Meditation: Healing The Scars From Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, PTSD And More – Part 2

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By Tom North, author of True North: The Shocking Truth About “Yours, Mine and Ours”

Continued from part 1 of this article…..

yogaposeIn my own experience, and in the experience of many meditators who have been culturing a daily meditation practice over time, the ongoing result has been a steadily growing expansion of awareness and appreciation for all of life. This takes the form of improved relationships with those around me, connection with the entire human race and seeing the divine intelligence in the simplest life forms.

I would be remiss if I didn’t include experiencing an overwhelming sense of love for everyone and everything I encounter. As one friend and former college classmate of mine said, “I was stopped in commuter traffic on the 405 freeway in L.A. I looked around me at the thousands of cars and people and was feeling an unbounded love for all of them!”

If this is the outcome of consistent meditation, then it certainly is worth trying for anyone whose long-ago trauma-related or trauma-triggered emotions frequently get the better of them. For those who simply cannot see their way out of their own personal darkness, meditation is even more important. I encourage you to make the commitment.

8 Steps to Help You Develop Your Daily Meditation Practice for Trauma Healing

* Give yourself permission to get better, understanding that meditation can provide healing and relief.

* Seek out a meditation teacher. Meditation is like walking in an unfamiliar forest. It is best to have a guide.

* Commit to regularity. Research shows that 20 minutes twice a day is optimal.

* Create a space that is just for you to meditate each day. Unplug the phone(s) and put your silenced cell phone where you cannot see it. No cheating!

* Get your mediation checked regularly by your teacher. This is very important.

* If you absolutely have to miss a session, do not be hard on yourself – it is OK to renegotiate with yourself, recommit and pick up where you left off.

* Wait two months, and then check in on your memories of pain and trauma…do you feel better able to just let them go, to allow them to NOT MATTER anymore?

* Congratulate yourself for staying with it! You’re on your way to true healing.

*Disclaimer: Please remember that meditation is not a substitute for professional care or psychiatric help if that is what is needed. Many physicians and psychologists recommend meditation in conjunction with standard therapies.

– Tom North is the author of True North – The Shocking Truth About “Yours, Mine and Ours” They appeared to be the blissful Beardsleys, the happily blended family-eight of Helen North’s, ten of Frank Beardsley’s, and two children from their union. A family so famous in America that Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda played the parents in the box office smash–Yours Mine and Ours. But they were anything from blissful; in fact they were the beaten and battered Beardsleys. That’s the real hidden story behind the spotlight. And Tom North, Helen’s second eldest son, is now revealing how he survived the ordeal of living with a horrifyingly abusive stepfather that drove him to depression and drugs, and deprived him of his self-worth-and a mother who protected the image of the “perfect” family at all costs. But True North is much more than an inspiring and powerful account of a man who rose to success against all odds. It’s a story of how Transcendental Meditation (TM) brought peace to Tom North and saved his life. It brings to light how effective meditation is as a means for healing trauma survivors and especially those who have endured any form of verbal, physical or sexual abuse. For more information, go to truenorthbytomnorth.com/

Meditation: Healing The Scars From Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, PTSD And More – Part 1

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By Tom North, author of True North: The Shocking Truth About “Yours, Mine and Ours”

Meditation saved my life.

yogaMy father, Richard North, died in a Navy jet test flight crash when I was six years old. Fifteen months after his death, my mother, Helen North who had eight children, re-married a man named Frank Beardsley who had ten, making us one of the largest families in the country. We became famous, and our story was featured in the movie, Yours, Mine and Ours. But it wasn’t one big happy family. We had to hide the fact that we were living a lie.

My stepfather was abusive on every level; physically, emotionally and sexually. His constant rage, disapproval and controlling personality left deep emotional scars. And, to make matters worse, our family hid this from the outside world, so we each suffered in silence. The toll I paid was enormous. Lacking any sense of self-worth, it drove me to depression and drugs. I imagine many people will identify with the feelings, even if their home life was not as extreme as mine. But trauma is trauma–whether suffered in a living room or the theatre of war.

As a young adult I discovered meditation. It was my passage out of a deep depression and emotional despair, and I’m here to recommend it as a powerful and effective solution if you cannot get out of the mental patterns that keep you stuck, feeling a victim of past trauma.

Meditation was and still is a vital therapy for my continued survival and healing from a life of child abuse and domestic violence. I still practice it every day, having begun more than 38 years ago.

Meditation is indeed a powerful tool for health and healing on all levels. Research shows that group meditation can produce a radiating influence of peace in society. Recently, Dr. Deepak Chopra sponsored and conducted an online Global Group Meditation for Peace with over 100,000 people participating from around the world. I was happy to be a part of this important event.

