Healing

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USE THESE 7 TED TALKS TO INSPIRE, HEAL AND FIND YOUR PATH

Published by Elephant Journal ~ February 8, 2017

TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, contributes some of the most inspirational videos on the internet.

And speakers having a time limit of 18 minutes, those bits of inspiration come in small but mighty packages.

For me, TED Talks have become a fun way to pass the time during my morning and evening commute. I feel like I’m expanding and growing myself every day by listening to other people’s stories of hardship, hard-won triumphs, life lessons and discoveries, instead of just zoning out while sitting in the relentless traffic of the L.A. freeways.

On particularly challenging days, when I feel I need that kick in the ass, I re-listen to the ones that moved and inspired me.

With that, I present to you some of the TED Talks that have not just inspired me by changing my mind about long-held judgments and beliefs, but have similarly impacted millions of others:

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THIS IS HOW TO HOLD THE BURDEN OF DEPRESSION

Published by Elephant Journal ~ December 6, 2016

I come from a family of extremely positive people.

The glass is half full. Somebody else always has it much harder than you, so don’t complain. It could be much worse, so be grateful. Pick yourself up—it’s not the end of the world.

I agree with all of these things of course. So allowing myself to feel anything but gratitude and happiness on a daily basis was incredibly uncomfortable for me.

The first time I experienced depression was after the birth of my first child. He was colicky and screamed almost every moment he was awake. It wasn’t the normal crying of a newborn infant, it was the full-pitched screeching until he was blue in the face wailing that left him choking for air and left me and his dad feeling hopeless, exasperated and exhausted.

By week six, I was in a full-blown depression. Exhausted, sleep deprived, hormonal, aching breasts, unable to bond with him or feel an ounce of real love in my heart for the child I had longed for my entire life—it all left me in shattered pieces.

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LETTING GO OF HOW WE THINK LIFE “SHOULD” BE

Published by Elephant Journal ~ February 9, 2016

“What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be.” ~ Unknown

One of the most freeing moments in your life is when you find the willingness to let go of what you thought should be and embrace what is.

As I look back on my life, I realize that anytime I was devastated over something not working out, whether it was a relationship, a job, a move or an opportunity I thought I should have, I was actually being re-directed to something better.

There’s a great qoute by Eckhart Tolle that resonated with me years ago:

“Accept, then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. This will miraculously transform your whole life.”

I get disappointed just like everybody else when something doesn’t work out the way I want. But I have had the experience of losing something good, only to be given something better so many times over, that the disappointment fades much quicker and instead I wait patiently to see what the universe has in store for me instead.

My most trying times, my most painful, what the f**k times—those times I wailed into the night, “Why is this happening to me?” thinking I’d never recover from the curve ball that life had just thrown my way. Those are the times that redefined me and led me to something better.

I started to look at those moments, not as defeats, but as necessary to unraveling what was happening in my life at the time, and learning that I can rise from it and redefine what my own happiness is.

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YOU’VE GOTTA FEEL IT TO HEAL IT

Published by Elephant Journal ~ November 12, 2015

I’ve spent much of my life resisting my true feelings.

Anger made me feel wrong. Sadness made me feel weak. Needy made me feel “girly.” Love made me feel scared.

I became an expert at hiding when I was feeling any of the above.

Some people numb their feelings with alcohol, drugs, shopping, or sex. I numb with control. Being in control. Exerting control. Maintaining iron-will control over my every emotion.

Don’t think I have anyone fooled. Besides, this only works for so long before the emotions leak out and erupt like a dormant volcano.

One of the most famous quotes of every 12-Step program is:“You gotta feel it to heal it.” As someone who absolutely hates feeling anything that makes me vulnerable, this is the best advice I’ve ever received.

Because I’ve felt no greater pain and sadness than I have the past two years of my life. Yet it’s been the catalyst for my greatest transformation.

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HEALING FROM HEARTBREAK THROUGH YOGA

Published by Elephant Journal  ~ October 20, 2015

I was always a runner. A P90X-er, An Insanity girl. Run. Jump. Lift. Harder, faster, stronger.

“Doing” was a substitute for feeling. If I slowed down, I might possibly feel something uncomfortable and that wasn’t gonna happen.

Until feeling became the only path to healing. So yoga and meditation became a daily part of my practice. I was told that yoga would be transformative. It’s been proven to effectively treat the stress and depression that comes with any kind of loss.

