How To Get Over Childhood Stress: The Process Of Getting Hurt

broken heart 2This is the first of two articles about how to get over childhood stress or – how does therapy work – in which I will explain how people get hurt by childhood stress (1st article) and how they can recover from it (2nd article “Healing from Childhood Stress and Abuse: How Therapy works”).  I have included the impact of childhood stress seen through neurobiological eyes because it shows clearly the pathways to how the healing can take place.

I have often been asked by colleagues why I use neurobiological concepts instead of psychological concepts to explain what is going on. My answer to that is: often psychological concepts are way out there and hard to follow by people who are not totally into that side of things: take for example Freud’s or Melanie Klein’s work – very exciting … but you have to bend over backwards and jump through a needle’s eye to follow their line of thinking.
Whereas neurobiological concepts can be ‘seen’ on MRI scans and we become more understanding of how our brain works. I find that exciting.

So why is childhood stress (hardship, abuse, neglect) so damaging? Why can people not follow the often given advice and just ‘GET OVER  IT’? She short answer is: Because the stressful experiences become part of who you are! Let me show you how that works: (Disclaimer: I am not a neuroscientist and don’t claim to be an expert. I’ll give you my ‘lay translation’ of hundreds of research articles and books that I have studied).

Continue reading “How To Get Over Childhood Stress: The Process Of Getting Hurt”

Waking Up In Newbie Country: The hellish LY

Waking Up In Newbie Country: The hellish LY

12781643_6a71e6812e_oI have a story in me that pushes to come out. It’s several stories (note the ambitious plural), but that’s beside the point. Pushing. Poking. It leaves me with the image of mud pools in Rotorua. Bubbling with gasses that force their way to the surface. I suppose you could say, it’s mental indigestion.

After years of academic writing and blogging about trauma recovery and other self-improvement issues, it should be easy! Right? How difficult could it be to write a story when the plot line is interesting?

Since then I am on a steep learning curve with light bulbs going off right, left, and centre. Will I ever get it? I don’t know. But I am going to give it my best shot.

Many years ago I learned how to make pots and my home and those of my kids and friends show ample signs of my pottery skills. I didn’t start by just sitting in front of a pottery wheel, throwing a piece of clay on it and…tataaa…ended up with a perfect pot. I had to apply myself and learn pottery skills and techniques; and with determination and practice, practice, practice, I ended up with (some) decent pots.

I didn’t know there is more to storytelling than just telling a story. I didn’t know there are techniques, skills, and processes involved that combined and applied well, will bring a story to life AND when ignored will sink a story like a battleship after a torpedo hit.

It all started with a friend telling me to cut down on ‘ly-words.’ – I know now these things are called adverbs. – I followed that advice, although I didn’t real(ly) understand why. I thought things were nice(ly) expressed, quick(ly) sorted, and tasted heaven(ly). Stephen King said in his book On Writing: A memoir on the craft

the road to hell is paved with adverbs

I see that now. It’s sloppy, lazy writing and indicates the writer has used a weak verb or failed to show in the surrounding prose what’s going on. There you have it! There are some great examples here.

I suppose that’s a good start. But don’t be fooled. It’s just the beginning. There is so much more: POV (point of view), that’s another huge mountain to climb for me. And I haven’t even started with hooks, pacing, turning points, pinch points, show and don’t tell, beats, and structure.

Oh, how much fun is there waiting for me – as it will be for every newbie!

Image mud pool by Dan Nelson


Retirement: A Strange Kind of Bliss

I grew up on an island where most people were connected to everything to do with sea, fishing…and did I say sea? I remember the writer and poet Gorch Fock mentioned the proverb on many fishing vessels saying: “Ora et Labora”. Pray and work! I suppose that’s what I’ve learned and that’s what most people lived by. The ‘old folks’ had a hard life, working around the clock, either on land behind dykes that could easily give way to the powers of the sea, or those at sea, battling the elements. They prayed and worked and worked.

In a strange way, that’s what I did too. Not so much praying, I have to say, but working long hours, several ‘jobs’ combining motherhood with working in our own business and initiating a social life for the family. And when I didn’t work, I thought about how to improve my work in courses, reading, up-skilling. I rarely complained because that’s what I knew one did. I actually liked it. I felt useful and effective.

