Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A PTSD Sufferer's Step-by-Step Guide for all Human Beings

Article c/o Vito Mucci for elephantjournal.com


Every disease that we go through gives us a new understanding.

Each challenge is an opportunity for strength. Some challenges can inspire others and some can actually uncover riches that all people can draw upon and share. I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and I’m begging everyone to use my tools.

I have been forced to address my emotional reality and to learn to process my emotions. As a result, my engaged presence and emotional intelligence has thrived in a way that has opened my eyes to a global epidemic of escapism and denial.
My version of PTSD, that I am on government disability for, is mainly described through explanations of social anxiety and agoraphobia. Those are pretty words. They even make me sound like a cute nervous little fellow. What is not described by those terms, and what is rarely described in public forums anywhere, is shaking until I puke or pass out or having to be taken to the hospital because I cannot stop seeing and feeling my head go through a glass window, which sheers my skin off.


The effect of my PTSD is obvious. It is obvious to me and everyone around me.

If I do not process my emotions in a calm, healthy manner I am a danger to myself and those around me. But the scary thing I found on this journey is that everyone is a danger to themselves and those around them if they do not process their emotions…it is just less obvious.

All panic, nervousness, anger and frustration is a physical emotional state that exists regardless of whether or not we address it. Many people can compartmentalize. Many can repress. Many can lie and say they’re doing fine. But when I looked at the emotional processing I was doing and then looked at everyone else? I realized no one was doing it.

No one was processing emotion. No one was observing their every emotional reaction and giving energy to consciously tend to it.

What I have been forced to learn to keep myself safe is a process. It is not abstract, it is tangible behavior with a step by step directive.

1) Experience an emotion. Observe the presence of a feeling.

2) Recognize the emotion.

a) Know that it is present.
b) If we’re practiced, figure out the characteristics of the emotion. (This takes years, and is not necessary to do all at once. Does the feeling have a quality? Is it comfortable or uncomfortable? Does it have a source in the present or is it triggered from the past?)
3) Allow the emotion. We must stop ourselves from running away and escaping the emotion. Say “this is the emotion I’m feeling and I’m just going to sit here like a boss and feel it for a minute, or as long as I can.”

4) We must take stock of our emotion to see if we are in a position to engage it fully, or if we have to set it aside for processing at the soonest convenience.

5) Engage the emotion. Walk up to it and shake its hand. Feel it. It is your body talking to you. Let it wash over you.
6) After it has finished with you, allow it to leave, and validate that the moment of the emotion has passed (this will give you confidence in all future moments where processing is difficult).

Every reaction we have is our body telling us something. It is a voice from within us begging for an audience, regardless of what our supposedly adult mind thinks of it. If we show up for ourselves in this way and get confident processing our emotions, we can be confident that when things are not going so well, the ones we love most are not going to have to pay for our lack of internal management skills.

When we think of the behaviors that make us cringe in society, from cruelty to carelessness, coldness to apathy, they all have a source in an emotion that someone does not know how to process. This is not symptomatic of evil, but of emotional ignorance. This ignorance is curable. Focusing on processing emotion can change everyone’s lives. I know that it has changed mine and those I am in contact with virtually or otherwise.

I know what caused my PTSD, but I was always looking for “what I could do with it” that would help others.

This is it.

We observe ourselves and process emotion as it comes up. Then we notice that we aren’t being bossed around by our fear of discomfort. Then we get confident. Then we are able to respond rather than react. Then we are able to be present more often. Then our world starts spiraling and expanding beautifully rather than us feeling trapped and frightened by everything that makes us the least bit uncomfortable.

It can change the world. One emotion at a time.

Find more great articles like this one at:

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What Dehydration Is Really Doing To Your Body...

On the day we’re born, 73% of our body weight is water. People who are sick and overweight often are as little as 45% water by weight. An average, healthy adult male is about 65% water. Women are slightly more. Do you see the problem? Some studies have pointed to 3 in 4 Americans as being chronically dehydrated. It makes sense that obesity and poor health impacts approximately the same percentage of people.

