Buffalo Magic


Look at this beauty I made! I have wanted to attend one of @wildspirityogatx drum making ceremonies for years.

I’m so grateful I finally got to have this experience!!

I saw her in the pile of hides and immediately knew it was the piece for me to work with. As usual in my life she came with a lesson.

The first process is punching the holes along the outside for stringing. It took 3 punchers, 2 pieces of wood & assistance from two others to get the first hole in!!!

I was literally mortified that pretty much everyone had finished with their 16 holes and I had 1.

I was thinking to myself I’m going to still be here hammering while everyone else has a manifested a full drum already.

Then the magic happened – after the first two sets the rest punched seamlessly. Jen says there must have just been a strong fascia layer at that one point.

There’s so many lessons and metaphors in there for me:

  • When you can’t go it all alone, ask for help. Whoo is this uncomfortable for me. It is hard for me to ask for assistance from anyone. I’m a steadfast do it yourself kinda gal. But life wasn’t designed to be gone at alone. We exist as members of a community. Humans have always depended on tribal connections for survival. It is human to need modeling, teaching, or even just an extra set of hands.
  • It’s ok if you’re not at the same pace as everyone else. Another super hard one for this former GT kid to accept. For a good part of my life – I set the pace for my peers. I was the standard other’s hoped to beat. I truly cannot think of a single classroom situation in my life where I was halfway behind everyone else in the room. It definitely led to some emotions…
  • Frustration and shame don’t lead to solutions, validate your emotional experience and move to problem solving. I was experiencing justified anger – my goal was being blocked – I needed 16 holes in my hide and couldn’t get 1. I was feeling unjustified shame – my lack of skill was not going to get me ostracized from this group. I know for a fact that as long as I am willing to show up authentically and be actively engaged in my own journey – I am enough. So you validate the valid (anger) and you slough away the invalid (shame), which allows the emotions to pass through. Then you can move on to actually finding solutions.
  • Stop making excuses and do the things your soul truly desires. Someone spending money on things that truly care for my soul has always been hard to justify. I never struggled to find $7 for a pack of smokes, but a $15 yoga class is self indulgent (let alone a $200 drum that honestly how often am I going to use it). But life is always changing. That amazing teacher may not still be in studio next year. Participate in the things you truly desire. Allow yourself to indulge in the good things. It’s really helped my perspective – in the last year the studio has gone from pricing their events with “cost” to “investment.” I am worth investing in – especially my growth & peace.

I’ll be at the next drum circle. With my beauty!

Love & Light!

#trauma #ptsd #recovery #cptsd # hypervigilance #mentalhealth #wellness #treatment #insomnia #anxiety #depression #healing #healingispossible #shadowwork #facethedarkness #psychology #counseling #dbt #dialectics #selfcare #bpd #nonjudgmental #compassion #kindness #ego #hope #lifeworthliving #thrive #evolve #phoenix #resurrection #rebirth #life #holistic #metamorphosis #transform #transformation #lettinggo #nonattachment #jamieschmidt #awakeshegoes #jamieschmidtlpc #goodvibes #growth #selflove #selftalk #appearance #hair #dreadlock #dreads #dreadhead #redhead #selfconcept #love #thisisme #takeitorleaveit #jour

#trauma #ptsd #recovery #cptsd # hypervigilance #mentalhealth #wellness #treatment #insomnia #anxiety #depression #healing #healingispossible #shadowwork #facethedarkness #psychology #counseling #dbt #dialectics #selfcare #bpd #nonjudgmental #compassion #kindness #ego #hope #lifeworthliving #thrive #evolve #phoenix #resurrection #rebirth #life #holistic #metamorphosis #transform #transformation #lettinggo #nonattachment #jamieschmidt #awakeshegoes #jamieschmidtlpc #goodvibes #growth #selflove #selftalk #appearance #hair #dreadlock #dreads #dreadhead #redhead #selfconcept #love #thisisme #takeitorleaveit #jour


DBT divides mindfulness into two core skill sets:

What Skills
3 verbs:

How Skills
3 adverbs:

#trauma #ptsd #recovery #cptsd # hypervigilance #mentalhealth #wellness #treatment #insomnia #anxiety #depression #healing #healingispossible #shadowwork #facethedarkness #psychology #counseling #dbt #dialectics #selfcare #bpd #nonjudgmental #compassion #kindness #ego #hope #lifeworthliving #thrive #evolve #phoenix #resurrection #rebirth #life #holistic #metamorphosis #transform #transformation #lettinggo #nonattachment #jamieschmidt #awakeshegoes #jamieschmidtlpc #goodvibes #growth #selflove #selftalk #appearance #hair #dreadlock #dreads #dreadhead #redhead #selfconcept #love #thisisme #takeitorleaveit #jour

If you are interested in learning the DBT Skills – I offer several modes of virtual instruction, including my signature DBT Skills in 90 – learn the skills in 1/2 the time of a traditional DBT group! Head over to my coaching site ⬇️ to get all the details!

