“Trauma” is defined as a deeply disturbing or distressing experience.
Many traumatic events have happened in our world recently. Even if you haven’t personally experienced a trauma, it’s totally normal to feel it vicariously – sometimes just from watching the news.
Experiences like these impact us to our core. When we have trouble processing trauma effectively, we can experience a lot of difficulty in our lives. Nervousness or anger can appear seemingly out of no-where. Relapses occur. Relationships suffer. Life gets hard.
Understanding how to cope with distressing experiences and symptoms is something we ALL need, so we can help ourselves and help others effectively.
Most importantly, know that everything you’re feeling at this time is probably normal and expected. Still, you deserve amazing support. Just because trauma is normal, doesn’t mean you should handle it alone. Explore your options, and find the support that works for you.
On a deep level, traumatic experiences cause us to fear for our physical safety and well-being – even when we’re safe. We do not often recognize when we’re having a trauma response, trying to minimize our experience or unsure of how to explain. Even when we DO recognize what’s happening – it’s easy to feel totally out of control when these events occur.
I’d love to give you some power back today.
We can never control what life hands us, but we CAN control our response with practice. So, in addition to the support you’ll seek, here’s a process to help you deal with trauma as it happens so that the symptoms of it don’t progress to cause serious issues in your life.
1. Become aware & prioritize feeling safe. Bring awareness to your experience, accepting your natural responses and embracing them fully. Recognize that any fearful, anxious, hyper-vigilant responses you’re having are signs that your system is working to keep you safe. As you recognize, acknowledge, understand, and embrace what you’re feeling, you’ll naturally start to feel safer. Then, actively help yourself to feel safe, whatever it takes. I love repeating a simple mantra until the fear slows down… “I’m safe”.
2. Create space for yourself to express yourself fully. Describe your experience, let it surface… through crying, yelling, punching, or maybe going for a run. Writing can be really helpful to process your experience. Trauma lives in your body, so until you let it move through you, any emotional pain you suppress will store in your body and create issues for you. Allowing your body this process creates an inner confidence and strength that you can overcome anything. Nothing from the outside will make you feel completely safe until you have this inner confidence. Set a time limit on your emotional expression to show yourself how much control you have over bringing yourself back after expressing the deep pain from your trauma.
3. Give back. The potential for positive outcomes to result from negative events is always there. Usually, the positive outcome from experiencing trauma is a new or renewed passion to help others cope with the same kind of deeply disturbing events. Once you’ve processed the challenging parts of your experience, a gratitude for what you’ve learned and a desire to help others with similar experiences can often surface and pull you forward.
Give yourself a happy ending. There’s a whole body of research on post-traumatic growth – reaching higher levels of functioning through the experience of adversity. Just don’t forget to validate yourself for the challenging parts too, OK? The world will thank you.
*Vulnerable Story Ahead*
I used to be a mess.
Throughout high school and college, I was depressed, grieving, and suicidal, on top of the usual angst that accompanies learning how to be a person and a woman with strong emotions.
I smoked lots of cigarettes & drank way too much.
I made questionable-at-best decisions.
I was shit at relationships… on so many levels.
My weight yo-yoed, to say the least. I’ve always tended to be on the “thick” side of the spectrum – except for a couple of sickly skinny years thanks to amphetamines & constant studying.
Eventually, I developed anxiety that would keep me up many nights, which developed into full-blown attacks once I started working in mental health care.
That’s when I really knew something needed to change. I knew that I’d never be able to *really* help other people like I wanted to unless I learned how to help myself first.
I’ve been on the way back up ever since.
Maybe you remember those days. If you’ve only met me within the past 5 years, this might be difficult to picture. But it’s true.
I used to struggle a lot. Now I’ve learned a lot, I’m standing tall, and I’m putting words to the wisdom that’s always lived inside of me.
I’m one of those annoyingly happy people that finds the silver lining in every situation. (I’m actually working on doing this LESS right now – especially with the people I love).
Still… I just love taking whatever life throws at me and spinning it into gold.
I love showing other people how to do the same thing, consistently.
