Happiness of the Heart

by Mary Cook, MA, Psychology 
Addictions Treatment Counselor
(Contributing Writer)

Photo Terrance ChangePhoto: Terence Chang


True happiness comes from the heart, not the mind.

Our mind typically judges, compares, and places conditions on happiness, pointing out what’s wrong or missing even in the best of circumstances. In the midst of a wondrous experience, for example, the mind may remind us that a certain person is not present to share the wonder, and thus happiness is diminished. Yet the mind tells us that when we receive abundant gratification of a desire, we’ll be happy. It might be success, sex, money, power, leisure time, a partner, alcohol, food, or other drugs.

When we’re chasing after happiness, we’re also running away from problems, trauma, shame, loss, and pain. And the mind tells us that these troubles will continue or reoccur at any moment.

So we’d better capture and control the objects of our happiness. Addictions and compulsions are practiced with the intent to distract us from pain and stress and artificially induce euphoria or relief. This keeps the false self dominant rather than the spiritual self. This separation from an active conscious relationship with our Higher Power means that no amount of anything we desire can lead to true happiness, for we have disconnected from the source of pure love, truth, and joy. Only unhappiness comes from this illusion of separation. Fear and attempts to control and possess what we desire, removes the very possibility of happiness.

Real happiness is not dependent upon anything. It is our true nature.

We can see it in young children before we teach them otherwise. They amuse and entertain themselves. They are sensitive and empathic. They love without fear, biases, and prejudices. They experience joy watching a caterpillar, looking at ribbons of light coming through the trees, playing with dad’s fingers, babbling to mom, and jumping up and down. Young children can experience more happiness from a box than the gift within it. A box after all, can be a hat, a boat, a drum, or a house.

Young children can remind us of what we have forgotten.

Happiness is right now, it’s free, it’s within us, it gives and shares, it’s outside of time, space, distance, and conditions. It’s creative, uplifting, and contagious. Having a sense of lightness, playfulness and humor about ourselves and life, contributes to heartfelt happiness and reconnects us to our true selves, others and life. It also gives us resilience, adaptability, hope, courage, and strength in times of trouble.

Happiness arises from relaxing and surrendering mental focus, and allowing our hearts to open and expand for no reason.

In this place we can remember that we were created whole and holy and that we are interconnected with all of life. Correct bowing places the heart higher than the head. Rather than our minds’ aspirations, it is humility and faith that leads us to our highest happiness. Feeling united with a healthy, loving Higher Power allows us to experience the power within our heart. A bedridden patient in pain can forget his suffering when a beloved child visits. All of a sudden we’re not sick when someone needs us. An arthritic man, unable to move, can lose all symptoms of disease when playing the piano because of his happiness in doing so. A petite, frail mother can lift heavy objects off her child to save her in an accident. Spontaneous acts of heroism, altruism, and love spring from the heart, whereas the mind would say this is impossible or problematic.

Allowing our attention to be in the present moment appreciating what exists right now, counting our blessings, being in loving service, enjoying nature, music, art, people, animals, and seeing beauty around us, is happiness.

We can have a daily practice of identifying and surrendering to our Higher Power our small minded selfishness, harmfulness, willfulness and defensiveness, and ask for divine will to work through us. We can hold compassionate space for suffering and painful emotions to be expressed and released. We can begin this process by feeling compassion for ourselves and loved ones. We can accept our ignorance and transgressions, and honor our desire for redemption and transformation. Then we can practice feeling compassion and acceptance for strangers and for those who are harmful in the world, believing that goodness exists in the soul despite human expression. In most situations as adults, safe boundaries, straightforward assertiveness, and healthy behaviors on our part suffice to protect us from those who might harm us. Forgiveness is an emotion of the heart that releases trapped toxic energies within us, creating greater space for serenity, freedom, and joy. This is a rejuvenating practice and additionally helpful in placing more positive energy into the world.

It is vital to demonstrate principles that reinforce our spiritual nature, and to strengthen our faith when we are feeling lost and confused.

We experience an even higher level and depth of happiness when we’re able to identify what goodness and joy exists in difficult circumstances, what opportunities for growth, character development, unselfish demonstrations of love, spiritual evolution and unity with the God of our understanding are present in trials and tribulations.

Long ago I visited a poor village and asked the elder if he was happy with his life. He replied that yes, he was very happy. In some years, he explained, there is abundant food and no children die. And so we sing, dance and rejoice. In other years there is not enough to eat, and sickness and death visit us. In those years our love expands, we become closer and give our hearts to one another, for that is all we have. So, yes, we are very happy all the time. This village elder was abundantly rich with happiness of the heart, and this is a magnificent model for all of us.

 


Mary Cook  is the author of “Grace Lost and Found: From Addictions and Compulsions to Satisfaction and Serenity”  She has a Master’s degree in psychology and is a certified addictions treatment counselor in private practice in Los Angeles, California. She has 42 years of clinical and teaching experience.

Visit Mary Cook’s website for more articles or go to Amazon to purchase her book.

 

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In Curiosity of Grief

by Catherine DeAngelis
InCuriosityofGriefOutofPocketEmotions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pueblo Blessing
*Nancy Wood

Hold on to what is good
Even if it is a handful of earth
Hold on to what you believe
Even if it is a tree that stands by itself
Hold on to what you must do
Even if it is a long way from here
Hold on to life
Even if it is easier to let go
Hold on to my hand
Even if I have gone away from you.

Grief is a complex matter bringing us deep sorrow; above all, when caused by the death of someone we know and love. It comes to us suddenly, accidentally, traumatically, tragically and sometimes expectantly or prematurely. We learn as part of our natural life we will undergo grief of different kinds then that related to a physical death. Respectively, a loss is a cause of emotional inner conflict while coming to terms with someone or something we love or attached to taken away from us. The bereavement occurs and we mourn as we begin the getting through toward our healing.

As we age, at some point, we will realize it is inherent we all die. As sharp as this might sound, what a part of life to grasp no matter how much we are aware and vibrantly we live. At this bend, it is where we innately pick up as we go and carry on with grief. It will present itself to us no matter how much we protect ourselves. More, it is here where we do not isolate. We open up, encircled by a community coming together in this time of discord. Now it is at this place, we can believe it is possible our suffering will lessen and we will carry on.

Teenage girl praying outdoors at twilight. Shallow DOF.

Looking for comfort during time of grief is personal for each of us from a child, older youth to adult, seniors and vulnerable seniors. We need the coping skills to endure. We may find ourselves suddenly called upon to serve as a guide or a mentor to the young or old during this time of discomfort.

