Monthly Archives: November 2014

Surviving (and thriving!) throughout the Holiday Season!

A Deepening course led by Lynn Fraser and Lisa Meuser

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Holidays can feel like TOO MUCH! For many people the holidays in December are highly charged with too much travel, visitors or visiting, presents to buy, shortage of time, anxiety, food, sugar, alcohol, celebrating, family, money and over-stimulation of the senses. Add in pressure to feel jolly and be a big happy family and it’s no wonder we’re stressed.

We’ll explore ways to support ourselves and our families. Inquiry will include looking at words and images of how we think we should feel at this time of year and what these sensations, energies and feelings in the body seem to mean. We’ll cover practical strategies, positive self-care, guided inquiry, breathing and in-the-moment ways to calm down and be present.

Family issues could include the delicate negotiations around how time is allocated over the holidays with in-laws and blended families. There may be people we don’t want to see but feel we should or we may be missing people who have passed or can’t be with us. We may have a partner who isn’t accepted or welcomed or we may be estranged from our family of origin. Memories of fighting in prior years may create a sense of dread about this one. It might be the first time we’re away from home or the first holiday after a major change like divorce or death. Or we may love being around family but still feel stressed.

Many of us feel pressure around time and money. Routines of self-care may fall away due to travel, lack of time, disrupted sleep patterns or having company in the house. Our moods will be affected by sugar, food and alcohol and by recrimination and judgments around our behavior and that of others. The joy of the holidays can be lost in the pressure to create a certain type of experience or to feel a certain way.

This is fruitful ground for inquiry. There are some patterns we can change. Others may be more tolerable or enjoyable when we see through what it seems to mean, about ourselves or others.

Two hours of guided practice, discussion and support could make a real difference this year. We’ll hold two classes before Christmas and one just after the New Year. In every class we explore self-care through breathing and guided practices that calm and release triggers, allowing us to finally relax.

Group calls will be held Sundays December 14, 21 and January 4 at 1PM Eastern (New York). Let us know if you would like to come but those times don’t work.

We are offering two ways for you to participate:

Option A:

Three two-hour group classes Sundays December 14, 21 and January 4 at 1PM Eastern.

Four facilitations, two each with Senior Facilitator Trainers Lisa Meuser and Lynn Fraser

Two facilitations with Certified Living Inquiries facilitators

Complimentary admittance to a weekly online guided Natural Rest meditation

A pdf copy of Scott Kiloby’s Living Relationship book

Cost $425. This counts as a prerequisite for Living Inquiries facilitator training.

Option B:

Three two-hour group classes Sundays December 14, 21 and January 4 at 1PM Eastern (New York).

Cost from $99 depending on what you include. Private facilitations are available at a reduced rate. Please contact Lisa and Lynn at lynnandlisa2@gmail.com to discuss this and other payment options.

The Addictive Nature of Relationship

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When people think of addictions or compulsions they often think of overt things like alcohol, drugs, smoking, food, sex/porn, gambling, or various phobias. In fact, when I first began training to be a Living Inquiries facilitator, I didn’t consider myself to have any addictions, or compulsions. With a little looking, however, I uncovered what seemed like some subtle/insignificant compulsions. With a little more looking, I found that those subtle/insignificant compulsions were actually taking up quite a bit of my attention! I then coined a joke; I was actually too controlling of a person to even have those “big” addictions like alcohol or smoking, and that instead perhaps my life was made up of a series of compulsions- all designed to give me the illusion that I was in control of my life.

One compulsion I’ve been studying for nearly 6 months is the compulsion to be in intimate sexual relationship. My study began right as my husband and I decided to separate, and a new relationship started to form. In telling a wise friend and life mentor   about this new relationship, he said to me, “Please Stop.” Huh?!?!? I didn’t get it. “More please?” I replied. “It’s a drug,” he replied. “I really want you to get to know the you way beneath this.” Phew. I didn’t really know what he meant, but I could feel that he was onto something. That was when the study began, and when I started to realize that I was addicted to being in sexual relationship. There was a familial feel to it. Safety.

As the new relationship shifted back to friendship, I experienced a new sense of spaciousness that came from not having a partner to focus on as I had done for the previous 17 years. In this newly opened space came both immense pleasure, and pain. Debilitating thoughts and intense sensations arose that I labeled fear, and sadness. Using inquiry and embodied rest I journeyed through rotating stories and beliefs, many of them tied to childhood experiences that I had not yet unwound. Feeling utterly alone as a child was one of my biggest sources of trauma, around which I had built a lot of conditioning to protect myself from feeling. There was layer after of layer of feeling unsafe, unloved and simply unable to live without being in relationship for fear of being alone. The various awakenings experienced were no match for the conditioning and trauma that lived in the space of my body.

