Thank you to the 13 beautiful souls who came to yesterday’s Family Constellations Workshop to share their hearts, release their burdens, and open to love and life in deeper ways. Thank you for saying “Yes” to your lives, to looking within and feeling what needed to be felt.
It was an honour to facilitate the 6 constellations and to witness the shifts and changes taking place in us all as our hearts were touched by the depth of the human journey and the pain we carry until we discover how to transform it back into love, into wholeness and sacredness.
We had laughter and tears. We had noise and silence. We had sacred stillness and peace coming over us all as constellations came to completion. And we celebrated each of us and our progress on our healing journeys. It was wonderful to watch.
Thank you once again to all who came, to all who held space for us, and to your ancestors and family systems that provided such a safe space for you to come back to your hearts and love.
My next Family Constellations Workshop will be on Sunday, December 18th, 2022 as part of a Summer Solstice celebration at the Farm for Wellbeing in Flaxley. There will be a welcome to land with Aboriginal Elder David Booth and his son Kyle, a welcome to the farm and calling in of the directions, meditation and grounding process with Joan Carpenter, 2hrs of constellations with me, a fire ceremony with Vesna Cavic, dinner and a Sound Bath by Shanti Sound. It should be a fantastic day. Tickets will be available soon.
My next whole-day Family Constellations Workshop will be on Sunday, January 15th, 2023. To book in for a constellation or as a representative just message me.
The Family Constellations Facilitator Training starts on February 4-5th, 2023. This is a 6-month journey, learning how to facilitate constellations for yourself, and for others, as well as how to start a Family Constellations business if you wish to do constellations for clients one on one and in workshops. It will be a deeply healing process as you will get to do many constellation exercises for yourself as a part of the training and you will get to be a representative in the constellations done for others. If you are keen to do the Family Constellations Facilitator Training just message or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you more details.
Today is a day of rest and relaxation, giving thanks for yesterday and for all that occurred. Many blessings to all, Jodi-Anne
Recently I’ve been having more memories of sexual abuse arise. As I comfort my younger selves and release the buried trauma and emotion I found myself asking this question and channelling this answer. I hope it is useful to those who have experienced abuse and are finding their way through it. Many blessings to all, Jodi-Anne
When you have been sexually abused your body becomes numb, armoured, and protected so that you don’t feel the full impact of the abuse or what happened afterwards. As you heal you start to soften the defences and open back up to love, touch, closeness, and intimacy. For some this is too scary, so they stay celibate, not able to trust another to treat them right.
Some stay in the pain and continue to let themselves be touched in ways that are not beneficial. They let themselves be used by others for the momentary feeling of being wanted, loved, and special, only to find that once the act is over the other leaves them feeling even more alone, abandoned, used and discarded.
It is a hard path to navigate. It is hard on your body that gets armoured with each impact, each indiscretion, and each choice. It is not empowering to sleep around thinking you have the choice and freedom to do as you please. Seducing others so you feel powerful just leads you to despise them and yourself. For at a later stage you will regret your choices and your naivete. You will feel the emptiness and neediness that was underneath your actions. Even though you were voluntarily engaging with others sexually, it is still a form of self-neglect and self-abuse.
The healing comes when you start to honour yourself more fully. When you start to say “No, I am going to look after myself. I don’t need anyone else to give me false affection. I am going to meet my needs. I am going to honour my body and all it has been through. I am going to treat myself like the precious being that I am. I am going to hold my own hand and look after myself. I will love, cherish and honour the innocence inside me, which is still there, still pure, no matter what I’ve been through. I am still a beautiful bright light. I’ve just been covered in dust. I am going to cleanse my lens and shine.”
No need for shame, guilt, punishment, rejection or further loss. You are worthy of great love, kindness, care and joy. When children are exposed to sexuality too early they don’t realise their bodies are sacred. They don’t realise they are precious and only to be touched by loving hands at the right time when they are older. They simply don’t have the information or adult reasoning capacity to make wise choices.
