Getting to know you: An Embodied Monthly Gathering: June 17

 

When we don’t know ourselves we aren’t aware of thoughts we’re having, or our relationship to them. When we don’t know ourselves we aren’t aware of what triggers us, or even that we’re triggered. When we don’t know ourselves we don’t know what we need or want, or what has been missing with regards to our needs and wants. When we don’t know ourselves we don’t know what we’re feeling, or if it’s safe to feel. When we don’t know ourselves we become at the mercy of forces outside ourselves to take care of us because we don’t know ourselves well enough to take care of ourselves. When we don’t know ourselves it’s like having a party and all the guests showing up with masks on. Can you imagine such a party? I’m guessing there would be very little intimacy or connection. How can we love ourselves, how can we have compassion for ourselves, if we’re disconnected from ourselves?

 

When we know ourselves we are aware of our thoughts and if they have significance for us. When we know ourselves we know our needs and wants, and how to get them met without resorting to drama or manipulation. When we know ourselves we’re familiar with sensations, and how to connect with them in a way that feels safe. When we know ourselves we can develop a reservoir of inner resourcing, which empowers us and makes it possible for us to hold space for ourselves, love ourselves and offer compassion to ourselves. When we know ourselves we no longer feel like children caught in adult bodies, but capable human beings. When we know ourselves, we are aware- we are self-aware.

 

It’s easy to get to know ourselves, but it takes time, and often some guidance, as we learn how to do so. For most of us, no one has helped us to really get to know ourselves. In fact, too often we’re taught and encouraged to put all our attention outwards, and we lose our own sense of self in the process.

 

This monthly gathering will focus on practical and experiential exercises that are specifically designed for the development of self-awareness. There will be time for questions and optional sharing amongst group members. We will meet for 60-75 minutes on zoom. Each call will be recorded, and yours to keep.

(I ran a Deepening Course called “Embodiment: Getting to know and love all of you” in April. I didn’t foresee how often I’d use the phrase “getting to know you” throughout the course. It seemed as if everything we were talking about, sharing, and exploring was related to getting to know one-self. By the end of the course it was obvious just how practical and useful it is to learn how to get to know ourselves. I’ll be hosting another Embodiment Deepening Course soon. Click here for details.)

 

When: This month’s gathering will be June 17th, 12-1:15pm EST.  Future dates TBA

Please contact me with questions

Where: Zoom, link sent after payment is received.

Cost: $15, paypal to llmeuser@me.com, subject line “Gathering.”   (Free if you’re attending my upcoming deepening course http://integrativehealingnow.com/blog/deepening-course-embodiment-getting-to-know-and-love-all-of-you/ )

 

A simple 13 minute rest/meditation.

 

A simple 13 minute rest/meditation. Push pause as needed. Rest, Inquire, Enjoy Life.

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=1u-rNZ8fU8s

I’ve often found facilitated rest recordings useful- where someone else is holding the space for me, so to speak, and guide me.

 

Feel free to push the pause button at any time while listening, so you can sit longer with what is arising. Please share your experiences if you’d like, as well as any comments or questions. Thanks!

Upcoming events:

Getting to know you: An embodied monthly gathering

Deepening Course- Embodiment: Getting to know and love all of you.

www.integrativehealingnow.com
www.livinginquiries.com

Deepening Course- Embodiment: Getting to know and love all of you.

Embodiment: Getting to know and love all of you.

From a past participant: “I deeply appreaciate Lisa’s genuine knowledge, her generosity, dedication, and personal integrity when it comes to the content of the course. Every word spoken came from the heart and from personal experience, rather that being a mere theory. This made me listen with a curious mind and open heart, happy to receive every point she was making. It all made sense to me on a base level. I also enjoyed the community she created, which was coloured by a non-judgmental attitude to all questions asked or comments made. I felt safe and welcomed. ”

 

Embodiment is about being fully present with the “here and now” of life. Aligning with and attending to safety in the present moment is an important aspect of being able to journey through current day challenges as well a traumatic/difficult experiences from our childhoods/past. In this Embodiment Deeping Course we will explore how to develop the ability and capacity to slow down so that we can gently and safely turn attention toward the present moment while simultaneously tuning into our experience of the present moment- whatever they may be. We will curiously explore the realm of aliveness in our experience- sensations, energies and feelings. We’ll also be inquiring into all the thoughts and images, taking a look at what seems true, and then experiencing what’s actually true. We’ll explore barriers to experiencing wholeness, and useful resources in developing kindness with our experiences- especially with those we tend to turn away from.

