The Truth About Anxiety and Trauma (Part 2)
I hope this week finds you remembering your value and discovering your right place in the world.
Last week we started our exploration of the relationship between anxiety and your Human Design. (In case you missed it, you can get caught up HERE).
This week I want to continue with looking at the relationship between trauma and anxiety.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – the “gold standard” for mental health assessment -the psychological diagnosis of trauma requires actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violence.
Obviously, these kinds of events are extremely traumatic. Please know that in my discussion today I am not in any way downplaying or denying the impact of this kind of violent trauma.
In a survey that I conducted with my readers a few years ago, I asked some questions with the intention of seeing if there was a relationship between trauma, self-worth and burnout. (You can watch my TEDx talk about my research HERE)
The number that surprised me the most from my survey was that 92% of my readers felt traumatized by life.
While I do believe that sexual violence is grossly under-reported, those numbers didn’t add up with the “traditional” definition of violent trauma.
Even though most of my clients felt somehow traumatized by life, very few of them actually experience these kinds of major traumatic events.
The trauma I was seeing isn’t always obvious. One of my clients, Amy, was a burned-out journalist who was burned out and struggled with an exhausting auto-immune disorder.
After working with a therapist, Amy uncovered a memory of her father discouraging her from pursuing a career in creative writing while she was in college because creative writing didn’t pay well.
In response, Amy changed her major to journalism.
Now, you might think that changing majors and landing a job that pays the bills isn’t that big a deal. But Amy lost her sense of value around the one thing that she perceived was her greatest gift – her creative writing ability. Eventually this sense of loss deeply hurt her career and, ultimately, took a toll on her physical health.
Amy was able to resolve her sense of being traumatized by her father’s well-intending advice. Once she embraced the idea that it was okay for her to be a creative writer, she was able to return to work and started writing for fun again.
She’s currently working on her second novel.
Because the traditional definition of trauma wasn’t really addressing my client’s pain, I created a new definition of trauma.
Based on my research, my definition of trauma gives us a better way to get to the root cause of burnout and gives us a broader base from which to tackle healing the relationship between trauma and burnout.
I define trauma as any event, perception or experience that causes us to lose our connection to our sense of value and to our unique gifts we have to give the world.
Whenever we experience trauma of any kind, the brain – in it’s gloriously efficient way – stores the “pattern” of the trauma so that it can sort through and quickly process information and react, if necessary, to the potential repeat of a traumatic pattern.
In traditional trauma healing work, we focus a lot on the brain, in particular the hippocampus, and use techniques to help rewire the patterns in the brain.
In the Quantum Alignment System™, we use EFT as an essential tool to help rewire the brain’s trauma response.
In my work, I’ve found a strong relationship between self-worth, anxiety and consequently burnout. I focus a lot of my coaching on elevating the expression of self-worth and healing burnout by looking at the “codes” contained in the Will Center, the Center that regulates not only our self-worth but also helps us embody our life purpose.
The Channels leading to the Will Center show us that we are designed to:
- Through the Channel 26/44, transform fear into awe and ultimately humility, the experience of knowing our vital and irreplaceable role in the Cosmic Plan and then claiming and defending that right place. When we fail to do this, we experience a breach in integrity which can profoundly affect the thymus and compromise our immune systems.
- Through the Channel 51/25, use our unique individual lives in service to our Higher Self, the Heart and the Greater Good of humanity.
- Through the Channel 21/45, share our resources with each other.
- Through the Channel 40/37, use our lives to work in community with others so that we can share who we are with the world.
The healthy function of the Will Center implies sustainability.
If we don’t value ourselves, we experience a “breach” in integrity and become vulnerable to burnout because we misuse our energy.
Integrity isn’t necessarily what you think it is.
It’s not just about morality and doing the right thing.
According to the dictionary, integrity can also mean “the state of being whole and undivided”.
In Human Design we see that the energy for integrity lives in the Gate 26
This is the Gate that is associated with the Thymus gland, a gland that is important to immune function. When we are in integrity, our immunity is strengthened.
There are five kinds of Integrity:
Physical integrity happens when we are in a state of physical well-being.
Resource integrity happens when we are using our resources to stay sustainable in the world.
Identity integrity is when you are living true to your authentic self.
Moral integrity means that you are taking right action that is not only good for you, but also benefits the greater good.
Energetic integrity means that you have the energy to follow through on your commitments and promises.
Here are some symptoms of being out of integrity:
- Feeling tired and drained most of the time
- Lowered immunity
- Frequent headaches, back pain, muscle pain
- Change in appetite, sleep habits
- Self-doubt and sense of failure
- Feeling helpless, trapped, defeated
- Detachment and feeling alone in the world
- Loss of motivation
- Cynical and negative outlook
- Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment
- Procrastination, resistance
- Shutting others out
- Using food, drugs or alcohol (or other addictions) to cope
- Taking out frustration with others
- Failing to show up for work (or show up late)
- Fail to follow through on taking the steps to fulfill your dreams
Obviously, all of these symptoms can also trigger anxiety, which in this case, is a warning signal that your self-worth or your right place in the world is being threatened. We literally experience this as trauma. Some part of our essence feels like it’s fighting for it’s life when we learn to compromise who we are.
Because we are so well-trained to divorce ourselves from our value and from our right place in the world, we tend to drown out the signals that our Higher Self is giving us. We “know” intuitively who we are and where we are supposed to be.
I believe that is the reason that the number one thing people say to me, after they get a Human Design reading, is that they feel “seen” and like they have “permission” to be who they are. They don’t learn anything that’s surprising! They just get confirmation that what they’re Inner Knowing has been screaming all these years is, in fact, TRUE!
You are an irreplaceable and profoundly valuable part of the Cosmic Plan and you ARE here for a reason. (By the way, that reason is to BE WHO YOU ARE!)
This week I invite you to explore when you are feeling anxious.
- Is it because you’re feeling obligated to be or do something that doesn’t feel right and aligned?
- Are you experiencing some kind of “breach” in integrity?
- Are you properly claiming and defending your right place?
- Are you misusing your energy or your resources in an attempt to prove your value?
Your answers might reveal to you the truth behind some of your anxiety.