If I had to count the number of times and circumstances in my life that caused me to feel stuck, I’d run out of fingers in a split second. There are so many aspects of life that can make us feel like we have become stuck, or hit a plateau, and that’s an incredibly frustrating feeling. And if we’re not careful, it can certainly lead to a lot of self-shame, blame, emotional thinking, and more which can certainly go down a very dark path if we aren’t careful.
In the area of trauma recovery, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to myself, “what is the deal with this healing journey, what am I missing here…why am I stuck?”
Even with all the knowledge in the world, all of the awareness, the training, the therapy, you aren’t immune to finding yourself in a spot where you just can’t seem to get to the next step. You know how you want to feel, but actually getting to a place where you can embrace and actually live that feeling, is something totally different.
That’s why when I came across a recent article that my good friend, coach, and incredible advocate, Svava Brooks, had written, I knew I wanted to bring her back on the podcast so we could talk about it.
Svava is a is a survivor of child sexual abuse and the co-founder of a nationwide child sexual abuse prevention and education organization in Iceland called “Blátt áfram.” She is also a certified instructor and facilitator for Darkness to Light Stewards of Children, as well as a certified Crisis Intervention Specialist, a certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator, a BellaNet Teen support group facilitator, a Certified TRE® Provider, and an Abuse Survivor Coach.
The mother of three children, Svava has dedicated her life to ending the cycle of child sexual abuse through education, awareness, and by helping survivors heal and thrive. She is a certified facilitator for Advance!, a program created by Connections to restore authentic identity. Every week she writes about healing after trauma on her blog, and also leads a discussion forum on Child Sexual Abuse Healing and Recovery online.
During our podcast together, Svava and I discuss that recent blog post, in a very in-depth and powerful way. As you’ll hear when you listen, each step builds upon the other and each has a direct effect on the other as you move forward. Being able to apply these principles in your own healing journey, and actually embody and live each one, is crucial to moving forward.
As Svava points out, it’s not enough just to be aware of what to do, you actually need to embrace it whole heartedly, not only during the tough times of healing, but also when things are going well.
You can be the most trauma informed person that ever lived; you’ve read every book, watched every video, worked with coaches and therapists, but if you don’t apply it and live the principles on a daily basis, you are missing out on a world of healing that is just waiting for you.
The 7 steps to help you get unstuck and move forward in healing from trauma:
- Establish Safety. Figure out what makes you feel safe. This is your first priority.
- Develop Courage. Eventually, your willingness to heal will develop into courage, as you take more and more healthy risks.
- Create a Mindfulness Practice. Connecting with your body is essential for healing. As abused children, we learned the toxic skill of disconnection. Mindfulness will help you reconnect.
- Express Your Emotions. Learn how to identify, listen to, feel, and express your emotions in a healthy way. All of them: the good, the bad, and the ugly!
- Change Your Negative Beliefs. You created these toxic beliefs as a way to survive an abusive childhood. But you’re an adult now. Change your story (beliefs) to what benefits your adult life.
- Practice Self-Care, Self-Love, and Self-Compassion. Put yourself first on your To-Do list. Every day, find a way to lovingly care for and celebrate yourself.
- Build a Support System. You can’t do this alone. Healing doesn’t work that way. Surround yourself with nourishing friends who support your healing goals, and a safe place to practice your new way of thinking/feeling/being.
You may still be saying to yourself, ” but how do I apply these my life?” or “I’ve tried similar steps before but it just doesn’t work”
Believe me, I’ve been there (done that, and got the T-shirt). I encourage you to listen to this powerful podcast as Svava and I share how to implement these 7 steps in your life, the importance of each one, and how they truly help you if you embody the spirit and mindset of healing.
Each time I bring Svava Brooks back on the podcast, I leave the show feeling so empowered, validated, and just so encouraged. Her heart for survivors is second to none, her teachings have helped thousands of people across the world to not only understand and acknowledge their past, but embrace and live in the true spirit of what it means to be a beautiful, amazing, gift to this world in your own unique way.
I encourage you to check out her latest book, available on Amazon: Releasing Your Authentic Self, A Daily Guide to Help Child Abuse and Trauma Survivors Rediscover Themselves – and also join her secret Facebook Group for readers of the book, where you can interact with Svava and other amazing survivors who have decided to embrace their authentic, amazing, self and no longer be bound by their past trauma.
For more information about Svava, including her additional resources such as videos, her Journey to the Heart Summit, and her blog, head over to Educate4Change.com.
-Matthew Pappas, CLC
This post and podcast is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, mental health counseling, diagnosis, or treatment.