By: Colleen Gallagher, author of An Uncompromised Life and Intuitive Business and Personal Development Consultant
Many of us hear the word trauma, and we go, “Oh; No, I have no trauma, nothing that bad has happened in my life.” “I mean, I live a good life; there are no issues here.” “I mean, I have food in my fridge, I have a family, I have a good job.” This is how most people think when the word trauma arises. That nothing OH so terrible has happened to me, so I am fine. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the more you run away from accepting that we all have been through some type of trauma or emotional distress in our life, the more disconnected you are from your true healing journey and liberation.
As one of the founding leaders in trauma research, Dr. Peter Levin defines trauma as anything that emotionally disturbs us over some time. If we think about this at some point in our life or in our lives, we will experience emotional disturbances over a period of time. This can be from a car accident, anxiety arising over a job interview or promotion, getting rejected from a sports team or school, parents going through a divorce, or you are going through a bad breakup, illness within families and children. As well as more extreme cases of rape, abuse, a traumatic death, life-altering health diagnosis, suicide, etc. Trauma is something that none of us are exempt from. So, the question is, how do you begin to overcome past trauma?
One, you must come to an acceptance that you have experienced trauma. As I write in my first book, Live Your Truth, we may not have had childhood cancer as I did, but we all have had an equally emotionally painful experience with cancer. Whether we accept that or reject it, it is up to us. However, suppose we want to begin to heal trauma through any modality. In that case, we must come into a state of acceptance that we have experienced something that has traumatized us to have an emotional experience that once we have endured this life experience, we will not be able to go back to living life the way we once did. People think this is often a bad thing, but it’s not. Living a life where we consciously move forward with wisdom from our past is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves and those around us.
Acceptance of trauma many times begins with having a daily practice of stillness. This stillness can be communicated as meditation. However, there are many forms of meditation that we will get into. The first part of your life to overcome past trauma is daily stillness through:
- sitting with our eyes closed or open with a timer on our phone so we can begin to hear our thoughts
- listening to guided meditations on YouTube or countless online membership platforms
- doing something like yoga or a guided workout class so you can be still within your mind while your body is being active
- beginning to have a daily practice of journaling
- allowing yourself to listen to calming music throughout the day so your mind can better focus on one task or relaxing
- enjoying cooking a meal where your mind is completely relaxed and focused on preparing and cooking the meal
These are just some ideas on how you can begin to accept that you have experienced something traumatic and allow a practice like meditation to be gently introduced into your life for a transformation to begin to occur.
Two, once you begin to introduce a space of stillness for your mind to have time to relax, rest and rejuvenate over a period anywhere from a week to thirty days on the extreme side. Naturally, you will begin to receive awareness and new insights about your life history and possibly visions on what your mind and heart desire your life to become. Google defines meditation as a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness and achieve a mentally clear, emotionally calm, and stable state. So, this process I am walking you through will achieve the result of this definition, but that is just it; you must ACCEPT; overcoming trauma through meditation is a PROCESS to guaranteed goodness. This isn’t where you can just take a pill to numb whatever pain you feel. This isn’t just a surgery you can do, and the issue is gone. This isn’t something like chemotherapy, where the dis-ease and trauma within your body are so severe that the chemo may or may not work depending on whether it kills the good cells or your bad cells first, as chemo cannot tell the difference between your cells.
So, once you actively have carved out space in your life for stillness which usually is some form of meditation, I promise you thoughts, past experiences will begin to flash in front of your mind and closed eyes. For example, I moved across the world to New Zealand, and I did four hours of yoga and meditation a day. In this process, I began to clear my body of waste or toxicity that had built up within it, so my body became a clear channel, where I started to see all the small stories of being diagnosed with cancer that impacted and changed my life. However, each of these stories or experiences I went through as a by-product of having cancer I never even remembered them until nine years later when I sat here in yoga and meditation. I began to see stories of being bullied, my friends passing away from cancer, arguments people had in the hospital when I was there, arguments my Mum had with doctors, waking up in so much pain in between my surgeries, and then drugging me again to stay asleep during the surgery. These were all little memories that had MASSIVE impacts on my daily behaviors. Memories that were trapped inside my brain, I was not available to access until I committed conscious stillness into my life over some time.
Once I began to do this, I began to see why I appear “messed up” to the standards of this world from emotional and mental problems. I saw no wonder I had anger issues or anxiety issues. No wonder I would cling onto all my boyfriend’s so tightly while at the same time not wanting to be attached to anyone in case cancer came and killed them. And it was through this the art of writing came through me to write my healing process through my first book, Live Your Truth. So that anyone who has experienced illness, disease, emotional trauma could understand why this world was trying to label you with all these things that are wrong with you when in reality you just went through something that was painfully life-altering. And up until this point no one gave you the tools and practices of meditation and stillness to overcome life-altering trauma or emotional distress.
Meditation isn’t just a luxury; it’s something that is a necessity. For your body and mind to become cleared of whatever you went through was not your fault, you did nothing wrong in this experience of trauma; there was nothing you could have done to prevent this. Instead, sitting in stillness allows the magic of meditation to use our brilliant mind and subconscious mind to access our locked away memories. So, we can begin to see how we can utilize our trauma and story as part of our life purpose to advance this world forward. We went through something so we could become empowered in our life journey to activate this for others.
So, how do you use meditation to overcome your past trauma? I’ve been blessed through my online education company Colleen Gallagher International to interact with hundreds of clients and thousands of people all over the world, and this answer can vary for everyone. Because meditation isn’t this one-size-fits-all. There are many forms of meditation, support, relaxing, creating stillness in your life where nothing else matters than you and what you are being present with. And it’s only through you doing this consistently that your healing will occur. You begin to remember the trapped memories running your life. The false beliefs of you cannot trust people, you must “act like this” in a relationship so that you don’t get hurt, you cannot follow your dreams because x y and z may happen. And until these memories and subconscious habits come to the surface to be witnessed and dissolved, you will never be able to release the past as you will be living out your past default habits. Once you enter consistent meditation practices you can become available for a new, brighter, more brilliant future that can be shown and revealed to you. It’s the same with body fat; until fat is released from the body, there isn’t a real opportunity for lean muscle to start forming. The same goes with your emotional and mental wellbeing to finally live a life you dream of.
And my life, as well as my clients’ lives, are living testimonies to that.
I hope this article serves.
I hope you enjoy my first book, Live Your Truth.
I trust that you will commit, for yourself, to creating a time of stillness so you can release the trauma that is meant to be left in the past so you can walk forward with wisdom.
I love you,