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Being trauma informed

Throughout my own healing journey as well as having worked with many clients from various backgrounds I came to understand how little all of us knew about trauma yet how much it affected every single one of us in our daily live and behavioural patterns. 

When I attended my Tamalpa life arts training in 2018 one of our teachers talked about trauma and listed experiences. She said for example: divorce is a trauma. I had never considered that. Of course it does not have to be but very often it is. 

At the end of the school year 2020/2021 the principle of my children's school made parents aware that our children might have been faced with trauma throughout COVID lockdowns and all the mask scenario. Many psychologists and therapists pointed out that the lockdowns took quite a toll on many children. 

My approach to life is one of simplicity, reflection, curiosity, compassion and healing. My healing journey was a bit like peeling an onion. Every time I thought I had peeled enough another, even deeper layer, appeared. For a long time I had no awareness what truly constituted a trauma but once I did I realised that many of us hold traumas that we are not even aware of.

You can find more information on that topic from Peter Levine, one of the most well known trauma experts, who developed "Somatic Experiencing" as a healing method for trauma and who says: “Trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside in the absence of an empathetic witness. Unhealed trauma occurs because the whole survival response is not completed. Many people stay stuck in automatic survival responses and can stay stuck for years.” When I worked with my clients and they shared some stories with me I pointed out that they had been through some trauma, which they had not even realised. 

Stuck trauma in our body can also lead to some physical issues over time. 

Although I had what we might call a "mindful divorce" the journey afterwards encompassed a few more traumatic experiences. That was a catalyst to truly dive into my own healing and most of all I learned over time to recognise and respond much faster to trauma. 

What a lot of people don't realise though is how trauma can hold them back in life no matter where they are in their lives. There are even people in leadership positions who tend to be and get stuck because they have not healed their trauma. 

In order to avoid to go through the same traumatic experience again we tend to push it deep into our sub-conscious mind and often have forgotten about it or prefer not to face it. It is said that 95% of our daily behavioural patterns come from our sub-conscious mind and "run the show". That means that we don't even know where we are operating from and what is triggering us, leading us, upsetting us etc. Every time we get angry or upset, fearful etc. there might be a much deeper underlying root cause. Unless we find the courage to embark on our healing journey and in particular give traumas the opportunity to heal in a safe space, with self-love and self-compassion we might end up being stuck in life with the same patterns over and over again. 

It is crucial to know that the field of epigenetics has also discovered that we hold ancestral trauma that is being passed on over generations. Anyone looking into systemic therapy or family systems constellations might come to understand that there might be trauma within the family system that is having an effect on the whole family system and on individuals within the system. 

Equally if we look at all other systems in society we are all connected within those systems in different ways. The COVID lockdowns have also shown us how we are all interdependent within those systems.  

Maybe you would like to shine some light on moments in your life that keep repeating themselves or arguments that you keep having over and over again? 

Maybe you would like to ask yourself who you would be without those behavioural patterns that seem to be in the way - in your relationships, in your business/career, in your self-growth process etc.? 

Maybe you would like to sit down and reflect on what you are truly feeling in those moments of inner or outer conflict? Is it a feeling of helplessness? Do you feel like nobody is hearing you? Maybe you feel fearful? 

I am a big believer of tackling the root cause rather than just dealing with the symptoms and attempting to put a small plaster on maybe a big wound. Most of all I strongly resonate with Peter Levine's thoughts: an empathic witness makes all the difference - with trauma, healing or life in general. That is one of the many reason why need to keep and develop the EQ of our children and the coming generations.

Imagine if with AI on the rise we have "heartless intellectuals" making decisions. Our world does not need more trauma. We need more compassion and love! 

"In the past, jobs were about muscles, now they are about brains, but in the future they will be about the heart." Minouche Shafik, director, London School of Economics and former Deputy Governor Bank of England 

 

 

 

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