It’s been said a million times that money doesn’t buy happiness. And, it’s true.
As a new business owner who’s still paying off student debt, I’m in a more precarious financial situation than I’ve ever been.
I’m also happier and healthier than I’ve ever been.
It has nothing to do with my bank account, with my relationship, my business … or anything outside of myself.
Those things definitely help but *I’m* the only one responsible for tending the fire that’s burning and building inside of me.
I tend it by walking my own talk… By connecting to myself, then finding desires & inspiration to follow.
I’ve built a strong foundation of comfort in my skin… by loving myself and my body entirely. I’m sinking in deeper every day.
Every little oddity and quirk… Every grey hair and roll. It’s all beautiful and fascinating to me.
Don’t get me wrong, things really aren’t ALWAYS easy. I’m building a business from scratch, after diving in head first…
That’s just my style. Jumping in always worked for me in the past. (Read: YOU don’t have to shake your life up like that if you work with me, and I actually don’t recommend it)!
I had no idea what I was getting in to. A lot of hard lessons have been learned. I talk shit to myself sometimes.
And, I know exactly how to pull myself out.
The fact that I’m sane and happy right now, in the midst of some of the most challenging times I’ve ever experienced, is the most honest testimonial I can give to display the impact of the services that I offer.
It hasn’t always been this way.
But, now, I get to explore the secrets of magnetic wellness and wholeness full time – so that I can make a difference for others by teaching it to them, too. I support myself by doing this work. Even when I’m squeezing pennies together, I’m surrounded by abundance, and I’m growing every day.
My passion for psychology, my love for learning, and my desire to help others have always been my saving grace… and now, I’m fortified by the tools I’ve developed along the way. These things combined are incredibly powerful, and that’s what I offer to you.
I help my people reconnect with who they are… I show you how to plug into your driving force so you can fly straighter and swifter into your dreams.
Don’t just take it from me. Over the coming months, I’ll be sharing my favorite client stories with you over on my testimonials page so you can see for yourself. Stay tuned…
And, as always, if you want in, let’s talk. Dropping me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org is the best way to reach me.
Thanks for reading. Have an amazing week. Talk soon.
photo by http://serifandscript.co/
Wildly successful people focus on their goals every single day, 365 days each year.
Regardless of your specific goals or what “success” means to you, a real sense of fulfillment comes with identifying what you want and focusing on it every single day until you have it.
Still, many people set goals starting January 1st – commonly around becoming healthier and more fit, or becoming more organized, or living a fuller more adventurous life.
What goals will you be working towards in this new year?
Honestly, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to reflect on your goals, so you can regularly make sure you’re heading directly towards them. These 3 steps to achieve your new year’s resolutions can ensure more consistent success, whether you’re a year-round goal-setter or a “New Year, new you” type of person:
When you live your life this way – setting goals and moving towards them every single day – nothing will be out of your reach. Have a fantastic 2018.
Generosity is readily giving more of oneself – more time, more money, more kindness – than is necessary or expected considering the situation. I’m sure you know, generosity is an extremely desirable quality to have.
It also has a dark side.
Unfortunately, the desire to give weighs heavily on some generous people when they don’t practice giving to themselves first and foremost. Generous people often give to others, to their own detriment.
The pressure we feel to be generous often doubles during the holiday season.
For instance… We donate money or buy gifts before accounting for our own financial well-being.
We always say “yes” to new responsibilities or events, when we’re already worn paper thin.
We force smiles and niceties with people and family members who don’t make us feel good, just to maintain the status quo.
When we neglect our own needs like this for the benefit of others, we nurture a breeding ground for resentment, anger, and eventually burnout, when we have absolutely nothing left to give.
This is not the spirit of generosity. True generosity happens naturally – inspired and overflowing from a full cup, without creating any hardship whatsoever for the giver.
To the contrary – true acts of giving always carry an element of receiving too. Contributing to someone else’s life from an inspired, loving place always feels genuinely enjoyable, abundant, and fulfilling for everyone involved.
When you’re NOT enjoying the process of giving – when you feel like you don’t have a choice, or you feel that you never get anything back in return – that’s a sure sign you’ve stepped into the territory of self-induced self-sacrifice.
