibility, and endurance, so too does the same happen with the mind.

Where does your desire for comfort end and your ability to exercise your will power begin?

Discipline sometimes means doing the thing that doesn’t always feel the greatest in the moment. 

It means working through your resistance and coming to a place of internal consensus as to what is truly in alignment with your path – not only in the present experience, but also with the future you are building.

Discipline can feel uncomfortable. It can feel rigid and unyielding. 

It is also the cornerstone for maximizing your innate potential.

There are times to be gentle with ourselves, to revel in the spontaneity of life, and to indulge in what makes us feel good in the moment. 

And there are also times to be disciplined in the standards we hold ourselves to because we know that it is this structure, this accountability, and personal responsibility that drives us to become our fullest versions. 

To strike a balance between these two poles is an art form in itself. 

We owe it to ourselves and the world to explore what true discipline and mastery means to us. 

With the tenacity and the skill to embody these traits, we break through our self-imposed limitations. It is then that the improbable becomes possible. 

With discipline, what you desire becomes what you have created.

9 Must Haves In Your Emotional First Aid Kit

How many of us have felt moments of deep despair, pain, or grief? In these moments where it feels like the sun has stopped shining forever, we can sometimes feel completely absorbed by the waves of our emotional turbulence. I’m willing to bet we have all felt a variation of this at one point in time or another.

Continue reading 9 Must Haves In Your Emotional First Aid Kit

5 Tips For How To Master Self Love

In a culture where we’re taught to conform and receive massive amounts of conditioning and programming, self love is a concept that seems elusive to many of us. Although self love is rapidly gaining traction, exactly how to put this into practice can still feel like a dog chasing his tail.

Continue reading 5 Tips For How To Master Self Love

6 Things You Need To Know About Anxiety

How many of us have felt the gnawing sensation of anxiety in our lives? Most of us are aware of the word “anxiety”. After all, anxiety disorders are the leading mental health issue we face as a species today. But how many of us are actually able to identify the emotion when we experience it and understand what it is trying to tell us?

Continue reading 6 Things You Need To Know About Anxiety

13 Things To Leave Behind In 2018

The end of the year signals the release of what is no longer serving us in order to welcome in the new possibilities, opportunities, and adventures of the upcoming year. Just as when decluttering our homes, we must clear space in our lives, minds, and hearts to bring in the new.

Continue reading 13 Things To Leave Behind In 2018

7 Tips For How To Survive The Holidays

The holidays are a magical time of year. People are more filled with cheer. Love and peace are in the air. Maybe it’s all the Christmas blitzkrieg propaganda we are fed through advertising or maybe we should credit the drugs pumped through our air systems – possible? I kid on the latter, folks.

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11 Ways To Change Your Mood

Along my early journeys, I struggled immensely with getting into these negative downward spirals and having no idea how to break out of them. It even got to the point where I was the one unknowingly perpetuating these energetic cycles – sinking to devastating lows and rising to alarming highs.

Continue reading 11 Ways To Change Your Mood

America & Mental Health Systems

As a person who has experienced the ins and outs of the mental illness systems, I can confidently say that the issue of mental illness and how medication applies is one that is rooted in deep systemic dysfunction.

Continue reading America & Mental Health Systems