The Contradiction of Anger: A Double-Edged Sword

Anger is an emotion that everyone experiences in their lives. It can surge through us with a powerful intensity, often making us feel justified and validated. There’s a peculiar sense of satisfaction that comes with expressing anger, as if we are reclaiming a piece of our power. Yet, this fiery emotion holds a contradiction within it.

There is a Hungarian band, Napoleon Boulevard, who poignantly sings, “My heart’s almost torn in half, my rage is tearing it apart, beautiful as a dream can be, too bad it hurts so much.” This lyric encapsulates the paradox of anger: while it can feel so right in the moment, it carries a heavy toll on our mind and body.

Anger’s Impact on the Sympathetic Nervous System:

When we get angry, keep in mind that anger can feel like the emotion of disappointment or “slight annoyance” we don’t recognize as anger, our body’s sympathetic nervous system kicks into high gear. This part of our central nervous system is responsible for the “fight or flight” response. It prepares us to face a threat by increasing our heart rate, tightening our muscles, and releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. In the short term, these changes can help us handle a dangerous situation. However, when anger becomes a frequent or prolonged state, it begins to wreak havoc on our physical and emotional health – our craniosacral system stops working optimally.

Chronic anger can lead to a host of health issues. The constant release of stress hormones can cause:

  • Cardiovascular Problems: High blood pressure, increased risk of heart attacks, and strokes are all linked to sustained anger.
  • Weakened Immune System: Prolonged stress weakens our body’s ability to fend off illnesses.
  • Digestive Issues: Stress can lead to problems like acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and other gastrointestinal disturbances.
  • Sleep Disorders: Difficulty in sleeping or staying asleep, leading to chronic fatigue and other related issues.

Emotionally, anger can be just as damaging:

  • Increased Anxiety and Depression: Anger and unresolved rage can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression.
  • Relationship Strain: Anger can drive a wedge between us and our loved ones, leading to isolation and loneliness.
  • Reduced Cognitive Function: Chronic stress affects our ability to think clearly, make decisions, and concentrate.

The Beauty and Pain of Anger

Returning to the lyric from Napoleon Boulevard, we can understand anger as both beautiful and painful. It is beautiful in its raw, unfiltered expression of our deepest emotions and desires. Anger can act as a powerful motivator, pushing us to stand up for ourselves, to strive for change, and to overcome injustices. It can fuel our passions and drive us towards our goals with an intensity that few other emotions can match. There is nothing wrong with this, however, our central nervous system is being affected in the fight or flight (sympathetic side) no matter what we are angry about, hence this beauty is accompanied by pain.

The physical and emotional toll of unchecked anger is profound. It tears at our hearts, much like the song suggests, leaving us fragmented and wounded. The key is to find our balance—acknowledging our anger, expressing it healthily by changing our perception about the very thing that triggered it, and then experience the new point of view with gratitude – this is what is normally called “letting go”.

Craniosacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release

As a wellness coach specializing in craniosacral therapy and somatic emotional release, I see firsthand how unprocessed emotions, particularly anger, can lodge in the body and disrupt our well-being. Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that helps release tensions deep in the body, allowing the entire body to relax and self-correct. This technique can facilitate the release of emotional trauma stored in the tissues, a process known as SomatoEmotional Release (SER).

During a CST session, I may gently palpate the client’s craniosacral system to detect and release restrictions. This not only helps alleviate physical discomfort, but also promotes emotional release with the use of imagery and dialogue. By working with the body’s natural rhythms and energy, CST can help clients process and let go of deep-seated anger and other  emotions that trigger the sympathetic (fight or flight) side of our central nervous system.

The Power of Curiosity: Shifting Perception

Talking about changing our perception, an important insight to consider is that we are often not upset for the reasons we think. Anger is frequently a surface emotion, masking deeper, unresolved feelings such as fear, hurt, lack or sadness. By approaching our anger with curiosity, we can uncover its true origins. This requires a willingness to look beyond the immediate trigger and explore the underlying issues that fuel our rage.

