Archive | March 2014

Home Coming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child

homecoming

John Bradshaw in his book, Home Coming asks the question, “How do all those tender elves (the delightfully vibrant, alive, naive, optimistic, filled-with-wonder children) become murderers, drug addicts, physical and sexual offenders, cruel dictators, morally degenerate politicians? How do they become the “walking wounded”? We see them all around us; the sad, fearful, doubting, anxious, and depressed, filled with unutterable longings. Surely this loss of our innate human potential is the greatest tragedy of all.”

How do you convert a newborn infant into a broken person?

This wounding occurs through a whole series of ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES which shut down our vulnerable inner emotional core and we develop a whole series of unskillful and harmful coping mechanisms (and deep emotional woundings) that continue with us into adulthood, unless acknowledged and transformed. These coping mechanisms DID help us survive the challenging experiences of childhood the best way we knew how. Now, they have outlived their usefulness.

Dr. Vincent Felitti from Kaiser Permanente in Southern California carried out a ACE study (Adverse Childhood Experiences)* to explore the relationship of health risk behaviors and disease in adulthood to the breadth of exposure of household dysfunction during childhood.  To visit the ACE website visit: http://www.cdc.gov/ace/index.htm   and the ACE Pyramid: http://www.cdc.gov/ace/pyramid.htm 

ace_pyramid_wotext

Seven categories of adverse childhood experiences were studied: psychological, physical, or sexual abuse; violence against mother; or living with household members who were substance abusers, mentally ill or suicidal, or ever imprisoned. The number of categories of these adverse childhood experiences was then compared to measures of adult risk behavior, health status, and disease.

Persons who had experienced four or more categories of childhood exposure, compared to those who had experienced none, had 4- to 12-fold increased health risks for alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, and suicide attempts; a 2- to 4-fold increase in smoking, poor self-rated health, or > 50 sexual intercourse partners, and sexually transmitted disease; and a 1.4- to 1.6-fold increase in physical inactivity and severe obesity.

What happens to people as children determines what is going to happen to them as adults.

In other words, most of what happens to us as ADULTS

is set up by…

what DOESN’T happen to us as children!

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Many chronic diseases in adults are determined decades earlier by what happens in childhood. The EMOTIONAL experiences were an antecedent to the health risk problems as adults. The ADULT UNHEALTHY BEHAVIORS ARE:

  • Smoking
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Obesity (overweight)
  • Alcoholism
  • Depression
  • Promiscuity
  • IV Drug Use

What I heard about this study I was AMAZED! This described me, many of my friends, and our whole family. I finally understood WHY we were such a “wounded bunch of adults.” I finally understood why my “journey out of the past” was SO difficult. It was SO VALUABLE to me when I made the choice to seek out outside assistance to help me unravel my numerous self-destructive mental, emotional, and physical patterns that I had created. I felt STUCK and hopeless at the time.

Learning about typical human stages of growth, and how a DYSFUNCTIONAL ENVIRONMENT wounds a vulnerable child, and coming to understand the effects, was emotionally freeing. I WASN’T FLAWED! I was just CONDITIONED to have certain response patterns which could be changed. I used a series of TOOLS to help me begin changing.

Journey of Self

What are some tools to use so you can stumble over your triggers and coping mechanisms?

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  1. Start journaling. Start writing and notice the content of your brain. See what comes out–follow a stream of consciousness. PAY ATTENTION! THE SOLUTION IS IN THE AWARENESS ITSELF. Awareness promotes action with insight.
  2. Don’t rush into making immediate changes. Just notice what your patterns of thoughts, emotions or moods, and physical actions are. Notice how people, places, and substances influence you now.
  3. Take the time to explore resources (see resources and links below) that help you understand how your initial life experiences might have impeded your normal development, and how they are influencing you now, and what you can do to initiate changes to learn new behaviors. Visit also Bob’s Story–The Roots Parable. To change, you must learn to become a loving caregiver to your inner emotional self. You must learn how to nurture yourself.
  4. Shine The Light of Self-Care on Yourself to Transform Inner Pain!
  5. Consider taking the time to work with the STAGES OF CHANGE process.
  6. Do it your way. Do what works for you!
  7. Give it some thought to: Therapeutic Help for Your Journey

