Why the Pain?

The higher you fly the more encompassing the view. Patterns emerge. Individual trees become forests. Hills become mountains. Lakes become oceans. Each of the observations that follow are profound. Together they create a constellation of insights that reflect universal forces that shape each of our lives, for better or worse. We call these forces nurturing, attachment, bonding, authentic or original play, feeling connected to the social web. The impact of these forces on a child’s development are immutable, absolute. When experienced, development moves in positive, life affirming directions. When not, the impact is crippling, aggressive, violent - even suicidal.

The journey this post invites is rich and diverse. Best to print. Hold these insights in your hand. Go slowly and savor. Here’s the PDF Ask Why The Pain.

Michael Mendizza

Don’t ask why the addiction. Ask; Why the pain?

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
Gabor Maté, MD.

I speak to thousands of people every month and the most difficult audiences are the medical ones who deal with the manifestations of early childhood loss but they don’t know that that’s what they’re dealing with. They think they’re looking at diseases, symptoms, mental illness, dysfunctions, psychosis, behaviors that are categorized under one diagnosis or another. They don’t realize that the commonality is the early childhood loss in trauma. Present them with that information and you present it to them in detail with all the research perimeters being covered so that it’s not just impressionistic or antidotal but actually research based and they sit there stunned. They don’t know what to do with it. If that was only my own failure to communicate I could say okay well if somebody else presented it then maybe they would listen. But no.

Original Play

Promise First Do No Harm

We forget. Nonviolence begins in the arms of nurturing mothers and fathers.

We feel numbed-shock, sadness and rallying pockets of rage as another wave of violence ripples through our collective psyche. Personally, I celebrate our nation’s youth, like the boy in the Emperor’s New Clothes, exposing the hypocrisy of the gun-lobby and implicitly the greed of the military industrial complex, hiding behind flag-waving (pseudo) patriotism that worships killing.


Story and Leading into Play

Until age five or six early child’s play is 90% self-play. The child may be with other children or an adult who are doing similar activities, but the focus of the child’s play is still personal. Group play requires a number of children act out the same story together, that they pretend to be the King or Queen, or the Frog Prince. This is very complex, abstract. The early child is concrete in their play. Nearly all play during the early years involves story, sensory experience, touch and movement.

imagination and play

I Wish...

Parents and the people who care about children understood how different the child’s reality is from our, more or less, adulterated version. What does adulterated mean? Tainted, mixed, polluted, contaminated. What we call reality is filtered by experience, our ideas, beliefs and fantasies, and yet, filtered is what we see. It is our reality. Adulterated is normal and we rarely pause to consider that what is normal for us is not normal for our children. Not seeing this difference we impose our interpretation of reality on our children, often with painful consequences.

brain development

Takes One To Know One

Pausing on this eve, the last starry full moon night of 2017, it is the spontaneous laughter, innocence and playful affection, with its deep and shared trust of a child, that lights the heart and lifts the mind out of its often dark and dreary habits. Observing the way thousands of adults relate to children, I often wonder if they see and experience this light that lifts and transforms? Sometimes, surely, when trust and laughter fills the air.


Winter Sosltice 2017

Quietly I return
each winter when the moon is full
and the stars sparkle bright in the black sky.

I return to this silent place that has been
in my heart and soul of humanity – forever
as the heavens pause
in this stillness we all feel.

The ever-present cycle of birth, growth and blossoming,
the wisdom of autumn and death of each heartbeat,
breath filing each cell, organ, limb, body, tree,
mountain, planet and galaxy dancing the dance
of transformation and renewal,
we are reminded of in this quiet place.


Sexual Predators, God in the Sky and the Rape of Mother Nature

Imagine growing from conception and throughout childhood without being blamed or shamed, punished or rewarded. No corporal punishments, i.e., spanking. No bribes, do this and you will get that. No time outs. No condemning words or threatening looks. Not even comparison. That means winning or losing, grades and hierarchy are off limits too. Oh, you can see which stack of blocks reach taller before falling down, but it is the blocks that have all the attention, not the one stacking. In place of these you experienced open and honest empathy and respect for feelings and needs, your feelings and needs and equally respect and appreciation for the feelings and needs of others, including plants, animals, water and the earth, along with, of course, natural consequences. Fire is, indeed, hot. The way the early brain, body and developing psyche experiences this trust, empathy and respect is through touch, affection and pleasurable sensations, mother nature, not symbols and not with concepts, God in the sky. What would you be like if that was the environment you were planted in? How would the society and our world be different?

sexual violence

But then it was too late

“What mattered most was that Donald Trump has contempt for any standards of conduct. (Indeed, he reportedly has taken offense at the accusations against Moore, [Roy Moore for U.S. Senate in Alabama] which remind him of his own treatment.) And no Republican who wishes to stay in office can afford to offend the president, who commands overwhelming support among the party base.”

Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine:
(see http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/47339-focus-the-mueller-investigation-is-in-mortal-danger)


Embodied Optimism

It feels like the deck is stacked. While it may be conjecture, anecdotal, it seems like it takes more energy and attention to be happy than sad, disillusioned, angry or depressed. Along with these; happiness, joy, hope and optimism are much more ‘states of being’ than abstract concepts. While appreciating that every thought has a corresponding feeling, I experience concepts in my head. Happiness and depression involve the whole body.


This gift we are given

Planet Earth is a tiny speck in the galaxy called the Milky Way. Traveling at the speed of light, rough estimates suggest it would take 100,000 light years to traverse. Do consider that a light-year, the distance light travels in a year, is roughly 5.9 trillion miles. Like a ship in an empty ocean earth bound astronomers can peer 13.8 billion light-years in every direction. This places the Milky Way, and our tiny speck, inside an observable sphere 28 billion light-years in diameter. Even this is deceiving. The universe is expanding. Some estimate the diameter of the observable universe to be, more or less, 92 billion light-years.