How Trauma Affects the Spirit – part 1

Do you know about the amazing ability of the human spirit to “check out”?

I was enjoying my Christmas break, during my senior year of college and I was on vacation with a group of friends. I was having one of the best experiences in my life and fully enjoying every moment. Halfway through my trip, I got a phone call from my mom. I don’t have an explanation for this, but when the phone rang in my hotel room, I knew something was wrong and the call was bad news. I picked up the phone, with my heart beating out of my chest, and I heard my mom’s voice on the line. My mom went straight to the point and said, “Holly, Heather died yesterday.” I sat there for a moment, confused about her statement and unable to comprehend what she said. “What do you mean,?” I replied. My mom repeated it again with a little more detail. She explained that Heather had been killed in a car accident. Heather was my best friend and I had just seen her bright and full of life, right before I left for my vacation. This news was like getting hit from behind with a baseball bat out of nowhere and I didn’t know what just hit me. At the same time, I felt like I was in a dream. I could hear my mom speaking but felt like I was out of my body watching this scene from afar and it wasn’t really happening to me. This news was in stark contrast to what I was feeling moments before I got the phone call. I was in the middle of one of the most memorable and positive experiences of my life. I couldn’t fit both of these polar opposite experiences into my being, so I choked back the devastation of my friend’s death, and all emotions that correlated, and decided to finish my vacation and avoid facing the reality of what had happened. The truth is, I hung up the phone after hearing the bad news from my mom, and I felt nothing. I was numb and emotionless. I had nowhere to put such devastating information, and it was like my heart and my brain could not take it in. It was too overwhelming, and shocking, and I hadn’t the slightest clue how to handle this or how I could let it be real.

It turns out, that this is a common reaction to trauma. Most people do feel numb and emotionless, after trauma and may have a sort of “out of body” experience. I now know that this sensation is a disconnection occurring, between the body, mind, and spirit.

The human spirit has the unique ability to disconnect from an overwhelmed mind and body.

The human spirit has the ability to disconnect and check out when the internal state of a person is negatively altered. If the body goes into stress mode and the mind goes into fear mode, the whole internal state is transformed into a dysfunctional container of negative vibrations, thoughts, emotions, and images. The human spirit does not function in such an environment. It can preserve its own atmosphere separated from the mind and body and wait. The good news is, the spirit escapes the negativity going on in the mind and body. The spirit will wait until the traumatized mind and body are ready and willing to begin the healing process. The downside is that the spirit becomes inactive and weakens from lack of use. If this goes on for too long, you can only function as a weak, fragile, fragmented person, instead of a whole complete being.

. The strange sensation of feeling outside of your body

. like watching a scene that does not seem real

Can you relate?

You may have had a different set of circumstances, but if you have experienced any kind of sudden shocking trauma, most likely you know what I mean. It feels somewhat like a dream, a little disorienting, and numb, all at the same time.

If you can relate to this “out of body,” experience, there is good news. Your spirit can be encouraged to come back into the present, and reconnect, in its proper place and function. Your internal environment just needs to undergo a slight change.

Transformation must occur internally!

The steps for transforming your internal state into the optimal healing and welcoming environment for your spirit to reactivate, reconnect, and function again are simple, yet profoundly effective! 

Join me next week as I reveal the 4 steps to transform your internal state into the ideal environment for healing breakthrough and engage your spirit to lead this beautiful process.

4 Simple, Powerful Steps

The Truth About Trauma

                              How Trauma Affects the Body

  Do we take time to think about taking a breath, digesting food, blinking, or beating our heart?  Of course not!

 The body’s built-in mechanisms and systems just do it automatically.  Similarly, built in systems operate automatically during a trauma, without any conscious thought.   Before the mind and emotions have a chance to respond and react, the perceived threat activates the sympathetic nervous system and built-in self protective mechanisms take over.   Blood pressure and heart rate increase.  Slow deep breathing shifts to rapid and shallow breathing , and muscles contract, in order to fight or run.

 This fight or flight reaction, also known as the “stress response,” is triggered  immediately and begins working to keep you safe and maintain stability. These biological processes are activated at the very moment when safety is threatened.

How does this stress response affect the body?