To read an excellent article by Mary Sykes Wylie about this topic: As-the-twig-is-bent-ACE STUDY.pdf Mary Sykes Wylie, Ph.D., is the senior editor of the Psychotherapy Networker at www.psychotherapynetworker.org

Pictures Below Show the Process of Reclaiming and Championing myself

at Different Stages of Development

Bradshaw guides a person through this process in his book.

Bobbie & Brother David
Baby Bob, Brother Dave, and Grandmother
Notice the deep affection and caring of mother and grandmother.
Bobbie Baby

Learning How To Champion

Little Bobbie

Little Bobbie lets “BIG Bob” know what he needs and wants.
Toddler Bobbie
         Toddler Bobbie
Bobbie out exploring the world with help of mother and father
Bob at 6 years old
      School Age Bob – Kindergarden
Bob on far right having FUN during Holoween time
 Bob at 9 years old-1960
        Bob at 9 Years Old
See mom. My tooth! I’m waiting for the tooth ferry.

I read through and followed the suggestions in the book and found it to be extremely helpful. See below the links to other sections of this web site and my story for how I worked through this difficult and FREEING process.

Some Helpful Resources and Links

For professionals, teachers, caretakers, explore: VICARIOUS TRAUMA: BEARING WITNESS TO ANOTHER’S TRAUMA leaves deep emotional residues in our psyche. Check it out at: http://www.uic.edu/orgs/convening/vicariou.htm and videos: http://www.cavalcadeproductions.com/vicarious-traumatization.html

 Celebrate Healthy Mental States, Self-Nurturing, and Self- Esteem

Growing Up Again: Parenting Ourselves, Parenting Our Children

GROWING UP AGAIN

As time-tested as it is timely, the expert advice in this book has helped thousands of readers improve on their parenting practicesGrowing Up Again offers further guidance on providing children with the structure and nurturing that are so critical to their healthy development–and to our own.

Jean Illsley Clarke and Connie Dawson provide the information every adult caring for children should know--about ages and stages of development, ways to nurture our children and ourselves, and tools for personal and family growth. This new edition also addresses the special demands of parenting adopted children and the problem of overindulgence; a recognition and exploration of prenatal life and our final days as unique life stages; new examples of nurturing, structuring, and discounting, as well as concise ways to identify them; help for handling parenting conflicts in blended families, and guidelines on supporting children’s spiritual growth.

From Library Journal
The authors, both cognitive psychotherapists, identify 11 common “lifetraps,” which they define as repetitive, destructive behavior patterns associated with a negative self-image. Using illustrations from case studies, the authors describe each lifetrap, discuss its origins in childhood experience, and provide a questionnaire for self-assessment. They then offer a program for change using techniques ranging from experiential (getting in touch with your inner child) to cognitive (writing a “case” against your lifetrap) and behavioral (identifying specific behaviors to be changed). – Lucille Boone, San Jose P.L., Cal. Available at: www.amazon.com
You Can Heal Your Life is a beautifully written and illustrated book dealing with self-discovery. It is a stepping stone in finding the real person you are and exploring ways that will lead to a more peaceful and happy life. Often, we are our own worst enemies with imaginary fears of what the future will bring, or we are dwellers of our past mistakes, regrets and misgivings. The importance of discovering and accepting our true self for who we really are, and the search for a more fulfilling life, are explored among the pages of this book. I used this book extensively and found it to be quite amazing and really helpful. Check out http://www.hayhouse.com/

Celebrate Your Self – Making Life Work For You (Your Child’s Self Esteem), by Dorothy Corkille Briggs, (1986), Main Street Books. I found this book to be really helpful. I read both of these books extensively. They were wonderful. They helped me understand why I hated myself and how I could begin to change. They are also available used for very reasonable prices.

