Why EMDR and Tapping Work for PTSD Symptoms

I’d been thinking that perhaps I needed to explain a bit more on EMDR and Tapping as to how they actually help alleviate the PTSD symptoms, then this morning I saw this NICABM post on my Facebook site that offers an online course for treating trauma by some of the top trauma therapists in the field.

If anyone is interested, I’ll put it all on here including the website for signing up to hear their experienced spiels first-hand, but I noticed in session 4 that Ogden and Siegel will directly discuss the WHY EMDR and Tapping are effective for treating PTSD:

“… Two distinct signs that your client might have impaired brain integration from trauma

How the midbrain holds the key to the freeze response…”

That’s the very reason EMDR and Tapping do work: The traumatic incident or incidences have NOT been fully integrated in the brain’s processing mechanism. They are “stuck” in the mid-brain which creates the immediate reactivity to similar situations without the rational ability to assess their true safety or danger to the body; and I’ll try to explain that more fully in limited verbiage later.

Anyway, for $97 you can listen to the entire course from NICABM and receive transcripts, etc, from folks who know a lot more than I do.  I’m just making the option available here.

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NICABM  nicamlogo.png

“What happens in the brain when someone experiences trauma, leaving the nervous system vulnerable to horrific feelings and painful sensations?

We asked this question to the top 5 experts in treating trauma in this brand new, focused short course (And there are 3 CE/CMEs available).

Dan Siegel, MD;  Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD;  Bessel van der Kolk, MD;  Pat Ogden, PhD;  and Stephen Porges, PhD; will get into:

✅  The key part of a traumatized brain that gives trauma such enormous power
✅  How the “survival brain” gets altered after a traumatic experience (and how to look for this in your client)
✅  Two hormones that leave the brain highly vulnerable when traumatic memories are forming
✅  What happens in the brain that makes some clients unable to distinguish threat cues from non-threatening stimuli
✅  One strategy to prevent dissociation and retrain a client’s trauma response
✅  Two distinct signs that your client might have impaired brain integration from trauma”

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“The Neurobiology of Trauma and How to Apply It to Your Work with Clients

( https://www.nicabm.com/program/a2-fb2-brain-trauma-1/?d=fbo.867.1.c&fbclid=IwAR0Alyetl4Xqi0Zgn0a9iWUK9aLkuGFHXxrVMbY304SfKEoB6Skx6esVqx0 )

During a traumatic event, the survival brain can take over and knock critical thinking offline.

To fully help clients heal from trauma, we have to understand what’s happening in the traumatized brain – while the traumatic event is occurring as well as how the client gets held hostage to threat cues long afterward.

The brain is so important to working with trauma that we wanted to create a program that solely focused on how to treat it.

We’ll look at the specific brain areas that get altered by trauma, and how this neutralizes the client’s ability to problem-solve.

5 of the top experts in the world will share how they treat clients who struggle with trauma. This brand new program brings together the sharpest strategies for working with a traumatized brain.”

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So back to my explanation of EMDR and Tapping and why they are effective for treating PTSD:  As I understand it, the brain is a complex of four separate parts stacked on one another in evolutional growth that have specific functions in the body.

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  • The brain stem was the earliest evolution of consciousness and was often called the reptilian brain. (Involuntary nervous system like heartbeats and breathing—pure reaction—eat, sleep, procreate, basic survival.)
  • The limbic system was the next evolution in consciousness and was referred to as the mammalian brain. (Emotions developed—how we FEEL as we react to whatever we experience—emotional response—fear, short-term memory of intense feeling/emotions, hormone producing—the processing point where affecting experiences are sent to the upper brain for classification as safe or unsafe.)
  • The human evolution of consciousness was through the development of the cerebellum and cerebrum which were primarily for memory, language development, reasoning skills, and data analysis abilities (highly developed nerve centers and memory storage systems).

The trauma problem arises when some frightening situations cause extremely fearful responses in us (they scare the dickens out of us), and the pure nerve reactivity of the brainstem hits the midbrain point where the limbic brain emotionally reacts to the situation with extreme fear, and the experience shocks the processing point to such a degree that it fails to register the experience further and disseminate it into the memory storage region of the cortex/cerebrum for analysis and comprehension of what actually just happened.

