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Kiran Trace

Kiran Trace is the human development expert and hands-on spiritual mentor who helps professional leaders harness the power of Source so that they can use it to heal & liberate your life. She helps you to connect to true nature and to live with the agency of clarity: so you can navigate boundaries and create a lifestyle of true alignment, ease and fulfillment.
Career Coaching
Spiritual Healing
Developmental Psychology
About Kiran Trace

Kiran Trace is the human development expert and hands-on spiritual mentor who helps professional leaders harness the power of Source so that they can use it to heal & liberate your life. She helps you to connect to true nature and to live with the agency of clarity: so you can navigate boundaries and create a lifestyle of true alignment, ease and fulfillment.

24 years of practice
On Core Spirit since April 2021
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Kiran Trace
Meghan Roekle on Realizing Oneness & What Happens After a Spiritual Awakening

I want to introduce you to Meghan Roekle.

I met Meg a number of years ago and had the immense privilege of witnessing her unfolding realization and awakening process. She, unlike myself, has been in a slow burn of realizing Oneness.

Some backstory: Meghan trained in Clinical Psychology, got her PsyD, and has been working as a therapist since 2001. She has spent her life in search of truth, not simply focused on a spiritual awakening, but also the deeper realization of what creates wholeness, why and how we act, and what are the deepest truths behind all that.

In pursuit of this, she worked and studied in a variety of settings over the years: as a teacher inside of academia, as a practitioner of integrative health, as a researcher pursuing healing traditions in the fields of philosophy, energy/bodywork, art & literature, and spiritual/non-dual teachings.

Meg loves this quote: “The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.” —Chogyam Rinpoche

In May of 2019, Meg started offering one-on-one sessions for our community. She has stepped in to offer her time and devotion after my own private practice started evolving me into a specific niche of people: those who are influencers or already working with clients/students and are in need of advanced mentorship.

Meg has a lot to offer our community.

In her own words:

“There are ways to surrender to this free fall, and this is what I am offering—a process of dropping into the natural flow of life, into the spacious presence that is already here, already holding us. We can release ourselves from our mind’s grip, and from the pain and stress, we feel when we believe our thoughts. We are already home, already safe—but we must teach our wounded bodyminds that this is so.”

I’m excited for you to discover Meg for yourself. You can book a session with her anytime you need some support! And please enjoy this conversation, where Meghan sat down with her friend Jimmy Jacobs to answer the question: What is awakening?

Abbreviated transcription from the Closed Caption:

Jimmy: What would you call awakening?

Meg: So I’m gonna use my teacher Kiran Trace, her definition, which is ultimately the inability to identify as a separate self anymore. So it’s sort of like that mechanism gets turned off. It can be slow or it can be sudden for certain people like for her or for Eckhart Tolle or Byron Katie, but for me, it’s been a slow turning of that mechanism off.

And so for me, like sitting here right now, there’s a sense of oneness or contentedness and a sense that there isn’t a separate self-moving. Now there’s still belief systems and I’ll still get hooked on little thoughts that I have to do something or be somebody or all the tiny movements that imply a separate self-running this body, I’ll still get hooked, but overall there’s a recognition or a realization that its not true. This body, this life, is being run by life, by what we were calling God’s silence, or oneness, love, you know, same same.

So awakening is really the direct realization of that. And it’s not theoretical, it’s not intellectual, it’s not mental, it’s an embodied knowing or sensing that that’s just the case and it’s always been the case. This didn’t happen for Meg; Meg didn’t “wake up”. Awareness recognizes itself as itself. Really, “Meg” falls away, even though we still use names and we still use subject/object language and all that.

But breath is such a good pointer because it’s so obvious that we’re not breathing our breath, that breath is just breathing us, or we’re not growing our hair or pumping our blood. So it’s actually extremely obvious that there’s no little homunculus in this body running the show. But somehow, we all get this programming that there’s a separate self in here running this thing. It is very painful. And then we have programming on top of that separate-self concept that says, “This person is not good enough, should be this way, should be that way, is doing it wrong!” etc.

Jimmy: Is this the same thing as when somebody talks about enlightenment? I’ve heard the term like “abiding non-dualism? “

Meg: Yeah, I don’t tend to use the word enlightenment, it is such a heavy word, and even non-duality—I like that term, but it’s not very familiar. Awakening is just kind of a clean word. But any of these words can be taken up by the mind and then made into a thing for a self to do.

This is where the whole spiritual search comes in, and why I don’t like “spirituality”. It’s often about a separate self trying to get awakened and trying to be a good person or a spiritual person or a caring person or a blah blah blah blah blah! I’m not a believer.

Instead, this is something you can stand on, like it’s true, it’s just truth. Truth is truth. Reality is reality. And we need no belief for that. We can throw all that out. Which is actually such a relief. To uphold a belief is fucking impossible! I went into psychology for that reason, and I was interested in philosophy. I was never really interested in religion because they all just seemed like shysters to me.

But ultimately, I came to have glimpses, initially through Byron Katie’s The Work, which is an inquiry where you’re taking awareness and you’re questioning your mind. So you start to get glimpses of life without beliefs. What occurred for [Byron Katie] post-awakening, was there was no concept of a separate self, there was just joy. What she calls The Work, which she created because thoughts started to come back, even though she had all this spacious awareness. She could look at the thoughts and she could see the thoughts were really the source of her suffering. So for her, the work is just taking one thought at a time and putting it up against four questions to examine what is really true.

So I started to do her work and got these glimpses of pure ease and everything running exactly perfect as it should. I needed to do nothing and life is running itself perfectly and I can just relax. These kinds of things occurred in grad school and in these different pockets in my life where I would have moments—but then my beliefs, subtle ones that I haven’t seen as well, and the pain in my body was still there.

The issue with psychology and with spirituality is they don’t really incorporate the body, and really it’s the body that heals. The body needs to awaken. The body needs to open to oneness, it needs to be sensed. And so I did a lot of Byron Katie type of inquiry and I’d have these glimpses, but they were non-abiding because the body wasn’t included. So it was just these sort of momentary glimpses until I was up against a trigger again. And then a program would run and I would feel separate again and I would feel confused and I would do things in my life that weren’t in alignment, like marrying my very sweet ex-husband, and these kinds of things. Because there are still programs running that I’m unaware of and that aren’t healed through the body.

After that, I started to get into all these non-dual teachers, and really still attempting to kind of go through the mind, still trying to sort of “get awakening”.

Jimmy: You know, I loved to pontificate, and I’d love to think, and I’d love to talk about all these sorts of things, and with those experiences, you go home with this idea that you know what non-duality is: it’s that we are all one thing.

Meg: I’m gonna use Kiran’s language again—she’s got a lot of great languages to describe this, she is very straightforward and practical—she would say there are different Dimensions. There is the third dimension, tables and lamps, and what looks like separation. And it’s very reliable as form. Like, the wall is the wall, and it’s separate, it has a boundary and a separation from your body, and from the couch, etc. And that’s true in the third dimension, but there are other dimensions. Like quantum mechanics—the physicists have said the closer you are to the heart of things, the more it’s all space or dark matter. Form, or this stuff, is really a bunch of space, and then light that moves in these really wild ways, and it’s all connected. You spin a proton in Tokyo and its matching proton spins in New York, and all kinds of cool things like that.

