Secrets- The good, the bad and the ugly

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When I was a teenager, I discovered a secret was kept from me. I found out and thought I could no longer trust those closest to me. The secret was revealed, talked about and processed. I forgot all about it until a recent dream and professional experience.

Empaths- the human lie detector

Due to your sensitivity, you are able to pick up on subtle to non-existent cues and know when someone is lying. Empaths are sometimes referred to as the human lie detector for this reason. Often you know something isn’t right, yet you don’t know what it is for sure.  For this reason, it is essential to trust your instincts and learn how to assert yourself.

You do not need to become a sleuth. If the Divine wants you to know something, it will be revealed to you. When you receive hidden information, sit with it and ask for Divine guidance about your next step. The biggest mistake I see my empath clients make is reacting and later regretting it.

Why do people keep secrets?

The reason people have for keeping secrets varies from the good, the bad, to the ugly. As a psychotherapist, I abide by confidentiality. Some would say I and those in my profession keep secrets. In a way, we do. There are many instances clients have shared information with me they would never share with their families or even friends. There are exceptions to this secret keeping in therapy, such as if a person is going to harm themselves or others and in cases of abuse or neglect.

Some people keep a secret because they believe it is protecting others. They rationalize that others could not handle the information because they are too fragile. This is ironic because it is often the secret keeper who cannot handle the other person knowing.

Others believe they are helping by not sharing certain information with you. They think you don’t need to know and would not benefit from knowing. This control of the message takes the decision out of your hands and keeps it with the secret keeper. Then there are those that withhold because they are afraid of another’s reaction. Some people are more deceptive and enjoying holding power of others. They know this is information you could use yet purposely keep it hidden.

Clinically and personally, I know for a fact the reason a person keeps a secret is never personal. It is a reflection of the person keeping the secret.

The damage secrets bring:

Secrets cause division – When a secret is kept it divides people into two camps; those who know and those who do not. Even the best secret keepers can leak out information non- verbally, which a sensitive person can pick up on.

Secrets destroy trust – You cannot have a healthy relationship without trust. An energy of suspicion, hangs in the air after a secret is unearthed. It leaves people with the thought; If you kept this a secret, what else are you keeping from me?

To Wrap It All Up

There is a saying you are only as sick as your secrets. If you are keeping information from someone, why? In this age of over sharing, there are parts of life that everybody does not need to know about you. In this case, it is more a matter of privacy. The question to ask is does this information hurt others or myself or does it help others and myself heal?

Lisa Hutchison LMHC- Licensed Psychotherapist and Writing Coach for Empaths & Artists. Keeping secrets are one of the many ways your energy gets depleted. Lisa works with professionals who often get drained from their helping efforts, recharge and rejuvenate their energy. Get her FREE gift 8 Simple Things that Release Chaos Now!  http://www.lisahutchison.net 

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How Trauma Gets in the Way of Relationship Success

 

How Trauma Gets in the Way of Relationship Success

Under stress, the human mind is vulnerable to unresolved trauma. When you or someone you know feels reminded of a traumatic event, you either freeze (become detached), fight (verbally or physically) or take flight (avoid and leave). Often you don’t know what happened inside of your own mind or someone else’s; what you see is a change in behavior which causes your relationship to suffer.

What is a trigger? 

A trigger is something that someone says or does that reminds your subconscious mind of a past trauma. Some people experience flashbacks or a reliving of the event after being triggered. These flashbacks happen a lot for people who have post traumatic stress.

Trauma Reactions

You can experience a trauma reaction from war, sexual assault, death, or any type of abusive relationship in which you felt your life was or is in danger.  Being a witness to other’s experiencing trauma can be traumatizing for some people. Empaths may be more susceptible to trauma reactions because of their sensitivity.

An example

Veterans who hear fireworks may feel as if they are back in the war. In that moment and time, their mind is occupied with a trauma image. As a result, they appear tense, angry, anxious or detached from the present moment.

When you do not heal past trauma it continues to be an energy that gets expressed. It often comes out in one of these three ways in relationships. 

3 Trauma Behaviors that Cause Relationship Difficulty 

Chaos-  Your relationships are unstable and chaotic. This energy is acted out and seen as dramatic arguments in relationships. For others who repress chaos within, the energy causes illness and chronic pain. Since your mind is overstimulated, you find it hard to focus and are easily distracted, similar to people who experience attention deficit disorders. You may turn to substances or have addictions.

