Free e-Book

“Take a journey on the Chakra Rainbow Bridge

from the lower chakras of physical and practical concerns through to the higher chakras of mental and spiritual realms.

In this e-book you will learn how to use the chakra system to support emotional health, using meditation, affirmations, and an understanding of how the Eastern Chakra system corresponds to Western psychology – read the intro here


the chakras
the chakras

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New website!

I’m happy to let you know that I’m upgrading my web hosting to a more feature friendly web site. many thanks to Mike Watt for hosting my website.

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so please go to the improved site to update your email following! thank you for your continued support!

ciao!

erica

Was it really your fault? 3 ways to find support after a bad breakup

You wonder if you’ve been abused emotionally. You wonder if the person who just dumped you is actually a narcissist, psychopath, or a sociopath. All you know is that you feel as if your whole life has just come unraveled. You feel empty, hurt, enraged, you can’t believe how you were just treated. And yet, you wonder if it really was your fault!

Breaking up is hard no matter what, but finding the strength to leave an emotional abuser is doubly hard. It takes all your will power to not call or text, to not stalk his/her facebook, to not drive by their workplace, home, or even, new lover’s house. It is so compelling to want to find out, to want to know the truth, to want to tell your side of the story.

How do you heal from this type of relationship abuse? It is very important to have support during this time. This is the time of finding your truth, of realizing it is not your fault, and building your boundaries back up. In this relationship, you have been conditioned to think everything is your fault, yet, deep inside you know the truth that you didn’t do anything wrong.

How do you find support? Here are three suggestions:

  1. Online support / books
  2. Helpful and patient friends
  3. Knowledgeable Therapist

1) APsychopathFree.com is an excellent forum for discussing, venting, finding others who have experienced an emotionally abusive relationship and support to make it through your process. Being able to talk with others who have also experienced emotional abuse is amazingly freeing.

The moderator of this forum, Peace aka Jackson MacKenzie, has written a book: “Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships with Narcissists, Sociopaths, & Other Toxic People”. In the book, the he lists 30 red flags of an emotional abuser, the tactics of and emotional abuser, and outlines the stages of grief a victim of emotional abuse will go through and explains why it is harder to go through this type of loss than it is with a “normal” breakup. In this book there is a resource list for forums, books, websites, and more that support healing from emotional abuse.

As Peace explains, “Relationships with psychopaths take an unusually long time to recover from. Survivors often find themselves frustrated because they haven’t healed as fast as they’d like.”

Other online resources/books:

www.psychopathyawareness.wordpress.com  – blog

www.lovefraud.com  – blog

Dangerous Liaisons: How to Recognize and Escape from Psychopathic Seduction – this book is on my wishlist on Amazon! Below is the video trailer for this book. Here is the book description:

What do Scott Peterson, Neil Entwistle and timeless literary seducers epitomized by Don Juan and Casanova have in common? They are charismatic, glib and seductive men who also embody the most dangerous human qualities: a breathtaking callousness, shallowness of emotion and the incapacity to love. In other words, these men are psychopaths. Unfortunately, most psychopaths don’t advertise themselves as heartless social predators. They come across as charming, intelligent, romantic and kind. Through their believable mask of sanity, they lure many of us into their dangerous nets. Dangerous Liaisons explains clearly what psychopaths are, why they act the way they do, how they attract us and whom they tend to target. Above all, this book helps victims find the strength to end their toxic relationships with psychopaths and move on, stronger and wiser, with the rest of their lives.

2) Next, it is important to find friends who are willing to listen to your story, over and over if necessary, without judgement. Often times, due to the emotional blackmailing in this type of relationship, friends might find it hard to believe that emotional abuse really happened. Your relationship seemed so good from the outside, the abuser seems so caring, they may wonder why you are so emotionally distraught.

Emotional abusers are masters at schmoozing everyone and through their tactics, imply that you are the crazy one. You are not the crazy one! Find friends who can support your healing.

3) It is important to find a therapist who understands the dynamics of emotional and physical abuse. Many therapists, just like your friends, have never experienced emotional abuse and do not truly understand the dynamics of power and control that happens in an emotionally abusive relationship.

Understanding and believing the client is the first step in a therapeutic relationship. Allowing the client to take as long as is necessary for healing is paramount as is providing a safe space that is confidential and private.

