Listening is Where Love Begins...and the Night Jaime's Big Sister Stabbed her Boyfriend for Driving his Car Through the Front Door

"Listening is where love begins."

-Fred Rogers 

 

In my fourth year of teaching, my second grade student, Jaime, raised his hand and asked to read his morning journal aloud.

Jaime had been held back in first grade. He was a year older than his classmates and was already large for his age. He had begun the school year hitting, pushing, and overpowering his classmates on a daily basis. 

Now, after several months in the role we’d given him as a Peacemaker for younger students in the school, he had transformed from a sullen bully into a funny, mostly enjoyable student. But today his usual goofy grin had been replaced with a deep, heavy frown.

As Jaime read his journal, we learned that the evening before, his sister’s boyfriend had driven a car through their front door. 

His sister then stabbed her angry...

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Am I in the Right Place?

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Welcome to the BreakThrough Circle!

You've taken your first step into an amazing community of men and women.

The people who show up here tend to agree with at least one of the following:

  • I'm in emotional pain. I need an Emotional BreakThrough.
  • I'm in a health crisis and I'm scared. I need a Health BreakThrough.
  • I'm focused on achieving personal goals. I need an Empowerment BreakThrough.
  • My relationships aren't working. I need a Relationship BreakThrough.
  • I don't believe I'm good enough. I need a Self-Love & Compassion BreakThrough.
  • I'm struggling from symptoms of a Safety Wound...fear, overwhelm, anxiety & exhaustion. I need a Safety BreakThrough.
  • I'm struggling from symptoms of a Connection Wound...possibly distant, avoidant, isolated or numb or perhaps needy, anxious, insecure and over-reliant on affirmation. I need a Connection BreakThrough. 

 

You'll know that you are ready for this work if at least some of the following are also...

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The Secret Sauce of Inner Work

Emotional Vulnerability.

We simply can't go deep without it.

All the best stuff happens when we're emotionally vulnerable...

Humility.

Gratitude.

Care.

Joy.

Love.

But we've also learned that vulnerability is where the painful stuff lives, too.

It's no wonder that most of us have suppressed our vulnerability.

Reducing my feelings of vulnerability was a smart decision at the time I made it. And it was an active strategy for most of my life.

It's what our egos try to do every day...to keep us safe by creating emotional distance, in case I'm rejected or neglected or abandoned or criticized or hurt again.

The emotional distance I create gives me a feeling of control, and that feels safer than feeling out of control and subject to the whims of those around me. 

So we learn to not be vulnerable out of necessity. It was the best strategy we had, with limited options available. After all, we were young children at the time that these coping strategies and defense mechanisms...

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Calm, Connected & Powerful: 3 Fundamental Shifts you Need to Thrive

There are 3 fundamental shifts you need to make to emerge from this global pandemic feeling calm, connected, and powerful.

Hi, I’m James Mayfield-Smith. I’m a Somatic BreakThrough Facilitator. I use body-based wisdom tools to facilitate powerful, emotionally nourishing BreakThrough moments in the lives of my clients. 

 And yes, I’m talking about those earth-shattering, life-changing, bawling your eyes out, come to Goddess moments that re-define who we are at depth. That’s the sandbox I play in.

 I lead people through structured processes that create profound, positive shifts in their lives.

I guide clients through a series of Somatic BreakThrough Journeys that hone in on the most fundamental inner conflicts within you. I guide you thorough a process to heal the social conditioning of your culture, the emotional wounds of your childhood, and the traumas stored in your central nervous system. This process fundamentally rearranges the...

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Am I the man I want to be? A Question, an Answer, and an Invitation...

Am I the man I want to be?

This is an important question to ask, because being a man at this time in history can be a confusing experience. 

Are men supposed to be strong and courageous?

Or kind and gentle? 

Is speaking with authority still appropriate?

And when does speaking with authority become “mansplaining” and offensive to those around us?

The cultural roles that used to guide men have broken down. This is a good thing, as those old roles forced us into rigid expectations that didn’t allow for our full authenticity, let alone all the negative effects the patriarchy forced onto women.

But in the wake of this breakdown of gender roles, the Me Too movement, increased personal responsibility, and the heightened stress of modern life, men often find ourselves unsure of how to connect, to the detriment of our relationships and our careers. We get mixed messages about how to hold and express our personal power, which can devastate our partnerships,...

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