When we become curious about the root causes of our anger, we can begin to shift our perception. Instead of seeing a situation as purely aggravating or unjust, we can ask ourselves what deeper needs or fears are being activated. This shift in perspective allows us to address the real issues at hand, leading to more meaningful and lasting resolutions.

Cultivating Healthy Emotional Habits

In addition to CST and SER, adopting certain practices can help manage anger more effectively:

  • Mindfulness and Meditation: These practices help us become more aware of our emotions and reduce the intensity of our anger.
  • Physical Activity: Exercise is a powerful outlet for pent-up anger and stress.
  • Communication Skills: Learning to express feelings calmly and constructively can prevent anger from building up.
  • Therapeutic Techniques: Techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help in re-framing negative thought patterns that fuel anger.

By recognizing the dual nature of anger—its capacity to both empower and harm—we can take steps to harness its energy in positive ways while mitigating its detrimental effects. In doing so, we can move towards a state of emotional balance and well-being, where anger will no longer need to serve as a catalyst for growth or be a source of suffering.

In the end, anger, like all emotions, is a part of the human experience. “The degree of the emotion you experience does not matter. You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.” – ACIM

It is how we handle anger that makes all the difference.

Finding Fulfillment in Stillness: Lessons from an EMT’s Slow Day

In our fast-paced world, the idea of productivity is often synonymous with constant action. However, an experience during my days as an EMT revealed a profound truth about productivity and fulfillment. One slow day, my partner and I found ourselves parked in our ambulance, waiting for a call. Hours went by, and a sense of anxiety began to creep in. I realized I was restless because I felt the need to be productive.

The Search for Productivity

To quell this restlessness, I began organizing equipment in the back of the ambulance. When that didn’t help, I took a walk and struck up conversations with people nearby. Despite these efforts, the anxious feeling persisted. It was then that I decided to sit quietly and meditate, seeking clarity on what productivity truly meant.

The Epiphany

During my meditation, I asked, “What does productive mean? What can I do to be productive?” The answer that came to me was simple yet profound: “Productive is feeling fulfilled without having to do.” This revelation felt liberating. It suggested that true productivity is not always about tangible actions or accomplishments, but can also be about a state of being.

Understanding Fulfillment Without Action

The idea of feeling fulfilled without having to do challenges our conventional understanding of productivity. It invites us to explore a deeper sense of fulfillment that comes from within. But what does this really mean, and how can we experience it?

  1. Presence in the Moment: Often, our sense of fulfillment is tied to future achievements or past successes. Being present in the moment, fully aware and accepting of our current state, allows us to find peace and contentment without external validation.
  2. Self-Acceptance: Embracing who we are, with all our strengths and flaws, helps us feel whole. This self-acceptance reduces the need to constantly prove ourselves through actions and accomplishments.
  3. Inner Peace: Cultivating inner peace through practices like meditation, mindfulness, or simply sitting quietly can lead to a profound sense of fulfillment. This peace is not dependent on external circumstances but comes from a calm and centered mind.
  4. Gratitude: Recognizing and appreciating the simple joys in life, such as a quiet moment, the beauty of nature, or a heartfelt conversation, can provide a sense of fulfillment. Gratitude shifts our focus from what we lack to what we have.

Moving From Idea to Experience

Awareness of this concept is just the beginning. To truly embody this wisdom, we need to practice it. Here are some steps to integrate this understanding into our daily lives:

  • Daily Reflection: Set aside time each day for reflection or meditation if you can. Ask yourself what truly makes you feel fulfilled and pay attention to moments when you feel content without external achievements. If setting aside time each day is not an option, use a minute or two while you are showering, using your bathroom break, washing dishes, or even when you are watching your child’s games or practices. Being aware and directing ones thoughts can even be done during conversations we are having.
  • Mindful Activities: Engage in activities that promote mindfulness, such as walking in nature, journaling, or simply sitting quietly. These activities help anchor us in the present moment.
  • Self-Compassion: Practice self-compassion by being kind to yourself, especially during times of inactivity. Remind yourself that your worth is not tied to constant doing. Turn your kind, encouraging, empowering talking skills towards yourself as well, not just towards others you love.
  • Embrace Stillness: Allow yourself to experience stillness in the presence of quilt or fear. Choose stillness to be the focus of your attention as quilt may remain in the background.  Understand that being still and present can be as productive as any action, as it nurtures your inner well-being.

