This week, we continue our series with the fabulous Zoë Wild, Spiritual Life & Business Coach, and spectacular woman. This week, she shares with us some keys to creating a spiritual life even if we've been through hell.
For people who have experienced trauma, the idea of connecting to any sort of “spirituality” can feel like a bunch of BS.
How and why should you trust in the basic goodness of the universe after what has happened? Sure, it’s easy to believe everything happens for a reason and there is some sort of benevolent design to this mysterious unfolding of life when everything is coming up roses – NOT when you’ve been abused, traumatized, and experienced devastation, pain and injustice.
So, how can you build trust in life again, or for the first time?
1. Shift your understanding of what “spirituality” really is.
True spirituality is not a religion or a set of beliefs – spirituality is the practice of re-connecting to your own center or “spirit” – the unique and universal life within you that is unseen, the alive Consciousness that is experiencing and processing your life. Your Being. Your Soul. Whatever you want to call it, it is perhaps the only part of you that the trauma isn’t able to damage. Trauma can impact your connection to the transcendent, but it can’t actually harm it.
When you see this as what spirituality really is – reconnecting to your essential self – you can see the importance of turning to it rather than abandoning it. This is also the part of you that most clearly knows your personal path to healing and is waiting to guide you home.
2. Allow yourself to try ancient shamanic methods of healing.
A shaman or medicine person in ancient cultures was someone who could transform stuck energy through their knowledge of the human spirit. The techniques they used are based on heart wisdom rather than head wisdom. These methods may seem far from practical or rational, but have a way of bypassing the mental traffic in order to reconnect you to your body and soul. Veterans I work with go to ceremonies that release and integrate what all else could not. When you allow the possibility for more than meets the eye, healing becomes possible.
3. Return to Nature.
There is an ancient Sufi teaching that the only truly spiritual text is the Sacred Manuscript of Nature. Humans are a part of nature, an equal part – no more, no less – in this great cosmic ecosystem. Remembering this is key to re-discovering a sense of belonging and connection in the world again. Belonging is a key to healing.
4. Learn to Meditate
Meditation is the art of learning to observe what is happening without identifying with it so that you can see ever deeper levels of reality. When you have experienced trauma, it is common to re-traumatize yourself by playing it over and again in your mind. Through meditation you can learn to observe it and let it play out in new ways so that you can finally release the need to keep re-experiencing it. Meditation is also helpful because it creates a way for you to differentiate between the self-hating and limiting beliefs you have created, as a result of trauma, and what's really true.
Many people avoid meditation because they believe it is too difficult, or requires sitting silently for hours and eliminating all thoughts, which feels impossible. There are many forms of meditation, and you can find the one that is right for you. To learn more about meditation, you can watch this video. Or message me at firstname.lastname@example.org about the next Learn to Meditate Online Class.
5. Find a spiritual coach or teacher who sees your deepest self.
One of the greatest gifts of a sincere spiritual teacher is that they see the you underneath all the abuse that has happened to you. Before this happened, even if that was just when you were in the womb, you had a sense of self worth, a unique personality, likes and dislikes, and a purpose for this life. That, and the even deeper universal self, is all they care about. Simply by being around them, through their energy and vibration, it will awaken that memory in you. Much like a musical instrument will harmonize with the vibration of others around it. Additionally, they will have tools and wisdom to help you navigate your way back to forgiveness, meaning and self love. This will allow you to live your life from a place of true freedom.
6. Forgive Life. Forgive Yourself.
Life treated you horribly. It feels unfair. It feels unforgivable. Yet, if you refuse to forgive you are only limiting your own life. Forgiveness doesn’t mean saying that what happened was OK. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting. Forgiveness is the courageous act of releasing the rage and resentment that you are holding in your system as a result of the trauma so that you can grow something else in that space of your heart. Hanging onto these emotions is harming your body, mind, and spirit –holding you back from moving forward and making a meaningful life. Feel the feelings, allow them, they are your dear friends outraged on your behalf – let them speak their piece in healthy ways. Then, let them go. When you forgive yourself and life, you can reconnect to your deepest spiritual knowing once again. May it be so.
Join us next week as we one more post from Zoë!
As a Buddhist Nun, Interfaith Minister and Spiritual Life & Business Coach she has spent thousands of hours in personal retreat and worked with thousands of people on their own spiritual unfolding for life success. She is a beloved spiritual community leader known for her grounded, no BS approach and unshakeable love.
When she’s not bringing people to their knees in awe of themselves or exploring the deepest questions of life with her community -- you can find Zoë hiking the red rocks, riding horses, and learning to sing.
Her book The Little Book of Being is scheduled to be complete by summer 2015.
You are so much more than you know. Liberate yourself at www.zoewild.com