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Digestive Distress Trauma (also known as overwhelm and stress) can cause a slew of symptoms including anxiety, panic, distress, sleeping disorders, and many other symptoms. Did you know it could cause Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS)? Maybe you thought trauma only caused psychological repercussions but recent studies say no, that is not the case. IBS is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that is characterized by stomach pains, bloating, diarrhea, and other intestinal problems. And, although it has all the characteristics of a purely physical ailment, there is currently no medically agreed upon cause for IBS. One result that was most interesting to me was that childhood trauma was twice as likely to have occurred in the lives of people with IBS than others! This is intriguing don’t you think? Maybe trauma leads to more than just psychological symptoms but psychosomatic ones. I think it actually points to the fact that the body uses the body to hold or heal trauma! Those of us interested in the mind-body connection have believed for years that many medically unexplainable conditions, like IBS, can have their roots in both somatic and psychological issues. Knowing that trauma could be the real culprit behind IBS helps sheds a whole new light on this condition that may affect as many as 10-15% of all Americans. When we have the opportunity to work with IBS through somatic experiencing we know there is hope. We experience it almost immediately. This type of treatment  can provide effective healing through guidance from a skilled practitioner. Our "held" trauma or stress can be released with some simple yet effective guidance I have had very direct and, believe it or not, quick results using Somatic Experiencing tools working with IBS. Give me a call and I can explain how my work can benefit you or someone you know who suffers from IBS.    ...

How To Slow Down: An Initial Approach to Meditation What happens when we slow down and things begin to settle? Thoughts begin to sink like mud to the bottom of a lake. When this type of settling occurs, a clearer and more precise experience takes place in our minds and bodies. We witness our reactions and responses slower and maybe we better understand the way we feel. This understanding is prajna, profound cognition that occurs through the practice of meditation. It serves as a tool to cultivate deeper awareness of our experiences. We think we are so special and unique, but when we surrender to this exploration, we discover we are a composite of form, sense perceptions, consciousness, etc., and merely a sum of these parts. This realization allows us space to release our ideas about how things are and become curious about how they feel. There is a change in attitude toward our personal experience and thoughts that fuel our underlying sense of angst. Our experience may unfold into the ability to rest our mind and somatically experience our body. But, we have to slow down before we begin to meditate in this way. Wondering how to slow down? The best way to practice this is to let go of thinking there is any right way to do it. Start with where you are. Start with your body. I think sitting is the best posture to begin. With your eyes open or closed, find yourself in the space you are in. If you are on a chair or on the floor, notice where the chair or floor is in the room. Notice your posture and how you feel. Feel the contact and slowly look around. What do you see? What don’t you see? What do you notice? What don’t you notice? Feel the space you are in. Become aware of what day it is, what time of day it is, what the weather is, what you have done before you decided to do this exercise, what you are going to do after this exercise and how long will you do it. Be, breathe and notice the quality and pace of your breath. Just notice it. Don’t change it. You may begin to think about your experience. Just think your thoughts. Don’t follow them or believe them, just see them. Breathe, feel and notice. If you start with this simple approach, you will find there is space in your mind for curiosity to explore your body and your mind. This is the beginning of a type of meditation practice. Be in the present moment through your body and mind. That is all you have to do right now. Slow down and settle into it.      ...

Acknowledging, tracking and exploring our inner demons paradoxically does not strengthen them. Instead, it allows us to access this locked up and hidden energy. If we meet this energy, it can serve us. We can invite these highly charged emotions that have been bottled up inside  to be transformed, fed, and nurtured. This energy can become our ally. When we fight against ourselves and repress our shamed and denied parts, we call them “shadow” or demons but when we do that, they actually gain power and we resist necessary exploration. When we feed our demons, we are not only rendering them harmless; we are also, acknowledging them instead of running away from them, nurturing the shadow parts of ourselves, so that the energy caught in the struggle transforms into a positive protective force. Feed your demons; acknowledge your charged emotions to better your spiritual awakening. Come in for a session and I will guide you through the process developed and taught by Lama Tsultrim Allione....

After a long and busy day at work, I just want to come home, put my feet up and stop. When the house is stuffy, I open a window to let the fresh air come in and lie down to rest. Coming home to the body and becomes possible wherever I am. Try it. Take a seat, let your breath go in and out of your nostrils and bring a gentle awareness to this movement. As you continue to let this cycle happen, open up to your sensations. Open the windows. Open up to your sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Feel the relaxation spread through your body, to your heart. Let the thoughts, anxieties, emotions take form like a wave, watch them break and then wash away. This is the way we can find our way back home during the day or night. Don’t need to do anything except be here. Don’t alter anything, don’t accept anything and don’t reject anything. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. Don’t let yourself get distracted. Don’t make it a project. Just do it. It’s a novel way to be home.      ...