And other dimensions—zero dimension is silence and it is also here, and it can be seen. Actually, some people see it—for instance, Kiran sees it. It’s just like a lot of light and space and it’s obvious there’s no separation. I’ve had glimpses like that too, where literally, through my eyes, I see what I call a light soup. Which was just one vast lit-up non-form, kind of like just one continuous movement.

Kiran Trace
What is Spiritual Awakening? | The Ultimate Guide

Awakening. It’s a big term, one that encompasses a lot of spiritual arenas, and it’s mired in false definitions and proclamations. So I feel compelled to shine some light and clarity on what is spiritual awakening.

This is a definitive guide to spiritual awakening. I have been in a unique position to work one-on-one with hundreds of others who have had these various combinations of awakenings. Not to mention the experience of having had my own personal emergence. But even though I am uniquely qualified to offer some clarity here, it’s an awkward subject to talk about in such general terms because “awakening” is not black and white. There are a lot of grey areas.

If you’re ready to understand the breadth of spiritual awakening experiences that exist – this is a key article.

My personal experience of Spiritual Awakening

When I had my own awakening into original nature, including the emergence of full psychic awakening, there was a lot of disorientation. I was lucky enough to have had access to great teachers like Adyashanti and Eckhart Tolle. That said, I also met a lot of people proclaiming a direct realization when they were, in fact, not at all realized. I was confused and shocked at the number of teachers who were instead deeply involved in trance work or projecting these illusions about their teachings for marketing purposes. Many simply had a real delusion and misunderstanding about the spiritual awakening process, or even what a real awakening is.

I also met many who were authentically awakened into their true nature, but their lives were utterly dysfunctional. They had no skill for navigating life. What is freedom unless you can be free inside of your daily life?

And so, even for me, who was in the throes of awakening first-hand, I found it very difficult and confusing to understand. Sadly, awakened spiritual teachers can be as full of shit as the leaders of other industries, like movie producers, venture capitalists, therapists, doctors, lawyers, etc.

So let’s start with a basic definition of awakening.

What is the definition of awakening?

Awakening: The moment of becoming suddenly aware; coming into awareness.

To this definition, I would add that, in practice, an Awakening is a very direct and hugely transforming experience that changes your life forevermore.

Now let’s get clear on some other, more subtle definitions.

Personal Awakening

What is the definition of personal awakening?

A personal awakening is a profoundly transformative moment of personal evolution or personal development.


We can suddenly become aware of or more conscious of the present moment. Or we can suddenly become aware of a habitual dysfunction or pattern. But the point is that this is a direct and hugely impactful insight, what Oprah would call an “Aha!” Moment: a sudden recognition. And that is a wholly different experience to the light that goes on while reading or studying which enables you to grasp a concept or phenomenon much more deeply.

For instance, we can be stunned into understanding the depth of racism in our own country by a fantastically illustrated news story or book. And it feels like what the kids call, getting “woke”: you suddenly see what you didn’t see before. However, this is different than if you have a direct awakening of racism. Perhaps you, or your loved one, have been deeply scarred or harmed by racism, and you are suddenly and directly aware of this experience. This then deepens and expands your own insights on human behavior, and dramatically changes the trajectory of your life moving forward.

So we have all kinds of sayings in our culture: we as a people need to “wake up” about sexism; we all need to awaken to the climate crisis we now face; and so on. These sayings speak to gaining a general awareness, but this does not constitute a personal awakening.

Future Impact:

Once you have had a personal awakening, you usually find yourself compelled to deepen your exploration of this subject. You want to dive deeper into your exploration of this remarkable recognition and understanding. You are also compelled to find other people who have also experienced these insights. You need the community to reflect back on your insights and help you integrate and deepen your awakening.

Pitfalls and Traps:

It becomes really easy to start to preach. It is a slippery line were sharing your insights is perceived as preaching to others. You fall into the category of ‘yelling from the rooftops what you have discovered. As if others haven’t got their own unique journeys to follow, and this insight of yours is the most important thing.

Psychic Awakening

What is the definition is psychic awakening?

The activation of the third eye, or the sudden awakening of seeing and sensing other dimensions of reality beyond our three-dimensional space and time. Basically, it refers to directly sensing and interacting with information from beyond the known material forms.


Some people start to have more energetic sensitivities, while others deepen their already sensitive energetic systems. This usually involves directly seeing spirit realms, more conscious interaction in dream realms, and activation of psychic insights. But it can also be the deeper sensing of the presence or energy of the world around us, like the presence of nature, or sensing the subtle energy fields of people around you. It usually involves sensing and attuning to various influences of the planet’s energetic fields and/or specific human energy fields.

This can include:

- Clairvoyance: this literally means clear-seeing, and involves the seeing of other non-material beings; these can be spirits or ghosts or insights of the past or future.

- Clairsentience: This literally means clear-sensing, and is more of all-around sensing of other non-material beings and information. For instance, sensing loved ones who have passed, or the presence of entities or beings from other dimensions, or sensing information about the past, present, or future.

- Clairolfaction or clairscent: this literally means clear-smelling, and is a profound sense of smell that can validate loved ones who are no longer with us in the body. Additionally, it enables the identification of the presence of spiritual entities or insights into past and future events.

A psychic awakening can activate one or more of these far-reaching senses.

Future Impact:

This one is tricky. Since a lot of people don’t know or believe that there are other dimensions to reality or even an energetic presence to the world around us, a big impact of this kind of awakening is feeling very “in the closet” with this information. And with that comes a real personal challenge around what you know you are sensing, and trusting that, versus doubting and questioning your own senses (and sometimes your own sanity).

Pitfalls and Traps:

There is a real captivation that can lead to disassociating from your life and the material forms around you. That can look like disconnecting from your friends and family or being less interested in the basic three dimensions of reality. Usually, this comes in the form of feeling that something you sense from another dimension or another time is more real than the material presence and form under your ass.

In addition, there is a fine line between sensing information and “filling in the blanks” with added information. That is to say, it’s very easy to start adding “storytelling” elements to pieces of real information.

The Spiritual Awakening Process

By definition, “spiritual” is referring to the human spirit or soul. So the spiritual awakening process involves becoming suddenly more aware of the silent field that creates the human “spirit” or “soul”, and/or a profoundly transformative heart-opening.

What this means is that you have a direct insight that catapults you into a huge transformation about yourself beyond your physical life, and can involve a very uplifted surge of compassion. It relates to a profound opening and activation of the crown and heart chakra.


When the crown and heart chakra are activated, there is an obvious recognition of the interconnectedness of all life. Usually, this includes spontaneous sensations of love and a general overriding sense that everything is deeply “okay” just as it is. It usually involves sudden energy healing, light healing, soul journeys, etc. This direct connection to the interconnectedness creates this spontaneous healing and recognition of the innate wholeness of everything.

Colors and smells are brighter and the world is experienced through the senses in a much more vivid and alive way. This awakening refers to more than a moment or a glimpse. Instead, it is a permanent sense activation that usually includes uplifting healing. The impact of this is so massive it changes the direction of your life, and you find you are compelled to find a process, teachings, community that calls you deeper into this devotion.

This is different than being immersed in teachings or knowledge that inspires your seeking. This is a direct experience that changes everything you previously thought about your life and the world. Suddenly, you become more aware of this deeper energetic, and silent realm of your life and much less focused on your mental positions and various fears and ambitions.

