Finding Light in the Darkness: A Suicide Prevention Toolkit – by Jennifer Scott

Photo courtesy of Pixabay by Sharokh

 

It feels like heartbreaking suicide reports have recently been all over the news. We’ve been shocked by the celebrity deaths of beloved comedian, Robin Williams, and talented musician, Chris Cornell. There have also been far too many teenagers, adolescents and adults who have committed suicide – such as the widely-publicized death of 15-year-old Audrie Pott, who is now the focus of a new Netflix documentary. Indeed, our world has been rocked by millions of people taking their own lives because they feel trapped with no other way out.

Suicide remains the 10th leading cause of death for people of all ages. Suicide is also the 2nd leading cause of death for adolescents and teenagers aged 10 to 19 years. Facts such as these have led many experts to suggest that the current suicide rates are a national “epidemic.”

Although these statistics sound grim – and they are – there is hope. Keep reading to learn short-term and long-term methods for helping yourself or a loved one who might be struggling with suicidal thoughts.

 

Suicide Prevention Toolkit

This suicide prevention toolkit listed in this article contains two parts: short-term (emergency) prevention resources; and long-term suicide prevention strategies.

    1. Emergency Resources and Short-Term Prevention
      If you (or a loved one) have recently been struggling with suicidal thoughts, it is important to seek help now rather than allowing the thoughts to escalate further. Suicide prevention hotlines, chats, and licensed professionals specializing in intervention can all be literal life savers during your time of need. These short-term prevention methods and emergency resources could help you (or your loved one) remain in the present moment and not give into suicidal thoughts during an emergency situation.
    2. Long-Term Prevention
      Suicide rates in the United States have recently climbed to a 30 year high, and some of the leading reasons include drug abuse (such as heroin addiction) and alcoholism. For this reason, it is crucial for anyone struggling with addiction or alcoholism to seek recovery. There are many licensed professionals with years of experience in suicide prevention, postvention and recovery techniques who can help regain one’s life and manage mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or trauma. In addition, daily breathwork practices such as yoga and meditation may also be helpful in treating symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress PTSD, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Maintaining a spiritual or religious practice, attending church, and deepening one’s relationship with a higher power can also assist in healing, recovery, and suicide prevention.


Author
JK Rowling once wrote: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Remember, there is always a light, even on your darkest days. Never give up and never lose hope.

With the suicide prevention toolkit listed in this article, we hope to provide resources for those in need – so we never have to lose any more beautiful lives to the pain of suicide. Good luck with your journey to healing!

~ Jennifer Scott

 

 

 

My Miracle Peacock!

 


Just last week I had a visitor from the Universe or G-d. Whatever your beliefs are, this visitor came to me at a time when I needed it most.

We all have moments of defeat in life and sometimes it takes more than friends, family, resources, and mentors to lift us up.

I became lifted up by a Peacock! AND this was no ordinary Peacock. He was literally knocking his nose on my glass back door for hours so that I would pay attention… and attention was paid.

He is no longer at my home and Stamford Animal Control has been trying to capture him to keep him safe, with no luck. He flies away when they try to capture him, so I am hoping he will fly away when the coyotes approach. I love my miracle Peacock! I named him “Buddy” because as you can see in the video below, he responded when I said, “Hey Buddy!”

Here is the link to the video I posted on Facebook and some of the reactions I received from the posting:

“In Siddha Yoga the Peacock means that G-d was present.”

This comment was said after I told my friend he pooped 4 times on my deck:

“You get the beauty and the poop. That’s what G-d sends us in life. So you can appreciate the beauty and clean out the poop.”

The next comment was made after a conversation about men:

“Man is proud and walks like a peacock.”

Other comments were:

“Into our lives some crap must fall.”

“That is unbelievable.”

“Really cool!”

“Absolutely beautiful!”

And lastly:

“Given the moment it appeared…how could it not be G-d speaking to you? The Peacock hung around long enough for you to realize it wasn’t a coincidence, but G-d’s Divine word.”

On that note, I leave you with HOPE and FAITH that no matter how bad things seem in the moment, they will change.

With Love, Blessings, and Faith,
Pamela

 

 

Fall Is In The Air



www.karinsphotos.com


As we are savoring our last days of summer, notice what happens inside your body as Fall comes closer. For me, there’s a sense of hope and new beginnings. There’s a momentum that wants to explore and explode with new ideas and new activities. Challenge yourself to quiet the mind enough to sense what is inside. This is some of the work we do in our Somatic Experiencing sessions. When the stuff inside is too mucky or dark we learn to pendulate out of the trauma to places that make us feel good and whole again. Our goal is being able to have a healthy nervous system that flows easily from the good to the difficult sensations, and back to the wonderful ones. Embodiment has been a new term for my clients to digest. How do we stay in our bodies and grounded during times of distress? Meditation and Yoga can sometimes take us out of our body. To stay within it takes awareness and sensation. Becoming aware of when you leave your body and noticing bodily sensations that will help keep you grounded, in the here and now, and in your body. EMBODIED

I wish you a beautiful, safe and grounded Fall! Remember… our Wednesday 6pm Yoga class begins in Stamford next week. If you are interested, just reply to this email and I will forward details.

