The Narcissism Trap

All the talk of narcissism in the past decade has been twofold in it’s momentum: first, educating and validating many people’s trauma in relationships and situations that otherwise have never been validated. And second: it has created a vilification or “othering” as I term it, of a group of people who need deep compassion.

Narcissism stems from trauma. The deeper the trauma, the more narcissistic behaviors one displays. These behaviors are not easy to engage with, be around, or live with. If one finds oneself in a narcissistic relationship and is just waking up themselves, there will most likely be some tough decisions to make about if and how to continue the relationship.

As we begin our ascent into awareness of our selves and our lives, we “wake up” to the truth of what is happening within us, and around us.

The process is fairly standard and there is a time period of what I call foundations work: accepting personal feelings, and most importantly, feeling them; accepting that the past is in the past; creating and holding boundaries; (re)discovering interests and pursuing them; speaking up; speaking out; following through with what you said you were going to do. This work is often fueled by anger that can be overt, or more often, covert. A deep simmer that keeps the inner pots boiling in the dark. That is, until that anger is faced and fully felt.

The idea of narcissism was deeply comforting for me when I was first waking up to the depths of my pain. It was something my mind could hold onto, think about, and understand with logic and reason. The litany of offenses the narcissist can inflict on another is long and detailed, and I found solace in my own trauma knowing I wasn’t the only one who survived such confusing and painful situations.

However, this can easily turn into another blame game for the ego to play. Another way to vilify and “other” people who are deeply in pain. They have learned to live their lives through pain, so they don’t know any other way of living or that another way to live is even possible.

My ego played this game for a while, until I came to a point where it didn’t feel good anymore.

Anytime we blame or “other,” we are simply holding on to a cycle of negative thought.

The grudge or judgment or pain is like holding an inflated beachball underwater. We often hold hundreds of them under the water of our emotions over our lifetime.

As we step into our self-worth and have learned it’s ok to feel our feelings, we can begin to more and more easily create boundaries. In our boundaries, we can decide for ourselves what is ok in our world, and what is not. If a narcissist’s repeat offenses are creating more and more beachballs for you to hold underwater, as you begin to release them and create space, you realize you don’t want to hold any more. In fact, you want to begin letting go of other things you’ve forgotten but are beginning to feel that you’ve been holding under the waters of your emotional inner-world.

A narcissist is here to show us what aspects of ourselves we have been denying. Perhaps it’s boundaries, or self-worth; perhaps it’s being ok with who we are at our core, or learning that we can trust ourselves. Whatever it is, they are here to show you a superpower that you’ve forgotten you have.

And once that superpower has been rediscovered and integrated back into our daily life, it becomes a normal day-to-day expression. We confidently make choices that reflect our authentic needs and wants. We navigate overwhelm and tricky situations with as much grace as possible, and even more letting-go at the end of the day. We stop holding on to grudges, judgments and grief because they are just more beachballs for us to hold under water. And it’s a huge amount of energy to do so.

Then and only then, can we see the gift of the narcissist: our chance to practice compassion. To choose what’s healthy and right for ourselves AND still send them love. To see things AS THEY ARE and not try to fix, manipulate, change, or mould anyone or anything. And from that point of seeing the truth of the situation, a full and peaceful response. This looks different for everyone.

But in the compassion, we are never blaming or “othering". We are simply seeing, holding space, and sending love. May you find peace and happiness. May you find respite from this cycle of pain. May you find joy.

In compassion, one of the hardest things we can do is not do anything.

Allow what is, to be. And then turn inward to make decisions for our next steps from our innermost authenticity and self-worth.

Narcissists gives us a chance to practice this.

Mental Health Is … Everything

Mental health is much more than how we feel--it’s the deep beliefs that we run on autopilot that create feelings of anxiety or depression. Those thoughts were put in there sometime, somewhere. And just like exercising the body, it takes a little (or a lot) of practice and training to strengthen new beliefs to be run on mental autopilot.

