neuroscience secrets to assist you today!

This fabulous article copied and pasted for you below (see links below for original post and all credits, please) highlights a few *easy* steps help yourself feel better faster! #Enjoy 😉 Oh, and Happy Equinox. #BlessedBe. Rain & Co.

“A neuroscience researcher reveals 4 rituals that will make you happier”

You get all kinds of happiness advice on the internet from people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Don’t trust them.

Actually, don’t trust me either. Trust neuroscientists. They study that gray blob in your head all day and have learned a lot about what truly will make you happy.

UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb has some insights that can create an upward spiral of happiness in your life.

Here’s what you and I can learn from the people who really have answers:

1. The most important question to ask when you feel down

Sometimes it doesn’t feel like your brain wants you to be happy. You may feel guilty or shameful. Why?

Believe it or not, guilt and shame activate the brain’s reward center.

 

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Via The Upward Spiral:

Despite their differences, pride, shame, and guilt all activate similar neural circuits, including the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, insula, and the nucleus accumbens. Interestingly, pride is the most powerful of these emotions at triggering activity in these regions — except in the nucleus accumbens, where guilt and shame win out. This explains why it can be so appealing to heap guilt and shame on ourselves — they’re activating the brain’s reward center.

And you worry a lot, too. Why? In the short term, worrying makes your brain feel a little better — at least you’re doing something about your problems.

Via The Upward Spiral:

In fact, worrying can help calm the limbic system by increasing activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and decreasing activity in the amygdala. That might seem counterintuitive, but it just goes to show that if you’re feeling anxiety, doing something about it — even worrying — is better than doing nothing.

But guilt, shame, and worry are horrible, long-term solutions. So what do neuroscientists say you should do? Ask yourself this question:

What am I grateful for?

Yeah, gratitude is awesome … but does it really affect your brain at the biological level? Yup.

You know what the antidepressant Wellbutrin does? Boosts the neurotransmitter dopamine. So does gratitude.

Via The Upward Spiral:

The benefits of gratitude start with the dopamine system, because feeling grateful activates the brain stem region that produces dopamine. Additionally, gratitude toward others increases activity in social dopamine circuits, which makes social interactions more enjoyable …

Know what Prozac does? Boosts the neurotransmitter serotonin. So does gratitude.

Via The Upward Spiral:

One powerful effect of gratitude is that it can boost serotonin. Trying to think of things you are grateful for forces you to focus on the positive aspects of your life. This simple act increases serotonin production in the anterior cingulate cortex.

I know, sometimes life lands a really mean punch in the gut and it feels like there’s nothing to be grateful for. Guess what?

Doesn’t matter. You don’t have to find anything. It’s the searching that counts.

Via The Upward Spiral:

It’s not finding gratitude that matters most; it’s remembering to look in the first place. Remembering to be grateful is a form of emotional intelligence. One study found that it actually affected neuron density in both the ventromedial and lateral prefrontal cortex. These density changes suggest that as emotional intelligence increases, the neurons in these areas become more efficient. With higher emotional intelligence, it simply takes less effort to be grateful.

And gratitude doesn’t just make your brain happy — it can also create a positive feedback loop in your relationships. So express that gratitude to the people you care about.

For more on how gratitude can make you happier and more successful, click here.

But what happens when bad feelings completely overtake you? When you’re really in the dumps and don’t even know how to deal with it? There’s an easy answer …

Point out the things that upset you.ibm4381/Flickr

2. Label negative feelings

You feel awful. OK, give that awfulness a name. Sad? Anxious? Angry?

Boom. It’s that simple. Sound stupid? Your noggin disagrees.

Via The Upward Spiral:

[I]n one fMRI study, appropriately titled “Putting Feelings into Words” participants viewed pictures of people with emotional facial expressions. Predictably, each participant’s amygdala activated to the emotions in the picture. But when they were asked to name the emotion, the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activated and reduced the emotional amygdala reactivity. In other words, consciously recognizing the emotions reduced their impact.

Suppressing emotions doesn’t work and can backfire on you.

Via Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long:

Gross found that people who tried to suppress a negative emotional experience failed to do so. While they thought they looked fine outwardly, inwardly their limbic system was just as aroused as without suppression, and in some cases, even more aroused. Kevin Ochsner, at Columbia, repeated these findings using an fMRI. Trying not to feel something doesn’t work, and in some cases even backfires.

But labeling, on the other hand, makes a big difference.

Via Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long:

To reduce arousal, you need to use just a few words to describe an emotion, and ideally use symbolic language, which means using indirect metaphors, metrics, and simplifications of your experience. This requires you to activate your prefrontal cortex, which reduces the arousal in the limbic system. Here’s the bottom line: describe an emotion in just a word or two, and it helps reduce the emotion.

Ancient methods were way ahead of us on this one. Meditation has employed this for centuries. Labeling is a fundamental tool of mindfulness.

In fact, labeling affects the brain so powerfully it works with other people, too. Labeling emotions is one of the primary tools used by FBI hostage negotiators.

To learn more of the secrets of FBI hostage negotiators, click here.

Okay, hopefully you’re not reading this and labeling your current emotional state as bored. Maybe you’re not feeling awful but you probably have things going on in your life that are causing you some stress. Here’s a simple way to beat them.

Make decisions to do things you enjoy.Francisco Osorio/Flickr

3. Make that decision

Ever make a decision and then your brain finally feels at rest? That’s no random occurrence.

Brain science shows that making decisions reduces worry and anxiety — as well as helping you solve problems.

Via The Upward Spiral:

Making decisions includes creating intentions and setting goals — all three are part of the same neural circuitry and engage the prefrontal cortex in a positive way, reducing worry and anxiety. Making decisions also helps overcome striatum activity, which usually pulls you toward negative impulses and routines. Finally, making decisions changes your perception of the world — finding solutions to your problems and calming the limbic system.

But deciding can be hard. I agree. So what kind of decisions should you make? Neuroscience has an answer.

Make a “good enough” decision. Don’t sweat making the absolute 100% best decision. We all know being a perfectionist can be stressful. And brain studies back this up.

Trying to be perfect overwhelms your brain with emotions and makes you feel out of control.

Via The Upward Spiral:

Trying for the best, instead of good enough, brings too much emotional ventromedial prefrontal activity into the decision-making process. In contrast, recognizing that good enough is good enough activates more dorsolateral prefrontal areas, which helps you feel more in control …

As Swarthmore professor Barry Schwartz said in my interview with him: “Good enough is almost always good enough.”

