May 22, 2018

One Man's Journey of Healing Shame - Part 3

This week, Dolan continues his series and explores how we can make shame our friend.


What? Dolan are you crazy? Why would I make shame my friend? Shame is so painful. It doesn’t have anything constructive to say. I hear you. But hang on, hear me out on this. Yes shame is painful. It hurts. But shame has more to offer you than just pain.

Shame has the ability to direct you to where your heart needs healing. The trick is to move past what shame is telling you and look to what’s driving it. Often times what’s driving shame is a truth that you don’t know about yourself.

For example, you go on a first date with someone who is really attractive. In fact, this person is without a doubt the best looking person you’ve ever dated. He’s a real head turner. On top of this, he’s so kind, smart and successful. After a delightful first date, you text and don’t hear back. When a person is shame based the immediate reaction is to take the silence personally. Shame gets triggered, and in this case, feelings of unworthiness spring up. You feel unworthy.

You feel shame and you make it mean you’re unworthy. While intellectually you may realize you are worthy, you just don’t feel that way deep down. Now you have a chance to discover what feeling unworthy is all about. What is driving the shame? What lies beneath feeling unworthy? What don’t you know about yourself deep down?

In my experience, I never had a lot of success with affirmations. I could tell myself I am worthy ten times a day for 2 weeks and I still would feel unworthy. I also spent time in therapy both individual and group. I’ve meditated and journaled. All of these modalities were helpful. But my shame continued.

What finally worked for me is discovering a personal truth. When you discover a personal truth that resonates with your heart, you fill that hole in your heart. This is how you find the meaning in your shame. This is why the truth works. You feel it. You feel it in your heart. Your truth isn’t something that you’re trying to talk yourself into. Feeling the truth is what lets you know for sure.

Let’s go back to the example of feeling unworthy. You feel shame and you make it mean you’re unworthy. You’ve already begun the process of transforming shame. You’re feeling your feelings, but now let’s add a twist.

Here’s an example: 

Think, what don’t you know about yourself that’s driving you to feel unworthy? Allow yourself to feel. Then ask yourself do I need to know I am loved? Then feel. Does loved resonate? Yes or no, is that what you need to know? If no, then go on to another word. I feel all this shame and unworthiness because I need to know I am precious? Then feel. Does precious resonate? Is that what you need to know? If yes, then that is what you need to know. You need to know "I am precious." This is your truth. 

You’ve been feeling unworthy and acting accordingly because deep down you didn’t know you were precious. And now you do. Now you know the truth. I am precious. You can feel it, when you never could feel it before. Allow the truth to settle in and grow inside you. Allow the truth to fill a hole in your heart.

When you learn how to resolve and transform shame, shame can become your friend. You can use shame to learn about places in your heart that hurt. You still may not love shame. Shame may never be your BFF. But shame can serve as that friend that is honest with you. It can be the friend that tells you the truth. Shame is the kind of friend that tells you your breath smells bad. Information you might not want to hear, but it’s good to know. We can all use a friend that’s plainly honest with us. 

Dolan Maydeda is an author, coach, and chiropractic kinesiologist. He enjoys swimming, cooking, and his family tradition of making mochi. He lives and practices in San Diego, CA. 

May 15, 2018

One Man's Journey of Healing Shame - Part 2

This week, Dolan continues his series and explores how we can transform shame by connecting to it's meaning or purpose in our lives.


When I first heard my therapist gently tell me, "Dolan, you are shamed to the core," I didn’t know how to react. What does that mean? It felt so disturbing. I didn’t like how it sounded, but it felt true.

What does shamed to the core mean? It means that shame goes all the way deep down to your core. Shame influences your core beliefs about yourself. It may mean you think, feel and believe you’re unlovable. Or it may mean you think, feel and believe you’re unworthy. Of course neither one of these are true. It just feels that way when you are shamed to the core.

I was shamed to the core. I thought very little of myself. This had many ripple effects. Shamed to the core could cross the line to self-loathing which was not good. But strangely, in this weird sort of way, self-loathing seemed right. A perverted sense of justice. Since I was unworthy, I didn’t deserve love. I deserved contempt. Shamed to the core made self-compassion and self-love difficult to give to myself.

One of the common themes in my therapy was to feel my feelings. When I started ,I didn’t even know what that meant. But I eventually learned. I trusted my therapist; I was willing to feel my feelings. She encouraged me to feel my pain and shame. That’s not really what I wanted to do. What I wanted was my pain and shame to stop. But after over 30 plus years of trying it my way without success, I decided to try her way.

