My EMDR Training & The Umbilical Cord

Posted Posted in EMDR: Mind-Blowing Sessions!, My Stories

Hello good folks. So I did this amazing training last weekend in something called EMDR. It’s a clunky name, and they’d change it if it weren’t already this big international thing that’s been around for thirty years. But that’s what it is. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. But whatever, it’s just a name. Anyway, this is some seriously Jedi stuff…

I did a presentation on EMDR in graduate school back around 2010, which I just remembered not long ago. So I always knew I’d get trained in it; it was just a matter of time. And then it happened synchronistically, of course. A dear friend and fellow healer/counselor was living temporarily in south Florida. She went to the same training down there and was blown away not only by the modality but also by the trainer. This woman was amazing! And super intuitive and really like a laser. And fun, too – super fun. So I knew it was time. I contacted the trainer, and I signed up for her next training down in south Florida. This would’ve been back in April, even though there was going to be one here in Pensacola with a different trainer. I wanted this one, though. And then she emailed me later saying she’d be up in Panama City, FL doing the same thing. So if I could wait a month, I could drive six hours less. Sign me up. That was last weekend, and it was amazing.

I won’t get into too many details about what EMDR is here, because if I use it then I’m sure I’ll be writing many future blog posts about it. And I’m super new and still learning. But the gist is that when we have something troubling us, it’s usually connected to a past memory that’s stuck in the brain, along with all the thoughts, feelings, and body sensations that went with it. So this is all about getting out of the way and sort of floating back through the “memory network” of associated memories, back to the first one that started this particular thread, you might say. Then that one gets “desensitized” (pretty much feeling the feelings, or energies, as we’ve been doing here for years now). And then insights can pop in, which is what we’re all about here as well. So the weekend was also very validating to me, because I’ve known that what I’m doing works better than most talk therapy because of the body component, releasing those stuck energies. EMDR really takes it to another level, though, while clarifying some things at the same time. Good stuff.

I’ve already had several clients this week since the training that seem like a perfect fit for EMDR. And they say yes! Do it. And they’re fine if I’m clunky and even if I’m reading from a script. Because here’s the cool thing, this is all about the therapist getting out of the way. You help them open up, and then let the mind go. Let it go where it wants to, making whatever associations it wants. Let feelings flow. Let insight and understanding naturally happen. Just go with it, and it all happens exactly as it needs to. It already started a few days ago, in fact, with a client that made a connection between a traumatic event and something traumatic that happened when she was a kid, fifty years ago. Fifty years ago. And we weren’t even doing EMDR – I was just telling her about it! Then this old memory and the obvious connection just popped in her head and totally blew her away. So we’ll do some EMDR to clean out both memories when I see her next. So cool. She really was blow away how this old memory just floated up, as in, “How did I not see this connection before??” When we open, the mind just does what it needs to do. And it naturally floats back to the cause.

Before we go, let me tell you about one super cool thing the trainer told us about. She had a client come in for one reason or another; I don’t even know exactly what the presenting issue was. So she opens up and goes into it and lets the mind do its thing, and memories start to float up. And the therapist checks in every so often. So she checked in once, and the client said something like, “I know this sounds crazy, but I feel like I’m in the womb.” And the trainer said, “Go with it.” Then the woman said she felt like she was choking, as if something were wrapped around her neck. “Go with it.” They went through the protocol, “desensitizing” the memory so that all the pain was released. Again, I think it’s basically the “feeling your feelings, but as present energy without the story” that I’ve been doing (chapter 11 of The Untethered Soul).

So the client left feeling good. Oh and by the way, she left cured of asthma as well. Not bad for an hour’s work! And here’s where it gets cooler – the client called her mom after the session to ask if there had been any birth complications. And her mom said, “You know what, there were – the umbilical cord was wrapped around your neck.” Again, and please pardon my excitement, but BAM! Isn’t this freaking cool?? And I’m about to start doing it!

There’s another story that’s even cooler, but I’ll have to check with the trainer to see if she’ll let me tell it in full. It gets into one of her clients clearly being someone well known from a hundred years ago. When her mind “floated back,” she even said a particular name along with specific cities and years that check out when you google. And the name of the person isn’t famous, but when you google it you see that actually it’s connected to someone that is very famous, or actually infamous. I’d never heard of this person before, but it’s all right there on the internet. And the trainer said this woman was sort of uneducated and would never have known the person whose name she said. And again, the cities and dates checked out, too! And she says “uneducated” not in a judgy way at all, but rather in a “not very cosmopolitan” way that she could not have known who the person was that she said she was. Okay, I hope that’s not too confusing. Suffice it to say, though, that this is just super cool stuff, and direct like a laser. And very little talking, too, which is good. Let’s get on with it and let the healing happen, faster and faster. This is some high “bang for the buck” stuff, as the trainer said, and I look forward to playing with it in the weeks and months to come.

