Tag Archives: #healing

Help a Child Heal this Holiday Season

The New York Center for Children is an organization very close to my heart because they provide free therapy and services to children who’ve been abused and their families. Every day the Center offers hope and healing to kids from all five boroughs who otherwise might not be able to get the help and support they need to heal. Each holiday season The Center throws a holiday party with games, food and crafts for their clients. Santa even comes! Best of all, every child receives5cab06bab269d928395b9872db578e8b-1 special gifts. The children’s wish lists are coming in now, so I’d like to offer you the chance to bring some joy to a young New Yorker’s life this  holiday season.

Based on the children’s requests, the folks at the Center have put together a wish list on Amazon.com where you can donate a gift that will be sent directly to the Center. If ordering online isn’t your thing, they are also in need of new books for children and young adults and $25 gift cards. They especially want gift cards from these stores: Bath & Body Works, Barnes & Noble,  H&M, GAP, Starbucks, Macy’s, Old Navy, Target and Game Stop.  Please books and gift cards to: Sarah McNamara, The New York Center for Children, 333 East 70th Street, New York, New York 10021. Or drop them off at the office. If you’d like  a receipt for tax purposes, please email ehans@newyorkcenterforchildren.org with a list of your donations.

Thank you from me and everyone at The New York Center for Children. We wish you a wonderful, healthy, joyful holiday season and we are so very grateful for your support.

 

How We Help Each Other Help Others

I’m happy and proud to be yesterday’s guest blogger at Surviving My Past.

Matt is one spiral staircaseof the hardest working advocates I know for those of us healing from childhood sexual abuse and trauma. I look forward to his guest post here in the next few weeks. It’s so important that we work together to blow the lid off the stigma, shame and silence surrounding the issues of childhood sexual abuse, PTSD and mental health. Thanks, Matt for all you do. Here’s to making 2017 our healthiest, happiest year yet!

Holistic Health: Powerful Combinations of Mind, Body and Emotional Healing

When I first became a personal trainer 30 years ago, I was convinced that exercise and fitness was the secret to overall health. Gradually, though, my belief that every ailment could be improved, if not cured, with the right exercise prescription wore thin, as I encountered physical challenges in my clients and myself that wouldn’t budge through fitness alone. Thus began my search for the “missing piece” — a more holistic approach, which led me to yoga and Pilates, which in turn led me to meditation and breath work. I followed that trail through all kinds of mind-body modalities, with improving results, but I ultimately found that even though this was an improvement over traditional strength and cardio work, most of these results were more “body” than “mind”.

I first learned about positive affirmations back in the late eighties, when Louise Hay’s wildly popular You Can Heal Your Life was creating armies of fans and fierce detractors alike. Hay espouses that every aspect of our lives – from health to relationships to career and more – is a manifestation of our thoughts, and that simply by changing our thoughts we can change our lives. Though it seemed like a vast oversimplification, the guts of this idea appealed to me, and I found that applying these principles helped me better manage stress and improve my state of mind. Yet these results also fell short of what I’d hoped to achieve in terms of maximizing health and well-being.

Today, I find the greatest power for self-healing lies in the judicious combination of all of these techniques and more. My current arsenal of healing tools includes everything mentioned above plus energy work, essential oils and my most recent addition, writing. I combine all of these modalities daily to promote healing on every level and the achievement of optimal health for myself and my clients.

Here’s an example from my own self-care routine that I actually did today: To further the healing of a debilitating spinal disk issue that I experienced back in January, this morning I performed hip and back stretches recommended to me by my extraordinary physical therapist, Kevin Towers, DPT. To optimize the effect of those stretches, I prepped by applying a few drops of a calming essential oil blend to acupoints on my feet, followed by a short Eden Energy Medicine daily routine. Then I read an entry from one of the inspirational daily meditation books I use regularly. Free-associating in my journal for a few paragraphs about the reading helped me identify a negative thought pattern likely related to my back pain. So finally, while doing the stretches, I recited an affirmation countering that negative thought pattern. The whole process, which took about 30 minutes, is more complicated than the homework I offer many of my clients, but it’s an excellent illustration of the powerful combinations of mind, body, and emotional healing techniques that I’m grateful to use and teach.

If you’d like to discuss any of these techniques further, please comment below. Or for more info visit me at www.generationsfitness.net or www.sherylburpeedluginski.com.

 

 

 

 

Books That Heal

I’ve been a self-help book junkie for decades. Psychotherapy literally saved my life, but it’s expensive and time consuming. Since I’ve always loved reading and learning, early on in my process of recovery from a traumatic childhood, I began supplementing my own talk therapy with countless tomes on personal growth, emotional healing and spirituality. So, in hopes of guiding readers to books that might help support their healing, I offer occasional reviews here of the titles that have helped me find peace and stay sane in the wake of a severely dysfunctional upbringing.

At the very top of that list is The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis. This book was my bible from 1987, when I first started to have flashbacks, through my decision to confront my father with my memories, and later my decision to sue him, and finally my working to forgive him. I’ve always been the kind of nerd who loves reading textbooks, and this is the ultimate compendium on how to get through a terrifying, IMG_3005painful and complicated process. Though it’s the size and weight of a textbook, the writing style in Courage, as I’ve come to call this old friend through the years, is that of a loving confidant or wise counselor. Every survivor’s experience is completely unique, of course, and a peek at the Table of Contents for Courage shows how the book’s structure allows readers to easily find the help they need, regardless of what stage of the healing process they’re in. Every chapter offers immediate, user-friendly advice and encouragement, including writing exercises, how-to bullet lists and related resources. Co-author Laura Davis’ related books have also been invaluable to me. The Courage to Heal Workbook offers writing prompts, checklists and a variety of activities to help survivors focus and deepen their healing work. And my husband Steven recommends Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused for anyone in a serious relationship with a survivor.

