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  • Maura McCarley Torkildson

Thanksgiving Thoughts


It’s hard to believe its November 2015 already and Thanksgiving is approaching fast. How does the time slip by so quickly? I know part of it is how incredibly busy I have been. November has finally allowed me some space for reflection and deeper breath. This year has seen some terrible violence which often leads me to wonder if we will ever see peace. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the drama and the news, all the negativity and fear. And we do get caught - negativity sticks to our brains like glue. I have been studying trauma, and one of the things that I have learned is that trauma gets stuck in the body and has a way of taking over our brain. Fear, although necessary for our survival, often leads us to react in ways that are less conscious and often harmful. Just look at our politics, it is immersed with fear (whichever side of the aisle you are on), and so therefore we unconsciously make choices from our fear and trauma. It is high time we take a deeper look into fear and learn to work with it consciously. Fear is not going away, it is part of who we are, but we don’t have to let it run our lives or our politics. We do have choice. I get frustrated when I see so much in social media on how to become fearless. I worry that people will take that inward and find yet one more thing wrong with themselves, why can’t I be fearless too? I think it better to approach fear with awareness, to learn and understand how it shows up for us and find some tools to work with it consciously, so we can listen to it when it is important to do so and take our hero or heroines journey through it when it is holding us back. This is why I created the tele-seminar program on Moving Through Fear to Resilience. I did it live in October/November, but it’s not too late to take advantage of it. I have it all packaged up to send electronically. The program has four recordings filled with information and tools to help you work with your fear. It includes worksheets and exercises and an invitation to participate on a private Facebook page on the topic. You can sign up to receive it here. I recently did a workshop called Accepting Our Emotional Body and How Grief Makes our Love Whole with a local meditation group. It was the first time I have offered this and it went very well. Grief and fear are so closely tied. All fear is about loss and so is all grief. Fear is one side of loss, grief is the other. But Grief is even more deeply tied to love. The shares in the group were very powerful, many talked about a shift in their relationship to grief, which has led me to realize I need to do this more. Look for announcements early next year for this workshop as I want to bring it to my community. Gratitude is one powerful way to both soften fear and accept grief. So I will end this newsletter with gratitude. Thanksgiving is days away and I am grateful for the opportunity to share with you electronically. With all the problems that our technology can create in our ability to relate, it does allow us to easily reach a broader audience, though it doesn’t replace the sweetness of one to one. Mostly I am grateful for you – all the wonderful amazing and unique people in my life. May your Thanksgiving be blessed with warmth and love!


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