An addiction to something (eg. opioids, fats, sugars, salts, cigarettes, coffee, alcohol, etc.) or a compulsion (eg. gambling, shopping, working, sex or love addictions) is often an unconscious attempt to soothe trauma - fear, loneliness and shame that's frozen in unconscious memory. The addiction or compulsion is a substitute for what we really need. It is an endless craving that's never enough. Read on for more.
Does your inner dialog sound supportive and encouraging - or more like you’re being yelled at by a critical task-master? Gain an understanding of the neuroscience of the left and right hemispheres of the human brain and locate just where this savage inner voice is coming from and how to respond to it with empathy.
The first session is available for all to listen to and enjoy.
Privilege Literacy: Why we Need to Know About the Effects of Power, Privilege and Status to Live Nonviolently
Our brains make patterns out of everything to save effort. But this has consequences on both how we treat others and on our ability to live nonviolently. The more we know about our own patterns, the more choice we have. Read on to learn our most important tendencies in groups, and what we can do in response.
Our pattern-making minds make predictions about how best to survive in the world. So deep wounds from our past can influence our minds to make life long generalizations that harden into core beliefs about groups of people. Read on for a demonstration of how empathy can shift these wounds and thus the core beliefs.
There's reactive anger - the sudden outbursts of words, temper or action that create a nervous system response in another. And then there's the anger that's a reaction to someone's anger -- a nervous system startle-response. Instead of either of these, we can learn to heal with empathy, look for unequal power dynamics, take responsibility to make repairs, and shift into the clean, life-serving, fully expressed anger and love.
When bullying occurs, if we do our own healing, our brains can become more sharp and present and willing to take action to connect and to begin to shift and mitigate the harm that trauma does in our world. We can reduce trauma inflicted upon others when we recognize the patterns of abuse and bullying, hold zero tolerance for it, bring in support for both sides of the conflict, and take action to effect systemic change. Read on for more.
When we're received with resonant understanding painful moments can lessen their charge and became part of the whole tapestry of life -- important but no longer able to hijack us into the eternal re-run of pain. When held this way, we can touch the memories with our attention the way one touches a newly repaired tooth with the tongue, searching for the old roughness, the old wound, but not finding it.
One way to understand trauma is it means we got a blow greater than our nervous system can tolerate – then we move into hyperarousal, and then hypoarousal or dissociation. This cycle can continue long after. Here, we're not able to fully process emotional cues, information, our body, and others. It's important we consider re-writing the cultural paradigm of separation so that our trauma doesn't get marginalized.
Sometimes we want to avoid placing our love and trust in someone, to protect our hearts and our life energies. And so there are deeper questions that we can use to check whether we're in relationship with someone who doesn't have capacity to be in relationship with us (eg. “Do I have a sense of mattering in this relationship?”). Read on for more questions we use to assess our empathy and efforts in relationships.
Living in this ceaselessly demanding world, how do we recover from emotional exhaustion? The hopelessness of not being met in the world can leave us wrung out like an old mop. Our heart rate plummets, our blood pressure and respiration drop, and energy and information processing start slogging along. Instead, we can build the bridge of empathy for greater rejuvenation.