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Healing from child abuse Health Personal Development

Understanding the fight, flight, freeze response.

Stress has a negative impact on our health and wellbeing. I love how this 5 min video explains why so many of us are stuck in survival mode with bodies constantly activated with fight, flight, freeze energies stored in our bodies. Thankfully Trauma and Tension Release Exercises (TRE) can be used to help release these energies from our bodies so that we can be more relaxed and peaceful. If you’d like to learn more about TRE or experience it please visit the TRE page of my website.

Categories
Healing from child abuse Personal Development

The healing journey demystified

This video contains an overview of what is involved in healing and finding peace within. It discusses the different levels of attention needed for deep healing to occur. Traditional counselling, psychology and psychiatry have largely focused on our thinking patterns and emotional reactions, but there is a lot more that needs to be done to heal and calm the body so you can enjoy life.

Jodi-Anne summarises these issues and explains why each level of attention is required, including reprogramming our subconscious beliefs, calming our body and nervous system and doing inner child recovery work to help complete trauma and let it finally be a thing of the past, rather than feeling like it could occur again at any moment.

Jodi-Anne is putting together everything she has learned into an online, self-study course for people to use to help themselves to heal and find peace. She expects the course to be available mid-2021. For now, there are lots of free videos and resources on her ‘Life Insights‘ and ‘Healing from child abuse‘ webpages. She is also available for individual appointments in person or online via zoom or phone.

Categories
Healing from child abuse Health Self help techniques TRE - Tension & Trauma Release Exercises

Tension & Trauma Release Exercises (TRE)

Feeling stressed or tense? You might want to try Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE). This is the body’s natural way to release stress, fear, tension and trauma so that it can balance back up to a state of peace and calm where it’s easier to be with others and enjoy life.

I’m a practitioner of TRE and can teach you how to use it as a self-care tool. After learning TRE in a session or two you can use it at home whenever you want to help maintain your balance and peace.

Here’s a short video explaining TRE. 

If you’d like to watch more on what TRE is and how it works, as well as examples of people tremoring you can do so here.

If you’d like to book an appointment to learn TRE either in person or via Zoom you can do so here.

Categories
Family Constellations Healing from child abuse Parenting Personal Development

Why does trauma repeat through families?

This week I’m sharing a video that explores why trauma repeats through families. It is often completely unintentional, but a parent’s wounding from the hurts in their life can make it hard for them to be fully present and available to their children.

Despite their efforts, part of their energy is tied up with their past and has them metaphorically turned towards the past and away from the now. The kids feel this and grow with a sense of lack. Once they become parents the same process repeats unless they take action to heal, so they can face now being present fully and available to their kids who will then grow with a sense of fullness, of being seen, held and safe, knowing they belong and that they are okay.

Family Constellations is a modality that can help unentangle you from the past so that you can turn and be present to your now, more able to give and receive love.

In this video, Jodi-Anne explores ‘Why does trauma repeat through families?’ It is one of over 100 questions she has asked about life and channelled an answer through automatic writing. All of these answers to questions about life, how to live peacefully and happily are available for free on the ‘Life Insights’ page of her website.

Categories
Healing from child abuse Personal Development

How do you let go of disappointment and expect the best?

When life has been challenging and you’ve experienced multiple disappointments it can be hard to believe that it can get better. Your past experience is that it doesn’t and you can lose hope and faith in a more positive future. In this video, Jodi-Anne explores ways to move out of disappointment and feeling stuck, so that you can enjoy life more.

In this video, Jodi-Anne explores ‘How do you let go of disappointment and expect the best?’ It is one of over 100 questions she has asked about life and channelled an answer through automatic writing. All of these answers to questions about life, how to live peacefully and happily are available for free on the ‘Life Insights‘ page of her website.

Categories
Healing from child abuse Personal Development

What to do when you feel broken?

Hi all, I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful weather. In case you’re not here is a video exploring ways to support yourself when you’re feeling broken and lost.

In this video, Jodi-Anne explores ‘What to do when you feel broken?’ It is one of over 100 questions she has asked about life and channelled an answer through automatic writing. All of these answers to questions about life, how to live peacefully and happily are available for free on the ‘Life Insights‘ page of her website.

