Blog stats for 2017

Happy 2018! I’m back from a few days in the stunning big-sky big-earth desert/mountain landscape of Big Bend National Park, with a brief boat-and-burro-ride into Boquillas, Mexico.

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Nature sure helps put my monkey-mind concerns into perspective. Hikes, hot springs, camp food, company, solitude, and nourishing views, views, views.

On the return trip of about 9 hours, I drove into a spectacular cold front featuring a wall of low clouds made of freezing mist that I could see miles ahead of me. Continue reading

New blog milestones and best massage ever given

Sometime this weekend when I wasn’t looking, my blog passed 60,000 views! This is a labor of love, and I can’t measure my “success” in monetary terms. Blog views, likes, and comments are my currency.

Thank you for reading me.

And…yesterday I had my best single day ever with 426 views! That’s pretty astonishing, considering the average number of views per day in 2012 (so far) has been 182.

I took the whole weekend off, spending a good chunk of it out in the country at a friend’s remote ranch. Clean air, water, cattle, a river, lots of trees, big sky, silence (compared to the city), a sweet porch on which I did a couple of great yoga sequences, soaking in a metal tub filled with well water, and lots of laughter were just the ticket for rest and relaxation.

I didn’t do a stroke of bodywork all weekend (except a little self-massage on my shoulders and arms). This morning I gave what felt to me like the best massage I’ve ever given, a 90-minute full body massage combining Swedish, deep, pressure points, rocking, reflexology, and lots of attention to her neck, shoulders, and hips. My client really appreciated it. Her week started extremely well.

If you’re looking for a great massage, consider booking one in the morning when your massage therapist is feeling refreshed, especially after a couple of days off! If you’re in the Austin area, I’d love your business!

See you later, with the first turnaround of Byron Katie’s Work!

50,000 views! Thanks, readers!

Sometime during the night, when July 3 was turning into July 4, my blog passed 50,000 views. I like milestones, and this one is pretty major! The fireworks tonight will have a little extra meaning for me because I am celebrating.

Who knew, when I started? It’s like relationships. No matter what promises are made, you don’t know if they’ll last until they do. There have been times when I’ve thought I had nothing to write about, and then something came up that I wanted to share. Early on, I had some connectivity problems and didn’t post for a couple of weeks, but since then, it’s rare for me not to post at least twice a week.

Since my last milestone posting in April, I’ve met with a psychic who told me that I’ve been a writer for many lifetimes, and that in one lifetime, I was a man who wrote with a quill pen.

I hope what I wrote was interesting, well-written, and effective. (Don’t you know I wish I knew the name of that previous self so I could look up his/my writings???)

Here’s a graphic from my WordPress dashboard displaying the views by month:

You can see how slow it was for the first year, 2010, when I averaged 11 views a day. It started taking off in 2011, and 2012 has been great, so far averaging 125 views per day.

I guess this really tells what it takes to be successful at blogging—that it takes time and consistent posting to build a following. The success is on my terms, too.

The most popular post of all time is an update on my Spartan trailer, which is off the wellness/aliveness topic. Search engines bring viewers interested in Spartan trailers here. Some may even stick around for the wellness stuff!

I wish I knew which posts were most popular with subscribers and regular readers, whom I believe are more interested in trauma recovery, health, wellness, and wisdom.

And okay, I am an eclectic blogger.

Subscribers and readers, what would you like to see more of? 

WordPress began showing views by country in February 2012. Here’s an image of the top 10 countries for viewers since then:

You can see that over 10,000 of the 50,000 views have occurred since late February, by Americans. That’s pretty amazing!

The bottom of the list is equally impressive. It’s amazing to realize that I’ve had viewers from distant countries like Liberia, Fiji, the Faroe Islands, New Caledonia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and Zimbabwe.

I don’t even know where New Caledonia is. Wikipedia tells me it’s a French archipelago east of Australia in Melanesia.

The Faroe Islands are Danish Islands halfway between Norway and Iceland.

Hello and welcome. The Internet really does make the world smaller.

There is no master plan for this blog, except to post what interests me. As I build my massage practice and continue to investigate the keys to wellness, including new discoveries about the ways to be healthy, I’m sure I will blog more on those topics.

I love hearing from you via comments, likes, and shares.

Thank you, readers, for stopping by here, and I especially thank those of you devoted enough to subscribe. You really make it worth my while.

Thank you, readers, for 40,000 views!

Just noticed the view count has topped 40,000. Not much to say — I’ll do a summary when I hit the major milestone of 50,000 views.

I do want to say it’s a bit astonishing that blog views hit 20,000 in October 2011 and 30,000 in January 2012. Most days this blog gets over 100 views — sometimes many more than that.

Anyway, if you’re reading this, I want to thank you for it. I hope you find something useful, informative, inspiring, and/or nourishing here.

I especially appreciate those of you who keep coming back. I hope it’s worth your while.

Hugs for everyone!

A reader shares her awesome trauma releasing experience; another TRE video

I checked my email this morning right before work and saw one saying that someone had posted a blog comment. It was in response to my very first post on the Trauma releasing exercises, posted way back in May of 2010, close to two years ago.

Jen wrote:

Learnt the TRE technique from a friend. After my 4th session (last night) I got up and my body started swaying at the hips, then shoulders went mad, neck went into awesome neck rolls (felt a lot like yoga) and then an intense feeling from the centre of my belly, rolling upwards. Went on for at least an hour before I eventually went to bed to sleep. Just the one hand kept doing a little shake.