“…and then the prince bowed down and kissed Sleeping Beauty awake!” – – Oh, darn, the wrong story. What really happened was, the Retirement-Fairy knocked at the front gate…not totally uninvited!

8211987329_67a28165c5_oThis is – or better was – my retirement dream. Not necessarily living on an island in the Pacific – after all, one has to meet one’s shopping needs, – but what it stands for. Sun, warmth, barmy waters, quiet, peace, no dead-lines, no have-to’s.

And without much complaining, that is what I’ve got. I love it. I can follow my indulgences like reading, watching daytime TV, writing, going out for coffee, shopping, and my all-time favorite thing: Staying in bed till at least ….AM if not longer, sipping my tea or hot chocolate,  reading the news, checking up on people on facebook, listening to an inspiring TED talk, or acquaint myself with the trials and tribulations of 19th Century noble women through my cherished writers like Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer.

BUT then something unpleasant happened: the old training kicking in. Instead of enjoying fully this time in my life, reaping the fruits of years of hard work, I catch myself, ever now and then, feeling guilty. Not enough ‘Labora’! I should be doing something productive. Lazy is not allowed. The old rules and childhood ‘examples’ set by the adults around at the time, are powerful reminders that creep into my mind unnoticed. Even the fortnightly pension payment triggers odd thoughts. I never was paid for doing nothing.

A friend told me that this feeling of ‘I need to do something, be productive, contribute’ will go on for a while, and being officially retired since the beginning of this year, I am told I have a while to go. I look forward to it. What surprises me that I feel this way. I did not expect it. For years I envied retired people for their ability to just pack up and do what they feel like. But, even though in my logical mind I have paid my dues and done my duty, I hesitate. How puzzling!

However, knowing how the human mind works I know that I feel what I think. As long as the childhood training is invading my thoughts with uncomfortable reminders of not enough ‘Labora’, I will being caught with feelings of guilt. It doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to lay back and enjoy this time. It pays not to takes one’s own thoughts so seriously. Just because I think it doesn’t mean its true.

I assume it takes a while to shift gear and, like the seasons, have a season for resting and harvesting. I’ll have to keep this in mind and ward against ideas that might have made sense around 1900 in Northern Germany but are out of date and out of place today… for me at least!

There is a thought: I need to go shopping and get a bed-table for my breakfast in bed to make a more enjoyable; and I am going to download some more romance novels for my ipad!



Your 10 DayHome Spa Retreat

Wouldn’t it be great if we could get away ‘from it all’ and have a 10-Day-Spa-Retreat without actually having to leave home – and without spending large amounts of money? A health boot camp, so to speak, that is nurturing our body through some fun activities and lots of self-care? A place feeding our mind with some wonderful insights of how to stay in a healthy, resourceful, positive state of mind longer and more often! A place that would also offer some soulful, lip-smacking recipes for cleansing and re-vitalising the whole of you!

Title: Hammock    Owner: Daria Dubinin
Why not join me and a group of wonderful women and men on this pamper holiday on a budget?

In many ways life has never been easier for us, yet people struggle terribly with stress related health issues. Stress is considered the #1 health hazard of our time. It impairs people’s relationships, self-confidence, jobs, physical, and mental health. The question asked most often is “how can I stop this?”. The answer to this very simple, yet challenging question can now be found in my new book Delicious Mind, Body, and Soul: Recipes for Pampering Yourself Back to health.

This is NOT a self-help book. You won’t find 5,7, or 11 steps to follow that will bring you miraculously loving relationships, self-confidence, or happiness. There are no “Steps” that bring lasting relief from stress, distress, and emotional turmoil.

It is a holistic guide offering inspirations for 10 days of yummy, healthy home-spa-retreat indulgence on a budget. Each day we follow a person and learn how he or she resolves a particular emotional problem such as stress, depression, or low self-confidence for example. We also look at a range of activities for self-care and physical wellness. The recipe section introduces healthy smoothies with many health benefits to kick-start your way back into health. Indeed, a holistic and nutritious ‘meal’ that feeds mind, body, and soul!

