Ditch the Toxic Positivity! Stay grounded in Reality!
Backed by Science!
Re-usable Workbook Included!
First Offering: October 24, 2023 5:30PM – 7:30PM Pacific Time
Are you curious why so many people in your spiritual communities use Vision Boarding and Manifesting, when you are turned off by the Cultish demands for #GoodVibesOnly?
Are you stymied by people dismissing your valid concerns such as income inequality, systemic oppression, and respect for other people’s boundaries when making your plans?
Do you want an evidence-based, social-justice-rooted, neurodivergent-friendly, worksheet-guided system for making goals, evaluating progress, and celebrating achievement? (You know it’s neurodivergent-oriented because of all the commas and hyphens!)
If this feels intriguing, this workshop is for you!
This talk will be 90 minutes explaining the neuroscience behind why Manifesting works (with a resource list), guidance through the workbook, and 30 minutes of Q & A / group coaching for how to apply it.
I recommend having dinner while we learn!
After attending, you will
feel more confident in discerning New Thought / Prosperity Gospel / Toxic Positivity Paradigm VERSUS neurology-based pattern-recognition and non-exploitative use of social support
start to evaluate and cultivate reliance on your subconscious, embodied gauge for
whether you are on the “right track” or should switch methods,
whether and how fast you are making progress,
when there are insurmountable barriers,
and when you can ✨”magically”✨ get past those barriers!
understand an efficient and evidence-based (but not mandatory) Order of Operations for making goals and tracking their progress that is inclusive of a realistic assessment of individual and systemic challenges
have a reading list for other tools
have had a great dinner!
This workshop will be recorded and all ticket-holders will get a link to the video, for those who cannot attend live, want to watch at a different speed, want the audio-only, or want to break up the presentation into shorter chunks!
I cannot provide a complete transcript at this time but will provide the script and outline for the talk.
In light of current events (aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!), I thought I would share some thoughts about how I approach anxiety as a clinician and an acupuncturist.
When I am trying to diagnose or confirm a diagnosis of “anxiety” I want to first know how it shows up in people in their emotions and body and behaviors and interpersonal relationships, what triggers it and maintains it and settles it, and how it affects their day to day or season to season life.
One core question, when I query my patients, is whether their reaction to their environment is “proportional” or not and, separate from that, is whether the reaction is overwhelming or interfering whether it’s proportional or not.
Even five years ago when I was just starting my practice, there were some moments of acknowledging that there were bad circumstances but the reaction was disproportional and interfering with life. For example, taking unpaid leave from work to install safety hardware into your house in case of foreign invasion because a powerful politician was ramping up tensions with a foreign nuclear power; this has interfered in your work and your reputation, and turned out to be disproportionate as we never went to war with that nation.
But now, I want to validate that shit’s fucked. In the US and everywhere, climate change is here and weather events and environmental reactions like wildfires can and do kill people and render them homeless, and there are supply chain and infrastructure limitations to adequate cooling and ventilation filtration and evacuation locations. In the US, we are on the verge of a civil war because one “side” (what even is a “side” in a Civil War? this isn’t a softball game) really wants a war, and are just looking for an excuse to be violent to people, and is proving it by systematically taking away rights and effective citizenship and due process of more than half the population and downplaying the violence that has already happened. And the pandemic isn’t over and people are still becoming sick and dying. And global powers are starting wars with other nations for funsies and delusion and personal aggrandizement, and the response to the conflict is highlighting global practices of racism/colorism and overall dismissal of Global South or formerly colonized nations and focus on empathy for nations where the populace has light skin. And And And…
It’s real. Things are very tense. But are they tense inside your house right now? (I mean, maybe, depending on if you have net nourishing or net abusive relationships.)
But the thing is, when the greater environment was just gently steaming and you weren’t sure if the heat was even on under the pot, on the micro/interpersonal level it was still valid to ask if “anxiety” was in fact proportional. Because even then, microaggressions and interpersonal abuse, and the chaos of coping mechanisms of self or others like drug use or spending addition or whatever can in fact threaten safety and security. Humans are social species and things that threaten your connection and belonging in community are in fact existential threats.
Is it “anxiety” if you really are perceiving a threat and trying to plan around it or respond to it?
It’s just that the remedy for that anxiety isn’t to sedate and suppress a nervous system that is seeing a threat where one isn’t; the remedy is to SETTLE the body back into a state of resourcefulness so that you can address the threat.
It is entirely possible to be overwhelmed by the scope of what is before you, either because of the build up of past danger where you weren’t sufficiently helped or sufficiently safe, or because you are under-resourced and isolated now, or you’re not sure whether your resources should go to saving yourself or your community and so your actions are scattered and under-powered. Anxiety or stress-arousal can cause tunnel vision and hyper-focus where you can’t think outside a few possible options for next steps, so you may shoot down offers of help or creative solutions or even potential re-prioritization, but being settled can help you accept help and think outside the box. (It’s OK to eat food now, and then go to the protest.) Anxiety can make you feel shut down and paralyzed, unable to initiate the things that might reduce the stress or create more safety, and feeling settled can facilitate those steps or even asking for help to get you going. (See again eating. Also sleep, bathing or cleaning your home, making phone calls, etc. etc.)
Anxiety in the body can also shift everything else into the same emotional valence of “threat” and so might trigger misinterpreting a coworker, friend or loved one’s bid for connection as criticism or hostility, or might cause you to treat a “Might Be” or “Close One” as a “About To Happen” or “Did Just Happen” (I remember when I was feeling very anxious and had to ride my bike, and a car to my right didn’t slow clearly enough, I literally screamed out loud because of the possibility of being hit, even though we were both actually safe and navigating space well…. and then the anxiety didn’t let me stop and communicate with the driver so that we were both able to settle down and go on our ways but instead drove me to keep riding like an automaton until I got to my destination).
