Childhood Trauma – Where to begin healing

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Childhood trauma bring with it a vast array of symptoms and behavior issues.

It can feel overwhelming and often we don’t know where to start our healing process. This can be very demotivating.

Often we may find our selves in a state of fight or flight, unable to explain what we are experiencing. We may also have trouble listening and concentrating on what is being said and often struggle to see our own thinking and behavior patterns.

All of the above can make it difficult for us to get diagnosed and even listen to the insights of a therapist.

A good therapist, after listening to you over a few sessions will recognize the nature of the issue. But you may not hear or accept what they have to say as you are in too much of a stimulated or a tuned out state to really connect or listen.

Often the therapist will put you on a medication first to get you to calm down, before therapy can really start. This may be helpful in some cases.

However there is another aspect we really need to look at before we are completely ready for therapy to start.

That is to release pent up emotions we’ve been carrying since childhood. The emotions we ignore and push to a side, remains with us and often cause us to be anxious and flighty.

In this state, trying to get us to lower our guard and be open to therapy is not the easiest thing to do.

That is why its important to start with a emotional and energetic release.

One of the best ways to release pent up emotions from childhood is to revisit the child aspect within us and allow it to express all its emotions, needs and wants.

This is known as inner child reparenting therapy. Some therapists are trained to do this with people, but often this can be done on our own as well through visualization techniques.

We as the adult self can hold space for the child aspect of us to come forth and express their feelings, needs and wants that they were never able to express.

While doing the above, we can pay close attention to where in the body the emotion is being held and what is the associated belief we are carrying. It may be a belief like ‘I are not good enough’ or ‘ I am not lovable’.

Once we identify the inner belief we can tell the child self something like “You believe that you not good enough. But you are amazing and valuable. I am always here with you and for you”. This provides attunement ( reflecting back to the child self their belief) and provide reassurance that they are taken care of and that their belief is false.

The more you engage with the child aspect the more the beliefs will come to the surface and the more you are able to release the associated energies and emotions.

You can engage the imagination to provide suitable experiences for the inner child to reverse their negative beliefs by meeting their needs.

Once this therapy is done for sometime, you will find that you feel an inner peace. This is enough peace for you to start observing your own thoughts and behaviors with more clarity. This also allows you to work more easily with a therapist and be very transparent with them and listen to what they have to say.

You will find that therapy moves and progresses quicker now that you are in a state of calm.

This is only the initial stage, but it is a crucial one in my opinion when working on childhood trauma.

~Thanks for reading~

Not feeling grounded! What to do about it?

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Some of us often struggle to feel grounded in the here and now. We may often find our selves feeling spaced out and disconnected from what is going on around us.

This makes it more difficult to function in day to day life. We may be forgetful, fearful and have feelings of not belonging.

From a yogic perspective, this tendency is described as having weak lower chakras, which are to do with survival and belonging, and having more strong upper chakras, which are more about spirituality and detachment.

We bring these tendencies from our birth and often attract an early experience of not belonging or abandonment.

We may naturally tend towards isolation, detachment, intellectual things over physical, be unable to express needs and wants and experience social anxiety.

If we have these tendencies, there are certain things we can do in order to increase our feeling of being grounded and belong.

Some things we can do include:

  1. Connecting with other – Connecting with others can help us get in touch with reality and bring a sense of belonging. Though this may be uncomfortable, making a point to connect with others can be very beneficial in becoming grounded. We also need others to reflect things about us back to us, for us to grow and evolve. We are part of the collective, and therefore we need to embrace that more in a physical way more so than a spiritual or conceptual way.

2. Meditation and Deep Breathing – Both these activities help us reduce our thoughts and connect with our bodies. Its about bringing our energy down into our bodies away from our minded. Deep breathing also help us get more oxygen into our system, helping us calm down even more.