Till then,

La Shana Tova for those of you who are celebrating the Jewish New Year and

Namaste to all!

 


From West to East

“From West to East”

Pamela doing a variation of Warrior I - Virabhadrasana I

 Pamela of doing a variation of Warrior I – Virabhadrasana I 

“The Yoga we practice is not for ourselves alone, but for the Divine; its aim is to work out the will of the Divine in the world,
to effect a Spiritual transformation and to bring down a Divine nature and a Divine life into the mental, vital, and life of humanity.”

~ Sri Aurobindo (Indian Sage)

 

Dear readers,

I’m so blessed to have had a vacation out West in Idaho!  Yes Idaho!  When people from the East Coast hear “Idaho” they think of potatoes .  Northern Idaho, the land of gorgeous lakes and mountains is a hidden gem. The water is as crystal clear as a diamond and the air is a pure delight to breathe. The people are happy, friendly, and live a wonderful quality of life. On the main page of my website (www.PamelaTinkham.com) you can see some photos of this beautiful place. A quote from my mentor in CA is, “New York, slow the F–k down! California, hurry up!”  West coast is definitely more “chill” in the most positive way. What I noticed coming back East was that everybody had an intensity that just did not exist over there. The stress levels here are so high and yet everyone is used to the stress so it has become our way of life. People don’t even realize the stress in their bodies and seem to have no awareness of it until they get sick.

Now I would like to mention West to East on a global level. In the West we tend to treat physical symptoms in the moment as they occur, while in the East they look at the entire body as a whole system and include spirit as well. In Eastern traditions there are many aspects to health and a holistic practitioner will do an exhaustive interview to know everything about you before prescribing a natural remedy. In the West we just prescribe drugs to treat the presenting problem. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m all for drugs and have taken many! I just think we overlook many things and don’t always get to the root of the problem.

So… where to live, what to do, and how to thrive seems to be the subject here. Personally, I want to live where I feel God’s presence. I want to treat my body as a temple and nourish it in the best possible way and I want my soul to soar with nature and be free! Sounds mushy? Maybe for some…

As I return to my routine, I notice that the amount of people on the East Coast adds to my overall stress level. Whether it is in traffic, a line at the grocery store, or even wanting to find peace and quiet at the beach and there’s a crowd. (Or people having sex on the beach if you read the last email blast ). Also, if anyone has been away to a beautiful, peaceful place and has come back to one of the New York airports, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s almost like you going from Paradise to Hell. Please excuse me if you are an “I love New Yorker”. I love the restaurants, the arts, the culture, the diversity, and I believe there is no comparison when it comes to those things. NYC is one of a kind and cannot be compared to other cities. My sincere apologies if this email offends anyone!

Where I am going with this is…

To simply inform you that I am moving to the West Coast soon! Actually in about 2 years. I’m not trying to sell myself or my services to anyone. (Although I wouldn’t mind having more business ). I’m letting you know that if you have been putting off trying the combination of Yoga and Psychotherapy, you have 2 years to come in for an appointment. With that said, once I move I will be offering a generous discount for existing clients to continue working with me via FaceTime or Skype. The union of Yoga and Psychotherapy has been a gift to me and I am passionate about sharing it. I am also in the beginning stages of a 3 year training in Psychological Trauma and will continue the training out West and will have the credential of a SEP, (Somatic Experiencing Practitioner). Somatic Experiencing is all about how emotions are stored within the body and how trauma affects the nervous system. It’s all very exciting work to share with you!

Once again, thank you for reading. I know that lengthy emails are annoying during the times of receiving 100+ emails daily. I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day and look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

With love and blessings always…

Namaste,
Pamela

 


Open Heart, Wise Mind

 

by Pamela Tinkham, LCSW, C-IAYT, SEP

 

Open Heart:

What does it mean to have an open heart? From early on in childhood, we build walls around our heart from disappointments and hurts from family and friends. In Eastern Philosophy, we work with the Chakras (energy centers) and Bandas (locks of energy) in our bodies. Specifically our heart chakra can be open or closed. It is the radiant color of green (not red ) and it opens when we trust that things will work out. It is closed when we are fearful. That is a very condensed version of a complicated system. TRUST and SURRENDER to the universe or a higher power will allow you to have a vibrantly, beautiful, green, open heart chakra. FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) will close it immediately. TRUST is the key here, and I know personally (loving to control everything) that it is easier said than done. It is our life work to SURRENDER and TRUST.

