forgiveness

Journal prompt: How can you hold onto your beautiful fragrance, your sweetness, as you forgive?

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Do you know your ACE score?

Here’s what the CDC says about ACEs:

The CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect and later-life health and well-being.

The original ACE Study was conducted at Kaiser Permanente from 1995 to 1997 with two waves of data collection. Over 17,000 Health Maintenance Organization members from Southern California receiving physical exams completed confidential surveys regarding their childhood experiences and current health status and behaviors.

Find out more about ACEs here.

The short of it:  Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, harm children’s developing brains and lead to changes in how they respond to stress and damages their immune systems so profoundly that the effects show up decades later. In our field, we believe that ACEs cause much of our burden of chronic disease, most mental illness, and are at the root of violence.

ACEs Connection adds:

There are 10 types of childhood trauma measured in the ACE Study. Five are personal — physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect. Five are related to other family members: a parent who’s an alcoholic, a mother who’s a victim of domestic violence, a family member in jail, a family member diagnosed with a mental illness, and the disappearance of a parent through divorce, death or abandonment.

But there are many other types of childhood trauma — watching a sibling being abused, losing a caregiver (grandmother, mother, grandfather, etc.), homelessness, surviving and recovering from a severe accident, witnessing a father being abused by a mother, witnessing a grandmother abusing a father, etc. The ACE Study included only those 10 childhood traumas because those were mentioned as most common by a group of about 300 Kaiser members; those traumas were also well studied individually in the research literature.

The most important thing to remember is that the ACE score is meant as a guideline: If you experienced other types of toxic stress over months or years, then those would likely increase your risk of health consequences.

People are talking more about it, and even some doctors are beginning to consider the ACEs score of their patients…but I think it’s important that we’re all familiar with it and know the scores for ourselves and our loved ones.

Look at one of the questionnaires here.

Journal prompt:  What did you learn as you determined your ACE score?    Next, sketch out a family tree or genogram.  Based on what you know from your family, what do you think the ACE score is for your parents, grandparents, significant others in your life?

 

OWN IT!

 

own it

Recently on a podcast about the Enneagram, I heard an acronym for OWN UP.  After it sticking with me for a few days I thought about how my clients could use something similar for the things we talk a lot about:  gaining awareness of our feelings, and “riding them out” until the intense emotions morph into something more bearable.  So perhaps this can be a helpful reminder:

OWN IT!

Observe–  What are you noticing- feelings, thoughts in your mind, and sensations in your body?

Welcome–  Welcome the feelings, however uncomfortable.  Don’t waste energy trying to change them or outrun them or you’ll miss the opportunity to learn from them and to let them evolve!

Name–  Name the feelings;  put words to the thoughts and to the what you’re experiencing in your body.

Investigate–  Where’s this coming from?  Can you identify a trigger?

Tolerate–  The feelings won’t kill you!  Let them come like a wave-  grab your surfboard and ride it out, using the tools that you’ve picked up.  Breathe through it.  We know that feelings will change (they have to!), so give it a little time and see what fruits can come from staying with your feelings.

OWN IT-  and it won’t own you!

The quality of life is in proportion always to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention. Julia Cameron

Journal prompt:  What is getting in the way of you paying attention in your life?  What’s one thing that you can do to pay more attention today?

Permission Slips

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I’ve become a big believer in the power of a permission slip.  The idea that I decide what I will be permitted to do, and you decide what you will be permitted to do in your life, whether that’s permission to take care of yourself, permission to rest, permission to put up a boundary around a difficult or unsafe situation, etc.  The pic above is how I’m practicing what I preach today!

Journal prompt:  What do you need to give yourself permission for today?  Write it out, sign up, and put it up somewhere as a reminder!

Stepping Into the Arena!

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I’m so proud of these courageous folks who joined me on an unforgettable journey. Our Daring Way and Rising Strong group came to an end this week, but I know these brave folks are just getting started! Grateful, humbled, and inspired by our time together

If you want to be a part of the next group, I’d love to talk with you about it!

Upcoming Groups!

I’m excited to offer 3 upcoming groups-  2 for The Daring Way™ and 1 for Rising Strong™.   Space is limited to 8 group members, so signup today to secure your spot!

TDW Intensive 8-18TDW Group 9-18RS Group 9-18

Bookshelf Additions – Spring 2018

 

 

Women Food and God, Geneen Roth

A wonderful read, describing the intertwining, often complicated relationships that women have with food and God.

The Wisdom of Sundays, Oprah Winfrey

I plan to keep this book of bite-sized inspirational stories and conversations on my coffee table.

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy Schumer

I picked this one up just for fun, but I was surprised to find myself moved by her tenderness and poignant stories about her loved ones.  I’m a fan of her authenticity and courage.

Younger, Sara Gottfried, M.D.

I had many take-aways from this health-related book, included a renewed commitment to Yoga, green tea, nuts, and time in the sauna.  I’m also inspired to branch out to try oil pulling, bone broth, turmeric, kimchi & kimbucha, and collagen protein.

The Highly Sensitive Child, Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.

I picked up this book with a particular child in mind, but my thoughts expanded to many more as I learned about this trait that impacts roughly 20% of the population.  Thought-provoking, and I want to learn more.  The Highly Sensitive Person is next on my reading list.