Grief is a word synonymous with many emotions: anger, sorrow, misery, sadness, anguish, pain, distress, heartache, heartbreak, agony, torment, affliction, suffering, woe, desolation, dejection, despair and from mourning, mournfulness to lamentation and more. To help make sense of it, we may describe it as an emotional reaction to the loss, compared to bereavement, which is an emotional event, and mourning is the process toward healing.  During these times, the lead emotion we most feel is anger.

Anger is a legitimate and a normal healthy emotion that comes to alert us we have an inner conflict to manage and decide if we need some backing to help us gain a footing during these days.  Open to Hope Foundation® is a non-profit foundation with its mission for helping people find hope after loss and offer a free webinar on understanding anger.

A death of loved one of the most traumatizing is when someone takes his or her own life. For surviving family members and friends, it is not easy to accept this suicide. A sense of anger and deep shame transpires. Along with this, family members may feel guilt and blame themselves, or covertly made to feel liable for being unaware of the signs that led to the taking of one’s own life. The subject of suicide is taboo in many cultures. Religiously and publicly unacknowledged, honestly making the cause of death of the loved one unknown. Families needing solace instead feel shame during their grieving and bereavement and familial mourning occurs in isolation.

When we have experienced grief, we are better able not to be overcome by it as we allow ourselves to continue with the bereavement and accept the time of mourning. As we become the bereaved, we inevitably face sadness. Sadness is the unhappiness we feel around this time of grief and the emotion in which we express our sorrow over the loss.

InCuriosityofGriefOutofPocketEmotionsSadMan

Grief of Another Kind

During our lifetime, we suffer losses that have nothing to do with death as we more commonly know it, and yet find it hard to cope due to situations that challenge us and to give us pain. We are unable to explain what is happening to us, but we are hurting. If it is hard to explain, our emotions are likely reminding us we are upset due to what is going on in our life to create a huge shift from our normal routine.

When no one died, we are alive, but human as we are there are reasons we might have for grief due to losses of another kind:

  • Life-changing or life-threatening illness
  • Loss of a healthy childhood
  • Aging/retirement
  • Children going off to college
  • Move to another country/refugee status
  • Divorce/loss of in-laws, familiar friends and home
  • Friends distancing, breaking up, arguing, or outgrown one another
  • Loss of spiritual connection, life objective or dream that didn’t shape up to what we had hoped
  • Developing a disability
  • Financial loss
  • Job loss/fired/career transitions
  • Loss of a beloved pet-companion

Grief, Bereavement and Mourning

While the terms grief and bereavement are often used interchangeably, bereavement refers to the state of loss, and grief is the reaction to loss. Grief is a natural response to loss and with it comes various stages. Whatever time is given to the process of bereavement can vary on how close we are to the person who died, and if the death was an anticipated loss.

Additionally, mourning is by way of how we adapt and cope with the loss. Many cultural customs, rituals, and even society’s rule commands how our mourning is influenced. When a death takes place, we want to express our needs. We accept words of condolences as support at a time when life appears to us confusing and fragmented we feel emotionally numb and out-of-place unknowingly, while we contend with the reality we are grieving a loss.

Vulnerability is an emotion during this time that makes its presence known in us. It is vital we are honest as much as it is possible even if it is not easy to understand. We are struggling with what in unknown to us, about how we feel, our fears, what we need or even how to go about asking for what it is we do need. Instead, we center on barely coping and stave off unhealthy habits we think soothe the unexplainable pain we are feeling. Sudden addictions may arise such as emotional eating or bingeing, added use of prescription medicine, alcohol or gambling. These dependencies are emotional fixes for a while, however to postpone the inevitable, emotional pain may likely appear again in the distant future due to unresolved grief from a past loss. Grief counsellors or support groups or both will benefit us at this time.

Hand ReachingHow can we give all that we have and move through with our basic living?

  • We will cope day-by-day with the belief time will heal – we can accept things will be rough for a while.
  • We will eventually feel better — might not be today, tomorrow, but soon.
  • We reach for backing to aid us with the unfamiliar ground we stand on until we feel it is doable to live through this and accept the personal changes that comes with it.
  • We work hard every day to look after ourselves.
  • We may resist and be unrealistic by doing too much or think we are able to do as much as we used to before the loss.
  • We will find time difficult and need to give ourselves the pause needed from the usual activities so we may gain momentum of living with a another kind of memory.
  • We promise we will not go it alone, we will reach out and seek comfort in the people we know we be there for us.

The Stages and Phases 

Many grief theorists who have studied grief presented either similar, comparative or opposing views on the stages and phases of what we may go through during our grieving.  Erich Lindemann is a psychiatrist who in the late 40s developed his grief theory developing a grief work model. From the model he surmises the bereaved has to accept grief as an adaptive response and to take to heart, we are not the person who has died, but our beloved who has died. He also agrees death will change the bereaved from the point of death forward. The pain of this initially hurts terribly. Yet his belief is to adapt and see grief as not the adapting to a loss, but the emotion or the emotions around the loss we are getting through.

We never know as a family member, friend, or acquaintance, when the right time is to approach the knowing of what to do to show support. Intentions are to help ease the pain of the loss during mourning.  However careful we tread, we want to make sure to place an offering of care and present ourselves with astuteness and higher sensitivity than usual. MP900227519

The bereaved will experience cognitive confusion and their ability to concentrate is lessened. Many may experience anxiety, disorganization, or pre-occupation about something. The behaviors we witness from the bereaved are sadness, withdrawal, a crying or constant weepiness. Sometimes hostility surfaces and usually erupts in anger rejecting thoughts a loved one has died.

Grief theorist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross known for the 5-stages and phases of grief and David Kessler, grief expert, explain denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are part of healing phase. They remind us at times, people in grief and bereavement will often show more stages, justly showing us, our grief is as individual as we are. Though our emotions are unexplainable at times, we are vulnerable. The stages represent the responses to the loss. There are many tools available to aid in these stages that block us in our healing and may need to seek counselling or group therapy to guide us forward.

Having compassion is the best way to go. We start by asking permission and genuine concern for the bereaved suffering. We can try in our way to relieve the hurt, however try as we may, it must come with the bereaved having openness to this. If such as, you recommend a book or a piece of healing music as a kind gesture— should I go ahead and ask.  Of course, do this by making sure it is with heartfelt consideration. We may offer can we meet to chat about the book or the piece of music when it is more proper. Awareness and attention to the receptiveness of our actions negative response maybe minimized as we go about this with careful intention and timing.

Getting Through and Healing

InCuriosityofGriefOutofPocketEmotionsMan2

The healing process is not linear and more than a simple “getting over a loss.” To say to the bereaved, getting over it will sound dismissive to them, and their process of healing in their loss is unimportant. It can pose meaningless stressors, as if simply asking to step over a bucket of water in their way and get on with it.

