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Stress

June 29, 2020

Coveting Calm ~ TRANSCEND

Today I’m going to focus on the topic of transcending your fear. Especially as it relates to the pandemic. And I’m going to do this by quoting my upcoming book, The Sage’s Template.

“The experiences of this life are either fear-based and uncomfortable or love-based and comfortable.  Most everyone is looking to feel comfortable and in a “good” place, so what is the purpose of this dual format of experiencing?  By design, in this life, you will experience fear. Fear is what creates the illusion of separation. It is through the knowing and then transcending of fear or suffering that you are able to experience the truth of who you are.”

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June 15, 2020

Coveting Calm ~ Live for Today

With recent events related to COVID-19 and sheltering-in-place, the world has become an unsure, scary, and stressful place. Over the last few weeks your daily routine most likely transformed into a life you barely recognize. You wonder how things you once took for granted – your home, job, relationship, and health, to name a few – became so precarious. It stands to reason, that this uncertain environment has caused your anxiety to spike. You barely know what day it is, and tomorrow doesn’t look much better. So how can you possibly live in “the now”?

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November 15, 2017

The Loss of a Child: Siblings

Last week I spoke about the loss of a child but what if that child who crossed over had siblings? Parents grieve in one way and siblings grieve in another. At a time of deep grief, how do the siblings feel parenting from parents who are lost in their own grief?

Going through the loss of a child can be very difficult for parents and siblings. Yet it can be very difficult for them to “share” in the loss. The parents may be feeling one set of emotions while the siblings may be feeling differently. Parents may feel the helplessness of not being able to protect the lost child. They may feel an emptiness that is unique to mother or father. They may feel a devastation that erupts from letting the child free into life only to now endure their crossing over. They may feel the loss of the dreams they had tied to that child. The list goes on.

The siblings, on the other hand, may have feelings of having lost a best friend, or a part of their self. They may feel guilt for surviving or for not getting along with their sibling. They may feel a loss of their own dream because their family is shattered.

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December 16, 2015

Divorce Doesn’t Have To Ruin The Holidays: Key 6 – Developing Traditions and Rituals

Horse Sculpture

Once there is a split in the parent’s relationship, the world of the child has been severely disrupted and usually feels destroyed. This is a time to create and maintain consistency. It is critical to the healing of your child during this time. So, at the holidays, it is a good idea to address what part of the holiday traditions and rituals are a match to your child and which can be changed. It can be tremendously healing to create a new tradition with new rituals or with old rituals to offer you and your child the opportunity to embrace this new beginning in your lives.

 

Create your new tradition with your child. Ask what she would like to change or keep. If there had not been a clear tradition prior, then create a tradition with your child. The process of creating a tradition with your child offers him a sense of involvement and importance. It allows him to value the tradition and rituals that you choose to change or create.

 

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Divorce Doesn’t Have To Ruin The Holidays: Key 5 – Defining the Holiday Experience

WI Snowy Owl

Now that you are aware of how to create an atmosphere that is friendly and accepting where the loving emotions are prevalent and the gifts are given lovingly and you are communicating, you have the ingredients to create the experience you and your child wish to have during the holiday. What is the experience your child wishes to have? What is the experience you wish to have?

 

Begin by asking your Self and your child what the ideal holiday would be like. Take notes on what each of you wishes to experience and then as a team, develop an experience that includes each of your dreams. You can find that there is no part of the desired experiences that needs to go unfulfilled. It will take patience and creativity. For example, if your child wants you and your ex-partner to be together, show understanding of that wish. Talk with your child about how he would feel if the family was to be together during the holiday. Take note on the way the child would feel. Ask what the pros and cons of previous holidays were when the family was together. Then help the child to develop an experience that embraces the feeling she is wishing to have during the holiday and help her see she can have the joyousness she is wishing for even if the one family is now two!

 

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Divorce Doesn’t Have To Ruin The Holidays: Key 4 – Communication of the Divorced Family During the Holidays

Squirrel

As the discussion of holidays for children of divorced or separated families continues, the focus is now on communication. The prior three key components to happy holidays for divorced families included acceptance, loving emotions and environment, and gift giving. Communication is inherent in all three and yet must be addressed separately. Communication is the key to all experiences in this life. Given this topic, it is important to keep your communication focused on your and your child’s needs and happiness.

 

Communication must begin with you. As a parent it is important that you know how you are feeling and what you need. Are you struggling with the loss of the relationship, with low funds, with anger? Or are you feeling freedom and excitement? You want to explore your own feelings and thoughts first. If you are struggling or suffering in some way, take the time to write your feelings and thoughts down in a journal. Review the writings and ask your Self what you need in order to temporarily move beyond these stressful emotions and thoughts. Do you have family or friends or a professional with whom you can trust to help you shift from your pain during the holidays? If not, then reach out to someone!

 

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December 14, 2015

Divorce Doesn’t Have To Ruin The Holidays: Key 2 – Keep the Love and Joy Alive

HolidayHeart

In families divided, sometimes it takes effort to keep love in the forefront of the holidays. Yet, for your child, it is critically important that you keep the love and compassion in the forefront of your heart and thoughts. So, how do you do that? Let me start with a brief comment about the necessity of love in a child’s world and then give you some ideas of how to create a love- and joy-filled holiday.