The physical sensation of pleasure is tempting. The choice to have closeness and feel special is attractive. It draws them in, especially if they are not receiving healthy levels of love and affection from their parents, leaving them needy, hungry, longing for connection, susceptible and vulnerable to abuse.
Children are so innocent, so pure. Even those that appear a little naughty or rebellious. They are just learning what it is like to be human, how to deal with all the emotions that arise in their bodies and little brains.
They need healthy adults to guide them and protect them from inappropriate activities. If these adults are not around or not paying enough attention then the child may find itself in less-than-ideal situations. It is not the child’s fault. The child is still innocent, even if their curiosity led them down a destructive path. They just needed more guidance and protection from the adults around them.
Parents need more support, guidance and help. Parenting is a hard job. It is a job, a full-time job, and now that it is common in society for both parents to be working, and for children to be put into daycare more often, the children are made susceptible to inappropriate tactics of other immature, wounded adults.
Children’s emotional needs for safety, feeling loved, seen and heard do not get met if parents are always rushing, tired and exhausted. Their needs don’t get met if parents aren’t available to play and be with them, to sit and hold them in nurturing and healthy ways. If they don’t get their needs met then they are put at risk, as they will be looking for that love, that closeness and connection from others who they encounter.
Our society is not set up for parents to be successful. It is set up now for parents to be drained, stressed, exhausted and depressed or angry, as they know life can be easier and more enjoyable.
Many parents struggle with putting their children in care for long hours each work day, but they feel they have no choice when they need the income to provide a home and a lifestyle of success and wealth.
Children do not care about wealth. They care about you and their connection with you, with how close they feel to you, of whether they feel wanted or not, or a burden to you. They sense your disappointment with life if that is your situation. They sense your emotional pain and distress. They try to help fix it so you can be available to love them more. They want you to feel good so you can give to them. So they sacrifice their needs and start asking for less, expecting less from you. They may help out around the house more or just play on their own.
They may disconnect from you and connect with others whose time and attention they can get. This leads to unhealthy patterns where a child may start seeing the most popular kids at childcare or school as their role models, their leaders or pseudo-parents. They start to copy them and take their lead as to how to dress, behave and what to do. They become followers of others in the hope to belong and be accepted, to receive praise and love from others.
They no longer look to their parents for that role modelling. They no longer care as much about winning their parents’ approval, so they don’t care so much when you tell them off or discipline them. They feel “You don’t care about what I wanted so why should I care about what you want or need”. They rebel from younger and younger ages. This is documented in Gabor Mate’s book ‘Hold onto your kids: why parents need to matter more than peers.‘ It is a brilliant book for parents to read and it includes guidance about how to win back your children’s hearts and minds so that they do feel close to you, listen to you, and see you as their role model for life guidance.
The focus of society on wealth at all costs has serious consequences for all of us. Our children suffer. Our health suffers. Our joy suffers.
If you are an adult survivor of child abuse, know that your parents did for you what they could with the awareness, emotional pain and life challenges they had. You can heal and break free from the pain of the past. You can reclaim your innocence, your purity, your light and your joy. It just takes time. Time to heal, to feel what has been buried inside, to mourn what was, to feel and release anger, disappointment, resentment, despair and rage, to move through depression and numbness, to open back up to lightness, to feeling sensation in your body and dropping back inside of it, to inhabit it instead of being dissociated or stuck mostly in your mind or your base instincts/survival mode.
It’s a big journey to come home to your heart and honour the beautiful child that you were, to love, honour and protect that child so it feels safe inside you and relaxes to play again, to enjoy life again, freeing you to move forward now from a place of wholeness, not emptiness. Honouring yourself, and being there for yourself and your children. This is how we reset the moral compass. We choose love and safety, fullness and flow as our guiding lights, instead of fear, emptiness and neediness. Meet your own needs so you can venture forth with excitement, joy and passion for life.
May you find your way through any darkness and rough terrain as easily as possible, so you can enjoy the sunshine and the rain, all of life’s phases and challenges. They all become easier when we are facing them from a full cup, from a nurtured and satisfied place of self-love and self-acceptance. You are important. You do belong. And you are wanted. Welcome home to your heart. Blessed BE.