From Dreaming About Writing to Becoming a Published Author

IMG_3649.smallMeet Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour! 

I have met Mary in a writer’s group we both belong to and she was so kind to be interviewed by me about her journey from dreaming about becoming a writer as a young school girl to becoming a seasoned and award-winning author and publisher. She not only talks about her journey, she also gives hands-on helpful down to earth advice for novice AND seasoned writers.

Listen to the first 10 minutes of the interview here:

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and continue with the second part of the interview here:

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Mary talked about her Night’s Vampire Triology. You can check the novels out on Amazon.
If you are curious about her books, short stories, and poetry, go to her website Cavern of Dreams Publishing

Laissez faire

gudrun flowers

I always was fascinated by languages. As a child I wondered how people could possibly understand each other talking gibberish. Later in life I found I loved the peculiarities of different languages. Thinking of the word ‘good’ for example, how different it sounds in other languages: good, bene, bien, gut, bra, iyi, okuhle, bom, god! It is similar with having guest authors coming to visit my website on their virtual book tour. It’s interesting to see how we all have a similar message – only expressed in another language.

Today I am excited to host Helena Kalivoda who talks with us about Laissez faire. Helena shares with us her experiences from her spiritual journey – wisdom to be treasured and taken to heart! Helena is happy to answer any question you may have – so go ahead and use the comment section below for that!

“Laissez faire” is the motto of those who know.

They know that those who are set in their ways do not want to be corrected. They need to become aware on their own. When their realization becomes complete, they will correct their ways in the manner most appropriate for them.

Laissez faire is the way of letting them come to their own conclusions. Such is the nature of humanity. No pushing or prodding is adequate in terms of learning. All that they do is of their own accord. However, this does not discount the need for teachers and guidance. Once a person becomes aware of his or her fallibility and decides to change, he may seek those who will guide him.

You Decide

Salvation, an act of God’s mercy, does not exist in the sense it is portrayed on Earth. Salvation starts with you. You decide to correct, you decide to add or subtract. Once the possibility of your staying with your decision is evident, the universe takes notice. Once it is certain that you have staying power, the universe delivers. Thus the power of your decision comes into play. No one else can change your own situation. Unless you are ready to change and take that step in your mind, the universe will not provide any clues. Unless you provoke it, it will not remember you.

Love What You Do, and Be Consistent

Always ask questions. Always ask for that which you require. Be consistent in asking, without wavering. Eventually, when it is clear that you are sincere in desiring some solution, it will arrive. Such is the power of concentration. Such is the power of focusing on the subject of your love. Love what you do and you will succeed. Love what you do. If you do not, energy dissipates. Energy evaporates. That is how it is all the time. Anything not of your interest and focus will not be supported enough and will disappear.

Your consistency, your true love and dedication to the cause for which you are working is a must. It is a must until you succeed. That is how growth is accomplished. That is how acceleration occurs. At a certain point, the vibration surge overtakes you and you take a conscious leap. This is a so‐called qualitative step, or jump, if you wish.

The Choices Are Yours

So, the choices are yours. The choices are not given but taken. You choose which way you go. You choose which way you continue to go. Your choices do not bind you to anything. You are always free to make changes. If you think your choice does not serve you any more, then make another. This is applicable to all in your life. Your partners, your home, your relationships of any kind. Make changes to meet your satisfaction at any time. That is what you do when they do not fulfil you anymore. Change your reality and you will have new events in your life. Change the events and you will have a new reality.

But What Is Real?

All is connected. All is one. Therefore, by choosing a new reality you do not become disjointed from the one you experienced before. You only modify your feelings toward it and from your new point of view, from your new perception, you see and experience it differently. You believe that the change is real.

But what is real? That which you see are just ideas. Ideas of yourself and others materialized into shapes, bodies, sky, skyscrapers. All that you see is chimerical. It is maya, or illusion. If there are enough consistent thoughts, they bind the formless into solid matter. That is how your reality is created. It is your reality based on your thoughts.

