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Podcast Interview with Psychologists off the Clock

I had a great conversation with Debbie Sorrensen at Psychologists off the Clock about the value of body-based therapeutic practices and where your somatic-imprints might originate from.  I hope you’ll take a listen!

Podcast Interview on Shrink Rap Radio

I was happy to spend an hour talking with Dr. Dave of Shrink Rap Radio, one of the first podcasts on psychological wellness on iTunes.

Have a listen here, I think you’ll enjoy it.

The Mind-Body Stress Reset conversation with Rebekkah LaDyne and Dr. Dave on Shrink Rap Radio

 

Book Talk at Copperfield’s in Bay Area: September 2020 *Wishing you stress-relief

See and hear the first online book talk for The Mind-Body Stress Reset.

YouTube Channel

Did you know I have a YouTube channel?  It has a collection of videos that might be helpful for your self-regulation practices.  There could be a video that lifts you up during a hard day.  Or perhaps there is one that is a friendly reminder of a basic of somatic-regulation skill. Take a look, a listen, or share with a friend.

Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/user/thismindfullife

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

The sun is shining, birds are chirping, the rain clouds have passed and revealed the clear blue sky to my neck of the woods (yes I actually do live in a forest).  And just as all the blossoms are reminding me of new growth, and emerging, I’m aware that one year from now, spring 2020, I’m expecting a new arrival myself.

No, I’m not pregnant again, at least not with a human baby.  But you could say I’m pregnant with possibility.  What possibility, you ask?  A bouncing baby BOOK!  Yes, that’s right.  My first book is coming out spring 2020 and I’m so excited to share it with all of you.

I’ve been researching for my book for the last six years, writing my book for the last two, was joined by a great publisher ten months ago, and I just submitted the final manuscript today! (That was a lot of gestating). And in a short eleven months, we can all have a copy in our hands!

The book is about stress, Anxiety, and overwhelm (which I know a thing or two about, and not just theoretically).  It’s about how stress and anxiety are notjust in our heads but in our bodies too.  Overwhelm, and its friends, are a felt experience before they are thoughts (and during and after too).  As these challenges begin in the body so do they resolve in the body.

The Mind-Body Stress Reset: Somatic Practices to Reduce Overwhelm and Increase Well-Beingwill guide readers toward the relief and true ease they need and want.  It will take you on a journey from extreme stress and trauma, to resilience, strength, and your capacity to recover.  I can hardly wait until its arrival next spring!

More about the book coming soon.  And please, help spread the word!

Tools For Resilience – Orienting and Sensing

Your Body Is Your Brain

Your body is your brain. When it comes to feeling safe and well, it’s not all in your head. And if you don’t feel safe and well, you can’t think clearly about much of anything. So basically, your body is your brain. We could also say your body is your #1 brain, and that heavy organ in your skull is your #2 brain.

The primitive brain primarily speaks one language, reports somatic expert Peter Levine, and that is the language of sensation. This means, all those fancy thoughts and ideas do not have much effect on the primitive brain.

Why does this matter? It matters because our primitive brain is responsible for assessing our safety and wellbeing. If we don’t feel safe, our primitive brain assumes there is a threat in the vicinity, and a cascade of reactions occur in our body that keeps us from thinking about much of anything else.

First, the body organizes itself to identify the threat: our muscles stiffen (sore necks or backs anyone, this may be related to chronic ‘startling’ in the body). Then, our fight/flight system gets revved up and ready for action, shutting down non-essentials like digestion and elimination (tension in the gut, loose stool? constipation? These can relate to an overactive stress response). Next, we scan about looking for threat (In this state our mind is fully engaged in ‘identifying’ threats, whether they are actually there or not. With defensive orienting, seek and ye shall find, is an accurate description).

When this ‘all systems go’ reaction is happening, we move into a tunnel vision that seeks to find what it is looking for, damn it! and protect ourselves from it. This mentality results in many misidentifications of threat as well as misplaced self-protection reactions (angry outbursts, defensiveness, hopelessness, collapse, anxiety, depression).

In this hyper-agitated state, our primitive brain may hear the rustle of the bushes outside our house, feel the alarm, see the postman, and although Jack, the mail-carrier has only ever been kind, he suddenly becomes an enemy. We can also feel overwhelmed by our circumstances, lost in our ideas about things, and become unable to see other options or solutions. Sometimes we identify ‘an adversary’ or ‘a pursuant’ within our own elaborate imagination, the new supervisor at work, our best friend, our child’s teacher, the weather…

So what can we do about it? How can we use our body-brain to help us from falling into the rabbit hole? We cannot talk ourselves out of it, […]

Mindfulness Talk – Audio – The Garden in Our Mind

This is a talk I gave ‘for parents’, however we all parent someone, especially ourselves…and maybe some children too (or a partner, parent, friend) :-).

Listen here: Rebekkah Mindfulness Talk – The Garden in Our Mind

Pretend Perfection

I am reminded regularly that when I try to “pretend perfection” I become anxious, unhappy, and stressed. In times like these, if I search inwardly, I can feel the strain that inauthenticity causes.  However, I wonder, is being authentic just laying it all out there?

Author and researcher Brene Brown draws a distinction between being authentic and “oversharing.” She talks about how we sometimes attempt to “hot wire” a connection by over-exposing our vulnerabilities and points out that this is not real vulnerability. When I “hot wire,” it is usually an attempt to cover-up the tenderness that I feel with true vulnerability.

Why do we try to fake it?

ahhh

I think we try to fake it because false (and fast) connection feels somewhat related to the real thing. But the quick option is not the prize we actually seek. In the case of over sharing, a surge of cortisol (stress hormone) is substituted for the dopamine (happiness hormone) that can accompany a true connection. For most of us who experience stress, cortisol is easy to achieve; dopamine is harder to earn, but oh so worth it. This bait and switch reminds me of trying to satisfy a craving for good dark chocolate with Hershey’s; they might have some overlaps, but they are not the same.

 

I have certainly found myself in the painful throws of exposing too much too soon, in an attempt to “be authentic,” only to find myself in the land of self-deprecation that borders self-mockery.

It has taken me a long time even to be able to see these habits, and then begin to slowly change them. (Usually) I am not long in the stage of unconscious incompetence anymore, wherein, I hot wired and over shared, and I didn’t even know. My only evidence was the shame hangover the next day.

Mindfulness brings conscious incompetence, a painful yet essential stage. With consciousness all the moments where you say too much or exaggerate your faults to share the laugh, are now seen with the clear light of awareness. But with consciousness, the pain caused by making yourself the butt of the joke is also seen, which can support change.

Slowly developed conscious competence is a welcome guest. It takes effort and self-reminding, but with mindful awareness, authentic connections are made, and true sharing occurs that respects who you are and where you’ve been.

At last to unconscious competence, where because of previous efforts (mindfulness practice & somatic integration) you don’t have to track each part of an interaction or event […]

Body Intelligence

 

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