Wise Mind:

In Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) we teach “Wise Mind” as a way and a place to live in and strive for. The diagram below illustrates how this works

 

You are usually fluctuating between “Reasonable Mind” and “Emotional Mind”. It is only when you connect with your true self or your higher self that you can be centered and grounded enough to be in “Wise Mind”. To get to “Wise Mind” you can do some form of meditation, visualization, Yoga, Reiki, or exercise. It is the zone where you feel confident and knowing in a genuine way; not in a grandiose, egotistical way. It is a sense of feeling things in your gut and understanding your truth. Again, this is a consolidated version of a complicated topic. “Wise Mind” 101 says that when you are in a place of peace you are in “Wise Mind”. When you lead with your heart instead of your head you are in “Wise Mind”. When you trust your instincts and do not allow your negative thinking patterns to interfere, you are in “Wise Mind”. And lastly, when you are your true, authentic self, you are in “Wise Mind”. A quote from the Bhagavad Gita (Yogic text) says it perfectly: “Yoga is the practice of tolerating the consequences of being yourself”. Yoga is just one of the ways to get to “Wise Mind”. Skiing may be another way to “Wise Mind” . As long as you have a way to get there, that’s all that really matters.

To summarize, Open Heart, Wise Mind is a way to move forward in life with love, trust and faith while remaining mindful and aware. There is always a place to protect yourself and close off your heart… and you will only know this if you are in your “Wise Mind”. Does that make sense?

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. I love hearing from you.

With trust and faith from my Wisest Mind and my Purest Open Heart!
Pamela

 

Stay In The Light

 

by Pamela Tinkham, LCSW, C-IAYT, SEP

 


How do you stay in the light when darkness seems to prevail?
What do we mean by staying in the light?  The “Light” is all that is good in the universe. It is all that is holy or sacred. You can even refer to it as God or as the Divine within. Whatever your beliefs are there is no doubt that we are in a world of duality where there are opposites in many ways and darkness and light are just one example. The ideal would be to have this duality come closer to a unity where we embrace some of the darkness and permeate some of the light into the darkness. The goal would be to not hide from the darkness or act out in fear of it which causes all kinds of world suffering.


In layman’s terms we are talking about good and evil and we all have a little of both

In Judeo Christian beliefs, it is said that the meaning of suffering is to bring you closer to the Light; perhaps to learn a lesson within the suffering and to appreciate the good when we have it. In Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), it is also said that we may not understand the pain and suffering and we should embrace and actually bless it anyway because God is good and He would not give us anything we cannot handle and there is a blessing in disguise that has not yet been revealed.

In Hinduism, the belief is about Karma and that our soul carries with it an imprint of our past actions. he belief is that if we are suffering in this lifetime we may have done something in a previous lifetime that was harmful to others and we have to pay back the karmic debt because of the pain we caused others. The belief also states that by doing virtuous acts in every moment of every day we will create good karma that will help clear the bad karma. Specifically meditation and yoga can help clear out any bad karma that is lurking.

Buddhism has a similar view about past lives and karma and states that pain and suffering are caused by attachment and we need to embrace that everything changes. Once we detach from things that seem so important, we can lesson our pain and suffering. The belief is that nothing in our human experience can provide us with lasting happiness and that trying to force things to stand still and make us happy is the main source of suffering.

The Taoists believe that birth is not a beginning and death is not an end. There is an existence without limit because the soul is eternal. The goal of Taoism and Buddhism is to transcend life on earth as a physical being, and to achieve harmony with nature and the universe. Therefore, the view on pain and suffering is also about detachment to material things. According to the Tao, one can achieve Nirvana (bliss) through proper living and following the correct path guided by inner light. Therefore, pain and suffering come from not following this inner light and guidance and by making poor choices in life.

Pamela Tinkham LLC incorporates all these ideas and philosophies when dealing with this topic. Unfortunately, when darkness hits it seems to take over completely and we need to stay focused on the one percent that is still going well in our life, not on the 99% that is going haywire! Focus on what is hopeful, not on what is dreadful. Keep a gratitude journal and write at least one thing every day that you are grateful for. Trust and have faith during these times of darkness that it will change because life always changes. It may not be in the timing that you want and that is where patience comes into play. If you focus on what is good, positive or the “Light” in each situation the “Darkness” will start to dissipate… and over time it will be gone. With time and patience, the Light will return even stronger than it was before and your understanding and connection to the Light as well will be strengthened by the intimacy with the Divine that was caused throughout all the pain and suffering.