When we don’t know ourselves we aren’t aware of thoughts we’re having, or our relationship to them. When we don’t know ourselves we aren’t aware of what triggers us, or even that we’re triggered. When we don’t know ourselves we don’t know what we need or want, or what has been missing with regards to our needs and wants. When we don’t know ourselves we don’t know what we’re feeling, or if it’s safe to feel. When we don’t know ourselves we become at the mercy of forces outside ourselves to take care of us because we don’t know ourselves well enough to take care of ourselves. When we don’t know ourselves it’s like having a party and all the guests showing up with masks on. Can you imagine such a party? I’m guessing there would be very little intimacy or connection. How can we love ourselves, how can we have compassion for ourselves, if we’re disconnected from ourselves?

 

When we know ourselves we are aware of our thoughts and if they have significance for us. When we know ourselves we know our needs and wants, and how to get them met without resorting to drama or manipulation. When we know ourselves we’re familiar with sensations, and how to connect with them in a way that feels safe. When we know ourselves we can develop a reservoir of inner resourcing, which empowers us and makes it possible for us to hold space for ourselves, love ourselves and offer compassion to ourselves. When we know ourselves we no longer feel like children caught in adult bodies, but capable human beings. When we know ourselves, we are aware- we are self-aware.

 

This course will utilize the Living Inquiries, the N.O.W. practice, natural rest, breathing techniques, and some gentle body movement to explore your various experiences- shame, trauma, depression, anxiety, compulsions, identities, body contractions, debilitating thoughts and/or memories and more. You will also become familiar with the nervous system, vigilance centers, the fight-flight-freeze responses, and learn about ways to support and be kind and loving with your self. Lastly, you will get to experience the different inquiries first hand, and be able to practice skills for learning how to self-inquire.

I will be facilitating and guiding you in practices which will start to re-wire your nervous system and limbic system in ways that are profound.

You will have recordings so that you can practice on your own between class dates, which will help replace old habitual behaviors with new useful behaviors. All of this will set the stage for deeper self-intimacy and knowing, with compassion and love.

 

Course Information:

When: June 24, July 15, July 29: noon-2pm EST

Where:  This is an on-line course. I use zoom, which is similar to Skype. You can attend from anywhere in the world using a phone, iPad type of device, or computer!

What: On top of the 3 group sessions, you will receive a total of six individual facilitations: Four with Senior Facilitator Trainer Lisa Meuser and two facilitations with Certified Living Inquiries facilitators. Cost is $425. This counts as a prerequisite for Living Inquiries facilitator training.

If funds are keeping you from attending, please contact me ASAP for options.

Also included is free attendance to the June and July Embodied Gatherings, which are recorded. http://integrativehealingnow.com/blog/embodiedgathering/

All classes will be recorded so if you are unable to attend one, you’ll receive the recording. Also included in the course will be multiple natural rest and guided rest audios and videos, and a private FB group for participants to share and receive support.

Please email me for questions. llmeuser@me.com

 

 

Getting to know you: An embodied monthly gathering

Last month I ran a Deepening Course called “Embodiment: Getting to know and love all of you.” I didn’t foresee how often I’d use the phrase “getting to know you” throughout the course. It seemed as if everything we were talking about, sharing, and exploring was related to getting to know one-self. By the end of the course it was obvious just how practical and useful it is to learn how to get to know ourselves.

When we don’t know ourselves we aren’t aware of thoughts we’re having, or our relationship to them. When we don’t know ourselves we aren’t aware of what triggers us, or even that we’re triggered. When we don’t know ourselves we don’t know what we need or want, or what has been missing with regards to our needs and wants. When we don’t know ourselves we don’t know what we’re feeling, or if it’s safe to feel. When we don’t know ourselves we become at the mercy of forces outside ourselves to take care of us because we don’t know ourselves well enough to take care of ourselves. When we don’t know ourselves it’s like having a party and all the guests showing up with masks on. Can you imagine such a party? I’m guessing there would be very little intimacy or connection. How can we love ourselves, how can we have compassion for ourselves, if we’re disconnected from ourselves?

 

When we know ourselves we are aware of our thoughts and if they have significance for us. When we know ourselves we know our needs and wants, and how to get them met without resorting to drama or manipulation. When we know ourselves we’re familiar with sensations, and how to connect with them in a way that feels safe. When we know ourselves we can develop a reservoir of inner resourcing, which empowers us and makes it possible for us to hold space for ourselves, love ourselves and offer compassion to ourselves. When we know ourselves we no longer feel like children caught in adult bodies, but capable human beings. When we know ourselves, we are aware- we are self-aware.