Shame is another form of control.

Mental health is so important that culturally, we have shamed the hell out of it. Shame is another form of control. Shame feels so bad, and is so debilitating, that we will do anything to avoid it. Including stuff, closet, avoid, react, or defend in the face of any feelings. 

I understand this intimately. As a child, I was controlled through shame, manipulation, and narcissism. Needless to say, this was very confusing. What to do with these conflicting feelings inside, vs what I was being told by a parent? Deny my truth. Deny myself. Deny deny deny. Or stuff, closet, and hide.

My family appeared one way to the world and quite differently at home.

Things also needed to be controlled in a certain way at home--and nothing else fit into that hyper-intense mold. A coping mechanism I had was I farmed myself out to my friends families. Especially in grade school and high school. I would adopt myself to my best girlfriends and thankfully, I had a string of lovely boyfriends in high school who I connected with their families too. But even though I was in these healthy environments, seeing how others live their lives in a respectful and loving manner, a part of me could never believe it. And it’s because in my family of origin, everything always looked good on the outside, but was a total shit show when we were alone. 

As a teen, my deep traumas began manifesting themselves as anxiety and depression. It didn’t help that I was put on the pill--due to intense dysmenorrhea--which severely messes with a woman’s ability to mindfully regulate and hold space for her emotions. Added on top of that never being modeled how to or allowed to express feelings. Again, more denial, more self-hate. My brother’s mental illness took a turn for the worse and my parents started beating him. They would use any method available to keep him “under control”. Witnessing these beatings, feeling powerless and so afraid to do anything, shut me down even further. What was worse was seeing how very shortly afterwards, my parents would be acting as if nothing had happened. It was no big deal. 

From a very young age, I lived in an environment where I was repeatedly invalidated. Not only just with directly being told so, but huge disconnects with what I was seeing and witnessing, and then the story spun afterwards about why things have to be this way. Anytime I’d authentically show up, respond, or express anything, it was immediately denied or shamed. As a child (or someone under the age of 25), things are seen in blk and white. So it made sense that I came to the conclusion: it must be me. I’m the crazy one. Something is deeply and inherently wrong with me.

I carried this with me until I couldn’t any longer. 

At 20, I checked myself into a hospital because I woke up one day with such debilitating anxiety it was beyond a panic attack. I simply couldn’t move. My body was in such a state of revolt from all the repressed trauma that it wasn’t going to let me take one more inauthentic step in my life. Not without major protest. And protesting it was. 

In the hospital, I was a shell. I felt myself looking out of my eyes, and moving a body, but none of it was “mine”. 

My roommate Pia was a force. Like a living Frida Khalo, she had waist-length, jet black hair. And scars up and down her arms from trying to kill herself. She was angry to be there and angry to still be alive. I wasn’t talking much, so I never asked her why she wanted to kill herself, but I wish I had. She was so beautiful and misunderstood. Like so many people with mental illness. Trying to live out a life being forced on them, but never able to make that work. 

The staff were all wondering what I was doing there. I was sent home in 36 hours. 

The lack of understanding--both in the mental form of reason and functional science behind our brains, moods, emotions and external world affect our behaviors; and understanding in the sense of empathy and compassion for others--is still very real in our culture today. It’s certainly come a long way from 15-20 years ago. But honestly, not that much. 

We have the power to change the course of our own mental health trajectory.

Let me repeat that: we have the power to change the course of our own mental health trajectory. But we must know this, deep down. We must know it, own it, and most importantly, believe it. 

I muddled through the next six years on a variety of drugs feeling hollow and not here. And thank god for those drugs. They kept my anxiety at bay and me alive. They allowed me to still be walking in my life, slowly but surely stepping into more and more autonomy.

