Beneath Trying

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Beneath Trying

By Vince Gowmon Beneath your trying you may discover a well of tremendous untouched grief. Trying to be strong Trying to be tough Trying to be needless Trying to be dependable Trying to look good Trying to do good Trying to be brave Trying to be funny Trying to be smart Trying to be beautiful Trying to make it, get there Trying to keep it, hold it, all together for yourself, for everyone around you So much trying keeps us from the depths of much needed crying It keeps us busy, distracted, caring for others, lost in what we think is important, looking everywhere everywhere, but within For if we were to stop long enough to feel beneath the pulse of busyness, the lure of […]

The Power of Empathy to Help You Relax Into and Heal Uncomfortable Feelings

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The Power of Empathy to Help You Relax Into and Heal Uncomfortable Feelings

The first memory my counselling client, Sandra, had of feeling fear was when she was 5 years old. She acutely remembers her father suddenly snapping at her in the kitchen. It was just him and her, alone, his big, overwhelming presence, those fiercely intense eyes. In recalling the incident, fear rises into her throat, constricting it, which was most likely what she experienced in the kitchen 32 years ago. The first memory my client, Adam, had of been anxious was when his mother became depressed due to the sudden loss of her beloved father. She quickly spiralled downward. Adam became scared and confused. He was losing his mother. As Adam shares this painful memory he notices his chest tightening and his breath becoming shallow. His […]

When You Re-Parent Yourself, You Re-Pattern Yourself ~ Holding Yourself in Times of Distress

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When You Re-Parent Yourself, You Re-Pattern Yourself ~ Holding Yourself in Times of Distress

Everyone gets anxious, some more than others. While many associate bouts of distress with “mental illness”, for me, it’s simpler to see these experiences as the wounded child within acting out. We all have a wounded child inside. She gets triggered. He worries and frets. She catastrophizes and gets sucked into obsession. Past pains are projected onto present moment situations, again and again. We get afraid. We aren’t broken, as I like to remind my counselling clients. Rather, we’re just re-living unresolved trauma and attachment pains from childhood. (Anxiety/distress also comes from shock trauma or pain incurred in relationships later in life, but I will simplify this article to developmental trauma.) Something is needed in those moments of distress. Certainly, it doesn’t help to judge […]

In Your Attempts to Be Positive Be Sure Not to Sacrifice Being Real ~ Feeling Your Way Into Freedom and Aliveness

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In Your Attempts to Be Positive Be Sure Not to Sacrifice Being Real ~ Feeling Your Way Into Freedom and Aliveness

“Perhaps if tearful little boys were comforted instead of shamed there wouldn’t be so many angry men struggling to express and empathize with emotions.” ~ Lelia Scholl Many of us have been taught that feelings such as anger, sadness and fear are “negative” or “bad”. The truth is, they are just feelings; they are an experience of energetic movement in the body; hence, e-motion—energy in motion. When we layer these feelings with the aforementioned limiting labels we deny our humanity and our capacity to be fully alive. Children demonstrate whole-heartedly, and often dramatically, how to feel fully. From anger, to sadness, to laughter, they quickly move through their emotions without inhibitions. They kick, scream, wail while pounding the floor, all followed by triumphant beams of […]

Be Gentle On Yourself and Children. There is Another Way.

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Be Gentle On Yourself and Children. There is Another Way.

“Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as real strength.” ~ Ralph W. Sockman I had to learn the hard way, ironically. Given where I came from and what I had to endure as a small child, and the rough edges of schooling and society I grew up in, it is only natural that gentleness would be considered a weakness, a way of being that in no way could serve and protect me. I’m not the only one. If raised in an environment of consistent gentle affection and care then this becomes how we understand love and life to be; it becomes our learned experience and it improves the likelihood that we recreate that experience in our future relationships, including our relationship […]

Relaxation and Trust are Two Sides of the Same Coin. Both Lead us Back to Love.

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Relaxation and Trust are Two Sides of the Same Coin. Both Lead us Back to Love.

It’s not easy to relax. The individualistic, hectic, consumerist Western world makes this so. There are bills to pay, mouths to feed, kids to shuffle, classes to attend and homes to clean. Our lives, as they say in Britain, are “chock-a-block”—cluttered, making quiet time for us a precious rarity. Looking closer, however, we can see that core to the issue is not busy schedules, but rather our inability to trust. Can we trust others to help us; to do the bookkeeping accurately, clean the kitchen, ensure the children have the proper food in their lunchbox? Perhaps our spouse and co-workers have let us down before making it difficult to trust them, and thus relax. Or maybe we still need them to do it our way […]

Leading from Truth, Not Obligation ~ Finding Clarity in the Body

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Leading from Truth, Not Obligation ~ Finding Clarity in the Body

“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” ~ Lao Tzu The weight of obligation can be a real burden sometimes, especially when there are two opposing “shoulds” pulling at us simultaneously. The temptation may be to work out the dilemma with our mind by analyzing details, weighing pros and cons, evaluating collective impact, etc. Yet doing so may only lead us further into a schizophrenic state of confusion and stress. Thinking may only lead to more thinking and indecisiveness. Hence, the saying, analysis paralysis. A client of mine was recently in such a quandary. Her uncle had just passed away, and she so desperately wanted to drive south (12 hours) to support her grief-stricken father. And, of course, she wanted to attend […]

Choosing Heart and Life Amongst the Busyness of Things

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Choosing Heart and Life Amongst the Busyness of Things

“The cities, the roads, the countryside, the people I meet—they all begin to blur. I tell myself I am searching for something. But more and more, it feels like I am wandering, waiting for something to happen to me, something that will change everything, something that my whole life has been leading up to.” ~ Khaled Hosseini—And the Mountains Echoed Her voice spoke with urgency. A pressing need to accomplish a number of tasks and build new ventures prompted this coaching client to hire me. During our initial session, she shared with such a clip that it was hard to truly feel and thus hear her. The buzz of words was like a lightening storm surrounding and protecting something that felt like a quiet, deep agenda […]

The Courage to Speak Your Truth ~ 5 Steps to Reclaiming Your Voice

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The Courage to Speak Your Truth ~ 5 Steps to Reclaiming Your Voice

“Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.” ~ Barbara De Angelis This may be you… At some point in your life you made the decision that it was no longer safe to speak your truth. In your early years, speaking up led to a scolding from your parents, or worse. Their censure caused pain and engendered a belief in you that speaking up would create even more pain. This belief compelled you […]

Don’t Deflate Your Dreams

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Don’t Deflate Your Dreams

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission […]