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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

6 tips to get back in your body when dissociating

Dissociation is a state of being in where a person disconnects with their body and 'reality'. It can look like a person is dreaming, but it really is something different. It's a disconnected state in where the consciousness is so overwhelmed it wants a way out. It closes down the consciouness connection between body and mind so the person isn't overwhelmed by feelings or sensory input. It's actually a mechanism that helps people being able to function. 

There are also downsides to this state. People aren't present in the now, and a dissociated state doesn't always feels nice, more numb. It can be part of certain conditions like PTSD, DID or other labels. It also can be a symptom that stands on it's own. It almost always is triggered by trauma in my experience although stress can also have a huge effect on it. It's the freeze response of the body when a threatening event happens. After the trauma it can reoccur when a person experience a trigger, reminding them of the original trauma. 

Often the person feels like he or she has no control over the dissociation which can make it a scary experience. Loss of memory and sense of time can occur in these stressful situations. Although it's a way of our bodies and mind to help us survive, it still is a survival mechanism that with the proper approach can be changed into another coping skill which is more comfortable for the person.

Dissociation is at the other end of the spectrum than day dreaming or loosing track of time when you're driving. It can really interrupt life and the ability to function and experience joy in life and relationships. 

It is something different than meditation in where the presence in the now, and 'being here' are important skills for an optimal experience. The focus there lies in integration instead of seperation.

Experiencing a safe space with a professional in where you can transform the energy of the trauma by talking or using other tools can help the dissociation stop. When you surrender to the process you suddenly notice that you don't dissociate as much as you used to. Your body doesn't feel like it needs that old coping skill, cause it has new tools to regulate it's emotions. 

What can you do when you dissociate?

1. Breath
Notice how the air fills your longs and notice your belly. Invite yourself to be present

2. Open your eyes when they are closed
Name what you see around you. Speak out loud and tell what you see. Which colors do you see?

3. Put your feet on the ground
Feel where you are sitting or standing. Be aware of where your body stops and the chair or floor starts.

4. Wash your hands
Do you feel the water. Notice the temperature. Is it warm? Is it cold?

5. Listen
What do you hear? Which sounds do you recognize? 

6. Eat something
Observe the taste in your mouth. Is it salt, sweet or sour?

7. Touch your face, your arms and legs.
Stroke it and notice how the blood starts to flow. 

Find out what works for you!

Love to hear if these tips work for you and what your tips are! In my next article I will write more about how dissociation and multi-dimensionality relate to each other. 

Have a great day!



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Be a hero: You are not alone

In life we have choices. We can choose to be a hero.

Being a 'leader' in a new way can feel alone at times. When we pave the way by showing a new alternative of dealing with every day challenges it can create feelings of loneliness. 

There can be resistance from others who rather hold on to old ways, but a true leader knows how to work with that. They create a synergy, a connection between the old and the new, while honoring the perspectives and feelings of everyone. 

A new leader isn't ruling from the top, but standing next to everyone, using their talents to create a unity in where all opinions are honored.

Life never is about being right. For me life is about following my inner truth, my heart and intuition. That makes it possible to make unpopular descisions, to go against the crowd when needed when it eventually is for the highest good of all. 

In life we have choices. We can choose to be a victim forever and keep creating experiences that validate our victim hood. I know a cool secret. Being a victim has so much potential. It really does! Who doesn't like a story that started bad in the beginning, in where a person overcame so much and used their experiences to make a difference in the world? Almost all good stories are about that. Harry Potter! The Hunger games! and I can go on and on and on. 

They all started from a pretty bad place. Harry did. Dobby did. Katniss did. What did they do? Harry became the most famous wizard ever. Dobby became a free elf. Katniss became the mocking bird, the face of revolution. They all went against public opinions, against the views of their friends and family and listened to their heart. What do you want to be?

Change the world? Go for it! 

Let's stop blaming the glass ceiling, inequality and create solutions. Open up the conversation of the things you are passionate about. Turn on the light. Be real. Be true to yourself. You are not alone. You know why? Because there are people like you out there making a difference everyday. But most important because you don't give up on yourself. Because you are your best friend. Because you listen to your heart. Because you stay loyal to yourself. That is why you are never alone. You don't give up on you. You are your best friend. 