And then, at 27, I woke up. It was like something came through me--some other force. I began telling everyone who would listen that “enough is enough”. I moved across the country by myself. Got into art school on a scholarship. I stopped speaking to my parents. I began seeing a therapist, Jim, who gave me real-life tools to use well beyond “just talking about it”. I, for the first time in my life, began to see myself as I was: Whole. Deep. Trustworthy. Real. Deserving. Jim died after only working together for a few years and he is still one of my most pivotal teachers. 

It was that moment at 27 when I felt what it meant to take ownership of my life. No longer accepting that I am just a number, my life is something that just gets blown in the wind and what happens to me is beyond my control. I had a real adversity to control because of being controlled my entire childhood, so taking ownership of myself was a huge deal. 

Taking ownership meant I first had to see myself as worthy.  I had to love myself enough to do small acts of self-love, like: following through with something I said I was going to do. Honoring boundaries of myself and others. Listening to another. Listening to myself. Feeding my body well. Resting.

Then, to also have someone reflect back these newfound superpowers (in my case, in the form of my first therapist Jim) was profoundly healing. My mirror neurons were firing like never before soaking in this new information like the desert does after a long awaited rain.

But that’s precisely why I think it can take a while for someone who’s grown up in abuse to start accepting new ideas of love and self worth. They’re so thirsty for it, that just like a desert who hasn’t had rain in five years, the water first washes over the hard ground not penetrating because it literally can’t. It takes a little while--and a lot of rain--for the ground to soften, to finally let the nourishing water in. That’s how those six years between my hospitalization and my awakening felt. 

Mental health is everything. If we don’t think we can do something, we can’t. We won’t even attempt it. Even if the body is strong and capable. 

And mostly, what my mental health journey has taught me is compassion. People struggling with depression or anxiety, people trying to kill themselves, this to me feels like a failure on our part as a society. Let’s use the fuel of others’ struggles to help us find the compassion within to reach out and help, to hold space for another, to do a small act of kindness. Those saved me after my hospital experience from friends who all they did were a few acts of kindness for me. It gave me hope in myself and the world, that not everything is so bad, even me. 

The next ten years for me have been about integration. Integration of these traumas, my past, my choices, my present and owning them in a way that feels empowering. I don’t blame my parents at all. I know how hard it is when you’re in that unconscious space of survival. I also know how hard it is to be a parent.

Most recently though, my process has been focused on letting go. Surrender. Forgiveness. I couldn’t do that before—and rightly so because we literally cannot when you have unprocessed, or unfaced emotions still lurking in our shadow.

The more I stick with my practice, the more I strengthen those muscles of mindfulness, responding, and compassion, the more I’m able to look at old feelings coming up and literally let them go. That happened. That’s done. I forgive them. I forgive myself. I accept forgiveness.

But this took a long time for me to get to. It took years of holding onto the hurt and pain—mostly because that’s the only way I knew how to be in the world. And I still trip up and find myself in a tailspin every now and then. But it’s less often. So when those moments of deep trigger happen, I know to pay attention. A new layer has been revealed for me to look at and let go of. And if I don’t look at it, well, I know the painful consequences of that all too well.

May we pause the urge to immediately judge another and see them as they are in truth: struggling. May we step in with kindness. May we hold space for others to express themselves. May we approach each other with curiosity rather than defensiveness. May we honor one another, even in our addictions, even in our depression, even in our habitual ways of hurting others, as doing the best we can because we literally don’t know any better at that moment. May we know that we are love. May we know that we are loved. May all beings be happy and free. 


The truth about stress

Stress happens to us…right??

Stress does not happen to us. Stress is the response our bodies have when we have long over-held, repressed feelings that have built our inner pressure up to a boiling point. Stress is an internal phenomenon.

Stress is interesting because we use projection—my boss, this traffic, my family, this exam, hormones, PMS, a big presentation, that meeting—to release this internal volcano of repressed emotions, many of which we are completely unaware are there in the first place. Projection is culturally the acceptable way to dealing with our internal “stress.”

It is not the external circumstances themselves that cause the stress. Rather, it’s the unconscious emotions we have inside, building up pressure, making us vulnerable them.

