Jul 03, 2019
In Opening the Narrative
Wisdom is nothing but a preparation of the soul, a capacity, a secret art of thinking, feeling and breathing thoughts of unity at every moment of life. ~ Herman Hesse For the past nine years, I’ve been thinking about the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences. In 2010, I wrote about the ACE Study for Raising Arizona Kids magazine: www.raisingarizonakids.com/2010/04/casting-light-shadow-abuse/, and that article changed my life in many ways. The welfare of the world’s children is in constant focus in my perspective. I’ve worked to do whatever I could to share the story of the study, to support others who are advocates for the well being of children, and, to explore healing modalities that allow people to discover and use ones that bring relief from the traumas they suffered as children. Now, my current awareness is on adverse experiences that adults—grown-ups—feel. Their traumas involve feelings of failure at personal and professional levels, the near-daily pain of living in a world where injustices occur and inequality rules, and, deep disappointment by the actions and speech patterns of people who are positioned as leaders. How you handle angers, traumas, and disappointments in your career, in your spirituality, in your relationships relates back to what you learned as a child. Since it is true that adverse experiences happen to people of all ages, I believe humans need and want dialogue on aspects of healing across the entire timeline of a lifetime. Thanks to the ACE Study, the effects of trauma on a child’s brain and a child’s future are known. There is no one study—yet there are many studies—about what I’m calling AGEs. So, what do you do when you experience an AGE? How does an AGE stick in your adult brain and continue to affect your health? I don’t have the answers to those questions, but I do submit that AGEs caused by society need to be submitted to a healing process, too. Please, I welcome your comments. Let’s figure this out together, in this community we’ve created. For the moment, my best advice is this: Know your ACEs, and face your AGEs, for both exist on your road to wisdom.
Dec 09, 2018
In Opening the Narrative
By Mary L. Holden It was an honor to be connected to James Encinas through Jane Stevens and her ACEs Connection network. For nearly five years, we’ve worked on our separate-but-equal personal missions to spread the importance of the ACE Study completed by Vincent J. Felitti, M.D. and Robert Anda, M.D. James chose to use a bicycle and the power of words to show why the ACE Study is a significant advance in human understanding of self and others. For me, as an editor and writer, I like to look for and find the foundations of meaning, the reason for reasons. What I’m giving in this post is in the form of steppingstones for what I see is a path of healing. Steppingstones…bullet points…easy reading…because all of our lives need more grace and ease: Healing is a constant process; no one is ever “healed” in a complete, past-tense, sense and there is great beauty and even comfort in this perfect imperfection. The idea of “being healed” limits the concept of mental and physical health so the goal is to feel into healing as being past-present-future, all in one. A wound in the flesh creates art through scar tissue when it’s healing; the mark it leaves is a souvenir of pain. A wound in the brain creates art through scar issue; a person cannot see the scars left from emotional issues that are healing unless one views them through use of the imagination. Healing trauma is always possible and it is as unique a process as the individual in whom it is happening; find a modality that resonates most with your own body, mind, heart, soul. Individuals can explore traditional paths of healing through the science of psychology, or nontraditional modalities like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TSY), Acupuncture, Craniosacral Therapy (CST), and The Emotion Code, and many others. Sharing your trauma story, and receiving similar stories of others as a compassionate witness, adds to the amount of good healing energy in the world. Creating safe environments and communities for sharing stories and experiencing hands-on art/craft or minds-on meditations can be done by nonexperts in a variety of practical, non-expensive ways without threat of liability. There is a baby step to take before navigating the path of these stones. Imagine yourself as a baby. Hold your baby-self image and love it pure, love it whole, love it without judgment, love it with compassion, love it the way your spirit allows the power of love.