So when you make a decision, your brain feels you have control. And, as I’ve talked about before, a feeling of control reduces stress. But here’s what’s really fascinating: Deciding also boosts pleasure.

Via The Upward Spiral:

Actively choosing caused changes in attention circuits and in how the participants felt about the action, and it increased rewarding dopamine activity.

Want proof? No problem. Let’s talk about cocaine.

You give two rats injections of cocaine. Rat A had to pull a lever first. Rat B didn’t have to do anything. Any difference? Yup: Rat A gets a bigger boost of dopamine.

Via The Upward Spiral:

So they both got the same injections of cocaine at the same time, but rat A had to actively press the lever, and rat B didn’t have to do anything. And you guessed it — rat A released more dopamine in its nucleus accumbens.

So what’s the lesson here? Next time you buy cocaine … whoops, wrong lesson. Point is, when you make a decision on a goal and then achieve it, you feel better than when good stuff just happens by chance.

And this answers the eternal mystery of why dragging your butt to the gym can be so hard.

If you go because you feel you have to or you should, well, it’s not really a voluntary decision. Your brain doesn’t get the pleasure boost. It just feels stress. And that’s no way to build a good exercise habit.

Via The Upward Spiral:

Interestingly, if they are forced to exercise, they don’t get the same benefits, because without choice, the exercise itself is a source of stress.

So make more decisions. Neuroscience researcher Alex Korb sums it up nicely:

We don’t just choose the things we like; we also like the things we choose.

To learn what neuroscientists say is the best way to use caffeine, click here.

OK, you’re being grateful, labeling negative emotions and making more decisions. Great, but this is feeling kinda lonely for a happiness prescription. Let’s get some other people in here.

What’s something you can do with others that neuroscience says is a path to mucho happiness? And something that’s stupidly simple so you don’t get lazy and skip it? Brain docs have an answer for you.

Have fun with friends.

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4. Touch people

No, not indiscriminately; that can get you in a lot of trouble.

But we need to feel love and acceptance from others. When we don’t it’s painful. And I don’t mean “awkward” or “disappointing.” I mean actually painful.

Neuroscientists did a study where people played a ball-tossing video game. The other players tossed the ball to you and you tossed it back to them. Actually, there were no other players; that was all done by the computer program.

But the subjects were told the characters were controlled by real people. So what happened when the “other players” stopped playing nice and didn’t share the ball?

Subjects’ brains responded the same way as if they experienced physical pain. Rejection doesn’t just hurt like a broken heart; your brain feels it like a broken leg.

Via The Upward Spiral:

In fact, as demonstrated in an fMRI experiment, social exclusion activates the same circuitry as physical pain … at one point they stopped sharing, only throwing back and forth to each other, ignoring the participant. This small change was enough to elicit feelings of social exclusion, and it activated the anterior cingulate and insula, just like physical pain would.

Relationships are important to your brain’s feeling of happiness. Want to take that to the next level? Touch people.

Via The Upward Spiral:

One of the primary ways to release oxytocin is through touching. Obviously, it’s not always appropriate to touch most people, but small touches like handshakes and pats on the back are usually okay. For people you’re close with, make more of an effort to touch more often.

Touching is incredibly powerful. We just don’t give it enough credit. It makes you more persuasive, increases team performance, improves your flirting … heck, it even boosts math skills.

Touching someone you love actually reduces pain. In fact, when studies were done on married couples, the stronger the marriage, the more powerful the effect.

Via The Upward Spiral:

In addition, holding hands with someone can help comfort you and your brain through painful situations. One fMRI study scanned married women as they were warned that they were about to get a small electric shock. While anticipating the painful shocks, the brain showed a predictable pattern of response in pain and worrying circuits, with activation in the insula, anterior cingulate, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. During a separate scan, the women either held their husbands’ hands or the hand of the experimenter. When a subject held her husband’s hand, the threat of shock had a smaller effect. The brain showed reduced activation in both the anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex — that is, less activity in the pain and worrying circuits. In addition, the stronger the marriage, the lower the discomfort-related insula activity.

So hug someone today. And do not accept little, quick hugs. No, no, no. Tell them your neuroscientist recommended long hugs.

Via The Upward Spiral:

A hug, especially a long one, releases a neurotransmitter and hormone oxytocin, which reduces the reactivity of the amygdala.

Research shows getting five hugs a day for four weeks increases happiness big time.

Don’t have anyone to hug right now? No? (I’m sorry to hear that. I would give you a hug right now if I could.) But there’s an answer: Neuroscience says you should go get a massage.

Via The Upward Spiral:

The results are fairly clear that massage boosts your serotonin by as much as 30 percent. Massage also decreases stress hormones and raises dopamine levels, which helps you create new good habits … Massage reduces pain because the oxytocin system activates painkilling endorphins. Massage also improves sleep and reduces fatigue by increasing serotonin and dopamine and decreasing the stress hormone cortisol.

So spend time with other people and give some hugs. Sorry, texting is not enough.

When you put people in a stressful situation and then let them visit loved ones or talk to them on the phone, they felt better. What about when they just texted? Their bodies responded the same as if they had no support at all.

Via The Upward Spiral:

[T]he text-message group had cortisol and oxytocin levels similar to the no-contact group.

Author’s note: I totally approve of texting if you make a hug appointment.

To learn what neuroscience says is the best way to get smarter and happier, click here.

OK, I don’t want to strain your brain with too much info. Let’s round it up and learn the quickest and easiest way to start that upward spiral of neuroscience-inspired happiness.

Sum up

Here’s what brain research says will make you happy:

  • Ask “What am I grateful for?” No answers? Doesn’t matter. Just searching helps.
  • Label those negative emotions. Give it a name and your brain isn’t so bothered by it.
  • Decide. Go for “good enough” instead of ‘best decision ever made on Earth.”
  • Hugs, hugs, hugs. Don’t text — touch.

So what’s the simple way to start that upward spiral of happiness?

Just send someone a thank-you email. If you feel awkward about it, you can send them this post to tell them why.