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See how the thalamus and the hypothalamus sit directly on top of the midbrain region of the brain stem?  That’s where the data processing point of that particular experience gets stuck.  The reactivity to fear is so strong there during that frightful situation that it freezes at that midbrain processing point and that memory sits there unresolved for further assessment by the higher brain. That terrorizing situation is like an awful experience stuck in midbrain that to us feels like it is in perpetual fear reactivity in the NOW, and it can’t be properly assessed as “in the past” because it always feels “in the present” and we are constantly reacting to it even when it’s no longer occurring to us.  That’s what leads to the hyper-alertness of PTSD and the instant over-reactivity to anything even remotely fear-inducing to us.

Anyway, the physical bilateral action of tapping or the physical eye-movement-desensitization utilizes the physical body’s ability to actually help move those ‘stuck in fear reactivity’ memories on into the cortex region for proper filing away in memory storage.  When the ‘once stuck horror situation’ is unstuck and properly filed away where it should be, which is IN THE PAST, the mind can begin to properly assess the horrific experience as it truly WAS, not still presently IS, and move through it with safer and more accurate assessments of what really happened to us.

I mean the memory of the horrific experience will still be horrible, but it will be past-tense horrible, not continually present-tense horrible. And that actually does make a difference in how we can better handle our present experiences and help us to move on with our lives.

Hope the above explanation helps. And you can check out the NICABM offering** listed for some serious detailed options available to you.

** (And yes, these online discussions are therapists training other therapists in how to successfully treat trauma clients, but the more information that you have available to you on how the top trauma therapists in the field best handle trauma-client situations, the better you can choose a therapist for yourself that might utilize these more effective techniques for dealing with your own extreme trauma.

Gathering information yourself on the subject is all about self-empowerment–you can then go into a therapy session armed with that newly-acquired knowledge of what might be happening in your brain’s processing centers and work together with your therapist on healing your mind/memories/reactions, rather than just sitting back in the office chair and expecting someone else to fix what might be wrong in your life. You actually take control of your healing by better informing yourself of your true treatment options.

At least that’s my opinion on gathering all the positive treatment information available to you.)

 

The Mind Recognizes Patterns–Understanding PTSD

I was examining a desktop image of a jaguar lying on the river bank in a jungle setting and thinking how easy it would be in real life for the jaguar to simply slip back about five feet into that tangled jungle maze and be completely disguised by the surrounding multi-fronds of tans and various shades of green dangling throughout this natural setting.

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Seeing the jaguar then would be like one of those “Find the beach ball in this mass of balloons” puzzle that tricks the eye and challenges the intellect. While the eye might distinguish differences among the numerous lights and darks and elongated linear shapes in the picture, the mind determines the recognizable patterns within the picture frame.

To even recognize cat-shape and leopard–spots you must have seen them prior and attributed a label or a “name” to that general shape and texture so that upon seeing a simile of a “spotted-cat,” the mind immediately tries to identify it in some way to determine the jagstalkingyou45relative safety for our personal being in the situation.

While seeing a picture of a jaguar sunning on a jungle riverbank isn’t exactly hazardous to our health, seeing the real thing lying only a few feet from us might be, and the mind reacts to that possibility with a subtle or a pronounced warning signal. If you’ve ever been in a close encounter with a jaguar, even the above picture itself could trigger a spurt of adrenaline through us by preparing us for a “fight or flight” response.

How we naturally react to whatever we encounter depends on our personal history with the situation or the subject matter.

This is the problem many military personnel face when they return from fighting in war zones.  No matter where they are, no matter the actual setting around them, metaphorically they see the density of the jungle surrounding them and expectjageyealertwatching the jaguar to be lurking there ready to attack them—except the jaguar would be in human form armed with rifles and explosives, and the “jungle” could be any suspicious setting—urban or rural—where human jaguars might lie in wait for them—ready to attack.  Those who have known some form of combat can’t relax because they know “the jaguar” is always there—ready to pounce if they simply let down their guard for a moment.

This is a trick of the mind when encountering remote similarities in our lives: Our minds try to protect us by alertly recognizing patterns that might prove hazardous to our being.

