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Reframing Trauma to Make Space for Joy

Updated: Feb 9, 2023

By healing yourself you heal the world.

Have you noticed that many people are focused on clearing trauma these days? You may be too.

The vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. - Carl Jung

If humanity is at a point in evolution to recognize trauma for what it is, this is a good thing; there is progress, awareness is taking place, and from my perspective, there is a collective waking up.

If you are examining your traumatic background, or your nervous system reactions, begin also to look to reframe your thoughts and ask your higher intelligence, your "leader within" if there is a new way to think about your trauma. Giving yourself a new frame of reference will bring unique solutions to any long-term problem. This is a core element in the work I do and I admire leaders who are on the cutting edge of changing our trauma paradigms into goodwill actions.

In this post, I mention a few inspired leaders and the work they are doing to reframe trauma.

Trauma reframing can inspire you to lean towards a way that, as Marie Kondo, the author of the KonMari Method, says, "To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose."

In my experience, reframing is core work that applies for any house you are working on in your LifeStar lifestyle design system, any part of you that is holding onto trauma whether it is spiritual or in the mind, heart, body even in your work or around money, definitely relationships and the environment. The transmuting, transcending trauma work is at the center of transformation.

First ask yourself, " What sparks joy for me?" The more you reframe your trauma to gear towards joy, the faster you will heal.

To support the reframing concept, I recommend a few Netflix documentaries:

The first is, Mission: Joy - Finding Happiness in Troubled Times. A documentary about the long-standing friendship between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Arch-Bishop Desmond Tutu. Two people who have dealt with much suffering but still choose to cultivate joy.

"When people decide to be free, absolutely nothing is going to stop them from being free" Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu.

In cognitive reframing, according to Buddhist psychology, your outlook is to change the way you see the world. Liberation frees you to look at your situation from another perspective.

"The ultimate Source of a meaningful life is within our own self" - His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Changing the way you see requires changing the way you look. Focusing on not' how can I escape' but 'how can I use this for good' is one of the perspectives.

We all have the opportunity to transmute negativity into goodness.

Some of the other wise words shared between these two friends:

  • Acts of kindness for others increase 'immunity happiness'

  • Make more friends

  • Trust

  • Be Wise selfish versus foolish selfish

  • While you are alive, your life should be meaningful, not adding more problems to the planet

  • Suffering is what makes us appreciate the joy

  • Well-being is a skill and can help us to learn a happier life

  • Nurturing the mind by taking time for prayer and quiet

  • Death meditation to rebirth

  • What is right in your life right now

For more about these two grown world leaders who have experienced endless trauma yet act in joy like 12-year old boys with each other, go to

Other ways people transmute trauma show up in two other Netflix documentaries:

1) Descendent. Descendants of the survivors from the Clotilda celebrate their heritage and take command of their legacy, as the discovery of the

remains of the last-known slave ship to arrive in the United States offers them a tangible link to their ancestors. This is really deep. One of the ways to heal ancestral trauma is to recover what was lost. You can do this through so many techniques but when you recover a piece of history/herstory that was lost, it is profound.

2) Live to Lead. Extraordinary leaders reflect on their legacies and share messages of courage, compassion, humility, hope, and generosity. Inspired by the iconic legacy of Nelson Mandela, Live to Lead highlights the fundamental

values, daily disciplines, and guiding principles that leaders employ to motivate others and create meaningful change. Featured interviews include: former U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; climate change activist Greta Thunberg; social justice attorney and advocate Bryan Stevenson; New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern; South Africa's national rugby union team captain and social inequality campaigner Siya Kolisi; feminist icon and social justice activist Gloria Steinem; and anti-apartheid activist and former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa Albie Sachs. Live to Lead is a Nelson Mandela Foundation project produced by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

All of these documentaries show that trauma can be reframed into healing when there is something good in the focus and perspective that comes. But the good comes because you start looking for this reframe. It requires good self or assisted leadership. Not as a denial substitute but a yearning and a calling to become whole.

Is this wholeness created through healing trauma for oneself? Yes. Yet, it involves taking that healing and finding ways to serve others.

Leadership is a way to transform pain into purpose. And the best leaders have been through trauma and pain and have used it to help and guide others. For this reason, these three documentaries are on my list of recommendations as "be the change" leadership examples.

Reframing, clearing, and healing trauma is a collective human practice.

