Help Yourself! Trauma, HMR, And Pathways To Healing with Lenora Edwards (Episode 299)
In this series of looking inward, we've been addressing personality styles. While this is an important part of understanding the language of empathy, we have to take into account the world in which we live. We bring perspectives based on our environment, status, trauma, and more. And this week's guest digs deep into the element of trauma healing with an HMR process I have personally walked through with her.
In addition to being a speech-language pathologist, Lenora Edwards is a Certified Professional Hypnotist, a Board Certified Coach, and a Trauma Healing Practitioner.
I've had Lenora on before, talking specifically about speech with our children (and beyond) and how to give children the tools to clearly communicate.
As a speech-language pathologist, she's had opportunities to work with people of all ages as they work through both physical and emotional issues related to speech and language.
This has opened the door for her to go deeper into discovering how individuals can heal from the inside out to fully thrive in this life.
In the video below, she shares about her mult-passionate approach and how she got started. While working her "day job" as a speech-language pathologist, she started a baking business on the side. As she would spend hours on her baking, she was soaking up audiobooks and more to try to find answers to the issues she was continuing to have.
After a second root canal, it was clear to her that she was needing a change. Her anxiety and disordered eating were taking over, and she recognized the need for outside support beyond a self-help book.
I love how she shares that we can spend so much time seeking "help" on our own, while completely masking or being blind to what we can't quite handle. We are not intended to live life alone - and there can be so much clarity in simply seeking help beyond what you are able to see on your own. Blind spots are called that for a reason, right?
As Lenora shares, we don't know what we don't know. And even if we may have an understanding of something, like anxiety, for example, it may show up in you in a way you may not recognize.
Oh, Lenora has a great rebrand on this one. Instead of looking for self-help, reframe this to "Help Yourself" - wow, what does this open up! It keeps the focus on self-improvement while recognizing it isn't always on your own!
When we are stuck, it isn't that we're stupid; we may simply be unaware of what we don't yet know. And it's hard to learn on our own if we don't even know where to start, or what exactly we're not seeing.
Helping yourself can be done in so many ways. Beyond the books and podcasts, Lenora dove into certifications on the types of therapies she personally was responding to.
If we're willing to grow in our desire to help others, we pave the way for our own healing as we practice what we preach.
Remember, behind every self-help book and DIY approach, there still is a real live person that created it. So often we are seeking help from others, even if we think we're doing it on our own.
Holographic Memory Resolution (HMR)
One of the forms of healing that really resonated with Lenora was Holographic Memory Resolution (HMR). This is an emotional reframing - of healing memory within the body. Our mind and body are connected - and our body tends to store what happens to us throughout our life.
When we are unable to handle a traumatic event (which is common, especially as a young child), our body still retains the memory of it. And oftentimes we see this manifest in issues that seem to be recurring in our lives we can't get over, like anxiety, eating issues, or even simply attracting drama wherever we go, which builds on our own stress and overwhelm.
As Lenora dug deeper into HMR and how it helped others, it was like unlocking Pandora's box of new insights and discoveries. Everywhere she looked she found affirmations of this form of healing that was personally unblocking and answering so many questions about her own personal struggles.
"I was able to help other people because of how many rock bottoms of my own I went through."
She shared how a client told her, "It's not your perfections that qualify you to help me; it's your pain." So often we discount our own pain, yet it's the very thing that gives us the empathy to serve others well. When we recognize our humanity and the common ground of vulnerability we all have.
HMR is what resonated with Lenora. I share my experience with it below. That does NOT mean we are promoting this as the one and only cure-all. Be skeptical of anything that does that. There are many ways to find healing, and it may be in another form for you.
Maybe it's through meditation only or traditional counseling. Maybe it's using the Wim Hoff method of breathing, or through interpretive dance. The point isn't in the module; it's in your openness to it and what it may transform in you.
Do your due diligence to research this. I often will look up a name and the word "reviews" or "scams" to see what I might be missing. Knowing the internet is an information superhighway, I take it with a grain of salt while seeking credible sources to give me insights before going too deep.
We both encourage you to do the same. Be clear on what feels right for you, and follow your gut. If it feels uncomfortable, is that a step toward healing, or a signal that this may not be the right path for you? It's okay to seek multiple forms of healing and determine what the best fit is.
Even with my own coaching, it's a vetting process - I have clients fill out an intake form to ensure we are a good match to work together, and that my process is a good fit. I want success in the coaching experience as much as you do, so it's important to work with those you already resonate with vs. forcing a relationship to "muscle through" to healing.
Really get to know the people and practices that you're attracted to, and do your research to know when it's being presented with authenticity and integrity for your best interest.
