Butterflies, Moths, Trauma and Transformation

I’ve been thinking a lot about butterflies and moths lately. Both are amazing but I wish they wouldn’t fly into my face when I’m cycling (butterflies) or washing up (moths).

Such beauty (both of them. Butterflies just have better PR).

Caterpillars are cute, too. But while we all know that transformation can feel (and sometimes be) traumatic, we still seem to expect more from ourselves when we’re in the middle of growth spurts.

This move has had (and will continue to have) its challenges but I was thinking the other night about how HAPPY I am overall. Happier than I’ve ever been.

And that, of course, made me think about all the years I dreamed of death because that felt easier and more peaceful.

By the time I was in my 20s and starting my crystal therapy training, I recognised a lot of what I’d been going through as spiritual crises/initiations/awakenings and knew that painful as things were, something was happening and I needed to trust the processes.

The more therapies I trained in and the more I meditated, the more I understood this but boy oh boy, we had some painful lessons (including ongoing health issues, flashbacks and a house fire).

When I saw Dr Nadine Burke Harris’s TED Talk yesterday, it:

a) reminded me of revising to learn what the HPA-Axis did for my yoga therapy training (and the amazing impact learning how to work with body and breath can have for trauma, anxiety, stress, sleep and more) and

b) how desperate I’d been feeling before going to New York in 2004 for a V-Day and Omega Institute Conference on Women and Power (where I got to tell Gloria Steinem and Eve Ensler that their writing had saved my life and attended my first ever press conference – had just become a freelance journalist and by the last day of the conference, felt empowered enough to request a press pass. Activists from around the world were there along with Eve, Elizabeth Lesser, Jane Fonda and Sally Field).

That whole conference was transformational for me – literally in terms of having worked my last day for someone else before flying out so it was the launch of my coaching and complementary therapy practice as well as the journalism.

Beginning to gain some understanding around how elements of my past (and I had loads of good, enriching, nourishing, loving elements of my past, too but back then, I was seeing my whole childhood and teens like craters after explosions) had impacted me was really helpful.

Over the years, by gaining a better understanding of what happens physiologically, it helped me get better and supporting myself (everything I do comes back to self-care and having had to learn the hard way how essential it is).

I so love being able to share simple psychoeducation around what happens with trauma and adverse childhood experiences (sometimes leading to Complex PTSD) so clients begin to have that glimmer of hope regarding recovery and potentially (maybe with the help of my Persephone Coaching, Therapy and Supervision), using their past to shine a light for others and post traumatic growth.

What I love about this TED Talk is that Dr Nadine Burke Harris articulates the fact that childhood trauma and adverse experiences are a public health issue.

I’m not sharing it to freak anyone out about the correlation between a rough start in life and risk factors for heart disease and many other conditions but to emphasise her ‘it’s treatable and beatable’ message.

If you’re struggling to make sense of your past or simply (not that this makes it easy) in the messy stages of creating a longed for life change and you’d like my support, find out how to work with me and get in touch to book a free, no obligation telephone consultation if my approach appeals.

Big love,

Eve Menezes Cunningham self care coach therapist supervisor

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