"Contrary to all she’d been told, the answer wasn’t more talk. It was less. Karen was trapped in her head, and with Barclay’s help, she saw that the way to fix her mind was to listen to her body."
"Karen reached this conclusion—one at stark odds with much of the therapy conventionally used for trauma—after Barclay introduced her to a new and relatively obscure method for treating PTSD. The Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM) was developed over the past decade by Lisa Schwarz, a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania who has practiced for 30 years. Fusing elements of psychology, spirituality, neurobiology and shamanic “power animals,” Schwarz has taught the technique to more than 1,500 therapists around the world, including more than 350 in Scotland, where CRM is being used at rape crisis centers and a private in-patient trauma clinic..."
This wonderful article in March 2017 Newsweek, features the amazing work of one of my teachers, Lisa Schwarz. Her work is revolutionary in helping people with severe forms of mental illness that stem from early life trauma. The fact that mainstream media is finally sharing this information gives me great hope that it will infiltrate the entrenched "old school religion" of talk therapy and begin to offer lasting benefits for so many who have lost hope after too many forms of treatments failed to help them. Read the full article HERE.
If it is internal, I will turn my attention inward and notice with as much directness as I can what it feels like. I notice the sensations in my body and the emotions that may be connected to it without judgment. This can take some practice and we may notice how our mind wants to define and understand and explain it so quickly. But I take a breath and return my curiosity back to what is actually going on. Inevitably, it will change with my attention. The goal is not to change it or make it go away if it feels bad or increase if it feels good, but just to give it my full awareness. Yet it is amazing how the body and emotions often respond favorably to this simple, kind attention.
If what is grabbing me is in the outer world it can be a bit harder. If I have the space and time I do the same thing, but with my attention on the person or circumstances that seem to be causing my reaction. With the same sort of compassionate curiosity, and as much sincere honesty as I can muster, I look upon it or them with an open mind. I notice the thoughts that produce certain emotions and responses in my body. I just stay with what I am noticing, without trying to work it out or solve it. Again, in time I often find a softening or unwinding of my reactivity. Sometimes I even gain a new insight into the situation that helps me let go of old judgments and beliefs. With old, entrenched beliefs and conditioning it may take more then this, but this is still where I start.
So whatever I am facing that seems to drag me off balance, Compassionate Curiosity helps me to drop below my conditioned reactivity and experience it on a deeper and often more beneficial level. Try it and see what you find. You may be surprised!
After five years of helping to support transformation and conscious awakening here on Blue Earth Awakening with oodles of free resources, I am please to announce my new online school for Creative Awakening. It feels most auspicious for me to share this with you on this Full Blue Moon that is ripe with the fruition of long awaited dreams.
Creative Awakening takes all of the transformational processes and trauma resolution here on BEA into a new domain of creative exploration and expression. THIS IS MY PASSION! And it is indeed time for me to share it with you. After a lifetime in the arts in a myriad of forms, followed by a decade of intensive training and personal experience in transformational counseling, trauma therapy and spiritual awakening, it is time to usher in a new era for my life's work.
In the School for Creative Awakening you will find free mini-courses as well as self-guided and facilitated courses that guide you into a personal exploration of the ways you have hidden your deepest creative impulses away in the dark recesses of your body and mind. What better than the spontaneous imagery of the right brain to help you go beyond the firewalls that your intellectual left brain constructed. This was all done for your safety and survival, and it obviously worked brilliantly if you are still here despite all you have been through. But somewhere in middle-life the kryptonite container starts developing pressure cracks and little bits of repressed inspiration starts to ooze out. It can be ooooooohhhhh so inconvenient in the midst of a well planned life, but my experience is that it will never be fully contained ever again.
So, let's go have some fun spelunking in the recesses of our unconscious body/mind and find out what really makes us tick and inspires us to live life like we really meant to be here. Okay?!? So follow me to.........
Creative Awakening and let the real Journey begin!!!
What is it that makes us reach through the pain and despair of our circumstances toward the light? How is it that so many people, despite all odds to the contrary, find a way to heal after trials and traumas? I was so moved when one of my therapists once told me how amazed she was at my determination to heal and face anything that blocked my path. She marveled at this impulse within us to find our way to the light. And her seeing this in me helped me appreciate it in myself.
We live in an amazing time with brilliant people discovering such profound epiphanies about how our minds, bodies & souls work. One of these discoveries of the last decade that may be of greater importance than we realize is the growing awareness of something referred to as 'Developmental Trauma'. This is not the sudden, unexpected incident that rocks you to the core. Nor is it the horror that any combat soldier faces. Rather it is the subtle, chronic condition of being neglected, un-cared for or chastised for being who we are when that doesn't fit the norm. It can even occur when being birthed by a mother who has received the standard drugs of the era, which prevent her from creating the initial bond that attunes us to the amazing rhythm of the human heart.