Learning to feel my feelings had benefits. I learned I didn’t have to fear my feelings like I once did. I learned how to identify my feelings, which was helpful. But feeling my feelings never made my shame go away.

I had this idea in my mind, that if I could just get to the root of my shame, if I could just feel it deeply enough, I could get rid of it once and for all. So I kept feeling my shame, again and again, always trying to go deeper. 

One inspired day while reading some metaphysics, the author said that even single celled organisms had some form of consciousness. That inspired a thought. I wondered if I could feel shame all the way down in my cells.

I closed the windows and drew the blinds. I laid down on my bed and quieted my mind. I closed my eyes and became still. I was trying to feel as deeply as I could, all the way down to my cells I was feeling deeper and deeper. Bam! There it was. I felt shame in my cells. This disturbed me. WTF? My first thought was, I’m screwed. I’m never going to escape shame. What does that mean? Then I took a few breaths and collected myself. My next thought was I wonder if shame goes even further. I wonder if there is shame in my cell’s nucleus.

Again, I calmed my mind and lay still, feeling as deeply as I could. Slowly, slowly feeling. Slowing my heart rate and my breathing. Then boom! There it was. Shame was in my DNA. I couldn’t believe it. But this time I didn’t feel disturbed. I was curious. Shame in my DNA, hmm. What does that mean? I pondered the idea. Well, if shame is in my DNA, then it means it’s not my fault. It’s not my fault I feel shame. I have no control over it. Just like I have no control over my eye color, skin color, or height. It’s in my DNA. It’s not my fault. I’m normal. Whew, what a relief!

Shame is a normal human emotion. Everyone feels shame. But people just don’t go around talking about it. This is what makes shame tricky. There are so few models on how to deal with it successfully.

Realizing that shame was in my DNA, I began to change how I thought about shame. Getting to the bottom of it and being done with it once and for all wasn’t an option. I needed to learn how to resolve the shame.

It wasn’t till I read the book, Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl that I found the missing piece. This book tells Frankl’s story about surviving multiple Nazi death camps. In his book Frankl writes, "Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds meaning."

This was the key. This was the missing piece. I considered feeling shame to be suffering. So I needed to find the meaning in my shame if I wanted it to stop. 

As soon as I learned to find the meaning in feeling shame, the shame stopped. It was surreal and surprising. It is not only possible for shame to stop, it is a shock and an immense relief when it does.

Read Part 3

Dolan Mayeda is an author, coach, and chiropractic kinesiologist. He enjoys swimming, cooking, and his family tradition of making mochi. He lives and practices in San Diego, CA. 

May 8, 2018

One Man's Journey of Healing Shame - Part 1

This week, I am thrilled to introduce you to Dolan Mayeda, who in addition to being a chiropractic kinesiologist, author and coach living in San Diego, is also a Comment Moderator for the Healing from Sexual Abuse Facebook Group

This month, he will be sharing his journey in understanding and healing shame. He's even written a book about it called Shame Hack. The book describes the process by which we can transform shame from a place of hurt to a place of healing. 


I’d like to begin by sharing a little bit about myself. I’m a child sexual abuse survivor. I can’t recall the exact age. But I believe I was in the third grade. It was a one-time event from a neighborhood kid down the street. And it messed me up.

I’m third generation Japanese American depending on when you start counting. I start with my grandfather who immigrated and consider him first generation. I grew in a Japanese culture. One of the few Japanese words I learned growing up was bachi. Bachi as I understood the word means you get what you deserve. 

When my parents explained bachi to me they would said, "If you play with fire and you get burned, you deserve it." Thus if bad things happened to me, I thought I deserved it. If I thought very little of myself, I thought that was right. I had circular thinking as a child. I’m bad. Something bad happens to me. I feel bad. I deserve it. And around the thoughts go.

I’m a sensitive person by nature. I feel deeply and am quite observant. Growing up being sensitive sucked. It was just too easy to get my feelings hurt. So I learned to shut them down. Now, as an adult I’ve learned that being sensitive is truly a gift. It allows me to connect with people at a heart level, which is something I truly enjoy.

I’ve had plenty of shame to deal with. I was molested, raised in a shame influenced culture, and have a sensitive nature. I share this with you so that you know that I know what it is to feel shame. In fact, I’d say I was shamed to the core. I’ll talk about being shamed to the core in the next post.