 

Too often when partners are split, they can find themselves warring, complaining and harshly judging. These behaviors are in absence of love. Partners can make a promise to leave these behaviors in a box until the holidays are over. It is critical that the love be expressed consistently throughout the holidays. A child will respond to the love by opening his or her self to the experience. Love is an experience that opens and unites a family. Fear (which includes anger, dislike, hurt, etc.) is an experience that shuts down and causes fragmentation. Your child can be very sensitive to the differences at a subtle level but when it is an outward expression of fear-based feelings and thoughts, the child will do what he or she can to take it upon themselves to make her or his environment good and loving. That is not a child’s responsibility. It is the parents’ responsibility.

 

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December 11, 2015

Divorce Doesn’t Have To Ruin The Holidays: Key 1 – Create an Environment of Acceptance

At a time when things can feel broken, it becomes important to find acceptance. But how do you create an environment of acceptance? Begin by finding that place in your Self that feels so accepting of your child. Hold that feeling and see if you can feel it for your Self. Now see if you can feel it for your ex-partner (you may need to remember when you first met!!) Your acceptance of your child allows you to listen to their difference in perception and feeling. It is important to allow an acceptance of the difference of perception and feelings in your Self and your ex-partner as well. During the holidays, especially for divorced family and divided homes, a child is going to have their own internal experiences.

 

It is critical to avoid warring with your ex-partner at this time. The fragmentation keeps the child externally focused on each parent in order to prevent the plunge into that dangerous territory of destruction (warring, arguing, hate/dislike). Further, the anger and stress that is being felt by estranged partners is felt or intuited by the child and impacts her or his emotions and stress level. A child will take a lot of the fear-based emotions personally. That occurs at many levels but an important piece to understand is that the child will personalize the absence of acceptance between his or her 2 parents. A child will do this in order to keep her or his parents good and omnipotent. A child who has good parents is a safe child. That means that if a child hears the discord he or she feels an absence of safety and then must turn it into a definition of safety. Obviously, that is not a real sense of safety for the child and the child ultimately knows this and is built upon the absence of true safety.

 

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December 1, 2015

Commercialism is NOT the “Reason for the Season”.

GiftMoney

This week marks the first week of Holiday Shopping! It opened with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. People have come to plan for these days and companies have come to exploit or extend these days. There is a craze or frenzy that surrounds these days of shopping. Yet, we hear people talk about the behavior of the people who go into these sale days with great intensity and, at times, aggression to find the items they wish to purchase at the great prices advertised!! It seems that most people agree that this “beginning of the season” does not match the “meaning of the season”.

 

So, why do you succumb to the seduction of the commercializing of the season?
You may find yourself “buying” into the need to purchase gifts (and many of them) because of a need to be seen as good enough, because it is expected by the other or by society, or because of the fear of judgment or disappointment if you do not. If you begin to understand your reactionary buying in response to the seductive advertisements and promises then you will begin to open and, consequently, see more intimate and creative gifts of love and acceptance. Our intrinsic focus allows for an intimate gift rather than an extrinsic focus that allows for a number of gifts.

 

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March 24, 2015

Suicide: the lasting pain of judgment

Oftentimes when someone attempts or commits suicide the judgments follow. Yet, people want to know about the person who committed suicide or made a serious attempt. Why do people commit suicide? Why is it assumed to be a sign of weakness? Furthermore, why do we judge those who are feeling so destroyed by judgment itself?

 

Let’s begin by looking at the judgment itself! Many people will judge the person who is/was suicidal. That judgment can be heard in the way they describe someone who committed suicide, or the questions they ask about suicide, or their assumptions about suicide. Remember, “We judge only in the way we are fearful of being judged.” So what might this say about those who judge those who commit suicide?

 

In my many years of working with others I have found that just about everyone has thoughts of suicide. Sometimes those thoughts of suicide can be simply a pondering. Other times those thoughts can be fairly detailed. Then there are the times those thoughts can be very serious (3.7%, Emory University). Infrequently, thank goodness, the thoughts turn into successful attempts (0.5%, Emory University). So, using my 30 years in practice, let’s imagine that 90% of the people have a “thought” of suicide at some time in their life. That would suggest that everyone has felt pain at a level that they want to escape this life. This does not mean they were labeled depressed or medicated or anything else. It shows that just about everyone is capable of having the thought but how did they experience the thought(s)? Did those thoughts frighten them? Did they keep it secret because of the fear of the judgment or condemnation if someone found out? How did they handle “the thought”?

 

Most people will not share their brief or isolated, past or present, thoughts of suicide. They appear to experience shame and fear of judgment. It appears to take a good amount of trust that the person who they are telling will not judge them or act upon their thoughts. That experience alone can evoke the very loneliness and/or shame that could have been a part of their thoughts.

 

The emotional pain that is felt from loneliness, hurt, abandonment, or a myriad of other fear-based emotions, leaves us feeling very small, exhausted or weakened. People usually want to withdraw not go toward. They want to be left alone not accompanied.