Categories
Conscious Evolution Personal Development

Why do accidents happen?

Here’s a video exploring why accidents happen. I channelled this a few years ago when I’d had a serious car accident and was wondering why such things occur, what purpose they serve. I was told that accidents, serious illnesses, near-death experiences all get us to stop, to reevaluate how we are living our lives and to alter our priorities. They are therefore useful and purposeful. They are not random or meaningless. They occur for a reason. I hope you find it interesting and insightful.

In this video, Jodi-Anne explores ‘Why do accidents happen?’ It is one of over 100 questions she has asked about life and channelled an answer through automatic writing. All of these answers to questions about life, how to live peacefully and happily are available for free on the ‘Life Insights’ page of her website.

Categories
Healing from child abuse Personal Development

How do you move through depression and find peace?

This short video explores how to move through depression and find peace. It looks at why it can be so hard and ways to support yourself as you heal and find peace. I hope you find it useful. Many blessings, Jodi-Anne

Categories
Healing from child abuse Personal Development Self help techniques Uncategorized

How do you stay balanced and grounded during tumultuous times?

When unexpected events occur it shakes your foundations, your normal way of being. If you feel uncertain, unsafe or scared then your nervous system will react with either fight, flight or freeze responses.

People who get angry at what is occurring, who rage that more should be done are having a ‘fight’ reaction. The adrenaline and cortisol pumping through their veins fuels an aggressive reaction.

There may not be an enemy that can be fought. In this case, you can’t fight the Corona Virus in the traditional sense. It doesn’t have have a physical body for you to face up to, seething and threaten it and go several rounds in the boxing ring.

This is what those in a fight response are ultimately wanting to do because the act of fighting uses up the adrenaline and cortisol enabling them to calm back down, for their nervous system to regulate.

Without the fight, the cortisol and adrenaline stay in their blood and gets stored in the body as tension, tightening of muscles, clenching of the jaw, etc.

It takes emotional awareness to notice what is occurring and to take action to self-soothe, rather than lash out at others with the upset that you have. Be aware many people may behave in ways they normally wouldn’t as they are in ‘survival’ mode, feeling unsafe and a need to protect themself and their family. To some, it may literally feel life-threatening, so their behaviours may be extreme.

Those who react with a ‘flight’ response will want to run away to escape the danger. They will find it hard to be still and being locked in their home may feel stifling and like being in prison.

The cortisol and adrenaline in their system are priming their muscles to run, run, run, so it’s almost impossible for them to meditate, relax, deep breathe, be still and enjoy the chance to rest and strengthen up. The flight reaction of their nervous system is telling them it is not safe to relax and enjoy the time at home.

Even though they may consciously want to relax, they can’t. The reason for this is that the ‘survival’ mechanism is a different part of the brain, the hindbrain, that takes over when we’re in a fight, flight or freeze response. The neocortex or rational thinking part of the brain gets suppressed.

Evolution wise this made sense. When a lion is about to attack you it doesn’t help you to be able to talk to it or to think slowly through all your options, the pros and cons of each, to decide what to do. You need to react instinctively and quickly in the face of danger, and that is what the limbic system does. That’s why it is so hard to think clearly and express yourself if you’re in a heightened nervous system reaction with high levels of a fight, flight or freeze response occurring.

Those people that have a ‘freeze’ reaction are instinctively hiding and holding still, hoping that the lion won’t see them. They hold their breath, breathe shallowly and slow down their internal bodily reactions, coming to a place of panicked stillness in the hope that they won’t be seen.

They may dissociate from their body, literally escape it by focusing elsewhere in their mind, off in daydreams or splitting off part fo their consciousness.

They literally jump out of their body, like energetically floating above it. This is the out of body experience people can have during a near-death experience. They see their body from the perspective of being outside of it. They’ve been so scared, so terrified of death, they’ve jumped out of their skin.

This too is part of the ‘survival’ mechanism. If the lion was about to eat you, you don’t want to be fully conscious in your body and feel it, so you jump out. The body also gets pumped full of opioids which numb you, so you don’t feel yourself being eaten or killed.