3. Eating the right food – Eating food that we can digest well and not cause gas and bloating definitely helps with grounding. We each have unique constitutions and some of us struggle to digest certain food. Its good to become aware of food that we can not digest easily. It also helps to use digestive aids that help us stimulate the digestion like lemon water to stop creating more gas in our systems. A good grounding tea can also go a long way.

4. Exercise – Exercise is a must. There is no better way to remove the feeling of anxiety from our bodies than exercise. Not only that, it helps us connect more with our bodies and activate lower energetic centers. Not to mention, it helps us release all the feel good hormones. Nothing really beats exercises.

5. Journaling – The mind needs a bit of cleansing and organizing too. This is where journaling comes in. By writing thoughts down, we are giving our thoughts some structure. This really helps us become more grounded and less spacious.

6. Nature time – Connecting with nature specially bear foot helps us ground (literally). This is one of the best remedies for grounding our selves.

7. Therapy – Having someone to talk to about our fears and slowly but surely unravel things about our selves can help us feel less fearful about life. This in turn can help us feel more secure and grounded.

Life can feel like a movies we are watching rather than us being a part of it, when we are not grounded. So we need to make an effort to engage and expose our selves more and more to life to become comfortable embracing people and experiences.

Thanks for reading.

Healing the inner child to release childhood trauma

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Very few people escape their childhoods without some kind of trauma. Most of us experience shocks to our system early on in life, this includes our own birth where we experience our first detachment or abandonment experience according to psychology.

The trauma can become specially prominent and painful when they are caused from not so natural causes like abuse, loss, physical and emotional abandonment and neglect.

Though in most cases these incidents seem not very significant at the surface, for a child that does not have much reasoning capacity, they may internalize these experiences along with the belief that they were responsible for causing the incident.

This often cause the child to harbor emotions of shame, guilt, lack of personal worth, low self esteem and feelings of not being good enough. With these beliefs and emotions, living life can be quite painful and difficult.

Most people are able to live happily despite experiencing some trauma in early life. But if the incidents were very severe and emotionally traumatic, the negative beliefs and emotions that were triggered during the traumatic incidents can still run our lives today.

You often hear life coaches talk about changing the subconious programs and limiting beliefs. This is referring to releasing the negative emotions that we’ve been holding onto specially from early life and changing the associated beliefs that have been etched into our subconscious.

Reprogramming the subconscious is not always easy however. Specially in the case where the childhood was deprived of certain key experiences for a prolong periods of time.

When there was trauma or deprivation, a child aspect of you gets left behind, unable to progress to the next stage of development. The rest of you grow into adulthood. But there is this sense of having two different aspects of you, a child you and an adult you.

A child like side to you is rebellious, playful, easily angered, cheeky and seek attention. The adult aspect of you can be quite serious and even responsible. But when the inner child aspect is strong in someone this aspect tends to take over them more often.

Psychologists will often refer to this from the perspective of lack of brain connection in different part of the brain. Emotional and rational aspects of the brain not operating harmoniously. .

This often cause people to self sabotage and not act and behave in a responsible way.

The best therapy in my experience for this situation is inner child therapy. This may be through a psychotherapist through role playing or by your self through visualisation.

It involves connecting to the child aspect of you and treating that aspect as their own individual. Then the adult aspect of you asking the inner child aspect to express their needs, wants and emotions.

The adult you then create space for your inner child to express them selves without any barriers and meet their needs by taking action in the now or by visualizing doing certain things.

As you get more comfortable doing this therapy, the inner child aspect of you come forth more easily with what they need and want.

If anyone has had a loss or abandonment in early life then they would have a lot of trust issues and these types of people could benefit from doing this exercise on their own as working with anyone can be a uncomfortable experience for them. Otherwise we can employ the help of a psychotherapist.

It is a very creative experience. You can create situations and scenarios to meet the need of the inner child as you continue with this therapy. The inner child aspect of you will express exactly what they are wanting from you.