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Our minds often do not differentiate between the nuances of “home” settings which should be considered safe or of “war” settings which would be considered unsafe. The mind simply recognizes any patterns of possible “enemy concealment” in our surroundings along with the uncertainty of what lies beyond the next turn in the road or the ominous new direction of the curving path before us.

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) is quite real. And there should be NO stigma related to our mind simply trying to protect us from any perceived danger, even in supposedly SAFE settings (which in today’s world there seem to be fewer of).

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PTSD is our own mind simply trying to keep us alive the best way it can, because the world we have known in the past was a pretty scary place to be. 

There are many ways to help the mind retrain itself to be less reactive to what we might have once perceived as a threat.  Many therapists now employ techniques like EMDR, or Tapping, or hypnosis, or flashing light therapies, or even other techniques that I’m presently unaware of.

The therapeutic community has advanced considerably over the last decade, so if you’d like to learn a bit more about these newer therapies, I suggest these two books that I emdrmadesimplebookpersonally own: EMDR Made Simple: 4 Approaches to Using EMDR with Every Client, by Jamie Marich; and TAPPING IN: A Step-By-Step Guide to Activating Your Healing Resources Through Bilateral Stimulation, by Laurel Parnell. PhD.tappinginparnell.jpg

I wasn’t a combat vet but awhile back I had some PTSD of my own, and both books helped me to clear away the constant mental hyper-alertness and helped to uncover and release the deeply-held, hidden fears by utilizing those two techniques: EMDR and Tapping (Bilateral Stimulation).

You can give them a try just by reading the books.  Both of those books talk you through what to do. If they seem to help, you might then find a good therapist who offers one or both of those techniques to help reset your mind’s pattern recognition.

There is NO stigma attached to PTSD. It is simply the mind doing what it does naturally—trying to keep us safe from harm.

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That’s to be applauded, not condemned.

 

Live-stream Option for Dr. Joe Event

Again, just passing along the live-stream opportunity here.  Too bad it isn’t free. ($50)

As an energy worker myself, I am encouraged to see how well he explains the energy body and how our total system functions because we tend to think only of our physical body as the instigator of all our illnesses and maladies; but the energy body is the animator of our being and when those main chakra energy centers are blocked or damaged in some way, it throws our physical/mental/emotional systems into complete disarray.

I’ll list the promotion info for the event and then comment again afterwards:

Dr Joe Dispenza – OFFICIAL NEWS & FAN PAGE

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“An intentional thought needs an energizer, a catalyst— that energy is an elevated emotion. Heart and mind working together. Feelings and thoughts unified into a state of being. The quantum field doesn’t respond simply to our wishes—our emotional request. It doesn’t just respond to our aims— our thoughts. It only responds when those two are aligned or coherent— that is, when they are broadcasting the same signal. When we combined an elevated emotion with an open heart and conscious intention with clear thought, we signal the field to respond in amazing ways. The quantum field responds not to what we want; it responds to who we are being.

The quantum is the realm of infinite possibility. The only way you can experience this realm is with your awareness, and when you do, your consciousness is connecting to greater levels of frequencies and information.   Dr. Joe is giving you the opportunity of a lifetime to enter the quantum field as the collective consciousness of our community to create a new experience or new possibilities in your life.⁣⁣

You can join our upcoming live stream where Dr. Joe will be breaking down The Formula to change your life radically the live stream is taking place on July 27th at 10am pst (unlimited viewing for 30 days)  ($50 cost)  The main reason we are taking portions of our advanced retreats and turning them into a live stream format is that you, the community, have requested it.⁣⁣

Link in here to register and learn more! English, Spanish, French, German and Russian are all available https://linktr.ee/drjoedispenza

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(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SL95sWIVJ4 )

I found this particular testimonial from his workshops was excellent in terms of how a woman worked through the energy release of healing her childhood sexual abuse.   It offers excellent explanations of the chakra energy centers releasing shame/guilt/terror energy blockages and then reopening and realigning the energy centers, and how that physically and emotionally affects us.  Joe explained it more thoroughly as she spoke including physical ramifications of blockages and reopenings.