When “I’m Bored” is really “I’m Lonely”

Ever on life’s journey of healing, I have found the focus of my “work” this spring has been attending to the wounds of late childhood (8-13). In the past few weeks, this has culminated in several moments of illumination. Like big picture – connect the dots in a way that has been extremely validating to my soul. This was by far the most impactful realization:

I am an only child. I was primarily raised by my mother and her second husband. Today both are semi-retried, successful small business owners. Unfortunately during my developmental years – they were fully in the grind. You know the Puritan influenced capitalistic expectation – work and productivity must be your highest priority so that you can proclaim your rank as a “successful’ member of society. We live in a society that greatly overvalues external validation.

I was expected to entertain myself as well as contribute a decent amount to the household maintenance. Multiple nights each week I prepared dinner for the family, as well as sweeping, vacuuming, never leaving anything out of place, and attending to outside chores as well. My least favorite task was to water the dozen’s of potted plants my mom kept along the back porch. (Just realized this is the reason I’ve managed to kill every plant I’ve ever bought. I totally forgot how much I resented it was my duty to upkeep her hobby that I personally received no enjoyment from whatsoever).

My mom ran her business from our home and she spent the majority of my childhood in her office – two doors down from my bedroom. I remember so many occasions, walking into her office and telling her:

“I’m bored.”

In her household, this phrase was akin to a swear word. It was not met with inquiry or validation. I was simply a bother to be dismissed – usually with a task to complete so that I wouldn’t feel the need to express myself anymore. Eventually I realized that this would only cost me more effort, and I stopped airing my discontent out loud.

It had never crossed my mind that my statement I’m bored was actually the best language I had to express the emotional state of I’m lonely. Attending to my emotional needs (or anyones quite frankly) was not a priority of my family.

Never did an adult suggest that maybe what I was experiencing was not a lack of entertainment but a yearning for connection.

As I think about it now – it’s almost laughable. I was a super smart, fairly spectrum-y kid. I was excellent at entertaining myself. Chapter books were my best friend, plus I could easily spend hours in worlds of my own creation (Barbies or Breyer horses). But I was often lonely. I didn’t have siblings or cousins or neighborhood kids to interact with. Since I attended private school – most of my friends were a half hour drive away.

My television time was strictly limited – so I guess – the assumption was if I was “bored” I was negotiating for more television. What a difference it might have made – if anyone had taken the time to just ask me what was going on inside. Was I out of things to do? Or did was I looking for interaction, validation that my existence mattered?

One of my most frequent discussions with clients is regarding core beliefs. Those two or three messages we internalize from childhood that set the path for how we live our life. A long time ago someone identified one of mine as Jamie is less than. Felt pretty accurate at the time, so I’ve done the work around that for years.

This exploration has allowed me to get more precise when labeling this core belief:
Jamie’s emotional needs are a nuisance.

That tweak – is a compass on my healing journey – it sheds light on the next direction of my work – as there will always be work to do be done.

Once I had this clarification, I was able to label two of the contingencies/rules I still struggle with in my life:
1) It is better to stay silent about my experience, than to reach out and receive punishment for it.
2) My needs are always less important than the demands of work (whether that be my job or the people I care about).

With each new level of awareness, I find myself shedding skins. Each skin an identity placed on me without consent. Those identities did not serve my soul. They did not honor my spirit. They served only to make me a better member of the institution.

I have a lot of grief. Sadness that we live in a society where children’s spirits are never properly attended to because mothers are too busy providing financially.

Mentally healthy adults are a result of secure attachment. Secure attachment occurs when children have predictable, loving caretakers. Parents who model limits, respect, emotional language & validation.

