questions - changes

QUESTIONS FROM A TRAUMA LIFE COACH

QUESTIONS FROM A TRAUMA LIFE COACH   As a life coach, I ask you questions. Have you noticed that I often ask questions in my blog posts? Do you, as a reader, answer one or more of them in your head? Do you ever find yourself pondering your answer during the course of your day? Does the question lead to an answer that causes you to act? Does a small change occur within you? Have you noticed that most of my questions do not ask you to reflect on the past? The past is past. The past (good and bad) is important. It formed who you are today. Most of my inquiries are to encourage you to look at your present and your future. Do the inquiries cause you to probe deeper? Do the answers you provide ever contribute in a small way to performing better at work or in your personal life? Are you finding yourself welcoming silence or even meditating for short times? Do you seek to listen to a piece of music that resonates deeply within you and almost imperceptibly changes your mood? What we do and think today helps to form our lives tomorrow and in the future. The process of transformation may ...

THE CONCEPT OF SERVICE

THE CONCEPT OF SERVICE   What is your concept of service? Whether you receive payment or not, "serving" another can still be the main focus of our action or actions. Twelve-step programs focus on recovery, unity, and service. Service in these programs may include attending meetings, being a sponsor, setting up chairs and/or coffee, joining committees, and/or attending the group’s business meetings. When I was unemployed, I chose to volunteer. Volunteering helped me to not isolate as well as helped those I served. One avenue I chose was to prepare and serve food to the working poor and homeless. It was rewarding. Serving others can be a gift to the giver and the receiver. Not all of us choose to delegate a portion of our time in that manner. Life gets busy. Our careers, families, and our personal lives take time and energy. Recently I had the opportunity to help a couple pack their household goods to relocate. It made me realize how much I miss serving/giving in that way. My life has become filled; and, I have neglected that type of service. Service changes my focus. The spotlight is not on me. I put my attention and focus on ...
Halloween - Holy Days - Mortality

HALLOWEEN AND HOLY DAYS (Meaning for Survivors & Thoughts on Mortality)

HALLOWEEN AND HOLY DAYS (MEANING FOR SURVIVORS & THOUGHTS ON MORTALITY)   Halloween and holy days, such as All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, Day of the Dead, and changing our clocks all occur within the next several days. Halloween has been a topic of conversation lately with a few of my friends. It is a secular holiday now ... one of candy and costumes. As a child, I liked Halloween. It was fun to dress in simple homemade costumes and to be free to roam the neighborhood with my friends. Receiving candy was great! My mother did not make a big amount of money in her job. We did not lack for food. Candy and sweets were limited due to financial constraints. As a kid, owning all that free candy was icing on the cake. In the Catholic calendar, All Saints’ Day is on November 1, 2015, the day after Halloween. All Souls’ Day is on November 2nd. Day of the Dead is also celebrated on November 2, 2015. I use the word “celebrated” because it is a Mexican tradition to celebrate the dead on that day. It is a joyous occasion. The Catholic Church has a tradition of ...
survivor's self compassion (after abuse)

SELF COMPASSION: ONE ASPECT OF SELF CARE AFTER SURVIVING ABUSE

SELF COMPASSION ONE ASPECT OF SELF CARE AFTER SURVIVING ABUSE   Self compassion can be a difficult attribute to acquire or regain after surviving any type of abuse – rape, incest, extreme abuse, ritual abuse, domestic violence, etc. Many times the victim has a difficult time not blaming oneself. The blame and shame survivors feel afterwards can cause a toxic poison to run through their lives. How can a survivor care for oneself with gentleness and compassion when one feels such shame, blame, and a sense of deep unworthiness? Acquiring self compassion is a progression. Through the process of healing (whether via therapy, non-invasive neurofeedback, and/or other methods), survivors gradually shed the shame, the blame, and the sense of worthlessness. I know I did. As I healed, I realized how little self compassion I extended toward myself. The perfection part of me demanded more of myself than I did of anyone else. Would I treat a friend through words or actions like I treated myself? Definitely not. As time passes, I am more able to treat myself with the loving care I know I deserve. I can see how much progress I have made in this area in the last ...

SELF CARE: REST AND RECREATION – MAKING TIME FOR FUN

SELF CARE: REST AND RECREATION MAKING TIME FOR FUN!   How do you define “fun” for yourself? How do you enjoy spending your free time? Do you have free time? Do work and home duties fill your life leaving no time to spare? Is self care on your list of priorities? As survivors of abuse, we might have a tendency to neglect the rest and recreation segment of our lives. In general, our society focuses on working hard, making a living, buying material goods, and keeping busy. The state of the U.S. economy has made it a necessity for many people to work more than one job. It can be quite difficult to maintain a balance between work and play. A balance though is needed. It is imperative that we get the proper amount of sleep. Relaxation and recreation are necessary for us to gain and keep a proper perspective on life in general. Today I went to see a movie! Oh, I have plenty of work that needs to be accomplished as well as household chores. I, as many survivors of abuse, tend to push myself too hard. I knew that taking a break would be helpful in more ...

