The very first podcast for Processing Trauma Out Loud is live! In the first episode Kandace and I start the podcast talking about how the surprising power of kindness led us on our own journey of healing from childhood trauma. We share our first encounters with a kindness that felt different than any other kindness we have experienced. It's from these experiences that we were both led to become trained in narrative-focused trauma care with the hope of helping others heal through the surprising power of kindness.
Yeah, I get it. Looking straight at trauma and talking about the lifelong harm with the associated struggle is messy. However, the options are to hide, pretend and perform. We cannot be free to be our whole and real self until we face the painful wounds that are still hurting us. Not everyone has the stomach for it, and I get that. I want to say to you (who know that you do carry really hard stories), that there are many others who are finding the courage and are talking about their trauma, telling their stories of harm, and experiencing real healing. You are not alone. There is a way to heal.
I invite you to take one step today. You might begin by writing a story, talking with a therapist, or reading a book about complex PTSD or developmental trauma. Be watching for my new podcast, along with Kandace Rather (launching in early May) where we will be talking about how to process complex trauma.
You are not alone. There is a way to heal!
Were you taught to be nice? Niceness is modeled at home, in school and by society. Be nice! How often did you hear these words? Yet, can being nice sometimes actually hurt us and keep us stuck?
What does it mean to be nice, and how does being nice differ from being kind? To be nice is to be outwardly polite, pleasant, happy and agreeable. Nice on the outside, however, allows room to be inwardly judgmental, critical, competitive, and passive. Nice people get along with almost everyone as they function on surface levels of a smooth veneer that forbids conflict. Nice eyes tell you to be quiet, sleepy and without passion or desire.
Kind eyes have sparks and fire that gently disrupt. They are vibrant and draw you toward all that is alive through curiosity and genuine care. Kindness opens the heavy, room-darkening curtains with bold exhortations to arise and explore the hidden places, yet with gentleness that helps you believe you can hike the rocky terrain. Kindness disrupts the status quo and calls you toward life, light and love, while offering a hand.
Who in your world has kind eyes? Who sees you with a kindness that calls you toward action that can get you unstuck and move you toward healing? We need kindness, without judgment, that arouses us deep inside, to discover that which has been hidden, lost and forgotten.
Find Kind eyes. They matter. You matter.
Be watching for the launch of my new podcast that I will be co-hosting with my friend Kandace Rather, where we will be talking about topics like this and how they pertain to healing trauma.
Childhood trauma - the wounds don’t fade away. The roots go deep. This is the trauma that wraps tentacles around every aspect of life, pushing and pulling us according to its will. These stories of harm have been hard wired into our brain. Yet, we don’t see the connection of childhood trauma and current day pain because it has been with us as far back as we can recall. We don’t realize this trauma is the source of our struggle to feel peace, joy, and love. Instead, we live with emptiness, loneliness, anxiety and shame.
I know the effects of childhood trauma from sexual abuse and emotional abandonment. In my body and soul I carried wounds that were held in secret for decades because of deep shame and layers of self protection.
I have discovered that healing is possible. As I have opened the door and allowed wounds to be exposed, slowly, with beautiful care, the deep harm has been tended to and is healing. The wounds of your trauma can be healed. It’s a process. I’m still in process.
Processing trauma doesn’t happen in isolation, however. We need others. A dear friend, Kandace Rather, and I have been processing our trauma in a community where we tell our stories of harm and receive care. Now, we are ready to reach out to others and offer what we have learned through many years on this healing journey. I am so excited to tell you that we are launching a podcast in May where we will be talking about how to process and heal childhood trauma. Stay tuned for more information!
Whew! There's no question about it, 2021 was a hard year. Spending a few minutes to consider these 3 important questions might make a huge difference for you in the coming year:
1. What is one area of growth you are proud of, especially for the ways you worked hard to achieve something you really wanted to accomplish (i.e., personal success with your health, relationships or finances; more joy; freedom from something that used to weigh you down)?
2. What is one area that has continued to derail you or stop your success, freedom or fullness of joy?
3. If you could change one thing, or get rid of one thing, as you move into 2022, what would you choose?
Taking even 10 or 15 minutes on this exercise might give you insight to celebrate something, release something or choose something that can change your life for the better.
If having a coach would be helpful for you, please call me for a free consultation. I am currently offering a huge discount for the first three people to sign up in 2022 for a 12 Week Coaching Partnership. Contact me for more information.
Investing a few minutes of reflection on the past year can draw you into the future with more honesty and awareness. We can't really know where we are going if we don't understand where we have been. Here are my reflections on these important questions:
HOW did you change? I gained clarity. (Early in 2020 I had eye surgery that included lens implants enabling me to have 20/20 vision for the first time in my life. This physical vision transformation coincides with inner clarity that is also improving.)
WHAT changed you? Courage to name my childhood trauma with vulnerable honesty. (Even though I have been working on my story for many years, seeking and finding much healing, I am now learning to describe the abuse I experienced with more bold, strong and demonstrative vocabulary, i.e. trauma, violence, assault, Complex PTSD, and deep suffering. My vision has become more clear. This clarity is changing the way I describe my past, and is enabling me to express just how extensively the harm has affected my life.)
