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I remember my teenage years as unbelievably fun, adventurous, traumatic, disorienting, scary, exciting, disappointing; basically an emotional roller-coaster which in retrospect appears to highlight the spectrum of life and pendulation concepts I’ve come to understand through Somatic Experiencing®.   The Emerging Adolescent Nervous System Working with kids experiencing problems with substance abuse and mental health challenges, I have discovered that their emerging nervous systems return to health and wellbeing through teaching them how to track and witness their experiences. There usually is a considerable amount of disruption to the system; often times the environment has been unpredictable, invalidating, and even abusive. Not to be ignored, teens are often in unpredictable homes and situations as well. What resources are available for adolescents? Adolescents who have experienced a disruption in their nervous system typically have developed fewer tools or coping skills than adults. These “unresolved resources” can contribute to the challenges which become overwhelming for some teens. Fortunately, a young person’s resilience can be their greatest asset. The essence of their resiliency lies in each person’s implicit need for coherence, the biological desire for rightness, found in each person, and adolescents have this resource in spades. I call this “okay-ness”.  While working to build a client’s capacity to renegotiate unprocessed events, I have found the greatest resources for teens are friends, music and movement. This isn’t surprising. A treatment plan utilizing both resources can usually be agreed upon with all relevant parties. Friendship. Being in relationship with like-minded peers. Social engagement is a definite resource; everything about processing the emotional life-events of being a teenager with a friend is intelligent in the biological and somatic sense. The end result is an increase in orientation, resourcing and an overall ability to tolerate and process dysregulation. Music and Movement. As teenagers, we often find hundreds of ways to differentiate ourselves from our parents and other adults. One of the most prominent forms of this is by music and movement. Music defines who we are as young people — certain songs will recall specific memories, good and bad. Regardless of the associations, music is a way we can connect to the environment, it can take us out of our heads, solidify and potentiate connections between affect, thought, sensation. This goes for movement as well. Encouraging this with teens has the power of strengthening coping skills, increasing the ability to weather the storms of the teenage world. The most important aspect of a teen’s life is their alive-ness through connection with community, friends, music and movement. I like to find ways to invite these components into their lives on a daily basis. In that way, I can better work with their nervous systems to help release immobility or anxiety....

I would like to share an article written by a dear friend and colleague of mine. It is truly inspiring and illustrates the potency of meditation for all of us. Between the Breaths by Kate Crisp EVERYTHING IN THIS PRISON is a variation of khaki colorlessness: the concrete walls, the vinyl floors, the metal desks, the hard plastic chairs, and even the pajama-like outfits of all the guys in the room. We’ve been running a mindfulness class at the men’s prison in Rhode Island for years. On this day, I’m attending the graduation of the advanced class for the men who have been participating for three or more years. Most of these men committed serious crimes and have been in prison for decades, with many more years ahead inside. Many have been in prison since they were teens, and the majority are men of color.

Please join me in exploring the trauma in your body through yoga. Discover the source of your activation with curiosity. I am trained in both Somatic Experiencing and Kaiut Yoga to offer you a safe and sure way of working with your body's nervous system. Learn more...

Solar Plexus Bowl Damaris Jarboux (founder and owner of Body Energy Center) taught all of her students this practice. I find it very useful and an effective way of cultivating awareness of my energy field, especially my solar plexus area. It can be done in any position, but it is a good practice to do in bed before getting up in the morning or  going to sleep at night. It takes about 10 minutes.

Ever wonder if setting an intention might change the quality of any given day? In the morning, take a moment to think about what is your main intention for that day. I like to think of something I might want to bring my attention to during that day rather than just try to get through it. It is an opportunity to practice with my mind.