P.S. There is a range of free resources on my website that may be of assistance to you with your healing journey.
Here’s a great article explaining how trauma that isn’t resolved results in changes to the DNA that are then passed on to future generations. There are many ways to heal trauma – to allow yourself to feel and release the emotional pain, to accept what was and turn to face your future instead of being entangled with the past.
For me, the most powerful approach was Family Constellations, which is why I went on to be trained as a facilitator of it. Through constellations, you can help heal the trauma in your family line so love and peace flow to the present and future generations, not past pain and trauma.
I also use Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) to clear out the stored stress, tension and trauma in my body. TRE helps to gently release these stuck energies so that it diffuses the pressure in our body bit by bit, making it easier to then look at what it is that challenges us. It is no longer so overwhelming as some of the energetic charges have been released. It is a bit like letting steam out of a pressure cooker bit by bit so it doesn’t build up and explode.
The world is full of so much chaos and beauty depending on where you look. Family Constellations has been powerful in helping me to find solutions, insights and steps to take to resolve the inner and outer conflicts I have faced. It helps me to find peace and to make a difference, to help alter the energy dynamics in my own and others’ family systems.
It helps us to release what no longer serves us, to break patterns of blind love, loyalty and enmeshments. It helps to release the entanglements so we can walk forward holding our heads up high, present in our own lives, rather than caught up in what others are doing or have done in the past. It helps us to come home to our hearts and for that, I am very grateful.
If you are keen to experience a constellation come along to the workshop, book a one-on-one appointment in person or via zoom, or dive into the facilitator training for a 6-month-long self-discovery journey of transformation that will benefit not only you but your whole family system.
In 2024 I will make the facilitator training available online, but for now, it will be in person at Meadows in South Australia. It will be limited to 15 people max. I look forward to creating a beautiful, safe space for the expansion of all who participate.
Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE)
I continue to use Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) personally and teach it to others through individual appointments. Some of the tensions and traumas that have shaken out of my body recently were from dental appointments where a lot of work was done to force my jaw to realign itself. I had teeth pulled, a device that pushed my top jaw outwards and then braces to straighten my teeth. It’s such a weird concept for me to let someone poke around in my mouth. The reflex to bite down and stop it is strong. I hadn’t thought of it as trauma but to my body it definitely was.
And for a lot of us, it certainly is a stressful process where we sit tensely, reluctantly allowing the dentist to do what is needed. In this way, it is a mild freeze reaction in our autonomic nervous system. Our body can feel trapped, and panicky. We may numb out or dissociate from our bodies to cope with not being able to run away or fight back. Our bodies are pumped full of adrenaline and cortisol in such a situation. We are primed to fight or flee, but we have our foot on the brake as well as the gas pedal because we know the dentist is supposedly helping us. This push/pull, go/stay dynamic is stressful for the body, hence the trauma, and the inability to complete the activation to fight or flee.
If we don’t do something to destress and balance up afterwards that stress and tension stay in the body and we get tight muscles, frozen shoulders, sore backs, etc. We get locked up inside as that trauma, that tension gets locked into the cells of our body. We lose some of our freedom to flow and move with ease and grace, as we are locked up tight.
TRE helps to release this tension so that our body and mind relax again. We come out of hypervigilance or anxiousness back into calmness, into knowing we are safe, it’s over, that was then and this is now.
It takes time to release all the charge, the stored tension within, but each time you use TRE you are releasing a little bit more and more and more. It’s like letting the stream out of a pressure cooker. We want to do it bit by bit, so it doesn’t build up and explode.
The impacts of TRE are cumulative over time helping you to heal, let go of defence mechanisms, be more present in your inner world and feel and release what has been keeping you in your life patterns. Your defence structure softens and releases as you clear out the emotional pain, tensions and traumas, so you can relax and enjoy life.
If you’d like to learn more about TRE visit my website. There is a free online self-study course by Richmond Heath to learn TRE. If you’d prefer to learn in person you can do so with me in an individual appointment. Three appointments are recommended so you learn how to self-regulate the process. After that, you can use TRE at home whenever you like as part of your self-care process. I’m even happy for you to bring a friend and learn together so that you only pay half the cost each.
