Archive for January 31st, 2012

I agree with the author… meds are not the only way through anxiety. Neither is CBT. Mindfulness is a wonderful tool to helping with anxiety-based problems. Another option, though most likely somewhat more expensive is biofeedback. I have several pieces of biofeedback equipment, some as simple as a digital thermometer for less than $20.00, that are a great adjunct to mindfulness or other kinds of meditation practice. Using these tools help you to understand and be more mindful of the physiological affects of your anxiety and your workign with it… kudos!

Everything Matters

An article in Scientific American is entitled, Panic Attack Sufferers Are Unaware of Symptoms:

Panic attacks seem to come out of nowhere but research finds symptoms appear up to one hour before the sufferer is aware of the attack.

The conclusion of this article ends with a statement and a question:

The study authors note that this lack of awareness may explain
why meds work better for sufferers than Cognitive Behavioral Therapy does: How is the patient supposed to work on something that they are unaware is already in progress?

Why is it assumed that people need remain unaware of their physiological experience? This is exactly what meditation can attend to. It’s called “mindfulness” for a reason. It’s entirely possible to become aware of our bodies, minds and psyches.

This sort of knee-jerk conclusion that determines we are helpless in the face of all our physiology strips people of their inheritance…

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What a lovely expression of love… here we see a mother living with her loss, being touched by it, inviting it in, and healing. Some would want to call this complicated bereavement and I think that is utterly crazy on the part of the American Psychiatric Association. This is what living with loss is and it is beautiful. I honor all this love!!!!

Memory Bears by Bonnie

Two years after my son’s death, I am doing okay. There are times when I start to cry without even thinking about Jon. I find no explanation for it. Sometimes, I see or hear something that may bring a few tears and a melancholy moment, but when I tear up without any prompt, I am without any explanation.

It’s not something I worry about. I think grief has become part of me, as my son is part of me. Both are with me, as one goes with the other. I celebrate Jon’s life and I am proud he is my son. I say “is my son” because he didn’t stop being my son when he died. He is my son who died, too young, too soon.

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What a great story of a tragedy and healing… Thank you for sharing this story with this community!

The Existential Addict

This has been a difficult time for me and for Kat’s family.  Knowing how many people read of Nathan and Kat gave us a sense of community – extended globally, touching the unknown who we now embrace as family. Your comments and support have been so important to us, and we will share them with Kat when she is old enough to understand. She still doesn’t really understand, and that is to be expected with her age. The first thing she tells people when she sees them is “My daddy died.” I’ve watched so many people squirm, search for comforting words in these most uncomfortable moments. Her grief comes in waves. Her tears flow longer for minor hurts than they did – as if any pain triggers the deep, gaping wound of loss. But she is only 5, so the weight of this has not crushed her – she laughs…

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We don’t get to hear a lot from men about their grief.  And I am sure that is for many reasons.  When we do, I think it is really important to listen, pay mindful attention, and try to understand what’s going on.  Much of bereavement literature and theory was based on work with widows.  We know that loss is so different, so personal, and to base our theories on one group for so long (and then not question that we did that) is a bit embarrassing and not really fair.

Robert Stolorow, traumatologist and psychoanalyst, shared this post on a blog project in Sept 2011.  I am sharing it here because later this week I will be looking at the different kinds of grievers. . .intuitive and instrumental. . . and to help understand the difference so that we can help provide appropriate care to the bereft.  Not everyone is going to cry.  Not everyone is going to run a marathon.  And we should ask them to do what is not in their souls to do.

I hope you enjoy this post.  I appreciate Dr. Stolorow for sharing his experience with being with healing and grieving.

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I love Jon’s work and am grateful to all that he has done to help get mindfulness into mainstream medicine and psychology!

Everything Matters

Ultimately, I see mindfulness as a love affair–with life, with reality and imagination, with the beauty of your own being, with your heart and body and mind, and with the world. — Jon Kabat-Zinn from Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment–and Your Life

Click here for a list of posts featuring Jon Kabat-Zinn’s work on Beyond Meds…he’s got great stuff!.

Here are a couple of other books of his that are popular. You really can’t go wrong:

●  Wherever You Go, There You Are

●  Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness

●  Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness

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So very happy that this post was shared. If you are new to meditation or if you haven’t tried it in awhile, do some fully embodied work… here is a wonderful blog about Progressive Muscle Relaxation!

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Bertram's Blog

A couple of weeks ago I talked about The Five Major Challenges We Face During the Second Year of Grief:

1. Trying to understand where he went.
2. Living without him
3. Dealing with continued grief bursts.
4. Finding something to look forward to rather than simply existing.
5. Handling the yearning.

There are other challenges, of course, some unique to each individual, but all the challenges are dealt with the same way: By continuing to feel the pain when it erupts rather than turning away from it to satisfy the concerns of those who don’t understand; by taking care of ourselves even when we don’t see the point; by trying new things.

In other words, we meet the challenges of the second year by living. It sounds simple, but nothing about grief for a life mate/soul mate is simple. By living, we begin to move away from our…

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