This really can start an upward spiral of happiness in your life. UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb explains:

Everything is interconnected. Gratitude improves sleep. Sleep reduces pain. Reduced pain improves your mood. Improved mood reduces anxiety, which improves focus and planning. Focus and planning help with decision making. Decision making further reduces anxiety and improves enjoyment. Enjoyment gives you more to be grateful for, which keeps that loop of the upward spiral going. Enjoyment also makes it more likely you’ll exercise and be social, which, in turn, will make you happier.

So thank you for reading this.

And send that thank-you email now to make you and someone you care about happy.

Get a free weekly update via email here.

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Related posts:

How To Stop Being Lazy And Get More Done – 5 Expert Tips

How To Get People To Like You: 7 Ways From An FBI Behavior Expert

New Harvard Research Reveals A Fun Way To Be More Successful

Read the original article on Barking Up The Wrong Tree. Copyright 2015. Follow Barking Up The Wrong Tree on Twitter.

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*****Paint Your Heart and Soul 2017*****

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embracing “metamorphosis”

First post for my Rainbow Remedies.Co wordpress site, yippee!
More to come as time provides… Blessings, Rain & Co.

Rainbow Remedies & Co.

The image of the butterfly has been arising in my world – in the drawings of my children (see images below) and my own journey work plus ceremonial medicine.

While travelling home with my ten year old daughter from school today, sharing the image of the butterfly which her brother had drawn, that I wished to use on my website – she blurted out “metamorphosis“.

“Metamorphosis” I stated, as though a question? In the moment I was wondering whether I had heard exactly what she said.

“That’s right, you heard me”, she stated firmly and with a teasing smile that met my incredulous gaze.

The night before, I had been in ceremony with an online group; we each received a key from our guides – an oracle. Mine was “metamorphosis” and the image of butterflies…

My daughter continued to explain how she very much wished to see the word “metamorphosis”…

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Vikings, and other July rumination

Lagertha tee.jpg

“Be a badass viking and join us in repping this “Wake up. Kick ass. Repeat.” shirt designed by Katheryn Winnick herself. http://bit.ly/KickAssShirt
All tees support Women In Film, a cause that empowers women in entertainment to kick ass every day.

EVERY SHIRT SOLD BENEFITS Women In Film:
“Lagertha is the ultimate badass and you can be too! Help me support Women In Film and grab a tee!” – Katheryn Winnick

The shirt says it all. Try to be anything other than badass when rocking this t-shirt, featuring Katheryn Winnick and an extra motivating mantra she chose herself.

 

A real-life black belt and martial arts master, the Vikings star kicks just as much butt off screen as her warrior character on the show.

 

So who better to remind you how to take on every day?

 

*Funds raised support Women In Film, a nonprofit that fights for equality and advocates for women in the entertainment industry.*

 

We definitely want her on our side and this shirt on our back.”

 

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Follow the links for more detail – but hurry! The Tee Stops Soon… #2daysandcounting 😉
Let’s All #KickAss Together!! 😀
Blessings, Rain ~ Lagertha & Co.

Youth Day, RSA

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16 June is a Public Holiday in South Africa, every year.

Known as Youth Day, it honors the Soweto uprisings of children protesting the authoritarian regime at the time:

“June days in South Africa can be dark, cold and short. The sun rises late and sets early. Highland frosts feel their way through blades of blemished veld; mists mask roads ahead and behind. The month brings with it the year’s mid-point and shortest day; a chance to reflect on what has been, and what may lie ahead.

Five days before the equinox South Africa celebrates Youth Day. Forty years ago on 16 June 1976, thousands of school children in Soweto, Johannesburg, braved the Highveld cold to protest the apartheid government’s decision that they be educated in a strange tongue: Afrikaans.

Out on the street the students were confronted by the South African Police force (SAP). Teargas was followed by gunfire. Young bodies fell; cameras clicked. The apartheid system was shaken irrevocably.

Youth Day takes its name from the energy and courage of those young learners. But had the police not responded as they did, 16 June might simply be another winter’s day. Police work is practical and symbolic. Through interactions with police, the state communicates with its public. In 1976, police actions embodied the unjust, indefensible and violent state attitude towards black citizens.

It exposed, in ways not seen since the Sharpeville massacre on March 21, 1960 the violence through which apartheid was upheld. South Africans remember June 16, 1976 because youth took to the streets, but also because police looked them in the eye and pulled their triggers.” credit

 

 

Perhaps the poignancy with which I feel the Soweto massacre remembrance day this year, owes to its timbre the global upsurge in protests taking place thus far in 2016:

What began in my own world with the brutal assault and mindless murder of an innocent youth – Francesca Blochliger – in March 2016, here in South Africa, affected me personally;

Reaching way too close to home (knowing the family and close community of this beautiful child in flower) as well as spotlighting shortfalls in the legal justice system, such issues gathered momentum in the broader whole.

Rhodes University “rape reference list” and campus-wide protests, echoing the global protest to “end Rape Culture” and raise awareness world wide, kicked up an enormous amount of dust in the already blustery arena of how to tackle these issues.

None of these gestures in protest or activism have been “easy”, nor simple.

The messiness and angry militancy often hand-in-glove with Protest movements, has been spotlighted for most of us, once again.

The lenient sentencing of a convicted rapist on the Stanford University campus, USA, catapulted social media into a frenzy of awareness cascading an address of “Rape Culture”.

What continues to mind-boggle me, is Brock Turner’s account of consent.

For many of us “survivors”, this action has precipitated old wounds being gashed open, un-contained and blistering with rage in its wake.

Even at the Oscars this year, Premium Diva “Lady Gaga” heralded an awakening around issues of sexual violence in the media, with her Award-Winning, courageous song “Til It Happens To You” focused on exposing the commonality in victims of Campus Rape & Sexual Assault, alongside the film “The Hunting Ground”.

For several, the constant stream of consciousness on these issues has fortified the desire and tendency to numb out, or avoid. “Give me a peaceful Facebook feed” reverberates all too often!

And who of us have not wished it….

….as if closing our eyes, could make “reality” disappear.

{The drum-up to impending elections in the US with front runners, Donald Trump and/or Hilary Clinton is enough to make us gag. But, how many more are simply choosing to “side-step” the realities that present?}

The assaults on our global Psyche are relentless this year it seems, and how many of us aren’t buckling under the thunderous weight of its load?

What floored me most recently, was the painstaking walk of Olympic athlete, Oscar Pistorious, in South African High Court:

As his lawyers aimed at pulling out all the stops towards a more lenient sentence for this convicted murderer ~ Oscar removed his prosthetic limbs, and effectively crawled on his knees across the floor before the Judge.