TRE is a wonderful gift to learn. It is an innate healing mechanism in the body that we activate and then let the body do the work. Your body will literally shake out the stress, tension and trauma while you rest and witness the process. You are fully present and aware, just allowing your body to do what is needed to release and balance up. Above is a video explaining how it works and another one below which shows examples of people tremoring. There are many more examples of people tremoring using TRE on my website.
I want to thank you for your interaction with me in the past. I look forward to spending time together the next time you feel drawn to have an appointment, attend a workshop or do one of my online courses that I’m preparing. They’re not available yet, but in 2023 I’m hoping to have several that provide an easy way for people to build skills and learn more about how to heal and find greater peace and happiness. I had 1000 views of my website last month which is wonderful. I’m so pleased that the information I have provided is being accessed and is assisting so many people with their healing journeys.
If you haven’t liked or recommended my Facebook page, please consider doing so. Testimonials are so helpful. Your comments may be just what someone else needs to read to find the courage to book an appointment and go deeper on their healing journey. Here are two testimonials.
Letting go of outdated coping mechanisms can be challenging. Sometimes we have done them for so long it seems like who we are. It can feel weird, and unsettling to choose to behave differently.
For instance, I have been a people pleaser for a long time, trying to win love and approval because I felt so alone, so sad and scared at times when I was young. My Dad worked away from home for weeks on end, and my Mum wasn’t very happy or child-focused. Her Mum wasn’t a cuddly Mum either so it was normal for her to tell me to just go away, go play, and leave her alone. This taught me to be able to hide, not take up too much space, be somewhat invisible and repress my needs for contact, affection, and togetherness.
The positive of this was I became more connected and attuned with nature, wandering the farm on my own. I became focused on studying and later work/career as a way to occupy myself and distract myself from my loneliness and sadness. I too was a lot like my Mum telling my needs to go away, leave me alone. And as I got older I treated my friend’s kids as a bit of a nuisance too. I’d be polite and friendly, but get bored quickly and wish they would go play so I could spend time with my friend. What occurs to us when little stays with us until we heal it.
I wanted to have kids but never did. They’d take up so much time and energy. I had so many fears of them getting hurt, of not being able to protect them, and of not wanting to hurt them myself. I had so much family baggage and entanglements with my ancestors that the fear was overpowering.
I’ve had to work through layer after layer of conditioning and entanglements to release them and be more open to caring for my inner child, meeting my needs, accepting what occurred in my childhood and understanding why my parents behaved the way they did, and that it actually wasn’t about me.
Their moods, their sadness and confusing behaviour weren’t about me. It was a consequence of an unhappy marriage that wasn’t working out and was heading towards separation. My parents, like a lot of us adults, were caught up in their own pain and life challenges and didn’t notice my needs.
This is very common and kids are very adaptable. They find ways to get by, to cope, to avoid or distract themselves from their painful emotions. They change the way they behave trying to win or earn love, attention, and approval.
I was the queen of that! Do a PhD, try and save the world, and help improve the sustainability of the planet. Added bonus I’m so busy working and studying I can ignore how sad I am or how lonely I feel because I’m doing important work. I’m being useful and good, earning my place in society, and hopefully getting seen, loved and accepted.
This pattern of overwork and study, helping others and helping the planet and society have continued through all I do, but I try to be more balanced with it now and to do it because I love it and enjoy it, not because I have to or am trying to win love, attention, acceptance or thinking that others need me to save, rescue or fix them. That’s classic codependence and not healthy.
So now I focus more on what I want to do and what I need. I meet my own needs and take care of the younger selves within me who were hurting. I look at life with more adult eyes, instead of wounded child eyes, and I realise my life is good. I have what I need, a home, a good job, a loving partner and family, friends, hobbies and more. My life is actually really good. It was just all the old hurt, old story that made it feel less than, not okay, lacking.