Taking care of ourselves is the best option no matter how uncomfortable grief feels.

If the grief becomes too difficult and suicidal thoughts start to surface in our mind, tell someone, and immediately go to hospital emergency – opting out of life is not an option.  Getting through a loss, we need to go through and get out on the other side and continue walking no matter how messy it feels along the way.  Imagine surgical sutures or stitches when removed. What remains is a scar. We are not the same person we were before the loss and will be reminded often how much has changed. We can only move toward acceptance and healing is allowed to take its own course. In tow during this journey we go with loving compassion to our bereaved and ourselves.

The Harvard Medical School reports, “If prayer hearten or sustains you, set aside time for it. Read spiritual texts that you find comforting, attend services, and share your circumstances with a religious leader who can help place the death in the context of your faith. Gardening or communing with nature, which offers many opportunities to observe the rhythms of life and death in the natural world, is also soothing to some people. So, too, is meditation or yoga.”

Some suggested teachings follow by Dr. Alan Wolfelt, author, educator, and grief counsellor, known for his inspirational messages for people who are grieving, taken from Grieving Person’s Bill of Rights by Wolfelt:

  • No one else will grieve in exactly the same way you do.
  • You have the right to talk about your grief.
  • You have the right to feel a multitude of emotions.
  • You have the right to be tolerant of your physical and emotional limits.
  • You have the right to experience grief “attacks.”
  • You have the right to make use of ritual.
  • You have the right to search for meaning.
  • You have the right to embrace your spirituality.
  • You have the right to treasure your memories.
  • You have the right to move toward your grief and heal.

Hope and Resiliency

Dedicated belief and a stronger tDSC_7463 (1)han usual support system in place, will bring us hope and emotional reconciliation to the inevitable – we are resilient!

Resiliency comes to us not only by way of healing from the love of a beloved we’ve lost to death, but as well loss can happen too for the family, who have left their country upon escaping war, persecution, or natural disaster, as well moving beyond hope and toward resilience.  Here is where being able to adjust in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or tremendous stressors can exist.

If we feel we must bounce back from pain quicker than we think, opening up our mind and heart and showing kinder than usual personal and community care, the road to healing is less isolating, painful and a sense of belongingness exists for all of us

Pueblo Blessing previously published in Many Winters: Poetry and Prose of the Pueblos by Nancy C. Wood, Doubleday, 1974

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Cerebral Palsy and Emotional Health

 

by Alex Diaz-Granados
Chief Editor
cerebralpalsyguidance.com

 

What is Cerebral Palsy (CP)?

Cerebral Palsy is one of the most common disabilities of childhood, but it is also without a cure and persists into adulthood. Caused by brain damage at a very early age, cerebral palsy affects muscles, movement, coordination, and posture. It can also cause a number of complications, from hearing loss to intellectual disabilities. A child with cerebral palsy is also at risk for emotional and behavioral challenges.

Emotional Challenges and Their Causes

Researchers have found that children living with cerebral palsy are more likely to struggle with emotional and behavioral challenges than their peers. This may be explained as a direct result of the brain damage that caused the child to have cerebral palsy, but there may also be other factors at play. For instance, a child with cerebral palsy often looks and moves different from his peers. This can lead to poor self-esteem and low self-confidence, but also inappropriate behavioral responses due to frustration and embarrassment.

Children with cerebral palsy are also likely to feel more isolated and tend not to be included by their peers. They are also at a greater risk for being bullied, which can take a hugely negative toll on emotional health, even triggering depression or anxiety disorders. Finally, parents of these children are likely to experience more stress and parental stress correlates with emotional problems in their children.

Coping with Emotional Difficulties

Cerebral Palsy is a condition that cannot be cured. There are many treatments and interventions, though, that can help and make a real difference in children’s lives. For some of these children, there may be something physical that underlies behavioral or emotional outbursts. Pain, for instance, is common with cerebral palsy, but it can be managed or treated with medications, surgery, physical therapy, and other strategies.

Children living with cerebral palsy and struggling emotionally can also benefit from treatments that directly address those issues. Behavioral therapy, social therapy, recreational and play therapy, and even psychotherapy with older children, can all help a child learn to manage, cope with, and change negative feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.

Also crucial in helping children cope with the difficult emotions of living with cerebral palsy is the strong support of parents and other people close to them. When parents model and teach good emotional health strategies, such as talking about feelings, expressing emotions in healthy ways, and socializing appropriately, their children will be more likely to learn and develop those skills too.

Cerebral palsy is a disability that a child has to live with for the rest of his or her life. Childhood is the perfect time to learn how to cope with the emotional challenges that come with living with this disorder. And when a child does learn those healthy coping strategies, parents can ensure that their child will grow up to be a healthy and happy adult.

Alex Diaz-Granados is the chief editor for the blog at cerebralpalsyguidance.com. His life with cerebral palsy began in early March of 1963, born eight weeks before his due date. As a result, he suffered irreversible damage to the motor control center of his brain and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy some months later. Despite this, he has overcome many physical and emotional obstacles and is now a freelance writer for Examiner.com.

He is also the author of Save Me the Aisle Seat:The Good, the Bad and the Really Bad Movies: Selected Reviews by an Online Film Reviewer, as well as the co-writer of an unproduced screenplay with actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. He represents the cerebralpalsyguidance.com website because he believes in their mission of providing quality cerebral palsy information and assistance to families in need. For more information on vital guidance and assistant to parents of a child with Cerebral Palsy — Visit this link.

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What is Out of Pocket Emotions?

 

 


How It Works!

STEP 1 – Arrange for a complimentary phone interview. Individuals are free to ask questions of the Coach and it is a chance to get to know one another, see if it is a good fit as you find out more about  the benefits of personal life coaching. The Coach will answer any questions regarding fee structure, including savings available from hourly to monthly package; a sliding scale is also available, the point is to get started as soon as possible.

STEP 2 – On first assessment individuals will answer a short questionnaire this is to secure there are no medical concerns before agreeing to the Five-way Life Coaching Approach®  

STEP 3 – Work personally with the Coach to uncover your personal goals. The program is customized to explore immediate needs by defining life goals.

More information:

Call or Write Today!

Arrange a complimentary consultation:

Catherine DeAngelis
Individual and Group Life Coach Practitioner
416 246 0025
email: info@catherinedeangelis.com

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Life Skills and Trauma Stressors

by Catherine DeAngelis

Health professionals may be baffled when survivors of trauma come to them after recovery, on reassessment, find out symptoms have recurred.