Know that all is manageable. Know that you are creator of all the events and situations in your life – the choices are always yours.


gudrun 1st bookThe above post is an abridged extract from my first book, AWAKEN! Spirit Is Calling. In this book I share the teachings and words of wisdom I receive from my spirit guides. AWAKEN! is a call to live from our hearts, to realize we are creators of every event that happens in our lives and to take responsibility for all that occurs to us. – Helena Kalivoda


gudrun helenaAward Winning Author Helena Kalivoda, writes books that are inspired by her Soul. She takes you on a spiritual journey that combines her experience, wisdom and your desire to know more about yourself into books that are a must have for your collection.
To receive a free gift and to find out more about Helena and her books visit Helena’s website at Her author’s page is at


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Be Still and Center in Prayer

Rainbow Over RuinsI am excited to host today my colleague Susan Sherayko, author of the book “Rainbow Over Ruins” in which she describes how she survived a natural disaster that altered her life. Thus her book is not just a good read but also a wonderful source of ‘how to cope with adversity and crisis’. It is her belief that everyone is creative and by using the creative thought process with its daily prescription for success, you can choose rainbows over ruins. If you change the way you think, you can turn disaster into opportunity and become the most successful person you desire to be.  Here is her blog post:

Be Still and Center in Prayer by Susan Sherayko

Several years ago, I left home for work in the morning just as I would on any other rainy day. However, I returned home to discover that a mudslide had come through my house, leaving a trail of mud and debris inside and around our home. It was not what I would ever have imagined happening to my husband and me. When all was said and done I describe the experience as life-altering.

There were no experts, no governmental advisors, or sources of information to help us figure it all out. Rather we were facing governmental fines for having rocks in our backyard. The financial impact was staggering. There was no insurance and we were liable for both the home we could no longer inhabit, as well as a home we rented while we found solutions.

I felt an intense fear in the pit of my stomach as we lived through it all. In my book Rainbows Over Ruins, I wrote about the story and one of the best ways I found to reduce and eliminate the elements of fear through the calming influence of Centering Prayer.

The aim of this meditative prayer technique is to minimize the mind’s conscious activity in order to open to pure consciousness. The method is simple: Think of one word of one or two syllables that you like (peace, love, father, mother, and grace are examples) and keep thinking that word in whatever form it takes.

When you become aware of some other thought pulling you away, return to the word you’ve chosen. Any number of ideas may cross the inner screen of your mind. You may be intrigued and want to explore such distractions, but instead, let them float by. Maintain this attitude for at least 20 minutes daily, a few times per Centering prayer is about stillness – about listening with your inner awareness without the obligation to respond or ask for anything.

In all the intense activities of our daily lives, we rarely find such moments of silence. In fact, unless we cultivate this state, we may find ourselves uncomfortable being quiet for any length of time. Where is the leader saying the words of prayer? Where is the ritual that fills the moments of ceremony? Where is the music? They are absent during centering prayer.

In the silent mind, insights from surrounding quantum consciousness may unfold gently, without force. Forcing would stop the creative flow. This sensation is about allowing and moving into a timeless state.

It is all now. This is not the time to get hung up on the activities of the process, the “doingness” or how of it. Rather, it is a time to hold an idea, observe possibilities, develop the hint of a plan … and then let go.

If you’d like a more detailed explanation of the centering prayer process, provides explanations, How-Tos and opportunities to practice this technique with others.

Father Thomas Keating is the founder and spiritual guide of the organization. Additional background information on centering prayer can also be found at, website for Integral Life founded by philosopher Ken Wilber.

If you follow up with centering prayer, I hope you enjoy the deep spiritual connection you gain from it. I continue to use this technique. When I look back, I can see how centering prayer contributed to our recovery. It helped calm me, removed fear and helped me to focus. It also helped me get in touch with my Higher Self and the power of my subconscious mind. The end result? We actually improved our lives as we rebuilt.

Susan SheraykoTo Your Success,




Visit Susan’s website TO YOUR SUCCESS to find out more about using your creativity!


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Interviewing Author of ‘Second Death’

donna Second DeathIf you like a good story with some twists and turns, and some spooky things, you will like Second Death by Donna K. Fitch. I have interviewed Donna to learn how she came to write the book, and how she manages writing with all the other commitments that come with having a family and a demanding full-time job. Listen to the interview – a story like many women can tell: being passionate and trying not only to do what has to be done, but also find time to follow her passion.


