Zoom event this Thursday and new free worksheet – check it out!

It’s a lot.
What is happening in our country is a lot.
What is happening in the world is a lot.
Right now, what’s happening In my personal life is a lot.
I invite each of us to take a moment, to slow down, to send blessings and well wishes everywhere they are needed, including to ourselves.
Let’s remain open and curious about what we are called to in these moments.

Before diving deeper into my story, I want to invite you to attend an online event on Thursday May 9, from 6:30 – 7:30 PM EDT, that I will be offering in collaboration with Mindfulness Goddess Melanie Pensak. The event is on a very affordable sliding scale of $10-$20 and will be recorded for anyone who cannot attend in person.

Here is the url to sign up for this event, Exploring Somatic Developmental Trauma Practices:

Here is a brief intro to Melanie, and you can read much more about her on her website. Melanie is a great resource for anyone who is suffering from CIRS, an illness syndrome caused by exposure to water-damaged buildings.


Melanie Pensak, an Earth Protector, offers nature-based meditation experiences designed to honor the Earth, cultivate interconnection with the land and assist people in developing their daily mindfulness meditation practice.

Melanie is currently recovering from CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) caused by biotoxin exposure from living in water-damaged buildings. The changes in her physical abilities and presence of dynamic disability have inspired her to consider how to make earth-based practices and nature meditation more accessible to all people.  She feels passionate about increasing awareness around the illness, as well being a part of the change towards improving building code standards, health care and access to financial resources for those with chronic illness and invisible disability.
Melanie offers one-on-one CIRS support calls and Mindfulness Mentoring Sessions to those recovering from CIRS and/or experiencing chronic illness who wish to process their journey through the lens of mindfulness and compassion. She created The Heart of CIRS Podcast. A dana-based weekly meditation class for folks with CIRS runs each Monday, and CIRS Healing Grief Circles run seasonally.

All through winter I have been waiting for it to be warm enough to comfortably get out into the woods. Yesterday I was shaken up and I realized that the best medicine might be a walk through the park. I didn’t have much time and the walk didn’t totally settle my nervous system. Sometimes our practices don’t help as profoundly as we wish, but they are still worthwhile. In this case, it was really nice to be under trees and in moving water.

I’m going to just pause right here and revisit that space. I can feel the sense of the cold water on  my feet, I can feel the spaciousness of the trees surrounding the sky.

Many of us with traumatized nervous systems have this pull toward all the crises of the moment, and oversized stress that comes with them. In me right now, I feel a spinning in my belly about my current projects and responsibilities, managing the cleaning and sale of my Dad’s house, the pending birth of my grandchild, and lots more. I can feel a whirlwind vortex of excitement, stress, alarm and responsibility.

[Late update – my grandson was born safe and sound on Tuesday April 30!]

OK, this is interesting. As I poll myself about the various situations and stressors that are spinning in my belly, a common theme keeps showing up. “Am I doing it right? Am I doing the right things? Am I going to do the right things? Can I meet my responsibilities in the big things and the small things at this moment in time?”

I am afraid I’m not going to do it right
and there will be terrible consequences.

So in my belly is this spinning and this fear that I’m going to fall down and fail others. Feeling that fear, right here and right now, I am slowing down. I am making space for my breath. I am going back to the woods and the stream and the rocks and the waterfall. I’m feeling the fear in my chest, I’m putting my feet into the cool water and I’m noticing my breath. Slowing down. Slowing down. Slowing down.

Aware that I’m afraid I will do it wrong, I ask my ancestors, my guides, and my inner wisdom for help, direction, and clarity. “In a gentle way, help me to know what is important in any given moment.” I sink into the chair, still seeing the trees, still feeling the water. I feel in my body that these ancestors and beings will help me sort things out. I really believe that these beings help us. But note that even if they didn’t exist, by resting into support that I believe in and trust, my own body will be more relaxed and more organized, and I will have better intuition and instincts about how to schedule and prioritize things in these coming days and weeks. Our spiritual resources support us whether they exist or not.

Trees, water, rocks, air, ancestors.
Supporting me. Holding me. Gently.

I invite you to take some moments and visit the nature, the spiritual practices, and/or the humans, animals or beings that support you and hold you. Take a pause, invite those beloveds into your body, rest into several slow breaths in that place.
Notice the locations, qualities and/or sensations in your body that feel good or ok as you do this. See if you can make more space for what feels ok or good, letting it be even bigger in your body in these moments.

I have a resource that I would like to share with you, a worksheet I created for people with Global High nervous systems called, “Separate Trauma Reactions: Onto New Ground!” or STRONG. This worksheet walks you through a process of connecting with support, identifying feelings and beliefs in your body, and inviting your body to realize how the feelings and beliefs are not true and what might actually be true instead.

To tempt you to use the worksheet, here are excerpts of what I wrote when I worked through the worksheet while composing this newsletter. The process led me to realize (both in my mind and body) that every time in the past when I had this many responsibilities at once was a time when I wasn’t well connected to my body and I didn’t have enough support. Feeling and remembering that has helped me to relax and not take my feelings of pending failure seriously.

I let myself remember that I am loved and supported by beings and energies greater than myself. I am a part of the great love, and the people and things that are troubling me are also held in that love. I am willing to learn to remember that I am held and loved even when I can’t feel it.

I am willing to learn to disbelieve false truths from the past.

I need gentleness.
I value courage and perseverance.
I don’t like feeling responsible.
I feel strong. Huh, that feels surprising for some reason.
I don’t want to stay stuck believing old patterns and old fears.

I feel strong.
I need gentleness.
I value gentleness.

I am supported. That feels real. My body isn’t used to it. I am supported.

I am afraid I am going to screw it up.
I don’t know how to do this.
I feel frozen.

A part of me is afraid I’m going to screw it up.
A part of me doesn’t know how to do this.
A part of me feels frozen.

The feelings of fear, lack of competence and freeze are partly or wholly from the past and the thought that I can’t do this and will screw it up is probably not true.

Here is what might be true instead:

In my trauma recovery I have slowed my life down so that there’s not too much stress or responsibility at any one time. That has allowed me to slow down and build trust and comfort in my body.

I am not used to having a lot of projects and situations while also having trust and comfort in my body.

The presence of multiple responsibilities brings to mind(body) those periods in my life when I had to make it through very challenging times, I didn’t have enough support, and I didn’t have a good connection with my body, my feelings and my deeper resources.

Those times were really scary and painful, and I guess I have not fully digested those experiences as yet. So the stress from the past is showing up now when I am taking on a lot all at once.

It’s likely that I can do all these things and do them just fine. This is just my body being shook up from the past.

If you do try the STRONG worksheet, I would love to hear how well it works for you – or doesn’t. Thanks!

Thank you for directing toward me and my website the people in your life who might be supported by my resources. May you and your beloveds be safe.

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