Hope, Love, and the Web of Life

Hope, Love, and the Web of Life - Peggy Kornegger

“I don’t know about hope, but I know about love…. Our job is to love.”
—Robin Wall Kimmerer


In this time of heartbreaking political tumult and ecological grief, where do we turn for wisdom or comfort? For a reason to continue, in spite of how the world looks? This past weekend, I had the great honor and blessing of attending a program with Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of Braiding Sweetgrass. She is a botanist, professor, member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and beyond all else, a wise and caring soul. Repeatedly, during those three days, she asked the question: What does Mother Earth ask of us? Not what can we get, but what can we give? We are living in a time of shifting focus: from taking to giving, from self to community. Earth herself teaches reciprocity and connection. This is our heritage and our guidepost, if we pay attention, if we drop the cloak of self-centeredness and don the cloth of humility.

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How To Let Go and Get What You Truly Need

How To Let Go and Get What You Truly Need

The art of a fulfilled life is the art of "letting'':
letting in, letting out, letting go. - Ernst Ferstl


My whole life, I craved love and perfection. The stakes were so high that I find it hard to relax.  I need to do it all. But it's not easy to carry this heavyweight upon me. Always worrying about love, career, or health. Doubting my own self-worth, ability, and strength. Choosing the wrong people to fall in love with always confirmed they were right about me. I was not worthy of their love and attention. I talk too much, I am too loud, I take too much space. On a career level, I doubted, too. Am I good enough? My dream was to become an artist. I wanted to sing, act, model, and write. Do I sound well, do I overact, am I pretty enough, do people like my writings?

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You Can Practice Inner Bonding Even When You Are Happy!

You Can Practice Inner Bonding Even When You Are Happy!

Inner Bonding is a powerful process for healing the fear and false beliefs that cause our pain, and it's also a process for developing and enhancing our passion, productivity, and creativity.

A loving parent does not just attend to a child when he or she is crying or angry. Loving moms and dads enjoy holding and playing with their children when they are peaceful, laughing, and learning.

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What is Happening in the World?

What is Happening in the World? - Panache Desai

We are becoming aware of everything that is not love. On any given day we can latch onto anything that is happening in the world, and it begs the question: Why is what’s happening, happening in the world? 

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Top Reasons We Ignore Red Flags When Dating A Narcissist

Top Reasons We Ignore Red Flags When Dating A Narcissist

The early stages of any new relationship are always the most intense. This is the time when the exhilaration of meeting the right person is the most pronounced, and we feel immediately close and may even become focused on thinking about them frequently or on an ongoing basis.

This is typically a period of time when all of our emotional energy is on the relationship. Hormonal changes in the body, including higher levels of adrenaline, create a high level of emotional awareness. The levels of serotonin, which naturally calm and relax a person, are low, leading to a heightened sense of every interaction with the person who is the object of your focus.

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The Next Phase of Our Spiritual Evolution = Sacred Sexuality

The Next Phase of Our Spiritual Evolution = Sacred Sexuality

For many years, I did intuitive angel readings and taught people how to open their intuition to communicate with their higher self, angels, fairies, and the Divine. When I first started communicating with angels and fairies, I felt their energies “out there,” meaning outside my body. I focused on my upper chakras, including my third eye and crown. However, at first, I was not very connected to my body, and the intuitive messages felt hazy instead of clear. 

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Texting as a Love Language

Texting as a Love Language

Several years ago, the New York Times quoted an online dater as saying:

“Dating culture has evolved to a cycle of text messages, each one requiring the code-breaking skills of a cold war spy to interpret.”

Yes. This is true.

AND, now there is a way to break the code.

I’ve just finished reading a game changing book about love and texting.

Speaking in Thumbs, A Psychiatrist Decode Your Relationship Texts So You Don’t Have To is written by psychiatrist, Mimi Winsberg. (She is the former resident shrink for Facebook).

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How to Reclaim the Lost and Unloved Pieces of You

How to Reclaim the Lost and Unloved Pieces of You

Is something missing in your life; maybe you are constantly feeling the pull to search for something more? This feeling can range from a vague feeling like you misplaced something, to a very strong feeling of being abandoned. If this resonates, keep reading and discover how to reclaim the lost and unloved pieces of you.

Over a decade ago, I booked a private tour that shared sacred spots on the island of Kauai. It was really interesting. I could feel the powerful energy of the ceremonial stones. The same woman offered a private session to reclaim pieces of my fragmented soul.

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Do You Know What Makes You Feel Worthy Of Love?

Do You Know What Makes You Feel Worthy Of Love?

Central to our wellbeing is knowing that we are okay - that we are worthy, adequate, and lovable. Feeling that we are okay can come from two different sources:

  • Others' attention and approval
  • Our own loving adult connected with our spiritual guidance.

Codependency is the term used to describe the addiction to feeling okay through others.
 

