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the.holistic.psychologist

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Dr. Nicole LePera

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Psychologist 🔮I teach you to heal + consciously create a new version of yourself #selfhealers 📲 Text: 215-366-0012 👇🏻PRE-ORDER MY BOOK 📚👇🏻
https://linktr.ee/the.holistic.psychologist
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Today is my 38th birthday🎉 Yesterday I handed in the final manuscript of my book. I’ve been working, pushing myself past my limit for a few months. It’s time for some rest, disconnection, + pure being. I’ll be logged off for a week until 9/22. Do me a birthday favor and tell me what content is most helpful or what content you’d like to see more of when I get back. All my love + forever gratitude for the support—Nicole #selfhealers
Be a student of your patterns. A student of your unconscious habit reactions. Be the conscious observer of when your emotional reactivity is at its highest. What we carry from our past comes up over + over to be healed. Can you witness it with curiosity? Can you ask yourself “why do I feel this?” Can you trust the process + wait for the answers? They will come #selfhealers
What if couples goals transitioned from how two people appear in an Instagram photo to two people working to heal generational trauma cycles? What if we obsessively stopped focusing on longevity of relationships + focused on their depth? What if two people came together with an understanding that both of them were projecting the pain of a conflicted relationship with a parent? What if love meant freedom, safety, + reliability rather than what is glorified in culture: trauma bonds? What if instead of believing someone was responsible for our happiness, we took responsibility to create our own? What if we healed from childhood trauma + stopped fantasizing that someone can (+ should) save us. What if we stopped betraying ourselves to be chosen? Love is responsibility #selfhealers
One of the most common things I hear in my SelfHealers Circle, is that people “fell off track” or are “behind” in their healing. We’ve been conditioned to measure + qualify everything since children. From caregivers who labeled us are “good” or “bad” to school systems that measured our performance + gave us grades, to media + systems that applied labels to our human existence. As we begin to do the work, as we go on our healing journey, we judge + measure every part of the process. When we fall into old patterns, rather that witness them with curiosity, we label them as set backs. Healing is the unlearning of self judgement. It’s understanding that the work is a lifelong journey. Sometimes we will have days, week, or months of powerful awareness. We will having loving discipline + follow through on our new habits. We will feel confident + connect to ourselves as we navigate our new boundaries. Other times we will have intense mental resistance. Our egos will take center stage + our reactivity will reflect that. We will fall out of our habits + our self care will take a back seat. None of this is good, or bad. It just IS. All of this serves us— all of this is part of the journey. All of this gives us feedback, powerful lessons, + opportunities to evolve if we give up the strong pull to punish ourselves. You’re exactly where you need to be. As you learn to trust yourself, you’ll see “behind” or “ahead” are just ego illusions. Tag someone who needs to hear + internalize this message (you can tag yourself + show some love, too) #selfhealers
Reparenting is the ultimate practice or self care. You are your own best parent #selfhealers
Personality is a result of our patterns. Our patterns of thoughts + behaviors come from our conditioning. Our conditioning (learned behavior) is how we exist within our world. It’s the habit responses to everything we experience. All of this is unconscious. All of this is who we believe ourselves to be. Every day, we practice these same thoughts + behaviors. Strengthening the same neural pathways. Creating the same cycles in our lives. Our ego creates all sorts of stories + beliefs strengthening our attachment to who we THINK we are. Awakening just means becoming conscious— gaining awareness. It’s the practice of witnessing what you think, how you speak, your habits, your reactions. As you become more aware, you’ll see that in every present moment there is an opportunity to begin to pause. To breathe. To respond rather than react. To assign new meanings. In the process comes more confidence, creativity, + optimism. This is what it is to create a future self. To create possibility. To see yourself as an alchemist— a powerful co-creator of your life. Are you waking up to who you actually are?#selfhealers

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

When I began sharing my work on Instagram, I was completely estranged from my family. It was a difficult decision I made during the lowest, darkest point of my healing journey. I shared this openly in the hopes that it would help someone like me. Someone who just needed some time to heal from the lack of boundaries, the deep codependency, the + patterns of emotional reactivity that I had began repeating— living myself. I needed that time to find myself. To know who I truly was beyond my conditioning. Recently, I’ve connected with my family. My mom has been diagnosed with breast cancer + is getting treatment. This brings up all sorts of emotions + old programming. All of us have been working to establish boundaries. I’ve shared with them parts of our story that will be shared with the book + they’ve graciously accepted it knowing it will be a gift to those who have lived the same ancestral traumas. I’m conscious for the first time during the process— not my typical detached, dissociated self. My inner child is being acknowledged, witnessed, + tended too. I trust myself to navigate all that comes up. Tonight, I’m back Philly. I’m headed over to their home to see them for the first time in almost 3 years. If you’ve been estranged from family, or are still estranged, please us the comment section to share + support. The stigma is very real + you’re not alone #selfhealers
Trauma is stored in the body. It impacts the nervous system. Our bodies enter hyper vigilant states where we actually feel threatened our the body with racing hearts, sweaty palms, shallow breathing, + feeling like we might faint. For others (like me) we enter shut down modes—or dissociation. This looks like being present physically, but mentally detached. Often dissociation creates lack of or loss of memory. In my case, I have almost no childhood memories. I remember before I began my own healing journey, I found it heart to laugh. I didn’t think much was funny. I rarely felt hopeful or optimistic. And later, I realized I did have trouble authentically connecting (beyond surface level connections or mutual complaining) with other people. This is how unresolved trauma manifests. When our nervous system is dysregulated we cannot access security. When we don’t have security, we can’t access higher brain states of creativity, humor, + connection. Our mind + body are on alert, protecting us against threats. When we are threatened, we even misinterpret facial expressions. Neutral facial expressions become anger. The way we relate to the world around us completely changes. I’ve used many mind-body techniques daily for years to heal my own nervous system. Yoga + breathwork are two of my favorites. Re-learning safety in the body is a journey. Do you feel grounded, safe, + secure in your body? OR— do you feel shut down, avoidant, or fearful? #selfhealers

