Is Old, Unprocessed Trauma Burning You Out?

Uncategorized Jul 14, 2019

This week, all sorts of great things are happening. First, tomorrow is the release of the first episode of FRIED: The Ultimate Guide To Burnout Podcast. My first guest is Ashley Rose, a Transformational Life Coach who helps women to transform trauma that is keeping them stuck and burning them out.

A week before I started to do interviews for the podcast, I wrote the following passage in the book I am working on and because it touches on today’s subject, you are all getting a sneak peak 😉 That’s the second great thing that is happening. The third? I start physical therapy tomorrow to get this foot back in action! YAY!!!

Sneak peak from the book:

As I write this book, I am teasing out everything that has happened to me and working through things that I need to in order to heal myself. The more I read, write, and research, the more I keep coming back to the idea of trauma. I am not qualified in a traditional sense to talk about trauma but here’s what I know and feel.

I had an overall good life. More positive than most and I didn’t have a huge number of instances that traditionally would have caused major traumas. No early deaths, no abuse of any kind, no hunger or neglect were a part of my life. But yet, as it does, some trauma landed in my bones and needs to be shaken out.

Trauma, to me, is a significant stress response to a situation in life that you never fully process and it gets stuck. Physically, there are brain changes related to trauma (this goes into PTSD) but even without those brain changes, there are physical changes to the body – tensions, pains, aches, impaired function that are trauma lodged in the tissues.

Burnout folks? We are often large, wandering, highly functional traumatized individuals.

We play the game right, we follow the rules, but our body keeps breaking down on us because we haven’t addressed the underlying issues in our tissues that are keeping us in a state that allows us to be easily triggered – even when, or especially when, we also seem put together on the outside so we won’t even admit it.

When I write things like: I feel shame – my whole body rejects the idea that this is possible and it makes me feel like a fraud. But I know, somewhere inside that the emotion is true and real. I simply cannot admit to myself that it is the case. How can someone as smart as I am feel that way about that situation? I know emotions don’t always follow a logical pattern (and one of my favorite things to tell patients is: Emotions aren’t logical!) but I have a hard time accepting that I actually feel all these really difficult feelings somewhere inside there.

Emotions aren’t always logical because they are often reactions that are coded and melded into our brains through situations that happened years, if not decades, earlier and have no connection to the present day. They are traumas. We are being triggered and because we don’t understand it, we don’t accept it.

I’ve met a few people over the years who I felt that I could help but only ever made enough progress for them to be satisfied, but not healed. When I look at this from a distance, I see one thing is clear: trauma, if left in the body, will not allow us to heal properly.

My first experience with trauma healing was at a 2-week Practitioner Level Self-Cultivation retreat in Beijing in 2015. Leading up to the retreat, I was asked to do 100 days of an ‘old issues’ clearing meditation. I did it diligently, even getting out of bed to do it at night if I had forgotten during the day. When I was at the retreat I learned that this meditation was stage one and there was a stage two coming that we would experience together as a group.

The stage two had us standing around a room, facing the wall, with puke bowls in front of us in case we needed them. I thought it was crazy, but I was intrigued. We listened to our instructions and we did the 20-minute meditation required of us. On the first day, about halfway through, the woman next to me threw up. I didn’t see it happen as we were not allowed to open our eyes during the meditation. When we finally came to the end, her bowl had a small amount of thick, black, tarry liquid in it. It looked like nothing that could come out of a human body. She had had a stroke earlier that year and immediately following this session, she regained some movement in her arm. We never found out what was in the bottom of that bucket, but I do know that the shine came back into her eyes after that day.

There is no question in my mind that trauma is responsible for some of the reasons 1-6 (in the book, there’s are a list of reasons that we burn out :)), the reason we people please, are triggered, are emotional, and find ourselves following rules that don’t really work for us. We are stuck in patterns, emotionally and physically that we need to breakthrough.

So, this podcast is going to get started with a bang. With a real talk about trauma, and how we can deal with it. You can listen tomorrow by:

1. Heading over to: and clicking play on the player that  appears on the screen

2. Searching: FRIED: The Burnout Podcast in iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher

Tomorrow, if this episode resonates with you, I encourage you to send it to friends and family that might need to hear the message too.

If you’re on iTunes, clicking the subscribe button (it’s free!) and giving us a 5-star rating is the best way to let us know that we’re doing a good job and it helps spread the word to others as well.

I’ve said it before: no one ever does anything alone.

This podcast becoming a success depends on the support from everyone who listens in.

We can do this together. We can change the Burnout Culture.

Our futures depend on it.




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