 

It’s easy to get to know ourselves, but it takes time, and often some guidance, as we learn how to do so. For most of us, no one has helped us to really get to know ourselves. In fact, too often we’re taught and encouraged to put all our attention outwards, and we lose our own sense of self in the process.

 

This monthly gathering will focus on practical and experiential exercises that are specifically designed for the development of self-awareness. There will be time for questions and optional sharing amongst group members. We will meet for 60-75 minutes on zoom. Each call will be recorded, and yours to keep. The charge will be $15.

When: The first gathering will be May 20th, 12-1:15pm EST.  Future dates TBA

Where: Zoom

Cost: $15

I will be offering this Deepening Course “Embodiment: Getting to know and love all of you” in June.
 
Please contact me with questions or to sign up: llmeuser@me.com

 

Bringing compassion, understanding and resources to trauma

 

 

Although trauma is becoming more talked about in everyday circles, sometimes it is still thought of as something that only “really unfortunate” people experience. You know, those people. But the truth is we’ve all experienced it in varying degrees.

I love how Gabor Mate approaches trauma: it’s not the event, he explains, it’s how we responded to the event that makes something traumatic. In some ways it may be overly simplistic, but it follows my own experience and what I see play out with my clients time and time again.

 

When we find ourselves in a state of overwhelm, it usually means we’re having some kind of experience of fear or a fight, flight or freeze response. When we don’t know how to process that overwhelm (as no infant, child, or young person does) and don’t have others around to support us in our experience of overwhelm (as many of us didn’t), we are left with no other option but to separate from the overwhelm (or biochemical response) that is happening in our body. In other words our bodies feel unsafe, so we go to a place that feels safe – our minds.

 

This explains why many of us don’t feel safe in our bodies (and why some of us seem to live in the hamster wheel that is our mind) – because, quite simply, at some point in our lives we weren’t safe. Without the support we needed to help us process what we were experiencing, we felt too much- our little bodies weren’t able to handle the amount of stimulation. In that moment we split off from our bodies and went into our thoughts- we went mental. We lost touch with our whole selves, our true nature, our essence. This splitting off from ourselves, this dissociation, was our only option so it was completely innocent. And yet at the same time, it was, in and of itself, traumatic.

 

 

We can’t avoid feeling overwhelmed at times. We can’t avoid having fear responses, or experiencing fight, flight or freeze at times. We’re loaded with sense receptors in every cell of our being which means we feel a lot. And we’re supposed to – we’re designed to! But we’re also designed to release and recover from such responses just like an animal is designed to release and recover. Have you ever seen a bird fly into a window? It will lie there stunned for a while in a state of overwhelm, then sit up, start to shake (release the biochemical) and eventually fly off. In other words, it follows its instincts to release and recover.

 

Human beings are born with the ability to feel and to release feelings, but through a lack of support and healthy modeling we have closed these innate parts of ourselves down. Instead we are often taught to override instincts and, additionally, aren’t supported by our caregivers in expressing or feeling overwhelm (and sometimes it’s our caregivers who lead us to feel overwhelmed in the first place), so the biochemical response energy stays in the body as opposed to being processed and released. This makes the body seem even unfriendlier as more and more trauma gets stored instead of processed.

 

The good news is that as adults we now have the ability and capacity to relearn how to safely feel into our bodies and we can safely relearn how to release trauma, emotions and beliefs that have been stored in our bodies. We can learn to reconnect, and our nervous systems can learn that it’s ok to feel and connect with experiences. There is another way than just living “in our heads.”

 

Relearning how to safely feel and release can take time. It entails getting to know ourselves. And it involves slowly meeting our direct experiences in ways that our nervous systems get to deeply know that it is indeed safe to feel. Connecting with resources or a skilled somatic therapist/facilitator can assist in discovering that is safe to connect inwardly.

 

In the meantime, the invitation is to be patient, kind and compassionate with ourselves as we become more deeply intimate with our experiences. And remember; we’re always doing the best we can with the resources we have in the circumstances we’re experiencing.

 

I write a lot about embodiment, trauma, self care, and getting to know yourself. You can access my blog through my web site: www.integrativehealingnow.com. There are also many audio, visual and written pieces on the Living Inquiry web site at http://www.livinginquiries.com. You will find free demos of the inquiries, self-facilitations, facilitated rests, and more. Please contact me if you have other questions, or would like additional support!

