It's all about Relationships…

Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

NO LABELS FOR DIVORCE PLEASE!

Eight years ago I divorced without a lawyer. To ease the difficulties  I used energy psychology tools which really helped. Because there were 3 children involved, there was a mandatory 3 hour mediation session. A very nice and capable woman, also psychologist, showed up and we all were pleased how the session went. A little while ago I bumped into her at a party and I said: “You know, everything turned out so well, my ex and I have a very cordial relationship  and the children are doing great and do not have any significant emotional scars or issues as a result from the divorce whatsoever.”  She paused, and looked deep into my eyes and said “Carla,… they ALWAYS get scarred by divorce”. I answered “No , that is called LIFE!”
Difficult life experiences  are opportunities for growth and  learning  that enrich and strengthen us. These experiences shape us to be better people. We can choose to heal that victim feeling.
The tendency to label every issue as a disorder or disease bothers me. The DSM V (Diagnostic Statistic Manual)  is thicker than ever. I totally don’t deny there are many real mental diseases, of course there are.

However, identifying everything with labels free the path to take a pill instead of looking for other solutions. It makes you victim of a situation.
It degrades human capacity to overcome life-events. It becomes: “My depression” (you own it!)  instead of: “I’m having feelings of depression and I’m going to work on it.”
I AM depressed” and “MY depression” is telling your subconscious  that that is who you are. It’s keeping you stuck. The conscious and subconscious mind influence our state of well-being. It is better to say: “I have feelings of depression and I am getting better and better everyday.” “I am willing to find any possible way to feel happier”.

In my bereavement group where people face at the end of their lives severe loss of a lifelong partner, a situation where it is not easy to find new purpose and hope, often they refuse any psychotropic drugs and say: “I have to live with it. I am working on it”. I am often very impressed with the personal strength and courage that is showing up. Some open up to spiritual viewpoints they hadn’t done fore a lifetime. They focus on gratitude, on blessings, on taking steps to make new friends. They feel that medication is dis-empowering them. And think about it, medication numbs your feelings, but also compassion and conscience! Practicing compassion for self and others is a helpful tool to feel better and doesn’t work with heavily medicated people.
happy woman 3A label  shows just a small part of who we are.

Feeling depressed is an opportunity to step into ones power, and be the CAUSE instead of the EFFECT.  Of course some depressions require medication. But hearing how many Americans talk, the advertisements on TV,  I can’t help but compare with Europe, where people rarely use medication for simple mental issues.
To get to a better place means to choose different thoughts. In addition to that, (thinking positive is never wrong!) it is also important to check if there are no transferred generational traumas that play a part. A depression can belong to the suffering of (one of) your ancestors. Energy Psychology, Family Constellations offer such effective ways to obtain information from what is stored in our sub-conscious, and often create the shift and release. Want to know more? You can do it privately, schedule a session  or join us at our Next workshop!

Do you worry?

 

  • Are you willing to stop worrying about what the world wants from you and willing to make it your job and your life purpose to fully live, love and feel every precious moment of your life? (Not easy, right?)
  • Did you ever realize that “worrying” is a HABIT, most often inherited from your family? Imagine, your ancestors might have experienced extreme violence, even for centuries. Then they moved to the USA to be free. Today your family lives in a relatively safe situation. But the habit of worrying can still exist. Even if there’s nothing to worry about.
  • Do you realize that by living in  FEAR  your stamina gets low, your immune system is negatively effected and your serotonin productivity is inhibited?happy woman 3

If you are one of those “worriers”, here are some tips. Challenge yourself with questions. “Is it really necessary to worry about this?” “What am I achieving by doing so?” “How would I feel if I would let go of all those thoughts that don’t serve me but stress me out?”
Rebuild TRUST. In our science based way of thinking, TRUST is a vague energy that we cannot “prove”. Only with metaphysical concepts can this be understood.
But most of us KNOW that TRUST is FELT. It is a feeling, an energy that makes us thrive. A relationship without TRUST is over. Or at least the positive part of it is. Without TRUST in our abilities we cannot thrive. And actually one of the most effective and simple phrases that soothes fear for all ages and in many situations, is “ALL IS WELL”.
These 3 words help to calm the energy around and within you. When in fear, don’t take action. Clear your thoughts, and choose deliberately other thoughts. Empower yourself!

Trusting all is well within your world,

 An opportunity for learning compassion…

With his grandmother, 9 Year old Jimmy came for a session to my office.  I was the last therapist to try before they would put Jimmy on medication for ADHD and hyperactivity. Grandma was the caretaker for Jimmy and his sister because their parents were divorced and unable to take care of their children. Grandma spoke very negatively about her ex-daughter in law. “She‘s a horrible mother, a drug addict. She’s not even paying child-support.”  Jimmy looked away while she spoke. For me the task was to elicit some empathy from grandmother for Jimmy’s mother, who was seemingly immersed in her own problems. Being addicted to drugs never occurs because of happy reasons. Grandma was not open to hear any other vision than her own.
I asked Jimmy to “map his family” with colored footprints he would choose from, and to put them in the open space on the floor that we call “the field”. Spontaneously he put the footprints wherever he felt like. He chose a pair of footprints for himself, his mother, father, sister and grand- parents. We added the dog too.  I asked Jimmy  to put shapes that are representing feelings next to the footprints , where ever he would feel comfortable .  Those feelings would then  be seen as belonging to the footprints of that person. Jimmy put next to everyone  “love” but not for himself. He put “sadness” to his mother’s footprints and also to his own. He put “anger” next to his father’s prints.
The mapping shows the inner picture of how Jimmy perceives his family and ultimately his world. He was obviously feeling lonely, disconnected from his parents, but supported by grandparents, and had no love for himself (!).
The way he positioned his own feet showed a deep longing for his mother. It became clear how he was connected to his mother, which was with sadness and pain. He peeked from the corners of his eyes to his grandmother, almost afraid of what she would think from all this and he saw that she was tearing up. This picture made her realize that it is detrimental for the boy when she speaks negatively about his mother. His feelings need to be respected. Even a troubled mother wants to be loved by the child, and deserves respect for wherever and whatever she is going through.  Most importantly, regardless of the situation, the child will love his mother. The child needs to have positive feelings about his parents., which can be very difficult and conflicting. Tearing natural family ties apart can cause restlessness and depression. It is our judging that can hurt others so much.  One session seemed to be enough to have Jimmy‘s behavior change.  The need for medication was gone.


