Imagine & Create

Tending Trauma

By November 16, 2015

Terrorist attacks in Paris, the flight of Middle Eastern refugees, racial and gender violence, ongoing ethnic cleansing: this list is too long. These violent and destructive collective realities are pulsing through our nervous systems directly and indirectly. No one is immune if they are breathing.

ephemeral elixirsHow do we heal? How is it possible from right where you are, this very moment, to take an action that will contribute to the restoration of human decency and healthy conflict that births even more collective diversity, tolerance, and regard for all life?

Heal the trauma in you. Unhealed trauma can make you a self-righteous perpetrator. Healing trauma can make you a powerful transmitter of light.

Keep it simple, immediate, and accessible. Quietly increase your capacity to receive. When you are traumatized, your nervous system goes on lockdown, locking you in and everything else out. Begin to break your isolation by gently opening your nervous system to small doses of medicinal, emotional, and spiritual receiving.

Engage your senses

Receiving occurs when we “feel” an encounter with an act of beauty that opens us to greater degrees of interconnectivity through sight, sound, smell, and touch.

Start by receiving right now, this instant from where you are. Close your eyes. Repeat this phrase: See Beauty. Open your eyes and repeat the phrase. Soften your gaze, and rest your eyes on one image. Take it in. See the beauty that is here right now. Breathe it into every cell of your body. Continue the exercise for however long it takes to fill you up. Make this a daily practice.

Increase this skill by taking beauty baths. Witness a sunset from start to finish. Sit in stillness or movement to absorb your favorite piece of music. Read out loud a poem that opens you to rapture. Gaze upon a painting or piece of art that transports you. Ride the wave of a child’s laughter into the deep heart of what is holy in you. You know what turns you on and tunes you in. Go there often.

Focus on love. Did your office mate put a box of pens on your desk that she thought you could use? Not your brand? Where will you focus – on the disappointment that she gave you the wrong brand or the love behind her action? Go for the love behind her action and see the beauty – not just in your head. Feel it in your body.

Actively seek opportunities for restorative experiences

Give the thing you most want to receive. Generosity, yours and others, is a spiritual current entangling us into spiritual debt with one another.

In the village of humanity, we each possess what the other requires to make it through the day. Someone to open the door when your hands are full or spot you that penny at the cash register. Not because it’s the “right” thing to do, but because it’s the only thing to do. Like nature, our collective life depends upon our feeding all the living things around us. Your life depends on it.

Give bigger when you really don’t want to.

Didn’t get the love you wanted as a child? Go give it.

Your husband cheated? Go serve dinner to the happiest couple you know.

Are you attacking yourself? Too fat, single, broke? Go stand for someone else in your shoes.

Ask or invite the healing contact of others. Tell a friend you need their assistance. Dare to join a group of individuals who can offer you support. Use your vulnerability as the power move of all time, the doorway that enables you to step past protection and defense into engagement and community.

Tap into the more than human world

Francis Thompson wrote:

All things by immortal power
Near and far
Hiddenly to each other linked are;
Thou canst not stir a flower
Without troubling a star

Soften your gaze and look for how the more than human world is seeking to gift you with its ineffable presence.

Mother cultures teach us that the self isn’t limited to our skin, our person, our family, our organizations, or our species. It is all of that and much more. The whole self comes into being through your erotic (heightened state of arousal and perception) experience of the world around you. Whether holding the hand of a lover or getting lost in the rapture of a breathtaking nature, your senses are the portal upon which you move into your fullest connection with self, other, and the cosmos that created you. By doing so, you experience the antidote to violence – benevolence.

By engaging your senses and actively seeking restorative experiences, you are more able to consciously choose to experience the benevolence of the world that surrounds you. When you do, you enter the full expression of your aliveness. A heightened state of emotions floods the body and blows open the doors of imagination. Magic feels possible. Even if just for a moment, you are correlated, connected to, and a part of the energetic field of the universe where synchronicity lives.

Chance encounters, fated events, and coincidences are the hallmarks of synchronicity. Synchronicity sees the world as organized chaos, a field of possibility, where you are in conversation with time and space, the elements, and the invisible world. What you think, feel, and desire creates a frequency that acts like a current, connecting to and sending a wave of consciousness across the animate world.

Tip the scale in the direction towards life away from deadly violence and its devastation by aligning with the most powerful and transformative vibration we know: love. In doing so, you become a co-creator in an animate universe, a wandering god or goddess, when you choose mindfulness over hatred of self or others, compassion and collaboration over willful individualism and competition, and trust over fear-fueled behaviors like drinking, overeating, or chronic busyness.

When you tap into the more than human world, receiving means listening deeply to a message the universe is sending you through a series of chance encounters, synchronicities, or dream images. Pay attention to what Tosha Silver teaches: “let the divine take the lead.”

How will you heal your trauma today?

Yours in psyche and spirit,

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