Changing from the Inside Out: Skills for Resolving Emotional Eating, a workbook and class (if you are in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area). Goals for the class and workbook: Explore the emotional aspects of your weight; Identify personal needs and how to meet these needs; Set realistic expectations; Appreciate & care for your body; Improve overall self-care; Practice eating for health & pleasure; and Create a fulfilling lifestyle. The workbook can be purchased individually for $20. It is EXCELLENT. Call or contact Christine Jensen, RD, Ph.D., individual and small group counseling, 8140 SW 146th Terrace, Beaverton, OR  97007, 503-641-9136, changingfromtheinsideout@hotmail.com

Learning To Love Your Self, by Gay Hendricks, (1982), Prentice Hall Press, New York

Living Juicy-Daily Morsels For Your Creative Soul, & The Bodacious Book of Succulence by SARK (1994), Celestial Arts, Berkeley, California. For a catalog, call:  (800) 841-BOOK. These books (and SARK’S Web site) are SO MUCH FUN and are delightfully colorful! http://www.planetsark.com/ at Plantet SARK!

Self-Esteem, by Matthew McKay, PH.D. & Patrick Fanning, (2000), New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

What To Say When You Talk To Your Self, by Shad Helmstetter, (1990), Pocket Books. This book in very practical and understandable terms helps unravel the mystery of how self-talk creates our inner conditioning which creates our success or our failures. Check it out! Available used.

Healing from Depression: 12 Weeks to a Better Mood, by Douglas Bloch, M.A., (2002), Celestial Arts Publishers, www.healingfromdepression.com See Ecosystem Weight Management for a description of book.

CLEAN UP THE WORLD

The Feeling Good Handbook, by David Burns, M.D., (1999), a Plume Book. David shows you how to overcome depression, conquer anxiety, and enjoy greater intimacy. Provides methods to diagnose your moods and understand them, and apply 4 steps to happiness. Includes a comprehensive discussion of mood-altering medications.

Home Coming-Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child, by John Bradshaw, (1992), Bantam Books. Excellent, practical, helpful book on learning to embrace your inner emotional self.

The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook,by Martha Davis and Mathew McKay, (2002), New Harbinger Publication, Inc

www.teachhealth.com  Gives the medical basis of stress, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and drug use—explained in a fun, easy-to-read format.

Self Parenting-The Complete Guide To Your Inner Conversations, by Dr. John K. Pollard, III, (1987), Generic Human Studies Publishing This book includes lots of fun pictures and explores terrific journaling techniques to explore connecting with your inner emotional self and changing the “feeling tone” of your relationship with yourself.

Women’s Comfort Book, by Jennifer Louden, (1992), Harper-Collins, NY This book is GREAT! It provides hundreds of suggestions on how to care for ourselves. Examples: get silly!, play? who me? how?, comfort cards to supply dollops of delight, body delights, nutritional music, spirit succor, and an alphabetical guide of “comfort at a glance”. Oh, what FUN

Another terrific resource is the book The Life Organizer: http://jenniferlouden.com/lifeorganizer/

Professional resource:

Bob Wilson -ECOSYSTEM PARTS

  • The Psychology of Selves provides a clear explanation of how these selves operate in your life and how they keep you from realizing your full potential.
    Learn how these selves determine the way you see the world, control your behavior, and limit your choices. Most of us live a much smaller life than necessary. Learn to be more than any one of your individual selves.
  • Relationship: Our relationships are controlled by these selves.
    The Stones’ approach to relationship – their theory of bonding patterns – provides an easy to understand technology of relationship. Learn how the difficulties in your relationships can be the source of creative change, of greater control over your life and behavior, and more joy.

