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The Holydays

The Holydays

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Offering a different perspective

I am sitting at my kitchen table watching the snow fall softly outside my window.  It is always a beautiful and serene moment.  There is something so pristine and filled with the awesome power of nature in this first snowfall. I am glad that it’s here; it always means that winter has finally arrived like the first ball thrown out in the first game of the season means that it’s summertime.  These are just moments that mean something, marking the passage of time and allowing us to mark the transitions of life.
The holydays or the holidays as we now call them seem to come up on us like a speeding train, buffeting us with the force of its passing and leaving us excited but spent.    I am aware that I get a little sad as well now because the meaning of this time seems to have been completely lost in the gross commercialism of the season.
The holidays don’t seem to be about celebrating our uniqueness, our sacred place amongst the beasts and the forests, the tides and the dancing moon, the sea creatures and the tiniest insects.  Its seems that we have lost our way into the canyons of Thanksgiving sales, black Friday madness and the subsequent never ending onslaught of discount buying options.
I would like to offer another perspective. This is a time to get quiet, step back from the maddening pace that we all keep and experience a little bit of the wonder of who we are as individuals.  Each of us is on a sacred journey and whatever that looks like for you, this is an opportunity to be still and look inside to see what miracles we are.
Like each snowflake gently falling outside my window, there are no two of us exactly alike.  We are all walking our own paths and leaving an imprint unlike anyone else that has ever been or ever will be.  What have you done with this cycle of time to mark it with your uniqueness?
I hope that when you look inside, you will see that we are all graced with this time on earth and filled with the opportunity to leave those around us and the world a better place.  I hope that you can take away this idea: the best gift that we can receive is to know our special place in the universe and likewise the best gift we can bestow is to help those we love realize how special they are.
Celebrate these holydays with love and as James Taylor sings…shower the people you know with love.

Wishing you your unique place in the universe,
Dr. Garry D’Brant

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The Joy of Service

The Joy of Service

A recent email from a patient made me think as I often do about the value that I receive from my patients and practice. The email is cited here:

“Dear Dr. D’Brant, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for helping my unhealthy body that I have been neglecting for too long now. Today is day 18 of my detox and I have not felt so good in years as I do now! My aches and pains are diminishing and my energy level is up! Almost forgot what being healthy felt like. I know I have a ways to go but like I said, just wanted to say ‘Thank you.’ Sincerely, JD, Patchoque, NY”

There is something wonderful about knowing that what I do helps people feel better. In this patient’s situation it is about guiding her through a powerful, cleansing, and restoring detoxification program. I cannot cure anyone except myself. As many of you know I have had a long, challenging, and exciting journey toward health, one that won’t be done until I take my last breath, and I am not sure it’s over then! I don’t believe that anyone else can cure anyone else. The only person who can cure themselves is … themselves. Continue reading The Joy of Service

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How to install love

In time for the “giving season,” I wanted to share this dialogue someone emailed to me between a support rep and a customer. It was uncredited, so if you know the author’s name, please let me know. . . . I found it delightful.

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How to Install Love…

Support Rep: Hello, ma’am, how can I help you today?

Client: Well, I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I’ve finally decided to install LOVE. I was hoping you could help me through the process.

Support: Of course, ma’am, no problem. Are you ready to continue? Continue reading How to install love

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Home for the Holidays?

Be safe … emotionally

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Family of origin triggers & other old messages

As we approach the winter holidays, we often plan to get together with our families of origin—which can bring up a lot of old stuff for us. Or we are not going to get together with them (for a variety of reasons)—but that also can bring up old stuff for us. We can experience many difficult feelings around this time of year, and we don’t always feel safe. I’m referring here to emotional safety. People who have attended the PEER (Primary Emotional Energy Recovery) Process or an ongoing PEER group often seem thrilled when they begin to acknowledge and embrace the concept of safety. They frequently ask what they can do to increase their personal sense of safety and well-being. This is somewhat of an individual issue, depending on a person’s life history, but there are some things that we all can do. Continue reading Home for the Holidays?

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Endings and Beginnings

Over the years, I have read of many different systems of “manifesting” what we want to have happen or possess and since people tend to set resolutions around the New Year, I thought it might be useful to look at this process.

I do not know if all of these methods of producing what we want work, in fact I am pretty sure that some of them don’t because otherwise everyone who tried to manifest being a millionaire would be one I suppose.  But, I am happy to share with you what I do know and my thoughts about it.

Continue reading Endings and Beginnings

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Our Lives Have Changed

There is much to consider after the tragic murder of 26 people in a Connecticut school a couple of weeks ago.  I think that each of us gets affected by these kinds of inhuman acts in different ways.  Some people become outraged, some become sad and others tend to completely tune it out because it’s simply too much to take in.  Still others go into shock which is a very protective mechanism that we as humans employ when we have to endure the unendurable.

I find myself personally pivoting between being furious at the killer, outraged at our society for not having dealt with the issues of assault weapon control in a more proactive way and profound sadness when I think of the 26 souls cut short from their life’s journey.

