Meditators Kick Ass With EMDR

Posted Posted in Client/Friend Stories, EMDR: Mind-Blowing Sessions!

Today I’d like to write about something that I’ve noticed, and it’s that meditators seem to do really well with EMDR. I’ve had several of them so far, and stuff just pops up for them. It’s like their brains are really clear and open (which, of course, they are). One had so many insights in mere minutes that I wrote about her, calling her The Insight Queen. Another had these crystal clear memories like she was watching a movie. From over 65 years ago. And then that same client had past life memories come up as well, five of them in total. And she was able to access a deep, deep pain of loneliness as a younger girl that we never would’ve touched from talking. We’d already had many sessions long before I was trained in EMDR, so that’s how I know. And this pain that had been carried for so many decades was finally able to be released from her field.

Another client has had all kinds of old memories and insights, targeting a different major thing each week for many weeks in a row. She’d want an answer, and sure enough by the end of the session she’d have it. Major stuff, too. “Why do I hate – hate – my ex-husband so much?” And by the end of the session, “Oh, that’s why.” That’s specifically why. And now she doesn’t hate him; it’s more like she feels sorry for him. She sees why he is the way he is. She has compassion, and he’s totally de-powered. He can’t trigger her anymore; nothing like he used to, anyway. It might not be fun dealing with him, but it’s a different ballgame now. She has her power back, which means she’s way more at peace.

Another meditator had the coolest experience, culminating with her first vision at the end. She said, “It was like a psychic reading, but I was the psychic.” And all these deep revelations about her life happened leading up to that, as well as interesting things with the body and different sensations leading up to each revelation. It was thoroughly enjoyable for me to witness!

So this is just a super quick post (yay, a quick post!) to share what I’ve noticed about meditators and EMDR. They seem to be more clear, and what needs to come up can come right up, unimpeded. Lots of this has been written about in the EMDR category in this blog. So there you go, my shortest blog post ever.

The Edge

Posted Posted in My Stories, Other Cool Topics

Hello folks, let’s talk about The Edge. And no, I don’t mean the guitarist for U2. Even though I just saw them in New Orleans ya heard, woohoo!! It was awesome. They apparently have the biggest LED screen in the world, running the width of the entire stage behind them. Inside of a huge football stadium where very few bands can play because it’s so massive… Wow. Whatever your opinions are of massive screens, it can make for a pretty powerful visual effect. And the band was great. Beck was the opener, and he was awesome as well. He had an amazing band, too. And when he introduced the band members one by one at the end of their set, they’d launch into a snippet of a well known cover tune featuring that musician. So it was this awesome collection of perfectly played covers, and just for a minute or two each. Perfect Rolling Stones tune for the amazing lead guitarist. But I’m telling you this because when it was time for the drummer, this huge beast of a man (“beast” is actually a huge compliment in my language), they played In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins, starting with that iconic drum fill. You know the one. Legendary drum fill. I was so pumped. Back to the story of The Edge…

The Edge is basically the edge of where you feel comfortable. I mentioned it in a recent post called Don’t Be Sorry, Be Specific. In that case, we were talking about how there’s this edge where many people feel comfortable being honest with another. There comes a point at which you might feel an uncomfortable feeling in your body being honest and open. For many, it’s that you don’t like hurting another person’s feelings. Letting them down. Feeling responsible for their feelings. Which is all actually crazy! Because sometimes that’s a part of their path, and that’s what it takes for them to grow. But I know that either I came in programmed like that, or I learned it at a very young age. So I’m pushing my edge in this area. And it does come from a good place, wanting everything to be roses. So that’s good. But that’s not reality…

So we learn about our edge. For someone that experiences social anxiety, it could be the edge of where they feel comfortable in a social setting. The library might be okay, but the mall is out of the question. And a restaurant might fall somewhere in between, with some restaurants being more doable than others. For someone with a fear of heights, they might be cool on a porch three feet above the ground, but then they start to feel less comfortable as the height increases. And the rooftop porch might be out of the question. Someone that gets anxious while driving might be cool on back roads or even on smaller city roads but not on the interstate or highway. And there’s this grey zone in between where the tension rises as the road and traffic grow. You get the picture.

The edge of where we’re comfortable shows up in any situation, so let’s talk about what it is. It is energy. So it moves and expands! Bam. So when someone starts to feel their edge, it might feel like a pressure in the body somewhere. It could feel like a cringe. Or a wall. Or a pit in the throat or stomach. When people feel this, they usually retreat, and they are usually not calm about it (internally, and often externally as well). The mind is saying, “No! Danger! Don’t go there! Stop!!!”

