Updated: Feb 12
Content Warning - contains mentions of mental health struggles and suicide
What is trauma?
“Trauma is a psychic wound. Trauma is not what happened to you, it’s what happened inside you as a result of what happened to you. It also includes what happened inside you as a result of what did not happen to you, such as important nurturing behaviors.”* The same event or environment (e.g., parental care) can have very different trauma responses from person to person, even in the same family. We all have differing level of sensitivities and attachment styles built into our personalities. Trauma disconnects us from our feelings and our body causing a disconnection from self.* With trauma a shame-based, and/or unworthiness often becomes the predominant view of self - sometimes referred to as the false self, the ego, or default mode network.
Trauma shows up in our lives as dysfunctional emotional reaction to other people, life situations, and our environment that can cause significant pain and suffering. In fact, most people don’t realize they have trauma but, every time we get triggered it points to the psychic wounds of trauma. The emotional reaction to people, situations, environment was created initially as a protector or coping strategy that became a default program in the subconscious.
So, how bad is it?
We are now facing a global crisis of mental health. The CDC reported that the provisional number of suicides was 4% higher in 2021 than 2020 and increased 35% since 2000 in the U.S. alone. In a recent APA study 27% of adults said that most days they are so stressed they cannot function. The same study also said that 72% of adults have experienced additional health impacts due to stress, including feeling overwhelmed (33%), experiencing changes in sleeping habits (32%), and/or worrying constantly (30%).
It’s been long understood that mental and physical health issues are linked to our genes. However, thousands of studies clearly show that it’s the environment (stress, culture) that turn on the genes that predispose us to all health issues, mental and physical.
How we respond to stress and culture in an unhealthy way is through our trauma.
Where is our hope for healing?
Our traditional pharmaceutical, western medicine solutions are not healing trauma. Although traditional western medicine can provide temporary relief from the difficult side effects, they don’t get to the root issue: the healing of the root cause trauma.
Healing trauma is a journey not a destination. The process of healing trauma is the journey of returning to wholeness, to our True Divine Self. Healing starts with learning to observe yourself inwardly with curiosity and compassion.
What are the self-healing practices and energies available to perform this miraculous healing?
Self-inquiry, curiosity, emotional vulnerability, authenticity, responsibility, self-compassion, and surrender are great examples of the energies to cultivate that will heal trauma. Trauma healing builds response flexibility, a muting or resilience to the triggering that can drain our joy, peace, and ultimately our life force energy.
Below is an overview of a few key healing techniques. There are more key healing categories such as Nature Therapy and Psychedelic Healing Therapy as well that we’ll cover in future blogs.
Going on a retreat allows us to take a break from of stresses and the daily patterns that lock us into our default trauma reaction patterns. Anytime we can go into a relaxing, safe, environment where we’re free from problem solving and trauma triggering circumstances, we are in fact returning to our true “healed” self.
Retreats that take us on the “inner journey”allow us to clear our default thinking patterns that get us stuck in the past. From here we can reconnect with our bodies, emotions, and even our Spiritual being. The longer and deeper the retreat experience the more chance we can melt away past psychic wounds and embody the true self experience.
The key to any good retreat experience is to take home and integrate the new embodied energy into our daily habits and patterns. For this to happen a daily practice using some of the healing techniques listed below is critical to embodying the healing for the long term. There is some individualized combination of these therapies that work for each of us.
Somatic therapy is a technique that aims to treat trauma and other mental and emotional health issues through the connection of mind and body. This body-centric approach works by helping to release stress, tension, and trauma from the body which aids growth and healing in the mind and nervous system.
According to Dr. Peter Levine, somatic therapies and techniques can work directly with the trauma-affected nervous system to help safely release trauma from the body. Somatic techniques, which can include yoga, breath work, meditation, and dance, can help us to safely connect with the parts of our bodies that have been affected by trauma. This enhanced connection can help us to reintegrate our minds and bodies, which can support us in moving toward a state of being where we can fully trust that we are safe within ourselves.
Mindful Living Practices
The classic definition of mindfulness by one of the early leaders of the movement, Jon Kabot-Zinn is “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally”**. The first step in healing trauma is to become aware of it when it shows up, how it shows up, and how it impacts our energy. Once we can see, observe these protectionist parts of our psyche and how they disrupt our lives, only then can we dis-empower them.
Many of the practices listed above, such as meditation, would be considered “mindfulness practice”. We also must take these “practices” into how we react and move in response to our life circumstances. This is an integration of mindfulness that happens through building our consciousness muscles with practice, setting intention, and embodying new habits and patterns. Through persistence we can take the air out of our psychic wounds allowing the healing to integrate. Therapeutic assistance from a capable energy coach or counselor, is very helpful here.
A Parting Word
Despite the heightened levels of pain and suffering on the Earth right now, the opportunity to heal trauma is also accelerating. These somatic, mindful inner journeys are nature's way to healing the wounding that threatens our very survival.
While healing your trauma can only come from within, there are always people and resources who are ready to provide guidance for the journey back to your True Divine Self.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them”
*The book “The Myth of Normal” by Gabor Mate (only the parts with “quotation marks” are Gabor quotes. The rest, italicized, are concepts from his book)
**Jon Kabot-Zinn Defining Mindfulness, Jan. 11, 2017.
Your guides Christine and John at Infinite Alignment in Colorado offer the individualized Passage-to-Freedom Retreat-Program to free yourself from trauma and fear through higher consciousness. Their vast experience, ROSE Process, and Life Integration Support are the key reasons why the Passage to Freedom Retreat-Program is a unique and powerful in-depth personal journey of awakening. Included in the program/retreat is a focus on rediscovering your true self to follow your soul's calling.
Schedule your Discovery Call HERE or CONTACT US at 303-582-5828.