Avoidance–  You feel fearful, overwhelmed or frozen. Another reason why you avoid is due to feeling numb. When you cut yourself off from feeling, you disconnect from the painful traumatic emotions but also the happy, pleasurable emotions of life. Since you find no joy in life, you stop maintaining connections. If you are in a relationship, you appear detached and don’t know why you can’t connect with others even when you are together. You may turn to substances and have addictions.

Over-reactive to life – You feel angry. You and others notice you have a short fuse and react impulsively. You feel jumpy and on edge because your brain believes it is under a threat, in psychology this is known as hypervigilance. This super reactivity is good in times of crisis, it is not useful in everyday life. Your outbursts can lead to arrests and legal difficulties. You may turn to substances and have addictions.

To Wrap It All Up

If you are experiencing these trauma behaviors you and your relationships do not need to suffer, seek out a qualified therapist who works with trauma. The good news is, trauma can be healed and you can have successful relationships.

Remember everyone is coming from their own perception and experiences. When someone is overly reactive, avoiding you or stuck in their own drama, it is not personal. It may be a sign of past unresolved trauma they have not healed yet.

Some people stay in these reactions their entire lives while others seek therapy. My advice to you is lovingly detach from them and heal your own wounds. With time and space, you will know how to respond to these types of relationships.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for empaths and artists. Unresolved trauma is one of the many ways your energy becomes depleted overtime. Lisa specializes in working for professionals who often get drained from their helping efforts, refill and rejuvenate their energies, Visit www.lisahutchison.net and get  FREE – 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now! 

How to do the Letting Go Part of Grief

How to do the Letting Go Part of Grief (2)

I find myself facing the transitory nature of life again. In 2016-2017, I had two friends die. Last month in February, another one joined the light. I am in a mixed state of denial, shock and intermittent sadness. You would think it gets easier to grieve when you have had a lot of practice with it such as myself, it doesn’t. Each grief experience is unique and takes you into the depths of your being. A part of yourself dies because you no longer have that shared physical experience and memory of being together.

Life is all about holding on and letting go

I have found the letting go part scary and at times I have not been very good at it. I want to recreate and sit with the memories a little bit longer. I read old texts, emails and look at photos in an effort to grab a hold of that old connection once more. Then the realization sweeps over me and the pain of the loss sets in.

I reach out but find I can’t make or control certain family members to care more. I try to force a square peg into a round hole and find myself tense up when it does not work according to my plan. I want to assure you, this is normal in the beginning stages of grief. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you adjust to a new reality. Overtime, this tensing up and holding on can translate into body pains, sleep difficulties and irritability. This is when you need to let go…

 Tips to let go

1.) Awareness– Know your own signs of holding on too tight. Are you are an obsessive thinker or doer? Learn your body signals and see where you resist letting go. A couple of days after the loss of my friend, I received a message from spirit telling me; “Relax, you don’t always have to be going someplace.”

2.) Don’t think about it, just do it – Choose to let go and take a leap of faith. Do not intellectualize the letting go. Rather than focusing on how to do it, be present with releasing. Start by surrendering to your breath. Breathe in and state, “I am calm.” Breath out and state, “I let go.” You will need to practice letting go many times as it is not a natural process for most people.

3.) Remind yourself, it is safe to let go. Often our fears make letting go worse than the reality is. Believe and trust you are safe. You may need to tell yourself, “I am safe or it is safe to let go now.”

4.) Remember how letting go can feel positive. When you have fully healed and let go, you are left with a feeling of joy, release and freedom. Think back to when you were a child and rode a bike unassisted or stood up on ice skates to move on your own.

