I was recently invited to a social event with a group of people who know me in a very particular work-related way. They were used to seeing me teaching, speaking, and writing about nonviolent communication, integral theory, positive psychology, and mind-body practices, and I noticed an unexpected reaction in me when I attended this event.
I was surprisingly uncomfortable.
I noticed myself becoming aware of an expectation (in myself? in them?) that I fit a very particular version of “healthy” and “skillful” and “aware” that left me feeling icky. …
Have you been noticing the various stages that we all go through on our healing and personal transformation journeys?
You know, there’s the “waking up” stage when we realize that things aren’t what they seemed, and we begin questioning old assumptions and beliefs.
And then there’s the “I can be different!” stage where we encounter fresh ways of thinking, being, and seeing, and we get soooo inspired to reach for a brand new ME. Vision board time!
Or the “wait, what?” discombobulation stage where everything is upside down and inside out. …
Recently, a participant on one of my weekly learning calls asked me how to end a friendship, especially when we don’t want to “get into it all” with the other person.
We’ve all been there.
We continue to hang out with that person, even though we’re just not that into them. We show up for that regular lunch date, even though it’s started to feel like a burden. We feel that sinking heaviness in our gut every time that person’s name lights up our phone. …
How would you describe your relationship with power?
Do you embrace it? Shy away from it?
Trust it? Feel suspicious toward it?
I used to carry enemy images of power.
Experiences I’d had with people using external and institutional power over others in self-serving, exploitative, and violent ways left me feeling wary about the potential misuse of power and distrusting of many people who appeared to have power.
Also, over the years I’ve had relational experiences with people who told me that I’m “intimidating,” “scary,” or “a force of nature,” and that left me with the assumption that I need…
I just returned from a week in Egypt and the journey home was…challenging. To put it mildly.
The experience reminded me about the power of choicefulness, how I can respond in the moment, and the way our nervous systems can adapt over time.
Actually, from the moment we’re born, our nervous systems are adapting and learning how to survive in response to the stimuli we’re receiving from our families and environments.
When we grow up in relationships in which our feelings and needs are routinely dismissed, our perceptions are corrected or denied, and we are swimming in judgments, evaluations, and…
I am all about the self-healing and self-loving journey.
As a teenager, when my mother would pick me up from school in Los Angeles, she’d be listening to a call-in radio show where marriage and family therapist John Jolliffe helped people with their problems on his show, The Issues of Life.
I was mesmerized. With a few magical words he’d help someone get clarity, see a productive next step in their relationship, and find hope. And it all applied to me too. I took notes, felt seen, felt known. …
I’ve been finding it easy to slide into unconscious, mindless, and reactive response patterns lately. Some childhood patterns are rearing their pretty little heads again, asking for more care, courage, and consciousness from my adult self. I’m reminding myself to stay grounded, well-fed, well-rested, and well-resourced as layers of internal material arise to be metabolized.
Whenever I find myself in places like this, I find it helpful to contemplate and rest in the spaces between external stimuli and my internal responses.
Creating more space, more breathing room, more consciousness between the things “coming at me” and the things “rising up…
Have you ever found yourself wondering,
Growing up in my family of origin, I learned that “narcissism” was a very, very bad thing to be.
Phrases like “that’s your/her/their/his narcissism” were spoken with so much contempt and disdain that I learned very quickly the absolute worst…
Have you noticed how much information you can find “out there” about codependency and narcissism? It’s overwhelming.
And let’s be honest: not all of the content is equally good, true, or helpful.
While I’m delighted to see so many people becoming more and more informed and educated about these painful relational dynamics, there are two super-important dynamics that I just don’t see people talking about enough:
Last week was an absolute whirlwind for me.
Some people left my life; others arrived into it.
Some doors closed; others opened into new opportunities.
I’m still adjusting to all the transitions.
In times of great change like this, I also often find myself re-visiting my sense of purpose. What is this all about, really? Where am I investing my time and energy and how is that going?
As I reflect on these questions, I realize that during quite a few of our community calls last week, questions about trauma bonds, narcissism, and codependency kept arising.
I hear you.
Writer, speaker, psychologist, and consultant offering practical tools and insights for conscious, compassionate, courageous living. Based in Minneapolis, MN.