More information about my story and my writing can be found at www.sherylburpeedluginski.com.

Mash-Ups that Heal

 

It thrillssubatomic-collision- me when things I love collide like atomic particles smashing into each other to create new sub-atomic particles. Science and spirituality. Fitness training and energy medicine. Writing and health. Today I stumbled onto this quote from Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, who graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine and trained in family medicine, psychiatry, and clinical psychology. He’s a presenter at the Narrative Medicine (another mash-up that intrigues me) workshop that I’m thinking about attending this summer.

“In the view of conventional medicine, disease is found within organs. Autopsies with microscopic confirmation are the ultimate form of diagnosis. When we look for disease, we look for structural and enzymatic changes within individual organs. Aboriginal elders tell me that what we are seeking is only the footprint of the disease. Looking as we do, we only find the tracks and traces of disease, which, they say, is long gone by the time a person dies. Look for the disease within the relationships, they say. That is where it is found. The rest is consequences and effects of the disease. This leads us to a consideration of the logic behind spiritual healing, for it addresses what lies between people, or between people and spirits, or people and earth energies.”

While studying Eden Energy Medicine I learned that first the energy systems of the body become disorganized, then physical symptoms show up. Mehl-Madrona’s words give me a deeper perspective of that concept. Healing relationships — with our self, others, and the world ­— heals our bodies too.

Conquering the Fear of Success

flying trapeze picFor me, and maybe for you too, setting and working toward goals is the easy part. Actually achieving them is the scary, hard part. Manifesting our dreams brings Change with a capital C. And Change, even good Change, can be terrifying. I know, because as I write this, I’m in a wrestling match with anxiety, over finally accomplishing a dream I’ve had since early childhood. I’ve written a book.

For almost four years now, I’ve been working on a memoir. At this very moment, as I type the words, “it’s done”, my insides quake. Yes, there is obvious joy and pride in accomplishing my goal, of course. But now I must also face a host of unknowns: Will I be judged for the truths I reveal? How will these revelations affect my relationships with family, friends and clients? Will anyone even notice or care enough to read this thing that I’ve poured countless hours of heart-wrenching work into? Will I find a publisher? And that’s just for starters. But my wiser self knows the simple answer to all these questions:

It’s none of my business.

When I’m still and quiet enough to listen to my inner teacher, I know that my only job in this life is to pursue my deepest passions and thereby to become the most authentic version of myself possible. The effort is my responsibility. The outcome is not. And so, I hand it all over to the Universe, or whatever you want to call that entity that is a greater power than ourselves. In the language of 12-step programs, I Let Go. Let God.

Here’s what that looks like for me today: Breath work, affirmations, energy work, prayer, yoga, and journaling. These are the primary methods of self-care that help me face, accept, deal with and finally release, all my negative thoughts and inner resistance about reaching my goals, a.k.a, my Fear of Success.

How about you? Could you be harboring some hidden angst about achieving what you think you want? How would your life change if you did succeed? Are you truly ready, willing and able to handle that change? How do you root out and clear those surreptitious, negative beliefs that disrupt your energies and keep your dreams from becoming reality? Share your answers in the comments below, so we can support each other.

If you’d like to learn more about how I incorporate some of these self-care techniques into my work with my private fitness and energy work clients, click here. And if you’d like to read an excerpt and learn more about my recently completed memoir, Wasteland Reclaimed, click here.

The Universe Listens

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True, funny, amazing story: All last week I worked on applications for summer writing programs. Sent the last one out Friday, feeling pretty optimistic, but Saturday I started to get a bit antsy. All kinds of fear- and lack- based thoughts were running through my mind: “Oh, no. What if I get into one of these programs? They’re all so expensive! [They are all $3000-$4000]. Where will I get the money from? What will I have to give up in order to make this happen?”

Then Sunday, I got sick of myself. I know negative thoughts and worries like this can sabotage our dreams, so I took a deep breath and sent up a little prayer to the Universe. “If this is meant to be for me, please send me a sign – help me know that I don’t need to worry about the money.” Then I cleared this statement from Louise Hay: “I now receive my good from expected and unexpected sources.” (Clearing statements is a technique I use regularly on myself and with many of my clients. It combines energy work with positive belief statements.)

Monday, my husband Steven and I got a letter from Chase. They have some unclaimed funds that belong to us, left over from our mortgage pay-off when we sold our house three years ago. Over $4000 is due to us and we will be receiving a check shortly! And then, as if to top off this flashy show of the law of attraction in action, that same day I also received a lovely, thoughtful, unexpected gift from my sister and a surprise came in the mail from my dear friend, the artist, Elizabeth CassidyThe Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction, by Chellie Campbell.You simply can’t make this stuff up!

You think maybe the big U heard my little request? Did I shift my energy and remove unconscious blocks to abundance by clearing that statement? For me, the answer is clear. Change your thoughts, change your life. Keep your energetic channels flowing and free of old, negative thought patterns and wonderful miracles, big and small, happen all around you. I’m bursting with gratitude today for the elegance and grandeur of this amazing life. I hope you feel it too.