Los Angeles, California

Growing up, there was always talk of us being a “close family.” We were always together + always in communication with each other. But, there was a part of be that felt disconnected— like there was a surface connection, but a lack of true closeness. This can feel very confusing. Enmeshment is a pattern of family dynamics where there’s lack of boundaries. This means lack of privacy, an over-involvement with each other’s relationships, + fear or guilt in not fulfilling your role within the family unit. As I began my healing journey, I needed more time alone. This is when my pattern of enmeshment became more clear. When I wanted to turn down a family dinner or skip a family event I’d have a ton of fear. I’d want to make up an excuse or dread the phone call where I said “no.” I knew I would disappoint. I knew there would be guilt. Once, I had a conversation about this with my sister. I started telling her about some of these dynamics + opening up about my lack of felt closeness with my mom since I was a child. The next day my mom called me. It was clear the conversation was shared. This is the pattern in enmeshment: oversharing, lack of privacy, + boundary crossing. Many people in enmeshed families mean well + are seeking to constantly fix, rescue, or enable each other because it’s been a modeled behavior. When you’re enmeshed, you believe that you’re responsible for the emotional state of others. When you believe you’re responsible for the emotional state of others, you’re constantly externally focused. Ignoring your own needs to unconsciously control the emotional states of those around you. Healing enmeshment is a part of the healing journey. It’s painful because you have to face so many family dynamics that you might not have noticed before. As you set boundaries, it’s scary— sometimes terrifying. For those within enmeshment it’s overwhelming to even honor our own needs. Healing is the spiritual journey of returning home to your true self— where so many live for approval + validation, it’s the freedom to life within our own purpose #selfhealers
@susyohareofficial is the author of “Heal the Mother Heal the Child.” We talk about how parents can accept their child’s unique nature + how to witness our children as our mirrors