Human

Trauma is a serious assault on a human’s life functioning.

What happens to get in the way of a regular day-to-day activity like paying the bills or problem-solving to suddenly make it all seem like a monumental feat?

Could it be a day or two before, or after a holiday gathering that negative emotions or physical symptoms got triggered, and a survivor remembers a traumatic moment that surfaces without a warning?

Trauma happens to people who experienced a psychologically distressing and life-risking event.  A person having survived an accident, injuries, illness, physical, verbal, emotional or sexual abuse, or other crime; a person who is a war veteran, army officer, or settlement refugee who comes from war-torn or a violent country;  it can happen to a search and rescue worker; natural disaster survivor, or a bystander of a traumatic episode.

A survivor can relive moments of terror, feelings of culpability, remorse, rage, or disillusionment about life.

Reliving a traumatic event can arouse emotions that cause fatigue, low energy, weepiness or lack of concentration or impatience with others.  Outbursts of anger happen for no reason.  The memory of trauma comes by flashbacks and nightmares, and it can become so severe it’s difficult to lead a normal life.

Unbeknownst to a survivor of trauma, belief that healing has taken place and recovery is over and done with plays havoc on the mind. Thoughts, feelings and emotions are stirred-up. Without warning, symptoms return to cause grief. The ability to manage simple home or work tasks becomes daunting.

Joint pain or inability to sleep throughout the night can occur during a traumatic flashback. Agitation and self-inquiry like “who am I” and “will I ever feel normal? Or “am I going crazy?”

Disharmony grows in relationships and clouds of doom become a veil over the survivor.

The Canadian Mental Health Association reports this kind of impact can develop into acute anxiety or more commonly “post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”

PTSD is one of several conditions known as an anxiety disorder. It affects about 1 in 10 people, characterized by reliving a psychologically traumatic situation, long after any physical danger involved has passed.

Taking care to know and understand disruptive emotions that could arise after flashbacks are vital life skills tools.

Self-awareness and self-care is arsenal for a trauma-episodic memory.

Life can suddenly become crushing because an onset of images, conversations, smells, or sounds, serve to remind something happening now related to a traumatic event back then.

Psychology Today reports PTSD affects about 7.7 million American adults. It is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse, gambling, eating and anxiety disorders.

When other conditions are appropriately diagnosed and treated, the likelihood of successful treatment increases.

Mayo Clinic oncologist Edward T. Cregan M.D. explains coping with traumatic stress is an ongoing process. He explains we’ll be of more help to our loved one (to ourselves) if we learn about the effects of trauma.

Life skills can help people draw from a broad range of problem-solving behaviours to meet the challenges at work, home or socially.   The extent to which an individual with trauma integrates survival behaviours in their lives after their trauma is in itself a measure of success and deserves much support.

In trauma recovery people learn during their healing it is important to accept feelings of denial, to keep active, seek support, face reality of the triggers, and to ground themselves after a flashback.

Trauma survivors need to take time to process feelings associated with the experience and know how to find quiet time to be alone or find someone in the family or among friends to share the experience. They need to know sharing the experience is accepted without judgment.

The key is to recognize trauma might surface at different times of the year.

Dr. Cregan describes the best way to approach trauma is by finding some ways of normalising it – thinking about not being overwhelmed or frightened by symptoms and difficulties (as opposed to catastophising thoughts like, ‘It’s happening again, I am back to square one’ and emphasising coping strategies like staying active, taking care of yourself, seeking social support).

Family members and friends care deeply, yet hold beliefs healing should be done with quickly. This can hinder a trauma survivor’s healing.  Advocating “life is too short” and “stop focusing on the past – get over it” prolongs the curing period.

healingHealing takes time and it is different for everyone.

Family physicians notably agree it is part of essential life skills for a survivor to understand and express feelings, deal with anger associated with trauma, and safeguard thought processes so as not to undermine the ability to cope day-to-day.

Awareness is essential.

Emotional wounds take time to heal, or some cases may never heal.

Emotions from a traumatic event can take years to show up and when they do, it’s a rude awakening. A realization surfaces to reexamine the memory and the pain associated with it. What can happen is a recall of more memory, adding to the original trauma. Once this happens, it deserves the processing time for the survivor to work through it, and get ready to come out at the other end stronger for it.

Trauma can cause ongoing problems with self-esteem. It affects management of simple life skills.  Overcoming trauma is easier for some than others. Some go on to inspire others who is just entering the dark stage of a life-changing journey.

The impact of trauma on the entire person and the range of therapeutic issues are what need to be addressed. Recovery happens when the person is ready to move past the pain of it.

Symptoms come back in bits and pieces, like a flashback in a movie trailer – it can subside.

Dr. Creagan believes we can help a loved one with post-traumatic stress by being willing to listen, but don’t push. Choose a time when you’re both ready to talk.

During the process of recovery from trauma, it can take months, years, even decades.  For some, PTSD never leaves.

Trauma assaults a person’s ability to manage simple life skills. Generally this is needed to help understand the world around or know the tools to allow a fulfilling life. Daily tasks, going to school or work, building relationships, or one’s personal feelings of belongingness or connectedness become visibly exhausting.

Trauma symptoms get in the way of meeting ambitions to live to one’s full potential.

Many treatments are available for PTSD to meet the unique needs of the survivor.

Everyone is different, so a treatment by someone experienced with PTSD may work for one person and may not work for another.

Life coaching is available to give supportive listening — without attempts to repair but help resolve some of the strong feelings such as shame, anger, or guilt.  A life coach can offer strategies to help map out a plan to get beyond PTSD and work at meeting life goals based on a new method of human functioning.

A life skills approach to trauma is about finding a new personal life balance. Breaking through another wall of understanding and self discovery during recovery of trauma, is about learning to live with a new agenda of coping skills. Taking time to find what works best during healing from the effects of trauma is worthy of investment.

Giving up is not an option,  but seeking self-love and understanding, or getting the help needed all bring added successes to an especially brave life of a survivor living with the stresses of a past trauma.

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A Canadian Christmas Eh!

Stephen A. Nelson in JasperOur guest blogger is Stephen A. Nelson, a freelance journalist who grew up in Toronto back when, as he says “they still had a Santa Claus at the Eaton’s and Simpson’s department stores, where magical window displays with expensive moving toys gave joy to many.”  Here Stephen shares a true, right from the  heart, childhood Christmas Story, and  adds some of his  own favourite media Christmas Stories.