Watch this video for important information about emotional abuse:

 

 

Play therapy for adults

One usually thinks of play therapy as being only for children. Yet as you study play therapy it becomes apparent that play therapy is based in relationship. Relationship is built through communication. The type of communication children do is through their play. In other words, how they play with the dolls, the dialogs they make up, the situations they play, is how they work through the stresses, dysfunctions, and emotional disconnects.

 

So much of this type of communication is somatic, non-direct, and non-verbal. As children make up the rules to their games, create the dialogs with the dolls, and create scenarios with the toys, they are communicating the emotional content of their world. The therapeutic relationship comes about as the therapist engages in the play, on the same level as the child/person, and with unconditional acceptance, puts into words the unspoken emotions.

 

For adults, the toys are the daily interactions, scenarios, and rules they experience. The rules, such as what it means to be a “good person”, the dialogs with family, friends, and co-workers, and the scenarios that play out while going through daily life.

 

What the adult communicates non-verbally through seemingly mundane, every day events, is the emotional meaning they have attached to these events. This requires a type of listening that is not based in words, but is based in a heart-centered, mindfulness. The therapeutic aspect again becomes naming the emotions and helping the person find their personal coping strategies, and resilience patterns to live by.

 

As an adult comes to therapy and experiences being heard and listened to, the relationship establishes trust. This trust grows and deepens as the adult continues to feel heard, validated, and accepted unconditionally. Being in a trusting relationship that accepts unconditionally, allows the adult to process unfinished business from childhood and/or adult trauma, to alleviate the symptoms through finding their resilience patterns, and to learn to unconditionally accept themselves.

Seventh or Crown Chakra

crown chakra
crown chakra

Understanding the Crown or Seventh Chakra

 

The seventh chakra, called the crown chakra, is located on the top of the head. It corresponds to the color violet and concerns itself with issues of wisdom, knowledge, consciousness, spiritual connection, and unity. It says I have the right to know.

 

Nancy* plopped into the chair opposite me. She said, “I just don’t’ have it in me anymore, I don’t know what to believe. I’ve always gone along with what my parents have said, but it’s really not working for me. I don’t think I even care anymore!” Nancy reveals that her parents won’t help her unless she is a “good girl” and follow the family beliefs. Nancy explains she needs their financial support to get her career moving, but wonders if the pay off is worth it.

 

Nancy is showing signs that her crown chakra is deficient. This is connected to her third chakra of self-will being about of balance, and her fifth chakra of being able to speak her own truth being thwarted.

 

Symptoms of the Crown Chakra being unbalanced:

An excessive amount of crown chakra energy can result in being overly intellectual, spiritual addiction, possible confusion or dissociation. A deficient crown chakra can be seen in a learning difficulties, spiritual skepticism, apathy, or materialism.

 

Psychology:

 

The crown chakra is about establishing a spiritual connection with all the chakras and is the culminating unity of all the chakras. It is allowing the inner wisdom to surface through meditation. This is the level at which the universal truths become evident. Mystical experiences and a sense of the universal identity illuminate our connection to the all.

 

The seventh chakra is the point at which a person begins to form our universal identity, which is true self-knowledge. This corresponds with Maslow’s stage of transcendence, Freud’s genitive stage, and the last three of Erickson’s tasks; intimacy vs isolation, generativity vs self-absorption, and finally integrity vs despair.

 

Balancing the Crown Chakra:

 

Some affirmations you can use to address an imbalanced crown chakra:

  • I am open to new ideas
  • I am guided by my inner wisdom
  • The world is my teacher

 

 

Is your crown chakra balanced, are you able to be open minded about most things? Are you able to establish spiritual connection? Were you forced into blind obedience or into religions dogma? Do you sometimes feel apathetic about what’s going on in your life? Do you wonder where your curiosity went? You may want to talk with a professional who can help you reconnect with your crown chakra.

 

Reintegrating our body with our mind, heart, and spirit requires us to think holistically and take a bio-psycho-social orientation. This means we examine what understandings each field of study can bring to our knowledge.

 

*Names have been changed to protect confidentiality. These are examples taken from women I have worked with.

the sixth or brow chakra

the brow chakra
The brow chakra

Understanding the Brow or Sixth Chakra

The sixth chakra, called the brow chakra, is located in the forehead. It corresponds to the color indigo and concerns itself with issues of intuition, imagination, insights dreams and visions. It says I have the right to see.

