#153. Trauma and Moving Forward in Life

Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed by unexpected events, like a sudden illness in the family, and wondered how to cope? In this episode, I dive deep into how we handle life’s surprises and the impact of both big and small traumas on our well-being. I share a personal story about my sister’s visit, which took an unexpected turn, testing our resilience and ability to adapt.

In this episode, I discuss the difference between life coaching and therapy, emphasizing how each plays a vital role in dealing with trauma. I introduce the concept of big T and small T traumas, explaining how significant events like natural disasters and personal experiences like emotional abuse shape us. Additionally, I share a success story from my membership program, highlighting a member who turned her summer challenge into a meaningful act of giving by donating quilts to the Ronald McDonald House.

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How to distinguish between big T and small T traumas and understand their impact on your life.
  • The importance of processing emotions and not avoiding them, recognizing that acceptance is crucial for mental health.
  • The power of documenting and celebrating positive experiences to balance the negative, fostering a mindset of gratitude and resilience.

Join me as I invite you to explore these insights and consider becoming part of a supportive community focused on personal growth and lasting change.

  • If you are ready to lose weight and change the way you think, sign up for the lifetime access membership for Love Yourself Thin! Doors are open and you can find all the information by clicking here.
  • Leave me a review in Apple

Full Episode Transcript:

Dara Tomasson Podcast Episode 153

153. Trauma and Moving Forward in Life

Are you feeling a little bit frazzled and maybe a little out of control that. No matter what you are trying to do to make a difference in life. It doesn’t quite seem to stick. While there possibly could be that there’s some Trump. It could possibly be because there’s some trauma that you don’t even realize is happening.

When you can figure that out, you can start getting more. I have a handle on what’s really going on in your life. But my name is Dara Tomasson, and this is episode 1 53 trauma. Moving forward in your life. Today has not been what I expected. I have my sister visiting and she is not feeling well at all.

We went for a walk this morning. She was hoping that being out in nature would help. She was feeling really dizzy and she had to turn around and we spent the morning at the emergency room. Hopefully she’s going to be on the mend, but. I wanted to, just to share the, a lot of times in life this is kind of a side note, but we’ll kind of tie back to our topic. We can have all the best intentions we can. Think that we have it all planned out, that we know everything is, you know we’ve got everything taken care of. Then we have a surprise visit from a sister, and then we have a surprise. Trip to the emergency, but all of these things they’re not happening to you.

They’re happening for you to really test you.

In every op episode I share about the success of someone in my membership. This one is about one of the members. Last July, we did a challenge called hello summer. It was to make your own summer bucket list. Those who watching the YouTube channel you can see, I’m just showing it. We made a bucket list of all the things he wanted. I kind of gave you structure. What places do you want to go? What activities do you want to do? Skills to learn? Books to read random acts of kindness, new experiences, to try things, to create people, to spend time with.

Then we had a daily check-in that I created little challenges and then I called it becoming your own bestie. It was awesome. I loved it. I’m really looking forward to the summer. I’m actually gonna have my kids do a master list, so I’m going to have mine and it’ll probably be in blue or green, and then I’ll color code it for my kids.

We’ll make up our big summer bucket list. It’ll be really fun to have that all organized. If you want to have some fun with that, you can, you can do it on your own, or you can do it in my membership, which is going to be just a blast. But this one member she wanted to, she made a goal to make eight quilts and donate them to the Ronald McDonald house. And the Ronald McDonald house is. F four it’s right beside a hospital for families who live far away.

So a lot of rural people there have a child that requires a specialist and they live two hours, three hours, seven hours away. They are all able to live there and there’s.

Meals provided beds. Activities. It’s really amazing. Situation. She has been working on those and she donated a whole bunch and she’s just so pleased and she’s continuing to work on one and they’re actually building a Ronald McDonald house much closer to where she lives so it doesn’t take her three hours. I think it’s about a three hour drive there and back. I’m just, so now of course the lives, everyone that goes, every patient that goes to the Ronald McDonald house gets a quilt. One of the things that I’ve been learning as a life coach, I do want to say. There is a big difference between a life coach and a therapist.

