Posts in Stress
What if Nothing Was Wrong?

Who would you be if nothing was wrong?  This is a question I ask myself from time to time.  It’s a therapeutic question I drop in there from time to time because my habitual thinking tendency is to look for what’s wrong - it’s a way I survived.  It’s a way I made sure to keep track of anything that could go wrong, so I could get away from it or fix it or protect myself in some way if I needed to.

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Unraveling

I've been unraveling lately. Pulling apart the loose threads that make me who I am. Who I am. Who I am is a construct of ideas, beliefs, thoughts. Not tangible things to hold. Nothing with weight or grit or substance. Simply electrical impulses, grooves in the the brain, in yoga, we call these Samskaras. And mine were deep and had roots and limbs and Octopus suction cups. But now "who I am" is more like an old cloth, thin from wear, soft, changeable, threads sticking out on every side, all you have to do is pull and it keeps unraveling, this idea of myself keeps unraveling.

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Embracing anxiety in intimate relationships. Especially in transitions and distance.

I’ve gone back and forth as to whether to share this personal moment with you.  It feels vulnerable to share this!  And… in my heart of hearts I know it’s the vulnerable and very human moments that connects me to you.
 
Here I share about a recent moment where I was struggling with some anxiety around navigating a big transition in relationship.  

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Building Trust in Healing and Growth Experiences

I want to hear your stories!  I’m creating an online video series to assist facilitators in learning how to help people with trauma feel welcome and able to learn.  

Despite the best intentions and kindest hearts, intuition isn’t enough. The more people can learn how to create safer space for EVERYONE, the more people can LIVE CONNECTED in their hearts, bodies and interpersonally.

This series will be for all types of facilitators of groups and 1:1 sessions (I.e. massage therapists, workshop leaders, meditation teachers, yoga teachers, therapists, coaches, breathwork facilitators, and the list goes ON).
 

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Lost And Confused And FOMO

Are you feeling lost for WHICH DANG PRACTICE TO CHOOSE?  Lately I’ve been feeling all of these shoulds on my shoulders and, with such a huge basket of tools and practices, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with choice because they’re ALL SO GOOD.  Which, in turn, leaves me wanting to do nothing besides pace around my house shuffling papers around to see if I can get ORGANIZED! Cause, if I can get everything organized, everything will feel in control, right?!  NOPE.
 

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Taking In The Good - Creating Positive Emotions & Experiences
  • Do you find yourself often focusing on what's wrong or what's missing?  
  • Do you get stuck in anxiety and sadness, feeling weighed down by patterns of negative thoughts?

We can use our minds to create new experiences that include more ease, peace, contentment and even happiness.  In this video, I introduce Rick Hanson's amazing work on neural plasticity and using our minds to change our brains with a very simple and easy process that can be used just a few minutes here and there throughout your day.

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A Guided Remedy For Being Hard On Yourself: Loving-Kindness & Mindfulness
  • Could you use some spacious time to come back to your heart?
  • Are you stuck in your head and not feeling very connected to your body?
  • Have you been bombarded by criticism, judgment and shame?

This 26-minute spacious guided audio practice offers simple instruction in mindfulness meditation and includes offering loving-kindness (Metta in Pali) for yourself.  It has been said to be an antidote for fear, hatred and greed.  A protection from all those negative, critical and judgmental thoughts the mind creates.

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4 Steps to Shifting Inner Shame, Criticism & Judgment
  • Got a mind full of shame and blame and judgment?  
  • Are you down on yourself because you can't get yourself to stop being so hard on yourself and others?
  • Focusing on what's wrong all the time?

Guess what??? You're not stuck like this. You're not broken. Mindfulness and self-compassion offers a sustainable path towards creating more space inside yourself to feel a little more gentle, accepting and even FREE from being taken out by these heavy moments with yourself.  

I offer this talk as an easy process to practice being in a new way with yourself. It's 13-minutes. Got some time to sit down, put aside any distractions and ponder this with me? If so...  here it is...

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From Helpless to Kindness: Food, Emotions & Me

This post was written by me (Shelby Leigh) and originally shared by the AMAZING women doing incredible work over at Be Nourished in Portland.  They're helping folks learn about health at all sizes and they're known for the ways they help people learn compassion, acceptance and Body Trust®.  "Our passion is helping people lose the weight of body shame to create the change they seek from a deeper place."

Here is their introduction: "We are hearing a lot about gastrointestinal disorders these days. For years, it was leaky gut syndrome. Now SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) seems to be the diagnosis of the day. Researchers are just beginning to understand the complexity of the gut microbiome. While health care providers give lip service to how anxiety and stress impact the gut, treatment usually focuses on restrictive diets, supplements and medications. We believe it is important for providers, and the people they serve, to keep a wide lens when looking for answers to what might most support healing. When we start to mess with people’s food, we also mess with their lives. For many, what begins as a seemingly harmless experiment turns into years of disordered eating and a diminished quality of life. As providers, our first ethical guideline is to do no harm. So how do we help without harming?

In her blog “From Helpless to Kindness: Food, Emotions & Me,” Shelby Leigh shares how she made peace with food by listening to what her body wanted, not her mind. Shelby writes, “I believe my unhealthy gut bacteria thrive on low self-esteem, self-doubt, shame and lack of meaningful human connection and affection.” We found this perspective so refreshing—and sorely lacking—in dialogue about healing gut complaints."

 

From Helpless to Kindness: Food, Emotions & Me

I’ll never forget that night when I was walking up SW Morrison Street towards 12th. It was dark early then and very rainy – as it often is that time of year in Portland. It was many years ago but the moment is crisp in my memory. I remember feeling an incredible sense of helplessness and hopelessness around food and feeding myself.

I remember being incredibly hungry and in a hurry and at a loss for how to find food I could eat without going all the way across town to my own kitchen. I remember feeling so depleted I could barely keep myself standing – my impulse was to curl up in fetal position right there in a doorway of a closed shop wishing and hoping someone would come save me, fix my body and tell me what was wrong with it. Why was I allergic to almost every food I put in my body? Why couldn’t I take in any nourishment?

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Creating A Loving Relationship With Your Painful Body

Coming Home to Our Bodies When Our Bodies Feel Anything But Relaxing, Safe and Cozy… Like a Home Should Be

Chronic health conditions carry a huge weight for so many of us. Grief, loneliness, shame, doubt, disconnection, hopelessness, depression and anger can arise in response to feeling out of control with our bodies. When we make space for them and also cultivate internal skills for being more at ease with pain, it is possible to live a more free and vibrant life – even if we are in pain. 

Pain doesn’t have to mean suffering or stress...

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What's A Fierce Heart, Anyway?

In this moment, I’m sitting here looking out my window at the trees and the grass after a very long rain. The sun is coming out and the drops on the trees are fresh and shimmering in light. My heart feels full and relaxed and I feel a deep gratitude for all of the abundance available to me here in this very moment.

There’s a lot happening right now in the world. There is so much suffering and fear and separation between people and communities and hearts. And, a lot has happened in the past year in my life. More loss than I ever thought I’d be able to handle. With all of that, my heart feels more full than it ever has. And I feel more clear and grounded in my purpose and body with a great warmth that encompasses it all.

THIS is what a Fierce Heart feels like.

Being able to continue to keep my heart open amidst all of the ups and downs that this human life brings.  Staying committed to deepening into love and healing a covered heart amidst so much tragedy and confusion. THIS is what a Fierce Heart Feels like.

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