It is a direct and magical experience. And those that have not had these experiences can not understand and therefore often undermine or mistake the profound reorientation of the experience (which can also be said about any awakening). Oftentimes, people will appropriate the experience, missing the full impact of what it means for the actual heart chakra and/or crown chakra to be blown wide open.

Future Impact:

The call to follow a spiritual path will be unrelenting. Your goals and your life plan will become irrelevant. And slowly, or suddenly, everything in your life will be about this deeper spiritual call to silence. Your life is now focused on your inner world and healing, instead of needing meaning, recognition, and success in the outer world. As I discuss in Freedom is Possible, you’ll begin to live with less resistance and become free to move as life.

Pitfalls and Traps:

The biggest pitfall is that while it seems like you have seen the truth (since you have!), you have really only seen one facet of reality, not the whole of it. But it feels so much like you have really seen the whole meaning and reality of life. Therefore, it is impossible to imagine that you have really only recognized one facet of it. Because of this, you might feel compelled to lead or preach, when usually that is an immature movement.

Additionally, with a real spiritual awakening, your being radiates with a presence of interconnectedness, which is felt as an energetic peace and ease. But the pitfall here is that people start to “project” this state, taking on artificial poses of “peaceful” or a posture of undisturbed equanimity. This emulation causes people to act and look like what I call ‘spiritual barbies’, burping “namaste” at every challenge, instead of a much more authentic expression of interconnectedness. It can be a challenge to discern a posture from an authentic expression.

Awakening into Original Nature

What is the definition of awakening into original nature?

This is not a personal or spiritual awakening; this is something else entirely. This is waking up out of anything personal or spiritual, and it is also waking up out of experiences. Ironically, awakening into original nature is to wake up to the reality that there is no you, no world, no other dimensions. It is to awaken directly into the deepest reality of life, that all life is simply an illusion projected from a vast silent spaciousness.


This is the sudden awareness that you are not you. Life is not life. This is a direct insight that you are, in fact, only a vast eternal awareness dreaming all of creation into being. This insight hugely transforms everything about you. Not just you, but everything in your past and future as well. This awakening wipes out your existence completely and is quite literally your death. Not a physical or material death, but the death of being able to identify as you, a person in this world with a history, and a family and drive that motivates a future. Ultimately, this awakening wipes out your history, your dreams, your goals… even your family and your friends can no longer be seen in the same way. Many people can have a glimpse of a short spell of this awareness (a non-abiding insight), but don’t fully awaken into their original nature. Which is to say, they get very shaken by the insight but don’t have the depth that is the signature of an actual awakening into original nature.

If you have not had this experience, it would be impossible to identify what this experience was. If you have had this experience, it becomes obvious who else has and who is falsely proclaiming this insight.

Future Impact:

Life after this awakening is silent, spacious, and still. Often, it is rather difficult to interact in any relationship as you have before, and language can easily fall away. People can lose motivation to be engaged in life and their family and careers the way they used to. Sometimes, people walk and talk very slowly, and begin to live a very simple, almost monkish life.

After this awakening, there is no need to follow a formal spiritual dogma or path, because you are always in a permanent state of mediation. And you are always identified as the vast eternal spaciousness that is dreaming existence. However, there is an unstoppable spontaneous movement towards healing any traumatic or dysfunctional patterns. Invariably, any trauma stored in the body/mind becomes explosive in their need to transform to wholeness. And a long process of healing becomes the main focus of your life.

Pitfalls and Traps:

There is a false but influential notion that, if you awaken to your true nature, you won’t be able to maintain the responsibilities of your life. Everything in your life will fall apart, and you will become a “bliss ninny”, just sitting in silence and incapable of anything else.

In reality, everything in your life that was built out of fear will fall apart, but, and after much healing, it will be replaced with much more sustainable and clear movements. Depleting relationships will be replaced with nourishing ones. Even your responsibilities will be considerably more easy, effortless, and clear, with all fear having been washed out of these roles. Your work-life and/or your home-life as a spouse or a parent becomes considerably more effortless and effective. In 4 Behaviors That Block Purpose, I shed light to help you find your way back to your true path.

A false but influential notion exists that if you awaken to original nature you should become a spiritual teacher. This is strange, since you have woken up from the spiritual dream, and you may not organically be skilled at teaching. Regardless, many people who awaken to their true nature do want to be still, and talk about the true nature of reality, and need a lot of quiet time.

And as I mentioned, there is often a lot of healing that happens but sadly, many choose to teach before this healing is complete. Ironically, it actually takes ten to fifteen years to get used to living out of time, living as pure awareness. But many people start teaching much sooner than that. And therefore, they tend to remain stuck in emptiness, not fully integrated into their full awareness, and not fully integrated into the daily life of freedom and ease.

Full Liberation or Enlightenment

What is the definition of enlightenment?

This is to awaken from the dream of awakening into true nature. It is a sudden awareness that you did not, in fact, awaken—even that was a dream.

Note: The common misconception is that enlightenment creates “special” omnipotent powers in an individual. The gifted ones who now walk on air, so to speak, and can wield great power to influence others, reading their minds and influencing their actions. This is not true, and really speaks more to misconduct practices of any awakening process but especially psychic awakening. That said, liberated beings can often feel, speak, and sense simply with their awareness, instead of more familiar, see touch, taste senses.


This is the deepest insight that returns a person into ordinary life… but a life that is considerably more functional, more aligned, and more clearly fulfilling. This awakening creates a day-to-day life that is truly meaningful, interconnected, functional, and clear. There can be a phase of huge transformation and healing, as all the dysfunctional areas in daily functioning become obvious and loud. And they undergo a transformation towards functionality specifically gaining skillfulness, capability, and expanded capacity for fulfillment.

Some people have awakened to their true nature and then have glimpses of this liberation, but without a full liberation, their awakening does not actually transform their day-to-day lives. Many teachers who claim full liberation actually have hugely chaotic and dysfunctional lives, including dysfunctional relationships to money, sex, and intimacy.

But when you have awakened to full liberation, this dysfunction is replaced by a brilliant clarity and an expanded capability for daily tasks.

Future Impact:

There is total adoration and devotion to the present moment. Alongside this is a deep-seated sense of total safety for the individual body/mind. The individual body/mind becomes very central and gracefully cherished. Very organic self-love is included in cherishing all facets of life.

Pitfalls and Traps:

The biggest pitfalls come from those not having this experience but appropriating or projecting what this experience is. A projected story evolves that because all life is sacred, those who are truly liberated don’t kill flies or eat meat. Or a projected story that money no longer becomes meaningful and anyone who is “rich” or charges large sums is therefore not liberated.

These are immature folk tales.

When all life is sacred, there is no right or wrong. There is no “ethic” or “morality” that is more valid than another. Liberation means whole, and whole means it includes all and is not polarized. Morality is replaced by an all-pervasive empathy with exacting discernment.

For a liberated being, there is only the right action in a single moment. It is the right action that is loud and discernable. Essentially, there is no illusion of being separate from the whole moment or any illusion that any single life form (animal, plant, human) is separate from the whole. Right action has no allegiance to any single expression, like “kind” or “compassionate”. Anger and rage, grief, aggression are seen to be as important to peace as expressions of compassion. However, the right action can be tangibly felt by the liberated person’s community as intelligent, leading to a number of unforeseen alignments or wins.