 

For those of you who are more visual, here’s a YouTube where I talk about trauma, with a brief experiential resting component: https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=x6Uy28ij5fQ

Please take your time in watching. There’s a lot to feel and take in with this topic. Push pause as needed. Particularly with the experiential piece where we rest together- go at your own pace, pausing when it feels resonant to do so. You can rest at your own pace, feel at your own pace, support yourself at your own pace. That is self compassion in action.  Please let me know if you have any questions or need support. Thanks for watching and journeying with me!

 

Making Peace with Peacemaking

Hi, I’m Lisa and I’m a recovering peacemaker.

 

There’s not a 12 step program exclusively for peacemakers, but you can be sure that at every 12 step meeting, in every recovery program, peacemakers and recovering peacemakers will be present. And while being addicted to peacemaking may not have the same stigma or even consequences as being addicted to drugs, sex or gambling, there’s definitely a cost.

If you’re unfamiliar with peacemakers, here are some traits:

  • Excuse-making for others
  • Justifying others’ actions
  • Saying things are “no big deal” or “ok”
  • Going along with things that don’t feel right
  • Strategically avoiding conflict

 

 

In short, when I respond with this kind of thinking – “Let’s not make problems/make waves…” – I’m in classic peacemaking mode (can also be seen as peacekeeping).

 

I’ve spent years engaging in these kinds of behaviors, not because I was consciously trying to be a peacemaker. These kinds of behaviors came about innocently when I was quite young. I would do anything to try and earn the love of my caregivers, because my survival literally depended on it. In addition, I learned some of these traits directly from them. To explain it another way, I learned behaviors/associations/interpretations while I was young to try to guarantee my survival, and unknowingly repeated these behaviors so frequently over the years that they became part of my neural pathways, regardless of whether or not they were actually useful or necessary. That’s how addiction and habitual behavior work.

 

 

For what it’s worth, neural pathways are neutral in the sense that they don’t care if the behaviors set within them are positive or negative, are healthy or unhealthy, or bring happiness or suffering. A neural pathway is like a groove that gets set, like a groove in a record, because X activity is repeated over and over. It’s simply a mechanism of the brain and it’s all contextual. For example: neural pathways are often incredibly useful, as evidenced by how easy and natural it is for most of us to drive a car. Sometimes we might even totally zone out while driving, and still safely get where we’re going. Neural pathways allow us to do a lot of activities without much conscious thought, which is fine when the behaviors are helping us thrive, but not so fine when the behaviors are unhealthy or even dangerous to our well-being.

 

This all may sound like we’re slaves to our neural pathways. The good news is that we’re not! Because neural pathways (as well as beliefs and behaviors) are ever-changing and malleable, we’re never truly prisoners. We only need to have mindfulness for change to happen, which means that once we discover the beliefs and the behaviors- once we become aware of them- they are now in our consciousness. And once we are conscious of something, we have choice, which means they no longer control us. Hooray!

 

Coming back to my own peacemaking addiction- I spent years engaging in these kinds of behaviors without being aware or conscious of what I was doing, and always at the expense of my own integrity. Whenever I compromise my integrity, I basically disappear myself. It’s as if I subconsciously decide that I don’t matter, am not valuable, and lack worth. And I then submit to “other,” because “I” no longer exist. To live this way is to truly put oneself at the mercy of others, which is to say that one’s lovability, worth, importance, safety, and okay-ness are in the hands of someone else. It’s a bitch of a way to live- always clamoring for love and affection from others, myself an empty vessel.

 

I’ve got more good news, though! Just like any addiction or habitual behavior, or even anxiety and depression,  the way of the peacemaker doesn’t have to be set in stone. Simply by becoming mindful of my patterning and being willing to experience what lies beneath, I allowed my “automatic pilot” behaviors to shift. This was a very powerful discovery for me, and has brought about huge change in my life.

 

I’ve been on the path of recovering from this peacemaker patterning in a mindful and beautiful way for a while now. There is an amazing difference in my life, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t still occasionally get caught in its uctive and often opaque traps. The wonderful thing about becoming aware of one’s patterning is that the trap can get spotted quickly and, instead of getting caught, something new gets to be revealed and danced with- which breaks the patterning apart even more.

 

I got an opportunity to further release some of this patterning around the time of my last birthday. A call came in from my brother and mom, and they left me a voicemail singing happy birthday to me. Sweet, right? Well, except that they called to wish me a happy birthday on the wrong date. Um, yeah. I felt the sweetness…along with something else that was not-so-sweet.