When we hold a lot of fear inside, “the more our perception of the world is changed to a guarded, fearful expectancy.” It’s simply all the fear we have inside us that is triggering our readiness to react with fear—instead of, say, curiosity or compassion.

What we hold inside colors our world. We focus on what we repress.

What we repress emotionally causes pathological changes to our nervous system leading to disease.

The the Re:Framework, we use applied kinesiology, or muscle testing, to build up our trust muscle with our selves. We have lost contact with our intuition through years of suppressing and repressing emotions that seem to scary to deal with or we just simply don’t know what to do with them.

Applied kinesiology is an excellent way to reconnect to our internal trust muscle because “a negative feeling instantly causes a loss of 50% of the body’s muscle strength.” You can see and feel immediate, tangible results based on your subconscious beliefs. And you’ll probably be surprised at how often we “go against” our innate, authentic wants, needs and truths.

Stress is based on our belief systems and how we associated our emotional pressures with certain external factors. It’s not these outside influences that are causing the stress, but rather our reaction to them. Our own emotions, the amount of pressure built up, and the degree of reactivity to them are what cause damage—not the stressful “situation” itself.

So let’s get to the root cause of our stress—repressed or suppressed anger, guilt, fear and other negative feelings—and remove them as the source of our stress.

We can do this by committing to a practice that will give us the space to “release the pressure valve” and take personal responsibility for our old programming in how we react with certain feelings. Trying something for a day or even a week won’t cut it—trust me, I wish it did!

Committing to ourselves and our whole way of being is a gift. Holding your own hand through the hard stuff, while also knowing you have support around you is invaluable. We can do hard things. They are not going to always be so hard, either!

In the Re:Framework, we do all this and more. By just trying it out—even just reading this blog—you’re already opening yourself up to new ways and new possibilities of doing, living and being. Bravo, you.

—excerpts from: Letting Go, by Dr. David Hawkins

How we believe feelings control us

A feeling can create literally thousands of thoughts over a very long period of time. One feeling. If that feeling is negative—perhaps anger, judgment, resentment—our minds latch onto that feeling as something dangerous.

The mind—our beautiful, useful, helpful minds—will react when it is afraid, if left unchecked. Our minds are more delicate than we have been taught to believe. Just as we would take care of a cut with keeping it clean and putting a band-aid on it, that same care and attention can be extended to our minds when it feels “threatened” or hurt.

When we have a feeling, there are four ways we generally deal with it: suppression, repression, expression and escape. Suppression happens consciously. We have a feeling and, not knowing what else to do with it, we table it, stuff it, decide to deal with it later and try to function as best we can throughout our day.

When we repress a feeling, it’s because there is so much guilt or shame about it that we immediately thrust it into the unconscious so it’s never felt at all. Amazing, right? That we have this ability?

Our indicator that we are repressing, is when we go into denial or use projection. The two tend to be close bedfellows and go hand in hand. They also reinforce each other.

Because we have such shame and fear about a specific feeling, we literally deny it’s presence within us. We then project it onto the world instead of feeling it within and removing that deep, emotional pressure it builds inside.

Most of us carry around huge reservoirs of negative feelings, attitudes and beliefs. They accumulate through our daily interactions within our families, communities and beyond. This pressure literally makes us miserable and is the source of many of our illnesses and problems.

Projection is the root of all attack, violence, aggression and every form of social destruction. In order to maintain our own sense of fragile self-worth, we project at the expense of others well-being.

Okay, so let’s pause here.

Have you ever felt controlled by your feelings? Like they are driving you to say, do or act in ways that you’d rather not? Or, in ways that push people away, rather than bring them closer for the support and love you’re so deeply wanting?

Have you ever felt overcome by your feelings—where they become the deciders, the all-knowers, the end-all-be-all truth of your life?

You’re not alone at all. Me too.

Another way we deal with feelings is through expression. We talk about it, we emote, and/or we use body language.