You CAN Breathe: How To Have A Panic Attack

Posted Posted in Client/Friend Stories

I have a client that had a super amazing first session with me. She has a LOT going on, and it’s big stuff. All at the same time. And there’s a lot from her past as well. And as I’ll write about sometime in the future, the present heals the past. So things come up now that remind us of past things that need more healing, whether we’re aware of it or not. And those energies want to leave, but the feeling gets really amplified and is sometimes overwhelming. Never forget Chapter 11 of The Untethered Soul 🙂

So she came in and had been feeling “hopeless and overwhelmed,” to the point that she often had trouble catching her breath, maybe for a month or so prior to coming in? Panic attacks. Not fun. But they’re not a very big deal now! And after just the first session. Why? Because she got the education she’s needed the whole time, the education we’ve all needed this whole time. Panic attacks are not rocket science, but nobody explains them to us. So we freak out, which is a perfectly normal reaction for someone that hasn’t been educated about them! But she got the education and then got several chances to practice, all in that first session. So now she had some experiences to go with the education. Awesome.

So we were talking about her situation, and at one point her breath started to get shallow. This was the beginning of a panic attack. I love when people have them in my office, because again, it ends up being such a profound experience for them. And they’ll never be afraid of a panic attack again. They might not like them, but they won’t be ruled by them. So her breath got short and she began to panic a bit. And I had her relax and simply find her breath. I reminded her that she CAN breathe. Her racing mind wanted to tell a story of “I can’t breathe.” And of course we’re feeling our thinking, and that doesn’t feel good! So the whole thing spirals and gets worse. But it’s not true. At no point could she not breathe. So I reminded her that she’s absolutely fine. Stay calm, don’t think or analyze, and simply relax into your breath, even if it’s shallow. Open the chest. Feel those energies and put the breath there, wherever you feel them. And then after a minute or so, her breath opened up. It deepened. And she started to feel better. All that energy moved out of her system, gone forever. Wow.

She doesn’t have an anxiety disorder or anything like that. Rather, she has a very powerful mind (and so do you, because there’s actually only one level of power – max!). And her body is always responding to what’s going on in the mind (as is yours and mine, right here and right now – we’re always feeling our thinking). So she had panicky thoughts, whether conscious or not, and this created panicky feelings in her body. But remember Chapter 11! These are energies – albeit really strong ones – that are trying to leave. They want to leave. They have to leave. So relax, get out of the way, and let them. But whatever you do, don’t try to think your way out of it. That’s what we instinctively do, and it mucks everything up. So in my office that day, she experienced how to relax into and surrender to a panic attack. And it only took a few minutes. Bam!

Can you see how cool this is? All that we talked about – that we’re feeling our thinking, we have a good source of thinking built in, and feelings are neutral energies that want to leave – was lived by her in that super comfortable chair in my office. It was an experience now, and not concepts. And it happened several times. I was so psyched! I could tell that it was very life changing.

She came in a week later and felt way different. No problems breathing. Woohoo! I can’t tell you how much this stuff pumps me up. All she needed was some education, and she went from constantly being short of breath to… no problem. Now, the situations in her life were still there, since they’re all in the process of unfolding, but it felt more spacious in her body. And she’s still dealing with some tough stuff, but her body isn’t carrying all of it, all the time. She’s learning how to attach, deal, and detach. One thing at a time. And her body feels different. After only one session. So cool! So there we go, please share this with any panic attack folks you know! Because there is hope, and lots of it. They just need education and then life will give them practice, right on time. And I’m always here if I can help.

My Mom Heard From Girl She Helped 60 Years Ago!

Posted Posted in Client/Friend Stories, My Stories

Happy Mother’s Day, folks! This is a super cool story about an email my mom recently got out of the blue, like really out of the blue. It was from one of her classmates in eighth grade. Sixty years ago… The girl had been new to town and of course new to that school, and my mom was really nice to her and it eased her tensions. This young girl was profoundly impacted by my mom, and my mom had no idea! She was just being herself, because she’s just one of those people that makes others feel comfortable. Whoever they are, wherever they are. And you know what? My mom got an email from this woman, sixty years later, saying thanks and what a big deal that was for her. Wow! As you might imagine, it made my mom’s day, to say the least.

