The Awareness That Heals blog posts present curated articles that offer effective pointers and practices to help support yourself during times when challenging emotions and difficult feelings arise. Based on the principles in the book Awareness That Heals, these articles offer practical methods to help us move toward a state of greater emotional well-being—especially during problematic times. The good news is that these are challenges that can be faced and embraced, thereby giving us a unique opportunity for effective self-care and self-healing.
It seems like an incredible opportunity lost to not include education about death and mortality from our early childhood. It is clear that curiosity about this naturally arises for most of us when we’re between the ages of 4-8. Innocent questions about death from kids at that age can be met initially in many ways — in addition to the standard pat religious answers we often offer. Yes, we could say that in death, people go to heaven or to God or whatever we believe. Read More . . .
There is immense value in learning how to respond to life situations where you are natural when you don’t have to perform. This requires being in touch with what you feel and also being open to seeing your experience with acceptance and clarity. This is not something you can learn in a day or short time as, unfortunately, in our world, we haven’t been taught to just be open even toward ourselves as to what we feel, let alone be able to accept whatever it is. Read More . . .
In our culture, it’s significantly more desirable and respectable to know vs. not know about something. Our society has continually supported the importance of knowing what we’re talking about — there’s little room for uncertainty and not-knowing. As we explore this prejudice, it will become more obvious that the more we stay on the superficial life issues, the easier it is to remain in a knowing state. Read More . . .
Take a look at what you know about yourself emotionally. Especially the things that you don’t share with others or at least with almost no one. You very likely believe that this is something that you take care of on your own or that even if you don’t, these are aspects you would rather not have anyone else’s input on because it would either be too dependent, feel invasive, or too vulnerable. In my observation, when considered in moderation, it represents potential areas where we could grow, be more intimate, and still maintain our independence. Read More . . .
Do you have a go-to person you trust for their wisdom and guidance? If not, you might want to put your energy into finding one. We’ll explore ‘why’ in more detail in this article. Join me in asking this question — why do you think we’re here on earth living this life? As you look for your simple answer, let it be no more than a sentence or two. This is not just an abstract question, as I’m asking you to give your answer before you read on. Read More . . .
Fear like all emotions gives the false impression that it is representative of a true perspective. They pose as the truth. This is so important for all of us to see as clearly as possible as our emotions have hypnotic effects that all too frequently puts us under their spell. If we can look at our past experience and see this it gives us a chance to do some reality testing to see that the amount of times that our fears indicate realistic assessments of the danger we are facing is minimal at the least. Read More . . .
Follow your feelings when they lead you to well-being but absolutely follow your wisdom guidance when your feelings aren’t leading to what’s most needed. Can you see the tendency most of us have to let our feelings rule our inner lives? If you look closely, you will very likely see that your feelings are a continuous flow inside you. But if you don’t intervene or understand how important your needs and the needs of others around us are, you will be defined by and follow what you feel and not get to what you need. Read More . . .
How do you cope with difficult feelings? When you try to make yourself feel better, do you try to force yourself to change your feelings by demanding they obey what you think or want to feel? How has giving yourself a hard time when you’re feeling too anxious, angry, depressed, empty, or confused worked out for you so far? I ask this with a smile on my face and hope it touches you in that place that sees the injuries that it has created. Read More . . .
please take a moment to find some of your commonly felt feelings in our Introspective Guides that will help you identify 75 challenging feelings and 75 healing qualities/needs. This will help you be more specific in seeing that you’re feeling anxious, angry, irritated, helpless, sad, etc. Similarly, the specific qualities will help you narrow down whether you need respect, trust, communication, empathy, honesty, etc. It is a critical part of healing to be able to be specific. Read More . . .
One of the foundational ways we disconnect from those we are intimate with or just those in our world is the tendency to express our dissatisfactions more than what we would find satisfying or fulfilling. For most of us, this requires or, more accurately, allows us to develop intimacy, warmth, connection, and trust rather than reinforce struggles, distance, or alienation. Read More . . .
What’s tone of voice? It’s the way you speak to another person — in sound and often with hidden meaning, the way you express yourself. It reflects our innermost motivations, reactions, and, when applicable, our character and wisdom — even when we aren’t aware of our wisdom or don’t have access to it yet. Is there a way we can go inside ourselves to learn how to convey our tone of voice in a way that creates benefit? Read More . . .
Confusion is so often thought to be a negative feeling, one that is hard to tolerate. In our culture, it’s a feeling we are most frequently averse towards. Today, let’s take a look at confusion as a feeling and how we can support ourselves in changing our attitude, response, and understanding of it. We can also learn how to make it an ally in our life, rather than simply viewing it as a disturbance. Read More . . .
When we say to others (or even ourselves), “I did my best.” Do we really, truly, in our hearts believe that? Even though you may know that your best differs every day for different reasons, you might unwittingly demand that you do better than your best efforts. When we think of our best, we should also try and consider that it means our best realistic effort (BRE). BRE means that you’re doing the best you can and are doing it in a flowing focused effort. Read More . . .
Almost all of us have dealt with insecurity in some way. Yet, more often than not, we consider insecurity undesirable or embarrassing and, at times, even shameful. I’ve noticed that insecurities don’t make their way out into the therapy room until much later. Insecurity is so disliked, and we often subject ourselves to self-criticism wittingly or unwittingly that it lies deep in the cellar of our mind (the subconscious). But what if we try to look at insecurity in a different light? Maybe even try to befriend it? Read More . . .
One of the greatest contributions we can make in our lives (to both the world and to ourselves) is to stay dedicated and loyal to the truth in what we think and say. Although that sounds quite simple, it requires a good deal of contemplation to really have a chance of it becoming an art form in each of our lives. The world would be a different place to live in if we each took this to heart.” Read More . . .
Often, it’s quite hard to tolerate or accept our most troublesome feelings. That’s why we use our capacity to seethat these feelings are the deepest source of our suffering. However, our negative reactions to these difficult feelings are what causes the more sustaining pain and suffering than the original feelings themselves, although that’s rarely obvious to any of us. This requires looking more deeply at ourselves and asking, “How do I feel about this deepest suffering?” Read More . . .
As someone who has had a difficult time finding meaningful television shows or movies, Over the last several years I’ve watched four truly remarkable exceptions that display life lessons that give us deep insights beyond the ordinary ways we are raised. Read More . . .
One of the cornerstone distortions in love relationships, friendships and all other kinds of relationships is inaccurately seeing “the other’s” expression of a need as a demand. When we exaggerate the genuine expression of a need and instead experience it as a demand, it sets up the unfortunate and inevitable likelihood of misunderstandings. It can also compromise your own ability or desire to be responsive in a kind and cooperative way. Read More . . .
One of the most unrecognized patterns by the general population, and even unwittingly by most therapists, that causes suffering, especially in love relationships, is when one partner or party views and experiences the other’s “perceptions” as “judgments.” Turning perceptions into judgments is one of the least understood dynamics in communication, and is a real source of loss of intimacy, trust and compatibility. Read More . . .
All over the world, we’re grappling with family and friendship dilemmas. In America alone, these challenging situations are probably more complex than they have been in a very long time — probably even since the Civil War. Most of my friends, colleagues, and clients are in the midst of dealing with impossible relatives or conversations that revolve around prejudice, hatred, racism, insurrection, political divisions, immigration, or homeless intolerance, to name a few. Read more . . .