Conclusion

The lesson I learned on that slow day as an EMT remains a powerful reminder that productivity is not merely about doing, but also about being. Feeling fulfilled without constant action is a profound form of productivity that brings inner peace and contentment. By embracing this wisdom, we can lead richer, more balanced lives, finding joy and fulfillment in the stillness as much as in the action.

Lao Tzu wisely said, “By doing nothing, everything is done.”

If you are struggling to find your fulfilled experience, let us explore stillness together. Contact me for a session for any of my services.

Embracing Guilt: A Path to Healing in Craniosacral Therapy

In the realm of CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release, the journey toward shifting our lives for the better encompasses not only physical well-being but also emotional and spiritual harmony. Within this holistic framework, emotions like guilt are not viewed as isolated occurrences but as integral aspects of our Spirit – Mind – Body connection. In this blog I am exploring how guilt can serve as a valuable guide in the context of CST and SER.

Understanding the Body-Mind-Spirit Connection

Craniosacral therapy acknowledges the interplay between the physical body, the mind, and the spirit. It recognizes that emotional and psychological experiences are stored within the body, often manifesting as tension, discomfort, or illness. SER, a technique within craniosacral therapy, facilitates the release of these stored emotions, allowing for profound healing on multiple levels.

Guilt as an Expression of Imbalance

In the context of craniosacral therapy, guilt is not merely an abstract emotion but a tangible expression of imbalance within the body-mind-spirit system. When we experience guilt, it can manifest as physical tension or discomfort, signaling a disconnection from our authentic selves – as Dr. Upledger called It; the Inner Physician – or a violation of our innermost values. Through SER, we can explore the root causes of guilt and facilitate its release from the body.

Cultivating Awareness and Compassion

Central to the practice of craniosacral therapy is the cultivation of awareness and compassion. When clients experience feelings of guilt, therapists provide a safe and nurturing space for exploration and healing. Rather than judging or suppressing these emotions, clients are gently encouraged to approach them with curiosity and self-compassion, fostering a deeper understanding of their underlying causes.

The Nature of Thought -Realigning with Authenticity

Our thoughts are the lens through which we perceive the world. They shape our beliefs, attitudes, and actions. However, not all thoughts are created equal. Some stem from a place of authenticity and alignment with our true selves, while others are distorted by societal expectations, fears, or insecurities.

When we experience guilt, it’s a signal that our thoughts may have strayed from their natural, authentic state. It suggests that we’ve acted in a way that contradicts our deepest values or principles. Rather than dismissing guilt as an unwanted burden, we can choose to embrace it as a signpost pointing us back to our true path.

Through the process of SomatoEmotional Release, guilt can be transformed from a source of pain into a catalyst for growth and transformation. As clients release stored emotions and integrate new insights, they experience profound shifts in consciousness and well-being. Guilt becomes not a burden to be carried, but a stepping stone on the path to healing and self-discovery.

Conclusion: Embracing Guilt on the Path to Wholeness

In the journey of craniosacral therapy and somatoemotional release, guilt is not something to be feared or avoided but embraced as a natural part of the healing process. By acknowledging and exploring feelings of guilt with compassion and openness, one of my clients uncovered profound insights regarding his teenage car accident that caused him to live with “survivor’s guilt” in his young adulthood. This thought pattern of guilt of living was shown to him as his young 4-year-old son got injured any time he was exploring the outside world; the playground, the woods, the ocean.  My client was searching for help for his son’s unexplainable accidents. During a session, his Inner Physician brought him to the memory of his own car accident and showed him that his wish is to hold that memory with self blame, hence quilt.  Once my client understood that the exact memory of his accident can be looked at with a different perspective a deep healing was facilitated on all levels of their being. Yes, their being. Both the father and the son received the release from burden. This took place about 6 years ago. The now 10 year old son is happy and active and had no recurring accidents since. The father received an unexpected promotion at work too in addition to his more peaceful mind.