This action in the High Court shows me an all-too-familiar reckoning in our worldwide legal justice system as it faces off with “how low will you go”?

Oscar certainly made a memorable stoop in his bid for a lighter sentence. That imponderable action, makes the occasion all the more atrocious in my view.

Whatever happens, nothing can bring Reeva Steenkamp back to life. Her death (murder) remains FINAL.

Do I sob at witnessing this humiliation and the desperation present in our former World-Class, Media-Star “Golden Boy”, dear Oscar? ABSOLUTELY.

Do I believe justice must be served and that Oscar’s actions require him to be accountable? ABSOLUTELY, TOO.

What I know for sure, is that the narrowness of the gap between a “black and white” reality or outcome, runs far too deep. The chasm if not too deep, is too wide to navigate.

Most of us recoiling in pain with what the global stage presented thus far this year, are seeking for comfort and cushioning in the “blame game”…

Lots of fingers pointing…..

But how does change really occur?

I cannot easily recover from the violence of rape, the least bit more owing to the assailant being my husband – than I can comfort myself that Oscar “Pistol-furious” Pretorius is going away for a long, long time.

I both weep at the confrontation made by the Stanford rape survivor as she stepped forward to address her perpetrator in court – as I do the agony of soul that a father must be when he diminishes his assailant son’s “twenty minutes of action” amidst world media.

I have to wonder what Reeva Steenkamp might have said? We will never know.

I feel both rage and despair – anger and grief, hopelessness perhaps above all.

But then today, we remember the potential of our Youth – to bring about change, and endorse a better way for this world.

The triumphant enthusiasm of those who bring the future forward will never allow a sagging stage to stop their moment of truth:

The Visionary perception of Youth will always make its indelible mark. And I, for one, am watching with eager anticipation.

The conversations that need to happen, the space that must be created, for conscious discussions to take place amongst us, rests in how we address our Youth…

I will be having that conversation with my sons – as well as my daughter. I have in many ways already done so, and continue to do so. It’s who we are that matters….

But the lens of perception now becomes more pointed and acute.

I hope for our world, that whoever the Youth are in your life and surrounds, you will find a meaningful encounter for the noble amidst us to come forward.

Steep is the path most of us walk – toward a new tomorrow.

Blessings to you and yours, wherever in the world you might be.

Rain & Co.

 

It didn’t start with you…

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It Didn’t Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are

by Mark Wolynn

Traumas Lost and Found

The past is never dead. It’s not even past.
— William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun

It didn't start with you“A well-documented feature of trauma, one familiar to many, is our inability to articulate what happens to us. We not only lose our words, but something happens with our memory as well. During a traumatic incident, our thought processes become scattered and disorganized in such a way that we no longer recognize the memories as belonging to the original event. Instead, fragments of memory, dispersed as images, body sensations, and words, are stored in our unconscious and can become activated later by anything even remotely reminiscent of the original experience. Once they are triggered, it is as if an invisible rewind button has been pressed, causing us to reenact aspects of the original trauma in our day to-day lives. Unconsciously, we could find ourselves reacting to certain people, events, or situations in old, familiar ways that echo the past.

Sigmund Freud identified this pattern more than one hundred years ago. Traumatic reenactment, or “repetition compulsion,” as Freud coined it, is an attempt of the unconscious to replay what’s unresolved, so we can “get it right.” This unconscious drive to relive past events could be one of the mechanisms at work when families repeat unresolved traumas in future generations.

Freud’s contemporary Carl Jung also believed that what remains unconscious does not dissolve, but rather resurfaces in our lives as fate or fortune. “Whatever does not emerge as Consciousness,” he said, “returns as Destiny.” In other words, we’re likely to keep repeating our unconscious patterns until we bring them into the light of awareness. Both Jung and Freud noted that whatever is too difficult to process does not fade away on its own, but rather is stored in our unconscious.

Freud and Jung each observed how fragments of previously blocked, suppressed, or repressed life experience would show up in the words, gestures, and behaviors of their patients. For decades to follow, therapists would see clues such as slips of the tongue, accident patterns, or dream images as messengers shining a light into the unspeakable and unthinkable regions of their clients’ lives.

Recent advances in imaging technology have allowed researchers to unravel the brain and bodily functions that “misfire” or break down during overwhelming episodes. Bessel van der Kolk is a Dutch psychiatrist known for his research on posttraumatic stress. He explains that during a trauma, the speech center shuts down, as does the medial prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for experiencing the present moment. He describes the “speechless terror” of trauma as the experience of being at a “loss for words”, a common occurrence when brain pathways of remembering are hindered during periods of threat or danger. “When people relive their traumatic experiences,” he says, “the frontal lobes become impaired and, as result, they have trouble thinking and speaking. They are no longer capable of communicating to either themselves or to others precisely what’s going on.”

Still, all is not silent: words, images, and impulses that fragment following a traumatic event reemerge to form a secret language of our suffering we carry with us. Nothing is lost. The pieces have just been rerouted.

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Emerging trends in psychotherapy are now beginning to point beyond the traumas of the individual to include traumatic events in the family and social history as a part of the whole picture. Tragedies varying in type and intensity—such as abandonment, suicide and war, or the early death of a child, parent, or sibling—can send shock waves of distress cascading from one generation to the next. Recent developments in the fields of cellular biology, neurobiology, epigenetics, and developmental psychology underscore the importance of exploring at least three generations of family history in order to understand the mechanism behind patterns of trauma and suffering that repeat.

The following story offers a vivid example. When I first met Jesse, he hadn’t had a full night’s sleep in more than a year. His insomnia was evident in the dark shadows around his eyes, but the blankness of his stare suggested a deeper story. Though only twenty, Jesse looked at least ten years older. He sank onto my sofa as if his legs could no longer bear his weight.

Jesse explained that he had been a star athlete and a straight-A student, but that his persistent insomnia had initiated a downward spiral of depression and despair. As a result, he dropped out of college and had to forfeit the baseball scholarship he’d worked so hard to win. He desperately sought help to get his life back on track. Over the past year, he’d been to three doctors, two psychologists, a sleep clinic, and a naturopathic physician. Not one of them, he related in a monotone, was able to offer any real insight or help. Jesse, gazing mostly at the floor as he shared his story, told me he was at the end of his rope.