The Many Faces of Father Christmas

A Real Christmas Story from the Kid Who Lived It!
Stephen A. Nelson

KettleDriveThe Salvation Army has been in the news this Christmas; especially since it was discovered that a Grinch – masquerading as Santa Claus – stole more than $2 million worth of donated toys that were meant to go to needy kids in the Toronto area. The stolen toys were  recovered and Mean Mr. Grinch has been arrested and charged with stealing Christmas. It’s sad and shocking, but at the same time a reminder that – while Scrooges and Grinches may be real – so is Someone Else.

My Christmas story takes place not in the 1940s, but in the 1960s, shortly after we’d arrived in Canada from England. The Beatles were more popular than Jesus and it was a very good time to be English in Canada. Especially if Canadians thought you sounded “just like The Beatles.”

We moved into a neighbourhood in West Toronto. Our family of six was living in a small two-bedroom flat above a restaurant on Dundas Street West now known as The Junction. We did not have much, in fact, we had very little. But we had the two most valuable things in the world: family and friends.

“Family” included my Uncle Terry, my mother’s beloved brother. The Nelson family had arrived in Canada on the unforgettable night of the Great Northeast Blackout in November of that year — that night everything from Niagara Falls to New York plunged into complete darkness. That was the night Uncle Terry had driven all night to get us from Montreal to our new home in Toronto.

“Family” also included the people at the Salvation Army in West Toronto. That was the great thing about the Sally Ann then. We had travelled to the other side of the world, but the Salvation Army still felt like home. It was more than a church, more than a charity. It was family.

Foremost among that Salvation Army family was a man we called Uncle Harry. He virtually had adopted my dad when my dad first arrived in Canada. And for as long as he lived, Uncle Harry was like a father and a big brother to my Dad. And until his dying day, Uncle Harry was a real uncle and a granddad to us kids.

When we arrived in Toronto, winter was already upon us. More snow than we had ever seen turned Toronto into a Winter Wonderland. And before we knew it, it was Christmas. It was a beautiful glorious Christmas, around which the entire year of being a kid revolved. Christmas, time for Christmas carols and Father Christmas — or as Canadians called him, “Santa Claus.”

I was a true believer in Father Christmas. So although there were many department-store Santas, I knew there was only one true Father Christmas. He was at the North Pole now, making his toys. But I had met him at the Salvation Army Christmas party and I knew he was real. I knew because he knew me and he knew me by name.

Father Christmas

But I was worried: Even though I’d seen Father Christmas, I hadn’t told him what I really wanted. And with all the excitement of moving to a new country, I hadn’t had time to write to him! “How will Father Christmas know where we are? How will he know what I want?” I wondered.

Mum, another true believer, assured me that Father Christmas would know and that he would find us.

“But we don’t have a chimney in our flat! How will Father Christmas get into our house on Christmas Eve?”

Mum assured me that Father Christmas had a magic chimney he could use to get into houses that had no chimney.

Well if Mum says so, it’s got to be true.

But I was still worried.

I was like Ralphie from the  character who played in A Christmas Story.  A movie favorite of mine that centres around a young, nine-year-old, blue-eyed, blond-haired boy name Ralph “Ralphie” Parker (Peter Billingsley). The first time I saw the film, I immediately turned to my friend, pointed at the kid on the screen with big glasses and said, “That’s me!”

But Ralphie is an Everyman, and the film is the tale of his quest to realize his heart’s desire and secure his holy grail of Christmas presents — a Daisy, Red Ryder, Carbine-Action , 200-shot Range Model BB Rifle.  He was trying to relay the message to the world that there was one thing I wanted more than anything else in the world. This was my heart’s desire. This was my holy grail.

a-christmas-story-movie-01

It wasn’t a Red Ryder BB Gun. No, in 1965 it was a Johnny Seven O.M.A. (One Man Army) — a toy gun that was seven guns in one.

In these cyber-days of Halo, WarCraft and Assassin, such toy weapons are either politically incorrect or passé.  Forbidden or forgotten.  But in 1965, the Johnny Seven was “the bomb.”

It was a Red Ryder BB Rifle on steroids.  Ralphie’s Red Ryder was a steel-blue beauty that fired BBs and had “a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time.” It was everything cowboy hero Red Ryder would need to fend off the evil Black Bart, rustlers, and other Bad Guys.  But a Johnny Seven One Man Army was a plastic mini-arsenal that fired an anti-tank rocket; shot an armour-piercing shell; launched an anti-bunker missile; shot 10 bullets as a rifle; made a rat-a-tat-tat sound as a Tommy gun; and had a pistol that detached and worked as a cap gun with a very loud  “bang!”  In short, it was everything that G. I. Joe would ever need to fight the Viet Cong.  And since it was three-feet long, it was literally the yardstick against which all other boys’ toys were measured. It was the talking Malibu Barbie of boys’ toys. It was the perfect present.

JohnnySeven7inOneLike Ralphie, I knew exactly what I wanted. And like Ralphie, I was worried that I wasn’t going to get it. After all, if Father Christmas couldn’t find me, how could he give one to me? And if Father Christmas couldn’t deliver, who could?

On Christmas Eve, there were no signs of any Christmas presents in our small flat. I don’t even remember seeing a Christmas tree.

Still, milk and cookies were placed out in a dish with care, in hopes that Father Christmas soon would be there. There were no visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. I was dreaming of a Johnny Seven. I went to bed hoping and praying that Father Christmas would indeed find us. But I feared he would not.

On Christmas morning, I woke up to find a sign of hope. A red Christmas stocking had been hung up with care, a sign Father Christmas had really been there.

When out from the living room there was such a clatter, I sprang down hallway and said “What’s the matter?”

I turned into the living room and beheld a sight more wonderful than anything I had ever seen before or since. Where there had been darkness before, there was now the most wondrous light. Where there had been emptiness, there was now a cornucopia of Christmas presence. An Aladdin’s cave of magical things that I had never seen before in my life, including something called a “toboggan.” I had no idea what it was for, but I thought it was amazing.

In a room full of children’s treasures, I almost missed the Holy Grail itself. But there it was, in the middle of the living room floor, set like a jewel in the crown: my Johnny Seven. It was perfect.

I promptly fired off all seven guns in rapid order and managed to do it without shooting anybody’s eye out!

I was overwhelmed with joy at getting my Johnny Seven. But I was even more happy that Father Christmas had found us and he had delivered. For years to come, this was proof to me that Father Christmas was real. And later, when my non-believing school friends said, “There’s no such thing as Santa; it’s just your parents,” I knew they were wrong.

Over the years in Canada, we would spend many Christmases at my Uncle Terry’s and we would learn many things about Father Christmas. We learned that, here in Canada, Father Christmas went by many other names: Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Sinter Klaas, Santa Claus, Santa, Kris Kringle, or even Père Noël.