But honestly I must say that the testimonial prior to that one did make me cringe (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuvELXutkf0 )  with his hands-y approach to the young woman, and watching her facial discomfort with his wrapping around her from behind and his hand on her chest area (heart chakra location—heart, lungs, bronchial areas because she previously suffered from debilitating asthma).  I do think that was inappropriate and I will call him out on that.  I know what he was saying and doing energy-wise about using his own energetic heart opening behind her to encourage her heart to burst open, but still….the manner in which he demonstrated the heart-opening effect on her was highly inappropriate. And yes, that did adversely taint my opinion of his teaching techniques so we’ll see where it goes from here.

So form your own opinions on the content and benefits of what he is describing.

 

More on the Current Erratic Energies (Paul Selig on BTO Show July 9th, 2019)

Season19_Paul.pngJust listened to Paul Selig’s audio from Tuesday’s “Beyond the Ordinary Show” (John Burgos) and amazingly, he hits exactly the same points that I mentioned in my last post on these erratic energies that are affecting us; and it also expands on my previous posting (May 10th, 2019) pertaining to Selig’s latest book on the Upper World frequency which he (as channel) refers to as “the Upper Room”.

Basically again I’m just sharing the info I run across and providing access to the various sources of higher-frequency connections that are shifting us collectively and/or personally higher as we allow it.

You can form your own opinions of the sources and materials provided.  I’m not hard-selling anything—just making it available. If something mentioned here resonates with you then it provides a starting point for your own further pursuit.

https://bto19.s3.amazonaws.com/replay/Paul_Selig_replay.mp3

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That being said, here is my take on this particular Paul Selig BTO talk:

  • How you serve is how you are most fully expressed as your True Self.
  • Our main problem as a collective consciousness is that we feel disconnected from our true Divinity, and we fail to recognize that same Divinity exists in ALL things.
  • As we live our lives in FEAR we stay in pure survival mode, fearfully separating ourselves from others and from the world around us.
  • What we are experiencing at present is the cleaning out of our old energies (memories) so we can shift higher in frequency and become our TRUE DIVINE SELF.
  • To release those stagnant and repressed energies, we must allow our old wounds to surface for re-examination from a more mature (less reactive) perspective so we then gain greater understanding of the learning opportunities each one provided to better understanding our own abilities, capabilities, and expanded awareness.
  • “Your experience will now be formed by your higher level of consciousness and likewise, you will project that higher consciousness (energies and perspective) into your world. You lift higher whatever you encounter.”
  • “Humanity is having a reckoning—and it’s a reckoning of the facing of oneself and one’s creations, and that everything that is known or created in fear must be re-known or recreated now in a higher way.”
  • Now is a time of great opportunity—the opportunity for change—BIG change. But we have to seize the opportunity to change or we will simply be left further behind because of our inclinations to default to previously set behavior patterns and to set ways of perceiving ourselves interacting with our world and with each other.
  • In essence we are re-birthing ourselves to a higher-frequency existence; and it is not pleasant to go through those labor pains of birthing ourselves anew.
  • We all are presently going through this unpleasant process that forces us to re-examine everything we once believed about ourselves—believed about who we were as loving human beings and about why we exist—even believed about how others were either important to us or not important to us.
  • The masquerade ball is now over, and we are being forced to DROP OUR MASKS; and when that happens we will simply be exposed for who we really are—standing there in all our nakedness—all our flaws—all our prejudices—all our imperfections—standing there not only in front of all others who might judge us—but mainly standing there in front of that reflective mirror to truly see ourselves for who we are pretending to be in our own judgments, and then to let it all go—let it go so that we can be our True Divine Selves without the ego attachment to superficial values and the need for social conformity. It’s not easy to stand naked in front of the mirror and really like what you see, but if all that you see in that mirror is Divine and ALL is simply another form of Divinity expressed in a more unique manner, then it is much easier to like it—and to love ourselves.
  • We are undergoing a process of personal destabilization to re-set our balance and comfort levels to a new higher frequency.turboceanwaves43
  • Do your best. Release your fear.
  • Release old wound energies. And allow this turbulent ocean of energy to wash over you, toss you about, and swirl you to wherever you next need to be.
  • The only thing we know for certain is that we won’t be the same being that we were prior to embarking on these churning seas.

I guess the only real solace I can personally offer is that you are not alone in feeling this inner turmoil—we all are going through this re-creation process in our own ways. Even Selig and Burgos both said that they were not having a ‘fun time’ during all this tumultuousness.  And I’m certainly not either. So again, if you are feeling destabilized (and Selig just said that he was feeling destabilized himself) know that you aren’t alone in this. It’s just something we all have to endure until the storm has passed. You simply have to ride it out.