Typically, when we go to a close friend or partner and emote or vent our deep, negative feelings, they tend to react—whether we know it or not. It’s hard to hear about such deep hurt. Expression can even be taken as an attack by the other person.

I know this pattern well in my own relationship. It wasn’t until I understood that neutralizing—or taking responsibility—for my own feelings about ANYTHING, is how I can avoid confrontation or feelings of being attacked. In my “mind,” all I was trying to do is “share my feelings.” Yet the outcome was never love or connection but rather, a fight.

The last way humans deal with our feelings is escape. We are desperate to stay unconscious, avoid our feelings at all costs—especially if we are ashamed or afraid of having feelings in the first place. Addictions, staying busy, doing more and more and more are all ways we stay unconscious.

We do so much in order to avoid, divert, suppress and repress. It’s a lot of work! All because we have a belief, just a belief, and usually from very early on in life, that this feeling will annihilate us.

What happens when we can learn to let go of a feeling? To neutralize it? Take responsibility for it?

Instead of making ourselves miserable, ill, isolated, and tired from all the work we’re doing to maintain control over our feelings, what if we were to learn how to let it go?

Getting to this point of even entertaining the idea of letting go is a big deal. The ego has no small investment in your life and won’t easily be bought out by the currency of inner peace. It doesn’t need inner peace because it’s job is to think and help you take action in your life.

But, beyond that critical voice and the ceaseless slave-driving, is you. Yes, you.

The critical voice is nothing but our programming from childhood. It’s deep and it’s there. And it’s not “yours.”

Feelings create an endless supply of thoughts. It’s our thoughts that urge us into choice and action in the world around us. By going in and releasing the pressure valve on our feelings, over time, the pressure significantly decreases and we are more on a maintenance schedule than a critical oh-my-god-she’s-gonna-blow-we-need-to-evacuate kind of thing.

And the maintenance of feelings is progressive. You know when you get to a really good place in your life and you think: well this must be it! I’m pretty content and happy! And forget to stay aware of feelings and continue your practice of letting go and self-healing (meditation, hypnosis, the Re:Framework, somatic therapy, etc…). But we become aware of our feelings again when the pressure builds and on and on it continues.

This is good news for you perfectionists out there, and people who are very goal/end result oriented. It takes you off the hook for having to have it all figured out right now. Or tomorrow. Or in X amount of years. You don’t. And it’s ok. So take that pressure off your self.

Feelings happen. They, in and of themselves are a neutral phenomenon. It’s what we attach to them that makes us react with suppression, repression, expression or escape.

Feelings do not have to control us. With practice, such as in the Re:Framework, we can learn to become aware of our feelings and learn tools to take responsibility for the big pressure build ups they induce within. With continuous practice, we connect to our authentic selves, giving us space to choose and respond instead of react. In the space of response, we are acting from our power, our center, and our truth. We know we are ok, we are worthy, and we can make anything we want happen in our lives.

The Most Important Thing Children Teach us

Conscious parents realize that our children teach us more than we do them. It’s never been about controlling, or manipulating in order to “get” a certain behavior or action from them—although that’s what many of us may have grown up with.

Rather, it’s about allowing what they’re brining in for us, to be let in. Let me explain.

I believe that we all choose our lives well before we’re born—our parents, circumstances, partners and children. And we all chose this life together to help each other learn the lessons we needed in order to get closer to experiencing universal love/self-actualization.

I’m not saying this lightly either. As someone who has experienced her fair share of trauma in childhood, the work of climbing out of that is real and intense. However, if I hadn’t experienced what I had, I wouldn’t be able to fully bring to the world what I’m here to do. As humans, it’s experiential learning that allows us to deeply understand and integrate something—if we choose. And again, if we choose, we can turn those experiences into something we can teach others.

