June 13, 2017

This extract from Leunig's A Common Prayer embodies the essence of therapy and transformation:

We struggle, we grow weary, we grow tired.

We are exhausted, we are distressed, we despair.

We give up, we fall down, we let go.

We cry.

We are empty, we grow calm, we are ready.

We wait quietly.

A small, shy truth arrives.

Arrives from without and within.

Arrives and is born.

Simple steady, clear.

Like a mirror, like a bell, like a flame.

Like rain in Summer.

A precious truth arrives and is born within us.

Within our emptiness.

We accept it, we observe it, we absorb it.

We surrender to our bare truth.

We are nourished, we are changed.

We are blessed.

We rise up.

For this, we give thanks.

(Michael Leunig 1990)

July 2, 2016

Attachment and autonomy are different sides of the same coin. When we feel safe in relationship we are more able to explore our unique selves without anxiety. A tension often exists between the desire for connection and the push towards individual development and self fulfillment. Effective therapy takes into account the importance of both attachment and differentiation when supporting couples.

For many couples, attachment occurs easily at the beginning, but sustaining it is difficult. Developing an understanding of each partner's attachment style can create safety so that bonding and intimacy thrives. Differentiation is also essential to maintain the growth and vitality of the relationship, but it is oft...

June 28, 2016

In the Buddhist tradition, the word "attachment" and "detachment" are frequently used. People can get very confused about what that means because we can sometimes think, "Aren't you talking about something that the Buddhists say we shouldn't do? We shouldn't attach to things, right?"

Attachment theory is something quite different, but there's also an interesting alignment with it. It's like the difference between connection and grasping. Attachment theory describes the bond between one human being and another, our biological drive for safety and how we are hard-wired for connection. 

The Buddhist concept of suffering comes from grasping after things in life and feeling like we can't con...

June 24, 2016

We have a psycho-biological need for emotional contact and responsiveness from significant others. It's a survival response, the bond of security a baby seeks with it's mother. Research indicates that the need for secure attachment never disappears; it evolves into the adult need for a secure emotional bond with a partner.

Being attached to someone means depending on your partner to respond, to know that you matter, that you are cherished, and that they will respond to your emotional needs. The most basic tenet of attachment theory is that isolation—not just physical isolation but emotional isolation—is traumatizing for human beings. The brain actually encodes it as danger.

The drama of love is all about the hu...

June 10, 2016

Understanding the difference between emotions and feelings can help us to change unhealthy behaviors and respond with choice instead of reacting out of automatic behaviours. Feelings and emotions are highly interconnected, but are two very different things.

Emotions occur in the subcortical regions of the brain and create biochemical reactions in our body which alters our physical state. Emotions originally helped our species to survive by producing quick reactions to threat, reward, and everything in between. Managing emotions is not about trying to control them. We are as effective at controlling emotion as we are at preventing a sneeze! 

Feelings originate in the neocortical regions of the bra...

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Heart Matters

Body/Mind Wisdom

© 2017

Ayla Garlick 

Heart Matters