This technique is very powerful as it helps you release emotions as well as change your core belief systems as the inner child aspect gets more and more of their needs met.

Most of the time, the inner child just wants to be heard and understood.

This therapy can be supplemented with medication in some cases. It is always good to seek the help of a professional.

Many people who have tried this therapy have had very positive results and permanent changes.

A good reference that I can recommend is the book “Journey from Abandonment to Healing” by Susan Anderson.

Thanks for reading~~

Being yourself when others project themselves on to you

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Projection is a behavior that we see in many family, friendship and romantic relationship dynamics.

Narcissistic projection is a quite a well known phenomena. But anyone can exhibit this behavior at certain times in their lives.

In healthy relationships, the two people have certain common interests, goals, values and needs that allow them to connect and share their lives together.

In an unhealthy relationships, where two parties are not on the same page, one person may project their needs and wants on to the other in unhealthy ways.

The expectation then becomes that the other person meet those needs even if they are not in alignment with the inner truth of this person.

We all need to compromise to an extent in relationships to meet the needs of others and get our own needs met. As healthy individuals, we communicate needs clearly to get them met and also try our best to meet the other person’s needs. This is how a healthy relationship based on reciprocity should function.

However projection is quite common in many relationship dynamics. It happens when one person projects on to another and shows no reciprocity. Its like one person becomes another person’s unofficial slave.

Negative projection could also happen when one person project their beliefs on to another expecting them to live by them even when this person may not resonate with them.

The person experiencing projection can experience a lot of inner turmoil. They feel an inner conflict around choosing their own beliefs over the ones that have been projected on to them. This can make life very unpleasant.

Not all projection is bad however. Sometimes, a person may project in a positive way as they see the other person’s capability and potential which they cannot see in them selves. In this case, projection is healthy.

The only real way to overcome negative projection is to start building a positive relationship with our selves. Learning about our needs and wants. letting go of hang ups, worries and fears through inner work, reprogramming negative beliefs and spending alone time getting to know our selves.

Once we know who we are at our core, it becomes hard for someone to project on to us that which we are not. It also becomes hard for us to be around people who don’t resonate with our inner needs and wants.

So it comes down to us learning about our inner selves and living in accordance with who we truly are. It takes some work to start building trust in our selves and to have a strong inner sense of self.

But once we have mastered our selves to an extent, most projection we experience will be of the positive kind.

Thanks for reading.

Cultivate an Attitude of Fun

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We can often get caught up in the everyday responsibilities and allow the burdens to overwhelm us. This often makes life feel like a lot of work.

Despite life being a lot of work, we need to find ways to make each step fun.

Because joy and fun are high vibrational emotions, that help us move through life easier.

Not every person can default to being in a state of joy and fun easily.

Some people have certain childhood programming they are operating from that often make them default to lower vibrational emotions.

But the good news is we can change these programming through dedicated inner work.

Many times we operate on programs based on beliefs like I am not good enough, I am not worthy or I don’t belong.

It takes time and repetition to change them through meditation, affirmations, visualization, writing and contemplation.

Once we change our core beliefs, it becomes much easier for us to make each moment joyful.

No matter what our circumstances are, finding ways to make life a little joyful can help us breeze through life much easier and manifest better.

It takes engaging in activities that bring joy into our lives, spending time with friends, shifting our focus on the good things in front of us and embracing the child within us.

Life after all, is meant to be enjoyed and not just tolerated.

Thanks for reading.

Positive thoughts makes you a magnet for more positive things

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We all know the importance of positive thinking. For a start, it is this mindset that helps us stay happy,grateful and satisfied in life.

Positive thinking also helps us take actions towards our goals and helps us persist even when the times are hard.

It is the mind set that attracts good things to us. Many of us overlook the fact that we are energetic beings. Our energetic vibration is largely dependent on our thoughts and mindset. The more positive and grateful we are the more the nature/universe will be positive and grateful back to us.