Saturday, November 16, 2013

The life you want can be yours

I was 13 and almost pushed out of a driving car on the high way because I was eating a banana. I didn’t wanted to throw the peel on the street but throw it in a garbage can later. That I didn’t listened to his attempts to make me throw garbage on the high way was a victory. An epic victory in the existence of human kind. A grand happening in the life of every kid that used to have no voice. It took me 13 years to get enough courage to stand up. It was a little act of rebellion that would turn out the be life changing. It was huge cause it made clear that I had my own will. My own preferences. He didn’t liked it and his face turned red, he benched over me to open the door of the car and to push me out of it. We were driving on the high way with a fast speed and I saw the trees coming by in a rapid pace. I could push his arm away just in time, while he was pushing and hitting me to release his frustration that I had a voice. I had a voice. I could speak!

He got more angry and furious by the second. The physical pain on my body while he was punching with his iron fists was nothing compared to the ice cold wave of hate his words spoke. It would be the last time I would sit in a car next to him while he attempted to kill me. It wasn’t the first time he did hurt me or threatened to kill me. I have a rule in life though that I discovered on that moment: You mustn’t dare to try to take my life in front of my sisters eyes, who was sitting at the back seat. The fury that created inside me would give me the power to walk the journey of freedom. One step at a time.

I never associated domestic abuse or abuse with my life. My life was my life and that was that. I knew I wasn’t happy and that some stuff didn’t felt good. But in my perspective trauma was something for children who grew up in wars. You know the kids you see in ads on TV with flies in their eyes. Those are the kids who needed help. Trauma was not for a kid that grew up in a normal house in a clean street in a civilized country, I believed. Abuse had nothing to do with me.

So when I saw the campaigns and got educated as a kid about domestic abuse I never associated it with my life. They just didn’t represented it. They didn’t talked about what I would call the Stockholm syndrome. That the people hurting you most of the time aren’t violent strangers but can be people close that know really well how to groom. They know the art of seduction and manipulation to the max. Violence is easy to recognize I believed. When someone hits you for no reason and beats the hell out of you that is abuse.

What I didn’t knew at that time is that I was so brainwashed that I believed that when someone hit me, it was something else. I mean, I deserved it big time. I just had to listen and be a good girl, right? And to call it hitting. Well, that is a bit exaggerated. People can lose their temper and I felt I had to be compassionate with that. Violence disguises as seduction and mind control in this case. When people touched me on places I didn’t liked I thought: “Well if that makes them feel better it would be rude to stop them” I truly believed that. When I wanted them to stop they started to become violent. I thought that eventually surrendering to it was the essence of real love. They told me over and over again: “It’s for your own good”, so I thought that was the truth. The people in my life love me and do it for my own best interest I believed.

For sure I had heavy bruises on my body and the emotional damage was much worse, but I knew it was punishment that I deserved. It was my own fault. There was something wrong with me and this was what I deserved. Those where the stories I told myself. I know now a higher truth: healthy boundaries are an expression of self-love. No, is a very powerful word and my physical, mental and spiritual integrity must be respected at all times. The real truth will set you free eventually.

I didn’t learned it the easy way, as my body didn’t responded to violence anymore with a fight response. Because of my upbringing I learned to check out in dangerous situations or dissociate so I wouldn’t feel anything. My warning system was turned off to be able to survive and endure violence. So later in life I didn’t recognized abusive situations as such, even when I had years of therapy. I actually felt comfortable in abusive relationships unconsciously cause that is what I knew and grew up in. Intellectually I knew what abuse was and how it worked but my feelings and body where wired in such a way that they thought it was normal. Every cell of my body perceived it as normal and even comfortable at times.

That is exactly why perfectly sane people can keep recreating trauma in their lives. Relationships that are really loving and respectful actually can feel uncomfortable. There is nothing so uncomfortable for me as real safety. As surrounding myself with people who love me for who I am and are nice. Who just want to help without wanting anything back because they think I am cool. To get used to real love, help and supporting friends and relationships is the hard work and is a journey that eventually is so freeing, rewarding and liberating.

People told me I would never overcome my childhood and that it would scar me for life. Well, let’s say reality has proven something else and the opposite. I am dealing every day with the effects of it, that is true. At days it’s hard work to stay on track and keep believing in me, to be aware that I have a voice. But it doesn’t mean that abuse defines me. It’s not who I am. It’s part of the beginning of my story and I decide how the story unfolds. It made me stronger and added a whole new dimension to my existence. It at times is the fuel that makes that I keep on making the world more beautiful. It ignited a passionate fire to make a difference and create safe space for me, kids, teens and all humans.

