These times are challenging ones, my friends.
I know, aren’t they all? But we are alive here and now. And in this time and in this space, things are in conflict and turmoil.
It is imperative that you practice strong self-care right now. If you are a survivor of previous abuse, current events can reopen old trauma and catch you unawares with how strong those aftereffects can be. If you are fighting for causes of justice, it is important to refill your own energy stores and heal the wounds you take on as you do your important work. If you are supporting those who are suffering emotionally or physically right now, you need to keep your strength up so that you can continue and not burn out.
Self care is a must. And you must take care of all aspects of yourself, including your own mental health, when you are carrying these sorts of burdens. You cannot heal the world when you are breaking apart, my friends.
Today I’m going to share how I heal myself by diving deep into myself. Right now, the abuse I have gone through in my life is feeling very raw and painful. To be strong and fierce I need to address all aspects of that pain and help it mend into something stronger. Here’s how I do that.
There are several aspects to address when it comes to healing deep trauma: social, physical, mental, spiritual. I like to address them in this order, like steps down into a cavern of stillness and well-being.
Turn off social media. Turn off the TV. Turn off your phone if you can. Give yourself at least a few hours of being unplugged if you can’t take the whole day. Tell your friends and family that you need alone time and if need be, leave the house and go somewhere like a park to get it. This is an absolute must – you have to take time with your thoughts in order to heal yourself.
It’s important to center yourself in your body. A lot of trauma will live on in the body, causing terrible symptoms like anxiety, stress related illness, stiffness, disassociation, migraines, and more. As this is the only vessel we get to travel through this lifetime, it is so key to find ways to reconnect and reintegrate ourselves.
There are multiple ways to do this – I like yoga or working out at the gym as two of my go-to choices, because both center me in my body and help me feel strong and capable. Yoga is really great for giving me a peaceful calm, as well. Not everyone is comfortable with this sort of centering or capable of this outlet, so some other ways to recenter can include:
- taking a long bath or shower
- meditation, guided or not
- singing [really!]
If you have other suggestions, please comment on this post – I would love to hear how you recenter yourself into your body!
This is where the rubber starts to meet the road, where the true deep diving begins. I primarily use two methods of deep diving, journaling and tarot. This can cross over pretty easily into the spiritual aspect of healing, too, so I’ll mention a few links that encompass both in this section.
Journaling has been my lifeline for keeping in touch with my inner self for almost my entire life. I have a library of previous journals which I often refer back to when I realize I’m repeating a behavior or stuck in a similar mental situation. I recently picked up the Bullet Journal tip of numbering pages and indexing as I go, which truly will help with future reference work.
If you’re not sure where to start with journaling for deep diving and healing, I recommend first starting a daily practice where you answer one prompt or question a day, just to get used to being personal on the page in this way. Here’s some links to pages with prompts, to get you started:
I also use my journal to track things like stress levels and physical reactions to them. It really helps to see patterns emerge so that I can address them as I spot them.
A lot of people use tarot for advice or guidance. You can also use it to cast spells and do mental health work.
I often draw a single card or a trio for insights into my mindset and how I can see the things I might be missing. It isn’t anything fancy, I just shuffle and try to keep my mind and body relaxed, while using deep breathing to connect with a sense of calm. I then pull one to three random cards from the stack and read them together. I write these readings down in my journal and take note of themes and reoccurring cards.
Single card draws are also really helpful for seeing what element I’m dwelling the most in on that day. Am I grounded? Emotional? Fierce? Creative? I can also ask what element I need to concentrate on invoking with the same sort of card pull.
Here are some links to recommended layouts for deep mental work with the tarot. Don’t go to these until you’re ready, okay? They are great practices but make sure you’ve made the mental space for them before you dive this deep.
The tarot work above certainly falls into this category, but there are other spiritual works that I use to dive deep as well.
- Create a cleansed space. Sit down with paper and whatever art tools you like, and draw your trauma, anger, pain. Don’t get fussy with it, let yourself unfocus and let it pour out. In fact, the uglier the better, because I recommend either drowning, burying, or burning the end result. This is a fantastic symbolic purge and can really leave you feeling lighter.
- Make sure you are alone for this one: create a cleansed space. Ask your ancestors to witness you. Call out your abusers. Call out the ones in power who are holding you down. Call out the politicians who are striving to push us back into the stone age. Name names if you have them, and name them loudly. A typical call out from me:
“I CALL OUT > NAME < IN MY NAME AND THE NAME OF ALL WHO > NAME< HAS WRONGED. YOU HAVE NO POWER OVER ME. YOU HAVE NO POWER OVER US. YOU HAVE NO POWER. YOU ARE CAST OUT, YOU ARE CALLED OUT, YOU ARE SMALL AND UNIMPORTANT AND POWERLESS FROM THIS MOMENT.”
- Feel free to improvise as you feel fit. Let the intensity build as you yell, building power until you end with “AND SO IT IS, BY MY POWER AND NAME.”
- One of the most powerful things I’ve done, which was not taken lightly, was to use the concept of the traditional uncrossing or unhexing spell and apply it to my abuse. I used a black and a white candle, black thread, salt, garlic powder, and a basic anointing oil for this. You dress the black candle as your trauma/abuse, roll it in garlic, and tie it up with the black thread while commanding it to be bound and powerless. The white candle is dressed and blessed in your name, and set to the right of your black candle then circled with the salt. I like smaller candles for this, though some folks prefer a seven day approach. I also use a foil covered altar area for safety, and because once I am finished, I take the remains and scrape them off then bury them.
I recommend immediately re-cleansing your space and self after performing any of these actions. You will feel lighter, free and unfettered.
Did you use any of these suggestions? Have more to add? Please comment with them!