Sound the horns and bang the drums – like each single, white, tufted seed born on the breeze from the head of a dandelion – this newsletter has been wafting its way to you from Nature’s Narrative twice a month for a whole two years!
So let’s take stock. Have these seeds taken root? If so, how?
In July of last two years (2020) few of us understood the gravity of the covid situation. Since then our planet has continued to sound the alarm (fires, floods, as well as new variants of the virus) drawing our attention to the profound level of imbalance that is afflicting us in relation to one another and in our relationship with the planet.
Throughout this process we are being given an opportunity to grow in awareness and recognition of the marked levels of disparity that divide us from one another in the form of racism, sexism, and material gain.
All of these imbalances have been shepherded into even more pronounced focus over the past year through the lens of covid.
Can we say that over the past year we have become a bit more mindful of privilege? Can we say that we have become a bit more mindful of race and how race impacts participation in our communities? Can we say that we are a bit more mindful of sexism and how sexism affects women, men, our sons and our daughters?
Interwoven throughout and where I want to draw our attention now (on this one year anniversary!) is the issue of trauma. Can we begin to be a bit more mindful of the ways in which trauma plays out in ourselves and in our relations with loved ones? With communities? With SNS? In conversations with strangers?
If you would like to begin exploring this topic on behalf of your self or someone you love; Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness (written my David A. Treleaven) is a good place to start. According to the author of this well researched text, 90% of Americans have been exposed to a traumatic event in their lifetime and 20% of those will have developed full blown PTSD.
For a video on PTSD click here.
Trauma is a large part of our training in MMTCP and I have found trauma awareness to be extremely useful – for myself as well as my students.
Looking back over the past year I would say that working with trauma has been the most vibrant aspect of my well-being practice.
It is never too late to begin uncovering trauma dynamics and how these dynamics play out in our approach to the world around us. Our whole planet is traumatised.
My fafter was a veteran of WWII. For years he targeted me with his taunting, bullying, belittling words and behaviour. His actions were a source mystery for me and at the same time, profound shame.
His behaviour was both embarrassing and painful. Often, I felt that somehow it was my fault that this behaviour continued. My family appeared oblivious.
It was not until I began to understand the dynamics of trauma and PTSD as well as the effect this had on the family dynamic that I began to unwind habitual patterns of feelings and behaviours that kept me locked down into a permanent (and exhausting) state of high alert.
Alcohol and drugs gave me the means to relax. Drinking in the evening was how I ‘talked’ with my parents. There appeared to be no other way.
Should you be ready to explore how trauma has played out in your life – I salute you!
The journey is (and continues to be) fruitful, engaging and well worth the effort.
For support, please download the reminder above from our Nature’s Narrative Pinterest account. Keep this affirmation visible every time you use your phone or desktop. Print out the text to put on your fridge.
Scroll down the blog of Naturesnarrative.com for more on this topic.
Each. And every step. You are. Enough.
It is important to take active steps – no matter how small – to begin to acknowledge the impact of trauma so that you can begin to move through the subtle (and not so subtle) ways in which trauma can construct a transparent wall that separates you from living your own full, juicy, god-given life – full-throttle! with joy and vitality.
The ways in which trauma manifest (and continues to manifest) for me is in a subtle but pervasive sense that I am somehow on the ‘outside’. Somehow I seem to have lived a life that was ‘separate’ from the ‘normal’ lives of everyone around me.
Feeling alone and above all, responsible, I was sure that it was I who bore the weight of ‘making it work’, and that I and only I could keep this world on its axis, keep my family on track, keep my partner ‘healthy’.
All these ‘shoulds’ can be narratives of trauma that bind and emotionally deform us, separating us (the root of Demon is the Sanskrit ‘da’ which means ‘separation’) from experiencing the joy, vitality and interconnectivity life offers us.
Joy and vitality are our birthright.
We explored the implications of this birthright at our Nature’s Narrative Workshop last week when we worked with Air Element.
In a recent Nature’s Narrative Workshop we talked about equilibrium (we all share air), energy, (is your energy bound up in narratives that no longer serve you?) and implications (how am I using the energy that is available to me?) amidst a felt sense of abundance (for indeed, when we slow down long enough to notice – we have all the air we need).
Lavender, Bergamot and Eucalyptus (from Air Element Oil) were the star attractions. These three (out of the seven single oils that comprise Air Element Oil) were the ones chosen by participants (even though we worked with all seven!) to steady and support our practice.
Heather Hane took us through a 45 minute yoga practice designed to open our chest, lungs and heart area (4th chakra) where air energy manifests within our physical bodies.
Find your tools. Engage in self care. Be kind.