If you have seen the movie “The secret”, you would know how our mind and thoughts dictates what we attract. We can have everything we want as long as our thoughts are aligned in that direction in a positive way.

Some of us need to cultivate the habit of positive thinking because we were not born with it or was not taught it. Many people develop lack mindsets in their early life which keeps them away from having a happy life.

So what are some things we can do to get our mind into a state of gratefulness and happiness. Below are some practical tips.

  1. Remembering the good that is already in your life – This is where we remember all the things we are grateful for no matter how small. This changes our mood to a happy state instantly.
  2. Letting go – Learning to let go of things when it is time. Holding on to things can bring a great deal of suffering, worry and anxiety. In this state, it is hard for us to be positive. We can instead learn to focus on committing to letting go of things. Even when it is painful, we must remind our selves things are not permanent in life and one day we must leave everything behind.
  3. Connecting with loved ones and like minded people – Our minds can turn negative when we are alone and isolated. So one good thing to do is to keep connections with our friends and loved ones strong and positive.
  4. Positive Affirmation – If your mind keeps saying something negative about your self, change it to a positive and repeat this in your mind. Overtime your mind will accept this new belief as its own.
  5. Positive Music – Music has the power to raise our vibrations very quickly. So listening to positive music everyday, can help us have a better mindset.
  6. Watch and read inspirational content – We are lucky that we live at a time when we have access to so much inspirational content. Listening to these can help us shift our mindset instantly.

All the above can help us shift our mind set into a positive and in turn our emotions and vibration will also become positive. From this space we can start to attract more positive into our lives.

Thanks for reading

Dos and Don’t for empaths and Highly Sensitives

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There are many people among us that are highly sensitive. They maybe sensitive to food, substances, noise, emotions of others and even energies. This means that most things that are considered negative for an average person can throw the empath out of balance much easier and quickly.

They are easily affected by other people’s energies and emotions. They can feel easily overwhelmed by other people’s negative emotions. Unhealthy food like excess sugar can be too stimulating for them. Noisy environments can make them feel unsettled and stressed out.

A lot of this has to do with the sensitive anatomy of these individuals. They can’t expose themselves to negative things and get away with it easily like an average person can.

This means there are certain things they need to avoid and things they should do to remain centered.

Don’ts

  1. Avoid getting into partnerships with negative, controlling and draining individuals – Empathic people have very weak boundaries which means they are very easily affected by others emotions and energies. Often this is an unconscious habit developed at a young age encouraged by people around them who constantly made the empath ignore their own needs and wants. So the empathic person has become hyper aware of what is happening around them in terms of energies and emotions than what is happening inside of them. This often means any person the empath get into a partnership with will have a very big influence on them whether it is someone they are friends with, live with, married to or have a business partnership with. This also means many empaths need to move away from their family of origin at least for a period to start to learn about their own emotional boundaries and needs.

2. Avoid stimulating and Unhealthy food – Empath are easily affected by food. Their digestion is also not very strong. This means they need to reduce sugar, white flour, alcohol and other substances that can easily throw them out of balance. Nourishing, clean and wholesome food is a must for sensitive people. They can also use herbs and spices in order to make the dishes more digestible like ginger, tumeric etc.

3. Avoid watching disturbing content and consuming too much content in general– Disturbing content like too much negative news and horror films can cause the empath to go out of balance. So they should reduce consuming too much of these things. They should also reduce too much content specially online. Because content is so easily available, it is easy to get carried away consuming too much. This can bring the person into a state of over stimulation and unrest. So make it a point to only watch a few positive videos and read positive content online.