I do have an episode about that a little while back. . Therapy, definitely and especially because today we’re talking about trauma. And I 100% recommend anyone that’s having trauma that they’re not overcoming. We’re going to talk about that. There was a big, big T and small T trauma. What I, my experience is, and I have women in my program and I’ve worked with them. One-on-one who have been coinciding, only working with a therapist and working with me. What happens with life coaching is that. It actually gives your brain a structure on how to organize your thoughts and how to clean out your thoughts.

It’s the difference between just hiring a professional organizer to come into your home and they just do it. You don’t really know why they’re doing it. You don’t really understand the reasons behind it. They just do it and then they leave and you’re kind of in trouble because you don’t know

how to keep it up.

You don’t feel like you have a way to really structure it. Whereas when we have lots of different thoughts coming to us all day every day, what a life coach does is help you to understand, okay. I’m getting these thoughts. I don’t know what to do with them. So instead of shoving them away, I can just acknowledge them and say, yeah, that was, that was a sad thought.

That was a hard thing. That was actually not even true, even though we’ve convinced ourselves. It’s true. Right? A life coach helps, you know what to do. Just like today with my sister when we went to the hospital, you go and you explain your situation, they take your heartbeat and everything.

Your blood pressure. Then they triage you. Life coaching is kind of like that.

All right, so let’s go over the worksheet. If you, aren’t watching me on YouTube. Because on YouTube I have the worksheet, that’s like side by side. You can download the worksheet yourself and work through it. This one is actually more of a guide

A big T trauma is an extraordinary and significant event that leaves the individual feeling powerless possessing little control in their environment. So a natural disaster terrorist.

Attack sexual assault car or plane accident. generally it’s something they had no control over. You know, it happened to them. Wrong time, wrong place. It really is just a horrible circumstance. A situation that happened. Now a small T trauma is a district highly distressing event that affects individuals on a personal level. Don’t fall into the big teach category.

Examples of little T traumas could include non life-threatening injuries, emotional abuse, death of a pet, bullying or harassment and loss of significant relationships. The way that I like to think about small T traumas for me is when I’m in a situation I remember it exactly. Who remembers when princess di died?

Do you remember where you were when you heard she died in this car accident? It was like this trauma, it was like you remember it? What about if your parents got divorced? You remember how you felt? You probably remember where you were, it’s like you it’s. It’s like you’re in a movie and you can replay the movie. That’s a lot about my son. When he was choking on candy in our car. And I had to pull over.

On the side of the road and do the Heimlich for him. That’s a small T trauma.

If you have any questions about if life coaching is more effective than. My opinion is if you have this trauma. Especially the big T trauma definitely recommends there’s a lot of great therapies. There are.

They have E M D R. They have cognitive behavior therapy. They have exposure therapy and they are specialists. I highly recommend you go there. But what else? What else I also recommend is learning these tools to organize your brain. Just like I was sharing.

One of the challenges when we want to lose weight or we want to build a quilting business, or we want to improve our marriage, or if we, whatever, that thing is that you’re wanting to improve. One of the things that’s really tricky is that we hide behind.

All of those. So we hide behind our weight. Saying, well, I can’t be that successful because I am not. People are going to judge me. They’re going to think I’m lazy. I can’t start that. So we use our weight loss or weight as an excuse for us not to pursue the thing. We do that with our kids.

I can’t do this because my kids really need me. Or I can’t go on that vacation with my husband because no one else can take care of my kids as well as I can take care of them. And then you get older and your kids are more independent. You’re just, you keep scrambling. What’s my next excuse?

What’s my next way to avoid it? This is the problem, because one of the biggest reactions to any form of trauma is avoidance. Hiding behind your quilts, doing everything for everyone else, not saying what you really want to say in case you put yourself in danger. If I was in a group of other quilters and I said, Hey, you know, you should. Raise your prices or you should do this thing.

Then all the other people in the group say, you’re ridiculous

that feels really scary because now if I’m excluded from the cool crowd, the big group, then I’m in trouble. What about eating food? You don’t have to feel your emotions. What about avoiding what you’re thinking about by using your screens, shopping or obsessing about something. I’m reading this book, feel the fear and do it anyway by Susan Jeffers. She talked about this woman who was really afraid of moving forward in her life and so she married really well.