This morning on my way to work, my neck started rolling. Once at work I was standing telling my friend about this when my entire body started swaying and all morning (at least the last 4 hours) have been spent with my neck going into involuntary neck rolls, shoulder rolls, back stretches. It has finally stopped, but I am just a bit concerned. What does this mean?

I got really excited reading this! The trauma release process is working for Jen very well. To have this response after only four sessions is excellent. Her body is releasing trauma! To have a release from the hara (belly center) like that is very liberating. Maybe her yoga helped.

When I was first experimenting with the TRE exercises, I remember feeling some fear around the idea of “letting go”. What exactly is being let go of, and if I let go (i.e., lose control), will I get my self-control back?

Then once I started shaking, trembling, rocking, and rolling, I wondered: Would I be able to stop? What if it was embarrassing?

I needn’t have worried.

I responded right away:

It means you are unfreezing and coming alive, Jen! Do it as much as you can when it feels right. Enjoy and know it will eventually slow and become “more voluntary” when you’ve released more of your stress. Awesome to hear from you!

She wrote back:

Wow, thanks for getting back to me so soon – you have put my mind at ease. My friend and I were laughing hysterically this morning as it just wouldn’t stop and then we started getting a little worried that it would NEVER stop. But this afternoon has been fine and when it starts again I will know it is normal and let it out!

Keep well
Jen

I haven’t blogged about the trauma releasing exercises for a long time, but I haven’t forgotten them. Once I learned them and began shaking, the process deepened. I released long-held tensions, especially in my shoulders. Every time I did them was different. I did them frequently for a while.

Sometimes nowadays when I am at Ecstatic Dance Austin or at home, I release tension in my legs and occasionally my arms/shoulders. I don’t think about it too much; if the thought pops into my mind, I never second-guess it. I just allow the release to happen. I’m standing, and my legs are shaking or my arm is writhing — something is moving, for sure.

And when I’ve had enough (again, without thinking about it), I dance (or rather, I do a more intentional dance, becaus release is dance) or go onto the next activity.

I’ve considered doing the training to become a TRE facilitator and may still do that when the time and money come together. For now, I’m happy to answer any questions that readers may have based on my experience and what I’ve seen and read of Berceli’s work.

I’m also happy to watch the exercises on video and do the exercises with anyone who wants to try them and prefers to have an experienced companion. There is something contagious about doing them with someone who already releases. It’s like permission to your body. (And a few people don’t need this; in my experience, it’s helpful to most newbies because releasing goes against the grain of what we’ve been taught, to be “in control” at all times.)

Also, I viewed David Berceli’s 2004 video, Mitchell Jay Rabin’s A Better World presents David Berceli Trauma Release, and I don’t think I posted anything about it.

Berceli tells Rabin the story of how he began developing the exercises, which I’ve read in abbreviated form but had not heard from Berceli before.

He was a Catholic missionary in the Middle East, living in Beirut during a civil war in the late 1970s. He was working with war refugees, and he himself became traumatized.

When he came back to the U.S., he was suffering from PTSD. He went to counseling (the only thing he knew to do) for two years, and at the end he realized he was still suffering very severely from PTSD, but it seemed to be more in his body than in his psyche.

That started him on the journey of exploring what PTSD is, how it affects us as human beings, how it affects the psyche and the body differently, and what healing processes need to occur to effect a complete resolution of trauma recovery.

He learned that the body holds in memory the contractions from trauma as a defensive behavior. He studied bioenergetics, tai chi, yoga, and other modalities, but was seeking a quick, body-based method of trauma release that could be taught in any cultural context to a large number of people even without knowing the language. 

Berceli then worked all over Africa and the Middle East with people traumatized by conflicts and civil wars. He discovered that conflict resolution is useless unless the underlying emotions can be released, that trust is impossible as long as the body holds the memory from trauma.

He worked with 150-200 people at a time, teaching the exercises to create neurogenic tremors and release the terror, anxiety, hurt, and fear of trauma, and then people would feel their bodies letting go of trauma behaviors embedded in their musculature.

Berceli relates the same knowledge that Peter Levine discovered and wrote about in Waking the Tiger, that animals don’t get PTSD because when they get out of danger, they shiver and shake and release the trauma from their bodies.

People tend to stifle the trembling after a trauma, and it remains embedded in the musculature. Berceli developed exercises to target the core muscles deep in the body affected by trauma (the psoas major, which impacts the energetic centers of the root and sacral chakras, the dan tien, the hara). Release of the psoas ripples throughout the body.

I love the psoas. It connects the legs to the torso and is the “fight or flight” muscle. We palpated it in massage school, getting to it through the lower abdomen.

I know that doing the trauma releasing exercises has been instrumental in releasing more trauma and defensive armor from my body. TRE has freed up my body and my dance! And in case of being retraumatized, however slightly, these exercises are good to do again.

There are more good stories on this video, even praise of dance as release, release, release. It’s inspired me to do the TRE exercises more frequently. Who knows what else can be released?

Thank you, readers

At the end of January, this blog had gotten 5,000 views.

Today the count is up to 7,355 views. I also have several new subscribers. Welcome! I hope you find some value here.

Just want to say thanks to all of you. I appreciate you reading my posts and especially enjoy getting your comments.

This blog is an outlet for me to follow and pursue what interests me and share what I discover, both in myself and “out there” in the world. I imagine that not every post is everyone’s cup of tea, but to those who read my posts occasionally, or regularly, I really want you to know how grateful I am to have something to offer. And I’m glad you can pass up the ones that don’t resonate, too!

I feel like I’m on a journey, and I don’t know the destination yet, but getting there is a lot of fun. Thanks for being company on the road.