So what’s the other option? That’s right, you might’ve guessed it… Breathe. Breathe into it. Give it some attention, but not with a bunch of thinking and analysis. It’s just energy, and it will open and move. Breathe into it, relax into it, be open yet strong. Do you want to push your edge a little bit? Or a lot? Because you have that option now, now that you know what’s going on. You’re feeling your thinking, and your thinking is freaking out. But your wisdom might say, “Wait, I’m safe. This is okay. Let me explore this. Let me explore my edge a little bit.” And you relax the body, and the edge expands. You start to live this way, noticing the edge and immediately breathing into it and staying out of your head and in your deeper breath. And what’s more, you’re giving yourself some major love for being brave and feeling into your edge! And that feels really good… And it’s legit, because what you’re doing now is important. Because it can change your life.

It can change your life because all of a sudden you might proceed in situations in which you would’ve retreated before. And some of those things that you couldn’t do in the past become less and less of a big deal. And you can do so much more now, and you feel so much freer, and you see that wow, you were living in such a prison before! And the prison walls were merely energies in your body, coming from your thinking and from your past. And you’ve learned how to melt those walls, expanding them more and more with time. So cool.

I love when people come into my office, learn about this, and then return not believing that certain things were a big deal before. I remember someone talking about OCD tendencies, and one of them was that the volume of the car stereo couldn’t be on odd numbers. So volume levels 16 and 18 were fine, but not 17. I had her sit in her car after the session, put it on 17, and breathe. Problem solved. She felt a massive cringe, of course, as her body was freaking out. But breathing means her mind was not. Just “inhale… exhale… ” a few times. And the body calms down. Why? Because the edge just expanded some.

So there we go folks, that was the tale of The Edge. This is really cool. And never beat yourself up if you have trouble with this or feel like you can’t proceed! Because that’s fine; it’s a process just like everything that we talk about here. Anytime you even think about it, you’re peeling layers. Timing is always perfect, and you’re playing your role beautifully. And nobody can do YOU any better, because they are not you. You couldn’t mess up being you if you tried. So allow those edges to be where they are now, and let their expansion unfold naturally. But knowing about the edge – knowing exactly what it is and what it is made of – is huge. Important information! So enjoy, and happy exploring. And as always, let me know if I can help.

Don’t Be Sorry, Be Specific

Posted Posted in Other Cool Topics

This is something that I’ve been doing and sharing for a good while now, and then I heard my guy Matt Kahn talk about it and phrase it in a really clear way. Those enlightened people tend to do that sometimes… And yes, I totally have a man crush on this dude, in case you couldn’t tell. So here we go: Don’t be sorry, be specific. Here’s what that means. Most of us say “I’m sorry,” and our heads are hanging down very low. We feel sorry, as if we’re a sorry excuse for a human. As if we’re a sorry piece of [bleep]. And that’s the vibe we’re putting out, too. We’re coming from a place of weakness and insecurity, and we’re also being really codependent. Because we desperately need the other person to forgive us so we can feel good again. Sound familiar, even if only a little bit? Let’s consider trying this a different way.

Instead of saying you’re sorry, say why. Be specific. Say what you wish had happened. Say how you wish you had acted. Say what you wish you had said, and in the tone of voice with which you wish you had said it. Doesn’t this feel better? Doesn’t it promote clear communication and growth in a relationship? Doesn’t it come from a place of strength? Because you are NOT sorry, in that you aren’t some sorry sap, some poor excuse for a human! Because that doesn’t exist. Read or listen to something like Dying To Be Me if you have not, because it describes what you already are. Or watch Afterlife on Netflix. Sorry beings don’t exist, and we’re in the process of owning that, even when it doesn’t seem to be true. And trust me, it often doesn’t seem to be true for me!

So let’s look at a classic example. You’ve had a long day, you come home, and a loved one asks you a question. And you snap at them. And they did not deserve it. Maybe it turns into an argument, maybe it doesn’t. And you feel awful, because you’re feeling your thinking, and the deeper part of you knows that wasn’t your best, not even close. The deeper part of you knows that was not appropriate. It knows that’s now how you want to show up in the world, and it knows that person didn’t deserve it. So instead of just saying, “I’m sorry,” say exactly why. Be strong about it, and you can even be excited because of how you’re handling it now. The growth is way faster this way, and you can be very proud of that. “I’m sorry for how I responded to you. I was carrying stress from work, and I put it out on you. You did not deserve that – nobody ever deserves that – and that’s not how I want to treat you or anyone else, ever. And I’m practicing not doing that anymore, because I truly don’t want to do that anymore. And I totally understand if you’re angry with me.”