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I was raised believing that I needed a man to take care of me, and on subconscious levels I believed this, even though rationally speaking I would swear it’s absurd. All the studying of feminism, philosophy, and psychology in the world couldn’t have saved me from subconscious belief systems and biological programming which helped form various stories: needing relationship to prove sense of worth, to feel special, to be important, to be loved, to be safe. Being in a relationship distracted me from coming face to face with my various deficiency stories, and the life I created through intimate relationships kept me from fully diving into my ultimate fear of being alone. Nothing could have prepared me for the intense feelings of wanting to be held and touched, that almost seemed to command me to be in relationship or have sex. Over the last six months I’ve learned to hug myself, and love myself, and be with myself in deeper ways than I had ever imagined.

I have been sharing my journey over the last several months with many people, and have been met with much love and gratitude. It turns out that fear of being alone keeps many people’s compulsions and addictions quite alive! I’ve known this from the work I’ve done with clients. But I see even more how prevalent it is, in very subtle and often unnoticeable ways. I see how debilitating this fear is for people- keeping them from their dreams, and from living their lives fully. Some people I’ve talked to have never allowed themselves to admit their fears, even to themselves. In hearing my own story, they feel safe to be honest with their own stories[1], and in doing so open up to their buried hopes and dreams.[2]

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Thank goodness I have great friends who support my new monogamous, celibate, and committed relationship with myself. Thank goodness I have people to keep pointing out my subtle and overt patterning. Lastly, thank goodness for inquiry and embodied rest which has provided me with the space and tools to safety explore the depths of my emotions, beliefs/stories, and intense bodily sensations.

My journey of being committed to myself continues. Who knows how long it will last. For now, I am not pulled to enter into relationship, or commanded to not engage in relationship, which to me feels like a new level of freedom. Thank goodness for my friend’s words: “I really want you to get to know you way beneath this.” My journey continues as I’m still exploring and getting to know all the various aspects of me.[3]

 

 

 

 

[1] Everyone has their own journey. Safely inquiring into old trauma and conditioning can happen regardless of the circumstances, or content. Feel free to contact me to learn more about embodied rest or inquiry.

[2] Interestingly enough, fear of intimacy/fear of rejection issues can be on the other side of the same coin, particularly with people who have been single and never think they’ll find a partner. You might even hear them say, “Oh, I like being alone!”, as they’d rather be alone than face rejection/be vulnerable. But, that’s an issue for another blog post.

[3] If you’re interested in exploring your own addiction or compulsion, please contact me at llmeuser@me.com, or visit my web site or blog.

Creating Safety Together!— Deepening Course

Creating Safety Together
A Deepening course with a focus on healing trauma, led by Lynn Fraser and Lisa Meuser

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We need safety to heal trauma and there are many proven ways to support ourselves in the process. Some of us have experienced Developmental Trauma as children. This may have come from an acute incident or happened over a long period of time. This sets us up for being more vulnerable to PTSD as adults.

Our brain/nervous systems have one priority and that is survival. We will learn about common and understandable mechanisms of protection and why they arise.

Neuroception is the way we detect risk in our environment and it works differently in a traumatized brain. When anyone is triggered, their systemmoves into fight/flight/freeze. Some common ways for this to manifest are anxiety, numbing, anger and substance or process addiction.

We’ll learn how communication works between the brain, heart and gut. We will discover how to track this and to down-regulate the adrenal and sympathetic nervous system defensive response.

In every class we explore self-care through breathing and guided practices that calm and release fear, allowing us to finally relax.

Group calls will be held Saturdays November 15, 22 and 29. Time is flexible depending on time zones of participants. Please contact us to let us know your availability.

We are offering two ways for you to participate:

Option A:
Three two-hour group classes November 15, 22 and 29

Four facilitations, two each with Scott Kiloby Living Inquiries Senior Facilitator Trainers Lisa Meuser and Lynn Fraser

Two facilitations with Certified Living Inquiries facilitators

Complimentary admittance to a weekly online guided Natural Rest meditation

Cost $425. This counts as a prerequisite for Living Inquiries facilitator training.

Option B:
Three two-hour group classes November 15, 22 and 29

Cost from $99 depending on what you include. Private facilitations are available at a reduced rate. Please contact Lisa and Lynn at lynnandlisa2@gmail.com discuss this and other payment options.