This was a tremendous service Dr. Chopra was delivering to the audience, for as he explained, meditation is the key to our connection with ourselves: Our Divine Selves. It is also our connection to the collective consciousness. Studies show that everything in the universe is connected and it is possible to unite people in heart-focused care and intention to facilitate the shift in global consciousness from instability and discord to balance, cooperation and enduring peace.

The Health Benefits of Daily Meditation are Many

The scientific evidence documenting the benefits of Transcendental Meditation, especially for PTSD, which includes child abuse, is conclusive. While there may always be skeptics, it is irrefutable that meditation delivers improvements on every level of life, from stress management to emotional, physical and spiritual balance.

Dr. Norman Rosenthal, senior research scientist at the National Institute of Health (NIH), has published his studies of over 300 experiments that prove the importance and benefits of meditation. This is in addition to the many thousands of published reports that have become available over the last 40 years that have come out of Maharishi University of Management, Harvard University and many others.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..

– Tom North is the author of True North – The Shocking Truth About “Yours, Mine and Ours” They appeared to be the blissful Beardsleys, the happily blended family-eight of Helen North’s, ten of Frank Beardsley’s, and two children from their union. A family so famous in America that Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda played the parents in the box office smash–Yours Mine and Ours. But they were anything from blissful; in fact they were the beaten and battered Beardsleys. That’s the real hidden story behind the spotlight. And Tom North, Helen’s second eldest son, is now revealing how he survived the ordeal of living with a horrifyingly abusive stepfather that drove him to depression and drugs, and deprived him of his self-worth-and a mother who protected the image of the “perfect” family at all costs. But True North is much more than an inspiring and powerful account of a man who rose to success against all odds. It’s a story of how Transcendental Meditation (TM) brought peace to Tom North and saved his life. It brings to light how effective meditation is as a means for healing trauma survivors and especially those who have endured any form of verbal, physical or sexual abuse. For more information, go to truenorthbytomnorth.com/

Dealing With Children’s Reaction To Violence And Crisis

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By Mary Jo Rapini

friendWith the recent happenings in Boston and Texas, I am reminded of our “little ones.” If you are a parent, your child monitors their reaction by watching yours. Here are a few suggestions to help you help your child.

1. Parents are a barometer for their children, and children are skilled with reading their parent’s emotions. So, before you talk to your children, make sure you know how you feel about what happened, and if you are anxious or not ready to help your child feel secure, delay talking with them about it.

2. Don’t mention the trauma part to your children and don’t assume what they are afraid of. Rather, ask them specifically so you won’t introduce another possible fear. If they mention they are afraid that something bad may happen to them, validate that by saying it’s natural to feel that way, but also tell them you are going to do everything you can to keep them safe.

3. Limit the news in your home regarding the tragedies. Children don’t understand the replays and they may be at the level of thinking each time they view the incident that it is happening again. The visual parts as well as the audio accounts of the recent tragedies once seen and heard may create anxiety, nightmares, and depression in children.

4. As much as possible, stay on your routine at home. This will give your child stability and reduce anxiety.

5. As a family, draw cards, send letters, and/or bake cookies for the families or people in the community where the tragedies occurred, or for someone needing them in your own community. This helps your child see that there are more good people than bad.

home6. This is an excellent time to set up an emergency plan in your own home. Go through what you each will do if there is an emergency. This empowers children and helps them feel more in control. Remind them of a time something happened and what they did to help. Also remind them of how proud you were of them.

7. Take extra time at night to read stories, watch movies, or say prayers. This helps kids feel safer and it is also a time when questions come up that parents can use to help understand how their child is processing the tragedies.

8. This is a good time to bring your spiritual beliefs to the forefront. Things such as having a mass said, lighting a candle, or planting a tree for the people who lost their lives is important. It helps your child see that no matter what happens people do care and they do remember. Spirituality is also important because it gives us strength beyond our human capacity.

9. Listen to your children. Children’s brains work differently than adults, and by careful listening you can better ascertain where your child is having a difficult time with the recent events.

10. Grieving with your child will help them heal. Children grieve much differently than adults. Their time frame isn’t the same as ours. They may be playing and jumping around one minute, and sitting alone by a tree the next. Grieving in children isn’t normal for adults to witness and we want to cheer them up. This is a time to acknowledge when they are sad and then brainstorm with them what they can do (with your help) to feel better. Always identify with trying to do something good with your child for others.

Parents should always answer questions and tell their children the truth. However, wait for the question and answer in simple ways that are age appropriate for your child. Grief takes time and if you are worried your child is not working through their grief, take them to their pediatrician and work with someone they suggest for emotional support. When bad things happen the greatest source of encouragement comes from mom and dad and family.

– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at www.StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at www.maryjorapini.com.