When the body is in stress mode, the human cells also go into stress mode. The cells close and become energy and oxygen deficient. Because your body needs additional resources and energy to endure unusual strain, our stress glands kick into high gear and flood the body with stress hormones, including adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol.  These hormones are so helpful when reacting to immediate danger.

This automatic response to distress is miraculous, as these built -in mechanisms seem to know what to do to protect and help when danger is present.  

 If these systems are activated, your body is literally working on your behalf and functioning correctly – fascinating! 

As helpful as the stress response may be during times of immediate danger, it can have negative effects long term.   This is because the human stress response is designed to be a temporary reaction to our threatened safety. If the stress response signal within the body gets stuck, and the switch is left on, there could be profoundly negative effects on overall health and wellbeing. Organs, glands, and systems that are supposed to function regularly, get depleted by the enormous amount of energy it takes to facilitate the stress response and malfunctions will eventually occur.

 I personally witnessed this trauma response,  two summers ago when my mother experienced a very significant physical trauma.  

My mother came to visit and was excited to watch her four granddaughters in their favorite sport, surfing. We made the perfect plan to spend a day at the beach, and found a perfect spot with a great view of the kids surfing.  This plan instantaneously turned into a disaster, as my mom headed back to the car for her sunglasses, which she had supposedly left in the car.   Somewhere along the rocky path back to the parking lot, my mom slipped, fell, and hit her head on on a rock.  My family found her just sitting on the sand, staring at the ocean, and …

she had no idea where she was, or what had just happened.  

She had a pretty good sized bruise on her face, yet she denied any sort of a fall, had no pain, and was adamant that she had not hit her head. I was shocked by the fact that my mother did not know why she was just sitting in the sand, and couldn’t remember a thing about walking back to the car.. As concerning as this was, I was watching her body protect itself.  I was so thankful that she had no traumatic memory of falling, no pain, and seemed at peace and at rest.  I took her into the urgent care,  and the dr. validated my theory that she had indeed suffered a concussion. Not only did my mother hit her head hard enough to get a concussion, she also broke her wrist. This whole experience was more stressful for me, than it actually was for my mom. I was amazed at her instinct to just “check out,”  from the whole experience, like nothing had happened.

January 9th, 2018  massive mudslide/debris flow – My entire community of Montecito was traumatized by this devastating event

Watching  what my mom went through  made me wonder about people involved in the natural disaster that happened in my hometown of Montecito.   I am led to hope and believe that these victim’s stress response kicked in for them, as well, and they were protected from pain and the horrifying reality that was happening.

So, what can you do?

If you have experienced any form of physical or emotional trauma, the physiological processes keeping the body in trauma mode, may need to attention.  

That stress response must be turned off.  It is important to flip the switch off and reset the  danger alert signal, keeping you in “threat/protection” mode. I recommend looking into holistic methods for releasing trauma.  Many modalities are available for this, and it may be necessary to do all of them.

  1. The use of essential oils, are known to aid the body in shifting out of the trauma state.  I suggest, Custom Blend Aromatherapy.  This can be scheduled at Springs Wellness Center –   – to get a custom essential oil blend.  
  2. Specific musical tones may significantly help the body recover, reset, and neutralize the stress of trauma.  I recommend  a music collection by Michael Tyrrell, called Wholetones.  There are free samples available on YouTube.
  3. I personally use a magnetic release technique, included in my wellness sessions, in which a magnet is run along the nervous system, to release the negative resonant frequency.  Once the trauma signal is reset, the body is allowed to rest and return to its normal state of functioning.  See my contact page to set up  a free consultation. 
  4. Pray – this step is the most important, as it will empower all the above efforts to have a greater impact.  Say a true prayer from your heart, that your body’s stress switch be turned off, for your body to return to its original state of functioning, and everything related to your traumatic experience, be healed and filled with the love of God.

Join me next week for more insight on how trauma affects the mind, and learn what you can do.

It”s hard to believe just 1 year ago, at this time, all residents of  my community,  were evacuated, due to the largest fire in California’s history.  Nothing could have prepared us  for the devastation that followed.  

The Jan. 9th mudslide/debris flow was indeed a traumatic event.