Now take a breath. How does that feel when you read it? Doesn’t it feel a lot different than just saying you’re sorry? It also opens the door for the other person’s input. There might be things they need to say, things you need to hear. Again, growth is the goal here. The more open the communication, the better. And trust me again, I know it ain’t always easy! I am NOT a naturally honest person when it comes to hurting people’s feelings, and that’s something I’m working on. It’s not that I’m some liar, not even close. It’s just that I’m super sensitive with others and I’m learning about that. And the universe has given me a good bit of practice in that area in the last couple of years!

Wait, you know what? Let’s talk more about that in a future post. It’ll be called The Edge. Thanks for the reminder, because it’s an important subject. As a preview, the edge of where you’re comfortable is like a wall made of energy. You feel it in your body, pretty cool. It might feel like a cringe, a lump or pit, or an energetic STOP. But you know what? The breath can melt it so that it gets pushed out a little more, and a little more, and a little more. The key is to just take a deep breath, and then speak from the heart. Get one word out at a time. And your edge just moved. Wow. And I’m going to New Orleans in a little while to see U2 tonight! And their guitarist is named The Edge. So a nice little synchronicity there.

So there we go, folks, a little post with a different take on saying you’re sorry. I hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to take a gentle and innocent look at how this might help you in your life! As always, I’m here to help if I can. And finally… peace out 🙂

The Insight Queen

Posted Posted in Client/Friend Stories, EMDR: Mind-Blowing Sessions!

I’ve been meaning to post this for a couple of months now and am finally getting around to it. Work has been rocking, and just so busy. It’s going well, especially with this new love stuff that we’ve been doing. So I’m working at a totally unsustainable rate, but it feels okay for now. After a while maybe I’ll raise rates and focus more on spirituality. It feels good to keep spreading this stuff as much as I can for now, though. Anyway, here it is, the story of The Insight Queen. It shows how fast connections can be made using EMDR as opposed to just talking. Enjoy!

So I have a client that I’ve called the “Insight Queen” because of the ridiculous insights she’s had the two very brief times we’ve done EMDR. They’ve come so fast that it’s just ludicrous. It’s like we’re thinking maybe we’re done for the day, maybe not. And I’ll say, “Why don’t we just turn the machine on one more time to see if anything else comes up?” And then a minute or two later, some huge insight about her life pops in. So I wanted to share some of them with you so you can get an idea of what can happen when we “drop in” and get out of the way, allowing the mind to open up. My experience from doing EMDR for a few months now is that this is a way different animal than just talking about stuff. Way different.

I wrote about her first EMDR session here, when she realized that her life was very difficult for a young kid, so she had to put a wall up and be tough. And she’s seeing now that she made it, she survived, and that it’s time to lower the wall. “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” A little 80’s nostalgia for some of you… The wall absolutely served a purpose, but she’s outgrown the need for it. And it might even be keeping good things away. Remember from the previous post that she had a vision in meditation about everything she wanted being held at bay by a bubble emanating from her. That’s the wall. And from our subsequent session, now she knows exactly when she put it up and why. And now she is allowing it to come down. We’ll see what happens as her life goes forward, allowing the wall to come down. Because that was a really cool vision that she had!

She also realized she was a “bad kid” because as a very young girl, she learned to associate bad things happening with getting her mom’s attention. It was a very old memory that popped in (written about in the linked post above), and this insight was clear as day. Wow. She also realized that everyone else in the household was trying to get the same thing – attention and love from her mom. So it explained how they all acted, including her dad! And this realization, along with remembering that he had been abused as a child, explained his heavy drinking. She also saw that wow, one person (her mom) can totally dominate an entire family. And she saw that her mom had lots of junk from her own childhood that she hadn’t dealt with and that she kept just passing on. So she thought, “Deal with your stuff; don’t poison everyone else! That’s not okay!” But she has the insight now to see exactly why all of this happened. It’s no longer a mystery, and that helps us come to acceptance and peace much faster. And trust me, she’s in the process of coming to acceptance and peace. And it’s happening fast.