I believe that the world needs people who have been in the dark and found a way out. The world needs your story. It wants to hear how it feels the dark. How lonely it was or is and how much pain you have if you are hurt. It’s absolutely no drama to share that. It makes it possible for others to connect and understand you. It’s opening up so the light can come in. So that happiness has a space. The dark can’t be erased but it can be integrated in a new light, in a new day, in the sun that comes up.

What always gave me huge power is the knowledge that others can benefit from my story. It made me aware that every life doesn’t stand alone. It’s part of a collective of stories. And every life and story influences each other.

Let’s open up together. Let’s share how we really feel and what we think. Cause in that lies a huge opportunity to tell ourselves and each other the real truth: that you are, was and always will be a great human. That you deserve love. Let others reflect that to you and dare to reflect it to others.

I know you deserve love despite what you might think or what others told you. Growing up in a chaotic environment can leave huge imprints at our core. It’s can almost feel like our blueprint for life is changed, and we start to believe we aren’t good enough, not pretty, that there is no place for us here on earth. And when we believe that we have experiences that tell us exactly that. It’s like others can smell that and that is how we over and over again can have abusive experiences throughout our lives. But there is hope. Today is a new beginning. We can change the story.

I know a different truth that is more real than all the crap every told to you:

There is nothing wrong with you.

You are the most amazing being.

You are pretty.

You matter.

I just know that you are talented.

And I know that there is a place for you here at earth where you can thrive.

What does it mean to read this when at your core you feel so alone, when your thoughts and believes tell you otherwise? It’s a chance for change and loving yourself even more! Cause every negative thought you have about yourself doesn’t need to be pushed away, but you can embrace it in love. When you accept them as an echo of a past reality you can start to create new thoughts which will invoke more positive feelings.

The old programs we have running can be powerful but there is nothing more powerful than the power of love. When I think: ‘ I can’t do this, I suck’ or have a panic attack or a moment of ‘OMG What the heck did I say? OMG.’ On those moments you can see me running around the house screaming dramatically with my hands in my hair: ‘O MY GOOOD.’ I don’t dive into the negative feeling, I take a deep breath and turn it around and tell myself: I can do this. I rock. My expressions are perfectly me. My creations are exactly what they need to be.

The darkness inside ourselves has a huge potential. It says to me: There is so much light there. When you believe you suck in every fiber of your being. When you feel like hurting yourself or when you want it all to stop and just die I know something about you. I know you’re a very special and unique and wonderful being. In that intense void there is so much space for love, for compassion and for creative expression. It’s the same intensity that makes you a superstar. It’s that power that makes that you will make it in life for sure. You will be a huge inspiration for others and change the world forever. Your life isn’t meaningless. You are the one that will change the world so that others won’t have to experience the same pain. You can show a way out by being you.

I want you to know that there is nothing wrong with you. You are talented. I believe in you. The life you want can be yours.

These days I love bananas. On that day in the car 16 years ago I promised myself to use my voice not just for me but for everyone in the same situation. On that day I felt all of you. I feel it every time I speak my truth. When I listen to my intuition. When I speak to you and other teens, to parents or educators about the power of love. I felt the courage it takes to stand up for all. Also the tremendous power and perseverance it brings when you do decide to set yourself free. I felt the power that you have, that I have. That tells me everything. You will make it. Not just that. Your life is going to be amazing! Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise. You know it in your heart.

You rock!

Safe space is the energetic source of life

Safe space. I love to radiate it.
What is it? Let's start by defining what it is not. It's not saving the world or saving people. It's not the need to fix others or rescueing them. Safe space for me is an energetic space that radiates inspiration, life force, acceptance. It's loving people and sharing a space of love and empowerment with them. 

People can radiate safe space for sure. Animals can do it. Creations can carry the imprint of it. It all has to do with the basic structure and intent of something. Doing things in love, in respect makes that the energy around us gets energized with stardust, with safety.

There is nothing more healing than safe space in my experience. Transformations happen in that space. Pain learns to be in loving boundaries and can change in safe space. Creativity gets a powerboost.

It's a place to rest and recharge but also one that just tingles your soul and every cell. It is full with passion and manifested dreams. 

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