From Shame to Self-Worth: Development of Shame Spectrum Feelings in Childhood

Welcome to the third and last part of the series, From Shame to Self-Worth. Last week we discussed the Neurobiology of Shame here and we started with the Introduction here. This week we will learn that shame is a very primal emotion, one that has a lot of traction in the mind. As we grow up,

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From Shame to Self-Worth: Evolutionary Neurobiology of Shame

This week we will continue from last week’s introduction in the From Shame to Self-Worth series by gaining an understanding of the evolution of shame. [As we go through this somewhat intellectual material, try to make it real for yourself by relating it to your own everyday feelings of inadequacy or guilt.] Have you ever scolded

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From Shame to Self-Worth: Introduction

In this three part series, we will look at where shame comes from, in human evolutionary history, and in personal development. There also are three quite powerful exercises in seeing through, releasing, and replacing (with worth) any feelings you may have along the shame spectrum. The spectrum of feelings in the territory of shame include:

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Key Points of Letting Go

“Let go a little, you’ll have a little happiness. Let go completely, you’ll be completely happy.” Letting Go of Body Sensations Ordinary breathing, focusing on exhalation, intending to let go. Diaphragm breathing. Breath of fire. Heartmath: Breathing evenly through the heart with a positive emotion. Scanning the body and releasing tension. Progressive relaxation. Using imagery

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Relax Needless Fear Around Others

Does it feel safe with other people? The Practice: Relax needless fear around others. Why? We all know this fear. You’re walking down a street, someone you don’t know comes toward you, and there’s a second or more of wariness, scanning, apprehension, and tension or bracing in the body: a barely conscious assessment of possible

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Enjoy Four Kinds of Peace

What’s your sense of peace? The Practice: Enjoy four kinds of peace. Why? “Peace” can sound merely sentimental or clichéd (“visualize whirled peas”). But deep down, it’s what most of us long for. Consider the proverb: The highest happiness is peace. Not a peace inside that ignores pain in oneself or others, or is acquired [...] [Read more...]

Relax, You’re Going to be Criticized

What are you bracing against? The Practice: Relax, you’re going to be criticized. Why? The title of this practice is a little tongue-in-cheek. What I mean is, most of us – me included – spend time worrying about criticism: past, present, and even future. Yes, try hard, keep agreements, “don’t be evil,” etc. But sooner [...] [Read more...]

Transform Ill Will

Do you bear a grudge? The Practice: Transform Ill Will. Why? Goodwill and ill will are about intention: the will is for good or ill. These intentions are expressed through action and inaction, word and deed, and-especially-thoughts. How do you feel when you sense another person taking potshots at you in her mind? What does [...] [Read more...]

Come to Center

To what is your mind given? The Practice: Come to center. Why? I’m old enough to remember a time when people usually answered “good” when you asked them the standard, “How are you?” (often said “harya?”). These days the answer is commonly “busy.” In the last few months I’ve been very busy myself and starting [...] [Read more...]

Try a Softer Tone

How do you talk to people? The Practice: Try a softer tone. Why? When our kids were little, I’d come home from work wanting some peace after the daily roller-coaster and often walk into a living room full of stuff – toy trucks, tennis shoes, bags of chips, etc. Irritated, the first words out of [...] [Read more...]


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