In an ideal physical state, we can phase back and forth between proportionate arousal to face a threat, and back into community and calm when the threat is managed if not gone. But that takes practice and reps and guidance and co-regulating with others.
I recommend the book The Quaking of America, where Resmaa Menakem is setting up exercises for this very purpose. But even discussing how this is important with your close circle of people is important. Setting up that it might happen (your anxiety might misinterpret everything as equally threatening as the dissolution of our legal status, including some dirty dishes on the counter) so we have patience with each other and language to talk through the emotions at hand, and have a structure to make amends and re-connect.
And, coming to an acupuncture visit is a way to practice that phasing. Because I will take seriously –I will hear and appreciate– the proportionate and disproportionate anxiety in response to the real world, but we can also confirm that my acupuncture space is safe and secure for a set time, and that if that changes, we will work together to navigate that situation. Acupuncture is an embodied conversation between your mind-body-soul and me and my tools (acupuncture needles, essential oils, moxa, acupressure or massage), and your body can access some calm repose while being guarded, allowing your cells to heal and hormone and neurotransmitter levels to normalize or metabolize and memories to sort themselves out. It is a “rep” that helps your body practice that shift in arousal. Acupuncture, unlike medications, is not truly sedating, and so if you need to go straight from the appointment into a protest march or a letter-writing campaign or back to your own healing profession shift, you will have that brain and body capability, but you will have had one layer of stress reactivity notched down, and a few more degrees of spaciousness and resourcefulness. (And if you’re not accessing that, it is diagnostic data that we can respond to.)
Additionally, because acupuncture is not just a handful of tools and a cookbook, but is an entire 2500-year-vetted way of conceptualizing your needs and patterns and how to leverage your strengths, you can build trust that my treatment for you will always shift in response to who you are and what you are going through and what is out in the world; the treatment I provide will be as responsive and as proportional as I can make it in the time/space allowed, and so that too is a “rep” in practicing phasing from state to state: the body-mind-soul learning that you can ask for help and receive a response, and then have a felt-memory of that experience, that’s a valuable thing.
Take care of yourself, and build that phasing resilience and response. If you’d like to get acupuncture from me, call text or email Amenda Clinic to make an appointment (see main page of this website)
Yesterday (Feb 1) I got the first dose of the available vaccine for SarsCoV2 / COVID19! Because of availability I’m now #teamPfizer and have an appointment for my next dose later this month.
My spouse and I are both in Phase 1A Group 4, but not affiliated with a big hospital or facility, and like so many had been struggling to find appointments with doses available. Patience won! Thanks OHA and Multnomah County and our local hospitals for coordinating, and thanks to our OR National Guard and Army Reserves for serving us civilians! #ReturningVeteransProject And thanks to our new Biden/Harris Administration and Congress for working to get more doses and more money to pay these workers and facilities, to help with transparency of when doses are available, and setting up a system of distribution.
I know there are a lot of other hitches in this and other locations. But keep persisting in looking up availability and tracking your Phase and Group status. We are at a pinnacle of centuries of research, culminating in these rapidly deployed vaccines, and I trust them. Please do the same. Join me in getting vaccinated when you can even though it’s been complicated to do so. Protect the vulnerable who can’t.
Speaking of vulnerable: note that I am using my fingers to cover my PHI (name, birthdate) and also using phot editing to obscure the lot number of my vaccine. Please don’t share your full name and birthdate online folks! It is really easy to steal identities.
tl;dr: pro bono acupuncture for anyone phone banking for Georgia!!!
So here I live, in Oregon, paying close attention to what is happening in Georgia and how it will affect the upcoming presidential term and the US Senate. This is a consequential run-off election!
So I thought, I want to help! I’ll phone bank to help Get Out The Vote! Oh, but my Social Anxiety said, Nope not today. Hard to keep a smile on your face while sobbing and shaking.
So what am I good at that doesn’t trigger my Social Anxiety?
So here’s the deal:
If you show me (sending a screen print or forward via secure messaging) confirmation that you did shifts of phone banking to get out the vote in Georgia and your scheduled shifts coming up, I will provide you one session of stress-reduction acupuncture pro bono so that you can have the emotional resilience to do more shifts! (There will be some New Patient paperwork if you are not a current or past patient. And of course all COVID19 safety precautions will be maintained.)
I figure, if I can facilitate even one other person to be emotionally resilient enough to help Georgians Get Out The Vote, then my efforts shall not be in vain!
Wow, it’s autumn in 2020. Back in 2017, I was thinking about social determinants of health and mental health and I’m still thinking about them, endlessly.
While I focus my post- licensure self-guided education on learning about them and how we respond to them and mitigate the risks on a public and on a personal level, I know my acupuncture practice is about that personal level.
We are all under a lot of stress, even if sometimes it blends so seamlessly into ambiance that we no longer notice. (Ever think you’re feeling fine until someone touches your shoulders and exclaims, Whoa! You’re shoulders are as tight as boulders! and you realize that um maybe you are stressed after all.)
Lucky for us, treating the stress in our body is a separate process than treating the stressor that is triggering the stress. And if you can lower your body’s stress levels you can become more resourceful and responsive to your environment, participating more fully and seeing more broadly and engaging more with mutuality and care for your family, friends and community.
There’s lots of ways to complete a stress response cycle, and I think that getting a great acupuncture treatment with some aromatherapy is one of them.