Before I share this woman’s words, let me first say that my mom is truly amazing. I’m pretty sure I’ve written that here before. But I want to say a few words to those that either had moms that were not amazing or were even abusive, or that didn’t have a mom at all. Because I’ve worked with many people that had moms that were awful. Abusive. Mean. Scathing. Evil. Unbelievably evil! Totally insecure, taking it on on their innocent kids that did not deserve that. Nobody deserves that. I can’t even believe some of the stuff I’ve heard. Except… unfortunately I can believe it. But the truth remains the same, that what you are at the core, whether you call it soul or whatever else, is still unchanged. It is still magnificent. It is still unlimited. And it is still innocent. And that is a fact. As I always say, you can go to the religious or spiritual traditions, or you can just be logical and study the vast near death research. I’m a super logical math major, and facts are facts! So I help these people remove the conditioning, the false beliefs they learned, so they can uncover what they truly are and experience massive amounts of peace. Regardless of what kind of a mother a person had or did not have, the truth of what they are remains the same, and it is still magnificent and perfect. Like the owner of my college beer store said (Jim at East Lex in Lexington, Virginia), amazing but true! And I know it doesn’t always seem that way, certainly not for me. But I’ll tell you what, it does more and more all the time.

So if hearing about an amazing mom triggers you, then I invite you to reread the paragraph above and ponder it; consider those words and let them sink in. Pause when you feel to pause and go into the body and receive the message. Breathe it in. Also do your homework if you feel to and take a look around. Put your beliefs aside, though, and be open. Feel your way through it. And if you need help, then by all means come see me. Because it’s true. No mother (or absence of a mother) has the power to change what you truly ARE, what you already ARE, what you can never not BE. It sure can be covered up, though. But we’re starting to get really good at this uncovering business. Hallelujah!

Okay, so it’s a “random” Wednesday night recently, and my mom gets an email that says this:

Marcia, you probably don’t remember me.  My family moved to Pensacola at the beginning of our eighth grade year at Clubs Junior High. I was [insert her name here].  You sat right in front of me in homeroom.  I’ve never forgotten how kind and welcoming you were.  You truly helped relieve a lot of stress in my life.  I’ve been to two reunions and hoped you’d be there, but you weren’t. Forgive my intrusion into your space, but I’ve always wanted to thank you for your kindness.

What?? Amazing! Needless to say, my mom was blown away, and it certainly was not an intrusion. Except maybe an amazing one. My mom told my brothers and I, “Wow, we never know what effect we have on others.” She responded to the classmate that of course she remembers her, and she’s sorry they’ve missed each other at their class reunions. And thanks so much for sending that and that it means so much. I have a feeling they’ll connect at some point, because how could they not? Not after this. So cool…

Well, there’s not much else to say. Okay, just a bit more. I just remembered that I reconnected with my high school girlfriend when I got out from under a rock and hesitantly joined Facebook not even two years ago. She lives far away and is married with kids, and we’d been out of touch for probably twenty years? Whoa… We had a really cool connection, though, and we are very grateful for each other. We were a good pair, especially at that formative time of being about seventeen years old. It was nice to learn that a relationship can be pretty awesome. Anyway, she asked about my mom and said, “I have such warm, wonderful memories of her. I remember asking her how she learned such gracious manners and she said the most important thing is to make people feel comfortable.” What a wise young lady for asking this question! That’s cool to me because she’d never told me this before, at least not that I can remember. And it’s even cooler because it clearly affected that classmate in eighth grade so much that she sent an email, sixty years later! Wow…

So there we go folks, I just wanted to share that. Not only as a tribute to my mom on this day, but also to those out there that don’t feel this way in the mom category. That there’s still a deep, deep peace inside of you, and that’s a fact. That what you truly are can only be covered up and not changed, not diminished. And that there absolutely IS hope for a thriving life anyway. There can be peace and joy anyway. And one thing I’ve noticed is that those lacking in the parent department tend to be amazing parents themselves. Because they vow to do it right. And they do! And for that I say thanks. And if they don’t have kids, they tend to be amazing people. Again, because they vow to not be that type of person. Again, well done and thanks. I know it hasn’t been easy. And by all means, if you feel you could use some help with this, I’m always here, as are many others. Much love to you and to all 🙂

Those Constant, Background Gumbo Ingredients

Posted Posted in Client/Friend Stories

Not too long ago, we talked about my client that felt like she had a thousand things wrong with her life, when there were only three. And then we talked about this more generally, using the analogy of a gumbo to describe the ingredients contributing to how we feel at any given moment. Because often there’s more than one ingredient, and it’s helpful to see this when it’s happening. So today I wanted to mention some ingredients that can be in the background, serving as sort of a constant. And they add to whatever else is going on in our lives, amplifying our feelings.