That’s why some people will seem numb, not fully present, not with you when you try to talk to them. They’re not. They’ve escaped. This can be dangerous as someone who is dissociated from their body can be accident-prone. They’re not paying close attention to what they do. It takes them longer to notice that they’re touching the hot kettle and it’s hurting them.

They may be forgetful. If you are dealing with someone who has dissociated, numbed out, know it’s not that they don’t care. They have switched off out of panic, out of terror, feeling like death is imminent. We need to help such a person to reconnect with their body, to bring them back to the present moment gently, compassionately.

Don’t expect too much of them or ask them to do anything complex. They simply can’t. Until they calm back down they can’t concentrate and be responsible for others. This is where compassion and understanding can help prevent any judgements, arguments and accusations. When you know what is occurring you can adjust your expectations to help the person to recentre, to come back into their body.

Looking them in the eyes, holding their hands or feet, talking to them softly, this will gently invite them back into connection with their body. Standing on the grass with bare feet will help them to ground. Touching things, smelling things, tasting things – reengaging the senses will help bring them back. There’s a lot you can do to assist such a person.

Essential oils can be very calming and again help you to connect back to the present moment. The olfactory bulb is connected directly to the limbic system, the emotional part of the brain, so smells quickly alter how we are feeling emotionally. Within seconds a comforting smell can result in a little or a lot of relaxation.

Gentle movement can help a person who is coming out of a freeze response. Whether that be yoga, tai chi, qi gong. You don’t want to do heavy aerobic exercise as that ramps the body up. You want to do gentle, calming exercise so the person feels safer.

One process that can help with all of these reactions – fight, flight and freeze – is Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE). It is a series of gentle exercises designed to start the body’s automatic stress, tension and trauma release process.

The body has a built-in mechanism to ‘shake off’ tension, stress and trauma. The shaking uses up the adrenaline and cortisol from the fight, flight, freeze reactions and it enables the body to calm back down, to drop out of a parasympathetic freeze reaction or a sympathetic fight or flight state, to the calm parasympathetic state where we can connect and relate to others.

Graph depicting reactions that occur as arousal from stress, tension and/or trauma increase within the body and how movement can help discharge the arousal, returning us down the curve to a calm, relaxed state. Used with permission from: Richmond Heath, TRE Australia, https://treaustralia.com.au/

It’s a natural process available to all of us. If you would like to know more about TRE you can visit my TRE webpage, the TRE Australia website or the global TRE website.

I can teach individuals TRE as part of an online appointment or an in-person appointment. You can then use it to help your body calm and relax whenever you need to. It’s a great self-care tool that not only helps you to come out of a heightened nervous system state but also helps you to open up and expand.

When your nervous system calms, it no longer sends your brain signals that you’re in danger, so the mind relaxes too, and the defensive mechanisms that you’ve used to protect yourself start to soften. They start to loosen up so it’s easier for you to choose to think and behave differently than you’ve always done. You’re no longer fighting against yourself so much.

When we’re in a defended state we may consciously want to change or start a hobby or change our life, but internally our body resists it, subconsciously thinking and reacting as if the change is a threat and should be avoided, hence the resistance and difficulty taking action.

When your nervous system is relaxed and calm, and your body is feeling safer, you don’t have so much resistance. your body actually wants to connect with others and enjoy life.

It is my hope that this blog helps you to understand the various reactions that those around you may be having during this challenging moment in time with the Corona Virus. It’s not that people are cold, callous, uncaring of others. They’re just reacting in survival, feeling a need to compete with others in order to survive. They want the toilet paper, food, etc to ensure they and their loved ones are okay. This is part of our primal, instinctive reactions when we’re in a fight, flight, freeze reaction.

With empathy and compassion, we can help each other to calm, to do the best we can through all of this. Try not to take people’s reactions personally and do what you can to help yourself and others to balance up, stay grounded and enjoy these times as much as we can. Blessings to all. Namaste.

By Jodi-Anne (28 March 2020).

  • Further free guidance on healing techniques and self-love are available on the Life Insights and Healing from child abuse pages of this website.
  • If you found this blog useful you may wish to consider purchasing a copy of Jodi-Anne’s book ‘Advice from a higher Source’ which contains 85 answers to questions about life. The paperback book or ebook can be purchased online at – http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/JMS2011. (Once you have clicked into view the description of the book, go to the top of the page and choose the flag symbol for your country, this will show you the price in your currency and enable you to purchase it in that currency)
Categories
Healing from child abuse Personal Development Self help techniques

How to relax, have fun and play?

