A Story of Grief and Grieving (Part I)

We aren't typically taught how to relate to the experience of loss in life, and how to grieve.  You might think of grieving as something only associated with the loss of someone you love, but grieving is the process we go through when we confront the inevitability of loss in all its forms, and the threat to us as social animals that it evokes.  Our inability to be with the strong winds and forceful waves that are kicked up in cycles of grief leads us to an imbalanced relationship with it of either shutting down or becoming overwhelmed by emotions like sadness (or anger!).  In the first part of this 2 (or 3!) - part series focused on grief, we'll introduce this fundamental human experience and touch on why we need a whole-bodied relationship to the experience. 

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And don’t forget to watch the video below of a funeral Haka. Notice how watching it makes you feel - pleasant or unpleasant. Does it move you in some way? Does it make you uncomfortable to watch? Does it activate you in some way? We’re influenced by our families and cultures - displays of such powerful emotion, like in this vide, could make people feel uncomfortable. Come share your thoughts/ideas about it over here!

(On My Mind) Working with our kids' fear

The other night, when my daughter felt afraid of a house fire after an apartment block caught on fire in our little town, I realized quickly that trying to talk her out of her fear wouldn't be helpful. Like many of our fears, the level of fear she felt didn't match what was actually happening around her and it was keeping her awake.  The limbic-based experience of fear is one of feeling trapped and without choice and a path to safety. So I decided to get creative and together we worked with her feeling of fear in a way that helped bring her imagination and creativity online. In this mini-episode of the podcast, I'll share how I did that and how the experience helped her to regulate her own fear response. 

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The Wisdom in Their Feelings, Even the Icky Ones!

The other week, when my daughter told me the story of a friend she felt was treating her unfairly, I recognized how easy it would be - and often is - to slip into the "fix it" role with our kids and take away the discomfort they feel. Do you know the feeling, the urge to want to jump in and "fix" your kids' "problems"? But what if that discomfort is not a problem at all.  In fact, it's the essence of what connects her powerfully to her own internal guidance.  A guidance system she will need to be able to navigate her way through her life and relationships to come.  Our gift to our kids can be the ability to stay with our own discomfort as we allow them to stay with theirs as they learn to let that discomfort guide them and their choices. p.s. This same wisdom applies to us and our feelings as well...

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The 3 Important Features of Healthy vs Toxic Shame

I was feeling all the feels in this episode! We're taking an evolutionary and nervous system approach to looking at shame. Shame is an important topic, and for really good reason! But did you know that there's more than one function of shame, and more than one kind of shame? We're using shame all the time, but there are ways we can use it that are supportive, and even helpful at times, and there are ways that we use it as humans that can have profoundly negative effects on individuals and social groups.  The distinction is really important to know, because it can inform how shame manifests in our parenting.  We may also start to second guess how we use shame on the level of social engagement, because that matters, too. Have a listen and let me know what you think about shame!

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Don't forget the free PDF download that goes with this episode below!

click the image to download pdf

BAL008: Questioning the water we swim in & teaching our kids to do the same

We take for granted the things that we think we already know (about ourselves, about others, and about the world around us), but for anyone who's familiar with the ways in which we can suffer from the the beliefs we hold that limit us and keep us from our growth and expansion, we understand why it's important to open ourselves up and to take in new perspectives and new ideas. We could all benefit from some healthy skepticism about the beliefs we hold and the stories we tell ourselves and pass on, without awareness, to our kids. It can be difficult to challenge “what we think we know” because so many of our ideas have been with us for a long time and were often shaped in the earliest part of our lives, but we can learn to leave the door open to new perspectives and we can teach our kids how to do this as well. It’s an empowering way to get started in life…

BAL007: The Ghosts that Haunt us (Boo!)

Today is a Halloween-themed episode! And I’m excited about it because I get to talk about ghosts in today’s episode.  You might be wondering what on earth ghosts have to do with us as mothers, and to this idea of waking up and growing up? Well they have  so much to do with that, actually. Because ghosts are metaphors for the things we don’t want to face. So, there’s no need to be afraid - this podcast is about BOLD LOVE - and we’re going (together) to places that scare us...to find...often...that what seems so scary from a distance is often nothing more than the call for us to come home again.  Life gets SO MUCH better when we learn to FACE our ghosts, so let’s get into the show!

