“Yes, friends … Trauma Brain is a real thing!”
It happened just last week. We are taking over the back unit behind our home for office space + an extra bedroom. The movers showed up to drop off what had been in storage from our first move. We needed to see if the couch would fit, so I went to grab my measuring tape. We used it + I set it down. And then I forgot where I placed it when we needed it again. This happened over + over again! The movers were sweet + patient with me as my frustration over than damn measuring tape grew. And then my son, without realizing what he said, balked, “You have to start remembering stuff like that, mom!” Ouch.
In that moment, I lost it. All of the feelings came flooding over me like a tsunami! Tears streaming down my face, I screamed, “It doesn’t work that way. You have no idea what it was like to go through PTSD. To have your brain hijacked + your memory taken from you. You have no idea what it was like to forget + then remember, only to forget again. My heart went through a lot, but SO DID MY BRAIN! And I’m still dealing with the after-effects. You have no idea how many days – even now – I wish I had my old brain back … before all of this happened.” My son put his arms around me and said, “Wow. I am so sorry. I had no idea.”
Some would say I over-reacted a tad. But those same people probably haven’t walked my journey. And let me tell you, the frustration is real!
When I was traumatized six years ago, primarily by what’s called “Betrayal Trauma”, my brain was constantly in “fight or flight” mode. I had days where my entire body felt frozen + nothing made sense. It was like living in a fog bank, not sure of which direction you were headed. I tried to make sense of my life + the betrayals that hit me hard. My brain was constantly firing between my Amygdala (where conditioned fear lies) and my Hippocampus (where memory lies). It began to affect my body, too. I couldn’t eat. I barely slept. There were days I felt like a zombie. One time in particular, I was running with a friend when I suddenly ran myself into a light pole. Had I seen the light pole? Yup. But I couldn’t judge it correctly with my brain offline. My shoulder battered + bleeding, I could only laugh and cry in the same moment! And yes, I still have the scar to prove it. Yet, there were other moments during that time in my life when I had so much clarity! Living in gratitude for my children + me, I felt like I could manage anything. I cherished those “bring it on” moments.
You see, we think of how loss, sadness, shock + all of the things affects our heart. But we forget about how much it also affects the brain. And you guys, Trauma Brain is real.
Below I share a video that my colleague, Dr. Jake Porter, just released. I’ve shared it on my social media platforms + so many of you have responded with, “Wow. That’s me!” When we begin to understand why things are happening to us, we become more compassionate with ourselves + one another. So please, watch regardless if you have experienced trauma or not. It’s 6-minutes of learning + can help you to understand others whose shoes you are not in … thankfully.
So how did I “heal” my Trauma Brain during that difficult time?
I went into Nature and took time for me. Think of it as allowing your brain to take a rest + nap. When you are in Nature, your prefrontal cortex – the analytical part of your brain – slows. And in response, your cerebellum – known to fine-tune our deepest thoughts + emotions – is allowed to rise. I was provided so many peace moments when floating on my board in the middle of the Pacific Ocean or climbing trails in the mountains and the Grand Canyon. Through this time in Nature, I found clarity + made sense of my life!
Recently I wrote a blog post for Ms. Career Girl. You can read “Five Ways Nature is the Perfect Natural Healing Therapy” here.
And how do I manage my Trauma Brain today?
The same way I did back then. I take time for me in Nature! Every year, I take a week off and go hit a trail. Last year it was the High Sierra Trail in California. And tomorrow, I leave for Yosemite where I will spend nearly a week on the “Little Grand Canyon” trail, camping on top of Clouds Rest during our adventure! I take time every day to spend on the ocean or run a trail. I hike up mountains, walk barefoot on the beach and sit my butt on grass. And the biggest thing of all? I give myself compassion + grace when my brain doesn’t work as I hope. When words don’t flow when I’m writing or I can’t make sense of numbers, I get up and walk away. I tell myself, “Girl, you’ve been through a lot. Be good to you.” If I don’t, who will? I love my brain just as I do my heart, soul + spirit. And therefore, I spend time outdoors for me. No excuses … it’s my needed choice.
So, from the trail this week, I’ll send love + light to each one of you! Watch the video above. Read the article. And please, take 5 minutes for yourself outdoors! Make it a non-negotiable in your life + see what transpires when you do.
Lastly, I want to share some exciting news!
I’m in the process of an “up-brand” in my business! In September, I will be moving over my liveboldlycoaching.com url to saraschultingkranz.com. When it launches, please take a moment to scroll through the site + notice the changes! I have added a new downloadable program that I recorded from the San Gabriel Mountains: Unstuck + Free: How to Live Outside Your Comfort Zone. I’m launching my new Podcast, LIVE BOLDLY with Sara Schulting-Kranz where I will interview everyday people with inspiring stories + professionals who will guide you beside me. Some interviews will happen while on the trail + others from my office. You will also notice many new speaking engagements, including my upcoming Ted Talk in Manhattan Beach on November 2nd, followed by an all day Forgiveness Retreat on November 3rd! And lastly, we are casting for women ready to transform their lives over Thanksgiving, 2019, hiking the Grand Canyon with me + sharing their stories for the documentary, Walk Through This. If this is you, please respond to this email + let’s chat!
And the coolest new program releasing? Contact me to be a part of: RISE UP! Women’s Divorce Retreats + Breakthrough Coaching Journey with me + Asia Dawn!
- 3-months of Online Group Coaching … we cover divorce, relationships, narcissism, recovery, self worth, dating, etc + all things Living Your Best Life!
- WORLD RENOWNED SPEAKERS such as Dorit Reichental + Amber Lilyestrom!
- 4-day Adventure Retreat at the base of Mt. Baldy!
- (2) 1:2 Coaching Sessions with Sara + Asia
- Lifetime access to ALL Content + Programs!
- Begins October 1st … NOW Accepting Applications!
OR Interested in Future GRAND CANYON Retreats or 1:1 Coaching? REACH OUT!
AND NOW … off to go finish packing!
With so much LOVE + COMPASSION from me to you,
Spread the vibe, and as always, please reach out with comments and thoughts!