When I asked whether he had any ideas about what might have triggered his insomnia, he shook his head. Sleep had always come easily for Jesse. Then, one night just after his nineteenth birthday, he woke suddenly at 3:30 a.m. He was freezing, shivering, unable to get warm no matter what he tried. Three hours and several blankets later, Jesse was still wide awake. Not only was he cold and tired, he was seized by a strange fear he had never experienced before, a fear that something awful could happen if he let himself fall back to sleep. If I go to sleep, I’ll never wake up. Every time he felt himself drifting off, the fear would jolt him back into wakefulness. The pattern repeated itself the next night, and the night after that. Soon insomnia became a nightly ordeal. Jesse knew his fear was irrational, yet he felt helpless to put an end to it.

I listened closely as Jesse spoke. What stood out for me was one unusual detail—he’d been extremely cold, “freezing” he said, just prior to the first episode. I began to explore this with Jesse, and asked him if anyone on either side of the family suffered a trauma that involved being “cold,” or being “asleep,” or being “nineteen.”

Jesse revealed that his mother had only recently told him about the tragic death of his father’s older brother—an uncle he never knew he had. Uncle Colin was only nineteen when he froze to death checking power lines in a storm just north of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Tracks in the snow revealed that he had been struggling to hang on. Eventually, he was found facedown in a blizzard, having lost consciousness from hypothermia. His death was such a tragic loss that the family never spoke his name again. Now, three decades later, Jesse was unconsciously reliving aspects of Colin’s death—specifically, the terror of letting go into unconsciousness. For Colin, letting go meant death. For Jesse, falling asleep must have felt the same.

Making the connection was a turning point for Jesse. Once he grasped that his insomnia had its origin in an event that occurred thirty years earlier, he finally had an explanation for his fear of falling asleep. The process of healing could now begin. With tools Jesse learned in our work together, which will be detailed later in this book, he was able to disentangle himself from the trauma endured by an uncle he’d never met, but whose terror he had unconsciously taken on as his own. Not only did Jesse feel freed from the heavy fog of insomnia, he gained a deeper sense of connection to his family, present and past.

In an attempt to explain stories such as Jesse’s, scientists are now able to identify biological markers— evidence that traumas can and do pass down from one generation to the next. Rachel Yehuda, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, is one of the world’s leading experts in posttraumatic stress, a true pioneer in this field. In numerous studies, Yehuda has examined the neurobiology of PTSD in Holocaust survivors and their children. Her research on cortisol in particular (the stress hormone that helps our body return to normal after we experience a trauma) and its effects on brain function has revolutionized the understanding and treatment of PTSD worldwide. (People with PTSD relive feelings and sensations associated with a trauma despite the fact that the trauma occurred in the past. Symptoms include depression, anxiety, numbness, insomnia, nightmares, frightening thoughts, and being easily startled or “on edge.”)

Yehuda and her team found that children of Holocaust survivors who had PTSD were born with low cortisol levels similar to their parents, predisposing them to relive the PTSD symptoms of the previous generation. Her discovery of low cortisol levels in people who experience an acute traumatic event has been controversial, going against the long-held notion that stress is associated with high cortisol levels. Specifically, in cases of chronic PTSD, cortisol production can become suppressed, contributing to the low levels measured in both survivors and their children.

Yehuda discovered similar low cortisol levels in war veterans, as well as in pregnant mothers who developed PTSD after being exposed to the World Trade Center attacks, and in their children. Not only did she find that the survivors in her study produced less cortisol, a characteristic they can pass on to their children, she notes that several stress-related psychiatric disorders, including PTSD, chronic pain syndrome, and chronic fatigue syndrome, are associated with low blood levels of cortisol. Interestingly, 50 to 70 percent of PTSD patients also meet the diagnostic criteria for major depression or another mood or anxiety disorder.

Yehuda’s research demonstrates that you and I are three times more likely to experience symptoms of PTSD if one of our parents had PTSD, and as a result, we’re likely to suffer from depression or anxiety. She believes that this type of generational PTSD is inherited rather than occurring from our being exposed to our parents’ stories of their ordeals. Yehuda was one of the first researchers to show how descendants of trauma survivors carry the physical and emotional symptoms of traumas they do not directly experience.

That was the case with Gretchen. After years of taking antidepressants, attending talk and group therapy sessions, and trying various cognitive approaches for mitigating the effects of stress, her symptoms of depression and anxiety remained unchanged.

Gretchen told me she no longer wanted to live. For as long as she could remember, she had struggled with emotions so intense she could barely contain the surges in her body. Gretchen had been admitted several times to a psychiatric hospital where she was diagnosed as bipolar with a severe anxiety disorder. Medication brought her slight relief, but never touched the powerful suicidal urges that lived inside her. As a teenager, she would self-injure by burning herself with the lit end of a cigarette. Now, at thirty-nine, Gretchen had had enough. Her depression and anxiety, she said, had prevented her from ever marrying and having children. In a surprisingly matter-of-fact tone of voice, she told me that she was planning to commit suicide before her next birthday.

Listening to Gretchen, I had the strong sense that there must be significant trauma in her family history. In such cases, I find it’s essential to pay close attention to the words being spoken for clues to the traumatic event underlying a client’s symptoms.

When I asked her how she planned to kill herself, Gretchen said that she was going to vaporize herself. As incomprehensible as it might sound to most of us, her plan was literally to leap into a vat of molten steel at the mill where her brother worked. “My body will incinerate in seconds,” she said, staring directly into my eyes, “even before it reaches the bottom.”

I was struck by her lack of emotion as she spoke. Whatever feeling lay beneath appeared to have been vaulted deep inside. At the same time, the words vaporize and incinerate rattled inside me. Having worked with many children and grandchildren whose families were affected by the Holocaust, I’ve learned to let their words lead me. I wanted Gretchen to tell me more.

I asked if anyone in her family was Jewish or had been involved in the Holocaust. Gretchen started to say no, but then stopped herself and recalled a story about her grandmother. She had been born into a Jewish family in Poland, but converted to Catholicism when she came to the United States in 1946 and married Gretchen’s grandfather. Two years earlier, her grandmother’s entire family had perished in the ovens at Auschwitz. They had literally been gassed—engulfed in poisonous vapors—and incinerated. No one in Gretchen’s immediate family ever spoke to her grandmother about the war, or about the fate of her siblings or her parents. Instead, as is often the case with such extreme trauma, they avoided the subject entirely.