Some liberated people can be hugely challenging and fierce. Others can be hugely accepting and soft. However, in all liberated people, there is a freedom to be any shape or any expression at any moment, and those expressions bring about intelligent action that has a harmonizing effect for those around them. A liberated person is not acting as a “harmonizing” element, i.e., being kind and soft, not eating meat, loving all in any situation, etc. Rather, they are acting in alignment to the moment, and the moment becomes harmonized towards authentic or right action for many involved.

Again, these are generalized terms, as there are so many grey areas and unique qualities to each individual awakening.

The good news is that our world at this time is full of amazing teachers, coaches, and allies. And at every awakening stage, there is a great buffet of teachers to help you evolve, integrate, and find community. You will be drawn to the ones that you most resonate with. And if you would really like to heal from your own dysfunctional patterns, you will be captivated by leaders who have done that for themselves. However, if you would like to bypass your personal healing and instead try to become someone “special” or “magical” or “spiritual”, you will be drawn to that kind of teachings and leaders. Basically, once an awakening, whether a spiritual awakening or not, is emerging you will need the support of a mentor and a community. And you will be guided to the teacher that most resonates with your own desire and experience.


Kiran Trace
12 Ways We Unconsciously Violate Children’s Boundaries

Boundary issues can be fixed once you become conscious of them, so I made an easy cheat sheet for you to minimize the chances of you being the reasons for your children to seek counseling in the future! Here are 12 basic places boundaries issues creep in with children. See if you don’t recognize some of these from the home life you grew up in.

Side note: This article is not meant to place the blame solely on parenting! I think the main fault lies in societal programming—assumptions that everyone should be a parent, and that no one needs special training or skills for the job because it is supposed to simply be innate. Now, everyone who has become a parent has noticed this was NOT at all true. Skills and training and profound self-awareness come in pretty handy! But most go into parenting without these. Having to suddenly “learn on the job” is a terribly hard situation, akin to having to build a wonderful house to live in while you are homeless and have never held a hammer before! Strangely, fathers, in particular, seem to believe that that they can do a good job with no skills or experience – that even if they’ve never spent 24 hours with a baby, somehow it’s all going to be fine. It’s a huge expectation that society puts on us, and we are all deeply suffering because of it.

1) Guilting children. Essentially, making your child responsible for your need to be loved, your need to have an ally, etc. This creates a pattern of fear of intimacy, fear of commitment, and fear of showing up. (Sadly, this one is hugely common for mothers to their sons! Yup, probably you…)

Solution: Connecting to your own personal sense of safety and security helps you to notice that you are loved and that you have an inner ally who is unsurpassed at supporting you! When you are really grounded in that place, your children are free to hate you or love you according to what is going on for them.

2) Hovering – a.k.a. helicopter parenting. This is when you control many aspects of your child’s experience under the guise of “keeping them safe,” stepping in to save them from all consequences. This creates out-of-control children who have no impulse control, no internal grounding, and no self-awareness. These children are often rejected by friends, by schools – they are labeled “hard to manage” and “challenging to be around.” And as adults, these stigmas become more reason to never risk or challenge themselves. By hovering, the parent is thinking they are “keeping my child safe,” but in the child’s shoes it’s a direct message that the world and other people are unsafe. Sadly, they rarely evolve out of this. Through helicopter parenting, you may also inadvertently block your child from developing their own spiritual growth and gifts.

Solution: Adopt a parenting mantra: “How does this support my child’s need to be authentic?” This will help you keep stay conscious of the fact that, as a parent, your mission is to help your child to be their own person in the world. Let’s not forget that being authentic is as much a cornerstone of spiritual enlightenment for your child as it is for you. It’s when you’re unclear on the mission that you default to “keep them safe!”

3) Shaming your children’s emotions. “You will not get angry at me!” or “Stop crying, we don’t act like that in front of people. Cheer up, I want to see a smile!” This creates a very confusing place for children with their emotions. As adults, they learn to suppress their emotions in order to get love, often creating very unhappy relationships, work-life, and illness. Worse still, they may get so good at burying the emotions that it will take a great deal of spiritual counseling for them to become conscious of those emotions.

Solution: Children are welcome to express their emotions but in private. A sacred refuge, sometimes called a time-out space, or a calming space is a perfect place for that. And if you are in public, a quiet spot outside the restaurant, like a courtyard or deck, etc., is perfect; you can stand beside them, perhaps with your back turned, and give them 5-10 minutes to express and reground themselves, and if they can learn to do that through meditation from a young age then so much the better!

4) Needing your children to be physically affectionate with you, or family or friends, as a way to show love or be polite. “Give Daddy a hug. He has had a hard day, so sit on his lap and snuggle with him.” This creates a sense that the child’s main purpose is to serve and please others, making them feel that they have no rights of their own—their existence or worthiness is sole to please others.

Solution: Ask your child if they would like a hug. “Do you feel like a hug right now? Daddy just got home, I’m sure he would like to snuggle you.” ” Would you like a hug? Aunt Janet is a great hugger!” Be sure to remain conscious of whether they feel okay about it or not, and that maybe it’s you who would really like that snuggle or hug.

**5) Making your children responsible for your emotions.**“You are making me angry!” “If you want to make mommy happy, you’ll eat all your dinner.” “You hurt my feelings because you were not listening to me.” “My kid knows where my buttons are!” This creates a sense of over-responsibility or codependency in your children, later supporting dysfunctional relationships—especially with romance, where they feel they need to be responsible for making their loved ones happy when in reality it’s not something they can control.

Solution: Being fully responsible for your own emotions is a key milestone in anyone’s spiritual awakening journey, and you can help your child along on their path of enlightenment by modeling this for them. You are of course welcome to express your emotions, but privately. A calming space is great for adults too! If you are in public, step outside to a deck or under a tree, give your kid your phone to play with, and take 5-10 conscious minutes to express and re-center yourself.

6) Discussing your intimate and private lives in detail with children. Children are emotionally unable to process these kinds of details: “I hate my boss! He’s an ass and he treats me like dirt.” “Your grandmother is crazy, she and her husband can go to hell.” Children are dependent on adults and need to feel safe in their company. Discussion of this nature can lead to rebellious behavior, discipline issues, and children acting out. Later, as adults, there remains a sense of injustice that they can’t be in control and therefore need fear and to fight.

Solution: We all need an adult friend who is on our wavelength and that we can confide in. Having kids is not a reason to skip out on creating these relationships and nourishing them. Just like a date night, parents need a “friends night out” a few nights a month. Think of it as a parenting play date, and as important as your kid’s playdates.

7) Speaking unfavorably about the other parent or other people the child knows and loves. “Your father never follows through on his word.” “Your mother is crazy; don’t pay attention to what she says, she is insane.” Our children are dependent on the primary caregivers for safety. They don’t have the ability to process that one of them may be unsafe until they are about 16-19 years old. This behavior, like the earlier examples, leads to a deep-seated feeling of injustice, stemming from a lack of clear safety.

Solution: Just don’t do it. Don’t do it!

8) Worrying. Chronic and constant worry about the state of the world, your health, safety in your home or neighborhood, and worry about your children. These children grow up to fear life and internalize that there is something very wrong with them. “Why would mommy worry so much if I was a normal kid?” Children are very good at picking things up from their parents. They develop mysterious illnesses, under-actualize as adults, and fit the stereotypical “flaky” personality.