4. Avoid Guilt/ Self Blame and Shame – Empathic people feel guilt very easily for things that happen around them. They often incorrectly assume they are responsible for something going wrong in their environment and with people they are with even when they are not. This comes from a childhood where they were made to feel responsible for other’s emotions. So empathic persons need to practice balancing these thoughts to more realistic form of thinking. This maybe something like “that person got hurt, I wish I could have done something. But I was not able to and it is not my fault.” as opposed to “It is all my fault”. Empaths also need to reduce negative and self deprecating thoughts about themselves. Change “I am not good enough” to “I am perfectly fine as I am and I would not be here if I was not needed in this world”. Honoring that nature has created all of us because we are needed individually for the collective to function properly is a good mind set to adapt.

Do’s

1.Do Start honoring ones needs – Empathic person should come to a space where they can start to honour their needs and emotions. This may mean becoming financially and physically independent from individuals that are controlling and negative. This also mean learning to identify what their core needs are. Always mentally noting why they are doing something/ the actual core need they are meeting by doing something is a good way to understand their needs as individuals. This has to become an awareness practice they do on a daily basis.

2. Pay attention to emotions in the body – Empath needs to learn to focus their attention towards their inner emotions. Because they are very tuned to the emotional environment of others, this takes practice. It is a good practice to do periodic body scans to feel and name the emotions they are feeling at a given point in time.

3. Own their space – They should not make them selves small. They have this quality of turning their personality and sense of self inwards. Its as though they don’t want to express who they are to the outside world. Empaths need to start holding their own space and project their energy outward without any inhibitions.

4. Do visualization techniques to heal the energetic body – We are not just made up of our physical body. We have the emotional and energetic bodies that we also need to heal. To heal the energetic body we can harness the power of focused attention through visualization. one technique is to imagine spots where there are rips in the energetic body (your imagination will automatically do this). Then imagine the blocked energies at the rips being drained to the ground through clear tubes and healing golden energy is repairing the rips. It sounds strange, however it seems to work from an experiential perspective. The vedic tradition tries to alter the energies through sounds known as mantras and this is something that can help also.

5. Do some visualization to release anger and resentment – Anger an resentment drain our energy from the inside. Empaths are already very open to energy being pulled away from them due to lack of boundaries. Therefore they cannot afford to have energy being drain from inside of them. Any time we hold anger and resentment this generates compulsive thoughts that drain us of our energy. So again a visualization technique can help here. First visualize miniature versions of the people you need to forgive coming one at a time and apologizing to you. Then visualize you forgiving them. Visualization has the power to help you release emotions.

6. Do visualization to change core memories that started negative thinking patterns – Negative thinking affects our self esteem, drains us of energy and creates negative behaviors. Negative thoughts may originate from a core memory that started a certain belief. So by allowing your self to go back in time in your thoughts to when the core memory may have happened and then observing all the feelings and any thoughts that were getting triggered can help release these negative beliefs. This takes work and practice. Then following on from that, watching how we still operate from these same beliefs now and consciously changing the thoughts for example from I am not safe to I am safe and in control can help us live a better day to day life.

7. Work with a therapist to get to the root of thoughts and behaviors patterns – A therapist may be able to help hone in on the specific types of issues we are dealing with in terms of the beliefs and thinking patterns. Sometimes we may not be able to see our compulsive thinking and behavior patterns so having someone else ask the right questions can help us see the patterns in our thinking and behavior.

~~Thanks for reading~~

Integrating the self to become more balanced

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I think all of us are skewed in how we think, see the world and how we behave. It might be too much to the left or too much to the right of the bell curve of integration. Perfectly balanced people will sit right in the centre of the curve, but these types of people are rare.

We may be too artistic and less logical, too intuitive and less practical, too pessimistic and less optimistic, too perfectionist and less accepting or vise versa.

Integration means to bring ourselves closer to the middle of that bell curve, where we have a balance of both aspects. It won’t be a perfect balance, but it will be close.

That is why its always good to improve aspects of our selves that are weak.

I think many people instinctively do this. But at times of stress they tend to fall back on to their default mode, unless they practice and develop new habits.

Coming to a middle path by releasing all extreme thinking and behaviors is the inner work we are advised to do in many healing modalities, therapy and spirituality.