Years later, I found out that, in our home, Father Christmas had two other names: Sometimes we called him “Dad”: other times we called him “Uncle Terry.”

But at our other home, the Salvation Army, we learned that the most important person at Christmas was not Father Christmas, but that other person who also comes at Christmas and who is also known by many names.

And at the Salvation Army, we learned that the real Father Christmas had yet another name. There we called him “Uncle Harry.”

Welcome Christmas, while we stand
heart to heart and hand in hand…
Christmas Day will always be
Just as long as we have we

My Favourite Media Christmas Stories
Stephen A. Nelson

Everybody has a favourite TV holiday special at this time of the year.

For me, there are two classic Christmas programs that are especially powerful, even after more than 40 years of repeated viewing.

Merry ChristmasThe first and still the best is A Charlie Brown Christmas, featuring the Peanuts gangand the coolest of all Christmas soundtracks by Vince Guaraldi. A very close second is How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Boris (The Grinch) Karloff and the coolest of all Christmas songs, You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch .

And when it comes to Christmas movies on TV, you still can’t beat the 1951 black-and-white classic A Christmas Carolstarring Alistair (Scrooge) Sim and three very spooky Christmas spirits. Mind you, Jim Carrey. The Muppets, and even Doctor Who have all done a great job of bringing this story to life.

What these all have in common is the theme of redemption. That and the radical, almost heretical message expressed by the Grinch: the idea that “Maybe Christmas… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!

So maybe it’s odd that my other holiday favourite is the 1983 movie A Christmas Story. Odd because, at first glance, the movie seems to say that Christmas does come from a store — and that happiness is a new gun.

A Christmas Story starring Darren (Kolchalk: The Night Stalker) McGavin is a classic based on the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd. A sleeper hit when it was first released, the film has become a perennial favourite on TV. One American cable station shows it all day on Christmas Day.

The film, narrated by the author himself, takes place in a mythical mid-western US town. But a lot of it was shot in Toronto. In fact, in a part of Toronto that looks a lot like the Toronto I grew up in. It even has the classic red-and-yellow TTC streetcars that Mike Filey loves.

It also has all the elements of my first Christmas in Canada: the Salvation Army band playing Christmas carols in the frosty air; the Santa Claus parades, the department store Santas. And most magical of all, the Christmas windows displays at stores like downtown Toronto’s Eaton’s and Simpson’s, where half-frozen kids press their noses up against the frosty glass to get a closer look of at the electronic panoramas of mechanized magic.

Perhaps that’s why this film stays with me, because it feels like my city and my childhood. I feel I could have easily run into the characters in this film. In fact, I think I did.

But more than that, I think it stays with me because — in many ways — A Christmas Story is my story: “except for the name and a few other changes, when you talk about me, the story’s the same one.”

A Christmas Story

Ralphie, for most of the film,  is scheming to get his mitts on one of these beautiful, steel-blue pieces of pre-adolescent weaponry- a Daisy, Red Ryder, Carbine-Action , 200-shot Range Model BB Rifle… For him, it is not only the Holy Grail; in his hands it will become Excalibur.

So our hero does everything he can to persuade every adult he knows — his teacher, his parents, even Santa — that a firearm is the perfect present. The response is always discouraging and always the same: “You’ll shoot your eye out!” And once even Santa Claus rains on his parade, Ralphie knows the game is over and he’ll probably end up with a football (“not a very good present”) for Christmas.

Needless to say, our hero is more than a little discouraged come Christmas Eve. By Christmas morning, when all the presents have already been opened, he has despaired of ever achieving the Holy Grail.

But wait! Somehow Santa delivers a last-minute Christmas miracle and Ralphie gets his BB gun — his faith in Santa and in Christmas is fully restored. That night he goes to sleep with his holy grail in his hands and all is right with the world. It is a very merry Christmas.

Holy Grail

stephen nelsonStephen A. Nelson has  a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Lutheran Theological Seminary at the University of Saskatchewan. In his spare time, he plays old rock ‘n’ roll at the local jam nights, sings in church, and enjoys his Jasper mountain paradise.  Write Stephen Nelson at  http://ca.linkedin.com/in/stephenanelson  or stephena.nelson@gmail.com or
All Rights Reserved

Mindful and Meditative Prayer

by Catherine DeAngelis

“The best prayer is to rest in the goodness of God, knowing that goodness can reach right down to our lowest depths of need.”

-Julian of Norwich, 14th-century mystic

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Throughout time people around the world have turned to silence and meditative prayer for peace. It is natural during periods  of unrest to pray or meditate to find strength and courage to get away from the upheaval – a pause from the thinking about  it too much.

Emotional pain is gripping. Especially if a loved  one succumbs to fatal effects caused by cancer, AIDS,  and any kind of trauma, mental illness,  grief and loss or financial crisis.

A  Time article by Leon Jaroff, Investigating the Power of Prayer explains how an American doctor, Elizabeth Targ, was awarded substantial grants of $611,516 for one study, $823,346 for another to look at the therapeutic effects of prayer on AIDS and cancer patients.

Jaroff reports that Targ took to examining  “distance healing.” This is where someone offers  prayer, but is not present and it is recited for the patient from afar.  Targ identified  “the prayed-for patients had fewer and less severe new illnesses, fewer doctor visits, fewer hospitalizations and were generally in better moods than those in the control group. The technique, she believes, can even work on nonhuman species.”

Prayer can be a set of affirmations that guide one’s thinking to a positive place.   It can be walking  across a bridge imagining the space beneath it which meets the river  below flowing with the rapids as nature inspiring hope and renewal.

IMG207Many people from diverse ethnic or religious backgrounds, whether e.g. Christians, Buddhists, Jews, and Indian shamans  take time to practice quiet prayer or meditation, more commonly the practice of mindfulness is becoming more and more part of the 21st century among western cultures.

Something as simple as Mindfulness Keeps You Emotionally Fit

Psychology today, as well as ancient Hindu and Buddhist doctrines contend that, rather than mastering our emotions, could we learn to live in equilibrium with them, and use the energy that they give us and mindfully work to free ourselves from the layers of unspent emotional energy that cloud our relationships, both with ourselves and with others.

The property of  mindfulness or prayer belongs to no particular religion or group of people and neither does the practice of daily praying or meditating belong  to only Buddhists. Anyone can sit mindfully under a tree, or kneel on a bench to find a moment to pray for e.g. empathy of others or compassion for ourselves.

More and more scientists are discovering,  there are benefits in the practice of contemplative prayer, silence, or use of mindfulness to create a  state of being and not doing to help manage stress and combat minor to severe illnesses.  Practice is open to all  faiths. It is astounding the rewards people report how prayer and meditation bring balance to  mental health and well-being.

