The Importance of Hope

To prepare for the upcoming retreat, I am looking for the best ways to present the concepts that I want to teach the participants, such as understanding what happens to our body, brain, and nervous system when we experience trauma. There are certain concepts that are very important for helping us see what is learned, what can be un-learned, and that we can choose the change we want as adults now.

A concept that fascinates me and that I love to help survivors learn about is hope. This is a word people often throw around without understanding the power behind it and, most importantly, how painful it can feel when you are being presented with a concept that you cannot quite conceive of or have any examples of. Most survivors struggle to understand what others mean they talk about hope because they have never felt it.

I realized a parallel of this that would happen almost daily in my life. English is actually my third language and I used to get so frustrated with English words and...

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Life is Constantly Trying to Teach You, You Just Need to Listen

Life will constantly present you with situations in which there is a lesson to be learned, a feeling to be acknowledged, a truth to be set free. These situations come in many different forms, like a bad relationship, a bump in your career, a triggering memory, even just a casual conversation with someone that brings up an issue for you.
It might feel like there are no breaks from these situations, it might seem like you are constantly battling these tough moments. And you might be exhausted from them, feeling frustrated and annoyed that these things aren't going your way and it makes you dread the future, having to deal with more and more.
But the truth is, with each challenge you face, you are developing an important strength. You are developing resilience, something we can't develop without real life experiences to practice, grow, and gain wisdom. These bumps in the road are completely necessary for your healing, for gaining life experience, for...
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Why Mindfulness Is So Important

I just got home from a beautiful retreat on trauma and compassion in Nashville, TN. It was very well organized by the hosts and a very diverse group of people attended. We heard from researchers in the field of trauma and compassion and then spent 2 days immersed in learning about and experiencing compassion through meditation, sharing, and journaling. 

I came away from this experience feeling very moved. I even found myself in tears more than once on the plane ride home as I reflected on the experience, the learning, and the deep authentic sharing that I experienced in the room, both from the presenters and participants. Nothing makes my heart sing like hearing people speaking courageously from their hearts. 

What struck me over and over again, during the many breathing and meditation exercises, was how profound the human experience is in feeling and expressing pain and sadness, even joy and beauty, and what I kept hearing and seeing throughout the weekend was the hope,...

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