“I don’t watch the news, but it’s everywhere. How do I manage the flashbacks?”

It has been a difficult year, hasn’t it? So many traumatic events played out on our televisions, over and over again. It’s hard to watch. It’s hard to know that people are going through so much pain, and that the world has changed so quickly.

For people who have experienced similar traumatic experiences, this exposure can be too much, depending on where they are in their healing journey. The stories and images can cause an increase in flashbacks, panic attacks, nightmares, suicidal ideation and self-harm, among other symptoms.

If you have a loved one who has experienced trauma, whether they outwardly struggle with their pain or keep it internal, show you support them in their pain. Turn off the television, give them space to talk without advice, ask your strong quiet friends if they are okay. Respect their story – let them share what they are comfortable with and sit quietly with them if that’s what they need. Show them you love them, and they’re safe.

If you struggle during these times, please reach out to a friend or family member you trust. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional either – we are here to help and support you. We will stand with you. If you are in crisis, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at @ 1-800-273-8255. If you have any thoughts of self harm or suicidal ideation, talk to someone you love and get to your local emergency room. Your life matters.

Times can be tough, but now is the time for us to come together as a community. Love each other, despite differences. But keep standing up for those who have been hurt, those who need protection, those who have been mistreated. Advocate for justice. But let’s come together and love each other in these times.

And keep hope. Our children are our future. Support them, love them. Show them you are there to keep them safe, and you’ll do so to the best of your ability. Teach them to love, to accept differences, to see others through eyes of compassion and empathy. Stay positive and believe in a world full of color, a million dreams that we can make a reality.

A Million Dreams – Pinkb1d08c5b-a21e-4de6-ab07-698674860d34.jpeg

Samurai and Mindfulness

“Samurai believed the intense movements required for warfare emerged from a stillness of the mind. Many turned to Zen Buddhist practice of meditation to enhance concentration. On the battlefield, this technique freed warriors from distracting thoughts of uncertainty or fear.”

I was at the Detroit Institute of Arts today and really enjoyed this reflection. Whatever your battle is, meditation is a tool that can be utilized to sharpen your skills and concentration, reducing fear and uncertainty and giving you strength.

Emotional Courage

I’ve been using this TED talk in therapy lately- Susan David has come out with a new book and multiple social media outlets to share her experience with emotional agility. Part of this is emotional courage.

Identifying our emotions, thoughts, and story is essential to an authentic life, connected to ourselves and thereby allowing us to connect with others. I encourage you watch this (and maybe watch, and re-watch as I have!) and consider how you can build more emotional courage in your life.

TED Susan David – The Gift of Emotional Courage