I have a client that has a major issue with her shoulder that requires surgery. It’s quite painful, and her body doesn’t seem to like the pain meds. It’s also been tough for her to sleep as a result. So she thought she was slipping in terms of her peace, because any little thing that happened would get her really triggered. But when we talked about how she has this constant situation in her life now while she awaits surgery and then recovery, it all made more sense to her. She was in great judgment of herself, thinking she was really losing it. And then we saw that under the circumstances, it would be normal to be more easily triggered! So she’s much more vigilant now of how she feels, and she’s much more loving to herself as well. And she’s really making sure to practice bookending her days in the right frame of mind.

So she had this going on, and the shoulder was getting more and more painful, and then she caught a cold. And her doctor wouldn’t prescribe antibiotics because she didn’t want to compromise her immune system (I think that’s the reasoning there). And it lingered for a month before she finally demanded (nicely but firmly) antibiotics. And then it went away. But that month was even worse! Why? Because now she had two of these constant ingredients in the background. So she was even more susceptible to being triggered by things that would not normally be such a big deal. We’re on to it, though, and now she knows exactly what’s going on. And this deeper understanding has helped her to navigate the shoulder situation with way more peace than before.

So what are some other examples of these constant, background ingredients? Maybe if you’re in an extra tight spot financially. Or the weather… like if it’s been raining for days and you don’t like the rain. Or if it’s been really cold and you don’t like the cold. And speaking from our experience living here in Pensacola, Florida, if it’s extremely hot! Last summer seemed like it had an extra long period of oppressive heat and humidity, and many people just get cranky when it’s like that. I’ve heard the murder rate in New Orleans actually rises in the summer, perhaps for this very reason. Who knows?

Also you might have a bad situation at your job or with a close relationship, a situation that’ll take some time to play out and get resolved. A relative might be sick. Or if a loved one passes away, that’s an ingredient called grief that’ll usually be around for a while. Maybe you just don’t like your house or your roommate. Maybe you don’t like the current political climate, which is happening quite a bit now in the US. I talked with another client about this just recently, in fact, since she’s noticed how greatly it seems to be affecting her peace.

As you can see, there are many examples. When these things are going on, they can act as constant ingredients that are always there in the background, and they serve to amplify everything else. But when you know this is happening, the effect isn’t as strong, because it all makes more sense. And you know what? You feel better. It’s really the same as what happening with my client that’s kicking ass with bipolar – she’s doing it with more and more awareness. Because when you don’t understand what’s going on (low awareness), it can seem like there are a thousand things wrong and it’s all hopeless and you’re a terrible person. Not true! So pay attention to this stuff and maybe it can help. And as always, I’m here to help if I can 🙂

Client Kicking Ass at Bipolar!

Posted Posted in Client/Friend Stories

We recently used the analogy of the swinging pendulum to describe what happens sometimes when we shift and make changes, so today let’s talk about a different kind of swing. You see, I have a client that I’m so proud of. She’s in her thirties, and she’s been dealing with the major ups and downs of bipolar disorder for probably about twenty years. And for the first time in her life, she’s handling these cycles with massive amounts of awareness. And you know what? Her experience has been totally different. Yes!

You see, she recently realized she was starting to experience the highs of mania. And this is what she did. She called me to set up an appointment. Great call. And she had already called her psychiatrist to move her previously scheduled appointment up. Another great call! She’s on a couple of meds that work well for her, but he added another one to make sure she gets plenty of sleep, which is really important when you’re in a manic state. And then she’ll discontinue it when she comes back down.

So she’s having this amazing feeling and a ton of energy, but she’s aware that it’s the temporary manic state; it’s not her. So she’s not lost in it. In the past, she’s racked up over ten thousand dollars in credit card debt by making purchases she didn’t need. But she felt so good, so why not? Buy this! Buy that! So what did she do this time? She gave her husband her cards. Wow! That’s a really big deal. I told her she can write a book on how to do bipolar. And I’m serious.

She made sure to have weekly sessions with me during this manic time, and it lasted about three weeks. Then she came in the next week feeling low. She wasn’t in that amazing state anymore. But you know what? Again, she had awareness, so she was not lost in it. Getting lost in it would’ve sent her way down the tubes to the depths of depression. Instead, she stayed in her wisdom, which stuck to the facts. She was able to remind herself that this is part of the deal. Of course it doesn’t feel good to come down off of a high, but let’s not make it worse by staying in our head and getting lost in our thoughts (which nobody else even hears or cares about).