Vanessa* sits down and slumps. She has multiple degrees, has experienced many cultures through traveling the world, and is active and fit. She explains that she just made a fool of herself again. She describes getting ready for the day and says she is just too fat to wear any of her clothes. Vanessa is beautiful and maybe has about 20 pounds over her ideal weight. She tells herself that she is not good enough to have a romantic relationship due to her size. She goes home after work and vegges out, feeding her inner vision of who she believes she is. She has a hard time trying to imagine herself as the lovely, intelligent, and successful woman that she truly is.

Francis* explains that she has been hearing voices for six years. She reveals she’s been diagnosed as schizophrenic and is on heavy medications to control the voices. The voices are spirits and she has visited them on the astral plane often. She explains that she opened herself up to the spirit world and now has relationships with them. These relationships have been fraught with danger; they have told her to hurt herself. Francis says being in relationship with the spirits is seductive though she has lost her significant other as well as her ability to hold down a job or make money doing her artwork.

Symptoms of the Brow Chakra being unbalanced:

An excessive amount of brow chakra energy can result in difficulty concentrating, nightmares, feeling obsessive about things and perhaps hallucinations. A deficient brow chakra can be seen in a lack of sensitivity, denial, poor dream recall, as well as a lack of imagination or ability to visualize events or possibilities.

Psychology:

The brow chakra is about the time spent wondering about one’s place in the world, a time to study world religions and mythologies which informs an archetypal understanding of self, and begins to develop a symbolic conception of the world. This archetypal understanding and symbolic conception opens the perception to allow self-reflection.

The sixth chakra is the point at which a person begins to form an archetypal identity that is informed by spiritual awakening and self-reflection. This corresponds with Maslow’s stage of transcendence, Freud’s adolescence stage, and Erickson’s task between role identity vs role confusion.

Balancing the Brow Chakra:

Some affirmations you can use to address an imbalanced throat chakra:

  • I see all things in truth
  • I am open to wisdom within
  • I can manifest my vision

Is your throat chakra balanced, does what you see match with what you have been told to believe? Are you able to imagine how you want your life to look like? Do your hidden negative messages continue to influence how you think of yourself and others? You may want to talk with a professional who can help you reconnect with your brow chakra.

Reintegrating our body with our mind, heart, and spirit requires us to think holistically and take a bio-psycho-social orientation. This means we examine what understandings each field of study can bring to our knowledge.

*Names have been changed to protect confidentiality. These are examples taken from women I have worked with.

Fifth or Throat chakra

throat chakra
fifth or throat chakra

  Understanding the Throat or Fifth Chakra The fifth chakra, called the throat chakra, is located in the throat. It corresponds to the color blue and concerns itself with issues of communication, truth, creative identity, and social confidence. It says I have the right to speak and hear truth.   Gloria* is quiet, she walks slowly and deliberately into my office and sits listlessly on the chair opposite me. She waits until I ask her how her day is and answers monosyllabically. I can barely hear her voice and she doesn’t make eye contact. She often uses the words, “I don’t know”. I wonder how she lost her ability to speak her truth. Gloria often complains that she has no self agency, she says her mother won’t let her learn to drive though she is 19 years old and already has a young daughter. She also comes to realize that her boyfriend is controlling and only uses her when he feels like having her company. She doesn’t realize she has the right to make her own choices about who she wants to be. Gloria is unable to speak her truth and make decisions based on her needs. She has a deficiency in her fifth chakra, which is also connected to a deficiency in her base chakra of her right to be here. Symptoms of the Throat Chakra being unbalanced: An excessive amount of throat chakra energy can result in constant and often loud talking, talking over others, and not listening to what others say or need. A deficient throat chakra creates such fear that a person has problems getting any sound out at all. As this is the chakra of communication it can be strong in certain areas such as speaking of one’s feelings, but deficient in other areas such as being unable to speak effectively at work. The throat chakra is about communication and creative expression of one’s truth. It can be expressed effectively due to a strong grounding in the lower chakras. A balanced fifth chakra is evident in a person’s ability to communicate effectively, listen deeply, and live life creatively. Psychology: The fifth chakra is the point at which a person begins to form a creative identity and identify with our creative self-expression; what we say and do. This corresponds with Maslow’s stage of self-actualization, Freud’s latency stage, and Erickson’s task of industry vs inferiority. Balancing the Throat Chakra: Some affirmations you can use to address an imbalanced throat chakra:

  • I hear and speak truth
  • I express myself with clear intent
  • Creativity flows in and through me

Is your throat chakra balanced, do you feel like you are able to speak your truth effectively and with creativity? Do you listen to others to be able to hear and be heard? Are you able to express your unique desires? You may want to talk with a professional who can help you reconnect with your throat chakra. Reintegrating our body with our mind, heart, and spirit requires us to think holistically and take a bio-psycho-social orientation. This means we examine what understandings each field of study can bring to our knowledge. *Names have been changed to protect confidentiality. These are examples taken from women I have worked with.