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The Impact Of Betrayal Trauma Caused By A Narcissist

The Impact Of Betrayal Trauma Caused By A Narcissist

People in relationships come to trust and believe in the other person in the relationship. Narcissists use this trust in a destructive way when they feel that the partner is doing anything that may potentially be harmful to them. However, given that the narcissist sees everything from a very distorted lens, even helpful behavior from the partner can trigger the narcissist to betray the partner in many different ways.

The Cycle Continues
Often adults who are narcissists had a very dysfunctional relationship with their own loved ones. This is often a parent caregiver, typically a mother, who was not there to support the child and who caused damage and harm in that mother-child relationship. The child may experience his or her betrayal trauma in the dysfunctional relationship. Over time, the child may decide that the best way to protect themselves is to leave immediately, attack, distance themselves, or stay emotionally unavailable.

The new adult partner does not realize this dynamic is in play. Instead, they often see a confident, loving, and almost doting partner, at least in the first stages of the relationship. Then, slowly, the exploitive nature of the narcissist begins to come to the surface, often through controlling, verbally, mentally, and emotionally abusive behaviors. In some cases, physical abuse may also be present.

The Power of Intermittent Reinforcement 
To avoid the partner leaving, the narcissist often uses a process known as intermittent reinforcement. It is a process that uses random, unpredictable rewards and positive experiences to motivate people to stay through negative experiences. A prime example of the power of intermittent rewards is gambling, particularly for those with gambling addictions. Even though gamblers only win randomly and infrequently, the positive feelings associated with that win keep them at the tables against all odds.

The same is true for many people in relationships with narcissists. Although there is more negative than positive, when the positives occur, they draw the partner back into the relationship. Unfortunately, this sets up the risk of another betrayal trauma as the narcissist reverts to ghosting, abuse, or a combination of damaging behaviors. In this way, the narcissist becomes both the source of the pain (emotional or other) and the solution (brief moments of intense connection).

Typical Signs of Trauma Bonding and Betrayal Trauma
The following signs are indicators of trauma bonding in the relationship or betrayal trauma after the relationship:

• A sense of connection exists – you continue to feel a strong connection to the narcissist despite the overwhelming negativity, control, and abuse.

• Need their validation – not only is there a sense of wanting to connect, but you may also want their approval or that brief period of time when you have hope there has been a real change.

• Accepting the unacceptable – you may find you accept the bad behavior and even minimize it or attempt to rationalize why it occurred, often blaming yourself for their issues.

• You feel sorry for them – the narcissist often creates a sense of being the victim and playing upon your sympathy and empathy.

• Defending the indefensible – you defend his or her behaviors to friends and family, even after they have betrayed and emotionally wounded you over and over again.

Most people find that betrayal trauma is made worse by accepting the narcissist back after being discarded. Often the narcissist comes back with a grand gesture, including stating he or she will go to counseling, only to set you up for another betrayal when they revert to their typical bad behavior.

Tips For Healing  
It is essential to recognize that betrayal trauma is likely to occur in a relationship with a narcissist. They create a trauma bond and make themselves vital to your life, and then they leave.

To begin healing from betrayal trauma, it is important to:

• Seek therapy – a trained therapist can help you to process the betrayal and reduce the impact of trauma on your life. As a licensed psychotherapist, I help clients through somatic experiencing, poly vagal exercises, tapping and other trauma modalities to heal the attachment trauma that occurs after a narcissistic relationship.

• Talk about the truth – it is essential to talk about your reality and experiences in the relationship in an honest way. Do not gloss over, rationalize, or make excuses for their bad behavior.

• Set goals – setting personal goals and working to be the best you is one of the most effective ways to work through trauma.

• Joining a support group such as my online group coaching program Wake Up Recovery.  There is nothing more powerful that not feeling alone after a toxic relationship.

Betrayal can damage your trust in others. Working through the thoughts and emotions around betrayal by a narcissist helps you to process these issues and move forward in your life.

Resources Reviewed 
 

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How to Create Harmonious Relationships

How to Create Harmonious Relationships - Guy Finley

Our relationships with one another are often a source of distress. In general, the principal form of conflict we experience with others has to do with some form of consideration that we feel they are not giving to us. We often suffer from thoughts like these: “She is not being respectful enough.” “He is not as kind as I want him to be.” “They just don’t care as deeply as I do.”

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Pick a Partner That Has Your Back

Pick a Partner That Has Your Back - Arielle Ford

For better or worse.

Through thick and thin.

Will take a bullet for you.

Is solid as a rock.

Always has your back and is your biggest cheerleader and safe place to land.

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Do You Believe You Have to Prove Your Love?

Do You Believe You Have to Prove Your Love?