Let us embrace guilt as a guide on the path to wholeness and authentic living, trusting in the innate wisdom of our Spirit – Mind – Body connection.

Exploring Craniosacral Therapy as a Complementary Approach to Migraine Management

Migraines are debilitating headaches characterized by intense pulsating or throbbing pain, often accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. While the exact cause of migraines remains elusive, they are believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors.

I first began experiencing migraines during my teenage years. They would typically start with the unsettling sensation of a dark spot in my vision, resembling an eclipse, followed by the emergence of bright spots similar to stars. Soon after, the pain would set in, accompanied by nausea and other unpleasant symptoms mentioned above.

Fortunately, my active lifestyle as a competitive swimmer meant there was little time to dwell on these debilitating episodes. Remarkably, the migraines ceased during this period, only to resurface later in adulthood as I juggled the responsibilities of raising three children.

Upon consulting medical professionals, I was informed that migraines would likely be a lifelong companion, however, manageable with medication and stress reduction. As a busy parent, the notion of waiting out symptoms or relying solely on medication didn’t align with my lifestyle.

Driven by a desire for better management or, ideally, complete healing, I began exploring alternative therapies. Initially, I turned to massage therapy that I was in school for and which provided some relief. It was during this time that I stumbled upon Craniosacral Therapy (CST) —a modality I had never encountered before.

Despite my initial unfamiliarity, I felt an intuitive pull towards CST. It proved to be a revelation—a profound shift in my well-being that I hadn’t experienced with any other bodywork techniques. This realization prompted me to delve deeper into CST, and pursued formal education in this body and mind work modality which I have been practicing for over 13 years.

Over six years now, I am celebrating a life free from migraines and medication. The journey wasn’t without its challenges; it required a shift in mindset and dedicated effort to release old patterns developed since childhood. Yet, the transformative impact on my health and quality of life has made every step of the journey worthwhile.

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, hands-on approach that aims to release tension and restrictions in the craniosacral system, which includes the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. The subtle hands-on techniques improve the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and facilitate the body’s natural healing processes.

I would like to encourage individuals to seek out Craniosacral Therapy as a complementary or alternative treatment for migraines. By addressing imbalances and restrictions in the craniosacral system, it can help alleviate the underlying causes of migraines and reduce their frequency and severity, and yes, like in my case, a complete healing from it is also possible. If you are like me, the gentle nature of CST makes it appealing to those who prefer non-invasive therapies and may be seeking alternatives to medication.

It’s important to note that the scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of Craniosacral Therapy for migraines is limited. To me, this makes no difference! It worked for me, so it can work for others as well.

Migraines are complex neurological conditions, and their management often requires a multidisciplinary approach that may include medication for the time being, lifestyle modifications for sure, and other therapies. In my case, SomatoEmotional Release (SER) which is part of CST was enough. I did not need to turn to other modalities. However, everybody and every body is different, so following your own Intuition is always the best approach.

I recommend that individuals considering CST for migraines should consult with a qualified healthcare provider to discuss their symptoms and treatment options. A thorough evaluation can help determine whether integrating CST into a comprehensive migraine management plan is right for you.

As with any alternative therapy, it’s essential to approach CST with an open mind and to work closely with healthcare professionals to ensure safe and effective treatment.

I hope this information was helpful to you if suffering with migraines, giving you hope for relief and a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Guiltless Mind, Connection and Peace

In the year of 1970 a song was written by a Hungarian band named Omega.  The song is called: Ballad of a Gunsmith’s Son.