The American model doesn’t support the type of childhood for emotionally healthy individual to germinate. Truthfully why would it – there troubled teen industry, school to prison pipeline, big Pharma – they’re all business that require a certain percentage of the population to be broken beyond repair…

#trauma #ptsd #recovery #cptsd # hypervigilance #mentalhealth #wellness #treatment #insomnia #anxiety #depression #healing #healingispossible #shadowwork #facethedarkness #psychology #counseling #dbt #dialectics #selfcare #bpd #nonjudgmental #compassion #kindness #ego #hope #lifeworthliving #thrive #evolve #phoenix #resurrection #rebirth #life #holistic #metamorphosis #transform #transformation #lettinggo #nonattachment #jamieschmidt #awakeshegoes #jamieschmidtlpc #goodvibes #growth #selflove #selftalk #appearance #hair #dreadlock #dreads #dreadhead #redhead #selfconcept #love #thisisme #takeitorleaveit #jour

Happy Pride Y’all

I wanted to share this IG post with y’all as well.
I realize I have not shared much (if any) about this aspect of my identity & June is the month to do it 😊🏳️‍🌈

I received this message this morning. Boy did it bring out the boo-hoo’s in me!! This is the first time in my life a straight Christian woman acknowledged my sexual identity is something I am proud of.

My #alphabetmafia journey…like everything else in my life was not a straight path. 

I did not acknowledge my bisexuality until my late 20s (even to myself). I had always found women attractive but being a person who lives in the south and struggles with mental health I justified it was just “safer” to be straight. 

I can now label that process as internalized homophobia from a childhood of religious indoctrination. 

Throughout my life I’ve had many close friends who were out. Often times I had been the butt of a joke that there was no way I was fully straight. 

In May of 2019 – I broke off an engagement. It was a horribly toxic relationship and many factors contributed to its deminse. Knowing I would be forced to live the rest of my life without acknowledging my true identity was one of them. 

From fall of 2019 – spring 2020 I came out to the few family members I am in contact with. I think I had the conversation with my dad maybe a month before the world shut down for covid. 

I don’t know how much of my larger circle knows how I identify. I’m in a relationship with a man – so it’s easy to assume.

Even if outwardly my life does not appear that different, the journey has had great impact on my soul. Two years of living my truth has been good. It meant the world to me to get this beautiful message from a friend this morning 💗

Happy #pride y’all!

#trauma #ptsd #recovery #cptsd # hypervigilance #mentalhealth #wellness #treatment #insomnia #anxiety #depression #healing #healingispossible #shadowwork #facethedarkness #psychology #counseling #dbt #dialectics #selfcare #bpd #nonjudgmental #compassion #kindness #ego #hope #lifeworthliving #thrive #evolve #phoenix #resurrection #rebirth #life #holistic #metamorphosis #transform #transformation #lettinggo #nonattachment #jamieschmidt #awakeshegoes #jamieschmidtlpc #goodvibes #growth #selflove #selftalk #appearance #hair #dreadlock #dreads #dreadhead #redhead #selfconcept #love #thisisme #takeitorleaveit #jour

Fuck You Greg – Thoughts to gov abbot Regarding Texas SB 8

I’m currently 31 years old. I’ve never had an abortion, as I have never been pregnant.

As an emotionally sensitive child, I spent a good amount of my childhood observing how exhausted the adults around me were. My parents were divorced and I was keen enough to pick up on the fact that my presence was often a burden. I internalized a lot of those messages when I was younger, and to this day I still struggle with feelings of worthiness.

Because of this, I have always known that children were not part of my life path.

I started on birth control when I was 17. The first product I used was Nuvaring which doubled in price from $40 to $80 / month in the 2.5 years I was on it (2007-2010).

I got my first Mirena IUD when I was 20. I replaced it when I was 27, and removed the second one right before my 31 birthday. All together, I paid approximately $4,500 out of pocket for 13 years of birth control – it was NEVER covered by my insurance.

In July of last year I found out I had precancerous cells on my cerevix. I had my IUD removed and my doctor wrote a prescription to go back on the Nuvaring. After doing my own research I decided the best approach for my health was to cease hormonal birth control, quit smoking (after 15 years) and begin a fairly aggressive supplement regiment.

Thus for the first time in my adult life I’m not on birth control SOLELY because research shows that it contributes to the growth of these harmful cells.

It’s been about 10 months since I’ve been off it & I haven’t had a pregnancy scare. Which isn’t surprising. I’m a full fledged adult. I understand the mechanics of conception & contraception. I’m in a committed monogamous relationship and we use condoms EVERY time. There is also a decent likelihood that my gynecological health concerns would prevent pregnancy from occurring.

Thanks to Texas Republicans’ decision last week, I’ve got a new anxiety to hyper focus on:

What if I were to get pregnant?

A right that I have been guaranteed access to my entire life – will suddenly no longer readily be available to me (staring in September). This decision is TRAUMA. As a woman – I have now been blatantly told by my state that my right to bodily autonomy guaranteed by Roe v Way (since 1973 – 16 years prior to my birth) does not matter.