In letting go, you trust and release the emotional pain. What remains is the love, memories and spiritual connection. Now you are open to a new way of living. If you need more help through the grieving process check out these blogs:

Coping with the unexpected death of a friend  (grief, sudden loss, friend, PTSD, complicated grief, empath)

5 Powerful Ways of Finding Freedom from Empathic Guilt (petloss, guilt, empath)

This blog is dedicated to my friend Gary who would have been 63 years old today when this blog was published on March 6th. He died from a courageous battle with esophageal cancer on February 3, 2018. Thank you Gary for shining your light upon my life.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for empaths and artists. Unresolved grief or loss is one of the many ways your energy becomes depleted overtime. Lisa specializes in working with professionals who get drained from their helping/caring efforts, refill and recharge their energy.  Visit her website and get a FREE gift- 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now! at www.lisahutchison.net  

How to Find Pain Relief Through your Mind

How to find pain relief through your mind

When you are in a state of suffering and distress, it is difficult to be peaceful, spiritual and at ease, yet this is the place you long to be in. I know because I have experience with chronic pain and illness.

I have enjoyed many months with little to no pain by working on myself emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. When I began to have chronic pain issues, nine years ago, I never thought I could have a day without pain. I tried several different medications but decided to live without them because I could not tolerate the side effects being a sensitive person.

You look healthy!

As a child, I hid my pain from others. I felt responsible, being an empath, for everyone’s emotional well being. I often wore a smile and focused on those around me, ignoring my own needs. From the outside, I looked healthy, yet within I carried hidden pain. The saying, “you never know what someone is going through,” is true for someone who lives with chronic pain and invisible illness.

Today

Now, I express my pain in healthy ways, in order to take care of myself.  I let others know what I am going through when I need to withdraw temporarily in order to heal myself. Pain has brought me a more spiritual life. I cry out to God, the angels and spiritual helpers, while I surrender to their love and guidance

I write as part of my healing. Recently, I had a flare up of two sites at once. At first, I thought; what did I do wrong? I realized with any chronic condition you will experience cycles of relapse and remission.

Working with the pain

Acceptance- Be where you are. Trying to escape pain does not work because it is with you and focusing on the pain intensifies it because you are teaching your brain to think about the sensation. If it is not severe, you can distract from it temporarily.

There are times the answer lies in acceptance. Accept the hopeless feeling and sit with it. As you focus on your slow, rhythmic breathing, say to yourself, “I feel stuck right now, I feel hopeless, I don’t know what to do.” People are resistant to use the word hopeless because they have a fear of getting stuck in it. You need to admit where you are, in order to surrender and move through it. It is when you resist or deny feelings, you get stuck.

Remember there is hope even when you do not feel it. Know you can keep going and you are not alone. There are answers for you even if  you haven’t found them yet.

Be gentle with yourself. When you see someone you love in a vulnerable state you give them gentle loving care, why not yourself? You are just as valuable and worthy. Soften your voice, speak kindly and hold a space for yourself. When you experience a rough day, keep your schedule light.

Employ self-care. What does self-care mean for you?  It can be a favorite cup of tea, a warm blanket, soft music and/or a scented candle.

Exercise. If your doctor recommends exercise, do it. A gentle walk can help some forms of pain. When you circulate the blood and connect with nature, it supports the healing process.

Rest. There is great power in being. A lot of healing takes place with restorative sleep, meditation and mindfulness. Pain is an exhausting experience, it drains your energy. Make time to rest.

Find a therapist. You will want a psychotherapist who is compassionate about your health but also will challenge you to think and act differently. Cognitive behavioral therapy works specifically with your thoughts and behaviors. This type of treatment helps you change your thinking about the pain sensation and has been highly effective with pain management.

In closing

We all suffer pain at some point in our lives whether it is mental, physical or spiritual. It is human nature to want to avoid pain, yet pain can teach you something valuable about yourself. It is up to you to discover that meaning and a therapist can help you with this process. The next time you feel pain, work with your body but do not forget your mind. Your mind is much more powerful than any of us know or believe.

I highly recommend this book to help you through your journey, it has helped me through mine. The 12 Stages of Healing by Donald M. Epstein D.C. In it, the author teaches breathing exercises and affirmations for each stage of healing from suffering through reclaiming your power. Buy it here on Amazon. 

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for empaths and artists. Her specialty is working with professionals who get drained from their helping efforts, recharge and renew their energy. If you would like to learn more about Lisa and her practice visit www.lisahutchison.net and pick up your FREE 10 page e-book called 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos From Your Life Now! 

5 Ways to Release Relationship Expectations and Be Happy!

5 Ways to Release Relationship Expectations and Be Happy! (2)

Life is full of changes. It is your choice whether to resist or accept them. Holding onto the way things “should be done” or having expectations drains you of precious energy. The most difficult yet loving act can be letting go.