So let’s take a step back, shall we?
These tips will help your giving spirit thrive throughout the holiday season.
1. Take 100% responsibility for the way you feel. Let other people take 100% responsibility for the way they feel, too. Your #1 job is to care for yourself – let that be your priority. It’s not your job to make other people happy. It’s not up to anyone else to make you happy, either. People will survive and thrive without you, or they’ll learn how with practice. That is a very, very good thing.
2. Learn what your “full body yes” feels like, then follow it. Close your eyes, take deep breaths, connect with your body, connect with the wisest part of you, and ask – what does a full body “yes” feel like? Say NO to everything that doesn’t elicit that solid YES reaction. You’ll still have plenty of amazing things to fill your calendar, especially during this time of year. Your time is valuable and in high demand – spend time following your “yes”, not pushing down your “no”.
3. Only commit to projects, parties, and people when you KNOW you will deliver. Everything on your to-do list will subtly drain your energy until it’s complete, so be deliberate, be selective, and be realistic. Don’t stretch yourself too thin. You don’t owe an explanation to anyone – you’re allowed to say “no” (or at least stay temporarily non-committal).
When you give generously to yourself first, a joyful generosity towards others will naturally emerge – because nothing feels better than making an impact in the life of a loved one or someone who needs it.
Nothing feels better than the experience of empowered creative energy running through your body.
You know that feeling when you’ve just accomplished something you really care about?
Or the experience of having a brilliant idea?
When you feel passionate about what you’re working towards, with plenty of energy to get the necessary work done, what’s that like for you?
All of these things are involved when you’re aligned with your creative flow.
Think of a person you know who’s very healthy, happy, and successful. Do you think they’re connected to themselves like this?
You can hear it in someone’s voice when they’re in this creative state. Their voice has a whole different resonance to it, doesn’t it?
You can see the glow of their skin and the light in their eyes, regardless of their age, size, or gender. They turn heads when they walk into a room. They seem to attract opportunities effortlessly, they seem carefree and confident. They feel comfortable in their own skin, and everyone around them can see it.
Not only do these people feel inspired themselves, but they inspire everyone around them.
They’re easy to remember, but they can be difficult to emulate… even if you’re usually one of them.
When you’re feeling out of sync with those amazing creative juices, give these steps a try:
1. Move your body. Get out of your head, and into your body. Slow down & stretch. Get up and go for a walk. Focus on your breath. In a locked, uninterrupted space, breathe and bring your conscious awareness to the sensations in different parts of your body. Explore how those sensations feel. This can be uncomfortable to do, but it’s almost guaranteed to move you past whatever’s blocking you. If emotions surface, just let it happen & let it pass. Everything is normal.
2. Get back to the basics. Who are you? Where do you come from? Where do you want to go? What’s important to you? What are you really passionate about? Take some time to reflect on these questions. Journal about them if you’d like. Cancel your plans if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed. Unplug from your devices, stop checking social media, let go of what others think. Watch some favorite movies or listen to your favorite music. Remember, anything is possible. If you can believe it, you can achieve it.
3. Connect with others. Who’s someone who never fails to bring out the best in you? Reach out to them. Brainstorm your thoughts & ideas with someone else, so you can get out of your own head and use the feedback from others. When we’re open to collaboration, we can take each other’s ideas to the next level, and we can have fun while we do it. Incorporating different perspectives makes for dynamic success.
When you reach that extraordinary creative connection with yourself, remember how much you deserve it. Be ready to repeat the process over and over again, as long as you live. Don’t forget to enjoy every second of the ride.
Desires often get a bad reputation for being frivolous & nonsensical, dangerous to indulge. But, honestly, when we’re not able to look closely at our desires on a moment to moment basis and freely step into accessing desires that come to us, we usually end up repressing them & misunderstanding them entirely – which is a problem, because desires serve a pretty important purpose in our lives. When you CAN examine your desires, there is generally a way to fulfill them immediately, without making any changes to your life or compromising any of your relationships – most importantly, without compromising your relationship with yourself. Give this video a watch & let me know what you think.