For resilience, recite a prayer, chant a veda or a mantra,  say a blessing, and accompany it by  lighting a candle or some incense,  hold prayer beads to set in motion a formal or informal setting toward a  quiet time for contemplation and thoughtful prayer, or walk a path and be guided by the simple wonders of  our world and the grandness of its intelligent design.

Open yourself up to intuition, to the natural release of energy – both positive and negative – and to self-awareness.

mountain_pose1PRACTICE DAILY

  1. Check in mindfully each day, the moment your feet hit the floor next to your bed – it is as vital as the air you breathe.
  2. Simply take a few seconds by taking yourself to a calming yet brisk awareness of the ‘here and now.’
  3. Begin this mindful check in, by feeling into the body and mind, simply allowing waves of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations to just be.
  4. Breathe, Inhale, Exhale — No need to judge.
  5. Just let it be.
  6. Breathe, Inhale, Exhale.
  7. Breathe!
  8. Formal breathing practice can be done anywhere anytime.
  9. Listen to all that is around you!

Enjoy one of the traditional core practices of Mindfulness meditation and be thankful to yourself for having taken the time to participate in your health and well-being.

Peace

from: Atharva Veda XIX. 9. 1 & 9:2
(Veda is Sanskrit for knowledge)

May the earth be free from disturbance,
May the vast atmosphere be calm,
May the flowing waters be soothing,
And all the plants and herbs  prove beneficial to us.
May all the foretelling signs of coming events  be free from turmoil and
May all that has been done and that which has not been done prove the source of happiness to all.
May our past and future be peaceful and may all be gracious unto us.
May the atmosphere be peaceful,
May the medicinal herbs be peaceful,
May all my shining objects be peaceful for me,
May all enlightened persons be peaceful for me,
May all the peaceful actions be peaceful by me.
Copyright ©  2013 All rights reserved

Coping with Our Feelings

by Catherine DeAngelis

ShowYourFeelings

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario offers valuable information worth exploring on Getting Help: When and How.  It is common to  find it difficult to sometimes cope with life’s obstacles. This is not a sign of personal failure or weakness.  Taking time for preventative care of emotional and mental health is  as important  as physical fitness and can serve to protect against illness.

CAMH was founded in 1952 and is a non-profit, charitable organization committed to making mental health possible for all. This organization develops and provides public policy advice that promotes mental health and improves the lives of people living with mental illness.

Getting Help: When and How

Most of us go through life solving our day-to-day problems without needing help to cope with our feelings. But sometimes, things get out of hand. A severe illness, an accident or an emotional crisis can overwhelm us, at least temporarily, and suddenly we need help.

How do you know if you need help?

Sometimes the need for help is obvious, and getting it is as simple as phoning for an ambulance or a fire truck. At other times, it can be hard to admit help is needed. This is especially true when your emotions are involved. The problem may be anything from what to do about an aging and increasingly helpless parent to a serious emotional problem such as depression. Here are some of the reasons you may decide you need help:

  • You find yourself feeling overwhelmed by feelings of anger or despair, and you cannot enjoy life anymore.
  • You used to be healthy, but now you are always feeling a bit sick and you are missing more and more time from work.
  • Your finances are out of control, and you are worried about being able to pay the next month’s rent or mortgage payment.
  • You cannot “get over” the death of someone you loved very much.
  • There is too much conflict at home. You are afraid your marriage may break up.
  • You are drinking too much or having some other kind of drug problem.
  • You are feeling suicidal.

How to find the help you need

Most communities, especially cities and large towns, have many different sources of help, such as:

  • If you feel desperate and need help immediately, you can phone or go to the emergency department of your local hospital.
  • The front page of your telephone book may have the phone number of a community service referral agency.
  • Your telephone book may also have the number of a crisis hotline that you can call.
  • Your family doctor can help you find the professional help you need. First, he/she should start by giving you a thorough physical check-up: your problems may not be “all in your head.”
  • A community organization which provides information services may be able to direct you to a mental health clinic in your area.

What kind of help is available?

There are many different kinds of assistance available, and you should be able to find the help you need within your community through the following sources:

Life Coaching – True happiness is not somewhere out there; you find it inside of you and sometimes we need a push to get us there.  You think this rings true for you, but you don’t know where this “inside” is or how to get there.  Finding the strength to get to know  feelings and emotions  can move you toward better self-awareness. Self-awareness is key in managing emotions and feelings.  A life coaching  program is unlike therapy, it is a future-aimed practice, with the focus of helping you determine and reach personal goals.  It may be just what you need to give you the tools to understand emotions that may be bottled up, and feelings that may be getting in the way and making  you stuck at work, home, school, in relationships, and socially.  Success is about you, and know that it belongs to all of us and achieving life  goals is possible.

Psychiatrist – Your family doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist who is a medical doctor specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses. He/she may treat your problems with medication or by psychotherapy (sometimes called “talk therapy”), or a combination of both.

Psychologist – You may decide to seek help from a psychologist, and you do not need a referral from your family doctor to do so. A psychologist will have a doctoral degree from a university but not a medical degree. He/she will use counselling and other methods that do not involve the use of medications. If you plan to see a psychologist, you should remember that his/her services are not necessarily fully covered by public health insurance. You may want to find out if some coverage is available through private insurance (for example, your company benefits plan) or through social assistance. You can often find a psychologist by calling your provincial psychological association.

Other Therapist – Your family doctor or a psychiatrist may refer you to a therapist such as a social worker with specialized training. Again, you should be aware that the services offered may not be covered by an insurance plan.

Self-Help Group – You may find it helpful to join a self-help group. These groups provide the mutual support of people who have all had similar experiences. For example, there are groups for people suffering from depression, grief, the trauma of sexual assault, eating disorders, and phobias (a phobia is an irrational, crippling fear of an object, animal or situation). Your local Canadian Mental Health Association branch or another community agency can tell you if there is a local self-help group that can meet your needs. You can also find out if there is a national organization dealing with your problem and request its newsletter.

Other Community Services – You may find that some of your problems can be solved by assistance from agencies outside the mental health system. Sometimes, practical help, such as home nursing care, Meals On Wheels or subsidized door-to-door transportation for people unable to walk, will greatly reduce the stress in your life, either as a care-giver or as a disabled person.

Help from Friends and Others – Sometimes, the help of a trusted family member, a close friend or a member of the clergy for your religion can be a source of support. People close to you can also point you in the direction of the help you need.

