In todays post I wanted to write about my take and lived experience on the idea of Ancestral or carried trauma.
It’s no mystery that we are a culmination of our parents DNA and with that comes a deeper, engrained network of scripts (from the world of transactional analysis) and learnt behaviours and responses.
Also, fascinating to me is the notion and evidence based work on ancestral trauma and mental / emotional health within our families of origin.
Many studies have been conducted in this area and if someone is challenged by their own mental / emotional health today, when traced back it is often seen that there is a blueprint of poor mental health in other family members backgrounds and lived experience.
Is is also fantastic to see emerging more body centric therapies and modalities that take this viewpoint seriously and work to unlock repressed trauma and release trapped “emotion” In this way.
In my own experience and when working with clients and students I have been witness to some amazing shifts and emotional releases on the level of deeper body awareness, sensations and consciousness.
Some of the theories , therapies and approaches that I have seen work are
All of these in my opinion go beyond the talk based approaches that other modalities offer.
I do understand and have also personally experienced deep rooted trauma being healed on an equally deep level not by “talking” about the problem but by feeling the problem, getting in touch with the emotion, understanding what wisdom the body is giving me, what the learning is and “then” being safe enough to release it while has had a marked positive impact on emotional resilience and on wide spread body pain and fatigue.
Conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia to name just two.
Its not a miracle cure and takes commitment but it is also a beautifully profound approach to listen to our bodies own healing “response” and very importantly to pay close attention to the answers that arise from this level of work.
It may be In our DNA but it doesn’t mean it is yours to carry.
It can be released with help and support.
I would not undertake this level of work without consulting a trained and competent facilitator in body based therapies and approaches..
May you find your healing spaces and places where you are held and safe..
Today I wanted to share my thoughts and a snap shot of my experience around the idea of a spiritual path and how that can be quite a lonely experience.
Firstly the question I have is …What does it mean to be spiritual?
I feel that the word “Spiritual” is used a lot, (maybe too much) and quite a hip thing to be thought of…but what does it actually mean?
For me I have always been aware of my connection to something other than me. As a child I was in tune with other energies and beings.
A clear memory I have is being 8 years old. We had a familiar swing in our family back garden. I loved to play on the swing for hours at a time. I also remember convincing my best friend that if you were to swing high enough on it you would reach God…I truly believed that.
During my tumultuous teens, I was also interested in anything to do with the spirit realms understanding that my limited experience of the world wasn’t all there was… I don’t feel I want to delve further into this here other than to say it was all part of my personal exploring into other worlds. Although this was a delve into darker places it also opened my horizons and view points in “just because I can’t see it, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist”
When I was 25 I started to attend 12 step fellowships and stumbled across the idea and concept of a “higher power”. Something bigger and greater than myself that not only existed but that “had my back”..
My version of unconditional love that a higher power provided was not something I had ever experienced before. How could I trust something or somebody who I couldn’t see or feel?
I based my higher power experience on my upbringing that had been abusive and anything but unconditional or consistent.
Here I was being asked to hand my will and my life over…to what or who?
The real paradigm shift in my spiritual development and awareness came when I sadly lost my brother in tragic circumstances not 6 months after I had lost my Dad to cancer.
I wanted answers and I went to the local church and from a kneeling position asked God why? I needed to know.. where was God and why had he let this happen?
The next day I walked into a local gift shop and was greeted by a Hare Krishna devotee who worked there. I felt something profound in our exchange and connection and was invited to their Sunday Feast programme.
I loved this experience and felt at home both with the other people and within myself.
The chanting of the Hare Krishna Mantra transported me to another place and was deeply moving and profound ..I felt in touch with those same places and energies that I experienced as a child..I was simply in awe.
For the next 5 years I submerged myself in Krishna Consciousness and surrounded myself with the love and support of this community. Chanting, eating blessed food studying the vedic scripts and literature and attending festivals and events.
As I healed from the trauma of my past and also the trauma of family bereavement my needs changed and the love that was shown to me from the Krishna Community started to feel conditional and with this new found awareness I made the conscious decision to come away from the movement and look at more body centric healing and modalities.
I qualified as an Angelic Reiki Practitioner. This simply rocked my world and ever since qualifying and dedicating my daily spiritual practice to this energy, I have noticed a remarkable and growing connection with the Archangels and Angelic realms. Although it was always present from a young age it makes more sense now.
This journey for me also brings with it a certain loneliness and separation from societal norms. Although I have joined a beautiful Tantric community which is nurturing, rewarding and exciting.