WHO was important? My new online community. (I know that for many, Covid 19 has brought much fear, isolation and pain. For me, social distancing opened the door to a whole new community online. I have been able to meet and connect with people across the country who are each also on their own powerfully healing journey. These women have become courageous voices calling me into deeper sadness, anger and pain, as well as faith, hope and love.)
Other questions to ponder: HOW did you resist change? WHAT unhealed past trauma stopped you? WHOSE voice takes power over you?
If you like to live “off the cuff,” you appreciate spontaneity. If you enjoy trying new things that are stretching, you delight in adventure. If you take pleasure in reading every article that piques your interest, you treasure knowledge and understanding. The qualities that are most important to you in life and work are your values. Clearly seeing your unique values can help you determine your priorities. Then, when your behavior supports that which you consider important, you have a sense of satisfaction and contentment that energizes you and enables you to soar. When your actions don’t line up with what you esteem most highly, things can feel off-kilter.
What are your top 5 values? How are you living in alignment with the qualities you admire most? In what ways are you out of step with that which you regard as important, and how is that hindering you from being the best at what you do?
We have moxie! Even when we don't know it or believe that it's true, we have moxie. At our core essence as women, we are already bold, courageous, audacious, strong, gutsy and so much more. This is the message of MoxieMe.
Regardless of how the world, others or even your own personal experiences have caused you to play small, silence your voice, or feel powerless, you are still, inherently, a woman with moxie. You were created to be courageous, free and fully alive. This is the message of MoxieMe.
If you are not embracing this kind of life, don't stay stuck. Start moving, changing, getting the freedom that is meant to be yours.
Women who have experienced victimization, like me, need this message. Whether through childhood abuse, assault, domestic violence, bullying, illness, an accident or any other situation that caused you to feel helpless or powerless, victimization steers you toward a life of hiding, protecting and surviving. While surviving is important, it's not enough. You were intended to thrive. While existing gets you through the day-to-day demands, you were created to be fully alive.
This is the message of MoxieMe. The journey is ongoing, and wherever you are on the pathway, I welcome you.
The "Stay at Home" order has come for many. Feelings of fear and anxiety are louder and stronger than ever. The situation we are facing has many unknowns. How can we live well during times that cause disruptive feelings?
Fear often takes power over us and draws our eyes down and inward as we begin to think more and more about taking care of self and our loved ones. When we turn the focus inward we begin to get smaller. Our courage and strength diminish. Often, we lose our voice. We hope someone knows what to do. Maybe we blame others for not preventing this chaos. Old trauma responses of fight, flight or freeze can take control over us more than our rational and analytical thinking. We feel energy drain away.
Especially for those of us who have experienced victimization in the past, many of those old feelings of helplessness and powerlessness rise to the surface and we can find ourselves acting and reacting in strange ways that are difficult to understand.
I would like to offer 6 options available to you when you feel this kind of fear and anxiety. We do not need to be held hostage by our feelings. In truth, we have the strength to diminish uncomfortable feelings of fear. Reclaim your strength and try one or more of these suggestions to bring a shift that can help you take back your power.
1) Intentionally lift your eyes, your focus, up and out. Bring your conscious thinking back to truth and remind yourself that right now you are safe, you are not alone, you are not helpless. Look at the sun in the sky, the birds singing, people coming and going. Move your focus beyond your corner of the world.
2) Get your tools out of your toolbox and use them. These simple tools can change the chemistry in your body in minutes.
a) Find an easy breathing technique, like the 4-7-8, and use it a few times each day. You can find out more about this technique by clicking here.
b) Learn how to do EFT Tapping and do it once or twice a day. Check out my "Intro to EFT Tapping" video by clicking here.
c) Take out your journal and write down your feelings. Move the thoughts that are swirling around in your head out onto paper.
3) Talk with someone who will listen well. You may need to ask them to just listen. Let them know that you don't need them to fix anything or have answers, but that you just want to be seen, heard, known and understood. Ask them to just, simply hear you.
4) Think about what you are actually feeling and give it a name. Joan Rosenberg talks about 8 unpleasant emotions we tend to avoid, and how, if we will ride the wave of the emotions for 90 seconds we will be able to move forward. Identify your emotion and feel it deeply and fully for those 90 seconds. It's quick and effective. Check out Joan's TED Talk here: https://youtu.be/EKy19WzkPxE
5) Ground yourself. Notice what is real right now. Are you safe? Are you hungry? Do you have protection? Are you ill? Write down 10 areas where you are safe, peaceful, unchanged. Then speak gratitude over those areas.
6) Acknowledge the spiritual and turn toward spiritual truths in prayer or meditation. Remember that you have a higher power you can turn to who is able to do for you what you cannot do for yourself.
Don't stay stuck in the swirl of fear and anxiety. You have what you need to take a step forward, right now.
Are you really happy where you are financially? When you think about the amount of money you have in your savings account, the amount of money you are in debt, or how much you make monthly: are you really happy? Sometimes we keep doing the same things, in the same way, hoping for different results. A lot of people go through their whole life in a viscous cycle and I don’t want that to be you. In this video, we are going to talk about our pre-programmed beliefs when it comes to money and how that impacts where we are. We are also going to talk about money mapping and how important that can be to identifying your beliefs and emotions about money.
MoxieMe is a place distinctively designed to ignite your desire to invest, with abandon, in yourself and your process toward finding and celebrating your moxie.