Gretchen knew the basic facts of her family history, but had never connected it to her own anxiety and depression. It was clear to me that the words she used and the feelings she described didn’t originate with her, but had in fact originated with her grandmother and the family members who lost their lives.

As I explained the connection, Gretchen listened intently. Her eyes widened and color rose in her cheeks. I could tell that what I said was resonating. For the first time, Gretchen had an explanation for her suffering that made sense to her.

To help her deepen her new understanding, I invited her to imagine standing in her grandmother’s shoes, represented by a pair of foam rubber footprints that I placed on the carpet in the center of my office. I asked her to imagine feeling what her grandmother might have felt after having lost all her loved ones. Taking it even a step further, I asked her if she could literally stand on the footprints as her grandmother, and feel her grandmother’s feelings in her own body. Gretchen reported sensations of overwhelming loss and grief, aloneness and isolation. She also experienced the profound sense of guilt that many survivors feel, the sense of remaining alive while loved ones have been killed.

In order to process trauma, it’s often helpful for clients to have a direct experience of the feelings and sensations that have been submerged in the body. When Gretchen was able to access these sensations, she realized that her wish to annihilate herself was deeply entwined with her lost family members. She also realized that she had taken on some element of her grandmother’s desire to die. As Gretchen absorbed this understanding, seeing the family story in a new light, her body began to soften, as if something inside her that had long been coiled up could now relax.

As with Jesse, Gretchen’s recognition that her trauma lay buried in her family’s unspoken history was merely the first step in her healing process. An intellectual understanding by itself is rarely enough for a lasting shift to occur. Often, the awareness needs to be accompanied by a deeply felt visceral experience. We’ll explore further the ways in which healing becomes fully integrated so that the wounds of previous generations can finally be released”.

 

For more information, please see the original article by following this link…..

May you walk in peace… and so too, our future generations ~

Blessings, Rain & Co.

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New Moon Blessings ~

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image courtesy of SageGoddess.com

 

“Let us fall in love again
and scatter gold dust all over the world.
Let us become a new spring
and feel the breeze drift in heaven’s scent.
Let us dress the earth in green
and like the sap of a young tree
let the grace from within us sustain us.
Let us carve gems out of our stony hearts
and let them light our path to Love.
The glance of Love is crystal clear
and we are blessed by its light.”
~Rumi

 

 

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“A New Moon marks the beginning of a new cycle, a fresh start in it’s cycle of waxing and waning. During this time the Moon is empty and receptive and full of potential. This is an optimum time to plant seeds of intentions for what you wish to manifest in your life.”  please visit http://www.mysticmamma.com for more information

 

 

 

#themonumentquilt

what a brilliant initiative! just had to share {twice on one day ~ I know, it’s a lot 😉 :p }

thanks for bearing with me 😀

follow the links to see how YOU can participate! #inclusion  #themonumentquilt

THE MONUMENT QUILT

 

#upsettingrapeculture

here is more….

OUR GUIDING BELIEFS AND VALUES

Here are the beliefs, values and messages that not only shape the Monument Quilt, but will also, we hope, shape popular beliefs and understanding about sexual and domestic violence in the US.

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ENDING SEXUAL VIOLENCE STARTS WITH BUILDING COMMUNITIES THAT SUPPORT SURVIVORS
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“I think the quilt is empowering. It shows sexual assault victims they are valued. It is not their fault. I’ve worked with a lot of women who feel very alone in their experience. With this, they can feel supported.” – Hibo Jama from Nisaa African Women’s Project.

“Our community is not whole without all of the people that make it up, and as part of our community, if survivors are hurting then the community itself is fractured.” – Maria Bady

What if, instead of tearing a community apart, sexual violence was a tragedy and trauma that brought communities together? What if the public process of uncovering the epidemic of sexual violence healed the people most affected by it? What if, when a survivor feels blamed, their community tells them it’s not their fault? What if when a survivor feels isolated, we tell them they are not alone? What if when a survivor feels silenced, we listen?

The Monument Quilt is a tool to reconnect survivors to community and for communities to come together to publicly support survivors. Trauma is most often an isolating experience, yet these traumas impact the whole community. Building communities that can effectively intervene, prevent and eventually end the epidemic of sexual violence in the US, starts with building communities that can listen to, believe, and support survivors.

THE US NEEDS PUBLIC SPACE FOR SURVIVORS TO HEAL
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“I’ve never been in a space thats been this public, where I’ve felt safe to say that I am a survivor and not expect you to run away. I feel, as a lot of other people feel, that when you tell your story its a burden, especially stories of sexual violence, especially childhood sexual abuse. So it becomes the burden of the survivor to figure out who to tell and how much to tell. And that can be such a painful process to feel like that facet of you is too much for anyone else to hold. So I think a space like this, with such a diversity of stories, is really needed,” Emily Sha

“If I had to sum up my experience of the quilt in one word, I would say the quilt was ‘safe’. As a survivor, my biggest struggle in life has been to feel safe. It’s been a struggle to feel safe in intimate relationships, and it’s been a struggle to feel safe in the presence of co-workers, or just walking down the street– I have never, in my entire life, felt it was “safe” to publicly express my grief, pain, anger, or sorrow related to the trauma that I have survived. For the first time in my life, I walked into a public space where it was safe to be a Survivor. It’s a life-altering experience that all Survivors deserve.” – Quilt Visitor

When we relegate the process of healing from sexual trauma to the private realm, we limit survivors’ space to heal and we limit society’s ability to transform. The Monument Quilt creates public healing space by and for survivors. The burden of sexual trauma should not be carried by the survivor alone, but rather carried collectively.

In the shelter, counseling and crisis center systems, rape and abuse are treated like private problems. Sometimes the privacy of these spaces is out of necessity, but often it is because we do not have the tools or platforms to publicly address our experiences. Survivors deserve to chose what their process of healing looks like. Not everyone is going to want nor need public space to heal. But in our country, right now, public space is not an option for people who do want it.

The Monument Quilt is one model to create public space to heal and improve community response in the US. We hope that by giving survivors, advocates and communities concrete tools to building public healing space, option for public platforms will continue to grow and multiply.