SELF CARE AND CREATING SPACE

SELF CARE AND CREATING SPACE   When is the last time you created an empty, peaceful space for yourself whether physically or in your mind? As human beings living in a consumer society with an overload of media and activity, it is necessary for us to take a break from the action of the world. This break could be filed under self care. I tend to read books and articles of many types. Spiritually, I enjoy reading books with meaning to me including materials of multiple religious and spiritual views. In this blog, I mention a book with a definite Christian slant. Some of you may scoff at the writing style because of this perspective. Others of you will lean towards it because of the religious view of Christianity. For me, although the author addresses her past of child abuse through the Christian lens, Bonnie Gray speaks to survivors’ hearts when she talks of dealing with her past. Her book, “finding spiritual whitespace: awakening your soul to rest” contains some concrete ideas on how to create space and a thought-provoking section on joy. Bonnie Gray did not face the abuse of her past until she was around 40 years old ...

TEARS AND CREATIVITY

TEARS AND CREATIVITY   One day I decided to research tears on the Internet. Tears are a part of my life still; and, I sought more information on the general topic of tears. As I wrote on my blog, https://roadtofreedomandpeace.com/an-unpaved-road/: “Over the years, I have learned to acknowledge tears as a friend of sort. Tears are a release for me. They originate from sadness, tension, and/or joy.” In my researching, I discovered Rose-Lynn Fisher. She is a photographer who took pictures of tears through an optical microscope. It captivated me. I would not have thought of photographing tears. The uniqueness of tears in these pictures reminded me of the uniqueness of snowflakes as well as the uniqueness of each of us as human beings. What a creative idea to photograph tears! Here is Rose-Lynn Fisher’s website link: http://www.rose-lynnfisher.com/tears.html Many of us, myself included, get stuck at times.  Maybe you are in a career field that doesn’t fulfill you anymore. Maybe you are in a relationship that is not healthy for you. Maybe you never really had a career and are stuck being unemployed or in a dead-end job. Maybe you are stuck in a spiritual manner. Creativity. Thinking outside the ...

FORGIVING MY MOTHER FOR INCEST AND ALL THE ABUSE

FORGIVING MY MOTHER FOR INCEST AND ALL THE ABUSE   Forgiveness is a highly charged word for many of us. Incest is a word that many people want to ignore and avoid. Incest – a dirty, secret, taboo that seldom occurs is what too many humans want to believe. Putting forgiveness and incest in the same sentence can cause a collective gasp. It also may cause some of you to stop reading. Please don’t! Somewhere along my healing journey, I forgave my mother, Mary Ellen, my mom. This forgiveness was not a one-shot deal. I forgave her, got angry again, delved further into the wounds and the hurt, let time pass; somehow forgave her again ….. It was a cycle of healing and forgiveness. Each time the forgiveness became stronger and sturdier as the wounds healed further and the hurt dissipated. Oh, the pain and the hurt are not totally eradicated – not do I expect them to be. As an online life coach for incest survivors as well as other abuse and trauma survivors, I have no expectations or opinion that a client or a survivor needs to forgive anyone. It makes sense that each individual looks inside oneself ...

A LIFE COACH FOR SURVIVORS OF ABUSE AND/OR TORTURE

A LIFE COACH FOR SURVIVORS OF ABUSE AND/OR TORTURE   Recently I have been asked about my role and practice as a trauma and abuse life coach for survivors of abuse and/or torture. The question behind the question is usually related to therapy. Although I am clear in my writings on my website about the differences between life coaching and therapy, I would like to share a few of my thoughts regarding both therapy and life coaching. Therapy has been an important part of my healing process. Three different therapists played major roles in my healing process … three men with various therapy styles and modalities. Looking back, I can see how each one filled an important niche for me at the time. It amazes me how life or providence or serendipity gives you what you need when you keep your eyes and heart open. The therapy process is insight-oriented and tends to look mostly at a person’s past as well as present and future. Life coaching (or my style of life coaching) tends to look at the present and the future. In the following, I shall give a few examples of when or how people choose to begin life ...

MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT MUSINGS (Sleeplessness in Action)

Middle of the Night Musings (Sleeplessness in Action)   It is the middle of the night; and, I cannot sleep once again. No matter how far along in our healing journeys or if one has not even formally traveled on a healing journey, almost all of us have to contend with a night of little sleep or a cluster of nights of little sleep. Insomnia can cause us to google remedies, drink herbal tea, ask friends for suggestions, or maybe go it alone pretending we are fine. Do you fall asleep fast and then wake up only to feel cursed by not falling asleep again? Do you lie in bed not falling asleep until finally dreamland begins for you? What do you do? How do you handle your nights when sleep eludes you? Does this lack of sleep cause you to worry you will not function well the next day? Do you lie in bed worrying about the future? Or is it the past that is running through your mind? Are you spending time considering if you could have handled a situation, no matter how small, from the previous day in a better manner? Are you concerned about a child ...