Solution: It’s not healthy or “natural” to constantly feel doubt, fear, insecurity, or unease. Being a parent does not mean you have signed up for a lifetime of worry. All it means is that you are in over your head and you need some support. And support can be found in actively deepening your relationship to the sacred. That might be by joining a church, through meditation practice, etc. Also, it means that finding some professional support could help you navigate where to find a deeper relationship with safety and how to become conscious of your deep-seated fears so that you can unravel them and find your way to a more natural sense of ease.

9) Parents speaking unfavorably about themselves in front of the kids. “Oh, I’m so fat and hideous,” or “I’m such an idiot!” Children mirror you. A common mistake parents make is thinking if they treat their children lovingly that will be how their children treat themselves. But because children primarily learn through mirroring, how you treat yourself is more influential to their development. (This one is especially common among mothers and daughters!)

Solution: Meditation is where you can develop self-awareness. Becoming conscious of how you feel about yourself—and more importantly, how you talk to yourself—is the first step in stopping this self-bullying when you are with your kids. Your devotion to wanting your children to be free of an internal bully will help you silence yours!

10) Requiring children to suppress their authentic needs because you don’t have the skills to provide for them. This can be subtle: “You have to eat the peas and the steak on your plate!” Or more acute, as you walk into their room without knocking, you demand they clean their spaces to your preference, you demand they learn arts or sports or careers that you find appropriate, you demand they eat a vegetarian or gluten-free diet, etc. Or outrageously acute: You believe their mission in life is to take care of you. And your children were born to be your little man or woman and provide for your basic needs in your older age. These children grow up to be either deeply rebellious and out of control, unable to express or find a boundary for themselves, or become human doormats and are taken advantage of and/or easily conned by aggressive people. (Very common problem between fathers and their children!)

Solution: It’s impossible to be able to provide for all your child’s needs. So, be conscious of the basics: your primary mission is to help them be themselves in the world. That is how people become happy. An authentic person is a happy person. It’s when we are confused and feel pressure to be inauthentic that we start to suffer. Apply this insight and let this be your primary value and focus during your enlightenment as a parent!

11) Stay-at-home parents that stay at home too long! These parents mirror to their children that the children’s needs are a full-time job and therefore they can’t be successful, wage-earning, purpose-driven adults and take care of their kids. These children grow up thinking they aren’t capable of taking care of their own needs, so they always depend on others to see or be aware of themselves. They also become overly dependent on a job, a relationship or material goods to know and define themselves as successful. These children often become under-actualized adults.

Solution: If you haven’t started back to the workplace yet by the time your child is 8-11 years old, get going! It’s time for you to go to work, even if that simply means volunteering for an organization you care about. Note: one that YOU care about, not your children’s school or choir, etc. Or, go to school and get some skills. In any case, now you need to mirror what it means to be alive with purpose. That is your child’s need—more than having you get them ready for school, or be home doing the domestic chores.

12) Physically slapping, molesting, or spanking a child. When an adult is unable to solve an issue (mainly because they don’t have the skills!) they reach out and hit the child. This adult has lost all control of their feelings and is lashing out unconsciously. Your child sees this and will see it as an example to reach out and hit other children, and then once they are adults, they will hit other adults, and then their own children. These children have challenges with impulse control and usually suppressed rage. It goes against our basic integrity and dignity as humans to be physically violated in this way. Importantly, it also opens the door for your children to be hit by others. Physical violence endorsed by the parent creates physical violence as a reality for the rest of the child’s life.

Solution: It’s okay to be in way over your head. You don’t need to have all the answers or know how to deal with the really hard stuff. It’s okay to ask for support, it’s okay to take time out, and it’s really, really okay to say to your co-parent or your family or a professional you respect, “I really don’t know how to handle this, can you help me?” But it will never, NEVER be okay to touch your child in anger. I know it’s how your parents touched you, but it was not okay then either. Remember the part about taking full responsibility for your own feelings? Show your child what it’s like to be fully conscious and in control of how you react.

So, let’s start to do away with the idea that it’s “innate” to parent, and start to endorse training, skill-building, and conscious self-awareness for those who might like to parent or for those that currently are! And perhaps we can offer some real compassion for those parents who are WAY OVER THEIR HEADS. It’s really hard to parent when you have no real support or skills, and God knows that society will shame you for reaching out for some skills, and then shame you again for not being “innately perfect!”

Kiran Trace
The Ultimate Guide: How Emotional Stress Causes Physical Illness

Emotional trauma and stress are directly connected to ongoing physical illness and physical symptoms that most of us negotiate.

When we have an overwhelming fear episode, our body goes into a physical and emotional response we know as “fight or flight.” It means stress is raising our blood pressure, our blood sugar levels, and inflammation throughout the body. When emotional stress is overwhelming, our gut becomes porous, and our hormones become dysregulated. Most of our regulations pause, so most of our energy is available for hypervalent awareness. For short periods, this has no long-term effects.

However, if we are unable to recover completely from the emotional impact of the overwhelming fear or are in situations of constant distress, our bodies stay in this emergency response. Over time, when our bodies are continually being switched into “fight or flight,” we hit a point of no return. The body just stays in this emergency state and dysregulated system. This is where the long-term physical challenges come into play.

And long term “Fight or Flight” response represents a majority of our global population:

- Refugees

- People still living in war zones

- Domestic abuse

- Rape/ or sexual harassments (1-in3 persons are affected)

- Ritual abuse

- Childhood trauma

- Athletes who have pushed their body too far (the overtraining syndrome)

- Spiritual awakening, which can be a prolonged and overwhelming shock to the body/mind

- First responders in emergencies

- Any prolonged chronic physical stress

- Traumatic bodily injury: airplane crashes, mass shootings, lightning strikes, bombings, malnutrition, periods of starvation, a traumatic birthing experience

- Natural disasters

- Loss of a child or loved one

- Service in the armed forces, etc.

And for many of us, the stress of 2020 has added to this deregulated state.

Our body is alive; obviously, we all know that. The body also regulates, organizes, and drives itself.

We also know this.

We experience this every moment because we often realize that we have no awareness of our body at all, and we still drive home, digest our dinner, or walk to a meeting. The whole time our mind is in the clouds and when we become present we are a little surprised at where we are or what we are doing. So, your body is alive and engaged in an activity, without your mind being engaged in the same activity.

Even with all the scientific discoveries over the ages, we still only know a drop in the bucket about the vast systems of regulation and organization of the body. Regardless, you can sense it. You can feel the intelligence of your body. And when you are overwhelmed by fear, your body and mind need a little while and some tools to recover fully.

For instance, when you have a scare, maybe you get rear-ended, or your child has had a hospital visit, or some event gives you a good jolt, your body vibrates and holds that impact. And your body remembers, you might feel calmer a few hours later, but your body is still showing some signs of stiffness and tightness. You might not sleep well. Even though your mind has shifted gears or changed the channel, your body hasn’t. Because the body needs to recover, needs to calm down too.

Another example is a spiritual awakening. Post awakening you can have a very clear unidentified mind, but your body is still traumatized. Your body, including the energy or magnetic fields of each organ, bone, tissue, etc., are holding traumatic vibrations from your life. Our mind is not in control of that; our body is.

Signs of emotional trauma

- Spontaneous distressing recurrence of memories of the situation

- Ongoing nightmares and flashbacks

- Sweeping hostile generalizations and blame about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., “I am no good,” “All men are scum,” “The world is a dangerous place”)

- Overwhelming and constant feelings of shame, horror, anger, guilt, or fear

  • Inability or resistance to experience states of happiness or joy.