As a parent myself, there has been so much deconditioning I’ve gone through in order to be the “guide” rather than the over-ruler of my son; allowing him to be himself, while guiding him when he needs guidance. I ask three things when I am feeling the urge to step in: is he hurting himself, someone else or something? And if not, I try really hard to bite my tongue and let him just be, exploring, and free. And if he is, I have learned how to set firm but loving boundaries that keep him safe. Through this process we’ve built up trust, love and respect. It’s the basis of attachment parenting.

But through this rigorous process of “allowing” over these past six years, the most important thing to this point that I’ve been taught is the PAUSE. It’s because I would stop and ask myself those questions, it’s because I would observe his interactions with other children before stepping in, and it’s because I cultivated an awareness of myself and my son in life, that the muscle of the pause has become so so important.

Today, he’s able to share exactly what he’s feeling about something that I have done (unconsciously) and I am able to let it in through the pause.

Through the pause, I’m able to hear him, think about it and respond in an empathetic and compassionate way. And trust me, it’s not always easy or nice! Children have a way of saying things unfiltered and unadulterated.

But this pause is the same thing talked about in the world of meditation or mindfulness. Many times, we think we must have a separate practice in order to cultivate awareness. This is not so. Your everyday life and experiences are your best teachers of mindfulness. And mindfulness is nothing but the muscle of awareness that allows you to choose your experiences.

Your children can be your biggest teachers of mindfulness—as can your partners.

They can teach us—very effectively—the pause.

The pause is the point of choice where we can choose to go down the same reactive path we always have. Or, we can choose another response. Another way. And, if you’ve ever been triggered (which is everyone because we’re human), you know how hard this can feel in the moment. And yet with practice, it gets easier and easier.

This is where we can begin to make real, tangible changes in our lives. Where we bridge the gap between what we want or what we dream our life to be like, and it actually happening. In the pause. In the moment before we choose.

In the midst of what's not working, let's turn and fully embrace what IS.

Our minds are hard wired to look for the problems. To seek out what’s wrong, what to be worried about or anxious about. They are constantly scanning the environment for problems, issues, and big bears trying to eat us.

This takes on another levels for those of us who’ve experienced any sort of trauma or neglect as children. We learn through modeling and watching our primary caregivers. If they soothed and comforted our natural inclinations to be afraid, the foundation of resilience is built in. However, we also learn TO BE afraid if they model that same behavior in our daily lives. We take it on so easily too, because it’s natural for our brains and we’re in a very open theta state (the literal “sponge state)” up until the age of 7.

The Buddhists, the Yogi’s, the Mystics and great Sages throughout time all have recognized this as the first step in liberation. And just because it’s the first, it does not mean once you recognize it, our minds will just say “oh, ok, I don’t have to be afraid anymore. Yippeee!” In fact, it might ramp up the fear even more. That brain—and our ego—have been in charge for so long that it’s not wanting to give up that seat without a tantrum or 1000.

In this process of deepening self awareness and authenticity, I invite you to EXPECT the shit to hit the proverbial fan. It stirs things up. And it takes dedication, practice, and trust—and a community—to support you along the way. Unless of course, you’re Buddha. ;)

The beauty of this journey of authenticity is that we begin to see the TRUTH. As we strengthen the muscle of awareness, and seeing things exactly as they are—without the filters of our own expectations, judgments or past experiences—we are inviting in Love. Seeing something as it is frees us from trying to change it, fix it, grasp it, or become it. It frees us to CHOOSE. It frees us to sit in Loves presence and feel all the feels, then moving forward consciously and even logically, to choose the next best step in the situation.

This is the path of love. This is freedom.

For myself, this “embracing what IS good amidst what’s not” is one of my biggest practices. Growing up, I was programmed with a lot of fear of the world, shame of being who I was, of being a woman, and very low self worth—because this is what was modeled to me. There is no shame in this for myself or my parents either—they did the best they could with all the tools and knowledge they had.

My knee jerk reaction to feelings of shame is to hop on an old mental loop of “run.” And it will persistently and consistently point out all the flaws, the bad things, the perceived scary things that is going on and will most definitely obliterate me in that situation until I a) run or b) catch it in action.