During the holidays, I faced change within my own family. At first, I felt hurt, disappointed, sad and angry. All of these feelings are valid, yet some of these were rooted in my childhood. After I fully sat with these feelings, I was able to release them and appreciate that the holidays can be different from what I have previously experienced.

5 Ways to Release Expectations

  1. Watch for signs of change- I began to notice changes in my family about two years ago. Change rarely happens out of the blue but rather over a period of time in small increments. People begin to have different experiences from one another and grow apart. This is normal and okay. We are all discovering our own spiritual growth and path. The problems begin when you deny what you see because of a fear of change.
  2. Let go of fear- When you are resisting or trying to control the experience, it doesn’t feel good. Let go and let God. Healing happens when you release because you allow spirit to enter the situation and your life. You may even be able to find some positives in change.
  3. Let go of control- Allow people to be who they are and do what they want, this gives you and them freedom and peace. I am pretty good at this because I was the one in my family growing up wanting events to be different. When I was forced to do things in order to make other people happy, I felt resentful and withdrew. No one wants that kind of energy at their event.
  4. Let go of expectations- See people for who they are, not what you want them to be. People will show and tell you what they want and who they are, if you listen. Be open to seeing what is and drop any illusions you have about this person and the relationship.
  5. Define what you want- Change gives you an opportunity to focus on what is important to you. For the holidays and other future events, I want to send everyone an energy of appreciation and acknowledgement. An event isn’t about pleasing one person, but rather thinking of the entire group who are coming together to celebrate. There are no perfect solutions but there are ways to compromise and let go for the highest good.

No matter what your relationship, keep your eyes open to the signs of change. Allow change to flow and be open to the possibility that something different could be better than you expect. No matter what happens, you can choose love and this is how you will be happy.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for empaths and artists. Her specialty is working with professionals who get drained from their helping efforts, recharge and renew their energy. If you would like to learn more about Lisa and her practice visit www.lisahutchison.net and pick up your FREE 10 page e-book called 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos From Your Life Now! 

5 Benefits of Meditation that Restore Your Energy

“Our world needs more time to wonder and reflect but there is too much fast paced constant distraction.” – Mister Rogers.
 

We live in a complex world with a lot of stimuli flooding our senses each and every day. It is easy to get caught up in the whirl of activity around and within you. For empaths and HSP (highly sensitive people), the feeling of overwhelm can engulf you due to your ability to absorb energy from the people, places and things around you.

Here are 5 specific ways meditation restores your energy

  1. Reduces Stress– The act of focusing your mind, relaxes your entire mind-body-spirit system. When you meditate, you decrease stress hormones called epinephrine and cortisol. These hormones are activated by a part of your brain known as the amygdala. It is this part of your brain that reacts to stress and trauma causing you to go into a fight, flight or freeze response. In an eight week study (2011), Lazar found the amygdala got smaller through meditation and mindfulness. The participants reported spending an average of 27 minutes each day practicing mindfulness exercises. 
  2. Calms Racing Thoughts– When you observe your bodily sensations and the stimuli around you, it slows the thoughts. One 2013 research study called Mindfulness Training Improves Working Memory Capacity and GRE Performance While Reducing Mind Wandering found that just a couple of weeks of meditation training helped people’s focus and memory during the verbal reasoning section of the graduate record examination (GRE).
  3. Increases Your Patience Meditation may increase your empathy for others. By consciously focusing on your breath, you learn detachment. Detachment or letting go naturally gives you more patience as you become more responsive rather than reactive. In a 2011 study Loving-Kindness and Compassion Meditation: Potential for Psychological Interventions  It is hypothesized that “loving kindness meditation may be particularly useful for targeting interpersonal problems such as anger control issues, whereas both compassion meditation and loving kindness meditation be particularly useful for treating relationship problems, such as marital conflicts, or counteracting the challenges among care giving professions or nonprofessionals who must provide long-term care to a relative or friend.” 
  4. Maintains a Mind-Body Connection– When you slow your breathing down it can sync up your mind and body. In a 2016 study called Entrainment of chaotic activities in brain and heart during MBSR mindfulness training it was found  “the chaotic activities of the brain and the heart became more coordinated during Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training, suggesting that mindfulness training may increase the entrainment between mind and body.” 
  5. Improves your Sleep– Your body and mind become more relaxed through a meditation practice which can help you let go, release and get a better quality of sleep. In April 2015 a study called Mindfulness Meditation and Improvement in Sleep Quality and Daytime Impairment among Older Adults with Sleep Disturbances was published.  It was found that those in the mindfulness group had less insomnia, fatigue, and depression at the end of the six sessions than those in the sleep education group only. 