The Heart or Fourth Chakra

heart chakra : The Heart Chakra Isolated

Understanding the Heart or Fourth Chakra

The fourth chakra, called the heart chakra, is located in the heart. It corresponds to the color green and concerns itself with issues of self love, relationships, intimacy, the anima/animus, and reaching out and taking in. It says I have the right to love and be loved.

Julie* calls me for an appointment. Her voice falters as she explained that her latest boyfriend had just told her he needs his space. Julie says I can’t take this any more; all my relationships seem to end in six weeks. She describes how they met just recently and everything seemed to be going so well. But after a week, Julie reveals, she began to hang on every phone call, she couldn’t believe it if he forgot to call and became very distressed. She explains that he “usually” texts me about twice a day, but now that he is out of town, he hasn’t been in as much contact. Julie says, I can’t help it; I have to call or text even if he hasn’t reached out to me. I know I’m obsessing over his calls but I just can’t seem to stop myself.

Julie realizes she wants constant assurance and says she can’t stand it when he doesn’t call or text even though she knows he isn’t cheating on her. Julie thinks that because she experienced a bad marriage that she is still in the process of getting out of, she has no trust anymore. Julie is exhibiting signs of the heart chakra being unbalanced due to her deep need to be reassured and constantly wondering what her boyfriend is thinking or doing and why he hasn’t called her yet.

Symptoms of the Heart Chakra being unbalanced:

An excessive amount of heart chakra energy can result in obsessive thinking about the loved one that puts self worth in the hands of another. It is using love as a drug to remove oneself from unresolved pain. It is compensating for incompleteness in the self and can result in co-dependency. Deficient heart chakra energy builds rigid boundaries and doesn’t want to put any effort into love. It is waiting for the knight in shining armor to read our minds and take us out of our pain. It is a place of longing for love but not admitting it.

The heart chakra is about bonding. It is trained by our earliest relationships with our caretakers. Abuse, neglect, and rejection during emotional development, severs the relationship with the self and creates an inability to give or receive love. Without love, we are no longer whole and reject the needy parts, the angry parts, and the ugly parts.

Not being able to give or receive love results in deep grief. This can lead to depression, loneliness, shaming, and constant criticism. The fear of intimacy can lead to narcissism, lack of empathy, jealousy and codependency.

Psychology:

The fourth chakra is the point at which a person begins to form a social identity and relationships beyond the mother and father. This corresponds with Maslow’s development of self-esteem, Freud’s phallic stage, and Erickson’s task of initiative vs guilt. Jung would say this is the stage of balancing the anima and the animus.

Balancing the Heart Chakra:

Some affirmations you can use to address an imbalanced heart chakra:

  • I am worthy of love
  • I am loving to myself and others
  • There is an infinite supply of love

Is your heart chakra balanced, do you feel like you are able to give and receive love equally? Do you practice acceptance towards yourself and others? Are you able to honor your boundaries and experience both intimacy and autonomy? You may want to talk with a professional who can help you reconnect with your heart chakra.

Reintegrating our body with our mind, heart, and spirit requires us to think holistically and take a bio-psycho-social orientation. This means we examine what understandings each field of study can bring to our knowledge.

*Names have been changed to protect confidentiality. These are examples taken from women I have worked with.

Third Chakra

Third Chakra – Solar Plexus

third or solar plexus chakra from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manipura  Understanding the Solar Plexus or Third Chakra

 The third chakra, called the solar plexus chakra, is located in the solar plexus which is just below the rib cage. It corresponds to the color yellow and concerns itself with issues of autonomy, will, self-esteem, power, and individuation. It says I have the right to act and be an individual.

Stephanie* curled up in her chair as she listlessly described her situation. She is very accomplished, has a PhD in a field in which she makes a lot of money, but wonders how she is going to make through the day. She explains with downcast eyes that she feels shame when she thinks about her boyfriend. Stephanie reveals that her boyfriend has been caught lying to her and stealing from her friends, she had to kick him out and now is in deep fear of retaliation.