She married a successful businessman who handled both their lives. She allowed this situation because it was more comfortable for her never to put herself on the line. But as the saying goes, life is what happens when you’re, when you’ve made other plans. At age 53, her husband had a stroke, which left him partially disabled one day, she was totally taken care of and the next she was totally taken care of. She talked about, she said the transition wasn’t easy after fighting the rage of why did this happen

to me? She started to accept the fact that she was now in charge of both her own and her husband’s survival. Then so numb, she went through the motions of learning, and had business handling decisions. But then she went from. This Genesis thinking had been permeated with the phrase. What if she always worried about the future?

Never enjoying her days. She lived with the underlying dread. Oh, what if something happened to him? And now she went from what if to. I’ll handle it. She was, she was able to really understand his business and take over. And she handled it and she’s thriving and it’s, it’s really exciting. When we see these, these new ways of thinking and redirecting our brain. I like acronyms, especially when I go for walks or running or I’m doing dishes or quilting or something. I will, if something comes into my mind, like I’m feeling stressed or worried about something. Maybe an acronym will come to my mind. It will help me walk through a problem.

I taught grade four, five and six, mostly for about 10 years. One of the classes I had. I had a set of twin boys and I had a set up of sisters. The sisters, their father actually became homeless. He was brutally killed downtown Calgary.

It was really terrible. The mother had separated from him. Prior, there was a new man in the relationship. But it was fascinating to have these two sisters, because one was definitely a fighter and the other one was more of a people pleaser, we were working on civilizations as we do in social studies. We talked about basic needs and we talked about water and shelter and clothing and food. Then the older sister who was more quiet put up her hand really timidly and she said, Hope that is a basic need. She saw her father. Lost his hope and because of that he gave up. He gave up fighting for them. He gave up being that kind of dad.

That has always stayed with me. When I think of hope. I think of that little girl. She was a 12 year old girl and just what a powerful tool hope is. And so. The other thing that I really want to impress on. Anyone listening to this podcast whether you want to lose physical weight, whether you just want to feel happier. Whether, whatever it is, it doesn’t actually matter.

Those are just circumstances, weight, business, and relationships. At the heart of it. Is your fear of moving forward. Because you have proof that there’s some really bad stuff that can happen. And it’s awful. It’s just so awful. When you look on the news and you see: natural disasters and terrorist attacks. You see these accidents and you see these things and it’s really, really scary. Then we have our small T traumas.

I had a lady just recently talk about how one of her friend’s sons has taken her out of his life. If you are always living with that fear, That you are. If you say something you could destroy a relationship and then never see your grandkids. I mean, that’s definitely some trauma there. You hide behind saying what you really want to say or. You just kind of go through the motions and you never really feel genuine or authentic. I see far too many women hiding. When it comes to weight loss.

Weight is a good excuse.

Just let that sink in for a minute. It can be a good excuse. It’s like, oh no, I can’t be that successful. Or I can’t go and do those things with those people because of my weight. That’s what happened to me in my early or mid twenties. I was like, well, and subconsciously. I put weight on, I kept putting weight on because.

I had all this fear around mydad and mom divorcing. I thought, how could I be. I can’t, how do I do this? I don’t know how to date. I’m just packing on the weight and busying myself, like crazy. Making myself indispensable to everyone else but to me I hear you and losing weight or building a business or improving your marriage. It brings up a lot of fears and that’s okay. I’m going to do a really good episode on fear coming up in this book, feel the fear and do it anyway. An amazing book.

And I remember buying that book a long time ago and it’s a game changer.

Let’s go over hope. This is over the acronym. So H is here we are. And it’s the best place to be. If you’re constantly complaining, why does this happen to me? Why? What was me? Then you turn into what. Victim. When you’re a victim, there’s always a villain. And then, you always, you always put yourself in a place of fear and scarcity and whore.

Here we are. It’s the best place to be. I didn’t love that my car got crashed or I didn’t love that. My whatever that is. But this is where it is the best place to be, because this is where I can learn the most. if I want to, , when you’ve experienced this. I know you have, where it’s it? Get out of a situation because you don’t want to deal with it, but then you just find yourself, keep being in those same kinds of situations. You’re okay, I hear you.

I need to figure out how to resolve this. This is an opportunity and if you don’t learn from it, then you’re just going to have more opportunities to learn from these experiences. Even though it feels terrible and is unfair or horrible, it’s reality. Just own it, right?

