We view trauma as a life sentence. If you think about it, there is a complicit understanding between the neutral person and the traumatized person. I have heard on far too many occasions: “I can’t help you, I don’t have a trauma background. You have to go to a trauma specialist”.
Just to put it out there in full view, the last thing a person with trauma wants to feel is singled out, different, and unreachable. You will have succeeded in triggering that which is sensitive about the trauma imprint: you feel like a leper. And it is consistently re-inforced. It is held in place by a shame more powerful than any prison, and when you segregate, you enforce this prison rather than disarm it.
Here is what I’ve come to understand about trauma: its just one way of going about life. That’s all. It’s a path. And in the broadest sense, it requires the same treatment as all other paths: compassion. Yes, it does ask for a gentle touch. A compassionate gentle touch. To suggest that you cannot offer a gentle hour of compassion because the “trauma person” is out of your area of expertise feels like a limiting and limited thought pattern to me. A trauma person is sensitive to this limiting behavior, it is one of the gifts. Trauma teaches you to learn to operate outside of your zone of comfort, to learn how to bend to that which is not under your control. This is a very powerful tool. It is hard for the trauma person to understand what to them is perceived as a lack of flexibility, or open mindedness, in a neutral person. Yet the trauma mentality will still self punish—just another self-indictment. Shame is a powerful leg iron.
Many a college grad has dashed overseas to satisfy their wanderlust before officially jumping into the workforce.
Homestead Valley resident Elizabeth Krasnoff did both at the same time.
After getting her BA in English with a Russian concentration from Boston College, Krasnoff moved to Moscow to serve as the membership director for the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, working with and for the American business community in Russia from 1994-1998. You might remember that post-Gorbachev era after the fall of the Soviet Union from the news. Krasnoff remembers it by recalling the time she threw the first Fourth of July party in Moscow for the American expat community in the field of a formerly secret U.S. Air Force base.
“I got spoiled – life was never as interesting at those post-Perestroika days in Russia,” she says with a laugh.
While it might not be able to match those years for drama, Krasnoff’s current professional passion is certainly laden with intrigue.
If you are someone who works with energy, boundaries become one of the most important parts of your practice. Here is a discussion with tools and practices of boundaried energetic exchange. As a healer, your practice, in essence, is boundaried energetic exchange. Whether we think of this energy exchange as healing, supporting or guiding, being in integrity about our boundaries is critical. After two years at the Academy of Intuition Medicine ® in Sausalito, CA, here is what I’ve learned.
Some of the key factors that create boundary challenge are the following:
We cannot physically see energy. It makes it harder and more nuanced to “separate people’s energy” (or not “merge”) clearly, like you could with a pile of apples and bananas on a table. By nature, if you are sensitive to energy, you are sensitive to ALL energy, and it is a work in progress to determine which energy is yours and which is not. Is it you or is it the client across the room or the telephone or skype line? Or the other healers in the room? Which energy is just present atmospherically (due to other events that have happened in your physical space previously, the season, the present astrology or the larger arc of evolutionary influences) and very importantly, which energy comes from pure and highest good sources. (There are always some bad apples floating around). And finally, which energy deserves to be commented on versus simply observing. This is a lot of very subtle maneuvering.
I will be taking 4 Shamanic trips into the desert over the next year to work with the 4 cardinal points on the medicine wheel: North, South, East and West. My shamanic focus for the first southwest quest was working with the medicine of the East. The animal is the eagle and the element is Air. The attributes are inspirational, far-sighted, fiercely protective, clarity.
This is as much a poem or prayer of that journey as it is an essay. It is an integration. It is a destination. It is the clearing of space for essence to just be. And there are some beautiful prayers/poems at the end.
Thank you to those who came to participate in the March Full Moon Sound Circle Vigil for Brussels.
Terrorism. What can we do?
It is important to do something for two reasons.
- If we feel powerless, they win.
- When out of balance energy is expressed, it is important to put out balancing energy to harmonize and heal.
I believe that we can do something about it, that we are not powerless to the terrorists.
When we come together in love, we break the spell of the terror. Our togetherness dispels the isolation and fear. Terror creates separation, which magnifies the fear, suspicion and isolation. As the saying goes: Together we stand, divided we fall.
So what can we do?
We can come together, as U2 sings: “in the name of love”.
An early onset Alzheimer’s patient has recently joined my practice. I was not expecting so many interesting questions to appear as a result. This article, written with the permission of my new patient and his partner, explores the beginning sessions, how they helped my patient, and could help other Alzheimer’s patients potentially.
It raises questions about the brain and analytical function v. intuition/creativity, and wonders about the heart/brain command chain as well. How rewarding to be of such help to someone, and to become inspired to learn more about some very important questions on the functions of the brain as well.
We began by meeting with his partner to discuss the current research on Alzheimer’s and sound. The Alzheimer’s Foundation is a huge supporter of Music Therapy for Alzheimer’s. It can: “shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function, and coordinate motor movements.” Alzheimer’s Foundation. Click here for article.
The research shows that we process music in a different place in the brain than the place that the disease affects. “This happens because rhythmic and other well-rehearsed responses require little to no cognitive or mental processing. They are influenced by the motor center of the brain that responds directly to auditory rhythmic cues. A person’s ability to engage in music, particularly rhythm playing and singing, remains intact late into the disease process because, again, these activities do not mandate cognitive functioning for success." Alzheimer’s Foundation. Click here for article.
Once the patient listens to music, the patient can then access lost memories which are activated by the emotion that the music produces. Does the music reach the damaged parts of the brain? Or does the music access the same memories through different networks?