Today, I’m proud and grateful that 99% of the time, I consciously choose B. When I can catch this in action, I’m first bringing awareness to it. I can employ my logical mind to examine these fears face on—much like cognitive therapy. This is a muscle I’ve trained from doing years of mindfulness and tuning into my authentic feelings.

Then, once I am fully facing this perceived fear, I can use breath to calm my nervous system. If I’m only slightly triggered, this only takes a minute or two. But if I am fully triggered, it takes 20-25 minutes for the cortisol of flight or flight to move through my body. Sometimes I have to both do the breath work and take a walk. Or hit a pillow. Or cry. Or all the above.

Finally, when I have another stretch of 20-30 minutes of time, I take it into my favorite acupressure process. Like EMDR, Hakomi Therapy, or EFT, all these methods employ “energy psychology,” which uses the body as the vehicle for release of old trauma and then creates a new neural pathway for us with a new habit or belief. It’s physical and deep.

I’m still humbled and amazed—and sometimes it feels like magic! But it’s not. Far from it, actually. It’s science based and, it works.

So as we learn to live with our “little worrier” as I lovingly call this part of my mind, by letting them know “hey, we got this,” we are also more easily able to see and appreciate (with feeling) what’s working well and good in our lives.

If we are constantly in a state of fight/flight/deer in the headlights, it can feel fake to “appreciate” because our bodies are telling us something very different. So start with your body, instead of trying to “change your thoughts.” Your thoughts will more easily follow where you place your attention (on what IS working) if your body is cooperative of—or in sync with—that gratitude experience.

And again, there is no shame if you are finding yourself in this loop of shame/bad feelings/anxiety. That’s your body asking you to lovingly take the reigns, use some tools like breath, exercise, and meditation to calm it down. That’s all. Sometimes we can attach meaning to our feelings which can compound them even more. I know this very well, personally!

Breathe, move, and seek the beauty in your life. Rinse. Repeat.

It doesn't have to be so hard

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Ten years ago, when I first began the journey of deep inner work, those were the words I sobbed to my then therapist, Jim. It doesn’t have to be so hard! I told him. He wholeheartedly agreed.

When we hold a belief such as, “it takes so much hard work and effort” to make something happen, make a change, make money, make a relationship work, etc—the fact of the matter is, it will.

However, if we recognize this for what it is—an old loop pattern that we learned as children between the ages of 0-14—and it actually has nothing to do with us as individual people. There is no shame in having had this programmed into our subconscious as young children, that’s what we’re literally programmed to do at that young and tender age.

When we have a hard time facing ourselves, it’s because not only have we been programmed with some belief that is making our life “harder” today than it needs to be, but we also have the added belief on top of it that we are “bad” or “shameful” for “doing things so wrong and the hard way.”

It’s like a double padlocked bank vault!

Any and all momentum/change we wish to create begins with a belief. Belief is so strong a component to our whole-being as human beings, that we are only beginning to understand the vastness the power of belief has in truly shaping our lives. It's humbling and scary (I still feel that fear!) because it means that now we know this, we have to course correct HOW we examine and redirect all issues/problems in our lives.

And it looks nothing like the old ways, including: ignoring the issue, talk therapy, thinking about it and hoping for change from thinking about it, reading about it, changing our thoughts to positive ones (yeah right--such a shame filled way to keep people small!), moving to a new location, changing friends/partners/communities, etc. How many of these have you tried in your life, and did they work? Many of them just end up making us feel worse, instead of whole, healed and integrated.

When it comes to changing a belief, we have to go into the subconscious. This is where 95% of our brain activity resides—meaning those loops are on cruise control day and night and we’re not even aware of the effect they’re having in our daily choices and interactions.

By intersecting those old loop patterns, we first can recognize or know what’s really going on in the belief department. Then, with that knowledge, we can heal our deepest, oldest, most bizarre programs—then reprogram into our consciousness whatever it is we want to replace it with.

