Are we all navigating trauma?

Last night I watched Gabor Maté’s movie The Wisdom of Trauma.

While watching it I stopped to message my sister and then do a post on my Facebook page.
This is a MUST WATCH and I felt like I had to share it.

It made me wonder, are we all living from our own experience of trauma in our lives?

So often the way we are operating in the world is reactive.
Re-acting rather than being pro-active.

We are finding ways of coping, often through addictions. Whether it’s drugs, alcohol, work, exercise, food or shopping we are wanting to escape the suffering that is happening in our internal world. 

It feels like the tide is turning and more and more people are looking to create a balance for themselves.

In the world we live in some of these addictions have been encouraged. Working many hours and doing overtime is a badge of honour for some. 

For me, I’ve swayed to the opposite lately.
Trying to create space and time for my own healing.

Our capitalistic culture and marketing is always encouraging buying more, and more, and more!
You need this… to be like this….

I do a dance (not literally) in this space. I’ve reduced my waste heavily and am more mindful of my purchases, separating out food scraps, soft plastic recycling.

Aiming for zero waste and also not expecting perfection.

Advertising catches me too, I’ve noticed more shopping lately.
A bit more materialistic than I have been in the past.

Moving to London in 2011 (where did that 10 years go!) I lived there for almost five years in furnished spaces and so my own things weren’t as much as now I have my own home and I’ve been nesting into making it a beautiful and welcoming space.

Checking in if I need the item, as well as developing more awareness in making the purchase. What am I looking to get from it? What’s my intention?

And sometimes not. Caught up in the moment buying.
Getting to reflect afterwards.

For some people their addictions are less socially acceptable.
Such as there is so much judgement for those addicted to drugs. 

I can only imagine how tough it is to see someone you love choose this addiction over everything else in their life.

On the other side, the pain within must be so overwhelming to let everything you love drop away.

Food is a go-to for me. Definitely a comfort eater. I particularly turn to chocolate. I’m becoming more aware.

These days instead of the block of Dairy Milk I might’ve consumed I’m reducing my serving and keeping it to rich and delicious dark chocolate.

There are reasons we’re choosing these ways of coping.

Often within modern medical practice we are looking to treat the symptoms. Looking for a stop-gap solution rather than a holistic one. A medicine that might ‘fix’ the symptom arising rather than taking in the whole picture.

We’re not really looking at what’s beneath people’s actions either.
Whether this is in relation to addiction or our everyday actions.

A quote I wrote down from the movie “We don’t respond to what happens. We respond to what we think happened”.

Really let that land for a moment…
We are responding to what we think happened.

A definite a-ha moment for me!

“We don’t respond to what happens.
We respond to what we think happened”.

Gabor Maté

As much as we look to the systems around us to fix things there is power in the humanity of each of us. 

Our previous experiences in our lives, especially in our formative years have developed our internal systems (unconscious) and ways of thinking.

There’s an opportunity for each of us to be on the journey of awareness. Starting with self awareness and creating that perspective shift in how you see others too.

Some will choose to step forward, others will not.

It’s not your job to drag them along, kicking and screaming.

They need to choose it for themselves.

In my journey of self awareness I’ve found meditation helpful. Silent meditation as well as guided meditations.

Looking to experts for support can be helpful like a counsellor, coach or psychologist.

There’s a quote from Dr Nicole LePera’s book How to do The Work (which I’m currently reading) that comes to mind: “You are the thinker of your thoughts, not the thoughts themselves”.

“You are the thinker of your thoughts,
not the thoughts themselves”.

Dr Nicole LePera

In this journey of self awareness, personal and spiritual growth I am learning to be more compassionate with myself.

Seeing all the facets of ways that self love can come into all parts of my life.

Recently it’s been a mixture of things to support me depending in what I needed in that moment:

  • Meditating and then going back to sleep
  • A winter morning swim in the ocean
  • Receiving a massage – body and soul level healing
  • Saying no to catch ups when I need some me time
  • Being grateful for everyday moments

Maybe this resonates with you too?

You see yourself re-acting instead of coming from a space of being the creator?

It’s a journey to getting curious, becoming self aware.

Asking ourselves questions like “why did I react like that?”.

I’d love to hear your perspective and what’s helping you in your journey.



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