She feels like she has to contain herself to feel safe and constantly wonders what others think of her especially since she doesn’t have a boyfriend anymore; being without a boyfriend is strange, new territory for her.

Stephanie hugs herself as she says with tears in her eyes, “even though I know I’m a grown up and need to take responsibility for my choices, I still blame my mother. I was always a good girl, followed all the rules, did what I was ‘supposed to’ do, made really good grades and has worked hard to get where I am now as a professional”. Yet she was always told to stuff her feelings, she murmurs, “my mother punished me when I didn’t have the “happy” face on”. Because of this, she has always put her own desires and individual dreams aside. Plus she feels “bad” for taking such strong steps to protect her self and get free from a manipulative and destructive relationship. A lack of confidence in her own decisions, feeling like she has no choices due to other’s expectations, and that she must have a boyfriend or an important job or a “happy face” to be accepted by others are strong signs that her third chakra is out of balance.

 Symptoms of the Solar Plexus Chakra being unbalanced:

Being controlled by shame, low self esteem, low energy or overly aggressive, victim mentality or blaming others, are all symptoms of an imbalanced third chakra. Placing responsibility on others for the decisions one makes, which may have been instilled by parents or teachers, leads to losing as sense of self and denies our personal power and ability to live proactively.

Feeling stuck between wanting to exert your will and being held back by shame, even to the point of shame attacks can result in passive-aggressive behaviors. It is common in our culture to be raised in overly controlling homes. It is traditional to believe that the child’s “will” must be broken for his/her own “good” to create upstanding citizens. This creates a mindset of inadequacy and shame.

Not having a sense of self worth, says you don’t have the right to act or the right to be free. It creates a sense of lacking worth and leads to feeling weak or overly aggressive, it says you don’t take risks or do anything that might make people not like you.

 Psychology:

The third chakra is the point at which a person beings to individuate. It is here that we begin to define ourselves, dare to be unique, risk disapproval, and claim out power. It is a transformational part of our journey and corresponds with Maslow’s need for belonging, Freud’s anal stage, and Erickson’s stage of autonomy vs shame and doubt. It lasts between 18 months and four years of age.

Balancing the Solar Plexus Chakra:

 Some affirmations you can use to address an imbalanced solar plexus chakra:

  • I honor the power within me
  • I accomplish tasks easily and effortlessly
  • I can do whatever I will to do

Is your solar plexus chakra balanced, do you feel like you are able to make decisions for yourself in a healthy way? Do you know what your desires and dreams are? Can you answer the question, “what would I do if there was nothing I was supposed to do” without falling into an unhealthy selfish mindset? You may want to talk with a professional who can help you reconnect with your solar plexus chakra.

Reintegrating our body with our mind, heart, and spirit requires us to think holistically and take a bio-psycho-social orientation. This means we examine what understandings each field of study can bring to our knowledge.

*Names have been changed to protect confidentiality. These are examples taken from women I have worked with.

Massive Action

Massive Action Trumps Planning Every Time – who is this quote by?

I was listening to yet another webinar about how to market, how to create a thriving business, how to take what I love and offer it as a service to the world, when this message flashed on the screen. “Massive Action Trumps Planning Every Time”.(really, who is this quote by?)

Being the good note taker that I am, I wrote it down. The webinar continue to clip along. After about 38 minutes, I realized, omg, after some new content she has gone into presenting the same information she did in the promo. I began to lose interest as she repeated the same statistics and dire consequences of not following her program.

Suddenly the computer crashed. That little round rainbow ball twirled happily in front of me. My browser was no longer “responding”. I had really wanted to get to the end of the presentation so I could claim the free downloads, I tried to reload the browser, but, no, the webinar would not reload.

Then the sentence I had written down so diligently came back to me. “Massive Action Trumps Planning Every Time”. This was it, this was my wake up call to get back on the streets, back on creating content for my website, back on scheduling time to actually do the grunt work that takes the research I’ve been doing into real nuts and bolts action.

So if you want to join me in doing some life-changing work addressing those things that keep you up at night, the worries about if you’re doing it right, the lack of energy that seems to creep into your days, wondering if it’s all worth it or not – even if you know intellectually that of course it’s all worth it, but in your heart there’s this nagging doubt, then call me for a free phone consultation to see if we are a good fit to work together.