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Ep. 40: help for small-t's

There are so many good things to talk about.

I just feel Light.

I have a daily practice of unpacking thoughts

that have run on autopilot for years.

Does that sound boring to you?

Let's play a little.

What is a topic that you avoid in discussion?

(because of intense emotion it brings up for you.)

Your Mother? Your Dad? Money?

All of the above?

Religion? Government? Healthcare?

Yes to all?

But sometimes the topic could be dental visits.

Or eating beans.

Some people have really strong feelings about eating beans.

We have these recordings

in the back of our minds

from every situation of our life.

We operate on default

from these memories

95% of the day.

Some things, like how we brush our teeth, are great to have on default.

I like not thinking about how to tie my shoes every day.

Thank you, brain.

What do we do when some of our default living

is no longer how we actually want to live?

Like quitting an addiction to Coke Zero.

Or not snacking after dinner.

Or speaking up when we are terrified to do it.

We have to create a new neural pathway.

My daughter gave me a book for Christmas.

(This is a sign that she knows me, really well.)

The book is Gabor Mate's latest, The Myth of Normal.

(This is a sign of TRUE LOVE.)

It gets better:

she bought herself a copy

with the INTENTION

and HOPE

that we could read

and discuss

chapters this year.

I feel so seen.

That feeling, of being known and understood and loved,

feels so good in my body. Wow.

Here's the basics of the book:

Trauma and stress affect the health of our bodies.

Trauma is not what happens TO YOU,

it is what happens INSIDE YOU.

Treating illness needs to include treating trauma and stress.

The word trauma is used most often to describe

the big & nasty events of life.

But "small-t trauma" is

what we usually think of as

the "NORMAL" stuff.

Bullying, or

a teacher saying something untrue and unhelpful.

Our parents attitudes about money,

or their differences in raising boys and girls.

Being different than our culture in any way.

I loved reading that low-level trauma

isn't just the bad things,

it's the lack of good things.

And it's not all to BLAME parents.

Parents do the best they can. Always.

They cannot do better, because they don't do better.

Mate blames the culture.

We are taught as babies by

parents who were taught as babies.

And these small-t's are considered normal because

they happen to most of us.

In our culture, an unwounded person is actually abnormal.

Accepting that all of us have trauma, or woundedness, is helpful.

But why?

Why is it helpful to look at:

1.) How am I wounded?

2.) How do I cope with it?

(Can't I just ignore it?)

Today's Deep Breath: here's a practical juju nugget, a collective Next Best Decision.

Here's a reason to not ignore it. (Probably the best reason.)

We all have behaviors that seem very normal to us,

that we are doing on default in reaction to wounds.

It might be the way you talk to your Dad.

Or DON'T talk to your Dad.

It might be the way you reach for a beer

after not speaking up in a conversation with your partner.

We have behaviors, social habits, and beliefs about the world,

and none of them are factual.

They're just old recordings that we use in 95% of our functioning lives.

What may NOT be super-obvious:

the way we respond in a relationship,

is exactly how we respond in other areas of life, like:

money, work, parenting.

Here's the truth. More people are beginning to

think and work

on their wounds.

But it's still optional.

What I see:

people still talk about it.

They can't seem to help themselves.

Because it is a recording and

the thoughts pop up as factual,

and bring along feelings to match.

So this thing that happened in 5th grade

is now currently alive in the present tense.

We bring it up in conversation and cannot seem to let it go.

And this is why trauma books are best sellers.

This is why there's a big rise in life coaching.

Corporations now employ coaches for their employees

to increase productivity.

One of the saddest results of a culture

that does not consider mental health a priority is

increased suicide rates in children.

Something has to change.

We need to learn what to do with

big feelings, and little ones.

We need to teach kids how to process their feelings.

To do this, we need to teach ourselves.

There are always going to be people who say and do things that are not cool. Which means, we have to learn how to respond, and not react.


One of the tools I use to manage my

thoughts and reactions is self-coaching.

Another: a 15-minute daily dose of meditation (or prayer.)

Practicing gratitude is HUGE for the brain.

Learn to feel your feelings, as they come up,

especially if there is a trauma response.

We get disconnected from our body

when we feel unsafe,

so anything to feel more grounded or

connected to our bodies and less "in our heads" is helpful:

walking, yoga, body scan, naps.

Some folks find healing in activities

that use the right frontal brain, like

making music or painting, drawing, being in nature.


I facilitate a meditation and journal class

each morning at 8:00 Eastern.

We practice the behavior for 30 days, until it is a habit.

Using the class gives you accountability.

You pay for it, so you're more likely to show up.

I coach all kinds of people on behaviors

learned in reaction to small-t's.

(I never coach on big-T things.)

This is a 12-Pack of sessions to be used

over one to six month(s).

For those wanting to learn to coach themselves,

I offer a DIY Toolset to manage your mind, feelings and life.

The whole premise of my coaching is this:

you don't need me to tell you what is best for you.

We all have an inner wisdom.

Often, with small-t's, we get

disconnected from ourselves.

Making that connection will have an effect on your life.

This is what I do.

If you know someone who needs help,

or if you are overwhelmed with your own thoughts, let's talk.


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