BAL006: What's Behind Your Overwhelm?

Why is overwhelm plaguing so many women and mothers? It's the number one most commonly used adjective mamas use to describe their experiences to me. And I'm no stranger to overwhelm myself.  While we would could find many different contributors to this - longer to-do lists, higher expectations, more technology, more information, more demands on our time, there's something else, rooted in our biographies and our biology, that we need to consider.  Let's explore this together!  

BAL005: Slowing Down, Anxiety & The Rhythm of Things

This is the time year when the natural slowing down of the world around us can be an invitation for us to slow down with it.  But that's not easy for many women who are neck-deep in the culture of doing.  There’s a kind of trauma to everyday life in the modern world.  The busy-ness of our minds reflect the hurriedness of our lives.  Even when we’re in a calm environment, the mind can be a madhouse of activity.  This experience alone - of not having the time and space to digest the many experiences we have are one thing, but when they also happen to people living in a state of disconnection (from themselves), well, this situation gets increasingly challenging.  It’s as if you'd eaten something, and then, instead being allowed to digest what you’ve just eaten, you keep eating and eating...until you’re in a state of overwhelm and anxiety.  And without the ability to slow down, it's hard to ever break the cycle. Slowing down, while scary, invites us back into a relationship with self and life that has a rhythm we can dance to.   

BAL004: Our Anger (and what it's pointing us to)

Why it matters

Anger is a topic that has been popping up more and more in recent months, especially among women. But anger is more than just a feeling, and there is a healthy and unhealthy side to this emotion. The way we choose to view and act upon our anger can make a huge difference in the way we interact with the world around us, and even in our physical wellbeing.

what i talk about in this episode

I'm talking about anger in this episode and I'm sure it won't be for the last time. The subject of anger, and especially anger for women, has come up a lot recently, and I feel that's important. But the anger we hold often points us to something else in our experience that we need to address because anger often holds the powerful energy of healthy aggression captive - an energy that wants to move and transform something in our lives. This is the first of other discussions of how our vital and healthy life energy is mobilized to help us respond to the world but key for us in knowing how to allow it to move is knowing how to be with it and allow it to inform a wise and creative engagement with the world. While anger can hold us captive and fuel an unhealthy aggression, healthy aggression can propel us forward and fuel wise, creative and assertive action in the world.

reflections & take-aways

Anger is pointing the presence of vital and healthy life energy that is creative when freed to flow. Holding that creative and protective energy in, however, can harm us and others. What is your relationship with anger? I’d love to hear your thoughts on anger. I don’t think it’s helpful to get into debates about semantics as much as I’d love to know about your experience of anger or with healthy aggression. Have you ever experienced the energy of your healthy aggression propelling you forward to accomplish something productive and creative? Come share your thoughts or ideas or stories with me over at karinebell.com/share.

resources

Nina Bull - The Attitude Theory of Emotions

BAL003: Mr.Rogers & The Power of Relationship

why it matters

Relationships are always a powerful and important part of our lives, but especially so for children. It’s really surprising how simple it is to provide the security and stability a child needs as they develop emotionally, but even more surprising how easily these needs can be overlooked.

what i talk about in this episode

In this episode I talk about the power of relationship for children. I tell you a story about how a simple but intentional television figure was able to establish relationship (not only with me, but with thousands of other children) that made a huge impact on my life. And how this speaks to the important presence of other figures in the lives of a child (alloparents and others) who can help provide for that child a foundation, a base, upon which they can stand when the environment around them is shaky. You might be surprised to know just how impactful a simple (but intentional) question like: "how are you doing?" can provide a thread of stability for a child who needs it.

As an advisory - I do briefly talk about abuse relationships.

reflections & take-aways

Did you have an alloparent in your own life? Someone who taught you things, or told you things that you needed to know or needed to hear? If you have a story to share, I would love to hear it! You can add it to the comments below, or you can hop on over to the share page on this site and let me know!

resources

"Won’t You Be My Neighbor”: http://www.focusfeatures.com/wont-you-be-my-neighbor/

Learn more about Mr. Rodgers: https://www.misterrogers.org/