RAPE IS NOT A SPECIAL INTEREST ISSUE THAT AFFECTS A FEW PEOPLE, RAPE IS A SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUE THAT AFFECTS EVERYONE
When rape is talked about in the mainstream media, it is most often talked about as a problem that affects only a very specific group of people. Therefore, we hear about rape happening on college campuses, in the military, but fail to hear about how sexual violence occurs in nearly every facet of the US population. Rape is not a “women’s issue” or an issue that only affects undergrad students in the US. Rape is happening within our families, towns, places of worship, friend groups, schools, and communities. Rape is not a distant problem that affects other people, but rather a social justice issue that affects us all.

Everyone living in the US is impacted by rape culture and it is all of our work to dismantle it. Because of this, the best place to address sexual violence is in your own community. The Monument Quilt is an organizing ground and a tool for social change. It is not about “giving voice to the voiceless”, but rather it is a platform for people to speak with their own voice. We ask that folks engage in the Monument Quilt for themselves, and on their own terms.

SURVIVORS SHOULD BE PUBLICLY SUPPORTED, NOT PUBLICLY SHAMED
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The people that benefit the most directly from the public scrutiny of survivors are rapists. We live in a country where it is safer to commit an act of rape than to publicly disclose having survived one. Social norms control behavior. While on the surface, U.S. culture might articulate that “rape is wrong,” the social norms enforced by our communities do more to perpetuate rape than to end it. Being a survivor is still stigmatized. While the overwhelming majority of perpetrators face no consequences for their actions, the majority of survivors who speak out do.

The news coverage that is putting rape in the national spotlight is also messy and problematic. Our country struggles with how to talk about rape. What we saw in the media wake of Stubenville or the UVA rape case, is that our young people, our news anchors and our country do not have the language to respond to the tragedy and trauma of sexual violence in a way that honors survivors. The silence around rape has left a void in our culture. We know how to publicly shame survivors. We don’t know how to publicly support them.

The Monument Quilt is a supportive space for survivors. In the space of the quilt, survivors are believed. Our experiences are honored, our stories are uplifted, and our grieg is held. As the quilt grows, it will forever change how people respond to rape, from a culture that shames survivors, to a culture that support survivors.

ACTIVISM IS HEALING
“Each time I write on my quilt, I feel freedom, peace and tranquility. I pour my love and support for myself and for others. I know I am not alone!” – Rocio Moreno

Part of the psychological trauma of sexual and domestic violence is a sense disempowerment. In sexual and domestic violence, one loses control over the one domain we should always have control: our bodies. Activism has transformative potential for healing the deep wound of disempowerment. To feel one’s own power is restorative.

“As a survivors I am not what is broken—what broken is this culture. When you look at our mainstream models for healing from sexual violence, they are all about healing the survivor, not the culture. I can’t change what happened to me, but I can change the culture that created my abuse.” -Rebecca Nagle

THE MONUMENT QUILT IS BY AND FOR SURVIVORS
“The Monument Quilt is not just commissioned by well-meaning community members, this project’s trajectory is dictated by survivors ourselves. This project has given me the strength and support to publicly say that I’m also a survivor of rape without fear of victim-blaming.”

– Melanie Keller, Baltimore Hollaback

Every social injustice is perpetuated by isolating those who are most affected by it. When people are connected and empowered, they can organize to create change. When people are politically and socially isolated, they cannot. Public shame and scrutiny isolates survivors. Confining survivors’ lived experiences to the private realm cuts off their potential to band together. Rape thrives on the silence of survivors and will die only after the pressures to remain silent have been lifted.

While survivors’ isolation breeds injustice, survivors connecting creates opportunity for change. Bringing survivors together is political. The quilt is an organizing tool and organizing ground for survivors and our supporters. The quilt is a platform to not only share our stories, but forever change how the US responds to rape.

The Monument Quilt is a space that prioritizes the needs of survivors. The project is also a space for secondary survivors and supporters to process how they are impacted by sexual assault and how they can work to end it.

SURVIVORS TELLING THEIR OWN STORIES resists the narrow and inaccurate mainstream narrative of sexual violence
“What I love about the whole project is the narrative of control by survivors. The diversity of the stories on the quilt show how rape affects all people in different ways. When rape victims are discussed in a non-blaming manner, they are generally young, heterosexual White women. The quilt squares made by male victims of sexual assault, people victimized by family members, partners abused by their intimate spouses, and other people we don’t often see discussed in media tell an uncomfortable truth. Recognizing these stories is one huge step towards ending rape,” – Melanie Keller.

How survivors experience, recover, survive and thrive through sexual assault is extremely personal and individual. No two quilt squares are the same, just like no two experiences of sexual violence. In the quilt, it is survivors who tell their own stories.

Survivors experience violence, recovery, access and justice very differently based on race, class, gender, sexual orientation, class, citizenship, ability, age, and gender identity. However, the mainstream narrative of how sexual violence happens and who is experiencing it does not match this reality. Many survivors don’t see themselves and their experience in our media’s very narrow depiction of rape. Survivors whose stories are made invisible have less access to support, justice and resources.

The Monument Quilt seeks to create a highly public narrative of sexual violence that tells many stories, not one. Resisting and changing the public understanding of who is experiencing sexual violence and how it is happening is one step towards ending rape.

THE QUILT ENGAGES MEN AS SURVIVORS
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On his quilt square one survivor wrote, “It was men who taught me that assault only happens to women, robbing me of the language I needed to name and process my experience.”

When we see cisgender men’s role in the movement solely as allies or perpetrators, we silence male survivors. We must engage men as survivors first. When 1 in 6 men are sexually abused as children, carrying the assumption that the men we encounter in our work are not survivors is hurtful and wrong.

Our assumptions of who experiences sexual violence come directly from the rigid gender norms that create rape in the first place. To open the story of sexual violence to other genders is not only accurate and truthful, but necessary to uprooting the deep cultural roots of rape. A world where there is more space for men to come forward as a survivors, is a world where rape is less likely to occur.

QUEERING OUR UNDERSTANDING OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE
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LGBTQ people experience higher rates of violence with less access to resources and justice. Over half of all trans* people experience sexual violence in their lifetime.

When rape and intimate partner violence is most often described in mainstream media, it is described as something that happens between cis men and women. Many survivors don’t see themselves in this narrow depiction and have a harder time naming their own experiences.