What is it exactly that we can expect from chronic dehydration? Not drinking enough water results in skin disease, poor digestive performance, kidney diseases, and even chronic fatigue and headache. You may think that it’s just water, but this is absolutely no joke.

Doing things like drinking 16 ounces of water first thing in the morning (not chugging, but drinking) helps normalize blood pressure and get our internal organs working properly. My rule of thumb is always to drink an ounce of water for every pound of body weight you have.

Of course, do not chug 150 ounces of water. You lose water all day through urination, bowel movements, and breathing. So you need to spend all day replenishing that water. Ending your chronic dehydration will do wonders for your overall health. Trust me, you’ll feel like a million bucks.

Here are 11 things to watch out for:

Article c/o simpleorganiclife.org

Find more articles like this one at:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A 5-Minute Meditation for the Anxious Mind

Welcome to your Buddha Buddy five-minute guided meditation. During this practice, we will focus on your body and breathing awareness, in an attempt to soothe the mind. Find a comfortable seated position somewhere in nature. Now close your eyes and take a deep breath. Picture your front door. Did you lock it when you left? Even if you did . . . well, we can’t guarantee anything.
  • As you let your breathing settle into a steady pattern—eyes closed, arms at rest, palms face up—ask yourself, is that a pain in your forearm? You haven’t even done anything yet today. How can your forearm hurt, when there are hardly any muscles in there? Resist the urge to poke it. If you poke it, the pain won’t go away, and it might even get a little worse. Yes, it does feel worse. Do blood clots cause pain?
  • Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let it out—slowly, very slowly—through your mouth. Draw another breath in, and feel your belly fill with air. Your pants are awfully tight. You haven’t been to the gym in several days. Has it been two weeks already? It seems like you’ve been extra bloated after your last three Seamless orders from the Thai place downstairs. Food poisoning can cause bloat, can’t it? On your next inhale, fill your belly just a little bit less. Stop at, like, eighty per cent full. Maybe not just when you’re breathing, but when you’re eating, too. Just a thought. Now let it go.
  • Breathe in, to the count of five, and slowly exhale. Again, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Feel the air on your skin—it’s a little cold, actually. You probably shouldn’t sit here for too long. Winter is coming and you never got that hole in the sole of your boot fixed. You could buy new boots, but there are, like, a million pairs to sort through online. You could go to a store, but if you go to a store you’ll feel pressured to buy something—it’s how you ended up with these cheap boots in the first place. It shouldn’t be this cold yet. Extreme weather. Global warming. The Earth is dying, but you woke up this morning at 11 A.M. and ate a bowl of cereal.
  • Clear your mind—sometimes it helps to focus on a peaceful image from your past. You loved the beach as a child. You’d play and play until your face was sunburned lobster red. Your mother always tried to put sunscreen on you, and you wouldn’t let her. Hence all the wrinkles you’ve been noticing lately. It doesn’t help that you always make that face when you’re reading something on your computer—or that you’re always reading something on your computer. You’ve never been checked for skin cancer. Why? You have a lot of freckles, and surely a worrying mole somewhere. Are doctors supposed to just notice, or are you supposed to notice and point them out?
  • As you continue to breathe in and out—not that fast; that’s hyperventilation—draw your focus away from the outside world and into yourself. Now sense that someone just sat down next to you. Does this person think that you’re weird, sitting on this bench with your legs crossed and eyes closed? Do not peek. It’s a man. He wasn’t looking at you before, but he is now.
  • As we hastily reach the end of the meditation, start to bring life back into your limbs. Move your fingers—but not too much; don’t attract the man’s attention—and wiggle your toes. Your foot is asleep. Now that you’ve centered your being and calmed your breath, you’re ready to begin your day. Actually, your whole leg is asleep. You really can’t get up. You can’t even do nothing right.
Article c/o Casey Johnston for The New Yorker
Find more great articles like this at:

Monday, March 7, 2016

Turning Wounds into Wisdom

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

As our inner work unfolds, we often discover many setbacks and may even experience traumatic events that fundamentally change us. Even in the healthiest families there can be significant emotional wounds leftover from our youth. But these don’t have to be unfortunate occurrences. And maybe they weren’t even accidental.