Now here’s the deal, and this is why I’m writing this post about The Insight Queen. ALL OF THAT HAPPENED IN TEN OR FIFTEEN MINUTES. Let that sink in. All of that happened in ten or fifteen minutes. It’s like dog years, it really is. That amount of insight would most likely take a long time doing talk therapy, if it even happened at all. Not fifteen minutes, anyway, no way. Not even close! And she simply put some headphones on, held some vibrating pulsers in her hands, closed her eyes, and dropped in. Wow. And seriously, we’d think we were done and I’d say let’s go for another minute or two just to check. And then bam, another life changing revelation would pop in. And we were seriously laughing, because it was so ridiculous. And then why don’t we drop in just one more time? And then bam, something else. I couldn’t help but laugh, and neither could she. That jaw-dropping, mind blown kind of laughter. Feels so good!

In our second EMDR session, we targeted something but nothing was coming up. So we shifted to another target, something else in her life that was bothering her. And bam, an old memory floated right up. And this led to the insight that she’s always played small because then her mom couldn’t chop her down. Her mom was very insecure, you see. Okay, she seems like a very evil witch, to be honest. And I’m helping to get rid of this very strong conditioning that my client is so tired of. And she is so amazing! If you only knew, you’d be astonished. She is a truly amazing person, in so many ways. But this conditioning started early, and it’s strong. But we’re breaking that sh*t down! And it’s such an honor and a joy to be part of it. Because it is time.

So this amazing person has been playing small her whole life, not thinking it was okay to truly let her soul shine. And that’s because her totally insecure mom would bash her anytime she did something good. That’s messed up! Again, deal with your stuff and don’t pass it on! This sounds like a big realization for five minutes, right? Five minutes?!? So I suggested we drop in again, because why not? Let’s just see.

So she closed her eyes and dropped in, and what came up? An old memory where she learned that feeling her feelings is not okay. For instance, crying is not okay. When she was in pain in the hospital as a young girl after a surgical procedure, her mom told her in a cold voice, “You’re embarrassing me.” Are you kidding me? This was a young girl in pain in a hospital. And she learned in that moment that feeling was not okay. Until now. Thank heavens! So you can see that was a powerful two minutes, dropping in again. Two minutes?!? This little EMDR machine is amazing!

So we could’ve been done, but again, I said why not try once more? So she closed her eyes again, and a memory floated up of being left at a gas station as a child. On a family trip. With a family that’s not very big. Left at a gas station! She came out of the gas station, maybe with a candy bar and a soda, and she could see the family vehicle driving away, getting back on the highway. No cell phones, no clue what to do. They left me??? So she realized she was always trying to be seen, especially by her mom. She’s always wanted to be seen for who she is, loved for who she is, and allowed to be who she is. And that never happened. Until now. 

We are getting rid of the gunk from all of this – that’s the ‘D’ in EMDR, Desensitization. We’re clearing this gunk, this old energy, out of her system once and for all. And underneath the gunk is our natural wisdom, fresh insight. Clarity. Strength. And often compassion, too. And a good, spacious feeling. By reading this post, can you get a sense of how powerful this way of doing therapy – or growth – can be? It’s about NOT thinking through things in a really verbal, intellectual way, but rather getting out of the way. Letting the mind chill out and relax so we can see what wants to float up naturally. And again, each of these major realizations only took a few minutes!

Now, I don’t write about this for anyone else to compare themselves to her. I just want you to know what’s possible. Many other clients, though, have had experiences similar to this, in the short time that I’ve been doing this EMDR stuff. They’re just making connections so fast that would not be made by talking. Not nearly that quickly, anyway. Not even close! I’m so blown away, and so are they. But I had to tell the tale of The Insight Queen, because it’s just on a different level of ridiculousness. Things happened comically fast. Every few minutes something earth-shattering would pop up, and it would further explain her life. As my EMDR teacher says, “Now my life makes sense.

So there you go, folks! I hope you’re enjoying these tales, because I sure am enjoying sharing them with you. And I send you love and peace and all that, and I’ll receive it myself as well. As always, let me know if I can help. But I can say for the first time now that I’m so busy that the scheduling is getting tough! And we’re now well into year six of this gig. It took a LOT longer than I thought to get this busy, so I’m thankful for it now. And hopefully it’ll motivate me to finally get to putting all of this into concise book form and/or online program. I’m just letting it unfold now, but I know this EMDR stuff is a big part of the process. I have such a deep desire to bring stuff together into sort of a “unified theory” of peace for any human. And I have to chill out on that some, too, so I’ll work on that. Chilling out, me, good luck with that… Peace out!

