Hi, this is Dr. Valerie. Let’s do a little thriving check-in, shall we?
When you wake up are you feeling a little extra tense, extra cranky? Are you feeling a little more tired than usual as you’re going through your day? Are you not as productive, as creative, as flowing? Is it like you’d like to be?
If you’re not using this quarantine time to learn another language or knit sweaters for everyone in your family for winter holidays, you’re not alone. And today I’d like to share with you a few very important things to help you shift from survival to thriving in this very key, potent, crucial time.
What I’m discovering with my clients right now is that yes everything is activated. Traumas are activated – collective, personal, and ancestral – which makes it challenging, if we don’t know how to work with them. And if we do, it makes it a very potent time to shift a whole new level of well-being. Yes, I know it sounds a little far-fetched, shifting to a whole new level of well-being during a global pandemic. However, that’s exactly what I’m seeing daily in my own life and with my clients. Yes, it’s intense. The work is intense. However, this is a golden opportunity.
Every trigger that we experience – if we know how to work with that – it’s like a little golden flag that points us to where we need to dig to heal the traumas and liberate ourselves from centuries and thousands of years of the patterns of survival that are running the world right now, running our nervous systems, and shift to thriving. My very bold hypothesis is that the world cannot survive operating in patterns of survival anymore. That this situation is pushing us to recognize that it’s the patterns of survival: fight / flight / freeze that are behind the decisions that got us all to this crisis if we shift to thriving collectively and individually. This is a whole new era this is gonna herald a whole new era for us individually and as a collective.
So, I’m going to share with you a few tools you can use when you wake up in the morning. What happens when you sleep, actually, is that your subconscious it hooks into the collective subconscious and the collective subconscious with all that trauma activated begins to livestream collective fear to your system. And when you wake up and you feel a little extra tense that’s why it’s happening. What’s important to understand about collective trauma and generational trauma is that down each lineage we have these genetic memories. We have memories of deprivation, pandemics, wars, hardship, persecution. So when global events like this happen we are experiencing this trauma activation globally and we’re experiencing that personally.
I’m going to share with you a few tools you can use every day to start shifting from survival to thriving. But before I jump in, I want to share with you a few validating points about women’s experience right now. A few of them are more obvious than others, but I find that this knowledge – when we can see the invisible we can do the impossible – it can help us shift by recognizing that there is nothing wrong with us. By recognizing factors that are affecting us in this way, we can actually do something about them.
I have a few notes because I just finished writing this proposal for a program for women executives in a Fortune 500 company. I was diving in deep into the current situation and how my expertise in healing trauma applies right now. What knowledge I have to share that can benefit people and organizations immediately? So I’m going to share it with you because I think it was enlightening for me to put it on paper and validating for me. I really enjoyed that exercise.
So first of all, as we know woman’s capacity has already been stretched between multiple roles – mom, professional, sister, daughter, partner – and now all these roles have become significantly more demanding, while the boundaries between them all but disappeared. Right? You’re our mom and you’re a cook and you’re a professional at home all the time, so that’s hard. And the structures of support that were previously available to us all but disappeared as well. Such as: having a stable work-home schedule, school (Where are schools? Disappeared), healthcare, being able to outsource housework or purchase prepared meals (not always an option right now). Our partners work schedules, the same parents routines that used to enable their independence, social, etc. – also gone. At the same time, women are tasked with mastering whole new skills from working and leading remotely to supporting they kids homeschooling and making all the meals as well as new levels of productivity, creativity, and agility are required to adapt to all these changes.
Deep breath as we continue. The deeper challenges lie beneath what meets the eye. In addition to managing their own stress levels, women do the emotional labor of being a safe space to hold others emotions (those of their co-workers and kids and partners and parents and siblings and friends). And many of the usual ways of managing stress in the meanwhile are gone away – such as socializing, going out, going to the gym, to the spa, or to a coffee shop – and to add to that even most routine activities are now extremely stressful, such as going to the grocery store. The level of preparation that it requires from masks and washing hands and then social distancing, that spikes cortisol levels and takes our capacity all the time.
And finally another layer of challenge, if you’re familiar with my work you know that I talk about it all the time is the generational trauma of oppression Patriarchy Stress Disorder. As you might know, I wrote a book about it Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Inner Barrier to Women’s Happiness and Fulfillment. This the trauma of oppression has already been keeping our nervous systems on perpetual overdrive, and now to add to that the activation of global collective and generational trauma and our empathic ability to hold others emotions. It’s a lot. Our systems are in constant fight / flight / freeze. We’re exhausted and especially when we wake up at night from from the night sleep, we are tired.
So what we need to do when we first wake up is acknowledge that this is happening. And from acknowledging, we need to use some tools to shift. Traditional stress management tools may not be as effective right now (meditation, exercise) because it would be like putting ice cubes into a boiling pot hoping that it will cool it down without turning down the boiler or turning off the boiler. First, trauma is that boiler.
Waking up, first we need to ask the question: “How much of this is mine?” And allow our subconscious to start sorting out. On the energetic level moving out of our energy field what we have picked up during sleep from the collective. Next, we’re going to move this stress out of the body by tensing and releasing, tensing and releasing all muscles. From there, we are going to move into – because that energy gets liberated – discharging. And by shaking – a very simple trauma release tool that all animals use by the way -just shaking, shaking, shaking, shaking and breathing and expressing with the voice. From shaking, we’re going to use soothing, caressing motions. Running our hands down our arms, down the face (making sure that the hands are clean, of course), and spending a few seconds caressing and soothing.
I have a Re-Power Tool that will also help you create that initial safety in the body. I highly recommend it as well. And I have more mind-body tools coming in the next videos.
Have you read Dr. Valerie’s book “Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women’s Happiness and Fulfillment”? The first chapter is free to download. Buy it or sample it here.
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