To be clear if I were to get pregnant – this law would not change the outcome for me. I do not want children and I have done everything to prevent the occurrence of one in my body (including having constant hormones implanted in my body for 11 years which likely accelerated if not straight up caused my cancerous growth).

I personally have the resources. The process would cost me thousands of extra dollars though. My partner would have to take off work to accompany me, two plane tickets, hotels etc… (Side note: I’d have the procedure done in Mexico city where any woman can receive one prior to 12 weeks. Isn’t that fucking crazy – a Catholic country – I could receive better women’s healthcare than in the good old USA!?) I can’t imagine having to jump through all those hoops – the emotional toll of course would undoubtedly be exponentially greater.

I’m grateful that I have the access to enough cash / credit that legal and safe options will always be available to me. I recognize this is part of the privilege I have been afforded in life. Many people just fucking don’t have that security. Or you know at best could come up with bus fare, but would have to endure hard travel alone while recovering. SECONDARY TRAUMA.

This law is a War on Women. We have to speak up, we have to fight back!

Its time to say – #goodbyegreg!

With population changes and the influx of California tech companies – Texas will be blue. It’s inevitable – that’s why they are passing all these insane laws They see their time is up. These forced birth babies won’t be able to vote for 18 years – you can’t rebuild your base that way.

This law is horse shit & I will not reside in a place that treats my rights with such disdain. Here’s to hoping my state will be worthy of coming home to after election season in 2022!!

**This blog is my personal space. It is not a debate platform. If you have viewpoints opposing to mine – I encourage you to purchase your own domain and take the time to compose your own well thought out post. My comment section is not the place for it. All comments will be pending approval. We are all entitled to our own opinions, AND this is MY 100% #prochoice space.

#trauma #ptsd #recovery #cptsd # hypervigilance #mentalhealth #wellness #treatment #insomnia #anxiety #depression #healing #healingispossible #shadowwork #facethedarkness #psychology #counseling #dbt #dialectics #selfcare #bpd #nonjudgmental #compassion #kindness #ego #hope #lifeworthliving #thrive #evolve #phoenix #resurrection #rebirth #life #holistic #metamorphosis #transform #transformation #lettinggo #nonattachment #jamieschmidt #awakeshegoes #jamieschmidtlpc #goodvibes #growth #selflove #selftalk #appearance #hair #dreadlock #dreads #dreadhead #redhead #selfconcept #love #thisisme #takeitorleaveit #jour

My Break Up Letter to Texas

All my life, I have been very proud to be a Texan. I grew up in a suburb of Houston and have never lived farther than a couple hours from the city. I have degrees from Texas A&M #tamu and University of Houston #gocoogs. While I have experienced wanderlust a couple of times in my life, the pull for the adventure has never outweighed the true COMFORT of home with its unique Southern / Tex-Mex culture.

In my last post (6 weeks ago), I discussed the depression I have experienced since Winter Storm Uri which hit Texas the week of February 14th 2021. The inability of our grid (ERCOT) to provide the services of electricity (to meet market demand) led to billions of dollars in personal property damages and contributed to the loss of 111 lives.

Oh and our senator and his wife, their kids (plus friends) and colleagues rode out the storm in Cancun while millions of Texans were trapped inside their 15 degree homes (because that’s totally cool right?).

After a year of watching the US fumble the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, (I thought) this was the final blow to my respect for our institutions. All of which have been allowed to miserably fail the populace while continuing to expect docile subjugation. Since February, it has been a daily mental battle to find the willingness to get out of bed and participate in the institution that is capitalism in the United States.

And then this happened last Friday….
Texas governor signs abortion bill banning procedure as early as six weeks into pregnancy

That’s it – we are living in the dystopian nightmares that we read about in junior high. It is all unfolding exactly like we were taught it would.

I have always been pro-choice – even with my evangelical Republican upbringing. While I was a planned and wanted child, my parents divorced when I was four. I often noticed in my childhood that my presence was a burden to them, that they were grateful to be able to pass me off.

Being a “terribly wanted child” who spent most of my time feeling unwanted – it has just always been obvious to me that women shouldn’t be forced to have children they don’t want.

I chose to do my final presentation in 9th grade speech class on Pro-choice. Let’s just say it was not a popular standpoint among my classmates in my conservative public Texas high school in 2003. Already at that age it was important for me to discuss FACTS when I knew so many of my peers were forming their opinions on their parent’s religious views.

