tedx talk resources

Thanks for watching my TEDx talk on Life Revision. (Ah, my advice-filled past!*) Here are some approaches that have helped me. Take them or leave them, and always check in with yourself, or consult a medical professional if you have clinical concerns.
 
1. MEDITATION
 
For over 7 years, I have been meditating daily. I believe this is essential throughout life, but especially during a Life Revision. I allot at least an hour a day for meditation, often more, but you can start with 5 minutes.
 
But don't think meditating means just one approach.....Think of meditation instead as hanging out with yourself (*mind and body*), in whatever way you want, without distraction, and without any rules or constraints. It's self-presence. Self-inquiry. Non-judgmental chill time.
 
There are lots of ways to meditate. You can start with simple mantras and breathing. For me, however, the key is not to meditate in order to disembody and dissociate or think: "I am not my thoughts" (this is, I think, the most popular or common way people approach it). Instead, I meditate daily to to go deeper *into* the source of troubling thoughts, which I've found exist in the body. 
 
In the body it's like there are locked or unacknowledged feeling states that "pop up" throughout the day and present themselves as insistent thoughts or anxiety, and meditation is a way to get familiar with feeling *anything*. You get more and more okay with being in your body and being in discomfort, versus focusing on something separate or external to the self to cope. Eventually you start to think of emotions as a kind of theme-park ride. You feel them in the moment, while knowing anything is feel-able and it will pass, just like the end of a roller coaster. 
 
DEEPAK CHOPRA AND OPRAH often host free 30-day meditation challenges, which is how I started. Just google their names and the meditation challenge and something should come up.
 
2. BOOKS 
 
The Places that Scare You, and When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron - wise words about how to embrace the groundlessness of reality
 
The Completion Process by Teal Swan - a book about integrating fragmented parts of the self, and sinking into emotion, versus attempting to bypass or reframe emotional memories or traumas as mere thoughts that need correction. This is a wild ride but so helpful.
 
The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner - An acupressure technique to help with anxiety. This is a good starter tool. It doesn't "fix" everything, but it's a powerful place to start and it can help you rewire some of your nervous system responses.
 
If your biological sex is female - Wild Feminine by Tami Lynn Kent. It's incredible how dissociated many of us are from our pelvis and vagina, a veritable storage unit of past traumas, belief systems, and fears -- and how that comes into play or prevents us from life transitions or pursuing our own freedom and happiness.
 
No Acting Please by Eric Morris - ostensibly a book about learning how to act on stage and on screen, these exercises will also teach you about what blocks you from feeling truly free and comfortable in your own skin. Eric has another book, A Second Chance at life, about healing trauma and damaging life experiences that I haven't personally read but which is also purportedly helpful for becoming more aligned in yourself and your body.
 
3. MY OWN INVENTED TECHNIQUE FOR SELF-VALIDATION: "BODY CAMP"
 
I believe one of the most detrimental things we encounter in life is invalidation of our experience. The practice of knowing: "what I feel, is valid" -- even if the feeling seems logically irrational -- is an incredible practice throughout life, and especially when you're attempting to navigate the tricky waters of starting over (with career, or other life stuff). It's not trauma that freezes us -- it's the refusal to acknowledge the trauma. Denial and turning away from feeling is what keeps us stuck.
 
Teal Swan discusses this in "The Completion Process" above, but one of the things I did during a recent divorce and life upheaval was specifically imagine that I had officially enrolled in something called "Body Camp."
 
Body Camp was an imaginary place, like a Summer Camp of fun, where the only rule was: whatever my body needs, I will respond and do my best to soothe and give it what it needs. 
 
I consciously decided to go through a period of months where I didn't scold myself for ANY FEELING, I didn't tell myself I *had* to do anything. If I wanted to sleep in, I did. If I needed to cancel plans, I did. I spent weeks just lying on the couch watching "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and crying, because that's what I needed to do! It was the ultimate coming home to the body, and to the self.
 
I think the less in touch you are with your body, the less in touch you are with your true path and desires. Culturally we privilege mind over all else, thinking we are machines. We dissociate from the body and we learn to distrust our emotions -- but the body is an essential COMPASS. If you are completely separated from it it's like the compass gets broken and you're at odds, versus working together to move forward toward fulfillment.
 
Body Camp for me went on for MONTHS and I, in many ways, am still in "Body Camp." I simply won't act fake, and I won't pretend I'm feeling okay when I'm not. I'll have the hard conversations, respectfully, and not worry about how I appear to others. 
 
A key, however, is to take responsibility for yourself -- like, I won't ask everyone around me to somehow serve and accommodate my Body Camp. I'm both the enrollee and the "Camp Counselor," if that makes sense, so it's up to *me* to do my best to *fulfill my own needs* and not overly rely on others to make Body Camp happen. That being said, I communicate boundaries and needs where necessary.
 
It's a give and take: learning how to be yourself while harmonizing with others and your environment.
 
Hopefully this is helpful.....
 
Wishing you the best on your journey,
Felicia
 
*UPDATE: So, like, I have recently concluded that advice is sort of impossible. Everyone is so unique, with variable timeframes of development, that I think learning anything is better done by way of following your own trail of strange breadcrumbs. (In fact, many times advice creates a disharmonious and unproductive power differential that conveys brokenness, or disempowerment, back to your psyche. Blech.)
 
That being said, in my TEDx talk back in the day, I did offer to provide resources -- so above is my best shot at that.
 
For me, coming home to myself (an ongoing process) has been about following clues that feel like they sizzle or "ding" as they appear in my life. Usually this is NOT in the form of outright advice. It's usually more through gentle nudging, or relationship dynamics, or my own intuition about what feels joyful vs. what feels disingenuous.
 
When the "dings" come, my inner compass is like: "PAY ATTENTION, YO," and I'm like "cool." The "dings" merely setup an unpredictable, self-guided tour of life, asking me to piece stuff together for myself -- all in the service of finding my INDIVIDUAL true expression and way of being (which I guarantee is worlds different than yours, or my neighbor's, or anybody else's).
 
Body Camp (see above, item 3) is probably my best starting method for developing the self-trust necessary to do this.
 
Best of luck! 
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