Are We Ready for Change?

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Podcast Episode

Today we’re talking healing from trauma, we’re talking affirmations and prayer and manifestation for a better 2021 going forward.

If you’re interested in listening to the podcast version, click below!

Episode 2.2 

Are we ready for change? 

Today we’re talking healing from trauma, were talking affirmations and prayer and manifestation for a better 2021 going forward.

My name is Jessy Santana and I’m an organizational culture strategist, entrepreneur, mother. This is The Way We Work podcast, where we discuss all things at the intersection of knowledge-seeking curiosity, entrepreneurship and social impact. 

After what happened last week at the Capitol Hill, if you call it insurrection, domestic terrorism, lunacy, misguided patriotism or outright xenophibic racism- it was a lot. 

For me, watching it was so triggering. Literally, watching an open attack on what would normally have been a very boring process. Watching it and staying glued to the screen brought me back to high school, where we spent the entire day watching the Twin Towers fall and the devastation  that followed. The visceral imagery of that mob full of anger and hate just broke my heart in a way I wasn’t ready for. Obviously not on the same scale but the trauma felt the same. 

It also didn’t help that I had to also explain what has happening to my Chinese husband and Mother in law. And of course, the constitutional reasons as to why they were allowed to be there in the first place and the institutional racism and mismanagement that could have prevented it from happening. It was the most exhaustive American Government class I didn’t know I was going to give. 

Fast forward and we’ve got impeachment again, as a form of accountability but does it really matter to someone that doesn’t seem to care or feel remorse for the situation. And without someone wanting to change can they really do so? 

So a wonderful way to start the new year and I had such high hopes for the peaceful transition as its been called. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll be written in the history books and hope that they were on the right side. Moving on because I don’t have the energy to peel away the layers and layers of bullshit. 

If we have never met before you may not know this about me but I am insatiably curious which has its benefits but also it’s faults. I am amazing at trivia- full of knowledge that doesn’t do much for the average person. But I am driven to learn for learning sake and the problem is that I can pour so much of myself into my learning that is sometimes doesn’t have a purpose it doesn’t Benefit me in whatever in someway I just learned this new random knowledge or skills. But this year I’ve decided to be intentional because I am more conscious of my time and my energy and I cannot give it away.

Transitions of Healing

To hear the full version check out this blog post here-Transitions of healing 

I came across a beautiful NYT article on “How to Rewire Your Traumatized Brain”,  that spoke about a book entitled The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma,” by Bessel van der Kolk, as a way for the author to understand her visceral reactions, her words, to the process of remembering her trauma. 

“Dr. van der Kolk wrote on the three avenues for recovery: “top down, by talking, (re-) connecting with others, and allowing ourselves to know and understand what is going on with us”; “taking medicines that shut down inappropriate alarm reactions”; and “bottom up, by allowing the body to have experiences that deeply and viscerally contradict the helplessness, rage, or collapse that result from trauma.” Survivors usually need some combination of the three methods, writes Dr. van der Kolk, but the latter — the mind-body connection — is most neglected. His work is predicated on integrating body-focused treatments into trauma recovery work, like yoga, role-play, dance and meditation. Another method he suggests is writing and keeping a journal.”

This is exactly what I’ve been doing for 2020 and into 2021. 

Especially as we start another round of lockdowns and curfews here in Montreal, I have noticed my greater level of resistance and anxiety. 

These Are Things I’m Doing to Heal from Trauma

  1. I meditate and pray. It sounds simple but it’s harder than it sounds. Sitting in silence is harder than it seems. Letting your mind wander and come back to your breath or using guided meditation. One of my new favorite apps is insight timer and there’s thousands of teachers and free courses or short audios that can help with anything from anxiety to sleep. It’s really amazing. 
  2. I also am a big believer in writing. Getting the thoughts out of your brain as if you were emptying a jar to be reused again but at least the thoughts got out. My favorite time to journal is in the quiet of the morning. If I can get some writing done before the rest of the house is awake- it makes me so much productive and at ease. 
  3. Movement- like Dr. Van der Kolk describes you just need something physical to get you out of your mind. Don’t sit in it. Or if you have find a way to get out. This one is harder because hibernation has set in but just find 30 minutes somewhere. They don’t have to be consecutive. Just 10 minutes here and there and you’ll be gold. For me, blasting some good dance music and doing some Zumba moves or dancing with my husband and daughter definitely clear the cobwebs. How could it not? 

Affirmations

Some other things I do are affirmations. These are sayings or phrases you repeat in order to restructure your thinking. That’s how I see it anyway. It’s powerful once you start allowing yourself to begin the journey of healing. It sounds ridiculous but sometimes the affirmations we have already said to ourselves so many times before- this is just how I am, if you’re not for me then you’re against, I’m not good enough.

