The Potential of Trauma

About this weeks topic

Everyone talks about trauma these days, yet the phenomenon still isn't understood fully by most. Trauma has a huge impact on our life, our relationships and our global culture. It is some thing that is guiding our decisions and creates unconscious reaction. It has the power to distort our sense of self and our identity. It makes us fight ghosts.

This week we will create a deeper understanding about what it really is, and what it's potential for our growth and awakening is.

This weeks videos

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This is: Module 
1
, Week 
3
Topic:
The Potential of Trauma
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Recommended Reading & MAterials

Download Lecture Slides

Books:

Daniel Siegel - Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology
Peter Levine - Waking the Tiger
Bessel van der Kolk - The Body keeps the Score
Gabor Maté - The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness & Healing in a Toxic Culture

Audio Books:

Daniel Siegel - The Neurobiology of 'We': How Relationships, the Mind, and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are

This weeks Exercises & Homework

Goals

1. Becoming aware of moments where your emotional states feels inappropriate to your actual context
2. Notice what happens when you focus on creating more resources in those moments through self-regulation and connection, and how the experience shifts if you allow yourself to feel the emotions in your body instead of trying to
move away from them

Exercises

Starting to build a relationship to the parts that have split off from our sense of self is a long journey. These parts don't have names and they don't come with contextual, explicit information. They only have emotional states, bodily sensations and implicit perceptions, as well as expectations and predictions.

Connecting to them requires attention, sensitivity, patience and compassion. They are younger than us, and often in a state of mistrust. It is similar to building a relationship to a scared child.

Our first job is to create safety for them, which means creating safety for ourselves. Then we can approach them with curiosity and the willingness to feel what they feel, allowing what was too much to be felt by your present self that has more capacity and connection. Ideally you bring these parts not just into connection with yourself but also allow them to be there when you relate to others.

Through continuous inquiry into their felt experience, the openness to let those emotions move through your body, and new contextual information these parts can become integrated parts of a whole sense of self again. This requires time, so don't expect big breakthroughs immediately, but open to a long journey of re-connecting to your self.

Follow the following reminders to build a practice of trauma awareness for yourself:

  • Continue building a routine of deep breaths, somatic awareness, and self-regulation
  • Become aware of implicit memories merging with your present moment experience when you're triggered
  • How do these memories live in your body? What are the bodily sensations and movement impulses you notice? What happens if you name this part in relationship to others and name their sensations as your own?
  • Can you pick up a sense of self that feels different? How old does that part feel? What is the perspective on safety of that part? Is there a nervous system state connected to that part?
  • Create a map of your parts that you can keep extending. Be creative, paint, write, or journal!