- Active and ongoing self-harming behavior

  • Hypervigilance or paranoia

- A very active “startle” response

- A very active “hide” response

In each of these cases or all of them, it means your body has not recovered from the emotional trauma, which can include physical trauma. But you can, and you need to recover, in order to regulate your body and all its vast chemicals again. Otherwise, we risk hitting that dangerous point of no return, your body is in flight or fight for too long.

Luckily, there are loads of recovery tools. In my longer 8-10 week classes, we go into lots of detail and practice with many sophisticated and deeply effective recovery tools. And especially in my class, Embodiment, we focus 5 weeks in itself, on mapping the emotional pain remaining in your system and creating a pathway of recovery based on your personal and unique wiring and your specific pain. However, there are lots of simple methods that are helpful to be aware of.

Complete list to recover from Flight or Fight and emotional stress

- Cold therapy: showers, ice baths, cold tanks, etc

- Hot therapy: showers, saunas,

- Release of gravity: float tanks, hanging upside down, laying down, water, etc

- Sunlight therapy: direct or indirect sunlight, frequency pulsation lights, sunbeds, etc

- A combination of cold then hot ( cold compresses and then hot expands, so a contraction followed by a big squeeze out is what creates the recovery)

- Food stimulants: coffee, Beer, wine, chocolate, ( usually the non-GMO, organic stuff in moderation equates to recovery)

- Hydration: drinking water, electrolytes, IV with saline, etc

- Touch: hugs, loving caresses, tender tugs, sexual orgasm, sensual massage, massage therapy, acupressure,

- Breath and oxygenating our system: Pranayama, Intentional Breathing, oxygen tanks, oxygen IVs, etc.

- Vocal healing: singing, sound baths, chants, sound healing, listening to cheerful, upbeat songs,

- Sweet: Sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc. (non-GMO, organic, in moderation equates to recovery)

- Restorative workouts: working small muscle groups, doing short cardio intervals, 1 min hard, 1 min chill for 10 or 15 mins, dancing, invigorating yoga, etc.

- Restorative stretching: Yoga, Chi Gong, fascia release, Feldenkrais, Pilates, etc

- Herbal remedy: including common homeopathic recipes like Rescue Remedy, Chaga and other mushrooms, various herbs like Tumeric or curcumin, cannabis, Chinese herbal series, etc

- Psychedelics: in microdoses, doctor-facilitated treatment series, etc

- Electronic or light pulses: stimulated at various soft tissues, the eyes, the brain, fascia, etc.

- Energy healing: Reiki, Quantum Touch, Craniosacral, and Visceral work, Acupuncture.

- Games: video games, board games, card games, word games (research has proven that inside of 24 hours of an overwhelming episode, games create a cognitive block to intrusive stressful thoughts helping the system to recover)

Understanding physical effects of unrecovered emotional trauma

In a nutshell, unrecovered trauma means low energy and/or hyper energy. And it means low or hyper hormone activity. As I mentioned, when fight or flight activates, there is no extra energy for the body, just enough to keep the lights on. Now the problem starts when the body switches on fight or flight too often, after a while it just stays on. The body won’t turn it off again, which means now you have only had this one state, emergency-only energy. That’s it, that’s your new normal.

This means you have very erratic, overstimulated, or very little energy in your battery. Perhaps you remember what it felt like to have lots of energy. Let’s say you had a 4 cylinder engine in your body, or maybe if you were an athletic or high-energy person, you had a 6 cylinder engine. But now you notice that you only have 2 cylinders or 1 cylinder, but sometimes it jumps up to 4 or 6, but then it’s back to 1, and it’s not regulating itself. In athletics, this is called Overtraining Syndrome, but it means the same thing.

It is better researched in athletes but still very inconclusive, but it is known that this Syndrome is a place you end up, not a place you visit and then recover and return to normal. It doesn’t turn around; it doesn’t recover back to the way it was. We know that some energy will come back over the years if there is excellent and efficient recovery, but it will never fully return to what was.

Because the body is alive, it has a memory, and it has its own governance. Trauma affects the body as much as the mind, and when that flight or fight has just finally had it and stays fully on, you have a different body and a different system to manage and heal and support.

Now, because the body is only working with “emergency-only” system s, a number of other ailments begin to creep in


Physical Symptoms of Emotional Trauma

Really the list is huge because we are so unique but erratic and dysregulated hormones can create all kinds of injury and chronic issues:

- Cold hands and feet

- Menstrual irregularities

- Challenged sexual interest and performance

- Arthritis

- Joint, muscle, or tissues issues

- Metabolic challenges, digestion complications, and Autoimmune challenges

- Sleep problems or chronic insomnia

- Chronic fatigue

- Overly sensitive to environmental toxins ( the body is not eliminating well)

- Prone to falling down, clumsy and/or awkwardly bumping into things

- Knee, hip, feet alignment challenges

- Food allergies

- Joint or muscle issues including tightness or laxity,

- Anything that our hormones govern because flight or fight affects your hormone production.

So in the simplest terms, behind every dysregulated hormone response is a blocked buildup of emotional residue.

So, in order to recover from emotional trauma, we need to recover physically to help calm and restore the body, and we need to heal our emotional and mental states.

Luckily, there are loads of recovery tools for over or underactive mental and emotional states!

How to cope with intrusive thoughts?

- Meditation

- Energy healing: EFT, cranial-sacral, quantum touch, acupuncture, Reiki, etc

- Cognitive reframing: Mentally reviewing the incidents to see it from a broader perspective, or an entirely different point of view, sometimes called “clear thinking.”

- Positive reframing: affirmations, mantras, or statements that are based on clear thinking

- Natural environments: walking in the woods, sitting near the ocean

- Therapy or coaching: finding someone safe, supportive, and clearly untriggered by your emotional pain for private coaching

- Group support: Groups of people that have the same intrusive thoughts and emotions

- Connection to a higher power: Church, spirituality, finding a deeper connection to your life.

Understanding how collective emotional pain affects our emotional stress

This overactivated state of fight and flight is also affected by collective energy fields of dysregulated or hyper energy.

For instance, can you feel the energy of overwhelming fear? You feel that energy because everything emits an energy field or signature. Your own body had a magnetic field; that is why some people are instantly attracted to you, and some people and deeply repelled. And visa versa. Another person is emitting energy, and it’s either comfortable and attractive to you or uncomfortable and awkward to you.

The earth’s magnetic field also emits and affects your energy. And other environmental areas affect the earth’s energy. Like when you walk in the forest, nature influences your energy. And if we build a garbage dump beside that forest or have a nuclear meltdown near that forest, that forest will be affected and start to emit a different energy field.

Now, if your energy field is already overactive, then it’s going to be even more challenging and painful to go to an event, say a rock concert where there is a big super activated field. But if you go to an event that has a big soothing field of energy, say a yoga or meditation class or the woods, your energy field will be affected differently, it will be soothed.

Think about a huge, busy, noisy ball game arena, or festival and parade. There is an energy being activated that affects you. Also a war zone, or refugee camp. But also a funeral, or if you visit a home where a lot of misery or abuse is occurring. But also if you visit a theatre where a lot of laughter has just happened.

You get my point.