 

It was an innocent mistake. I quickly acknowledged that, and then laughed and made light of it for a few minutes, reminding myself of how loving they were in the recording- until I noticed that this was that old peacemaking pattern, and I was about to sink into the trap. I paused and acknowledged that there was something here begging to be felt and honored, and that it was important to not cover it up with my usual “oh it’s all good” mentality.

 

Then I became torn for another reason- I was supposed to run a training call in 20 minutes, and meet with my co-leader in 5 minutes. I could feel that old pattern really wanting to kick in- “You don’t have time to feel this, just let it go. It’s no big deal.”

 

Here’s the thing about integrity, though. It’s like a muscle- when you start to use it, it gets bigger. It takes up more space, and can become quite powerful. My own integrity was no longer allowing me to bypass what I was experiencing. I messaged my co-worker: “I’ve got something going on and I need to feel it. It feels important.” Because of the type of work we do, she fully supported me and told me to take as long as I needed. (I love my job!)

Little did I know that I had set a crucial tone by saying what I did: “It feels important.” My caregivers had a history of making me feel unimportant, which translated to years of me making myself and my experiences unimportant. It was no accident that I chose those words. My experiences were important, and it was important that I honor them. Even if it meant I’d be late for the training. Whew.

 

When I stopped pretending it was all okay and instead felt inward, I became honest with myself (hello again, integrity!): that early birthday call from my family had actually anchored me to some childhood experiences I’d already been intimately wading through that week – and it did not feel okay. With those childhood hurts already fresh on the surface of my attention, I opted to forgo the addictive patterning path of the peacemaker, and instead honored what was really coming to the surface for me.

 

First I allowed myself to experience the pang in my heart and feel the expression of grief. “OUCH,” my heart seemed to say, “My birthday’s not today. It’s tomorrow. The day of my birth is tomorrow.” It felt a bit silly on some superficial level, but deep down I knew this wasn’t about the early birthday call. Grief from so many moments of feeling dismissed, unseen, and unimportant started to flow out of and through my body. I cried and shook as I laid on my bed. My breathing was fully engaging the top part of my chest in heaves, which was a new experience for me. I felt excited about this, as I had been consciously exploring the upper part of my chest/lungs earlier that week. I could feel my system expanding outward as it released the old and allowed the birth of the new. What I was experiencing seemed like deep layers of my internal basement getting cleaned out, and as a result was a wider range of spaciousness than I’d ever experienced. I was accessing new strengths, new stability.

 

Years of making myself invisible, pretending in order to please, trying so hard to be good, and pushing my true feelings down over and over and over again…they were all releasing, and I was giving them importance and space to be exactly as they were. Let me repeat that, because this is extremely important: I was giving them importance and space to be. Integrity. Internal resourcing. Self love.

 

The grief had her way with me, and eventually the dance started to move into dangerous territory for a peacemaker/peacekeeper: into anger. Anger was shut down quickly in my household. Hopelessness and depression would go unnoticed, but anger was squashed. I could feel the evolution as my system felt safe enough to go into this taboo realm.

 

What had been grief over being abandoned and dismissed by my caregivers gave way to rage. I grabbed a towel and let my body release this rage exactly as it wanted- I screamed into the towel and felt my body release and tighten and release and tighten … and release. My somatic system was engaging in deeply repressed expressions that were finally free and safe to reveal themselves. My body shook some more, releasing years of repressed sensations. My mind offered up a panorama of events from my childhood where I felt unimportant. Memories of my last relationship popped up, which mirrored similar dynamics. I stayed with all the memories and felt the energies that arose with them, and I let those energies express themselves through tears and yells as various sensations rippled through my body.

 

My attention tenderly stayed with the thoughts, the imagery, and the energies that were cascading through my experience. The floodgates were open and my hands were off the wheel. Stories and content that felt true were allowed to be named. Emotions were safe to be felt and expressed. Sensations were fully allowed to exist in their own right.

 

Eventually something shifted, and the stories magically faded. I was left feeling the aliveness of my somatic system without judgment, fear, or resistance. I curiously brought back up the mental panorama of images that had so clearly been referencing and proving my lack of importance, only to discover that they no longer had any meaning. In fact, nowhere in my experience did I feel unimportant or unseen. The stories of unimportance, abandonment, dismissal, and rejection had fallen away, as had the grief and anger. At that point I was able to look back upon the call from my mother and brother and feel nothing but sweetness without any pretending.

 

Taking this time for myself was really important. It took about 30 minutes from start to finish, and I was 15 minutes late to the training call, but it was totally worth it. Happy early birthday to me!

