I thought I had healed from all of my trauma.
I had been to years of therapy and talked through my divorce, being sexually assaulted at a young age, and the emotional scars given to me from my family. I thought was done talking and processing. I felt like I was ready for action. At the start of last year, I left behind both a relationship and a job that were not serving me, and stepped out on my own.
I could not have been more wrong.
I started my own communications consultancy, and Grand Rapids Healing Yoga was one of my first clients. As a yogi for years, I was intrigued by their offerings of healing trauma, but I felt that their services were for things I had left in my past. I wasn’t interested in revisiting them.
Through my work with Raechel and her team, however, I learned that trauma isn’t something you can necessarily just file away.
My trauma is everywhere, and it’s part of my every interaction. Most surprising to me was exactly which traumas continued to spill out of me. It wasn’t the life-altering painful events. It was then that I began to understand that trauma is something that can and does happen every day.
As I worked to create my business, I found myself unwrapping layers of trauma I had yet to understand or process. Fears of being not good enough, of screwing things up, of being a fraud all came up to the surface.
What I love so much about working with Raechel is that she provides a safe space for people, including me, to be honest and vulnerable about where we have been in our lives and the path we would like to unfold in our future. We have a wonderful working relationship because neither of us expects the other to have all the answers. We’re allowed to have and express feelings of unworthiness, frustration, and joy.
Raechel and the other therapists Grand Rapids Healing Yoga have also taught me to understand what it feels like to live in and love my body. A great deal of my own trauma stems from body image issues in my past.
Raechel’s style of yoga is the first I’ve experienced where I am given choices about what to do in a pose to make it feel right for my body at that particular moment in time. Everyone in a trauma-sensitive yoga class is an individual with unique challenges, and we’re encouraged to truly listen to our body to give it what it needs.
I remember after my first class with Raechel, I found myself able to truly listen to my body for the first time, ask for what it needs, and be comfortable in providing for myself. Even if that need was to rest rather than work out, or to wear a larger size clothing that I had worn before.
Sometimes, my body and my mind need to sit with the fact that I’ve been impacted negatively by what has happened to me in my life. Not from a place of action or anger, but of acceptance, understanding, and compassion. I no longer feel shame for being triggered by something (even if it means lots of tears at inopportune times!). The work I’ve done this past year has helped me start to become more grounded, confident in mind and body, and starting to live the courageous life I’ve always dreamed about,
Yet I acknowledge there is and always will be more to do. My traumas are still there, and I know I will unravel new ones every day. But like my body, trauma is something that I have learned to love as a part of me, not something that defines or limits who I am.
About the author: Jacqui Poehlman is the founder of Communicate Your Joy, a Grand Rapids-based marketing consultancy for healers and heart-centered entrepreneurs. Jacqui is also the co-founder of Mamas Making Waves, a podcast and online community dedicated to helping mompreneurs ditch the hustle and find the flow in life and business. Jacqui serves as a Board Member for the Body, Mind, Being Project, bringing trauma sensitive yoga and education in trauma to mental health professionals and unserved communities. When she's not plotting world domination, Jacqui enjoys good books, lakeshore sunsets, a strong cup of coffee, napping, and time spent with her two children.