HRV (Heart Rate Variability) and HRV Biofeedback

 BCIA HRV Biofeedback Certification

BCIA HRV Biofeedback Certification

After teaching and practicing HRV (heart rate variability) and HRV biofeedback for over a decade, I am so thrilled to become one of the first practitioners to receive this new BCIA certification. Now I plan on training as many others to do the same. HRV & HRV biofeedback are powerful tools for building resilience, improving health, increasing optimal performance, and even predicting health outcomes and evaluating efficacy of treatments (yes all you wholistic practitioners, you can be using this non-invasive tool to track impact of your treatment modalities). This fall I will be rolling out my HRV online curriculum for both professionals and those interested in learning more about this powerful market of health.  For now, you can schedule today for your 8-10 week HRV training session. Visit my website for more information.

 Practicing HRV Biofeedback with my morning matcha (theanine helps produce alpha waves)

Practicing HRV Biofeedback with my morning matcha (theanine helps produce alpha waves)

Listen to Your Hear

Listen to Your Hear

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Are you listening? 
Really listening?

Unsure about your path - look no further than your own heart. Deep listening requires us to look inward, which demands time and space for reflection and contemplation, something our current culture (and many people I know) fail to truly support. Expediency and efficiency are prized over all. So we try to ‘biohack’ our way to health, peace, and enlightenment, failing to honor and support all the commitment, dedication and practice required. We’ve lost touch with the beauty and power of ritual and the numinous.

How much time do we spend distracting ourselves, tuning out, avoiding, even arguing? When stop and listen we discover so much about ourselves and others. Learning to deeply listen takes practice. We may not like what we hear, we might experience discomfort or pain, we might ‘see’ things we didn’t want to see. Yet if we don’t listen, we never know! Insight and wisdom come from deep listening. Our nervous system experiences and responds BEFORE our brain develops its story and narrative. Before working on changing the interpretation and story, listen to your body. What is it telling? What does it have to say about how we orient to the world around us? What is it telling you about how safe you believe you are? Yes the body can be a scary place to inhabit, but it is what we have right now.

Listen. What is your heart and spirit and body sharing with you right now?

This month I’m taking medical leave from work - a decision my heart made for me since I wasn’t attending well to it. While I’ve dedicated my life to helping others turn inward and listen to their hearts, I’ve often neglected my own. Even my day job that claims to promote wholeness and health is a highly broken system. Is it any wonder my symptoms settled here?

Listen to your heart! It may be unknown territory, feel unsafe, be a bit scary, but what are the alternatives?

If you want to know where to go and what to do, place a hand in your heart, and start by thanking it for it’s tireless and continual job of keeping you alive, the pay it the respect it deserves and listen to it. You only will have yourself to thank.

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Approval and Self-Worth

Approval and Self-Worth

The other day a patient was crying to me, devastated over the the fact that her sister didn't approve over her choices in career or husband. She felt isolated and alone by her sister's disapproval. Tormented by this, she would spend hours in the middle of the night cogitating over how to win her approval. Then she said the infamous line I've heard echoed by many over the years, "I know she loves me, but she makes me feel..."

When I was 16 years old, I came home from school one afternoon, wrote my mom a letter and then swallowed a handful of pills. The thought repeating on a non-stop loop was I can't go to gym class tomorrow, I just can't go to gym class tomorrow. Growing up in McKeesport, PA in the early 1980s, throwing a football or hitting a baseball appeared to be requisites for manhood, and I was failing miserably. I preferred theater, film, and music. I longed to do the aerobics classes with the girls, but that was unfathomable to any of my teachers, let alone my peers. I believed, no, I was convinced, I would never gain the approval of my friends, fellow high schoolers or adults. After all, how could I when I was told by the media, certain organizations, and the not so kind boys in my gym class that people like me were somehow damaged goods. No, I would never win their approval; my life had no value; I had no worth. My only conceivable option was to end it. However, the main side effect from my choice of medication was intense vomiting, so I lived to see another day.

Flash forward decades and I recognize that several people still hold to the opinion that I am worthless, vile, or as one person said to me once, an abomination. On this topic, I have no attachment to their opinion, nor do I have any desire to change their mindset. I do not wish ill of them, nor do I harbor any malice. I do pray for safety, and that they do not inflict harm on myself or others whom they deem unworthy.

The years were far from easy. A ton of rocks, potholes, and outright craters caught me off guard and I fell hard. What I do know is this - others will disapprove. Of gender, of love interests, of professions, of political views, of spiritual pursuits. Furthermore we may feel that disapproving eye about our clothing, homes, modes of transportation, hobbies, favorite TV shows, and even our favorite ice cream flavor. All of these have more to do with the one assigning value than about our own worth.

We are all beautiful beings whose intrinsic value and worth is unquestionable. If I had one wish for all of us, it would be self-compassion. People will judge, and if we look in the mirror we may find that the pain we believe is inflicted at the hands of others is really our own doing. By blindly accepting, adopting, then feeding those beliefs of others, we only harm ourselves. Rather than spend the time and energy trying to convince others we are worthy, how much life force would we conserve if we practice loving kindness to both ourselves and others, and embrace our intrinsic self-worth. 

 

A Sense of Safety & The Nervous System

 

 

Want 2017 to be different...What will you practice?