A Perpetual Work in Progress

Massive lessons being learned by me at the moment. I am in transition again. So much movement in my life, and so much trying to be and do everything. You can only ever disappoint when you try to be everything to everyone.

Hmmm … I didn’t mean to underline, but there you have it. The first salient point in this post lol.

My whole life, I felt small. I felt like I had no worth unless I was doing and being for others. As I reflect, that core belief is what has always landed me in trouble during my adult life. And it is ultimately the belief that has lead me here to be able to smash through it. Gingerly lol.

Obviously, that belief started in childhood. I don’t hold others responsible for it – it was my perception (mis-perception) of the trauma I encountered. The same trauma that has made me who I am (who I like – an empowered, resilient, and beautiful woman – a little proud I can say that without any challenge or awkwardness).

Last weekend, I hit a snag on Sunday. I forgot I had organised to go to the beach and then catch up with one of my very closest people. I was too tired. Soul tired. I slept ALL day.

I knew I had to make changes.

I couldn’t keep watching people live their lives – explore the world, see family and friends, do stuff – whilst the vast majority of what I did was work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work. I just realised last Sunday, that I also love not working. It’s as simple as that.

I am most present and most liberated when I am doing any sort of healing work, be it with others or on my own self. Healing, and all that means, is my highest value and the reason I am on this Earth at this time – to empower and inspire others to be their best selves.

When I am not engaged in this work, I am not as buoyant.

This work takes many forms: tutoring, workshops, clients, writing, videos with Renee, and connections. And I’m sure there is more. It is my whole self.

But there needs to be a balance within the healing work.

And because of my ‘fear’ of disappointing people, my inability to say no for the same reason, all connected to my belief that my worth is connected to what I do for others, I have run out of mojo already this year.

When I’m working in my balance, I am energised. When I’m working out of balance, I become soul tired.

I’ve made difficult decisions this week, had difficult conversations, and the world hasn’t imploded. I still woke up this morning. People are managing to live their lives. Not much seems to have changed.

However, I have. As someone said to me yesterday, “It’s good you are setting boundaries, Tina. We would keep taking as long as you were still giving.”

As a person who has experienced trauma, standing up for what I want and being supported in that and not being belittled or punished, has been empowering.

The world didn’t end when I set some boundaries. People are disappointed, but we are all still functioning. The difference now, my needs are being met too.

And I AM worth that.

Something Important

This is a link to a You Tube channel my friend and I are starting. This is our random introduction.

Our videos will focus on the impact of childhood trauma on the adult, and we will talk about the strategies we have used to bring balance back to our lives as adults.

Our first formal video will be posted in the next few weeks. This is a taster.

The Power of Sharing

I facilitated my Moving Beyond Childhood Trauma workshop last night. First of four.

I was so excited yesterday morning because I just felt the group was right. And it was.

Sharing space with women who possess the courage to put themselves out there is so inspiring and so empowering. We grow through one another’s strength.

Sharing story lifts guilt and shame, but it too, takes courage.

I’m so inspired today, exhausted, but inspired.

If You Build It

Tonight is the first night of my Moving Beyond Childhood Trauma workshop. I am excited and terrified all in one.

Running workshops always terrifies me. The impact of my own trauma becomes very obvious to me: the fear that I’m not good enough and have nothing to offer of use.

Obviously, this is garbage, but it is the narrative I’ve told myself my whole life. I’m not good enough. I think that’s why I stayed in teaching for so long – the system kept me very small and I enabled that because it fed my narrative – I’m just not good enough.

So, I have to walk the talk. I have to tell the fear to sit in the back seat whilst I drive the car. It can come, but it can not speak. Thank you, Liz Gilbert. I pay this metaphor forward and it changes lives.

Fear is normal. Minimizing yourself as a result of it is something you can control. To live our best lives, we need to learn to harness it. Acknowledge its existence, but do not give it power.

