On a sunny California day, in the summer of 1981 Kathleen nearly broke the neck of a five year old boy. It was a backyard bbq, and Kathleen had been skipping on the side of the pool when she decided to jump in. She landed on a little boy who immediately stopped moving.
People screamed and a man jumped in the pool and pulled the little boy to safety. Kathleen, terrified, crawled out of the pool and ran to her father looking for comfort. But her father grabbed her by the shoulders and berated her ceaselessly injecting his own personal demons of shame fear and vanity into her.
As you might have guessed Kathleen was also five years old, an innocent child caught up in an innocent circumstance. Ever since then she felt if she let herself go, surely bad things would befall her. So she struggled all her personal and professional life and whenever she came across an environment that triggered these memories she felt physically bad.
The boy turned out to be fine but it was Kathleen who for the rest of her life suffered from a tight neck. She is a leader now in the retail sector but the shame and guilt that her father’s yells created in her still stifled her creativity ever since.
How do heal from trauma like these from the distant past, memories of innocent circumstance? How do we shed these scars hinder our capacity for happiness and joy?
When we work with co-creative coaching we are working on small miracles. We are shifting perceptions that seem to be set in stone for ever. It is entirely possible to put down that massive weight that has burdened you emotionally and physically for the last 10, 20, even 50 years. In a few sessions we can dissolve emotional scar tissue to healthfully resolve unresolved childhood trauma.
And when we do we see a shift. A new understanding comes to light that leads to a new behavior. A new insight leads to new inspirations. Invoking a new side of your personality uncovers a new reality and new growth.
Today Kathleen (not her real name of course) bears no scars, has no tics, has worked through that horrific day and has successfully freed herself from an emotional trauma that used to choke her. A few days after our last session, I ask my signature question: 'What has shifted?'
She answers with a smile: 'That suffocating tightness around my neck, that uncomfortable feeling I thought I had become part of me is gone! Yesterday in the boardroom I felt I am free to breathe, to soar, to play and I am stronger than ever.'
Now, it's your turn: Where is your tightness? What memory is suffocating you?
What can we shift together?