As a psychotherapist who specializes in the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and complex trauma, let me articulate a few of the many psychological impacts of being raised by a person who resents that you exist (possibly even to the extent that they view your life as continued trauma because you are the physical embodiment government theft of bodily autonomy).

First let’s discuss the energetic impact of gestating in a woman who hates you, views you as a parasite. This is pre-birth soul trauma. Before this baby has even taken a breath it has received millions of conscious and subconscious signals from the mother that “it is bad.” The fundamental building block of shame – I am so unworthy that I do not deserve to be part of the collective – is programmed into these babies’ DNA.

In DBT we refer to this as a vulnerability factor – something preexisting that affects your ability to regulate emotions. Ask any adopted child – even though they have been chosen by their new families, they almost universally struggle with feelings of shame rooted in rejection from their biological mother.

Add in the physical implications of forming inside a person who fundamentally does not want you to exist. Do you think these mothers will miss work to attend prenatal appointments (that they have to pay for) or abstain from their substance of choice during forced pregnancy? Go ahead and compound your soul trauma with increased health concerns that are the inevitable result of an unattended to pregnancy.

The law is forcing these babies to be born with two strikes against them before they take their first breath. Yet they will be expected to become healthy, productive members of society (and when they inevitably do not they will be told it is due to their own personal shortcomings not the system that has been stacked completely against them).

I think we can agree that society benefits when adults are well adjusted. This usually means lacking significant trauma histories and possessing secure attachment styles. It’s not super complex.

In fact we can even break down a fairly simple formula for mentally healthy adults:

Love + Acceptance + Presence of Emotionally Available Adults to Model Effective Behaviors & Respect for Boundaries
Secure Attachment + Complete Sense of Self + Resiliency to Navigate the Inevitable Trials of Life

The likelihood of children who are “forced birth” to receive any of the necessary building blocks for a successful adulthood is almost zero. Growing up with a parent who resents your existence is one of the primary building blocks of BPD. The shame that comes from needing nurturance from a person who outwardly dislikes you is one of the primary fueling factors of the chronic feelings of suicidality present with this diagnosis.

The other outcome – that these children end up adopted or in foster care. We’ll just let Texas’s track record speak for itself. Statistically we know that children raised in state care will possess higher ACE (adverse childhood experience) scores which leave them vulnerable to a whole host of physical and mental health diagnoses throughout life.

This law will only serve to create a cohort of children whose lives are steeped in pain, shame & heart wrenching struggles. So I ask Governor Abbot – why do you hate these fetuses so much? That you would wish upon them an existence a full lifetime of despair.

I am in the process of relocating out of the state. My partner and I will be gone by the end of summer. It makes me sad that I will be unable to vote for your opponent next year. But I am wholeheartedly unwilling to to reside in a place with the most oppressive laws against women in the nation. You should be ashamed of yourself, Greg. I truly hope this was the move that puts a women in your office in 2022.

**This blog is my personal space. It is not a debate platform. If you have viewpoints opposing to mine – I encourage you to purchase your own domain and take the time to compose your own well thought out post. My comment section is not the place for it. All comments will be pending approval. We are all entitled to our own opinions, AND this is MY 100% #prochoice space.

#trauma #ptsd #recovery #cptsd # hypervigilance #mentalhealth #wellness #treatment #insomnia #anxiety #depression #healing #healingispossible #shadowwork #facethedarkness #psychology #counseling #dbt #dialectics #selfcare #bpd #nonjudgmental #compassion #kindness #ego #hope #lifeworthliving #thrive #evolve #phoenix #resurrection #rebirth #life #holistic #metamorphosis #transform #transformation #lettinggo #nonattachment #jamieschmidt #awakeshegoes #jamieschmidtlpc #goodvibes #growth #selflove #selftalk #appearance #hair #dreadlock #dreads #dreadhead #redhead #selfconcept #love #thisisme #takeitorleaveit #jour

What do you mean I’m DEPRESSED?

Last Tuesday, my boyfriend called me out on some shit. His exact word’s:

“You’ve been incredibly irritable for weeks and you’re not sleeping – I think you’re depressed.”

He hit the nail on the head. The funny thing – it had never crossed my mind – the LPC who has dealt with depression for the better part of 2 decades.   

Last August, I had my first cancer scare at 31. That incident preceded a major mindset shift for me.  For the first time in my life, I fully knew I wanted to live.  Suicidal ideations have always come and gone with my depressive states.  Quite frankly, I’ve spent a lot of my life not wanting to live just not having the guts to do anything about it. 