Melanie grew up with a narcissistic mother who demanded that Melanie conform to her mother’s concept of how a child should behave. To protect herself from her mother's anger, blame and disapproval, Melanie tried to be the "perfect child". She got excellent grades in school, was obedient at home, and never did anything to cause her parents to worry about her. She would listen for hours to her mother's complaints, becoming a mother to her mother by the time she was twelve years old. Melanie was parentified and learned to be a caretaker, always trying to prove to her mother that she loved her.

Yet no matter what Melanie did to please her mother, it was never enough.

Her mother would always find something to scream at her about, something to blame her for, something which, in her mother's mind, justified her intense disapproval. Not only did her mother not feel loved by Melanie, but her mother would also accuse Melanie of being selfish. This crazy-making situation created much confusion for Melanie, and she absorbed the belief that there was something wrong with her.

In Melanie's mind, the only way she could feel like she was a good person was to prove to others who were important to her that she loved them. This pattern continued in her marriage. Melanie married a man much like her mother - a narcissist who constantly demanded her time and attention. Again, no matter how much time and attention she gave to her husband, and no matter how much sex she had with him, it was never enough. Like her mother, her husband was never happy with her and was frequently angry, blaming and disapproving of her.

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5 Mental Wellness Tips for When a Relationship Ends

5 Mental Wellness Tips for When a Relationship Ends

Like the old song says, breaking up is hard to do. The aftermath of a dissolved relationship provokes a strong emotional response that can even have physical consequences.

You should treat yourself gently during this time and take care to nurture your emotional well-being. Here are five mental wellness tips for when a relationship ends.

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Why Writing a Book Is an Act of Self Love

Why Writing a Book Is an Act of Self Love - Arielle Ford

As someone who has written 12 books, had a big career as a book publicist and a literary agent, I’ve been deep in the publishing world for most of my life.

Yesterday I was talking an old friend who was interviewing me for an article she is writing for a major publication about becoming an author in your later years, and I had an epiphany:

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How to Foster Emotional Intelligence in Your Relationship

How to Foster Emotional Intelligence in Your Relationship - Mia Barnes

Everyone needs something a bit different in their romantic relationships. You might want something long-term or need a low-key relationship that takes it slow. No matter what your priorities are, everyone aligns when it comes to emotional intelligence. It makes every partnership thrive, so learn how to foster emotional intelligence in your relationship with these tips.

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Top Reasons Narcissists Don’t Allow Closure

Top Reasons Narcissists Don’t Allow Closure - Sherry Gaba LSCW

Most people have had at least one bad relationship. Often these toxic relationships end badly, with one person storming off and never being heard from or seen again by the other. In fact, in many of these types of difficult relationships, neither person wants to see the other.

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How To be the BEST Grandparent

How To be the BEST Grandparent - Arielle Ford

On Saturday I organized a Celebration of Life for my mother with more than 70 family and close friends in attendance at the Catamaran resort overlooking the water.

We had a decadent buffet, face-painters, temporary tattoos, and butterfly wings for the kids, a musical performance by our dear friends Ron Bohmer and Sandra Joseph (they starred in Phantom of the Opera for 10 years as the Phantom and Christine) along with many heart opening and funny tributes.

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Truth... And Authentic, Radical Love

Truth... And Authentic, Radical Love  - Dr. Margaret Paul

No matter how gently I offer it, sometimes the information is very difficult for the person to hear, such as, "Right now, you are pulling on everyone for love and approval. You have handed your inner child to everyone around you to take care of you. There must be a good reason you are doing this. Are you open to exploring this?" or "There must be a very good reason that there is no loving adult present here. There is just a wounded child. Are you willing to open to learning about this?" or "I cannot feel you when you cry like this. This pain is the pain of a victim, trying to get someone to take care of you. This is pain that you are causing by your own self-judgment and self-abandonment. This crying is a pull on others to take care of you. You hope others will feel sorry for you and have compassion for you because you have no compassion for yourself. There must be some very good reasons that you are abandoning yourself right now. Are you willing to open to learning about this?"
 

When I say these things to people, they are often furious with me.

They think I am judging them rather than offering them a truth. They do not get that truth is love - authentic radical love. Without knowing the truth about their intention and their behavior, they cannot heal. The truth opens the door for them to start loving themselves instead of spending all their energy trying to get others to love them.

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What Does it Mean to 'Speak Up' for Yourself?

What Does it Mean to 'Speak Up' for Yourself?  - Dr. Margaret Paul

We are often told that it's important to speak up for ourselves, but we have few role models for what this looks like.

Gwendolyn asked the following question about this topic:

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Weekday Personal Support

Join Panache Desai each weekday morning for support in reconnecting to the wellspring of calm and peace that lives within you and that has the power to counterbalance all of the fear, panic, and uncertainty that currently engulfs the world.

Designed To Move You From Survival and Fear to Safety and Peace. Available Monday - Friday. Meditation begins at 9 AM.  Access early to hear Panache's monologue -  around 8:30 AM.