By Tamara Jefferies, MA
In my mid-twenties, going through a time of feeling deeply unhappy, stuck, and frustrated, I opened the book Beyond Fear: A Toltec Guide to Freedom and Joy by Don Miguel Ruiz where he teaches an exercise to recover lost memories and release poisonous emotions, because I had an inescapable feeling I was holding onto something that was holding me back, yet I had no idea what it was.
Doing that exercise unlocked suppressed memories of childhood traumas, and that was the start of my spiritual healing to overcome trauma.
Spiritual healing is a way for us to recover from the wounds of trauma while also relieving stress and connecting to the peace within ourselves.
We all encounter daily stressors. But not every stressful situation is traumatic.
Understanding Difference Between Stress & Trauma
The difference between stress and trauma is a matter of degree, with a trauma being defined as a stressful event that exceeds your daily experiences of stress and overwhelms your usual coping skills.
Spiritual healing is the act of restoring balance to the Body-Mind and a sense of joy and aliveness. It can take many forms, such as navigating through long-held beliefs and old wounds, cultivating spiritual practices like meditation, yoga, reading spiritual text, or studying with a spiritual teacher.
Cultivating a spiritual practice to overcome stress could look like you,
- Starting the day with a yoga practice
- Taking a walk in nature
- Reading a spiritual book, and
- Ending your day with journaling and meditation.
These practices are proven to lower stress.
Trauma is a different beast, however, and takes other practices to resolve.
To spiritually heal trauma is an act of love. Side-effects of carrying trauma are feeling ashamed, damaged, unworthy, or unlovable. These are beliefs we carry, so we must practice self-love to release them and replace them with life-affirming beliefs. According to Miguel Ruiz, “it takes an act of courage to start deliberately carving away any belief that causes you to suffer”.
This kind of courage and self-love can lead to radical transformations. To begin, identify a belief, turn your attention inward, and notice where in your body you feel that belief, i.e., we can feel shame mid-chest. Breathe into that place, sending love to it, and notice what happens in your body.
Spiritual healing helps us overcome trauma by recovering lost parts of ourselves and our identities while restoring a feeling of wholeness and wellbeing.
Bio: Tamara Jefferies, MA, is a Holistic Trauma Counselor, Transformational Coach, International Yoga Teacher, Wellness Writer/Editor, and Author based in Charleston, SC.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.