As I settle into this ‘enoughness’ I start to question “What do I want to do? How much of it do I want to do? What do I value most and where will I put my time and energy?” It’s a recalibration of the old coping mechanisms into a newer, freer, more flexible way of being, able to say no, to rest, to be quiet, still and receptive, reconnecting with body and heart, not just mind and feelings.
It’s a big journey coming back home to feel safe and okay in your body, letting go of the old story and accepting what has been and is, and choosing how you want to live your life.
Our pasts may have been painful and filled with challenges. We don’t have to like that, but fighting against it, and complaining about it just keeps us stuck. When we do the work to heal we can break free of the patterns and open to the new. It is worth the effort.
Many blessings to all,
P.S. There is a range of free resources on my website that may be of assistance to you with your healing journey.
The Netflix series ‘Another Self’ is a Turkish 8-part series that follows the life of 3 women and their families as they work through their challenges with the help of Family Constellations. I’ve watched 3 episodes so far and each has shown a Family Constellations session explaining how illnesses, relationship problems, career issues, finance blocks and repeating patterns are often related to our unprocessed trauma or that of our ancestors passed on for us to heal and bring peace to the family system.
It is wonderful how Family Constellations is becoming more mainstream and how TV shows like this demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach as it reaches the core cause underneath our challenges and helps to alter our defence mechanisms and conditioning to free us to choose differently and experience a more joyful life.
I thoroughly recommend this show to anyone who is curious about understanding the deeper reasons why we experience the challenges we do. It’s an engaging and clever series beautifully presenting Family Constellations concepts and theory while demonstrating its application with real-life examples. Well worth watching. Enjoy!
When fear rules in our lives we get exhausted from being stuck in hypervigilance. Our body is on high alert, scanning for danger, primed to run away, fight or hide if needed. It’s exhausting and often there is no external threat. The message of danger, of threat, is coming from within the body.
Our past stresses, tensions and traumas get stored in the body if we weren’t able to deal with them at the time. If we couldn’t tell our boss what we really thought, if we couldn’t leave when we really wanted to, if we froze and avoided facing that really annoying person who we find draining – all of these are relatively minor incidents, but in each of them adrenaline and cortisol get released into our body priming us to act.
If we don’t take action the adrenaline and cortisol build up in our body leading to feeling stressed, tense, and anxious and if it builds up a lot or we experience a more significant shock or trauma, a near miss accident, an actual threatening situation with a violent person, a medical procedure that involves life threat or invasion of our body, cutting it open, broken bones or many other procedures this is Capital T trauma for the body. This can send us into overwhelm, into a sense of it all being too much and a need to escape from it, to dissociate or numb ourselves from the pain and challenge of it all. This is the body moving into freeze and collapse.
We need to release these stresses, tension and traumas so that they don’t build up, so that our bodies can live in a more relaxed state where socialising is easier, where our body can focus on digesting our food, repairing and restoring itself. This calm, relaxed state is called the parasympathetic ventral vagal state. Our body feels safe, relaxed and peaceful.
Many of us don’t live in that state very often anymore. We don’t get time to relax, to be, to drop down, slow down and feel what is going on inside. Many of us live hectic, fast, busy lives, so we stay in a state of low to medium stress and inner activation of our autonomic nervous system.
Many people use substances to try and get out of that worked-up, agitated or anxious state. Some use sex, gambling, alcohol, drugs or internet browsing as a way to distract themself from their inner turmoil. Some use yoga, baths, and time in nature or time with friends, pets and loved ones. All of these will help to calm your body. But if the underlying issues aren’t resolved your stress level will jump back up with the next trigger or challenge you face.
I used to have days when my body would be hyper-alert for no outside reason. Nothing had happened to stress me out above the norm. I wasn’t in danger. I was just trying to go to work and get through the day. Yet my body was jumping at any sound or movement nearby. I’d have days where I felt this rage inside of me and I knew I’d have to be extra mindful not to take that out on anyone who interacted with me that day. I’d be intolerant, grumpy and not much fun to be around. The anger radiated off of me warning people to watch out, keep their distance or else.