 

When I consciously become intimate with my patterning, I have the choice to shift behaviors and move into new ones…and experience life in a very different way. Neural pathways literally change each time I deviate from old behaviors, and this has a profound impact on my life as I release the old ‘stuff,’ and make space for new and enlivening experiences and relationships that align with the integrity of who I am now, rather than the small un-resourceful child I once was.

 

It’s not always easy. I have to be willing to feel my authentic feelings, whatever they may be. I have to be willing to not rush past, to not pretend. I have to be willing to make my experiences and feelings important, as they are happening for me. I have to be willing to make *me* important. And that is death to a peacemaker/keeper. Hooray! When I make myself important, when I honor what’s true for me, when I am honest and in integrity with myself, the role of the peacemaker automatically starts to crumble- she just cannot exist anymore when there is mindfulness- the pretending stops.

 

 

When we’re aware that we have an addictive/behavioral pattern, we can bring the light of consciousness toward that pattern, toward the reaction that we have, and really study it. Nothing is a life sentence- everything is up for exploration and discovery and mindful meditation.

 

We are all capable of journeying into our patterned reactions, because all human beings have the ability to be aware of their experiences. All it requires is slowing down, practicing mindfulness, and having a readiness and willingness to notice, feel, and explore. Here are 5 steps to get you started!

 

 

  1. Notice the common reactive state. We often have quite a few of these. Notice yours. It might look like this: “Oh! I’m doing that peacemaker thing right now.”   Noticing it means that you’re onto it- it’s in the spotlight now.

 

  1. Acknowledge it. A common response to being in a reactive state is to resist it. What we resist persists. So just acknowledge it. It might look like this: “Hi peacemaker. I see that you’re here. I may not like that you’re here, but you are, and I can acknowledge that you’re here.” This continues to bring it out into the light.

 

  1. See its innocence. We didn’t decide one day to install reactive beliefs and behaviors into our neural pathways. They were innocently created when we were young, doing the best we could under the circumstances, with parents who were doing the best they knew how. It might look like this: “Hi, peacekeeper. I see you, I notice you. I still may not like you, but I get that you’re just a part of my neurology. It’s not because I’m bad, or I did anything wrong. You’ve just kinda been built into my system.” This continues to diffuse one’s vigilance or resistance that might come with the reactive state.

 

4.. Feel it- engage directly with it. Do not act from it. Feel into it. This is a huge step, because the way we change neural pathways is by doing things differently. Steps 1-3 are already starting the new neural pathway process, but this step is really laying the groundwork. Instead of unconsciously continuing engagement with the behavior or belief, we’re now meeting it as it is. This is true compassion, and this is true love. We all know how compassion and love can transform. This might look like taking time to pause what you’re doing, and being with whatever it is that you’re experiencing- as I did with my reaction to my birthday call.

 

  1. Be patient with yourself and get support as needed. Changing our neural pathways, changing our reactions, changing our beliefs and behaviors is no easy job. For many of us it has taken decades for them to develop to where they are now. So it will also take some time to unwind them. We often need help. Be kind with yourself.

 

 

Being consciously aware of our habitual behaviors allows us to meet parts of ourselves that have been running the show from behind the curtain. In this way we can become friendly with ourselves rather than being critical. It can also bring spaciousness into our lives and relationships, in that we no longer blindly react, but can respond consciously to stressful situations. Part of being human is to have neural pathways. Make friends with them, know that you play a role in their existence, and explore them to discover yourself.

 

I recently heard someone say, “There isn’t an eraser that can erase the past.” Maybe that’s true and maybe it’s not. I do know that, with the right tools, I can change my present experience of the past. I know that when I honor what is alive in me, and don’t push it aside, I live a different kind of Now. When I honor myself, when I love myself, I experience a life of greater width and depth, a life that feels kind, loving, and precious. I experience a life where stories of being unimportant, not good enough, unlovable, and unsafe cannot loom over me. I am no longer at the mercy of others, desperate to please, or continuously trying to get approval. Instead, I experience inherent love and worth, from an internal resource that has no limit to its capacity. It seems to me that that might be what real peace feels like, and it’s a far better kind of peace to make. Every opportunity to shift into this experience is a blessing. A gift. So… Happy birthday to me, indeed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ode to Co-dependency: We are the ones we’ve been waiting for

“Ode to Co-dependency”, inspired by my last client who is on an amazing journey:

Co-dependents are just about dying for someone to be our safe person. A “port” as my client called it. Because we’ve been taking care of others for so fucking long, **we’re** wanting to be taken care of. Of course!

