One way to begin healing developmental trauma is to learn about what the founder of Polyvagal Theory Stephen Porges termed "neuroception."
Why might a hypersensitive empath lack empathy and sensitivity? Well, think about it. If you're an emotional sponge who picks up on other people's feelings without clear, solid psychic boundaries that protect your energy field from the energy field of others, an angry, grieving, terrified, disappointed,
It occurred to me as we were making our mandalas- This is how I operate my life.
What's next is the guiding principle of how I navigate uncertainty, whether we're talking about a book writing project, an activist idea, or a challenging relationship.
It sounds weird to say that trauma is hot right now, but it doesn't take much to recognize that after a year of personal and collective trauma, conversations about healing trauma are everywhere. For example, I'm delighted that Oprah Winfrey and Bruce Perry, MD have published their book about developmental trauma- What Happened To You? and Gabor Mate collaborated with the Science & Non-Duality community to release their documentary The Wisdom of Trauma.
Watch Internal Family Systems (IFS) Founder Dick Schwartz Do A Vulnerable IFS Trauma Healing Demo on Lissa
Last week, I had the great pleasure of co-teaching with IFS founder and trauma therapist Dick Schwartz, PhD in both our Healing With The Muse community and in our Rebirth 2021 class.
So what happens if people don't get the second developmental need (attunement) met? First, let's define attunement.
Thanks to Stephen Porges and his Polyvagal Theory, we now know so much more about what happens in the body, in the autonomic nervous system, in the immune system, in the presence of chronic inflammation, and in end organs affected by chronic sympathetic nervous system hyper-arousal and/or chronic dorsal vagal hypo-arousal. This nervous system dysregulation can lead not only to practically every mental health diagnosis in the DSM-V, but also to a host of medical conditions, like:
Heller and LaPierre assert that children have five core developmental needs- for connection, attunement, trust, autonomy, and a healthy connection between love and sexuality, which, when met, give us core capacities essential to our wellbeing.
In my next book Sacred Medicine, I divided up the healing tools shared in the book (which will be published by Sounds True in Spring 2022!) into two categories- energy transfusions meant to fill you with life force when you're depleted, and trauma healing tools meant to plug the leaks or unblock where life force gets stagnant because of unhealed trauma. For those who are severely depleted, trauma healing may be premature. It's better to fill your tank before you dive deep into potentially triggering territory.
The pandemic is not over yet, and we have so much loss to grieve- lost lives, lost jobs, lost financial security, lost belief systems, lost school days, lost friends, lost feelings of safety, and lost social contact, in addition to things we needed to lose- like losing some of our racial, gender, socioeconomic, or sexual preference privileges or losing political leaders who do not wish our countries well or losing online influencers who do not respect science or truth or losing some of the mobility that is causing the climate crisis.
While making the final edits to my Sacred Medicine book, I asked one healer if she had a point of view in response to the question, "Why do horrific things happen to seemingly innocent people?" I explained to her that the question is relevant to the book because those who chronically suffer from physical or mental illness often seek answers to the question, "Why me" or "Why not her?" I told her that every answer I had heard thus far in my research fell flat from a post-2020 lens, and because I had a lot of respect for her, I was curious about her point of view at this point in our understanding (and lack thereof) of human suffering.
Why Reflexive Rebellion Or Blind Compliance In The Face of Authority Figures May Be The Result Of Unhealed Bullying Trauma
My cousin Rebecca Bass Ching, an incredible Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapist who is responsible for turning me on to IFS and introducing it to me as "game changer," just wrote a beautiful piece about being bullied- by someone else or by yourself- and how today's trying times can bring up emotions from past bullying encounters.
In the Healing With the Muse community, our intention is to alchemize uncertain times into creative gold for the purposes of healing and being “makerly,” leveraging both the joyful and painful experiences of our lives (the last year has been chock full of them!) into opportunities to write and make art straight from the raw, cracked open heart.
As I’m trapped in my house because the air quality where I live in the Bay Area is incompatible with life, as I’m sheltered in place for six months and gave up all summer travel because I want to be a responsible community member and don’t want to hurt anyone who...
The Viral Wake Up Call: An IFS Perspective By Dick Schwartz Very rarely do I post guest blogs on this blog, but my mentor and founder of Internal Family Systems (IFS) Richard Schwartz, PhD just wrote this post about IFS in the times of a pandemic, and my...
We just survived the worst season of California wildfires I can remember after living here over half of my life. While our lives and homes were not in immediate danger as so many others were, we did have to flee the San Francisco Bay Area as smoke evacuees because...