I use a few protocols for reframing trauma with clients including: Inner child healing; Ancestral healing; Energy clearing; Emotional body work

One technique that works well is Clearing the Heart Wall. You can pretty much tell if you have a heart wall by these symptoms:

  • Hard to forgive

  • Not open to love

  • Feel numb around the center of your chest

  • Edgy, jaded or guarded, caustic moods and language

  • Trust issues

Sound familiar? Just listen to your heart. You will know if a heart wall is present in you, if you take a moment, take a breath, close your eyes, and put a hand over the center of your chest. Just listen, breathe and feel.

You will get triggered into 'clearing the heart wall' work, by going for your dreams or even being in a relationship. Issues arise. The idea is to deal with them consciously, not let them sit there and fester for years which can then lead to health and relationship issues.

Clearing the Heart Wall is helpful and will need your attention and focus time to remove the blocks to love, unity and purpose.

Just by living life and going for your dreams, old hurts may come to the surface to be healed and released. When we humans experience trauma, it gets stored in the heart. The thing that clears the heart wall is forgiveness, and it is one of the hardest things to do when you are hurt. But it is what works!

Continue to notice if you still hold onto grudges, resentments, and past injustices. Choose to forgive because otherwise, you are bound to the person!!

If you want to be free of all that junk and free of "them," forgiving will help you let them go. Your heart will thank you.

Clearing heart walls is one of the main pieces of work I do in my self-care practice and professionally with clients, and it's magic because all this emotional psychic real estate gets freed up to make room for the good dreams to come in again.

Forgiveness does involve clearing past contracts and ancestral lines because issues are often inherited. Realize your ancestors did the best they could with what they knew.

Most importantly, forgiving yourself ( because you can't truly forgive someone unless you have forgiven yourself) opens up the heart and breaks down the heart wall to let love in again.

Love and loss, unfortunately, seem to go hand in hand. Part of the reframing of trauma is accepting this fact. You can have the best relationships in the world, but at some point, we, they, and you will leave, either through death or some other way. Heartbreaking, tis true. But, the sooner you can accept, the less you will take life for granted.

When the heart breaks, be intentional to let the break open to allow more love and joy in your life. Doing so will make the difference between living an ordinary or an extraordinary life.

To love takes courage. To see that love is not a sentiment necessarily but as a practice to allow the continuum of allowing love to stream through and beyond hurt will keep the energy flowing rather than damning up. It is a constant practice.

A meaningful life starts within. Good leadership involves being accountable for your shadow as well as your light. Keep an eye on both. In this way, you will transcend trauma.

You may bear witness to the fact that everyone is traumatized to some extent. Yet, the indomitable human spirit prevails and thank goodness still inspired toward evolution.

When you see people on social media talking about trauma and trying to name what has made them that way, it is the beginning of awareness, and awareness truly heals.

One must be careful of labeling trauma in psychiatric terminology, i.e., narcissism, borderline personality, bipolar, and manic. I would steer clear of labeling unless professionally trained in diagnosing mental conditions because oftentimes issues are way more or less than a label. I really try to steer clear as I can just feel the 'pigeon-hole' one gets into as soon as they "identify" or label a person because it is never the full picture. This is a whole subject on it's own.

Trauma can manifest as possessions, personality disorders, and many other energetic diagnosable and non-diagnosable anomalies. Just doing the energy work, emotional bodywork, or ancestral work can free up a person in many ways beyond a diagnostic.

I am not fond of labels because, most of the time, they limit the ability to heal moving forward. Labeling will freeze you unless you decide to work it out; in that case, it will show you where you are. In my opinion, a diagnostic will never determine how far you or someone else can go. I have seen true transformation in clients that were labeled.

On the other side of trauma, it may look like healing. But healing is just the way through. The destination of trauma is transcendence—and, finally, service.

The goal is to turn your pain into purpose and your purpose into a passion so you can, like many of the leaders in the documentaries 'Finding Joy' and 'Live to Lead,' spark joy. By doing so, you will participate in positive reframing. And, the more humans participating in this practice, the better our world becomes. You can't do that effectively with a heart wall.

As a leader, you are responsible for cleaning up your stuff, inclduing heart walls. Make it a daily practice just like sparking joy. As Carl Jung says, "he who looks within, awakens."

May you transmute your trauma into transcendence, so you can truly transform your life, leadership and legacy.

See you on the IN Side! ✨

You are invited to get on a Free Connect Call to reframe your pain into purpose.

© Copyright 2023. All Rights Reserved. Holly Shantara - Divining the Divine®️ On The Go Guidance & LifeStar Coaching®️ For The New Human Leader


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