Those are all harmful affirmations that we tell ourselves over and over until they become truth. And once you allow yourself to begin believing even before you believe, to start working towards this mindset things are just going to start happening.

So if you head over to my IG @theway_wework you’ll see some of the healing affirmations I have been using and I’ll also post it on the website, here!

Manifestations

What are manifestations? Manifestations are the action that we take upon the positive affirmations that we tell her selves. Again Affirmations are sometimes called mantras sometimes or called prayers sometimes they’re the negative misnomers or stereotypes that we start to believe about ourselves. We say things like this is how I am or I can never change or one of the worst ones there’s something wrong with me.

We can all acknowledge that nobody’s perfect but for some reason there has been an a simulated idea of perfection that has caused us to believe in an ideal an ideal of relationship, and ideal of what we should look like, and ideal of who we are meant to be. And the problem with ideals is it they are unachievable by nature that’s what makes them ideal. Nobody sees the blood sweat and tears that happens before they walk on stage.

Nobody sees the depression or the days of not getting out of bed because it’s just too hard. Nobody seems to want to talk about the times where we over consumedOn things that we know are bad for us but we chose them anyway.

Once you start positive affirmations and you start telling yourself good will happen, I am enough, I can heal again and again until you believe it. You will start doing things in your best interest by default because that default will be reprogrammed. 

You are rewriting the foundational work on which to build a more resilient and powerful you. I believe it because it’s working for me. 

We are all works in progress but if we work on ourselves to heal in our own bodies. The outside world can bring about its worst but human potential will be limitless. We just have to understand it won’t be easy, it will hurt and it may seem easier to give up but the transformation on the other side is where the real magic begins. 

Join us for our 5 day email course #empathychallenge2021 now!

Yours in kind,

Jessy Santana

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Dark Days

Yesterday, was a dark day in American History, no matter where you were entertainment was halted as a seemingly normal business day where the state of affairs was meant to be bumpy but proceed with very little fanfare. That was not the case as during the middle of proceedings and even in mid-sentence pro-Trump supporters gained access to the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

While it was shocking, was it surprising?

What happens when you force-feed individuals political rhetoric that subverts, hides and even outright lies? What happened yesterday was the culmination of deep-rooted hate, misinformation, and baseless lies filtered through algorithms whose sole purpose is to match like to like (meaning based on your online persona, they handhold you to places of distrust).

Like 9/11, this is a traumatic event and for me, that same feeling of shock and heartbreak over institutions and safety. The triggers are all there: incessantly watching the news all day for fear of missing something important (we spent the day watching and I had to explain the historical, cultural, and political significance of the moment to my Chinese-born family), reaching out to family and friends to try and understand the chaos, and trying to cope using better mental health practices (which I wish I had known then).

What Happens Now

This morning, there’s more coverage trying to make sense of the what, how, and who and every possible angle of what occurred yesterday.

Understand this: There are people throughout the world who saw the events yesterday as a collectively triggering and traumatic event.

For people who may have first-hand knowledge of riots and toppled governments. For people that see what is occurring in the US as another notch in the continuous onslaught of hate and exclusion. For people like me, that work in Inclusion and Belonging, and think of our children and the work we do may not be enough, not nearly enough.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Look Within and Reach Out

Know that yesterday’s events were an act of hate- plain and simple. I had trouble sleeping so this morning wrote a letter to my daughter on my personal blog because I worry about the kind of world we are creating for her.

If you need help to process, like I do- reach out. There are so many of us that are simply in shock, not surprise, but still shocked.

If you have access to mental health services or a counselor or therapist- reach out.

If you are impacted, let your employer know because they should also be reaching out- no matter who you are.

Employers Reach out to your Employees

Sometimes we get caught up in our titles and create this division of authority that separates us, but we are all people. People with feelings, ideas, and different understanding of the way the world works but no matter your political affiliations- we are people.

And just beneath the surface of all that hate- is hurt.

We need to stop pretending and spreading this false narrative that strength means aggression, that we need to be take from others in order to have, and we need to hurt others in order to heal ourselves.

Sorry, it does not work that way.

Know that you will lower levels of efficiency today, less engagement and more emotional and mental distress amongst your employees because we all experienced trauma and have yet to have processed it.

I am not a mental health professional, but I know being silent on this will cost you.

I leave with these words from Seth Meyers, who was angered and shaken by yesterday’s events.

Yours in kind,

Jessy Santana, founder of The Way We Work