All of a sudden, life wasn’t guaranteed.  I saw this disease growing in me as the physical manifestation of a lifetime of holding other’s trauma as my own.  And I wanted to live.   

I wanted to live for myself.  At that point I decided I deserved a life that wasn’t all spent in despair. 

While things haven’t been a walk in the park the past 8 months.  It’s been better than most years of my life.  I’ve invested a lot of energy in taking care of myself Including:
– working with a personal trainer,
– quitting cigarettes,
– adding a supplement regiment,
– quitting hormonal birth control,
– removing inflammation causing foods from my diet
& taking daily walks

 Basic psychology teaches us that each of these changes acts as protective factor against depression.  I am literally doing ALL THE THINGS we tell people to do to protect their mental health.  Never in my life have I this consistently been attuned to the needs of my vessel and my spirit.

In other realms, my business has taken off this year (thanks in many ways to COVID and the new acceptance for teleservices and coaching).  My relationship is doing well.  Objectively my life is on track in a way it hasn’t been in years.

So why am I again struggling to find the motivation to get out of bed each day?  Waking up has returned to feeling like a punishment. Days stretch out an amorphous blob of anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure). 

I can identify the prompting event – Winter Storm Uri Feb 15 – 19.  The swath of devastation in my state was unprecedented.   The amount of preventable human suffering (and death) that occurred solely due to greed.  The protection of corporate interests at the cost of lives.   While I was lucky not to suffer physical damage to my property, the soul damage of living through this event has been deep.

After a year of COVID, I view our country as the disgrace of the developed world.  But I still had pride in my state.  Until this incident I could hold the dialectic of my personal political beliefs and the southern values I was raised in.  Things weren’t right, but they weren’t so wrong that I couldn’t function within the system. 

I can’t any longer.  I’m no longer willing to.  What I’ve watched over the last year is the average American has taken many steps down on Maslow’s hierarchy, on Hertz Scale of Consciousness, and on almost all measures of basic quality of life.  

The system is designed to keep the many down at the benefit of the few.  At no time in history has it been more apparent than now.  In 2020 billionaires became richer while the average family stood in food lines.  The current distribution of wealth more closely resembles that of feudal Europe now that an any time in my or my parent’s life.  It already worsened with every passing year before the exponential effects of a global pandemic.

So why am I depressed? I think the better question is – who’s not right now?

#trauma #ptsd #recovery #cptsd # hypervigilance #mentalhealth #wellness #treatment #insomnia #anxiety #depression #healing #healingispossible #shadowwork #facethedarkness #psychology #counseling #dbt #dialectics #selfcare #bpd #nonjudgmental #compassion #kindness #ego #hope #lifeworthliving #thrive #evolve #phoenix #resurrection #rebirth #life #holistic #metamorphosis #transform #transformation #lettinggo #nonattachment #jamieschmidt #awakeshegoes #jamieschmidtlpc #goodvibes #growth #selflove #selftalk #appearance #hair #dreadlock #dreads #dreadhead #redhead #selfconcept #love #thisisme #takeitorleaveit #jour

1 Commitment – 6 DBT Skills

Last February as part of my healing journey, I reached out to a couple of local martial arts studios. Two years into active engagement in my shadow work had brought me to a new level of personal understanding. But I was still struggling to let go of the grip the trauma had on my body.

The Dialectic: I was aware I needed a physical outlet to work through this residual trauma energy AND as a person who has struggled with weight and body image issues my entire life, the gym has never been a place that is comfortable/safe to me. (Though believe me I’ve belonged to quite a few in my never ending quest to gain control over my body!).

I chose a location about a mile from my house based on the vibes I got in response to my email. Years of tuning in & I will say – my wisemind is good at picking up the energy of people who fit in my tribe! So last February I walked into GMA and met Jimmy for my first session.

For the first two months I worked with him, and it was exactly what I needed. A physically draining session where I was expected to show up and do my best. It was hard. And I dreaded going. But I went to every session because that was what I agreed to.

At the beginning of the summer, Jimmy switched things up & I began training with his wife. (I’m pretty sure he was tired of my lack of athleticism😆) Yet again, it was the universe giving me exactly what i needed, when I needed it.

My first session with Hope coincided with the anniversary of my business venture closing the year before and the termination of my relationship with my mentor/business partner (a little cherry on top of that loss sundae).

In my initial email, I had requested to work with a male. It took me until now to realize I had spent that entire year completely closed off to all women in my life. The painful split had been a final straw at the time – the last mentor I’d ever allow to stab me in the back. The easiest way to protect myself – not to trust & not to be vulnerable.