But we forget that we’re literally the ones we’ve been waiting for.

 

The hardest job for a care giver is to give care themself. My last clients said, “I don’t know how to do that!”. Yup, that’s right. All our strategies and worth and senses of self and identities go to “taking care” of others. We tirelessly hide behind that delusions/illusion- often with grandiosity. “They need me. I have to. They’ll be lost without me.” My goodness! we try so desperately to make ourselves god/important. The more accurate truth is that we’ll be lost without care taking X person. We don’t like to be lost. “The uncertainty that’s here is unbearable,” said my last client. Yes. S/he was feeling her/his aloneness. There was a lot to be felt with that. (Spoiler alert, it was bearable, and she’s still alive).

The idea of making oneself important enough to care for oneself self barely even scratches the surface of our recognition. We’ve sold ourselves out forever, made ourselves unimportant forever- pretending we don’t have needs and wants that we actually do have. In some ways, we barely remember we exist (and yet can be so annoyingly narcissistic at the same time!)

We repeatedly pretend we don’t exist, while “care taking” others, (i.e. hiding behinds our delusions/illusions), with our hearts on empty. Despite pretending that we’re happy and content, we live lives of resentment, bitterness, sweet sorrow, in the hopes that someone will just please fucking take care of us. Because we simply refuse to do it ourselves.

In order to pause being a care taker we have to let go of the delusion/illusion that other people need us so damn much to the extent that we have to sacrifice ourselves. I know that’s how we make ourselves important, cause we’ve disappeared ourself in the ways that really matter. But really, we always need to be present with ourselves. Anything else is fake martyrdom at best, or just an excuse to not be honest with ourselves at worst.

Many of us simply don’t know how to be present with ourselves. We don’t know how to eat well, sleep well, or feel. We cover that up with dissociating, addictions and a slew of other repertoires. We literally have to learn the art of self care. We have to learn the art of becoming intimate with ourselves. We have to learn how to pause long enough to feel. And for some of us, we have to learn that it’s actually safe to feel.

Our brains and systems are amazing through. So we can learn all this. We can learn! We can do new things. We can retrain our neural pathways. We’re amazingly resilient and adaptable creatures. We all have the capacity to feel deeply into ourselves and to be self aware. But we have to have the willingness and courage to rabbit hole- not to find answers but to let go of answers. When we do, we will find the love that lives underneath all. Oddly enough, when we learn how to take care of ourself, we’ll automatically be more present and available for others. That’s just how it goes. It really is a win-win. Love always wins, when you pay homage to it. <3 <3 

The Beginning and Endings of Forever

 

It seems that there are a lot experiencing pain today in my world. I am sending big hugs and love to all of you-to all of us. Particularly if you’re in overwhelm, and feel as though the pain you’re experiencing is just too much.

Have you ever been in so much pain that it felt like life was over? Or that it might as well be over? Maybe it’s come from a break up. Or from addiction. Or from something physical/an illness. Or from someone dying. Or from any number of challenges that you’ve experienced. I have felt pain so deep and wide that although these words didn’t come to me, it felt like my life was over. It was as if that moment I was in, was solid and would last forever. The future felt abysmal.

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When we are experiencing pain (or disorientation, discomfort, uncertainty, etc)- physical, mental and/or emotional- our nervous systems can get impacted and we may start to believe (consciously or subconsciously) that “my life is ending/over”- forever.

Our nervous systems play an important role in our functioning. Please take care of yours. Food, water, sleep, fresh air, music., touch… please do whatever helps your nervous system to feel nourished and supported. Contact me if you’d like more information on how to tend to your precious nervous system.

The belief that “my life is ending/over” can feel so true that we can start to see life only through that filter, and miss how life, in many ways, is also beginning. And ending. And beginning. Even when we’d swear there are just endings.

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In every moment, regardless of what my thoughts are telling me,  there are endings and beginnings. I breath in fresh air, I breath out old air. Beginnings and endings. I stand up, I sit down. Beginnings and endings. Eyes opening, eyes closing. Blinking. Beginnings and endings. Putting food into my mouth, chewing and then swallowing the food. Beginnings and endings. The sun rises, it sets. Beginning and endings. Get curious about the cycle of life-within you and outside of you.  Curiosity is the antidote to certainty, solidity and “forever.” Curiosity about the present shifts our imagined stories about a future that seems to promise doom. There are millions of beginnings and endings happening throughout a day. An hour. A minute.