Because of homophobia and transphobia, LGBTQ people are more often targeted for violence. These same survivors are more likely to not be allowed into shelter systems, not be believed by law enforcement, and be further traumatized by encountering prejudice when simply trying to get help. These troubling responses stem from deeply rooted cultural beliefs. While there are many myths about rape in our culture, there is a set of myth that specifically impact LGBTQ survivors. Examples of these myths include that rape can’t happen between two women or two men, that lesbian can be “corrected” through rape, or that a queer sexual orientation is a response to past trauma (which is only true if you assume that queer identities are inherently pathological).

By LGBTQ survivors telling our own stories through the quilt, we are able to correct these myths and misconceptions. LGBTQ survivors can see themselves in the quilt and have their own experiences validated. Straight and cisgendered viewers can challenge their existing perceptions by reading our stories.

WHITE SUPREMACY and COLONIALISM USE RAPE AS A TOOL TO UPHOLD OPPRESSION
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“In looking at violence against Native women in general, it’s important to look at the historical trauma and history of violence. The legacy of colonization has had a tremendous impact on our people for generations. Our Elders tell us these kinds of victimization were not the kind of behavior that was tolerated or really practiced much among our people.” – Shawn Partridge, Mucogee (Creek) Nation.

White supremacy and US Colonialism use sexual violence as a tool to perpetuate the oppression of peoples and communities of color. The racist tactics have deep, historical roots. Dismantling white supremacy and systemic racism is a necessary part of ending our current rape culture.

The current epidemic of violence against Native Women, has historical roots in The US government colonization of sovereign American Indian Nations. Native women experience violence 2.5 times more than any other ethnic group and 88% of perpetrators of violence against native women are non-native. If a non-native person commits rape on tribal land, the tribe does not have jurisdiction to prosecute the offender. The Supreme Court Case that took tribal jurisdiction away from sovereign Native Nations was not decided in 1878, but rather 1978. Current US laws and culture, tied to a long history of colonialism and attempted genocide, create the current epidemic of violence against Native women.

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RAPE and ABUSE CAN and MUST END
In the US, we live in a rape-prone society. 1 in 3 women, 1 in 6 men and over half of all trans* people will experience rape and/or abuse in their lifetime. Rape is not biological or innate to the human experience. There are many human societies past and present where rape is a rare occurrence that is not socially accepted nor tolerated. Unfortunately, the United States of America is not among these. The specific epidemic of rape in the US is perpetuated through media, laws, policy, institutions, systems and culture. Rape culture is the air we breath and the water that we are swimming in. Rape culture works to normalize coercion and violence so that rape become “just the way things are” and not a problem that can be solved.

You cannot create a reality that you haven’t first imagined. In order to create a world where rape is rare, we must imagine that such a world can and will exist. In the Monument Quilt, we are imagining an alternative society where survivors are publicly supported rather than publicly shamed.

 

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RAPE IS AN EPIDEMIC

“On the one hand it’s really overwhelming to see how many pieces there are. The sheer number and the collective pain. But at the same times its so encouraging to see how much strength there is,” stated visitor to the Chicago quilt display, Emily Sha.

“Community leaders stopped by to view the exhibit and commented on how astonished they were that sexual abuse and assault happen so frequently and within so many different contexts. We were able to use the event as a way to educate those in our community who were reluctant to understand the prevalence and scope of the problem.” – Racheal Herbert, executive Director of STAR in Baton Rouge.

In the effort to recognize the epidemic of sexual violence, we have become numb to the same statistics that have been stated (and not changed) for 40 years. The quilt makes physical those numbers. When you are standing in a field of quilt squares when you can read the depth of experience each square represents, you feel the impact of sexual trauma. Feeling that reality is different than knowing it intellectually.

When the quilt is on the national mall, we will blanket over 1 mile of earth with 6,000 stories from survivors of rape and abuse for one week. In that week, while we are honoring and grieving the experiences of 6,000 survivors, our country will be creating 6,000 more.

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all words and images are copyright of #themonumentquilt 

 

purple dreaming… and being in service to bees!

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This New Moon has been an intense one for some (what’s new, lol) ….and for myself, I have been creating structures to support greater creativity and wellness in my personal life {that always spills into the professional, too 😉 }.

Strange things, like making a Bee Feeder (to hold water, as believe-it-or-not ~ bees drink water, too!) ~ this is my small way of making a difference in ways that count {less bees will drown from trying to sip water out of larger bodies of water – which also means that more bees will survive and help our planet thrive! #pollination depends on our global colonies).

Here is a pic of the bee feeder #workinprogress 😉 The idea is that the bees sit neatly on the pebbles and stones, and sip away at their reservoir rather being drowned in the nearby pool!! 😀

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Besides the bees, I am working at strengthening my acceptance of “how things are” and “who I am” in the world, vz how I might “like” it to be, more often 😉 lol

Good ol’ Oprah and Deepak Chopra in their free online meditation cycle at present, give us the injunction:

“I define myself by choosing who I want to be.”

April in general (magically – speaking) holds the theme of empowerment within the wheel of the year;

Oprah and Deepak synchronistically frame the day as one “about taking back the power to create your own life story, and to speak and act according to your own truth.” Hmmm.

Let me say, I am practicing daily to be more “in flow” while simultaneously rooting in my own perspective, which I do find far harder (and way more “uncomfortable”) than it sounds.

As always, I maintain a fabulous sense of humour (except for when it fails me, usually when I am sleep deprived :p ) and on I sail in my little boat upon the broad oceans of Life.

This post is to wish you all Happy New Moon in feisty Aries, and give a little creative expression to the muse in me, who wishes to write.

Blessings always ~

Rain & Co.

April Fools

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I saw a picture of Table Mountain laden in snow today, and got quite excited! Only to realise that in fact I was subject to a prank of April’s Fool, lol.

Somehow the breathtaking beauty of pristine white, fresh layered snow was so appealing to my senses….. somewhere inside I dream of Spring in a snow-covered countryside.

{Remember, I am in South Africa and we are only now emerging from late summer into early autumn!}

This picture of the Owl also graced my page, and I decided to share, simply “because”.

No good reason, just for the love of writing, and connection. I wished to blog today!

May your April be blessed, and whether Spring or Autumn ~ I pray Grace flows abundantly through your life.

Carpe Dieum, Rain

 

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pictures credit to 

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.169923273195624.1073741828.169922269862391&type=3

https://www.facebook.com/Just-a-smidge-of-this-and-that-764530613608484/?fref=nf

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