Letting this amazing human being human being in to my life was exactly what my spirit needed. She gave me a safe place to show up and work through my stuff and know that I wouldn’t be judged. It’s what I know works because it’s the same environment I create with my clients And it’s exactly what I needed!

She waited a whole year to pull out the “Kickboxing is Cheaper than Therapy” shirt…
We both got a good laugh. Though my suggestions for a better shirt would be:
Kickboxing is Cheaper & Better for you than Antidepressants!

So how exactly does 1 hobby illustrate the practice of 6 DBT skills?

Build Mastery – Build mastery is the obvious go to for any physical training experience. As adults we have often “mastered” the tasks of our lives and have few actives where we actively work to gain or improve our skillset. As children we are constantly absorbing new information and working to become better. Engaging in the processes of learning and development not only help keep our brain young (neuroplasticity), but can also increase self esteem.

Opposite Action (Anxiety) The action urge typically associated with anxiety is avoidance. The first emotion I experience when walking in any place occupied mainly by “fit people” is anxiety & the easiest way to ease that anxiety is to avoid that environment. Unfortunately that doesn’t get you any closer to your life worth living!! One of the simplest steps to beating anxiety is just to “do the thing” over and over again. I showed up the first time, and then I just kept going even on the days when my thoughts tried to get in the way.

Reducing Vulnerability PLEASE (Exercise) Multiple meta-analysis have concluded that moderate exercise (30-45 min / 4+ days per week) is as effective as antidepressants in reducing the symptoms of depression. Every time we choose to engage in activities that move our bodies, we are taking care of our mental health needs as well.

Values Driven Life Healing is really important to me. I was aware I had stalled in my own work and that I needed a physical way of processing trauma energy. Kickboxing was one of multiple options I had looked into. In the end I chose it because I saw that it was a single behavior that could the largest breadth of positive impact in my life. (Other options had been reiki, acupuncture, massage & ketamine).

Modeling As a mental health coach & consultant, it’s important to me that I not only “talk the talk” but I also “walk the “walk.” I strive to live a life that is healthy, balanced, and wellness focused. Prioritizing physical well-being was especially important last year. I’d be a hypocrite if I sat on these phone sessions and told all my clients to figure out how to take care of their bodies while ignoring my own.

Connection This was a *bonus* benefit I wasn’t really expecting to gain. Which is silly because there are so many similarities between a trainer and mental health coach. We both become actively invested in your life & we want to see you do your best. True connection (when we can be authentic and vulnerable) is the antidote to shame. 2017-2019 had left me bathing in my own shame. This relationship was an important step on the path to me crawling out of the cave of shame I had made home.

That is how it is when we are living a life of alignment!!!! The behaviors we choose and how we invest our time benefits us on multiple levels & across different domains of life. I was looking for a certain outcome when I began this. But I’ve gained so much more than I initially thought because I put myself out there and I stuck with it.

I want to wrap up by encouraging you to do the same. Show up even when it’s scary. Put yourself out there and try things you think would be good for you. And notice how the universe rewards you.

Shameless plug – for y’all who are local to Houston – I highly recommend check out one of the classes at GMA or schedule a session with my girl Hope!

How are you actively engaged in your healing journey? I’d love to hear about it! Share your stories of mastery, connection, opposite action & PLEASE skills in the comments below.

#trauma #ptsd #recovery #cptsd # hypervigilance #mentalhealth #wellness #treatment #insomnia #anxiety #depression #healing #healingispossible #shadowwork #facethedarkness #psychology #counseling #dbt #dialectics #selfcare #bpd #nonjudgmental #compassion #kindness #ego #hope #lifeworthliving #thrive #evolve #phoenix #resurrection #rebirth #life #holistic #metamorphosis #transform #transformation #lettinggo #nonattachment #jamieschmidt #awakeshegoes #jamieschmidtlpc #goodvibes #growth #selflove #selftalk #appearance #hair #dreadlock #dreads #dreadhead #redhead #selfconcept #love #thisisme #takeitorleaveit #jour

DBT in 5

Introducing my newest project for 2021 – DBT in 5!!

DBT in 5 are short (admittedly slightly longer than 5 but always less than 10 minute) videos. Each video gives a brief (a la Cliff Notes) introduction to the skill.

While I don’t cover the skills in as much detail as I would in a class or individual instruction session, if you’re looking to dip you toe in the water with the skills, this is a great place to start!