“Winter runs through the night
Snow-frost blooms
A life weeps in a new cradle.
His father lifts him up
This child will  be a gunsmith
If I live to that.
And so it happened
But one day the son said
Let us not make guns any more
There will be no war, tearful and sad
I will see everyone happy
With a small bell that he casted
He puts on migrant’s clothes
And wonders all the world with his bell.
The song of the bell softly sings
That no one can hear
And everyone laughs at him who sees him.
One day he returns, stands but barely lives
He is no longer the one who left with eyes closed
His father laughs; just open your eyes
In such a world guns are needed

I know, I know, I know your heart is broken
And yet, still you have to understand
I know, I know, I know your heart is aching
And yet, still you have to understand”

You can listen to the song here:

The following is an excerpt from Lincoln”s speech 200 some years ago…

“The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same we do not all mean the same. What constitutes the bulwark of our liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling seacoasts. These are not our reliance against tyranny. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of men, in lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?”

The Dalai Lama was once asked why he didn’t fight back against the Chinese when he was exiled from Tibet. He replied, “because war is obsolete, you know.” Then he paused and, in a more serious tone, said that “the mind can always rationalize fighting back, but the heart will never understand it. We would then be divided in ourselves (the heart and the mind,) and the war would be inside us.”

A client of mine going through a serious medical diagnosis came to see me for relief. We talked about her family situation and in her sharing and our conversation, she recognized the war that is going on inside her. On one hand; she feels sorrow for one family member she feels she needs to protect. On the other hand; she is angry with the one she feels she needs to protect herself and others from.

In Dr. Bert Hellinger’s work, he identified three key elements in the family system:
1) A child’s need to belong
2) A child’s need for social hierarchy (order of birth regardless of living or passed family members)
3) A child’s need in balance of giving and receiving
If one of these elements is out of balance, the family system on a sub-conscious level starts to work on repairing itself. These sub-conscious attempts may show up in a family member developing illness, loss of income, difficulty relating to others etc… This does not have to be!

It is so important to recognize the war that is going on in our own minds. Healing starts from within. In our own backyard. With our own family. The son of a gunsmith remembers that Spirit within. Lincoln also did. Ghandi, the Dalai Lama, so many others too. And so can we! It Is Time!

What you like matters, because You matter

We all experience procrastination from time to time. Some of us occasionally and some of us habitually.  Did you ever ask yourself the question why? Are you curious to know the answer? Would you like to change this pattern? Read on to learn that we rarely do things for the reason we think.

A client came to see me with complaints of lower abdominal pains. She has been through the medical field and did not receive a diagnosis. Her tests were all negative, which is a really good thing, yet she felt she would feel better if something was found, so she knew what to do and “get rid of the pain”.  Guided by her desire, searching for an answer to feel better, one day she heard about craniosacral therapy and she made her first appointment with me.

During CST, it is not uncommon that emotions resurface.  Tears, laughter, anger, joy, frustration etc… are all welcome.  The memories that we may become aware of during a session are helpful in making sense of a long-held ache or pain even if there was no previous diagnosis.  There is a part of us that is connected to Infinite Intelligence. Our Inner Physician/Intuition brings the real value in Its guidance towards recognizing the relationship between the memory, the emotion and the aches and pains experienced in the body. An event, coupled with an emotion may be the cause of a bodily ache and this same can also be preventing the healing from occurring.  Our current reactions and behavior patterns can be recognized by the memory of the patient and with the help of the Inner Physician the repatterning can begin to take place.  This is where SomatoEmotional Release (SER) becomes part of the CST session. This can be prompted by the therapist or it can be prompted by the Intelligent System in way of a memory and a stop in the craniosacral rhythm, Dr. Upledger called the significant detector.  SER is different from traditional talk therapy as cells have consciousness and store memories as energy. We experience this energy stored as tight, tense, stuck, dense, hard, aches and pain. When the patient is able to repattern, change perception of the memory that popped up, the tissues release tension and become softer, lighter, freer.

In my third session with my client, she experienced waves of movement first in her lower extremities, later on along her thoracic spine and then felt it stopped happening at her cervical spine (neck) area. As she recognized that “stop”, she became aware of her attitude of “just because”.  She then had a memory of herself as a child and being told “because I said so”.  She also recognized that overtime this “just because” attitude led her to procrastination.

She was aware that she was procrastinating in most area of her life, but did not connect the dots to why or what she can do to change.  She frequently asked herself questions like; “why would I want to do this or that? It makes no difference and it does not matter when I pick up the garbage from the floor or wash the dishes etc”… as a response to being directed by adults who gave her no choice and when questioned she was told “because I said so”.