When your own system is overactivated these environments can be overwhelming to the point of creating a large disconnection in your own system. A balanced energy system can feel when something is off base. But an unbalanced or dysregulated system can’t feel that as obviously but is deeply affected never-the-less. This is why some traumatized people are prone to falling down; their ligaments can’t feel where the body’s balance is, especially when in motion. When your own system is overactivated it’s easy to disconnect from that system. When we disconnect from ourselves, we take unqualified risks; we move in slightly or aggressively violent ways to our own system. But when we are very connected, very sensitive, we act in integral ways or ways that are informed by our whole energy field’s intelligence and the energy field of the environments we inhabit.

So, emotional trauma is something we need to recovery for. But it can take years. But this is not a terrible thing; we could actually look at it as a kind of superpower.

Let’s examine the benefits of healing emotional stress and trauma; that is where you start to see the intelligence and the purpose of our amazing system or information and organization in our bodies.

Traumatized people’s superpowers

Pain is a magnificent teacher. For many of us, all the wisdom we ever gained and every transformation we ever won was because of pain. The cool thing about pain is that you are organically capable of transmuting it. And pain itself is a vast agency to transform it. That’s a fancy way to say pain is terrible, and it forces you to look for a solution to end that terrible sensation.

That is part of the organic capacity you have, and the amazing teacher it is. What I call the inborn agency of pain. The other part is that pain is not your natural setting. That is why it’s painful; it is not naturally occurring. It’s a condition of extraneous effort and misalignment.

So, emotional pain can transform, and the cool thing is that when it transforms, it upgrades your capacity and your resiliency! When you have a heartbreak, you can fully recover and when that happens, you will be able to open to love again. Except now your ability to love has much more depth and breadth. And that means the love will be much deeper and fulfilling, you will have better boundaries and communication skills and most likely will choose a more naturally aligned partner to love.

The very recovery and healing create so many insights, and new patterns and overall create a larger capacity for love.

See, superpower!

Sometimes, those with emotional trauma become lone wolves, prefer to be autonomous and responsible for themselves. This usually creates more individual growth and resourcefulness.

Also, those who have had huge amounts of emotional trauma can’t be easily fooled or easily swayed. They know their own minds and are going to look for real facts, reality, and be aware of invisible traps. They also tend to be pretty honest.

(Versus people with some trauma, but haven’t had enough pain that they have to find a solution, those dudes are usually dishonest, and tend to hide as much as possible.)

Often, people with lots of emotional trauma are resilient; they don’t take anything at face value, don’t get very hooked by small things, aren’t easily faked, and are therefore better at evaluating risk.

Also, very traumatized people are usually really fluent at taking risks.

As the saying goes, wisdom is born of pain. But so are joy and fulfillment; these capacities come on board when you transform pain. So the very deep, very cool humans have usually been carved out of emotional trauma.

The final recovery

We live in a culture and society that pressurizes us to be fine and pretend everything is okay. “Fake it, till you make it” “Smile and pretend you are fine!” Below are the actual signs that show up when you fully recover from emotional trauma:

- Willingness to be vulnerable and open

- Deep discernment instead of judgment

- Great fluency with personal Boundaries

- Clear and detailed communication, especially of personal desires

- Hugely responsible and accountable instead of rule-following

- A depth of wisdom that is unusual

- Effervescent playfulness and joy

- Very connected and intimate relationships

- Ability to perceive the details in the depth of a situation, not just the surface details

- Clear and aware mental states

- Ongoing communication about their personal challenges

- Willingness to appear imperfect

- Ownership of personal hangups and peeves

There really is magic, it’s not a fairy tale; it’s real and the most pragmatic magic is the reality that you can be wholeness and be held in true safety and fulfillment. But you have to drop the allegiance to suffering and pain. You have to be truly done with the fight and really willing to heal.

We can understand that our trauma is more than a tragedy. It is an insight, and even more than that, it is the deeper intelligence of life poking through our foggy mind veiled in fear-filled stories about the “problems.” It was like asking us to evolve past a primal fear belief system.

This is no easy task. It requires you to look very deep, to pierce through the story of what happened, and notice you survived. And at this moment, reading these words, you are safe. And even with all these physical and emotional challenges, safety is looking very deeply at reality instead of your ideas about how scary life is.

This is possible, and it is possible in a relatively short period of time.

Because it is true.

And the truth, or reality, will always be the most real thing about this moment.

Kiran Trace
How to Heal Emotionally | The 5 Key Stages

Emotional healing is an ever-deepening process. However, we can often fall for the illusion that tells us, “ _one day, I will be healed._” This little controlling voice starts driving you towards perfection, taking charge of your transformations.

Undoubtedly, our society has very few accurate definitions of what a truly transformed life looks like. That makes the little “ _one day, I will be healed_” voice imagine all kinds of scenarios of wellbeing. From waking up to sun-filled mornings to craving green drinks and superfoods instead of caffeine and sugar. And, of course, days with plenty of time to workout and meditate before you skip to your dream job… and, it goes without saying that you are an “awakened” being.

You never have fits of rage, jealousy, or inconsolable grief, and never any physical pain or social isolation. In a nutshell, being “healed” is some version of “perfection”.

Ultimately, these are all illusions. What real healing is remains in the dark, unspoken—and, sadly, rarely seen. We as a society sell these illusions of wellbeing, and contain our depression and pain as the model of health. We have greatly miscalculated how deep the human capacity for emotional healing is. We underestimate the full transformation that every one of us has at our disposal, regardless of the depth of our pain.

In my book, Tools for Sanity, I wrote the formula for transformation—four essential steps that have to be taken. Every one of these steps is profoundly simple and available to each and every one of us. The steps are simple but not necessarily easy. Especially if one or two of those steps happen to land in your particular blind spot. So I want to outline the stages of healing and what that full journey looks like ––beginning to end.

My real intention here is to walk you through what is truly possible. If you understand what you can achieve, my hope is that you will be inspired to keep going.

Stage 1 – acknowledgement and willingness to find emotional healing

This sucks! I can’t live like this! It all has to change.

Here is the truth: you don’t start a real transformation until you are 100% willing to abandon the pattern that is causing your suffering. Ironically, to even begin the journey, you have to first be totally over it. Easier said than done!

Being over it feels different than wanting to be over it, as I wrote about in, A Human Dilemma. Being totally over it feels more like your whole system is echoing, “ENOUGH!”. It sounds like, “ **I’m so done with this!**”

Although we may be in searing pain, many of us actually feed off this pain. As horrible as it sounds, we all do it to some extent. Part of us wants the pain. We have built huge identities around our own “failure to thrive”.

We stay in cahoots with the pain and feed on it through a subtle unwillingness to step into deeper peace. Or we stay in cahoots with the pain because we need to remember the injustice, the lack of support, or the fighting. Be it fighting for justice, fighting for visibility or fighting for change. If you are fighting for it, or fighting it, sadly, the claws of your inner pain still have you firmly hooked. And I’m sorry to say that you are not yet ready or ripe for any real transformation. But the knowledge of this healing process is something that you can store when that time does come for you.

Being hooked by pain is super juicy, dramatic, and passionate, and it makes for awesome politics and social media stories, and even better books and movies. Nevertheless, Stage 1 only really begins when you have truly sobered up to the feeding-off-pain pattern, and are starting to see it all differently. For most humans, this happens when the pain gets so bad that they hit “rock bottom”. But for some lucky humans, it means they are just finally over it: they just can’t get hooked by the injustice or worthless or unloved parts, and instead it feels like, “ **I am so over all this mess. I am not playing. I will not engage.**”

Usually when I’m talking to someone, I can tell if there’s a real willingness for healing and transformation within five minutes. But you can too… you just don’t trust it.