For now, let’s just talk about shame. There are so many different experiences and triggers for shame. For our discussion, I’m going to keep it simple and talk about shame as a feeling only. Yes shame can be far more complex with branches and interwoven pieces from a psycho-social-cultural model. But let’s keep it something we all can relate to. How it feels.

When I speak of shame I am talking about the painful feeling of not being enough. This feeling of not being enough comes in many flavors. Shame can feel like you are: unworthy, unlovable, you don’t belong, you’re the only one, you’re broken, there’s something wrong with you.

Let’s break a couple of these down. You feel unworthy. You are not enough to be worthy. It’s not that you ARE unworthy. You just feel that way. And this is what shame feels like. Here’s another. You feel unlovable. You are not unlovable. You feel shame.

This is what makes shame so tricky. You identify with the feeling. With shame it’s not that you feel bad. You ARE bad. You identify with being bad. You feel unworthy, which is shame. So you believe that you are. Why? Because it feels so true. Here’s another factor. If you feel emotions intensely, then when you feel unworthy, you feel intensely unworthy. It feels that much more true. Of course, you are not unworthy. You just feel that way at an intense and perhaps deep level. Perhaps you feel shame to the core. 

There’s good news if you feel shame the core. It means that you can feel to the core. If you can feel to the core, you can feel love to the core. Or joy to the core. Or meaning to the core. Shame is not a life sentence. Shame is a feeling. A feeling that can transform how you experience yourself.

One of the first steps to learn when you begin to resolve shame is to identify it. When you feel unworthy, unlovable or like you’re the only one, realize that you feel shame. Realizing you feel shame puts you in a position to begin to transform it, versus believing what shame is telling you. This is crucial. This changes your position from identifying with shame (i.e., I am unworthy) to realizing you are having feelings. This is a powerful beginning.

Read Part 2!
Dolan Mayeda is an author, coach, and chiropractic kinesiologist. He enjoys swimming, cooking, and his family tradition of making mochi. He lives and practices in San Diego, CA. 

April 24, 2018

Healing Trauma with Tipi

This week, Cedric helps us to understand how trauma gets stuck in the limbic system and what we can do to release it.


We have all seen how a single traumatic experience can lead to years, even decades, of depression or PTSD.

I know for a fact that no one has to live with the weight of past trauma or depression.

Through years of practice in emotional regulation I have had the privilege of helping many individuals overcome their depression, chronic anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

To be completely honest, I did practically nothing; these women and men placed their pain in front of them, felt it in their bodies, surrendered to it, and regulated it.

I would be lying if I were to claim that a single emotional regulation session can fully resolve a trauma. Most of the time one traumatic experience leads to several painful emotional repercussions. A trauma survivor needs to examine his daily life and identify the past's manifestations on life today. 

During an emotional regulation session we always work from within the present. The traumatic event does not need to be revisited--a huge relief for many survivors of trauma. In fact, when it comes to healing old emotional wounds, we consider that working on the inciting trauma is counterproductive because the memories are too charged, too old, or distorted.

How does trauma stay stuck in us? Neuroscientists and psychologists have begun to understand why the impact of a traumatic experience is so deeply rooted, despite a multitude of subsequent positive experiences.

Trauma elicits such an intense multifactorial physiological response, flooding the body with stress hormones, that the associated memories reside in the limbic system. As renowned neuroscientist Joseph Ledoux explains in his book "Anxious", from the moment the traumatic memory is created, every subsequent situation that contains elements which our limbic system associates with the trauma will provoke a danger signal with associated physiologic responses. This set of sensations cannot be overruled by our intellect because it isn't generated by the forebrain. That's why it is impossible to "logic our way out" of trauma and why talk therapy often fails.

How does Emotional Regulation integrate a Trauma?
In his book "Sensory Reliving " (Emotion Forte Edition, 2015), Luc Nicon outlined how the physical sensations felt during our emotional difficulties create a clear and direct path to the origin of our traumas. 

When we consciously experience the sensations present in our body during an emotion without trying to control or understand them, we allow the forebrain to reconnect to the data stored in the limbic system; data that was until then isolated. Once this reconnection happens, the result is spontaneous and permanent, meaning that the emotional pattern felt until then will end.
We will have to work, step by step, regulating one emotional pattern at the time.