Let’s Labor Less

Posted Posted in Other Cool Topics

Happy Post-Labor Day Weekend, folks! I’m writing this from the delicious Volta Coffee, Tea, & Chocolate in my old stomping grounds of Gainesville, Florida, and I’m headed back home to Pensacola in a bit. I spent the weekend down at my older brother Chris’ in Bradenton. My younger brother, Ellison, and I descended on his family and had a great time. Gainesville is in between Pensacola and Bradenton, so I stopped here on the way down as well. I heard one of Mickey Singer’s Thursday night talks, so that was nice. Of course he’s familiar to readers of this blog, because he’s the author of The Untethered Soul and The Surrender Experiment. I got a masters of math here in a previous lifetime over ten years ago, and it’s nice to be back. That’s when I dove way into the spiritual world, and the friend I stayed with last night told me about him back then, but I never went to his Temple of the Universe. Why? I guess it was not the time. And look at what happened since then, as the universe brought him into my life a couple of years ago in a very significant way. So cool. And that intelligence is what we’re going to talk a bit about today, but in a way that might be new and refreshing.

So before taking the scenic way home through Old Florida, I thought I’d write a little Labor Day message. Because I’m slooowly getting it that wherever we are is exactly where we’re supposed to be… for now, anyway. And however we are is exactly how we are supposed to be… for now anyway. Because how do we know that’s not true? Lots of times when we’re learning about peace and looking for more of it, it becomes this dynamic that’s all about the future. And the finish line keeps moving, so that we never actually get there. It’s literally impossible because it’s a moving target. Think about that for a moment. I touched on how I noticed this dynamic in myself a while back in this post. And it’s absolutely still there, because this stuff is old, sneaky, and persistent! But it keeps shifting more and more, which is nice.

So I invite you to ponder whether or not you truly know that what’s going on in your life, internally and externally, isn’t exactly how it should be. Because how do you know – KNOW – not believe – that it’s not?? Really think about that. And it doesn’t mean you have to like it, either. But when you can let go of fighting life and insisting that it should be different than it currently is, already is, then a space can open up within you. And then the shifts that you want to happen can happen naturally and at the right time. And what’s more, you feel better. So it’s a win-win.

So what we’re talking about is not laboring so much. Because it never ends! Seriously, just think about it, really think about it. I recently heard my guy Matt Kahn use an analogy that really clicked, and it’s the seed that grows into a flower. When a seed is a seed, it’s supposed to be a seed; it’s not supposed to be a flower. Why? Because it’s not a flower yet! It’s still a seed. But you know what? Eventually, the seed grows into a flower. It’ll happen faster with better conditions of water and sunlight, of course. So what are those conditions? The main ones that I know of are self-love and a deeper breath, whenever the thought arises for either (or both). And of course self-love is done in this ingenious, bite-sized way that we’ve recently been doing. And in the deeper breath, feelings flow so that we feel better AND we can access our innate wisdom to better handle situations. We feel better and we respond to life better. Again, a win-win. And it just takes learning and then gentle practice. Also note that the conditions that most people go for are things like diet, exercise, yoga, meditation, etc. And while that’s all great, I’d focus on a deeper breath and self-love first. Then do the other things. Because the deeper breath and self-love are 24/7 practices, and they address and gradually undo our painful egoic patterns. So these are our foundational practices, our living practices, and everything else we do happens on top of that.

Before we go, here’s another way to view constantly “working on yourself.” I heard this from Matt Kahn as well, and it’s new for me, so this is just a taste (you know that I try to be as open as I can about letting you know exactly where I am on this wild journey!). If you have a strong intention to work on yourself, then life will show up to give you plenty to work on. So you can’t have the intention to work on yourself AND cross the finish line at the same time. In other words, you’ll never be able to stop working on yourself. And life will suck way more than it has to… So just play with that. Maybe instead you can have the intention that you’re exactly in the stage that you’re supposed to be in, somewhere in between seed and flower, and that life is always bringing you exactly what you need in order to continue to grow the fastest. So you’re no longer charge of your growth. You can relax, let life be in charge, feel things out, and let the flower open up petal by petal. Again, just play with that, breathe it in and feel it out. It’s interesting stuff, and just another way to look at it. What this is about is literally rewiring the subconscious mind, and we’ll be talking more about it in the future as I get it more deeply. So there you go, Happy Post-Labor Day Weekend! And the less you labor with yourself and your situation, the better life will become.