So I was game.

I thought yoga was going to be a piece of cake for me. I’m an athlete. A girl who has worked out hard her entire life. As if I couldn’t strike a downward dog pose with the ease and grace of an accomplished yogi! Please…

Except I couldn’t that first day. The first mirror into my life.

I thought on the outside I was lookin’ good…had the teacher fooled that “I got this.” Nope. She was onto me from day one. Corrected my alignment. Told me I was on the right path but could straighten out a few things. She adjusted my hips, the position of my hands. Then told me to breathe.

Exactly where I was in my life. I needed some adjustments.

And so began a practice where I slowly started to master more challenging poses in class, as I navigated the challenges in my life. And I started to realize with much amusement that they were directly mirroring each other as I tackled each one.

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5 SIMPLE STEPS TO GRIEVE, RELEASE EMOTIONS & MOVE ON

Published by Elephant Journal ~ September 23, 2015

Ten years ago I had a horrible bout with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

I lost 10 pounds off my already tiny frame, had chronic migraines and was so fatigued, I could barely walk from one end of the room to the other. This lasted for months.  For someone who prides themselves on working out every day and having a ton of energy, this was an incredibly difficult thing to go through and I was determined to have it diagnosed by a doctor and “fixed” ASAP.

After rounds of tests and blood work everything came back negative. No medical reason for my symptoms and no answers as to why I was feeling so fatigued. But the body never lies and my body was telling me something was seriously wrong.

Our emotions, especially deeply stored ones that haven’t been dealt with often manifest in physical symptoms. When you don’t release emotions regularly, they often get stuck and eventually can create illness. Therefore healing is always a combination of emotional, physical and spiritual work. True transformation involves not just saying “I’m angry” or “I’m sad”, but getting at the core of those emotions and then changing our thoughts and behavior patterns that keep us connected to these emotions.

We all have a right to our feelings.  But, the fact that we are entitled to feel anger, hurt and grief, doesn’t mean that carrying it around works for us. After my divorce, I carried around feelings of deep grief, anger, shame, sadness. I started acting out these feelings in my relationships with other people – my parents who were just trying to help, my friends and even the men I dated… because I hadn’t healed all of the pain in my heart yet.

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10 THINGS YOU NEED TO LET GO OF TO FIND PEACE

Published by The Chopra Center ~ September 8, 2015

Even the most charmed life has its share of challenges. The high points in your life can be followed by sudden obstacles or setbacks that can rattle your self-confidence and make you critical and insecure about your decisions.

Challenges in our life are hard enough without hang-ups such as the need to be perfect, toxic people, or trying to please other people. If we can look at these challenges as opportunities to learn, grow, and set ourselves free to follow our own paths, we are one step closer to finding that inner peace we all long for. It just takes a little effort and practice to rid yourself of these common hang-ups that can weigh heavily on your life.

The Need to Be Perfect

Nobody is perfect. I spent all of my 20s and half of my 30s striving for perfection. I wanted the perfect career, marriage, body, and life—so all would admire me. It took a trauma, an ongoing battle with an eating disorder, a debilitating illness, and the loss of my childhood best friend to change my incessant need to be perfect. I came to realize that I wasn’t perfect, and never would be. I now accept that I’m the most perfect “imperfect” human being on the planet. One who makes mistakes, has a less than perfect life, but still inspires others through my humanness.

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WHEN THINGS FALL APART

Published by Huffington Post ~ March 29, 2015

Pema Chodron has a wonderful book called When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for DifficultTimes which was given to me many years ago. It sat on my bookshelf and I hardly opened it.

About six months ago, she was on Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday” series and I was absolutely fascinated by her story. Before she became a best selling author and famous Tibetan Buddhist nun, she was a regular woman who grew up in NJ, taught elementary school and had two children.

Her life fell apart, she said when she discovered that her husband of eight years was having an affair and left her while her children were very young.

I was completely drawn into her story because it was so similar to mine and began to follow her teachings. All of us have at one time or another had our lives fall apart. A loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, we lose our job and in the process, our identities, a relationship ends, we are battling an addiction or someone we love dies. Whatever the event, it’s easy for us to go to the place of being a victim. To feel sorry for ourselves. “Why is this happening to me?” What did I do to deserve this?”

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