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Practicing Self-Devotion: 3 Ways Towards a More Mindful and Compassionate You

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I can still hear the voices of my older relatives and my elementary school teachers telling me “be disciplined”, “keep at it”, to give time and energy towards what we want. As a young, impressionable child, I believed all those things because well, they made sense. They worked. And honestly, I felt like it’s the only way to flourish.

I didn’t grow up considering any other path. I pushed and hustled my way through my goals, reminding myself of the rewards I’ll reap from imbibing discipline deep into my veins — and it has led me to good things: a degree from a good university, a stable job, promotions year after year, and so on. I achieved a lot of what society would consider as success.

Allowing my life to be led by discipline, it urged me towards a path of (perceived) stability and (societally approved) security, alright, but… There came a time when I felt like something was missing, that however it is I’m living is no longer enough. I started being restless as I looked for something else, something that did not need to be forced or pushed… Something that came naturally for me. This was when I started my love affair with the concept of devotion.

Here are the top three ways I injected self-devotion into my life:

1. I consciously live from the heart

As opposed to what others think, living from your heart doesn’t mean being flaky, or unreliable, or emotional 24/7. It’s about listening to what your emotions, your body and your soul has to say… And accepting what needs to come up. Without having to rationalise and intellectualise everything.

This means living life, creating, and engaging with others in a way that’s from being centered in your body. It’s about allowing the different emotions and sensations to simply course through you until it has been recognised (and it dissipates).

And from this grounded place where every part of your being is acknowledged, you’ll feel a surge of compassion constantly arise from deep within you. You’ll be more radiant and naturally have more patience and deeper understanding for people.

Questions to activate this in the moment:

  • How can I be more compassionate?
  • What is triggering this course of action?
  • Can I sit with this emotion and see what comes up?

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama

2. I redefined concepts to align to heart-centered living

As I consciously live from my heart, I notice how my mind’s coming up with ironclad reasons for why I’m not living a “proper” life. At first, I thought it was simply because I wasn’t used to listening to my body for what I truly desire to have and do in the moment. But as time passes by, I realise that there are truly a lot of things I’ve learned that are outdated for where I am in my journey.

For one thing, I have a different definition of what success is. I used to think that success is a checklist and everyone has the same items to check off. Now, I see success as whatever I define it to be. I don’t even use the word as much anymore. What I prefer to measure is my level of presence in everything I do rather than chase an ideal that I know isn’t for me.

Another thing is that I have grown to make decisions based on expansion and potentiality. Instead of waiting for things to happen before moving forward, I tap into my innate tendency to play and imagine. I ask myself, “What option makes me feel the most expansive?” To be honest, it was a hit and miss when I first started doing this. But the more I treated life as an experiment, it became easier for me to connect to what feels most true.

Questions to activate this in the moment:

  • What voices tell me I can’t live life from the heart?
  • Am I open to new paths and ideas to experiment with?
  • How can you add more play in your life?

3. I took care of my body like I never did before

I found that a lot of my emotional turmoil and reactive states stemmed from not feeling good with my physical body — may it be because of my (recently ended) decade-long battle with eczema, my 20-lb weight gain months before my wedding or my too acidic blood chemistry. It was quite some time before I fully realised and accepted this as true for me. But once I did, it was always an onwards and upwards progress from then on. Gradual but forward.

Again, I treated things as experiments, detaching myself from the result and just feeling into how certain foods or exercise modalities make me feel. If it makes me feel alive, then I do it a second time. If it doesn’t and it’s a strong no for me, I completely cast it off from my list. I do that with options I have on the daily — on what to eat for dinner, what kind of exercise video to play for the day, how to best ground myself when I get restless and emotional. It goes on and on, and I’ve grown to love the process, even before I got the results.

Questions to activate this in the moment:

  • How does my body feel right now?
  • When was the last time I felt alive?
  • Can I add more activities like that in my daily routine?

“Your body isn’t a temple, it’s a home you’ll live in forever. Take care of it.” – Colin Wright

The steps above are the ones that I keep going back to and have helped me reach a level of purpose that I could have never imagined for myself. Self-devotion is an evolutionary practice. It’s what humanity is craving to have in its core. It’s an act of refusal to be shackled by societal rules yet again, especially after millenia of being provided with strict blueprints on how to live life. Self-devotion is you coming back to you. Are you ready to receive yourself in this way?

Jennica Collado is a thought leader, way shower and change catalyst. With her deep intuition and experiential learning, she guides ambitious women out of the ‘hustle-hustle-hustle’ mindset and burnout culture into living a life of intuition, vulnerability and expansion. In her decade-long journey to combat stress-induced eczema, she uncovered a more holistic way to healing through energetics, devotional living, and neuroscience. A strong advocate for women empowerment and animal rights, she’s been published in Elephant Journal and Thrive Global. You can find her on Instagram.

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Life

Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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Life

5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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Life

3 Simple Steps to Cultivate Courage and Create a Life of Meaning

we cultivate meaning in our lives when we pursue our calling

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Our deepest human desire is to cultivate meaning in our lives. Our deepest human need is to survive. (more…)

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Life

Grit: The Key to Your Ultimate Greatness

Grit is an overlooked aspect of success, but it plays a critical role.

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A grit mindset is an essential key to your greatness. It’s what separates those who achieve their goals from those who give up and never reach their potential. It’s also the difference between success and failure, happiness and misery. If you want to be great and achieve your dreams, then you need grit. Luckily, it’s something that can be learned. Please keep reading to learn more about grit and discover four ways to develop it. (more…)

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