She used the best analogy for this low state, saying it was like she had the flu. When you have the flu, do you beat yourself up? Is it your fault? Did you do anything wrong? Or is it just the flu. Let that sink in… Pretty amazing, isn’t it? That one blew me away. So clear and simple and powerful. So she came in the next week, and her mood had started to rise back to normal. I was just so proud of her!

We all cycle, and some do more than others. I certainly do. But you know what? The less we get caught up in our thoughts – which nobody else even hears or cares about – there’s a reason I keep saying that! – the less disruptive the cycles are in our lives. The highs and lows aren’t quite as high or low. They also don’t tend to last as long – that’s big. And they’ll probably even happen with less and less frequency. So that’s the plan. And to this amazing woman, I say thank you on behalf of all humans! And especially those that struggle with their cycles, whether it’s classified as bipolar disorder or not. I love my job! Because to play such an intimate role in this kind of awakening, with a front row seat, is really, really special and really, really cool. Thank you.

The Pendulum

Posted Posted in Client/Friend Stories

Howdy, folks! Man, I’ve been SO busy, seeing more clients in the last month or so than I ever have. And busy resting and playing after work and on weekends, so not much writing. I think you’re supposed to write a stockpile of posts and then send them out weekly or something. That sounds great, but no promises… Still, I love writing about and sharing all of these amazing things that are happening, so I’m sure something will give. Because there’s still so much to say.

I think I had eight new clients in one week, just two weeks ago. The sessions have been totally rocking, and they’re getting more and more transformational all the time. And it feels AMAZING! This is what I’ve been wanting for almost six years now. I just can’t describe the feeling I have at the end of some of these sessions. It’s just amazing. So energizing. People always say they don’t know how I listen to people’s problems all day long. And I tell them very clearly that that’s not even close to what is happening! Maybe that happens elsewhere, and I’ve heard over and over that it is, but not with me. That sounds miserable. I don’t even let people bitch. Why? Because what they need is education about bitching. And it’s the same education that explains pretty much everything else in their lives. Take a breath, relax the body, and speak from the heart. It doesn’t do any good for that energy of anger or frustration to take control of the vocal chords. So they learn so much, and they shift way faster as a result. And I learn so much as well. We’re all on this weird earth journey. And I can’t wait to know the reason for this cray cray place that apparently we choose to come to, over and over again! I just know there’s a really good reason, though. Okay, let’s do this…

There’s a lot of shifting happening now in humans, maybe more than at any other time. When talking about shifts, the analogy of the pendulum can come in handy. This is because lots of times we’re way out to the left or way out to the right in a given area. One client, for instance, has been overly accommodating of others her whole life. This can seem like a great quality, but it’s too much. She often hasn’t spoken her mind or stood up for herself in the past. She learned to be this way decades ago, and she’s had enough! No more doormat. So she’s decided to be more real and honest with people. She’s decided to be more selfish, divinely selfish. She takes care of lots of people, so I told her that this is good! Because if she goes down, she can’t take care of them. So she comes first. It’s like that classic analogy of putting the oxygen mask on yourself first if the plane starts to have problems. Then help put it on the person next to you, if they need help.

So I let her know how pleased I was to hear of her shift, and that it sounded healthy. But I also told her about the pendulum. Because sometimes if it’s been way out to one side, when it finally swings it might swing way out to the other side. So she might find herself being a total bitch! But don’t worry, just keep making adjustments based on feeling things out with your heart, moment to moment. And love and support yourself the whole time, with no criticism! Keep doing that and your pendulum will eventually home in on its natural sweet spot. And you can always own it and apologize if you’ve gone too far. If you do, though, do it out of strength and not weakness. And again, no self judgment or criticism! Your true Self might note that you’re finally being real, and you’re learning; you’re practicing. You’re still a good person, and you’re figuring out your true way. You’re shifting, and that’s a big deal, and it certainly isn’t always easy. So be gentle, keep feeling out those adjustments as needed, and all will be good.

So that’s the story of the pendulum. If you’ve been way out one way then consider swinging some in the other direction. Or don’t! It’s all good. But if you do, be aware that you might swing way out the other way. If so, you’ve don’t nothing wrong. Just feel it out, allow yourself to shift, and all will be good. This can also be a useful analogy when examining the actions and behaviors of other people in your life. When you see things from a more zoomed out vantage point, it gives you more information. And more information is good because you might act more compassionately towards them. You might still be strong by setting boundaries and what not, but you don’t have to be judgy. Because their pendulum just swung too far in the other direction, that’s all; and they’re probably not even aware of it. And being judgy makes you feel bad, not them. So less of that is best. Okay folks, that’s all for now, and happy swinging. Wait, don’t take that the wrong way. Or the right way? That’s your call, and you’re innocent either way. Haha, peace out, good people!