When your early life was full of fear and tension, you brace yourself for the next fight, the next bout of anger that gets taken out on you or your family. You live frozen in fear ready to detach, fight, flee or hide. You live braced for anger and you lose your ability to relax and have fun.

This is the legacy of being raised in an abusive home filled with violence, be that physical or emotional or both. You freeze inside. Your energy is tied up with protecting yourself and those you love. It is focused on ways to escape or avoid the worst situations you fear. You scan for ways out or ways to diffuse the bomb so explosions don’t occur.

All this fear, all this tension, makes it hard to relax and have fun. That doesn’t even enter your mind. You are exhausted from being on watch, on guard duty, helping yourself and your loved ones survive.

As you grow this pattern becomes ingrained – a strong sense of responsibility, of duty, of action to protect self and others pervades all you do. You can become over serious and focused on work or your chosen cause that you fight for – whether that be protecting children, the planet, animals or some other group that you feel is being exploited and abused.

You can become so focused on your duty and responsibility that you forget to actually live your life. You feel it is so important to keep going, keep trying, keep doing ‘what is right’, what is needed.

But in doing this you are depleting your energy reserves. You are being sucked dry of all your vitality, your joy and your enthusiasm. Eventually you will give up, it will all seem too hard, and then you collapse, exhausted, burnt out and wondering why life is so hard.

Life isn’t that hard. You’ve made it hard by driving yourself relentlessly on a cause that doesn’t need your energy. You alone do not need to save the world, the children, the poor, animals, etc.

You do not need to sacrifice your life in order to help others. You are allowed to play and have fun. You have just forgotten how to. It is such a foreign concept for you. You don’t even know where to begin.

There are so many fun things you could do, but they seem like a waste of time, unimportant or too much effort. This is just your conditioning, your habit, your fear of relaxing, being vulnerable and feeling what is underneath your compulsion.

You are not going to die just because you slow down. You are not going to be crushed by the emotional pain inside or the abuser who may no longer be present in your actual life. He is just in your head, your thoughts, your self-critical or abusive voice telling you off inside. You are not at war any more. It is okay to put the guns down. It is okay to rest and enjoy life.

This is the challenge now – to relax, to enjoy life, to find the passion and joy that you had as a child and buried when pain took over.

You have to let your true, original-self back out. This part of you may have been buried so long you don’t even recognise it as part of you anymore. It may be so deeply repressed and depressed that it takes a while to find it, to get to know it, to believe it is okay to have fun.

This is the inner work and healing you need to do in order to enjoy your life. You have to work with these inner parts and defense mechanisms to dismantle the armour, so you can relax and be free to enjoy your life.

Just being aware of it, of facing the truth of what is occurring in your life helps. It helps loosen the ropes, so you can go within to untangle yourself and free yourself from the inner prisons you have been trapped inside. This all takes time. And it takes a willingness to surrender your roles and responsibilities. A willingness to let go of focusing on helping others, the planet, animals, etc and honouring yourself – making yourself the priority, believing it is okay to do it, that you deserve it and that it is safe to look underneath the facade of your life to the deeper processes at play.

You don’t need to spend years analysing yourself or locked away doing healing processes. This is another distraction, another trap that can become all consuming, tiring and even exhausting if you do too much.

Your body needs time to integrate the shifts and changes. It will tell you when something is needed – be that healing work, rest, changes to diet, etc. If you listen your body will tell you what is needed. It will help you move forward.

When your body trusts you to listen, it will let baggage surface at a rate it can handle, for you to heal the issue and make the necessary changes to your beliefs, habits and thinking patterns. It will guide you to what you need at the rate you can handle it.

You don’t have to search for issues to heal. You don’t need to avoid life by focusing on healing or on rescuing others. You don’t need to avoid yourself and your life out of fear or emotional pain.

Sit with yourself. Sit with what arises. Feel into it. Breathe through it and let it shift. You don’t have to run away from it any more. Let yourself be. Let your self be still and absorb the healing energy of nature, of love, of friendships, of fun activities and playfulness.