My suggestion is that pen and paper may help to get your inner thoughts out for more thorough examination. You might try journaling to get better connected to what you are feeling and thinking day by day; or even to help release those unpleasant memories that might arise or to curb your too-active mind that won’t allow you some inner peace.

Put it on the page under your hand, and get it out of your head.  It helps.  Does for me.

 

Roller Coaster Energies

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I can’t speak for others or what you might personally be feeling, but as an energy-empath I can feel the current turbulence in the energy ocean surrounding us.  After listening to a couple people online who also regularly follow the energies of this time period (Kaypache and Lee Harris), they also are mentioning the energy extremes occurring for us at present.

Harris said it was like riding a roller coaster up, down, over, around, and then repeating it over and over. So take your Dramamine.  ( https://www.leeharrisenergy.com/july-2019-energy-update )

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Here’s how he phrased it:

“We are definitely in a period of EXTREMES – with extreme speed, extreme transformation and extreme and unexpected happenings in our lives waking us up and shaking us up. As we go through July and August, that unexpected and extreme energy is going to come into sharp focus – both for individuals and for all of us as a collective.

The main themes for July focus on how we can SURF THE EXTREME ENERGY:

  • ALIGNMENT AND REJECTION
  • ELEVATION AND DEPLETION
  • REALIZATION AND REFLECTION …”

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You can check out his page and video for details, but what I want to mention is this: Energy turbulence all around us creates anxiety within us—an unsettled feeling—an uncertainty—we feel unsure of what is happening and how to react to it—we don’t feel as grounded as we might normally feel—we don’t feel as sure of ourselves and of our ability to deal with whatever we might face.

And in one sense all of those affects can have nothing to do with us personally and yet EVERYTHING to do with us collectively.

kapacheport452.jpgKaypache (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbXHGJg9WRo&feature=share ) described it as a time of deep diving into our repressed emotional wounds to allow the pain to surface, to be reexamined, and then to be willingly released. These turbulent energies are shaking us up and creating the instability within us to allow those repressed feelings and pains from childhood onwards to be released from us completely.  But you have to be willing to reflect on the effect that those experiences have previously had on you, and then to simply let them go. It’s not easily done, but it is VERY necessary to do it, and this is the perfect energy time for it to happen.

“I need to really love myself, In order to go back and heal the wounds of my personal past, to keep my life on track. …

…It’s not easy to go into what we consider our vulnerable weaknesses, and yet, it is where we find our greatest gold! The “outside” may be demanding a lot of our attention, but I’m feeling that it is a test, only a test, of how much we love ourselves. Will we neglect our own personal processes and growth to meet the demands of “the Man,” or will we be strong enough to realize when we have given enough and refuse to be intimidated into giving more. The rewards are great for the inner work which is not so valued in this high paced, expensive, world. It takes guts! Let’s do it!”

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coasterkids2 (1).jpgBasically all I want to do is to mention to any one reading my blog that IF you are feeling this inner anxiety or a sense of turbulence in your life, and you see no real reason for it, then don’t despair—you aren’t slipping off the deep end.  These are the effects of the energies we are swimming in at present.  They do have a purpose in all their disruption, though it might not seem like a pleasant one.

And if the personal disruption gets too strong and you feel unstable and unable to handle it, then get some help.  Counselors may not understand the “energy turbulence” part, but they are well-versed in allowing you to “talk out” the repressed issues that might be arising for you now because of that energy disruption.

Just saying, …if you have no idea what is actually happening to you, then it can feel pretty mentally destabilizing when all your old STUFF starts swirling around in your head or coming up in your face.

I’m not a certified counselor or a psychologist, but I do know how disruptive these energies can be to your ‘sense of self’—to that concept of who you believe yourself to be, which includes how you’ve always considered yourself.

And the entire point of the current energy disruption is to allow you to release the “old sense of you’ and to encourage the NEW and IMPROVED YOU (the higher-frequency you) to emerge and blossom.

