Out on a limb! (Pun intended)
Since I am going to be down the use of a limb after tomorrow, I figured I
would go out on a limb tonight. I’m going to share something with you that I wrote after a meditation back in October of 2018. Before my mom got sick and before she died. Before my whole life was upturned and later rendered unrecognizable.
I am not sure exactly when I got interested in trauma and ACEs (short for adverse childhood experiences) and how they interplay with chronic disease and immune system things, and your long term health but it was somewhere around this time frame.
If you aren’t familiar, this is science and evidence based stuff. The things that happen to us before age 18 set us up for life. There is a ten question quiz you can take to get your score. Some of the things are more benign like “my parents got divorced” and some are more intense like “someone in my family went to prison.” When you have a score of one or higher, your risk increases for lots of things including risky behaviors and chronic illnesses, smoking, using drugs, being a victim of violence. So many things. And as your score goes up, so does your risk. Certainly I am not doing all of this justice. (Check out CDC for info https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/aces/index.html).
It literally blew my mind. Not only had I spent the previous decade working on population level disease prevention but I also struggle with an overactive immune system and food allergies and assorted autoimmune things. Was I going at this all wrong? Yes. Is there more going on in our bodies than some doctors want to consider. Hell yes.
I feel I owe it to ACEs to write a better post about this so I promise I will. But given the late hour and my pending surgery, I’m going cliff notes on this one.
This is how and why I did my yoga training with a trauma informed approach. There is so much that can be done to help alleviate this toxic stress response in the body including yoga and breathwork. I hope to share what I’ve learned broadly for public benefit - once my shoulder heals of course. 🤍
In the short term, here’s what I wrote. After a self guided Akashic meditation. I make no promise that this came from anywhere besides my brain, but I feel like maybe, just maybe it did. 🤍
We are all hurt - we all have holes. We are protecting our hurt inner children. Unconsciously, we let this dictate our behaviors, relationships, attitudes. We fill it with things that can’t help. We give our power away so we don’t have to engage, to love ourselves, we play small so we won’t be rejected and disappointed and hurt more. We need each other. We need human contact and human touch. And caring. And to give. And care for others and stop the madness of hurt. Love heals all. Inner love. And until we can feel that, we need it from each other, our communities, our friends and neighbors. Wherever it comes from. We are all one. We all bleed the same. Our wounds are universal. They make us sick. They make us suffer. We need to release the wounds. Understand that all wounds are handed down from other wounded children. We can release the wounds. We can be love. We can heal.
So that’s me going out on a limb with y’all. I honestly think it was writing this that made me see every person who annoys me as a little scared 8 year old kid. It helps. I promise it’s hard to be pissed at someone when you see their inner child. Not impossible mind you, just a little bit harder.
if you want to learn more about ACEs there are scads of books and resources you can search for. My favorite books on this that I highly recommend are “The Body Keeps the Score” by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk and “The Deepest Well“ by Dr. Nadine Harris Burke. I plan to read lots while I’m recovering so I will share what I get with you! 😇
photo cred: @gracejoyasthetic aka Grace Widman