I’ll be taking a break from Tuesday Musings, probably for the rest of 2017, definitely for the next few weeks! Don’t worry… get connected here & “like” my facebook page – there will be plenty of content coming through to hold you over. Please, email me & tell me what topics you’d like to hear about once these come back!! – email@example.com. Love you all, & talk soon.
How are rock climbing, GPS navigation, & emotions related? Why should you care about this while you’re building your life & your business?
Today’s Tuesday Musings video will provide inspiration, visualization, & fuel for your imagination, that’ll help you take a direct route towards the life that you’re after.
Check it out & let me know what you think.
Big, scary word we’re musing about this week… trauma! Specifically, we’re talking about how to process trauma effectively in the moment, ASAP, after a disturbing/distressing event has occurred. Trauma – defined as a deeply disturbing or distressing experience – is happening all around us these days. Even if you don’t think you’ve been traumatized yourself (which you probably have), it’s really not uncommon to feel secondary trauma from the things we’re seeing in the news lately.
Unfortunately, when we have trouble recognizing & processing traumatic things as they occur, we can end up experiencing a lot of difficulties later in our lives. Even when we DO recognize what is happening, it’s easy & common to feel totally out of control when dealing with trauma responses in real time. I’d love to give you some of your power back today.
Most importantly – especially with this topic – make sure to put GOOD SUPPORT in place for yourself. Don’t try to deal with this all alone. Please, feel free to leave a comment or send a direct message to me with any questions or requests that come up! You can also email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. See you next week.
Mindfulness is defined as the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something, OR, a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
This is a common word to encounter once you’ve started a journey towards a healthier lifestyle. Still, the concept can seem pretty vague.
If mindfulness sounds light & fluffy to you, like a frivolous practice or a waste of time, the potential benefits might help you reconsider. Scientific studies have suggested that mindfulness practices (like meditation) support strong memory, emotional regulation, and communication between the left and right brain hemispheres.
Who can’t use some more brain power & better control over heavy emotions like anger, disappointment, and anxiety? Am I right?
When we feel more comfortable in the present moment, we don’t feel the need to escape our reality through unhealthy habits. We’re able to access unlimited creative ideas, have more meaningful conversations, and get more important tasks done faster. We’re able to move consistently towards our goals. Most importantly, we feel more complete and empowered as individuals, exactly as we are, regardless of our surroundings and the challenges they hold.
In this society that pushes a go-go-go mentality, a mindfulness practice has the potential to be more useful than ever. Here are some practical tips to get you started:
Become conscious of your thoughts. Meditation is a great way to do this – but you don’t need to sit in an uncomfortable position on a cushion to practice. I prefer to keep my eyes open while I meditate so that the effects translate more seamlessly into my everyday routine. Sit at your desk and look out of a window, or find a spot to sit outside, then take five minutes to focus on your breath. When thoughts creep in, just notice and let them pass by, continuing to focus on your breath. With time, your thoughts will slow and you’ll have more control over their progression. Keep a pen & paper handy to write down the amazing ideas that bubble up!
Get comfortable in your body. An essential part of mindfulness is becoming aware and tolerant of your feelings, both emotionally and physically. When we’re avoiding feeling our physical experience, we can’t be present in each passing moment. Practice this by adding an element to your step one meditation practice – after focusing on your breath, start engaging your senses. What can you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel? Notice how your thoughts naturally calm as you engage your body. Stretching, taking walks, or getting a nice long massage can help with this step.
Practice acceptance AND persistent positivity. Mindfulness depends on your ability to accept and embrace every facet of your mental, physical, & emotional experience – even the parts that seem weird or undesirable. The truth is, we ALL experience a full spectrum of thoughts, sensations, and emotions, even though we’ve been socialized to hide it from the world. To support your new awarenesses, especially the challenging parts, build a positivity practice. For example, you can start a gratitude journal. As you actively search for the silver linings & the positive aspects of your life experience, it’ll feel much easier and natural to sit comfortably in the present moment.
Lather, rinse, repeat – and enjoy this feeling of spaciousness you’ve just created.