As you’re able, notice that life itself is continuing to life, even amidst the belief that “my life is ending/over.” Amidst the pain, disorientation, discomfort, and/or uncertainty thoughts, imagery, and sensations continue.

Life keeps happening, even when we believe or feel as though it’s ended. The construct of time continues to happen. Sight continues. Scent continues. Hearing continues. Touch continues. Taste continues. The never ending arrival and departure of perceptual data keeps happening. It never stops.

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When all this incoming data seems like too much it may be useful to bring attention to something simple. Bring yourself to that which is always happening in real time- never in the past and never in the future. Bring your attention to breath. Breath in- a beginning. Breath out- an ending. There is nothing permanent in the experiential perceiving of breath.

No human is alive on this planet without the functioning of breath. If you’re reading this, breath is happening for you, right now. In all moments of life, breath keeps happening, and is at the seeming center of our aliveness.

Life is a series of experiments- experiments that reveal beginnings and endings. I invite you to play with this one: Notice your breath. Feel your breath. Be aware that your being is being breathed- from head to toe, as oxygenated cells move throughout your system. The breath is alive in your toes. In your fingers. In your belly. In your nostrils. Access that curiosity to see where breath is alive for you, right now. Do this experiment as often as you’d like. Notice the endings and beginnings within this experiment. Be curious. Discover, and be discovered.

 

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As you feel your breath, give yourself a big hug from me. Feel your arms supporting you. Feel your breath supporting you. Rest in the movement and expression of beginnings and endings. More are already underway. Forever begins now. It also ends now. And now begins.

There is support for you here, in this moment. If you’d like more intimate connection in your journey, please email me at llmeuser@me.com or check out my other blog posts, where I write extensively about embodiment.

If you are considering suicide or harmful action, please call 911 the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 for immediate assistance.  <3

Embodiment: Getting to know and love all of you.

A New Deepening Course: Embodiment-Getting to know and love all of you.

March 11, 25, April 8: noon-2pm EST

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Embodiment is about being fully present with the “here and now” of life. Aligning with and attending to safety in the present moment is an important aspect of being able to journey through current day challenges as well a traumatic/difficult experiences from our childhoods/past. In this Embodiment Deeping Course we will explore how to develop the ability and capacity to slow down so that we can gently and safely turn attention toward and into our experience of the present moment- whatever they may be. We will curiously explore the realm of aliveness in our experience- sensations, energies and feelings. We’ll also be inquiring into all the thoughts and images, taking a look at what seems true, and then experiencing what’s actually true. We’ll explore barriers to experiencing wholeness, and useful resources in developing kindness with our experiences- especially with those we tend to turn away from.

 

This course will utilize the Living Inquiries, the N.O.W. practice, natural rest, breathing techniques, and some gentle body movement to explore your various experiences- shame, trauma, depression, anxiety, compulsions, identities, body contractions, debilitating thoughts and/or memories and more. You will also become familiar with the nervous system, vigilance centers, the fight-flight-freeze responses, and learn about ways to support and be kind and loving with your self. Lastly, you will get to experience the different inquiries first hand, and be able to practice skills for learning how to self-inquire.

 

I will be facilitating and guiding you in practices which will start to re-wire your nervous system and limbic system in ways that are profound.

You will have recordings so that you can practice on your own between class dates, which will help replace old habitual behaviors with new useful behaviors. All of this will set the stage for deeper self-intimacy and knowing, with compassion and love.

 

Course Information:

March 11, 25, April 8: noon-2pm EST

 

This is an on-line course. I use zoom, which is similar to Skype. You can attend from anywhere in the world using a phone, iPad type of device, or computer!

 

On top of the 3 group sessions, you will receive a total of six individual facilitations: Four with Senior Facilitator Trainer Lisa Meuser and two facilitations with Certified Living Inquiries facilitators.

 

All classes will be recorded so if you are unable to attend one, you’ll receive the recording. Also included in the course will be multiple natural rest and guided rest audios and videos, and a private FB group for participants to share and receive support.

Please email me for questions. llmeuser@me.com

 

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

 

Rest Amidst the Hurricane

Happy Holidays to all of you!

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The holidays can be joyous and/or challenging- often oscillating rather quickly between the two!

I’m attaching a free 20 minute rest/meditation for you to listen to when you’re feeling particularly caught in the hurricane. I hope it will be inspirational to “catch” moments of rest here and there in your days.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rei315uzmjzc3zj/Rest%20Amidst%20The%20Hurricane.m4a?dl=0