 

Consequently, often times the person with those emotions are rescued by their anger coming to the foreground to express their needs in one way or another. But many other times that emotional pain leaves a person feeling too exhausted, maybe even beyond exhaustion, and so he or she says nothing. At those times she or he may resort to isolating, staying away from others. Each and every one of you knows that when you feel loneliness (not just alone) you feel like isolating from everyone. Logically that doesn’t seem to make sense but emotionally it is what happens. So, if you imagine a loneliness becoming so intense that you cannot isolate and cannot be with, then you start to understand, through that little thought what can make suicide become more of a reality. The more exhausted a person becomes the less real it seems that he or she can pull their self out of the abyss of emotional pain. If you were stuck in a 100-yd pit with smooth walls and no one knew you were there and although you began screaming out you slowly ran out of voice. Over a short amount of time, with no food and water, you begin to realize you are either going to starve to death, freeze to death, or become prey to another animal who can scale the walls. Whatever your thoughts they are anchored in the helplessness of getting out of the situation you are in that ultimately ends in the absence of life. You may choose to wait as long as possible for a miracle rescue but then choose to kill your Self gently before the suffering becomes too intense. This is similar to the emotional experience inside the suicidal person. They have lost all hope of rescue and life. Suffering has overtaken them. They think giving into the darkness is a gentle passing to peace that can be better than helplessly and hopelessly waiting for the inevitable suffering to continue.

 

Of all of those with whom I have worked who had more serious suicidal thoughts, 99% of them were going through a time in this life that was full of pain. Yet, it was apparent (to me and others on the outside of their abyss) that they were going to be able to heal and get to the other side it. On the other side of the painful time in life, was a life of gifts waiting for them. That being said, if the person contemplating suicide could know that there was another side that was so full of life do you really think they would step off this plane? If the person in the 100-yd pit knew there was a rescue mission coming, would they consider suicide? Usually not. It is rare that a person dies without “reason”.

 

Maybe you fear suicide because you were told by a religion that you would go to hell. That, in turn, may spark feelings that you are bad for even having these thoughts. Then you begin to believe that you are so bad there is no way out because you cannot be loved in this life, or get it right in this life, and, on top of that, your thoughts say you are no longer going to be okay by the very God who is supposed to be unconditionally accepting and loving. Whew! So, when you look at those who actually committed suicide you may not have the understanding to accept their choice because of your fear of the historic learnings based in judgment and not being good.

 

The shame that many feel when someone close to them commits suicide is also a part of all of this perceived and actual judgment. They want to keep the very secret that the person who successfully committed suicide kept. If the person in pain could have felt they could trust someone to help them through their pain without experiencing more shame would they have expressed the thoughts prior to final stages of decision making? We cannot be sure but the odds say probably. Shame of suicide is taught by society and family. The shame is a feeling of bad, a feeling of why do people see me like that when that is not who I am, a feeling of “ucky”. Ask your Self, who around you sees suicide (and, consequentially, thoughts of suicide) as one of those definitions? You can then see how it is kept secret. When already suffering with emotional pain, a person does not want or need to add to that the shame of judgment.

 

A colleague mentioned that many people feel selfish when someone dies because they do not want to deal with the death. I found that an interesting observation. People may talk of themselves or tell the other want to do or stay away from talking about the death as a result of their own discomfort with the idea of death. When that death is a suicide, if that very person experiences much discomfort with the idea or action of suicide, they may further get wrapped within their own self to deal with it.

 

Maybe people want to judge those who commit suicide simply because they’re angry at them for killing themselves. Being angry at someone who kills their self is a very healthy part of dealing with the traumatic loss, a sudden loss, or loss in general. Add to that an understanding that, for most, the only way they know to deal with their anger is to use their anger. What that means is that if they are hurting in their anger they then spew forth words that are hurtful to or about another. If they feel abandoned and small and weak behind their anger then they will spew forth words of abandonment and weakness to the other of the other. To judge the person who committed suicide as weak is to label them as not good enough. The very probable underlying cause of their choice.

 

In conclusion, there are many fears and fears of judgments that lie within an individual who lashes out with judgment of an individual who suffers, or suffered, with such extreme emotional pain that they fold up in the comfort of suicidal thought or action, respectively. If we begin by looking at the judgment of suicide that rests within each person, within their religions, and within their cultures/society, we begin to gain an awareness which is the first step in healing. If we begin healing the judgment that surrounds suicide, it may become much easier for those suffering with such severe pain to speak openly about their thoughts and pain. If they can talk about it openly and safely maybe, just maybe, we can begin to save lives. We will be saving lives by offering understanding, acceptance, and compassion. Those are the very feelings missing inside the darkness of the pain of the suicidal person. Think before you judge, ALWAYS!!!! You never know where that verbal knife will pierce the other.

 

I wish you all a day filled with compassion and acceptance of self and another, one at a time.

 
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Please contact KB@KristenBomas.com if you have any questions about services, topics or products.

Kristen Bomas, PA
398 Camino Gardens Blvd., Suite 104
Boca Raton, Florida 33432
Phone: (561) 212-7575
Email: KB@KristenBomas.com

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"Two Eagles" Smith

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