Yes it can also occur from outright abuse, but what few have realized until now is that many of the sensitive and creative souls who march to the beat of a different drum often show significant signs of developmental trauma later in life. Fortunately our souls eventually strive to break through the repressive barriers that conditioned us when we were young to hide ourselves in the dark. Eventually some crisis or inspiration calls us to face the often unrecognized force of misplaced shame and guilt, and bring it to the light for forgiveness and healing.
This what Blue Earth Awakening and Creative Awakening are all about.....helping sensitive & creative souls to discover the brilliance that dwells within us all. Let our hearts awaken the potential within us that is ready to push through the fecund soil of our inner garden and find its way to the light of consciousness, where it can bloom for all to see!
We will never be free of our identification with the body as long as we are afraid of the body. We must learn how to be in the body but not of the body in order to fully awaken during our incarnation.
Early life conditions that generate developmental and complex trauma tend to encourage the child to disassociate from the body because of distressing sensations that are not being attended to by our caregivers, for whatever reason. This causes the conscious Soul to not fully embody and identify with the body totally. Over the years the pressure from this internal conflict of not feeling comfortable in our own skin compels many people to pursue spiritual practices that achieve altered, expanded and disembodied states of consciousness.
Trauma therapy sees this state as dissociation and seeks to help the individual become re-identified and grounded within the body in order to live a “normal” life. Spiritual practices seek to help the conscious Soul to realize that it is not a body and to regain the natural state of oneness with All That Is. Yet spiritual practices often fail to understand that as long as a being is afraid of their body they will never be able to totally dis-identify with it and will likely experience extreme vacillations between expanded and collapsed states.
Through directed self awareness I have been able to witness that a similar state of expansion happens with both dissociation and awakening, the difference being whether it is prompted by fear or relaxation. So the goal then is not to eliminate the expanded state, but rather to uncouple it from the fear that was the early catalyst for it arising in the first place.
So what if the very experience of early life trauma primes the incarnated Soul for potential awakening? What if we have a greater proclivity for conscious awakening IF we are able to uncouple the experience from the survival fear that initiated it in the first place. In some instances it is facing the fear of imminent death that finally and potentially permanently breaks the link between consciousness and the survival/fear response. So then, our ability to learn to calmly witness our somatic sensations, including dissociation, without judging them or getting lost in them is the doorway to uncoupling them from the fear that fuels the egoic cycles of expansion and collapse, thereby facilitating our conscious awakening. Then we truly can be in the body, but not of the body.
Sharing an incredible free resource to assist you in rewiring your brain to help your mind awaken. This is profoundly practical and effective information and processes that anyone can do, from a total novice to someone with decades of spiritual and awakening experience. Rick Hansen combines the revolutionary breakthroughs of current neuroscience and combines it with spiritual principles to offer a simple process that can assist any of us in discovering the peace, vitality and purpose within us.
The link below offers a series of simple meditations that you can utilize along with any other form of practice or exploration you may already be doing. This is especially useful for anyone who has suffered trauma and negative conditioning, especially developmental trauma from adverse early life conditions, because the tendency is for the nervous system and brain to get stuck in a negative feedback loop. All you have to do is try one of these meditations to immediately feel a shift toward greater wellbeing.
Rick will also be offering a new online course that will guide you on this healing journey beginning in October of 2014. It is a year long commitment, but it is offered for only $25/month, so he is really intending for it to be available to pretty much anyone who really wants to heal and grow and transform. And it comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. For more information visit http://www.rickhanson.net/teaching/foundations-program/.
"The spontaneous movement in all of us is toward connection. No matter how withdrawn and isolating we have become or how serious the trauma we have experienced, on the deepest level, just as a plant spontaneously moves towards the sun, there is in each of us an impulse moving toward connection." ~ Laurence Heller and Aline LaPierre in 'Healing Developmental Trauma'
This is a relatively new book and area of research that explores the ambiguous territory of developmental trauma, which can range from obvious abuse to the subtleties of not being seen and nurtured in our earliest years of life. Although the book is fairly clinical, it is readable by most people who have a sincere interest in learning why, after years of talk therapy, alternative therapies, spiritual practices and sincere self-help efforts, they remain highly reactive in relationships and other life circumstances.
This is a valuable resource for those who have not found answers to their questions about complex trauma and PTSD that doesn't have one or a few identifiable critical experiences that seemingly caused the trauma response. It is a welcome guide through the murky waters of relational trauma that haunts so many Americans today. More information is also available at http://www.drlaurenceheller.com/books.html.
It is important to note that ‘insight’ is not an auditory experience, nor is it linguistic or verbal by nature. Insight is visual. Herein lies the benefit of utilizing the process of simply drawing what we are feeling in order to gain insight into what we may not be able to access through talking. These two processes tend to use different hemispheres of our brains.