Even though what is not natural to you feels uncomfortable at the beginning when you engage in these things it brings you a sense of satisfaction in the long run.

Often counselors try to bring our thinking into balance though CBT therapy by balancing how we interpret certain situations. This is so the situation is seen not from a lense of extreme thinking, but a balanced point of view, where good and bad are both acknowledged.

Most times we feel a sense of balance just by being in our community as the group as a collective balance out each others extremes. The group can also challenge each person to deal with their extremities and bring balance to each individual person. This can be smooth or rough depending on how the situation plays out.

It takes constant awareness of the self to reset the balance as we very easily get thrown off it due to external circumstances that trigger our default extremities.

Exercise, meditation and self assessment/correction can be very helpful in this process of integration.

Thanks for reading~~

Empathy and Anxiety

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Empaths are natural worriers. They often have their emotional radar turned outwards towards others and their environment and often neglect their own emotions. Their whole body is constantly on alert ready for the slightest of queues which then leads to a whole lot of thoughts which in turn leads to anxiety.

Unfortunately, this means that they are constantly on edge. Anxiety is very much a part of being an empath or a sensitive person.

The emphatic person needs to treat this trait as it is a habit that they need to change by taking daily action.

This takes work to calm down the nerves and to reprogram the thought patterns triggering anxiety inside the body. Sometime this may need the help of herbs and supplements.

Some things that may help empaths break their habit of anxiety includes:

1.Daily Affirmations – As a daily practice the empath needs to say phases like “I am not responsible for others emotions and thoughts”. “But I am responsible for my own thoughts and feelings,and I choose to let go and be happy”. These affirmations should over time reprogram the thought patterns and change the subconscious patterns about our own and others emotions. This should also help ease the feelings of shame and guilt. Ideally this exercise should be done with a mirror.

2. Meditation – Part of the reason why we feel anxious is the constant stream of thoughts inside our heads. So to overcome this, the empath should start a daily morning and night meditation practice. Meditating by focusing the attention on the rise and the fall of the abdomen can give our mind a break from generating more thoughts. Overtime this helps ease the anxiety. The other advantage of this is that this exercise takes the attention to the lower parts of the body bringing a sense of groundedness to the individual.

3. Body Scan – Anxiety comes from not being grounded in the body. So doing a daily body scan, where attention is taken from one body part to the next covering all body parts can help the person ground. This exercise is amazingly relaxing and can even help you have better sleep.

4. Taking Calming herbs – Sometimes we need the help of a naturopath or an Ayurvedic practitioner and their insights on the herbs we can take to calm our nerves down. Often times the anxiety may be related to the body not functioning in the correct way and we need the help of nervine herbs and other medicinal herbs to bring a sense of calm back into the body.

5. Diet rich in Healthy fats and proteins – A diet rich in healthy fats and proteins are recommended to clam down the body. Ayurveda also suggests a similar approach of eating ojas rich food like nuts, ghee, dates and milk which helps nourish the body.

6. Be part of a community of loving people – Nothing can reduce anxiety more so than feeling part of a secure and loving community. So it is good to engage with your friends and loved ones to help you see the reality of things and to just help you calm down your nerves.

7. Letting go of fear – A major issues that empaths have to face is their persistent sense of fear. Fear of of belonging, fear of the future or fear of hurting someone. To curb this, the empath needs to again do daily affirmations like “I let go of all fears. I trust and let go. I belong and I am ok”. These affirmations should help the empath feel more of a sense of safety.

8. Grounding – Walking barefoot outside has tremendous benefits when it comes to anxiety. It really helps to bring a sense of calm and peace to the mind and the body. Spending time outside in general is extremely good for grounding.

If all or some of the above are done on a daily/regular basis, the empathic person will find that their anxiety reduces overtime.

The hard part is incorporating these practices into the daily routine and doing them consistently.

But if you keep at it, it only gets easier.

Thanks for reading~~