Once a person is ready to let go of the suffering, to release the pain of past trauma, a healing process is available. 

Our body is waiting for our mind to be ready to heal.

If you would like more information about this work, or if you want to experience regulating difficult emotions, visit

Cedric Bertelli, Director of Tipi USA, has been teaching the Tipi process for emotional regulation in the US since 2011. He was personally trained by Luc Nicon, the researcher who created the program in France. They continue to collaborate closely as this work gains worldwide momentum. Cedric is recognized as a CAMFT-approved Continuing Education Provider, he has been training therapists, Special Ed teachers and other healthcare professionals for 7 years.

April 16, 2018

Healing Our Emotions, Healing Our Body

This week, Cedric tells us about how Tipi helped one mother resolve her anger, heal her relationship with her daughter, and heal her body.


Consciously or subconsciously, we humans are constantly impacted by the moods and emotions of others. In fact, we go so far as to push each other’s buttons just because there is "juice" there! Did you ever notice that when we are triggered, the people around us can sense it and their mood or demeanor shifts? Often they do not even realize why they feel this inner shift. This phenomenon is common in adults and children alike.

I very clearly remember working with a 35 year old single mother, Jessica. Jessica contacted me last year seeking help with the intense anger she felt toward her 6-year-old daughter. Most of the time, the anger was triggered by little things, like her daughter not being able to choose between two pairs of shoes or taking too long to get dressed. It is common for parents to have occasional feelings of anger toward their children. Even when they intellectually understand that something is not worth getting upset about, they just CAN’T help it! The anger can be overwhelming. And after they’ve blown up and the child is crying, they feel guilty and terrible about themselves. They resolve to be more patient. Still, the pattern plays itself out time and time again. It is hard on the child, the parent, the co-parent—the whole family.

In Jessica’s case, she would get extremely frustrated and angry when her daughter was slow to get ready, couldn’t make a decision, or left her toys lying around. The frustration was so intense at times that Jessica, a sweet and charming woman, had to walk away from her daughter to scream and punch something—a door, a pillow, anything.

I want to take a second here to recognize that it takes a lot of courage for a parent to acknowledge this kind of behavior and to seek help. Many would be too ashamed, afraid of being judged, to take the steps toward change. But Jessica was committed to a close relationship with her daughter. She could see that her behavior was making the girl feel sad and afraid.

Jessica heard about my work with emotional regulation through a girlfriend who attended one of my monthly free trainings. We met in my office in San Francisco for the session. As I usually do, I asked her how long she will need to notice whether her anger has resolved. I explained that once a negative emotion has been regulated with Tipi, it will never return. Jessica chuckled and said: "I will know tonight or tomorrow morning! But let’s wait a couple of weeks, just to be sure." So we booked our follow up appointment in two weeks and, feeling confident that she had resolved her anger, I was eager for the follow-up.

When the day finally came, as I opened the door Jessica was standing there with a huge smile:

"I don’t know what you did, but it worked!" she said. I asked her to tell me about it, "Well …," she continued, "I did not get upset once in the morning, not once! That has never happened before."  

I said that it was wonderful and congratulated her on the work she accomplished during our session. "Wait, there is more to it!" she said. Since the session, her daughter was noticeably better about cleaning up after herself, getting ready in the morning, and choosing between her pink or white sneakers without anybody having to plead with or push or frighten her!

It made total sense: mom got rid of her button and, instead of feeling blocked or afraid, the child could make decisions peacefully, naturally, easily!

Jessica shared another effect of our session. The eczema she had on her neck for several months disappeared within a few days of our work together.

Sometimes this happens after a session—it is just the body saying "thank you!"

Let me wrap up by saying that the solution to our emotional problems is definitely inside of us. Often, the best way to change a difficult situation is to change our behavior. To do this reliably, we must heal our emotions.

And all of us can do that, our body has the natural capacity for it. The greatest challenge is recognizing and acknowledging our patterns. Once we have identified them, regulating the dysfunctional emotions is straightforward. And the impact is powerful, on our life and on the lives of people around us.

Cedric Bertelli, Director of Tipi USA, has been teaching the Tipi process for emotional regulation in the US since 2011. He was personally trained by Luc Nicon, the researcher who created the program in France. They continue to collaborate closely as this work gains worldwide momentum. Cedric is recognized as a CAMFT-approved Continuing Education Provider, he has been training therapists, Special Ed teachers and other healthcare professionals for 7 years.

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