I'm fine. Are you fine? I ask this question because so often I think I'm fine when in reality there's something going on that is related to how I learned to cope and the approaches I use for healing. That's what I want to talk to you about today, healing.
I don’t usually don't talk specifically about my challenges or trauma. There are three reasons for that.
I would like to acknowledge that each of us has trauma of some sort. Some of them are big like blinking neon signs, and some of them are smaller. They're like paper cuts, and over time they aggregate, and they can be just as painful.
Related to that, I would like to offer that even though I acknowledge that some trauma is “bigger” than others, we cannot compare or rank trauma against someone else's or even our own in a previous situation.
The reason for that is that who we are as a person, the baseline that we came into this world with, our genetic makeup, our personality, and some of the ways that we behave are very, very different across the board.
When you add to that the environment in which we grew up, the role models that we had, and the experiences that we've had over time, we show up very differently. One person may not and probably won't respond to a situation in a similar manner as another
Having acknowledged that, when I talk about healing today and over the next three weeks as part of a series, I’ll be exploring three foundational cornerstone practices that have worked for me.
It doesn't mean that they work every time or that I'm ever completely done, but it's a really good place to start. I hope that by offering this, you can take what resonates for you. Use it. tailor it and implement it in a way that fits you and your life. If there are pieces of it that do not work for you, then please just disregard and know that it may work for someone else.
Now that I regularly use these principles, I’m not perfect at dealing with the things that come up, but I am better able to understand my emotions and I'm better able to manage them appropriately. I think that's a really key point- once we can recognize some of our less effective coping mechanisms, we can then strive to make different choices.
I will reveal to you, and this won't be surprising for people who know me personally, my go-to coping mechanism for dealing with difficult things is shutting down and numbing. I am the oldest and it's an almost unconscious response that I have had in place for as long as I can remember. I am fine all the time unless I really take some time to examine it and look more deeply.
I can make the mistake of thinking that everything is okay when in fact, sometimes it's not. I’ve grown to the place where I know how to recognize when I am sort of checking out and I challenge myself to do a little better.
Have you noticed that the world is full of walking wounded despite all of our technological advances?
The human race is not very good at dealing with our emotional challenges. We struggle mightily with mental health.
The first principle I’d like to offer is: nature heals.
Just getting outside and walking around, just that alone is actually incredibly powerful. Human beings are meant to spend time outdoors. In our current society and the way that our culture works, most of us don't spend a lot of time outdoors.
If you are going through a challenging situation, turn to the simple medicine of the natural world. Just the act of getting outside in nature can reduce stress and elevate your mood. Moving your body really helps.
If you're going through something right now that's difficult or if you're just looking to implement a healthy practice in your life, planning regular time outdoors can be really impactful.
For many of us, because we work in cubicles and at desks, we are not moving our body very much and we're not spending much time outdoors. Getting outside, actually getting sunlight on your face and in your eyes and on your body for a short period of time each day is my go-to healing elixir.
There is a ton of evidence and scientific studies that have proven the effectiveness of being outdoors.
My challenge for you this week: consider just adding a 15 minute walk to your day. If you it helps, maybe choose a podcast or an audio book and listen to that as you are walking. When you come back, notice how your body feels and notice if your mood has changed in any way.
My number one approach to dealing with trauma and facilitating healing is to partner with nature and here are some practical ways to make that happen:
Ways to connect with nature:
While you’re outdoors:
Who am I?
I’m a systems engineer and creative coach living in ABQ, NM. I believe that we can intentionally design our lives to align with our deepest dreams and desires.