features21735An Indigenous Approach To Healing TraumaBy Jonathan Davis on Monday July 20th, 2015The Healing Power of Listening in StillnessPeople have always experienced pain, and in the vast span of time before the colonial expansion of western culture, indigenous cultures weren’t without their methods of dealing with trauma.For centuries we’ve largely ignored the wisdom of those among us who are still directly connected to ancestral ways of knowledge. As our modern lifestyle collides with the fact that our Earth is not capable of supporting our current way of life, we are finally starting to look to those who once lived in a state of indefinite sustainability and abundance, for a way forward.“In order to have sustainable community you have to make sure the people are sustainable. This means healing trauma.”– Jarmbi Githabul, Narakwal / Githabul CustodianWhat is Dadirri?“Dadirri is inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness. Dadirri recognises the deep spring that is inside us. We call on it and it calls to us. This is the gift that Australia is thirsting for. It is something like what you call ‘contemplation’.”– Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, Ngangiwumirr Elder
and at the end of the year – I am clean and sober.
I AM PRETTY ANGRY TONIGHT – just for tonight.
I guess it isn’t easy for people to know what kind of battles another person is fighting. I also figure that many people, if not most, thought I looked OK. Reality was that WALKING was extremely difficult. I used to look at the Footbridge and think – I shall walk to the end of it once more. I hadn’t been able to do that for a long time – even before Izzy died.
Trouble was that the left leg required conscious effort to make it move at all and walking even short distances was difficult. Breathing was impaired and fatigue ruled me. IN addition, my body began to spasm and seize up and I became afraid and exhausted by the pain and the onset of it which was unpredictable and generally without warning.
SOME DAYS , I could walk the 100-200 metres to this end of the Footbridge from my Beachshack and look out along the Bridge where our family has walked since the 1940s. I won the battle. I have walked it now and sometimes quite easily. Once by myself. Sometimes with support and once before dawn with Shaz.
I struggled with fluid all year until the Doc in Liverpool changed the tablets and now I have ankles and some mobility and easing of the Balloon Woman Feeling. The Liverpool Doc also thought the obesity was causing a lot of problems and likewise that was another Battle of 2015. I have begun to eliminate the truly fattening foods and will see what comes next.
But in January – I simply wanted to WALK to the end of the Footbridge. Out to the mouth of the river.
I HAVE BEEN using the word BATTLE – even though we are taught in AA that we are n o longer fighting anything or anyone. Maybe its the Battling of these things that has been destroying me. And maybe not.
One of the other Battles has been to maintain this Shack and the gardens and caravan. One I was losing bigtime till Rem and Don moved in next door and took it over. They have gone now and the Battle is back on. It was pretty wild in February and I just stood at the back door and looked at it askance. Likewise the housework.
I have also been struggling with the dimensions of my character which have always or long time been there. The agorophobic tendencies and the tendency to sink into despair or go into hysterics. The illness, shock and grief exacerbated that. Each time I left the house was against resistance and still is.
Today I took myself up to Izzy’s spot in the forest where the car promptly overheated same as the Alfa. I was fortunate because Koala John pulled up in his red Suzuki and helped me out and turned out he is doing Yard work and handyman. $25 per hour. Maybe I have been sent an answer.
And then of course – I am lonely. I was alone for a long time – and then I wasn’t and now I am once more – and from time to time , it devastates me. It is not easy without him.
You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Finish each day and be done with it. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Two of the most useless phrases in the English language are “what if” and “if only.” We waste so much time and energy thinking about what we might have done and wishing we had acted or reacted differently. We imagine how things might have turned out “if only ..”
All of us make mistakes. To go back and wonder and wish about our yesterdays prevents us from living fully today. Each day is a fresh chance; a new beginning. We can only squeeze what we can out of the moment and let the drops fall where they may. Some will evaporate and some will form rainbows.
Can I forget about yesterday and start a fresh new day?
Keep It Simple
May you live all the days of your life’-Jonathan Swift.
Tonight, at midnight, a New Year will begin. None of us know what the New Year will hold. But we can trust ourselves to hold on to the spirit of recovery as we go through the year. As a New Year is about to begin, we can rejoice in our new way of life. By doing these things, we’ll be ready for the New Year.
New Year’s Eve is a good time to reflect upon the closing year and set our direction for the year ahead. This day reminds us that every day of the year is lived just one at a time. Looking back, we can see a year’s change in ourselves. We see the progress we have made on our journey. Perhaps we see how much stronger we are emotionally. Maybe we see relationships that have developed because of our growing ability to love. Certainly all of us have some things we regret and some changes we mourn. They too have their place today.
As we begin the coming year, let us review our relationship with each of the Steps. We may perceive aspects of our program that call for more attention. One or two particular Steps may speak to our needs at this time or may have been overlooked in this past year. On this last day of the year, we can again turn our lives and will over to the care of a loving God.
OH YES ! THANK YOU LISA. MONTHS LATER AS I ATTEMPTED TO PUSH THE BUTTON ON AN ATM AND THE STOREKEEPERS LOOKED AT ME ASKANCE – I THOUGHT ” THIS COULD BE IT FOREVER”.
Here is her story.
Obviously, there is a cause for what I experienced. Perhaps it was a viral infection from a recent bout of flu. Or something called a “non-epileptic seizure” which often mimics stroke symptoms (especially muscle weakness) with no permanent damage.Whatever it was, I’m back at my computer today. I even typed this whole post myself—which at this time yesterday would have seemed like a minor miracle.
My experience is that the first year is always chaotic; a roller-coaster of emotions with denial, anger and depression arriving randomly and sometimes all at once as you try to deal with the new reality and face the dreaded Firsts: the First Christmas, the First birthday; the First anniversary.
The second year is bleaker still; no one outside those immediately affected is still grieving, depression has made itself at home as you realise no heavenly messenger is going to turn up and tell you it was all a terrible mistake and turn the clock back.What I say to the many bereaved men and women I meet (and due to my personal history I am in touch with quite a few) is that, as this week’s Sue Ryder survey suggests, a corner will be turned after the first two years but that will not be the end of it.Our forebears would have been baffled by the idea of filling out surveys to find out how long the pain of grief is supposed to last.
My mom died when I was 10 years old. Now I’m a 29 year old man. Having dealt with her loss for nearly 20 years I can tell you that grief does not go away. The intensity of grief may change over time and the characteristics of grief you experience change as well. Yet grief rooted in the death of a loved one never goes away and that is a good thing.Grieving is not about making it end as quickly as possible. Grieving is an essential human process and it should be embraced, not ignored or expedited. As Steve Jobs said, “Death is very likely the single greatest invention of life.” It’s life’s change-agent and you should think about grief as the environment in which change happens. For example, read about Dashrath Majhi in the thread What are the most gripping stories in human history? After the death of his wife this man spent 22 years single-handedly cutting a path through a nearby mountain range so that other villagers could access local medical help more easily. From the loss of his wife this man changed the lives of others. I’m sure that every time he picked up his tools he felt grief yet he was transformed through that process into a humanitarian.My point isn’t that everyone will respond in a similarly monumental fashion. But death changes us and grief is the environment in which that change happens. With that being said I would encourage you to ask the question differently. Don’t ask about how quickly you can end the grief. Instead you should ask “When can I start and what might I experience along the way?”If I were to describe the nature of grief I would describe grief with these words: seasonal, imperceptible yet influential, interminable.