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 Helpful sections of my Web site:

 

See  Bob’s Story for For ideas on how I GRADUALLY applied the AMAZING WISDOM that is contained in the resources above. Check out:

To help TAKE CHARGE of this pattern, explore:

*Am J Preventative Medicine 1998:14 (4) Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults. Vincent J. Felitti, MD, FACP, Robert F. Anada, MD, MS, Dale Nordenberg, MD. David F. Williamson. MS. PhD, Alison M. Spitz, MS, MPH, Valerie Edwards, BA, Mary P. Koss, PhD, James S. Marks, MD, MPH

LIVE LIFE

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Overwhelmed? Taking In Too Many Empty Calories?

                                                                                      Taken from The Economist magazine

Are you feeling a bit stressed out? Agitated? Exhausted? Burned out? Do you feel like running away from all of your daily responsibilities? What happens to your healthy living patterns when you feel this way? Do you still find that you eat healthfully? How about your active lifestyle? Do you feel nourished by your activities or do you feel drained by them?

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Have you been absorbing too much information? Experiencing too many meetings, too many phone calls? Too much stimulation? Do you feel that you are on a treadmill running around in circles? Do you find that you love all of life but there is just TOO MUCH of it? I certainly feel this way at times! Watch the mental pressure cooker. Look seriously. Make choices wisely.

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I encourage you to take some time to shine the light of attention towards yourself and notice how your body and emotions respond to the way you are presently creating your daily routine.

Do you hunger for some alone time? Time just to BE and not DO? Time just to relax, nurture yourself, and restore balance to your life? Ah…

Take Time

Perhaps you might benefit from taking in some beneficial, wholesome, calming, nurturing nutrients. Step back from the RUSH of your life. Give yourself some space.

You might find that this feels uncomfortable and difficult to do. Perhaps you’ve developed the HABIT of being always rushed and harried and don’t know HOW to slow down. I encourage you to explore other sections of the Cultivating Balance section, especially :

See below the Self-Nurturing and Self-Esteem ideas: Learn the skills for emotional nurturing. They’re euphoric and non-caloric! Learning and practicing these skills will help to transform emotional eating.

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Begin to notice that if you choose to keep your life over busy, you might find yourself spontaneously and uncontrollably turning to food to help you numb out and manage the stresses that you are feeling. Consider exploring:

Unexpedted Joys

What Does Bob Typically Eat In Any Given Day?

 

Um, I LOVE food and I don’t like to get hungry! If you came over to my home you would see that I have a well-stocked pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. I buy foods when they are on sale, and since I live in the Northwest, I go berry picking and freeze extras. I also like to go to farmers markets. Look at Bob’s Healthy Kitchen, What’s In It? for a description of what kinds of foods I have around.

I take time each week to review my upcoming schedule and check out what’s on hand in the refrigerator that needs using up, what I’m running out of, and check the newspaper to see what’s on sale. Then armed with a list (or you can print off the food suggestions under Making Quick Dinners: Dinner? What’s Quick and Easy? Quick Vegetarian Main Dish Ideas, Lowfat & Fast Dinner Recipes: Real Food for Busy People, Quick Menu Ideas for Home and On the Go,and Stoveless Meals–I take the list with you to the store.

Since I shop early in the day, there aren’t a lot of people in the store and I can get in and out in about 15 minutes! I practice these “lifestyle management strategies”–when I have energy and my brain is thinking well, since I found that if I try to cook and shop when I’m hungry and tired, it never works out.

Many people say that eating healthfully is TOO EXPENSIVE. What I have found that eating in the way I share with you in the Web site, that it costs about $10.50 per day, per person. It is actually cheaper to plan the meals ahead rather that last-minute, frantic shopping or going out to eat because I’m too tired and hungry.

HPIM1037.JPGTabouli Salad

I’m a morning person (get up early) and so I plan shopping trips on either Tuesday or Thursday (I might also go on the weekend for extra items.) immediately after I have gone to the gym. Go to visit The Power of Fun: Celebrate Enjoyable Ways To Be Active! for a description of my workout. Since usually I work afternoons and evenings, I have time during the day to shop and prepare foods. I try cut up fruit or veggies, make salads, or cook a soup or stew when I have time on my schedule.