The left side of the brain is primarily intellectual and is highly developed for problem solving and complex analysis. It is also where our language ability initiates from and although it is the primary way we communicate ideas, it has also been heavily conditioned by the beliefs and expectations of our family and culture. Therefore, it is prone to censoring beliefs, ideas and impulses that conflict with our acquired sense of what is right an wrong.
The right side of the brain, which controls the left side of the body, is much more intuitive and visually oriented. For many of us western humans, it is also often much more under used. Yet most of us began communicating our feelings and ideas early in life by drawing rather than writing. In fact, the use of simple shapes, lines, colors and textures has an amazing ability to communicate complex emotions very quickly and easily, thus the familiar quote that a picture paints a thousand words.
In modern western cultures, and many other parts of the world as well, the intuitive and visual faculties of our brain have been relegated to a few supposedly ‘gifted’ people who are adept at rendering their ideas in images. Yet this remains a powerful and untapped resource of inner guidance and inspiration for all of us, if we so choose. And when a person is working on early life experiences and traumas, often they simply do not have the words to express what they are feeling for the experience was pre-verbal. So working with images allows them to get below the analytical mind, so to say, in order to access the memories and beliefs that can be the key to liberating many chronic mental and physical issues.
A wonderful resource to help you try out this process is shared on my website at http://www.blueearthawakening.com/visual-journaling-process.html. The process evolved out of my work with a wonderful book called Visual Journaling: Going Deeper than Words by Barbara Ganim & Susan Fox. This simple process allows nearly anyone to utilize shape, color and texture to explore the deeper reaches of their unconscious mind and emotions. So I encourage you to give it a try and see what you discover. It may surprise you how insightful your little scribbles and doodles can be!
If you would like assistance or support using creative expression to access old tension and trauma please contact me for more information about Creative Awakening Sessions at /creative-awakening.html.
Blessings on your journey of Self Discovery ♡ Jeanette
Spring is here!!! If you're at all like me the inner juices are starting to rise and begin the movement of energy out into the world again. Winter has been a time for tending the inner flame and allowing the process of divine alchemy to realign us for the creative expressions of our Souls. Spring calls us forth now into the world to express our heart's yearnings with as much authenticity and vibrancy as the crocuses and daffodils that push their green shoots up toward the warmth and light of the Sun. What is stirring within you that is ready to share with the world? My own creative expressions are reflecting this new growth in my newest painting "Waking Heart", which is available for purchase in fine art prints and canvases. Click on the image to be taken to their website
New Offerings at Blue Earth Awakening
So Spirit has been inspiring me to allow my Path to shift and alter course a bit. It is also time for my artistic/creative path to join with my healing/therapeutic path in a way that reflects a more complete expression of my true nature. And so I am introducing this new process called "Creative Awakening Sessions". This work utilizes drawing, dialogue, spiritual inquiry and body-based trauma processing techniques to discover and awaken your divine creative gifts. I invite you to join me in watering that creative garden of dormant seeds you have had buried within you that are just waiting to see the Light of day! I look forward to sharing this joyful exploration with you.
I have been an artist in many forms for the last 4 decades. Yet it took me many years to discover how much I had been taught to repress my creative urges when I was very young and therefore to divert my path from this Calling many times and in many ways. For the last decade I have allowed this creative Divine impulse to open within me and to share it with the world from an entirely new level. And I have discovered that every time I allow myself to explore a deeper layer of this inner creativity, it teaches me more and more about who I AM and how my life longs to express itself in the world.
So now I am discovering that by combining the rich and beneficial processes I have learned through Somatic and Trauma Therapy practices, with the simple yet profound process of writing and drawing from the Soul, we begin to uncover the inherent creativity in each of us. This is not about being an artist. This is about realizing that we all have natural areas of interest, joy and ability that we came into this life with. Often times we have been highly influenced by family, culture, religion and other forms of external authority to believe that we need to follow a particular path in order to be successful or loved in life. Too often this prescribed path is not really what our heart and soul would have chosen.
I have discovered that we store many of the experiences of our lives, both what we would label positive and negative in our bodies. By learning to listen deeply to our felt sense and to allow us to draw and write what we see and hear in an uncensored way, we begin to remember just what it is that really makes us tick. Drawing allows us to get underneath the analytical mind and access preverbal experience and intuitive insights that words may not access. Then by allowing the image to speak through us we gain greater understanding into the inner guidance that has been here all along.
So I invite you to join me in this profound and inspiring way of exploring your Soul's terrain. You don't have to be an artist to use color, shape, texture and words to explore who you really are. You only need to have an open mind, a willing heart and a curious interest in discovering the Calling of your Soul.
What will you receive from your Creative Awakening Session?
To schedule a session please contact me at Contact Jeanette
Here you will find the messages that flow from my Soul to your Soul. And I invite your Soul to share here as well. My own Journey to the Center of Myself has been rich & diverse & has led me to create this Center for Transformation to offer a place for us to meet & share Soul stories that help us rediscover the truth of who we really are.