The green footprints are from Jimmy, yellow and blue the grandparents, dark pink the dad (left corner beneath), yellow in the upper left corner; the mom. The pink circles symbolize “love”, the purple circles “sadness”. Red square: anger

 

http://carlavanwalsum.com/create-harmony-in-your-life-family-family-constellations/

3 Tips for Loving, Happy Relationships

“Appreciation of our diversity”, I wish that would be a class in school. It would prepare us at least partially for our future relationships with ourselves and with others. Competition divides us and is a killer for friendships and relationships. The trend to look at “winners and losers” by validating the “winner” much more than the “loser” doesn’t teach our children compassion or respect. That is quite contradicting to the call or request for respect which is so often expressed. In intimate relationships and with parenting styles criticism, comparison and judgment of behavior – especially when our needs aren’t met- is rather rule then exception. One key for happy relationships is feeling totally accepted for who you are. When people are in love, they tend to see only the good in the other. That’s not only because they don’t see “reality” (whose reality is it anyway), they just focus on the beauty of the other. If the critical mind awakes, usually the energy shifts..sadly enough. Why not to stay for ever in that state of bliss?

Interpretation and perception are great misleads and problem causes in all relationships. There is not ONE reality, but we all perceive the same ONE reality differently. That’s because we bring into our scopes our past and our beliefs. We also have intuition and we sense vibrations from others. So, how do we interpret these? Well, without connecting to criticism, some people you just might stay away from. You can still respect and validate them, but protect yourself from vibes you don’t align or feel good with… In respecting the other person as he/she is, that makes us feel much more pleasant than when we are in the “I’m right you’re wrong” discussions… Your opinion isn’t better, its only different. For example the “You are lazy” accusation tells more about the needs of the speaker than the true intentions of the one that is most likely relaxing. Yes,this is pure interpretation. Clear observation is the best guidance for true understanding and eventually can lead to acceptance. That doesn’t include that violence is permitted. It never is.

From a closed heart to an open heart As traumatic hurtful experiences can play a destructive part in the rest of our life if we don’t take steps to heal and release, so can multi-generational misery or Epigenetics conduct our life as well. It’s not only learned behavior that makes us act towards our partner like how our parents treated each other. How free are our choices for behavior really? Trauma keeps its power until healed and released, like negativity is surpassed by positivity. Little wounds leave little scars, while big wounds leave big scars. When the pain is large, we can decide to close our heart for love to protect ourselves from being hurt again or the bitterness takes over and causes us to close ourselves off. All of us know people who are perceived as “cold”. Did you know that violence, rape and arranged marriages without love could stop the flow of love through the future generations? The systemic work I do traces the path back to that cause. This work offers a new perspective and understanding of the bigger picture. It simultaneously offers forgiveness and honors what needs to be brought to light and opened up for love again. If your life unfolds in ways you don’t understand, whether its about lack of success in work, divorce issues with you or your children, adoption, depression or anxiety, try this workshop: “Discover the Hidden Information in Your Energy”

2hearts entangled

carlavanwalsum.com

THE SOUND OF COMPASSION

Last night I learned about the sound of compassion. How does compassion sound?  Before you start to laugh or think critically you might consider doing what Einstein did. He declared that everything is energy. Having said that, we squeeze our minds to try to imagine what that really means. It’s very abstract, right? Not easy to do in a society where validation primarily is given to the perceivable world. Anyway, very old wisdom written down in one of the books of the Zohar (Kabbalah) teaches us that the “Aaaaahhhh” sound, felt in the chest by focusing on the heart and chest, has a level of vibration that creates compassion. You just put your hand on your heart and feel it.

From Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer I learned that Shaaaaahhh… is the sound of creation. So that indicates that Ahhh: “compassion” is an integral part of Shaaaahhh. To chant that sound is a great start of the day. Ending the day with Ommmmmm which means gratitude is really lifting up your energy.
Practicing gratitude is a habit that clears negativity and opens up to the state of manifesting our wishes and dreams. Together it hears as: Shaaa-l-ooom which means peace. So this word shalom encompasses the concepts: Creation, Compassion, Gratitude and Peace.

twin pic Compassion practiced intentionally is a very powerful tool. Compassion can be learned. Really. People who do not have compassion usually have a mindset that is filled with inhibiting, negative beliefs, have been raised among detrimental circumstances or have certain mental disorders.
Compassion is a combination of Observation (clean judgment, not criticism) and Unconditional Love.

The power of intention is sufficient to make it work. Focus your mindset, your energy, and voila, it’s felt by the other. We are used to say: “I send you my love, regards, best wishes.” That saying probably stems from a time there was more consciousness about energy in our lives and language. When you feel wronged, hurt or experience other negative feelings, so characteristic in relationships; be compassionate with yourself. Self-compassion is one of the emotional healing tools that is really effective.

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