Leaning Into Without Reliving
We can lean into our pain without having to relive our pain. I think so often we shy away from trauma therapy out of fear of reliving an unwanted experience.
We can have fears about revisiting our past pain; for the hurt it has already caused us, as well as the fear of having to face head-on the person or people who hurt us.
There is still this misconception that to find "true" healing, you need to air it all out for everyone to see, including throwing under the bus anyone in the past who has hurt you.
I know we can move on and even smooth things out with our real-life tormentors, and the last thing we want to do is "rock the boat." And I believe it can keep many of us trapped in the pain, locking it away in secret, just so we don't disrupt the "peace" we may have worked hard to cultivate.
Yet it still festers. It manifests in those issues that seem to show up on repeat - in our emotions and in our bodies. There are ways to help that don't require throwing anyone under the bus, including yourself. In my experience, simply going to right before the trauma and reframing/acknowledging you survived can be enough to recognize you can let it go now.
What Is "True" Trauma?
This is important. It can be easy to discount one trauma over another. Yet our minds process all forms of trauma in the same way, regardless of what society deems as "worthy".
Trauma can be seeing your parents fight. Trauma can be taking a teddy bear away. Trauma isn't always about the action as much as it's about your mind and body not being able to understand. When we don't understand and don't have the tools to cope, it creates trauma.
Trauma is what your system doesn't understand. And the mind and body will do one of two different things. It will capture the event and store it in your body as a trauma until you are ready to deal with it at another time, or you'll carry it until you pass away. It doesn't just "dissolve" on its own. So this trauma can continue to manifest in both your body and your mind until you are ready to understand it, using whatever methods work for you.
Using HMR To Walk Through Trauma
Trauma takes a picture of that event and stores it away in your subconscious. What I loved about HMR is it takes you right before the event, and empowers you to determine the next step.
During this interview, I found out Lenora was reading the book No Bad Parts: Healing Trauma and Restoring Wholeness with the Internal Family Systems Model by Richard Schwartz, Ph.D.
It really took the experience of HMR even deeper for me, as it helped me to separate out the different parts of who I am. So, going back to HMR, you often visualize and meet with the part of you who is locked in the age of your trauma.
And often that part is so locked in this role, it doesn't recognize that you have literally grown older and been able to survive it. So simply rectifying the relationship of your past self with who you are now can be the first powerful step in finding healing.
You did make it. You have survived. And you have new insights and maturity, and, when you're going through a process to heal yourself, you're gaining the tools to help that former part of you find peace.
When I look at wholeness, it's not about being perfect; it's being able to see ALL of your parts and come to peace with them.
Crying Is A Release
We can put such a stigma on crying as being a weakness, when it's a natural process of release, just like sweating is. When geese get into a territorial fight, they'll flap their wings afterward to release the tension of the event - and then they move on. There are so many natural ways to release - and we aren't pressure cookers. When we try to be, sooner or later the pressure will cause us to burst. What is your release? Crying can be incredibly refreshing and healing.
Everyone has their own way of establishing safety, and working through to clear memory. And that's the ultimate goal - to clear the held-on trauma of memory and establish the safety of what you know now.
Don't look at this as trying to deconstruct the past. See what tools can benefit you to meet your past with a true desire to open up and heal.
The older we get, the more we can become disconnected from what we were, and, in the process, let those unresolved issues fester in a way that will manifest - the pressure gets stronger the longer we sit in it.
Help yourself! Beyond "self-help", dig a bit deeper and really look at what you might need to move forward.
Maybe it's looking into a book, like No Bad Parts: Healing Trauma and Restoring Wholeness with the Internal Family Systems Model or another favorite of mine, What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing.
Maybe it's finding a trauma therapist, or going on a meditation retreat.
The older we get, the more we have the opportunity to be disconnected from that young person we were. The more we can recognize that we are one and the same, and this is a part of who we are that doesn't need to stand alone in pain, the more our lives tend to flow.
There are so many techniques - find what works for you. Be open to trying and moving through until you find what resonates.
Look outside of yourself and have a conversation with someone else. Be open to what blind spots may be there that are holding you back.
As you pursue your passions and what is speaking to you, it may open the door and unlock a part of you that truly needs healing...and can open you up beyond what you imagined. What if we gave ourselves a little bit more grace and love - and permission - to be multi-passionate, and to look for those opportunities for growth that can reinforce your own healing.
What better gift can we give to the world than working through our own healing?
Pursue your passions and see what uncovers for you. Don't shy away from what "help" looks like. For Lenora, it was baking, dentistry, and youtube videos that got her started and opened the doors to the people who healed her.
Dig deep. Pursue your passions. Celebrate love and growth. And how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us. Namaste.
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