Continue reading Our Lives Have Changed

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How Can We Not Surrender to the Corporate Selling of the Holidays

Permission to be our Authentic Selves

Driving into work on the Friday morning before Thanksgiving, listening to the radio and thinking about the coming day, I happened to hit a radio station that was playing Christmas music!  I found myself having this irrational desire to yell in anger at the radio, which since I was in my car by myself,  I took the liberty to do just that.  What I realize in retrospect is that my irrational or perhaps not so irrational reaction to hearing Christmas music a week before Thanksgiving was the fact that I was feeling anything but Christmas-like having just endured hurricane Sandy. Continue reading How Can We Not Surrender to the Corporate Selling of the Holidays

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A Time for Giving Thanks

What is it that we do during this time of the Holidays?  We get together with family and friends, we eat more than we need and perhaps we walk it off.  This is all good, because it hopefully helps us remember what we have that is wonderful and nourishing in our lives – and in no way do I mean to disparage or put it down.

Sometimes I wonder if we could go a little deeper or take a different route into acknowledging the celebration of our lives.  Continue reading A Time for Giving Thanks

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How Do We Manifest Love in the Face of Chaos?

I don’t know about the rest of you but I feel like my life has been turned upside down.  Hurricane Sandy has seemed to have affected not only the physical reality of my life but certainly the emotional one as well.

We will rebuild, restart and reconfigure our lives…that is what we do as a species…we adapt, but how well we do might not just be a measure of how well we rebuild on the physical plane.  The experience of going through a catastrophe such as hurricane Sandy also requires that we take time to allow the process of healing to happen from within as well. Continue reading How Do We Manifest Love in the Face of Chaos?

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From Shame to Safety: The Road Less Traveled

From Shame to Safety:  The Road Less Traveled

Shame is a feeling that we have all experienced.  Sometimes it can be a crippling experience, one which so overwhelms our ability to cope with and adjust to life’s challenges that it can literally render us dysfunctional.

I started to think about why is it that when we recognize that we are feeling ashamed in some way that we simply don’t say…”ok, I am feeling shame right now and I want to and I am going to let that feeling go.”  This presupposes that we recognize that we are feeling ashamed and that we are not in a deep regressive state where our awareness of our feelings is muted at best and completely obliterated at worst.

What stops us then from just being able to turn off the switch to the corrosive fountain of shame? In order to answer that I think we have to briefly examine what shame does to us, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

On the physical plane the experience of shame may cause a wide variety of reactions such as shutting down or limiting our breathing to short, constricted, chest only breaths.  It may also cause us to start sweating or become cold and clammy or the person may find it hard to focus their eyes, they may have a buzzing or ringing in their ears or that they become stiff in their bodies.  You can add to this list with your own physical sensations of what shame feels like to you. If we were to compile all of the sensations of shame, I suspect the list would be pretty long and diverse.

Emotionally, shame is the great crippler.  People who experience shame often notice that they want to hide and isolate themselves, not revealing to anyone just how small and awful they feel.

Shame will make most people constrict their emotions so that they have less range of emotional expression.  They will tend to respond to situations with patterned responses and not feel “emotionally available” to each life situation as it develops.  Occasionally, a person who is experiencing shame goes in the other direction and becomes “larger than life” and finds themselves boasting about all of their accomplishments and life achievements.  Where do you fall along the spectrum of emotional shame experience?

In the spiritual realm, shame destroys the spirit.  There is no greater force in our world today to shrink and mutilate the beauty of our spiritual bodies than shame.  Life force evaporates, creative drive shrivels up and the soul becomes a mutated version of its authentic self.   I have heard the term used when describing difficult times, “the dark night of the soul” and I think that experiencing deep shame may fit this category.  I have also heard people describe themselves as having lost touch with God/Goddess energy and their reason for being on the planet when they are profoundly ashamed.

What then can we do to rid ourselves of this unwelcome usurper of our humanness?  I have noticed in my work with people several themes or characteristics which show up time and time again.  Firstly, the need to forgive ourselves for something perceived or real that we are deeply ashamed of.   This often requires as an initial step that someone, either alive or dead, either an actual person or spiritual being forgive us for those imagined or genuine transgressions.  Sometimes hearing the words spoken from a trusted or emotionally safe source, “I forgive you” or “You are forgiven” is an important initial component in unsticking us from the frozen wasteland of shame.

Secondly and perhaps most importantly, we have to acquire or reaquire our belief that we are lovable beings.  Shame, in the fullest extent of its potency robs us of the belief that there is anything worthwhile, inherently good or remotely lovable about ourselves.  A helpful exercise is to have a trusted person say the phrase “I love you” or “You are so lovable” repeatedly.  As you can imagine any of these phrases will often evoke some deep emotional responses from the person receiving them.  It is good to remember that we are tapping into the universal field of love that is available to us at all times but is often blocked from our access by the experience of deep shame.

As we start to thaw out from this contracted, isolated experience of shame appropriate physical touch is potentially helpful to integrate this new found sense of self-worth and self-love.  I believe that being hugged, stroked, held or whatever the person needs on the physical plane can be critical in imprinting and anchoring a newer, healthier sense of self.

Making room for a new and improved sense of self is a fundamental step in reversing the negative effects of shame.  I find it valuable to remember to give ourselves plenty of space, a gentle and appreciative attitude for the exploration that we are doing and significant time alone and with supportive friends to help make the transition to our more integrated selves.

You can learn more about emotional health and dealing with shame through our PEER programs, please contact the office for details.