November 28th, 2010 November 27th, 2010
The higher your oxytocin, the higher your happiness and well-being, at least for women says Paul Zak, PhD, a researcher.
Why do men and women handle stress differently?
When stress strikes cortisol and epinephrine hormones elevate blood sugar and blood pressure for both men and women. The brain also releases oxytocin which counters the other two hormones, producing relaxation. Oxytocin may influence our ability to bond with others.
Women, however, produce more oxytocin than men which leads them to form nurturing relationships and to talk about their feelings more when they encounter stress. They “tend and befriend.”
Researcher Shelly Taylor, Ph.D. finds females under stress nurture themselves and their young – tend – and form bonds with other women – befriend.
Women, as a whole, tend to focus on looking after other people’s needs which can create more stress for them as a nonworking behavior. This, however, orients them to the value of relationships and female bonding.
November 7th, 2010
Inner Child Work
If you came across a child or your inner child who was lost, frightened, neglected, or abused would you tell them to be quiet, go to the corner and not to complain? Yet, every day in counseling offices around the world, patients are told to let go of the past and focus on the present only. While there is certainly wisdom in this approach, for “The past cannot be changed”, “What is done, is done”, “Yesterday is dead and gone”; sometimes we need to look at the victim that is crying out for help.
The inner child that resides in all of us came upon this world taking in stimuli of all sorts. Sound, sight, smell, taste (although not very sophisticated), touch and reacted to it via emotion and feelings. A baby will respond in fear to a harsh voice or look or coo in delight to a smile or silly noises. As they explore, their experiences grow in depth and diversity. They know how it feels to be loved and protected and they know how it feels to be frightened and alone. A healthy child takes the next step and begins finding out answers for themselves through exploration starting before their first birthday, giving way to the beginnings of the “Adult” who thinks for them self. If all goes well, this development continues and blossoms. As they grow the child remains but is happy, content and always available with a sense of creativity, joy, and a sense of fun & adventure (along with cravings for the occasional sweet treat or comfort food.)
November 1st, 2010
Let Go of Emotional Pain and Suffering
With suffering we recycle in the emotional pain and suffering going over and over the same story. Emotional pain lies below suffering. When we choose to go into the suffering the emotional pain can end, otherwise it remains unending. Choice implies consciousness – a high degree of consciousness. Without it, you have no choice. Choice begins the moment you dis-identify from the mind and its conditioned patterns, the moment you become present…. Nobody chooses dysfunction, conflict, pain. Nobody chooses insanity – Eckhart Tolle
Do we choose suffering? We tend to avoid pain. Numbness and addictions indicates an avoidance of pain. With suffering we recycle in the suffering going over and over the same story. Pain lies below suffering. When we choose to go into the suffering the emotional pain can end, otherwise it remains unending. When we make the choice for Yes, the Grace can come in.
When we can hold/contain the emotional pain, Grace can come in. Containing requires staying present with the pain or specific emotion, without slipping away and becoming unconscious. When we stop containing the emotional pain, we fall back into our unconscious ‘shadow’ which feeds on pain like a hungry beast. Withdrawal into fear, feeling powerless, victimized, holding onto anger, or feeling not present all indicates we have fallen into our shadow selves – parts of ourselves which we deny.
Why is it so difficult overcoming resistance to change? It is a challenge overcoming resistance.
As a child growing up in an alcoholic family, I adapted to agony and pain by retreating inward. My wounded inner child felt lost, pushed out, and unheard without a voice.
Today as an adult, I have a tendency to emotionally take on the agony of all the world’s children because of their suffering and deprivation when I feel sad and enraged about their condition.
On an unconscious level I rage at my mother for placing her childhood pain upon me, which she still carries unconsciously. As a good codependent I accepted this pain. I rage at God for allowing children in the world to suffer. All this creates an inner resistance to change and the flow of life which only hurts me and gets in the way of my overcoming resistance to change.