These reactions were not appropriate for the situation I was facing. I was safe, not in danger but my body was reacting as if I was in a war zone. This is because my nervous system was activated strongly and I had moved up into extreme fight and flight. Without taking action to reduce it I would soon move into exhaustion and collapse. I would go into numbness, depression, and feelings of why bother, it’s all too hard. In the early days this would lead to a negative spiral as I would lose hope and go into despair – why me, why is it so hard?
Nowadays I know if I start to move in that direction it is because my body is needing me to rest, pay attention to my inner world, and feel and release the emotions and tension stored inside. I learned and later qualified to be a practitioner of Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE), which is the body’s natural way of releasing stress, tension and trauma. It’s our body’s way of using up all the adrenaline and cortisol from stressful, scary, threatening moments so that our body can calm back down, can feel safe and relaxed again.
TRE is a process to activate this built-in mechanism that all mammals have. The body literally shakes and tremors spontaneously, to release the stress, tension and trauma. It uses up the adrenaline and cortisol from those fight and flight moments so that the activations get completed.
The tremors help to free up the frozen parts of us, the muscles that have locked up in fear and gone numb, disconnected from the whole. The tremoring helps to melt the ice so that energy can flow again. This helps to ease the pain as the muscles relax and blood flow increases.
TRE has become a Godsend for me. I have become more attuned to my nervous system and my body so that I can take action at the early stages of stress rather than waiting till there is a volcano of rage inside of me or a tornado of tears, grief and resentment. I have learned it’s safe to go into my body and be present with what I find, to love and honour my body and its needs. It’s helped me to ground and relax, to be more peaceful overall and of course, other people can feel that too. When my nervous system is calm and radiating safety and playfulness it invites others to do the same. It’s lovely to be in that gentle place and to return to it regularly after the inevitable stress and challenges of daily life.
TRE is taught worldwide and can be learned in 2-3 sessions. Once you have learned how to self-regulate your tremoring, you can use it at home whenever you want to help balance your body and find a greater sense of inner peace and calm.
There is even a free online self-study course. The course is suitable for those that haven’t experienced significant trauma and mental health challenges. Those that have are better off learning TRE with a practitioner like me just to make sure you can self-regulate your tremoring process and that you don’t ignore or over-ride your body’s signals of when to stop tremoring.
The below video is a brief introduction to TRE. If you would like to see some examples of people tremoring, access the free online course or book a session to learn TRE please visit https://www.jodiannemsmith.com/tre/
When we have been wounded in life we develop strong defence mechanisms to keep ourselves safe, to survive the best way we know how. My defence mechanisms were to isolate, hide, and try to fix the pain of myself and others so love could flow. I felt alone, sad, isolated and at times angry and resentful. I slipped in and out of depression, exhaustion, and collapse. When I’d find enough strength I’d try to climb out of the hole I’d created for myself and I’d try to be special so that I might get loved, accepted, be wanted and belong.
What I didn’t realise for decades was I was already loved, accepted and I belonged. I had just shut off to my family system out of fear, wounding and disappointment of what occurred in my early life. This disappointment was a key feeling throughout my life. No matter how much I achieved it never felt enough. No matter how much I learned it didn’t seem to be all I needed.
The truth is I was looking in the wrong places. I was needy and desperate and trying to be the best I could be because then I’d be special and get seen and loved.I tried to save and rescue Mother Earth with my sustainability career. I tried to save and rescue others in my early counselling and healing work. I tried to save and rescue myself and to appear strong and capable and like I had all the answers, but really I was still feeling like that wounded, scared child inside.
It was only when I turned within to work with my inner child, my defence mechanisms, my emotions and my nervous system which was locked in states of fight, flight, freeze, and collapse, that I started to receive relief. And amazingly I realised I already had all I needed. I didn’t need to be big and special to be seen, I could relax and be me, and share from the heart. I could slow down, take care of myself and live my life for me.
I could serve from a place of empowerment, helping others to unravel their own defences and patterning, helping them to see how they could feel and release their emotions and how they could calm and rebalance their nervous system. I could plant seeds that clients watered so they could grow into beautiful gardens and joyous lives.