Sound like magic? It’s not. It’s actually a lot more like computer programming, without having to learn super intricate code.

The re:framework goes deep into uncovering subconscious beliefs and then gives you a tool you can do on your own to reprogram that belief. Using the power of breath, meditation, applied kinesiology and energy psychology, you can go right to the source of yourself, change what’s needing updating, and go on living your life with more awareness and consciously.

When we are more aware, we are able to make choices that reflect our new program desires, rather than fall back into old habits and patterns.

The mind is a funny thing. Kept for so long as an enigma, or final frontier, it’s been shrouded in a cloud of untouchable mystery. Today, however, we are understanding so much more about how the mind works—and it’s a lot like a computer. I personally love this because it’s taken the shame or “taking things personally because I just can’t seem to change/get it right” BS out of the equation.

It’s simple input/output. And the feelings, all the feels that I have, are put into perspective as indicators that the program is running smoothly and helping me stay on my authentic path, or not.

Welcome to The Heart Wisdom Journal

The Heart Wisdom Institute arose out of a need for accessible and simple tools for deep and long lasting, personal change. On my own journey, it took me a long time to accept that it was me—and no one or anything else—that can change my life. This meant I had to do the deep work of accepting: accepting myself and accepting my own power as a human being. I fought this process of acceptance fiercely, pretty much the whole way through.

And a process it was. Because I was deconditioning so much fear out of my body, mind, and life, it took me baby steps even to begin to think about myself as an autonomous, responsible human, capable of anything I put my mind to. That last part, especially—it sounded too close to woo-woo for me.

My personality wants things to happen quickly and easily. And while they can when I’m living from my authentic core, they can not when I am living from fear. So the (what felt like an excruciatingly) slow, personal evolution I partook in was compounded by the fact that “I didn’t like the speed of things and couldn’t they just go faster omg what is wrong with me why can’t this just freaking be over yet?”.

When we are living from our conditioning—the subconscious beliefs we were programmed with from birth—we most often are not making choices that reflect our true, authentic core. Especially for those of us with traumatic, abusive, and/or manipulative upbringings.

I knew life could be different, that MY life could be different. There were so many people around me who I could see were living from a place that I couldn’t even fathom—trusting themselves, loving themselves, and being themselves in a way that was effortless and uplifting to everyone around them.

Done with the suffering of victimhood, I embarked on a winding and thrilling search for how to find those aspects of myself and begin living from my authentic core.

Constantly stumbling and falling on my own journey proved to be exactly what I needed. I tried everything and investigated everything from the extremely-way-out-there, to neuroscience, to Buddhist psychology, to Christian and Jewish mysticism, to yogic philosophy (and so much more) that proved to be the beautiful grist needed for the creation of the Heart Wisdom Institute. Through my own trial and error process of personal growth, I’ve discovered that true change lies in our innate power—as well as on a foundation of loving self-worth.

When we believe we can not make changes in our lives—and I knew this feeling well—we can not make those changes. However, I ask you: where did that belief come from?

As children, a big way we learn is through our mirror neurons. Even if someone didn’t directly tell us we were worthless, if our primary caregivers thought this about themselves, we most likely absorbed that as “true” in our lives as well. Children cannot separate themselves as individuals from their parents until between the ages of 9-11.

So if this belief was literally programmed into our brains at a young age—and it’s not true—why are we still running this program as if it were true? Letting it influence our every thought, choice and action?

If we’re hurting, we can change that. If we’re in the flow of our life, we can sustain that. We’re that powerful.

This space is a place for us all to explore our inner landscape, to transcend our false beliefs and choose what kind of beliefs we want to operate from. Remember back in the day when you’d be on a PC and Microsoft Windows hadn’t been updated in forever? And how slow things were, or they’d just straight up crash?

Our brains are similar. Self care is upgrading our subconscious software. It is deciding we are worth it and making every effort to learn how to “program” our minds at will. This is true creation, and it begins within.