I’m going through the skills manual from the very beginning & I will be adding 2 videos each week.

As of 2/1/21 Lessons 1 – 6 are uploaded! Check out the first video below:

Hope y’all enjoy & find them educational / beneficial to your journey.

It would mean the world to me if you liked, shared, subscribed and commented!


#trauma #ptsd #recovery #cptsd # hypervigilance #mentalhealth #wellness #treatment #insomnia #anxiety #depression #healing #healingispossible #shadowwork #facethedarkness #psychology #counseling #dbt #dialectics #selfcare #bpd #nonjudgmental #compassion #kindness #ego #hope #lifeworthliving #thrive #evolve #phoenix #resurrection #rebirth #life #holistic #metamorphosis #transform #transformation #lettinggo #nonattachment #jamieschmidt #awakeshegoes #jamieschmidtlpc #goodvibes #growth #selflove #selftalk #appearance #hair #dreadlock #dreads #dreadhead #redhead #selfconcept #love #thisisme #takeitorleaveit #jour

Functions of Emotions

Why do we have emotions?

Have you ever taken time to ponder that question? Emotions are universal – we all experience them. And yet, they aren’t something we tend to put a lot of thought into.

Unless they are creating problems for our lives. Then we head to the therapist office to unpack our emotions and learn all sorts of fun facts about them.

Like why do we experience emotions? What they do for us from an evolutionary standpoint? What is the difference between primary and secondary emotions? What makes an emotion justified?

All of these questions can be answered factually. DBT provides a simple and straight forward response to each of these questions in the introductory section of emotion regulation. In fact, the first 6 lessons of this section are dedicated to providing a general framework for understanding emotions.

And yet – for the most part the general population remains in the dark when it comes to their emotional experiences. I’ve had client after client sit in my office and say “This is so simple, why didn’t anyone ever explain this to me before?

Why don’t we teach Emotions 101 – say middle school, around 7th grade? Give everyone access to some basic facts about this integral part of the human experience. This way they feel prepared with tools when life hits them with an inevitable “whoop!”

I get it – the American model doesn’t promote preventative care even in the form of basic education. It’s a shame though. I believe it could be a simple way to reduce suffering. Providing students with beneficial factual information about health.

Anyways…. I digress.

Back to my first question. What is the function of emotions?

In DBT we believe emotions have 3 primary funcitons

  1. Emotions motivate us to action. Many emotions set off hormonal reactions in our bodies to prepare us for quick and potentially life saving action. We are wired to respond to some emotional cues before we can even consciously process them – as a way to increase our likelihood of survival.
  2. Emotions communicate to and influence others. We are social creatures. Emotions allows us to participate in the interactions that make up our complex social systems. The most basic emotional expressions (smiling for happiness, frowning when sad) can be found across all humans regardless of cultural exposure.
  3. Emotions communicate to ourselves. Emotions are signals to ourselves that we need to be aware of what is going on. Unpleasant emotions may mean there is an actual threat or they may be a sign we need to adjust our behavior to be in line with our values (or our culture).

Each primary emotion also has a specific evolutionary purpose:

Fear – keep us safe
Anger – motivate us to act/protect
Disgust – protect us from contamination
Sadness – focus on what is important, align actions to values
Shame – maintaining in-group status
Guilt – maintaining values driven behaviors
Jealousy – protect relationships when threatened
Envy – motivates us to work hard to gain
Love – reproduction & survival
Happiness – reinforces behaviors that increase time in optimal functioning

For another beautiful DBT info graph poster : When Emotions Fit the Facts.

#trauma #ptsd #recovery #cptsd # hypervigilance #mentalhealth #wellness #treatment #insomnia #anxiety #depression #healing #healingispossible #shadowwork #facethedarkness #psychology #counseling #dbt #dialectics #selfcare #bpd #nonjudgmental #compassion #kindness #ego #hope #lifeworthliving #thrive #evolve #phoenix #resurrection #rebirth #life #holistic #metamorphosis #transform #transformation #lettinggo #nonattachment #jamieschmidt #awakeshegoes #jamieschmidtlpc #goodvibes #growth #selflove #selftalk #appearance #hair #dreadlock #dreads #dreadhead #redhead #selfconcept #love #thisisme #takeitorleaveit #jour

If you’re looking for DBT Skills Instruction or DBT Transformation Coaching
head on over to my business site ⬇️

If you’re feeling disconnected and looking for a safe and loving environment to plug-in, join us in the Thrive Together 2020 facebook group. We’re an awesome community of growth minded individuals who support showing up as your authentic self ⬇️