Read here the summary of “Second Death”Mark’s life has gotten complicated. On top of his blackouts and visions of desperate pursuit by Yankee bushwhackers through a Southern forest, his wife Janet’s accidental revelation rocked his confidence in their relationship. She wants him to consult her psychic ex-boyfriend Daniel about the visions. His suicidal father claims their family is cursed. His sister backs it up with accounts of disturbing deaths of past relatives. Now he’s tempted by Victoria, an alluring woman who offers to help him sort out his problems. But why is her aunt with a fetish for mathematical calculations interested in their relationship? Why are the visions increasing in intensity? And why does he get the feeling his father’s ravings about a curse were all too true?




Resonance sets the tone in your relationships

origin_6985104241The interesting part of a virtual book tour is that the reader is presented with a wide range of topics and ideas, sometimes viewed from a different angle than they are used to from. To learn something new we need to be able to view a situation from all sorts of different angles. Today I have the pleasure to introduce my colleague and author Linda Easthouse. Linda has an interesting background as Natural Health Therapist and her post about relationships is based on her rich background in a variety of holistic disciplines.


Relationships can be stressful. Whether the relationship is with your spouse, partner or children where intensity can spiral rapidly, or whether it is at work with colleagues, the boss, and clients, where stress keeps you tied in knots for hours at a time, relationships wear on us. Our relationships can be a wonderful reservoir of encouragement and strength when they are healthy but in our modern world it seems that many relationships turn toxic and strain our inner resources to manage them.

It does take two to tango and relationships always have two, or often more, sides to them, but you can only be responsible for your side of the equation. That is not to say that you are at “fault” when a relationship breaks down or is very stressful; however you have more power than you know. It is within you to change the character of the relationship by changing yourself.  Please don’t misinterpret what I am saying to mean that you should be a doormat and just give in to appease the others or put up with bad behavior with a smile on your face and pretend it doesn’t matter. It does matter. However, you have the resources to change the relationship using the concept of resonance.

Resonance is like the ripples in a pool of water. If you drop a stone in one end and someone else drops a stone in the other, the ripples eventually meet and become something different.  Where they meet is your relationship. When you change the size or shape of the rock or the angle at which you drop it in, the ripple changes so that when it meets the ripple from the other end, the meeting creates a different wave. Your job, your child, your finances may not have changed, but if you do, your rock changes and what you send out to meet those other things creates a different response. When the response is different, it allows the other rock space to initiate changes too. When you send out a different vibe, you get a different response. If you can stop dropping in rocks of fear and anger or frustration, then the other side will have the wiggle room to try a different stone. Your change affects them and causes changes in response. Be the change. The responses may be slow and almost imperceptible at the beginning, but others will respond differently and you will start to receive back a wave more in tune with your own.

So let’s explore Resonance a little more. This is just a basic sketch of the core principles of resonance but it will give a step onto a new path the leads to healthy relationships.

What you send out is what you get back.

People that we end up living and working with are people that we have drawn into our circle by our subconscious vibrations. It is very much like the animal response of when a wolf smells fear in the prey, they attack. If they don’t smell fear in the prey they are much more wary and keep their distance.  If you generate fear from your subconscious level you are inviting predator type people to attack you. Most often that leads to verbal attacks, over burdening you at work, expecting you to do everything while they sit back and criticize, and it spirals down from there. As you deal with your own fears of value and self-worth, as you become a person who sees your own worth and knows how to set boundaries, you will be perceived differently. It may mean that you change jobs or let go of some friends and social circles. You will draw to you and be attracted to places and people that resonate or vibrate at the level that you do. As you clean up the garbage in your own life, you will naturally gravitate to people who have a cleaner emotional environment as well. You will also allow those around you to make similar changes and let go of their need to be controlling or nasty. Be the person that brings out the best in others by being the best in yourself.

Dont take personally what others do.