It’s that old ‘water glass scenario’ again—you can’t refill your glass with that pure, clear, nourishing water until you first pour out the old spoiled milk from it, and then thoroughly scrub the glass before refilling.cleanwaterglass44

While it’s totally necessary to do it, it’s often not a pleasant housekeeping task.

Hang in there!  We’ll get through it.

 

Life’s BIG Surprise

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What is that BIG surprise? We all want to know this.

Will it be a pleasant surprise or a not-so-much one?

How will we feel when we receive it? 

Happy?  Excited?  Shocked?  Horrified?

 

Well that’s why it’s a surprise because you have no idea what sudden “awakener” will drop on you from out of the blue.  It could even be a bit of space-junk that managed to clear combustion in the atmosphere and crashed through your new, just-paid-for roof and into your livingroom.

You were simply sitting at the kitchen table munching on your second spoonful of Cap’n Crunch, and “BOOM!” –the next room explodes with crashing furniture and plaster dust; and stunned you walks into the disastrous aftermath to see a steaming chunk of rocket debris where your coffee table once stood.  SURPRISE!emojisurpriseface

Yes, you’ll definitely have an unusual conversation piece for your next social gathering, but you might need to rearrange a few things to accommodate it—although the new natural skylight in the ceiling is an added bonus you hadn’t previously considered.

I think most of us try not to think about LIFE’s next BIG surprise because like the mock scenario above, some of our previous ones weren’t necessarily pleasant; and you can insert your own example here. I know that I certainly have mine.

But through that underlying anxiety of whatever LIFE suddenly “bestows” upon us without our knowledge or permission, we know that surprises are simply another aspect of LIFE. We learn through surprises.

We learn mainly about ourselves and our resourcefulness/resilience by having to work through their unanticipated debris-field afterwards.

Surprises either make us happy, or they make us stronger.  But we never let surprises break us.

So I vote for happy future surprises.happybabysurprised.jpg

But hopefully I’m well-prepared mentally and physically for whatever might occur instead because after all, that’s simply LIFE.

And if you haven’t seriously considered the possibility of a sudden “surprise” occurring for any of us, then perhaps you should consider it, because, you know,  …SURPRISE!

 

 

When LIFE Gives You Lemons…

You know some folks like lemons, so for them I would assume receiving a sack of lemons lemonsbadquote.jpgwould be a ‘happy’ thing. Think of all those lemonade vendors at the fair.  Surely they’d like a big sack of lemons because FREE lemons would only increase their day’s profit.

So the ‘turn that sack of lemons into lemonade’ cliché is actually a good way to view the gift.

But for the rest of us, we might have to get a bit more creative and work on better appreciating them.

LIFE gives us similar “gifts” all the time—the ones that might seem a bit hard to comprehend their value. (Even if we had actually called those lemony experiences to us to grow our personal resilience and consciousness by working through them.)

I know that I’ve certainly had a few acidic “gifts” myself over the years that were quite a challenge at the time to endure.

However, in a shamanic context, those extremely challenging ‘gifts’ are called “initiations.” It means that Spirit has chosen you for whatever reason, to ‘test’ your inner resilience, to ‘test’ your physical stamina, and to ‘test’ your sheer determination to survive the ongoing shaman initiation by the strength of your WILL alone.

During one of the worst times of my life, to maintain my sanity, I read all sorts of educational material along with inspirational books that helped me to refocus my mind on where I wanted it to be—which was ‘done with that experience.’  I wanted to be in that future time AFTER  I had ‘run the Spirit-test gauntlet’ and had made it successfully to the other end of that particular life challenge.

Back then I even created Spirit-animal art portraits to show my appreciation for my Power-Animal’s help during that grueling life journey.  Today while sorting through some objects on my bookshelf, I ran across one little plaque that had helped me at the time to reframe the context of my awful experience. It was a little decoupaged quote from a Lynn Andrews’ book that I’ll simply share here with you:

“But if you live through the initiations you have become the ultimate alchemist. Your own soul has burned through the agonizing fires of transformation and you become the goddess on earth. 

You can heal the mind and heart of the suffering brothers and sisters because you have also suffered. croppedeaglegoldenskyfly.jpg

You can change the sand into gold…

Understand why you were born. Not to hurt, but to heal and to teach.” 

Lynn Andrews – Crystal Woman: The Sisters of Dreamtime