The Optimism Challenge, Part 2


Becoming pessimistic after trauma is understandable.  Trauma tends to test every resource, and can result in clinical depression, anxiety and a general feeling of being unsafe.  Pessimism becomes a protective measure that buffers vulnerability.

But like any defense mechanism used excessively, negative attitudes tend to impede us from attaining what we want most.  Fortunately, optimism can be learned and replace pessimism. Continue reading

The Optimism Challenge


© mangostock -

A friend sent me a link to an article in Time magazine, The Optimism Bias by Tali Sharot.  The article, based on the book by the same name, discusses how people tend to be more optimistic than realistic about their personal futures.  In matters of health, finances, and success, people tend to expect things to work out in their favor over the long run.

However, this is often not the case for people who have been traumatized.  Having had their lives fatally threatened or witnessed the life of another threatened or taken, hope can be lost. Continue reading

Sample Meditation

Simple Meditation

For those who are new to meditation, I want to share one of mine.

On a beautiful, cool day, I like to go to the park and find a tree in which I can sit on a large limb or lean into the trunk.  I invite my guardian angel, other angels and spirit guides to join in my meditation.  I find my most comfortable position and begin to breath deeply as I see roots growing from my feet until the roots wrap around the crystal core center of the earth.  I then welcome the energy of the earth up my roots, through my body, and out to the center of the Milky Way.  Next, I invite the energy of the Milky Way to enter my body through the top of my head, down through the body and into the roots to the crystal core center of the earth.  Generally, I just see white light, but sometimes a particular color may present.

Meditating by Candle Light

I then instruct the light to combine in perfect balance.  I scan my body for any area that needs specific attention and allow the light to intensify in that area.  I may sit quietly for 5 minutes or 20 minutes, depending on circumstances around me.  Sometimes memories or thoughts arise, I note them with the intention of recording them in my journal later.  When I am done, I thank the universe, the tree, the angels and guides for their participation.

Simple Meditation

I just completed a brief, but relaxing meditation.  I am not a Vedic monk or other deeply accomplished meditator.  Nonetheless, meditation has been an essential part of my healing process for two decades.  Most of my clients who begin meditating also report varied rewards.

The benefits of meditation are numerous.  Relaxation is one of the greatest benefits which is particularly beneficial for individuals who have been traumatized.  One can incorporate most spiritual beliefs and practices into their meditation, or none at all.  Energy healing modalities such as Reiki can be included as well.

Let’s take a look at some basic meditation practices you may wish to consider. Continue reading

What does communication have to do with giving away your power?


Assertiveness requires courage for it to be the preferred style of communication.  More than likely, there are situations or specific relationships in which assertiveness comes naturally.

© William Wang/fotolia

But are there people who are able to repeatedly push your buttons?  Do you find yourself shutting down in certain situations?  What happens if you come across someone who unexpectedly triggers your anxiety, shame, or feelings of helplessness?

In spite of much healing of past trauma, some people or situations maintain the power to push the buttons of residual issues.For instance, I find it difficult to be around particular people as long as I am expected to be someone I am not.  I am not someone who fills every waking hour with activities or visitations.  I like my down time.  I need a certain amount of alone time to take care of myself. Continue reading

Communication and Personal Power: Do You Give Your Power Away?

Effective communication skills can be an incDefining Communicationredible source of power.

Most people have heard of the various types of communication:  aggressive, passive, passive-aggressive and assertive.  Everyone has a dominant communication style.  Are you aware of your style?

Today we will start with a quick review of the differing communication types and appropriate times to use them.  Continue reading