I didn’t need to be special to be loved. I just had to heal my wounds enough that I could open the door and let love in. It had always been knocking but I’d been too scared to let it in, to trust it would stay and that I wouldn’t be devastated when it left me. For that was my fear, parental divorce and separation from parents when young had led me to a fear of loving and losing. I’d shut down internally and was focused on self-reliance.
When we shut our internal doors to love we can’t feel the goodness of life that is available to us. We end up stagnating, getting lonely and sad. We see the pain all around us instead of the love and light. It is so important to heal those patterns so you can open the curtains and let the light in. We are all doing the best we can with the life experiences we have faced. It is a challenging journey coming home to our hearts, our beauty, and our innocence to realise we are enough as we are. No need to fight and struggle with life. No need to impress and earn love or to hide and reject all that is given to you.
It’s okay to let the defences down, drop from the mind and enter your heart, to reestablish feeling and connection with your body, to become re-embodied and come home to all of who you really are. It’s a joyous journey when you can be comfortable in your own skin, your life, your essence.
I’m so grateful I no longer feel a need to be big or special, and I can just do what I love sharing insights and tools that others may find useful on their journey, helping people to go within and unlock their defences, so they too can find that inner peace and safety that most of us have been searching for our whole lives.
ANZAC Day in Australia – Today we give thanks and remember those who have fought in wars to defend our country, their homes and families. It was done in a belief that we needed to defend and protect ourselves from a very real enemy that threatened us at that time. Most of us still feel that threat internally. We live as if there is danger around us when often there isn’t. The memory of war lingers in the cells, in the DNA and is passed down for all of us to feel and heal.
Our loved ones if they did come home, came back altered, wounded and traumatised by all they had seen and experienced. Our homes, and our lives were altered in their dynamics. Domestic violence, PTSD, despair, desperation, and addiction often occurred to help avoid the pain and cope the best they could. We are all affected by this legacy, this drop into survival mode, the activated nervous systems locked in to fight, flight, freeze and or collapse.
Thank you to all the brave souls who were forced to go off to war or chose to go. Thank you for doing what you thought was right at the time. Thank you for coping the best you knew how then and now. Thank you to your loved ones who worried about you, cried for you and feared losing you. Thank you to the beautiful children who grew up without their loved parents, Aunties/Uncles, or grandparents by their side. Thank you for making it through so the current generation could arrive and live in relative peace (here in Australia. Blessings of peace and goodwill to the war-torn areas of the world where this pattern continues).
May we all find peace. May we all heal the internal scars and drop out of protection and defendedness, so we can feel the love of those around us and appreciate the many gifts and blessings in our lives. Thank you to all of our ancestors and their difficult journeys. We remember you and your sacrifices and we wish all of our family systems to find peace.
(I asked this question and received the below answer via automatic writing 26 Nov 2021. Some of it is specific to me, but the guidance on the healing process is relevant to all so I thought I’d share it. I hope you find it useful.)
Your deepest wounds are those core hurts that you experienced as a child, those events and feelings that cut you like a knife and have been bleeding ever since. When wounded this deeply it affects your whole life. Part of you is frozen in pain, terror, rage, and fear. Part of you is stuck, trapped, hidden away and you spend a lot of your life force energy keeping it buried and building self-defence mechanisms to protect yourself from ever being hurt like that again. You live in fear of what could occur and pain from what did occur and there is little room left for joy, fun, friendship, love, trust, surrender and growth.
It takes a lot of courage to dismantle these defences, to open up to love, to live life with an open and unguarded heart, to return to your original state of innocence and joy. The vulnerability involved in risking exposure, connection, the possibility of more hurt, rejection, or loss can feel too much to give in to, to surrender and step into. This is why many people stay stuck their whole lives. They stay frozen internally, numbing their pain and the disconnection from their true self and heart with addictions and other distractions, such as keeping busy, fighting for some cause, working too much or being of service helping others while continuing to neglect their own needs. Sound familiar???