I scaffolded the program weeks ago. As you do. Something had been holding me back from fully committing to that scaffold. Yesterday, just before heading to work, tonight flashed into my brain.

The last week, first.

Always have the goal in mind. What do I want my life to look like? Who do I want to be?

Then, we will deal with the trauma.

I’m hoping the participants find the courage within themselves to attend; I have such a good feeling about the group.

Another impact of my own trauma is that I used to struggle with stepping outside of my comfort zone. Twenty seconds of courage to click yes and to knock on a door changed that. I now go when and where I am called.

Changing my trauma narrative comes one word at a time, one impact at a time, one change at a time. With lots of self-love practiced.

Trauma doesn’t have to define our lives. It is our choice.

What Am I Learning

I am so immersed in trauma at the moment, I’m amazed I’m functioning.

My friend and I have started a YouTube channel that focuses on moving beyond childhood trauma. Each month, we will post a short discussion on a topic that relates to childhood trauma and it’s many impacts.

I’m also preparing my workshop materials for Wednesday’s course, Moving Beyond Childhood Trauma.

So, what am I learning?

I’m learning that when you are delving into and immersing yourself in this issue, you really need to practice self-care.

I am learning that triggers will come fast.

I am learning that trauma makes you very vulnerable and makes you want to be so small that no one sees you.

I am learning that trauma’s voice is shame, and it speaks when it wants to.

I am learning that I am not the little abused child anymore. I’m a grown woman who possesses a fierce spirit and a compassionate soul. I am learning that the impact of trauma is ultimately a choice: we choose to stay in it or to get out of it.

We are in control of our lives. We choose what we do, where we go, who we hang with, and whether we get treatment or drown.

We choose.

A Week Later 🤨

I have had a bit of a yucky week. Woke up on Monday with the beginnings of what became a massive migraine that stayed with me, in a variety of forms, until Friday night. It forced me to really stop – something I struggle to do these days – and so, for that At least, I’m grateful.

I realise I have overcommitted myself this year. Leaving teaching has left me with a small fear of not having enough money and so I have overcommitted myself to my tutoring business. Add to that an inability to say no, and I have some issues to work through lol.

I laugh, but probably shouldn’t be.

All of this is a manifestation of unresolved trauma.

I’ve worked through quite a few layers since leaving for the cruise just before Christmas. Triggers come. I do the work. I resolve that aspect. Cycle continues.

Somewhere in there though, I’ve become vulnerable, a little overwhelmed and a little fearful again. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a strong and empowered woman. I am also a work in progress, and sometimes don’t feel quite as strong as I want to.

All of that comes from deserving and self-worth. When I become triggered, when I do the work, I focus on the intellectual and forget to focus on the little girl.

I am not her anymore. I know this. The little girl has evolved into a woman who knows her power and stands in it every day. This grown arse woman though, doesn’t necessarily feel her worth as deeply as she should. The little girl definitely didn’t feel her worth.

This is the long term impact of childhood trauma. Intellectually I know I’m fierce, and lovable, and deserving. Emotionally, maybe not so much.

How do I cross that divide and merge the two?

For me, awareness is a massive thing. Once I’m aware, I start making different choices. I can already feel a shift within me regarding this.

I need to nurture myself: eat better, bless my food, ritualize eating, wear clothes I love, wear beautiful underwear, stand in the grass, hug a tree, play with my pets, laugh, live with intent, connect with old friends, affirm myself, make my life about me, burn candles, declutter my spaces, breathe deeply, meditate to love my inner child and bring her to maturity. Just a few things I can do that work for me.

And, I need to start saying no. People won’t hate me, and if they do, that’s on them and I don’t need them.

Easy to say lol – we all want approval, especially when we are vulnerable. But, we need to approve of ourself first. That comes from affirming that our own needs are as important, more important, than the needs of others.

We can’t give wholeheartedly when we are empty.

I will learn and manifest this. It’s my next layer to peel back.

Have a beautiful and inspired day.