BUILDING A STRONG
SELF-CARE IS SELF-HEALING
Unfortunately, most of us are not getting our basic physical needs met on a regular basis and it's actually deeply impacting our emotional, mental, social, and spiritual health. We are living so differently than how we evolved, many of us unknowingly suffer from unresolved trauma. When our body's stress level gets too high, our nervous system gets overwhelmed and switches over into "trauma mode." Most of us don't even know that it's happening. It can cause us to feel stuck, depressed, numb, insomnia, distracted, in hyper-drive, over-intellectualizing, unable to help ourselves, and sometimes even suicidal.
Most of us are not taught to cope with the "negative emotions" caused by our nervous system and instead are often punished for "misbehaving" as children, causing us more trauma. In reality, we have little control over these evolved stress and trauma responses, especially when we remain unaware of them. The best thing we can do to jump-start our trauma recovery is to do our best to take good physical care of ourselves in the same ways in which we evolved. By creating a strong foundation for physical health, our emotional, mental, social, and spiritual health align naturally allowing us a greater capacity to change our deeply rooted dysfunctional patterns.
The Art of Self-Healing Pyramid is a conceptual model that emphasizes self-care from the bottom up addressing physical needs first. Similar to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, it outlines the basic ideal needs for each category. Phoenix teaches her students in detail how to move from learned stress/trauma responses into the more ideal states of being by addressing our evolved needs. She teaches tools and techniques to address each area of need in the pyramid extensively. For example, scientists are finding out that our gut health is deeply connected to our mental health. What we eat plays a great impact on what hormones are produced and what signals get sent. Turns out, our gut sends 400 times the signals to our brain than our brain does to the rest of our body! You literally are what you eat and it's critical to your mental health to know what diet works best for you. Phoenix knows so many shortcuts and tools, so please take advantage of her classes, support groups, and social media content on Instagram and Facebook.
You can use The Art of Self-Healing Pyramid on your own using what you already know right now. Start by addressing any physical needs that make sense to you in the moment, then move up the pyramid accordingly.
For example, let's say you're grieving right now. You're not sleeping well or eating proper meals, and feel stuck wanting to hide in your bed all day. What in the bottom of the pyramid sounds most helpful? Feel into each option for yourself without overthinking it. Still not sure? Breathing is usually a great place to start. It's always accessible to us and just 5 minutes of deep breathing can make a big difference. It could help you move from panicked to anxious. Any reduction in your symptoms is a win! You're not going to feel 100% better and that's okay. Accept yourself where you are.
You'll use what you already know to address your needs in each category in a way that works for you. For instance, you may already be doing yoga occasionally and could benefit from a more regular practice. Or perhaps you've already done some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy work and found it helpful for reducing your symptoms. Use what you know to help yourself in ways that make sense to you.
Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to do too many things at once! That's a classic move for someone with unresolved trauma. We take on too much, too quickly and then burn out. Take your time and make little adjustments to your weekly, and then daily habits. It may be a bit like fishing around in the dark at first to find what really works for you and you may need to discover new skills to meet all your needs. But after a while you'll learn the unique needs of your body, mind and spirit, so that you can heal holistically and really take flight!
Please note, if you are a childhood trauma survivor, your healing could be a lifelong journey. It does get easier though! But you may find yourself going through multiple levels of healing throughout your lifetime. It's best to embrace the journey. We can only process and integrate so much at a time. However, you may find yourself making bigger leaps with a basic understanding of how self-healing works and regular use of this pyramid. Awareness is the first step towards healing and we all have to start somewhere. We are on this journey together! You got this. <3