In repatterning her old habits, she realized that she actually loves it when her house is clean, her work is done on time and wakes up in the morning to a kitchen with space on the countertops.  She realized that the “why” in her doubts were pointing her towards her love of and liking things. And so were the adults in her life, who were just unskilled in their communications. All of those mattered. And with an emotional release of tears, she recognized that SHE matters too.

At the end of her session she reported “feeling lightness in my belly and there is a flow in my neck.”

What are your bodily experiences and/or procrastination pointing you towards?

 

There is Plenty There

I love sitting in my kitchen watching hummingbirds enjoying the nectar in the feeder hanging outside the sliding door.  I find them to be fascinating. One day as I was sitting there waiting for one to show up, I saw two of them flying by. One was chasing the other.  The pursuite went on for about 3 minutes, as one wanted to feed and the other not wanting to share.  The one that wanted to feed was flying in a circle until he found safety behind a flowerpot.  It was funny to watch the pursuer flying around now searching for the one hiding.  He finally decided to fly to the nearest tree and stand guard.  The one behind the flowers thought the scene was safe and came out from hiding.  He flew to the feeder and a second later the chase started all over again. They both disappeared and came back alone a while later.

A thought occurred to me… “If they only knew they had plenty of supply, they would both be sitting on the ledge of the feeder enjoying the unlimited amount of nectar they are both entitled to, because of who they are.  Lovely birds we welcome back each year. We supply them with food for our enjoyment and theirs as well.”

This happening reminded me of the teachings of Wallace Wattles in his book – The Science of Getting Rich – as he says:

“There is no limit to the supply of Formless Stuff, or Original Substance. The universe is made out of it; but it was not all used in making the universe. The spaces in, through and between the forms of the visible universe are permeated and filled with the Original Substance; with the Formless Stuff, with the raw material of all things. Ten thousand times as much as has been made might still be made, and even then, we should not have exhausted the supply of universal raw material. No man, therefore is poor because nature is poor or because there is not enough to go around…….. Thought is the only power which can produce tangible riches from the Formless Substance.” 

We may lack in our awareness now, but unlike the hummingbirds, we have the mental ability to connect our awareness to the Original Substance as Wattles calls God, the Universe, Source etc…

What is one idea, belief or opinion you would be willing to see differently today, so you could experience more abundance in any area of your life?

 

 

Healing through Somato-Emotional Release (SER)

A client mentioned an unwanted happening in her marriage to which she kept having the same reaction. She cringed. Like most people, she wanted this unwanted happening to end by stopping her husband’s action from happening.

Recognizing a Pattern

As we tapped into what actually was happening through her, she realized and heard a physical experience of a static noise in her head. To the question whether she remembers this noise happening before in her life, she noted a particular event with her mother in which she found herself thinking “I did not want this, I don’t know what to do”. She felt so stressed at that time that she needed to leave her mother’s house. She went to the beach and shared her thoughts with a friend.

Connection and Growth

At the time she did not know, but in our SER session she understood, that as she was talking to her friend, she was also working her thoughts out within herself, and she recognized that what what she wanted was connection and growth in her relationship with her mother. She was able to reconcile her discontent with her mother and their relationship became stronger. She was able to face her mother’s decisions with compassion and support.

The Saving Grace in Saving a Marriage

In her mind and relationship with her husband, this same concept did not exist. She wanted her husband to stop doing what she did not want or knew how to deal with. She was contemplating a divorce. Her experience was the same – cringing, static noise and, not knowing what to do – but this time she had resentment on her mind when she talked about the situation. As she connected the dots of symptoms and thought patterns, she came to the understanding that her choice of resentment is a detour from creating a happy marriage.

Making a Decision

She made the decision to think of her husband that same loving way she thought about her mother. Not because she felt her husband deserved it, but because she remembered who SHE was. She decided to remember love within and take action from that memory. A simple change like this moved their relationship from going forward with the divorce she was contemplating to keeping the dancing in their marriage alive.