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From ego-mind to presence;



I’ll look at how we might start to work with trauma in another post, but essentially it’s about feeling the emotions we dissociated from as children, but this time in a safe, held environment.


This can be with a highly skilled and compassionate, empathic therapist (I can’t stress the importance of these qualities enough) or by having done enough work on ourselves that we can be the witnessing adult when our childhood emotions are re-felt. Just to clarify though that processing trauma doesn’t mean trawling through all your experiences (which can be retraumatising and unfortunately a lot of therapists and online courses focus on) but feeling the emotions that come up in the here and now.


Today however I want to start exploring how you can increase your sense of presence and safety, which is absolutely essential before going anywhere near your trauma.


I listened to a recording the other day by Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield about a hospice worker who had helped hundreds of people in their dying moments, and one of the greatest regrets she heard over and over again, was that they hadn’t lived a life true to themselves.


We can spend a whole lifetime trying to meet the standards and expectations of ourselves and others, and end up never having lived our own lives.

When we’ve experienced developmental trauma in childhood (which due to the way our society works we nearly all have) we tend to spend our lives controlled by our egoic minds which tells us we either have to impress other people (or ourselves) in order to be accepted; so be better/ stronger/ more capable/ in control/ achieve more. Or that we have to please other people and put our needs second in order to be liked. Either way we’re either not listening to our authentic selves; our needs, feelings and intuition; or else we think we are but it’s actually excessive and driven by fear.



We live in a culture of chronic inattention. With inattention, we miss the meal in front of us, the changing scenery, the open-hearted connection with the world. With mindfulness, we can awaken. ~Jack Kornfield~

So how do we begin to learn to ‘be’ with ourselves and feel more connected? I’m afraid it is by incorporating the ‘buzzwords’ of today; mindfulness, meditation, and journalling; into our lives. I know the majority of people reading this are not going to be particularly grabbed by this news, but it is honestly the only way to start inhabiting your body again. And it is actually only your Egoic mind that might have a problem with it. But that problem can be quite a huge one, and one that for most people stops them beginning or persevering with meditation.


With regards to a mindfulness or meditation practice your Ego (the voice in your head) will try to sabotage you.


It will tell you that it’s pointless, it’s silly, you have loads of more important stuff to do, you actually need to do the other stuff before finding time for it, etc, etc. If you’d like an example of this (if you’re new to meditation) try sitting with your eyes closed and just noticing your breath for the next twenty minutes. Just feeling the breath coming in and going out of your body, and noticing your thoughts as they drift by, but coming back again and again to your breath.


It’s likely that your egoic mind will fight the ‘sitting doing nothing’ at least for the first ten minutes. But if you can continue with it regardless you should find yourself dropping in to your body. You might also notice emotions there, which is absolutely fine, just be with them.


By being ‘with’ yourself in meditation you start to separate yourself from your Egoic thoughts and conditioning. You get to know you.


What could be more wonderful?


So why does your thinking mind want to sabotage this? Because it thinks it’s keeping you safe. It’s frightened that if you become your true, undefended self again and not ruled by thought and fear, you’ll be hurt again the way you were as a child. But this really isn’t true, because you have choices as an adult that you didn’t have as a child; you can have boundaries about how you’re treated; and you’re no longer dependent on someone else for your basic needs.


Ultimately this is where the true choice comes in of whether you want to put in the effort (which will be a lot) to heal or not; you can either choose to continue the way you’ve been living your life; and if you’ve found this site you’re probably wanting to change that; or you can commit to doing it differently. Even if you’re intending to have or are in therapy, truly committing to healing trauma should be more than just seeing your therapist once a week; it’s about committing to a practice that helps you become more present and embodied.


There are so many brilliant resources out there now it’s unbelievable, so find one that works for you, but these ones are a good place to start; Insight timer (https://insighttimer.com/ ), free mindfulness (https://www.freemindfulness.org/), calm (https://www.calm.com/), and Headspace (https://www.headspace.com/). Try doing at least one regular daily practice (preferably at a set time to make sure you do it) for around twenty minutes a day, and see if you notice a difference. You could also experiment with other practices such as yoga and sitting in nature, whatever resonates with you and you’re most likely to continue with.


This is not for the faint hearted. It’s a discipline. This is a total commitment to becoming YOU, the authentic, unadulterated, completely real you that you were meant to be and deep inside know you still are.


What could be more exciting than that?


In the next post I’ll look at an example of how childhood developmental trauma might occur, before going into the other indispensable resources to help us come into our bodies; mindfulness and journalling.


Thank you for reading 🙏




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