Inspirational ideas, mind-body-spirit tools, and magic for your life.
I love Summer. I loooong for it by Spring. Right before it arrives I fantasize about it, imagining all the fun and sun I will soak in. I imagine luxuriating in quietude and peace, natural settings and beauty. I imagine kids playing, running for the ice cream truck, rainy days and movies. In my imagination it’s perfect, sweet, nostalgic, and timeless. And yet. While it’s happening, it’s usually not how I imagine it. I get caught up – in the planning and prepping, the getting to and from all the activities, one after the other. When the long-awaited planned and prepped thing is finally happening I get caught up in thinking about what needs to happen next and about how and when I can take a break and recover from the thing. It all feels so planned, so jammed in and busy.
Nope, not this Summer. This Summer, I vowed to slow it all down, to slow myself down and drink in the...
I used to think that I had to work really hard to get things done, but when I became a coach and healer many years ago, I learned and practiced that the art of getting things done in this world is by entering a flow of creativity. It’s not about pushing, but about being pulled and listening for that gentle pulling forward.
The other morning, I was writing my memoir outside because the weather was so beautiful. I only work on this project in the early morning before carpool. During the day, I’m involved in other projects and life with family, coaching and continued learning causes me to be masterful with prioritizing my time.
Anyway, that morning, I felt the desire to move inside to continue writing. My desk overlooks my garden, my bird feeders and the one tree that graces our Chicago backyard. I was blessed to see such colorful birds including two that I’ve never seen before—two Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks. Such...
“The notion that a human being should be constantly happy is a uniquely modern, uniquely American, uniquely destructive idea.” Dr. Andrew Weil
Flashback to the time my high school aged son asked me: “Mom, where’s your great big smile?” Daniel had noticed the absence of the ever- present smile that had earned me the nickname “smiley” for much of my life.
So what was going on? Was I grieving a loss, disappointed in my life situation or….. just in a funk? The answer was NO! I was finally waking up from the lie I had unknowingly been living for so long – the lie that kept me locked in a frozen state of sham “happiness.”
I was a master at disconnecting from my own truth. For decades my smile had served as a mask protecting me from the disapproval of others.
I learned as a small child that any expression of “negative” emotional energy...
From the very beginning, our learning and development is a dynamic process that unfolds naturally as we interact with our world. We learn from our parents or primary caregivers and from others in our environment. We learn what the norms are from what others do and don’t do. We begin as tiny little sponges, soaking it all in, every nuance, every feeling, every thought, every experience that comes through our sensory encounters.
Our bodyminds help us to remember all the rights and wrongs, dos and don’ts, and they support us to interact and adapt in our environments as efficiently as possible. We form habits so that our doing/not-doing becomes more automatic and effortless, so that we can focus our attention and energy where it is most important. Albeit simplified, this is essentially how we come to be who we are. It is a developmental process that is borne out of our unique life situations.
When unexpected and/or...
The disturbing events of the last year have created a wave of gripping visual images that float in and out of my conscious awareness:
Me, at the age of 11, marching for civil rights and singing “We Shall Overcome.” Me, as a college student, when the slogan “Make Love Not War” saturated our student culture.
My great-grandmother embracing her son, my grandfather, for the last time as she helped him escape the pogroms in his native Poland. He was hidden in a laundry cart so he could go unnoticed on his way to board a ship to America, the land of the free. (Pogroms: a series of organized massacres targeting Jewish communities)
My children’s paternal great-grandparents who perished in concentration camps.
And finally….. the image of a grotesque, gaping wound flooded my awareness – the wound of racism, bigotry, violence and hatred that I struggled to hide for much of my...
This winter has been a tough one for me – two bouts with the flu. Not just one, but two. And both were miserable.
When the first hit, I thought my head would come off and that the pain would never end. The right side of my head was pounding. I took two Ibuprofins to relieve some of the pain and because I know that there’s often an emotional component to symptoms, I checked myself for that. My kids had sailed through their cold with flying colors, while mine dragged on with lots of pain. Why had it hit me so hard?
I came to an ‘Aha!’ We had gotten an X-box in December and my boys loved playing on it. And when they did, a few of them yelled really loudly in excitement and competition. For a few days in a row, I would be sitting on the couch in the living room, with my right side facing the doorway to that very loud room. Their screams hurt my ears. I had even put my hand on my right ear, trying to block the...
As we enter a new calendar year we often spend time reflecting on the old year and setting goals for the new one. The voice in our heads is frequently judgmental and critical making it especially important for us to recognize that thoughts and beliefs focusing on self-judgment and self-improvement do NOT lead to self-motivation!
What should I do?
How should I behave?
What should I say?
How should I feel?
Or……..I shouldn’t have done that, said that, felt that, etc.etc.etc. ad nauseum.
I believe that this focus on the should and should nots can strongly impact our quality of life and our ability to heal.
Often the should and should nots are very subtle, hovering almost below our conscious awareness. The inner critic is frequently reminding us to play it safe and...
Dr. John Sarno revolutionized the medical field with his radical approaches to healing back pain and other physical ailments. He coined the term TMS, tension myostitis syndrome, to describe a circulatory constriction in blood vessels that results in pain in the body. This is also know as Mind-body syndrome. To sum up what Dr. Sarno wrote (“The Mindbody Prescription”) and taught for over 30+ years is that the brain will cut off blood/oxygen flow to different parts of the body in order to distract the individual from recognizing and feeling emotions that they are trying to avoid.
This lack of blood/oxygen flow is the direct cause of pain. In order to get relief from the pain, a person will go running around to different doctors and googling the internet to get answers and diagnosis for help with pain relief, when the healing is within their reach and within their own body.
In late 2011 I felt totally lost and discouraged. It was one year after back surgery, and my agonizing pain and sciatica were raging out of control.
My neurosurgeon prescribed physical therapy for pain of “unknown origin.” After all, the surgery had corrected the structural issues that had “caused” my symptoms.
The physical therapy helped me build strength, but did not help relieve my symptoms. So WHY was I STILL in pain?
I spent a lot of time googling for an answer to my dilemma. Most of what I discovered online only led to more confusion and right into victimhood – the plague of post laminectomy syndrome – or failed back syndrome. I would NOT accept that this was my fate and finally found the work of John Sarno, M.D.
Dr. Sarno was Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation Medicine at New York...
by Endorsed Coach, Lorraine Faehndrich
In my experience, both personally and with the women I work with, emotions are almost always at the root of pelvic pain.
If they are not entirely responsible for the symptoms, they are contributing to them, or making it impossible to relieve them! And just to be clear, that does not mean pelvic pain is in any way your fault. It’s not, and you’re not doing anything wrong.
Here’s the deal.
We live in a culture that encourages us to suppress our emotions from day one. Our families, schools, religions…you name it. They are all set up to punish our expression of emotion and reward suppression.
And this is particularly true for women.
We’ve all experienced this in one way or another, as children or adults. If we aren’t directly shamed or punished...