“If we want to be able to pick up the pieces of our lives and go on living, we have to get over the irrational feeling that every misfortune is our fault, the direct result of our mistakes or misbehavior. We are really not that powerful. Not everything that happens in the world is our doing.”
―Harold S. Kushner, author of the #1 international bestseller When Bad Things Happen to Good People
Nobody wants to experience trauma, but it happens. Each of us will experience trauma in our lives at some point. These crises do not happen because we are meant to suffer, but when we face them, we can choose to see trauma as a doorway.
Trauma calls us to live a deeper life. It is our invitation to grow, expand, and live as the beacons we were born to be.
Trauma is not just an event that has happened in the past. It is also a “scar” that is left by the experience and affects our ability to function in the present moment.
I learned about trauma healing firsthand. I lost six late-stage pregnancies, and while I have two wonderful adult children today, the lost pregnancies left me feeling broken and depressed. Years of talk therapy helped me to realize that I had to let go of my grief over the babies I had lost. But it was not until I found Reiki that I could release the trauma stored in my body and begin to heal my heart. Practicing Reiki and meditation helped me to FEEL the pain in my body, not just talk about it. Shifting energy and mindfulness plus all the insight I had received through years of therapy proved to be a powerful healing combination.
My healing process led me to study different healing modalities—Reiki, meditation, color therapy, shiatsu, reflexology, aromatherapy, just to name a few. I am no longer the social worker I was when I received my degree. I’m an Intuitive Transformation Mentor who uses various trauma-supportive healing methods to create a holistic healing experience for the women I work with.
Years of experience has taught me that three critical pieces must be addressed when healing from trauma.
- Healing the present is as important as healing the past.
Many traditional methods of healing trauma focus on desensitizing the traumatic event. Creating a safe space to re-expose the wounded person to their trauma can reduces outbursts and flashbacks. But more and more trauma experts recognize the importance of healing in the present moment as well.
I find the work of psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, useful. He studies the treatment of posttraumatic stress in civilians (adults and children.) In his book, van der Kolk presents the idea that talking about distressing feelings is not enough to resolve them. Healing can only take place when people start to notice, feel, and put into words the reality of their internal experience in the moment.
When guiding women through healing trauma, I take them through two parallel journeys. One path addresses the traumatic experience in the past and the other path helps them to live a meaningful and purposeful life in the moment. Bringing purpose to our pain and learning its spiritual lessons contributes to our healing of past, present, and future.
- The healing process must address the trauma that is stored in the body.
According to van der Kolk, “We have the ability to regulate our own physiology, including some of the so-called involuntary functions of the body and brain, through such basic activities as breathing, moving, and touching.”
Years of conversations, awareness, and mental healing cannot be complete without addressing the trauma that is stored in the body on a cellular level. Many women who have done a lot of cognitive healing work still feel unsafe when they encounter a situation that triggers their trauma.
Take Jennifer, for example, a highly accomplished 55-year-old woman who was traumatized by her dad growing up. She made a lot of progress in therapy. One time her boss talked to her in a voice she perceived as threatening, and Jennifer unexpectedly found herself crawling on the floor, crying and shaking. That’s when she reached out to me. She enrolled in my Reiki training and in my Ignite Your Light program. We spent a few months healing the trauma that was stored in her body through a combination of conversations and energy work. She was an engaged participant in the process of her own healing and treated herself with Reiki daily, which added another layer to our private sessions.
Five years later, Jennifer still works at the same company. Though her boss still yells at her from time to time, she has not had another episode like the one she had before. Releasing the trauma that was stored in her body (at least most of it) allowed her to become confident and empowered, fully connected with her true self, and that’s how she shows up in life now. She learned to identify when her trauma is triggered, catch it early, use the healing techniques she learned, and take charge of the situation.
“In order to change, people need to become aware of their sensations and the way that their bodies interact with the world around them. Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.”
― Bessel van der Kolk, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
- Becoming mindful of your body, thoughts and emotions is the only way to feel grounded, safe and calm in the moment.
Trauma is not a memory. It’s an experience that impacts the brain and the body. When your trauma is triggered in the present, your system goes into “threat mode.” While it is essential to let the brain reconnect with the situation to learn that you are no longer in danger, you must also train your body and mind to be calm in the present moment so that you do not get locked into feeling threatened.
Trauma-supportive healing methods, such as Reiki, meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, acupuncture, color healing, sound healing, dance, and other creative practices are only a few of the wide variety of modalities available to us.
While Reiki is not the only way, I believe that it is one of the best modalities for healing trauma. Reiki is a self-guided healing modality with its own intelligence. Reiki is simply the energy of the universe, or universal life force. While you lay your hands on specific energy centers in your body, you align with the universal energy. This source energy is bigger than us and KNOWS what our systems need, and always works for our highest good.
Through a gentle, loving, compassionate process of charging your body with the energy it needs to heal naturally, you support the healing of your trauma.
Healing trauma is a process that, to be effective, must include an investigation of all parts of the self and the different layers of mind, body, and spirit. Addressing the present and the future is as important as healing the past.
I can humbly say that many women have healed through my work. If you are in need of healing and transformation, you can experience my work by taking the Journey into Your Soul with me. If you prefer to talk first, send me a message and tell me a bit about yourself and your circumstances.