How are you? And how are you really?
Trauma is commonly known as ‘our memory haunting us’. Or to put it another way, it’s feeling an emotion in the present moment, that’s from the past. Our mind associates something that happened in the past in the present, and experiences or feels the emotion, the anger or hurt, or sadness for example, we felt at the time of the event.
It’s like not turning off the sat nav when we’ve reached our destination, so that every time we make a new journey, we are continually given directions to the place we no longer need to go!
Or, to put it another way, if you think back to a time when you stubbed your toe. You can remember that you had agonising physical pain. But you don’t feel the pain now when you remember the event do you? This is the difference between physical and emotional pain.
So often with events which affect us emotionally, and give us emotional pain; we both remember and feel the pain experienced at the time.
And to take this a stage further it seems we have normalised this. As a society we have accepted that this is the case with events which cause us emotional pain and trauma. That we continue to bear with the pain, to get used to it, to tolerate it. And what’s even worse, it’s quite normal to avoid situations where we will be reminded of the pain. Meaning that we avoid situations in an attempt to protect ourselves. This means planning and designing our lives around avoiding situations we think might trigger us. Which is to limit our lives to avoid feeling the emotional pain we experienced a lifetime ago. We are so often encouraged to keep our chin up and get on with it. To just stay positive. But these are coping strategies. Coping strategies limit our experience of life. Coping strategies avoid dealing with the cause of the pain. And this is ‘toxic positivity’.
So let’s take this coping strategy and say for instance I got a stone in my shoe and it hurts my foot when I put weight on it. Wouldn’t it be bonkers if I said, “Well, I’m a hopper now. It hurts if I use that foot, so I’ll just be a hopper from now on”. It’s the same situation, right?
Coping strategies avoid the pain, not addressing the cause and our universe shrinks.
Transformation is where we identify the cause and release it. We just take the stone out of our shoe! This way there is no repeated pain from the past, no limiting beliefs or limiting decisions about how we live our life to avoid situations, or feel a need to protect ourselves. AND OUR UNIVERSE GROWS!
Mostly we travel the four steps of the emotional response cycle easily, and we do it without any conscious awareness. It’s really only problematic when the cycle gets interrupted or broken. There are four steps in the cycle. Let’s explore a little deeper.
1. Stimulus – this is the event that requires us to change our behaviour in order to move towards our goals and avoid setback.
2. Thought – conscious and unconscious thinking processes take place. The mind attempts to establish what is happening, to work out what is going on in order to create an appropriate response. It’s attempting to make sense and meaning of the situation.
3. Feeling – this phase is a physiological response. For example, fear causes our heart to beat faster, muscles to tense, hands to sweat. Facial expressions are a common physiological response.
4. Action – the fourth is the behavioural response. This is the action we take or stop taking in order to achieve our outcome.
Functioning optimally we move through the stages smoothly. When we achieve what we wanted we feel great. This is stored as memorised strategy, or ‘learnings’.
However, when things don’t go smoothly and easily, when the cycle gets interrupted, we maybe can’t find the right behaviour, or any behaviour whatsoever and we have no clue what is the right action to take. Or say for instance, the stimulus comes in too quickly, it’s too much and we can’t deal with it or make sense of it. It doesn’t need to be a life threatening event, it might be something that’s happened to most of us, like being shouted at as a child. And you don’t know how to respond, or behave or act at the time. You might be able to think what you could have done afterwards, but at the time you are completely stumped, or say or do something you wish you hadn’t afterwards.
This is what happens :
The emotional energy gets stuck in our nervous system.
A boundary is created in the neurology.
We can’t “process” all the steps.
The emotional response cycle doesn’t complete.
As a result, the mind loops through the memory.
The mind will attempt to apply appropriate meaning and to extract the learnings from the situation.
Over and over and over again.
Until the mind can complete the cycle.
Until it can do so, the event will repeat in the mind.
This is how flashbacks occur.
This is how trauma is stored in the nervous system.
Having identified this cycle, and my owns breaks in the cycle resulting from being kept as a virtual house prisoner and knowing I couldn’t be a ‘hopper’ all my life, I knew I had to find a way to release the cause, so I could grow in my life and see and enjoy the possibilities in the universe with a growth mindset. For me, I was determined to be able to experience the full set of emotions, to feel good, to be able to choose my actions wisely, to be balanced and to be, do and have everything I desire which includes making a difference in the world. My motivation to be empowered to work for the highest good of all took me from engineering in the automotive industry to designing and building the tools and techniques I needed to release my pain, trauma, negative emotions and limiting beliefs, and then to developing a training programme called Conscious Emotional Transformation (CET) which I now teach so others, who don’t want to be a hopper, can get results quickly and easily too!
I work with both people seeking healing from their own trauma, as well as teaching coaches to be certified in using the skills and tools, ensuring their clients experience the profound results of releasing past trauma. If you’re interested to know more, full details, the application form and how to join the waiting list for our 16 week Conscious Emotional Transformation (CET Certification) programme can be found <here>.
If this is a subject that intrigues you as much as it does me, and the team at CETfreedom, by joining our <facebook group> and <mailing list>, you will be the first to know about the new programmes, CETfree CIC, books, free online trainings and live events coming soon. CETfreedom is known for uniting scientific and spiritual theories in revolutionary ways, using them both to guide us beyond traditional thinking to reach new possibilities. There really is no need to normalise and ‘live with’ emotional pain, develop complicated coping strategies or be victim to toxic positivity.
We go where many are unwilling to go in the name of discovering what it means to be a human free from emotional pain. By pushing the boundaries and rebelling against rigid systems, we are ready to forge new paths that take us to places never gone before. We share our wisdom honestly and generously with others, so they too can experience a life filled with love, joy, clarity and resilience.
The team and I will look forward to chatting!
To your empowerment
Dr Lisa Turner