In summary: only in the willingness to find another way will you find another way. And that marks the first step towards real healing.

Stage 2 – the continuation of emotional suffering

I have been at this forever, and the pain is still here. What the fuck?!? I should just die.

(Around 40% down the transformation highway.)

This is a really brutal stage; it’s super, super uncomfortable. You may enter this stage 20 minutes or 20 years into your journey. The latter would be because you’ve spent 19½ of the past 20 years a little caught in fighting for your unworthiness or fighting the injustice of your pattern. (Isn’t that the worst! “ 1 foot out, 1 foot in” I call it. Sucks!)

Regardless, ever since you entered Stage 1 (being totally “over it”), you have been changing, shifting, and transforming. But now the pain is looping back in to try and hook you again, with the most hooky voice ever: “ **I have been doing this forever, and nothing has changed!**” This is the voice of injustice, and it’s very tempting to believe in it. But this story is not true. It’s never true.

When someone tells their “I’ve been at this forever and nothing is happening” story to me, 100% of the time I can point to some change and transformation that has already occurred, because this voice shows up after you’re already 40% of the way down the road. In terms of your healing journey, 40% of your fight, your drama, your foolishness has been transformed and is behind you. 40% is a lot! But this story will make you pause, and make it really hard to see these changes.

Stage 3 – the acceptance of your emotions

It’s okay. This is life. You just gotta live with it. I can accept this, and I work to manage it. Heartbreak is required for our hearts to grow.

(Around 60% down the transformation highway.)

This is a really tricky stage because our culture and society think this is the final stage: the end of the road. So when this story starts playing in your head, the world totally agrees with it, echoing the voices in your head: “Yes, the tragedy of your patterns and life situations are big, and you have come a long, long way. Time heals, and the pain is less intense, but some part of you will never be the same… Yup, that is how life is!”

Again, this is great for books and movies—it’s like a happily-ever-after with realism and the gritty truth of the human experience.

What makes getting past this stage a little tricky is that we haven’t been real about what the healing journey really is. We fake it, and we fake the truth of what it entails. News and social media blast us with totally false, delusional storylines:

“Keep depression at bay by going for a walk every day.”

“Feeling blue? Volunteer and serve others, and that will get you out of your rut.”

“Anger is poison; forgive and get on with it.”

We as a global culture still think it’s disempowering to be an indoor gal focusing on healing, keeping journals and making daily inquiries and inventories. Therefore, very few honest and mature expressions map out the details of this journey.

When you get to this stage of healing, you understand that the pain is diminishing somewhat, and it’s okay overall. You don’t need to go for a walk, throw forgiveness at it, or make the world a better place. You’re at a powerful place. To finally accept your pain, and accept your life as it is, is very powerful stuff. This is 60% of the way towards a full transformation. There is a lot more peace in comparison to the suffering in Stage 1. But the good news is, you got a shit-ton more healing and peace coming for you if you keep going.

Stage 4 – the compassionate phase of how to heal emotionally

This is my gift. I know this is my hero journey. I get it.

(Around 90% down the transformation highway.)

This is a great place to be. There is a lot of willingness to look, and a lot of willingness to change. Your life feels very different.

Now, there is a bunch of social pressure for people to pretend to be at this stage when they’re really at Stage 2. You are still really angry and heartbroken inside, but you decide to throw a bunch of forgiveness at it as a balm to calm down, thus repressing your pain and suffering. Perhaps you are working really hard to see the other point of view, but still get triggered pretty easily and you lose it. Rage kicks up and you start the cycle over again. Maybe by throwing some forgiveness balm on it or giving it to God, you can manage to calm the fuck down… once again.

But when you are legitimately at this stage, you are in love with your anger, with your heartbreak. Not in an indulgent way, desperately hoping to be seen and heard, but in a real way: you actually like it, and you kind of want to love all over it.

At this stage, you don’t have to practice accepting or forgiving. Nobody needs to tell you or remind you to do that; it’s actually all you want to do. You kind of want to say “No” to the invites to the beach BBQs, or friends’ birthdays, or even a romantic getaway. All because you’ve got this sweet, intimate party already happening inside. You just want to sit in the bath, or on the couch, or alone in the dark, and cherish all the pain in your system—I don’t mean indulge in, I mean savor.

Weird, I know, but oh so delicious.

Almost nobody is talking about this stage. But it is a sure sign that you are near the end. It’s not THE end—there is a little bit more to go—but you don’t care, because you’ve got this sweet, sweet love going on inside. For all the juicy wounded bits, you’ve got a real tenderness flowing. That feels like peace, not pain. So who cares what is happening? Your control over how to heal emotionally likely sinks to the background. You only want to keep discovering this legitimate tenderness that is in love with everything inside of you.

Stage 5 – the exposure of reality

OMG, this wasn’t even about my beloved’s death / my health crashing / my violent childhood / cultural and systemic endorsement of sexism & racism / my awakening / ______. Nothing I thought was even true.

This, my friends, is the final stage of transformation. It is rare to see, but only because we aren’t talking about it. Our “experts” don’t know about it, mostly because they haven’t walked it directly. As I’ve mentioned, our society so loves to think the 60% mark is the finish line.

But a full transformation brings you into total dissolve of the issue, and laughing about all that drama that you thought was real. And I would wager that in only a few things – small things– have you reached this stage within your life. Ironically, you know something is totally over in your life when you suddenly know, for a fact, that none of it was what you thought it was. None of it!

You can’t fake this stage. Even reading about it sounds preposterous. I mean, of course my beloved died, of course my family is dysfunctional, of course there is huge injustice in the world. However, at this stage of how heal emotionally, you see directly through all of it.

More to the point, you can’t pretend that those old storylines that had you in such a grip are true. All you can do is laugh at yourself. And at this stage, it’s a full belly laugh. A full Buddha laughing at how the illusion seemed so real, and how you got all spun up over it.

Bonus: Stage 6 – the desire to re-transform

Wow… can I do that all over again?

This sounds pretty shocking to anyone who is in stages 1-4. But here’s the thing: getting all the way to a full transformation is ironically very simple, not easy at all, but simple. As you continue down the road in amazement of what your life is like now, you feel a deep aliveness. You feel a real hunger for all the ups and downs of life. It feels like you are so happy to be you, and to be you on planet earth.

The funny thing is that you kind of feel like you would sign up to do it all again. Because now you see that it wasn’t even true to start with. You kinda want to watch the whole thing unfold again, knowing what you know now. Like when you see a movie with a shocking twist at the end. You didn’t see it coming and the entire film turned upside down and you’re like, “ _Show it to me again! I want to see where the truth was poking out the whole time, I want to see what I missed._”

And that is the bonus stage of healing emotional pain: the part where you actually want to do all the drama, pain, suffering, and fight all over again. But this time though at a slower pace, so you can see where the truth was winking away at you the whole time!

Ironically, then, is when it is really over.

This is what is possible for you. I can promise you that each step is simple and straightforward. And everything you need is right under your ass.

But it will not be easy. These stages will challenge every single illusion you are fighting for.

But if you are ready… join us for Embodiment, the first class in my three-class series where I walk you step by step through this process.

If you haven’t read Tools for Sanity, you can get your own copy at my website.

And if you suspect that you are not even at Stage 1 yet, read Jill Blakeway’s book Energy Medicine… it will help you get there!


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