Los Angeles, California

Trauma bonds are relationships where two people unconsciously re-enact trauma patterns from their childhood in their adult relationships. We learned relationships through our earliest attachments. The dynamics, the communication, boundaries, coping mechanisms— all of this came from what we witnessed. For many of us, love from parents or caregivers meant chaos. Emotional abandonment. Punishment, or shame. These emotions activate nervous system responses + hormonal responses that our mind + body learn early. These strong emotional states become associated with bonding— or closeness. When we experience them in adulthood, we become emotionally flooded just as we did as children. For many of us, love is only felt when we have this strong emotional activation. Healing is unlearning. Re-learning security in the body. Observing our patterns with curiosity + non-judgement. We repeat what we know, until we expand our consciousness to create choice #selfhealers
Which one is hardest for YOU? #selfhealers
I have almost no childhood memories. Most of my adult life (before my own healing journey began) is hazy memories at best. It wasn’t until I had partners who pointed this out to me that I realized it fully. I would run through my life + wonder, ‘Why don’t I remember anything?’ In pure transparency, there was a time when I wondered if I had been sexually assaulted or had some other “severe” trauma that gave me this lack of memory. This is part of my own conditioning as a psychologist— I believed something “big” must have happened to cause memory lapses. What I would come to understand on my journey was that I began dissociating (physically being present, but mentally I was gone) since I was a child. Because my mom could not connect with me emotionally, it was a protection mechanism. There was also anxiety, chaos, + health crises without adults to model how to process them. Memories are formed through safe, secure attachment + nurturing. Something many of us don’t have access to. So dissociation became a coping mechanism. I was always on autopilot, unconscious, never present, always distracted, always running scenarios in my head— this is the brains way of protecting us against future pain. I’ve used meditation, breathwork, + movement daily for years to break the pattern of dissociating. Being present has allowed me to have the safety to create memories. Even having them is a personal victory for me. If you do not have memories, understand this is a normal, protective human response. Healing does not require us to re-gain memories, + we don’t need to pinpoint the exact reason they don’t exist. What we can do is relearn nervous system safety in the present moment + have an understanding that we we don’t remember is for our own protection #selfhealers
🎧New podcast with @heatherderanja released today (linked in stories.) 🖥New YouTube video: “A quick nervous system reset” (linked in stories) 📲I also send out free texts almost every day. If you’re in the US or Canada 215-366-0012 It’s truly a spiritual experience to create around this work + I appreciate every single one of you for being here. This movement exists for you + because of you #selfhealers
Growing up, when my mom was angry or upset, she would go to silent treatment. Sometimes this would last days or weeks. And if she was really, really upset it could be months. This was very painful as a child + it was my normal. I learned that when people disagreed with something they did, they would shut down. Not surprisingly, this same pattern was in my moms home growing up with her father. This is emotionally immaturity on display. The inability to communicate, to share emotions, + to tolerate multiple realities. When we’re emotionally immature, we consistently invalidate other people without awareness. We deny their experiences. We believe that if we don’t have complete agreement, we are threatened personally. This is why what is often called ‘gaslighting’ is so common: emotional immaturity doesn’t allow us to hold space for any other viewpoint other than our own limited perspective. As I work to heal my own emotional maturity (I still have my own daily battles), I believe one of the most important practices is emotional regulation. Pausing. Breathing. Practicing space between event + response, rather than unconsciously having “knee jerk” emotional reactions. Consciousness allows us to view these situations without judgment to find new patterns of behavior. Some journal questions: 1. How do I react when I feel misunderstood? 2. When someone presents an opinion or interpretation of an event I’ve experienced that’s different from my own, how do I react? 3. How often do I push my own view as ‘right’ or unconsciously seek to dominate/control an interaction? 4. When I was young + someone I loved denied my reality how did it feel? (Note what this brings up in the body) 5. When I place a boundary + someone responds negatively, how can I honor my own need of self compassion without letting that person cross the boundary? 6. What do I connect over in my relationships? How do I feel after connecting in this way? (Fulfilled, motivated, peaceful, drained, frustrated) #selfhealers
The bad boy, the wild child, the mysterious one, the hot + cold person, are all addictive when we have been raised in homes where there was instability. Many of us (including myself) believed we were raised in stable homes. My dad was home for dinner every night at 5:30. My mom was a stay at home mom. They came to graduations + to my games. If I needed a ride they were there. There was no dramatic movie-like unpredictable behavior. But, as I began my healing journey I started to understand that there was emotional unpredictability. My dad would erupt over small things. My mom would remove herself completely into silent mode for days, sometimes weeks, if one of us did something she didn’t approve of. My parents didn’t have the communication skills + emotional awareness to provide me with support processing my moms chronic illness. They didn’t understand themselves. I often felt alone, isolated, + suffered big time with anxiety. At night starting around age 7 I started having scary thoughts of people breaking in. I had a hard time sleeping. I began dissociating, leaving my body, I’d be physically present, but mentally a million miles a way. I then chose partners who were anxious, removed from their emotions, + overall unreliable. We seek to repeat what we know, and for years I couldn’t understand why I kept seeking these types of people. Until I was able to objectively view my family system dynamics. The lack of boundaries, the inability to emotionally connect, + the overall resentment bubbling under the surface. Why would we someone predictable + stable attractive, when we never learned that type of safety? Things to journal on: 1. Did I know how a parent would respond, or did I sometimes have fear/uncertainty over a response? 2. What qualifies to I find attractive in intimate partners + close friends 3. When am I most interested or engaged with my partner? 4. When I went through ‘big’ emotions, could I count on a parent to guide me through them? 5. Did I experience emotional abandonment or a parent saying something and then doing something else in action? #selfhealers
Growing up, my mom was always concerned on how we appeared to others. She would compare us to other families, beg me to wear certain style of clothing ‘for her,’ + commented often on our physical appearance. Because I was less emotionally connected with her than my siblings were, I was more comfortable with her disapproval. And, she naturally focused less on me because of it. This is common in homes with codependency conditioning. Where as children, we learn to always be focused externally on what someone else thinks of us. This focus (due to low self worth) disconnects us from who we truly are. The result is performance in adulthood. And a deep fear of being seen or heard because at once point this brought shame. When we don’t know who we are, we adapt quickly. We become the idea of approval we believe we need to be. In my own family we were always referring to ourselves as “close,” but where there is performance there is also deep tension + resentment. Bubbling under the surface. A tiny comment at dinner can bring yelling or tears. This is the manifestation of these patterns. Some ways to begin healing—by becoming aware of self: 1. Spend time alone consistently doing something just for you. 2. Pause before reaching out to someone + ask yourself “what am I trying to receive in this interaction”’(is it approval, validation + WHY) 3. Begin to do things to break up your patterns: this will increase your consciousness + allow you to clearly see your conditioning (example journaling, short walk around the block, meditation, yoga, listening to a new podcast) #selfhealers
Tag someone who’s doing the work. Also, feel free to tag yourself. Own it #selfhealers