The opposite of avoid is accept. The more that we can just accept that this is happening. The more that we can just look in the mirror and say, okay, This is it, this is my reality. When I see these people on Ozempic, I see these people with plastic surgery and doing all these crazy things to their faces.

They’re not living in their own reality and they’re not going to be able to ever enjoy themselves. No matter how skinny or how wrinkled, less than this, how many less wrinkles they have? P process the emotions that come along with the trauma and plan to stay with them as they ride through your body, like a wave. Remember how our thoughts create our emotions. We have a thought and then our little hormone receptors are like, oh, how do we react to that?

If we say, oh, what a cute baby? Then the hormones are like, oh, Cute baby. They were relaxed. You know, we feel great.

Or if we have a notice. Like my kid just got hurt. Then the hormones are like, oh, we got to move fast. Now. Go. We have a reaction. Emotions are just like vibrations in our body. They just go through us and the more we can just accept them the more that we accept the better. Prioritizing yourself, both mentally and physically.

He is excellent at live a life of excellence, which means prioritizing both your mental and physical. Health. It’s going to make all the difference. If we can think highly of ourselves, if we say no, I’m worth this. I am a woman of excellence. I am a person of excellence. This is what is required for me to become this kind of person. When you have that attitude, it’s going to make all the difference.

The last part of this episode, and I’ve been thinking a lot about this. Especially, because in the coaching, I talked to the women about small T traumas and we acknowledge them and we normalize them. We process them and we allow them to have a healthy, normal life. There needs to be. The small T traumas, right?

These. You know, this. This death of a pat loss of a significant relationship bullying or harassment. But this is the beautiful thing we’re really equipped as humans to actually deal with it. We have to remind ourselves. This is the counterbalance that I wanted to talk about, instead of having our brain always thinking about all of our small T traumas. Collecting the files, just like a police officer, right. It’s like writing out the tickets and then they file all the tickets. What would it be like for you to do the same thing with loving T. Experiences? What would that be like?

Where, our experiences are wonder experiences, joy experiences. Compassion experiences. What would it be like for you to write down? I remember when my kids went to the grocery store and my daughter didn’t know how to use the debit card properly. She was buying these groceries. It wasn’t working properly and she was getting more and more flustered and upset. The guy behind her paid for her groceries.

They were $87. my daughter was like, no, it’s okay. I can pay you. Or I can come back and he’s like, Nope I have so many experiences where There’s just so much, so much goodness. So much goodness. I would love for you to write a list of all those wonderful experiences that are even just like holding a brand new baby, or even just playing with a two year old. Or even looking at a beautiful cloudy sky, like with beautiful clouds. Or snuggling in with a nice cup of warm tea and in a cozy room, knowing that you had a home that was safe. We’re holding hands with someone who you loved. Or being there for someone who is struggling and knowing that you could be, that you could be their person. If you could write all those down and you could start operating. Out of. Way of thinking of my life really is. So amazing. And it also is hard too, but it really is 50 50. There’s a woman that just joined my membership.

Hasn’t even been a full month. She made a comment on one of the posts I made recently and she said, The biggest thing that I’ve learned with being here already is that life to be healthy and strong. Is 50% good and 50% pad. It’s so awesome. I want that for you. I’m going to invite you all the time. To join me in my membership. My membership is far more than weight loss. Because what is it really doing?

It’s finally looking in the mirror of these traumas and of these challenges and learning now, what do I do with this? Just like when you had a professional organizer you can keep up someone else’s system. You had to. You had to figure out your own system and then figure out how to honor yourself and trust yourself to do it.

Oh, I love talking to you all.

I love sharing this podcast with you. And I invite you. To come and check out my membership. It really truly is. Life-changing. Not just for you, but everyone else around you and it will prolong your life. It will be a life that you will really love living. All right. See you next week. Bye-bye.

If you want more help with learning about your body and how it’s changing through menopause, perimenopause, through whatever it is, my program is focused on helping you truly become your own best expert. So as we go through June, uh, working on our menopause, perimenopause experiences. July, we’re focusing on becoming our own bestie July and August actually with our summertime, um, challenge.

And then in August, we’re really diving into how to lose the physical weight when you focus so much on the mental. I have an incredible program for that coming in August. So there’s so much to look forward to. You truly can make your own transformation and I love helping you. Find that inner knowledge and wisdom.

That’s just waiting for you to unlock so that you can create permanent change for yourself.

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