A SIMPLE EXERCISE TO HEAL LIFE TRAUMA
~ List the 5 most stressful events in your life and the age at which they occurred. ~
Chances are you are walking around with a pebble in your shoe. This pebble was most likely placed there many years ago. At first the pebble felt a little funny and you thought about removing it, but you had too much going on and so you decided (consciously or unconsciously) to leave it there. It took some time to get used to the pebble, but eventually it became the new normal and you didn’t even realize it was there. A few years later something happened and you felt the pebble again, or maybe you noticed a new pebble that felt a little different. Same story, you didn’t have the time to deal with it - to stop, take your shoe off, turn your shoe over and shake it to get the pebble out. So you kept moving, kept ignoring the pebble(s), but you kept getting used to them so no biggie. One day, a few years later, you feel a pebble again but this time it stops you in your tracks, you can’t go on.
It is often said that disease is not something that happens over night, it is a process that takes 20+ years to develop. You can walk around with these pebbles for a while but eventually they are going to catch up with you or maybe even flatten you. Of course nutrition, exercise and lifestyle play a role in health, but these pebbles I am talking about are of a different nature and I believe they are the key driver in most health problems that humans experience. They come in the form of trauma that we have experienced throughout our lives. When something difficult happens (that we don’t process) we carry it with us and it changes how our body and mind function. It changes how we perceive ourself and the world. And on a deeper level it keeps our spirit in a state of bondage, unable to express itself. When you have a pebble in your shoe life will not FLOW and you will not be in THE WAVE STATE.
More people are recognizing that they have pebbles to remove and they are trying different things:
Maybe you talk to someone and they get you to open up about that pebble in your shoe; describe the pebble, what it feels like, who is to blame for the pebble, why you can’t take it out, etc. This level of awareness is a good first step and it might help you deal with the pebble and maybe even forget about it for a while, but the pebble is still there.
Some people are recognizing the value of meditating in dealing with stress and when they get good at it they are able to achieve blissed out and euphoric states. Sounds great, but this is often just another way to avoid dealing with the pebble. There are various forms of meditation, some which can be more helpful with pebble removal (see below).
Some people are heading to the amazon to consume ayahuasca or some other entheogen. Maybe you even find a local "shaman" to work with. This approach can certainly dislodge a pebble but often it does so in a very aggressive way, which may cause more harm than good. And in other cases it just covers the pebble with a layer of mysticism or divinity.
Maybe you work with a psychic who gives you some hope that this pebble won't be there next year. But next year comes and the pebble is still there.
So what the heck do you do to get these pebbles out for good. Well if you are reading this and made it this far, maybe you are ready to get the pebbles out. You can’t force someone, they have to be ready, and even when they think they are ready they might not be. When I get to this point with a client I often give them homework in the form of the exercise below. Often they don’t do the exercise the first time, maybe not even the second time. If you have been reading my newsletter you should be able to identify this as self-sabotage. So what is the exercise:
List the 5 most stressful events of your life and the age at which they occurred. This is the starting point. Becoming aware of these events. They will vary for each of us but the common themes that will run through them (if you really look at them) are FEAR, GUILT and SHAME. The three dominant pebbles in everyones shoe. This doesn’t mean you will feel this emotion when you list and begin to think about the event (because the genuine emotion is hiding), but when you really get to know the pebble it will most likely be hiding one of those three emotions.
So what happens when you make the list:
Maybe you just make the list.
Maybe you try to make the list and can't think of anything. That's okay, keep trying, sometimes these memories are "blocked".
Maybe you become aware of "random" memories that start popping up.
Maybe you simply look at the list each day, maybe before bed.
Maybe you start thinking about the event and that period in your life.
Maybe look at a picture of yourself around the age of a particular event.
Maybe a song pops in your head from a particular time. Listen to it. On repeat.
Maybe you look at that list and realize that there are things that were more stressful than what you originally listed and you have to revise it.
Maybe you change the way you meditate and you focus your meditation on one of these events you highlighted and see what comes up physically, mentally and emotionally.
Maybe you start categorizing the events and placing blame (this is good, it means you are opening up to it):
Did I do something wrong?
Did someone do something to me?
Did life do something to me?
What do you feel when you look at the list? Maybe nothing at all.
Maybe for a week, 2 weeks, a month you feel nothing at all, and then BAM something happens.
There is more to it than what I describe above, but this is a safe starting point for most people. When you remove a pebble you will feel different; life will have a bit more flow to it, you will feel a lot lighter, like each step is not as painful. I mean how could it not, you were walking around with a boulder sized pebble in your shoe for 20 years.
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed therapist and I recognize that you might have dealt with some serious things so if you really need help you should work with a licensed professional, just make sure their goal is to help you get the pebble out and not just talk about it.