How you can learn more

Many communities have information centres that produce lists of available services, which you can view at social service agencies or public libraries. Other sources of information include:

  • books about your problems, available at your public library or local bookstore
  • films, videos and audio tapes, courses and workshops offered through community centres, secondary schools, colleges and universities.

Do you need more help?

If you need more information about the resources in your area, contact a community organization, such as the Canadian Mental Health Association, which can help you find additional support.

Contact Catherine DeAngelis certified master life coach and founder of Out of Pocket Emotions  to ask about our complimentary offers for individual or group life coaching.   We promise to answer any specific questions you might have – please write us directly: info@catherinedeangelis.com

Copyright © 1993 Canadian Mental Health Association, National Office
Copyright©  2013 Catangelis Communications – Unauthorized use and duplication of this material without written permission from site owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full credit is given to owner or to any other copyright materials used by owner is also quoted with appropriate direction to original content.

Feelings, Nothing More

by Catherine DeAngelis

“Feelings, nothing more than feelings
Trying to forget my feelings of love
Teardrops rolling down on my face
Trying to forget my feelings of love…”

morris-albert-03

Many baby boomers may recall the 1975 record hit song by, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, singer Morris Albert’s “Feelings.”

If you find yourself asking the same group of this generation or any of their off springs what happens when they hear this song playing – they might respond: “oh my gosh that dreadful, yucky emotional stuff – take it off please!

But then, no gender excluded, “the hopefuls, the romantics,” as we like to call them, those “feeling-type people,” too sensitive and emotional call this song a classic. These are the “ones’ who easily and honestly admit, they have no words to describe their own feelings as they listen to the melody, moved to sentiment, who  get a warm sensation in their body, to remind them of love passed, or a love that is waiting to sweep them off their feet some day.

Sappy perhaps or could it be that the feelings are personal emotions aroused like sadness, disappointment and life disillusionment?

Other words to describe feeling are emotion, passion, or sentiment. A feeling is personal and can be complex on how it is relayed through a human response and it surfaces, for some, unknowingly or knowingly, depending on the degree of self-awareness and acceptance in how to feel or not to feel. An excerpt from the on-line dictionary shows how diverse feeling can be:

  • overflow of powerful feelings
  • presence of excitement or agitation
  • passion that is intense, compelling emotion
  • sentiment like a thought or opinion arising from or influenced by emotion (to express yourself, easily, openly)
  • delicate, sensitive, or higher or more refined feelings

Expressing Our Feelings

ChildExpressingFeelingsEasilyOpenly

For some it is natural to share thoughts and feelings with people easily.

If we go back to our childhood, we may remember how easy it was to express our feelings freely, openly, most times without guilt or shame. It happens that when we grow up we control these feelings at a point where we find we mask feelings and wonder why our communication style blurs or terribly misunderstood in our relationships.

We can be more open with others and ourselves. The reward of open feelings is less tension and a healthy and relaxed state, emotionally and physically.

We can adapt to either feel our emotions or we don’t.  If we shut down feelings like sadness, disappointment and disillusionment, we close-off chances to welcome positive feelings such as joy, surprise, wonderment.

It is easy enough to numb our emotions, but somewhere in our body, we may face consequences by doing so. Suppressing feelings make us become overly stressed and debilitated, doing more harm than good. This disrupts relationships and tears down communication rather than build-up healthy, effective expression of feelings.

When we name our feelings and connect with emotions, the closer we become to others and especially to ourselves. Eventually we gain an ability to embrace stronger and more communicative relationships overall, at home, at work and socially.

How to Practice How You Feel?

A practice to get into as we connect our feelings and emotions to the experience in our bodies — we may become aware of our emotions by monitoring how we feel, talking about our feelings, and expressing ourselves physically.

Connect with where in your body you feel sensations, pain or any temperature change.  If you can easily describe what you are feeling inside your body you may find out varied feelings result in interesting sensations.  Some refer to these interesting sensations as blocked feelings, the ones that never come to the surface, instead leave us perhaps feeling fatigued, or sick.

What is key is to express what you really feel instead of e.g. putting on a happy grin, when disappointed, enraged or feeling weepy instead of cheerful.  Identifying with  feelings takes time; we are prone throughout our life to turn them off.   There are no bad or good ways to feel.  But we can learn to check-in, talk about it, or express it physically.

Imagine the drawing of the body below in your mind’s eye your own.  Throughout the next several weeks, keep track and try stopping every now and ask yourself “how do I feel?” Experience every body sensation from head to toe? If we had a migraine, it may be the result of an over demanding schedule or fear or anxiety over a pending presentation at work or upcoming gathering of friends or family.  If we can find a word to best explain what we are feeling, “I feel overwhelmed” or “I am afraid of failing,” talk about it, or express freely to someone who is trustworthy and listens without judgment. It is pretty likely we will feel lighter and better able to cope as we release those stifling emotions.

How Do I feel Today?
WhereandHowinMyBodydoIfeel?

Five basic questions to ask everyday!

  1. Do I need to understand my emotions?
  2. Who is the influence on how I feel?
  3. What are my needs?
  4. Am I experiencing any physiological changes?
  5. What 3 things do I need to express feelings freely?
    – self-awareness to know what is going on (e.g feeling joyful)
    – express out loud how I am feeling (e.g. I feel hurt )
    – release what I am feeling physically (e.g. walk, cry, talk to someone I trust)

The advantages to acknowledging and expressing feelings can motivate, guide, and give purpose and direction in life. We feel alive, stronger with a better sense of knowing self and others better. We find a lightness of being, “I know me, and this is how I feel today.”  This evolves to our being fully alive, highly functioning, emotionally brilliant, able to self-manage and be an openly human, human being.

 

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A Free Coach’s E-Guide on Emotionality

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Check downloadREQUEST A Complimentary Life-Coaching Session!

What is Emotionality?

Emotional expression is the ultimate form of communication. If we suppress or deny emotions we are removing the tools that others need to understand, get to know, and like us. It denies us the chance to make our true self known…

Need to Know

  • The more we UNDERSTAND our own emotions, the easier we will find it to deal with them when they arise.
  • Take time to EVALUATE emotional health.
  • Pay ATTENTION to thought streams or patterns in behaviors, especially negative ones – usually there is a story to be told.
  • Be ready to explore and RELEASE the emotions attached when they stand in the way of life goals.

Catherine DeAngelis at WorkCatherine DeAngelis, founder of Out of Pocket Emotions, is a life coach who shows you how it is always the RIGHT TIME to learn the BENEFITS to understanding emotionality. You can  enrich your life – not only with yourself, but with others too.


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Copyright © 2013 publication written by
Catherine DeAngelis. Published and distributed
by Catangelis Communications for
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