Let the seriousness go and let life lead you forth. In time you will learn how to play again. It will just happen spontaneously as you slow down, relax and trust life to lead you forth with ease and grace to your destined future. You can’t get it wrong. You don’t need to figure it out, solve it or make it happen. You just need to relax, unwind and listen within.

Let it happen naturally and peacefully. It doesn’t have to be war like any more. Let the war go and know that you’re perfectly okay. It’s just habits to let go of.

If you have a very strong, determined mind, you have to detach from it and focus on your heart, your body, and listen to what they need. They can lead you forth. Send love to your mind and ignore its suggestions, it’s have to’s and must do’s. Let go of its priorities and to do lists and just BE.

Listen into your heart, your inner child and let them speak softly to you about what they would like from you.  Re-establishing these connections, the ability to be peaceful and at rest in your body. These are what lead to inner joy and freedom to be playful. It is an inner stance; an inner way of being that is then easily translated into living life with love, joy, fun and vitality.

While you are still standing there frowning with seriousness or angry that it seems so hard or furious because it should be easy. Any of these just block your peace. Of course it looks silly to play or relax when you are wound so tight you are about to explode.

Find a way to soften. Find what works for you: being in nature, gardening, being with kids, pets, or friends, doing art or music or exercise. Find whatever way in works to get you to let go of control and surrender into softness. Bodywork, massage, etc can help, as can a relaxing bath, a piece of chocolate cake or lemon tart – anything that brings joy more to the surface, so the serious you steps aside, retreats back into the background, allowing you the chance to experience another aspect of life.

You can do it. It is happening already, just you judge it because you would like it all fixed now, thank you very much! This is a process. It takes time. It takes patience and kindness. Frustration, impatience and judgement just slow it down. Be kind to yourself and others as they unravel their armour, their conditioning and their way of seeing life.

It is a complete personality shift to let go of being so serious, fighting for a cause, and sacrificing who you are and your life for a valid reason. To see that it is all a choice, to see that it has been used as a way to escape or avoid being vulnerable and taking risks. It is hard to look at all of this, for your very foundations are being shaken.

God does not require you to self-sacrifice to fight any battle. God just wants you to evolve into a God-like being of love, kindness and peace, sharing these energies wherever you go. How you choose to live your life doesn’t matter. When you have this inner peace and love inside it touches everyone you interact with. Your light shines out positively affecting all. You don’t have to effort it, force it. It just happens.

You don’t have to make yourself the best you can be. STOP. Stop this. Just relax and be you. All of us are good people. All of us are innocent, kind and loving underneath our wounds. We just have to drop below the surface and reconnect to our innate qualities, our true self. For that is already a beautiful child of God. We don’t have to improve that. We can’t. It already is perfect as it is.

Each of us truly is okay, truly is enough. We are just learning to accept that, to believe that and to love our self and others in a way that we all can relax and just BE, knowing we are okay and we can choose to enjoy life, have fun and play. No seriousness needed. Trust life to lead you forth, to guide you to your passion and your joy.

No need to try to figure it out. Just relax and BE. That is all that is needed. Drop the judgement, the trying, the forcing and just allow. Allow life to happen – in all its glory and majesty, and in all its boredom and stagnation. These are just phases you move through, like the ocean waves. There are highs and lows. There can be intensity and calmness, even flatness. These are all just phases. None are better than the other. When the time is right the winds of change will blow and move you into the next phase of your life.

So relax, let go and BE. It doesn’t have to be so challenging. Put your feet up. Read a book. Watch a movie. Go for a walk. Cook some food. Enjoy life in its simplicity and its day to day tasks. All can be enjoyed if you see it this way. Blessed BE. Amen.

By Jodi-Anne (17 March 2019).

  • Further free guidance on healing techniques and self love are available on the Life Insights and Healing from child abuse pages of this website.
  • If you found this blog useful you may wish to consider purchasing a copy of Jodi-Anne’s book ‘Advice from a higher Source’ which contains 85 more answers to questions about life. The paperback book or ebook can be purchased online at – http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/JMS2011. (Once you have clicked into view the description of the book, go to the top of the page and choose the flag symbol for your country, this will show you the price in your currency and enable you to purchase it in that currency)