To move past this, to heal and relax and enjoy life there is no magic wand to cure it all. You have to shift it bit by bit, layer by layer, to release out the stuck, stagnant energy, to feel and release the emotions, to comfort and rescue the younger selves who went through it, to show them you have survived, you made it through and you’re doing okay. You have to start taking care of yourself, honouring your needs for rest, play, pleasure, connection with self, others and Earth. You need to make yourself your top priority, to eat well, exercise, have fun, rest and recreate.
You see healing occurs at the rate your body can process and integrate it. If you are pushing yourself too hard, if you are exhausted, empty, collapsing in overwhelm and despair or angry and rageful at feeling so bad despite all you do, if you are in one of these overactivated, exhausted scenarios then your body is not capable of processing and healing your deepest traumas. You simply don’t have the energy or internal strength to face, feel and release it.
So to heal your deepest wounds you really have to stop your overactive, distraction-filled lifestyle and create space and time for going within, connecting to your body, listening to its messages, feeling and breathing through the emotions, connecting with, supporting and nurturing your younger selves.
You know the techniques needed. You know how to guide yourself and others to do this release work. You just have to be patient and take it day by day, week by week, step by step. Your body lets up the residue it feels you are ready to process. It only lets it up when it feels you are capable of handling it. Otherwise, it stays locked in your cells, buried in your body, waiting for when you are ready. If you want to move through your deepest patterns you need to help your body to feel safe, to trust you are ready to handle it, to face it.
Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) helps greatly here as it calms your nervous system out of fight, flight, and freeze back into calm, social engagement. It helps to release the stress, tension and trauma in a gentle way, shaking it out, releasing it so your body can relax, your mind can calm and your breathing can deepen. As you start to feel safer within it is easier to feel the emotions and clear them out as they no longer seem so big or intense.
Yes, it is challenging as deeper layers of conditioning surface and you reach your core wound, the one that hurt the most. Of course, it was this one that was buried the deepest and will be the last to surface before you breakthrough to a more peaceful life no longer affected so much by the past. Of course, it gets harder in some ways the more you heal. But even though the issue arising is harder you have the tools, the knowledge and skills to process it, to breathe through it and to integrate the shifts and changes.
So have faith it will shift. Keep tremoring, using your TRE and doing your embodiment practices, yoga, meditation, time in nature, time with friends, etc. Keep comforting your heart, body and younger selves when triggered. Keep doing what you are doing and face whatever arises knowing it is shifting out, that more and more of your body is clear from the pain, that there is less frozen energy inside, that your body is getting healthier each day as you drop out of fight, flight, freeze (sympathetic) survival mode and into rest, digest, repair (ventral vagal parasympathetic mode).
You are doing what needs to be done. You just need to be patient, to nurture yourself and rest, so your body can integrate the shifts. Stillness, rest is key, connecting with your body, feeling and releasing it all is key. You know what to do, it just takes longer than you would like, that’s all. Trust your process. You had a severe amount of childhood trauma to clear and it does take time and energy to move through it. This is your work for yourself and to assist others. You had to experience it fully, deeply to be able to understand what others go through to be able to help them process their hurts and come back to their authentic selves, their pure hearts, and a state of joy, with connection to self, others and Earth. It is all okay, all happening as it needs to. Trust your body and its wisdom. Keep doing what you are doing and celebrate the freedom and liberation you feel more of the time now. Celebrate the progress rather than be annoyed at the residue. You will clear it out. You will live your life more fully.
If you have suffered extreme wounding as a child healing becomes the major task of your life. It doesn’t matter what you had hoped to do in life. You have to surrender that and work with what is. You have to honour your body and meet its needs. You have to give to yourself what you missed out on so you do feel loved, heard, seen, accepted and cared for. That’s your job. That’s your purpose, to come back to wholeness and peace. The rest of life is superficial by comparison.
So don’t compare yourself to others. You have no choice in the sense that pain from childhood persists. It won’t stay buried. You have to feel and release it. You have to face it eventually. Most do they just need to learn the skills of how to heal, how to process it and shift it out of their bodies. This is where you excel and it is what you will do, teaching others for the rest of your life. You will love it and find it very rewarding. Blessed BE.