This may sound confusing and maybe even too religious for some tastes. Again in simple terms, we need to be the best person we can be and do the best we can do in this lifetime even when things seem to be beating us up. Don’t try to analyze why this is happening or have an attitude of, “Woe is me, this is the card I was dealt, I must be cursed!” Just make wise choices and continue being a good person and it will turn around over time. Continue giving and sharing and being open even if pain and suffering cause you to want to shut down and become selfish. To live a life of generosity is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and the world. Peace begins with one soul at a time and we can all make a difference. Even if it seems so small the reality is that love, generosity and joy are contagious and just small acts of kindness can bring about great change over time.

Unfortunately, we all have to deal with pain and suffering at one or many points in our lives and there is no easy way around it. The more we ground ourselves in meditation, prayer and doing joyous activities, the easier it will be to ride the wave when problems arise.

As said in the Buddhist Loving Kindness Metta Meditation:

May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you be free from pain and suffering
May you be safe

Have a wonderful summer and I look forward to sharing with you all the yogic philosophy I will be learning in the next two months.

Namaste! (The Light in me honors the Light in you)

 

Don’t Fall Into Fall

 

by Pamela Tinkham, LCSW, C-IAYT, SEP

 

With Fall upon us, we need to be mentally prepared for the new season. Fall brings about new opportunities.  The energy around us is a faster pace than those warm summer days.  Work is back in full swing, kids are back in school, new projects are beginning and deadlines are in the picture.  It is an exciting time and can be overwhelming if you are not prepared.  How can you be prepared?

There is a quote I like from a Roman Philosopher that refers to this topic:

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”

I often hear people say, “I’m just not lucky in life”, or “These are the cards I was dealt”.  These are negative statements and also self defeating statements because they suggest that everything is out of their control. In life there are many things that are out of our control, but there are equally many things we can control and that is where the topic of preparation comes to play.  What we can do is work diligently towards our goals and we can continue to persevere even when things do not seem to be going our way.  When we feel like giving up, we can just try one more time.  If it is certain that what we are doing is not working, then we need to think outside the box and explore all the things we have not done.  The point is that we continue to press on.  We continue to try different ways until we get the desired outcome.  We don’t give up or give in.

Preparation is therefore doing the work that we don’t always feel like doing.  Wouldn’t it be nice if things could just come to us effortlessly and easily?  Just 5 minutes of meditation every day will help things come to you more effortlessly because it brings about a relaxation and detachment from the desired outcome that actually makes it more achievable.  In Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, he writes about the Law of Detachment:

In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty…
in the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom
from our past, from the known,
which is the prison of past conditioning.

And in our willingness to step into the
unknown, the field of all possibilities,
we surrender ourselves to the creative mind
that orchestrates the dance of the universe.

To summarize Don’t Fall into Fall… do the work to prepare you for whatever may present itself.  Go the extra mile to research a particular area or read the extra book on a topic you are interested in.  Whatever it may mean for you… do not be lazy this Fall, be productive and LUCK may just arrive at your door

Healthfully Yours!
Pamela

 

How Do You Find The Calm Within The Storm?

 

by Pamela Tinkham, LCSW, C-IAYT, SEP

 

How do you stay centered when everything around you is going haywire? How do the Buddhist Monks do it?  They seem to be so calm… even in the midst of terrifying events.  Serenity is achievable when things ARE going your way but what about when things aren’t going your way?  In fact, how can you possibly stay centered when things around you seem to be falling apart?

These are the million dollar questions!  The answers unfortunately aren’t so easy to do in the middle of a crisis:

  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Relaxation
  • Exercise
  • Yoga
  • Creative Visualization
  • Self Soothing Techniques

These are nice ideas but what about when you are right in the middle of it?  This is when you are on the roller coaster and cannot get off. You are in fight or flight mode and you need to act and be on high alert.  Adrenaline is pumping and you do not have time for relaxation. So, here is what you need to do and you can use this for panic attacks too:

Visualize a white light coming out of every cell of your body.  If you believe in a higher power, this light is from your higher power.  If you do not believe in a higher power, this light is from the universe.  The white light is around you and is coming out of you as a shield of protection.  You can visualize this around your home, children, pets, and whatever else you want protected.  If you are in the midst of a real storm, an emotional storm, a panic attack or any other scary event… take that white light and push away the fear with it.  Think of it as a shield and visualize the white light protecting you from any type of harm.  If you can breathe deeply at the same time as the visualization you will calm yourself down completely.

Weather the storm and if you cannot do any of this in the middle of the crisis then begin when the crisis is alleviated.  It gets easier with practice. Good luck and email or call if you have any questions.

Love and White Light,
Pamela