I know from very personal experience that when one of my children is going through a tough time and acting out, I used to take it personally. I would blame myself for not being a good enough parent, for not providing what they needed, for whatever excuse appeared. That is a recipe for disastrous relationships and it doesn’t help my child. I can only live my life and provide unconditional love and compassion along with good training in thinking skills, social manners, and personal growth. Beyond that he is responsible for himself. As long as I let him put the blame on me and not take his own responsibility for his actions, I am preventing us both from growing. It works in the home, the sports team, the office, and anywhere else. Don’t let others suck you into the feeling that you are to blame for their behavior or short falls. If someone is having a bad day and reacting poorly, don’t try to rescue them. Give them compassion, refrain from judgment, and recognize that their bad day doesn’t have to wreck yours. Don’t get sucked into their vortex of pain and dysfunction just because they are physically present around you.  Keep your resonance up at a level that serves you.

Find your center point and keep the grounding wire plugged in.

Have you ever been in an old house or somewhere in a less developed part of the world where houses and electric plugs aren’t grounded? You probably discovered that it is pretty easy to get a shock off of nearly anything and you have to be very careful plugging and unplugging things. The grounding wire dissipates the static electricity down into the ground so that it doesn’t build up and shock someone. The same applies to your emotions. There is friction and electric fields that build up in personal relationships. When one or both of you are grounded and balanced that friction drains off and is dissipated so that it doesn’t create shocks and sparks between you. We do actually have an electric circuit with the earth’s electric circuit and literally need to be grounded, especially in our world of electronic soup that we live it. But just as important, we have an emotional and spiritual circuit with creation and the creator. It also needs to be grounded. When we maintain a centered, plugged in relationship between ourselves and the source of all light and power, we are able to ground out and dissipate the static in the relationships around us. Things just don’t flare and spark the same way. Your resonance will be smooth and gentle with shielded wires and good grounding.

Relationships don’t have to be stressful even when others around you are stressed and reactive. As you create the person you want to be by releasing your own fears and self-sabotaging behaviors, facing the underlying panic buttons, and pushing the reset button on your own life, you will surround yourself with people and situations that nurture and regenerate you.

Watch from my forthcoming book, Pushing the reset button: a guide to creating a life you love, to be released in Oct.  In the meantime, to learn more about turning off the panic button, establishing resonance, and generally removing stress from your life please check out my blog at Easthouse Natural Health Centre.

To thank Gudrun from hosting me today please download my gift to you, 3 Common Problems all Professionals Face that keep them Struggling with Exhaustion, Feeling Sick all the time & Constantly Popping Pills or Vitamins (and what to do about them).

About Linda Easthouse

Linda has been a trainer, educator, and health advocate all her life. With 10 years of experience as a Natural Health Therapist, she helps people regain wellness. As a certified Practitioner of Health Kinesiology, and Matrix Energetics, using hands-on therapies that restore the body, mind, and spirit, she assists people to take control of their health, establish healthy patterns, and gain control over their stresses. Linda founded East House Natural Health and sees clients in both Calgary and Abbotsford and teaches in western Canada. She has a Master’s degree and many years of apprenticeship in the healing arts under a variety of teachers. Linda loves to share the Road to Health with people of all ages.

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Gudrun is a therapist, author, and life-long explorer of the mysteries of the human mind. She is retiring from mental health and trauma work and has published now her first book Delicious Love Forever.  She is passionate about applying the Principles of Mind, Thought, and Consciousness, as formulated by the late Sydney Banks, not only to her books but also to everyday living situations.

A Survival Mindset

Today I have the pleasure to introduce my colleague Sara F. Hathaway to you. She will talk about how important one’s mindset is in critical situations. Her book Day After Disaster shows how her heroine Erika employs all her survival skills in a post-earthquake situation. However, the survival skills also apply in every day life – and very much mirror my ‘crusade’ in convincing readers of the importance to “calm your mind” and be aware that your feelings are generated by your thinking and NOT by the circumstances. Knowing that makes all the difference between survival and defeat!

Day After Disaster: A Survival Mindset

Day After Disaster is an apocalyptic, adventure in which a dynamic woman, mother and wife struggles, against all odds, to find her family, dead or alive, in a world being tormented by Mother Nature.

Continue reading “A Survival Mindset”