Being on a spiritual path can be a very lonely place. I can be part of a community and surround myself with people on a spiritual path, however I also believe that my “relationship” with God/Higher power/Spirit is deeply personal and God isn’t exclusive and accessible from just one view point or understanding. It is a personal relationship that no-one else has ownership of.
I have a strong daily practice of chanting in the morning (the Hare Krishna mantra), daily meditation (Angelic Chakra Cleansing) and often pray.. I believe in God, simply put I believe I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t.
I am very grateful for my emerging and ongoing connection with the Angelic realms and a God of my understanding which is strengthened by having a daily spiritual practice which is essential for me.
I also believe in divine timing and nothing is coincidental..I was shown what I needed to see at the right time.
I want to finish this writing with the extended serenity prayer and ask are we ever really alone?
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”
“Grant me patience with the changes that take time, appreciation for all that I have, tolerance of those with different struggles and the strength to get up and try again”.
I wanted to write today about the importance of self healing and the time this can take.
I have witnessed and also personally experienced the throws of dealing with trauma.
Through the lens of CPTSD.
This was a long and arduous journey through very dark times, shadowy places and uncharted waters.
Thankfully I didn’t do it alone. I invested in recovery by choosing a fully qualified EMDR specialist who bit by bit was able to support me in my healing journey as well as the amazing friendships I have and an emerging spiritual practice which is at the heart and core of my healing.
This has taken time and much needed pooling of my own internal resources to assist me.
The most important aspect has been allowing and giving myself as much time as I need to heal.
Sometimes this can take 5 steps forward and 4 steps back. It has been imperative that I dont push myself too hard or too fast.
I also see that people with or who have experienced trauma can also have performance or perfection scripts going on . The ones that say be more, do more and hurry up.
The most important work I see away from social norms of achievement is to do the inner work, the piecing together of broken childhoods, family dysfunction and learnt and addictive coping strategies.
To replace them gradually with self comfort in healthier ways, creative outlets and love.
Also not to be ashamed of asking for help. To risk being seen and vulnerable and above all to stop picking on ourselves and give ourselves a break.
I sometimes say “if God existed and he was sitting with me would he be asking me to “hurry up”?
No he would want me to rest, be still and be at peace…
Such a simple question but one that can be hard to answer.
I know for me that part of my journey has been to “unfold” who I am without needing to mould myself into other people’s expectations of me.
I call it the chameleon affect.
Trying to always “blend in” with my surroundings.
I also understand that this can stem from a “deep routed” sense of not being ok with self.
I remember as a child creating fairytale lands of magic powers and invincibility which I now know was in an attempt to escape the harsh reality of my less than perfect upbringing and often tumultuous home environment.
I created places and worlds where I would be “safe”.. All powerful and connected to something other than what was happening around me.
Today I allow myself to escape in healthier ways.
Movies, books, art, colouring books and poetry are ways that I allow my inner child to feel acknowledged.
This is important for me especially with the sometimes over whelming responsibility of having to “adult”.
When I connect with myself through creative expression and to my inner child, I can then go into the world with a greater confidence and able to remain consistently in self approval.
I can look at myself and know who I am.
Back to my original question..
Who are you?
Who “can” you be and what part needs your attention today?
How would it be to listen to the inner child within and see what they need?
Even just for while before you need to be a responsible adult again.
I wanted today to share my thoughts on being imperfect.
I read a beautiful quote from a book called “The Instruction Manual for Receiving God” by Jason Shulman today.
God would not be God if what God needed was our “perfection”. We would not be humans if all we learned was to awaken a single time.
We need to know that we can awaken over and over again, and that in every state we love or hate, in every falling down or rising up, God is with us…
So many times I have fallen short of a self imposed goal or a new ideal or approach, due to not being able to do it perfectly.
In my “own mind” I have created this conflict. The self imposed perfection that limits me and actually blocks me from “connection” with my own understanding of a Higher Power (God)
This conflict can manifest in many ways and also has a physiological aspect.
Who do I need to be perfect for?
Who am I trying to impress?
Where did I learn that perfection = love?
What would happen if I showed up, just as I am in all my wounded glory?
Sometimes I am fully aware that these patterns are unconscious and not accessible but when they start to show themselves it is worth exploring these limiting beliefs in which ever way suits you. It could be a life coach, a friend, a therapist, or simply spending time each day in quiet and reflection.
Maybe its just OK to show up, turn up and be who you are in this very moment?