Perhaps “fate/destiny” had something else in mind for us, in order to catalyze a particular type of personal development that requires trauma for its genesis. What hurts us can cripple us, but it can also shape us into something more powerful.

But this requires presence. It requires having a different perspective about what it means to hurt and what it means to experience emotional trauma. One way to change our perspective is to look at our wounds as sacred things. Our sacred wounds can be a great source of personal development. Like John Keats wrote, “Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?” Indeed, allowing our wounds to become sacred is allowing Ego to become Soul.

Never Not Broken Goddess

If we really allow ourselves to live greatly, we must open ourselves up to being present to our sacred wounds. The ability to have an authentic engagement with life takes the courage to face prior heartache and pain, and the ability to cultivate it and refine it. Either way, the pain and heartache will be there. The question is whether or not we have the courage to transform it into something that can refine our soul.
Pema Chödrön said it best: “We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” Letting there be room is allowing for a space, a sacred space, where we can be fully present with our pain.

There’s a lesser known Hindu deity named Akhilandeshvari, or The Goddess of Never Not Broken. This Goddess embodies the ability to come together and fall apart, over and over again. She is the personification of healthy annihilation, the archetype of vicissitude.

She breaks apart in order to come back together as a more powerful entity. Indeed, it is exactly because she is able to break apart that she is so powerful. What a shift in perspective!
True strength isn’t wholeness but the ability to adapt to the change that comes from falling apart and coming back together again, from wholeness to brokenness and back. This is the epitome of transforming pain into strength. Falling apart is what happens when we experience trauma. Coming back together again is the scar left behind.

Adapting to the new way in which we are put back together again is honoring the sacred wound. Like Joseph Campbell wrote, “Suddenly you’re ripped into being alive. And life is pain, and life is suffering, and life is horror, but my god you’re alive and it’s spectacular.”
It may take an entire lifetime to complete the healing of our sacred wounds, but the point is to begin the healing – and there are diamonds in the rough. Those who become wise always experience the most pain. Falling apart and adapting to coming back together again in novel ways is the epitome of wisdom.

Facing the pain is like looking into the abyss. It’s like having a staring contest with our inner-most demons. But with enough practice, with enough polish, we can transform those demons into diamonds.

The Multifaceted Self

We can transform that abyss into a mirror that reflects infinite growth. “Think of the birth of the pearl,” writes Bill Plotkin, “the tiny grit of sand within the oyster creates an irritation the oyster seeks to eliminate by coating the grain with successive layers of lustrous deposits, ultimately producing the jewel.” Just as the grain within the oyster can be transformed into a pearl, the pain within the human can be transformed into strength.

There is a saying in Tibet, "Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength."  At the end of the day, life is pain.  We must learn to experience pain well.  Indeed, there is an art to cultivating sacred wounds that only the happiest people know.

Like the Buddha said, "Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional."  When we resist pain we create more pain, which is called suffering.  When we can embrace pain with a warm, peaceful curiosity, we gain the ability to transform wounds into sacred wounds, and we limit our suffering.

Like Leslie Fieger ingeniously opined, "Any fool can run toward the light.  It takes a master with courage to turn and face the darkness and shin his own light there."  Let us have the courage to turn and face our pain, to shine our own light there and see how many demons we can mold into diamonds, how many wounds we can transform into wisdom, and how much pain we can wrestle into strength, in order to become multifaceted beings with the power to heal the deeper wounds of the world.

Article c/o Gary Z McGee for fractalenlightenment.com

Find more articles at:

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

How to open your 7 Chakras explained by a child’s cartoon...

In a TV show called “Avatar: The Last Airbender” a character is trying to reach his spiritual potential, but can’t due to emotional and psychological blockages he has.

He is then guided through the emotions associated with the 7 energy centers of the body and is show how to open them up to achieve his highest state of being.

This is great not only for children, but for anyone of any age. It’s cool to see stuff like this taught in children’s cartoon!


Post c/o thelifeisamazing.com

Find more great articles at