My story

Meditation has saved my sanity as an empath. It not only has helped me let go of other people’s energy but also reconnects me to my soul. Without meditation, I am impatient, anxious, overwhelmed and more easily focused on the negatives of life. When I slow down, relax the body and release excess energy, I feel at peace, rejuvenated and myself again.

I am honored to have written, recorded and created an MP3 recording just for compassionate professionals like you called Renew and Heal: Releasing the Chaos Meditation.

I know how difficult it can be to let go of the craziness around you when you care so deeply. This energy of stress gets absorbed deep within your system causing fatigue, irritability and impatience. Now more than ever compassionate souls are being called to stay centered and grounded despite the chaos of our daily world and life.

I invite you to purchase your copy today here: Renew & Heal Meditation Releasing the Chaos 

Be as good to yourself as you are to others!

Renew & Heal Meditation-Releasing the Chaos

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for empaths and artists. Her specialty is working with professionals who get drained from their helping efforts, recharge and renew their energy. If you would like to learn more about Lisa and her practice visit www.lisahutchison.net and pick up your FREE 10 page e-book called 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos From Your Life Now! 

How to pick healing providers who are right for Empaths

How to pick healing providers who are right for Empaths

 

Only go to doctors, psychotherapists and healers you trust. Without trust, healing cannot happen. Word of mouth can be good, although nothing beats following your own intuition. Empaths require providers who are associated with these words; authentic, caring, professional, and trustworthy.

Recently, I went to a new provider, who was recommended to me by a friend. Although I was impressed with his punctuality, during our visit he was distracted and rushed. I would have preferred waiting for a doctor who thoroughly went through my health concerns and history. When I described why I was not doing a certain test at this time because of another health issue, he remarked, “That doesn’t make any sense.” I had the clarity in that moment to assert myself and say, “Yes, it does make sense and here is why.” He did not apologize. Needless to say, I will not be returning for another appointment with him.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a provider

Trust -Feel comfortable with your providers’ skills and expertise. You need to feel at ease opening up and discussing what matters to you most, even if you disagree. When you are ill, you are vulnerable, this is why trust is at the top of the list.

Good listening and communication abilities- You want someone who is an accurate reflector. They hear what you say, comprehend it and can rephrase it back to you. When you speak is your provider looking you in the eyes and present with you? Do you feel connected non-verbally and verbally?

They care- Really care- When you are with your provider do you feel valued? Is this person compassionate and empathic when you express your concerns? If you feel judged, it is time to search elsewhere.

They got skills– Your provider is professional. This person is competent, has the knowledge and expertise in the area of medicine they practice within.

This person does a thorough examination with you. This includes reviewing your health history and checking it for accuracy. They have paperwork about their practice and go over it with you and answer any questions you have.

This person is flexible and understands that mental and physical health is not a one size all fits system. They are able to think outside the box and see you as a complete picture of mind-body-spirit.

Have a consultation call or appointment first. Take the fifteen to thirty minutes of time to get to know who you will be working with. Ask about their training and experience with your issues, how they do their work, specialties they have and inquire about their own self-care/healing.

Congrats!

You have found the right match for you when you feel comfortable and at ease. Trust your instincts. Remember if you go to a provider and he or she does not feel right for you, switch! I know I will and have in the past.

Where you need to keep an open mind

Two factors you may need to be flexible with is the cost of your service and distance to travel. Do not choose a provider based on a cheaper price because you may not get the service you desire. Also, do not go with convenience. Sometimes you have to travel a little further to connect with the right fit.

For more info: If you need more help with managing your sensitivity in today’s world, contact Lisa Hutchison LMHC for a free 30 minute consult call. She is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for empaths and artists. Head on over to her website and get your free 10 page E-book, 8 Simple Things that Release Chaos from Your Life Now! at www.lisahutchison.net