My favorite category under Making Quick Dinners: Dinner? What’s Quick and Easy? is the BAR category: the salad bar, tortilla or burrito bar, potato bar category. I don’t do FANCY cooking. I try to keep it simple and delicious. Refer to the Resource section #1 for cookbooks and Web sites.

Now On To Eating! Yum!

What I ate yesterday:

Breakfast:

My typical breakfast is low fat cottage cheese and a variety of fruits (yesterday I had cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon cubes), with orange-essence dried plums. I also have a delicious whole wheat, walnut, cinnamon raisin bread (toasted) along with some flax seed oil or healthy fats, and a cup of coffee. I will usually have an assortment of cut up fruits. I also canned fruit for variety. Gander at Breakfasts for additional ideas.

Morning Snack:

I usually have yogurt (Greek and regular) and fruit two times per day. Yesterday I had plain low-fat yogurt, with some sweetener, fresh cut up strawberries and a small banana. Nibble around Nutritious and Yummy Snacks! I may also add some raw walnuts too.

Lunch:

I had Bob’s Everything But The Kitchen Salad(see Delicious Dinner Recipes) and marinated cooked vegetables with cooked garbanzo beans on top and a piece of whole wheat bread. Visit as well Lunches for additional ideas. 

Afternoon Snack:

One ounce salted peanuts and later I had one cup yogurt with some sweetener, nutmeg and cinnamon, and frozen blueberries. I have this about 4 times per week as my ice cream substitute. Explore Nutritious and Yummy Snacks for many other ideas.

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Dinner:

At work, portable in my lunch bag, discover Bob’s Strength -Training Food Bag. I brought along a sandwich made with Red Pepper Hummus (a convenience item) that was spread on the bread instead of mayonnaise and also marinated tofu. I also brought along a large container filled with Bob’s Salad topped with marinated cooked vegetables. I also had 1/3 cup of Spicy Mexican Dried Soy Beans (from the health-food section bins). I also may top my salad with some raw nuts.

Bringing my food with me allows me to eat when I am hungry and to stop eating when I’ve had just enough. I listen to my body’s signals of when I’m satisfied and STOP eating. I always take MORE food with me than I can eat and bring back home any extra foods.

Eating an orage

Explore sections: The Grace Of Eating: The Five Contemplations Before Meals, Eating Awareness Training, and Listen to Your Body. It Will Talk to You: Hunger Scale.

Evening Snack:

Right after work, I have 4 dried apricots (or other dried fruit) halves to keep me until I get home. Then just before bed time I had a fruit-juice bar. There are many delicious ones on the market.

At this time in my life I’m mainly a vegetarian. As you can see, I eat a lot of raw food, perhaps 50% of my food. I eat about 16 – 18 servings of veggies and fruits a day. I eat low fat dairy products and eggs, and fish like salmon, trout, or Albacore tune, and rarely chicken. It took a number of years to gradually begin to eat less meat. The change in eating patterns happened as I found new, delicious vegetarian recipes to use. I share a number of vegetarian recipes and menus on the site. Discover Quick Vegetarian Main Dish Ideas.

So you can see that I eat about every two hours. I keep a LARGE variety of different foods so that I’m not bored. The foods also fueled up my body for my long day. I was up at 4:30 A.M. and didn’t get to sleep until 10:00 P.M.

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To fuel-up your body in a healthful manner I have found this food pyramid offers wonderful suggestions:

The Healing Foods Pyramid from the University of Michigan Integrative Medicine: Healing Foods PyramidTo print off as a color PDF file: http://www.med.umich.edu/umim/images/pyramid%20v17b1.pdf  For a PDF: Healing Foods Pyramid.pdf

Explore terrific guideline suggestions to apply the pyramid in your life: http://www.med.umich.edu/umim/clinical/pyramid/index.htm  There is also a wonderful discussion of the value of nurturing ourselves with these wholesome food choices.

Check out other plans at the FOUNDATION FOOD PLAN SECTION